Description : "The various and contradictory signs of English otherworldliness offered medieval writers a remarkably elastic medium with which to construct national identity. . . . Above all, the wonderful aspects of geographic otherness made it possible for English writers to see their homeland as not only barbarously divided but also blessed and united. Even as they acknowledged England as a barbarous wasteland . . . or as a site of brutal disorder . . . , the English also imagined England as a holy wilderness or as a blessed isle."—from the IntroductionIn a view that sweeps from the tenth century to the mid-sixteenth century, Kathy Lavezzo shows how the English people's concern with their island's relative isolation on the global map contributed to the emergence of a distinctive English national consciousness in which marginality came to be seen as a virtue. Lavezzo examines the many world maps and textual geographies produced by the English during these years. In a beautifully illustrated book, she argues that the English looked to the globe only to emphasize and, in time, to exalt their own exceptional geographic status. The author charts this process by examining a series of wondrous maps and canonical texts. Demonstrating how medieval geographic notions conditioned English attitudes toward Rome, clarifying the complicated religious history leading up to Henry the Eighth's divorce and the Reformation, Angels on the Edge of the World straddles the subjects—and methods—of literature, history, and cultural geography. It will be of special interest to those readers who use cartography as a way to map cultural identities.
Description : Recapitulates the tumult, idealism, and passion of the 1960s as the author retraces his career as a reporter for "Look" magazine, acknowledging the tremendous formative influences that the era had on him.
Description : For more than two thousand years the people of St Kilda remained remote from the world. Their society was viable, utopian even; but in the nineteenth century the islands were discovered by missionaries, do-gooders and tourists, who brought with them money, disease and despotism. In 1930, the few remaining islanders were evacuated, no longer able to support themselves. An exploration of the life and death of the remote Hebridean society, Island on the Edge of the World is a moving account of human endeavour.
Description : The celebrated author offers her thoughts on a broad range of subjects, including literary criticism, the state of science fiction writing today, and government and governmental policies
Description : Based on a true story of an early Russian missionary bishop's trip to Eastern Siberia. During his journey he learns through example and suffering that in indigenous peoples of all cultures there is dignity that must be recognized and built upon as a foundation for Christian conversion. Includes appendix, 7 line drawings.
Description : For more than 30 years, renowned anthropologist Wade Davis has traveled the globe, studying the mysteries of sacred plants and celebrating the world’s traditional cultures. His passion as an ethnobotanist has brought him to the very center of indigenous life in places as remote and diverse as the Canadian Arctic, the deserts of North Africa, the rain forests of Borneo, the mountains of Tibet, and the surreal cultural landscape of Haiti. In Light at the Edge of the World, Davis explores the idea that these distinct cultures represent unique visions of life itself and have much to teach the rest of the world about different ways of living and thinking. As he investigates the dark undercurrents tearing people from their past and propelling them into an uncertain future, Davis reiterates that the threats faced by indigenous cultures endanger and diminish all cultures.
Description : Unleashed by ancient geologic forces, a magnitude 8.25 earthquake rocked San Francisco in the early hours of April 18, 1906. Less than a minute later, the city lay in ruins. Bestselling author Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities to this extraordinary event, exploring the legendary earthquake and fires that spread horror across San Francisco and northern California in 1906 as well as its startling impact on American history and, just as important, what science has recently revealed about the fascinating subterranean processes that produced it—and almost certainly will cause it to strike again.
Description : Richard Longstreth provides a detailed picture of the early careers of four architects—Bernard Maybeck, Willis Polk, Ernest Coxhead, and A.C. Schweinfurth—who had a decisive impact on the course of design in the San Francisco Bay Area and who stand as significant contributors to American architecture.