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Atlanta Unbound

Atlanta Unbound
Enabling Sprawl through Policy and Planning

Carlton Wade Basmajian

Reviewed in the April 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "Basmajian challenges the notion that Atlanta's urban sprawl resulted from the failure of regional planning to coordinate decisions across political jurisdictions.... Ultimately, Basmajian suggests that the explanation for Atlanta's built form is subtle, hidden between the cracks in the planning process, and only fully understood by studying its structure and the diverse interests of the individuals and agencies governing it....Summing Up: Recommended."

Family and Work in Everyday Ethnography

Family and Work in Everyday Ethnography
edited by Tamara Mose Brown and Joanna Dreby

Reviewed in the April 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "This edited collection poses several questions for and about the practice of ethnography for the study of families and work.... A useful text for collections on qualitative research methods or sociology of family. Summing Up: Recommended."

Serial Fu Manchu

Serial Fu Manchu
The Chinese Supervillain and the Spread of Yellow Peril Ideology

Ruth Mayer

Reviewed in the April 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "Mayer argues perceptively and persuasively that the serial nature of the transmedia appearances of Sax Rohmer's iconic Chinese supervillain Fu Manchu not only informs and represents 20th-century Anglo-American fear of the racial and ideological Other (in the form of Asian, "yellow peril" for short), but is also constitutive of that fear, integral to the ideology of industrialization, modernization, and colonization.... Mayer's study is theoretically grounded and finds connections across popular culture to inform its arguments. Summing Up: Recommended."

Dr. Radway's Sarsaparilla Resolvent

Dr. Radway's Sarsaparilla Resolvent
Beth Kephart

Reviewed on Melissa Firman's blog. The review read, "In this exceptionally-researched novel targeted toward the tween/young adult audience, Beth Kephart captures not only the sights and sounds of Philadelphia during this industrial age, but also the language of the time. One of her many talents as a writer is her consistent ability — in every book she writes — to put her reader in the scene alongside her characters."

Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989

Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989
edited by Catherine Portuges and Peter Hames

Reviewed in Volume 34, Issue 1 of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television. The review read, "This collection provides a much-needed comparative overview of recent developments in national cinemas in Central and Eastern Europe.... [The] volume, which features some of the most notable scholars working on the cinemas of the region, strikes an effective balance between analyzing recent trends within the respective film industries and discussing film-makers and films. It usefully highlights important film-makers who may have otherwise slipped below the radar of the international film scene....[A]n excellent volume. It will prove an indispensable reference for anyone studying the cinemas of the region."

Underground Woman

Underground Woman
My Four Years as a New York City Subway Conductor

Marian Swerdlow

Reviewed on the about.com blog Public Transport on April 2. The review read, "[A] fascinating story of not only a period in time when the New York Subway was perhaps at its low point (the early 1980s) but also a time when few women were employed at front-line transit positions."

Philadelphia Mural Arts @ 30

Philadelphia Mural Arts @ 30
edited by Jane Golden and David Updike

Featured in an April 1 blog entry on the City Paper website. The review was of the event at the Free Library of Philadelphia on March 25. It read, "[Philadelphia] Mural Arts @ 30 combines beautiful color photos of murals across the city with essays concerning the artistic, cultural and social significance of mural making.... This new book offers stories that show that the impact of murals goes far beyond their aesthetic beauty since, as Golden said several times in her speech, 'Art can ignite change.'” [NOTE: The link is to the Free Library Podcast; it will be featured on the Library's homepage all month. It is very inspiring; Give it a listen!].

Saving San Francisco

Saving San Francisco
Relief and Recovery after the 1906 Disaster

Andrea Rees Davies

Reviewed in the Spring 2014 issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History. The review read, "Davies has written the first true social history of the [1906 earthquake and fire] catastrophe and its aftermath.... Saving San Francisco does an excellent job of foregrounding the voices of women, working-class people, and ethnic minorities, particularly the Chinese, to add new dimensions to the history of the 1906 earthquake and fire and provide a case study of disaster relief politics. Davies' gender analysis represents a particularly important contribution. This concise, well-written history will be a valuable resource for scholars and students of California history, natural disasters, and the Progressive Era United States."

