Friday, December 14, 2007

RSA Library Update - December 2007

We would like to take this opportunity to tell our visitors that the RSA Fellow’s Library will be closed from Friday 21st December, and reopen again on Wednesday 2nd January. We wish you all a happy Christmas and look forward to welcoming you again in the New Year.

What follows is a complete list of RSA library acquisitions for the month of September 2007. Fellows are welcome to e-mail if they wish to borrow any of these items, or search the library catalogue for thousands of other titles....

000s – Generalities

Kevin Warwick
March of the Machines: The Breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence
University of Illinois Press, 2004, 006.3 WAR
While horror films and science fiction have repeatedly warned of robots running amok, Kevin Warwick takes the threats out of the realm of fiction and into the real world, truly giving us something to worry about. Meeting skeptics head on, Warwick goes beyond his penetrating attacks on their assumptions and prejudices about what should be considered as intelligence to reveal what he has already achieved: building robots that communicate in their own language, share experience, teach each other lessons, and behave as they wish with regard to human beings. Now available for the first time in America, March of the Machines is part history of robotics, part futurism. It surveys the substantial advances made in artificial intelligence over the past century while looking ahead to an increasingly uneasy relationship between humans and machines.

Nick Broomfield
The Early Works
Metrodome, 2006, 070.18 BRO
Capturing the nascent style and working methods of the filmmaker, developed between 1970 and 1991, The Early Works brings together Broomfield’s work from the National Film and Television School, his pioneering and controversial social documentary and the birth of his signature style. Included in this four-disc boxset are Who Care, Proud to the British, Behind the Rent Strike, Juvenile Liaison, Juvenile Liaison 2, Tattooed Tears, Driving Me Crazy, and Monster in a Box.

John Pilger
Documentaries that Changed the World and In The Name of Justice: Twelve More Groundbreaking Documentaries
Network, 2006 and 2007, both 070.18 PIL
Acclaimed film-maker and UN Media Peace Prize winner John Pilger curates two four-disk sets of his documentaries. Documentaries that Changed the World contains “Year Zero - The Silent Death of Cambodia,” “Nicaragua - A Nation’s Right to Survive,” “Burp! Pepsi V. Cock in the Ice Cold War,” “Flying the Flag, Arming the World,” “Vietnam - The Quiet Mutiny,” “Death of a Nation - The Timor Conspiracy,” “Inside Burma - Land of Fear,” “Welcome to Australia,” “Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq,” “Palestine is Still the Issue,” “Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror,” and “Stealing a Nation.” In The Name of Justice contains “The Mexicans,” “Street of Joy,” “Pyramid Lake is Dying,” “A Faraway Country,” “Do You Remember Vietnam?,” “Vietnam: The Last battle,” “The Truth Game,” “Japan Behind the Mask,” “Apartheid Did Not Die,” “The Last Dream: Heroes Unsung,” “The Last Dream: Secrets,” and “The Last Dream: Other People’s Wars.”

100s – Philosophy & Psychology

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering-Kofman
ICA Projects, 2002, 149.97 DIC
The award-winning Derrida offers an intimate portrait of the brilliant, controversial philosopher and intellectual French icon Jacques Derrida, whose theory of ‘deconstruction’ has deeply influenced the studies of literature, philosophy, ethics, architecture and law, indelibly marking the intellectual landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Igor Aleksander
The World in my Mind, The Mind in my World: Key Mechanisms of Consciousness in People, Animals and Machines
Imprint Academic, 2007, 153 ALE
Never one to dodge the big questions, Igor Aleksander tackles them head on in this latest book: Is there a 'real world' or is our awareness of one an illusion? Are animals conscious? Can machines be conscious? What is it to be unconscious? Does the 'science of consciousness' impinge on religious thought? How is consciousness affected by mental deterioration? Aleksander's technique is to refine the search for answers by the application of his five 'axioms' concerning consciousness, which he has already derived and set out in earlier work: Being a 'self' in an out-there world; Recalling and imagining being a 'self' in experienced or fictitious worlds; Attending to individually important things; Being able to decide what to do next; and having emotional feelings about things that are happening or being planned.

James Flynn
What is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect
Cambridge University Press, 2007, 153.9 FLY
Professor James Flynn is one of the most creative and influential psychologists in the field of intelligence. The 'Flynn Effect' refers to the massive increase in IQ test scores over the course of the twentieth century and the term was coined to recognize his central role in measuring and analyzing these gains. For over twenty years, psychologists have struggled to understand the implications of IQ gains. Do they mean that each generation is more intelligent than the last? Do they suggest how each of us can enhance our own intelligence? Professor Flynn is finally ready to give his own views. He asks what intelligence really is and gives a surprising and illuminating answer. This book bridges the gulf that separates our minds from those of our ancestors a century ago. It is a fascinating and unique book that makes an important contribution to our understanding of human intelligence.
James Flynn will be giving a talk at the RSA on What is Intelligence? on 18 December: follow this link for more information.

