e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Basic I - Inventing (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Inventing the Rest of Our Lives
2. Inventing the Truth: The Art and
3. Inventing Human Rights: A History
4. Inventing the People: The Rise
5. Inventing Montana: Dispatches
6. Inventing America: A History of
7. Inventing for Dummies
8. Inventing Money: The Story of
9. Inventing on a Shoestring Budget
10. Kids Inventing! A Handbook for
11. A Brilliant Solution: Inventing
12. Histories of the Immediate Present:
13. Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power,
14. Inventing the "American Way":
15. Always Inventing: A Photobiography
16. Inventing America: Jefferson's
17. Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History
18. Inventing Kindergarten
19. Inventing Popular Culture: From
20. Inventing the Internet (Inside

1. Inventing the Rest of Our Lives : Women in Second Adulthood
by Suzanne Braun Levine
Paperback: 272 Pages (2005-12-27)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000FILIQ2
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The first editor of Ms. magazine helps women address the three crucial questions of second adulthood: What matters? What works? What’s next?

New brain research is proving it: Women at midlife really do start to see the world differently. Some 37 million women now entering their fifties and sixties—a unique generation—are refashioning their lives, with dramatic results. They have fulfilled all the prescribed roles—daughter, wife, mother, employee, but they’re not ready to retire. They want to experience more. Suzanne Braun Levine gives us a fun, smart, and tremendously informative road map through the challenging and uncharted territory that lies ahead. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Like looking in the mirror
I read this book because my friend sent an excerpt and I liked what I read. So, I purchased the book and devoured the entire thing. I felt like I was having a conversation with a good friend who really could help me understand what I had been feeling for a while. I enjoyed Levine's historical perspectives on women, and, again, I recognized myself in the descriptions. More importantly, I felt that I got permission to be confused as I am about to turn 60. I'm not ready to stop contributing, and at the same time I am not about to start setting the alarm clock again. I needed to see options and hear about the experiences of other women who are going through the same thing at this time of their lives. I saw not only myself, but other women friends who are in huge transitions, some not of their choosing. It was a rewarding read. I have recommended it to my friends and I am looking forward to the day we sit down and talk about it. My "fertile void" is not so scary anymore. In fact, I am kind of enjoying it!

TRULY INSPIRING! Even though I'm sliding with great speed down the other side of "middle age", I'm finding the decline exciting and reassuring. Yes, our bodies and minds require more extensive upkeep BUT now there is more time to do the things in our lives that responsibility, lack of funds and lack of accumulated wisdom didn't allow before. Suzanne Levine reiterates and elaborates on the positives of aging that lights a spark in us to "get excited" about life and its possibilities. All those loving priorities in our lives that required our constant attention for so many years and the wonderful stages we've passed through, not always easily, now are our fondest memories. In this age bracket life is seen from a different perspective. Suzanne touches on the growth spurt in our age group that inspires our intellectual curiosity, which is what I'm experiencing. As I always say, "Life doesn't HAVE to be miserable! We have choices and the older we are the more choices we allow ourselves!" I loved this book and I recommend it as a great gift to the woman approaching a formidable year.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Kept Saying YES
I have known about this book for sometime through my involvement with The Transition Network...Braun Levine has been a popular speaker for many TTN chapters...but avoided it, thinking it was "more of the same."Was I wrong.

From my perspective, in my sixites, moving from my mainstream life to what's next, this book caught my mood and made sense of it in developmental, rather than personal, terms.You know that nice feeling when a writer not only gets what you are feeling but speaks of it in a way you couldn't quite articulate and you find yourself saying YES...well I found myself saying YES so much I had to laugh. I LOVE this book and have already urged several friends to read it as well.
Suzanne Braun Levine is a good thinker, a good writer and a good teacher.I don't know her, but I'm guessing she is a good friend as well.

I noted a review that thought less of this book and dismissed Levine's term, "the fertile void."I also noted that the reviewer was turning 40---- a very different sort of transition.I didn't understand that "fertile void" until I found myself in it.Our mainstream years are, of course, full of transitions, but moving from middle age to that odd and still unnamed place that we are just now creating between middle age and old age brings different transition challenges that require new ways of seeing ourselves.This book is a surprisingly good guide for women in that developmental stage.

5-0 out of 5 stars Much needed read
This is a well written and well thought out book that supports every woman who gets to mid-life wondering, "now what?" Good insights, positive ideas and inspiring conclusions.
I ordered many copies for my friends and family

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
One premise of this book, you are not who you were, only older, seems such a simple truth once you are aware of it. I only wish I had read this book at age fifty instead of age seventy. Fortunately, I have good health and energy and have quite a number of years left in which to make use of this new knowledge. It does, however, explain the phenomenon that enabled me to achieve what I did in my fifties and sixties.

In my fifties I was clearly in the Fertile Void -- trying desperately to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I had to make a living, that much was clear. Ms. Levine's description of the process -- and the discoveries are a process -- mirrored my own struggles. In my sixties I undertook two major creative projects that satisfied some lifelong interests. This book enabled me to see that my experience was part of a greater community and I was not alone.

The Fertile Void, according to Ms. Levine, is what women pass through at the beginning of our second adulthood -- a time rife with possibilities and it can be daunting. For me, it occurred post-divorce when I was being pushed back into the work world. There were decisions to be made and I might have made better, more interesting ones if I had the advantage of seeing the bigger picture at that time. The journey through the Fertile Void should not be hurried, although it is an uncomfortable time, a time of not knowing, of discovering. There is a second adolescence before the second adulthood is reached, and it's almost as painful as the first, only in different ways.

The journey is about rediscovering your passion -- which doesn't necessarily come in a blinding epiphany -- and facing your fears. It's knowing what you cannot change, and changing what you can.

The good news is that it isn't too late if this book comes into your life at a much later stage than age fifty -- second adulthood lasts to the very END and there's still much opportunity to benefit. I for one, am feeling a renewed energy and there's a new spring in my step as I work toward inventing the rest of my life. It's definitely a Must Read.

Jean Boggio, author of Stolen Fields: A Story of Eminent Domain and the Death of the American Dream ... Read more

2. Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
by William Zinsser
Paperback: 240 Pages (1998-05-20)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395901502
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In this perfect companion for anyone beguiled by memoirs or embarking on writing one, nine distinguished authors -- Russell Baker, Jill Ker Conway, Annie Dillard, Ian Frazier, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alfred Kazin, Frank McCourt, Toni Morrison, and Eileen Simpson -- reflect on the writing process.Amazon.com Review
Every time Inventing the Truth appears in a newedition, editor William Zinsser can't help but add to it. The firstedition (1987) evolved from a series of New York Public Library talks,for which the mandate was not to lecture about the genre of the memoirbut to explain how a specific memoir came to be written. In the book's1995 edition, Russell Baker,AnnieDillard, Alfred Kazin,and ToniMorrison were joined by Jill KerConway, EileenSimpson, Henry LouisGates Jr., and Ian Frazier. Thistime around, Zinsser has added a rich and charming reminiscence by Frank McCourt(Angela'sAshes).

The authors do stick to their assignment: Russell Baker credits hishuge family with helping him "learn a lot about humanity from close-upobservation"; Jill Ker Conway talks about her desire to write a femalememoir that was not a romantic happily-ever-after; and Henry LouisGates Jr.discusses "want[ing] to write a book that imitated thespecialness of black culture when no white people are around." Butthere is also plenty of advice for writers here, and some generalthoughts about the genre. Conway addresses the difficulty of "goingback as a historian" and trying to understand "all the things you tookas a given when you were a child." Gates warns us to "be prepared forthe revelation of things you don't even dream are going to come up."And Annie Dillard contemplates the strangeness of spending "more timewriting about [a scene or an event] than you did living it."--Jane Steinberg ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very professional
This book was all thst I expected it to be.The seller was very prompt and professional.
Betsy Matthes

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend
This is a great book for anyone wanting to write their own memoir.There is invaluable information here for you to consider.William Zinsser is a superb writer and editor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Imagination serves Truth
Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir by William Zinsser

"How can you create such magnificent statues out of the rock?" asked an admirer of a great artist."The statue is already in the rock," responded the sculptor. "All I do is to chisel the rock away from it." This short dialogue came to my mind when Tori Morrison writes that truth is "only quarried by an act of imagination."
William Zinsser in his book, Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, brings together a variety of writers to illustrate that truth conveyed in memoir is more art than documentation, more interpretive than objective, more imagination than "just the facts."In fact, I believe that Zinsser would extend the sculptor analogy to say that the artist's vision of the statue in the rock is shaped by the chiseling process.The writer of a memoir must become "the editor of his own life. He must cut and prune an unwieldy story" and give it shape. The truth conveyed in a memoir does not have a pre-existence, but is "invented" in the process of writing.For the "facts" of one's life do not speak for themselves, but are given voice by the act of the imagination of the writer.The writer seeks the truth in the process of interpreting the window of a life that is the memoir.
I greatly appreciated the discussion by Tori Morrison, one author that Zinsser gathers into his book. Morrison states that "if writing is thinking and discovery and selection and order and meaning, it is also awe and reverence and mystery and magic."Therefore, writing memoir is more than getting the facts straight.In her writing, she often does not have any facts to work with.For example, slave stories had no mention of the interior life, and so she depends on the act of imagination and "memories within."Truth needs to go beyond facts because "facts can exist without human intelligence, but truth cannot." Truth that speaks of and to humans need to encompass imagination and mystery.
Annie Dillard shed light on the interpretive process of writing memoir by comparing it to a vacation or a dream.When you take a snapshot of your vacation, it becomes more real than your vacation.When you describe a dream, you've lost the dream but gained a verbal description.So also when you write about an experience, the act of writing becomes more real than the memory.
The insights of Lewis Thomas, and Russell Baker were less helpful to me, but I do want to highlight Alfred Kazin's comments.Kazin writes of growing up in a Jewish community in America and his rebellion against the tradition as still a holding fast to it."As the past broke out in my book, it came to me more and more that there was no intellectual solution to my long search for the meaning of Jewishness. There was some enduring mystery, some metaphysical conundrum about being Jewish, that I was not likely to abandon." Memoir is more about mystery than facts, questions than conclusions, art than simple description. Imagination and invention is servant of truth.And therein lies the truth of memoir and the service it can give to our culture.If truth is cast as merely objective propositions and truth telling as coming to a final intellectual solution, then truth will fall victim to a catastrophe similar to the Holocaust's "final solution."

