Friday, June 27, 2008

RSA Library Update - June 2008

What follows is a complete list of RSA library acquisitions for the month of June 2008. Fellows are welcome to e-mail the Library if they wish to borrow any of these items.

000s – Generalities

Ruth DeSouza and Andy Williamson
Researching with Communities: Grounded Perspectives on Engaging Communities in Research
Muddy Creak Press, 2007, 001.42 DES
Researching with communities presents a range of personal and grounded perspectives from academics, researchers and practitioners on undertaking research in ways that promote and privilege the voice of the community, is respectful of local or indigenous practices, and is culturally safe.

Adam Greenfield and Mark Shepard
Urban Computing and its Discontents
The Architectural League of New York, 2007, 004 GRE
The first in a series of pamphlets on the merging field of situated technologies, Urban Computing and its Discontents looks at how our experiences of cities is changing, and will continued change, as a result of the increased mobile communication and internet-connected devices. This pamphlet is also freely available online.

100s – Philosophy & Psychology

Astra Taylor
ICA Films, 2008, 150.195 TAY
The author of works on subjects as wide-ranging as Alfred Hitchcock, 9/11, opera, Christianity, Lenin and David Lynch, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek is one of the most important - and outrageous - cultural theorists working today. This documentary explores the eccentric personality and esoteric work of this incomparable academic and writer.

David Gauntlett
Creative Explorations: New Approaches to Identities and Audiences
Routledge, 2007, 155.2 GAU
Drawing upon an array of disciplines from neuroscience to philosophy, and art to social theory, David Gauntlett explores the ways in which researchers can embrace people's everyday creativity in order to understand social experience. Seeking an alternative to traditional interviews and focus groups, he outlines studies in which people have been asked to make visual things - such as video, collage, metaphorical models of their identities in Lego, and drawing - and then interpret them. This creative reflective method provides insights into how individuals present themselves, understand their own life story, and connect with the social world. Creative Explorations is a lively, readable and original discussion of identities, media influences, and creativity, which will be of interest to both students and academics.

200s – Religion

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
Jesus Camp
ICA Films, 2006, 261.7 EWI
A growing number of evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway in America that requires Christian youth to assume leadership roles in advocating the causes of their religious movement. Jesus Camp follows Levi, Rachael and Tory to Pastor Becky Fischer’s “Kid’s on Fire” summer camp in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, where children as young as six are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in “God’s Army”. The film follows these children at camp as they hone their “prophetic gifts” and are schooled in how to “take back America for Christ”.

300s – Social Sciences

Michael Moynagh and Richard Worsley
Going Global: Key Questions for the Twenty-First Century
A. & C. Black, 2008, 303.482 MOY
'Globalisation' is an extremely popular business buzzword, but people are often unsure about what it actually means - let alone its implications. In this unique book, the authors not only explain how we can make sense of globalisation, but also address the 12 questions most commonly asked about the world today -and tomorrow. Some of the many hot topics scrutinised by the authors include climate change, terrorism, energy supply, population, and business.

Julia Margo, Mike Dixon, Nick Pearce and Howard Reed (eds.)
Freedom’s Orphans: Raising Youth in a Changing World
IPPR, 2006, 305.235 MAR
This report responds to an extensive debate among academics, practitioners and commentators – even the Archbishop of Canterbury – on the ‘problems of modern youth’. Analysing evidence from across the world, it concludes that both the frequent condemnation of teenagers and recent attempts to absolve them from blame are misplaced. It says that changes in the family, local communities and the economy have combined to cause deep inequalities in the transition to modern adult life and leave increasing numbers of young people incapable of growing up safely and successfully.

Alain De Botton
Status Anxiety
Penguin, 2005, 305.5 BOT
We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer to a greater or lesser degree, usually privately and with embarrassment from status anxiety. For the first time, Alain de Botton gives a name to this universal condition and sets out to investigate both its origins and possible solutions. He looks at history, philosophy, economics, art and politics and reveals the many ingenious ways that great minds have overcome their worries. The result is a book that is not only entertaining and thought-provoking but genuinely wise and helpful as well.