Simon Critchley
Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance
Verso, 2007, 170 CRI
This work talks about a new political ethics that confronts and faces down the injustices of the present. Part diagnosis of the times, part theoretical analysis of the impasses and possibilities of ethics and politics, part manifesto, Infinitely Demanding identifies a massive political disappointment at the heart of liberal democracy and argues that what is called for is an ethics of commitment that can inform a radical politics. Exploring the problem of ethics in Kant, Levinas, Badiou and Lacan that leads to a conception of subjectivity based on the infinite responsibility of an ethical demand, Critchley considers the possibility of political subjectivity and action after Marx and Marxism. It culminates in an argument for anarchism as an ethical practice and a re-motivating means of political organization.

Jonathan Baron
Against Bioethics
MIT, 2007, 174.2 BAR
This work argues that applied bioethics should embrace utilitarian decision analysis, thus avoiding recommendations expected to do more harm than good. Governments, health professionals, patients, research institutions, and research subjects look to bioethicists for guidance in making important decisions about medical treatment and research, and yet, argues Jonathan Baron, applied bioethics lacks the authority of a coherent guiding theory and is based largely on intuitive judgments. Baron proposes an alternative, arguing that bioethics could have a coherent theory based on utilitarianism and decision analysis. Although Baron opposes many current practices in bioethics, he argues that by combining utilitarianism and decision analysis, bioethics can achieve its aims of providing authoritative guidance in resolving thorny medical and ethical issues.

John Harris
Enhancing Evolution: The Ethical Case for Making Better People
Princeton University Press, 2007, 174.9599935 HAR
Decisive biotechnological interventions in the lottery of human life - to enhance our bodies and brains and perhaps irreversibly change our genetic makeup - have been widely rejected as unethical and undesirable, and have often met with extreme hostility. But in Enhancing Evolution, leading bioethicist John Harris dismantles objections to genetic engineering, stem-cell research, designer babies, and cloning to make a forthright, sweeping, and rigorous ethical case for using biotechnology to improve human life. Human enhancement, Harris argues, is a good thing - good morally, good for individuals, good as social policy, and good for a genetic heritage that needs serious improvement. Whether one looks upon biotechnology with hope, fear, or a little of both, Enhancing Evolution makes a case for it that no one can ignore.

200s – Religion

Philip Gröning
Into Great Silence
Soda Pictures, 2006, 255 GRÖ
Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, sans crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months, filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. This transcendent, closely observed film seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one, and has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage.

Werner Herzog
Wheel of Time
Soda Pictures, 2007, 294.335 HER
Documentary film about the largest Buddhist ritual to promote peace and tolerance, held by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya, India and Graz, Austria in 2002, including exclusive interviews with the Dalai Lama, access to secret rituals for the first time on film as well as footage of a pilgrimage to the Holy Mount Kailash in Tibet.

300s – Social Sciences

John Junkerman and Noam Chomsky
Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in our Times
Brussels Avenue, 2003, 303.482 CHO
Noam Chomsky’s voice may be controversial, but his incisive arguments, based on decades of research and analysis, deserve to be heard and considered. Power and Terror chronicles interviews and public talks given in the spring of 2002, and sees Chomsky placing the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in the context of American foreign intervention through the post-war decades. It also contains the 2003 interview “After Iraq”.

Spike Lee
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
HBO, 2006, 303.48576335 LEE
Director Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke is the definitive document of the unmitigated disaster Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. It's also a contemporary manifestation of an ancient tradition: an oral history, told by the people who lived it, with no narration and only the occasional use of archival cable and broadcast news footage in addition to Lee's own film.

Florence Ayisi and Kim Longinotto
Sisters in Law
Drakes Avenue Pictures, 2007, 305.426711 AYI
Despite having their visas revoked and only making it to the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 following the intervention of Pascal Thomas, president of the French Director’s Guild, the female judge-and-prosecutor team of Beatrice Ntuba and Vera Ngassa at the heart of this documentary about a court located in Cameroon eventually saw it awarded the Prix Art Essai that year. The film follows them handling the strange cases with mirthful glee and the tough ones with an iron will as the attempt to support their town’s women in bringing forward cases of abuse.

Jasmine Dellal
American Gypsy: A Stranger in Everybody’s Land
POV, 2007, 305.891497 DEL
There are one million Gypsies, or Rom, in America, who most people know nothing about. Never before has a camera been allowed in to explore their world. Shot over the course of five years, this feature documentary tells the tale of one Romani family in the United States who have broken the wall of secrecy surrounding their people. American Gypsy follows the story of Jimmy Marks, a flamboyant community leader who becomes passionately obsessed with fighting a civil rights battle to defend his family, his history and his honour.

