Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom
Elisabeth Anker, assistant professor of American studies and political science
The next time you call someoneor something "melodramatic,"you can consider, with the help of this book, the broader implications of that term.Using Friedrich Nietzsche’s term "orgies of feeling,"Dr. Anker analyzes the ways everything from the national narrative of the Sept. 11 attacksto the Communist Manifesto leveraged melodrama (which"portrays dramatic eventsthrough moral polarities of goodand evil") and concludes that melodrama is as important topolitics as it is to film, literature and culture.
Duke University Press, 2014
Founding Friendships: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Early American Republic
Cassandra Good, BA ’04, MA ’05
When Abigail Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson of the “ignorant, wrestless desperadoes, without conscience or principals”—spelling was then an art—leading Shays’ Rebellion (1786-87), the latter responded, “I like a little rebellion now and then.” The penpals tracked by Dr. Good, associate editor of the University of Mary Washington’s James Monroe papers, show that mixed-sex friendships “helped create the social and political fabric of the new nation.”
Oxford University Press, 2015
The New Normal: Finding a Balance Between Individual Rights and the Common Good
Amitai Etzioni, university professor and professor of international affairs
The all-too-familiar image on the cover of this book—a TSA agent and an X-rayed traveler—perfectly underscores the complexity and controversy inherent in balancing rights, like privacy, with societal needs, like security. Striking that balance is imperative, Dr. Etzioni writes.
Transaction Publishers, 2015
Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press
James McGrath Morris, MA ’00
When a young Ethel Payne once waded into a group of fighting boys to break up the melee, her brother (from the pile) told her, “Go on home. Girls aren’t supposed to fight.” Ms. Payne found her own battleground in print, as a reporter for the Chicago Defender. Her coverage—from Chicago, Washington and around the nation—of the turmoil of the civil rights movement earned Ms. Payne the moniker “First Lady of the Black Press” and, from Lyndon Johnson, a pen he’d used to sign the Civil Rights Act.
1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed
Eric Cline, professor of classics and anthropology
Don’t worry, civilization recovers from its 12th-century B.C. collapse. But being aware of history is the first step in not repeating it. The book— nominated by its publisher for a Pulitzer Prize—unspools the story of Egypt’s pyrrhic victory against the mysterious “Sea People,” which ultimately led to the decline of all the Bronze Age Mediterranean civilizations. “With their end,” Dr. Cline writes, came “a period of transition once regarded by scholars as the world’s first Dark Age.”
The Mitten: A Classic Pop-Up Folktale
Jessica Southwick, BA ’95
Evergreens and snowflakes dot this pop-up sledding adventure, in which a young boy misplaces a mitten. His loss is the gain of an array of animals seeking refuge from the cold inside the mitten. Little kids will enjoy tugging and turning the tabs that move the animals around, and the fun of not knowing what might leap from the next page.
Jumping Jack Press, 2014