The Archival Turn in Feminism

The Archival Turn in Feminism
Outrage in Order
Kate Eichhorn

Reviewed in the Spring 2014 issue of Bitch magazine. The review read, "Eichhorn uses this book to argue passionately that collecting—that is, archiving—feminism and its by-products is never without deep context, rich history, and radical foresight.'"

Church and State in the City

Church and State in the City
Catholics and Politics in Twentieth-Century San Francisco

William Issel

Reviewed in the Spring 2014 issue of Western Historical Quarterly. The review read, "Issel's longstanding scholarly interest and expertise on the role of ethnicity, race, religion, and politics in American cities, particularly San Francisco, are readily evident in his most expansive treatment to date of church and politics in that city.... The volume presents a superb narrative of twentieth-century public life in San Francisco while deftly interweaving analyses of national politics, international Catholic trends, and the local San Francisco context. Most significantly, it is exemplary in its scholarly integration of urban, political, and religious history."

Putting the Horse before Descartes

Putting the Horse before Descartes
My Life's Work on Behalf of Animals

Bernard E. Rollin

Reviewed in the Spring 2014 issue of the Journal of Animal Ethics. The review read, "Through his descriptions of encounters with the various factions of people who work with living creatures, Rollin exposes the misconceptions that have taken root in the minds of animal scientists, veterinarians, biomedical researchers, companion animal caregivers, and others. The author critically and logically exposes the faulty reasoning that is still too often used to justify the inappropriate treatment of animals today.... With each chapter, the readers' ability to reason through ethical problems is enhanced.... Perhaps most gratifying to some readers is that real solutions to animal welfare problems are identified and put into practice in this book, demonstrating that philosophers do more than simply think about problems.... This book will prove entertaining and educational for anyone who likes or works with animals."

The White Savior Film

The White Savior Film
Content, Critics, and Consumption

Matthew W. Hughey

Reviewed in the March 1 issue of Library Journal. The review read, "Since the 1980s, Hollywood has released a spate of so-called 'white savior' films, in which heroic white protagonists liberate persons of color from dangerous and decayed environments.... Hughey provides a systematic study of the messages these films convey, as well as how film reviewers and audiences receive them.... The author's analysis is sound, and he ultimately offers a convincing critique of how these movies seek to maintain the racial status quo. VERDICT: Scholars of film, sociology, and cultural studies will find this book particularly illuminating."

Sex and the Founding Fathers

Sex and the Founding Fathers
The American Quest for a Relatable Past

Thomas A. Foster

Reviewed in the March 1 issue of Library Journal. The review read, "Foster reveals how each generation has sought to understand the founders as human beings.... it is through exploring these men as people that we understand and relate to them. As times and social mores about masculinity and sexuality have changed, so have interpretations of these men and their personal lives. VERDICT: Foster is looking at the how and why of his subjects. Readers looking for...a better understanding of how and why biographers explore these topics, and why we care, should look to this fascinating and well-written work."

Conceiving Masculinity

Conceiving Masculinity
Male Infertility, Medicine, and Identity

Liberty Walther Barnes

Reviewed in Publishers Weekly on March 24. The review read, "Barnes presents a compassionate and substantive analysis of male infertility.... Barnes weaves a bounty of analytic threads into a compelling ethnography whose interviews with infertile men and their (mostly male) doctors make the story come richly alive in this overdue study."

No More Invisible Man

No More Invisible Man
Race and Gender in Men's Work

Adia Harvey Wingfield

Part of a review essay entitled "The Post-Racial Workplace?" in the March 2014 issue of Sociological Forum. The review read, "Harvey makes an important contribution to the workplace literature, offering her concept of partial tokenization to a paradigm that fails to fully account for the experiences of professional black men.... Harvey advance[s] current scholarship by focusing on groups that have until now only received scant attention and make clear the ways race and racism act as an impediment in the twenty-first-century workplace."