5-0 out of 5 stars To learn by example from experts
As a personal and corporate biographer, I hear many different life stories and have learned that no one approach or format fits all. This collection of essays is a splendid example of how different individuals see their lives in their own ways. The essays together also serve to reassure any would-be memoirist that there is no one Right Way to write about your life experiences. When I was very young, I read Dr. Zhivago and wrote a fan letter to the author, Boris Pasternak. In his response, he wrote to me: "And if a letter like yours arrives, it is as if... the person of the sender should rise to her full height from the bottom of the letter wrapped in words and letters and thoughts like in a dress." The Zinsser collection of essays illustrates the importance of the writer coming right off the page "wrapped in words and letters and thoughts."

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Say It Better Than Zin!
Zinsser is a Zen master when it comes to memoir writing. The introduction to this book is nothing short of a tour de force. It inspires, articulates, and deconstructs the myths and perils of memoir writing. The title, INVENTING THE TRUTH, is well crafted because the book addresses the ardous task of conflating truth and memory. One caveat this book is not an easy read for high school students; in fact it is nearly inaccessible, however, a teacher or memorist could glean invaluable experience on the craft of memoir writing from the collection. In a college memoir class this book would be and should be a must-have. If this book were to be expanded again, I would suggest including exercises or contemplation questions for the writer,teacher, and student. ... Read more

3. Inventing Human Rights: A History
by Lynn Hunt
Paperback: 272 Pages (2008-04-17)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393331997
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
“A tour de force.”—Gordon S. Wood,New York TimesBookReviewHow were human rights invented, and how doestheir tumultuous history influence theirperception and our ability to protect themtoday? From Professor Lynn Hunt comes thisextraordinary cultural and intellectual history, which traces the roots of human rights to therejection of torture as a means for finding thetruth. She demonstrates how ideas of humanrelationships portrayed in novels and art helped spread these new ideals far and wide. Hunt alsoshows the continued relevance of human rights in today’s world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars A literary look at human rights
Hunt begins by locating the rise of human rights with the rise of the novel. Eighteenth century literary culture encouraged readers to identify directly and intensely with those unlike themselves--learning to feel what was called sympathy then and is called empathy now for characters on the pages of "Clarissa", "Pamela" (Richardson) and "Julie" (Rousseau) led to the ability to identify with people in utterly different conditions than that of the reader.

She writes that "rights must be natural (inherent in human beings), equal (the same for everyone) and universal (applicable everywhere)" but they were considered universal for some but not for women and only eventually for free black men, Jews, Catholics (in England), Protestants (in France) and slaves (except in the United States).

Her chapter on torture is a cogent discussion how the views of 18th century Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria on legal punishment have influenced the intellectual, moral and political views and practices of kings and emperors, philosophers and revolutionaries, intellectuals and pamphleteers on torture, the death penalty and public criminal proceedings. It is one of the strongest and most incisive sections of the book. Hunt goes a bit overboard in the chapter on the French revolution, discussing it in greater detail than necessary in such a slender volume--which makes sense because she is a specialist in the French revolution.

3-0 out of 5 stars Shaky Start but Strong Finish
This is a book that finishes much stronger than it starts.The author is trying to track the development of the idea of Human rights in the western civilization and although there is a obviously a need to begin somewhere, the point where the author starts seems a little arbitrary.For this reason I believe that the first and part of the second chapters of the book are the weakest parts.After this, however the book seems to find its stride by tracking the development of the concept of human rights over time with a focus on the Declaration of Independence , The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.She makes the important point that once the conversation on who should be included in what rights is started the group of those included will inevitably expand.All in all it is a decent introduction to the topic

1-0 out of 5 stars Popular Novel
Unfortunately for any student of history, this is a popular novel that lacks any professional vigor. Hunt uses very few primary sources and is erratic with her notes at best. Her argument that "imagined empathy" had to be permeated throughout the populations of Europe in the form of remorse for TORTURE and the emotional response of NOVELS on the populace are scattered and empty of any reasoning. She continually contradicts herself and admittedly leaves out nearly 80 percent of the population of France, in the form of the French Peasantry, in her argument. She continually quotes urban clerics, journalists, writers and nobles, and encapsulates their argument to be that of the entire population of France. When a book has to have reviews painted all over the front and back covers as well as two pages before the prologue, you know it is going to be abysmal. I suggest that anyone that wants a realistic review of the French Revolution of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, look elsewhere.

2-0 out of 5 stars History of Human Rights from a Different Angle
Lynn Hunt's book "Inventing Human Rights: A History" focuses on the history and evolution of human rights and uses the Declarations in the year's 1776, 1789 and 1948 to trace it and to define the various stages when its violation was "no longer acceptable."
One of the issues that struck me in the book was that once people get a taste of human rights, whether they're natural, political, social etc...it's very hard to restrain.It's reminds me of how economists depict inflation and how hard it is to contain once it gets going.It can feed on itself and they make it akin to putting toothpaste back into a tube.Human Rights strikes in that say vein.
Professor Hunt begins by making a distinction between human rights as something that is natural or in a state of nature and the more modern interpretation of human rights as regards the "rights of humans in society."There is something strikingly secular when thinking about how it all evolved.Monarchical rule was beginning to make less sense at the time.And during the Enlightenment, the idea of the self as separate and apart from those things sacred began to take shape.She describes the use of the word "inalienable" which is defined as something that is not transferable and is not refutable.This is a powerful concept and is the underpinning of the notion of liberty and the rights of man.
She uses the advent of the novel as a seminal event that allowed people to feel empathy towards each other and realize that they all felt the same in some deep a priori
way."Novels made the point that all people are fundamentally similar because of their inner feelings, and many novels showcased in particular the desire for autonomy."It's this sense of "equality and empathy" that she stresses were the social fabric and conceptual glue that bound society.She insists that the novel, among other things, was responsible for causing people to "identify across social lines" and create shared sympathies which can create strong identities and as she describes later, can be instrumental when thinking about how nationalism took off in the nineteenth century.
She describes how in the eighteenth century that people equated individual autonomy with human freedom.She uses Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment" to highlight his view that enlightenment translated into intellectual autonomy--"the ability to think for oneself."Enlightenment in this form was something that was gained in part through formal education.This was higher thinking in the extreme.
In the section "Bone of their Bone," the idea of torture was explored as indeed explored throughout the book which was an offshoot of the empathy toward one's fellow man and a "new concern for the human body."The rights of the condemned and the methods for punishment began to take shape as the rhetoric of revolution began to insist on the restriction of the use of cruel and inhumane punishments.The guillotine was in one sense a more humane way with which to meet out punishment.She makes the point that someone can't physically make the payment of dues to society if one's body parts are scattered around a field."Torture ended because the traditional framework of pain and personhood fell apart, to be replaced, bit by bit, by a new framework, in which individuals owned their bodies, had the rights to their separateness and to bodily inviolability, and recognized in other people the same passions, sentiments, and sympathies as in themselves."
Much is made of the act of "declaring."A declaration, one that announces one way of thinking while all together abolishing another was essential in proclaiming ones rights to the world.It had a galvanizing effect but opened up a can of worms as well.Liberty, freedom, the rights of man are great concepts, but they're messy.Who is left out of this equation is as important as who is protected.What to do with children, slaves, the insane, and women is dealt with throughout the book.Ethnic minorities, particularly the Jews, were problematic when rolling out liberties and human rights.Condorcet describes it well: "Either no individual in mankind has true rights, or all have the same ones; and whoever votes against the right of another, whatever be his religion, his color or his sex, has from that moment abjured his own rights."
One of the more interesting parts of the book was the discussion about how different sets of authorities were vying with each other between 1789 and 1815.At issue were the rights of man on the one hand and what is described as "hierarchical society" on the other.Both made a "nationalistic" case with those heralding the rights of man trumping anything to do with the nation and those like Edmund Burke who argued that "liberty could only be guaranteed by a government rooted in a nation's history, with the emphasis on history. Rights only worked, he insisted, when they grew out of longstanding traditions and practices."Burke makes a compelling argument in his book "Reflections on the Revolution in France," that the rights of man were not worth thepaper they were written on and did not have the gravitas or the moral high ground when thinking about the "love of God, awe of kings, duty towards magistrates, reverence of priests, and deference toward one's betters." This is all well and good if you're one of the revered.
Human Rights is something we expect today.And it's also something we're astounded is so routinely violated.This is why in this day and age everyone is on the look out for despots.When they're found they are deposed or lacking that despised.One's rights in some respects are elevated when you have the power to remove someone else's.These documents in the appendix of the book were written and "declared" because the rights of all must be preserved or we have no rights at all.They must be defended and protected individually and en masse. They are fragile and yet fundamental.In many ways they're circular."The process had and has an undeniable circularity to it: you know the meaning of human rights because you feel distressed when they are violated."

