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From Day to Day

One Man's Diary of Survival in Nazi Concentration Camps

Odd Nansen

In 1942 Norwegian Odd Nansen was arrested by the Nazis, and he spent the remainder of World War II in concentration camps—Grini in Oslo, Veidal above the Arctic Circle, and Sachsenhausen in Germany. For three and a half years, Nansen kept a secret diary on tissue-paper-thin pages later smuggled out by various means, including inside the prisoners' hollowed-out breadboards.

Unlike writers of retrospective Holocaust memoirs, Nansen recorded the mundane and horrific details of camp life as they happened, "from day to day." With an unsparing eye, Nansen described the casual brutality and random terror that was the fate of a camp prisoner. His entries reveal his constantly frustrated hopes for an early end to the war, his longing for his wife and children, his horror at the especially barbaric treatment reserved for Jews, and his disgust at the anti-Semitism of some of his fellow Norwegians. Nansen often confronted his German jailors with unusual outspokenness and sometimes with a sense of humor and absurdity that was not appreciated by his captors.

After the Putnam's edition received rave reviews in 1949, the book fell into obscurity. In 1956, in response to a poll about the "most undeservedly neglected" book of the preceding quarter-century, Carl Sandburg singled out From Day to Day, calling it "an epic narrative," which took "its place among the great affirmations of the power of the human spirit to rise above terror, torture, and death." Indeed, Nansen witnessed all the horrors of the camps, yet still saw hope for the future. He sought reconciliation with the German people, even donating the proceeds of the German edition of his book to German refugee relief work. Nansen was following in the footsteps of his father, Fridtjof, an Arctic explorer and humanitarian who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work on behalf of World War I refugees. (Fridtjof also created the "Nansen passport" for stateless persons.)

This new edition, the first in over sixty-five years, contains extensive annotations and new diary selections never before translated into English. Forty sketches of camp life and death by Nansen, an architect and talented draftsman, provide a sense of immediacy and acute observation matched by the diary entries. The preface is written by Thomas Buergenthal, who was "Tommy," the ten-year-old survivor of the Auschwitz Death March, whom Nansen met at Sachsenhausen and saved using his extra food rations. Buergenthal, who later served as a judge on the International Court of Justice at The Hague, is a recipient of the 2015 Elie Wiesel Award from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Fuel Cycle to Nowhere

U.S. Law and Policy on Nuclear Waste

Richard Burleson Stewart and Jane Bloom Stewart

For twenty-five years, the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada was designated as the sole destination for disposal of the nation’s accumulated stockpiles of highly radioactive nuclear power and weapons wastes. Now the Obama administration has abandoned Yucca, and Congress must pass new laws to solve the resulting disposal crisis. Even as the federal government seeks to expand nuclear power, local communities and states are demanding a credible program for disposal of the wastes that we already have. The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, appointed by the Obama administration to develop a plan, is currently conducting hearings. The first comprehensive history and overview of U.S. nuclear waste law and regulation, Fuel Cycle to Nowhere traces sixty years of nuclear weapons programs, the growth of nuclear power, and their waste legacies, the rise of environmentalism, and the responses of federal agencies. Richard and Jane Stewart expertly analyze the changing policies for storing low-level waste, transuranic waste, spent nuclear fuel, and high-level waste and for regulating their transport by rail and by truck. They also chronicle “a tale of two repositories”—one, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, known as WIPP, the world’s only operating deep geologic nuclear waste disposal facility, which emerged from a contentious but ultimately successful struggle between federal and state interests; the other, Yucca Mountain, mandated top down by Congress and a failure. Fuel Cycle to Nowhere provides the critical information and analysis on the waste disposal issues and solutions that the commission, Congress, the administration, journalists, policymakers, and the public so urgently need. This book is a project of the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP), a Vanderbilt University–led, multi-university consortium supported as a cooperative agreement by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental This book is a project of the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP), a Vanderbilt University-led, multi-university consortium supported as a cooperative agreement by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management to support safe, effective, publicly credible, risk informed management of existing and future nuclear waste from government and civilian sources through independent strategic analysis, review, applied research and education.

