Blog posts tagged with 'book of the month'

Book of the Month - April 2017 31 March 2017

Our April Book of the Month is The Future of (High) Culture in America, edited by Daniel Asia.

This book brings together the proceedings of the inaugural conference of the University of Arizona Center for American Culture and Ideas (CACI), an institution dedicated to studying and promoting the arts, particularly investigating the relationship between the high arts and culture in America. The conference was titled “The Future of (High) Culture in America,” and was held in March 2014. Presenters and respondents included practicing artists, critics, educators and academics, curators, and art purveyors, all at the top of their game. Papers were presented, followed by comments from a panel of respondents and an audience question and answer period. The conference title can be read as both a statement and a question: Is there high culture in America, and if so, is it in jeopardy? This suggests an opportunity to consider what “culture” or “high culture” means. This book explores a range of subjects, including music, dance, the visual arts (particularly photography), and more general philosophical and psychological matters. As such, it offers a fascinating and provocative kaleidoscope of the position of arts and culture in America.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMAPR17 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 30th April 2017.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“A heartfelt review of the American cultural scene by people who have come together to interrogate it. Full of insights and calls for renewal, with an impressive range of reference. Reading this book was a great learning experience, and its findings will surely bring a measure of hope to those who are concerned about the future of high culture in this country.”

—Sir Roger Scruton, Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center

“Daniel Asia and his friends are friends of (high) culture – which can use the friendship, and appreciation, and furtherance. This book is a remembrance of things past and a recommendation for the future.”

—Jay Nordlinger, Senior Editor, National Review

“What is ‘high culture,’ and how is it related to ‘mass culture?’ Is its future uncertain in this information age, and how might life be different given dramatic changes in the arts – whatever their level? The intriguing essays in this book pursue these and other engaging questions, and will interest not only anyone who cares about the arts or crosscurrents in contemporary culture but also people in literature, aesthetics, and social criticism.”

—Robert Audi, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

“Anyone interested in the fate of our civilization (let alone “high culture”) will want to read this sobering and informative book.”

—Roger Kimball, Editor and Publisher, The New Criterion

“This volume is a lively and learned collection of essays by critics at the center of their art forms. They don't waste time lamenting the slow and steady death of high culture in the United States. Instead, they speak of its survival within a democratic culture and among smaller, but fiercely devoted audiences. We hear the best of high culture experience without the grousing over its limited appeal and decay in mainstream media and on college campuses.”

—Mark Bauerlein, Professor of English, Emory University

“An important book for those who care about the state, and fate, of high culture.”

—Bruce Cole, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

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Book of the Month - March 2017 28 February 2017

Our March Book of the Month is Peter Pan and the Mind of J. M. Barrie: An Exploration of Cognition and Consciousness by Rosalind Ridley.

What is Peter Pan all about? Many of us realise that there is a bit more to the stories than a simple fantasy about flying away to a wonderful place in which to play, and that there is something psychologically rather dark about the events in the stories. But J. M. Barrie’s work has not previously been considered from the perspective of either the science of his time, or the insights of modern cognitive psychology.

This book explores the texts of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906) and Peter and Wendy (1911), and argues that Barrie describes the limited mental abilities of infants and animals in order to illuminate the structure of human adult cognition. Barrie’s work contains many insights into what is now referred to as mental representation and theory of mind, areas of cognitive psychology that have been examined scientifically only in the last few decades. Barrie also reflects on the nature of consciousness in a way that parallels modern interests.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMMAR17 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 2nd April 2017.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“Neuroscientist Rosalind Ridley, of Newnham College in Cambridge, claims in the just-published Peter Pan and the Mind of JM Barrie that the author’s work identifies key stages of child development. [...] In her book, she shows how the narrative of Peter Pan works on different levels. It is a coming-of-age story, a fantasy for children and adults, and the myth of a golden age, but was also invented by the author “essentially for himself in order to explore and perhaps make some sense of his own emotional difficulties, to investigate the interplay of the world of facts and the world of the imagination and to rediscover the heightened experiences of infancy”.”

—Alison Flood, The Guardian (2nd August 2016)

“In recent years, all the ‘Peter Pan’ texts have been subjected to biographical and psychoanalytical interpretations, but in this book Rosalind Ridley’s original contribution is to analyse the texts to demonstrate Barrie’s knowledge and use of scientific ideas. Barrie was acquainted with men of science and the ideas current at the beginning of the twentieth century. His stories of ‘Peter Pan’ are fictive investigations of the nature of consciousness and of the imagination, sometimes anticipating what scientists have later come to realise. Ridley’s book is a delight to read; the examples she gives are compelling and entirely clear to a reader who has not themselves a scientific background. I recommend it whole-heartedly both to lovers of literature and science.”