1-0 out of 5 stars An the rest of the world?What kind of history is this?
A very interesting topic, a very important issue, but defined through the eyes of a Cultural Historian that can not see further than her place of birth (the U.S.) or her academic interest (French history).Where is the discussion of the parts of the world that also discussed these issues?Where is Bartolome de Las Casas?Where is Costa Rica that abolished the death penaly in 1870?Why not to talk about the most extreme cases of Human Rights abuses, perpretrated by the French (Algeria) and the U.S. (Latin America, Vietnam)?A great topic is diminished by a square mind. ... Read more

4. Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America
by Edmund S. Morgan
Paperback: 320 Pages (1989-09-17)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$11.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393306232
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"The best explanation that I have seen for our distinctive combination of faith, hope and naiveté concerning the governmental process." —Michael Kamman, Washington PostThis book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereignty—the unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the "divine right of kings"—has worked in our history and remains a political force today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The People - a convenient fiction
This book is a very perceptive examination of a central tenet of both the British and American democracies, that is, the one where the central government rests on popular sovereignty - on the people. The author shows that is mostly a convenient fiction, but one that must be honored to legitimate democratic governments. In the first place, "the people" is a most nebulous concept - sufficiently vague to not affix specific rights and duties.

The author devotes at least half the book to 17th century English political history where the divine right of kings was gradually replaced by popular sovereignty exercised by Parliament. He shows where the Long Parliament of 1640 assumed supreme authority in the name of the people with no mechanisms actually in place for the "people" to check Parliament. The Levellers of that time attempted to bridge the gap of empowerment for the people, but were essentially ignored and suppressed keeping power in the hands of the few.

In later years and in America, the myth of the power of people has been sustained in many ways: extolling the importance of the virtuous yeoman (farmer), requiring participation in local militias where local social hierarchies can be reinforced, elections where pre-selected, elite candidates pander for votes, and holding carnivals where the gentry and peasants pretend to swap social roles. In all of these cases there is the pretense of social equality. It is all an elaborate game where elites interact with the ordinary just enough to remind everyone both of their superiority and sameness and to deflect grass-roots efforts to exercise power.

There is a great deal of discussion concerning the agreement of men in a hypothetical past to emerge from a state of nature to form a community and then to establish a government. In theory the community of men retains its superiority over the government, but the problem is that once power is invested in representatives, presidents, judges, etc, how can the people regain the upper hand. In America, Constitution writing was a pre-government community activity that prescribed a government and had to be ratified by state conventions of the people. The author points out that during the time of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in England, the Convention (actually Parliament) was unwilling to return to a pre-government state to construct a constitution - too much chance for actual people's voices.

Since the time of the founding much has changed in America. Landed elites have long since been surpassed by business and financial elites. The rise of mass communications while increasing information flows also facilitates the ability to sustain all manner of myths including the myth of popular empowerment. This is a good book to understand that some key political myths in this country have been with us a long time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Boring but relevant
Inventing the People is a study of the relation between political ideas and political reality in the Anglo-American world. Morgan's ultimate goal is to explain the development of the American way of government.Morgan's thesis is that both the divine right of kings and the sovereignty of the people are political fictions designed to justify government of the many by the few. These fictions have been created by the people and
serve to both shape and reflect upon the nature of political reality.

Morgan's thesis is that both the divine right of kings and the sovereignty of the people are political fictions designed to justify government of the many by the few. These fictions have been created by the people and serve to both shape and reflect upon the nature of political reality.

Inventing the People is an examination of the relation between political thoughts and political reality in the Anglo-American world. Morgan's ultimate goal is to trace the development of the American style of government.Morgan's, Hume inspired, thesis is that both the divine right of kings and the sovereignty of the people are political fictions designed to justify government of the many by the few. These fictions have been created by the people and serve to both shape and reflect upon the nature of political reality.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book to Understand our Forefathers
I'm barely a quarter of the way through the book. It's very dense in that there is so much to read and ponder within its covers. But what I have read shows that he has done his homework, and is presenting the material in a way that makes me feel like I was part of the popular debate occuring in the halls of government at the time.

If you want to know why the constitution is written the way it is, where our forefathers got the crazy idea that men are inherently sovereign and have God-given rights, you'll need to get this book. It explains the slow, awkward, and surprising evolution of philosophy as people began to realize kings were no more endowed with a a mandate from God than men were. If you can't imagine what was really going on in people's minds between the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence, this book will fill in all of the missing gaps.

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting back to basics, civicly speaking
We the People, right? Well, it's not obvious anymore, looking around at the usurping of many of our rights. This book states the obvious in simple terms that we can all understand at today's hectic pace. A very good history lesson. ... Read more

5. Inventing Montana: Dispatches from the Madison Valley
by Ted Leeson
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2009-09-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$12.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1602397961
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
“Ted Leeson is taking us in the only direction the literature of angling should go: toward finding our place in the natural world. His voice is indispensable.”—Thomas McGuaneEvery summer for two decades, Ted Leeson and a maverick group of close companions have returned to an old ranch house on the benchland overlooking the Madison River. Trout and fly fishing may be at the heart of their ritual return, but their experience goes far beyond the fishing. Leeson contemplates both the human and natural landscape brilliantly: the fly-anglers’ passionate, ironic, and sometimes hilarious allegiances to what they do; the intriguing Madison Valley and its creatures and flowers; the trout town of Ennis; maps and their revelations; the “green-card” experience of living in a place in which you are not native; the nature of leisure.  

Full of wit, surprise, shrewd observation, and wisdom, this book tells a story about creating a place of temporary liberty, and inhabiting a world fashioned of your best imaginings, where you might, for a time, live the potencies of a place that you have shaped and has shaped you. No lover of the very best writing about fly fishing and the natural world can afford to miss this stunning book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for mature fly fishers
Great book - not even close to being just about fishing.NOT a how to.Great thoughts and writing about life and fishing and Montana.I could only read it in small pieces - due to it's thought provoking nature.Like a fine single malt it is meant to be savored and could be an acquired taste.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
Ted Leeson writes with descriptive phrases that at times you feel like you are in Montana.Other times you are longing to be there as a part of the group.I highly recommend this book.It is one of his best. Also a must read is Jerusalem Creek - Fly Fishing through Driftless Country.

2-0 out of 5 stars Serious Fishermen--Look Elsewhere
This was my first read of Ted Leeson- since I've visited the Madison valley each year for the past ten years to fly fish the Madison and spend time in that beautiful country- I couldnt wait to get my hands on this book.A book about a month long fishing trip to the Madison?If you fly fish for trout, and love Western rivers, it doesnt get any better.

Either I had the wrong expectations or Leeson is misrepresented here.I was expecting something along the lines of Gierach or Lyons- where the rivers, the trout, and the fishing are the constant theme, and everything else is woven into the context of the story. I was looking to feel like I was on the trip with him.

Unfortunately, you feel less like you are on a fishing trip, and more like you are trapped at a dinner party listening to a long-winded uncle painfully recount the tales of his month-long trip.Leeson's wordy dissertations on things like cooking, the town of Ennis, the ranch where they stay, and other subjects left me wondering when he was going to get back on track- all those subjects are noteworthy to the story, no doubt- but as Leeson went on and on, I couldn't help but wondering, when are we going to get back to the Madison?

The book does get a little better as it goes along- the last half of the book is more dedicated to the fishing and relates these asides to it, but I was still disappointed.Leeson leaves you wanting more about how the fishing was-also, he doesnt disclose his companions names- he calls them the Writer, the Mechanic, the Bodhi, etc.. It's hard to develop an attachment to these people if you don't even know their names.

If you are a serious fly fishing enthusiast who is looking for something to make you feel like you've been fishing, this won't do it.Maybe I've been spoiled by John Gierach, but that man writes a story about fishing a river in a way that makes you feel like you're right there casting with him.In this case, I've been to the very places Leeson is writing about, but it still made me feel- are we fishing here, or am I listening to you musing about whatever subject came to mind?

5-0 out of 5 stars Top-Shelf Sporting Literature
With The Habits of Rivers and Jerusalem Creek to his credit, Ted Leeson now assumes the top of the heap of sporting writing with his latest work.I would rank his work up there with McGuane, Traver, Lyons, Barich and Haig-Brown in terms of depth and sophistication of writing.5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, Funny, Super-smart
Inventing Montana solidifies Ted Leeson's position as fly fishing's chief philosopher.Here Leeson tackles how and why Montana has become our sport's Valhalla, while at the same time painting a vivid picture of the area's geographic,geological, and cultural features.Leeson keeps us grounded in visceral descriptions of fishing, fishing friends, and fishing camp, descriptions that put me right there with him.And as someone who has never fished Montana, I still found it totally engaging--it's about fly fishing and fly fisherman more than anything else. This is definitely Leeson's funniest book...I laughed out-loud many times.Sure to be read for as long as people fish flies. ... Read more

6. Inventing America: A History of the United States (Second Edition)(Vol. One-Volume)
by Pauline Maier, Merritt Roe Smith, Alexander Keyssar, Daniel J. Kevles
Hardcover: 1000 Pages (2006-04-07)
-- used & new: US$79.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 039316814X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Adopted at over 250 colleges and universities inits First Edition, Inventing America broke newground by integrating the cultural, social, andpolitical dimensions of the American storyaround the unifying theme of innovation—thepragmatic forward-looking direction of Americanhistory, the willingness of Americans to findnew solutions in the face of challenge andchange.For the Second Edition, the authors have expanded and strengthened the innovation themeand pared some supporting detail to create amore concise and effective teaching text. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars A history textbook is a history textbook.....
Nothing great or horrible about this book, easy to read but can be vauge sometimes, but for the most part gets to the point, wouldent read it if it wasent required for my class, I prefered for "fun" Howard Zinns book,you know the famous one....cant remember the title...

