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Essays on Violence and Grace
In any age, humans wrestle with apparently inexorable forces. Today, we face the threat of global terrorism. In the aftermath of September 11, few could miss sensing that a great evil was at work in the world. In Flannery O’Connor’s time, the threats came from different sources—World War II, the Cold War, and the Korean conflict—but they were just as real. She, too, lived though a “time of terror.” The first major critical volume on Flannery O’Connor’s work in more than a decade, Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Terrorism explores issues of violence, evil, and terror—themes that were never far from O’Connor’s reach and that seem particularly relevant to our present-day setting. The fifteen essays collected here offer a wide range of perspectives that explore our changing views of violence in a post-9/11 world and inform our understanding of a writer whose fiction abounds in violence. Written by both established and emerging scholars, the pieces that editors Avis Hewitt and Robert Donahoo have selected offer a compelling and varied picture of this iconic author and her work. Included are comparisons of O’Connor to 1950s writers of noir literature and to the contemporary American novelist Cormac McCarthy; cultural studies that draw on horror comics of the Cold War and on Fordism and the American mythos of the automobile; and pieces that shed new light on O’Connor’s complex religious sensibility and its role in her work. While continuing to speak fresh truths about her own time, O’Connor’s fiction also resonates deeply with the postmodern sensibilities of audiences increasingly distant from her era—readers absorbed in their own terrors and sense of looming, ineffable threats. This provocative new collection presents O’Connor’s work as a touchstone for understanding where our culture has been and where we are now. With its diverse approaches, Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Terrorism will prove useful not only to scholars and students of literature but to anyone interested in history, popular culture, theology, and reflective writing.
A True Story of Interracial Sex and Revenge in the 1880s South
An intensely dramatic true story, Forsaking All Others recounts the fascinating case of an interracial couple who attempted—in defiance of society’s laws and conventions—to formalize their relationship in the post-Reconstruction South. It was an affair with tragic consequences, one that entangled the protagonists in a miscegenation trial and, ultimately, a desperate act of revenge. From the mid-1870s to the early 1880s, Isaac Bankston was the proud sheriff of Desha County, Arkansas, a man so prominent and popular that he won five consecutive terms in office. Although he was married with two children, around 1881 he entered into a relationship with Missouri Bradford, an African American woman who bore his child. Some two years later, Missouri and Isaac absconded to Memphis, hoping to begin a new life there together. Although Tennessee lawmakers had made miscegenation a felony, Isaac’s dark complexion enabled the couple to apply successfully for a marriage license and take their vows. Word of the marriage quickly spread, however, and Missouri and Isaac were charged with unlawful cohabitation. An attorney from Desha County, James Coates, came to Memphis to act as special prosecutor in the case. Events then took a surprising turn as Isaac chose to deny his white heritage in order to escape conviction. . Despite this victory in court, however, Isaac had been publicly disgraced, and his sense of honor propelled him into a violent confrontation with Coates, the man he considered most responsible for his downfall. Charles F. Robinson uses Missouri and Isaac’s story to examine key aspects of post-Reconstruction society, from the rise of miscegenation laws and the particular burdens they placed on anyone who chose to circumvent them, to the southern codes of honor that governed both social and individual behavior, especially among white men. But most of all, the book offers a compelling personal narrative with important implications for our supposedly more tolerant times.
Jim Tanner and the Quest for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, 1935–1941
In 1935 naturalist James T. Tanner was a twenty-one-year-old graduate student when he saw his first ivory-billed woodpecker, one of America’s rarest birds, in a remote swamp in northern Louisiana. At the time he was part of an ambitious expedition traveling across the country to record and photograph as many avian species as possible, a trip organized by Dr. Arthur Allen, founder of the famed Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Two years later Tanner hit the road again, this time by himself and in search of only one species—that ever-elusive ivory-bill. Sponsored by Cornell and the Audubon Society, Jim Tanner’s work would result in some of the most extensive field research of the magnificent woodpecker ever conducted. Drawing on Tanner’s personal journals and written with the cooperation of his widow, Nancy, Ghost Birds recounts, in fascinating detail, the scientist’s dogged quest for the ivory-bill as he chased down leads in eight southern states. With Stephen Lyn Bales as our guide, we experience the same awe and excitement that Tanner felt when he returned to the Louisiana wetland he had visited earlier and was able to observe and document several of the “ghost birds”—including a nestling that he handled, banded, and photographed at close range. Investigating the ivory-bill was particularly urgent because it was a fast-vanishing species, the victim of indiscriminant specimen hunting and widespread logging that was destroying its habitat. As sightings became rarer and rarer in the decades following Tanner’s remarkable research, the bird was feared to have become extinct. Since 2005, reports of sightings in Arkansas and Florida made headlines and have given new hope to ornithologists and bird lovers, although extensive subsequent investigations have yet to produce definitive confirmation. Before he died in 1991, Jim Tanner himself had come to believe that the majestic woodpeckers were probably gone forever, but he remained hopeful that someone would prove him wrong. This book fully captures Tanner’s determined spirit as he tracked down what was then, as now, one of ornithology’s true Holy Grails.
