Rabelais, François (1994). Gargantua and Pantagruel. New York, Knopf.
Collective title of five comic novels by Francois Rabelais, published between 1532 and 1564. The novels present the comic and satiric story of the giant Gargantua and his son Pantagruel. The first two novels were published under the anagrammatic pseudonym Alcofribas (Alcofrybas) Nasier. The first book, commonly called Pantagruel (1532), deals with some of the fantastic incidents of the early years of Pantagruel. While at the University of Paris he receives a letter from his father that is still considered an essential exposition of French Renaissance ideals. In Paris Pantagruel also meets the cunning rogue Panurge, who becomes his companion throughout the series. In Gargantua (1534), old-fashioned scholastic pedagogy is ridiculed and contrasted with the humanist ideal of King Francis I, whose efforts to reform the French church Rabelais supported. Le Tiers Livre (1546; "The Third Book") is Rabelais's most profound and erudite work. In it Pantagruel has become a sage; Panurge is self-absorbed and bedeviled, wondering if he should marry. He consults various prognosticators, allowing Rabelais to hold forth on sex, love, and marriage, and to satirize fortune tellers, judges, and poets. Panurge persuades Pantagruel and friends to join him on a voyage to the Oracle of the Holy Bottle in Cathay for an answer. This they do in Le Quart Livre (1552; "The Fourth Book"), which reflects the era's interest in exploration; the Pantagruelians encounter a series of islands that present opportunities for the author to satirize the religious and political forces wreaking havoc on 16th-century Christendom. In a fifth book, Le Cinquieme Livre (1564; of doubtful authenticity), the band arrives at the temple of the Holy Bottle, where the oracle answers Panurge with a single word: "Drink! "
Rabinowitch, Alexander (2004). The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd. Chicago, Haymarket Books.
During the months following the collapse of the tsarist regime in war-torn Russia, the Bolshevik Party emerged from obscurity to overthrow the Provisional Government and establish the world's first communist government. In this absorbing narrative, Alexander Rabinowitch refutes the Soviet myth that the party's triumph in the October Revolution was inevitable, as well as the long-held view of many Western historians that the Bolsheviks won primarily because of their unity, discipline, and responsiveness to Lenin's revolutionary leadership. Exploring the changing situation and aspirations of workers, soldiers, and Baltic fleet sailors in Petrograd, Rabinowitch's classic account reveals the critical link between the party's revolutionary tactics and the Petrograd masses.
Rabinowitz, Victor (1996). Unrepentant Leftist: A Lawyer's Memoir. Urbana, University of Illinois Press.
Americans have "never been kind to radicals," writes Rabinowitz, a founder of the National Lawyers Guild, defender of prosecuted Communists, friend of trade unionists, the first lawyer the Rosenbergs turned to (though as he was already representing an accused spy, he advised other counsel) and "the lawyer for Cuba." Rabinowitz has taken on the government often, beginning with the notorious section 9 (h) of the 1945 Taft-Hartley Act restricting union collective bargaining and then the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Rabinowitz represented some of those called up by HUAC and in so doing faced public scorn and the combined malice of Joseph McCarthy (a man who, says Rabinowitz, "showed not the slightest hint of humanity") and Roy Cohn (whom he calls the most vicious of "all the evil men I've encountered"). Rabinowitz persuasively describes the devastating consequences of the Cold War mentality on the First Amendment rights of federal employees, Army personnel, aliens, teachers and the Hollywood set. Later, in 1964, 70 lawyers went south under the auspices of the National Lawyers Guild to help the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). For his efforts, Rabinowitz was arrested ("only once," he says), but then his stand against McCarthy had already been awarded with a HUAC investigation into his activities and with FBI surveillance that extended nearly 20 years beginning in the early 1950s. Even the FBI described Rabinowitz as "an agile-minded labor attorney," but he was also clearly a man of courage and commitment. This an inspiring, engaging memoir appropriate for a time when "liberal," let alone "leftist," is almost as sure a condemnation as "Communist" once was.
Racine, Jean (1960). Five Plays. New York, Hill and Wang.
Playwright, poet, master of the classical French tragedy in the time of Moliere. Racine took his subjects from antiquity or mythology and became very popular with his plays of blind, passionate love. His dramas followed the neoclassical tragic form; they had five acts and the dramatic time of the action did not exceed one day. Usually the action was restricted to one place. Phaedra, Andromache, Berenice, Athaliah, and Britannicus translated Into English verse, and with an introduction, by Kenneth Muir.
Radhakrishnan, S. and Charles Alexander Moore (1957). A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.
Translations of selections from many texts in Indian philosophy and theology.
Rahman, Fazlur (1979). Islam. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
Fazlur Rahman's Islam is aptly titled, in that this slim volume constitutes an incisive and surprisingly comprehensive history and analysis of Islam--its history, its conflicts, its legacy--and its prospects. From Mohammed to the late twentieth century, Rahman traces the development of Islam as a religion and, more importantly, as an intellectual tradition, offering both an easily understood introduction to the faith and an impassioned argument for its future direction.
Rahner, Karl and Gerald A. McCool (1981). A Rahner Reader. New York, Crossroad.
Rahner's creative appropriation of diverse theological and philosophical sources (including Ignatian spirituality, Thomas Aquinas, Kant, Hegel, Marechal, Rousselot, and Heidegger) provided an innovative conceptual framework for retrieving Catholic doctrine and the neo-scholastic theology of the previous generation and established his reputation as one of the most influential systematic theologians in the Vatican II era. His probing essays responded to the broad range of topics most at issue for Catholics from the 1940's to 80's. The earliest of these helped prepare for the Council. The later ones provided rich resources for both academic and pastoral theology. He was influential in German-speaking countries through his teaching, lectures, editorial labors and membership in learned societies. His thought had broader impact because of his involvement in international publications like Concilium, his role as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, the extensive dissemination of his work, his impact on the foreign students who attended his classes and later became influential in their own countries, and the positive reception of his contributions by many Protestant thinkers.
Ramadan, Tariq (2009). Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation. Oxford; New York, Oxford University Press.
Ramadan, author and research fellow at Oxford University who in a cause celèbre has been repeatedly denied a visa to the U.S., presents a deft and timely call for radical change in the way Muslim scholars interpret and apply their central texts. Ramadan believes in an integrative approach, one that marries a reinvigorated theological, values-based approach with a spiritually realistic understanding of contemporary everyday problems. For instance, family planning through contraception is acceptable within Islam and also practical considering economic difficulties faced by Muslims in developing countries. Maintaining that Muslim scholars were once very open to creative approaches, he argues that they have now become more insular and less educated, especially in their views toward women. Ramadan's point - that the world continues to change and requires a second look at the Qur'an and other Islamic texts to keep pace - is well taken. His insistence that scientific findings are also part of God's revelation and should be included in Islamic analysis is consistent with the Qur'an. Ramadan's newest book is an exciting read because it envisions a way for Muslims to be modern without turning their backs on their religion.
Ramadan, Tariq (2004). Western Muslims and the Future of Islam. Oxford; New York, Oxford University Press.
Ramadan argues that Islam can and should feel at home in the West. He takes stock of Islamic law and tradition to analyze whether Islam is in conflict with Western ideals; Ramadan is emphatic that there is no contradiction. He then spells out several key areas where Islam's universal principles can be "engaged" in the West, including education, interreligious dialogue, economic resistance and spirituality.
Rampersad, Arnold (2002). The Life of Langston Hughes. Oxford; New York, Oxford University Press.
Rampersad, one of our foremost African-American scholars, is an apt biographer for Hughes (1902-67), our greatest black poet. I, Too, Sing America (volume 1) covers the years during which Hughes produced his best work and was most politically active; I Dream a World (volume 2) chronicles his artistic decline due to overwork in response to perpetual financial difficulties. Both volumes are psychologically astute, critically penetrating and masterful in their intermingling of Hughes' story with a chronicle of the enormous changes that took place in black America during his lifetime.
Rarick, Ethan (2006). California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown. Berkeley, University of California Press.
"This is an impressive and important work--exhaustively researched, elegantly written. It's not only the biography of the central figure in modern California history, Governor Pat Brown, but the story of a crucial era in California and its place in the nation's imagination. California Rising is a major document in our understanding of the man and the place he helped make." - Peter Schrag.
Ratey, John J. and Eric Hagerman (2008). Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. Oxford; New York, Little, Brown.
In Spark, John J. Ratey, M.D., embarks upon a fascinating and entertaining journey through the mind-body connection, presenting startling research to prove that exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to aggression to menopause to Alzheimer's. Filled with amazing case studies, Spark is the first book to explore comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain.
Rawlins, Robert and Nor Eddine Bahha (2005). Jazzology: the Encyclopedia of Jazz Theory for All Musicians.. Milwaukee, WI, Hal Leonard.
A three-pronged approach was envisioned with the creation of this comprehensive resource: as an encyclopedia for ready reference, as a thorough methodology for the student, and as a workbook for the classroom, complete with ample exercises and conceptual discussion. Includes the basics of intervals, jazz harmony, scales and modes, ii-V-I cadences. For harmony, it covers: harmonic analysis, piano voicings and voice leading; modulations and modal interchange, and reharmonization. For performance, it takes players through: jazz piano comping, jazz tune forms, arranging techniques, improvisation, traditional jazz fundamentals, and practice techniques.
Reed, Ishmael (2015). Black Hollywood Unchained. Chicago, Third World Press.
A group of scholars, critics, intellectuals, and artists examine and respond to the contemporary portrayals of Blacks in films. Using the 2012 release of the film Django Unchained as the focal point of much of the discussion, these essays and reviews provide a critical perspective on the challenges facing filmmakers and actors when confronted with issues on race and the historical portrayal of African American characters. Reed also addresses the Black community's perceptiveness as discerning and responsible consumers of film, theatre, art, and music. Contributors include Jill Nelson, Amiri Baraka, Cecil Brown, Halifu Osumare, Houston A. Baker Jr., Tony Medina, Herb Boyd, Jerry W. Ward Jr., Ruth Elizabeth Burks, Art Burton, Justin Desmangles, J. Douglas Allen-Taylor, Jack Foley, Joyce A. Joyce, C. Leigh McInnis, Heather Russell, Hariette Surovell, Kathryn Takara, and Al Young.
Reed, Ishmael (2015). The Complete Muhammad Ali. Montreal, Baraka Books.
This book is more than just a biography of the man the world calls Muhammad Ali. It is also a history of the sport and business of boxing, Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, the 1960s civil rights movement in the United States, and a myriad of other associated topics.
Rees, A. L. (1999). A History of Experimental Film and Video: From Canonical Avant-Garde to Contemporary British Practice. London, BFI Publishing.
A.L. Rees tracks the movement of the film avant-garde between, on the one hand, the cinema, and on the other hand, modern art, with its post-modern coda). Rees also reconstitutes the film avant-garde as an independent form of art practice with its own internal logic and aesthetic discourse. Ranging from Cezanne and dada, via Cocteau, Brakhage and Le Grice, to the new wave of British video artists in the 1990s, this remarkable study will introduce a generation of new readers to avant-garde film as well as provoking students and specialists to further reflection and debate.
Reeve, Simon (1999). The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism. Boston, Northeastern University Press.
According to 'The New Jackals' a group of several thousand men who fought against the Soviets during the 1980s Afghan War have since dominated international terrorism and many of these men, known as the 'Afghan Arabs', have become a new breed of terrorist, militants with no restrictions on mass killing. Reeve spent years investigating the two most dangerous 'Afghan Arabs': Osama bin Laden and Ramzi Yousef, the young British-educated mastermind of the massive bombing of the World Trade Center bombing (WTC) in 1993. Yousef's attack resulted in more hospital casualties than any event in American history since the Civil War. He is described by experts as a modern 'Carlos the Jackal' because of his astonishing crimes. The New Jackals is a true-life investigative thriller, with details of a tense two-year manhunt told through interviews with a senior FBI agent, but it also includes a series of major revelations. For example the book offers the first real insight into bin Laden's early years. The New Jackals also reveals that in the 1993 WTC attack Ramzi Yousef wanted to topple one tower of the building into the other (killing perhaps 250,000 people) with a massive radioactive bomb that would have forced the evacuation of much of New York. The author details how Yousef detonated a bomb on a plane over Japan, planned to kill the Pope and President Clinton, blew-up an Iranian shrine, plotted to attack CIA headquarters with chemical weapons, and was stopped just days before he was due to simultaneously destroy 11 airliners over the Pacific.
Reeves, Richard (1993). President Kennedy: Profile of Power. New York, Simon & Schuster.