5-0 out of 5 stars Fast and Fulfilled my expectations
Shipping was incredibly fast and the book definitely Fulfilled my expectations, i am very satisfied.

4-0 out of 5 stars Evalutaion
This book is much better interesting than other books that I've had before in other history classes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inventive approach (vol. 2)
I am developing a course in the History of Technology in America for my local community college, and find this book an invaluable resource.There is a hard-back one-volume edition as well as a soft-cover two-volume edition available.The authors hail from Harvard, Yale and MIT, with backgrounds in history, politics and technology.

This is an American history with a difference.While the student and instructor will find the basic chronological outline of American history that is familiar, the development of themes here often draws in much more explicitly than the normal text the issues of technological innovation, scientific discovery, manufacturing and business development as engines for growth and progress in the course of American history.The authors state in their introduction that Americans 'have long considered this penchant for innovation a distinguishing feature of their culture and history.'

Technology in terms discussed here is hardly confined to the modern age.For example, very early in the text the authors state that the development of maize/corn 'was perhaps the most important plant-breeding achievement of all time' - the creation of a stable staple food crop that was adaptable and resilient spurred the growth of civilisation in dramatic ways. Technology includes that related to architecture (from the earliest buildings in the Native American cultures to modern skyscrapers, bridges and underground complexes), agriculture (the aforementioned maize development being but the earliest of these examples), transportation technologies (from canals to railroads to automobiles and aircraft), medical technologies (from early hygiene and vaccine developments to modern pharmaceutical and genetic innovations), information technology (telegraph and telephone to digital and internet), and much more.

History is naturally selective, and any history text is going to have to walk the fine line between being thorough in development and being comprehensive in scope.The whole work weighs in at well over 1100 pages (inclusive of index and appendices), which is a lot of material for a two-semester course that will include supplemental readings.As an overview of American history, it hits the high points well and develops many sidelines of interest.My own particular teaching responsibilities for this will be to students who are primarily interested in technical education - this method of developing American history has more appeal for this audience, given its more direct applicability to their courses of study.

In the two volume edition, the first volume covers the pre-Columbian scene in the Americas through to the era of Reconstruction following the Civil War; the second volume goes through the presidency of the current George W. Bush, and includes issues of 9-11 and the issues of ongoing wars against terrorists. There are CD-ROM supplements that come with the books, which include many helpful elements for the students, as well as some multi-media offerings.These are keyed to chapters in the text.

The text is written in an interesting and informative manner, with appropriate use of humour and wit as situations permit.For example, from the text on the exhibition in London's Crystal Palace in 1851, the authors write:

'Among the winners was the New York firm of Day and Newell, manufacturers of locks.In one of the more flamboyant competitions, an employee of Day and Newell successfully picked the locks of several well-known English lock makers, while an English locksmith failed to pick Day and Newell's locks.The American won a cash prize for his efforts, while the Bank of England, whose vault he opened, subsequently placed an order with Day and Newell for a new set of locks.'

The text is supplemented by a very generous sampling of graphics, pictures, woodcuts, maps, charts and other colourful elements.Every page has some element of colour and something to make it visually interesting apart from the text.

This is a wonderful book for undergraduate courses in American history as well as for general readers who want to refresh their knowledge of American history.
... Read more

7. Inventing for Dummies
by Pamela Riddle Bird
Paperback: 384 Pages (2004-05-07)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$9.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764542311
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Full coverage of the ins and outs of inventing for profit

Protect your idea, develop a product -- and start your business!

Did you have a great idea? Did you do anything about it? Did someone else? Inventing For Dummies is the smart and easy way to turn your big idea into big money. This non-intimidating guide covers every aspect of the invention process -- from developing your idea, to patenting it, to building a prototype, to starting your own business.

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • "Get in, get out" information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

Discover how to:

  • Conduct a patent search
  • Maintain your intellectual property rights
  • Build a prototype product
  • Determine production costs
  • Develop a unique brand
  • License your product to another company
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for the independent inventor
For the new inventor who wants to know a lot in a short time - start here.
Written by the voice of experience.No riddles here, just answers and solutions that will help you move forward faster towards your protection, prototype, product, marketing and profits

5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT START FOR INVENTORS!
Pam has used her considerable experience well in writing this book. I've recommended her as a consultant for several years and it's a pleasure to see how much she's been able to pack into the book.As both an inventor and a consultant, I'm confident that every inventor can learn something they didn't know from Pam.

Blan McBride

4-0 out of 5 stars how to protect an invention; not how to make one
The book offers a good explanation to the tyro of what it takes to protect your invention. The book is not really about inventing, per se. Despite what the title says. A careful read of the contents reveals relatively little discussion about the raw inventing process. That is, how does one come up with an original idea that can be patentable? It may well be that such a question has no answer.

Rather, the book's contribution is to show the reader that, if you make something that you think is worth patenting, what are the necessarysteps to do so. It explains how you can protect your invention from others. It focuses on steps that can be specifically described to you, and then performed by you. Like how to file a Provisional Patent Application. And how you can now do this electronically. (Which wasn't always the case.) While some of these steps are unique to the United States, in general they apply in most countries.

There is also a brief discussion about copyright issues in the book. But it is tangential to the main topic. ... Read more

8. Inventing Money: The Story of Long-Term Capital Management and the Legends Behind It
by Nicholas Dunbar
Paperback: 262 Pages (2001-01-16)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471498114
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
LTCM was the fund that was too big to fail, the brightest star in the financial world. Built on genius, by legends of Wall Street and two Nobel laureates, it spiralled to ever greater heights, commanding unimaginable wealth. When it fell to earth in Spetember 1998 it shook the world. This is the story of the rise and fall of LTCM and the legends behind it.
"Inventing Money is a brave and ambitious book....a highly readable account of a financial drama of the highest kind." The Independent
"Nicholas Dunbar's fascinating book is a well-writen chronicle of these events....a book to enjoy." Times Higher Educational Supplement
"A substantial primer on the history of financial theory, not least because of Mr Dunbar's knack for colourful parallels that illuminate his arguments." New York Times
"...not the last word on the subject, but it is a good start." The Economist
"Dunbar's is....a highly readable introduction to the origins of alternative strategies employed throughout the industry today." Portfolio International
"...a fascinating account of this spectacular episode." CIB News
"A well researched book...very readable." Investors Chronicle
"...a penetrating look at this enthralling story, stripping away the shroud of mystery surrounding the drama that rocked the financial world........Dunbar tells the full story of this most public of financial disasters, unveiling previously undisclosed information, in captivating and accessible terms." Euro Business
"...a fast moving and readable account that explains the development of finance over the centuries before recounting the brief but eventful life of LTCM. It gives a strong flavour of the people and the times, their resentments and motivations." Risk
"...an essential insight into the development of financial markets and the history of man's attempt to predict investor behaviour....It should be required reading for anyone considering investing in financial markets." Allianz Global Risk Report ... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars insight into current global financial crisis
Though written about a decade ago and about the meltdown of Long Term Capital (LTCM), the book is important to understanding the current financial crisis. Same financial "tricks" even some of the same financial players, but today's crisis is clearly more devastating than the debacle of LTCM.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not the best analysis of LTCM
Good insight on the characters and very creative illustrations that explain the arbitrage and swap strategies.But Lowenstein's "When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management" has some better discussion of the results.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
... fun read ... has the same feel as the James Burke PBS show from the '80s that connected people and events in enlightening ways.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome detail...the book for those in the industry
Best book on LTCM for those who like technical detail and mechanics. This is closer to the microstructure of how everything went down, and compares favourably to "When Genius Failed" for those in the industry.

Very readable, well written, covers all the best topics, and again has the best detail.

2-0 out of 5 stars cannot finish reading this book
This is one of the rare book in my recent reading history that I just can't seem to finish reading.I find the style of writing disjointed and I am not able to develop interest in the characters of the book either regardless of how famous they are.Perhaps if the author focus on fewer characters, it would help.(By the way, I really like The Smartest Guys in the Room--the Enron book)

The book appears to be a hotchpotch of trade ideas.I suspect that the author is not very well versed in finance.I find the presentatinon of some standard finance theory awkward.I work in the field of credit derivatives for 6 years, so I don't believe my problem stem from my unfamiliarity to the topic. ... Read more

9. Inventing on a Shoestring Budget
by Barbara Russell Pitts and Mary Russell Sarao
Paperback: 221 Pages (2006-06-02)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$9.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0978522206
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Insider tips for bringing your product to market without breaking the bank!How to maximize your chances for successfully moving your idea to market on a limited budget!Where to find free or nearly free help!Tips on how to pace your expenditures!When you must spend money and when you don't have to!How to know whom you can trust and whom you should not trust!Where to find the money to help you pursue your invention!Tips for toy inventors!Discount coupons worth $500 on essential inventor products and services! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars good book
especially for a someone learning there way,i would suggest this book to anyone,web site info, coupons in the back for different things pertaining to people that can help etc. it very helpfully.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read!No fluff...just facts
I have read several books on inventing and starting up a business and this is by far the best book I've read about the subject.Most books are packed with stories and a bunch of fluff but this book is strictly facts and information that every inventor needs to know.It covers everything from patents to finances and has so many money saving tips that I had never heard of before!I highly recommend this book and have it on my desk as a constant reference as I build my invention into a successful business.

