Description : A brilliantly illuminating portrait of the twenty-first-century West—a book as vast, diverse, and unexpected as the land and the people, from one of our foremost chroniclers of migration The economic boom—and the devastation left in its wake—has been writ nowhere as large as on the West, the most iconic of American landscapes. Over the last decade the West has undergone a political and demographic upheaval comparable only to the opening of the frontier. Now, in Desert America, a work of powerful reportage and memoir, Rubén Martínez, acclaimed author of Crossing Over, evokes a new world of extremes: outrageous wealth and devastating poverty, sublime beauty and ecological ruin. In northern New Mexico, an epidemic of drug addiction flourishes in the shadow of some of the country's richest zip codes; in Joshua Tree, California, gentrification displaces people and history. In Marfa, Texas, an exclusive enclave triggers a race war near the banks of the Rio Grande. And on the Tohono O'odham reservation, Native Americans hunt down Mexican migrants crossing the most desolate stretch of the border. With each desert story, Martínez explores his own encounter with the West and his love for this most contested region. In the process, he reveals that the great frontier is now a harbinger of the vast disparities that are redefining the very idea of America.
Description : Desert Wildflowers of North America leads visitors and certified desert rats alike through the flora of the blooming desert. This illustrated full-color guide contains profiles of more than 500 species of plants. The simplified botanical key and illustrated glossary help even novice wildflower admirers to identify desert plants with confidence.
Description : Guardian Book of the Day New Statesman Book of the Year History Today Book of the Year Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year BBC History Magazine Book of the Year 'Bustles impressively with detail and anecdote' —Sunday Times ‘Consistently fascinating’ —The Spectator 'Beautifully written and deeply researched' —The Observer 'Barr draws on a rich and varied trove of sources to knit a sequence of dramatic episodes into an elegant whole. Great events march through these pages' —Wall Street Journal Upon victory in 1945, Britain still dominated the Middle East. She directly ruled Palestine and Aden, was the kingmaker in Iran, the power behind the thrones of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, and protected the sultan of Oman and the Gulf sheikhs. But her motives for wanting to dominate this crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa were changing. Where ‘imperial security’ – control of the route to India – had once been paramount, now oil was an increasingly important factor. So, too, was prestige. Ironically, the very end of empire made control of the Middle East precious in itself: on it hung Britain’s claim to be a great power. Unable to withstand Arab and Jewish nationalism, within a generation the British were gone. But that is not the full story. What ultimately sped Britain on her way was the uncompromising attitude of the United States, which was determined to displace the British in the Middle East. The British did not give in gracefully to this onslaught. Using newly declassified records and long-forgotten memoirs, including the diaries of a key British spy, James Barr tears up the conventional interpretation of this era in the Middle East, vividly portraying the tensions between London and Washington, and shedding an uncompromising light on the murkier activities of a generation of American and British diehards in the region, from the battle of El Alamein in 1942 to Britain’s abandonment of Aden in 1967. Reminding us that the Middle East has always served as the arena for great power conflict, this is the tale of an internecine struggle in which Britain would discover that her most formidable rival was the ally she had assumed would be her closest friend. Reviews for A Line In The Sand:- 'Masterful' —The Spectator 'With superb research and telling quotations, Barr has skewered the whole shabby story' —The Times 'Lively and entertaining. He has scoured the diplomatic archives of the two powers and has come up with a rich haul that brings his narrative to life' —Financial Times
Description : This book begins with the physical and biological characterization of the four North American deserts and a description of the primary adaptations of plants to environmental stress. In the following chapters the authors present case studies of key species representing dominant growth forms of the North American deserts, and provide an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the major patterns of adaptations in desert plants. One chapter is devoted to several important exotic plants that have invaded North American deserts. The book ends with a synthesis of the adaptations and resource requirements of North American desert plants. Further, it addresses how desert plants may respond to global climate change.
Description : Welcome to the desert! Some people think of the desert as a hot, dry, lifeless place. But it is full of life, with diamondback rattlesnakes stalking scorpions and coyotes prowling for rabbits after nightfall. Day and night in the desert, the hunt is on to find foodand to avoid becoming someone elses next meal. All living things are connected to one another in a food chain, from animal to animal, animal to plant, plant to insect, and insect to animal. What path will you take to follow the food chain through the desert? Will you Race after a roadrunner chasing her dinner? Fly with a pallid bat during her nightly insect feast? Shadow a pronghorn dining on prickly pear? Follow all three chains and many more on this who-eats-what adventure!
Description : In this, his most accessible and evocative book, France’s leading philosopher of postmodernism takes to the freeways in a collection of traveler’s tales from the land of hyperreality.
Description : This study explores the ways in which the desert, as topographical space and cultural presence, shaped and reshaped concepts and images of America. Once a territory outside the geopolitical and cultural borders of the United States, the deserts of the West and Southwest have since emerged as canonical American landscapes. Drawing on the critical concepts of American studies and on questions and problems raised in recent debates on ecocriticism, The Poetics and Politics of the Desertinvestigates the spatial rhetoric of America as it developed in view of arid landscapes since the mid-nineteenth century. Gersdorf argues that the integration of the desert into America catered to the entire spectrum of ideological and political responses to the history and culture of the US, maintaining that the Americanization of this landscape was and continues to be staged within the idiomatic parameters and in reaction to the discursive authority of four spatial metaphors: garden, wilderness, Orient, and heterotopia.
Description : “A persuasive but painful solution for dealing with the mess in the Middle East.” –Kirkus The greatest danger to America’s peace and prosperity, notes leading Middle East policy analyst Kenneth M. Pollack, lies in the political repression, economic stagnation, and cultural conflict running rampant in Arab and Muslim nations. By inflaming political unrest and empowering terrorists, these forces pose a direct threat to America’s economy and national security. The impulse for America might be to turn its back on the Middle East in frustration over the George W. Bush administration’s mishandling of the Iraq War and other engagements with Arab and Muslim countries. But such a move, Pollack asserts, will only exacerbate problems. He counters with the idea that we must continue to make the Middle East a priority in our policy, but in a humbler, more humane, more realistic, and more cohesive way. Pollack argues that Washington’s greatest sin in its relations with the Middle East has been its persistent unwillingness to make the sustained and patient effort needed to help the people of the Middle East overcome the crippling societal problems facing their governments and societies. As a result, the United States has never had a workable comprehensive policy in the region, just a skein of half-measures intended either to avoid entanglement or to contain the influence of the Soviet Union. Beyond identifying the stagnation of civic life in Arab and Muslim states and the cumulative effect of our misguided policies, Pollack offers a long-term strategy to ameliorate the political, economic, and social problems that underlie the region’s many crises. Through his suggested policies, America can engage directly with the governments of the Middle East and indirectly with its people by means of cultural exchange, commerce, and other “soft” approaches. He carefully examines each of the region’s most contested areas, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and explains how the United States can address each through mutually reinforcing policies. At a time when the nation will be facing critical decisions about our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, A Path Out of the Desert is guaranteed to stimulate debate about America’s humanitarian, diplomatic, and military involvement in the Middle East. From the Hardcover edition.