Barrie, David. Sextant: A Young Man’s Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World’s Oceans. Morrow. 2014. 352p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780062279347. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062279361. HIST
Before John Hadley and Thomas Godfrey independently came up with designs for the quadrant—a predecessor to the sextant, a navigation tool that measures the angle between a celestial object and the horizon—navigation at sea was less than accurate. Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendaña, for example, mapped the Solomon Islands at the wrong location, and it was 200 years before they were “discovered” again. The sextant, invented in 1759, changed all that, allowing far more accurate navigation and cartography. Barrie, an experienced sailor and former member of the British Diplomatic Service, takes readers on a tour of the history of maritime navigation, focusing on the role of the sextant in guiding explorers and aiding their efforts to map the globe. He also recalls his own voyage across the Atlantic in 1973. In a wide-ranging discussion covering the principles of celestial navigation as well as the adventures of Captain Cook, Robert FitzRoy, Matthew Flinders, and others, the author offers a detailed picture of premodern sea travel. The epilog compares this form of navigation with today’s GPS navigation systems, adding context for the modern reader. VERDICT This informative volume will appeal to maritime historians, sailing enthusiasts, and readers interested in celestial navigation.
Boies, David & Theodore B. Olson. Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality. Viking. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780670015962. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698135369. LAW
Superstar lawyers Boies and Olson, opponents in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, developed a curious collaboration when they teamed up to argue against California’s Proposition 8, a statute that overturned the previously granted right to gay marriage. Liberal Boies and conservative Olson combined their considerable talents owing to their mutual belief that Proposition 8 should be overturned and that gay marriage should be legalized on a permanent basis, and won the case at every stage of litigation. This fascinating book, told from the alternating viewpoints of the authors, chronicles the case from inception to conclusion. Particularly compelling is the authors’ discussion of trial strategy, from taking depositions to using cross-examination to discredit the opposing counsel’s expert witnesses. Ultimately, Boies and Olson succeed in establishing the human component to the litigation, introducing sympathetic plaintiffs who seek nothing more than the right to marry. VERDICT An excellent, timely account of the legal struggles to attain fundamental rights; certain to appeal to readers of Jo Becker’s Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality and Evan Wolfson’s Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People’s Right To Marry. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/13.]
Casey, John. Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction. Norton. Aug. 2014. 256p. bibliog. ISBN 9780393241082. $25.95. COMM
Novelist and translator Casey (English, Univ. of Virginia, National Book Award winner for Spartina) distinguishes this fiction guide from the ocean of others by relating his experiences in disciplines such as theater, law, and translation to the art of fiction writing. He also covers humor, point of view, structure, voice, scene-setting, and mentors. In the essay “If I Were a Flower, What Kind of Flower Would I Be?” Casey recalls his brief acting career and describes how one-on-one rehearsals with an experienced actress taught him to invest more of himself in his art. Another piece, “In other words,” explains how translating a work from a foreign language into English improves a writer’s skills in English. But not all Casey’s wisdom follows this pattern. He also explicates passages from the masters to make an array of insights. In “Meanwhile Back at the Ranch,” for example, the author analyzes a technique called “simultaneity” in the works of Vladimir Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, and Anton Chekhov, and shows how it can create an extremely desirable “charged effect.” Of the 14 essays, seven were previously published in books including Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life and periodicals such as Story Quarterly. VERDICT This guide belongs on every writer’s shelf.
The Supreme Court
Murphy, Bruce Allen. Scalia: A Court of One. S. & S. 2014. 656p. photos. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780743296496. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781451611465. BIOG
Murphy’s (Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights, Lafayette Coll.) previous book, Wild Bill, was a superb look at the life of William O. Douglas, a brash, provocative, conspicuous, and controversial Supreme Court justice. Antonin Scalia is all these things, too. Scalia, now 78, pursued success relentlessly, moving from Jesuit high school to Georgetown University, Harvard University Law, a large Cleveland law firm, professorships at Chicago and Virginia, the Nixon and Ford White Houses, all leading to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and, in 1986, the Supreme Court. Murphy’s chapter titles include “Evil Nino” (Nino being Scalia’s nickname), “Scalia v. the Pope,” and “Grumpy Old Justice,” which capture the subject’s prickly personality. The author makes a strong case—as he did in his book on Douglas—that Scalia also doesn’t follow certain ethical rules, e.g., his association with Dick Cheney while he had a case pending before the court. Murphy’s biography is fair and scholarly—which makes it all the more damning. VERDICT Comprehensively researched, accessible, and fascinating, this title is recommended for friend and foe alike of Nino to understand just what the Supreme Court is up to.