5-0 out of 5 stars Useful
This book has lots of useful information. The tips will more than pay for the book if you actively pursue marketing an invention. The coupons in the back alone will save many times the cost of the book if you use one or two of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-read Blueprint for all Inventors
This book is a wealth of information and a must-read for anyone embarking on the journey of inventing. As the title suggests - this book addresses a problem that plagues many inventors - how to go about protecting and bringing a product to market with little or no finances. The information provided by these proven authors details the steps you need to take to make your dreams and ambitions a reality, along the way debunking myths like the "poor man's patent" (mailing your ideas in a sealed and dated envelope, page 48). If you have a great idea and looking for guidance, this is a sound blueprint clearly written from the point of view of experience and I highly recommend it. ... Read more

10. Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors
by Susan Casey
Paperback: 144 Pages (2005-08-24)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471660868
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Have you ever seen inventors on TV or in the newspaper and thought, "That could be me!" Well, it certainly could—and this book shows you how. Kids Inventing! gives you easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for turning your ideas into realities for fun, competition, and even profit.

From finding an idea and creating a working model to patenting, manufacturing, and selling your invention, you get expert guidance in all the different stages of inventing. You'll see how to keep an inventor's log, present your ideas, and work as part of a team or with a mentor. You'll meet inspiring kids just like you who designed their own award-winning inventions. And you'll see how to prepare for the various state and national invention contests held each year, as well as international competitions and science fairs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great start for a young inventor
My youngest daughter loves to come up with new ideas but has no idea how to implement them or whether she is on the right track. This book has helped her focus her creativity in a more productive manner. She is now more focused and realistic about her ideas whereas before many of her ideas were impossible or just off the wall.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every library needs Kids Inventing!
This book gives loads of ideas and stories to inspire kids to become inventors. Almost a hundred examples of kids inventing are featured along with advice on each step of the invention process. The author shows that its a fun and a poteniallyMoney Making activity. Kids Inventing! can change a child's life!

5-0 out of 5 stars Kids Inventing is Terrific!!!!
I really love Kids Inventing!, THE handbook for young inventors. Written by that expert on invention (also see author Susan Casey's excellent book, Women Invent!), this is a book about inventions by kids, and it's written to be read and used by kids.
Easy to read, full of first-rate practical advice, with lots of good photos and charts, this book will be especially useful not only for all those young inventors out there, but also for their teachers. I'm a teacher myself, and am always on the lookout for books that encourage children to think big, to explore what could be, to use their imagination...and Kids Inventing! is exactly this kind of inspiring book.
The advice on patents and trademarks alone is well worth the price of the book. There is a great deal too, of interesting history throughout. The sections on awards, invention fairs, science fairs, contests, camps...all of these add to the completely practical aspect of Kids Inventing! Author Casey guides the reader step-by-step, always encouraging, always guiding with a sure hand.
Kids Inventing! is sure to be a big hit with the brightest, highest achieving students....but I believe that it will also be of plenty of interest to most kids. This one ought to be in every school library...shot it ought to be in all the classrooms! Highly recommended. ... Read more

11. A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution
by Carol Berkin
Paperback: 320 Pages (2003-10-20)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156028727
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
We know--and love--the story of the American Revolution, from the Declaration of Independence to Cornwallis's defeat. But our first government was a disaster and the country was in a terrible crisis. So when a group of men traveled to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to save a nationin danger of collapse, they had no great expectations for the meeting that would make history. But all the ideas, arguments, and compromises led to a great thing: a constitution and a government were born that have surpassed the founders'
greatest hopes.
Revisiting all the original documents and using her deep knowledge of eighteenth-century history and politics, Carol Berkin takes a fresh look at the men who framed the Constitution, the issues they faced, and the times they lived in. Berkin transports the reader into the hearts and minds of the founders, exposing their fears and their limited expectations
of success.
Amazon.com Review
"The majority of historians seem to suggest that the founders knew just what to do--and did it, creating a government that would endure for centuries," writes CUNY historian Carol Berkin in the introduction to A Brilliant Solution. Sitting atop the pedestals we've placed them on, these figures would be "amused" by such notions, she says, because in reality the Constitutional Convention was gripped by "a near-paranoid fear of conspiracies" and might easily have succumbed to "a collective anxiety" over its daunting task. The story of the birth of the U.S. Constitution has been told many times, perhaps best by Catherine Drinker Bowen in Miracle at Philadelphia. Berkin's rendition of these well-known events is clear and concise. It does a bit more telling than showing, but this seems to be in the service of brevity--the main text is only about 200 pages. (Another 100 pages of useful appendices follow, including the full texts of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, plus short biographies of all the convention delegates.) Berkin is an opinionated narrator, unafraid, for instance, to call Maryland's Luther Martin "determinedly uncouth." She also points out that American government has evolved in ways that would make the founders cringe: they believed the presidency would be a ceremonial office (rather than the locus of the nation's political power) and that political parties were bad (when, in fact, they have served democracy well). Readers who want a sure-footed introduction to America's founding would do well to start here. --John J. Miller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the Constitution
Great book and the "only" guide for a student learning about the Revolutionary War and the creation of our Constitution.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution
Berkin's volume on the Constitutional Convention is superior. Much on the delegates--their positions, their personalities. Balanced narrative about what was intended by the Convention and what actually transpired there. Her writing is first-rate, neither condescending to the reader nor self-indulgent.

Berkin is a careful historian who has done her research. Although I have read a dozen or more of the standard works on the Convention, I learned a good deal from this book. Is in a class with Bowen's
"Miracle at Philadelphia."

2-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Solution
The book was in great condition when i received it, and it came very promptly so i had time to read it before school started, but i did not like the book. it was assigned reading after all and i did not want to do it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
A Brilliant Solution by Carol Berkin is an excellent history of the making of the Constitution.She starts near the beginning of the Revolutionary War and works through to the early 1800s.She also provides a short biography on each of the delegates and texts of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.Her analysis was very good; the book was very readable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for, as it turned out
This is a great book. For some unexplained reason I was not expecting it to be, but am so glad that I picked it up. This year I have done little besides read a brain-splitting amount of history pertaining to our Founding, from classic biographies of the major players to the Federalist Papers. One thing I could not seem to find, however, was an accurate & enlightening, but at the same time entertaining telling of what went on behind those locked doors and closed shades in Philadelphia so long ago. THis book delivered!

Truly fascinating is the fact that so few American readers realize that if you want drama & intrigue with your education, study the Founders, particularly the story of the creation of the Constitution. Berkin captures this masterfully--so masterfully that most of the time I truly felt as if I was in the room, seated next to Jemmy Madison as he observed history unfolding before his eyes. It is an unusually gratifying feeling when history & storytelling coalesce (as readers of McCullough, Ellis, & Ferling understand). It was my constant reaction to this book.

Let me not leave the impression that this book was light fluff. It is not. It is one of the most educational 200 page books I've read. This is a serious look at what a somewhat motley group of brilliant, passionate, opinionated Americans learned as they forced themselves to hammer out the greatest government in history, while the crisis of a quickly dissolving Confederation was pounding on the doors of Independence Hall.

I would like to have the book footnoted, because I know it was heavily & accurately researched. But I don't think that was Berkin's intention for this book, and she has a very full note on her sources in the back for those who want to dig deeper. Read this book. ... Read more

12. Histories of the Immediate Present: Inventing Architectural Modernism (Writing Architecture)
by Anthony Vidler
Paperback: 239 Pages (2008-06-30)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0262720515
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Architecture, at least since the beginning of the twentieth century, has suspended historical references in favor of universalized abstraction. In the decades after the Second World War, when architectural historians began to assess the legacy of the avant-gardes in order to construct a coherent narrative of modernism's development, they were inevitably influenced by contemporary concerns. In Histories of the Immediate Present, Anthony Vidler examines the work of four historians of architectural modernism and the ways in which their histories were constructed as more or less overt programs for the theory and practice of design in a contemporary context.

Vidler looks at the historical approaches of Emil Kaufmann, Colin Rowe, Reyner Banham, and Manfredo Tafuri, and the specific versions of modernism advanced by their historical narratives. Vidler shows that the modernism conceived by Kaufmann was, like the late Enlightenment projects he revered, one of pure, geometrical forms and elemental composition; that of Rowe saw mannerist ambiguity and complexity in contemporary design; Banham's modernism took its cue from the aspirations of the futurists; and the "Renaissance modernism" of Tafuri found its source in the division between the technical experimentation of Brunelleschi and the cultural nostalgia of Alberti. Vidler's investigation demonstrates the inevitable collusion between history and design that pervades all modern architectural discourse—and has given rise to some of the most interesting architectural experiments of the postwar period. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars a concise manifesto in architectural theory
This may come down as Vidler's best critical work on Modern Architecture and the historicization of the Modern Movement. Through a critical discussion of the parcours of these four major historians [Kaufmann, Rowe, Banham and Tafuri], and by default theoreticians of modern architecture, Vidler effectively focuses on the 'faultlines' of the current architectural 'crisis', arguing, like Habermas before him, for a renewed engagement with the architectural project of Modernity, based on these critical readings that reaffirm the role of history. The conclusion may appear to some as a bit too optimistic, suggesting for instance that the work of Corbusier and Koolhaas come under the same umbrella, but this does not take away from the importance of this book as one of the few significant recent theoretical publications. ... Read more

13. Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies
by Ginger Strand
Paperback: 352 Pages (2009-05-05)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$0.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 141654657X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Americans call Niagara Falls a natural wonder, but the Falls aren't very natural anymore. In fact, they are a study in artifice. Water diverted, riverbed reshaped, brink stabilized and landscape redesigned, the Falls are more a monument to man's meddling than to nature's strength. Held up as an example of something real, they are hemmed in with fakery -- waxworks, haunted houses, IMAX films and ersatz Indian tales. A symbol of American manifest destiny, they are shared politely with Canada. Emblem of nature's power, they are completely human-controlled. Archetype of natural beauty, they belie an ugly environmental legacy still bubbling up from below. On every level, Niagara Falls is a monument to how America falsifies nature, reshaping its contours and redirecting its force while claiming to submit to its will.

