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Subject: History

Portrait of Young Genius – The Mind and Art of Marie Bashkirtseff

Joel L. Schiff

December 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-171-8
Availability: In stock
$85 £68 €80

Marie Bashkirtseff was of one of the most extraordinary women of the 19th century. Her Journal (originally comprising some 20,000 hand-written pages but pared down to a few hundred for publication) was a cause célèbre after her death and continues to be an inspiration to the Women’s Movement to this day. It also inspired such great writers as Anaïs Nin and Katherine Mansfield among many others. Born into an aristocratic family in a village in Ukraine the family soon settled in France, first in Nice and later in Paris. Taught entirely by tutors Marie spoke multiple languages, played numerous musical instruments and longed for a singing career on the stage. An illness that affected her throat made her change course and she took up painting for which she had a latent talent. As a student at the Académie Julian in Paris she was soon exhibiting at the annual Paris Salon, the premier venue for artists. But it was her personality that makes Marie Bashkirtseff such an exceptional individual. At a very young age she was already exhibiting in her Journal the thoughts of a learned philosopher, wrestling with the nature of God, the position of women in society, the politics of men. Having contracted tuberculosis in early childhood she ceaselessly strove to shrug it off in her quest to achieve greatness. In the end, a great tragedy unfolds. The book is somewhat unique in format. The first part is a biographical section that describes Marie’s unusual and fascinating life. Then a second section, consists of a single Journal excerpt (in English translation from the original French) on each left-hand page, juxtaposed with one of her outstanding works of art on the facing page. In this manner, we learn about her remarkable life and tribulations, enter her restive and brilliant mind via her Journal, as well as appreciate her exceptionally fine works as an artist.

Self, History and Future

A work on the modality of history

Tetsuaki Iwamoto

June 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-473-3
Availability: In stock
$45 £30 €40

Be it Foucault’s insight into a society based on ‘power-knowledge’ or Fukuyama’s attempts to predict the future based on the end-game situation of ‘liberal democracy’, both are like trying to work out a curvature of a line from a given point by using pre-calculus maths. No amount of elaborate narratives based on a quasi-dynamic, phenomenological concept like ‘discourses’ or a static concept like ‘liberal democracy’ will capture the dynamism of moving events and their fluid directions called ‘future’. You need the methodology of operative concepts that process moving events. My essay is based on a holistic and dynamic concept with logical progressions. Instead of capturing movements as a still picture I try to record constantly changing situations in terms of modality of history. It is the necessity of tangencies and encompassments for Circles of Identity (CI) that forms history. The momentum of ‘self’ that bridges the past and the future is the propellant of CIs, which follows certain rules to suggest our destiny.

Questioning History

16 Essential Questions That Will Deepen Your Understanding of the Past

Joe Regenbogen

June 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-105-3
Availability: In stock
$45 £33 €38

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

Michael Anthony Kirsch

March 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-056-8
Availability: In stock
$65 £50 €55

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

Pablo R. Izurieta Andrade

December 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-470-2
Availability: In stock
$50 £38 €45

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.

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