In her warm and witty new memoir, Stella Suberman charms readers with her personal perspective as she recalls the original 1940s GI Bill. As she writes of the bill and the epic events that spawned it, she manages, in her crisp way, to personalize and humanizes them in order to entertain and to educate. Although her story is in essence that of two Jewish families, it echoes the story of thousands of Americans of that period. Her narrative begins with her Southern family and her future husband’s Northern one – she designates herself and her husband as “Depression kids” – as they struggle through the Great Depression. In her characteristically lively style, she recounts the major happenings of the era: the Bonus March of World War I veterans; the attack on Pearl Harbor; the Roosevelt/New Deal years; the rise of Hitler’s Nazi party and the Holocaust; the second World War; and the post-war period when veterans returned home to a collapsed and jobless economy. She then takes the reader to the moment when the GI Bill appeared, the glorious moment, as she writes, when returning veterans realized they had been given a future. As her husband begins work on his Ph.D., she focuses on the GI men and their wives as college life consumed them. It is the time also of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the “Red Scare,” of the creation of an Israeli state, of the Korean War, and of other important issues, and she discusses them forthrightly. Throughout this section she writes of how the GI’s doggedly studied, engaged in critical thinking (perhaps for the first time), discovered their voices. As she suggests, it was not the 1930’s anymore, and the GI Bill boys were poised to give America an authentic and robust middle class.
“Turn on, tune in, drop out,” Timothy Leary advised young people in the 1960s. And many did, creating a counterculture built on drugs, rock music, sexual liberation, and communal living. The hippies preached free love, promoted flower power, and cautioned against trusting anyone over thirty. Eschewing money, materialism, and politics, they repudiated the mainstream values of the times. Along the way, these counterculturists created a lasting legacy and inspired long-lasting social changes. The Hippies and American Values uses an innovative approach to exploring the tenets of the counterculture movement. Rather than relying on interviews conducted years after the fact, Timothy Miller uses “underground” newspapers published at the time to provide a full and in-depth exploration. This reliance on primary sources brings an immediacy and vibrancy rarely seen in other studies of the period. Miller focuses primarily on the cultural revolutionaries rather than on the political radicals of the New Left. It examines the hippies’ ethics of dope, sex, rock, community, and cultural opposition and surveys their effects on current American values. Filled with illustrations from alternative publications, along with posters, cartoons, and photographs, The Hippies and American Values provides a graphic look at America in the 1960s. This second edition features a new introduction and a thoroughly updated, well-documented text. Highly readable and engaging, this volume brings deep insight to the counterculture movement and the ways it changed America. The first edition became a widely used course-adoption favorite, and scholars and students of the 1960s will welcome the second edition of this thought-provoking book.
Highway Politics and Policy since 1939
This new, expanded edition brings the story of the Interstates into the twenty-first century. It includes an account of the destruction of homes, businesses, and communities as the urban expressways of the highway network destroyed large portions of the nation’s central cities. Mohl and Rose analyze the subsequent urban freeway revolts, when citizen protest groups battled highway builders in San Francisco, Baltimore, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington, DC, and other cities. Their detailed research in the archival records of the Bureau of Public Roads, the Federal Highway Administration, and the U.S. Department of Transportation brings to light significant evidence of federal action to tame the spreading freeway revolts, curb the authority of state highway engineers, and promote the devolution of transportation decision making to the state and regional level. They analyze the passage of congressional legislation in the 1990s, especially the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), that initiated a major shift of Highway Trust Fund dollars to mass transit and light rail, as well as to hiking trails and bike lanes. Mohl and Rose conclude with the surprising popularity of the recent freeway teardown movement, an effort to replace deteriorating, environmentally damaging, and sometimes dangerous elevated expressway segments through the inner cities. Sometimes led by former anti-highway activists of the 1960s and 1970s, teardown movements aim to restore the urban street grid, provide space for new streetcar lines, and promote urban revitalization efforts. This revised edition continues to be marked by accessible writing and solid research by two well-known scholars.
A Practical Guide for Starting Student Teaching
Student teaching can be an endeavor fraught with anxiety. Those entering the classroom for the first time face the daunting challenge of translating coursework on the theory of teaching into real-world experience. Common questions for anxious student teachers include: Will I be a good teacher? Will I ever get control of my classroom? How can I do all of this grading and plan for next week at the same time? This helpful guide by teacher educator Rosalyn McKeown offers practical suggestions for student teachers, interns, and teacher candidates just starting out in a secondary school classroom. This easy-to-read text enables new educators to rapidly advance their teaching skills early in their pre-service experiences. After exploring the pitfalls of inexperience and providing helpful guidance on maintaining order in the classroom, McKeown focuses on teaching skills. She advises readers on writing objectives and lesson plans, creating interesting ways to start and end class, introducing variety into the classroom, lecturing, asking meaningful questions, and using visual aids. Among the other topics discussed are setting up a classroom, recognizing differences in learning styles, and developing an individual teaching style. Sidebars scattered throughout the text offer useful advice on everything from how to deal with stage fright and distracting noises from outside, to planning for block scheduling and avoiding the attributes of a boring teacher. With McKeown’s own list of expectations for her classes, templates for hall passes and lesson plans, and scores of tips garnered from years of experience, Into the Classroom provides information a first-time teacher needs to enter the secondary classroom with confidence.
