Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters

Author: Louis Begley
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300156454
Release Date: 2009
Genre: History

In December 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a brilliant French artillery officer and a Jew of Alsatian descent, was court-martialed for selling secrets to the German military attache in Paris based on perjured testimony and trumped-up evidence. The sentence was military degradation and life imprisonment on Devil's Island, a hellhole off the coast of French Guiana. Five years later, the case was overturned, and eventually Dreyfus was completely exonerated. Meanwhile, the Dreyfus Affair tore France apart, pitting Dreyfusards--committed to restoring freedom and honor to an innocent man convicted of a crime committed by another--against nationalists, anti-Semites, and militarists who preferred having an innocent man rot to exposing the crimes committed by ministers of war and the army's top brass in order to secure Dreyfus's conviction. Was the Dreyfus Affair merely another instance of the rise in France of a virulent form of anti-Semitism? In Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters, the acclaimed novelist draws upon his legal expertise to create a riveting account of the famously complex case, and to remind us of the interest each one of us has in the faithful execution of laws as the safeguard of our liberties and honor.

Why Baseball Matters

Author: Susan Jacoby
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300235401
Release Date: 2018-03-20
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Baseball, first dubbed the “national pastime” in print in 1856, is the country’s most tradition-bound sport. Despite remaining popular and profitable into the twenty-first century, the game is losing young fans, among African Americans and women as well as white men. Furthermore, baseball’s greatest charm—a clockless suspension of time—is also its greatest liability in a culture of digital distraction. These paradoxes are explored by the historian and passionate baseball fan Susan Jacoby in a book that is both a love letter to the game and a tough-minded analysis of the current challenges to its special position—in reality and myth—in American culture. The concise but wide-ranging analysis moves from the Civil War—when many soldiers played ball in northern and southern prisoner-of-war camps—to interviews with top baseball officials and young men who prefer playing online “fantasy baseball” to attending real games. Revisiting her youthful days of watching televised baseball in her grandfather’s bar, the author links her love of the game with the informal education she received in everything from baseball’s history of racial segregation to pitch location. Jacoby argues forcefully that the major challenge to baseball today is a shortened attention span at odds with a long game in which great hitters fail two out of three times. Without sanitizing this basic problem, Why Baseball Matters remind us that the game has retained its grip on our hearts precisely because it has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to reinvent itself in times of immense social change.

Why the Romantics Matter

Author: Peter Gay
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300210095
Release Date: 2015-01-28
Genre: Literary Criticism

With his usual wit and élan, esteemed historian Peter Gay enters the contentious, long-standing debates over the romantic period. Here, in this concise and inviting volume, he reformulates the definition of romanticism and provides a fresh account of the immense achievements of romantic writers and artists in all media. Gay’s scope is wide, his insights sharp. He takes on the recurring questions about how to interpret romantic figures and their works. Who qualifies to be a romantic? What ties together romantic figures who practice in different countries, employ different media, even live in different centuries? How is modernism indebted to romanticism, if at all? Guiding readers through the history of the romantic movement across Britain, France, Germany, and Switzerland, Gay argues that the best way to conceptualize romanticism is to accept its complicated nature and acknowledge that there is no “single basket” to contain it. Gay conceives of romantics in “families,” whose individual members share fundamental values but retain unique qualities. He concludes by demonstrating that romanticism extends well into the twentieth century, where its deep and lasting impact may be measured in the work of writers such as T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf.

Why Trilling Matters

Author: Adam Kirsch
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300152692
Release Date: 2011-10-25
Genre: Literary Criticism

Lionel Trilling, regarded at the time of his death in 1975 as America’s preeminent literary critic, is today often seen as a relic of a vanished era. His was an age when literary criticism and ideas seemed to matter profoundly in the intellectual life of the country. In this eloquent book, Adam Kirsch shows that Trilling, far from being obsolete, is essential to understanding our current crisis of literary confidence—and to overcoming it. By reading Trilling primarily as a writer and thinker, Kirsch demonstrates how Trilling’s original and moving work continues to provide an inspiring example of a mind creating itself through its encounters with texts. Why Trilling Matters introduces all of Trilling’s major writings and situates him in the intellectual landscape of his century, from Communism in the 1930s to neoconservatism in the 1970s. But Kirsch goes deeper, addressing today’s concerns about the decline of literature, reading, and even the book itself, and finds that Trilling has more to teach us now than ever before. As Kirsch writes, “Trilling’s essays are not exactly literary criticism” but, like all literature, “ends in themselves.”