Lindsay Anderson, John Fletcher, Walter Lessally and Karel Reisz
Free Cinema
BFI, 2006, 306.09 AND
A highly influential but critically neglected movement in British cinema history, Free Cinema not only re-invented British documentary in the 1950s but also served as a precursor for the better known British New Wave of social-realist feature films in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The BFI has broguth together, for the first time, the eleven films of the three British Free Cinema programmes in the 3-disk boxset, along with the documentary “Small is Beautiful: The story of the Free Cinema films told by their makers”.

Rem Koolhaas
Actar, 2001, 307.76 KOO
The acceleration of the phenomenon of urbanization constitutes one of the challenges of our time. In a world redefined by communication networks and by the progressive erasure of borders lead by economic forces, Mutations reflects on the transformations that the acceleration of these processes inflicts on our environment, and on the space left for architecture to operate. Introduced by charts and statistics on global urbanization and a series of essays describing the nature of the changes operating in our cities and in our economies, the book is organized as a highly illustrated atlas/survey of contemporary urban landscapes.

Ed Husain
The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left
Penguin Books, 2007, 320.5570941092 HUS
When Ed Husain was sixteen he became an Islamic fundamentalist. Five years later, he rejected fundamentalist teachings and returned to normal life and his family. Why are young British Muslims becoming extremists? What are the risks of another home-grown terrorist attack on British soil? By describing his experiences inside these groups, the reasons he joined them and how, after leaving, he recovered my faith and mind, this book hopes to explain the appeal of extremist thought, how fanatics penetrate Muslim communities and the truth behind their agenda of subverting the West and moderate Islam.

Chris Atkins
Taking Liberties
Revolver Entertainment, 2007, 323 ATK
Taking Libertiesis a shocking but hilarious polemic documentary that charts the destruction of all your Basic Liberties under 10 Years of New Labour. Released to coincide with Tony Blair's departure, the film and the book follow the stories of normal people who's lives have been turned upside down by injustice - from being arrested for holding a placard outside parliament to being tortured in Guantanamo Bay.

Cliff Zukin, Scott Keeter, Molly Andolina, Krista Jenkins and Michael X. Delli Carpini
A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen
Oxford University Press, 2006, 323.04208420973 ZUK
In searching for answers as to why young people differ vastly from their parents and grandparents when it comes to turning out the vote, A New Engagement? challenges the conventional wisdom that today's youth is plagued by a severe case of political apathy. In order to understand the current nature of citizen engagement, it is critical to separate political from civic engagement. Using the results from an original set of surveys and the authors' own primary research, they conclude that while older citizens participate by voting, young people engage by volunteering and being active in their communities.

Greg Rosen
Serving the People: Co-operative Party History from Fred Perry to Gordon Brown
The Co-operative Party, 2007, 324.24107 ROS
Greg Rosen of the Labour History Group’s new book details the origins of the Co-operative Party, a group closely affiliated with the Labour Party, and takes it right up to date, showing how our work has been transformed over the last ten years. The book features a foreword by Gordon Brown.

Steve Yui-Sang Tsang
Intelligence and Human Rights in the Era of Global Terrorism
Praeger Security International, 2006, 327.12 TSA
This book argues that for intelligence organisations to face up to the challenges of global terrorism, they must change the way they think, and utilise all their resources effectively and creatively. Winning the hearts and minds of the terrorists' pool of potential recruits will be essential to cutting off the supply of suicide bombers. Al Qaeda is merely a global syndicate that commits serious crimes of a particularly heinous nature, and it is up to governments, civil society, and the media in different parts of the world to work together if the evidence unearthed by national intelligence services is to be accepted by the general public. Unless the emotional or quasi-religious appeal of the global terrorists can be removed, the simple arrest of bin Laden and his close associates - or even the destruction of Al Qaeda as an organization - will not be sufficient to prevent others from rising to replace them.

George Crile
Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Cover Operation that Changed the History of Our Times
Atlantic Books, 2007, 327.12730581 CRI
In the last decade, two events have transformed the world: the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of militant Islam. This is the first book to explain the link between these two occurrences. George Crile spent nearly a decade researching and writing this original account of the biggest, most expensive secret war in history: the arming of the Afghan resistance to Soviet occupation. Moving from the secret chambers in CIA headquarters to stand-offs in the Khyber Pass, Charlie Wilson's War is one of the most thorough and vivid descriptions of CIA operations ever written. It is the missing chapter in the geopolitics of our time.

Michael Moore
Roger & Me
Warner Bros., 2004, 331 MOO
In 1989, Michael Moore, winner of 2002’s Best Documentary Feature Academy Award and Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Bowling For Columbine, triumphantly burst upon the American moviemaking scene with Roger and Me, a hilarious, penetrating forerunner of the independent film movement.

Werner Herzog
Grizzly Man
Revolver Entertainment, 2006, 333.9522 HER
Werner Herzog's persistent inquiry into the motivations of human obsession focuses this time on the self-proclaimed kind warrior Timothy Treadwell. A passionate wildlife preservationist and grizzly bear devotee, Treadwell lived unarmed among the grizzlies in a remote section of Alaska for 13 years, and eventually died in a bear attack. He filmed his experiences during his final five years, and Herzog makes use of this footage in a posthumous portrait of a complex, intriguing character.