—Dr Pam Hirsch, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

“Until recently, my knowledge of J. M. Barrie was limited to vague memories of seeing the pantomime of Peter Pan as a child. In this wonderful book, Rosalind Ridley reveals how much more there is to Barrie and his creation. Her analysis of the various versions of the story that preceded the play reveals that Barrie was extremely knowledgeable about the scientific developments of his time. Furthermore, many of his ideas can be found in scientific accounts of the brain and the mind that did not appear until several decades later. This accessible book not only provides a fresh insight into the mind of Barrie and a novel introduction to current neuropsychology, but also reminds us of the close ties between creativity in science and in literature.”

—Professor Chris Frith FRS FBA, Institute of Philosophy, University of London

“In Peter Pan and the Mind of J M Barrie: An Exploration of Cognition and Consciousness, neuroscientist Dr Rosalind Ridley unpacks the magic and oddity of the tales that have captivated audiences for generations. In doing so through the lens of her own expertise, she reveals that Barrie had an almost uncanny grasp of human cognitive development four to eight decades before psychologists began to work on similar questions about the way we develop thinking and reasoning skills.”

—University of Cambridge website (3rd August 2016)

“Throughout her sensitive and original readings of these two books, Ridley offers asides that go to the heart of current debates about “the hard problem” of consciousness, Turing’s test for whether a computer has intelligence, and whether some avian behavior demonstrates theory of mind.”

—Dr Terri Apter, Newnham College, Cambridge

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Book of the Month - February 2017 31 January 2017

Our February Book of the Month is Oscar Wilde's Elegant Republic: Transformation, Dislocation and Fantasy in fin-de-siècle Paris by David Charles Rose.

Why was Paris so popular as a place of both innovation and exile in the late nineteenth century? Using French, English and American sources, this first volume of a trilogy provides a possible answer with a detailed exploration of both the city and its communities, who, forming a varied cast of colourful characters from duchesses to telephonists, artists to beggars, and dancers to diplomats, crowd the stage. Through the throng moves Oscar Wilde as the connecting thread: Wilde exploratory, Wilde triumphant, Wilde ruined. This use of Wilde as a central figure provides both a cultural history of Paris and a view of how he assimilated himself there.

By interweaving fictional representations of Paris and Parisians with historical narrative, Paris of the imagination is blended with the topography of the city described by Victor Hugo as ‘this great phantom composed of darkness and light’. This original treatment of the belle époque is couched in language accessible to all who wish to explore Paris on foot or from an armchair.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMFEB17 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 28th February 2017.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“This is a book research libraries should keep on the open stacks and readers of ELT may wish to add to their personal reference collections. [...] Rose is led by a desire not only to add detail to the record, but to clean up mistakes in past scholarship. He succeeds in doing this by being careful about chronology and corroboration. [...] Ellmann’s biography of Wilde is a great work of literary scholarship, but its concept of homosexuality is dated and it is wrong or incomplete in many details. Someday it will be superseded by another study of the life. The author of that work will want to have Oscar Wilde’s Elegant Republic close to hand, and will often feel grateful to David Rose.”

—Adrian Frazier; English Language in Transition, 60:2 (2017)

“Oscar Wilde's multiple visits to Paris are well known ... but for many readers, what is less clear is what Paris was all about - reality and cliches or literary fantasies don't always go well together. In Oscar Wilde's Elegant Republic, David Charles Rose looks to remedy this by proposing a socio-cultural cartography drawn from three main areas: transformation, dislocation and fantasy. His stated purpose is to 'influence our understanding of both Wilde’s creativity and his social position' (175), and this book makes it possible to better grasp the many facets of his environment and to better understand the relevance of the famous contrast between the work and the life of a genius.”

—Peter Dunwoodie, Emeritus Professor of French Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London; Rue des Beaux Arts 56 (2016)

“[T]his book stands as a rare and complex gift that Rose has given his readers. It is a sprawling study about a sprawling city at a sprawling time in its existence, yet nonetheless we come from it exhilarated and gratified. [...] Oscar Wilde's Elegant Republic gave me a much clearer sense than I previously had of the creative, emotional and imaginative atmosphere of fin de siècle Paris. It has enhanced my understanding not just of Wilde's writing but of the work of his contemporaries, French, American, and English with far greater effectiveness than any recent criticism I have encountered. Perhaps it is because Rose, unlike so many contemporary literary critics, actually enjoys his topic and writes out of that pleasure.”

