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Rounding Cape Horn in 1860
Cruise of the Dashing Wave recounts a harrowing 1860 clipper ship passage from Boston to San Francisco by way of Cape Horn, as recorded by Philip Hichborn, ship's carpenter, in his journal.
On board the Dashing Wave, even the disagreeable food was a blessing as it distracted the crew from the oppressive cruelty of the elements. The weather and heavy seas of Cape Horn pushed the sailors to their physical limits and often punctuated their watches with moments of despair, amazement, and fear.
Hichborn would later rise to become a major figure in the U.S. Navy, but on this, his first voyage, he was still unfamiliar with life aboard ship. As ship's carpenter, he was not obligated to stand watch at night, giving him unique opportunities to observe and make notes on an extraordinary cruise that weathered devastating gales, ice, and snow; the death of a crew member; and a near mutiny.
Most accounts of seafaring are written by captains, mates, or members of the forecastle crew, but this unusually candid account captures life aboard a nineteenth-century tall ship from the point of view of a landsman. As such, it lays bare the social and professional interactions of a team of strangers stressed to the point of rebellion and murder--revealing that the rigid traditional hierarchy of a ship could be challenged by a man of skill and personality.
Daily Life in the Twilight of the Revolution
Amelia Weinreb takes readers deep inside the everyday life of middle-class Cubans--arguably the majority of citizens on the island. Un-theorized and under-described, it is a group that is portrayed honestly, accurately, and empathetically.
The political and economic systems of Cuba in the post-Soviet period pose ongoing challenges to ordinary Cubans as they struggle in the waning years of the Castro regime. Weinreb demonstrates that the major reason they have been ignored in the scholarly literature is because remaining obscure is one of their strategies for coping with these challenges.
Weinreb has made repeated visits to the island, frequently living in local communities along with her family. Thus her ethnography of this "shadow public" is based upon traditional participant-observer methodology. Her experiences--from the clothesline, the back bedroom, the kitchen table, and the living room sofa--allow her an unprecedented opportunity to bring to outside readers the reality of daily life in Cuba, and she includes an epilogue that addresses citizen and consumer changes that have taken place since Raúl Castro became president in February 2008.
No other book reveals so much about the anxieties and clandestine plans that have shaped Cubans' lives during the final years of the Fidel Castro era.
Beat Writers in Revolutionary Havana
Immediately after the Cuban Revolution, Havana fostered an important transnational intellectual and cultural scene. Later, Castro would strictly impose his vision of Cuban culture on the populace and the United States would bar its citizens from traveling to the island, but for these few fleeting years the Cuban capital was steeped in many liberal and revolutionary ideologies and influences.
Some of the most prominent figures in the Beat Movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Amiri Baraka, were attracted to the new Cuba as a place where people would be racially equal, sexually free, and politically enfranchised. What they experienced had resounding and lasting literary effects both on their work and on the many writers and artists they encountered and fostered.
Todd Tietchen clearly documents the multiple ways in which the Beats engaged with the scene in Havana. He also demonstrates that even in these early years the Beat movement expounded a diverse but identifiable politics.
Catholicism underwent momentous change as it transitioned to the modern era and the relatively new colonial environments of North America and the Caribbean. Critical to this evolution was the role of women in religion.
John J. Clune Jr. examines the impact of the eighteenth-century European Enlightenment on the lives of nuns in colonial Cuba and New Orleans, both crucial centers of Catholicism where women had significant influence.
Only recently have scholars begun to give attention to the importance of female religious life in the Spanish Empire. Clune illustrates the changing attitudes toward convents in the eighteenth century by contrasting the Clares, Dominicans, and Carmelites of Havana with the Ursulines of New Orleans (and later of Cuba). Built upon research in the archives of Spain, Cuba, Louisiana, and Texas, Clune acknowledges the importance of female religious life in the Spanish Empire and demonstrates that the decline in prestige of female religious orders in Latin America began not with Vatican II in the mid-twentieth century but with enlightened reform during the reigns of Spanish kings Charles III and Charles IV.
A Global Perspective
Even as places and objects that have particular cultural significance are increasingly valued in our global world, powerful forces threaten them with destruction. Cultural Heritage Management discusses the efforts of a broad range of contributors devoted to safeguarding our cultural heritage.
Editors Phyllis Mauch Messenger and George Smith have brought together an international group of contributors, featuring archaeologists, anthropologists, development specialists, and others engaged in the study, management, protection, and interpretation of places and objects that represent histories, traditions, and cultural identities.
From international law to artifact preservation to site interpretation, there is a wide variety of approaches to the management of our cultural heritage. Combining the voices of scholars and practitioners, the book provides a much-needed diversity of voices and perspectives from people steeped in the issues that directly affect the future of the past.