Combining history, reportage and personal narrative, Inventing Niagara traces Niagara's journey from sublime icon to engineering marvel to camp spectacle. Along the way, Ginger Strand uncovers the hidden history of America's waterfall: the Mohawk chief who wrested the Falls from his adopted tribe, the revered town father who secretly assisted slave catchers, the wartime workers who unknowingly helped build the Bomb and the building contractor who bought and sold a pharaoh. With an uncanny ability to zero in on the buried truth, Strand introduces us to underwater dams, freaks of nature, mythical maidens and 280,000 radioactive mice buried at Niagara.

From LaSalle to Lincoln to Los Alamos, Mohawks to Marilyn, Niagara's story is America's story, a tale of dreams founded on the mastery of nature. At a time of increasing environmental crisis, Inventing Niagara shows us how understanding the cultural history of nature might help us rethink our place in it today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars Girl Book
With every piece of interesting information about Niagra Falls, you have to listen to this Ditz blab about her boyfriend and what she thinks about shoes. Don't buy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A history and a warning and all very interesting!
Congratulations to Ginger Strand for breaking the mold and writing a most unconventional history of Niagara Falls and not repeating the usual stories of daredevils and what not.While she does a great job at showing how this region became famous for the falls and how tourism came to forte, the second part with its history of the chemical plants and pollution is simply fascinating.I also loved the part she shows how the great destructor of urban renewal Robert Moses also laid waste to large stretches of Niagara.

She does a wonderful job at showing how Niagara Falls, NY has fallen so far behind it's sister city across the river and stands to fall even further behind as one failed measure does more and more harm to the region. Her book is a tail of woe and mismanagement that is simply amazing. It makes you want to visit the city if only to see what poor management and corruption combined with lack of foresight can accomplish. This is a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Metaphor for America
Ginger Strand easily leads me to believe that Niagara Falls is the perfect metaphor for the history of our nation.Using all the skills and tricks of the best of researchers, she was able to peel away the cobwebs of historical inaccuracies to reveal a treasure chest of remarkable personalities, events, and anecdotes.Through this process, she has certainly earned her informal Ph.D. in American history.Just by reading about the falls, I was able to better understand the cultural development of the United States, in general.This book rarely left my hands before I was done.In many ways, this fascinating book is a great starting platform for anyone to learn American history, since in so many unique ways the Niagara Falls region was the focus of everything good, bad, and ugly about our nation.I recommend this book not only to the casual history reader, but to the history teacher who is looking for some way to keep students interested in what normally could be a tired and dry topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The truth about Niagara Falls
This book is very thoroughly researched and written.I used to live in Tonawanda, NY (near Buffalo) and took classes at SUNY Buffalo and am familiar with a few spots and sites cited in the book. The book tells a dark and twisted truths about Niagara Falls and it's town yet manages to avoid sounding too cynical.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing amount of information, informally given
As other reviewers have said, Ginger takes us down the waterfall. An odd thought in writing this --
As Michelle Shock sang, 'It don't hurt you when you fall, only when you land.' ... Read more

14. Inventing the "American Way": The Politics of Consensus from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Movement
by Wendy L. Wall
Paperback: 400 Pages (2009-09-03)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$14.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 019539240X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the wake of World War II, Americans developed an unusually deep and all-encompassing national unity, as postwar affluence and the Cold War combined to naturally produce a remarkable level of agreement about the nation's core values. Or so the story has long been told. Inventing the "American Way" challenges this vision of inevitable consensus.Americans, as Wendy Wall argues in this innovative book, were united, not so much by identical beliefs, as by a shared conviction that a distinctive "American Way" existed and that the affirmation of such common ground was essential to the future of the nation. Moreover, the roots of consensus politics lie not in the Cold War era, but in the turbulent decade that preceded U.S. entry into World War II. The social and economic chaos of the Depression years alarmed a diverse array of groups, as did the rise of two "alien" ideologies: fascism and communism. In this context, Americans of divergent backgrounds and beliefs seized on the notion of a unifying "American Way" and sought to convince their fellow citizens of its merits.

Wall traces the competing efforts of business groups, politicians, leftist intellectuals, interfaith proponents, civil rights activists, and many others over nearly three decades to shape public understandings of the "American Way." Along the way, she explores the politics behind cultural productions ranging from The Adventures of Superman to the Freedom Train that circled the nation in the late 1940s.She highlights the intense debate that erupted over the term "democracy" after World War II, and identifies the origins of phrases such as "free enterprise" and the "Judeo-Christian tradition" that remain central to American political life. By uncovering the culture wars of the mid-twentieth century, this book sheds new light on a period that proved pivotal for American national identity and that remains the unspoken backdrop for debates over multiculturalism, national unity, and public values today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars What is the Origin of the "American Way?"
This is an important book that reconceptualizes the nature of modern politics. The traditional interpretation privileges the creation of an American unity that resulted from the earliest trials of the Cold War and gave rise to a particular brand of American exceptionalism. That exceptionalism mixed civil religion, affluence, and core values to create the consensus of a modern America as reflected in the post-Cold War era. The author directly challenges this interpretation and situates the American character and consensus in an earlier era, the crises of the Great Depression, rising Marxism and fascism, and a splintering society being torn apart by economic hardship. In this crisis, Wall asserts, Americans of all political persuasions, economic backgrounds, religions, and ethnic and racial origins latched onto a single unifying "American Way" to rescue the U.S. experiment. Terms such as democracy, free enterprise, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and patriotism gained new meaning as the predominant set of assumptions of the era. They gained credence as a means of ensuring national coherence and identity. This is a well-crafted thesis that offers an important new perspective. ... Read more

15. Always Inventing: A Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell (Photobiographies)
by Tom L. Matthews
Paperback: 64 Pages (2006-09-12)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$3.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792259327
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Now in paperback—National Geographic Children's Books presents the award-winning photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell. This fascinating profile, named a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, uses direct quotes to give readers a vivid insight into the life of a prolific inventor, driven to succeed.

With a foreword by Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Bell's great-grandson, Always Inventing features over 70 period photographs and drawings from Bell's notebooks.

From his first invention at age 11—a tool to clean husks from wheat kernels—to his patent of the hydrofoil 64 years later, Bell was always inventing. Bell was also one of the original founders of the National Geographic Society.

Awards include:

  • Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People—NCSS/CBC
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Best Book of the Year—School Library Journal
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look at one of America's greatest inventors.
Packed full of outstanding historical photos and wonderfully written text this fascinating biography clearly illlustrates the life of one of the greatest inventors in America - a man who was always searching for ways tohelp his fellow men. A wonderful addition to any library. ... Read more

16. Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence
by Garry Wills
Paperback: 432 Pages (2002-11-14)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$4.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618257764
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
From one of America's foremost historians, Inventing America compares Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence with the final, accepted version, thereby challenging many long-cherished assumptions about both the man and the document. Although Jefferson has long been idealized as a champion of individual rights, Wills argues that in fact his vision was one in which interdependence, not self-interest, lay at the foundation of society. "No one has offered so drastic a revision or so close or convincing an analysis as Wills has . . . The results are little short of astonishing"(Edmund S. Morgan New York Review of Books ). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, enjoyable, provocative, but not balanced
This book has had a place of honor on my bookshelf for many years. Wills excels at bringing a fresh perspective on historical issues, showing that old topics are still relevant to modern concerns. As usual in his books, he does not give the reader a really comprehensive or balanced discussion. But if you want to provoked into thinking about America's origins, buy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Genesis of An Enlightenment Document
As is well known, or should be well known, the American Declaration of Independence is a classic 18th century Enlightenment document. Professor Wills has gone through his paces in order to evaluate virtually every possible idea that might have influenced Thomas Jefferson (and the other committeemen who worked on the document) as they put together not only a list of grievances but set the framework for a republican government. Wills looks at the Declaration as a revolutionary charter, a scientific paper, a moral paper, a sentimental paper (in the 18th century sense of the word) and finally as a national symbol.I would argue that in some cases the good professor has overdone it, especially on the influences of the scientific revolution but overall he does a creditable job for those who are more than general readers but less than specialists on the document, the Enlightenment or this period of American History. This book is not for amateurs.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening Study about the Declaration of Independence
Garry Wills provides a critical examination of the Declaration of Independence. In light of the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, Wills conducted a five-year study of the most important document in American history.He writes a behind the scenes narrative of Jefferson's Declaration in relation to the initial Declaration, Inventing America:Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, which many readers of US history may not be familiar with.Unless one has taken a course that concentrates in dissecting this important document bit by bit, the average individual will be surprised with the contents in Inventing America.Wills emphasizes how the Declaration has been underrated and misstated, and he clarifies the misstatements, such as the date the document was signed and its sole purpose of being.

Wills takes the Declaration beyond its national symbolism and general aspects.The book is divided into five parts, which show the significance of the Declaration as a Revolutionary, Scientific, Moral, Sentimental, and National paper.Indeed, he makes references to the most important phrases and passages in the document, "the pursuit of happiness" and "All men are created equal."However, he begins his study with Thomas Jefferson's original concept, which was derived from European models of Enlightenment thinking.Jefferson took his ideas from Francis Hutcheson and the Scottish Enlightenment, but Wills also debates and analyzes the Lockean orthodoxy that scholars, such as Carl Becker has attested to in the past.