—Michael Patrick Gillespie, Florida International University; Irish Literary Supplement, Autumn 2016

“The work examines the relationships and interrelationships which were developed in Paris and Parisian society at this time. It was a large and diverse community, comprised of writers, artists, composers and singers, amongst others, from many different nations. We discover how many non-Parisians came to be residing or sojourning in Paris, what brought them there and their experiences of this great city; oftentimes the narrative is interspersed with a blending of both factual and fictional accounts, which works very well. Through a close reading of Oscar Wilde’s Elegant Republic, we are better able to understand the psyche of Wilde within this cosmospolitan metropolis. [...] Interestingly, it does form the first instalment of a trilogy ... No doubt [the other two volumes] will continue to add to Wilde scholarship in an original, innovative and detailed way, as the first volume has done.”

—Jennifer Martin; Books Ireland (November/December 2016)

“[This] is essentially an encyclopedic survey of Paris in all its facets. Rose, it seems, has digested everything, at least as related to the period. He ranges from the morgue to Montparnasse, caviar to caves, fairies to ferries, cynosure to cyanide. His erudition is vast. [...] It is a book in many ways similar to the city it describes: stitching together threads, wandering off in various directions, floating on the surface, digging for dirt, rambling, reflecting, resting. A labor of love to the city of love.”

—Nikolai Endres, Western Kentucky University; Victorians: Journal of Culture and Literature, 130 (2016)

“In Oscar Wilde’s Elegant Republic, Wilde becomes a prism for reconstructing nineteenth-century Paris as a social and intellectual network – a cosmopolitan and at the same time distinctly French metropolis. In so doing, the book also opens up original perspectives on other bridge figures between British and French cultures, such as John Gray, George Moore, John Singer Sargent and Arthur Symons. Rose makes a compelling case to rethink that often-invoked but rarely properly-explored topic that is Wilde’s involvement with French culture – we just need to remember that even Ellmann, the most authoritative among Wilde’s biographers to date, rattles rather quickly through Wilde’s Parisian associations. It is to be hoped that his book will inspire further research into Wilde’s French connections and, more broadly, into the literary connections between the British and French fin de siècle.”

—Professor Stefano Evangelista, Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford; Editor, The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe

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Book of the Month - January 2017 23 December 2016

Our January Book of the Month is Ancient Warfare: Introducing Current Research, Volume I, edited by Geoff Lee, Helene Whittaker and Graham Wrightson.

This volume provides chapters on current research into ancient warfare. It is a collection with a wide-range, covering a long chronological spread, with many historical themes, including some that have recently been rather neglected. It has wide academic relevance to a number of on-going debates on themes in ancient warfare. Each topic covered is coherently presented, and offers convincing coverage of the subject area. There is a high standard of scholarship and presentation; chapters are well documented with extensive bibliographies. It is readable and successful in engaging the reader’s attention, and presents subject matter in an accessible way. The book will particularly appeal to professional historians, students and a wider audience of those interested in ancient warfare.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMJAN17 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 31st January 2017.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

Overall, this volume on ancient warfare contains a healthy mix, not only of different aspects of ancient warfare, but a mix of new research, different perspectives. Most importantly, it contains a blend of under-researched and obscure topics that, given their importance to ancient warfare research, should have been treated much earlier than 2015. Perhaps surprisingly, there has been a continuous rise in edited volumes on ancient warfare in the past few years, but one would be wrong in expecting that the present volume might get lost in this sea of ancient warfare volumes. Ancient Warfare: Introducing Current Research offers a refreshing and innovative perspective on an already very popular field of study, and perhaps it is fitting that the volume has appeared now when there are others contesting for the top spot in ancient warfare. Seeing that this is the first volume, we should look forward to future ones.”

—Carlos Villafane, University of Liverpool; Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“Due to the varied nature of the content presented in this volume, there is bound to be something for almost anyone interested in ancient warfare within its pages. This is a collection of quality works that will force many of us to see aspects of ancient conflict in new ways, introduce us to unfamiliar areas, and, in some places, challenge currently accepted ideas. This volume should find a place on the bookshelf of academics, students, and laypersons alike. I am very much looking forward to volume 2.”

