- The Genius - Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism
Elijah ben Solomon, the "Genius of Vilna," was perhaps the best-known and most understudied figure in modern Jewish history. This book offers a new narrative of Jewish modernity based on Elijah's life and influence. While the experience of Jews in modernity has often been described as a process of Western European secularization-with Jews becoming citizens of Western nation-states, congregants of reformed synagogues, and assimilated members of society-Stern uses Elijah's story to highlight a different theory of modernization for European life. Religious movements such as Hasidism and anti-secular institutions such as the yeshiva emerged from the same democratization of knowledge and privatization of religion that gave rise to secular and universal movements and institutions. Claimed by traditionalists, enlighteners, Zionists, and the Orthodox, Elijah's genius and its afterlife capture an all-embracing interpretation of the modern Jewish experience. Through the story of the "Vilna Gaon," Stern presents a new model for understanding modern Jewish history and more generally the place of traditionalism and religious radicalism in modern Western life and thought.
- Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World
The first English-language survey to focus on the Finnish Modernist design company Artek and its founders, Alvar and Aino Aalto
The Finnish design firm Artek is best known as the producer and distributor of Modernist bentwood furniture designed by Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). However, its mission was more complex and multifaceted, grounded in the notion that art and design could enhance everyday life. Artek and the Aaltos showcases more than three hundred objects, including furniture, glassware, lighting, design sketches, drawings, textile swatches, and photographs. Most of the material is published here for the first time. It contextualizes the contributions of Artek, and those of its founders, Alvar and his wife, Aino Marsio Aalto (1894-1949), providing evidence for their close professional partnership as well as critical interpretations of their major projects. It also considers individuals such as Maija Heikenheimo, whose career at Artek spanned three decades. In addition, this book examines the Aaltos' advocacy for the use of standardized forms and shows how modern designers continue to work with the Artek product line and within the parameters of the company's mission. Fully indexed appendices present new scholarship, including an inventory of the Artek product line (furniture, textiles, and glass), and a list of public and private commissions. This book is the first English-language publication on the topic, as well as the most comprehensive, with chapters authored by leading scholars of design history and architecture.
- Dog Days, Raven Nights
The coauthor of the award-winning In the Company of Crows and Ravens and his wife, an animal-behavior expert, offer an engaging account of their days as young field biologists in Maine
Twenty years ago, fresh out of graduate school and recently married, John and Colleen Marzluff left Arizona for a small cabin in the mountains of western Maine. Their mission: to conduct the first-ever extensive study of the winter ecology of the Common Raven under the tutelage of biologist Bernd Heinrich.
Drawing on field notes and personal diaries, they vividly and eloquently chronicle their three-year endeavor to research a mysterious and often misunderstood bird--assembling a gigantic aviary, climbing sentry trees, building bird blinds in the forest, capturing and sustaining 300 ravens as study subjects, and enduring harsh Maine winters in pursuit of their goal. They also shared the unique challenges and joys of raising, training, and racing the sled dogs that assisted them in their work.
Accompanied by Evon Zerbetz's lovely linocut illustrations, Dog Days, Raven Nights is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the adventures of field science and an insightful exploration of the nature of relationships, both animal and human.
- The Anatomy of Influence - Literature as a Way of Life
Our most revered critic returns to his signature theme "Literary criticism, as I attempt to practice it," writes Harold Bloom in The Anatomy of Influence, "is in the first place literary, that is to say, personal and passionate."
For more than half a century, Bloom has shared his profound knowledge of the written word with students and readers. In this, his most comprehensive and accessible study of influence, Bloom leads us through the labyrinthine paths which link the writers and critics who have informed and inspired him for so many years. The result is "a critical self-portrait," a sustained meditation on a life lived with and through the great works of the Western canon: Why has influence been my lifelong obsessive concern? Why have certain writers found me and not others? What is the end of a literary life?
Featuring extended analyses of Bloom's most cherished poets--Shakespeare, Whitman, and Crane--as well as inspired appreciations of Emerson, Tennyson, Browning, Yeats, Ashbery, and others, The Anatomy of Influence adapts Bloom's classic work The Anxiety of Influence to show us what great literature is, how it comes to be, and why it matters. Each chapter maps startling new literary connections that suddenly seem inevitable once Bloom has shown us how to listen and to read. A fierce and intimate appreciation of the art of literature on a scale that the author will not again attempt, TheAnatomy of Influence follows the sublime works it studies, inspiring the reader with a sense of something ever more about to be.
- The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World
The 2018 Nobel laureate for economics analyzes the politics and economics of the central environmental issue of today and points the way to real solutions
Climate change is profoundly altering our world in ways that pose major risks to human societies and natural systems. We have entered the Climate Casino and are rolling the global-warming dice, warns economist William Nordhaus. But there is still time to turn around and walk back out of the casino, and in this essential book the author explains how.
Bringing together all the important issues surrounding the climate debate, Nordhaus describes the science, economics, and politics involved--and the steps necessary to reduce the perils of global warming. Using language accessible to any concerned citizen and taking care to present different points of view fairly, he discusses the problem from start to finish: from the beginning, where warming originates in our personal energy use, to the end, where societies employ regulations or taxes or subsidies to slow the emissions of gases responsible for climate change.
Nordhaus offers a new analysis of why earlier policies, such as the Kyoto Protocol, failed to slow carbon dioxide emissions, how new approaches can succeed, and which policy tools will most effectively reduce emissions. In short, he clarifies a defining problem of our times and lays out the next critical steps for slowing the trajectory of global warming.