David Bickerstaff and Phil Grabsky
Heavy Water: A Film for Chernobyl
Seventh Art, 2007, 333.7924 BIC
On 26th April 1986, a reactor at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded sending an enormous radioactive cloud over Northern Ukraine and its neighbouring Belarus. Unaware of the danger, locals went about their business as usual, breathing in the noxious dust all around them. One of the worst man-made disasters of the 20th Century, Chernobyl’s damaging effects can be felt to this day. Heavy Water: A Film for Chernobyl tells the story of that fateful day and the people who dealt with the disaster at ground-level: the fire-fighters, the soldiers, the 'liquidators', and their families.

Nick Francis and Marc Francis
Black Gold: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Dogwoof, 2007, 338.17373 FRA
Arguably the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world after oil, coffee's dark five-hundred year history links alchemy and anthropology, poetry and politics, and science and slavery. Revolutions have been hatched in coffee houses, secret socities and commercial alliances formed, and politics and art endlessly debated. With over a hundred million people looking to it for their livelihood, the coffee industry is now the world's largest employer and the financial lifeblood of many third-world countries. But with world prices at a historic low, the future looks uncertain. Nick and Marc Francis explore coffee's dismal colonial past and its perilous corporate present, revealing the shocking exploitation at the heart of the industry.

Gordon Brown
Britain's Everyday Heroes: The Making of the Good Society
Mainstream, 2007, 361.2 BRO
'This book is about people in all parts of Britain who have given me a fresh insight into the needs and aspirations of our country, what is great about it now and how it can become greater in the future. It is the story of Britain's everyday heroes: the kind of heroes who live next door, and in the next street, and throughout our neighbourhoods - the kind of heroes we might ourselves become.' - Gordon Brown.
This item was kindly donated by David Robinson, a Fellow of the RSA.

Philip Beadle (ed.)
Making Links: Fifteen Visions of Community
Community Links, 2007, 361.2 COM
Making Links celebrates the 30th anniversary of Community Links, and innovative charity at the forefront of community-based regeneration. This book draws together carried views on our communities and the ways we interact.
Both Britain's Everyday Heroes: The Making of the Good Society and Making Links: Fifteen Visions of Community were kindly donated by David Robinson, a Fellow of the RSA, who also contributes an essay to the latter.

Clem Henricson
The Contractual Culture and Family Services: A Discussion
Family & Planning Institute, 2007, 362.404 HEN
Public service reform has been a significant issue for successive governments that have explored engagement with markets and differing degrees on centralisation and now localism. Yet for all the changing directions, a common theme throughout public service enhancement is a tightening of the contract with those who deliver public services on our behalf. How is this affecting children’s and family services? Is what has come to be known as the contractual culture’ in public services meeting children’s and family’s needs? This discussion report is intended to stimulate debate on the relationship between government, professionals and consumers of family services. It is critical reading for all those engaged in shaping the direction of this important and often contentious area of social policy.

Andrew Coyle
Understanding Prisons: Key Issues in Policy and Practice
Open University Press, 2005, 365 COY
There are over nine million men, women and children in prison around the world, and the number of people in prison in England and Wales has increased significantly in recent years. Yet in many respects prison remains the last secretive public institution in our society. Understanding Prisons provides a unique, in-depth examination of prisons - how they function, what they achieve, and their historical and political context.

Yvonna Jewkes (ed.)
Handbook on Prisons
Willan Publishing, 2007, 365 JEW
This is the most comprehensive and ambitious book on prisons to have been published, a key text for anybody studying the subject and an essential work of reference for practitioners working in prisons and other parts of the criminal justice system. It is especially timely in view of the many changes and debates about the role of prisons and their future organisation and management as part of the National Offender Management Service. A key aim of the book is to explore a wide range of historical and contemporary issues relating to prisons, imprisonment and prison management, and to chart likely future trends. Chapters in the book are written by leading scholars in the field, and reflect the range and depth of prison research and scholarship.

David Ramsbotham
Prisongate: The Shocking State of Britain’s Prisons and the Need for Visionary Change
Free Press, 2005, 365.941 RAM
The Victorian approach to the prison service was punitive rather than rehabilitating. Now that we understand that most prisoners are themselves victims of some sort that out-dated attitude must change. The role of the Criminal Justice System in our society is to protect the public by preventing crime. The prisons' role in this system is to prevent the next crime, or the next victim, by helping prisoners to lead useful and law-abiding lives both in their time in prison and afterwards. Statistics show they are failing. The only government White Paper on the subject of imprisonment, published in the wake of serious riots in Manchester in 1991, has not been actioned.