The Declaration was the first step towards independence.However, it did not initially act as legal document, but rather a propaganda tool for a call for action.It was the foundation that led to further documentation and legal declaration of independence and individual rights for the colonies, which would eventually evolve to the Articles of Confederation of 1777 and the United States Constitution of 1783.This information is enriching to know and understand.

Wills Inventing America is a must read.His reexamination of the Declaration will bring a better understanding of the development of human rights in the United States, and for one to better appreciate how it came to be.After reading the book, it may allow readers to re-read the Declaration with much more clarity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some bases and realities of the Declaration of Independence
Wills' "Inventing America" is a good, though somewhat mixed, effort in deconstructing the Declaration of Independence. The language and meaning of the Declaration are analyzed in the context of the times, which were at the height of the Enlightenment. In addition, some factual basics of the Declaration are reexamined.

The book is equal parts the Declaration and the thinking of Thomas Jefferson and others. Contrary to the view of many in the 20th century that Jefferson was a Lockean individualist who stressed private property rights, the author shows that Scottish moral philosophers, the leading intellectuals and teachers of the mid 18th century, exerted by far the most influence on Jefferson. An essential aspect of their thinking was that man had an innate moral sense which resulted in the exercise of "benevolence" towards their fellow men. It was a distinctly social orientation. The author is rather convincing in demonstrating that the Declaration gains meaning only when understood as reflecting that thinking. Jefferson's original effort, which he much preferred, is contrasted with the final version, edited by the whole Congress, throughout the book and reinforces the author's insights.

There are any number of other clarifications. Petitioning the King or Parliament to seek redress for wrongs was a well-established tradition. The Continental Congress in 1774-75 did just that. Those petitions were enumerated in the Declaration. The American Revolution was viewed as similar to the Glorious Revolution in England in 1688, where an oppressive king was dethroned. The American Revolution was not considered to be a rebellion or a revolt, but an exercise of the rights of Englishmen. The Declaration of Independence was a restatement of the actual independence that was declared by vote by the Continental Congress on July 2, not the Fourth. Furthermore, the signing of the Declaration by most, but not all of the attendees of the Congress, occurred on August 2, not the Fourth. Interestingly, the Declaration during the Revolutionary period was not the exalted document that it has become. In many ways it was regarded as basically necessary to secure a treaty with France to support the colonies' war effort; it was a means to an end, not the end.

There is much to learn in this book, but it is not without its problems. The chronology and the discussion of important documents surrounding the Declaration during the time of the Congress in the mid-1770s are deficient. The new science of the era, especially all of the observing and cataloguing of details, receives far too much emphasis. The author is continually taking a detour here and there to explore some thought of the times with the yield often not worth the detour. A subject not broached whatsoever, is the legitimacy of the Scottish views of innate moral sensibilities. Those along with natural rights thinking would be considered by many to be no more than ungrounded optimistic faith, hardly anything to base fundamental understandings on. Despite its deficiencies, the book is worthwhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Missing an "N"
To the staff of Amazon, please correct the typo in the title of this book?The word "Independence" is listed as "Indepedence".

Thank you. ... Read more

17. Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States (Medicine and Society)
by James W. Trent Jr.
Paperback: 356 Pages (1995-12-19)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$22.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520203577
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
James W. Trent uses public documents, private letters, investigative reports, and rare photographs to explore our changing perceptions of mental retardation over the past 150 years. He contends that the economic vulnerability of mentally retarded people (and their families), more than the claims made for their intellectual or social limitations, has determined their institutional treatment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

James Trent has written an excellent comprehensive history of mental retardation in the U.S.Readers will also find pertinent photographs, and a full bibiography.This volume is a resource for students, human-services professionals, and historians.I highly recommend it.

2-0 out of 5 stars I found this book quite interesting but very technical
I had to read this book for a report for school.Otherwise, I would have never picked it up.It took me a long time to get through the book, because I found it to be quite technical.However,it was fascinating tofind out what these people went through.It's scary to think that thereactually was a comittee that was set up in 1914 with the sole purpose ofirradicating the mentally retarded from this world!!

5-0 out of 5 stars It's superb!
I have been teaching classes on the history of residential facilities in America for several years.This book brings a new light to me, and to all of us who work for people with disabilities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for everyone in the field.
After working in this field for ten years, I finally found something that gives me a history of what has happened to those that came before me and I am making it required reading for my staff.

5-0 out of 5 stars This was the best book on this topic I ever read.
I spent a good deal of time in libraries looking for information that wasALL CONTAINED IN THIS BOOK. Trent does an amazing job of piecing together asocial/medical history of mental retardation. No medical book, no firstperson type accounts, no histories of institutionalization touched thisbook.This book draws from all the different disciplines to present acomplete picture (as good history books do). It is highly readable andengaging. It's academic and rigorous yet entertaining. I recommend thisbook wholeheartedly. ... Read more

18. Inventing Kindergarten
by Norman Brosterman
Paperback: 160 Pages (2002-04-23)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0810990709
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"This is a revelatory book. . . . The juxtaposition here of 19th-century kindergarten work with the work of Braque, Klee, Mondrian, and Frank Lloyd Wright will make you gasp."—The New Yorker

Now in paperback, this is the first comprehensive book about the original kindergarten, a revolutionary educational program invented in the 1830s by German educator Friedrich Froebel. Using extraordinary visual material, it reconstructs the most successful system ever devised for teaching young children about art, design, math, and natural history. The book also includes a searching exploration of the origins of modern art in the early childhood experiences of some of its greatest creators.Amazon.com Review
Adults over a certain age probably have similar memories oftheir first taste of school--the half-day kindergarten that featuredsinging, finger-painting, stories, and naptime. Whatever lessons weabsorbed during those halcyon hours were not obvious ones, but wedeveloped confidence, exercised our imaginations, and learned thebasic schoolroom drill concerning school buses, milk money, andraising our hands before asking or answering a question. These days,kindergarten is a far departure from its earlier incarnation; insteadof a loosely structured time to play and discover, modernkindergartens are more like First Grade 101, in which children aretaught their numbers and letters and even assigned homework. NormanBrosterman, author of Inventing Kindergarten, doesn't approve.

Inventing Kindergarten is partly Brosterman's views aboutthe importance of the traditional kindergarten in shaping the heartsand minds of children, partly a biography of an almost-forgotteneducator, Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of kindergarten. In tracingFroebel's life and beliefs about education, Brosterman makes a strongcase for returning to Froebel's original model in order to encouragethe development of "a sensitive, inquisitive child with anuninhibited curiosity and a genuine respect for nature, family andsociety." Even if you don't agree with Brosterman's belief thatkindergarten is responsible for many of modern art's geniuses, it'shard to argue with a philosophy that makes room for the importance ofplay in early education. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars a work of love
A beautiful book, and one I often give to new parents. Brosterman writes well and lovingly, and the book is equally good to look at.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unique Insight Into Froebel's Surreal Kindergarten
Not only did Froebel's ideas somewhat baffled early/mid 19th Century Germany, but they feared his somewhat oddball approach to children by allowing them to "work" with peculiar, open-ended objects. Some in Switzerland even labeled him a heretic to the church.Enlightening ideas like these turn Brosterman's (not even an early childhood professional)book into a wealth of information.

One of the amazing ideas that I uncovered came in the form of how many different Gifts existed.I thought Froebel only made ten, but TWENTY existed.

Please read this book over at least so that you can take a gander at the wonderfully valuable pictures of the original classroom and the original Milton Bradley-made gifts.

5-0 out of 5 stars fresh perspective on the Froebelian "gifts"
A thorough tracing of the ideas and uses of materials (gifts/occupations) in the early kindergarten movement.The juxtaposition of pictures of the kindergarten exercises and manipulatives with the adult abstract art of 20th century Cubism, Constructivism, and architectural planning is stimulating and thought provoking.This book is both delightful reading and browsing, and intellectually fresh in probing connections between childhood experience and adult art expression. The respect paid to Froebel is also gratifying. Many books in education leave the impression that he was an irresponsible dreamer and was a victim of lifelong misunderstanding and harrassment.This book acknowledges the personal and political problems he experienced without making them a focus of the text.Professionals in child development will find this a rewarding reading experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a great read
This book on the repercussions Froebel's invention of kindertgarten had on artistic sensibility does an excellent job of tying its premise to quotations and examples from artists of the period in which these effects would surface. However, it's not a great read, and once you accept the premise, the book becomes an exercise. None of the comparisons were all that astounding. As an aside, this book probably contains the best interpretation of the term "zeitgeist" I've ever seen in print

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheds new light on the importance of Froebel's creation.
Although everyone knows what kindergarten is,so few understand how it came to be. Brosterman carefully shows the reader the background and takes us on a tour of Froebel's "Gaben" or educational "gifts." The book is gull of gorgeous photos of the games which Brosterman has been collecting over the years. Fascinating is his research which connects the creations of Kandinsky, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, etc. to their childhood exposure to the then revolutionary educational activities. This book is informative and beautifully photographed. For all elementary teachers, parents, school libraries and everyone who has ever wondered about kindergarten. As a Froebel family member, teacher, and art dealer I found the book exceptional at all those levels ... Read more

19. Inventing Popular Culture: From Folklore to Globalization (Blackwell Manifestos)
by John Storey
Paperback: 168 Pages (2003-05-23)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0631234608
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
John Storey, a leading figure in the field of Cultural Studies, offers an illuminating and vibrant account of the development of popular culture. Addressing issues such as globalization, intellectualism, and consumerism, Inventing Popular Culture presents an engaging assessment of one of the most debated concepts of recent times.