Christopher Matthew, Australian Catholic University; American Journal of Archaeology

What this book succeeds in most is the presentation of innovative research within the field of ancient military history. With topics ranging from the 'killing' of iron age swords (M. Lloyd), to ancient military medicine (J. Laskaris), via modern attempts to reconstruct catapults (A. Schofield), it becomes clear how widespread the interests of the contributors are, and each paper deals in some way with ongoing controversies within the respective fields.”

—Owen Rees; Ancient Warfare, 10:3 

Combining archaeology, war studies, and social history, this volume would be a very useful addition to any library on warfare and provides an invaluable update on the latest research with coverage of oft-neglected topics which give a deeper insight into the full impact of warfare in the ancient world. […] Highly recommended and Volume II is eagerly awaited.”

—Mark Cartwright; Ancient History Encyclopedia 

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Book of the Month - December 2016 30 November 2016

Our December Book of the Month is Timeless Experience: Laura Perls's Unpublished Notebooks and Literary Texts 1946-1985, edited by Nancy Amendt-Lyon.

For years, psychotherapists have known that Laura Perls was actively involved in the development of what today is known as Gestalt therapy. Her professional publications are succinct and appreciated, but they are not numerous. The present volume, comprising Laura Perls’s heretofore unpublished writing, including journal entries, letters, poems, translations, short stories, and drafts for lectures and publications, offers a very personal perspective on one of the founders of Gestalt therapy. The extensive interview that Daniel Rosenblatt conducted with Laura Perls in 1972, published here for the first time in English, complements her literary texts, and provides valuable background information. The rich cultural background from which Laura Perls benefited and the authors whose works inspired her resonate in her literary texts, a treasure chest of personal reflections during the decades of her life from 1946 to 1985. In addition, a general overview of her life is provided, her theoretical and practical contributions to the origins and development of Gestalt therapy are described, and her legacy to the field of Gestalt therapy is elucidated.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMDEC16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 3rd January 2017.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

How moving it is to enter Laura Perls’s intimate world and discover her essays, short stories, thoughts, poetry! And what a gift from her editor to give us such a precise and detailed context to Laura’s writings. This book is a treasure: we learn more about the history, theory and practice of Gestalt therapy, and its essence and aesthetics are revealed more brightly.”

—Jean-Marie Robine; Institut Français de Gestalt-thérapie

“Laura Perls’s published writings reflected her psychotherapeutic work, but never—until now—the colors of the rainbow that was Laura, the person. This book is a parting of the clouds that illuminates a hidden land of her creativity, artistic depth, humanity, thoughtfulness, kindness, vulnerability, and mischievousness. Those of us trained by her will find in her emerging personhood support for what we learned from her. Those who want to know more about the history of Gestalt therapy will find documents that anchor our history in the life of a brilliant founder—intellect, artist, friend, and mother. Nancy Amendt-Lyon has done us all a great service.”

—Dan Bloom; Past President of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy

I found this book—devoted to understanding and elucidating the diaries of Laura Perls—fascinating. Amendt-Lyon has taken a lifetime of Laura’s writings—many personal and previously unpublished—and woven them into a wider narrative that encapsulates the therapeutic and cultural environment in which Laura lived. Consequently, we get to know Laura, not only as a creative, talented, and respectful therapist and theoretician, but also as a vulnerable, passionate, and multidimensional woman ahead of her times. It is a must-read, not only for Gestaltists, but for anyone who might enjoy a captivating biography.”

—Joseph Melnick; Founding Editor of the Gestalt Review; Co-Chair of the Cape Cod Training Program, GISC

“Timeless Experience: Laura Perls’s Unpublished Notebooks and Literary Texts, 1946–1985 is a tour de force, giving the reader a comprehensive look into a woman of extraordinary depth, courage and expertise, and who offered unique contributions to the field of psychotherapy. Professionals in the world of therapy—particularly Gestalt therapy—know well of Laura’s expert contributions (working individually in a group setting, emphasizing personal support and contact, highlighting differences between wanting and needing, etc.). Much less is known about her personal history: fleeing from the Nazis, her creativity both in writing poetry and prose, playing music, dance, her personal struggles with anxiety, health issues, intimate relationships, Judaism, or her political fervor. Nancy Amendt-Lyon has done a masterful job of bringing Laura Perls to life by revealing the more delicate aspects of her world, her musings, her unpolished thoughts, and her compassion for others. Bravo!”

