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Yes, it’s safe to go back to poetry. In fact, it’s highly recommended, thanks to Rex Wilder and his engaging first book of poems. Waking Bodies has already been praised by luminaries as diverse as the metrical Richard Wilbur and the asymmetrical Billy Collins for its qualities of pure enjoyment. The highly popular Collins, a Two-Term Poet Laureate of the United States, says, "In Rex Wilder's poetry, the tired English of everyday use comes back to us refreshed and full of its original surprise. In a world glutted with poetry, that Wilder has found a new way to say the old things is a notable achievement."
Feminist Voices in Children's Novels
The Sleeping Beauty in Roberta Seelinger Trites' intriguing text is no silent snoozer passively waiting for Prince Charming to energize her life. Instead she wakes up all by herself and sets out to redefine the meaning of “happily ever after.” Trites investigates the many ways that Sleeping Beauty's newfound voice has joined other strong female voices in feminist children's novels to generate equal potentials for all children.
Waking Sleeping Beauty explores issues of voice in a wide range of children's novels, including books by Virginia Hamilton, Patricia MacLachlan, and Cynthia Voight as well as many multicultural and international books. Far from being a limiting genre that praises females at the expense of males, the feminist children's novel seeks to communicate an inclusive vision of politics, gender, age, race, and class. By revising former stereotypes of children's literature and replacing them with more complete images of females in children's books, Trites encourages those involved with children's literature—teachers, students, writers, publishers, critics, librarian, booksellers, and parents—to be aware of the myriad possibilities of feminist expression.
Roberta Trites focuses on the positive aspects of feminism: on the ways females interact through family and community relationships, on the ways females have revised patriarchal images, and on the ways female writers use fictional constructs to transmit their ideologies to readers. She thus provides a framework that allows everyone who enters a classroom with a children's book in hand to recognize and communicate—with an optimistic, reality-based sense of “happily ever after”—the politics and the potential of that book.
Although Thoreau would never have encountered the Japanese haiku tradition, the way in which the most important ideas in Walden find expression in the most haikulike language suggests that Thoreau at Walden Pond and the haiku master Basho at his "old pond" might have drunk at the same well. Walden and the tradition of haiku share an aesthetic that embodies ideas in natural images, dissolves boundaries between self and world, emphasizes simplicity, and honors both solitude and humble, familiar objects. Marshall examines each of these aesthetic principles and offers a relevant collection of "found" haiku. In the second part of the book, he explains his process of finding the haiku in the text, breaking down each chapter of Walden to highlight the imagery and poetic language embedded in the most powerful passages.
Marshall's exploration not only provides a fresh perspective on haiku, but also sheds new light on Thoreau's much-studied text and lays the foundation for a clearer understanding of the aesthetics of American nature writing.
Essays on Thoreau
In 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved from his parents' house in Concord, Massachusetts, to a one-room cabin on land owned by his mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson. After 26 months he transformed his stay in the woods into one of the most famous events in American history. In Walden x 40, adopting Thoreau's own compositional method, Robert B. Ray takes up several questions posed in Walden. Thoreau developed his books from his lectures, and his lectures from his almost-daily journal notations of the world around him, with its fluctuating weather and appointed seasons, both forever familiar and suddenly brand new. Ray derives his 40 brief essays from the details of Walden itself, reading the book in the way that Thoreau proposed to explore his own life—deliberately. Ray demonstrates that however accustomed we have grown to its lessons, Walden continues to be as surprising as the November snowfall that, Thoreau reports, "covered the ground... and surrounded me suddenly with the scenery of winter."
Edward Payson Weston's Extraordinary 1909 Trek Across America
On his seventieth birthday in 1909, a slim man with a shock of white hair, a walrus mustache, and a spring in his step faced west from Park Row in Manhattan and started walking. By the time Edward Payson Weston was finished, he was in San Francisco, having trekked 3,895 miles in 104 days.
