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In Near 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).

Asia in 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).

The New 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).

Making 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 paper).

Smile of 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).

Making 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).

And there 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, $32.95 paper).

Later 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).

On Social 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 Press, $49.95).

Explaining 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 paper).

The Bounds 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).

Public 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).

Inventing 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).

Prisoners 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 Press, $25).

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 Forum.

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.

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