—Rita F. Resnick, PhD; Faculty Chair, Gestalt Associates Training Los Angeles

Here is a story of commitment between three women, starting with a daughter’s dream and ending in a precious book on the founder of Gestalt therapy, Laura Perls. A talented Gestalt therapist and eloquent writer herself, Amendt-Lyon’s editing and annotations allow the beauty of her former teacher’s ability as both clinician and author to explode with color and three-dimensionality. This book is a must! This is not only the transcription of Laura’s notebooks; it is a comprehensive, vibrant narrative of her theoretical, clinical, and aesthetic legacy, a whole that well describes the everlasting implicit value of Gestalt therapy.”

—Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb; Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy

“Passed on to us from Laura Perls’s own daughter, Renate, we are invited to have intimate insights into Laura’s legacy, her captivating account of the beginnings of Gestalt therapy, her work as a therapist, writer, and poet. Credit must be given to Nancy Amendt-Lyon for her tremendous effort to bring this into an easily accessible form, a source of inspiration for generations of Gestalt therapists to come.”

—Beatrix Wimmer; President-Elect of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy; Vice-President of the Austrian Association for Gestalt Therapy

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Book of the Month - November 2016 31 October 2016

Our November Book of the Month is Becoming an Anthropologist: A Memoir and a Guide to Anthropology by Gerald Mars, a member of Cambridge Scholars’ Editorial Advisory Board.

Mars’ graphic and often vivid narrative can be read simply as the anecdotal memoirs of an anthropologist. The experiences he recounts are sometimes hilarious, touch occasionally on the dangerous, and are always sensitively and expertly explored. But for those who want to know more, the book’s expansive footnotes and references to key sources also offer a stimulating introduction to social anthropology, its theories and its methods. Mars begins by describing his childhood life in a tightly structured working class community during World War Two. He then contrasts this with an account of the hidden underlife of an entrepreneurial, crime-prone seaside resort, Blackpool, where he worked as a spieler (barker). Two years’ experience of National Service provides an account of the social organisation of the RAF, followed by discussion of aspects of the organisation of Cambridge University. What follows then is a lifetime spent living and working in different cultures around the world. The results are continual insights gained by comparison and contrasts that illuminate aspects not only of other cultures, but, also, of our own.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMNOV16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 30th November 2016.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“Gerald Mars’ memoir is by turns wickedly funny and anthropologically sophisticated. It is both a rich storehouse of hilarious anecdotes and a close analysis of how social life and the crimes and fiddles it affords have changed over the last century. But in each of its moods, it is a delightful read, which every rookie anthropologist should read, even if they may have—as Mars shows—to break the law to get a copy.”

—Perri 6, Professor in Public Management, Queen Mary University of London

“Growing up in a gossip-regulated street in Manchester and then in a “spiel” incentivised one in Blackpool, before graduating in Workplace Crime Studies during National Service as a storeman in the RAF, Gerry Mars was evidently an accomplished anthropologist long before he found himself at Cambridge University. And, sixty years on, he's still at it!”

—Dr Michael Thompson, Senior Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria

“By tracing his own biographical history from ‘spieling’ on Blackpool’s Golden Mile to Cambridge University scholar and on to a distinguished academic career, Gerry Mars has demonstrated that anthropology itself reaches far beyond the boundaries of a narrow academic discipline. This is because it is always and necessarily rooted in the spaces in which people talk and think about their lives and—in the hands of a skilful and sensitive analyst—reveal their strategies for navigating through the cut and thrust of the social life of the street.”

—Tom Selwyn, Professor of Anthropology of Tourism, The School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS), University of London

“Becoming an Anthropologist is one of the best autobiographies I have read for a long time. Gerry Mars is the ‘king of the fiddlers’. He has spent his life studying fiddles and knows just how they work – and which ones are accepted as perks of the job and which ones aren't. But what a life he has led! This is a rip-roaring yarn interspersed with nuggets of anthropology and how he learned to fit his experience into his theories.”

—Andrew Selkirk, Editor-in-chief of Current Publishing and former Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute

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Book of the Month - October 2016 30 September 2016

Our October Book of the Month is Religious Faith and Teacher Knowledge in English Language Teaching by Bradley Baurain.

The field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) stands at an active crossroads – issues of language, culture, learning, identity, morality, and spirituality mix daily in classrooms around the world. What roles might teachers’ personal religious beliefs play in their professional activities and contexts? Until recently, such questions had been largely excluded from academic conversations in TESOL. Yet the qualitative research at the core of this book, framed and presented within a teacher knowledge paradigm, demonstrates that personal faith and professional identities and practices can, and do, interact and interrelate in ways that are both meaningful and problematic. This study’s Christian TESOL teacher participants, working overseas in Southeast Asia, perceived, explained, and interpreted a variety of such connections within their lived experience. As a result, the beliefs-practices nexus deserves to be further theorized, researched, and discussed. Religious beliefs and human spirituality, as foundational and enduring aspects of human thought and culture, and thus of teaching and learning, deserve a place at the TESOL table.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMOCT16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st November 2016.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“Eloquently written and thought-provoking, this book is a must-read for those in the field, and for anyone wanting to explore the belief-practice connection as it relates to religion and English language teaching.”