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Gender and Nation in the Spanish Modernist Novel

Roberta Johnson

Offering a fresh, revisionist analysis of Spanish fiction from 1900 to 1940, this study examines the work of both men and women writers and how they practiced differing forms of modernism. As Roberta Johnson notes, Spanish male novelists emphasized technical and verbal innovation in representing the contents of an individual consciousness and thus were more modernist in the usual understanding of the term. Female writers, on the other hand, were less aesthetically innovative but engaged in a social modernism that focused on domestic issues, gender roles, and relations between the sexes. Compared to the more conventional--even reactionary--ways their male counterparts treated such matters, Spanish women’s fiction in the first half of the twentieth century was often revolutionary. The book begins by tracing the history of public discourse on gender from the 1890s through the 1930s, a discourse that included the rise of feminism. Each chapter then analyzes works by female and male novelists that address key issues related to gender and nationalism: the concept of intrahistoria, or an essential Spanish soul; modernist uses of figures from the Spanish literary tradition, notably Don Quixote and Don Juan; biological theories of gender prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s; and the growth of an organized feminist movement that coincided with the burgeoning Republican movement. This is the first book dealing with this period of Spanish literature to consider women novelists, such as Maria Martinez Sierra, Carmen de Burgos, and Concha Espina, alongside canonical male novelists, including Miguel de Unamuno, Ramon del Valle-Inclan, and Pio Baroja. With its contrasting conceptions of modernism, Johnson's work provides a compelling new model for bridging the  gender divide in the study of Spanish fiction.

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Generation X Rocks

Contemporary Peninsular Fiction, Film, and Rock Culture

Christine Henseler

Essays in this volume explore the popular cultural effects of rock culture on high literary production in Spain in the 1990s.

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Gertrude Stein and the Essence of What Happens

Dana Cairns Watson

In this provocative study, Dana Cairns Watson traces Gertrude Stein’s growing fascination with the cognitive and political ramifications of conversation and how that interest influenced her writing over the course of her career. No book in recent decades has illuminated so many of Stein’s works so extensively—from the early fiction of The Making of Americans to the poetry of Tender Buttons to her opera libretto The Mother of Us All. Seeking to sustain Stein’s lively, pleasant, populist spirit, Watson shows how the writer’s playful entanglement of sight and sound—of silent reading and social speaking—reveals the crucial ambiguity by which reading and conversation build communities of meaning, and thus form not only personal relationships but also our very selves and the larger political structures we inhabit. Stein reminds us that the residual properties of words and the implications behind the give-and-take of ordinary conversation offer alternatives to linear structures of social order, alternatives especially precious in times of political oppression. For example, her novels Mrs. Reynolds and Brewsie and Willie, both written in embattled Vichy France, contemplate the speech patterns of totalitarian leaders and the ways in which everyday discourse might capitulate to—or resist—such verbal tyranny. Like recent theorists, Stein recognized the repressiveness of conventional order—carried in language and thus in thought and social organization—but as Cairns Watson persuasively shows, she also insisted that the free will of individuals can persist in language and enable change. In the play of literary aesthetics, Stein saw a liberating force.

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Giants among Us

First-Generation College Graduates Who Lead Activist Lives

Sandria Rodriguez

How do children from undereducated and impoverished backgrounds get to college? What are the influences that lead them to overcome their socioeconomic disadvantages and sometimes the disapproval of families and friends to succeed in college? These are the basic questions Sandria Rodriguez posed to seventeen first-generation college graduates, and their compelling life stories make important contributions to what little is known about this phenomenon. The daughter of parents who didn't finish elementary school, Rodriguez uses many examples from her own life in the course of examining the participants' experiences before, during, and after college that directed them toward social or educational activism. Together, the seventeen represent a wide range of diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, geographical area of childhood, and profession. Twelve of the seventeen hold advanced degrees, all are working professionals, and all come from families who were poor. Jerry, the son of German immigrants, owns an engineering company in Chicago; Chang, a native of China, is the first from his village to go to college; Grant, a sharecropper's son, is a lawyer with a nationally prominent law firm in Washington, D.C., and patron of fine arts; Arlene, a Mohawk Indian, is a storyteller and social activist; Alex, from Spanish Harlem, is an elementary school principal. The book is divided into four parts. In the first two chapters, we meet the participants. In the three chapters that follow, Rodriguez examines how the participants as children perceived themselves within their families, schools, and communities. Chapters four and five focus on the campus life and the participants' activist experiences. Finally, chapter six offers recommendations for mentoring disadvantaged children, so that they can successfully "switch the track" and aim for something better. Giants among Us is an essential resource for college administrators, faculty, counselors, and student support-services staff--as well as K-12 educators--concerned with preparing, retaining and mentoring first-generation students. "If I believe in you, I'm going to do everything in my power to convince that committee to give you that loan. I can offer that comfort, and I really, really like what I do because I'm giving back something to the community. The clients don't go through anything alone. Whatever that business goes through, I go through, too. They need somebody to believe in them."--Maria, business advisor for a nonprofit organization