Reeves presents Kennedy as neither an amoral playboy nor the ruler of Camelot but a poorly prepared president with mediocre congressional experience. Each chapter presents a different day in the administration--a unique format that effectively reveals how Kennedy responded to simultaneous harrowing issues. The Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crises, Vietnam, and the diplomacy of arms reduction illustrate how Kennedy was constrained by the unshakable Cold War fear of monolithic communism. This investigation of Kennedy's use of power, read in tandem with Nigel Hamilton's JFK: Reckless Youth, provides a thorough, even-handed review of the Kennedy years.
Reeves, Richard (2001). President Nixon: Alone in the White House. New York, Simon & Schuster.
Reeves dissects the Nixon presidency by investigating selected, important dates of his administration, which reveal him to be more of a crises fomenter than manager. Nixon, according to Reeves, isolated himself like no other president and used his gatekeepers H.R. Haldeman, John Erlichman, and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger to circumvent the Cabinet, Congress, and the public. The author makes effective use of Nixon's memos and diary, newly declassified records, and entries from the Haldeman Diary, some of which appear here for the first time, to present an unflattering portrait of a short-tempered, foul-mouthed president obsessed with his reelection and blaming others, often Jews, for problems of his own making. The book concludes when he stopped keeping a diary, in April 1973. Among the most fascinating matters are Nixon's triumphant 1972 opening of China, including meeting with a dying Chairman Mao, and the diplomatic infighting between Secretary of State William Rogers and the tantrum-throwing Kissinger.
Reich, Wilhelm (1970). The Mass Psychology of Fascism. New York, Farrar.
In this classic study, Reich provides insight into the phenomenon of fascism, which continues to ravage the international community in ways great and small.
Drawing on his medical expereinces with men and women of various classes, races, nations, and religious beliefs, Reich refutes the still generally held notion that fascism is a specific characteristic of certain nationalities or a political party ideology that is imposed on innocent people by means of force or political manneuvers. "Fascism on only the organized political expression of the structure of the average man's character. It is the basic emotional civilization and its mechanistic-mystical conception of life," he says. Responsibility for the elimination of fascism thus results with the masses of average people who might otherwise support and champion it.
Reich, Wilhelm (1972). Character Analysis. New York, Farrar.
Reich's classic work on the development and treatment of human character disorders, first published in 1933. As a young clinician in the 1920s, Wihelm Reich expanded psychoanalytic resistance into the more inclusive technique of character analysis, in which the sum total of typical character attitudes developed by an individual as a blocking against emotional excitations became the object of treatment. These encrusted attitudes functioned as an "armor," which Reich later found to exist simultaneously in chronic muscular spasms. Thus mind and body came together and character analysis opened the way to a biophysical approach to disease and the prevention of it.
Reinhart, Tanya (2005). Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948. New York, Seven Stories Press.
Israeli journalist Tanya Reinhart provides a primer on the current Israeli/Palestinian crisis. She details the roots of the conflict, presents compelling evidence that Israel has been working to undermine the 1993 Oslo peace agreement, and discusses how the crisis is linked to America's war on terrorism.
Relph, E. C. (1987). The Modern Urban Landscape. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Brings together urban history, urban form, public planning history, the literature of utopianism, and the architecture of cities in an intelligent, coherent, lively, and controversial portrayal of the evolution of the physical characteristics of Anglo-American urban environments since 1880.
Renoir, Jean (1988). Renoir, My Father. San Francisco. New York, N.Y., Mercury House ; Kampmann & Co., distributor.
In this delightful memoir, Jean Renoir, the director of such masterpieces of the cinema as Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game, tells the life story of his father, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the great Impressionist painter. Recounting Pierre-Auguste's extraordinary career, beginning as a painter of fans and porcelain, recording the rules of thumb by which he worked, and capturing his unpretentious and wonderfully engaging talk and personality, Jean Renoir's book is both a wonderful double portrait of father and son and, in the words of the distinguished art historian John Golding, it "remains the best account of Renoir, and, furthermore, among the most beautiful and moving biographies we have."
Reps, John William (1965). The Making of Urban America; a History of City Planning in the United States. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.
This excellent book may well be described as the missing link in American town planning history. No book to date has comprehensively dealt with American urban development from the earliest colonial settlements to modern times. Reps has filled this gap with his lavishly illustrated work.
Research Unit for Political Economy (Bombay India) (2003). Behind the Invasion of Iraq. New York, NY, Monthly Review Press.
Since September 11, 2001, there have been many accounts of the ways in which the alignment of global power is changing or will be changed by the U.S.'s "war on terrorism." Most of them take as their starting point the options facing the wealthy and powerful nations of the world seeking to control an ever larger share of the world's resources. Behind the Invasion of Iraq is written from a different perspective, one that makes possible a far more comprehensive point of view.
Its authors, weighing the evidence and tracing events to their root causes, move beyond moral outrage to a clear view of the process being set in motion by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. They show that the invasion of Iraq is a desperate gamble by a section of the U.S. ruling elite to preserve their power, driven by the wish to stave off economic crisis through military means. Their efforts will not end with Iraq, but will require the recolonization of the middle East.
Behind the Invasion of Iraq exposes the idea that war will bring democracy to the Middle East as so much propaganda. In a context where so many rulers are themselves clients of the United States, the war is aimed not at the rulers but at the masses of ordinary people whose hostility to imperialism has not been broken even by corrupt and autocratic rulers. This book describes the remaking of global power with a truly global awareness of what is at stake.
Respini, Eva, Johanna Burton, et al. (2012). Cindy Sherman. New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Published to accompany the first major survey of Cindy Sherman's work in the United States in nearly 15 years, this publication presents a stunning range of work from the artist's 35-year career. Showcasing 180 photographs from the mid-1970s to the present, including new works made for the exhibition and never before published, the volume is an exploration of Sherman's sustained investigation into the construction of contemporary identity and the nature of representation. The book highlights major bodies of work including her seminal Untitled Film Stills (1977-80); centerfolds (1981); history portraits (1989-90); head shots (2000-2002); and two recent series on the experience and representation of aging in the context of contemporary obsessions with youth and status.
Rewald, John and Frances Weitzenhoffer (1989). Cezanne and America: Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics 1891-1921. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.
John Rewald presents a full account of how the Cezanne's influence became established in America between 1891 and 1921, and how some of the world's largest collections of Cezanne's works were formed in the United States. Recounted in Rewald's urbane and masterly style this is the fascinating story of enthusiastic young American artists who took up Cezanne's cause after they discovered him in Paris. It is also the story of the discerning early American collectors of his work--Leo and Gertrude Stein, the Havemeyers and John Quinn, among others--many of whom made their first purchases from Cezanne's wily dealer Vollard or from the dealer Alfred Stieglitz in America, and of the beginning of the famous collection of Dr. Albert C. Barnes. Rewald discusses the exhibitions at which Cezanne's works were first shown and describes the outraged reactions of all but a few American critics. Several chapters are devoted to the important Armory Show of 1913. Each chapter is copiously illustrated, not only with Cezanne's works but also with portraits of collectors and critics and with previously unpublished pages from diaries, dealers' ledgers, and Cezanne's own correspondence.
Rewald, Sabine, Paul Klee, et al. (1988). Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art: Distributed by H.N. Abrams.
Rexroth, Kenneth (1967). The Collected Shorter Poems. New York, New Directions.
This volume assembles Kenneth Rexroth's shorter poems from 1920 to 1966, bringing together work from seven earlier books and a group of previously unpublished poems.
Rexroth, Kenneth (1968). The Collected Longer Poems. New York, New Directions.
The Homestead Called Damascus (1920-1925)
A Prolegomenon to a Theodicy (1925-1927)
The Phoenix and the Tortoise (1940-1944)
The Dragon and the Unicorn (1944-1950)
The Heart's Garden, The Garden's Heart (1967)
Rexroth, Kenneth (1986). Classics Revisited. New York, New Directions.
Rexroth's book discusses sixty volumes, such as the Illiad & Odyssey, Beowolf, Njal's Saga, Job, Mahabarata, Kalevala, Sappho, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, Plato, Livy, and so on, through Mark Twain and Chekhov. A second volume contains similar sweep across different authors/works. As Rexroth says, these classic texts from around the world are "basic documents in the history of the imagination."
Rexroth, Kenneth and Linda Hamalian (1991). An Autobiographical Novel. New York, New Directions.
Hamalian revises and expands Rexroth's 1966 An Autobiographical Novel with material left after the poet's death in 1982. Rexroth's original memoir, which PW called "one of the most lively and intelligent autobiographies we have read in years,'' detailed his life until 1927, when he was 22; this new edition spans two additional decades of his literary career.
Rexroth, Kenneth, Sam Hamill, et al. (2003). The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth. Port Townsend, Wash., Copper Canyon Press.
Born in the Midwest but predominantly known as a founding poet of the San Francisco renaissance, Rexroth (1905-1982) wrote from deep within multiple traditions of world literature, Eastern and Western philosophy, and radical politics. Rexroth published many of his 54 books with New Directions, and while a good number are in print, some editions are more than 30 years old. This volume, scrupulously edited by novelist and poet Morrow (Ariel's Crossing) and poet and Copper Canyon publisher Hammill, brings much disparate and previously uncollected material together chronologically, including Rexroth's brilliant long poem "The Dragon and the Unicorn." The difficulty of assigning Rexroth a comfortable place on syllabi contributes to his current invisibility: some of Rexroth's earliest efforts in verse are cubist-influenced (some were included in Zukofsky's "Objectivist" issue of Poetry magazine). But Rexroth made a decision to make his poetry less opaque relatively early in his career, creating a technique that mixed a classical structure with a romantic sensibility. From "Between Myself and Death": "A fervor parches you sometimes,/ And you hunch over it, silent,/ Cruel, and timid; and sometimes/ You are frightened with wantonness,/ And give me your desperation./ Mostly we lurk in our coverts,/ Protecting our spleens, pretending/ That our bandages are our wounds." Though Rexroth published translations from Greek, French, Chinese, and Japanese (including Japanese women writers, extremely rare for the time), this edition is obliged to exclude them. While a tireless promoter of younger poets and neglected contemporaries, Rexroth is largely remembered as the "father of the Beat generation" (a label he repeatedly rejected).
Rexroth, Kenneth and Bradford Morrow (1989). More Classics Revisited. New York, New Directions.
The brief, radiant essays of Classics Revisited discuss sixty key books that are, for Rexroth, 'basic documents in the history of the imagination.' Ranging from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Huckleberry Finn, these pieces (each about five pages long) first appeared in the Saturday Review.
Reznikoff, Charles (2015). Testimony | The United States (1885-1915): Recitative. Santa Barbara, Calif., Black Sparrow Press.
Available again for the first time since 1978-and complete in one volume for the first time. Charles Reznikoff's Testimony is a lost masterpiece, a legendary book that stands alongside Louis Zukofsky's A and William Carlos Williams's Paterson as a milestone of modern American poetry. Taking as its raw material the voices of witnesses, victims, and perpetrators discovered by the author in criminal court transcripts, Reznikoff's book sets forth a stark panorama of late- 19th- and early 20th-century America-the underside of the Gilded Age, beset by racism and casual violence, poverty and disease-in a radically stripped-down language of almost unbearable intensity. This edition also includes Reznikoff 's prose studies for the poem, unavailable to readers since the 1930s, and a new introduction by essayist Eliot Weinberger.
Rheims, Bettina and Serge Bramly (2011). Rose, C'est Paris. Koln, DE, Taschen.
Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly's Rose, c'est Paris is both a photographic monograph and a feature-length film on DVD. This extraordinary work of art, in two different but interlocking and complementary formats, defies easy categorization. For in this multi-layered opus of poetic symbolism, photographer Bettina Rheims and writer Serge Bramly evoke the City of Light in a completely novel way: this is a Paris of surrealist visions, confused identities, artistic phantoms, unseen manipulation, obsession, fetish, and seething desire.
Rhodehamel, John (2001). The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence. New York, Library of America.
Editor Rhodehamel, the Norris Foundation Curator of American History at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, has assembled a comprehensive collection of over 120 pieces by more than 70 Revolution-era writers from both sides of the War of Indepedence. The book begins with Paul Revere's personal account of his famous ride in April 1775 and ends with a description of George Washington's resignation from the command of the Continental Army in December 1783. Other selections include letters, speeches, and newspaper articles. The authors range from the famous (Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Paine) to more obscure American and British observers of signal events. The collection contains eyewitness accounts of just about every significant development during the Revolution. At the book's end one can find a long section that includes a chronology, biographical sketches of the authors, and other notes on the texts.
Rhodes, Richard (1986). The Making of the Atomic Bomb. New York, Simon & Schuster.