Why Poetry Matters

Author: Jay Parini
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300124231
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Literary Criticism

This deeply felt meditation on poetry, its language and meaning, and its power to open minds and transform lives examines the importance of poetry and its diverse applications in the world.

Why Architecture Matters

Author: Paul Goldberger
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300155778
Release Date: 2014-05-14
Genre: Architecture

Why Architecture Matters is not a work of architectural history or a guide to the styles or an architectural dictionary, though it contains elements of all three. The purpose of Why Architecture Matters is to come to grips with how things feel to us when we stand before them, with how architecture affects us emotionally as well as intellectually--with its impact on our lives. Architecture begins to matter, writes Paul Goldberger, when it brings delight and sadness and perplexity and awe along with a roof over our heads. He shows us how that works in examples ranging from a small Cape Cod cottage to the vast, flowing Prairie houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, from the Lincoln Memorial to the highly sculptural Guggenheim Bilbao and the Church of Sant'Ivo in Rome, where simple geometries . . . create a work of architecture that embraces the deepest complexities of human imagination. Based on decades of looking at buildings and thinking about how we experience them, the distinguished critic raises our awareness of fundamental things like proportion, scale, space, texture, materials, shapes, light, and memory. Upon completing this remarkable architectural journey, readers will enjoy a wonderfully rewarding new way of seeing and experiencing every aspect of the built world.

Why Arendt Matters

Author: Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300136197
Release Date: 2009-07-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Upon publication of her "field manual,” The Origins of Totalitarianism, in 1951, Hannah Arendt immediately gained recognition as a major political analyst. Over the next twenty-five years, she wrote ten more books and developed a set of ideas that profoundly influenced the way America and Europe addressed the central questions and dilemmas of World War II. In this concise book, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl introduces her mentor’s work to twenty-first-century readers. Arendt’s ideas, as much today as in her own lifetime, illuminate those issues that perplex us, such as totalitarianism, terrorism, globalization, war, and "radical evil.” Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, who was Arendt’s doctoral student in the early 1970s and who wrote the definitive biography of her mentor in 1982, now revisits Arendt’s major works and seminal ideas. Young-Bruehl considers what Arendt’s analysis of the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union can teach us about our own times, and how her revolutionary understanding of political action is connected to forgiveness and making promises for the future. The author also discusses The Life of the Mind, Arendt’s unfinished meditation on how to think about thinking. Placed in the context of today’s political landscape, Arendt’s ideas take on a new immediacy and importance. They require our attention, Young-Bruehl shows, and continue to bring fresh truths to light.

For the Soul of France

Author: Frederick Brown
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780307279217
Release Date: 2011
Genre: History

An analysis of the events following the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871 covers France's forced relinquishment of the border states of Alsace and Lorraine, Napoleon III's defeat during the civil war, and the circumstances that led to the Dreyfus affair.

Why Translation Matters

Author: Edith Grossman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300163032
Release Date: 2010
Genre: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES

"Why Translation Matters argues for the cultural importance of translation and for a more encompassing and nuanced appreciation of the translator's role. As the acclaimed translator Edith Grossman writes in her introduction, "My intention is to stimulate a new consideration of an area of literature that is too often ignored, misunderstood, or misrepresented." For Grossman, translation has a transcendent importance: "Translation not only plays its important traditional role as the means that allows us access to literature originally written in one of the countless languages we cannot read, but it also represents a concrete literary presence with the crucial capacity to ease and make more meaningful our relationships to those with whom we may not have had a connection before. Translation always helps us to know, to see from a different angle, to attribute new value to what once may have been unfamiliar. As nations and as individuals, we have a critical need for that kind of understanding and insight. The alternative is unthinkable"." -- Book jacket.

