Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global

John T. McGreevy. Princeton Univ. Press, $35 (304p) ISBN 978-0-691-17162-3

McGreevy (Catholicism and American Freedom), historian of American political and religious history at the University of Notre Dame, seeks to place 19th-century American Jesuits in a global context. Beginning with Pope Pius VII's 1814 restoration of the Jesuit order, ending 41 years of exile from the faith, McGreevy marches forward into the early 20th century through a series of thematic case studies laid out in roughly chronological chapters. Each case study is well sourced in the historical record, using moments of theological and political tension to illustrate change over time. Readers are introduced to violent clashes over education and religious liberty (Ellsworth, Maine), debates about nationalism and war (Westphalia, Mo.), the place of miracles in the Catholic faith (Grand Couteau, La.), Americanization of immigrants and the nature of higher education (Philadelphia, Pa.), and U.S. imperialism (Manila, Philippines). At times, the book's intense focus on intra-Catholic and Catholic-Protestant tensions in the context of nation-building leave key aspects of American nationalism underexplored. The Jesuits stance on slavery and abolition, for example, is framed in terms of fear about white radicals rather than appreciation for black humanity. Not until the chapter on empire does the author begin to articulate the multiracial and truly global nature of the Jesuit order. Despite this, McGreevy's deeply researched work sheds significant light on the European Jesuits' role in shaping modern America. (June)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
A Land Twice Promised: An Israeli Woman's Quest for Peace

Noa Baum. Familias, $17.95 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-942934-49-3

In this touching and honest memoir, Baum shares the story of how her search for peace informed her life. Born in Israel in the shadow of the Holocaust, Baum grew up with the fear of another Jewish destruction looming large. The fear was enhanced by stories retold by her dramatic mother and by childhood experiences that included wars and the constant threat of attack and destruction. When she was a college student, the increasing death toll and the virulence of extremists instilled in her a strong desire for peace. After she moved to California, she joined a network of storytellers and realized the power of a well-told story. As she crafted a one-woman play about her friendship with a Palestinian woman and subsequently performed the show for many diverse audiences around the globe, Baum saw firsthand the long-reaching effect of her judgment-free and dual-perspective routine, as people who had never listened to the "other's" viewpoint opened their hearts to hers. Although not everyone will agree with her leftist political perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Baum's genuine desire to make a difference may well inspire others to do the same. (June)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Exodus in the Jewish Experience: Echoes and Reverberations

Edited by Pamela Barmash and W. David Nelson. Lexington Books, $95 (270p) ISBN 978-1-4985-0292-4

Barmash and Nelson do an outstanding job of presenting eight differing lenses for viewing how "the events of the Exodus and the celebration of the Exodus at Passover have been, and continue to be, the focus of so much emotional energy and intellectual activity." The distinguished contributors probe the role of the Exodus narrative in the Zionist movement, Jewish law, liturgy, and art, among others. Some of the essays are jargon-laden (Nelson refers to a "microcosmic outgrowth of the greater realm of oral-performative pedagogical interpretation"), but most are accessible to the lay reader. Barmash's contribution, "Out of the Mists of History: The Exaltation of the Exodus in the Bible," stands out, with a pithy but comprehensive look at how the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery is used and interpreted in later sections of the Bible. Abigail Gillman's "From Myth to Memory: A Study of German Jewish Translations of Exodus 12–13:16" is another superior entry that traces how translators' choices serve "distinct national and religious priorities." This volume will appeal to scholars, as well as to non-scholars interested in enhancing their Seders. (May)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront

Heather Wolf. The Experiment (Workman, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-61519-313-4

In clear and enthusiastic prose, Wolf draws attention to the remarkable variety of urban birds and their ongoing conservation challenges. When Wolf moved from Florida's Gulf Coast to Brooklyn in 2012, she expected to encounter little more than pigeons and gulls. To her surprise, Brooklyn Bridge Park, which opened in 2010, was a birder's "ultimate urban escape" and a spring migration hot spot. She challenged herself to find and photograph 100 species in the park, and soon that list reached 134. Wolf shares her discoveries with others by hosting bird walks and submitting records of her sightings to the eBird app, and now with this attractive debut work. The book has two-page spreads for each featured species, including relevant facts and sighting details plus one or two color photographs. The most striking photos contrast wildlife with the urban setting: Brant geese passing in front of the Statue of Liberty, a common tern gliding above the skyline. With descriptions of birdsong and courtship rituals, this beginner's guide is as entertaining as it is informative. Color photos. (June)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques

Susan Sully. Monacelli, $45 (216p) ISBN 978-1-58093-439-8

Collectors eager to display cherished heirlooms and antiques alongside more contemporary objects will appreciate Sully's discriminating eye and articulate narrative in this guide to blending the past with the present. Sully (Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House) explains that this book was inspired by her relocation to a mixed-style cottage after Hurricane Katrina, when she sought guidance about how to incorporate her heirlooms in a limited space. The narrative is highly educational and expressive, though the photos are underwhelming. Homes with differing styles, settings, and levels of formality are profiled to illustrate the particulars of this combined antique/modern esthetic. Minimalist prints mix with gothic architectural detailing in an old Victorian; well-traveled homeowners display their accumulated souvenirs in their English country-themed house amid the glamour of gilt wall trim and decorative objects; the restored summer house of Beaux Arts–era architect Stanford White showcases its original Gilded Age contents as well as a limited number of recent acquisitions; and in an 18th-century Connecticut farmhouse, contemporary floor and window coverings coexist with the home's primitive, rustic features. Full of reverence for heirlooms and antiques that Sully calls "silent storytellers," this book complements the interconnectedness of antique and modern: "Much of what has been considered modern... has roots in the past." Color photos. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Food and Wine of France: Eating and Drinking from Champagne to Provence

