Description : "But it is his skill as a historian as well as a printer that endears his name to the student of typography. His four volumes on the practice of typography are considered classics. In an age when few American scholars were examining early printed books, he made significant scholarly contributions to the study of incunables. When the Grolier Club was founded in 1884, it was not surprising that, as New York's most illustrious printer, he was asked to be one of the founding members and to provide much the Club's early printing."--BOOK JACKET.
Description : A best-seller from its first publication in 1903, The Call of the Wild tells the story of Buck, a big mongrel dog who is shipped from his comfortable life in California to Alaska, where he must adapt to the harsh life of a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush. The narrative recounts Buck’s brutal obedience training, his struggle to meet the demands of human masters, and his rise to the position of lead sled dog as a result of his superior physical and mental qualities. Finally, Buck is free to respond to the “call” of the wilderness. Over a hundred years after its publication, Jack London’s “dog story” retains the enduring appeal of a classic. This Broadview Edition includes a critical introduction that explores London’s life and legacy and the complex scientific and psychological ideas drawn upon by London in writing the story. The appendices include material on the Klondike, Darwin’s writings on dogs, other contemporary writings on instinct and atavism, and maps of the regions in which the story takes place.
Description : A romance of America’s nascent imperial power, Richard Harding Davis’s Soldiers of Fortune recounts the adventures of Robert Clay, a mining engineer and sometime mercenary, and Hope Langham, the daughter of a wealthy American industrialist, as they become caught up in a coup in Olancho, a fictional Latin American republic. When the coup, organized by corrupt politicians and generals, threatens the American-owned Valencia Mining Company, Clay organizes his workers and the handful of Americans visiting the mine into a counter-coup force. Written on the eve of the Spanish-American War, Soldiers of Fortune casts the young American as the dashing, hypermasculine hero of the new military and economic. A huge best-seller, the novel did its part to push the nation into war against Spain, and stands as one of the most important texts in the literature of American imperialism. The appendices, which bring together primary materials by writers and politicians such as Rebecca Harding Davis, Theodore Roosevelt, Jose Martí, Mark Twain, Herbert Spencer, and others, address such issues as social Darwinism, masculinity, and ideas of Anglo-American superiority.
Description : Reviews, news articles, interviews and essays capturing 100 years of art, architecture, literature, music, dance, theater, film and television.
Description : A revelatory look at the life of the great American author—and how it shaped his most beloved works Jack London was born a working class, fatherless Californian in 1876. In his youth, he was a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling West Coast—an oyster pirate, a hobo, a sailor, and a prospector by turns. He spent his brief life rapidly accumulating the experiences that would inform his acclaimed bestselling books The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Sea-Wolf. The bare outlines of his story suggest a classic rags-to-riches tale, but London the man was plagued by contradictions. He chronicled nature at its most savage, but wept helplessly at the deaths of his favorite animals. At his peak the highest paid writer in the United States, he was nevertheless forced to work under constant pressure for money. An irrepressibly optimistic crusader for social justice and a lover of humanity, he was also subject to spells of bitter invective, especially as his health declined. Branded by shortsighted critics as little more than a hack who produced a couple of memorable dog stories, he left behind a voluminous literary legacy, much of it ripe for rediscovery. In Jack London: An American Life, the noted Jack London scholar Earle Labor explores the brilliant and complicated novelist lost behind the myth—at once a hard-living globe-trotter and a man alive with ideas, whose passion for seeking new worlds to explore never waned until the day he died. Returning London to his proper place in the American pantheon, Labor resurrects a major American novelist in his full fire and glory.
Description : Neil Harris's scholarship of the past twenty-five years has helped to open up the study of American cultural history. This long-awaited collection gathers some of his rich and varied writings. Harris takes us from John Philip Sousa to Superman, with stops along the way to explore art museums and world fairs, shopping malls and hotel lobbies, urban design and utopian novels, among other artifacts of American cultures. The essays fall into three general sections: the first treats the history of cultural institutions, highlighting the role of museums; the second section focuses on some literary, artistic, and entrepreneurial responses to the new mass culture; and the final group of essays explores the social history of art and architecture. Throughout Harris's diverse writings certain themes recur—the redefining of boundaries between high art and popular culture, the relationship between public taste and technological change, and the very notion of what constitutes a shared social experience. Harris's pioneering work has broadened the field of cultural history and encouraged whole new areas of inquiry. Cultural Excursions will be useful for those in American and culture studies, as well as for the general reader trying to make sense of the culture in which we live.
Description : The New York Times film critic shows why we need criticism now more than ever Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism. Yet what A.O. Scott shows in Better Living Through Criticism is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life. With penetrating insight and warm humor, Scott shows that while individual critics--himself included--can make mistakes and find flaws where they shouldn't, criticism as a discipline is one of the noblest, most creative, and urgent activities of modern existence. Using his own film criticism as a starting point--everything from his infamous dismissal of the international blockbuster The Avengers to his intense affection for Pixar's animated Ratatouille--Scott expands outward, easily guiding readers through the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the power of Marina Abramovich and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' Drawing on the long tradition of criticism from Aristotle to Susan Sontag, Scott shows that real criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive. "The time for criticism is always now," Scott explains, "because the imperative to think clearly, to insist on the necessary balance of reason and passion, never goes away."