Christina Julios
Contemporary British Identity: English Language, Migrants and Public Discourse
Ashgate, 2008, 305.800941 JUL
Against the background of an increasingly multicultural British society, this book traces the evolution of British identity in the 20th century. Debates around British multiculturalism and multi-ethnic identity are deconstructed through a linguistic lens, which explores the role played by the English language in these debates. Examination of the expansionism of the 19th century British Empire and the rise of the United States to the position of the world's superpower during the 20th century is provided. The book raises questions about the collective ability and willingness to redress the imbalance between the majority white population and the country's marginalised minority ethnic communities, providing enlightening clues to the likely course that the prevailing public discourse on British identity will take in the 21st century. This item has kindly been donated to the Library by its author, Christina Julios, a Fellow of the RSA.

Leo Hollis
The Phoenix: St. Paul’s Cathedral and the men who made Modern London
Orion, 2008, 307.34160942109032 HOL
Opening in the 1640s, as the city was gripped in tumult leading up to the English Civil War, The Phoenix charts the lives and works of five extraordinary men, who would grow up in the chaos of a world turned upside down: the architect, Sir Christopher Wren; gardener and virtuosi, John Evelyn; the scientist, Robert Hooke; the radical philosopher, John Locke and the builder, Nicholas Barbon. At the heart of the story is the rebuilding of London's iconic cathedral, St Paul's. Interweaving science, architecture, history and philosophy, The Phoenix tells the story of the formation of the first modern city.

Richard Burdett
The Endless City: The Urban Age Project
Phaidon, 2008, 307.76 BUR
If the late twentieth century was the age of economic globalization, the first part of the twenty-first century will be the age of the city; the urban age, where more than half of the earth's population live in urban areas. Questions regarding the shape, size, density and distribution of the city have become increasingly complex and politicized, and the impact of the built environment on social inclusion and quality of life are at the forefront of discussions about urban planning. These are the issues that have led to the creation of The Urban Age Project, a network of organizations, individuals and research projects that focus on sustainable development in the world's cities. It offers a platform from which to discuss how architects, urbanists and politicians should plan infrastructure and development without constraining growth and promote a better social and economic life. This book is the result of the discussions and extensive research produced for these conferences.

Anne Power and John Houghton
Jigsaw Cities: Big Places, Small Spaces
Policy, 2007, 307.760942 HOU
This new book explores Britain's intensely urban and increasingly global communities as interlocking pieces of a complex jigsaw, which are hard to see apart yet they are deeply unequal. How did our major cities become so divided? How do they respond to housing and neighbourhood decay? Jigsaw City examines these issues using Birmingham, Britain's second largest city and pioneer of the modern urban order, as our strongest model of the drive to create public solutions to private squalor is in three parts: the origins of Britain's acute urban decline; the idea that one size doesn't fit all; and the continuing urban flight that traps the poor and pays the rich to move out. This item was kindly donated to the Library by John Houghton, a UK-US Fulbright Humphrey Scholar 2005-06.

Hans Blix
Weapons of Terror: Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms
WMDC, 2006, 327.1747 BLI
Nuclear, biological and chemical arms are the most inhumane of all weapons. They are rightly called weapons of mass destruction and weapons of terror. Designed to terrify as well as destroy, these weapons can, in the hands of either states or terrorists, cause destruction on a vastly greater scale than any conventional weapons. In this report, in independent Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, chaired by Dr. Hans Blix, confronts this global challenge and presents 60 recommendations on what the world community - national governments and civil society - can and should do.

Hans Blix
Why Nuclear Disarmament Happens
MIT Press, 2008, 327.1747 BLI
This book from the former UN head weapons inspector in Iraq is a plea for a renewed global disarmament movement.In 2002 Dr. Hans Blix, then chief United Nations weapons inspector, lead his team on a search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Before the United States went to war with Iraq the next March, he maintained there were no WMD in Iraq, and history proved him right. For more than forty years Dr. Blix has worked on global disarmament, and with this new book he renews the call for nuclear non-proliferation; it is not a recipe for success for nuclear states to tell the rest of the world that it must stay away from the very weapons that nuclear states claim are indispensable. We will never be able to convince rogue states to halt the pursuit of nuclear weapons programs unless we take the lead in a new nonproliferation and disarmament movement. Why Nuclear Disarmament Matters includes specific suggestions - how the UN can set the stage for a credible multilateral disarmament and nonproliferation process; what kind of treaties would be most helpful - and recommendations for regional policy, including providing the Middle East with enriched uranium for civilian nuclear power production but not allowing uranium enrichment there.