Edward Behr. Penguin Press, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1594204524

The founding editor of The Art of Eating, who was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in 2014, shares this extended love letter to French food and wine. Leaving his home in rural Vermont, Behr (50 Foods) travels extensively through France to interview farmers, winemakers, cheesemakers, charcutiers, and pastry chefs about the traditions and evolutions of their methods in the age of agricultural shifts resulting from climate change. Focusing largely on bread, wine, and cheese, France's "trinity of fermented foods," Behr makes a strong case for the ongoing international relevance of French cuisine. He highlights its unique merging of "analytical precision paired with a strong sensuality," as when a refined Champagne is juxtaposed with andouillette sausage, "one of the most earthy and pungent of all foods." In describing the maker of that andouillette (and many more of France's top culinary artisans) as "sober and earnest," Behr could well be describing his purist self. The book is heavy with facts, and its instructive tone is lacking in convivial fizz, but it offers a solid education in France's diverse terroir and culinary methodology. (June)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Strange and Obscure Stories of New York City: Little Known Tales about Gotham's People and Places

Tim Rowland. Skyhorse, $14.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-51070-012-3

In his latest collection of historical essays, Rowland (Strange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War) aims to highlight an unfamiliar side of New York City, but he isn't quite up to the task. As he acknowledges in his preface, these 15 entries are more strange than obscure. Many of the chapters cover familiar ground—John Peter Zenger's fight against censorship, the city's pneumatic subway, Nelly Bly's undercover work to expose the horrific conditions at the city's asylums, and the tragic explosion of the steamship General Slocum—and don't add anything new. The book does include sections chronicling lesser-known events, such as the opening essay about daredevils who jumped from the Brooklyn Bridge shortly after its opening in 1883. The amusing food fight that broke out in 1903, on the last day the New York Stock Exchange and Produce Exchange shared space, enables Rowland to display a sense of humor, and he is also adept at summarizing much more serious events, such as the New York State Revolt of 1741. Overall, the book serves primarily as a teaser that will lead readers to seek out more thorough accounts, and its lack of novelty is not enhanced by lackluster prose. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
We the People: The Modern-Day Figures Who Have Reshaped and Affirmed the Founding Fathers' Vision of What America Is

Juan Williams. Crown, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-0-307-95204-2

In this blend of political history and biography, Fox News analyst Williams (Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate) marvels at how much America has changed since its founding. Attempting to explain how America has transformed, Williams calls for the creation of a new "Founding Family," a gallery of 20th-century figures central to the issues that define modern America: debates over gun control and environmentalism, the rise of the Religious Right, or the state of post–Civil Rights Era race relations. In the lively profiles that follow, Williams reaches across the aisle, embracing liberal and conservative heroes alike; on this new Mount Rushmore, one sees Milton Friedman and Edwin Meese alongside Betty Friedan and Jesse Jackson. But Williams's inclusive bipartisanship, however theoretically admirable, precludes practical critique and flattens nuance. When it comes to divisive issues—immigration, policing, labor unions, Robert Moses's urban planning—Williams tells readers that America has changed "for better or worse," as if all development is neutral and all of his subjects are worthy of celebration. In crafting his founding family, Williams misunderstands why Americans invoke the founding fathers in the first place: not because they created the nation, but because their ideals inspire citizens to forge a better one. Agent: Eric Lupfer, William Morris Endeavor. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam

William Reeder, Jr.. Naval Institute, $29.99 (264p) ISBN 978-1-59114-586-8

Reeder, a former U.S. Army colonel, shares his harrowing experience as a prisoner of war after his Cobra helicopter was shot down on May 9, 1972, near Ben Het, Vietnam. Reeder was incredibly fortunate to survive the crash, as his copilot was killed and he was severely injured: "hanging out the side of the Cobra, head down with my feet stuck in the cockpit, the helicopter burning." Nearly paralyzed and without a weapon, Reeder survived for three days in the jungle before being captured. Then he somehow made it through several weeks penned up in a tortuous jungle prison camp in South Vietnam, an excruciating forced march to Hanoi, and imprisonment in the infamous North Vietnamese prison known as the "Hanoi Hilton." With the exception of some reconstructed dialogue, the tale rings true. Reeder evocatively shares his distressing, yet ultimately uplifting, story of survival against the odds, and even though readers know Reeder will make it through, this account will keep them engaged until the end. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Queen of Heartbreak Trail: The Life and Times of Harriet Smith Pullen, Pioneering Woman

Eleanor Phillips Brackbill. Globe Pequot/TwoDot, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4930-1913-7

Brackbill (An Uncommon Cape) digs into the life of her great-grandmother, Harriet Smith Pullen, who earned the moniker "Mother of the North" during the late 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush. Pullen had risen from hardscrabble Washington homesteader to briefly but notably become the multi-talented lady of a servant-filled mansion, and her life story features frontier hospitality, expert horse management, entrepreneurial instinct, and a touch of appropriated Native American exoticism. Her life inspired tales that appeared in contemporary national newspaper accounts, local legends, and Pullen's father's invaluable diaries. These diaries portrayed a man with the paradoxical needs to both own land and migrate, a pattern his resourceful daughter repeatedly followed even as a single mother. Brackbill delves into her family's resources to find the truth behind Pullen's mesmerizing adventures, using numerous family photos and her own stories (including of the gold earrings that belonged to both subject and author) to further flesh out Pullen's legacy. So much of the story stems from diaries, short biographies of Pullen's children, and Brackbill's genealogical discoveries that this is really an account of a fascinating, adventurous pioneering family who actively participated in the transformation of the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan frontiers. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/20/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.