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Subject: History

Questioning History

16 Essential Questions That Will Deepen Your Understanding of the Past
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-105-3
June 2016
Availability: In stock

Since the days of the Ancient Greeks, history has been perceived as the academic study of the past. Unfortunately, it has generally been taught as a litany of rigid, boring facts intended to be accepted rather than questioned. This has been reinforced for decades by weighty textbooks that overwhelm the reader with mind-numbing details presented in a chronological sequence. The end result is that students see little relevance of what they learn in history class to the real world, and many simply struggle to stay awake. Compared to other subjects taught at the secondary level, history is frequently judged to be the most boring. This is largely because it is viewed as an intellectually lifeless subject that presents few opportunities for active engagement. Questioning History is a book built around 16 essential questions designed to challenge this common assumption. Each question is broad, open-ended and subject to vigorous debate. By examining the historical background behind each question and by analyzing the ways in which the question can be answered, the reader will come away with a deeper understanding of the past and a new appreciation for history as a cognitively dynamic subject. In addition, by using each chapter as a platform for engaging discussions and Socratic seminars, the reader will be able to refine the decision-making skills necessary for effective citizenship in a democratic society. Depending on the classroom or the setting in which it is being used, Questioning History can either take the place of the more traditional textbook or at least be used as a supplement to make it come more alive. The best way to learn and to appreciate a subject is through active engagement. Questioning History provides a shot of adrenalin to the study of history.

The Challenge of Credit Supply

American Problems and Solutions, 1650-1950
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-056-8
March 2016
Availability: In stock

This book is for anyone seeking a succinct and accessible treatment of the most pivotal financial and monetary policies throughout American history from 1650-1950. But it is especially written for those who desire an intricate and detailed knowledge of how and why these policies worked with respect to the supply of adequate credit for economic development. A thorough examination of key credit institutions and their specific powers, functions, mechanisms, context, and economic impact brings the reader to a recognition of which policies and institutions were successful and unsuccessful in supporting the economy and preventing crisis. Its extensive use of primary sources, period literature, and carefully chosen quotations allows the reader to participate in the original discussion and issues that faced Americans in each era. This vivid account leads to a unique grasp of relationships between essential facts, ideas, and time periods. The reader is rewarded with the rare experience of seeing the evolution of three hundred years of policy development as an integrated process. The book’s content will be new and provoking to the academic, policy maker, and economist, but is presented in a manner and style ensuring comprehension for a general audience and those new to the topics involved. Many of the lessons learned in the course of the investigation are relevant and applicable to modern economic and financial policies.

Boom and Bust: Ecuador’s Financial Rollercoaster

The interplay between finance, politics and social conditions in 20th Century Ecuador
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-470-2
December 2015
Availability: In stock

Throughout the history of Ecuador, the ambivalent evolution of major political and social events such as the stability of serving presidents, coups and even war, has coincided with changes in the financial environment. The product of careful historical study, "Boom & Bust: Ecuador’s Financial Rollercoaster" combines evidence from prior studies with original research, including data from the Central Bank of Ecuador, unpublished diplomatic papers and documents from the personal archives of relevant historical figures. A central finding is that the export performance of Ecuador's three primary commodities - cacao, bananas and oil - has significantly shaped 20th-century Ecuadorian history. Synthesis of old and new insights reveals how the state of the nation’s economy has frequently determined the outcome of critical events. All the while, the strength, immediacy and direction of the relationships examined has varied. The book would appeal to anyone with an interest in Ecuador's recent history as well as specialists and scholars of Latin American economic and political history.

Public Assistance of the Poor in France

From the Middle Ages to the Late 19th Century (New Edition)
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-041-4
October 2015
Availability: In stock

This book is a historical assessment of state institutions and other social arrangements put in place to alleviate poverty in France. It draws from both primary (notably archives of the Church) and secondary sources (such as Monnier’s Histoire de l’Assistance Publique). It offers a comparative perspective with respect to contemporary arrangements in Britain and the United States, including some early poverty statistics. The result is a useful and concise account of the history of social institutions which continues to be of relevance over a century after its initial publication. This New Edition has been typeset with modern techniques. It has been painstakingly proofread to ensure that it is free from errors.

The Road to Parnassus: Artist Strategies in Contemporary Art

Rise and Success of Glasgow Artist Douglas Gordon and of the wider YBA generation
1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-029-2
October 2015
Availability: In stock

How can one become a successful artist? Where should one start a career in the art world? What are useful strategies to achieve recognition in the art system? Such questions hoard in students' minds ever since entering art school and they probably chase every kind of art professional who is at an early career stage. “The Road to Parnassus” tries to understand what makes a good start in today's art world, who are influential players in the field and which strategies might apply. The swift career ascension of Glasgow artist Douglas Gordon – one of today's leading visual artists – and of the broader YBA generation that rose into worldwide prominence in the 1990s – Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas among the best known – serves as a convenient case to analyse contemporary artist strategies. This book takes a multidisciplinary approach – spanning from traditional art history, to sociology and economics – pursuing the reconstruction of the field of forces in art as intended by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Compared to previous publications on art system dynamics, such as Thompson's “The $12 Million Stuffed Shark”, this book offers an enhanced understanding of the factors that allow a young artist to enter the arena of contemporary art. The present research should help uncover the art system logic – which appears enigmatic to non-experts – revealing that artists are aware they need to consider global trends, beat competitors and meet the demands of dealers, collectors, curators and museums. This book furthers existing contributions on the YBAs (for example Stallabrass' “High Art Lite”), offering innovative conclusions on recent British art, such as on the duality between London and Glasgow, the gender opposition among emerging artists and the predominance of resourceful authors.

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