Pimping Fictions

Pimping Fictions
African American Crime Literature and the Untold Story of Black Pulp Publishing

Justin Gifford

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of American Culture. The review read, "Gifford is particularly interested in characters such as pimps, sex workers, drug dealers, hustlers, and criminals as representations of African American resistance to American establishment as well as the harsh living reality of street corners, prisons, and the urban environment. Gifford is equally interested in the role of the publishing industry.... One of the book's strengths exists in touching upon the formation of African-American identities in the late twentieth century. Although Gifford's main focus is in pulp fiction, he also argues that publishing was an effective way to establish African-American culture and identity within the US.... Pimping Fiction is easy to read. While the book can be adopted as an introductory text for understanding a particular African-American writing genre, it can also serve as an extensive case study of a genre contextualized within a specific American and African-American time period and political context."

America's First Adventure in China

America's First Adventure in China
Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation

John R. Haddad

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of The Journal of American History. The review read, "Haddad's engaging narrative is interspersed with vivid descriptions of the ups and downs of early Sino-American relations.... With careful nuance, Haddad analyzes the careers of Americans who smuggled opium into China as well as the minority who abstained on moral grounds.... Haddad and Temple University Press, a relative newcomer to the field of China studies, should be congratulated for producing a detailed history of the formative years of Sino-American relations."

Free Time

Free Time
The Forgotten American Dream

Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of The Journal of American History. The review read, "Free Time's strength is in its eclectic exposition of American ideas about the value and necessity of free time..... thought-provoking."

Envisioning Emancipation

Envisioning Emancipation
Black Americans and the End of Slavery

Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of The Journal of American History. The review of Envisioning Emancipation read, "A number of recent books have addressed black American lives in the first hundred years of photography but none have offered as many diverse and obscure images as this one. Willis and Krauthamer's text proves that twenty-first-century viewers are still learning from the past and are still on the quest to answer the author's guiding question about freedom.... This book is a must-have for lay readers and scholars across disciplines."

Don't Call Me Inspirational

Don't Call Me Inspirational
A Disabled Feminist Talks Back
Harilyn Rousso

Reviewed on the blog, Disability Rights Galaxy on March 13. The review read, "Rousso offers a genuine reflection on growing up in a society that struggles to recognize the value of people with disabilities.... She simultaneously grants readers an in-depth analysis of the feminist movement and its relationship with the disability rights movement, while questioning society’s views of sex and sexuality.... Both hilarious and solemn at times, this [memoir] offers an intriguing perspective on our society’s structure and the varying roles of people with disabilities, and I cannot recommend it enough."

Family and Work in Everyday Ethnography

Family and Work in Everyday Ethnography
edited by Tamara Mose Brown and Joanna Dreby

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read,"Even though the stories presented in this book revolve around ethnographic research, quantitative and qualitative researchers alike will be able to relate to the discussion of work and family balance. Covering issues from the visibility of the pregnant body when in the field, to bringing children to your study, to how a researcher copes with continuing their research in the face of tragedy, this book will keep the reader engaged through its narratives and reflections on the topic of balancing work and family in research.... Researchers across disciplines and methods in the social sciences will find this book an interesting reflection on their own work and family balance in their research.'"

Blue Juice

Blue Juice
Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine

Patricia Morris

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "Morris skillfully analyzes...aspects of veterinary euthanasia. In doing so, she sheds light on issues salient for the fields of work and occupations, the sociology of emotions, and, perhaps most significantly, death and dying. Moreover, the book enhances the research on dramaturgy and constitutes an important addition to the growing literature on human/animal relations.... Blue Juice brims with insights about the complexity, conflict, and satisfaction associated with not only protecting life but also dispensing death. One of the strengths of the book comes through Morris’ analysis of how veterinarians navigate the dual role of healer of animals and provider of services to clients.... Another of the book’s strengths is its analysis of emotions..... Blue Juice is a thoroughly researched, clearly written, well-organized book. It offers a rich ethnographic analysis of euthanasia in veterinary medicine while reflecting on implications that extend far beyond that domain."

