Wade, Stephen (2012). The Beautiful Music All around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience. Urbana, University of Illinois Press.
In revisiting the human transactions at the heart of these recordings, Wade essentially grants the songs a new life for a new age. Among the book's many virtues are its lively and imaginative narrative interpolations, its vivid song descriptions, its fascinating investigative work, its many colorful personalities and absorbing life-histories, and its often astonishingly trenchant accumulation of detail. A magisterial, monumental book of tremendous sympathy, scope, and imaginativeness." --Robert Cantwell, author of If Beale Street Could Talk: Music, Community, Culture
Wald, Alan M. (1987). The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.
Wald's study - subtle, insightful - ranks with that small cluster of fine works on 20th-century radicals and on the familiar political odyssey of that loosely knit circle, the "New York intellectuals," as they devolved from anti-Stalinist revolutionary communism to neoconservative allies of Nixon and Reagan. But Wald throws a wide net, exploring the thought of, among others, Dwight Macdonald, Harvey Swados, and Philip Rahv, as well as the writings of the Trillings, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, et al. Admittedly a Marxist, Wald is balanced, though not detached or uncritical; the pages on Podhoretz, Decter, Kristol are hardly forgiving. Essential for those interested in the cultural and scholarly activities of an important group.
Wald, Alan M. (2002). Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.
Setting the stage for a trilogy he is planning on the mid-20th-century U.S. literary Left, Wald presents a cast of characters from that Communist-led tradition. Profiling over 30 writers, Wald's study emphasizes biography in order to illumine the connection between political convictions and literary art. The result blends literary scholarship and oral history. For example, Chapter 8 introduces Richard Attaway and compares his novel Blood on the Forge to Claude McKay's novel Banjo. Likewise, Wald introduces Gregory Corso through his chance encounter with Joseph Freeman when speaking poetry into a public telephone. With Muriel Rukeyser as an example, the conclusion summarizes how leftist poetry fits within poetic traditions.
Exploring writers' intimate lives and heartfelt political commitments, Wald draws on original research in scores of archives and personal collections of papers; correspondence and interviews with hundreds of writers and their friends and families; and a treasure trove of unpublished memoirs, fiction, and poetry.
In fashioning a "humanscape" of the Literary Left, Wald not only reassesses acclaimed authors but also returns to memory dozens of forgotten, talented writers. The authors range from the familiar Mike Gold, Langston Hughes, and Muriel Rukeyser to William Attaway, John Malcolm Brinnin, Stanley Burnshaw, Joy Davidman, Sol Funaroff, Joseph Freeman, Alfred Hayes, Eugene Clay Holmes, V. J. Jerome, Ruth Lechlitner, and Frances Winwar.
Focusing on the formation of the tradition and the organization of the Cultural Left, Wald investigates the "elective affinity" of its avant-garde poets, the "Afro-cosmopolitanism" of its Black radical literary movement, and the uneasy negotiation between feminist concerns and class identity among its women writers.
Walker, Richard (2007). The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area. Seattle, University of Washington Press.
The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the world's most beautiful cities. Despite a population of 7 million people, it is more greensward than asphalt jungle, more open space than hardscape. A vast quilt of countryside is tucked into the folds of the metropolis, stitched from fields, farms and woodlands, mines, creeks, and wetlands. In The Country in the City, Richard Walker tells the story of how the jigsaw geography of this greenbelt has been set into place. The Bay Area's civic landscape has been fought over acre by acre, an arduous process requiring popular mobilization, political will, and hard work. Its most cherished environments - Mount Tamalpais, Napa Valley, San Francisco Bay, Point Reyes, Mount Diablo, the Pacific coast - have engendered some of the fiercest environmental battles in the country and have made the region a leader in green ideas and organizations. This book tells how the Bay Area got its green grove: from the stirrings of conservation in the time of John Muir to origins of the recreational parks and coastal preserves in the early twentieth century, from the fight to stop bay fill and control suburban growth after the Second World War to securing conservation easements and stopping toxic pollution in our times. Here, modern environmentalism first became a mass political movement in the 1960s, with the sudden blooming of the Sierra Club and Save the Bay, and it remains a global center of environmentalism to this day. Written in a lively and accessible style, The Country in the City speaks to fundamental debates in environmental history, urban planning, and geography.
Walker, Samuel (1999). In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press.
Walker, an active American Civil Liberties Union member who had complete access to its archives, has written a comprehensive history of this unique and often controversial organization, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary next month. What emerges is a candid but sympathetic account of the ACLU's triumphs and defeats, its strengths and failings, and fascinating pen pictures of its charismatic but often quarrelsome leaders, particularly Roger Baldwin, who was the ACLU's first executive director until forced out in 1950 after 30 years. Walker makes plain that it was by fearlessly championing unpopular or even "dangerous" ideas of the time that the ACLU became a major force in shaping American attitudes on civil liberties.
Wallace, David Foster (1996). Infinite Jest: A Novel. Boston, Little, Brown and Company.
Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human.
Wallis, Brian (1984). Art after Modernism: Rethinking Representation. New York; Boston, New Museum of Contemporary Art ; D.R. Godine.
Wallis, Brian (1987). Blasted Allegories: An Anthology of Writings by Contemporary Artists. New York, Cambridge, Mass., New Museum of Contemporary Art; MIT Press. Blasted Allegories makes available the best and most representative examples of artists' writings from the past ten years, an era marked by such pluralism and eclecticism that the voice of the artist may be the clearest one to listen to.
Walsh, David (2014). The Sky Between the Leaves: Film Reviews, Essays & Interviews, 1992-2012. Oak Park, MI, Mehring Books.
A unique collection of of film reviews, essays on film and interviews with directors and film critics by World Socialist Web Site Art and Culture Editor David Walsh spanning the 20 years from 1992-2012. Walsh's writing is widely respected for its unrelenting hostility both to the pervasive academic fog of postmodernism in the arts, as well as the pseudo-left glorification of identity politics in contemporary film.
Walser, Robert (1999). Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History. New York, Oxford University Press.
Drawing from contemporary journalism, reviews, program notes, memoirs, interviews, and other sources, Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History brings to life the controversies and critical issues that have accompanied every moment of jazz history. Highlighting the significance of jazz as a complex and consequential social practice as well as an art form, this book presents a multitude of ways in which people have understood and cared about jazz. It records a history not of style changes but of values, meanings, and sensibilities. Featuring sixty-two thought-provoking chapters, this unique volume gives voice to a wide range of perspectives, stressing different reactions to and uses of jazz, both within and across communities. It offers contributions from well-known figures including Jelly Roll Morton, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Wynton Marsalis, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis; from renowned writers such as Langston Hughes, Norman Mailer, and Ralph Ellison; and from critics including Leonard Feather and Gunther Schuller.
Walser has selected writings that capture the passionate reactions of people who have loved, hated, supported, and argued about jazz. Organized chronologically, Keeping Time covers nearly 100 years of jazz history. Filled with insightful writing, it aims to increase historical awareness, to provoke critical thinking, and to encourage lively classroom discussion as students relive the tangled and conflicted story of jazz. It enables readers to see that jazz is not just about names, dates, and chords, but rather about issues and ideas, cultural activities, and experiences that have affected people deeply in a great variety of ways. Concise headnotes provide historical context for each selection and point out issues for thinking and discussion. An excellent text for a variety of jazz courses, Keeping Time can serve as supplementary reading in popular music, American Studies, African American studies, history, and sociology courses, and will also appeal to anyone interested in jazz.
Walstad, Diana L. (2003). Ecology of the Planted Aquarium: A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise for the Home Aquarist, 2nd Edition. Chapel Hill, NC, Echinodorus Publishing.
This new book perfectly complements the Baensch Atlas and the Nature Aquarium World books, and fills a niche often glossed over by all other aquarium books. It covers the science behind a planted aquarium. Don't expect color pictures inside, all illustrations are black and white drawings. The book is filled with carefully researched information, both from the scientific literatures and from original experiments by the author. Topics covered in depth include water chemistry; allelopathy; bacterial processes; the roles and useage of carbon, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients; the substrate; and algae control. The author also introduced her own unique method of building a very cheap, very low-tech and very low-maintenant planted tank, using a soil substrate.
Wambaugh, Joseph (1970). The New Centurions. Boston, Little.
The novel is basically without plot, instead episodically depicting the psychological changes in three LAPD officers caused by the stresses of police work, and particularly police work in minority communities of Los Angeles. The three officers - Serge Duran, Gus Plebesly, and Roy Fehler - are classmates at the police academy in the summer of 1960, and the novel examines their lives each August of succeeding years, culminating in their on-the-job reunion during the Watts Riot of August 1965.
The New Centurions is likely the most autobiographical of Wambaugh's novels and is a straight-forward narration of events with little use of flashback. Each chapter is written third-person from the point of view of one of the three protagonists, who realistically have no contact with each other once they graduate from the academy but whose paths are at once both parallel and converging. Like Wambaugh, his protagonists move from a few years of uniformed patrol in minority districts to plain clothes assignments in Vice and Juvenile work, experiences which so impacted Wambaugh that they appear repeatedly in all his fiction.
The significance of this structure is that while Wambaugh began his career writing entirely about police officers, he experimented with method until in his fourth book, The Choirboys, he "found his voice," using satirical black humor in a style he openly attributed to the influence of Joseph Heller but which is entirely absent in The New Centurions, The Blue Knight (first-person fiction), and The Onion Field (non-fiction in a novelistic style).
Ward, Geoffrey C. and Ken Burns (2000). Jazz: A History of America's Music. New York, Alfred A. Knopf.
Continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed works, Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns vividly bring to life the story of the quintessential American music - jazz. Born in the black community of turn-of-the-century New Orleans but played from the beginning by musicians of every color, jazz celebrates all Americans at their best.
Here are the stories of the extraordinary men and women who made the music: Louis Armstrong, the fatherless waif whose unrivaled genius helped turn jazz into a soloist's art and influenced every singer, every instrumentalist who came after him; Duke Ellington, the pampered son of middle-class parents who turned a whole orchestra into his personal instrument, wrote nearly two thousand pieces for it, and captured more of American life than any other composer. Bix Beiderbecke, the doomed cornet prodigy who showed white musicians that they too could make an important contribution to the music; Benny Goodman, the immigrants' son who learned the clarinet to help feed his family, but who grew up to teach a whole country how to dance; Billie Holiday, whose distinctive style routinely transformed mediocre music into great art; Charlie Parker, who helped lead a musical revolution, only to destroy himself at thirty-four; and Miles Davis, whose search for fresh ways to sound made him the most influential jazz musician of his generation, and then led him to abandon jazz altogether. Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Artie Shaw, and Ella Fitzgerald are all here; so are Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and a host of others.
But Jazz is more than mere biography. The history of the music echoes the history of twentieth-century America. Jazz provided the background for the giddy era that F. Scott Fitzgerald called the Jazz Age. The irresistible pulse of big-band swing lifted the spirits and boosted American morale during the Great Depression and World War II. The virtuosic, demanding style called bebop mirrored the stepped-up pace and dislocation that came with peace. During the Cold War era, jazz served as a propaganda weapon - and forged links with the burgeoning counterculture. The story of jazz encompasses the story of American courtship and show business; the epic growth of great cities - New Orleans and Chicago, Kansas City and New York - and the struggle for civil rights and simple justice that continues into the new millennium.
Visually stunning, with more than five hundred photographs, some never before published, this book, like the music it chronicles, is an exploration - and a celebration - of the American experiment.
Ware, Chris (2000). Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. New York, Pantheon Books.
Ware's graphically inventive, wonderfully realized novel-in-comics follows the sad fortunes of four generations of phlegmatic, defeated men while touching on themes of abandonment, social isolation and despair within the sweeping depiction of Chicago's urban transformation over the course of a century. Ware uses Chicago's World's Colombian Exposition of 1893, the great world's fair that signaled America's march into 20th-century modernity, as a symbolic anchor to the city's development and to the narrative arc of a melancholic family as haplessly connected as are Chicago's random sprawl of streets and neighborhoods. In 1893, nine-year-old Jimmy Corrigan is abandoned atop a magnificent fair building by his sullen, brutish father ("I just stood there, watching the sky and the people below, waiting for him to return. Of course he never did"). Nearly a century later, another Jimmy Corrigan - the absurdly ineffectual, friendless grandson of that abandoned child - receives a letter from his own long-absent, feckless father, blithely and inexplicably requesting him to come and visit. Ware's surprisingly touching story recounts their strange and pathetically funny reunion, invoking the emotional legacy of the great-grandfather's original act of desertion while presenting a succession of Corrigan men far more comfortable fantasizing about life than living it. The book is wonderfully illustrated in full color, and Ware's spare, iconic drawing style can render vivid architectural complexity or movingly capture the stark despondency of an unloved child.