The breadth and scope of this gripping narrative is almost as impressive as the story itself. Rhodes describes the theoretical origins of the bomb, the lab experiments, the building of the prototype, the test at Alamagordo, the training of the B-29 crews assigned to deliver the first two combat bombs and the missions themselves. There's much more. Rhodes, gifted with sharp psychological insight and a novelist's ability to convey character, reveals the personalities and emotional dynamics among Niels Bohr, Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, Ernest Lawrence, Robert Oppenheimer, General Leslie Groves, Colonel Paul Tibbets and others responsible for conceiving, engineering, testing and ultimately dropping the apocalyptic devices on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In addition he describes the struggle in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to make the first bomb, as well as the political and military events that led inexorably to the destruction of the Japanese cities. This is the most comprehensive and authoritative book on the subject to date. Illustrations.
Rice, Edward (1978). Eastern Definitions: A Short Encyclopedia of Religions of the Orient. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday.
A guide to common, ordinary, and rare philosophical, mystical, religious, and psychological terms from Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, Islam, Zen, Taoism, the Sikhs, Zoroastrianism, and other major and minor Eastern religions.
Rice, Edward (1991). Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: The Secret Agent Who Made the Pilgrimage to Mecca, Discovered the Kama Sutra, and Brought the Arabian Nights to the West. New York, NY, HarperPerennial.
A New York Times best seller when it was first published, Rice's biography is the gripping story of a fierce, magnetic, and brilliant man whose real-life accomplishments are the stuff of legend. Rice retraces Burton's steps as the first European adventurer to search for the source of the Nile; to enter, disguised, the forbidden cities of Mecca and Medina; and to travel through remote stretches of India, the Near East, and Africa. From his spying exploits to his startling literary accomplishments (the discovery and translation of the Kama Sutra and his seventeen-volume translation of Arabian Nights), Burton was an engrossing, larger-than-life Victorian figure, and Rice's splendid biography lays open a portrayal as dramatic, complicated, and compelling as the man himself.
Rich, Adrienne Cecile (1966). Necessities of Life; Poems, 1962-1965. New York, W.W. Norton.
"Piece by piece" the persona in Adrienne Rich's "Necessities of Life" re-enters the world. This conclusion is reached through the poem's plot which deals with the struggle of a young person in relation to their role in the world. It is no great mystery that the persona is confused, has left the world, and is currently returning with hopes of gaining a successful second chance at life. What is most interesting about this poem is its structure. The poem's form parallels the changing perspectives and revelations of the persona. A primary example of this technique is that the only stanza which begins and ends a vital sentence throughout the entire poem is the line which reads "So much for those days." This line demonstrates the transformation from how the persona had viewed her life and its necessities to how those past days and over and now she is ready to re-enter the world with a new perspective. Much of the rest of the poem contains lines that flow, not necessarily smoothly, from one stanza to another. This effect reflects the life of the persona: ever-flowing, ever-continuing even though it wasn't "smooth" all the time.
Rich, Nathaniel (2005). San Francisco Noir: The City in Film Noir from 1940 to the Present. New York, The Little Bookroom.
All cities have their secrets, but none are so dark as San Francisco's, the city that Ambrose Bierce famously described as "a point upon a map of fog." With its reputation as a shadowy land of easy vice and hard virtue, San Francisco provided the ideal setting for many of the greatest film noirs, from classics like The Maltese Falcon and Dark Passage to obscure treasures like Woman on the Run and D.O.A., and neo-noirs like Point Blank and The Conversation. In this guide to more than forty film noirs and the locations where they were shot, readers visit the Mission Dolores cemetery, where James Stewart spies Kim Novak visiting Carlotta's grave in Vertigo; the Steinhart Aquarium, where Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth rendezvous in The Lady from Shanghai; and Kezar Stadium, where Clint Eastwood, in Dirty Harry, captures the serial killer, Scorpio, in a blaze of ghastly white light.
Richardson, John (2007). A Life of Picasso: The Prodigy 1881-1906. New York, Knopf.
As he magnificently combines meticulous scholarship with irresistible narrative appeal, Richardson draws on his close friendship with Picasso, his own diaries, the collaboration of Picasso's widow Jacqueline, and unprecedented access to Picasso's studio and papers to arrive at a profound understanding of the artist and his work.
Richardson, John (2007). A Life of Picasso: The Cubist Rebel, 1907-1916. New York, Knopf.
In The Cubist Rebel, 1907-1916, the second volume of his Life of Picasso, John Richardson reveals the young Picasso in the Baudelairean role of the painter of modern life, a role that stipulated the brothel as the noblest subject for a modern artist. Hence his great breakthrough painting, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, with which this book opens. As well as portraying Picasso as a revolutionary, Richardson analyzes the more compassionate side of his genius. The misogynist of posthumous legend turns out to have been surprisingly vulnerable, more often sinned against than sinning. Heartbroken at the death of his mistress Eva, Picasso tried desperately to find a wife. Richardson recounts the untold story of how his two great loves of 1915-17 successively turned him down. These disappointments, as well as his horror at the outbreak of World War I and the wounds it inflicted on his closest friends, Braque and Apollinaire, shadowed his painting and drove him off to work for the Ballets Russes in Rome and Naples, back to the ancient world.
Richardson, John (2010). A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932. New York, Alfred A. Knopf.
This third volume in Richardson's magisterial biography takes us through Picasso's middle years, as he establishes his mastery over craft, other artists and the women in his life. The story begins the year Picasso falls in love with Olga Kokhlova, a Russian dancer he met while working on the avant-garde ballet Parade for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. By the end of the volume, Olga, his first wife, becomes the victim of some of Picasso's most harrowing images. The book elaborates on the details of Picasso's inspirations, with Richardson providing a balance of fact, salacious detail and art-historical critique. He is particularly skilled at evoking the humor and sexuality that imbues Picasso's portraits of Marie-Therèse, who became his mistress when he was 45 and she 17: As for the figure's amazing legs: the secret of their monumentality had escaped me until Courbet's great view of Etretat gave him a clue: Picasso has used the rock arches of Etretat to magnify the scale of the bather's legs and breasts. The artist's entire circle is also here, from Georges Braque to Henri Matisse, from Andre Breton to Ernest Hemingway. They are jealous collaborators, competitive geniuses, excessive bohemians, dear friends, frustrated homosexuals - while a handful of women come across as essential yet entirely replaceable.
Richardson, Robert D. (1995). Emerson: The Mind on Fire. Berkeley, University of California Press.
The maverick intellectual life of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) is the focus of this imposing, highly erudite biography. In 1832, Emerson resigned his Boston ministry to pursue a career as an essayist, orator and poet, delivering more than 1500 lectures in his lifetime, including "The American Scholar" (1837), and publishing essays such as Nature (1836) and Representative Men (1850). As America's foremost prophet of individual experience, he was also a founder of the Transcendentalist Club, editor of the transcendentalist magazine, The Dial, and spokesman for many reformist causes. Drawing on unpublished personal journals, correspondence and lectures, Richardson (Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind) charts, in exacting detail, the minutia of Emerson's daily life in Concord, Mass., and extensive travels; the literature and philosophy he read over several decades and how his reading shaped his steadily evolving intellect. Although the nuances of Emerson's personality are eclipsed by textual analysis, Richardson balances the often chilling puritanism of Emerson's writing with a portrait of the man as hungry for friendship, maintaining close relationships with Carlisle, Thoreau, Bronson Alcott and Margaret Fuller; and whose icy doctrine of individualism reflects the loneliness caused by the premature deaths of his beloved first wife, his two younger brothers and numerous friends.
Richardson, Robert D. (2009). First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process. Iowa City, University of Iowa Press.
'Robert Richardson has done exquisite service both to Emerson and to the many readers this book will surely attract and leave with a deeper understanding of Emerson the writer. How many of us have read through all the journals to gather his thoughts, often private, uncontained in the essays, about the actual work of turning language into the fertile body of expressed thought? As in his biography of Emerson, The Mind on Fire, we are recipients again of Richardson's scholarship, his unflagging, inquisitive, humanist unveiling of the great Emerson's thoughts.' - Mary Oliver
Richardson, Robert D. (1986). Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind. Berkeley, University of California Press.
Emerson described his friend Thoreau as "the bachelor of thought and nature," and in this absorbing and sparklingly fresh biography, which examines and relates the private and public contexts of Thoreau's life from 1837, when he was 20, to his death in 1862, Richardson shows him to have been as much a reader and thinker as a saunterer in the woods. We see him entering and emerging from the shadow of Emerson; delving into the Greek and Roman Stoics, ancient Hindu philosophy and contemporary German literature (particularly Goethe); siding with Darwin in the famous Agassiz-Darwin controversy over evolution; forging his philosophy of personal integrity based on his concept of nature as law. Richardson closely scrutinizes not only Walden but Thoreau's other writings, and the result of his composite portrait is that we see Thoreau perhaps more vividly than ever before, as traveler of the mind, significant thinker and likable man.
Richie, Donald (2001). A Hundred Years of Japanese Film: A Concise History, with a Selective Guide to Videos and DVDs. Tokyo; New York, Kodansha International: Distributed in the United States by Kodansha America.
Widely considered the leading Western authority on Japan, Richie has a particular affinity for the nation's films, as is evident on every page of this authoritative survey. He emphasizes the collaborative nature of film, which is particularly appropriate since in Japanese culture the collective usually trumps the individual, and shows how Japanese cinema largely eschewed realism and narrative until it fell under Western influence. The section on the silent era, when live narrators, benshi, described films' stories to audiences, is particularly revelatory, since 90 percent of pre-1945 Japanese films haven't survived. Richie comments insightfully on the acknowledged masters-- Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Kurosawa--and also on other notable directors who are virtually unknown to even the most avid American cineasts. He finds less to praise about contemporary filmmakers, whose flashier, Westernized approach seems less to his liking. The impressive amount of information on films renowned and obscure and Richie's enthusiasm and critical acumen make this essential for film studies collections. Brief reviews of about 200 films, with notations on video availability, top things off nicely.
Richie, Donald and Leza Lowitz (2004). The Japan Journals 1947-2004. Berkeley, CA, Stone Bridge Press.
Since moving to Japan in 1947, Richie has written hundreds of books, directed several films and befriended dozens of Japanese celebrities, including composer Taru Takemitsu, novelist-icon Yukio Mishima and filmmaker Akira Kurasawa. Richie has also been the point of contact for non-Japanese artists such as Francis Ford Coppola, Truman Capote and Igor Stravinsky. But what will interest most readers are not so much Richie's erudite observations on Japanese cultural life as his rather saucy descriptions of his experiences in the country. A self-confessed "sexaholic," Richie declares that he's slept with "thousands" of people, and sex and sexual relationships are themes that dominate the journals. Richie does give some sense of how Japan has changed in the 50-odd years that he has lived there, but this perspective is constrained because Richie's context rarely transcends his immediate surroundings. As such, the entries sometimes read like a series of cryptic pieces. There are moments where Richie shines, such as when he describes his divorce and his experiences with Mishima. His views on the intersections of xenophobia, racism "and all the rest" are both poignant and disturbing. For example, after being solicited by a couple of schoolgirls, Ritchie wonders how anyone could think prostitution is wrong, except "if the person does not want to sell, well maybe." But the journals live up to his reputation as a charming wit, and if the erratic narrative sometimes seems surreal, enough bits and pieces come together to inform readers of the Japan Richie experienced as an American insider.
Richler, Mordecai (2010). Barney's Version. New York, Vintage Books.
Barney Panofsky smokes too many cigars, drinks too much whiskey, and is obsessed with two things: the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and his ex-wife Miriam. An acquaintance from his youthful years in Paris, Terry McIver, is about to publish his autobiography. In its pages he accuses Barney of an assortment of sins, including murder. It's time, Barney decides, to present the world with his own version of events. Barney's Version is his memoir, a rambling, digressive rant, full of revisions and factual errors (corrected in footnotes written by his son) and enough insults for everyone, particularly vegetarians and Quebec separatists. But Barney does get around to telling his life story, a desperately funny but sad series of bungled relationships. His first wife, an artist and poet, commits suicide and becomes -- a la Sylvia Plath -- a feminist icon, and Barney is widely reviled for goading her toward death, if not actually murdering her. He marries the second Mrs. Panofsky, whom he calls a "Jewish-Canadian Princess," as an antidote to the first; it turns out to be a horrible mistake. The third, "Miriam, my heart's desire," is quite possibly his soul mate, but Barney botches this one, too. It's painful to watch him ruin everything, and even more painful to bear witness to his deteriorating memory. The mystery at the heart of Barney's story -- did he or did he not kill his friend Boogie?
Riis, Jacob A. and Museum of the City of New York. (1971). How the Other Half Lives; Studies among the Tenements of New York. New York, Dover.
Jacob Riis's illustrated tour of New York's slums had an immediate and extraordinary impact on society, inspiring reforms that changed the face of the city. In 1890, when the book was published, the Lower East Side was a landscape of teeming streets and filthy tenements crowded with immigrants living in dreadful conditions. Ho the Other Half Lives brings them to life - the Italians, Jews, Bohemians (Czechs and Slovaks), Blacks, and Chinese - in precise descriptions of their habits and traditions, jobs and wages, rents paid and meals eaten, and explores the effects of crime, poverty, alcohol, and lack of education and opportunity on adults and children alike.
