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 : Reviews, news articles, interviews and essays capturing 100 years of art, architecture, literature, music, dance, theater, film and television.
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 : 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 : Walker Evans is widely recognized as one of the greatest American photographers of the twentieth century, and the J. Paul Getty Museum owns one of the most comprehensive collections of his work, including more of his vintage prints than any other museum in the world. This lavishly illustrated volume brings together for the first time all of the Museum’s Walker Evans holdings. Included here are familiar images—such as Evans’s photographs of tenant farmers and their families, made in the 1930s and later published in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men—and images that are much less familiar—such as the photographs Evans made in the 1940s of the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers circus, or his very late Polaroids, made in the 1970s. In addition, many previously unpublished Evans photographs, and variant croppings of classic images, appear here for the first time. Author Judith Keller has written a lively, informative text that places these photographs in the larger context of Evans’s life and career and the culture—especially the popular culture—of the time. In so doing, she has produced an indispensible volume for anyone interested in the history of photography or American culture in the twentieth century. Also included is the most comprehensive bibliography on Walker Evans published to date.
Description : Writers have represented 9/11 and its aftermath with varying degrees of success. In Out of the Blue, Kristiaan Versluys focuses on novels that move beyond patriotic clichés and cheap sensationalism and provide new insights into the emotional and ethical impact of these traumatic events and what it means to depict them. Versluys focuses on Don DeLillo's Falling Man, Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World, and John Updike's Terrorist. He scrutinizes how these writers affirm the humanity of the disoriented individual, as opposed to the cocksure killer or politician, and retranslate hesitation, stuttering, or stammering into a precarious act of defiance. Versluys also discusses works by Ian McEwan, Anita Shreve, Martin Amis, and Michael Cunningham, arguing for the novel's distinct power in rendering the devastation of 9/11.