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Paris, a Concise Musical History

Guy Hartopp

May 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-255-5
Availability: In stock
384pp. ¦ $59 £48 €55

Paris, the City of Light, is one of the most romantic cities in the world. The millions of visitors which flock to the French capital every year follow in the footsteps of countless artists, writers and composers who for centuries have been drawn to this magnificent city. Some composers, Chopin and Rossini among them, found success and contentment, and remained in Paris for the rest of their lives. But for others, Paris brought nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. Mozart, who came to Paris as a 22-year-old seeking a permanent position, was so bitter about the cavalier manner in which he was treated that he professed an aversion to all things French until the end of his days. Wagner was so upset by his treatment here that he once described Paris as "a pit into which the spirit of the nation has subsided." And yet he was drawn back to the city time and again. This book charts the musical history of Paris. It discusses the composer and musicians, both French and foreign, who were drawn here and the impact they made on the world of music, on this great city, and vice versa. It includes a wealth of biographical details, including where the artists lived and, where relevant, where they died and are buried. It also draws from and points to suitable scholarly literature, making it an accessible introduction to students of the musical history of Paris. The book also describes another feature which, if it did not enrich, most certainly enlivened Parisian musical life: The full-scale musical riot. The most notorious of these took place at the Theatre des Champs Elysées in 1913 at the premiere of Stravinsky’s ballet Le sacre du printemps. Less physical, but no less vociferous, was the reception accorded to Wagner’s Tannhäuser at the Opéra in 1860. Other composers who incurred the displeasure of Parisian audiences included Satie, Varese and Xenakis. These riots were not half-hearted affairs; police involvement was required and hospital casualty departments were kept busy. There are also chapters which discuss the musical history of the many theatres of Paris and the churches which played such an important part in the city’s musical past. The text is clear and accessible in order to appeal to both students and the general reader.

Broken Branches

A philosophical introduction to the social reproductions of oppression from an intersectional feminist perspective

Latashia Nicole Harris, University of Portland

May 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-064-3
Availability: In stock
192pp. ¦ $55 £48 €53

Broken Branches places a critical lens on the infrastructure, institutions, social processes and practices that govern our society. The text examines the ways that neoliberalism influences society and our lives across generations. The practice of colonialism is deconstructed, showing how this practice has been renamed, but holds steadfast to its original intention of cultivating institutionalized oppression that feeds social perception. The author exposes the ways that social perceptions, juxtaposed semantics, commonly accepted definitions, practices, rhetoric and propaganda create products of maintained systemic injustice when resistance is absent and desensitization is prevalent. Colonialism and its consequential social reproductions of oppression continue to traverse across land, body, and mind in individual as well as collective contexts. Broken Branches explores the tributaries of oppression but also highlights the source of oppression within the United States. The philosophical, intersectional and feminist approach of critical analysis lays the framework for further interrogation and utilizes the catalyst of historical precedence to initiate this introduction. The author implores the reader to take introspective steps towards understanding where one’s own complicity exists in oppression as well and addresses the cognitive dissonance we have become accustomed to in perpetuating oppression. Broken Branches offers suggestions on how to forge forward to create substantive and structural change that is not contingent on the dispossession and oppression of the marginalized so that the health and vitality of a few is sustained. Broken Branches encourages the practice of continuous inquiry and acknowledges that transformation is not possible without change. The author pushes for collectively empowered marginalized voices, operationalized pathways to inclusion, intersectional and equitable perspectives, and an increased investment in healing the trauma caused by the perpetuation of colonialism.

Back to the Core

Rethinking Core Texts in Liberal Arts & Sciences Education in Europe

Edited by Emma Cohen de Lara, Amsterdam University College, Netherlands and Hanke Drop, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

April 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-096-4
Availability: In stock
420pp. ¦ $75 £65 €70

Whereas liberal arts and sciences education arguably has European roots, European universities have evolved over the last century to become advanced research institutions, mainly offering academic training in specialized disciplines. The Bologna process, started by the European Union in the late nineties, encouraged European institutions of higher education to broaden their curricula and to commit to undergraduate education with increased vigor. One of the results is that Europe is currently witnessing a proliferation of liberal arts and sciences colleges and broad bachelor degrees. This edited volume fills a gap in the literature by providing reflections on the recent developments in Europe with regard to higher education in the liberal arts and sciences. The first section includes reflections from either side of the Atlantic about the nature and aims of liberal arts and sciences education and the way in which it takes shape, or should take shape in European institutions of higher learning. The edited volume takes as a distinct approach to liberal arts and sciences education by focusing on the unique way in which core texts – i.e. classic texts from philosophical, historical, literary or cultural traditions involving “the best that has been written” – meet the challenges of modern higher education in general and in Europe in particular. This approach is manifested explicitly in the second section that focuses on how specific core texts promote the goals of liberal arts and sciences education, including the teaching methods, curricular reflections, and personal experiences of teaching core texts. The edited volume is based on a selection of papers presented at a conference held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in September 2015. It is meant to impart the passion that teachers and administrators share about developing the liberal arts and sciences in Europe with the help of core texts in order to provide students with a well-rounded, formative, and genuinely liberal education.