Smith, J. Douglas. On Democracy’s Doorstep: The Inside Story of How the Supreme Court Brought “One Person, One Vote” to the United States. Hill & Wang. 2014. 384p. notes. index. ISBN 9780809074235. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780374712082. LAW
Though the legal principle of “one person, one vote” seems, from our current vantage point, like a logical and necessary cornerstone of our democracy, it wasn’t always so. Smith (Managing White Supremacy) tells the legal and political history of the struggle against the malapportionment in state legislatures that favored rural over urban voters. Smith’s characterization of the reapportionment story is meticulous, lucid, and comprehensive. Though most of the book is dedicated to nuanced description of the 1960s Supreme Court decisions that led to the transformation of almost every state legislature, Smith does a wonderful job of framing this account with important historical information that allows readers to understand the political context of these important fights. VERDICT An excellent and approachable legal and political chronicle of one of the most important developments in American democracy. Though the writing is clear, light, and lacking legal jargon, academic audiences will most appreciate.
Tribe, Laurence & Joshua Matz. Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution. Holt. 2014. 416p. notes. ISBN 9780805099096. $32; ebk. ISBN 9780805099133. LAW
Tribe (constitutional law, Harvard Univ.) and Matz’s (contributor, SCOTUSblog) book about the Roberts Court (the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John G. Roberts) and its view of the U.S. Constitution is thorough and remarkably current. The authors cover the major legal issues confronted by the court in long, detailed chapters that delve into the legal decision making behind each case. In addition to famous decisions such as the campaign finance case Citizens United, the authors explore related opinions that are less well known. This detail is especially helpful in understanding complex issues such as gun control, free speech, and privacy. The authors also look at the current justices, their personalities and backgrounds, and the way these factors have affected court rulings. Their exploration of the justices’ experience and ideology leads to an extensive discussion of the impact of the Roberts Court on the Constitution and on American society. VERDICT Casual readers might find the legal discussion too involved, but students of law and political science will want to read it. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/13.]
Cole, Juan. The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East. S. & S. Jul. 2014. 368p. notes. index. ISBN 9781451690392. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451690415. INT AFFAIRS
There is a new generation in charge—millennials, those born in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Denizens of a highly technological culture, they are primed to incite radical change in the political and social structure of their homelands. It is this cultural phenomenon that Cole (Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, Univ. of Michigan; Engaging the Muslim World) addresses here. The author outlines the progress of Arab revolutions that have taken place since the beginning of Internet culture, illustrating how young people in countries such as Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia have successfully used blogs, social media, and the Internet generally as a platform to organize and facilitate protests, impact political policy, and shed light on government corruption. This book contains a fascinating account of global politics, current events, and the youthful, tech-savvy generation that is sparking a call for true democracy worldwide. VERDICT This well-written and clearly well-researched title is an absorbing and educational read. Engaging writing and a solid fact base make it perfect for global politics enthusiasts, those pursuing academic study, or anyone interested in recent history. [See Prepub Alert, 1/26/14.]