Weston’s first epic walk across America transcended sport. He was “everyman” in a stirring battle against the elements and exhaustion, tramping along at the pace of someone decades younger. Having long been America’s greatest pedestrian, he was attempting the most ambitious and physically taxing walk of his career. He walked most of the way alone when the car that he hired to follow him kept breaking down, and he often had to rest without adequate food or shelter. That Weston made it is one of the truly great but forgotten sports feats of all time. Thanks in large part to his daily dispatches of his travails—from blizzards to intense heat, rutted roads, bad shoes, and illness—Weston’s trek became a wonder of the ages and attracted international headlines to the sport called “pedestrianism.”
Aided by long-buried archival information, colorful biographical details, and Weston’s diary entries, Walk of Ages is more than a book about a man going for a walk. It is an epic tale of beating the odds and a penetrating look at a vanished time in America.
Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America
First published in 1829, Walker's ###Appeal# called on slaves to rise up and free themselves. The two subsequent versions of his document (including the reprinted 1830 edition published shortly before Walker's death) were increasingly radical. Addressed to the whole world but directed primarily to people of color around the world, the 87-page pamphlet by a free black man born in North Carolina and living in Boston advocates immediate emancipation and slave rebellion. Walker asks the slaves among his readers whether they wouldn't prefer to "be killed than to be a slave to a tyrant." He advises them not to "trifle" if they do rise up, but rather to kill those who would continue to enslave them and their wives and children. Copies of the pamphlet were smuggled by ship in 1830 from Boston to Wilmington, North Carolina, Walker's childhood home, causing panic among whites. In 1830, members of North Carolina's General Assembly had the ###Appeal# in mind as they tightened the state's laws dealing with slaves and free black citizens. The resulting stricter laws led to more policies that repressed African Americans, freed and slave alike.
Representing more than twenty years of anthropological research, Walkin' over Medicine, originally published by Westview Press in 1993, presents the results of Loudell F. Snow's community-based studies in Arizona and Michigan, work in two urban prenatal clinics, conversations and correspondence with traditional healers, and experience as a behavioral scientist in a pediatrics clinic. Snow also visited numerous pharmacies, grocery stores, and specialty shops in several major cities, accompanied families to church services, and attended weddings, baptisms, graduations, and funerals.
Just War and the Doctrine of Command Responsibility
In September 1994, Lawrence P. Rockwood, then a counterintelligence officer with the U.S. Army's Tenth Mountain Division, was deployed to Haiti as part of Operation Restore Democracy, the American-led mission to oust the regime of Raoul Cedras and reinstall President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Shortly after arriving in-country, Captain Rockwood began receiving reports of human rights abuses at the local jails, including the murder of political prisoners. He appealed to his superiors for permission to take action but was repeatedly turned down. Eventually, after filing a formal complaint with an army inspector general, he set off to inspect the jails on his own. The next day, Captain Rockwood found himself on a plane headed back to the United States, where he was tried by court-martial, convicted on several counts, and discharged from military service. In this book, Rockwood places his own experience within the broader context of the American military doctrine of "command responsibility"—the set of rules that holds individual officers directly responsible for the commission of war crimes under their authority. He traces the evolution of this doctrine from the Civil War, where its principles were first articulated as the "Lieber Code," through the Nuremberg trials following World War II, where they were reaffirmed and applied, to the present.Rockwood shows how in the past half-century the United States has gradually abandoned its commitment to these standards, culminating in recent Bush administration initiatives that in effect would shield American commanders and officials from prosecution for many war crimes. The Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo prison abuse scandals, the recently disclosed illegal CIA detention centers, the unprecedented policy of tolerating acts considered as torture by both international standards and U.S. military doctrine, and the recent cover-ups of such combat-related war crimes as the Haditha massacre of November 2005, all reflect an "official anti-humanitarian" trend, Rockwood argues, that is at odds with our nation's traditions and principles.