Multicultural Girlhood

Multicultural Girlhood
Racism, Sexuality, and the Conflicted Spaces of American Education

Mary E. Thomas

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "In this carefully crafted and theoretically sophisticated study, Mary E. Thomas offers a much-needed critique of the limitations of multiculturalism to fight racism, sexism, misogyny, and violence in schools.... The innovative analyses offered from this study herald the centrality of new work by new theorists.... Thomas adds an exceptional and provocative study to our research on the politics in the urban U.S. schoolyard setting."

Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs

Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs
History, Politics, and Prospects

edited by Christopher Niedt

Reviewed in the March 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "[A] comprehensive multidisciplinary view of modern suburbs in America. Christopher Niedt has assembled essays from historians, social psychologists, sociologists, and demographers, in order to investigate how political and social action arises and is organized in suburban locations. From issues of suburban space use to immigrant incorporation, the authors use both historic and contemporary examples to outline how residents unite to address distinct issues faced by suburbanites.... This collection of essays will be of particular interest to researchers in the fields of urban studies and spatial demography, as many focus on the particular use of space within suburban environments, as well as the distinctions which set suburbs apart from cities as a unique spatial environment."

Rebuilding the News

Rebuilding the News
Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age

C.W. Anderson

Reviewed in the International Journal of Communication, Vol. 8, 2014. The review read, "Chris Anderson's book represents a major contribution in understanding the profound changes in the landscape of news production and in showing us how to study these changes.... It is part of a new and important wave of ethnographic research which documents the lived experience of newsworkers coming to terms with a radically altered media landscape....What sets Anderson's book apart is its emphasis on seeing news organizations not as isolated and singular institutions, but rather as part of a larger journalistic 'ecosystem.'... Overall, Anderson's book is a significant intervention into debates in journalism studies, offering several lasting and important contributions."

Don't Call Me Inspirational

Don't Call Me Inspirational
A Disabled Feminist Talks Back
Harilyn Rousso

Reviewed in the February 2014 issue of Affilia. The review read, "I highly recommend [Rousso's] book for the exploration of how a disability...can lead one to feel less than human and limit hope, imagination, and opportunity.... Her individual experiences help elucidate both disabling and enabling processes and can help others appreciate the daily struggles to build identity and maintain dignity in the face of multiple oppressions. Ms. Rousso is an everyday heroine."

Don't Call Me Inspirational was also featured in the Boston Globe on March 15. The article showcased seven books about disabilities, and described Rousso's memoir as containing "many pops of insight," and for being "[A] very intimate book."

Homecourt

Homecourt
The True Story of the Best Basketball Team You've Never Heard Of

Larry Needle
Foreword by Harlem Globetrotters Legend "Curly" Neal

Reviewed in the February/March 2014 issue of AJL Reviews, a newsletter for the Association of Jewish Libraries. The review read, "Homecourt is an obvious labor of love. The story it tells is one that everyone needs to hear. Do what you love, do it with passion, and do it the right way. While generations of spectators have watched Red Klotz lose basketball games, this small gem shows the great man underneath."

Dominican Baseball

Dominican Baseball
New Pride, Old Prejudice

Alan Klein

Reviewed in the February 15 Baseball Roundup in Library Journal. The review read, "Once again, Klein contributes to our understanding of baseball's expanded territorial appeal, this time through an exploration of Dominican ballplayers, leagues, and agents.... Klein's discussion of youth amateurs, buscones (trainers), and baseball academies is smartly and fairly delivered. So, too, are the nuanced biographical treatments of figures ranging from Enrique Soto, the buscon credited with discovering Miguel Tejada, to former MLB pitcher Ramon Martinez, who has established his own well-regarded baseball academy, and Astin Jacobo Jr., a public representative for independent player developers.... VERDICT A significant study that provides both a micro- and macroexplication of baseball's impact on the Dominican Republic and the island nation's impact on the sport."