Herrera, Linda. Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet. Verso. 2014. 192p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781781682760. $95; pap. ISBN 9781781682753. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781781682777. INT AFFAIRS
Social anthropologist Herrera (education policy, organization, leadership, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign) utilizes social media source material to explore the online discourse of activists leading up to the mass demonstrations in Cairo during the 2011 Egyptian uprising. Herrera sets out to cover the dynamic interplay among online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Readers are shown the complexities and dynamics of online youth culture in Egypt, particularly as they relate to Islam. The text surfaces polarizing dynamics within the online subcultures, exploring the threads of a peaceful front that sought to end police brutality, and the violent protests of the so-called “ultras,” a group that sought to branch out from peaceful stand-ins. Throughout, readers are given source text pulled from the social networks, including instant message transcripts. VERDICT This book is for students of Internet activism. It shows that while social networks may prove to be a catalyst for demonstrations, the complexities of corporate interests, religious factors, the military, and government agents underpin revolution narratives in profound ways.
Conner, Matthew. The New University Library: Four Case Studies. ALA Editions. 2014. 192p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780838911938. pap. $55. PRO MEDIA
Given the morphing culture of higher education and changes in how we access information in the age of electronic access to resources, the question: “What is the future of the academic library?” is often posed. Conner (librarian, Univ. of California, Davis) examines that query here, but rather than providing a list of ways in which libraries need to change, the author approaches the subject by discussing trends in seven specific areas relevant to academic librarians: reference, personnel, technology, collections, buildings, campus roles, and library culture, in a chapter each. He then investigates these styles in case studies of four academic libraries: the University of California, Merced; the University of Hawaii at Manoa; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and his own institution. The studies provide readers with details on how large university libraries have created new services and revised current ones, all the while adapting to the changing world of academic librarianship. VERDICT Although the latest fashions examined in this title apply to libraries of all sizes, the case studies are limited in scope because all four focus on large public universities—a shortcoming acknowledged in the book. Nevertheless, academic librarians interested in learning about trends in their profession will be engaged with Connor’s essays.
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Rottenberg, Dan. The Outsider: Albert M. Greenfield and the Fall of the Protestant Establishment. Temple Univ. Sept. 2014. 368p. bibliog. ISBN 9781439908419. $35. bIOG
Ward, Geoffrey C. & Ken Burns. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Knopf. Sept. 2014. 576p. photos. ISBN 9780307700230. $60. biog
Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World. New Pr. Aug. 2014. 320p. ed. by Anya Schiffrin. notes. ISBN 9781595589736. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781595589934. COMM
Browne, John. The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good Business. Harper Business. 2014. 240p. notes. index. ISBN 9780062316974. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062316981. BUS
Forbes, Steve & Elizabeth Ames. Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy—and What We Can Do About It. McGraw-Hill. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780071823708.$28; ebk. ISBN 9780071823715. ECON
Hewlett, Sylvia Ann. Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success. Harper Business. 2014. 240p. notes. index. ISBN 9780062246899. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062246905. BUS
Mazzeo, Michael & others. Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives, and Small Business Owners. Business Plus. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781455598892. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781455598908. BUS
Brown, Paul B. with others. Own Your Future: How To Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy. AMACOM. 2014. 224p. index. ISBN 9780814434093. $22; ebk. ISBN 9780814434109. CAREERS
Postsecondary Play: The Role of Games and Social Media in Higher Education. Johns Hopkins. 2014. 352p. ed. by William G. Tierney & others. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781421413068. $44.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421413075. ED
Bourke, Joanna. The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers. Oxford Univ. Sept. 2014. 336p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199689422. $34.95. HIST
Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Beacon. Sept. 2014. 296p. notes. ISBN 9780807000403. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780807000410. HIST
Emilie Davis’s Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863–1865. Pennsylvania State Univ. 2014. 160p. ed. by Judith Giesberg. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9780271063676. $59.95; pap. ISBN 9780271063683. $16.95. HIST
Everett, Derek R. Creating the American West: Boundaries and Borderlands. Univ. of Oklahoma. 2014. 320p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780806144467. $29.95. HIST
Harwood, Jeremy. World War II from Above: An Aerial View of the Global Conflict. Zenith: Quarto. 2014. 208p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780760345733. $30. HIST
Ross, Michael A. The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era. Oxford Univ. Oct. 2014. 336p. bibliog. ISBN 9780199778805. $27.95. HIST
Scarisbrick, Diana & Benjamin Zucker. Elihu Yale: Merchant, Collector & Patron. Thames & Hudson. 2014. 288p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780500517260. $39.95. HIST
Tetrault, Lisa. The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848–1898. Univ. of North Carolina. 2014. 240p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469614274. $34.95; ebk. ISBN 9781469614281. HIST
Tomlinson, Chris. Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families Who Share the Tomlinson Name—One White, One Black. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2014. 432p. notes. ISBN 9781250005472. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466850507. HIST
Zombory-Moldován, Béla. The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914. NYRB. Aug. 2014. 176p. tr. from Hungarian by Peter Zombory-Moldován. notes. ISBN 9781590178096. pap. $16.95. Military affairs
Law & Crime
Richmond, Clint. Fetch the Devil: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America. ForeEdge. 2014. 378p. illus. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781611685343. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781611685619. CRIME
Williams, Elizabeth & Sue Russell. The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art. CUNY Journalism Pr. 2014. 248p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781939293527. pap. $60; ebk. ISBN 9781939293534. CRIME
Young, David. Channeling Harrison, Book One. SquareOne. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9781937907228. pap. $16.95. PARAPSYCH
Dumper, Michael. Jerusalem Unbound: Geography, History, and the Future of the Holy City. Columbia Univ. 2014. 360p. illus. maps. notes. ISBN 9780231161961. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780231537353. INT AFFAIRS
Emmett, Dan. Within Arm’s Length: A Secret Service Agent’s Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President. St. Martin’s. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250044716. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466843172. POL SCI
Mutch, Robert E. Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform. Oxford Univ. Aug. 2014. 380p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780199340002. $34.95; ebk. ISBN 9780199340026. POL SCI
Steinberg, James & Michael E. O’Hanlon. Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.–China Relations in the Twenty-First Century. Princeton Univ. 2014. 272p. illus. maps. notes. ISBN 9780691159515. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781400850198. POL SCI
Chu, Judy Y. When Boys Become Boys: Development, Relationships, and Masculinity. New York Univ. 2014. 256p. notes. ISBN 9780814764688. $79; pap. ISBN 9780814764800. $23; ebk. ISBN 9780814764619. PSYCH
Gold, Joel & Ian Gold. Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness. Free Pr. Jul. 2014. 352p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781439181553. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781439181577. PSYCH
Katz, Terry & Beth Ann Malow. Solving Sleep Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Frazzled Families. Woodbine. Jul. 2014. 150p. illus. ISBN 9781606131954. pap. $21.95. PSYCH
Simone, Frances. Dark Wine Waters: My Husband of a Thousand Joys and Sorrows. Central Recovery. Jul. 2014. 224p. ISBN 9781937612641. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781937612658. PSYCH
Denyer, Simon. Rogue Elephant: Harnessing the Power of India’s Unruly Democracy. Bloomsbury. 2014. 448p. notes. index. ISBN 9781620406083. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781620406090. SOC SCI
Gmelch, Sharon Bohn & George Gmelch. Irish Travellers: The Unsettled Life. Indiana Univ. Oct. 2014. 248p. photos. notes. ISBN 9780253015112. pap. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780253014610. SOC SCI
Korteweg, Anna C. & Gökçe Yurdakul. The Headscarf Debates: Conflicts of National Belonging. Stanford Univ. 2014. 264p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780804776844. $85; pap. ISBN 9780804776851. $24.95. SOC SCI
McAdam, Doug & Karina Kloos. Deeply Divided: Racial Politics and Social Movements in Post-War America. Oxford Univ. Sept. 2014. 368p. illus. notes. ISBN 9780199937851. $29.95. SOC SCI
Travel & Geography
Coventry, Martin. Scotland’s Best Castles and Stately Homes. Goblinshead. Jul. 2014. 206p. photos. maps. index. ISBN 9781899874576. pap. $17.95. TRAV
La Farge, Annik. On the High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Urban Park. Thames & Hudson. 2014. 230p. photos. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780500291412. pap. $29.95. TRAV
Porter, Bill. Yellow River Odyssey. Chin Music. 2014. 284p. photos. maps. ISBN 9780988769304. pap. $17.50. TRAV