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Going Coed

Women’s Experiences in Formerly Men’s Colleges and Universities, 1950-2000

Edited by Leslie Miller-Bernal and Susan L. Poulson

More than a quarter-century ago, the last great wave of coeducation in the United States resulted in the admission of women to almost all of the remaining men’s colleges and universities. In thirteen original essays, Going Coed investigates the reasons behind this important phenomenon, describes how institutions have dealt with the changes, and captures the experiences of women who attended these schools. Informed by a wealth of fresh research, the book is rich in both historical and sociological insights. It begins with two overview chapters—one on the general history of American coeducation, the other on the differing approaches of Catholic and historically black colleges to admitting women students—and then offers case studies that consider the ways in which the problems and promise of coeducation have played out in a wide range of institutions. One essay, for example, examines how two bastions of the Ivy League, Yale and Princeton, influenced the paths taken by less prestigious men’s colleges. Among the topics addressed in other chapters are how the presence of women affected schools with strong masculine traditions, such as Virginia and Dartmouth; how prior cooperation with a women’s college eased Hamilton College’s transition to coeducation; and how institutions outside the liberal-arts tradition, from West Point to for-profit vocational schools, have incorporated women students. In exploring specific cases, the essays illuminate such key issues as the impact of the women’s movement and the development of women’s studies as an academic discipline, the pressures exerted on institutions by economic necessities and legal challenges, and the strategies women have utilized in adapting to formerly all-male environments. In their conclusion, the editors synthesize some common trends among the case studies and assess what remains to be done to achieve gender equity in higher education.

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The Golden Leaf

How Tobacco Shaped Cuba and the Atlantic World

Charlotte Cosner

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A Good-Natured Riot

The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry

Charles K. Wolfe

Winner of a Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award
Winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award

On November 28, 1925, a white-bearded man sat before one of Nashville radio station WSM's newfangled carbon microphones to play a few old-time fiddle tunes. Uncle Jimmy Thompson played on the air for an hour that night, and throughout the region listeners at their old crystal sets suddenly perked up. Back in Nashville the response at the offices of National Life Insurance Company, which owned radio station WSM ("We Shield Millions"), was dramatic; phone calls and telegrams poured into the station, many of them making special requests. It was not long before station manager George D. Hay was besieged by pickers and fiddlers of every variety, as well as hoedown bands, singers, and comedians—all wanting their shot at the Saturday night airwaves. "We soon had a good-natured riot on our hands," Hay later recalled. And, thus, the Opry was born.

Or so the story goes. In truth, the birth of the Opry was a far more complicated event than even Hay, "the solemn old Judge," remembered. The veteran performers of that era are all gone now, but since the 1970s pioneering country music historian Charles K. Wolfe has spent countless hours recording the oral history of the principals and their families and mining archival materials from the Country Music Foundation and elsewhere to understand just what those early days were like. The story that he has reconstructed is fascinating. Both a detailed history and a group biography of the Opry's early years, A Good-Natured Riot provides the first comprehensive and thoroughly researched account of the personalities, the music, and the social and cultural conditions that were such fertile ground for the growth of a radio show that was to become an essential part of American culture.

Wolfe traces the unsure beginnings of the Opry through its many incarnations, through cast tours of the South, the Great Depression, commercial sponsorship by companies like Prince Albert Tobacco, and the first national radio linkups. He gives colorful and engaging portraits of the motley assembly of the first Opry casts—amateurs from the hills and valleys surrounding Nashville, like harmonica player Dr. Humphrey Bate ("Dean of the Opry") and fiddler Sid Harkreader, virtuoso string bands like the Dixieliners, colorful hoedown bands like the Gully Jumpers and the Fruit Jar Drinkers, the important African American performer DeFord Bailey, vaudeville acts and comedians like Lasses and Honey, through more professional groups such as the Vagabonds, the Delmore Brothers, Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, and perennial favorite Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys.

With dozens of wonderful photographs and a complete roster of every performer and performance of these early Opry years, A Good-Natured Riot gives a full and authoritative portrayal of the colorful beginnings of WSM's barn dance program up to 1940, by which time the Grand Ole Opry had found its national audience and was poised to become the legendary institution that it remains to this day.

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Growing Older in World Cities

New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo

Edited by Victor G. Rodwin and Michael K. Gusmano

Population aging often provokes fears of impending social security deficits, uncontrollable medical expenditures, and transformations in living arrangements, but public policy could also stimulate social innovations. These issues are typically studied at the national level; yet they must be resolved where most people live—in diverse neighborhoods in cities. New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo are the four largest cities among the wealthiest, most developed nations of the world. The essays commissioned for this volume compare what it is like to grow older in these cities with respect to health care, quality of life, housing, and long-term care. The contributors look beyond aggregate national data to highlight the importance of how local authorities implement policies.

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