We Shall Be Free!

We Shall Be Free!
Black Communist Protests in Seven Voices
Walter T. Howard

Reviewed on the blog People's World on February 12. The review read, "In Howard's book we see - over time - the evolution of the party's approach, its strategy and tactics, as it experimented with different organizational forms in its efforts to recruit African Americans and to build the black liberation and African American equality movements. This is probably one of the most important aspects of this collection of voices.... We Shall Be Free! is an important contribution to African American and Communist history."

Dangerous Trade

Dangerous Trade
Histories of Industrial Hazard across a Globalizing World
edited by Christopher Sellers and Joseph Melling

Reviewed in February 2014 issue of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. The review read, "Dangerous Trade is an audacious book that incorporates multiple themes, areas, and periods into a collection of unusually short essays, which add up to much more than the sum of their parts. Far more than in most edited collections, the chapters address common themes and engage in fruitful dialogue, while the conclusion mines the collection for patterns and new questions.... The case studies laid out in the chapters and synthesized in the conclusion offer a number of provocative and useful ways to deepen and rethink business, labor, environmental, industrial, social, medical, and transnational histories."

East Is West and West Is East

East Is West and West Is East
Gender, Culture, and Interwar Encounters between Asia and America

Karen Kuo

Reviewed in the February 2014 issue of Pacific Historical Review. The review read, "[Kuo] provides an analysis of the complex transnational dynamics of gender, race, class, and sexuality in literature and film.... [I]t is her illumination of these unresolved tensions and their importance that make this book a compelling piece of scholarship."

Celebrating Debutantes and QuinceaƱeras

Celebrating Debutantes and Quinceañeras
Coming of Age in American Ethnic Communities

Evelyn Ibatan Rodriguez

Reviewed in the February 2014 issue of Gender & Society. The review read, "Celebrating Debutantes provides a convincing argument about how different migration patterns, rates of assimilation, and socioeconomic statuses result in coming-of-age celebrations taking on divergent meanings for Mexican and Filipino families. Rodriguez deftly weaves Mexican and Filipino histories, experiences of and motivations for migration to America, and shows how Mexican immigrants often use quinceañeras as a way of showing social status in their ability to host elaborate events for their daughters, contrary to stereotypes about their working-class identity or fiscal irresponsibility. For Filipino immigrants, tasteful celebrations allow families a chance to demonstrate how they fit into American culture. For those interested in gender and gender stratification, this book is particularly compelling in its examination of a ritual that celebrates girls as individuals."

Don't Call Me Inspirational

Don't Call Me Inspirational
A Disabled Feminist Talks Back
Harilyn Rousso

Reviewed in in Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 1. The review read, "Don't Call Me Inspirational is a frank, forthright, and insightful memoir by the feminist disability activist, painter, psychotherapist, and former New York City Human Rights Commissioner Harilyn Rousso.... Overall, the book advances disability activist and scholarly investigations of embodiment, sexuality, and what it means to 'claim disability' personally and collectively.... It is also an invaluable asset to the archives of feminist disability activism.... [Rousso's] writing is simultaneously bold, insightful, and humorous in confronting her own vulnerabilities, insecurities, human failings, and internalized ableism, while using them to map underlying social injustices and the collective remedies needed."

Just Queer Folks

Just Queer Folks
Gender and Sexuality in Rural America

Colin R. Johnson

Reviewed in the Online First version of Gender & Society. The review read, "Just Queer Folks provides a powerful corrective to the faulty assumption that gender and sexual nonnormativity and rurality are incompatible.... Taken as a whole, the book succeeds in mapping the wide range of queer practices that were commonplace for men in rural America. Further, the range of sources Johnson draws on is impressive and thus the book serves as an exemplar for scholars seeking to do queer historicism."