Mick Ryan
Penal Policy and Political Culture in England and Wales
Waterside Press, 2003, 365.942 RYA
Mick Ryan argues that penal populism, generated by special interest victims groups and the populist New Right of the 1980s hijacking the terms of the debate around prison policy, may make the liberal elite feel uncomfortable, but it will not go away. His argument is that we live in an age where political deference is in rapid retreat, and that the public voice will have an increasing role to play in determining how we respond to a whole range of sensitive social issues, including penal issues.

Nicolas Philibert
Être et Avoir
Tartan DVD, 2003, 372 PHI
Charting the events within a small single-class village school over the course of one academic year, Etre et Avoir takes a warm and serene look at primary education in the French heartlands. A dozen youngsters, aged 4-10, are brought together in a rural classroom and taught every subject by a single teacher. A master of quiet authority, he patiently navigates the children towards adolescence, cooling down their arguments and listening to their problems with extraordinary dedication. Soon, however, he will have to say goodbye to those older students, who are now ready to go onto the state school in the local town.

Lindy Woodhead
Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge
Profile, 2007, 381.141092 WOO
The men who created the first department stores - what Zola called 'great cathedrals of shopping' - made vast fortunes, but no one grasped the concept of consumption as a sensual female entertainment better than the maverick American retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge. In 1909, London's first dedicated department store built from scratch opened in a glorious burst of publicity, spearheaded by the largest advertising campaign ever mounted in the British press. In his eponymous store, Selfridge created nothing less than 'the theatre of retail'. His personal life was just as flamboyant, one of mistresses and mansions, racehorses and yachts.
This book was kindly donated to the library by Lindy Woodhead, a Fellow of the RSA.

Stephanie Black
Life and Debt
Axiom Films, 2004, 382.7 BLA
Narrated by excerpts from Jamaica Kinkaid’s A Small Place, Life and Debt is a woven tapestry of sequences focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival and parameters of day-to-day existence are determined by the US and other foreign economic agendas.

On and Off the Rails: The British Transport Films Collection, Volume One
BFI, 2007, 385.36 BFI
Following the nationalisation of transport in 1948, the British Transport Commission set up its own in-house film production unit. Launched on 1st May, 1949, and led for 25 years by Edgar Anstey OBE - a founding father of the British documentary movement - it become one of the largest industrial film units in Britain.

400s – Language

500s – Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Guy Brown
The Living End: The Future of Death, Aging and Immortality
Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, 571.939 BRO
Death has changed. The decline of infections, starvation, warfare, heart attack and stroke has allowed people to reach extreme old age but ushered in disability, dementia and degenerative disease, with profound consequences for the self and society. Dr Guy Brown explores these vital issues at various levels, from the cell, to the whole body, and to society. He reveals that cell death dominates modern medicine and reveals how cloning and electronic interfaces hint at new modes of 'survival' after death.

John Stewart
Evolution's Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity
Chapman Press, 2000, 576.8 STE
Evolution's Arrow argues that evolution is directional and progressive, and that this has major consequences for humanity. It demonstrates that evolution moves in the direction of producing cooperative organisations of greater scale and evolvability - evolution has organised molecular processes into cells, cells into organisms, and organisms into societies.

Hubert Sauper
Darwin’s Nightmare
Umbrella Entertainment, 2006, 591.7 SAU
Sometime in the 1960’s, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. The new fish multiplied so fast, however, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world. Ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their cargo: Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the centre of the continent.

600s – Technology (Applied Sciences)

Nigel M. de S. Cameron and M. Ellen Mitchell (eds)
Nanoscale: Issues and Perspective for the Nano Century
Wiley, 2007, 620.5 CAM
This book presents an authoritative examination of the present and potential impact of nanoscale science and technology on modern life. Because truly transformative technologies have far-reaching consequences, they always generate controversy. Establishing an effective process for identifying and understanding the broad implications of nanotechnology will advance its acceptance and success, impact the decisions of policymakers and regulatory agencies, and facilitate the development of judicious policy approaches to new technology options. Nanoscale: Issues and Perspectives for the Nano Century addresses the emerging ethical, legal, policy, business, and social issues.

Chris Paine
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Sony, 2007, 625.24 PAI
Chris Paine shows how this unique approach to vehicle design came into being and why General Motors ended up reclaiming its once-prized creation less than a decade later. He begins 100 years ago with the original electric car. By the 1920s, the internal-combustion engine had rendered it obsolete. By the 1980s, however, car companies started exploring alternative energy sources, like solar power. This, in turn, led to the late, great battery-powered EV1. Throughout, Paine deftly translates hard science and complex politics, such as California's Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandate, into lay person's terms.

Andy Gibb
Get that Job! The Complete, Thorough, Hands-on Guide to the Whole Recruitment and Selection Process - for Graduates and Ambitious Executives in Early Career
How To Books, 2007, 650.14 GIB
Choosing your career, changing your job, and getting selected by the organization that's right for you are amongst the most important decisions of your life. You need detailed practical advice - on career choice; on what organizations look for in the people they recruit; and on tips and techniques to get you through the stages of their selection process. These include presenting a cv, undergoing interviews, taking assessment tests, negotiating salaries and working with head hunters. All are covered in this book. Organizations are increasingly using sophisticated selection techniques, so this book is important if you are not to lose out to someone less talented but better prepared.
This book has been kindly donated to the Library by Andy Gibb, and Fellow of the RSA.

