Archive for January, 2007

Thinking for Yourself

January 30, 2007



From the book jacket: An excellent book that covers such diverse subjects as critical thinking, observation skills, word usage, communication, facts and reality, inferences, assumptions, opinions, viewpoints, arguments, fallacies, inductive and deductive reasoning, research skills and problem solving. And within each subject is a very well defined and easily understood definition of that subject along with examples of each. The chapter quiz found at the end of each chapter helps to ingrain and reinforce the lesson. The book is insightful and well written. Done with great skill as one is actually able to understand the premise and meaning of each topic/lesson.

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Write On!

January 30, 2007

write on

From the book jacket: Here’s a practical grammar reference book and style guide that will help you with all your writing projects, including essays and term papers. You’ll learn how to avoid common writers’ pitfalls, gain a clear understanding of parts of speech and sentence construction, punctuate your sentences correctly, and select rewarding topics to write about. You’ll also find abundant advice on the use of figurative language—similes, metaphors, symbolism, and other devices that transform mundane prose into pleasurable reading. Exercises, a writing test, and an appendix filled with useful information are included to help you hone your writing skills.

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How can school violence be prevented?

January 30, 2007


From the book jacket: A string of school shootings in the United States has led educators, parents, and policy makers to seek ways to prevent such acts of violence. In this engaging anthology, authors debate the usefulness of anti-bullying programs, increased security measures, gun control, and other measures designed to keep schools safe.

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American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to end Welfare

January 23, 2007

American Dream by Jason DeParle

From the book jacket: Bill Clinton’s “drive to end welfare” sent 9 million women and children streaming from the rolls. In this masterful work, New York Times reporter and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Jason DeParle cuts between the mean streets of Milwaukee and the corridors of Washington to produce the definitive account. As improbable as fiction, and equally face-paced, this classic of literary journalism has captured the acclaim of the Left and the Right.

At the heart of the story are three cousins, inseparable at the start but launched on differing arcs. Leaving welfare, Angie puts her heart into her work. Jewell bets on an imprisoned man. Opal guards a tragic secret that her kids and her life. DeParle traces back their family history six generations to slavery, and weaves poor people, politicians, reformers, and rogues into a spellbinding epic.

At times, the very idea of America seemed on trial: we live in a country, where anyone can make it, yet generation after generation some families don’t. To read American Dream is to understand why.

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Nickel and Dimed

January 23, 2007

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

From the book jacket: Our sharpest and most original social critic goes “undercover” as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity.

Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job — any job — can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly “unskilled,” that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough you need at least two if you want to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich’s perspective and for a rare view of how “prosperity” looks from the bottom. You will never see anything — from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal — in quite the same way again.

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The Cult of Thinness

January 23, 2007

Cult of Thinness by Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber

From the book jacket: Whether they are rich or poor, tall or short, liberal or conservative, most young American women have one thing in common–they want to be thin. And they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get that way, even to the point of starving themselves. Why are America’s women so preoccupied with weight? What has caused record numbers of young women–even before they reach their teenage years–to suffer from anorexia and bulimia? The Cult of Thinness, Second Edition–a revised, expanded, and coauthored version of Sharlene Hesse-Biber’s award-winning book, Am I Thin Enough Yet? (OUP,
1997)–answers these questions and more. Hesse-Biber and Patricia Leavy go beyond traditional psychological explanations of eating disorders to level a powerful indictment against the social, political, and economic pressures women face in a weight-obsessed society.
Featuring updated statistics and studies, The Cult of Thinness, Second Edition, has been extensively revised to include emergent theoretical perspectives in areas of study including body image, eating disorders, the mass media, and commercial culture. New chapters on masculinity, ethnicity, gender, and globalization align a refined cultural study of body image with the larger trends found in current sociological scholarship. Covering such topics as lesbians and body image construction, female athletes and the unique body image issues they balance, and the cult of celebrity, this new edition examines the multitude of societal and psychological forces that compel American women to pursue the ideal of thinness at any cost.

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American Slavery, American Freedom

January 23, 2007

American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan

From the book jacket: “If it is possible to understand the American paradox, the marriage of slavery and freedom, Virginia is surely the place to begin,” writes Edmund S. Morgan in American Slavery, American Freedom, a study of the tragic contradiction at the core of America. Morgan finds the key to this central paradox in the people and politics of the state that was both the birthplace of the revolution and the largest slaveholding state in the country. With a new introduction. Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and the Albert J. Beveridge Award.

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Working Poor: Invisible in America

January 23, 2007

Invisible in America by David S. Shipler

From the book jacket: “Nobody who works hard should be poor in America,” writes Pulitzer Prize winner David Shipler. Clear-headed, rigorous, and compassionate, he journeys deeply into the lives of individual store clerks and factory workers, farm laborers and sweat-shop seamstresses, illegal immigrants in menial jobs and Americans saddled with immense student loans and paltry wages. They are known as the working poor.

They perform labor essential to America’s comfort. They are white and black, Latino and Asian–men and women in small towns and city slums trapped near the poverty line, where the margins are so tight that even minor setbacks can cause devastating chain reactions. Shipler shows how liberals and conservatives are both partly right–that practically every life story contains failure by both the society and the individual. Braced by hard fact and personal testimony, he unravels the forces that confine people in the quagmire of low wages. And unlike most works on poverty, this book also offers compelling portraits of employers struggling against razor-thin profits and competition from abroad. With pointed recommendations for change that challenge Republicans and Democrats alike, The Working Poor stands to make a difference.

View the library’s holdings information for this book here.