Ruins: Cultural Theory at the End of the Century, edited by
Nicholas B. Dirks, Professor of Anthropology. In addition to the
editor, Columbia anthropologists contributing to this collection
addressing the concept of "culture" include Professors E. Valentine
Daniel and Michael Taussig and Associate Professors Marilyn Ivy and
John Pemberton, Associate Professor of Anthropology (University of
Minnesota Press, $19.95 paper).
Western and World History: A Guide for Teaching, edited by
Ainslie T. Embree, Professor Emeritus of History, and Carol Gluck,
George Sansom Professor of History. This outgrowth of the Columbia
Project on Asia in the Core Curriculum assembles learned essays on
Asia into what the editors describe as a "curricular commonplace
book" for use in the Columbia Core and beyond (M.E. Sharpe, $83.95
cloth, $32.95 paper).
Regionalism, edited by Charles Reagan Wilson. This collection
of essays on American regions includes a commentary by Professor of
History Barbara J. Fields on the culture of the Southern Atlantic
states (University Press of Mississippi, $40).
Sense of America: Sociological Analyses and Essays by Herbert
J. Gans, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology. Selections from the
noted sociologist's published work, focusing on ethnicity, poverty
and American sociology, concluding with a brief autobiographical
essay (Rowman & Littlefield, $65 cloth, $27.95
Discontent: Humor, Gender, and Nineteenth-Century British
Fiction by Eileen Gillooly, Adjunct Assistant Professor of
English and Comparative Literature. The administrative director of
the Contemporary Civilization and Literature Humanities courses
argues that literary humor became a prudent method for women to
express discontent within a culture fundamentally committed to
restricting female expression (University of Chicago Press, $55
cloth, $20 paper).
Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry by
Kenneth Koch, Professor of English and Comparative Literature. An
introduction to the language, study and appreciation of poetry,
with a short anthology of poems (with brief commentaries) that
"exemplify and illustrate" poetry's variety (Scribner, $27.50
cloth; Simon & Schuster, $15 paper).
were giants in the land: The Life of William Heard Kilpatrick
by John A. Beineke. Widely admired as a "million-dollar professor,"
Kilpatrick (1871-1965) disseminated John Dewey's progressive
educational agenda during his long tenure at Columbia (Peter Lang,
Auden by Edward Mendelson, Professor of English and Comparative
Literature. In this vast, detailed follow-up to his Early Auden,
the literary executor of the poet's estate examines Auden's life
and work between emigration to the United States in 1939 and his
death in 1973 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30).
Structure and Science by Robert K. Merton, edited and with an
introduction by Piotr Sztompka. A cogent system of thought emerges
from this compilation of essays by the pioneering Columbia
sociologist, who introduced such fundamental concepts as role
models, unanticipated consequences and self-fulfilling prophecies
(University of Chicago Press, $55 cloth, $19.95 paper).
Teotihuacan: An Experiment in
Living by Esther Pasztory, Lisa and Bernard Selz Professor in
Pre-Columbian Art History and Archaeology, foreword by Enrique
Florescano. The art of the largest city of Mesoamerican antiquity -
now abandoned for over 1,200 years - reflects a desire to celebrate
an integrated community and civic harmony rather than glorify
individual rulers or aristocratic values (University of Oklahoma
Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum, Associate Instructor of Journalism. An
exercise of literary journalism less concerned with the biography
of Hitler than with the historical, journalistic, psychological,
and sociological attempts to understand him and "the enigma of
human evil" (Random House, $30 cloth; HarperCollins $16
of Agency: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics by Carol Rovane,
Associate Professor of Philosophy. Recognizing the possibility of a
"group person" as well as multiple persons within a single human
being permits a normative evaluation of personal identity, an
appreciation of the distinctive ethical nature of persons, and an
analysis of the rational unity of a moral agent (Princeton
University Press, $40).
Opinion, by Carroll Glynn, Susan Herbst, Garrett J. O'Keefe,
and Robert Y. Shapiro, Professor of Political Science. An
interdisciplinary primer for undergraduates on political attitudes
in the United States and how institutions help shape public opinion
(Westview Press, $75 cloth, $35 paper).
Masks: Agency and History in the Art of the Central Pende by Z.
S. Strother, Assistant Professor of Art History. Three years of
field work among the Pende of Zaire revealed sophisticated
collaboration among artists that allows for innovation in the
"traditional" genre of masquerade and provides insights into a
Central African aesthetic (University of Chicago Press, $49.95
cloth, $30 paper).
of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West by Donald S.
Lopez, Jr. This study of America's enthrallment with Tibet
emphasizes the role of Robert Thurman, the Jey Tson Khapa Professor
of Indo-Tibetan Studies, in popularizing a scientific, rather than
purely religious, appreciation of Buddhism (University of Chicago
Literature: An Embattled
Profession by Carl Woodring, Woodberry Professor Emeritus of
Literature. A dispassionate assessment of literary studies in the
United States, the implications of the so-called "culture wars",
and the state of teaching, including an assessment of Columbia's
Core Curriculum (Columbia University Press, $29.50). For an
excerpt, see Columbia
Columbia College Today features
books by alumni and faculty as well as books about the College and
its people. For inclusion, please send review copies to: Timothy P.
Cross, Bookshelf Editor, Columbia College Today, 475 Riverside
Drive, Suite 917, New York, NY 10115.