Robert Greenwald
Wal*Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
Tartan Films, 2006, 658.879 GRE
Director Robert Greenwald (Outfoxed) continues his expose of disturbing corporate doings with Wal*Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. From the benefits packages and treatment of staff to the effect of the company on small businesses, the documentary addresses the simple question: does America benefit from the presence of this low-priced chain? Employee testimony and statistics make Greenwald's case clear and effective, and the stories of enforced, unpaid overtime and the death of small businesses make for a compelling case against the company.

700s – The Arts

Robert Hoozee
British Vision: Observation and Imagination in British Art, 1750-1950
Mercatorfonds, 2007, 709.41 HOO
British Vision is an overview of two centuries of British art, representing every major artist, including William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, George Stubbs, William Blake, John Constable, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Stanley Spencer, Graham Sutherland, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. The exhibition brings together over three hundred works of art from public and private collections throughout Britain, in addition to loans from major collections in Europe and the United States of America, including a self-portrait of James Barry, who painted the sequence The Progress of Human Knowledge and Culture for our Great Room.

Sydney Pollack
Sketches of Frank Gehry
Artificial Eye, 2007, 720.92 POL
Frank Gehry and Sydney Pollack are two of the best-known names in their respective fields of architecture and filmmaking. In his first documentary, Academy Award-winning director Pollack turns his camera on to his long-time friend Gehry, one of the world s most celebrated architects and creator of some of the greatest buildings of the modern era including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Pollack uncovers Gehry s creative process, from his early abstract sketches and three dimensional models to the awe-inspiring finished structures. Shot in an informal, highly accessible style and featuring contributions from Gehry’s contemporaries, clients and admirers including Philip Johnson, Dennis Hopper and Julian Schnabel among others, the film is a fascinating portrait of the man whose masterpieces have transformed a conventional science into an extraordinary art form.

Gerfried Stocker
Ars Electronica 2007: Goodbye Privacy
Hatje Cantz, 2007, 776.7 STO
In the companion volume to the 2007 Ars Electronica Festival, artists, theoreticians and experienced network-nomads elaborate on our culture of everyday life and the late-breaking phenomena that are being played out between angst-inducing scenarios of seamless surveillance and the zest we bring to staging our public personae with digital media.

Alice Maude-Roxby (ed.)
Live Art on Camera: Performance and Photography
John Hansard Gallery, 2007, 778 MAU
A catalogue of the recent exhibition of the same name at Southampton University’s John Hansard Gallery that examined the nature of performance art and the status of the photographs and videos that document it.
This item has kindly been donated to the Library by the Gallery’s director, Stephen Foster, a Fellow of the RSA.

Sophie Fiennes and Slavoj Žižek
A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
P Guide, 2007, 791.43 ŽIŽ
A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema is a film about cinema itself, with close readings of some of the most intriguing and celebrated films in cinema’s history. Serving as guide is the charismatic Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek, who delves into the hidden language of cinema, uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves.

Daniel Frampton
Wallflower, 2006, 791.4301 FRE
Filmosophy is a provocative new manifesto for a radically philosophical way of understanding cinema. The book coalesces twentieth-century ideas of film as thought (from Hugo Munsterberg to Gilles Deleuze) into a practical theory of 'film-thinking', arguing that film style conveys poetic ideas through a constant dramatic 'intent' about the characters, spaces and events of film. With discussions of contemporary filmmakers such as Bela Tarr and the Dardenne brothers, this timely intervention into the study of film and philosophy will stir argument and discussion among both filmgoers and filmmakers alike.

Patrick Russell
100 British Documentaries
BFI, 2007, 791.436 RUS
Ever since John Grierson popularized the term documentary, British non-fiction film has been renowned, sometimes reviled, but seldom properly appreciated. 100 British Documentaries provides a uniquely accessible, occasionally provocative introduction to a rich and surprisingly varied tradition by considering 100 examples taken from across a century's worth of output. The 100 films range from the Victorian period to the present day.

Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine
Ballets Russes
Revolver Entertainment, 2006, 792.8 GEL
Filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine pay tribute to the revolutionary 20th Century dance troupe Ballets Russes (French for the Russian Ballet) in this enthralling documentary. From their humble origins as Russian refugees residing in turn-of-the-century Paris to dazzling feats of artistry, this documentary maps the company's illustrious career right up until its demise in the 1950s and '60s (brought about by rising costs, rocketing egos, outside competition, and internal mismanagement). Culled from archive footage and infused with juicy anecdotal interviews from many of the company's glamorous stars, Ballets Russes treats modern audiences to a rare glimpse of the phenomenon that transformed the face of ballet for generations to come.