—Theresa Catalano, University of Nebraska

“The role of teachers’ personal religious beliefs in English Language Teaching (ELT) is a “hot potato” issue within the international TESOL community. Baurain’s careful research, candid analysis, and nuanced findings are a welcome addition to the sparse but growing number of empirical studies in this field.”

—Elfrieda Lepp-Kaethler, Providence University College, Alberta

“The intersections among religious beliefs and teaching practices raise timely and difficult, yet too often obscured or hidden, questions that are deeply embedded within the work of teaching and learning. By making these issues, relationships, and questions more visible, Baurain’s research significantly enlarges readers’ understandings of language, teaching, and learning.”

—Margaret Macintyre Latta, University of British Columbia

“In an age when identity is central to so much of life and work, Baurain’s qualitative study offers thoughtful new perspectives on the integration of faith and learning in English language teaching. The first book-length study of which I am aware, it offers insight into the complexities of individual teachers’ experiences and realities, as well as highlighting the need for continuing dialogue and research on these issues.”

—Michael Lessard-Clouston, Biola University; Co-Editor, International Journal of Christianity and English Language Teaching

“Identity is an issue of longstanding importance in TESOL. Given that one’s personal religious beliefs are part of what makes up identity, teachers need to be aware of how these beliefs affect their professional activities. Baurain’s research, analysis, and discussion make a significant contribution to our growing understanding in this area.”

—Kitty Purgason, Biola University

“Baurain offers a careful and intriguing study of evangelical Christian ESOL teachers and their struggles with how they conceive the intersection between their faith and their teaching.  He shows that these teachers are committed to their evangelical mission yet circumspect in how or whether that mission should enter into their teaching. This is an important book for anyone interested in a nuanced understanding of the role for the religious and the secular in teaching.”

—Karl Hostetler, University of Nebraska

“In this groundbreaking work, Baurain explores the dynamic relationship between teachers' religious beliefs and their teaching, specifically, their teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Baurain's work adds a much-needed perspective that refuses to be mired in the debate of whether or not teachers' religious beliefs should play a role in teachers' professional lives. Rather, this book helps us understand how religious beliefs inform and guide teachers. Baurain adds a fresh, informed perspective on TESOL teacher knowledge, beliefs, and identity.”

—Jenelle Reeves, University of Nebraska

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Book of the Month - September 2016 31 August 2016

Our September Book of the Month is Divine Rite of Kings: Land, Race, Same Sex, and Empire in Mormonism and the Esoteric Tradition by Clyde R. Forsberg Jr.

Divine Rite of Kings: Land, Race, Same Sex, and Empire in Mormonism and the Esoteric Tradition is a social-historical-political analysis of the religion of the Latter-day Saints as deeply indebted to a variety of esoteric systems of belief. It argues that the present campaign against gay marriage and other homophobic policies of the “American religion,” targeting the LGBTQ community, and, indeed, children of same-sex parents, are connected to erstwhile racial doctrines and practices, which excluded persons from full fellowship on the basis of race alone, Africans the supposed offspring of Cain and Canaan and thus cursed. Narrow heterosexist notions of “sexual purity” merely replaced Anglo-Saxon supremacist notions of “racial purity” in the imperial and the millennial understanding of Mormonism. The new heterosexism, this book suggests, can be viewed as a form of boundary maintenance better suited to an emergent international church and world religion, ironically, which continues to make inroads in parts of Asia, where its social conservatism and, indeed, virulent attacks against the “gay and lesbian lifestyle,” continue to attract followers.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMSEP16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 2nd October 2016.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“This is a fascinating book that includes the journey of Clyde Forsberg Jr into the esoteric world that includes Mormonism. He brings a wide range of perspectives to the topics discussed. Forsberg examines current issues that will have an impact upon the growing development of this movement. This book contains a unique exploration of the Mormon faith.”