Why Niebuhr Matters

Author: Charles Lemert
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300175424
Release Date: 2011-11-22
Genre: Religion

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) was a Protestant preacher, an influential religious thinker, and an important moral guide in mid-twentieth-century America. But what does he have to say to us now? In what way does he inform the thinking of political leaders and commentators from Barack Obama and Madeleine Albright to David Brooks and Walter Russell Mead, all of whom acknowledge his influence? In this lively overview of Niebuhr's career, Charles Lemert analyzes why interest in Niebuhr is rising and how Niebuhr provides the answers we ache for in the face of seismic shifts in the global order. In the middle of the twentieth century, having outgrown a theological liberalism, Niebuhr challenged and rethought the nonsocialist Left in American politics. He developed a political realism that refused to sacrifice ideals to mere pragmatism, or politics to bitterness and greed. He examined the problem of morality in an immoral society and reimagined the balance between rights and freedom for the individual and social justice for the many. With brevity and deep insight, Lemert shows how Niebuhr's ideas illuminate our most difficult questions today.

Why Unions Matter

Author: Michael Yates
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781583671900
Release Date: 2009-05-01
Genre: Business & Economics

In this new edition of Why Unions Matter, Michael D. Yates shows why unions still matter. Unions mean better pay, benefits, and working conditions for their members; they force employers to treat employees with dignity and respect; and at their best, they provide a way for workers to make society both more democratic and egalitarian. Yates uses simple language, clear data, and engaging examples to show why workers need unions, how unions are formed, how they operate, how collective bargaining works, the role of unions in politics, and what unions have done to bring workers together across the divides of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. The new edition not onlyupdates the first, but also examines the record of the New Voice slate that took control of the AFL-CIO in 1995, the continuing decline in union membership and density, the Change to Win split in 2005, the growing importance of immigrant workers, the rise of worker centers, the impacts of and labor responses to globalization, and the need for labor to have an independent political voice. This is simply the best introduction to unions on the market.

Enigmas of Identity

Author: Peter Brooks
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691151588
Release Date: 2011-10-09
Genre: Law

Presents a survey of literature, law, and psychology to examine the importance of identity.

An Officer and a Spy

Author: Robert Harris
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780385349598
Release Date: 2014-01-28
Genre: Fiction

NATIONAL BESTSELLER A whistle-blower. A witch hunt. A cover-up. Secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, and government corruption. Welcome to 1890s Paris. Alfred Dreyfus has been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment on a far-off island, and publicly stripped of his rank. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, an ambitious military officer who believes in Dreyfus's guilt as staunchly as any member of the public. But when he is promoted to head of the French counter-espionage agency, Picquart finds evidence that a spy still remains at large in the military—indicating that Dreyfus is innocent. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself. Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction Winner of the American Library in Paris Book Award

The Dreyfus Affair

Author: Piers Paul Read
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781608194322
Release Date: 2012-03-13
Genre: History

Documents the case of a successful Jewish captain in the French artillery command who was wrongly convicted of high treason, chronicling the twelve-year effort to secure his freedom and describing period anti-Semitism.

Making Social Science Matter

Author: Bent Flyvbjerg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139429924
Release Date: 2001-01-15
Genre: Social Science

Making Social Science Matter presents an exciting new approach to the social and behavioral sciences including theoretical argument, methodological guidelines, and examples of practical application. Why has social science failed in attempts to emulate natural science and produce normal theory? Bent Flyvbjerg argues that the strength of social sciences lies in its rich, reflexive analysis of values and power, essential to the social and economic development of any society. Richly informed, powerfully argued, and clearly written, this book opens up a new future for the social sciences. Its empowering message will make it required reading for students and academics across the social and behavioral sciences.