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HUMANITIES 117 actions (and lack of reaction) this incurred. 'Nowhere at Home' is a rare reflection on the condition of being an academic from a working-class background. 'Women and Men in Academia' is an attempt to establish common ground and to define men's role in the transformation of higher education, still a resolutely masculinist enterprise. In the conclusion, Overall provides a sustained reflection on her own method, examining the positives and the pitfalls of a 'personalized' inquiry, in the classroom, in feminist scholarship, and in philosophical speculation. While Overall judiciously balances 'personal' and 'political' analysis in her text, her focus is on achieving curricular and pedagogic reform and on humanizing the university as a working and learning environment, rather than on matters of governance, policy, and funding. Overall makes a clear case for the readjustment of classroom dynamics, for training in listening as an academic skill, and for replacing a culture of competition by an ethos of growth. But other strategies are surely necessary to alter deeply engrained systems and to intervene in the current restructurings of North American universities. Overall might profitably have made stronger connections to these issues. WhileA Feminist Iwill hold many moments ofself-recognitionfor women staff and faculty (as well as some canny tactical suggestions), it accommodates a general reader. The familiar terrain of Overall's analysis, along with easy-to-follow argumentation and a welcoming tone, would suit the book to introductory courses in women's studies. I'd like to give this book to young women who are asking, what is a feminist? do I want to be one? how do I get there? Not to mention young men who are wondering, what's it all about? and what does it have to do with me? (HEATHER MURRAY) Derek York. In Search ofLost Time ~stitute of Physics Publishing 1997. xii, 142. us $15.00 This is a charming little book written by an author who has established an international reputation in geochronology. He admits to an obsession with the nature of time - a common human affliction. Perhaps our deepest human trait is our sense of wonder, which causes us to ask, what is it all about? The nature of time and its flow is central to such queries. Our common interest in this matter is attested to by the huge sales of Stephen Hawking's A BriefHistory ofTime, reputed to be the most unread book on the coffee tables of the world: York is an accomplished popularizer of science and his book should be read. York has an engaging style that enlivens his discussion of the central science ideas pertaining to his subject and of the personalities associated with the development of the ideas. Often, also, his narrative reveals as much about the author as about his subject. 118 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 The book is essentially a series of delightful vignettes pertaining to time and its flow. The author's interests are quite catholic and the subject matter ranges widely over many different scientific pursuits involving time. The book is strongest in matters pertaining to the age of the earth, a subject to which the author has contributed greatly. When the story of this past century of science is told, perhaps our new understanding of the history of our universe, from the initial Big Bang onwards and including the more recent history of our earth, will be acknowledged as the greatest achievement. That history emerges from the vast landscape of the thousands of isotopes of the various elements. Almost each one reveals a tale. The history ofour earth is now founded firmly on scientific facts and has been freed from the fetters of faith and religion. There is no longer a conflict, and the authorbetrays, perhaps, too muchconcernabout the views of fWldamentalists who want a very young earth. More than a century ago the bishop of Oxford, in his famous debate with Thomas Huxley, said in response to the evidence of fossils in the rocks: 'In the beginning (six thousand years ago) God created the earth and the fossils in the rocks.' There is no response needed to such a conviction except, perhaps, to plead that God must have wanted to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 117-118
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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