—H. Michael Marquardt; Independent historian; author of The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844 (2013)

“Building upon the work he did in a previous volume, Forsberg extends his observations on significant sociological aspects of Mormonism. In a unique and sometimes idiosyncratic writing style, he concocts a challenging exposition on key societal and ritual aspects of his native faith tradition. In this work, the author frolics about where others fear to tread—exploring Masonic and esoteric aspects of temple architecture, or Joseph Smith’s designs for a universal Priesthood, for example. Drawing upon widely scattered ingredients from a complicated and uniquely American religion, the author brews a biting analysis of gender, racial, political, and social issues. This book raises significant questions for discourse among both sociologists and devotees.”

—Cheryl Bruno; LDS feminist, author, and authority on Mormonism and Freemasonry

“In 1844, a secret, Masonic aide-de-camp, known as the Council of Fifty, was organized to lead an assault on the White House, where a new political and religious order would be established with Mormon founder and prophet Joseph Smith Jr. as “King of the Kingdom of God.” Considered a prophet and seer, Smith used his own form of Freemasonry to challenge a variety of religious, social, and political norms of the nineteenth century. The sacred book of scripture, the Book of Mormon, was used in conjunction to create an invisible and unimpeachable kingdom of priests and priestesses, gods and goddesses—made behind closed doors, in secret ceremonies, and the bedchamber. Smith’s subsequent translation of Egyptian papyri called the Book of Abraham became the textual basis for Anglo-Saxon notions of racial purity and African inferiority. In recent years, these practices have been replaced by equally narrow heterosexual notions of sexual superiority (purity) and LGBTQ inferiority (impurity). Extensively researched and brilliantly written, Divine Rite of Kings skillfully demonstrates the degree to which Mormonism can, and ought to be seen, as a charter member of world Masonry.”

—Vickie Cleverley Speek; Author, editor, John Whitmer Books and John Whitmer Historical Association

“Distinguished scholar Clyde Forsberg has written a brave, truth-telling account of Mormonism. Superbly researched, the book intervenes in important debates of our time about the Church's position on same sex relationships and social justice. Forsberg's book is an important and necessary contribution to scholarship.”

—Bill V. Mullen; Professor of American Studies, Purdue University

“Divine Rite of Kings is a prodigious achievement of eclectic scholarship demonstrating the diverse origins of the Mormon tradition from the worlds of magic, Judaism, and the mystical. Focusing principally on Joseph Smith’s obsession with Masonic constructions and rites, Forsberg draws from hundreds of sources in compiling the definitive work in the area. Key parallels to genres of freemasonry are drawn concerning Smith’s dogma on gender, race, architecture, ritual, and government. To read this superb gift to Mormon studies is to discover many missing pieces of the “prophet puzzle.””

—William D. Morain; MD, Professor of Plastic Surgery at Dartmouth Medical School

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Book of the Month - August 2016 27 July 2016

Our August Book of the Month is Cultural Violence in the Classroom: Peace, Conflict and Education in Israel by Katerina Standish.

In identity-based conflicts, what a person learns can become whom a person learns to hate. This book explores the unique position occupied by educators during protracted ethnic conflict. As transmitters of social authority, educators occupy a position in society capable of supporting repressive constructs or challenging social inequalities. Educators who are seen to legitimize the social order may be seen as symbolic markers of the dominant group, while educators who challenge the social order can be perceived as upstarts or threats that seek to subvert social authority. By surveying the perceptions, perspectives, experiences and opinions of Israeli tertiary teachers, this book explores the positionality of educators as agents who wield “both an instrument for oppression and a tool for liberation” (Alzaroo and Hunt 2003, 165). Peace education is a platform to achieve a global culture of peace by recognizing and delegitimizing violence. Using future visioning, this book considers that a primary obstruction to achieving peace is the ability to conceive of peace and asks three questions: do university educators challenge conflict narratives in the classroom? What obstacles exist to prevent educating for peace in Israel? How do educators imagine the future?

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMAUG16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 31st August 2016.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“This book is completely innovative and original. The subject matter regards the enormous intellectual and moral challenge that preoccupies educators who are agents of socialization, and the book successfully presents their coping efforts. It unfolds the way Israeli educators in universities reconcile narratives propagated by the formal institutions of the state of Israel, the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the situation in Israel and their personal views and values. The book elaborates on many fundamental concepts that are needed in order to grasp the complexity of any intractable conflict.”