Arien Boin, Paul ‘t Hart, Eric Stern and Bengt Sundelius
The Politics of Crisis Management: Public Leadership Under Pressure
Cambridge University Press, 2005, 352.3 BOI
Crisis management has become a defining feature of contemporary governance. In times of crisis, communities and members of organizations expect their leaders to minimize the impact of the crisis at hand, while critics and bureaucratic competitors try to seize the moment to blame incumbent rulers and their policies. In this extreme environment, policy makers must somehow establish a sense of normality, and foster collective learning from the crisis experience. In this uniquely comprehensive analysis, the authors examine how leaders deal with the strategic challenges they face, the political risks and opportunities they encounter, the errors they make, the pitfalls they need to avoid, and the paths away from crisis they may pursue.

James Orbinski
An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century
Rider, 2008, 361.26092 ORB
In An Imperfect Offering, James Orbinski expands on the theme of his recent RSA Lecture, telling his own extraordinary story of being a doctor, as well as discussing the nature of humanitarian action today and our responsibilities as citizens of the world. Born in Britain in 1960, James Orbinski's family moved to Canada when he was seven years old. As a young man, he became a medic to learn how to help, and deal with, the suffering of others. From then on he was plunged into many highly demanding situations, including being Head of Mission for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) during the Rwandan genocide; engaging with the politics of humanitarian work as the President of MSF; being in New York when the towers fell on 9/11; co-founding Dignitas International (an AIDS charity); and finally, returning to Rwanda on the 10th anniversary of the crisis there. In An Imperfect Offering, Orbinski not only tells his own inspiring story but is also remarkably provocative about what governments and agencies should and shouldn't be doing to help the world's poor and very sick. At the same time, he addresses what part each of us can play, so that we never lose sight of the dignity of those being helped, or deny them the right to act in their own lives.

Barton Jay Hirsch
A Place to Call Home: After-school Programs for Urban Youth
American Psychological Association, 2005, 362.712 HIR
Across the political spectrum, there is enormous interest in how local community organizations can help raise children who are growing up in poverty. This timely book examines the processes and outcomes at six inner-city Boys & Girls Clubs - one of the leading youth development organizations in the country. Featuring critical analysis and practical guidelines from a well-known authority on early adolescence, this information-packed volume, demonstrates how after-school programs emphasizing staff mentoring can provide critical resources for helping urban youth navigate the tumult of early adolescence.

Damian Tambini and Jamie Cowling (eds.)
From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service Communications
Institute for Public Policy Research, 2004, 384.540941 COW
Public service broadcasting must change if it is to survive. The licensing and funding arrangements that support it are challenged by long-term technical and market changes including the proliferation of channels and services, the rise of new interactive services and the shift away from mass access to niche services and alternative platforms for content delivery. Although in the short term UK public service broadcasters are in a state of rude health, they neglect these longer-term challenges at their peril.

400s – Language

500s – Natural Sciences & Mathematics

600s – Technology (Applied Sciences)

Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee
On Intelligence
Owl Books, 2005, 612.82 HAW
Jeff Hawkins, the man who created the PalmPilot, Treo smart phone, and other handheld devices, has reshaped our relationship to computers. Now he stands ready to revolutionize both neuroscience and computing in one stroke, with a new understanding of intelligence itself. Hawkins develops a powerful theory of how the human brain works, explaining why computers are not intelligent and how, based on this new theory, we can finally build intelligent machines. The brain is not a computer, but a memory system that stores experiences in a way that reflects the true structure of the world, remembering sequences of events and their nested relationships and making predictions based on those memories. Written with acclaimed science writer Sandra Blakeslee, On Intelligence promises to completely transfigure the possibilities of the technology age. It is a landmark book in its scope and clarity.