Ware, Chris (2003). The Acme Novelty Datebook: Sketches and Diary Pages in Facsimile, 1986-1995. Montreal, QC, Drawn and Quarterly.
Prolific alternative-comics artist Ware follows his epic, Jimmy Corrigan (2000), and Quimby the Mouse with a collection of sketchbook pages. Ware owes his lofty reputation largely to his awesome command of the "grammar" of comics, and this handsome volume showcasing his drawing ability amounts to something of a new revelation. Ware's strips are so meticulous in their rigid perfection that they seem to indicate an obsessive character. Yet these hundreds of life drawings, cityscapes, doodles, preliminary sketches, and other drawings, rendered in an impressive variety of styles, contrarily display unexpected spontaneity and looseness. Particularly revelatory are a handful of actual strips in Ware's familiar multipanel approach, and featuring Jimmy, Quimby, and other characters from his long stories, that are rendered in a rougher, almost crude style. Ware's fans will find his marginal notes fascinating, too, for their revelations about his creative process. Besides showing off Ware's facility and variety, this beautifully designed book demonstrates just how much thought and planning go into his acclaimed graphic novels. - Gordon Flagg
Ware, Chris, editor (2004). Mcsweeney's Quarterly Concern Issue 13. San Francisco, CA, McSweeney's.
Guest-editing Dave Eggers's literary journal, Jimmy Corrigan cartoonist Ware has assembled a beautifully designed anthology of contemporary art comics, with a few vintage treats thrown in, including an excerpt from "Obadiah Oldbuck" - an 1842 publication that's arguably the first American comic book - and a series of very rough sketches by Charles Schulz. A few pieces have recently been published elsewhere (including excerpts from Mark Beyer's loopy, design-heavy Amy and Jordan and Joe Sacco's comics essay on Sarajevo, (The Fixer), but the book is a superb introduction to the best American cartoonists working today. Some of them, including Richard McGuire and Mark Newgarden, haven't published much since the heyday of RAW in the late 1980s and early '90s; others, like Lynda Barry and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, are prolific creators at the top of their form. As Ira Glass points out in his introduction, Ware seems to believe cartooning gets no respect at all, and his McSweeney's is a passionate defense of the medium. Ware has included work by artists with an impressively varied range of visual styles and narrative techniques. And Ware's own contribution is brilliant: the book's cover unfolds into a gigantic "comics supplement" of his bitter little cartoons, with extra, tiny comic books by Ron Rege Jr. and John Porcellino tucked into its folds.
Ware, Chris (2005). The Acme Novelty Library. New York, Pantheon Books.
With all his literary accolades and awards, it's easy to forget Ware (Jimmy Corrigan) is one of the warmest, funniest cartoonists in America. The Acme Novelty Library collects a few issues of Ware's comic book series by the same name and adds plenty of new pages and visual delights. It is, like all of his work, an utterly immersive experience. You're not just reading his comics, you're inhabiting his world: from fake ads to diagrams for paper models to a lengthy and very funny fictional history of the Acme Novelty Company. These strips combine complex and beautiful visuals with the humor of hapless, often sad characters in ridiculous predicaments. "Rusty Brown", a series of strips based around an obsessive collector who will be the subject of Ware's next graphic novel, is particularly strong. These comics showcase Ware's unusual sensitivity towards his characters, building an incisive, multi-dimensional portrait of Brown and his friend Chalky White. On top of all of these riches there is Ware's own personal "history of art" in cartoon form, and a multi-page story about a naked superhero. Combining surreal humor, cutting satire, stunning visuals, and empathic characters, Ware's latest is a wondrous journey into the universe of a master cartoonist in peak form.
Warhol, Andy, Frayda Feldman, et al. (2003). Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonne: 1962-1987. New York; Munich, D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers in association with Ronald Feldman Fine Arts: Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts ; Edition Schellman.
Glenn, director of the art museum at California State University, Long Beach, is to be commended for compiling an exhibit of more than 110 items that will be traveling to 11 cities around the country over the next three years. This first-of-its-kind show, and the accompanying catalog, strive to define the context for the emergence of "multiples" in the 1960s. In the art world, multiples operate in juxtaposition to the tradition of editioned prints; they are often sculptural, sometimes mass produced, and grow out of the Duchampian idea that every iteration is an original. In the greater society, these objects were an important facet of Pop's mission to bring affordable art to the masses. The catalog concentrates on Warhol and Oldenburg, who actually opened the storefront "gallery" of the title. A beautiful production of frenetic design, this appropriately inexpensive volume belongs in academic and large public libraries with art or cultural studies collections. The third edition of the catalogue raisonne of Warhol's prints, still edited by the codirector of Warhol's longtime gallery, has been greatly expanded. The general reader will be pleased by the addition of two informative essays; critic Arthur C. Danto places the prints in a greater social context, while curator Donna de Salvo carefully traces the artist's printmaking process throughout his career. Scholarly researchers and those trying to track the provenance of one of the thousands of prints in private hands will appreciate the expansion of the catalog portion to include early unofficial prints, privately commissioned prints, and unique and trial versions of the official "published" prints.
Warhol, Andy and Pat Hackett (1989). The Andy Warhol Diaries. New York, NY, Warner Books.
For years before he died, Andy Warhol called Pat Hackett, his former secretary, to report, in his self-absorbed way, on what he had done the day before. The result of these discussions is The Andy Warhol Diaries, a doorstop sized, page turner of 1970's and 1980's celebrity gossip.
Warhol, Andy, Kynaston McShine, et al. (1989). Andy Warhol: A Retrospective. New York; Boston, Museum of Modern Art; Distributed by Bullfinch Press/Little, Brown.
Warhol, who died in 1987, can be viewed as a relentless observer, who dwelled obsessively upon images representative of our century: the electric chair, a jet crash, the Soviet hammer and sickle, screen idols, politicians, symbolic volcanoes. A retrospective now at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which this lengthy tome catalogues, reveals that some of Warhol's most suggestive works are among his least well-known, to wit, his space-age Moonwalk (1987), a Rorschach-like series of paintings, and the enormous, Asiatic-looking Oxidation Paintings done in metallic pigments. Packed with 325 color plates and 332 in black and white, this six-pounder includes four academic, hyperbolic essays, 33 pages of first-hand impressions of Warhol by cultural celebs, and 10 pages of his instant wit and wisdom.
Warner, Michael (1999). American Sermons. New York, Library of America: Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Putnam.
Whether it take the form of the formal prose of the Puritans, the clear, plain-spoken wisdom of the Quakers, or the improvisational style of African American folk preaching, the sermon is one of America's most unique types of literature. While this collection should never be considered easy reading, its high quality and profundity more than compensate for its challenges. In fact, this collection (spanning the 17th through the 20th centuries) is packed with literary and historical gems. Absalom Jones, an African Episcopal minister, preaches a heart-wrenching sermon that sings the praises of the end of the slave trade in 1808. Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers "The Lord's Supper Sermon," and, of course, there's Martin Luther King's most famous sermon, "I've Been to the Mountaintop."
Warren, Gretchen Ward and Susan Cook (1989). Classical Ballet Technique. Tampa, FL, University of South Florida Press.
An important addition to the reference libraries of teachers and students of ballet. Warren, soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet for 11 years and now associate professor of dance at the University of South Florida, explains the correct execution of every step in the ballet vocabulary. Dancers from the American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet appear in over 2600 photographs and illustrate the movement. Part 1 of the book covers basic concepts of training, physical characteristics of the ideal dancer, and suggestions for conducting a successful class. Part 2 is devoted to sequential photographs of more involved steps and definitions of terminology. Warren includes stylistic variations: Soviet, Italian, French.
Waters, Alice, David Tanis, et al. (1999). Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook. New York, HarperCollins.
This timeless addition to the Chez Panisse paperback cookbook library assembles 120 of the restaurant's best menus, including galas, festivals, and special occasion meals that have become such gustatory celebrations. A full range of menus is featured, from picnics to informal suppers. Line drawings.
Watson, Derek (1981). Richard Wagner: A Biography. New York, Schirmer Books.
Weaver, Mary Anne (2000). A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey through the World of Militant Islam. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Weaver, a New Yorker correspondent, is a gifted writer and observer who has spent a great deal of time and effort trying to understand the complex culture of Egypt and its effects on the entire Islamic world. She conveys the huge gap between Egypt's rich and poor and explains the appeal of political Islam in its many forms (some more radical than others) to the disenfranchised masses. Weaver believes that if Egypt turns "Islamist" in the way that Iran did in 1979, the effects will be much more dramatic throughout the Islamic world. She explains how the new generation of violent Islamic militants active throughout the world is largely the creation of U.S. policy: when the CIA covertly supported the mujahideen who drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan, it armed, trained and funded those who would become the most implacable enemies of the U.S. Weaver excels at explaining how, even as Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak cracks down on domestic Islamic opposition, the mullahs are gaining control of Egypt's judiciary and educational system. Her interviews with Mubarak, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman (the spiritual mentor of the World Trade Center bombers and, earlier, of some people involved in the assassination of Anwar Sadat) and Naguib Mahfouz are riveting. Yet, as thorough and eye-opening as Weaver's raw reportage is, the book lacks structure. Organized neither chronologically nor thematically, it is essentially a series of accomplished pieces of journalism that will leave readers with discrete chunks of information and just the hint of a larger pattern that Weaver never quite brings into focus.
Weaver, Mary Anne (2002). Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The accumulation of disorder in Pakistan is such that it could well be the next Yugoslavia," writes New Yorker correspondent Weaver (Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant Islam). She portrays a country mired in chaos and decay, speculating on whether Musharraf can win his war against the Islamic extremists and offering a portrait of a general she finds enigmatic. Weaver predicts disaster, not only for Pakistan but for the U.S., if he fails in his battle.
Webel, Charles and Johan Galtung, editors (2009). Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies. London; New York, Routledge.
This major new Handbook provides a cutting-edge and transdisciplinary overview of the main issues, debates, state-of-the-art methods, and key concepts in peace and conflict studies today. Each section features new essays by distinguished international scholars and professionals working in peace studies and conflict resolution and transformation. Drawing from a wide range of theoretical, methodological, and political positions, the editors and contributors offer topical and enduring approaches to peace and conflict studies.
Weber, Max, Hans Heinrich Gerth, et al. (1946). From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. New York, Oxford university press.
Introducing the student to the work of a great sociologist, this book opens with a comprehensive biographical essay on Weber's life and work and includes his essays on science and politics, power, religion, and social structures. First published after the Second World War, the text provided access at long last to a treasure trove of previously untranslated works by Weber for the American academic community, and thus transformed the nature of the way American social scientists understood modern social theory. It is no exaggeration to say that Weber's genius was his ability to successfully integrate the critical essence of the Marxian analysis of capitalist society with more functionally-oriented works such that even as stodgy and conservative a theorist as Talcott Parson soon found common analytical purpose with Weber's theoretical views! before long all the academic community was enthralled by the scope and verve of Weber's complex vision of a social theory informed with a comprehensive view of social action, such that all social actions can be meaningfully located within the welter of the purposes, motives, and values of the interacting individuals themselves. This was indeed an intelelctual revolution within social theory, and we can still find bibliophiles and academic devotees still poring over the nuances and variations in themes in Weber's considerable body of works. After the publication of these essays, much more of his corpus of works was successfully translated and used in American university settings. Yet Weber's prose was never an "easy read", nor was his message about the evolving nature of contemporary bureaucratic society necessarily a heartening one; he was convinced we were turning toward a dark and mechanistic age, what he himself frequently characterized as being the "iron cage" of rationalization. His was the dark vision later shared by intellectuals like Aldous Huxley of a brave new world of petty diversions and a systematic but innocuous autocratic manipulation of everyman. Still, Weber's works stand as a testament to the power of an individual intellect.
Wedekind, Frank and Stephen Spender (1972). The Lulu Plays & Other Sex Tragedies. London, Calder and Boyars.
