Talk about Chinese culture and images of dragon boats, lion dances, red packets and mandarin oranges readily come to mind. Their common thread is that they are all considered auspicious symbols by the Chinese. This charmingly illustrated book takes you on a journey of discovery of many others. Understanding the appeal of these symbols will help you to appreciate the arts and crafts displayed in Chinese homes and workplaces.
The ramifications of the Manhattan Project are with us to this day. The atomic bombs that came out of it brought an end to the war in the Pacific, but at a heavy loss of life in Japan and the opening of a Pandora's box that has tested international relations.
This book traces the history of the Manhattan Project, from the first glimmerings of the possibility of such a catastrophic weapon to the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It profiles the architects of the bomb and how they tried to reconcile their personal feelings with their ambition as scientists. It looks at the role of the politicians and it includes first-hand accounts of those who experienced the effects of the bombings.
Dominick LaCapra's History and Its Limits articulates the relations among intellectual history, cultural history, and critical theory, examining the recent rise of "Practice Theory" and probing the limitations of prevalent forms of humanism. LaCapra focuses on the problem of understanding extreme cases, specifically events and experiences involving violence and victimization. He asks how historians treat and are simultaneously implicated in the traumatic processes they attempt to represent. In addressing these questions, he also investigates violence's impact on various types of writing and establishes a distinctive role for critical theory in the face of an insufficiently discriminating aesthetic of the sublime (often unreflectively amalgamated with the uncanny).In History and Its Limits, LaCapra inquires into the related phenomenon of a turn to the "postsecular," even the messianic or the miraculous, in recent theoretical discussions of extreme events by such prominent figures as Giorgio Agamben, Eric L. Santner, and Slavoj Zizek. In a related vein, he discusses Martin Heidegger's evocative, if not enchanting, understanding of "The Origin of the Work of Art." LaCapra subjects to critical scrutiny the sometimes internally divided way in which violence has been valorized in sacrificial, regenerative, or redemptive terms by a series of important modern intellectuals on both the far right and the far left, including Georges Sorel, the early Walter Benjamin, Georges Bataille, Frantz Fanon, and Ernst Jünger.Violence and victimization are prominent in the relation between the human and the animal. LaCapra questions prevalent anthropocentrism (evident even in theorists of the "posthuman") and the long-standing quest for a decisive criterion separating or dividing the human from the animal. LaCapra regards this attempt to fix the difference as misguided and potentially dangerous because it renders insufficiently problematic the manner in which humans treat other animals and interact with the environment. In raising the issue of desirable transformations in modernity, History and Its Limits examines the legitimacy of normative limits necessary for life in common and explores the disconcerting role of transgressive initiatives beyond limits (including limits blocking the recognition that humans are themselves animals).
The critical condition and historical motivation behind Time Studies The concept of time in the post-millennial age is undergoing a radical rethinking within the humanities. Time: A Vocabulary of the Present newly theorizes our experiences of time in relation to developments in post-1945 cultural theory and arts practices. Wide ranging and theoretically provocative, the volume introduces readers to cutting-edge temporal conceptualizations and investigates what exactly constitutes the scope of time studies.
Featuring twenty essays that reveal what we talk about when we talk about time today, especially in the areas of history, measurement, and culture, each essay pairs two keywords to explore the tension and nuances between them, from “past/future” and “anticipation/unexpected” to “extinction/adaptation” and “serial/simultaneous.” Moving beyond the truisms of postmodernism, the collection newly theorizes the meanings of temporality in relationship to aesthetic, cultural, technological, and economic developments in the postwar period. This book thus assumes that time—not space, as the postmoderns had it—is central to the contemporary period, and that through it we can come to terms with what contemporaneity can be for human beings caught up in the historical present. In the end, Time reveals that the present is a cultural matrix in which overlapping temporalities condition and compete for our attention. Thus each pair of terms presents two temporalities, yielding a generative account of the time, or times, in which we live.
War-torn deserts, jihadist killings, trucks weighted down with contraband and migrants—from the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands to the Sahara, images of danger depict a new world disorder on the global margins. With vivid detail, Ruben Andersson traverses this terrain to provide a startling new understanding of what is happening in remote “danger zones.” Instead of buying into apocalyptic visions, Andersson takes aim at how Western states and international organizations conduct military, aid, and border interventions in a dangerously myopic fashion, further disconnecting the world’s rich and poor. Using drones, proxy forces, border reinforcement, and outsourced aid, risk-obsessed powers are helping to remap the world into zones of insecurity and danger. The result is a vision of chaos crashing into fortified borders, with national and global politics riven by fear. Andersson contends that we must reconnect and snap out of this dangerous spiral, which affects us whether we live in Texas or Timbuktu. Only by developing a new cartography of hope can we move beyond the political geography of fear that haunts us.
The Boy Who Loved the Moon is an exploration of a mother’s love. It is a love that transcends what most experience, because the respites from reality are so fleeting. Thérèse Corfiatis’s narrative poem, though acting as a chronicle of her son’s journey from birth, is in reality a mother’s travail. This is a defining journey where the issues and values that confront a parent with a child who is different shape the person and in doing so measure the dimensions of love. The simplicity of this narrative in verse belies the emotional anguish that underlies the journey. When reading these poems, the heart bleeds a little but is quickly healed because the author gives you permission to experience her love.
"War... is merely an idea, an institution, like dueling or slavery, that has been grafted onto human existence. It is not a trick of fate, a thunderbolt from hell, a natural calamity, or a desperate plot contrivance dreamed up by some sadistic puppeteer on high. And it seems to me that the institution is in pronounced decline, abandoned as attitudes toward it have changed, roughly following the pattern by which the ancient and formidable institution of slavery became discredited and then mostly obsolete."—from the IntroductionWar is one of the great themes of human history and now, John Mueller believes, it is clearly declining. Developed nations have generally abandoned it as a way for conducting their relations with other countries, and most current warfare (though not all) is opportunistic predation waged by packs—often remarkably small ones—of criminals and bullies. Thus, argues Mueller, war has been substantially reduced to its remnants—or dregs—and thugs are the residual combatants.Mueller is sensitive to the policy implications of this view. When developed states commit disciplined troops to peacekeeping, the result is usually a rapid cessation of murderous disorder. The Remnants of War thus reinvigorates our sense of the moral responsibility bound up in peacekeeping. In Mueller's view, capable domestic policing and military forces can also be effective in reestablishing civic order, and the building of competent governments is key to eliminating most of what remains of warfare.
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