Conrad, Hemingway, and Lawrence
In Dangerous Masculinities, Thomas Strychacz has as his goal nothing less than to turn scholarship on gender and modernism on its head. He focuses on the way some early twentieth-century writers portray masculinity as theatrical performance, and examines why scholars have generally overlooked that fact.
Strychacz argues that writers such as Conrad, Hemingway, and Lawrence--often viewed as misogynist--actually represented masculinity in their works in terms of theatrical and rhetorical performances. They are theatrical in the sense that male characters keep staging themselves in competitive displays; rhetorical in the sense that these characters, and the very narrative form of the works in which they appear, render masculinity a kind of persuasive argument readers can and should debate.
Perhaps most interesting is Strychacz's contention that scholarship has obscured the fact that often these writers were quite critical of masculinity. Writing with a clarity and scope that allows him to both invoke the Schwarzeneggarian "girly man" and borrow from the theories of Judith Butler and Bertolt Brecht, he fashions a critical method with which to explore the ways in which scholars gender texts by the very act of reading.
The year 2009 will mark the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. From 1840 to his death in 1882, Darwin was constantly plagued by chronic illnesses that allowed him to work only a few hours at a time and by an obsession with his physical health. Was this the psychosomatic product of stress resulting from the development and public reception to his theory of evolution or the result of a disease or parasite obtained during the world traveler's excursions?
In 1977 Ralph Colp Jr. argued persuasively for the former explanation in his book To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin, now out of print, but considered to be one of the century's most important works on Darwin's life. Expanding and reworking his earlier arguments to take into account new information (including Darwin's "Diary of Health," included as an appendix), Darwin's Illness paints a more intimate portrait of the nature and possible causes of Darwin's lifelong illness, of the ways he and Victorian physicians tried treating it, and how it influenced his scientific work and relations with his family and friends.
Town, Region, and Nation among Eighteenth-Century Cherokees
This significant contribution to Cherokee studies examines the tribe’s life during the eighteenth century, up to the Removal. By revealing town loyalties and regional alliances, Tyler Boulware uncovers a persistent identification hierarchy among the colonial Cherokee.
Boulware aims to fill the gap in Cherokee historical studies by addressing two significant aspects of Cherokee identity: town and region. Though other factors mattered, these were arguably the most recognizable markers by which Cherokee peoples structured group identity and influenced their interactions with outside groups during the colonial era.
This volume focuses on the understudied importance of social and political ties that gradually connected villages and regions and slowly weakened the localism that dominated in earlier decades. It highlights the importance of borderland interactions to Cherokee political behavior and provides a nuanced investigation of the issue of Native American identity, bringing geographic relevance and distinctions to the topic.
Tourism and Southern History
Once upon a time, it was impossible to drive through the South without coming across signs to "See Rock City" or similar tourist attractions. From battlegrounds to birthplaces, and sites in between, heritage tourism has always been part of how the South attracts visitors--and defines itself--yet such sites are often understudied in the scholarly literature.
As the contributors to this volume make clear, the narrative of southern history told at these sites is often complicated by race, influenced by local politics, and shaped by competing memories. Included are essays on the meanings of New Orleans cemeteries; Stone Mountain, Georgia; historic Charleston, South Carolina; Yorktown National Battlefield; Selma, Alabama, as locus of the civil rights movement; and the homes of Mark Twain, Margaret Mitchell, and other notables.
Destination Dixie reveals that heritage tourism in the South is about more than just marketing destinations and filling hotel rooms; it cuts to the heart of how southerners seek to shape their identity and image for a broader touring public--now often made up of northerners and southerners alike.
The pace of change of Miami since its incorporation in 1896 is staggering. The seaside land that once was home to several thousand Tequesta is now congested with roads and millions of people while skyscrapers and artificial lights dominate the landscape.
Ironically, Miami's development both continually erases monuments and traces of indigenous people and historic pioneers yet also leads to the discovery of archaeological treasures that have lain undiscovered for centuries. In Digging Miami, Robert Carr traces the rich 11,000-year human heritage of the Miami area from the time of its first inhabitants through the arrival of European settlers and up to the early twentieth century.
Carr was Dade County's first archaeologist, later historic preservation director, and held the position at a time when redevelopment efforts unearthed dozens of impressive archaeological sites, including the Cutler Site, discovered in 1985, and the controversial Miami Circle, found in 1998. Digging Miami presents a unique anatomy of this fascinating city, dispelling the myth that its history is merely a century old.
This comprehensive synthesis of South Florida's archaeological record will astonish readers with the depth of information available throughout an area barely above sea level. Likewise, many will be surprised to learn that modern builders, before beginning construction, must first look for signs of ancient peoples' lives, and this search has led to the discovery of over one hundred sites within the county in recent years. In the end, we are left with the realization that Miami is more than the dream of entrepreneurs to create a tourist mecca built on top of dredged rock and sand; it is a fascinating, vibrant spot that has drawn humans to its shores for unimaginable years.