—Professor Daniel Bar-Tal, Branco Weiss Professor of Research in Child Development and Education, School of Education, Tel Aviv University

“In this book, Dr Katerina Standish provides a sophisticated, insightful, and pragmatic analysis of how tertiary educators in Israeli universities view and teach issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its peaceful transformation. Her innovative findings are suggestive of the importance of talking to educators in divided societies about the significance of creative peacemaking strategies needed to promote peaceful coexistence among groups locked in protracted ethnopolitical conflicts. Her rich qualitative interviews provide a comprehensive understanding of existing political, economic, and cultural hurdles challenging the prospects of forging conflict transformation and peacebuilding among and between both communities. The book makes an important contribution to the field of peace education.”

—Sean Byrne, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba

“Dr Standish’s work provides a very original approach. She deals with the reality of both the difficulties and the desirability of beginning ‘the critical process of reconciliation early, one student at a time.’ This book is valuable for peace educators, conflict resolution theorist and practitioners, as well as researchers, working on sensitive and controversial topics and in arenas experiencing protracted conflict.”

—Dr Heather Devere, Director of Practice, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago

“Dr Katerina Standish’s topic is a very important one; her highly objective approach to a complex issue brings together a snapshot of the fears and perspectives of a number of teachers, and intersects them with a number of theoretical paradigms. Her research has been thorough, and she has pulled together the insights which that research has revealed into a competent and convincing presentation.”

—Donald Grayston, PhD, Director, Institute for the Humanities (2001-04), Simon Fraser University

Cultural Violence in the Classroom: Peace, Conflict and Education in Israel is one of the most exciting manuscripts I have read recently. This book provides a lens for not only the exploration of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but also the impact of conflict narratives, the role of educators in cultural change, and the possibilities for peace education. Because Dr Standish has a style that is engaging and accessible, a platform is created for insightful exploration into the complexity of intractable struggles with entrenched oppositional narratives. […] This book has value as a resource for scholars, educators, practitioners, and students. An approachable examination of the role of conflict narratives in protracted ethnic conflict is provided along with exploration of teaching as a venue for challenging conflict narratives and their role in maintaining the oppositional nature of ethnic conflict. As a scholar and teacher working at the intersection of culture, identity, and conflict, I find this to be a text that will support my work on many levels. It is a resource I will use in classes [and] as a base for my scholarship in multiple ways.”

—Cathryne L. Schmitz, MSW, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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Book of the Month - July 2016 30 June 2016

Our July Book of the Month is Cultures in Movement, edited by Martine Raibaud, Micéala Symington, Ionut Untea and David Waterman.

The contributors to this volume encourage a re-thinking of the very notion of culture by examining the experiences, situations and the representations of those who chose – or were forced – to change cultures from the nineteenth century to the present day. Beyond a simple study of migration, forced or otherwise, this collective work also re-examines the model of integration. As recent entrants into new social settings may be perceived as affecting the previously-accepted social equilibrium, mechanisms encouraging or inhibiting population flows are sometimes put in place. From this perspective, “integration” may become less a matter of internal choice than an external obligation imposed by the dominant political power, in which case “integration” may only be a euphemism for cultural uniformity. The strategies of cultural survival developed as a reaction to such a rising tide of cultural uniformity can be seen as necessary points of departure for an ever-growing shared multiculturalism.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMJUL16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st August 2016.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

A collection of essays, Cultures in Movement addresses important literary and cultural issues, such as memory, hybridization, identity, cultural coherence, globalization. It joins Western (Europe, the US, and Brazil) and Eastern (China, Korea, Japan, India, and Pakistan) references, moving a step beyond widely used notions – traveling cultures, third space, liminality – and suggests that cultural exchanges and migrations are effective displacements of cultures, and not only voyages of cultural fragments or reconstructions of cultural data. The cultural migrations, either of anonymous people or of writers, ultimately commit the individual to an ‘art’ of identity, and require collective and individual strategies which are often to be found in literary works. Cultures in Movement offers remarkable insights into the tension between native cultural heritages and new cultural settings.”

Jean Bessière, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Paris III La Sorbonne Nouvelle

A wide ranging exploration of the impact of migration, diasporic life and postmodern politics on cultural identity, this volume draws broadly on historical and literary analysis and political theory to shed new light on how we negotiate meaning in challenging times. […] Ranging from studies of Nigerian and Tibetan refugees to the struggles of French Protestants in 19th century Quebec, from critical readings of Toni Morrison’s Home to Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, this broad collection of essays interrogates the meaning of identity for those who migrated or those who struggle to find a place in their native land. […] The historical, literary and political analyses in this volume by an impressive, international group of scholars open up a wealth of insight into how both natives and diasporic peoples negotiate their cultural identity.”

Charles R. Strain, DePaul University, Co-editor of Religious and Ethical Perspectives on Global Migration

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