Memes of Misinformation: Federal Spending

Unraveling the controversial, socio-economic and political issues behind those annoying social media memes

Julio C. Castañeda Jr.

March 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-251-7
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $40 £32 €38

In this first installment of the Misinformation series, the author tackles complex socio-economic and political topics related to the economy of the United States, such as the federal budget, wasteful spending, the national debt, unemployment and social security. By breaking down each subject into layman’s terms, the author clearly and concisely presents, in an unbiased manner, the facts behind the fake news, half-truths and general misinformation from the annoying headlines and memes cluttering social media on these volatile subjects.

Einstein for Anyone: A Quick Read

A concise but up-to-date account of Albert Einstein's life, thought and major achievements

David Topper

March 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-257-9
Availability: In stock
128pp. ¦ $30 £20 €28

This book seeks to fill a gap: the need for a very short book on Albert Einstein that gives a brief but up-to-date story of his life and thoughts, with a short and simple explanation of what he contributed to 20th century physics. Here is the compact story of this famous scientist, from the smiling contrarian in his grade school picture to the nonconformist adult who refused to groom his hair. There is a chapter on his habitually thorny relationships with women and close relatives: his first love, his two wives, his parents and his children – none of which was a painless union. The birth of an illegitimate daughter, the estrangement of his sons after the divorce from his first wife, his ever controlling mother – all had a profound psychological effect on Einstein’s personality. Another chapter focuses on the young Jew struggling with his self-identify, who in adulthood was unwaveringly committed to social justice and democratic principles that he believed were rooted in Jewish ethical values. It started with his early flirtation with Orthodox Judaism, only to be vehemently rejected later when he became a science-obsessed teenager. His exposure to latent and overt anti-Semitism when he moved to Germany in 1914 led to his subsequent espousal (with misgivings) of the Zionist movement. When he moved to the USA in 1933 fleeing Nazi Germany, he was confronted with the endemic racism against African-Americans, an issue he spoke-out boldly against, as a supporter of the burgeoning civil rights movement. This work ignited the ire of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who had already opened a file on Einstein in 1932, because of his pacifist activities in Germany. When he moved to America, Hoover suspected him of being a Communist spy. Finally, there is the scientist who expressed his ideals through his radical ideas about the physical world, as he reworked our conceptions of space, time, and motion. The result was a new cosmic model of the universe that is still being developed further today. His commitment to an ordered and predictable universe was ultimately expressed in his final (but still unfulfilled) quest for a theory that unifies the forces of nature, what he called his unified field theory. Some non-scientific topics, not often found in biographies of Einstein (even the hefty tomes): • A serious consideration of his extensive ruminations on matters of politics and society. • His social efforts for the plight of Eastern European Jews after World War I, and the later work for refugees from Nazi Germany trying to immigrate to the USA. • A look at his close friendship with the African-American singer Paul Robeson, and others committed to civil rights. • The story of his acceptance and reception of an honorary degree from Lincoln University in May, 1946, the first all-black college in America. • His confrontation with the anti-Communist movement during the McCarthy era (especially Hoover and the FBI). • The key role the ideas of the 17th century Jewish philosopher Spinoza had on both Einstein’s theology and his scientific thinking. Some of the highlights of Einstein’s scientific pursuits found in this book: • A clear explanation, with helpful diagrams, of Einstein’s famous “thought experiments.” • The importance for Einstein of the interplay between theory and experiment in physics, as well as his practical side with real world technology. • His vacillation with and ultimate embrace of the role of abstract mathematics in his theory of relativity. • A clear explanation of the differences between Newton’s and Einstein’s ideas about gravity. • A non-technical account of the difference between Einstein’s and Bohr’s interpretations of quantum physics. • Perhaps the first elucidation for the layperson of Einstein’s obsession with and eventual abandonment of what he called Mach’s Principle. • How Einstein’s stubbornness (or chutzpah) both helped and hindered his endeavors in science. • A consideration of why he alone endlessly pursued his quest for a unified field theory. • The little known story of the Einstein-deHaas Effect. • The contrast in his later years between the public’s perception of Einstein the sage and icon of science with that of his fellow scientists, who generally saw him as an old fool chasing a pipedream. • Finally, the most recent confirmation of another of his predictions: the detection of gravitational waves, announced in February 2016.

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