Kevin Macdonald
Touching the Void
Film4, 2007, 796.522 MAC
Director Kevin McDonald tells this compelling story by combining talking-head interviews with Simpson and Yates and stunningly photographed narrative footage--in which Simpson and Yates' ordeal is actually re-enacted on Siula Grande. McDonald's re-enactment footage is both engrossing and eye-popping and it could easily stand alone as its own one-of-a-kind adventure film. The interviews, however, add depth that make this a unique, thrilling, and emotional piece of cinema.

Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell
Deep Water
Pathé!, 2006, 797.124 OSM
Deep Water tells the story of Donald Crowhurst, who entered the first Sunday Times Golden Globe solo, non-stop, round-the-world, boat race in 1968. His boat began its journey slowly but, as the race progressed, reports of his position at sea showed that electronics inventor Crowhurst was covering great distances every day. The news made headlines across the world but as the world waited for Crowhurst to cross the finishing line, the shocking truth was revealed. Deep Water includes interviews with Donald Crowhurst’s family and is narrated by actress Tilda Swinton.

800s – Literature

Fredric Jameson
Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and other Science Fictions
Verso, 2007, 809.38762 JAM
This is a brilliant study of utopia and science fiction, from Thomas More to Philip K. Dick, by the master literary critic. Archaeologies of the Future, Jameson's most substantial work since Postmodernism, investigates the development of the Utopian form since Thomas More, and interrogates the functions of Utopian thinking in a post-Communist age. The relationship between utopia and science fiction is explored through the representations of otherness and a study of the works of Philip K. Dick, Ursula LeGuin, William Gibson, Brian Aldiss, Kim Stanley Robinson and more.

900s – Geography & History

Marjane Satrapi
Jonathan Cape, 2006, 920.55 SAT
Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis is an exemplary memoir in graphic noel form, and collected here are its two volumes, The Story of a Childhood - detailing the effects of the Islamic Revolution on the six-year-old Marjane Satrapi and her committed, well-to-do Marxist parents - and its sequel The Story of a Reuturn about the time the family spent in Vienna after fleeing Iran in 1984, and their lives in Iran upon returning four years later. Persepolis gives the reader a snapshot of daily life in a country struggling with an internal cultural revolution and a bloody war, but within an intensely personal context. It's a very human history, beautifully and sympathetically told.

Mark Jonathan Harris
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
Warner Bros., 2000, 940.53 HAR
Winner of the 2001 Oscar for Best Documentary, Into the Arms of Strangers attempts to expose and understand one of the forgotten travesties of the Second World War. While the evacuation of British children during the Second World War has become the stuff of legend, the rescue of 10,000 Jewish children from Germany is less well known. This programme of "kindertransport" was to provide a vital escape route to England for many children, but would also leave many heartbroken families behind to face an uncertain future at the hands of the Nazis. Told mainly in the first person by those who made the journey, this American produced documentary is a moving testament to the most innocent victims--one and a half million children perished in the Holocaust.

Claude Lanzmann
Eureka!, 2007, 940.5318 LAN
Shoah is Claude Lanzmann's landmark documentary meditation on the Holocaust. Assembled from footage shot by the filmmaker during the 1970s and 1980s, it investigates the genocide at the level of experience: the geographical layout of the camps and the ghettos; the daily routines of imprisonment; the inexorable trauma of humiliation, punishment, extermination; and the fascinating insights of those who experienced these events first hand.

Krzysztof Kieślowski
Polska Szkoła Dokumentu
Polskie Wydawnictwo Audiowizulne, 2007, 943.8 KIE
Polska Szkoła Dokumentu (The Polish School of Documentary) is two-disc set collecting 12 of acclaimed director Krzysztof Kieślowski’s previously hard-to-find documentaries. Against the policy of the Communist government to present the country as they wished it to be seen, Kieślowski sought to document how it really was, creating intimate portraits of the lives of individuals inside the bureaucratic systems.

Alexander Sokurov
Russian Ark
Artificial Eye, 2002, 947 SOK
Russian master Alexander Sokurov has tapped into the very flow of history itself for the flabbergasting Russian Ark. Sokurov (and cinematographer Tilman Buttner) use a single, unbroken, 90-minute shot to wind his way through the Hermitage in St Petersburg - the repository of Russian art and the former home to royalty. Gliding through time, we glimpse Catherine II, modern-day museumgoers, and the doomed family of Nicholas II. History collapses on itself, as the opulence of the past and the horrors of the 20th century collide, and each door that opens onto yet another breathtaking gallery is another century to be heard from. The movie climaxes with a grand ball and thousands of extras, prompting thoughts of just how crazy Sokurov had to be to try a technical challenge like this - and how far a distance we've travelled, both physically and spiritually, since the movie began.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Infidel: My Life
Free, 2007, 949.2073092 ALI
The brutal murder of the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh in 2004 shocked the world. Shot and mutilated by a Muslim fanatic as he cycled to work, it was a stark reminder of the dangers of challenging an extreme Islamic worldview. It also changed the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, van Gogh's collaborator on the film that had offended his murderer. Born in Somalia and raised a Muslim, she had escaped an arranged marriage and made a new life as a Dutch parliamentarian, championing the reform of Islam and its attitude to women's rights. She now has twenty-four-hour police protection, but refuses to let that inhibit her willingness to speak out.