Sally Goddard Blythe
What Babies and Children Really Need
Hawthorn, 2008, 649.122 GOD
This book represents a milestone in our understanding of child development and what parents can do to provide their children with the best start in life. The author uses the latest scientific research to demonstrate how a baby's relationship with its mother has a lasting and fundamental impact. She argues that changes in society over the past 50 years - such as delayed motherhood, limited uptake of breastfeeding and early return to work - are interfering with the key developmental milestones essential to success and wellbeing in later life. This item was kindly donated to the Library by its author, Sally Goddard Blythe, a Fellow of the RSA.

700s – The Arts

Amir Bar-Lev
My Kid Could Paint That
Sony, 200, 702.874 BAR
In this documentary, Amir Bar-Lev tracks the overnight celebrity of Marla Olmstead, a toddler who creates gallery-worthy paintings on the dining room table of her family home. A media sensation by the age of four, critics compare her work with that of Jackson Pollock, and sales reach $300,000. But when a 2005 60 Minutes profile suggest that Maria had help making her paintings, the finger is pointed at her father, a keen amateur artist. Almost overnight, her family is ensnared in a web of accusation and denial, with the burden of proof placed squarely in their lap: is Maria a child prodigy or an innocent victim of a hoax?

Susan Glyn
The Word and the Image: A Contemporary Artist’s Vision of the Bible
2008, 704.948 GLY
This unpublished monograph pairs images of artworks by Susan Glyn with poems by both herself and Caroline Glyn, created in response to selected Bible passages. It has kindly been donated to the Library by Susan Glyn, a Fellow of the RSA.

Jonathan Black
Dora Gordine: Sculptor, Designer and Artist
Philip Wilson, 2008, 730.92 BLA
In 1938, Dora Gordine was hailed as 'possibly becoming the finest woman sculptor in the world.' For over thirty years she was widely perceived as a major presence in European sculpture; for her contribution to the inter-war art movement known as the rappel a l'ordre, as a prominent member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and as a founder of the Society of Portrait Sculptors. This book is the first to reveal the reality of her colourful life, containing a wealth of previously unpublished material, as well as providing a comprehensive assessment of her undoubted achievements as a talented and versatile sculptor and artist who, possessed a distinct flair for architectural and interior design. This item has kindly been donated to the Library by Dr. DGC Allen, a Fellow of the RSA.

Steven Heller and Mirko Ilić
Icons of Graphic Design
Thames & Hudson, 2008, 741.60904 HEL
Here is a unique history of graphic design that charts over a century of creative brilliance, showcasing the most influential graphic designs from 1900 to the present. Organized chronologically to illustrate how one great concept can inspire the next, each year features a seminal piece of work by a graphic artist some famous, some anonymous the designs that originally inspired them and later works that show their influence. The evolution of ideas is brought alive through the encyclopaedic format and Steven Heller and Mirko Ilić’s revealing observations highlighting the manner in which graphic styles and artistic devices flow with times, thereby guaranteeing the books appeal to designers and students of design everywhere.

Cynthia E. Smith
Design for the Other 90%
Cooper-Hewitt, 2008, 745.2091724 SMI
Of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion, close to 5.8 billion, 90%, have little or no access to products and services many of us take for granted; nearly half do not have regular access to food, clean water, or shelter. Design for the Other 90% explores more than thirty projects which reflect the growing movement among designers, engineers, students and professors, architects, and social entrepreneurs to design low-cost solutions to meet these needs.

Jasmine Dellal
Gypsy Caravan: When the Road Bends
ICA Films, 2006, 780.91497 DEL
This documentary follows five Gypsy bands from four countries who unite for the “Gypsy Caravan” as they take their show around North America for a sex-week tour, astounding every audience they meet. Their musical styles range from flamenco to brass band, Romanian violin to Indian folk.

Tony Palmer
All You Need is Love
Plastic Head, 2008, 781.63 PAL
Popular music is now an essential part of our daily lives, yet we know comparatively little about it: where it came from; how it developed; how is has influenced or been influenced by social change. Today, the popular music industry controls billions of dollars, yet it depends, ultimately, on the creative talents of a group of remarkable individuals. The story of popular music, therefore, is a story of the struggle by these individuals to survive the demands of an avaricious, thieving and capricious industry. The 17 episodes of this critically acclaimed TV series, originally broadcast worldwide between 1976 and 1980, are featured here, fully restored across 5 DVDs.