The "Lulu" plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Buchse der Pandora (Pandora's Box, 1904) are probably Frank Wedekind's best known pieces; the two were the basis for Alban Berg's opera Lulu, and Die Buchse der Pandora was the basis for the film Pandora's Box (1929).
Weinberger, Eliot (2006). Muhammad. New York, NY, Verso.
Muhammad is a shimmering, lyrical biography of the Prophet, composed from the words of Muslims throughout the centuries. Drawing on a variety of Islamic sources, from the hadith, or sayings of Muhammad and his companions, to Abbasid and Persian texts, Weinberger weaves a subtle, mystical prose poem, spanning Muhammad's birth and childhood; his adolescence, miracles and marriages; to the isra and miraj, his journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and ascent into heaven, with the angel Jibril (Gabriel) as his guide. The result is a vivid triptych that presents the final prophet of Islam with extraordinary clarity.
Weinreich, Regina (2001). Kerouac's Spontaneous Poetics: A Study of the Fiction. New York; Berkeley, Calif., Thunder's Mouth Press; Distributed by Publishers Group West.
While a legend has developed about the man Jack Kerouac, there has not been a thorough study of what he wrote. This is the first book to explore his place in American literature by establishing the total design of his work. Regina Weinreich contends that Kerouac wrote with this "grand design" in mind: that he thought of his works as "one vast book" a "Divine Comedy of Buddha" that he called "The Legend of Duluoz." The nature of Kerouac's "spontaneous bop prosody" is discussed in relation to the work of Thomas Wolfe and Henry Miller. Kerouac compared his "loose style" to that of a jazz horn-player sounding one long note. While this explains Kerouac's method, Weinreich seeks further to define the unity of his works, from The Town and the City, On the Road, and Visions of Cody to Desolation Angels and Vanity of Duluoz, which she argues brings the legend full circle. "Regina Weinreich draws together the threads of artistic influences that ultimately define Jack's writing." - William Burroughs
Weinstein, Norman (2008). Mastering Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to the Most Important Tools in Your Kitchen. New York, Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Mastering Knife Skills by chef Norman Weinstein is a marvel of a book - visually attractive, overflowing with facts both historical and culinary, the ultimate guide to the choosing of knives, their care and upkeep, and their optimal use.
Weir, Alison (2014). Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Soon after WWII, U.S. statesman Dean Acheson warned that creating Israel on land already inhabited by Palestinians would "imperil" both American and all Western interests in the region. Despite warnings such as this one, President Truman supported establishing a Jewish state on land primarily inhabited by Muslims and Christians.
Few Americans today are aware that US support enabled the creation of modern Israel. Even fewer know that US politicians pushed this policy over the forceful objections of top diplomatic and military experts.
As this work demonstrates, these politicians were bombarded by a massive pro-Israel lobbying effort that ranged from well-funded and very public Zionist organizations to an "elitist secret society" whose members included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.
Against Our Better Judgment brings together meticulously sourced evidence to illuminate a reality that differs starkly from the prevailing narrative. It provides a clear view of the history that is key to understanding one of the most critically important political issues of our day.
Weir, Andy (2014). The Martian. New York, Broadway Books.
Weir has crafted a relentlessly entertaining and inventive survival thriller, a MacGyver-trapped-on-Mars tale that feels just as real and harrowing as the true story of Apollo 13. -- Ernest Cline, New York Times
Weisenburger, Steven (1988). A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel. Athens, Ga., University of Georgia Press.
Page-by-page, often line-by-line, guide to the welter of historical references, sceientific data, cultural fragments, anthropological research, jokes and puns around which Pynchon wove his novel. Wesisenburger fully annottes Pynchon's use of language ranging from Russian and Hebrew to such sub dialiects of English as 1940s street talk, drug lingo, and military slang as well as the more reconcile terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology.
Weiss, Peter (2005). The Aesthetics of Resistance. Durham, Duke University Press.
A major literary event, the publication of this masterful translation makes one of the towering works of twentieth-century German literature available to English-speaking readers for the first time. The three-volume novel The Aesthetics of Resistance is the magnum opus of Peter Weiss, the internationally renowned dramatist best known for his play Marat/Sade. The first volume, presented here, was initially published in Germany in 1975; the third and final volume in 1981, just six months before Weiss's death.
Spanning from the late 1930s into World War II, this historical novel dramatizes anti-fascist resistance and the rise and fall of proletarian political parties in Europe. Living in Berlin in 1937, the unnamed narrator and his peers - sixteen and seventeen-year-old working-class students - seek ways to express their hatred for the Nazi regime. They meet in museums and galleries, and in their discussions they explore the affinity between political resistance and art, the connection at the heart of Weiss's novel. Weiss suggests that meaning lies in the refusal of humans to renounce resistance, no matter how intense the oppression, and that it is in art that new models of political action and social understanding are to be found. The novel includes extended meditations on paintings, sculpture, and literature. Moving from the Berlin underground to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War and on to other parts of Europe, the story teems with characters, almost all of whom based on historical figures. The Aesthetics of Resistance is one of the truly great works of postwar German literature and an essential resource for understanding twentieth-century German history.
Weiss, Peter. (1966). The Investigation; a Play. New York, Atheneum. The Investigation is Weiss' ruthless documentary drama of the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, which he attended. These proceedings, held in 1963-5, are not to be confused with the Nurnberg trials held right after the war. In Frankfurt it was the German government itself that held the war-crimes trial, focussing on the crimes perpetrated at Auschwitz.
Using the actual testimony of survivors from Auschwitz, testifying as witnesses against those who exploited them and others, Weiss creates a riveting drama. The drama is based on the trial, but Weiss insists that it should not be staged as a courtroom-docudrama.
No names are used in describing the characters -- they appear merely as "Judge", "Witness", "Prosecuting Attorney", "Defendant" -- though the defendants do have corresponding names by which they are called. Weiss shapes the huge amount of material, reducing it to a compelling indictment of what happened at Auschwitz. The play is presented in eleven cantos, beginning with "The Platform" where the trains arrived, proceeding to "The Camp", and ending with two cantos on "Zyklon B" and then "The Firte Ovens".
The stark, largely anonymous portrayal of this unspeakable evil is very effective. Weiss carefully shaped the text, culling, cutting, and changing very little from the original transcripts to create what is truly a poetic text. His dramatic sense and lyric ear allowed him to create a text that is also literary, and can stand on those merits alone. But of course it is much more.
Weiss, Peter (1966). The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis De Sade; [a Play]. New York, Atheneum.
This extraordinary play, which swept Europe before coming to America, is based on two historical truths: the infamous Marquis de Sade was confined in the lunatic asylum of Charenton, where he staged plays; and the revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed in a bathtub by Charlotte Corday at the height of the Terror during the French Revolution. But this play-within-a-play is not historical drama. Its thought is as modern as today's police states and The Bomb; its theatrical impact has everywhere been called a major innovation. It is total theatre: philosophically problematic, visually terrifying. It engages the eye, the ear, and the mind with every imaginable dramatic device, technique, and stage picture, even including song and dance. All the forces and elements possible to the stage are fused in one overwhelming experience. This is theatre such as has rarely been seen before. The play is basically concerned with the problem of revolution. Are the same things true for the masses and for their leaders? And where, in modern times, lie the borderlines of sanity?
Weiss, Piero and Richard Taruskin (2008). Music in the Western World: A History in Documents. Australia ; Belmont, CA, Thomson/Schirmer.
This classic anthology assembles over 200 source readings, bringing to life the history of music through letters, reviews, biographical sketches, memoirs, and other documents. Writings by composers, critics, and educators touch on virtually every aspect of Western music from ancient Greece to the present day.
Welch, Lew (1973). Ring of Bone; Collected Poems, 1950-1971. Bolinas [Calif.], Grey Fox Press.
Welch, Michael (2002). Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding I.N.S. Jail Complex. Philadelphia, Temple University Press.
In 1996, Congress passed expansive laws to control illegal immigration, imposing mandatory detention and deportation for even minor violations. Critics argued that such legislation violated civil liberties and human rights; correspondingly, in 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that many facets of the 1996 statutes were unconstitutional. Michael Welch shows how what he calls "moral panic" led to the passage of the 1996 laws and the adverse effects they have had on the Immigration and Naturalization Service, producing a booming detainee population and an array of human rights violations. Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding I.N.S. Jail Complex offers sensible recommendations for reform along with an enlightened understanding of immigration. In an epilogue, Welch examines closely the government's campaign to fight terrorism at home, especially the use of racial profiling, mass detention, and secret evidence.
Recently, the INS, particularly its enforcement and detention operations have expanded dramatically. This book will offer many readers their first look inside that system. It will be an invaluable guide to thinking through whether the system is fit to take on the additional responsibilities being asked of it in the post-September 11th world.
Welles, Orson and Henry Jaglom; Peter Biskind, editor. (2013). My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles. New York, Knopf.
Based on long-lost recordings, a set of riveting and revealing conversations with America's great cultural provocateur. There have long been rumors of a lost cache of tapes containing private conversations between Orson Welles and his friend the director Henry Jaglom, recorded over regular lunches in the years before Welles died. The tapes, gathering dust in a garage, did indeed exist, and this book reveals for the first time what they contain. Here is Welles as he has never been seen before: talking intimately, disclosing personal secrets, reflecting on the highs and lows of his astonishing career, the people he knew--FDR, Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, David Selznick, Rita Hayworth, and more--and the many disappointments of his last years. This is the great director unplugged, free to be irreverent and worse--sexist, homophobic, racist, or none of the above-- because he was nothing if not a fabulator and provocateur. Ranging from politics to literature to the shortcomings of his friends and the many films he was still eager to launch, Welles is at once cynical and romantic, sentimental and raunchy, but never boring and always wickedly funny. Edited by Peter Biskind, America's foremost film historian, My Lunches with Orson reveals one of the giants of the twentieth century, a man struggling with reversals, bitter and angry, desperate for one last triumph, but crackling with wit and a restless intelligence.
Wells, H. G. (2002). The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance. New York, Modern Library.
A gripping and entertaining tale of terror and suspense as well as a potent Faustian allegory of hubris and science run amok, The Invisible Man endures as one of the signature stories in the literature of science fiction. A brilliant scientist uncovers the secret to invisibility, but his grandiose dreams and the power he unleashes cause him to spiral into intrigue, madness, and murder. The inspiration for countless imitations and film adaptations, The Invisible Man is as remarkable and relevant today as it was a hundred years ago.
Wells, Stanley W. (1986). The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]; New York, Cambridge University Press. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies offers a comprehensive introduction to the study of Shakespeare in a series of essays specially written by an international team of eminent scholars. Studies of Shakespeare's life, and of his relationship to the thought of his time, are followed by essays connecting his writings to the literary, dramatic, and theatrical conventions of his age. There are accounts of the transmission of his text, and of the theatrical and critical fortunes of his plays from his own time to ours. Particular attention is given to the twentieth century in studies of criticism, theatre history, the plays on film and television, new critical approaches, and reference books. Each essay is followed by a reading list. A successor to Cambridge's original Companion to Shakespeare Studies (1934) and the New Companion to Shakespeare Studies (1971) this attractively written and helpfully organized volume will be an indispensable companion to anyone with a serious interest in Shakespeare.
Welty, Eudora (1998). Complete Novels. New York, Library of America: Distributed to the trade in the USA by Penguin Putnam.
Richard Ford and Michael Kreyling, editors. In a career spanning five decades, Eudora Welty has chronicled her own Mississippi with a depth and intensity matched only by William Faulkner. She explores the complex abundance of southern, and particularly southern women's, lives with an artistry that Salman Rushdie has called "impossible to overpraise."
Complete Novels gathers, for the first time in one volume, all of Welty's longer fiction. In The Robber Bridegroom (1942) legendary figures from Mississippi's past mingle with Welty's own imaginings in an exuberant fantasy set along the Natchez Trace. The richly textured Delta Wedding (1946) vividly portrays the complexities of family relationships set against the backdrop of rural Mississippi in the 1920s. Edna Earle Ponder's unrestrained and delightfully absurd monologue shows Welty's humor at its idiomatic best in The Ponder Heart (1953). The monumental Losing Battles (1970), composed over fifteen years, brings Welty's imaginative gifts to the largest canvas of her career, rendering a Depression-era family reunion with mythic scope and ebullient comic vigor. This volume concludes with The Optimist's Daughter (1972), a taut and moving story of a woman coming to terms with her father's death, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1972. A companion volume is devoted to Welty's short stories, essays, and autobiography.