A Primer on Qualitative Inquiry
At once accessible and sophisticated, this primer introduces a set of general principles and procedures designed to promote a deeper understanding of the nuances of human experience and reflection. The empirical, qualitative approach outlined in this book, which has been refined over the past thirty years at the University of Tennessee, uses disciplined forms of dialogue as the primary means of gathering and assessing information about human experience. Properly known as existential-hermeneutic-phenomenology (or simply phenomenology in everyday usage), this style of scholarly investigation has been applied to illuminate a wide range of research questions in fields such as psychology, child and family studies, marketing, nursing, communications, political science, and more. This book offers an orientation to a transdisciplinary tradition of research . Investigating Our Experience in the World begins with an overview of basic concepts. April L. Morgan provides clear definitions of key terms and succinctly describes how phenomenological research procedures evolved from philosophical explorations of consciousness. Although phenomenological methods are rife with philosophical underpinnings, the author remains focused on describing specific research applications. Each subsequent chapter describes a major stage of a research study. For example, Morgan leads readers through framing the project and undertaking the initial bracketing interview to conducting phenomenological interviews with participants, interpreting texts, thematizing, and developing thematic structure. Rounding out discussion of the research procedures is a full chapter devoted to writing the research report. The book concludes with a section answering common questions about this style of phenomenological research. Appendices provide a glossary, sample forms, and references for further study. Aspects of real-world research projects are continually highlighted, illuminating key methodological points. Morgan recognizes the primary investigators and research teams behind such studies for contributing significantly to the development of contemporary phenomenological research methods.
An Appalachian Environmental History
The highland forests of southwestern Virginia were a sacred land to Native Americans and one they relied upon for sustenance. After European contact, this beautiful country drew successive waves of settlers and visitors, and for a brief yet intense period, industrialists rapaciously exploited its timber resources, particularly in the higher elevations where the woodlands had survived the nearby valleys’ generations of agricultural use. This is the story of how various peoples have regarded this land over the centuries and how, starting in the early twentieth century, the federal government acquired 700,000 acres of it to create what is now the Jefferson National Forest (JNF). Will Sarvis’s in-depth history explores the area’s significance to such native tribes as the Cherokee and Shawnee, for whom it functioned as a buffer zone in late prehistory, and its attraction for nineteenth-century romantics who, arriving in stagecoaches, became the area’s first tourists. Aggressive commercial logging gave way to the arrival of the U.S. Forest Service, which patched the JNF together through successive purchases of privately owned land and instituted a more regulated harvesting of various timber resources. Public support for Forest Service policy during the Depression and World War II was followed by controversies, including the use of eminent domain. In presenting this history, Sarvis probes the many complexities of land stewardship and, in analysis that is sure to spark debate, discusses how and why the JNF could abandon clear-cutting and return to traditional selective tree management. An ongoing experiment in democratic land use, the JNF contains many lessons about our relationship with the natural environment. This book delineates those lessons in a clear and compelling narrative that will be of great interest to policy makers, activists, and indeed anyone drawn to American environmental history and Appalachian studies.
An Irish American's Journey in the First Virginia Infantry Regiment
Among the finer soldier-diarists of the Civil War, John Edward Dooley first came to the attention of readers when an edition of his wartime journal, edited by Joseph Durkin, was published in 1945. That book, John Dooley, Confederate Soldier, became a widely used resource for historians, who frequently tapped Dooley’s vivid accounts of Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, where he was wounded during Pickett’s Charge and subsequently captured. As it happens, the 1945 edition is actually a much-truncated version of Dooley’s original journal that fails to capture the full scope of his wartime experience—the oscillating rhythm of life on the campaign trail, in camp, in Union prisons, and on parole. Nor does it recognize how Dooley, the son of a successful Irish-born Richmond businessman, used his reminiscences as a testament to the Lost Cause. John Dooley’s Civil War gives us, for the first time, a comprehensive version of Dooley’s “war notes,” which editor Robert Emmett Curran has reassembled from seven different manuscripts and meticulously annotated. The notes were created as diaries that recorded Dooley’s service as an officer in the famed First Virginia Regiment along with his twenty months as a prisoner of war. After the war, they were expanded and recast years later as Dooley, then studying for the Catholic priesthood, reflected on the war and its aftermath. As Curran points out, Dooley’s reworking of his writings was shaped in large part by his ethnic heritage and the connections he drew between the aspirations of the Irish and those of the white South. In addition to the war notes, the book includes a prewar essay that Dooley wrote in defense of secession and an extended poem he penned in 1870 on what he perceived as the evils of Reconstruction. The result is a remarkable picture not only of how one articulate southerner endured the hardships of war and imprisonment, but also of how he positioned his own experience within the tragic myth of valor, sacrifice, and crushed dreams of independence that former Confederates fashioned in the postwar era.