No More Invisible Man

No More Invisible Man
Race and Gender in Men's Work
Adia Harvey Wingfield

Reviewed in the Online First version of Gender & Society. The review read, "No More Invisible Man is an engaging and compelling book. Through interviews with forty-two doctors, lawyers, engineers, and bankers, Adia Harvey Wingfield illuminates the experiences of black male professionals and makes critical contributions to our understandings of inequalities in the workplace.... One of Harvey Wingfield’s strongest theoretical contributions is her documentation of the significance of black professional men’s relationships with colleagues and potential mentors.... Another significant theoretical contribution is Harvey Wingfield’s description of the diversity of black professional men’s responses to women in their male-dominated workplaces.... [T]he book is superb. Harvey Wingfield’s writing is fantastic and a pleasure to read... She walks the reader clearly and explicitly through the questions she brings to current theories, her comparisons between what theories predict and what her data reveal, and the theoretical and practical conclusions she draws.... No More Invisible Man is a successful addition to Harvey Wingfield’s legacy—and to intersectionality scholarship."

Ecomusicology

Ecomusicology
Rock, Folk, and the Environment

Mark Pedelty

Reviewed in the February 2014 issue of Social Anthropology. The review read, "Pedelty asks the question of how music can be used to promote sustainability. He takes us through the political ecology of rock, using examples in a geographic exposition from global (Live Aid megaconcerts), national (political music in USA), regional (bioregions in North America) to local music. Taking an ethnographic approach, Pedelty interfaces these geographical components with an analysis of music as communication, advocacy and to a lesser degree as art. Reflecting on the relationship between musical genre and environmentalism, Pedelty's ecomusicology emerges throughout the book."

The International Monetary Fund and Latin America

The International Monetary Fund and Latin America
The Argentine Puzzle in Context

Claudia Kedar

Reviewed in the the February 2014 issue of the Hispanic American Historical Review. The review read, "Kedar's study of Argentine interactions with the IMF is a welcome and impressive addition.... With its clear and straightforward writing, the book is a challenging prompt for comparable studies on Brazil and Mexico, which are long overdue. Its academic significance is enhanced by the fact that it is in line with current debates about the beliefs, actual behavior, and influence of Washington politics on the procedures and policies of multilateral financial institutions, which important scholars...have pushed forward in the last decade."

Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City

Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City
Somerville, MA

Susan A. Ostrander

Reviewed in the February 2014 issue of Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. The review read, "[A] valuable contribution to our understanding of the struggles newcomers face in the process of gaining full community membership.... Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City is a fascinating book that illustrates the life world of three different groups, who all struggle with ongoing changes in their city. Thanks to this in-depth study the reader gets to know the city and its residents through the rich qualitative data and the excerpts that Ostrander provides throughout the text. The book is suitable for researchers and policy makers as well as community members with an interest in debates about the role of immigrants and other newcomers and their participation in urban civic and political life. It furthermore provides in-depth insights into the influence of voluntary associations in creating a space for immigrants' voices in a diverse and changing city."

"Building Like Moses with Jacobs in Mind"

"Building Like Moses with Jacobs in Mind"
Contemporary Planning in New York City

Scott Larson

Reviewed in the February 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "The book is an excellent brief about the state of affairs of planning in New York City in the past decade.... there are many interesting insights in this readable monograph. Summing Up: Recommended."

East Is West and West Is East

East Is West and West Is East
Gender, Culture, and Interwar Encounters between Asia and America

Karen Kuo

Reviewed in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Asian American Studies. The review read, "Within American studies and its various branches, much of the scholarship about sexual and other kinds of interracial encounters focuses on white American anxiety. Karen Kuo broadens our purview considerably. Her wonderfully astute study finds that even during the period when the United States prohibited Asian immigration, there were literary and filmic texts by and in which white and Asian Americans anticipated greater freedoms through intimate relationships across historical racial boundaries.... With scholarship like Kuo’s, Asian American studies continues to broaden the field of Americanist inquiry. Kuo’s focus on the ways in which the United States and Asia used each other as mirrors takes an important step."


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