Werlin, Laura (2007). Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials: An Insider's Guide to Buying and Serving Cheese. New York, Stewart, Tabori & Chang.
Approaching a well-stocked cheese counter can be a daunting task for even experienced gourmands, but expert Werlin (The All American Cheese and Wine Book; Great Grilled Cheese) demystifies a global myriad of styles and flavors in this information-rich guide. Organized by style (fresh, semi-soft, soft-ripened, surface-ripened, semi-hard, hard, blue and washed-rind), Werlin systematically explains how each is produced, points out both rare and easily sourced examples of each style and offers elegant descriptions of the flavors, textures and unique qualities of particular cheeses in each group. A tasting assignment for each chapter encourages readers to taste small quantities of two or three cheeses carefully, with key accompaniments to bring out certain qualities; readers will discover how the sharp edge of lemon juice amplifies the sour tanginess of goat cheese, and that a bit of bacon brings out the smokiness of rich, creamy blue Stilton. Werlin also includes a number of easy recipes, including Brie Toasts with Chardonnay-Soaked Golden Raisins, Comte Pistachio Souffle and a luscious roasted butternut squash stuffed with Swiss chard and SarVecchio Parmesan. Rounded out with tips on purchasing and storage, Werlin's encouraging, adventurous and comprehensive manual is accessible enough for the merely cheese-curious while offering plenty to discover for those already well-versed in the subject. Includes 50 recipes.
West, Nathanael (1981). Miss Lonelyhearts; and, the Day of the Locust. New York, New York, Modern Library.
"Somehow or other I seem to have slipped in between all the 'schools,'" observed Nathanael West the year before his untimely death in 1940. "My books meet no needs except my own, their circulation is practically private and I'm lucky to be published." Yet today, West is widely recognized as a prophetic writer whose dark and comic vision of a society obsessed with mass-produced fantasies foretold much of what was to come in American life.
Miss Lonelyhearts (1933), which West envisioned as "a novel in the form of a comic strip," tells of an advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist who becomes tragically embroiled in the desperate lives of his readers. The Day of the Locust (1939) is West's great dystopian Hollywood novel based on his experiences at the seedy fringes of the movie industry.
"The work of Nathanael West, savagely, comically, tragically original, has come into its own," said novelist and screenwriter Budd Schulberg. "A new public [has] discovered in the writings of West a brilliant reflection of its own sense of chaos and helplessness in a world running more to madness than to reason."
West, Nathanael (1997). Novels and Other Writings. New York, Library of America: Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Books USA.
Sacvan Bercovitch, editor. When Nathanael West died in a California highway accident in 1940 at the age of thirty-seven, his originality and brilliance were little known outside an intensely admiring circle of fellow writers: William Carlos Williams, Edmund Wilson, S. J. Perelman, and others. Not until his novels were reissued in the late 1950s was he acknowledged as one of the most gifted writers of his generation. Now The Library of America offers the most complete literary portrait of West ever published.
Each of West's novels is distinct in style and theme. In the Dada-inspired The Dream Life of Balso Snell (1931), he freely mixes high-flown literary and religious allusions with erotic and scatological humor. Miss Lonelyhearts (1933) presents, in a series of grotesque, starkly etched episodes, the spiritual breakdown of a newspaper columnist overwhelmed by his readers' suffering. By contrast, A Cool Million (1934) reduces the eternal optimism of Horatio Alger's novels to a brutal, cartoonish farce. In his last work, The Day of the Locust (1939), West renders with hallucinatory precision the reverse side of the Hollywood dream, as he choreographs a cast of failures, has-beens, and deluded glamour-seekers in what becomes an apocalyptic dance of death.
A generous sampling of West's other surviving work, ranging from freewheeling improvisations and grotesque comic tales to more mainstream work written with Hollywood or Broadway in mind, includes his anti-war satire Good Hunting and his adaptation of Francis Iles' famous crime novel Before the Fact. The uncollected West shows a writer who embodied the contradictions and crazy-quilt exuberance of American culture - and raises the question of how he might have developed had his career not been cut short. Selected correspondence with William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Malcolm Cowley, Bennett Cerf, and others rounds out the volume and sets West's literary life in a fuller context.
Weston, Edward and Richard H. Cravens (1988). Edward Weston. New York, Aperture.
A towering figure in twentieth-century photography, Edward Weston sought to awaken human vision-- to lead viewers to "see through their eyes, not with them." His restless quest for beauty and the mystical presence behind it created a body of work unrivaled in the medium.
This volume of Aperture's Masters of Photography series offers Weston masterpieces drawn from photographs spanning more than four decades. Included are his early Pictorialist images; industrial studies of Armco Steel; stunning portraits from his Mexican period; the breakthrough still lifes and landscapes of the thirties; and the sometimes acerbic images of the later years.
R. H. Cravens's essay draws upon Weston's writings and recollections by sons, lovers, and friends. What emerges is the profile of "a thoroughly American genius-- courageous, pure, troubled, unorthodox, and utterly sure of its purpose."
Wetterhahn, Ralph (2001). The Last Battle: The Mayaguez Incident and the End of the Vietnam War. New York, Carroll & Graf Publishers.
In 1975, just days after the fall of Saigon, the Mayaquez cargo ship and her crew were taken by a combination of ragtag Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge troops off the coast of Cambodia. What followed was another American political and military debacle that mirrored the mistakes, misjudgments, and mismanagement of the larger war. History has been kind to President Ford about the incident, but Wetterhahn literally did some digging, including on the beach in Cambodia, to uncover the truth. Although history gave Ford a military "victory," the author's investigation uncovered the truth: 41 men died to save 40 men, and three Marines were left behind on the beach to be discovered by the Khmer Rouge. Far worse, none of it had to happen, because the Khmer Rouge had already let the crew go.
Whalen, Philip (1980). Enough Said: Fluctuat Nec Mergitur: Poems 1974-1979. San Francisco, Grey Fox Press.
Wharton, Edith (1985). Novels. New York, N.Y., Library of America: Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Viking.
R.W.B. Lewis, editor. The House of Mirth, The Reef, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence. "To read the four novels in this volume is to become impressed anew with Wharton's powers as a satirist - you could almost say a black humorist - and to be struck, perhaps for the first time, by the cool modernism of her writing."
Wheeler, Robert Eric Mortimer (1985). Roman Art and Architecture. New York, Thames and Hudson.
A valuable introduction to Roman art for layman and student alike. Wheeler describes the architecture and town planning, the sculpture and painting, the silverwaqre, glass, pottery and other artistic achievements of the era.
Wheeler, Sara (2002). Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard. New York, Random House.
In a richly detailed and lyrical biography, Wheeler (Terra Incognito) traces the life of British adventurer Apsley Cherry-Garrard from his time as "a small boy with a lively imagination and a taste for snails and solitude" to his participation in Robert Scott's fateful 1911 expedition to reach the South Pole. While many have questioned and even vilified the members of Scott's voyage for everything from naivete to outright blundering, Wheeler takes a sympathetic, even reverent attitude toward her subject. Cherry-Garrard unfolds as a complicated figure whose youthful quest for adventure enmeshed him in an undertaking that towered over the rest of his life. While it would be hard for any historical account to rival Cherry-Garrard's own descriptions in his memoir The Worst Journey in the World, Wheeler tells the story of the entire voyage, whereas Cherry-Garrard focused on only one part of it. Though she quotes often from his book, the passages are complemented and occasionally contradicted by the journals of other members of the trip. In this way, Wheeler supplies the little facts that truly make her story vivid, like one explorer almost being killed by a 500-pound crate of hams propelled by a blizzard wind or another suggesting a can opener to cut through Cherry-Garrard's frozen clothes. Eloquent and gripping, Wheeler goes on to chronicle Cherry-Garrard's troubled homecoming and how, through writing his book and finding love late in life, the explorer made his ultimate discovery redemption.
White, G. Edward (1993). Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: Law and the Inner Self. New York, Oxford University Press.
In this thorough and insightful scholarly biography, White (Earl Warren) explores the linked life and work of legendary scholar and jurist Holmes (1841-1935). Son of a famed literary father and product of a privileged Boston Brahmin upbringing, Holmes entered the legal profession having lost his youthful romanticism in the Civil War when he was wounded three times. Drawing on prodigious research, White closely analyzes Holmes's legal scholarship, finding a tension between his subject's reliance on both experience and logic in his classic, The Common Law. The author also dissects Holmes's Supreme Court opinions, describing how his reputation grew and suggesting that Holmes's famous rhetoric on free speech ("every idea is an incitement") was memorable but obscured philosophical contradictions, perhaps because his changing ideas on free speech had less to do with the consistent evolution of legal doctrine than with the influence of certain Washington intellectuals. Holmes's wife Fanny supplied domesticity, but the couple never had children; and Holmes's one great extra-marital romance with the Anglo-Irish aristocrat Clare Castletown was epistolary only. His self-control and his ambition, White suggests, allowed Holmes to concentrate on his work. That work, along with Holmes's stature as a "figure of public romance," will long stimulate students of history.
White, John K. (2012). Do the Math!: On Growth, Greed, and Strategic Thinking. Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sage Publications, Inc. Do the Math! is a fresh look at the numbers of daily living, particularly in light of current economic troubles, where modern economic practices, mathematical concepts, and everyday moral dilemmas are discussed. The book is original because it tackles numbers directly to take aim at various unsubstantiated claims and popular misconceptions. Do the Math! uses creative examples―borrowing liberally from the anecdotal and the academic, from literature and the newspaper, and from the stock market and the casino―to provide a thought-provoking guide to better understanding the world around us.
Whitman, Walt (1982). Complete Poetry and Collected Prose. New York, N.Y., Literary Classics of the United States; Distributed by Viking Press.
This volume reprints three books that Walt Whitman saw through the press: the first edition of Leaves of Grass (Brooklyn, 1855); the final ("authorized," or "deathbed") edition of Leaves of Grass (Philadelphia, 1891-92); and Complete Prose Works (Philadelphia, 1892). Consistent with Whitman's purpose in the third, the present volume also contains a supplement (or "annex," to use one of his preferred terms) of fugitive prose pieces which, in the editor's opinion, clearly belong with the rest."The Eighteenth Presidency!" is printed here from proof sheets in the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress; Edward F. Grier's critical text (University of Kansas Press, 1956) records Whitman's subsequent changes. Obvious typographical errors found in the originals have been corrected in the text and are accounted for below. The Notes, for the most part, record significant textual variants.
Two months before his death in 1892, Whitman announced in a promotional statement that Leaves of Grass, "which he has been working on at great intervals and partially issued for the past thirty-five or forty years, is now completed, so to call it, and he would like this new 1892 edition to absolutely supercede all previous ones." One obeys this injunction by here reprinting Whitman's lifework--which he compared, fancifully, with a modern city, a cathedral, an eldest child, or something found in nature, a tree with many growth rings--in its "completed" form. But from several standpoints it also seems desirable to reprint his 1855 edition as well, even at the cost of some repetitions and overlappings.
The first Leaves of Grass, comprising a preface and twelve untitled poems (the titles Whitman ultimately gave them are supplied here in the Table of Contents), is a turning-point document in American literary history. Whitman was its (anonymous) author, its publisher, and to some extent, its printer as well. This was the edition in which Ralph Waldo Emerson discovered, as he wrote to Whitman, "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed." Whitman spent the rest of his life expanding, articulating, and rearranging his book of poems, but the 1855 Leaves of Grass retains a formal, substantive, and genetic character that sets it apart from subsequent editions, some more than four times its page bulk.
Whitman's preface to the 1855 Leaves of Grass, here reprinted in its functional position, was the most decisive of all his critical declarations. Yet when he brought out a second, enlarged edition in 1856 he replaced this preface with a "dear Friend and Master" letter to Emerson (reprinted here among the supplementary prose) and then allowed it to slide into neglect. The bobtailed and emasculated version of the 1855 preface which he included in Complete Prose Works has been omitted from this edition.
Whitman was also casual about "Pieces in Early Youth," which he included, selectively and arbitrarily, in Complete Prose Works "with some qualms," as he explained, "in order to avoid the annoyance of their surreptitious issue." Readers who, like the present editor, find in these "crude and boyish pieces" suggestive anticipations, in theme and trope, of Whitman's mature manner should consult The Early Poems and Fiction, edited by Thomas L. Brasher (New York, 1963). This is a volume in the New York University Press series, The Collected Writings of Walt Whitman (1963-), the authoritative modern edition, which now includes the three-volume Leaves of Grass: A Textual Variorum of the Printed Poems, edited by Sculley Bradley, Harold W. Blodgett, Arthur Golden, and William White (1980).
The standards for American English continue to fluctuate and in some ways were conspicuously different in earlier periods from what they are now. In nineteenth-century writings, for example, a word might be spelled in more than one way, even in the same work, and such variations might be carried into print. Commas were sometimes used expressively to suggest the movements of voice, and capitals were sometimes meant to give significances to a word beyond those it might have in its uncapitalized form. Since modernization would remove such effects, this volume has preserved the spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and wording of the editions reprinted here.
The present edition is concerned only with representing the texts of the three Whitman books; with the exception of the display capitalization of the 1855 Leaves of Grass, it does not attempt to reproduce features of typographic design.
Some changes, however, have been made. Whitman's references to page numbers have been changed to conform to the pages in this volume. Typographical errors have also been corrected.
Wickham, Carrie Rosefsky (2002). Mobilizing Islam: Religion, Activism, and Political Change in Egypt. New York, Columbia University Press. Mobilizing Islam explores how and why Islamic groups succeeded in galvanizing educated youth into politics under the shadow of Egypt's authoritarian state, offering important and surprising answers to a series of pressing questions. Under what conditions does mobilization by opposition groups become possible in authoritarian settings? Why did Islamist groups have more success attracting recruits and overcoming governmental restraints than their secular rivals? And finally, how can Islamist mobilization contribute to broader and more enduring forms of political change throughout the Muslim world?
Moving beyond the simplistic accounts of "Islamic fundamentalism" offered by much of the Western media, Mobilizing Islam offers a balanced and persuasive explanation of the Islamic movement's dramatic growth in the world's largest Arab state.
Wilbur, Richard (1976). The Mind-Reader: New Poems. New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
At a mellower stage of artistry, Wilbur composed his famous dramatic monologue, "The Mind-Reader" (1976). In the tradition of Robert Browning's "Andrea del Sarto," the speaker muses on loss. From a drifting vision of a sun-hat cartwheeling over a wall, the speaker moves to a more mundane pipe-wrench jolted off a truck and a book fallen from the reader's hand and slipped over the side of an ocean-going steamer. In each action, the objects are lost during a forward motion, which contrasts the static pose of the mind-reader. At line 20, the clairvoyant inserts four lines to differentiate between objects that slip from consciousness and others imprisoned in deliberate forgetting, a hint that his own psyche chooses oblivion over memory.
The poem moves inward in line 24 to a lengthy recall of how, in childhood, the mind-reader earned a reputation for locating lost objects. To explain the art, the speaker enlarges on the mental landscape, a difficult sweep of ground over which memory searches for misplaced items. Employing three models - eyes searching a crowd, a key enwebbed in tangled threads, and a faded snapshot in an album - the speaker asserts that nothing good or bad is truly forgotten, neither "Meanness, obscenity, humiliation / Terror" nor "pulse / Of Happiness."
The poem grows more personal in line 68 with a description of the mind-reader's daily fare. Seated in a cafe and identified by scraggly gray hair and persistent smoking, he drinks away the day and night while assisting a stream of questers searching for answers to their problems. The mind-reader's method calls for the seeker to write the question on paper. While the speaker smokes and plays the part of Delphic oracle, he uses practical wisdom of human nature to locate an answer. Implicit in the explanation is the speaker's unstated misery. Confessing to fakery and to his own hurt is the truth of the mind-reader's act, "I have no answers." In the falling action, his retreat into free drinks suggests that skill in reading others' sufferings is a carefully staged hoax. Beyond the facts that he recovers, he presses his own consciousness to observe nothing but oblivion.
Wilczek, Frank and Betsy Devine (1988). Longing for the Harmonies: Themes and Variations from Modern Physics. New York, Norton.
Devoted to sharing their own delight and awe before the fundamental mysteries of the cosmos, Frank Wilczek (winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics) and science writer Betsy Devine also have a serious purpose: to reveal to the lay reader how a heightened perception can respond to timeless themes of the physical universe. For example, they show that even the most exotic theories always confirm that physical laws are precisely the same throughout the universe, and they explain how we have learned that the most massive molten stars and the tinest frozen particles are in physical harmony. In their descriptions of the workings of the half-known universe, Wilczek and Devine bring all of us face to face with the beauty of eternal order and the inevitability of rational ends and beginnings.
Wildbur, Peter and Michael Burke (1998). Information Graphics: Innovative Solutions in Contemporary Design. New York, Thames and Hudson.
The organization and presentation of information is one of the most important but least recognized aspects of the design profession. Whether faced with masses of material, sophisticated sign systems, or making the complex appear simple, designers must make information accessible to everyone. More visible than the work of any other kind of graphic artist, information graphics are all around us--but how do designers arrive at such elegant and useful solutions to complicated problems? Covering a broad spectrum of material, from transportation systems and body-imaging maps to sign systems, from electronics manuals and personal information-manager (PIM) interfaces to three-dimensional rendering, Information Graphics presents an international selection of designs that make cities and businesses function smoothly. The best contemporary work is featured, including designs by such masters as Erik Spiekermann of MetaDesign in Germany, Richard Saul Wurman in the United States, and Hiroyuki Kimura of Tube Graphics in Japan. Each project includes detailed commentary on how the design responded to the client's needs, and why it works. Within each chapter, case studies examine a single project in depth, from the client's initial request to the finished product.
Wilde, Oscar and Richard Allen Cave (2000). The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays. London; New York, Penguin Books.
Oscar Wilde was at once a family man and a homosexual outsider, a socialite, socialist, and Irish nationalist. His contradictions inspired him to ponder the roles and masks donned in conventional society, and his acute and wry insights are wonderfully displayed in this collection of his essential plays. Known not only for his brilliant, epigrammatic language, but also for his sense of theatrical design, color, and staging, Wilde created an enduring body of finely crafted works, whose delights and ironies still speak to modern audiences. In addition to Lady Windermere's Fan, Salome, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, A Florentine Tragedy, and The Importance of Being Earnest, this edition contains an introduction, notes and commentaries, and an excised scene from The Importance of Being Earnest.
Wilderson, Frank B. (2008). Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid. Cambridge, Mass., South End Press.
Wilderson, a professor, writer and filmmaker from the Midwest, presents a gripping account of his role in the downfall of South African apartheid as one of only two black Americans in the African National Congress (ANC). After marrying a South African law student, Wilderson reluctantly returns with her to South Africa in the early 1990s, where he teaches Johannesburg and Soweto students, and soon joins the military wing of the ANC. Wilderson's stinging portrait of Nelson Mandela as a petulant elder eager to accommodate his white countrymen will jolt readers who've accepted the reverential treatment usually accorded him. After the assassination of Mandela's rival, South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, Mandela's regime deems Wilderson's public questions a threat to national security; soon, having lost his stomach for the cause, he returns to America. Wilderson has a distinct, powerful voice and a strong story that shuffles between the indignities of Johannesburg life and his early years in Minneapolis, the precocious child of academics who barely tolerate his emerging political consciousness. Wilderson's observations about love within and across the color line and cultural divides are as provocative as his politics; despite some distracting digressions, this is a riveting memoir of apartheid's last days.
Wilkerson, Cathy (2007). Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman. New York, Seven Stories Press.
'On the morning of March 6, 1970, in the subbasement of 18 W. 11th Street in Greenwich Village, a piece of ordinary water pipe, filled with dynamite, nails, and an electric blasting cap, ignited by mistake.'
So begins this stunning memoir of a white middle-class girl from Connecticut who became a member of the Weather Underground, one of the most notorious groups of the 1960s. Cathy Wilkerson, who famously blew up and escaped from a Greenwich Village townhouse, here wrestles with the legacy of the movement, at times looking at contradictions of the movement that many others have avoided: the absence of women's voices then and in the retelling; the incompetence and the egos; the hundreds of bombs detonated in protest which caused little loss of life but which were also ineffective in fomenting revolution. While proud of many of the accomplishments of the 1960s, years later Wilkerson examines why, in 1970, she in effect accepted the same disregard for human life practiced by the government. In searching for new paradigms for change, Wilkerson asserts with brave humanity and confessional honesty an assessment of her past, of those heady, iconic times, and finds hope and faith in a world that at times seems to offer neither.
Cathy Wilkerson was active in the civil rights movement, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Weather Underground. In 1970, she, along with Kathy Boudin, survived an explosion in the basement of her parents' townhouse that killed three Weathermen, forcing the two underground. For the past twenty years she has worked as an educator teaching teachers in the New York City schools.
Willan, Anne (1995). In & out of the Kitchen in Fifteen Minutes or Less. New York, Rizzoli.
Willett, John (1978). Art and Politics in the Weimar Period: The New Sobriety, 1917-1933. New York, Pantheon Books.
Williams, C.K. (2007). Collected Poems. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Williams's characteristic poems can be recognized as his on the page, in the ear or indeed from across a room. With long lines and flat language, his best work (in breakthrough books like 1983's Tar and the 1987 tour-de-force Flesh and Blood) has the rangy virtues of well-observed free verse, the spark and force of gritty, realistic short stories and the harrowing inwardness of no-nonsense personal essays about parents and children, lovers and strangers, New Jersey and France. Eschewing hints and symbols, Williams simply says what he knows he has seen: "the frail, false fusions and discursive chains of hope" or "that astonishing thing that happens when you crack a needle-awl into a block of ice.A Dream of Mind (1992) takes Williams's long, long lines into an almost Stevensian territory of abstract nouns and reflexive meditations on pity, fear and memory; later volumes, such as Repair (1999), soften Williams's typically violent pictures, more forgivingly portraying "this wedge of want my mind calls self." This weighty, even daunting, tome shows new and old readers the long arc of this Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner's career, from the morbid sanguinities of his apprentice work to the careful, moving, stanzaic focus evident in 21 new poems.
Williams, Charles (1990). The Hot Spot. New York, Vintage Books.
A dark, brooding masterpiece of guilt, greed, and lust in a town ripe for felony. Madox wasn't all bad. He was just half-bad. But trap a man like Madox in a dead-end job in a stultifying small town, introduce him to a femme fatale like the Harshaw woman, and give him a shot at a fast fifteen thousand dollars--in a bank just begging to be knocked over--and his better nature doesn't stand a chance. Merciless in its suspense, flawless in its grasp of the ways in which ordinary people hurtle over the edge, The Hot Spot is a superb example of fifties roman noir.
Williams, David (1987). The Canterbury Tales: A Literary Pilgrimage. Boston, Twayne.
Williams, Juan (1987). Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. New York, NY, Viking.
An outstanding contribution to the memory of the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement. Williams brings the events of the nonviolent civil rights years to life with photographs and lucid text, as well as brief asides interspersed throughout to provide participants' perspectives. Written in conjunction with the production team of the PBS-TV series of the same name, the book uses still photography, which provides different insights than the film footage of the same events shown on television. While the two could be used together, the book stands solidly alone as one of the best available summaries of the period.
Williams, Junius W. (2014). Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power. Berkeley, Calif., North Atlantic Books.
An activist combining ivy-league sophistication and street smarts, Junius Williams helped make the urban North's civil rights revolution. Although his people's power inevitably ran up against entrenched institutional power, black as well as white, Williams still inspires and instructs a new generation for whom this should be recommended reading.
Williams, Robert Franklin (1998). Negroes with Guns. Detroit, Wayne State University Press.
First published in 1962, "Negroes with Guns" is the story of a southern black community's struggle to arm itself in self-defense against the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups. Frustrated and angered by violence condoned or abetted by the local authorities against blacks, the small community of Monroe, North Carolina, brought the issue of armed self-defense to the forefront of the civil rights movement. The single most important intellectual influence on Huey P. Newton, the founder of the Black Panther Party, "Negroes with Guns" is a classic story of a man who risked his life for democracy and freedom.
Williams, Raymond L. (1984). Gabriel García Márquez. Boston, Twayne Publishers.
This book is an in-depth overview of Gabo's life and career up until 1981. Organized by literary periods in the author's life.
Williams, Tennessee (1983). Clothes for a Summer Hotel: A Ghost Play. New York, New Directions.