Andy Kimpton-Nye
Derek Jarman: Life as Art
400Blows Productions, 2004, 791.43 JAR/KIM
Derek Jarman was the most imaginative, innovative and controversial film-maker in Britain throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s – an extraordinary talent, the like of which we may never see again. This documentary explores his life and career as a film-maker. This otherwise-unavailable documentary was kindly donated to the Library by its director, Andy Kimpton-Nye.

Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno
Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
Artificial Eye, 2006, 796.33092 GOR
Artists Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, cinematographer Darius Khondji and 17 movie cameras film Zinédine Zidane for the entirety of Real Madrid vs. Villareal, with the legend’s thoughts and observations on his career and a magnificent score by the band Mogwai.

Douglas Beattie
The Rivals Game: Inside the British Derby
Know the Score!, 2008, 796.3340941 BEA
Why do football supporters choose one club rather than the other in a city where intense, often deep-seated rivalries exist? What made the choice for them; family ties, politics, religion, race, gang membership? Or were the clubs just different in what they stood for on the field as much as off it? Douglas Beattie spent two years getting underneath the skin of mainland Britain's biggest derby rivalries. These are the matches that are built up by the media as passionate, divisive and vitally important for the entire cities they are played in. These are the games that have a history of violence, fueds, social unrest and bigotry. With divisions going back as far as the English Civil War and preconceptions - mostly wrong - littering the landscape, Douglas visited Sheffield, Birmingham, north London, Manchester, Liverpool, the north east, Edinburgh and Glasgow to discover why.

800s – Literature

900s – Geography & History

Alan Mumford
Lordly Cartoons
Burke's Peerage & Gentry, 2003, 929.72 MUM
Burke's Peerage presents here a very different view of Lords and Ladies, through cartoons published over the last 250 years, frequently lending a critical view of events. Beginning with William Hogarth's eighteenth-century depiction of the last Lord to be hanged for treason, they cover amongst other things the activities of the House of Lords and its reform, and many major personalities involved in political life, from the Earl of Beaconsfield (Disraeli) to Asquith, Lloyd George, the Earl of Stockton (Macmillan), Lord Home and Baroness Thatcher.

Stephen Inwood
Historic London: An Explorer’s Companion
Macmillan, 2008, 942.1 INW
There is hardly a city in the world with richer historical and cultural associations than London. It is a place where history has been made for thousands of years, and where it is still being made today. It is not a city frozen in time, preserved in its ancient medieval pomp but a place that has been at or near the centre of national life for a thousand years and at the forefront of international political, cultural and economic history for each of the past five centuries. Here Stephen Inwood offers an explorer's guide to London's past. As you walk the streets of the capital, whether you live in the city or are just visiting it, Inwood will show you London's history all around you: stretches of Roman wall; medieval churches and Tudor houses that survived the Great Fire; monastic buildings that survived the Reformation; street markets first established centuries ago that survive today; Georgian streets and squares that were spared the wreckers' ball; Wren churches; Victorian terraces; and, Inns of Court that survived the Blitz. He takes you to the London of Chaucer and Shakespeare, Samuels Pepys and Johnson; Dickens and Darwin, T.S Eliot and George Orwell. It is the perfect book to have in your pocket or your bag as you go about your business in this most fascinating of cities.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Featured Book - "Complaint"

Julian Baggini
Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protest
Profile, 2008, 302.24 BAG

Julian Baggini, co-founder of The Philosophers’ Magazine and columnist for the Guardian and the Herald, has always taken a practical approach to philosophical problems.

While no fan of bad complaining, his new book is a principled defence of taking it to the level of an artform. From its function as a social glue in the face of a fragmenting society, to the whingeing roots of social reform movements, Baggini outlines how to complain and what’s worth complaining about.

Julian Baggini will be speaking at the RSA on Thursday 19 June, and to borrow a copy of Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protest, please email the RSA Library.