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New Books: July 2012
A selection from the most recent titles added to the SMCM Library
Tapping the very latest findings in evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall explain how the cognitive gulf that separates us from all other living creatures could have occurred. They discuss the development and uniqueness of human consciousness, how human and nonhuman brains work, the roles of different nerve cells, the importance of memory and language in brain functions, and much more.
Reginald Scot's The Discoverie of Witchcraft (published in 1584) was England's first major work of demonology, witchcraft, and the occult. Recognizing Scot's central importance in the history of ideas, Philip Almond places his subject in the febrile context of his age, examines the chief themes of his work and shows why his writings became a sourcebook for aspiring magicians and conjurors for several hundred years.
Rather than concentrating on the pope and the knights of western Europe who have dominated the history of the First Crusade for centuries, the author focuses on Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. He restores the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos to the heart of the story, with a series of catastrophic events in the mid-1090s.
Berkhoff addresses one of the most neglected questions facing historians of the Second World War: how did the Soviet leadership sell the campaign against the Germans to people on the home front? Motherland in Danger takes us inside the Stalinist state to witness, up close, how the Soviet media reflected--and distorted--every aspect of the war
Tells the story of 1950s southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II. This title describes how red-hunting homemakers mobilized activist networks, institutions, and political consciousness in local education battles.
Set against the backdrop of the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s, this compelling book offers the first comprehensive narrative history of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, notorious for the hostage taking by Palestinian terrorists of Jewish athletes and their tragic deaths after a botched rescue mission by German police. Drawing on a wealth of contemporaneous sources, including recently opened files.
Presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that has eluded several decades of reform.
One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.
Eighteenth-century British culture is often seen as polite and sentimental - the product of an emerging middle class. This title uncovers a strain of cruelty coursing through the period that reminds us just how slowly ordinary sufferings became worthy of sympathy. It expands our understanding of many of the century's major authors.
By explaining the many ways in which insects avoid becoming a meal for a predator, and the ways in which predators evade their defensive strategies, this book conveys an essential understanding of the unrelenting co-evolutionary forces at work in the world around us.
In this book, those veggies finally get their due. In capsule biographies of eleven different vegetables such as artichokes, beans, chard, cabbage, cardoons, carrots, chili peppers, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, pumpkins, and tomatoes, the author explores the world of vegetables in all its facets, from science and agriculture to history, culture, and, of course, cooking.
In this probing look at how plastic built the modern world-- and the price the world has paid for plastic-- journalist Freinkel points out that we’re nearing a crisis point and gives readers the tools needed through lively anecdotes and analysis.
In this book, Philipp von Hilgers examines the theory and practice of war games through history, from the medieval game boards, captured on parchment, to the paper map exercises of the Third Reich. Von Hilgers considers how and why war games came to exist: why mathematical and military thinkers created simulations of one of the most unpredictable human activities on earth.