A "ghost play" about Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Williams, Tennessee (1999). The Glass Menagerie. New York, New Directions.
One-act drama by Tennessee Williams, produced in 1944 and published in 1945. Considered by some critics to be Williams' finest drama, The Glass Menagerie launched his career. Amanda Wingfield lives in a St. Louis tenement, clinging to the myth of her early years as a Southern belle. Her daughter Laura, who wears a leg brace, is painfully shy and often seeks solace in her collection of small glass animals. Amanda's son Tom is desperate to escape his stifling home life and his warehouse job. Amanda encourages him to bring "gentleman callers" home to his sister. When Tom brings Jim O'Connor for dinner, Amanda believes that her prayers have been answered. Laura blossoms during Jim's visit, flattered by his attention. After kissing her, however, he confesses that he is engaged. Laura retreats to her shell, and Amanda blames Tom, who leaves home for good after a final fight with his mother.
Williams, Tennessee (2004). Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. New York, New Directions.
Tennessee William's second Pulitzer prize-winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, confronts homosexuality, father/son relationships, greed, manipulation, aging, and death. Study the play that has been referred to as brutally honest. This series is edited by Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale University; Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Professor of English, New York University Graduate School. These texts presents critical essays that reflect a variety of schools of criticism on the most important 20th-century criticism on major works from The Odyssey through modern literature. Each volume also contains an introductory essay by Harold Bloom, critical biographies, notes on the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's life, and an index.
Williams, Tennessee (2004). A Streetcar Named Desire. New York, New Directions.
Play in three acts by Tennessee Williams, first produced and published in 1947 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama for that year. One of the most admired plays of its time, it concerns the mental and moral disintegration and ultimate ruin of Blanche DuBois, a former Southern belle. Her neurotic, genteel pretensions are no match for the harsh realities symbolized by her brutish brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski.
Williams, Tennessee, Mel Gussow, et al. (2000). Plays 1937-1955. New York, Library of America: Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Putnam.
Exploring human passion with daring and unflinching honesty, Tennessee Williams forged a poetic theater of raw psychological insight that fused realism and expressionism. His explosive, often violent, plays set against evocative backdrops that draw out the tragic vulnerability of his heroes and heroines, shattered conventional proprieties and transformed the American stage. In their day they inspired some of the most famous productions and performances in theatrical and film history, and they continue to grip audiences all over the world. Now, in an authoritative two-volume edition, The Library of America collects the plays that define Williams' extraordinary range and achievement.
Here are the essential works, beginning with the stunning rediscovered plays of Williams' early career: Spring Storm, a tragedy of provincial longing that prefigures the mood and language of his later work, and Not About Nightingales, a stark prison drama, recently produced to international acclaim, that resounds with the playwright's outraged idealism. With the autobiographical The Glass Menagerie in 1944, Williams attained what he later called "the catastrophe of success," a success made all the greater by A Streetcar Named Desire, his most famous play and one of the most influential works of modern American literature. Forging an idiom that uniquely blended lyricism and brutality, a tragic sense of life and a genius for comic observation, he continued to revolutionize the American theater with a series of masterpieces: the poignant and melancholy Summer and Smoke, the light-hearted erotic comedy The Rose Tattoo, the sprawling and surrealistic Camino Real, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning portrayal of a ruthless family struggle. This volume also containsBattle of Angels (an early version of Orpheus Descending), and a selection of Williams' one-act plays, including I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix, a meditation on the life and work of D. H. Lawrence.
Williams, Tennessee, Mel Gussow, et al. (2000). Plays 1957-1980. New York, Library of America: Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Putnam.
This volume traces Williams' career as it evolved in his adventurous and sometimes shocking later works, including Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer, and Sweet Bird of Youth, plays that deal with acts of horrific violence; the satiric Period of Adjustment; The Night of the Iguana, a moving drama that contains some of Williams' most lyric writing, and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, a reimagining of the earlier Summer and Smoke. Kingdom of Earth (also known as The Seven Descents of Myrtle) began a more experimental phase of Williams' writing, represented here by The Mutilated, Small Craft Warnings, and Out Cry, while in his final phase, in such plays as A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (1980) and the autobiographical Vieux Carre, Williams returned to many of his earlier themes and settings. The 33 plays collected here reveal a prophetic figure in American life and letters, a writer of generous sympathies and uncompromising frankness who reached wide audiences with plays that revolutionized the themes, and the styles, of the modern theater.
This edition includes a newly researched chronology of Williams' life, explanatory notes, an essay on the texts, and cast lists of many of the original productions.
Williams, William Carlos (1956). In the American Grain. New York, New Directions Publishing Corporation. In the American Grain is William Carlos Williams's outstanding and interesting perspecitive on the formation of American culture and ideals. Set as fictional and nonfictional stories of historical figures and their place in creating what Williams' calls the American Idiom. Williams provides the reader with some of the most interesting and provocative writting in the 20th century. He has supplied the piece with dramatic and extreme views on the state of American art, culture, and history like few before or since. An authoritative text for anyone seeking a realistic view of American Society.
Williams, William Carlos (1970). Imaginations. New York, New Directions Pub. Corp. Imaginations makes accessible five early books by William Carlos Williams, which, except for Kora in Hell, have long been hard to find in their original and complete forms. The prose-poem improvisations (Kora in Hell), the interweaving of prose and poetry in alternating passages (Spring and All and The Descent of Winter), an anti-novel whose subject is the impossibility of writing "The Great American Novel: in America, automatic writing (A Novelette), these are the challenges which Williams accepted and brilliantly met in his early work.
Williams, William Carlos and Christopher J. MacGowan (1992). Paterson. New York, New Directions Pub. Corp.
With this appearance of his magnum opus, the publisher's laudable project of republishing Williams's poetic oeuvre in modern scholarly editions has been completed. The high quality of the two volumes of Collected Poems is replicated here. MacGowan's fine edition sorts out the poem's complicated textual history. His notes will be most useful to future readers, students, and scholars, as they elucidate difficulties and clarify the provenance of the many prose excerpts from various sources included in this unique work. A modernist classic, Paterson is a nativist's answer to the cosmopolitan Pound and Eliot, "a reply to Greek and Latin with the bare hands." By exploring the local, Williams sought to descry the universal and to find in city and landscape symbolic analogues for the essential issues of human life.
Williamson, Al; Goodwin, Archie (2010). X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan Vol. 1, 1967-1969. San Diego, CA, IDW Publishing.
Al Williamson's run on Secret Agent Corrigan from 1967 to 1979 stands as one of the artistic highlights in the history of the American comic strip. Williamson's delicate line-work, coupled with a style both realistic and atmospheric, enhanced the no-nonsense story of Corrigan.
Williamson, Al; Goodwin, Archie (2011). X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan Vol. 2, 1969-1972. San Diego, CA, IDW Publishing.
This second volume of X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan collects Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson's classic adventure comic strip - that's over 800 comic strips, from September 1, 1969 through April 8, 1972. Each strip is beautifully rendered with delicate precision by master craftsman, Williamson, and elegantly scribed by master wordsmith, Goodwin.
Williamson, Judith (1978). Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London, Boyars: Distributed by Calder and Boyars.
This book sets out not simply to criticize advertisements on the grounds of dishonesty and exploitation, but to examine in detail, through over a hundred illustrations, their undoubted attractiveness and appeal. The overt economic function of this appeal is to make us buy things. Its ideological function, however, is to involve us as 'individuals' in perpetuating the ideas which endorse the economic basis of our society. If it is economic conditions which make ideology necessary, it is ideology which makes those conditions seem necessary.
If society is to be changed,this vicious circle of 'necessity' and ideas must be broken. Decoding Advertisements is an attempt to undo one link in the chain which we ourselves help to forge, in our acceptance not only of the images and values of advertising, but of the 'transparent' forms and structures in which they are embodied. It provides not an 'answer', but a 'set of tools' which we can use to alter our own perceptions of one of society's subtlest and most complex forms of propaganda.
Wills, Christopher (1993). The Runaway Brain: The Evolution of Human Uniqueness. New York, N.Y., Basic Books.
Wills begins this superb, detailed, lucid survey of current controversies over human origins by debunking the popular theory that all human beings share a common ancestry rooted in a particular kind of DNA from a "mitochondrial Eve" who lived in Africa some 200,000 years ago. Next, he applies new findings from molecular genetics and fossil digs to clarify the two competing models of human evolution: the "politically correct" Noah's Ark model, which holds that modern humans arose relatively recently in Africa and fanned out through the Old World, replacing less advanced hominids; and the multiple-origins model, according to which our ancestors made the transition to full humanity more than once, in different parts of the planet. A biologist at UC San Diego, Wills suggests that Homo sapiens is caught up in a process of "runaway brain evolution," the result of a feedback loop between genes and the environment, which has transformed our brains into "sponges for knowledge," giving human evolution the appearance of progress and directionality. Illustrated.
Wilson, Andrew (2004). Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith. New York, Bloomsbury.
While British journalist Wilson's portrait of Highsmith (1921-1995) is neither graceful nor fluid, it is as haunting and as chilling as the stories and novels Highsmith crafted over more than 50 productive years. The author of Strangers on a Train and five novels featuring the amoral and murderous Tom Ripley, Highsmith achieved considerable critical acclaim in her native United States, but never sold well here. She was better received in Europe and that was where she made her home. The biographer's exhaustive attention to detail coupled with his access to Highsmith's journals (or "cahiers," as she called them) and letters, and extensive interviews with her friends, lovers and associates, allow him to reveal in excruciating detail this very private person. Highsmith emerges as a woman of great intelligence, candor and curiosity, but also as a racially prejudiced, anti-Semitic and insensitive boor. She was an acute observer capable of seizing a single incident and transforming it into a complex story. But she was unable to transform her own unhappy life. Instead she transmuted her troubles, her experiences, her observations into her work. One of her lovers observed, "If she hadn't had her work, she would have been sent to an insane asylum or an alcoholics' home. She was her writing." Highsmith's work has had an important impact on both crime fiction and gay and lesbian fiction, and Wilson has impressively documented that as well as the tremendous cost Highsmith paid for her achievements. 16 pages of b&w photos.
Wilson, Charles Reagan, William Ferris, Ann J. Adadie, editors (1989). Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.
There are many Souths, many southerners. The region's fundamental uniqueness, in fact, lies in its peculiar combination of cultural traits, a somewhat curious, often elusive blend created by blacks and whites who have lived together for more than 300 years. In telling their stories, the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture ranges from grand historical themes to the whimsical; from the arts and high culture (William Faulkner and Leontyne Price) to folk culture (quilts, banjos, and grits) to popular culture (Gilley's and Gone With the Wind).
To foster a deeper understanding of the South's cultural patterns, the editors have organized this reference book around twenty-four thematic sections, including history, religion, folklore, language, art and architecture, recreation, politics, the mythic South, urbanization, literature, music, violence, law, and media. The life experiences of southerners are discussed in sections on black life, ethnic life, and women's life. Throughout, the broad goal is to identify the forces that have supported either the reality or the illusion of the southern way of life -- people, places, ideas, institutions, events, symbols, rituals, and values.
The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture was developed by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. Contributors to the volume include historians, literary critics, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, linguists, theologians, folklorists, architects, ecologists, lawyers, university presidents, newspaper reporters, magazine writers, and novelists.
Wilson, Jeremy (1990). Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence. New York, Atheneum.
Numerous books have been written about T.E. Lawrence since his death in 1935, particularly in the last decade. This volume is fuller and more balanced than its predecessors, drawing extensively on relevant documents, including recently released British government records and never before available Lawrence family papers. Wilson successfully depicts all aspects of Lawrence's strengths and accomplishments, including his development as a literary figure and his friendships with writers and political leaders, without either minimizing or overdramatizing his psychological and emotional weaknesses. Wilson's lucid and well-paced prose style makes his careful research fascinating. This detailed study may be too elaborate for the casual reader, but it will be essential for libraries with readers seriously interested in the period or the man. - Elizabeth R. Hayford, Assoc. Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago
Wilson, Robert Anton (1988). Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy. New York, Dell Publishing.
The sequel to the cult classic The Illuminatus! Trilogy, this is an epic fantasy that offers a twisted look at our modern-day world--a reality that exists in another dimension of time and space that may be closer than we think.
Wilton, Andrew and J.M.W. Turner (2007). Turner in His Time. New York, N.Y., Thames & Hudson.