  • Provides a lively and accessible history of the concept of popular culture by one of the leading experts in the field.
  • Traces the invention and reinvention of the concept of popular culture from the eighteenth-century “discovery” of folk culture to contemporary accounts of the cultural impact of globalization.
  • Examines the relationship between the concept of popular culture and key issues in cultural analyses such as hegemony, postmodernism, identity, questions of value, consumerism, and everyday life.
... Read more

20. Inventing the Internet (Inside Technology)
by Janet Abbate
Paperback: 272 Pages (2000-07-31)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$17.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0262511150
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"[M]ay be the finest extended work on Internet history and developmentto date. . . . useful for anyone studying information technology." --Library Journal

"Thoroughly wonderful." -- David Warsh, Boston Globe

Since the late 1960s the Internet has grown from a single experimentalnetwork serving a dozen sites in the United States to a network ofnetworks linking millions of computers worldwide. In Inventing theInternet, Janet Abbate recounts the key players and technologiesthat allowed the Internet to develop; but her main focus is always onthe social and cultural factors that influenced the Internet's designand use. The story she unfolds is an often twisting tale ofcollaboration and conflict among a remarkable variety of players,including government and military agencies, computer scientists inacademia and industry, graduate students, telecommunications companies,standards organizations, and network users.

The story starts with the early networking breakthroughs formulated inCold War think tanks and realized in the Defense Department's creationof the ARPANET. It ends with the emergence of the Internet and its rapidand seemingly chaotic growth. Abbate looks at how academic and militaryinfluences and attitudes shaped both networks; how the usual linesbetween producer and user of a technology were crossed with interestingand unique results; and how later users invented their own verysuccessful applications, such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web.Amazon.com Review
History is written by winners, but Bill Gates isn't talkingyet. Those interested in how this weird, wonderful World Wide Web--andits infrastructure--came to be should turn to historian Janet Abbate'slook at 40 years of innovation in Inventing the Internet.

Peeking behind the curtain to show the personalities and larger forcesguiding the development of the Net, from its dawn as a robust militarycommunications network designed to survive multiple attacks to today'scommercial Web explosion, Abbate succeeds in demystifying thisall-pervasive technology and its creators.

Abbate's survey coverseverything from David Baran's work with the RAND corporation to thedevelopment of packet-switching theory to CERN's Tim Berners-Lee andhis hypertext networking system. She also factors in the influencesthat caused the Net to evolve such as the Cold War, changing researchpriorities, and the hacker subculture that pushed existingtechnologies into new forms, each more and more like today's fast,global communications system.

The research is impeccable, thewriting is lively, and the analysis is insightful. (See especially thediscussion of the "surprise hit" of ARPANET, a minor function known ase-mail.) Abbate clearly knows her subject and her audience, andInventing the Internet encapsulates a milestone of modernhistory. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars How the Military Freed University R&D From the Short Term Market Imperatives
Janet Abbate's analysis of the birth of the Internet establishes systematic links between the technological development and its organizational, social, and cultural environment. There are many histories of the Internet - in print and, of course, online. Most of them are full of well-documented information on technology and history. Some even refer to the underlying concepts of communication, information, and knowledge. But Abbate's work is the first that goes beyond mere facts or scholarly exercise, and her findings are most revealing.

The beginning of the Internet is well known: it was a U.S. Defense research program called Arpanet. What is less well known is the internal structure of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) that incubated the network development during its first 10-12 years. Inventing the Internet clarifies how the small agency was created in 1958 to respond to the Soviets' successful launch of the world's first artificial satellite (Sputnik). ARPA never owned a single laboratory. Its role was to create centres of excellence in universities through the financing of research projects in defence-related domains.

ARPA had several project offices that were created and disbanded according to the ever-evolving priorities of the Department of Defense. These offices were managed by directors from the academic world - not from the military. In theory, the offices' budgets were approved by the Congress. In practice, ARPA's management used the pretext of the "national interest" umbrella - and we all know how broad the concept of national interest in the United States is - to remain out of reach of political interference. The result was a purely scientific culture benefiting from the entirely free environment that came with the universities and the plentiful money that came from the military budgets. When ARPA decided in 1969 to connect the supercomputers scattered among university campuses, it had no political or financial difficulty attracting the best computer scientists from all over the United States.

The originality of Arpanet is this intrinsic freedom, in contrast to market laws and official control. Inventing the Internet emphasizes the exceptional character of ARPA, which seems in radical contravention to both the "laissez-faire" dogma and the state-intervention ideology. Arpanet was born in an atmosphere of total confidence within a community whose wholehearted purpose was to connect the computer equipment from as many universities as possible, while imposing the least restricting standards and interfaces. Packet-switching technology was the tool that seemed to impose the fewest constraints : Arpanet was thus based on packet-switching instead of the circuit-switching technology that characterized all other telecommunications networks in the world.

Without detailing all the analyses contained in Abbate's work, I shall give the example of the tensions between the scientists united around Arpanet and the telecommunications carriers backed by their respective governments. Indeed, carriers were being pressed by their business customers to provide them with data transmission. Contrary to a widespread idea, the carriers quickly understood the advantages of packet-switching over circuit-switching. As far back as 1975, the carriers had created the packet-switching X.25 protocol, which centralized the management of the new networks inside the core. The goals of this centralized architecture were to relieve the end user of conducting complex interconnection procedures, to transmit information reliably and, of course, to boost the carriers' profit. On the other hand, computer scientists wanted to move intelligence (and control) out of the network and establish it in the host computers, because they were themselves end users and they did not mind making an extra effort to get the services they wanted, at reduced costs. Moreover, the TCP/IP protocol had been created to make up for an unreliable network in a war environment.

Abbate rightly notes that the TCP/IP and X.25 protocols were not technologically but architecturally incompatible. In the duel between X.25 and TCP/IP, Canada played a leading role: it led an anti-Internet crusade with the help of Great Britain, France, and Japan. What motivated this opposition? IBM was proposing to use its SNA standard to connect its computers, while Canada and its allies wanted to protect their home markets against IBM's monopolistic practices. Canada feared the creation of a computer communications monopoly more than any other country because of the rapid growth of its trans-border data traffic with the United States. It saw in this a threat to its very existence. When the computer scientists proposed TCP/IP instead of IBM's protocol (SNA), the suspicion turned into panic, since this protocol depended directly on the U.S. Department of Defense. This is how the Canadian government and its principal carrier, Bell Canada, ended up being the principal architects of the X.25 protocol and the main adversaries of TCP/IP. This hidden conflict gave birth to the Datapac network in 1976, which was presented to the public as a world first and became the data-transmission protocol in Canada.

Each chapter of Inventing the Internet sheds new light even on facts that we already knew, as it reveals the real stakes of the Internet's formative years - and it does so without taking sides between the conflicting players. Abbate exposes the organizational structures of the involved forces and leaves it to the reader to judge. An example of her absence of bias: she is one of the few authors to call the transfer of the Internet's backbone management to private operators at the beginning of the 1990s "privatization": " The final step toward opening the network to all users and activities would be privatization ". (1) She is correct: the transfer of a publicly owned infrastructure to a series of private corporations, even if there is no formal sale, is called "privatization" everywhere in the world. So should it be in the United States.

There is, however, one major error, all the more egregious since the book is otherwise so well documented. Throughout Inventing the Internet, Abbate refers to the "Canadian PTT." She seems to be confusing the Trans-Canada Telephone System (TCTS) with the European PTT. (2) The TCTS was the grouping of the main Canadian carriers, most of which were private operators (as in the case of Bell Canada) and not state-owned corporations. Although this is a gross error, it should not prevent us from reading this fundamental analysis.

(1)Cf. page 195.

(2) The error can be found at pp. 153, 163, and 168.

5-0 out of 5 stars A History of the Net
This is a terrific book about the history of the Internet and how it came to be.It is very detailed (from both technical and socio-cultural angles) and should be taken as a scholarly read.The importance of the Internet to our society should not be understated, and its significance only grows more every day.It is therefore crucial that users of the Internet (and other life-altering technologies) have a deep understanding about how the technology came into existence, and how it continues to be shaped.Inventing the Internet is the perfect book to help us achieve this understanding.If you use the Internet regularly, then this book is for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful!
Janet Abbate exhaustively researched her scholarly history of the Internet and presents it with the detail and tone you would expect from a historian, which she is. Therefore, don't come looking for a breezy, "gee whiz" approach. This is not a promotional pat on the back to the companies that helped popularize the Internet, nor does it glorify dot-coms or any of their fearless leaders. In fact, Abbate devotes the first 75% of her book to the precursor to the public Internet - the ARPANET system used by scientists, researchers and the U.S. military. We recommend this book to all readers who want to know how the Internet really came into existence and how it evolved from a private, secret, scientific resource into today's vast realm of public information, auctions, virtual bookstores, e-mail and even getAbstract.

4-0 out of 5 stars A well argued and documented claim
One should read Inventing the Internet to explore the thesis of technological determinism shaping the evolution of the Internet.After reading the book, the reader can also judge the success of Abbate's integral thesis that social determinism also shaped the evolution of the Internet.Janet Abbate is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland in College Park.She derived the book from her 1994 dissertation research undertaken at the University of Pennsylvania.The book was produced with six chapters, which she arranged in rough chronological order.Each chapter was then subdivided into topical sections.The book's details support Abbate's claim that the Internet was not born in a discrete originating event, but evolved over a twenty-year period through the convergence of technological advances and societal needs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, but not for the juvenile
The reviewer from "Flagpole" is obviously a disgruntled former student of Ms. Abbate's.Perhaps he flunked a midterm or wrote a lousy paper.But that's his problem...

Anyway, the book is excellent.Looking forward to more insightful analysis on the history of technology in her upcoming books. ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats