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Category Archive: Books

New Books

Check out our selection of new books- 3rd floor Cofrin Library.

Why Americans Hate the Media and How It Matters
P95.82 .U6 L33 2011

As recently as the early 1970s, the news media was one of the most respected institutions in the United States. Yet by the 1990s, this trust had all but evaporated. Why has confidence in the press declined so dramatically over the past 40 years? And has this change shaped the public’s political behavior? This book examines waning public trust in the institutional news media within the context of the American political system and looks at how this lack of confidence has altered the ways people acquire political information and form electoral preferences.

Drawing on historical evidence, experiments, and public opinion surveys, this book shows that in a world of endless news sources, citizens’ trust in institutional media is more important than ever before. (description from publisher)




Pop Music Pop Culture
ML3470 .R64 2011

What is happening to pop music and pop culture? Synthesizers, samplers and MDI systems have allowed anyone with basic computing skills to make music. Exchange is now automatic and weightless with the result that the High Street record store is dying. MySpace, Twitter and You Tubeare now more important publicity venues for new bands than the concert tour routine. Unauthorized consumption in the form of illegal downloading has created a financial crisis in the industry. The old postwar industrial planning model of pop, which centralized control in the hands of major record corporations, and divided the market into neat segments, is dissolving in front of our eyes.

This book offers readers a comprehensive guide to understanding pop music today. It provides a clear survey of the field and a description of core concepts. The main theoretical approaches to the analysis of pop are described and critically assessed. The book includes a major investigation of the revolutionary changes in the production, exchange and consumption of pop music that are currently underway.

Pop Music, Pop Culture is an accomplished, magnetically interesting guide to understanding pop music today. (description from publisher)



UN Peacekeeping in Africa
JZ4997.5 .A A34 2011

Nearly half of all UN peacekeeping missions in the post Cold War era have been in Africa, and the continent currently hosts the greatest number (and also the largest) of such missions in the world. Uniquely assessing five decades of UN peacekeeping in Africa, Adekeye Adebajo focuses on a series of questions: What accounts for the resurgence of UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa after the Cold War? What are the factors that have determined the success, or contributed to the failure, of the missions? Does the mandating of so many peacekeeping missions signify the failure of Africa s regional security organizations? And, crucially, how can a new division of labor be established between the UN and Africa s security organizations to more effectively manage conflicts on the continent?

Adebajo s historically informed approach provides an in-depth analysis of the key domestic, regional, and external factors that shaped the outcomes of fifteen UN missions, offering critical lessons for future peacekeeping efforts in Africa and beyond. (description from publisher)



Parting Ways: New Rituals & Celebrations of Life’s passing
BF789 .D4 C32 2011

Parting Ways explores the emergence of new end-of-life rituals in America that celebrate the dying and reinvent the roles of family and community at the deathbed. Denise Carson contrasts her father’s passing in the 1980s, governed by the structures of institutionalized death, with her mother’s death some two decades later. Carson’s moving account of her mother’s dying at home vividly portrays a ceremonial farewell known as a living wake, showing how it closed the gap between social and biological death while opening the door for family and friends to reminisce with her mother. Carson also investigates a variety of solutions–living funerals, oral ethical wills, and home funerals–that revise the impending death scenario. Integrating the profoundly personal with the objectively historical, Parting Ways calls for an “end of life revolution” to change the way of death in America. (description from publisher)





Oscar Wilde
PR5824 .R57 2011

‘If literature, as Oscar Wilde once claimed, is not read at all, then either his work is not literature or Ruth Robbins has proved him wrong in this wonderfully original and provocative, deeply insightful critical account and appreciation of the text of Wilde. More than merely introductory—though Robbins’ study is the single most indispensable inauguration to the Wildean oeuvre I’ve had the fortune to read—here is a radically challenging, beautifully written, and intimately perceptive reading of Wilde. Robbins’ Oscar Wilde will, I have no doubt, set the agenda for thinking about Wilde again and, what is more to the point, astutely and intelligently. As Ruth Robbins demonstrates on every page with perceptive insight, wit and aplomb, the truth is rarely pure and never simple, but, in readings such as this, as rare as they are necessary, it is the truth—the truth of Wilde and the truth that only the literary and reading can effect—which appears everywhere. As Henry David Thoreau might have observed had he had the chance to read Oscar Wilde, read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. Oscar Wilde is one of those books.’ (Julian Wolfreys, Professor of Modern Literature and Culture, Loughborough University, author of Literature, in Theory )

New Books

Here are just a few of our latest arrivals, see them all on the New Books shelf, Cofrin Library 3rd floor.





History of the birth control movement in America
HQ766.5.U5 E54 2011

A History of the Birth Control Movement in America tells the extraordinary story of a group of reformers dedicated to making contraception legal, accessible, and acceptable. The engrossing tale details how Margaret Sanger’s campaign beginning in 1914 to challenge anti-obscenity laws criminalizing the distribution of contraceptive information grew into one of the most far-reaching social reform movements in American history.

The book opens with a discussion of the history of birth control methods and the criminalization of contraception and abortion in the 19th century. Its core, however, is an exciting narrative of the campaign in the 20th century, vividly recalling the arrests and indictments, banned publications, imprisonments, confiscations, clinic raids, mass meetings, and courtroom dramas that publicized the cause across the nation. Attention is paid to the movement’s thorny alliances with medicine and eugenics and especially to its success in precipitating a profound shift in sexual attitudes that turned the use of contraception into an acceptable social and medical practice. Finally, the birth control movement is linked to court-won privacy protections and the present-day movement for reproductive rights. (description from publisher)





Disrupted childhoods : children of women in prison
HV8886.U5 S54 2011

Millions of children in the United States have a parent who is incarcerated and a growing number of these nurturers are mothers. Disrupted Childhoods explores the issues that arise from a mother’s confinement and provides first-person accounts of the experiences of children with mothers behind bars. Jane A. Siegel offers a perspective that recognizes differences over the long course of a family’s interaction with the criminal justice system. Presenting an unparalleled view into the children’s lives both before and after their mothers are imprisoned, this book reveals the many challenges they face from the moment such a critical caregiver is arrested to the time she returns home from prison. Based on interviews with nearly seventy youngsters and their mothers conducted at different points of their parent’s involvement in the process, the rich qualitative data of Disrupted Childhoods vividly reveals the lived experiences of prisoners’ children, telling their stories in their own words. Siegel places the mother’s incarceration in context with other aspects of the youths’ experiences, including their family life and social worlds, and provides a unique opportunity to hear the voices of a group that has been largely silent until now. Jane A. Siegel is an associate professor of criminology at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey and chair of the department of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice. She has published numerous articles on the long-term consequences of child sexual abuse, risk factors for victimization, and the effects of parental incarceration. (description from publisher)





Rat island : predators in paradise and the world’s greatest wildlife rescue
QL83.2 .S76 2011

Rat Island rises from the icy gray waters of the Bering Sea, a mass of volcanic rock covered with tundra, midway between Alaska and Siberia. Once a remote sanctuary for enormous flocks of seabirds, the island gained a new name when shipwrecked rats colonized, savaging the nesting birds by the thousands. Now, on this and hundreds of other remote islands around the world, a massive-and massively controversial-wildlife rescue mission is under way.

Islands, making up just 3 percent of Earth’s landmass, harbor more than half of its endangered species. These fragile ecosystems, home to unique species that evolved in peaceful isolation, have been catastrophically disrupted by mainland predators-rats, cats, goats, and pigs ferried by humans to islands around the globe. To save these endangered islanders, academic ecologists have teamed up with professional hunters and semiretired poachers in a radical act of conservation now bent on annihilating the invaders. Sharpshooters are sniping at goat herds from helicopters. Biological SWAT teams are blanketing mountainous isles with rat poison. Rat Island reveals a little-known and much-debated side of today’s conservation movement, founded on a cruel-to-be-kind philosophy. (description from publisher)






Welcome to the suck : narrating the American soldier’s experience in Iraq
DS79.74 .P44 2011

Our collective memories of World War II and Vietnam have been shaped as much by memoirs, novels, and films as they have been by history books. In Welcome to the Suck, Stacey Peebles examines the growing body of contemporary war stories in prose, poetry, and film that speak to the American soldier’s experience in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War. Stories about war always encompass ideas about initiation, masculinity, cross-cultural encounters, and trauma. Peebles shows us how these timeless themes find new expression among a generation of soldiers who have grown up in a time when it has been more acceptable than ever before to challenge cultural and societal norms, and who now have unprecedented and immediate access to the world away from the battlefield through new media and technology. (description from publisher)






Give ‘em hell : the tumultuous years of Harry Truman’s presidency, in his own words and voice
E814 .G65 2011

The accidental presidency of Harry S. Truman, in words, photographs, and his ever-candid voice.

He was a startling contrast to Franklin Roosevelt. A farmer’s son from west Missouri, Truman didn’t chat; he talked, without art or inflection. And yet, this man of big dreams and simple phrases led the country out of war, welcomed the United Nations, and ran a cross-country campaign that changed American politics. His plain speech, first seen as a liability, became a symbol of transparency and gave him a platform to challenge his rivals-both at home and abroad-to honor their promises and commit to firm action.

Give ‘Em Hell brings the president and his era to life like no other biography. It combines the insights of noted historian Terry Golway with Truman’s own voice in audio excerpts from his most significant presidential speeches. (description from publisher)

The Library is turning 40!

Help the Cofrin Library celebrate 40 years of service with our very first Edible Book Festival!  On Monday February 27th from 12-2 PM we will host a very unusual book display on the library’s 3rd floor- all of the books will be completely edible.  You can participate by entering your own book creation or by stopping by the library to fill out a ballot and taste the books.  For more information or to register check out

New Books

Check out our selection of new books on the 3rd floor new book shelf in the Cofrin Library.  Here are just a few:

Competing in tough times : business lessons from L.L. Bean, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and other world-class retailers / Barry Berman.
call number HF5429 .B449 2011

Specific, actionable lessons from Aldi,, L.L.Bean, Costco, Nordstrom, Publix, Stew Leonard’s, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and more.

Competing in Tough Times brings together powerful new strategies that world-class retailers are using to thrive in today’s brutally unforgiving business environment.

World-renowned retail expert Dr. Barry Berman shows how to plan, build, and implement proven strategies based on both cost and differentiation. You’ll learn how to safely reduce costs and prices without increasing risk, minimize product proliferation, enhance the service experience, strengthen your private label program, and more. To support each approach, Berman presents full-length examples from outstanding retailers in every market sector, from consumer goods and apparel to technology.

Whether you’re a retail executive, owner, supplier, consultant, or student, these are the tools you need to compete, win–and keep on winning. In Competing in Tough Times, leading retail consultant Barry Berman systematically examines ten world-class retailers, identifying shared strategies that every retailer can use to drive dramatic, sustained performance improvement.

Berman highlights what these widely diverse retailers have in common in terms of both operational cost structures and differentiation. He reveals how they’ve developed low-cost strategies without cutting crucial “muscle,” better rationalized product selection, optimized human relations and the service experience, and taken full advantage of private labeling. He presents his recommendations in an easy-to-read decision-making format, supported by current data and detailed implementation guidance. (– description from publisher)



Toilet : public restrooms and the politics of sharing / edited by Harvey Molotch and Laura Noré
call number GT476 .T65 2010

So much happens in the public toilet that we never talk about. Finding the right door, waiting in line, and using the facilities are often undertaken with trepidation. Don’t touch anything. Try not to smell. Avoid eye contact. And for men, don’t look down or let your eyes stray. Even washing one’s hands are tied to anxieties of disgust and humiliation. And yet other things also happen in these spaces: babies are changed, conversations are had, make-up is applied, and notes are scrawled for posterity.

Beyond these private issues, there are also real public concerns: problems of public access, ecological waste, and—in many parts of the world–sanitation crises. At public events, why are women constantly waiting in long lines but not men? Where do the homeless go when cities decide to close public sites? Should bathrooms become standardized to accommodate the disabled? Is it possible to create a unisex bathroom for transgendered people?

In Toilet, noted sociologist Harvey Molotch and Laura Norén bring together twelve essays by urbanists, historians and cultural analysts (among others) to shed light on the public restroom. These noted scholars offer an assessment of our historical and contemporary practices, showing us the intricate mechanisms through which even the physical design of restrooms—the configurations of stalls, the number of urinals, the placement of sinks, and the continuing segregation of women’s and men’s bathrooms—reflect and sustain our cultural attitudes towards gender, class, and disability. Based on a broad range of conceptual, political, and down-to-earth viewpoints, the original essays in this volume show how the bathroom—as a practical matter–reveals competing visions of pollution, danger and distinction. (–description from publisher)


Belief instinct : the psychology of souls, destiny, and the meaning of life / Jesse Bering.
call number BF51 .B47 2011

Why is belief so hard to shake? Despite our best attempts to embrace rational thought and reject superstition, we often find ourselves appealing to unseen forces that guide our destiny, wondering who might be watching us as we go about our lives, and imagining what might come after death.

In this lively and masterfully argued new book, Jesse Bering unveils the psychological underpinnings of why we believe. Combining lucid accounts of surprising new studies with insights into literature, philosophy, and even pop culture, Bering gives us a narrative that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. He sheds light on such topics as our search for a predestined life purpose, our desire to read divine messages into natural disasters and other random occurrences, our visions of the afterlife, and our curiosity about how moral and immoral behavior are rewarded or punished in this life.

Bering traces all of these beliefs and desires to a single trait of human psychology, known as the “theory of mind,” which enables us to guess at the intentions and thoughts of others. He then takes this groundbreaking argument one step further, revealing how the instinct to believe in God and other unknowable forces gave early humans an evolutionary advantage. But now that these psychological illusions have outlasted their evolutionary purpose, Bering draws our attention to a whole new challenge: escaping them. (–description from publisher)


Temperate and boreal rainforests of the world : ecology and conservation / edited by Dominick A. DellaSala ; foreword by David Suzuki.
call number QH541.5.R27 T46 2011

While tropical rainforests have received much conservation attention and support for their protection, temperate and boreal rainforests have been largely overlooked. Yet these ecosystems are also unique, supporting rainforest communities rich in plants and wildlife and containing some of the most massive trees on Earth.
Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World brings together leading scientists from around the world to describe the ecology and conservation of these lesser-known rainforests in an attempt to place them on par with tropical rainforests in conservation efforts. The book
  • summarizes major scientific findings
  • presents new computer models that were used to standardize rainforest definitions
  • identifies regions previously not widely recognized as rainforest
  • provides the latest estimates on rainforest extent and degree of protection
  • explores conservation strategies
The book ends with a summary of the key ecological findings and outlines an ambitious vision of how we can conserve and manage the planet’s remaining temperate and boreal rainforests in a truly ecological way that is better for nature, the climate, and ultimately our own welfare. (–description from publisher)

American poetry in performance : from Walt Whitman to hip hop / Tyler Hoffman.
call number PN4151 .H64 2011

American Poetry in Performance: From Walt Whitman to Hip Hop is the first book to trace a comprehensive history of performance poetry in America, covering 150 years of literary history from Walt Whitman through the rap-meets-poetry scene. It reveals how the performance of poetry is bound up with the performance of identity and nationality in the modern period and carries its own shifting cultural politics. This book stands at the crossroads of the humanities and the social sciences; it is a book of literary and cultural criticism that deals squarely with issues of “performance,” a concept that has attained great importance in the disciplines of anthropology and sociology and has generated its own distinct field of performance studies. American Poetry in Performance will be a meaningful contribution both to the field of American poetry studies and to the fields of cultural and performance studies, as it focuses on poetry that refuses the status of fixed aesthetic object and, in its variability, performs versions of race, class, gender, and sexuality both on and off the page.

Relating the performance of poetry to shifting political and cultural ideologies in the United States, Hoffman argues that the vocal aspect of public poetry possesses (or has been imagined to possess) the ability to help construct both national and subaltern communities.  American Poetry in Performance explores public poets’ confrontations with emergent sound recording and communications technologies.  (–description from publisher)

Give-a-kid-a-book Donations

Give a Kid a Book campaign is back

The Cofrin Library is once again a drop off point for the Brown County Library’s Give-a-Kid-a-Book campaign.  You can donate NEW, unwrapped, unmarked books that are fun for babies, children or young adults up to age 18 by December 9th. New, unwrapped books can be brought to the circulation desk on the 3rd floor of the library.  Unsure of what to donate?  Check out this list for ideas:  Books are distributed to local children during the holidays and used to promote reading year round through various youth reading programs.

New Books

Check out our  new selection of books on the 3rd floor of the library- here are just a few:

Scientific writing : thinking in words / David Lindsay

Telling people about research is just as important as doing it. But many researchers, who, in all other respects, are competent scientists, are afraid of writing. They are wary of the unwritten rules, the unspoken dogma and the inexplicably complex style, all of which seem to pervade conventional thinking about scientific writing.

This book has been written to expose these phantoms as largely smoke and mirrors, and replace them with principles that make communicating research easier and encourage researchers to write confidently. It presents a way of thinking about writing that emulates the way good scientists think about research.

It concentrates on the structure of articles, rather than simply on grammar and syntax. So, it is an ideal reference for researchers preparing articles for scientific journals, posters, conference presentations, reviews and popular articles; for students preparing theses; and for researchers whose first language is not English. (– description from publisher)


Cooking in other women’s kitchens : domestic workers in the South, 1865-1960 / Rebecca Sharpless.

As African American women left slavery and the plantation economy behind, many entered domestic service in southern cities and towns. Cooking was one of the primary jobs they performed in white employers’ homes, feeding generations of white families and, in the process, profoundly shaping southern foodways and culture.

Rebecca Sharpless argues that, in the face of discrimination, long workdays, and low wages, African American cooks worked to assert measures of control over their own lives and to maintain spaces for their own families despite the demands of employers and the restrictions of segregation. Sharpless also shows how these women’s employment served as a bridge from old labor arrangements to new ones. As opportunities expanded in the twentieth century, most African American women chose to leave cooking for more lucrative and less oppressive manufacturing, clerical, or professional positions.

Through letters, autobiography, and oral history, this book evokes African American women’s voices from slavery to the open economy, examining their lives at work and at home. Sharpless looks beyond stereotypes to introduce the real women who left their own houses and families each morning to cook in other women’s kitchens. (description from publisher)


Jesus and gin : evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and today’s culture wars / Barry Hankins.

Jesus and Gin is a rollicking tour of the roaring twenties and the barn- burning preachers who led the temperance movement—the anti-abortion crusade of the Jazz Age.  Along the way, we meet a host of colorful characters: a Baptist minister who commits adultery in the White House; media star preachers caught in massive scandals; a presidential election hinging on a religious issue; and fundamentalists and liberals slugging it out in the culture war of the day. The religious roar of that decade was a prologue to the last three decades. With the religious right in disarray today after its long ascendancy, Jesus and Gin is a timely look at a parallel age when preachers held sway and politicians answered to the pulpit.  (–description from publisher)




Stayin’ alive : the 1970s and the last days of the working class / Jefferson Cowie.

An epic account of how middle-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the 1970s, this wide-ranging cultural and political history rewrites the 1970s as the crucial, pivotal era of our time. Jefferson Cowie’s edgy and incisive book—part political intrigue, part labor history, with large doses of American musical, film, and TV lore—makes new sense of the 1970s as a crucial and poorly understood transition from New Deal America (with its large, optimistic middle class) to the widening economic inequalities, poverty, and dampened expectations of the 1980s and into the present.

Stayin’ Alive takes us from the factory floors of Ohio, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, to the Washington of Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Cowie also connects politics to culture, showing how the big screen and the jukebox can help us understand how America turned away from the radicalism of the 1960s and toward the patriotic promise of Ronald Reagan. Cowie makes unexpected connections between the secrets of the Nixon White House and the failings of George McGovern campaign; radicalism and the blue-collar backlash; the earthy twang of Merle Haggard’s country music and the falsetto highs of Saturday Night Fever. Like Jeff Perlstein’s acclaimed Nixonland, Stayin’ Alive moves beyond conventional understandings of the period and brilliantly plumbs it for insights into our current way of life. (–description from publisher)



Disneyland and culture : essays on the parks and their influence / edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson and Mark I. West.

The success of Disneyland as the world’s first permanent, commercially viable theme park sparked the creation of a number of other parks throughout the world, from Florida to Japan, France, and Hong Kong. But the impact of Disneyland is not confined to the theme park arena. These essays explore a far-reaching ideology. Among the topics are Disney’s role in the creation of children’s architecture; Frontierland as an allegorical map of the American West; the “cultural invasion of France” in Disneyland Paris; the politics of nostalgia; and “hyperurbanity” in the town of Celebration, Florida.





Cofrin Library Kindles have much more to offer!

The Kindles that are available for checkout at the Cofrin Library now have 122 titles available to choose from, for your reading pleasure.  Titles range from classics like Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley to new bestsellers like Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls and Life by Keith Richards.  There are 3 Kindles that can be checked out, for two weeks, from the Circulation Desk on the 3rd floor of the library.  All Kindles have all 122 titles loaded on them.  Library staff have worked to provide a wide range of titles, covering many genres, that will appeal to students, staff and faculty.  If there are titles that you would like to see added to the Kindles, please send an e-mail to Leah Liebergen at for consideration.  We welcome suggestions to build the best and broadest Kindle e-book collection possible.

New Books

Check out just a few of our latest new books, see the rest on the 3rd floor of the Cofrin Library:

Surveying the settlements of America’s wars since WWI, Rose analyzes reasons for the manner and substance of their conclusions. The way a war ended, he holds, can be tied to the quality of pre-armistice or -surrender planning for the postwar situation, a problem to which he applies concepts in international relations (realism, bureaucratic politics, domestic politics). Those terms don’t portend a wonk’s book, however. Rose, the editor of Foreign Affairs, writes with clarity for general readers puzzled by mistakes national-security experts seem to make over and over again. According to Rose, American generals, diplomats, and presidents, obsessed with the military endgame, often don’t clarify their political intentions until the shooting stops. Varied in its effects, such neglect ranges from surmountable, as in the aftermath to WWII, to intractable, such as in Vietnam or Iraq. Rose also identifies another factor complicating the termination of war: cherry-picking lessons from a previous war that have dubious applicability to the present one. Public spirited and accessible, Rose’s presentation should impress anyone hoping for better management of war and peace by Washington. –Gilbert Taylor

The United States was founded on the principle of equal opportunity for all, and this ethos continues to inform the nation’s collective identity. In reality, however, absolute equality is elusive. The gap between rich and poor has widened in recent decades, and the United States has the highest level of economic inequality of any developed country. Social class and other differences in status reverberate throughout American life, and prejudice based on another’s perceived status persists among individuals and groups. In Envy Up, Scorn Down, noted social psychologist Susan Fiske examines the psychological underpinnings of interpersonal and intergroup comparisons, exploring why we compare ourselves to those both above and below us and analyzing the social consequences of such comparisons in day-to-day life. (description from publisher)

Forrest County, Mississippi, became a focal point of the civil rights movement when, in 1961, the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit against its voting registrar Theron Lynd. While thirty percent of the county’s residents were black, only twelve black persons were on its voting rolls. United States v. Lynd was the first trial that resulted in the conviction of a southern registrar for contempt of court. The case served as a model for other challenges to voter discrimination in the South, and was an important influence in shaping the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Count Them One by One is a comprehensive account of the groundbreaking case written by one of the Justice Department’s trial attorneys. Gordon A. Martin, Jr., then a newly-minted lawyer, traveled to Hattiesburg from Washington to help shape the federal case against Lynd. He met with and prepared the government’s sixteen black witnesses who had been refused registration, found white witnesses, and was one of the lawyers during the trial.

Decades later, Martin returned to Mississippi and interviewed the still-living witnesses, their children, and friends. Martin intertwines these current reflections with commentary about the case itself. The result is an impassioned, cogent fusion of reportage, oral history, and memoir about a trial that fundamentally reshaped liberty and the South. (description from publisher)

A fabled country in the far reaches of the Himalayas, Tibet looms large in the popular imagination. The original home of the Dalai Lama, one of the great spiritual leaders of our time, Tibetan Buddhism inspires millions worldwide with the twin values of wisdom and compassion. Yet the Chinese takeover six decades ago also shows another side of Tibet—that of a passionate symbol of freedom in the face of political oppression.

International sympathy has kept the Dalai Lama’s appeals for autonomy on the world’s political agenda, but in light of China’s political and economic gains there is fear that Tibet is in danger of being forgotten by the world. As the Dalai Lama grows older, and the Chinese threaten to intervene in the selection of Tibet’s next spiritual leader, many wonder if there is any hope for the Tibetan way of life, or if it is doomed to become a casualty of globalization.

In Tibet Unconquered East Asia expert Diane Wolff explores the status of Tibet over eight-hundred-years of history. From the Mongol invasion, to the emergence of the Dalai Lama, Wolff investigates the history of political and economic relations between China and Tibet. Looking to the long rule of Chinggis Khan as a model, she argues, that by thinking in regional terms both countries could usher in a new era of prosperity while maintaining their historical and cultural identities.

Wolff creates a forward-thinking blueprint for resolving the China and Tibet problem, grounded in the history of the region and the reality of today’s political environment that, will guide both countries to peace. (description from publisher)

Covering 735 species of dinosaurs, this volume, the work of a well-known dinosaur researcher and illustrator, consists of two main sections. The first is an introduction that includes a discussion on dinosaur evolution, biology, behavior, and more. The majority of the information is found in the “Group and Species Accounts” section and is further divided into three groups: “Theropods,” “Sauropodomorphs,” and “Ornithischians.” Entries on each species are concise and typically include information related to their anatomical characteristics, age, distribution, and habitat. Notes may be used to communicate alternative theories or debates that apply to the species. The volume also contains more than 600 color and black-and-white illustrations, among them more than 130 color life studies (some of them scenic views); nearly 450 skeletal, skull, head, and muscle drawings; and 8 paleo-distribution maps. Described as “the first authoritative dinosaur book in the style of a field guide,” this volume is more scientific in its language and approach than many of the other dinosaur books a library will have in its collection. At the same time, the illustrations should attract dinosaur fans. Recommended for public and academic libraries. –Robyn Rosenberg


Banned Books Week– Celebrating the Freedom to Read

The Cofrin Library celebrates Banned Books Week September 24th through October 1st. Check the links below to discover if you’ve read a banned book recently.

“Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.” –American Library Association

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–20001

The Modern Library’s Best 100 Novels of the Twentieth Century

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”–Benjamin Franklin

New Books

Check out our selection of new books- located on the “New Book” bookshelf on the 3rd floor of the Cofrin Library.

Super species : the creatures that will dominate the planet / Garry Hamilton. 

A gripping examination of invasive species’ impact.

Super species are the phenomenally successful invasive life-forms that are dominating ecosystems. These animals, plants and microbes have spread far from their native habitats, most often as a result of human activities.

The key to super species’ success is their ability to adapt quickly. Super species may be unusually aggressive, difficult to kill, unfazed by the presence and activity of humans, capable of astonishingly rapid rates of growth and reproduction, exceptionally tolerant of pollution or, in many cases, all of the above!

Author Garry Hamilton profiles the 20 super species that are having the greatest impact in our world today, including:

  • Feral pigs– relentless boars that are trampling across Europe, North America and Australia
  • Bullfrogs — predatory amphibians that are endangering native frog populations
  • Jellyfish — spineless wonders that are dominating the world’s oceans
  • C. difficile — potentially deadly microbes that flourish in human intestines
  • Brown tree snakes — unusually vicious reptiles that have overrun Guam and are now infiltrating America
  • Argentine ants — aggressive insects capable of forming super-colonies spanning thousands of miles
  • Humboldt squid — gigantic beasts that hunt in packs of several hundreds

– description from publisher

Absolute monarchs : a history of the papacy / John Julius Norwich.  


With the papacy embattled in recent years, it is essential to have the perspective of one of the world’s most accomplished historians. In Absolute Monarchs, John Julius Norwich captures nearly two thousand years of inspiration and devotion, intrigue and scandal. The men (and maybe one woman) who have held this position of infallible power over millions have ranged from heroes to rogues, admirably wise to utterly decadent. Norwich, who knew two popes and had private audiences with two others, recounts in riveting detail the histories of the most significant popes and what they meant politically, culturally, and socially to Rome and to the world.

Norwich presents such brave popes as Innocent I, who in the fifth century successfully negotiated with Alaric the Goth, an invader civil authorities could not defeat, and Leo I, who two decades later tamed (and perhaps paid off) Attila the Hun. Here, too, are the scandalous figures: Pope Joan, the mythic woman said (without any substantiation) to have been elected in 855, and the infamous “pornocracy,” the five libertines who were descendants or lovers of Marozia, debauched daughter of one of Rome’s most powerful families.

Absolute Monarchs brilliantly portrays reformers such as Pope Paul III, “the greatest pontiff of the sixteenth century,” who reinterpreted the Church’s teaching and discipline, and John XXIII, who in five short years starting in 1958 “opened up the church to the twentieth century,” instituting reforms that led to Vatican II. Norwich brings the story to the present day with Benedict XVI, who is coping with a global priest sex scandal.

Epic and compelling, Absolute Monarchs is the astonishing story of some of history’s most revered and reviled figures, men who still cast light and shadows on the Vatican and the world today.

–description from publisher

What is mental illness? / Richard J. McNally.

According to a major health survey, nearly half of all Americans have been mentally ill at some point in their lives—more than a quarter in the last year. Can this be true? What exactly does it mean, anyway? What’s a disorder, and what’s just a struggle with real life?

This lucid and incisive book cuts through both professional jargon and polemical hot air, to describe the intense political and intellectual struggles over what counts as a “real” disorder, and what goes into the “DSM,” the psychiatric bible. Is schizophrenia a disorder? Absolutely. Is homosexuality? It was—till gay rights activists drove it out of the DSM a generation ago. What about new and controversial diagnoses? Is “social anxiety disorder” a way of saying that it’s sick to be shy, or “female sexual arousal disorder” that it’s sick to be tired?

An advisor to the DSM, but also a fierce critic of exaggerated overuse, McNally defends the careful approach of describing disorders by patterns of symptoms that can be seen, and illustrates how often the system medicalizes everyday emotional life.

Neuroscience, genetics, and evolutionary psychology may illuminate the biological bases of mental illness, but at this point, McNally argues, no science can draw a bright line between disorder and distress. In a pragmatic and humane conclusion, he offers questions for patients and professionals alike to help understand, and cope with, the sorrows and psychopathologies of everyday life.

–description from publisher

Imagining sustainable food systems : theory and practice / edited by Alison Blay-Palmer.

  • What defines a sustainable food system? How can it be more inclusive? How do local and global scales interact and how does power flow within food systems? How to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to realizing sustainable food systems? And how to activate change?

    These questions are considered by EU and North American academics and practitioners in this book. Using a wide range of case studies, it provides a critical overview, showing how and where theory and practice can converge to produce more sustainable food systems.

  • Contents: Part 1 Interrogating Sustainable Food Systems: Imagining sustainable food systems, Alison Blay-Palmer; Conceptualizing and creating sustainable food systems: how interdisciplinarity can help, Clare Hinrichs; Sustainability: a tool for food system reform?, Mustafa Koc. Part 2 Inclusion and Exclusion in Sustainable Food Systems: Greening the realm: sustainable food chains and the public plate, Kevin Morgan; Thinking about labour in alternative food systems, Yael Levitte; The urban food desert: spatial inequality or opportunity for change?, Ellen Desjardins. Part 3 The Case for Sustainable Food Systems: Food systems planning and sustainable cities and regions: the role of the firm in sustainable food capitalism, Betsy Donald; The nexus between alternative food systems and entrepreneurism: three local stories, Hélène St. Jacques; Scaling up: bringing public institutions and food service corporations into the project for a local, sustainable food system in Ontario, Harriet Friedmann; Food policy encounters of a 3rd kind: how the Toronto Food Policy Council socializes for sustain-ability, Wayne Roberts; Food insecurity in the land of plenty: the Windermere valley paradox, Alison Bell; Imagining sustainable food systems: the path to regenerative food systems, Alison Blay-Palmer and Mustafa Koc; Index.

–description from publisher