J.M.W. Turner is one of the most famous and most mysteriousof artists. His paintings are among the masterpieces of Western art, and the range of his work and the originality of his technique make him a giant. He kept his private life a secret, and his contradictory personality, his love of mystification, and his revolutionary manner of painting all fascinated his contemporaries and still arouse our curiosity today. Andrew Wilton's knowledge and enthusiasm uniquely qualify him to introduce us to the artist's life, and he concentrates here on original sources: Turner's writings, in the form of letters, notes, and verse; impressions recorded by his contemporaries; and reviews of his exhibited works. A comprehensive illustrated chronology covers Turner's travels, exhibitions, and projects, and includes portraits of his friends and patrons, views of places with which he was associated, and works by other artists who played a crucial role in forming his style and thought.
Winans, A. D. (1977). North Beach Poems. San Francisco, Second Coming Press. It's a waltz, not a fast dance. Embrace it, and you'll hear the beat of the heart,
and the rhythm of the soul. - A. D. Winans
Winogrand, Garry; Leo Rubinfien, editor, et al. (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, Garry Winogrand presents a vivid portrait of an artist who unflinchingly captured America's swings between optimism and upheaval in the postwar era.
Winogrand, Garry and John Szarkowski (1988). Winogrand: Figments from the Real World. New York, N.Y., Museum of Modern Art: Distributed by New York Graphic Society.
The first comprehensive overview of the work of Garry Winogrand, long out of print and difficult to come by, contains an eloquent and important essay on the life and work of the photographer by John Szarkowski and a lavish plate section presenting the photographs thematically. Grouped under the following titles-- Eisenhower Years, The Street, Women, The Zoo, On the Road, The Sixties, etc, The Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and Rodeo, Airport and Unfinished Work-- many of the 179 plates are works that had never before been published. The last section includes 25 pictures chosen from the enormous body of work that Winogrand left unedited at the time of his death in 1984. In his essay, Szarkowski, who knew the photographer well during most of his career, describes the development of Winogrand's pictorial strategies during his years as a photojournalist, the increasing complexity of his motifs as he pursued more personal goals, and the challenge posed for other photographers by the powerful and distinctive authority of Winogrand's best work, "with its manic sense of a life balanced somewhere between animal high spirits and an apprehension of moral disaster."
Wiseman, John and Great Britain. Army. Special Air Service. (1986). Survive Safely Anywhere: The Sas Survival Guide. New York, Crown Publishers.
There are other books that are more visual, such as Outdoor Survival Handbook, Bushcraft, World of Survival. and Complete Wilderness Training among others, but this one contains everything.
2. Climate and terrain
4. Camp craft
5. Reading the signs
6. On the move
7. Survival at sea
10. Disaster strategies
Witemeyer, Hugh (1969). The Poetry of Ezra Pound; Forms and Renewal, 1908-1920. Berkeley, University of California Press.
Withers, Ernest C. and Daniel J. Wolff (2001). The Memphis Blues Again: Six Decades of Memphis Music Photographs. New York, Viking Studio.
Memphis, the legendary birthplace of the blues, has throbbed with the sounds of some of the greatest American popular music in the twentieth century: from ragtime and jazz, through the blues, randb, and rock and roll, o gospel, soul, and funk.
Witkiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy (1968). The Madman and the Nun, and Other Plays. Seattle, University of Washington Press.
Crazy, maladjusted poet, closed in a hospital for mentally insane people, grotesque hospital staff - doctors and nuns. Provocation: who is mad - who is normal.
Witt, Hubert (1974). Brecht, as They Knew Him. New York, International Publishers.
Witt, Michael (2013). Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian. Bloomington, IN, Indiana University Press.
Originally released as a videographic experiment in film history, Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du cinema has pioneered how we think about and narrate cinema history, and in how history is taught through cinema. In this stunningly illustrated volume, Michael Witt explores Godard's landmark work as both a specimen of an artist's vision and a philosophical statement on the history of film. Witt contextualizes Godard's theories and approaches to historiography and provides a guide to the wide-ranging cinematic, aesthetic, and cultural forces that shaped Godard's groundbreaking ideas on the history of cinema.
Witte, Ludo de (2001). The Assassination of Lumumba. London; New York, Verso.
Patrice Lumumba, first prime minister of the Republic of Congo and a pioneer of African unity, was murdered on 17 January 1961. Lumumba was at the center of the country's popular defiance towards the relentless exploitation of its Belgian colonizer. When independence was finally won in June 1960, his unscheduled speech at the official ceremonies in Kinshasa, which described Belgian rule as 'a humiliating slavery imposed by brute force,' received a standing ovation and made him a hero to millions. Within months he was arrested, tortured and executed. This book unravels the appalling mass of lies and betrayals that have surrounded accounts of the murder. Employing an array of official sources as well as extensive personal testimony, it reveals a network of complicity ranging from the Belgian government, across the United Nations leadership, to the CIA. Chilling official memos which detail 'liquidation' and 'threats to national interests' are analyzed alongside macabre tales of the destruction of evidence, placing in stark and dignified contrast Lumumba's personal strength and his quest for African independence.
Wittner, Lawrence S. (2009). Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement. Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press.
This abbreviated version of Lawrence Wittner's award-winning trilogy, The Struggle Against the Bomb, shows how a worldwide, grassroots campaign—the largest social movement of modern times—challenged the nuclear priorities of the great powers and, ultimately, thwarted their nuclear ambitions. Based on massive research in the files of peace and disarmament organizations and in formerly top secret government records, extensive interviews with antinuclear activists and government officials, and memoirs and other published materials, Confronting the Bomb opens a unique window on one of the most important issues of the modern era: survival in the nuclear age. It covers the entire period of significant opposition to the bomb, from the final stages of the Second World War up to the present. Along the way, it provides fascinating glimpses of the interaction of key nuclear disarmament activists and policymakers, including Albert Einstein, Harry Truman, Albert Schweitzer, Norman Cousins, Nikita Khrushchev, Bertrand Russell, Andrei Sakharov, Linus Pauling, Dwight Eisenhower, Harold Macmillan, John F. Kennedy, Randy Forsberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helen Caldicott, E.P. Thompson, and Ronald Reagan.
Wolf, Burton, Emily Aronson, et al. (2000). The New Cooks' Catalogue. New York, Alfred Knopf.
A great reference guide for kitchen tool collectors and aficionados, as well as anyone outfitting a kitchen from scratch, Wolfe has included so much information, both general and specific, that even when the models described are out of date, you'll still know what to look for, and how to find it. - Leora Y. Bloom
Wolf, Fred Alan (1988). Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds. New York, Simon and Schuster.
Wolf's readers should get ready for a wild intellectual ride through the convoluted realms of quantum mechanics, relativity, black holes and imaginary time. The physicist (Starwave) is a strong proponent of the "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics, and he launches a ferocious assault on conservative scientists who espouse the "Copenhagen" interpretation. Essentially, the debate hinges on the role of consciousness in measuring quantum events: Copenhagenists argue that a quantum measurement causes the "collapse" of a particle's probability wave, while Wolf claims the act of measuring actually causes the universe to split in two. The equations of relativity and quantum physics support both interpretations. Wolf describes what it would be like to travel through a black hole to a parallel universe; claims that the future must communicate with the present; answers the question of whether the universe had a radius before we started to measure it; and argues that schizophrenics may be in touch with parallel universes. Physics is becoming metaphysics. An enthralling, if somewhat wacky, read.
Wolfe, Thomas (1995). Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life. New York, Scribner Paperback Fiction. Look Homeward, Angel is an elaborate and moving coming-of-age story about Eugene Gant, a restless and energetic character whose passion to experience life takes him from his small, rural hometown in North Carolina to Harvard University and the city of Boston. The novel's pattern is artfully simple -- a small town, a large family, high school and college -- yet the characters are monumental in their graphic individuality and personality.
Through his rich, ornate prose, Wolfe evokes the extraordinarily vivid family of the Gants, and with equal detail, the remarkable peculiarities of small-town life and the pain and upheaval of a boy who must leave both. A classic work of American literature, Look Homeward, Angel is a passionate, stirring, and unforgettable novel.
Wolfe, Thomas (1999). Of Time and the River: A Legend of Man's Hunger in His Youth. New York, Scribner.
The sequel to Thomas Wolfe's remarkable first novel, Look Homeward, Angel, Of Time and the River is one of the great classics of American literature. The book chronicles the maturing of Wolfe's autobiographical character, Eugene Gant, in his desperate search for fulfillment, making his way from small-town North Carolina to the wider world of Harvard University, New York City, and Europe. In a massive, ambitious, and boldly passionate novel, Wolfe examines the passing of time and the nature of the creative process, as Gant slowly but ecstatically embraces the urban life, recognizing it as a necessary ordeal for the birth of his creative genius as a writer.
The work of an exceptionally expressive writer of fertile imagination and startling emotional intensity, Of Time and the River illuminates universal truths about art and life, city and country, past and present. It is a novel that is majestic and enduring. As P. M. Jack observed in The New York Times, "It is a triumphant demonstration that Thomas Wolfe has the stamina to produce a magnificent epic of American life."
Wolff, Geoffrey (1976). Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby. New York, Random House.
Harry Crosby was the godson of J. P. Morgan and a friend of Ernest Hemingway. Living in Paris in the 1920s and directing the Black Sun Press, which published the works of James Joyce and others, Crosby was at the center of the wild life of the Lost Generation. Drugs, drink, sex, gambling, the deliberate derangement of the senses in the pursuit of transcendent revelation: these were Crosby's pastimes until, in 1929, he shot his girlfriend, the recent bride of another man, and then himself. This biography is an engrossing saga of a brilliant but self-destructive socialite from a fascinating and complex time.
Wolfram, Stephen (2002). A New Kind of Science. Champaign, IL, Wolfram Media.
This long-awaited work from one of the world's most respected scientists presents a series of dramatic discoveries never before made public. Starting from a collection of simple computer experiments---illustrated in the book by striking computer graphics---Wolfram shows how their unexpected results force a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe.
Wolfram uses his approach to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science: from the origin of the Second Law of thermodynamics, to the development of complexity in biology, the computational limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, and the interplay between free will and determinism.
Written with exceptional clarity, and illustrated by more than a thousand original pictures, this seminal book allows scientists and non-scientists alike to participate in what promises to be a major intellectual revolution.
Wollheim, Richard and Bollingen Foundation Collection (Library of Congress) (1987). Painting as an Art. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.
Richard Wollheim notes that De Kooning crammed his pictures with the infantile experiences of sucking, touching, biting, excreting and swallowing. The expressionist's violent paintings are about the body as locus of sensation and emotion; they remind us that, as children, we felt threatened by our own natural bodily functions. Penetrating insights like these pepper the difficult lectures presented here along with some 400 illustrations. Wollheim, a philosopher of esthetics, offers a psychological theory of how pictures transmit meaning: artists act as agents, inducing in the mind of the spectator the mental states that compel them to paint. The author's favorites include Manet, Picasso, Titian, Bellini, Ingres, Poussin. These essays will help readers identify the unrepresented "internal spectator" lurking in some pictures; with other paintings, one discovers how the artist wanted the external spectator to feel. Wollheim delivered this set of lectures at the National Gallery of Art.
Wolin, Sheldon S. (2008). Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.
A comprehensive diagnosis of our failings as a democratic polity by one of our most seasoned and respected political philosophers. Democracy Incorporated is a devastating critique of the contemporary government of the United States-including what has happened to it in recent years and what must be done if it is not to disappear into history along with its classic totalitarian predecessors. --Chalmers Johnson.
Wolin, Sheldon S. (2004). olitics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.
Sheldon Wolin is our premier contemporary theorist of engaged democracy. This expanded edition of Politics and Vision offers an extraordinarily comprehensive and acute account of the encounter between philosophy and political power, from classical Greece to the postmodern era of Superpower. The new edition demonstrates the power of Wolins original enterprise by bringing it into constructive relationship with Marx, Nietzsche, and Dewey, and with political philosophy since Rawls. Essential reading for anyone concerned with the possibilities of politics in the twenty-first century. --Josiah Ober.
Woolf, Jenny (2010). The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: Discovering the Whimsical, Thoughtful and Sometimes Lonely Man Who Created Alice in Wonderland. New York, N.Y., St. Martin's Press.
