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The Creation of the Media

America’s leading role in today’s information revolution may seem simply to reflect its position as the world’s dominant economy and most powerful state. But by the early nineteenth century, when the United States was neither a world power nor a primary center of scientific discovery, it was already a leader in communications-in postal service and newspaper publishing, then in development of the telegraph and telephone networks, later in the whole repertoire of mass communications.In this wide-ranging social history of American media, from the first printing press to the early days of radio, Paul Starr shows that the creation of modern communications was as much the result of political choices as of technological invention. With his original historical analysis, Starr examines how the decisions that led to a state-run post office and private monopolies on the telegraph and telephone systems affected a developing society. He illuminates contemporary controversies over freedom of information by exploring such crucial formative issues as freedom of the press, intellectual property, privacy, public access to information, and the shaping of specific technologies and institutions. America’s critical choices in these areas, Starr argues, affect the long-run path of development in a society and have had wide social, economic, and even military ramifications. The Creation of the Media not only tells the history of the media in a new way; it puts America and its global influence into a new perspective.

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Cruelty and Laughter

Eighteenth-century British culture is often seen as polite and sentimental—the creation of an emerging middle class. Simon Dickie disputes these assumptions in Cruelty and Laughter, a wildly enjoyable but shocking plunge into the forgotten comic literature of the age. Beneath the surface of Enlightenment civility, Dickie uncovers a rich vein of cruel humor that forces us to recognize just how slowly ordinary human sufferings became worthy of sympathy.

Delving into an enormous archive of comic novels, jestbooks, farces, variety shows, and cartoons, Dickie finds a vast repository of jokes about cripples, blind men, rape, and wife-beating. Epigrams about syphilis and scurvy sit alongside one-act comedies about hunchbacks in love. He shows us that everyone—rich and poor, women as well as men—laughed along. In the process, Dickie also expands our understanding of many of the century’s major authors, including Samuel Richardson, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Tobias Smollett, Frances Burney, and Jane Austen. He devotes particular attention to Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews, a novel that reflects repeatedly on the limits of compassion and the ethical problems of laughter. Cruelty and Laughter is an engaging, far-reaching study of the other side of culture in eighteenth-century Britain.

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Serving Teens Through Readers’ Advisory

Getting teens to read for fun is the ultimate challenge, yet research shows that it improves skills in grammar and spelling while expanding vocabularies. Accessible and encouraging for beginners and an informative refresher for those more experienced, this hands-on expert guide addresses teens’ unique needs with practical tools that help readers’ advisors: build winning relationships with teens and connect on their terms; communicate with this hard-to-reach audience to create a positive RA experience; use proven questions and techniques to uncover teens’ worldview; get up to speed fast using sure bets lists; and deal with challenges of controversial topics, homework reading, and recommending by proxy. Filled with concrete advice, this ready-to-use resource supports public librarians as well as middle and high school library media specialists and library support staff who want to make an impact with teens at a critical time in their lives.

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Even Hockey Players Read

This comprehensive overview of the challenging issues around boys and reading includes strategies and practical solutions for helping struggling readers.

The role of gender in reading success is a complex one. This book faces the issues head-on, uncovering many of the assumptions and stereotypes parents and educators have about boys and how they handle the world of print text. Included are the voices of boys and men interviewed by the author, who reveal their literacy challenges, struggles, tastes and values. These “real” voices provide valuable insights into how we can support boys in their journey towards becoming successful readers and writers.

Even Hockey Players Read explores the powerful potential of literacy in a boy’s life:

  • What factors in the home and in the classroom influence the literacy lives of boys?
  • Why do so many boys select different reading materials than girls?
  • Why do girls score higher than boys do on tests of reading achievement?
  • Why do so many males consider themselves non-readers?
  • Are society’s expectations for boys’ and girls’ literacy lives different?
  • Do we minimize the literacy needs of girls if we focus on the difficulties with boys?