Joe Sacco
Safe Area Goražde
Jonathan Cape, 2007, 949.649742 SAC
In late 1995 and early 1996, cartoonist and reporter Joe Sacco travelled four times to Goražde, a UN-designated safe area during the Bosnian War, which had teetered on the brink of obliteration for three and a half years/ Still surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces, the mainly Muslim people of Goražde had endured heavy attacks and severe privation to hang on to their town while the rest of Eastern Bosnia was brutally ‘cleansed’ of its non-Serb population. But as much as Safe Area Goražde is an account of a terrible siege, it presents a snapshot of people who were slowly letting themselves believe that a war was ending and that they had survived.

Alan Johnston
Kidnapped and other Dispatches
Profile, 2007, 953.1055092 JOH
When Alan Johnston, the last western journalist who dared to remain in Gaza, was kidnapped by religious terrorists - millions of people, from the backstreets of Gaza to London, New York and Johannesburg, felt the need to express their anger and their determination to see him free. The captivity of Alan Johnston was a historical attack on the freedom of speech - and this collection of his dispatches is the long awaited and moving account of life in Gaza, his ordeal and his release.

James Longley
Iraq in Fragments
ICA Films, 2007, 956.7 LON
Iraq in Fragments is a hard-hitting, yet poignant documentary of three parts. A fatherless boy is inducted into an apprenticeship in a garage; Sadr supporters rally for regional elections, while violently enforcing Islamic law; a group of Kurdish farmers welcome the US presence and a freedom them have been denied until now. This incredibly photographed, well-balanced documentary looks at life through the eyes of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds and is the sum of the two years American director James Longley struggled to encapsulate a war that is being fought on three fronts.

Avi Mograbi
Nekam Achat Mishtey Eynay
Secondrun, 2006, 956.94 MOG
Shot in the Occupied Territories by renowned Israeli filmmaker Avi Mograbi, Nekam Achat Mishtey Eynay (Avenge but One of my Two Eyes) is a controversial documentary drawing parallels between the Israeli - Palestinian situation today and the myths of Samson and Masada. Mograbi makes provocative comparisons between Israeli's deep-rooted identification with these stories and contemporary Palestinian suicide bombers. He offers a powerful, at times chilling, lament to the continuing cycles of violence, rooted in the past but threatening to completely engulf everyone's future. A believer in the power of dialogue, Mograbi is passionate in his desire to see an end to the bloodshed.

Phil Grabsky
The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan
Vital, 2006, 958.1 GRA
For over 25 years, Afghanistan has been at war. In March 2001, the ruling Taliban destroyed the tallest stone statues in the world, the 'Buddhas of Bamiyan'. One of the refugees who now lives among the ruins is an eight-year-old boy called Mir. This astonishingly intimate film explores the lives of Mir and his family. Through summer, winter and spring we follow Mir's adventures as he gets into the kind of fun and mischief of any 8-year-old boy, against the magnificent backdrop of Bamiyan and its ruined statues. As Mir grows, the adults around him reveal what life has been like over the past two decades, a period in which hundreds of thousands of children like Mir have been killed. Phil Grabsky's film is a unique portrait of everyday life in modern Afghanistan.

Barbet Schroeder
General Idi Amin Dada Autoportrait
Eureka!, 2007, 967.91042 SCH
If this documentary about one of the twentieth century’s most reviled dictators were fiction it would be acclaimed as a comic masterpiece; but it is all true. With an ambition the size of Napoleon, Idi Amin considered himself a major leader and revolutionary on the world stage. In reality, his regime was amateurish, disorganised, and his maniacal command both hilarious and bizarre.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Featured Book - "John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand"

Richard Reeves
John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand
Atlantic, 2007, 192 REE

Journalist, author and RSA Fellow Richard Reeves' latest book is a rehabilitating biography of Britain's "greatest liberal," John Stuart Mill. Against Gladstone’s enduring characterisation of Mill as the patron saint of rationalism, Reeves highlights the controversy of he inspired as a prominent public intellectual of his day.

But if Mill wasn’t a dower intellectual, that’s not because his thought lacks merit. As Reeves argued in The Guardian recently, liberal democracy has become the standard form of Government and public ethics, yet there has been little use of past liberal philosophies to think about what this means for societies and their citizens.

Reeves’ work reviving John Stuart Mill as a philosopher worth engaging with is an important opening remark in this vital conversation.

To read more about Reeves' views on Mill, see his portait for Prospect magazine, and for more on Victorian Firebrand, see The Spectator's review.

To borrow a copy of John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand, please contact the RSA Library.