A portrait of the author of Alice in Wonderland analyzes contradictory aspects of his character, tapping recently discovered sources to set Carroll's life in the context of Victorian England, and assesses his financial difficulties and his relationship with the real Alice.
Wood, Gordon S. (1998). The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787. Chapel Hill, Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, Va., by the University of North Carolina Press.
This classic work explains the evolution of American political thought from the Declaration of Independence to the ratification of the Constitution. During the nearly two decades since its original publication, this book has set the pace, furnished benchmarks, and afforded targets for many subsequent studies. If ever a work of history merited the appellation 'modern classic,' this is surely one.
Wood, Gordon S. (1993). The Radicalism of the American Revolution. New York, Vintage Books.
In this beautifully written and persuasively argued book, one of the most noted of U.S. historians restores the radicalism to what he terms "one of the greatest revolutions the world has ever known." It was the American Revolution, Wood argues, that unleashed the social forces that transformed American society in the years between 1760 and 1820. The change from a deferential, monarchical, ordered, and static society to a liberal, democratic, and commercial one was astonishing, all the more so because it took place without industrialization, urbanization, or the revolution in transportation. It was a revolution of the mind, in which the concept of equality, democracy, and private interest grasped by hundreds of thousands of Americans transformed a country nearly overnight. In a grand and immemsely readable synthesis of historical, political, cultural, and economic analysis, a prize-winning historian depicts much more than a break with England. He gives readers a revolution that transformed an almost feudal society into a democratic one, whose emerging realities sometimes baffled and disappointed its founding fathers.
Woodbridge, Sally Byrne, John Marshall Woodbridge, et al. (2005). San Francisco Architecture: An Illustrated Guide to the Outstanding Buildings, Public Artworks, and Parks in the Bay Area of California. Berkeley, Ten Speed Press.
Woodiwiss, Michael (2001). Organized Crime and American Power: A History. Toronto; Buffalo, University of Toronto Press.
Organized crime, understood in a literal sense as systematic illegal activity for money or power, is as old as the first systems of law and government and as international as trade. Piracy, banditry, kidnapping, extortion, forgery, fraud, and trading in stolen or illegal goods and services are all ancient occupations that have often involved the active participation of landowners, merchants, and government officials. Many people today, however, follow the lead of the US government and American commentators and understand organized crime as being virtually synonymous with super-criminal 'Mafia-type' organizations. These are usually seen as separate entities, distinct from legitimate society but possessing almost unlimited regional, national, and even international power. As background to this understanding of organized crime there exists a consensus among most commentators that suggests that the United States has had the most experience and success in dealing with the problem. In Organized Crime and American Power: A History, Michael Woodiwiss argues that organized criminal activity has never been a serious threat to established economic and political power structures in the United States but more often a fluid, variable, and open-ended phenomenon that has, in fact, complemented those structures.
Conventional histories of the problem tend to focus on outlaws in peripheral feudal societies, most commonly Sicily, for their antecedents. Woodiwiss by contrast finds his antecedents in the systematic criminal activity of the powerful and respectable in those ancient and early modern societies that we usually understand to be at the centre of 'civilized' development and continues to emphasize the crimes of the powerful throughout his wide ranging overview. He surveys the organization of crime in the Southern states after the American Civil War; the organized crimes of American business interests; the causes and corrupt consequences of the US campaign to prohibit alcohol and other 'vices'; the elaboration of the Mafia conspiracy interpretation of organized crime and the consequent 'dumbing of discourse' about the problem, not just nationally but internationally.
Emphasizing the importance of collaboration, as much as confrontation, between government and criminals, Woodiwiss illustrates how crime control policies based on the Mafia paradigm have not only failed to address much organized criminal behaviour, but have, in many ways, proved counterproductive and damaging to individual rights and social stability.
Woolrich, Cornell (2004). Rendezvous in Black. New York, Modern Library.
On a mild midwestern night in the early 1940s, Johnny Marr leans against a drugstore wall. He's waiting for Dorothy, his fiancee, and tonight is the last night they'll be meeting here, for it's May 31st, and June 1st marks their wedding day. But she's late, and Johnny soon learns of a horrible accident - an accident involving a group of drunken men, a low-flying charter plane, and an empty liquor bottle. In one short moment Johnny loses all that matters to him and his life is shattered. He vows to take from these men exactly what they took from him. After years of planning, Johnny begins his quest for revenge, and on May 31st of each year - always on May 31st - wives, lovers, and daughters are suddenly no longer safe.
Wreszin, Michael (1994). A Rebel in Defense of Tradition: The Life and Politics of Dwight Macdonald. New York, Basic Books.
If Michael Wreszin's new biography, A Rebel In Defense of Tradition: The Life and Politics of Dwight Macdonald, inspires a new generation of readers to discover Macdonald's work, that would justify the ten years Wreszin devoted to this encyclopedic study. Wreszin's paradoxical title captures what he sees as the thread that connects all the many political shifts Macdonald negotiated over the course of his long career. To Wreszin, Macdonald was a genuine American rebel, a dyed-in-the-wool anarchist who loathed established authority. Yet he was also an upholder of intellectual standards against what he considered the philistinism of contemporary American culture, as well as a nostalgist, who longed for the simpler, more natural life of an earlier era, free of the mechanized, bureaucratic indoctrination of modern mass society. In the tension between these two seemingly opposed ideologies, one traditionally liberal and the other customarily conservative, Wreszin locates the idiosyncratic core of Macdonald's thought. This biography is a tale of an upper-middle-class white male who managed to jettison the prejudices and provincialism of his class, and become one of the most penetrating critics of mid-century American civilization. Dwight Macdonald was the founder of The Partisan Review, and editor of The New Yorker, Fortune and Esquire. His friends ranged from Hannah Arendt to Abbie Hoffman.
Wright, Frank Lloyd, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, et al. (1988). Frank Lloyd Wright in the Realm of Ideas. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press.
Wright's own voluminous writings are still the most direct guide to his thought processes. Quotes from his essays are juxtaposed here with 170 photographs and plans. Words and images form a sweeping if uncritical panorama of his belief that organic architecture should undergird individual freedom and democracy, wedding nature to technology. The catalogue of a traveling exhibit, this handsome volume includes several penetrating essays. Contributors examine the architect's early years in Chicago, his "second career" that began in his 60s and lasted until the age of 92, his fusion of function, building materials and landscape.
Wright, James Arlington (1990). Above the River: The Complete Poems. New York; Middletown, Conn., Farrar. University Press of New England.
Wright (1927-1980) has enjoyed a widespread influence on American poets; this collection of his life's work eloquently shows why. Born to a working-class family in Ohio, Wright was educated at Kenyon College, and though he traveled to Europe and lived in New York City, in his poetry he returned in an often elegiac mode to his industrially marred but still suggestive native Midwestern landscape. Writing with a "lonely wisdom" of life's fragility, Wright has few peers; his regrets over the limits of mortality, love and language are tempered, with utmost tenderness, by a sympathetic willingness to experience and endure. In purity of image, rhythm and solitariness of tone, Wright reflects the work of his admired Theodore Roethke and Edgar Arlington Robinson, as well as that of Robert Frost, but the aura of delicately wistful dreaming evoked in matchless free verse is his alone. In this collection, readers can handily compare Wright's early formal poems with his later, more fluid style; sandwiched in are his translations of work by Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda and others.
Wright, Richard (1991). Early Works: Lawd Today!; Uncle Tom's Children; Native Son. New York, N.Y., Library of America: Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Viking Press.
Arnold Rampersad, editor. This two-volume Library of America edition presents for the first time Wright's major works in authoritative, unexpurgated texts that restore many passages cut or altered for their sexual, racial, or political candor. Native Son exploded on the American literary and cultural scene in 1940. The story of Bigger Thomas, a young black man living in the raw, noisy, crowded slums of Chicago's South Side, captured the hopes and yearnings, the pain and rage of black Americans with an unprecedented intensity and vividness. Also included are Wright's first novel, Lawd Today!, and his collection of short stories, Uncle Tom's Children. "A major publishing event. Readers who think they know these works have some surprises in store for them." - Henry Louis Gates
Wright, Richard (1991). Later Works. New York, N.Y., Library of America: Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Viking Press.
This volume, along with its companion Early Works, presents for the first time Wright's major works in the form in which he intended them to be read. The authoritative new texts, based on Wright's original typescripts and proofs, reveal the full range and power of his achievement as an experimental stylist and as a fiery prophet of the tragic consequences of racism in American society. Here for the first time in its complete form is Wright's eloquent and wrenching autobiography, Black Boy (American Hunger), including the second section which was cut at the time of publication at the insistence of book club editors. Also included is Wright's novel The Outsider. "A major event in American literary history."
Wright, Stephen (1988). M31, a Family Romance. New York, Harmony Books.
Dash and Dot, popular fixtures on the seminar and radio call-in show circuits because of their tales of visitations from extraterrestrials from the planet M31, live in an abandoned church somewhere in the Midwest with their extended family and hangers-on. The church steeple has been fitted out with a satellite dish to scan the stars for signs of future arrivals. Into this unusual situation strays Gwen, who believes she was abducted by aliens in a shopping-mall parking lot, and Beale, her traveling partner and sometime boyfriend. Gradually discovering that all is not as it seemsfamilial relationships between the clan members, for example, being particularly cloudythe two ultimately find their own lives at risk as the imbalances slip dangerously out of control. Wright (Meditations in Green) delivers this in fragments, from a variety of viewpoints, leaving the reader appropriately unsettled throughout. Meanwhile, the descriptions etch the particulars of this madness in exceptionally striking detail: the references to a world readers can recognize, seen through the perspective of the fringe-dwelling family, render our world of media and mass culture as alien as the unseen M31. The result is an often harrowing portrait of the chaos that lurks beneath the mundane details of daily life.
Wright, Stephen (2003). Meditations in Green. New York, Vintage Contemporaries.
Sardonic, searing, seductive and surreal, the award-winning Meditations in Green is regarded by many as the best novel of the Vietnam War. It is a kaleidoscopic collage that whirls about an indelible array of images and characters: perverted Winky, who opted for the army to stay off of welfare; eccentric Payne, who's obsessed with the film he's making of the war; bucolic Claypool, who's irrevocably doomed to a fate worse than death. Just to mention a few.
And floating at the center of this psychedelic spin is Spec. 4 James Griffin. In country, Griffin studies the jungle of carpet bomb photos as he fights desperately to keep his grip on reality. And battling addiction stateside after his tour, he studies the green of household plants as he struggles mightily to get his sanity back. With mesmerizing action and Joycean interior monologues, Stephen Wright has created a book that is as much an homage to the darkness of war as it is a testament to the transcendence of art.
Wright, Stephen (2005). Going Native: A Novel. New York, Vintage Books.
This is a story in which the progression of the narrative is sacrificed for the sake of deeper portraiture of the American spiritual landscape. Each chapter introduces new characters in new locales, and tells their singularly bizarre tales with an almost hallucinatory rapture: there are Wylie and Rho and Tom and Gerri, two suburban couples having a banal barbecue, only to have Wylie disappear at the end; there is a crack-house couple a few doors away, lost in an endless high, and also missing their car; there is a souvenir shop-owner in the southwest who polishes a screenplay about aliens, and whose daughter gets picked up hitchhiking by a man who might be Wylie. The other chapters--about lesbian workers in a Vegas chapel, a porn film magnate, a Hollywood couple tripping in Borneo, a California woman who runs a tree nursery--are just as oblique in their relation to a succession of events hinted at, but never told, which seems to involve Wylie's journey across the country in a green Ford Galaxy. Wylie (perhaps) makes an appearance in every chapter, sometimes in cameo, sometimes in disguise, and often in violence. The effect of this manner of storytelling is at once compelling and alienating; the author refuses to ponder the psychology of his vagabond Wylie, while leaving no nuance unexplored among those whose paths he crosses. In the end, this is the darkest of novels, both in its subject matter and it execution, although readers may find themselves joyously careening through Wright's (Meditations in Green) absolutely brilliant maximalist prose in pursuit of a story that, in the end, remains an unsettling mystery.
Wyndham, John (2008). The Chrysalids. New York, NYRB Classics.
John Wyndham's novel The Chrysalids is a famous example of 1950s Cold War science fiction, but its portrait of a community driven to authoritarian madness by its overwhelming fear of difference - in this case, of genetic mutations in the aftermath of nuclear war - finds its echoes in every society.
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