Drawing upon his background as a parent and a literacy educator, the author suggests a wealth of strategies and techniques for promoting an alternative culture of literacy in school and home settings, where what children choose to read is valued alongside what children need to read. Even Hockey Players Read advocates changing the classroom environment so that

  • Boys who can’t read are helped;
  • Boys who don’t read become motivated;
  • Boys who do read find enrichment.

This highly readable book demonstrates the powerful potential of literacy in the lives of boys. It is essential reading for teachers who want to guide boys to a love of reading that will help them in their school life and beyond.

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The Rolling Stones

One of Heinlein’s Best-Loved Works. By “One of the most influential writers in American literature.” —The New York Times Book Review.

The rollicking adventures of the Stone Family on a tour of the Solar System. It all statred when the twins, Castor and Pollux Stone, decided that life on the Lunar colony was too dull and decided to buy their own spaceship and go into business for themselves. Their father thought that was a fine, idea, except that he and Grandma Hazel bought the spaceship and the whole Stone Family were on their way out into the far reaches of the Solar System, with stops on Mars(where the twins got a lesson in the interplanetary economics of bicycles and the adorable little critters called flatcats who, it turned out, bred like rabbits; or perhaps, Tribbles….), out to the asteroids, where  Mrs. Stone, an M.D., was needed to treat a dangerous outbreak of disease, even further out, to Titan and beyond.

Unforgettable Heinlein characters on an unforgettable adventure.

 

“Not only America’s premier writer of speculative fiction, but the greatest writer of such fiction in the world”.  

  –   Stephen King

Comprehensive Teacher’s Guide available.

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International Encyclopedia of Adolescence

In pre-industrial societies, people moved from childhood to adulthood directly, getting married and going to work early in life. Although this still holds true for many cultures, in countries such as the USA or Japan, adolescence has become a specific stage of life, where young people are cultural trendsetters and market drivers.

The International Encyclopedia of Adolescence is an exhaustive socio-cultural survey of young people around the world. The focus is cultural and historical, and the work offers a rarely found worldwide perspective. Entries are compiled by experts from many fields of study, including anthropology, history, psychology, and sociology.

Unlike existing works, the Encyclopedia does not stress biological or psycho-pathological issues. It addresses myths and realities of adolescence by looking at the actual life of young people in regions as varied as Iran, India, France, the USA, or Japan. It also explains how teen cultures have developed in some countries and how young people deal with the conflicts between tradition and modernity in others. Country coverage examines cultural beliefs, gender, personal and cultural identity, relationships (familial), friends and peers, love and sexuality, education, work, media, problems, and outlook for the future, plus topics particular to the culture or region discussed.

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Popular Texts in English

This book comprises a collection of articles devoted to the academic study of popular texts in English. Authors analyse genres which had been habitually looked down on by canonical approaches to literature and art. They take into serious consideration forms like horror literature, the gothic, fantasy, de-tective fiction, science fiction, best-sellers, films and television series of different kinds… among some other representations of what conservative scholars had been considering as marginal. The referential richness of the perspectives reflected here demonstrates that popular texts can be enjoyable for readers and audiences, at the same time that they can be significant in order to reach a better understanding of our culture and ourselves at the beginning of a new millennium.

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Science Fiction in the Real World

No ordinary critic, Norman Spinrad explicates, celebrates, and sometimes excoriates science fiction from the privileged perspective of an artist armed with intimate knowledge of the craft of fiction and even of the writers themselves.

In these 13 essays, Spinrad urges science fiction as a genre to reach its potential. He divides the essays—new works written specifically for this book combined with those that appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine—into five sections: “Literature and Genre: A Critical Overview,” in which Spinrad establishes his critical standards; “Alternate Media: Visual Translations,” a discussion of comic books and books made into movies; “Modes of Content: Hard SF, Cyberpunk, and the Space Visionaries”; “Psychopolitics and Science Fiction: Heroes—True and Otherwise”; and “Masters of the Form: Careers in Profile,” discussions of Sturgeon, Vonnegut, Ballard, and Dick.