Briefly Noted  

Nov|Dec 2011 Contents
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FILM Nazis and their hunters. Elusive Justice

MUSIC Concert and CD highlight young Penn composers

BOOKS Norton Juster Ar’52’s The Phantom Tollbooth turns 50

BOOKS In the diamond district. Precious Objects

PHILANTHROPY “Monty” Foundation will support student artists

BRIEFLY NOTED

ARTS CALENDAR

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THE ENLIGHTMENT: A Genealogy By Dan Edelstein G’01 Gr’04 (University of Chicago Press, 2010. $20.) “The meanings of ‘the Enlightenment’ have their own history, which must be reconstructed,” writes Edelstein, an associate professor of French at Stanford University, who redefines this period of crucial intellectual and social change. BUY THIS BOOK

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia By Richie Unterberger C’82 (Jawbone Press, 2011. $19.95.) Delving again into the rich history of rock and roll, Unterberger pieces together The Who’s attempts in the early 1970s to create a rock opera rivaling their initial production, Tommy. Drawing on exclusive interviews and archived recordings, he focuses on two such projects—Lifehouse and Quadrophenia—and their meaning to the band’s legacy. Unterberger has penned several books on rock, including White Light/White Heat, Unknown Legends of Rock’n’Roll, and The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film. BUY THIS BOOK

DECLARATIONS OF DEPENDENCE: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908 By Gregory P. Downs Gr’06  (University of North Carolina Press, 2011. $39.95.) The Civil War “sparked a revolution not just in what the state did but in what people believed it could do,” writes Downs, an assistant professor of history at the City College of New York. The result, demonstrated in abundant correspondence between citizens and government officials, was a “politics of dependence” in the South that flies in the face of persistent myths.

PRINCIPLES OF NEUROTHEOLOGY By Andrew B. Newberg M’92, faculty (Ashgate, 2010. $99.95.)  The relationship between the brain and religious experience has prompted Newberg, director of research at the Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and adjunct assistant professor in Penn’s Department of Religious Studies, to lay the groundwork for a new arena of academic study: neurotheology. Newberg’s work raises important questions about the possibility of integrating science and religion while preserving the essence of both. BUY THIS BOOK

A JESUIT OFF-BROADWAY: Behind the Scenes with Faith, Doubt, Forgiveness, and More By James Martin, SJ W’82 (Loyola Press, 2010. $14.95.) The off-Broadway production The Last Days of Judas Iscariot takes a whimsical dive into ancient questions concerning the existence of Hell and the possibility of redemption. For six months, Martin, a Jesuit priest, served as the theological consultant for the play’s producers. Here, the America magazine editor and author of My Life with the Saints offers his insights, exploring the interplay of the drama’s characters, the role of the theater, and Jesuit faith. BUY THIS BOOK

NEIGHBORHOOD AND LIFE CHANCES: How Place Matters in Modern America By Harriet B. Newburger CW’71, Eugenie Birch, faculty, and Susan M. Wachter, faculty (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. $59.95.) How much does where you grew up matter for where you end up? Newburger, a community-development research advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and Birch and Wachter, directors of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, show that place matters for life factors ranging from physical and mental health to education and family income, and they offer practical suggestions about interventions. BUY THIS BOOK

COLUMBIA RISING: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson by John L. Brooke Gr’82 (University of North Carolina Press, 2010. $45.00.) Even after they won the Revolution and finalized the Constitution, Americans struggled to define who qualified as a bona fide US citizen. Brooke, the Humanities Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University, focuses on New York’s Columbia County, the hometown of Martin Van Buren, who was a key theoretician of party politics before he became president. BUY THIS BOOK

A JEWISH CALENDAR OF FESTIVE FOODS by Jane Portnoy, faculty (Janelle International, 2010. $29.95.) This cookbook, which features an array traditional Jewish fare with American innovations, is organized by the months of the Jewish calendar. From the basic matzo ball soup, challah, and brisket to modern innovations, Portnoy, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at Penn, explores the range of Jewish culinary experience and makes it accessible to the average home cook. BUY THIS BOOK

HOW TO WRITE A SENTENCE: And How to Read One By Stanley Fish C’59 (Harper, 2011. $19.99.)  “If you know sentences, you know everything,” asserts Fish, a literary theorist and legal scholar at Florida International University (and New York Times columnist), who examines a broad range of well-crafted sentences and offers advice on constructing them. “Good sentences,” he adds, “promise nothing less than lessons and practice in the organization of the world.”
BUY THIS BOOK

 

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