Rilke, Rainer Maria and M. D. Herter Norton (1940). Wartime Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, 1914-1921. New York, W.W. Norton.
"All the letters here translated are taken from the fifth volume of the series of letters published by Insel-Verlag, save those of July-December, 1921, which appear in the sixth volume, 'From Muzot,' and the letters to Anton Kippenberg, from the volume 'To his publisher.' " - Foreword.
Rilke, Rainer Maria, Franz Xaver Kappus, et al. (2002). Letters to a Young Poet. Mineola, N.Y., Dover Publications.
It would take a deeply cynical heart not to fall in love with Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. At the end of this millennium, his slender book holds everything a student of the century could want: the unedited thoughts of (arguably) the most important European poet of the modern age. Rilke wrote these 10 sweepingly emotional letters in 1903, addressing a former student of one of his own teachers. The recipient was wise enough to omit his own inquiries from the finished product, which means that we get a marvelously undiluted dose of Rilkean aesthetics and exhortation.
The poet prefaced each letter with an evocative notation of the city in which he wrote, including Paris, Rome, and the outskirts of Pisa. Yet he spends most of the time encouraging the student in his own work, delivering a sublime, one-on-one equivalent of the modern writing workshop:
Every page is stamped with Rilke's characteristic grace, and the book is free of the breathless effect that occasionally mars his poetry. His ideas on gender and the role of the artist are also surprisingly prescient. And even his retrograde comment on the "beauty of the virgin" (which the poet derives from the fact that she "has not yet achieved anything") is counterbalanced by his perception that "the sexes are more related than we think." Those looking for an alluring image of the solitary artist--and for an astonishing quotient of wisdom--will find both in Letters to a Young Poet. --Jennifer Buckendorff
Rilke, Rainer Maria and Stephen Mitchell (1984). The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. New York, Vintage Books.
Stephen Mitchell offers what are perhaps the most masterful and intimate translations of Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry to date, infusing it with all the power, eloquence, rhythm and lightness of its original voice. Includes the Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus.
Rilke, Rainer Maria and Stephen Mitchell (1990). The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. New York, Vintage Books.
This is the definitive, widely acclaimed translation of the major prose work of one of our century's greatest poets. Rilke's only novel, extraordinary for its structural uniqueness and purity of language, first published in 1910, it has proven to be one of the most influential and enduring works of fiction of our century.
Malte Laurids Brigge is a young Danish nobleman and poet living in Paris. Obsessed with death and with the reality that lurks behind appearances, Brigge muses on his family and their history and on the teeming, alien life of the city. Many of the themes and images that occur in Rilke's poetry can also be found in the novel, prefiguring the modernist movement in its self-awareness and imagistic immediacy.
Rilke, Rainer Maria and John J. L. Mood (1975). Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Translations and Considerations of Rainer Maria Rilke. New York, Norton.
John J. L. Mood has assembled a collection of Rilke's strongest work, presenting commentary along with the selections. Combining passion and sensitivity, the poems on love presented here are often not only sensual but sexual as well. Others pursue perennial themes in his work - death and life, growth and transformation. The book concludes with Rilke's reflections on wisdom and openness to experience, on grasping what is most difficult and turning what is most alien into that which we can most trust.
Rilke, Rainer Maria and David Young (1978). Duino Elegies. New York, Norton.
"Among the English translations of Rilke's Duineser Elegien that I am familiar with, the one by David Oswald seems to me to be the best. Not only does it faithfully reproduce the content of the original poems -- something which earlier translations have managed to do -- but also, through its closely matching rhythm and its use of an often bold imagery rooted in the spirit of the English language, it conveys their poetic substance as well." - Prof. Jacob Steiner, President of the International Rilke Society
Rimbaud, Arthur (1957). Illuminations: Coloured Plates. New York, New Directions.
The Illuminations, a grouping of some forty prose poems on subjects ranging from a circus sideshow to city life, overlap chronologically with "Une Saison en Enfer"; most of them were probably written between 1872 and 1874, though possibly later. Within the space of only a few years, Rimbaud had moved from the exquisite patterning of "Sensation" and "Le Bateau Ivre" to this far looser, more imagistic form. Some of the poems seem vaguely descriptive of Rimbaud's time in London, but the collection resists an overarching framework even more strenuously than does "Une Saison en Enfer." They are united only by their style: a series of images as tactile as they are visionary - "seraphic centauresses," "harvested flowers as big as guns and goblets," "a Baghdad boulevard where groups were singing joyously " - and often summed up by an oracular last line. "What will become of the world when you leave? No matter what happens, no trace of you now will remain."
Rimbaud, Arthur (1961). Une [Saison En Enfer & Le Bateau Ivre. A Season in Hell & the Drunken Boat. Norfolk, Conn., J. Laughlin.
To his masterpiece A Season in Hell is here added Rimbaud's longest and possibly greatest single poem The Drunken Boat, with the original French en face throughout.
Rimbaud, Arthur and Paul Schmidt (2000). Complete Works: Arthur Rimbaud. Translated by Paul Schmidt. New York, HarperPerennial.
Arthur Rimbaud is remembered as much for his volatile personality and tumultuous life as he is for his writings, most of which he produced before the age of eighteen. This book brings together his poetry, prose, and letters, including "The Drunken Boat," "The Orphans' New Year," "After the Flood," and "A Season in Hell." Complete Works is divided into eight "seasons "--Childhood, The Open Road, War, The Tormented Heart, The Visionary, The Damned Soul, A Few Belated Cowardices, and The Man with the Wind at His Heels--that reflect the facets of Rimbaud's life. Insightful commentary by translator and editor Paul Schmidt reveals the courage, vision, and imagination of Rimbaud's poetry and sheds light on one of the most enigmatic figures in letters.
Robb, David L. (2004). Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies. Amherst, N.Y., Prometheus Books.
This is an important book about Hollywood. It uncovers a secret collaboration between Hollywood and the military that has been going on for more than fifty years. Based on thousands of pages of Pentagon documents and interviews with filmmakers and military officials, Operation Hollywood reveals that many of your favorite movies and television shows have been shaped, sanitized, and censored by the Pentagon. David L. Robb takes you behind the scenes - and behind the closed doors of the Pentagon - as military officials and movie producers wheel and deal with the First Amendment. Robb reveals a world where filmmakers bow to pressure from admirals and generals, where movies are turned into propaganda, and where free speech is thrown out the window.
Robb, Graham (1994). Balzac: A Life. New York, Norton.
British critic Robb's biography reveals the mass of contradictions and excesses at the heart of one of the great French novelists.
Robb, Graham (2000). Rimbaud. New York, W.W. Norton.
In this robust biography, Robb (Balzac; Victor Hugo) contemplates the life of Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) as if the French poet/ vagabond's deeds were those of a mythic hero. Rimbaud's every impulse is viewed as the expression of a coherent, wildly innovative vision of the world; his artistic accomplishments are assumed to have redeemed his devious and destructive tendencies. Thus, when the academically gifted Rimbaud produced other students' homework for a price, the burgeoning genius was operating "a parasitic service industry feeding on the education system," which Robb posits as a "splendid achievement for a child of fifteen." The author is most effective in his effort to blend Rimbaud's early life as a bohemian social deviant with his subsequent 16-year career in Africa as a fledgling anthropologist and explorer. Rimbaud's childhood wanderings through the French countryside matured into caravans across the deserts. His youthful willingness to venture the unmapped lifestyle of the homosexual prepared him to encounter the exotic cultures of Abyssinia. His literary works, from "Le Bateau Ivre" to "Voyelles" and "Une Saison en enfer," invariably focused on fluctuation, on moments of departure. According to Robb, these poems were crowbars that pried Rimbaud loose from family, tradition and society.
Robbe-Grillet, Alain (1966). The Erasers. London, Calder & Boyars.
Alain Robbe-Grillet is internationally hailed as the chief spokesman for the nouveau roman and one of the great novelists of the twentieth century. The Erasers, his first novel, reads like a detective story but is primarily concerned with weaving and then probing a complete mixture of fact and fantasy. The narrative spans the twenty-four-hour period following a series of eight murders in eight days, presumably the work of a terrorist group. After the ninth murder, the investigation is turned over to a police agent, who may in fact be the assassin. Both an engrossing mystery and a sinister deconstruction of reality, The Erasers intrigues and unnerves with equal force as it pulls us along to its ominous conclusion.
Robbe-Grillet, Alain and Richard Howard (2003). Repetition: A Novel. New York, Grove Press.
A spy novel about a French agent in 1949 Berlin becomes an oedipal journey into the agent's past and an adventure in unreliable narration in this work by nouveau roman pioneer Robbe-Grillet, his first in 20 years. Henri Robin (or so his passport identifies him) is a spy crossing Europe on a train, pondering a mission that has yet to be revealed to him. As he enters the ravaged city, Robin is haunted by flashbacks, even though, ostensibly, he has never been to Berlin before. His assignment, he learns, is to watch a murder that's supposed to take place in an outdoor plaza. Robin observes closely, but when he goes to recount the details, his story is confused and contradictory, and Robin finds himself in the heart of the murder investigation. As the nebulous case plays out, Robin comes to live with the murder victim's wife and adolescent daughter, Gigi, the latter representing a pivotal link to Robin's family history as well as the espionage machinations. Robbe-Grillet shifts back and forth between the criminal investigation, the espionage plot and the playful Freudian analysis of Robin's childhood and subconscious. Extensive footnotes introduce the possibility that Robin may in fact be a lunatic. Newcomers braced for surreal narrative lurches will find this an entertaining introduction to Robbe-Grillet's work. As the title coyly suggests, his admirers will find much of this territory familiar, but that only adds another layer of irony to Robbe-Grillet's witty allusions.
Robbe-Grillet, Alain and Alain Resnais (1962). Last Year at Marienbad. New York, Grove Press.
Text by Alain Robbe-Grillet, for the film by Alain Resnais.
Robbins, John (1996). Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing. Tiburon, Calif., H J Kramer.
Robbins attacks the heart of health care controversy: the increasing polarization of conventional and alternative medicine. His discussion provides a strong vision of how to remedy a failing health care system through the integration of different self-care and management techniques, from diet modifications to relaxation techniques.
Robbins, John (1998). Diet for a New America. Tiburon, Calif., H J Kramer.
This well-documented expose of America's "factory farms" should prompt even die-hard meat-and-potatoes lovers to reevaluate their diets. Asserting that "we are ingesting nightmares for breakfast, lunch and dinner," Robbins, who is medical director of the California Institute for Health and Healing, details how livestock is raised under increasingly industrialized conditions by "agribusiness oligopolies." Grazing and foraging have given way to debeaking, tail-docking, dehorning and castration, and treatment with pesticides, hormones, growth and appetite stimulants, tranquilizers and antibioticswhich, in turn, are assimilated by humans. The author correlates our "protein obsessed" society with a higher incidence of arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, cancer and other degenerative diseases, as well as freakish occurrences like premature puberty from estrogen contamination.
Robbins, John (2001). The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World. Berkeley, Calif., Conari Press.
What can we do to help stop global warming, feed the hungry, prevent cruelty to animals, avoid genetically modified foods, be healthier and live longer? Eat vegetarian, Robbins (Diet for a New America) argues. Noting the massive changes in the environment, food-production methods, and technology over the last two decades, he lambastes (in a manner less tough-mindedly restrained than Frances Moore Lappe's classic Diet for a Small Planet) contemporary factory-farming methods and demonstrates that individual dietary choices can be both empowering and have a broader impact. Robbins, heir to the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream empire (he rejected it to live according to his values), takes on fad diets, the meat industry, food irradiation, hormone and antibiotic use in animals, cruel animal husbandry practices, the economics of meat consumption, biotechnology and the prevalence of salmonella and E. Coli. Some details are downright revolting (euthanized dogs and cats often are made into cattle feed), horrific (some 90% of cows, pigs and poultry are still conscious when butchered) and mind-boggling (it takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef). Despite all this and more distressing information, Robbins ends on a hopeful note, detailing growth in organic farming, public awareness and consumer activism worldwide, as well as policy changes, especially in Europe. - Publishers Weekly
Roberts, Gregory David (2004). Shantaram: A Novel. New York, St. Martin's Press.
The Australian father turned heroin addict turned escaped convict who narrates this sprawling, intelligent novel gets several new names from the people he meets in India, where he goes to hide from the law. One of them is Shantaram, which means "man of peace" or "man of God's peace." The irony does not escape Lin, a man of many secrets who is willing to kill to protect those secrets. Yet he finds hope in his christening as well. "I don't know if they found that name in the heart of the man they believed me to be, or if they planted it there, like a wishing tree, to bloom and grow," Lin says. "Whatever the case, the truth is that the man I am was born in those moments."
Shantaram, a blatantly autobiographical first novel by Gregory David Roberts, an Australian author who himself fled to India after escaping from prison, sets out to tell the story of Lin's transformation from desperate, bitter man on the run to, if not a man of peace, then a man of understanding, a man at peace with his life and the mistakes he has made.
The book, told in 933 readable pages, follows him from a remote Indian village in monsoon season to the Afghan mountains in winter, but mostly it takes place in Bombay: in a slum where he founds a medical clinic, in a prison where he is beaten and tortured, in meetings of a branch of the India mafia led by Abdel Khader Khan, an Afghan who becomes a father figure and employer for the fugitive.
The book is full of vibrant characters: Prabaker, the Indian with the winning smile who is Lin's first guide to the city; Karla, a Swiss woman also fleeing a troubled past, with whom Lin becomes infatuated. But Bombay itself is Shantaram's strongest personality. Lin's love of the mafia don and the green-eyed Karla feels suspect, but his love of India and the people who live there is unmistakable and a joy to read about.
Roberts, J. M. and J. M. Roberts (2003). The New History of the World. Oxford; New York, Oxford University Press.
Anyone fascinated by world history will be delighted with the appearance of a new edition of John Robert's History of the World. His ill health mentioned in the preface made it hard work, and his recent death confirms his prophesy that this will be the final edition of this successful book. Overall Roberts provides a great summation of world history, supplying a sweeping overview with perceptive insights, and avoiding the temptation to become enmeshed in encyclopedic detail. The themes he follows, those of change and continuity, the impetus of history and the relationship between tradition and innovation in human history are well chosen and help to find a context for this daunting subject.
Robeson, Paul (1988). Here I Stand. Boston, Beacon Press.
No one had more to lose in following his political convictions than Paul Robeson. Here I Stand, originally published in 1958, was Robeson's response to the questions about why his mission--to win the freedom of black people everywhere--incited so much hatred and fear in his country.
Lloyd L. Brown, who provides a preface to this edition, helped Robeson write Here I Stand, and he crafted the tone, which is at once accessible and impassioned, originally aimed at the black religious community. Highly idealistic, passionately exhorting, deeply committed to the "common people," this Paul Robeson gem remains a vital challenge to the racism that still dogs American society. - Hollis Giammatteo
Robeson, Paul and Philip Sheldon Foner (1978). Paul Robeson Speaks: Writings, Speeches, Interviews, 1918-1974. New York, Brunner/Mazel.
Many remember Paul Robeson for his magnificent singing voice and acting ability. But how many are aware that Robeson wrote and spoke about African culture? Thirty years before "black is beautiful", he described his pride in being Negro. Paul Robeson Speaks is a stirring, illustrated collection of speeches, writings, interviews, and press reports by a man whose thoughts and writings contributed greatly to African culture and Black pride.
Robinson, Jancis (1999). The Oxford Companion to Wine. Oxford; New York, Oxford University Press.
This essential addition to reference collections breaks new ground. Unlike the excellent works by Alexis Lichine (e.g., Alexis Lichine's Guide to the Wines and Vineyards of France, Knopf, 1989. 4th ed.) or Hugh Johnson (e.g., Vintage, S. & S., 1992), which are standard sources on the growing, buying, drinking, tasting, and enjoying of wine, this work broadens the discussion to "less obvious topics, such as animals (their function as vine pests), auctions, the specific influence of the British, and Australians, on the world of wine, fashion, fraud, global overproduction, wine in literature and art, and the role of water throughout wine production." About 3000 alphabetically arranged entries range from the most familiar topics, such as "California," to the quite obscure (e.g., "Xynisteri," a white grape grown on Cyprus). Yet those less interested in the esoterica of wine will surely find the information they seek, as about 70 percent of the book is concerned with specific wines and areas of wine production. There is practical guidance on such matters as serving wine and matching the right wine with the right food. The text is complemented by over 250 fascinating illustrations, which include an aroma wheel, maps, a red wine-making chart, labels, a varietal geneaology, a wine-tasting sheet used by judges, and more.
Robinson, Jeffrey (2000). The Merger: The Conglomeration of International Organized Crime. Woodstock, NY, Overlook Press.
Robinson here turns his attention to global crime cartels, uncovering an intricate network of connections between such diverse organizations as the Chinese Triads, the Sicilian Mafiosi, the Eastern European "maffiyas," and crime groups from Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Robinson's thesis, developed with a sure command of facts spiced with anecdotes, might be summed up as: "Crime is no longer a local issue." Digital communication, world markets, and the Internet, Robinson contends, have changed the face of crime forever. Indeed, he concludes, "The inability of modern society to deal with global crime is destined to be a defining issue for the twenty-first century, much the way the Cold War was for the twentieth and colonialism was for the nineteenth."
Robinson, Kim Stanley (2017). New York 2140. New York, Orbit.
The novel is mostly set in New York City, which has been flooded due to two major rises in seawater levels caused by climate change. All of the boroughs beside Manhattan are permanently underwater, and much of Manhattan below 46th Street is also flooded, and has earned the nickname "SuperVenice". Denver has replaced New York as the center of American finance. Several of the book's characters live in the MetLife Tower. Robinson chose the building as was designed to resemble the St Mark's Campanile in Venice.
Robinson, Kim Stanley (1996). Blue Mars. New York, Bantam Books.
The title of the conclusion to Robinson's splendid Mars trilogy refers to the fact that the planet now has oceans. Seen from space, Mars has taken on the bluish hue of a water-rich world, except for the places where balloon-domes preserve the last Martian wilderness. The red-gone-blue planet is still, however, vitally linked to Earth, on which civilization is crumbling in the face of rising oceans, and resources are being diverted to projects in the Jovian and Saturnian systems. Further confounding Earth's confusion (not to mention Mars'), Mars now finds itself facing an ice age that could freeze all the hard-won water. The survivors of the First Hundred (Mars settlers, that is) and their Mars-born children face and largely win a last, desperate battle to save their new home and become true Martians. The virtues of Blue Mars, amounting to a catalog of those of superior sf, hardly need to be repeated from reviews of its Red and Green predecessors, both of which have been award winners. Even if no more honors come its way, the trilogy here concluded indisputably stands in the forefront of two sf subgenres, Martian futurist visions and grand sagas of human evolution.
Robinson, Kim Stanley (1994). Green Mars. New York, Bantam Books.
Second part of Robinson's Martian trilogy, following the stunning Red Mars (1993). Now, at the beginning of the 22nd century, Mars is again being exploited by the metanationals (what the transnational corporations, now fewer and larger and often running entire countries on Earth, have become), acting under the guise of the United Nations Transitional Authority. Meanwhile on Earth--overpopulated, polluted, and short of resources--wars have become commonplace. Only William Fort of Praxis metanational has the foresight to want to help both planets, and so he sends negotiator Art Randolph as his ambassador to the Martian underground. The Martians, a quarrelsome complex of groups ranging from radical Reds to bewildered recent emigrants, agree on only one thing: Mars must gain its independence--but this time the revolution must avoid violence and occur, as far as possible, by consensus. Throughout the human struggle, the face of Mars continues to change as the atmosphere thickens, the temperature rises, seas form, and plants spread along the chasms and craters. Robinson introduces new characters, like Jackie and the tall, charismatic, Mars-born Nirgal, to join Red fanatic Ann, battler Maya, scientist Sax, the treacherous Phyllis, and organizer Nadia. Green doesn't quiet reach the sublime heights of Red, but the same virtues--deep thought, fascinating detail, life-sized characters, an engrossing narrative--are present. Robinson's achievement is impressive, and Blue Mars is still to come.
Robinson, Kim Stanley (1993). Red Mars. New York, Bantam Books. Red Mars opens with a tragic murder, an event that becomes the focal point for the surviving characters and the turning point in a long intrigue that pits idealistic Mars colonists against a desperately overpopulated Earth, radical political groups of all stripes against each other, and the interests of transnational corporations against the dreams of the pioneers.
This is a vast book: a chronicle of the exploration of Mars with some of the most engaging, vivid, and human characters in recent science fiction. Robinson fantasizes brilliantly about the science of terraforming a hostile world, analyzes the socio-economic forces that propel and attempt to control real interplanetary colonization, and imagines the diverse reactions that humanity would have to the dead, red planet.
Red Mars is so magnificent a story, you will want to move on to Blue Mars and Green Mars. But this first, most beautiful book is definitely the best of the three.
Rodenbeck, Max (1999). Cairo: The City Victorious. New York, Knopf.
Every great city deserves a book like this one: a sweeping chronicle by an author whose motives mix passion and bewilderment. Over the course of four and a half millennia, Cairo has eluded all who would try to pin it down, reinventing itself time and again: It has survived countless invasions, booms and busts, famines, plagues, and calamities. Author Max Rodenbeck has spent a good portion of his professional life working there. He finds himself repulsed by the crowds and pollution of a late 20th-century megacity, yet drawn by Cairo's ageless vibrancy.Immersed in Rodenbeck's prose, readers will find themselves feeling at home as they discover (or rediscover) this unique place, its pyramids, and its people.
Rombes, Nicholas (2009). Cinema in the Digital Age. London, Wallflower Press.
Does the digital era spell the death of cinema as we know it? Or is it merely heralding its rebirth? Are we witnessing the emergence of something entirely new? Cinema in the Digital Age examines the fate of cinema in this new era, paying special attention to the technologies that are reshaping film and their cultural impact. Examining Festen (1998), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Timecode (2000), Russian Ark (2002), The Ring (2002), among others, this volume explores how these films are haunted by their analogue past and suggests that their signature element are their deliberate imperfections, whether those take the form of blurry or pixilated images, shakey camera work, or other elements reminding viewers of the human hand guiding the camera. Weaving together a rich variety of sources, Cinema in the Digital Age provides a deeply humanistic look at the meaning of cinematic images in the era of digital perfection.
Root, Waverly (1966). Food: An Authoriative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World. New York, Smithmark Publishers.
Discusses the origins of virtually every western food.
Rose, Jonathan (2001). The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. New Haven, CT, Yale University Press.
Which books did the British working classes read--and how did they read them? How did they respond to canonical authors, penny dreadfuls, classical music, school stories, Shakespeare, Marx, Hollywood movies, imperialist propaganda, the Bible, the BBC, the Bloomsbury Group? What was the quality of their classroom education? How did they educate themselves? What was their level of cultural literacy: how much did they know about politics, science, history, philosophy, poetry, and sexuality? Who were the proletarian intellectuals, and why did they pursue the life of the mind? These intriguing questions, which until recently historians considered unanswerable, are addressed in this book. Using innovative research techniques and a vast range of unexpected sources, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes tracks the rise and decline of the British autodidact from the pre-industrial era to the twentieth century. It offers a new method for cultural historians--an "audience history" that recovers the responses of readers, students, theatergoers, filmgoers, and radio listeners. Jonathan Rose provides an intellectual history of people who were not expected to think for themselves, told from their perspective. He draws on workers' memoirs, oral history, social surveys, opinion polls, school records, library registers, and newspapers. Through its novel and challenging approach to literary history, the book gains access to politics, ideology, popular culture, and social relationships across two centuries of British working-class experience.
Rose, Joel and Catherine Texier (1988). Between C & D: New Writing from the Lower East Side Fiction Magazine. New York, N.Y., U.S.A., Penguin Books.
These 25 stories seem as though they were written in the near future, a time when violent, sexy cynics rule the streets and technology has replaced intimacy but people have not yet forgotten how to laugh. There is little for Norman Rockwell to illustrate but plenty that readers will admire. A highlight is Barry Yourgrau's "Oak," in which a member of the gentry dukes it out with a psycho shepherdess as his mom coaches ("I know how them Bo Peeps go at it. She'll fake yer high to the left, then try to come under low right"). Peter Cherches, Gary Indiana, and Patrick McGrath are noteworthy, and Roberta Allen writes like a latter-day Boccaccio.
Rosen, Charles (1996). Arnold Schoenberg. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
In this lucid, revealing book, award-winning pianist and scholar Charles Rosen sheds light on the elusive music of Arnold Schoenberg and his challenge to conventional musical forms. Rosen argues that Schoenberg's music, with its atonality and dissonance, possesses a rare balance of form and emotion, making it, according to Rosen, "the most expressive music ever written." Concise and accessible, this book will appeal to fans, non-fans, and scholars of Schoenberg, and to those who have yet to be introduced to the works of one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.
Rosenbaum, Jonathan (2010). Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition. Chicago; London, The University of Chicago Press.
The death of the film culture that flourished in the 1960s and '70s and the concurrent decline of serious film criticism have been roundly lamented, but Rosenbaum - long known by cinematic cognoscenti as one of the most knowledgeable and perceptive voices writing on movies - maintains that the digital age is simply shifting film viewing from being a communal activity to a private one that's actually more hospitable to niche tastes, and that as traditional venues for discussing cinema vanish, the activity is being revitalized online. That notion informs the most recent of the 50-plus pieces collected here, on subjects ranging from the highbrow (an astute comparison between Jacques Tati's Playtime and Jia Zhengke's The World, a pair of essays on Catalan experimental filmmaker Pete Portabella) to the less rarefied (Kim Novak's midwestern roots, Marilyn Monroe's deceptive shrewdness), all displaying Rosenbaum's distinctive insight and erudition. Rosenbaum's vision of a future in which cinema endures by extending the notion of the term to encompass pixels as well as nitrate, conforming to the experience of most contemporary viewers, offers hope for die-hard devotees of the beleaguered art form. -- Gordon Flagg
Rosenblum, Robert and H. W. Janson (1984). Art of the Nineteenth Century Art. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; New York, Prentice-Hall; Abrams.
A study of the art of the 19th century. International representation is offered, covering both masters and many lesser-known artists. The authors draw from historical documents, examining the reciprocal influences of art and technology, art and politics, art and literature, and art and music.
Rosenfeld, Seth (2012). Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Traces the FBI's secret involvement with three iconic figures at Berkeley during the 1960s: the ambitious neophyte politician Ronald Reagan, the fierce but fragile radical Mario Savio, and the liberal university president Clark Kerr. Through these converging narratives, investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld tells a dramatic and disturbing story of FBI surveillance, illegal break-ins, infiltration, planted news stories, poison-pen letters, and secret detention lists. He reveals how the FBI's covert operations-led by Reagan's friend J. Edgar Hoover-helped ignite an era of protest, undermine the Democrats, and benefit Reagan personally and politically. At the same time, he vividly evokes the life of Berkeley in the early sixties-and shows how the university community, a site of the forward-looking idealism of the period, became a battleground in an epic struggle between the government and free citizens.
Rosenkranz, Patrick (2004). Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution, 1963-1975. Seattle, Fantagraphics Books.
The first major historical work about the most influential artistic movement in America since the Beat Generation revolutionized literature.
A provocative chronicle of the guerrilla art movement that changed comics forever, this comprehensive book follows the movements of 50 artists from 1967 to 1972, the heyday of the underground comix movement. Through interviews with the participants and other materials, Rebel Visions is the most intimate look ever at the people and events that forged the phenomenon known as underground comix, from New York to San Francisco, from the corn belt to deep in the heart of Texas, beginning that day in 1968 when R. Crumb debuted Zap #1 from a baby carriage on Haight Ashbury Street. Rosenkranz has spent 20 years researching this book and acquiring the cooperation of every significant underground cartoonist who worked throughout this period, including Crumb, Gilbert Shelton (Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers), Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead), Art Spiegelman (Maus), Jack Jackson, S. Clay Wilson, Robert Williams, and many more. The book is illustrated with many never-before-seen drawings by all of the underground cartoonists, and exclusive photographs.
The book focuses on San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, where Crumb and the rest of his Zap cronies commingled with the rest of the city's counter-cultural scene, notably musicians like the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. The counterculture was omnipresent in San Francisco for those few years, with underground tabloids like Yellow Dog and Gothic Blimp Works steering the zeitgeist out-of-control, along with the music, political, and psychedelic drug scenes, all of which found a group of unlikely revolutionaries who drew cartoons right at the epicenter.
Rosenthal, M. L. (1991). Our Life in Poetry: Selected Essays and Reviews. New York, N.Y., Persea Books.
The material ranges from a 1944 consideration of Kenneth Fearing through essays on Yeats, Eliot, and Pound (the complete text of A Primer of Ezra Pound, a major assessment of that troubling poet, is included) to an autobiographical essay. As a critic, and a fine poet himself, Rosenthal has dedicated himself to poetry, and we can learn much about poets and their art from him.
Rosenthal, M. L. and Sally M. Gall (1983). The Modern Poetic Sequence: The Genius of Modern Poetry. New York, Oxford University Press.
Ezra Pound's Cantos, T.S. Eliot's Waste Land, W.B. Yeat's Irish civil-war sequences, and William Carlos Williams's Paterson are some of the most genuinely creative poems of the present age--and all are examples of the modern poetic sequence. In this revolutionary critical study, Rosenthal and Gall establish the poetic sequence as the major genre of 20th-century poetry, claiming it as "the decisive form toward which all the developments of modern poetry have tended.
The Modern Poetic Sequence explores 125 years of poetic history and examines the works of some fifty poets--both major and minor--to describe the evolution of this moden poetic form. From Whitman and Dickinson to the Confessional poets Plath and Lowell to the recent writing of Kinsells, Montague, and Hill, this volume encompasses the entire development of the modern sequence and offers provocative insights not only into the boundaries and features of this particular genre, but into the whole of twentieth-century poetry.
Ross, Alex (2007). The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The scandal over modern music has not died--while paintings by Picasso and Pollock sell for millions of dollars, works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. Yet the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. Music critic Alex Ross shines a bright light on this secret world, taking us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, and riots. The end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.
Ross, John (2009). El Monstruo: Dread and Redemption in Mexico City. New York, Nation Books.
John Ross has been living in the old colonial quarter of Mexico City for the last three decades, a rebel journalist covering Mexico and the region from the bottom up. He is filled with a gnawing sense that his beloved Mexico City's days as the most gargantuan, chaotic, crime-ridden, toxically contaminated urban stain in the western world are doomed, and the monster he has grown to know and love through a quarter century of reporting on its foibles and tragedies and blight will be globalized into one more McCity. El Monstruo is a defense of place and the history of that place. No one has told the gritty, vibrant histories of this city of 23 million faceless souls from the ground up, listened to the stories of those who have not been crushed, deconstructed the Monstruo's very monstrousness, and lived to tell its secrets. In El Monstruo, Ross now does.
Rostand, Edmond and Charles Marowitz (1995). Edmond Rostand's Cyrano De Bergerac. Lyme, N.H., Smith and Kraus.
In this fresh and innovative translation by director Charles Marowitz, Edmond Rostand's lyrical, capering and grandiloquent verse is captured in a brish, free-wheeling modern diction eminently suited for the skills and sensibilities of modern actors. Refreshed and freed from the academic heaviness of previous translations, Marowitz has fashioned an English version which will give actors and directors a powerful new impetus for reviving this classic work.
Roth, Henry (1995). Call It Sleep. Thorndike, ME, G.K. Hall.
Novel by Henry Roth, published in 1934. It centers on the character and perceptions of a young boy, the son of Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants in a ghetto in New York City. Roth uses stream-of-consciousness techniques to trace the boy's psychological development and to explore his perceptions of his family and of the larger world around him. The book powerfully evokes the terrors and anxieties the child experiences in his anguished relations with his father and realistically describes the squalid urban environment in which the family lives. The novel was rediscovered in the late 1950s and early '60s and came to be viewed both as an important proletarian novel of the 1930s and as a classic of Jewish-American literature.
Roth, Joseph and Joachim Neugroschel (1996). The Radetzky March. New York, Knopf.
Joseph Roth's 1932 novel, The Radetzky March, starts with an accident that creates a dynasty. When an infantry lieutenant steps in front of a bullet intended for the young Franz Joseph, the Austro-Hungarian emperor rewards him with wealth, promotion, and a knighthood. Almost overnight, Joseph Trotta is "severed" from his ancestors, and his family is transformed from unremarkable soldiers and peasants living in the outer reaches of the empire to barons and high-ranking officials living near the imperial palace. As long as Franz Joseph is the Kaiser, their status is secure. But when Trotta happens upon a schoolbook account of the event that exaggerates his heroism, he is shaken.
As World War I approaches and the monarchy's limitations become apparent, Trotta's son and grandson become even further removed from this paradise. They continue to follow the codes of honor and duty, though such behavioral guides become pointless, even burdensome, in a world shorn of simple faith in an emperor. Trotta's grandson Carl Joseph finds his military career overwhelmed by bad horsemanship, alcohol dependency, frivolous roulette and baccarat debts, and misguided love affairs--the kinds of flaws, he thinks, that are inevitable without the self-assurance and practical knowledge that he would have gained had he earned (rather than inherited) his position. Not long ago, he thinks wistfully, his family lived as peasants "in dwarfed huts, making their wives fertile by night and their fields by day." It is here that the Trottas' demise is at its most poignant, as the focus of the narrative shifts from the loss of status to the far more devastating loss of purpose.
In both style and temperament, Roth's novel stands between the 19th and 20th centuries, and the three Trottas could be seen as part of a progression that stretches back to Tolstoy's Prince Andrei and looks ahead to the Mathieu of Sartre's Les Chemins de la Liberte trilogy. Although The Radetzky March illustrates why the monarchy was doomed, and isn't blind to the new nations and ideologies on the horizon, Roth is more interested in his characters' psychology than their politics. And their central difficulty--the bewildering meaninglessness that follows the dissolution of an ideal--has been a fundamental 20th-century dilemma. The Trottas are, in Roth's stunning phrase, "homesick for the Kaiser." One need only substitute "the Chairman" or "Marxism" or "God" to understand the novel's lasting resonance. - John Ponyicsanyi
Roth, Philip (1998). American Pastoral. New York, Vintage Books.
Philip Roth's 22nd book takes a life-long view of the American experience in this thoughtful investigation of the century's most divisive and explosive of decades, the '60s. Returning again to the voice of his literary alter ego Nathan Zuckerman, Roth is at the top of his form. His prose is carefully controlled yet always fresh and intellectually subtle as he reconstructs the halcyon days, circa World War II, of Seymour "the Swede" Levov, a high school sports hero and all-around Great Guy who wants nothing more than to live in tranquillity. But as the Swede grows older and America crazier, history sweeps his family inexorably into its grip: His own daughter, Merry, commits an unpardonable act of "protest" against the Vietnam war that ultimately severs the Swede from any hope of happiness, family, or spiritual coherence.
Roth, Philip (1996). The Anatomy Lesson. New York, Vintage International.
At forty, the writer Nathan Zuckerman comes down with a mysterious affliction - pure pain, beginning in his neck and shoulders, invading his torso, and taking possession of his spirit. Zuckerman, whose work was his life, is unable to write a line. Now his work is trekking from one doctor to another, but none can find a cause for the pain and nobody can assuage it. Zuckerman himself wonders if the pain can have been caused by his own books. And while he is wondering, his dependence on painkillers grows into an addiction to vodka, marijuana, and Percodan.
The Anatomy Lesson is a great comedy of illness written in what the English critic Hermione Lee has described as "a manner at once, brash and thoughtful, lyrical and wry, which projects through comic expostulations and confessions, a knowing, humane authority." The third volume of the trilogy and epilogue Zuckerman Bound, The Anatomy Lesson provides some of the funniest scenes in all of Roth's fiction as well as some of the fiercest.
Roth, Philip (1996). The Counterlife. New York, Vintage International.
One of Roth's "Zuckerman" books, The Counterlife follows protagonist Nathan Zuckerman from New York to Israel to London. "Along the way, monologues, eulogies, letters, interviews, and conversations ponder Judaism and Zionism, the nature of personality, the competing claims of imagination and life, and sex."
Roth, Philip (1995). The Ghost Writer. New York, Vintage Books. The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the Great Books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff.
At Lonoff's, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff's and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life.
The first volume of the trilogy and epilogue Zuckerman Bound, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency - and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.
Roth, Philip (1993). Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories. New York, Vintage Books.
Goodbye, Columbus is the story of Neil Klugman and pretty, spirited Brenda Patimkin, he of poor Newark, she of suburban Short Hills, who meet one summer break and dive into an affair that is as much about social class and suspicion as it is about love. The novella is accompanied by five short stories that range in tone from the iconoclastic to the astonishingly tender and that illuminate the subterranean conflicts between parents and children and friends and neighbors in the American Jewish diaspora.
Roth, Philip (2000). The Human Stain. New York, Houghton Mifflin.
Roth almost never fails to surprise. After a clunky beginning, in which crusty Nathan Zuckerman is carrying on about the orgy of sanctimoniousness surrounding Clinton's Monica misadventures, his new novel settles into what would seem to be patented Roth territory. Coleman Silk, at 71 a distinguished professor at a small New England college, has been harried from his position because of what has been perceived as a racist slur. His life is ruined: his wife succumbs under the strain, his friends are forsaking him, and he is reduced to an affair with 34-year-old Faunia Farley, the somber and illiterate janitor at the college. It is at this point that Zuckerman, Roth's novelist alter ego, gets to know and like Silk and to begin to see something of the personal and sexual liberation wrought in him by the unlikely affair with Faunia. It is also the point at which Faunia's estranged husband Les Farley, a Vietnam vet disabled by stress, drugs and drink, begins to take an interest in the relationship. So far this is highly intelligent, literate entertainment, with a rising tension. Will Les do something violent? Will Delphine Roux, the young French professor Silk had hired, who has come to hate him, escalate the college's campaign against him? Yes, but she now wants to make something of his Faunia relationship too. Then, in a dazzling coup, Roth turns all expectations on their heads, and begins to show Silk in a new and astounding light, as someone who has lived a huge lie all his life, making the fuss over his alleged racism even more surreal. The book continues to unfold layer after layer of meaning. There is a tragedy, as foretold, and an exquisitely imagined ending in which Zuckerman himself comes to feel both threatened and a threat. Roth is working here at the peak of his imaginative skills, creating many scenes at once sharply observed and moving: Faunia's affinity for the self-contained remoteness of crows, Farley's profane longing for a cessation to the tumult in his head, Zuckerman delightedly dancing with Silk to the big band tunes of their youth. He even brings off virtuoso passages that are superfluous but highly impressive, like his dissection of the French professor's lonely anguish in the States. This is a fitting capstone to the trilogy that includes American Pastoral and I Married a Communist--a book more balanced and humane than either, and bound, because of its explosive theme, to be widely discussed.
Roth, Philip (1998). I Married a Communist. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.
Following the spectacular success of its immediate predecessor, American Pastoral (1997), Roth's ambitious new novel is another chronicle of innocence and idealism traducedthe demolition of what one of its characters calls ''the myth of your own goodness.'' That character is Murray Ringold, a nonagenarian former schoolteacher whose meeting with his onetime student (and recurring Roth character), novelist Nathan Zuckermano, triggers a complex reconstruction of the infamous life of Murray's younger brother Ira. As Iron Rinn, a radio star. . . married to one of the country's most revered radio actresses, Ira had become a beloved public figure renowned for his impersonations of Abraham Lincoln (whom he physically resembled) and for patriotic broadcasts celebrating America's working poor. Nathan, who grew up in the 1940s as a fledgling liberal intellectual whose heroes were radio playwright Norman Corwin and left-wing novelist Howard Fast, adored the charismatic Ira, even after the latter's wife denounced him as a duplicitous ''zealot'' in her explosive memoir, I Married a Communist. The story of Ira's violent youth, spectacular career, and eventual disgrace is rather ham-fistedly assembled from Nathan's own memories (as Iron Rinn's devoted acolyte), the stories Ira told him, andmost movinglythe immensely detailed recollections poured forth by the ever-garrulous Murray Ringold (brilliantly portrayed as a bundle of fiery intellectual and moral energies undimmed by old age; a sturdy exemplar of ''the disciplined sadness of stoicism). The character of Murray is the triumph of this often inventive but gratingly discursive novel, whose dramatic content is frequently upstaged by such indulgences as Ira's lengthy political diatribes, Nathan's summaries of favorite literary works (such as Arthur Miller's Focus), and Murray's exhausting (if agreeably savage) remembrance of Richard Nixon's state funeral. Despite its superb re-creation of the conflicted 1940s and the ordeal of the American Left, along with a plethora of sharply realized ideologues at verbal war, this very talky book is an example of Roth at his most forceful and eloquent, though perhaps rather less than his best.
Roth, Philip (2004). The Plot Against America. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co.
During his long career, Roth has shown himself a master at creating fictional doppelgangers. In this stunning novel, he creates a mesmerizing alternate world as well, in which Charles A. Lindbergh defeats FDR in the 1940 presidential election, and Philip, his parents and his brother weather the storm in Newark, N.J. Incorporating Lindbergh's actual radio address in which he accused the British and the Jews of trying to force America into a foreign war, Roth builds an eerily logical narrative that shows how isolationists in and out of government, emboldened by Lindbergh's blatant anti-Semitism (he invites von Ribbentrop to the White House, etc.), enact new laws and create an atmosphere of religious hatred that culminates in nationwide pogroms. Historical figures such as Walter Winchell, Fiorello La Guardia and Henry Ford inhabit this chillingly plausible fiction, which is as suspenseful as the best thrillers and illustrates how easily people can be persuaded by self-interest to abandon morality. The novel is, in addition, a moving family drama, in which Philip's fiercely ethical father, Herman, finds himself unable to protect his loved ones, and a family schism develops between those who understand the eventual outcome of Lindbergh's policies and those who are co-opted into abetting their own potential destruction. Many episodes are touching and hilarious: young Philip experiences the usual fears and misapprehensions of a pre-adolescent; locks himself into a neighbor's bathroom; gets into dangerous mischief with a friend; watches his cousin masturbating with no comprehension of the act. In the balance of personal, domestic and national events, the novel is one of Roth's most deft creations, and if the lollapalooza of an ending is bizarre with its revisionist theory about the motives behind Lindbergh's anti-Semitism, it's the subtext about what can happen when government limits religious liberties in the name of the national interest that gives the novel moral authority. Roth's writing has never been so direct and accessible while retaining its stylistic precision and acute insights into human foibles and follies.
Roth, Philip (1994). Portnoy's Complaint. New York, Vintage International.
Along with Saul Bellow's Herzog, Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint defined Jewish American literature in the 1960s. Roth's masterpiece takes place on the couch of a psychoanalyst, an appropriate jumping-off place for an insanely comical novel about the Jewish American experience. Roth has written several great books--Goodbye, Columbus and When She Was Good among them, but it is perhaps Portnoy's Complaint for which he is best known.
Roth, Philip (1994). The Professor of Desire. New York, Vintage International.
As a student in college, David Kepesh styles himself "a rake among scholars, a scholar among rakes." Little does he realize how prophetic this motto will be - or how damning. For as Philip Roth follows Kepesh from the domesticity of childhood into the vast wilderness of erotic possibility, from a menage à trois in London to the throes of loneliness in New York, he creates a supremely intelligent, affecting, and often hilarious novel about the dilemma of pleasure: where we seek it; why we flee it; and how we struggle to make a truce between dignity and desire.
"Philip Roth is a great historian of modern eroticism. He speaks of a sexuality that questions itself; it is still hedonism, but it is problematic, wounded, ironic hedonism. His is the uncommon union of confession and irony. Infinitely vulnerable in his sincerity and infinitely elusive in his irony." - Milan Kundera
Roth, Philip (1995). Sabbath's Theater. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.
Mickey Sabbath, the hero in Sabbath's Theater, the winner of the 1995 National Book Award, makes a concerted effort to be bad. Like Alexander Portnoy, the famously self-abusing character in Roth's 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, Sabbath has an appetite for "acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus." But while Portnoy's antics were usually comical and liberating, Sabbath often feels imprisoned by his own acts of self-indulgence. Though his frantic pursuit of sex is a desperate attempt to abate his anxieties about death, it only serves to obliterate any semblance of real life he could have had.
Roud, Richard (1968). Jean-Luc Godard. New York, DoubleDay.
Rough Guides, editors (2001). Rough Guide to Classical Music: An A-Z of Composers, Key Works and Top Recordings. Rough Guides.
Though few of them make much effort to entice a new audience to their product, the recording companies continue to pour out a flood of classical music. The catalogue of current classical CDs runs to more than two and half thousand tightly packed pages, and lists nearly three hundred composers before reaching the second letter of the alphabet. An average month sees some four hundred recordings and re-issues added to the pile. The Rough Guide to Classical Music attempts to make sense of this overwhelming volume of music, giving you the information that's essential whether you're starting from the beginning or have already begun exploring.
Rousmaniere, John (1999). The Annapolis Book of Seamanship. New York, Simon & Schuster.
Since the publication of the widely hailed first edition in 1983, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship has set the standard by which other books on sailing are measured. Used throughout America as a textbook in sailing schools and Power Squadrons, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship thoroughly and clearly covers the fundamental and advanced skills of modern sailing. This edition of Annapolis is a major overhaul. Over half the book has been revised; old topics and features have been updated, and many new ones have been introduced. The design has been modernized, and many color illustrations have been added.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Alan Ritter, et al. (1988). Rousseau's Political Writings: New Translations, Interpretive Notes, Backgrounds, Commentaries. New York, W.W. Norton.
Discourse on Inequality, Discourse on Political Economy, On Social Contract: New Translations, Interpretive Notes, Backgrounds, Commentaries.
Roussel, Raymond (1970). Locus Solus. Berkeley, University of California Press.
John Ashbery summarizes Locus Solus in his introduction to Michel Foucault's Death and the Labyrinth: "A prominent scientist and inventor, Martial Canterel, has invited a group of colleagues to visit the park of his country estate, Locus Solus. As the group tours the estate, Canterel shows them inventions of ever-increasing complexity and strangeness. Again, exposition is invariably followed by explanation, the cold hysteria of the former giving way to the innumerable ramifications of the latter. After an aerial pile driver which is constructing a mosaic of teeth and a huge glass diamond filled with water in which float a dancing girl, a hairless cat, and the preserved head of Danton, we come to the central and longest passage: a description of eight curious tableaux vivants taking place inside an enormous glass cage. We learn that the actors are actually dead people whom Canterel has revived with 'resurrectine,' a fluid of his invention which if injected into a fresh corpse causes it continually to act out the most important incident of its life."
Roussel, Raymond (1983). Impressions of Africa. New York, J. Calder; Riverrun Press.
Shipwrecked European travelers are held for ransom in an imaginary African kingdom. While they wait for the payment they set up a series of entertainments to keep their spirits up. These performances are the main focus of Roussel's book, an often neglected classic of experimental literature. The first half comprises objective descriptions of bizarre individual talents and strange "technological" demonstrations. The second half explains to the reader what he has just read: the background of the participants and the origins of their skills.
Rowell, Margit, Deborah Wye, et al. (2002). The Russian Avant-Garde Book, 1910-1934. New York, N.Y . Museum of Modern Art.
Russian avant-garde books made between 1910 and 1934 reflect a vivid and tumultuous period in that nation's history that had ramifications for art, society, and politics. The early books, with their variously sized pages of coarse paper, illustrations entwined with printed, hand-written, and stamped texts, and provocative covers, were intended to shock academic conventions and bourgeois sensibilities. After the 1917 Revolution, books appeared with optimistic designs and photomontage meant to reach the masses and symbolize a rational, machine-led future. Later books showcased modern Soviet architecture and industry in the service of the government's agenda. Major artists adopted the book format during these two decades. They include Natalia Goncharova, El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Olga Rozanova, the Stenberg brothers, Varvara Stepanova, and others. These artists often collaborated with poets, who created their own transrational language to accompany the imaginative illustrations. Three major artistic movements, Futurism, Suprematism, and Constructivism, that developed during this period in painting and sculpture also found their echo in the book format.
Roy, Arundhati (2016). The End of Imagination. Chicago, IL, Haymarket Books.
Brings together five of Arundhati Roy's acclaimed books of essays into one comprehensive volume. This collection begins with her pathbreaking book The Cost of Living, published soon after she won the Booker Prize for her novel The God of Small Things, in which she forcefully condemned India's nuclear tests and its construction of enormous dam projects that continue to displace countless people from their homes and communities. The End of Imagination also includes her nonfiction works Power Politics, War Talk, Public Power in the Age of Empire, and An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire, which include her widely circulated and inspiring writings on the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the need to confront corporate power, and the hollowing out of democratic institutions globally.
Roy, Arundhati (1998). The God of Small Things. New York, HarperFlamingo.
A brilliantly constructed first novel that untangles an intricate web of sexual and caste conflict in a vivid style reminiscent of Salman Rushdie's early work. The major characters are Estha and Rahel, the fraternal twin son and daughter of a wealthy family living in the province of Kerala. The family's prosperity is derived from a pickle factory and rubber estate, and their prideful Anglophilia essentially estranges them from their country's drift toward Communism and their "inferiors''' hunger for independence and equality. The events of a crucial December day in 1969--including an accidental death that may have been no accident and the violent consequences that afflict an illicit couple who have broken "the Love Law''-- are the moral and narrative center around which the episodes of the novel repeatedly circle. Shifting backward and forward in time with effortless grace, Roy fashions a compelling nexus of personalities that influence the twins' "eerie stealth'' and furtive interdependence. These include their beautiful and mysteriously remote mother Ammu; her battling "Mammachi'' (who runs the pickle factory) and "Pappachi'' (an insufficiently renowned entomologist); their Oxford-educated Marxist Uncle Chacko and their wily "grandaunt'' Baby Kochamma; and the volatile laborite "Untouchable'' Velutha, whose relationship with the twins' family will prove his undoing. Roy conveys their explosive commingling in a vigorous prose dominated by odd syntactical and verbal combinations and coinages (a bad dream experience during midday nap-time is an "aftermare'') reminiscent of Gerard Manly Hopkins's "sprung rhythm,'' incantatory repetitions, striking metaphors (Velutha is seen "standing in the shade of the rubber trees with coins of sunshine dancing on his body'') and sensuous descriptive passages ("The sky was orange, and the coconut trees were sea anemones waving their tentacles, hoping to trap and eat an unsuspecting cloud''). In part a perfectly paced mystery story, in part an Indian Wuthering Heights: a gorgeous and seductive fever dream of a novel, and a truly spectacular debut.
Roy, Arundhati (2017). The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. New York, Knopf. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war. It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love--and by hope.
Roy, Arundhati (2012). Walking with the Comrades. New York, Penguin Books.
In early 2010, Roy traveled into the forests of Central India, homeland to millions of indigenous people, dreamland to some of the world's biggest mining corporations. The result is this report from the heart of an unfolding revolution. Arundhati Roy draws on her unprecedented access to a little-known rebel movement in India to pen a work full of earth-shattering revelations. Deep in the forests, under the pretense of battling Maoist guerillas, the Indian government is waging a vicious total war against its own citizens-a war undocumented by a weak domestic press and fostered by corporations eager to exploit the rare minerals buried in tribal lands. Roy takes readers to the unseen front lines of this ongoing battle, chronicling her months spent living with the rebel guerillas in the forests. In documenting their local struggles, Roy addresses the much larger question of whether global capitalism will tolerate any societies existing outside of its colossal control.
Rubin, Barnett R. (2002). The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse in the International System. New Haven, CT, Yale University Press.
This book examines Afghan society in conflict, from the 1978 communist coup to the fall of Najibullah, the last Soviet-installed president, in 1992. This edition, newly revised by the author, reflects developments since then and includes material on the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. It is a book that now seems remarkably prescient. Drawing on two decades of research, Barnett R. Rubin, a leading expert on Afghanistan, provides a fascinating account of the nature of the old regime, the rise and fall of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, and the troubled Mujahidin resistance. He relates all these phenomena to international actors, showing how the interaction of U.S. policy and Pakistani and Saudi Arabian interests has helped to create the challenges of today. Rubin puts into context the continuing turmoil in Afghanistan and offers readers a coherent historical explanation for the country's social and political fragmentation.
Rubin, William Stanley, Museum of Modern Art (New York N.Y.), et al. (1984)."Primitivism" In 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern. New York; Boston, Museum of Modern Art; Distributed by New York Graphic Society Books.
Rubinfien, Leo and Garry Winogrand (2013). Garry Winogrand. New Haven, CT, Yale University Press.
Widely regarded as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) did much of his best-known work in Manhattan during the 1960s, becoming an epic chronicler of that tumultuous decade. But Winogrand was also an avid traveler and roamed extensively around the United States, bringing exquisite work out of nearly every region of the country. This landmark retrospective catalogue looks at the full sweep of Winogrand's exceptional career. Drawing from his enormous output, which at the time of his death included thousands of rolls of undeveloped film and unpublished contact sheets, the book will serve as the most substantial compendium of Winogrand's work to date. Lavishly illustrated with both iconic images and photographs that have never been seen before now, and featuring essays by leading scholars of American photography.
Rucker, Rudy v B. (1984). The Fourth Dimension: Toward a Geometry of Higher Reality. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.
Anyone with even a minimal interest in mathematics and fantasy will find The Fourth Dimension informative and mind-dazzling. Rucker plunges into spaces above three dimensions with a zest and energy that is breathtaking. - Martin Gardner
Ruhle, Jurgen (1969). Literature and Revolution: A Critical Study of the Writer and Communism in the Twentieth Century. London, Pall Mall P.
If we take the writers of those major works whose presence is likely to prove the main attraction of Mr. Ruhle's account of this theme, the nature and degree of their revolutionary experience differ widely, as does the part played by the Communist Party in it. Malraux, for instance, was a highly intellectual man of action in the T. E. Lawrence tradition, who cooperated with the Communists (and also the anarchists and the republicans) in the Chinese and Indochinese revolutionary movements and the Spanish Civil War; in his own country he made public appearances as an anti-Nazi writer, but only became politically active after breaking with the Communists, and never wrote about it with the immediacy and passion which foreign causes inspired in him. Silone, who was a leading Communist in his twenties, representing the underground Italian party at Comintern meetings, left that party the year Fontamara appeared, and has been a socialist for three-quarters of his adult life. Hašek joined the Russian Communist (Bolshevik) Party early in 1918 and then spent nearly three years as a political commissar in the Fifth Red Army, but he had previously been a largely antipolitical anarchist, and on his return to Prague he again dropped out, dying of drink while still publishing and hawking Schweik in monthly parts. The mysterious B. Traven, all of whose books except The Death Ship are set in Mexico, had no known Communist affiliation or active experience of politics, though there is a German legend (subscribed to in the original edition of Mr. Ruhle's book) that he was mixed up in the Munich Soviet of 1919. Brecht alone remained a loyal Communist from about 1929 to the end of his life; yet he was never a party member, took no part in political events, and found it uncongenial to write directly about them except in verse. These five, with others like Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn, Ludwig Renn and Anna Seghers, John Reed and Paul Nizan, wrote works which seem, to anyone whose reading has taken this direction, to hang self-evidently together. The obvious critical question is Why? Mr. Ruhle seems too preoccupied with the party political aspect to ask it, but surely the answer lies not so much in communism or any other conscious commitment as in some immediate concern with the great turning points of twentieth-century history. - John Willet (NYRB)
Rukeyser, Muriel, Janet E. Kaufman, et al. (2005). The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser. Pittsburgh, PA, University of Pittsburgh Press.
One of the most admired poets of the American left, Rukeyser (1914-1980) is in the midst of a revival: this enormous collection should help keep the spotlight on her work. Rukeyser's early poems (1935's Theory of Flight, 1938's U.S. 1) melded modernist surfaces with outspoken Popular Front politics. The best known (and best) of her many sequences, "The Book of the Dead" (1938), chronicles corporate negligence at a West Virginia construction project: "Almost as soon as work was begun in the tunnel/ men began to die among dry drills." As her star waned after the Second World War, she continued to enunciate bold hopes: "Let me tell you what I have known all along," she asked in 1949: "meaning of poetry and personal love, / a world of peace and freedom." Later odes and longer poems praised Rukeyser's heroes, among them Kathe Kollwitz, Herman Melville, the Jewish folk-hero Rabbi Akiba, the New England entrepreneur Timothy Dexter and the physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs. Though the would-be mythic poems she produced in the 1950s are now hard to read, her decade of work returned to her fiery strengths; drawing her forms, at times, from tribal chants, her energies from protest movements, Rukeyser hoped to "recognize at the other edge of ocean / a new kind of man a new kind of woman."
Rushdie, Salman (2001). Fury: A Novel. New York, Random House. Fury is a gloss on fin-de-siècle angst from the master of the quintuple entendre. Salman Rushdie hauls his hero, Malik Solanka, from Bombay to London to New York, and finally to a fictional Third World country, all in order to show off a preternatural ability to riff on anything from Bollywood musicals to revolutionary politics. Professor Solanka is propelled on this path by his strange love of dolls. He plays with them as a child; as an adult he quits his post at Cambridge in order to produce a TV show wherein an animated doll, Little Brain, meets the great thinkers of history. Little Brain becomes a smash hit, and perhaps inevitably, Solanka finds himself in America. (It's not only the show-biz version of manifest destiny that brings him to the New World: one night in London he finds himself standing over the sleeping figures of his beloved wife and child, frighteningly close to stabbing them. This intellectual puppeteer is, of course, fleeing himself.)
Now, in New York, he is filled with wrath. Solanka is far from being an Everyman, but his fury is a kind of Everyfury. It's road rage writ large--the natural reaction to an excess of mental traffic. There are several books running simultaneously here: a mystery, a family romance, a bitingly satirical portrait of millennial Manhattan, and a sci-fi revolutionary fantasy. A single fragment gives a sense of Rushdie's reflexive multiplicity: when Solanka finally faces his memories of childhood, he recalls "his damn Yoknapatawpha, his accursed Malgudi." Here's a writer who, leading us into the tender places of his protagonist's soul, stops long enough to reference not just Faulkner but Narayan as well. If it sounds like a bit of a mess, it is. If it sounds frighteningly intelligent, it's that too. - Claire Dederer
Rushdie, Salman (1991). Midnight's Children. New York, N.Y., U.S.A., Penguin Books.
Anyone who has spent time in the developing world will know that one of Bombay's claims to fame is the enormous film industry that churns out hundreds of musical fantasies each year. The other, of course, is native son Salman Rushdie--less prolific, perhaps than Bollywood, but in his own way just as fantastical. Though Rushdie's novels lack the requisite six musical numbers that punctuate every Bombay talkie, they often share basic plot points with their cinematic counterparts. Take, for example, his 1980 Booker Prize-winning Midnight's Children: two children born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947--the moment at which India became an independent nation--are switched in the hospital. The infant scion of a wealthy Muslim family is sent to be raised in a Hindu tenement, while the legitimate heir to such squalor ends up establishing squatters' rights to his unlucky hospital mate's luxurious bassinet. Switched babies are standard fare for a Hindi film, and one can't help but feel that Rushdie's world-view--and certainly his sense of the fantastical--has been shaped by the films of his childhood. But whereas the movies, while entertaining, are markedly mediocre, Midnight's Children is a masterpiece, brilliant written, wildly unpredictable, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.
Rushdie, Salman (2008). The Satanic Verses: A Novel. New York, Random House Trade Paperbacks.
Banned in India before publication, this immense novel by Booker Prize-winner Rushdie (Midnight's Children) pits Good against Evil in a whimsical and fantastic tale. Two actors from India, "prancing" Gibreel Farishta and "buttony, pursed" Saladin Chamcha, are flying across the English Channel when the first of many implausible events occurs: the jet explodes. As the two men plummet to the earth, "like titbits of tobacco from a broken old cigar," they argue, sing and are transformed. When they are found on an English beach, the only survivors of the blast, Gibreel has sprouted a halo while Saladin has developed hooves, hairy legs and the beginnings of what seem like horns. What follows is a series of allegorical tales that challenges assumptions about both human and divine nature. Rushdie's fanciful language is as concentrated and overwhelming as a paisley pattern. Angels are demonic and demons are angelic as we are propelled through one illuminating episode after another.
Ruskin, John and David Barrie (1987). Modern Painters. New York, Knopf: Distributed by Random House.
Ruskin, the Victorian-era British writer whose work had a profound influence on artists, art historians, and writers both during his life and after, wrote Modern Painters in five separate volumes published between 1843 and 1860. It is, among other things, an evaluation of individual painters, a religious statement, a discourse on nature, and a splendid example of Victorian prose style. The original text has been abridged into this one-volume edition, which preserves the essential points of Ruskin's argument and provides the modern reader with a satisfying sample of Ruskin's justly acclaimed prose.
Russell, Bertrand (1945). A History of Western Philosophy, and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. New York, Simon and Schuster.
Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell's A History of Western Philosophy has been universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject - unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace and wit. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century. Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Cynics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, John the Scot, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the Utilitarians, Marx, Bergson, James, Dewey, and lastly the philosophers with whom Lord Russell himself is most closely associated - Cantor, Frege, and Whitehead, co-author with Russell of the monumental Principia Mathematica.
Russell, Bertrand (2000). Autobiography. London; New York, Routledge.
Russell's autobiography appeared in three volumes, beginning in 1967 and ending just before he died in 1970.
Russell, Bertrand (2004). In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays. New York, Routledge.
In this collection of essays, Russell surveys the social and political consequences of his beliefs with characteristic clarity and humour. In Praise of Idleness is a tour de force that only Bertrand Russell could perform.
Russell, Eric Frank (2001). Wasp. London and New York, Pollinger.
The war had been going on for nearly a year and the Sirian Empire had a huge advantage in personnel and equipment. Earth needed an edge. Which was where James Mowry came in. If a small insect buzzing around in a car could so distract the driver as to cause that vehicle to crash, think what havoc one properly trained operative could wreak on an unuspecting enemy. Intensively trained, his appearance surgically altered, James Mowry is landed on Jaimec, the ninety-fourth planet of the Sirian Empire. His mission is simple: sap morale, cause mayhem, tie up resources, wage a one-man war on a planet of eighty million. In short, be a wasp. First published in 1957, Wasp is generally regarded as Eric Frank Russell's best novel, a witty and exciting account of a covert war in the heart of enemy territory.
Russell, John (1983). Paris. New York, Abrams.
A classic series of essay on Paris, past and present (c. 1960), accompanied by the wonderful photographs of Brassai.
Russo, Richard Paul (2003). Carlucci. New York, Ace Books.
Collected together for the first time in one volume-this is Richard Paul Russo's critically-acclaimed science fiction trilogy featuring police Lt. Frank Carlucci investigating high-tech crime and corruption in a near-future San Francisco. Includes Destroying Angel, Carlucci's Edge, and Carlucci's Heart.
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