Let Me Tell You

Let Me Tell You

Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings by Shirley Jackson

PS 3519 .A392 A6 2015

From the renowned author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House, a spectacular new volume of previously unpublished and uncollected stories, essays, and other writings.

Shirley Jackson is one of the most important American writers of the last hundred years. Since her death in 1965, her place in the landscape of twentieth-century fiction has grown only more exalted.

As we approach the centenary of her birth comes this astonishing compilation of fifty-six pieces – more than forty of which have never been published before. Two of Jackson’s children co-edited this volume, culling through the vast archives of their mother’s papers at the Library of Congress, selecting only the very best for inclusion.

Let Me Tell You brings together the deliciously eerie short stories Jackson is best known for, along with frank, inspiring lectures on writing; comic essays about her large, boisterous family; and whimsical drawings. Jackson’s landscape here is most frequently domestic: dinner parties and bridge, household budgets and homeward-bound commutes, children’s games and neighborly gossip. But this familiar setting is also her most subversive: She wields humor, terror, and the uncanny to explore the real challenges of marriage, parenting, and community – the pressure of social norms, the veins of distrust in love, the constant lack of time and space.

For the first time, here is a collection showcasing Jackson’s radically different modes of writing side by side. Together they show her to be a magnificent storyteller, a sharp, sly humorist, and a powerful feminist.

This volume includes a Foreword by the celebrated literary critic and Jackson biographer Ruth Franklin.”
– publisher description

Raising the World

Raising the World

Raising the World: Child Welfare in the American Century by Sara Fieldston

HV 881 .F52 2015

“After World War II, American organizations launched efforts to improve the lives of foreign children, from war orphans in Europe and Japan to impoverished youth in the developing world. Providing material aid, education, and emotional support, these programs had a deep humanitarian underpinning. But they were also political projects. Sara Fieldston’s comprehensive account Raising the World shows that the influence of child welfare agencies around the globe contributed to the United States’ expanding hegemony. These organizations filtered American power through the prism of familial love and shaped perceptions of the United States as the benevolent parent in a family of nations.

The American Friends Service Committee, Foster Parents’ Plan, and Christian Children’s Fund, among others, sent experts abroad to build nursery schools and orphanages and to instruct parents in modern theories of child rearing and personality development. Back home, thousands of others “sponsored” overseas children by sending money and exchanging often-intimate letters. Although driven by sincere impulses and sometimes fostering durable friendships, such efforts doubled as a form of social engineering. Americans believed that child rearing could prevent the rise of future dictators, curb the appeal of communism, and facilitate economic development around the world.

By the 1970s, child welfare agencies had to adjust to a new world in which American power was increasingly suspect. But even as volunteers reconsidered the project of reshaping foreign societies, a perceived universality of children’s needs continued to justify intervention by Americans into young lives across the globe.”
– publisher description

Give Us the Ballot

Give Us the Ballot

Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

JK 1846 .B47 2015

“Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed. Give Us the Ballot tells this story for the first time.

In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights, from 1965 to the present day. The act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. And yet, fifty years later, we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power, with lawmakers devising new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth and with the Supreme Court declaring a key part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.

Berman brings the struggle for voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in-depth interviews with major figures in the debate, and incisive on-the-ground reporting. In vivid prose, he takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights era to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court.

At this important moment in history, Give Us the Ballot provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.”
– publisher description

Saving Sex

Saving Sex

Saving Sex: Sexuality and Salvation in American Evangelicalism by Amy DeRogatis

BR 1642 .U6 D47 2015

“When it comes to evangelicals and sex, it seems, whatever the question, the answer is “no.” In Saving Sex, Amy DeRogatis argues that this could not be further from the truth. Demolishing the myth of evangelicals as anti-sex, she shows that American evangelicals claim that fabulous sex – in the right context – is a divinely-sanctioned, spiritual act.

For decades, evangelical sex education has been a thriving industry. Evangelical couples have sought advice from Christian psychologists and marriage counselors, purchased millions of copies of faith-based “sexual guidebooks,” and consulted magazines, pamphlets, websites, blogs, and podcasts on a vast array of sexual topics, including human anatomy, STDs – sometimes known as “Sexually Transmitted Demons” – varieties of sexual pleasure, role-play, and sex toys, all from a decidedly biblical angle. DeRogatis discusses a wide range of evidence, from purity literature for young evangelicals to sex manuals for married couples to “deliverance manuals,” which instruct believers in how to expel demons that enter the body through sexual sin. Evangelicals have at times attempted to co-opt the language of female empowerment, emphasizing mutual consent and female sexual pleasure while insisting that the key to marital sexual happiness depends on maintaining traditional gender roles based on the literal interpretation of scripture.

Saving Sex is a long-overdue exploration of evangelicals’ surprising and often-misunderstood beliefs about sex – who can do what, when, and why – and of the many ways in which they try to bring those beliefs to bear on American culture.”
– publisher description

Running from Office

Running from Office

Running from Office: Why Young Americans Are Turned off to Politics
by Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox

HQ 799.9 .P6 L38 2015

The past two decades in Washington, D.C., have showcased a politics dominated by intense partisanship, prolonged stalemates, and a seemingly endless stream of scandals.

For today’s teenagers and young adults, the mean-spirited, dysfunctional political system that has come to characterize American politics has eroded any sense that politicians or government have the ability to do good or effect positive change. Worse, these circumstances have turned young people off to the idea of ever running for office. With more than 500,000 elected positions in the United States, what will happen when this generation is expected to take the reins of political power?

Through an original, national survey of more than 4,000 high school and college students, as well as more than 100 in-depth interviews, Lawless and Fox examine young people’s political ambition – or lack of it. They find that young Americans feel completely alienated from contemporary politics, and the overwhelming majority view politicians as dishonest, selfish, and disinterested in helping their constituents. Young Americans look disdainfully upon the prospects of growing up to be a mayor, governor, senator, or even president of the United States. Running from Office paints a political profile of the next generation that should sound alarm bells about the long-term, deeply embedded damage contemporary politics has wrought on U.S. democracy and its youngest citizens.

As disheartening as their conclusions sound, Lawless and Fox end with practical suggestions for how new technologies, national service programs, and well-strategized public service campaigns could generate political ambition in young people. Today’s high school and college students care deeply about improving their communities and enacting change in the world. It’s not too late to ensure that they view running for office as an effective way to do so.”
– publisher description

Will College Pay Off?

Will College Pay Off

Will College Pay Off?: A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You’ll Ever Make
by Peter Cappelli

LB 2342 .C247 2015

“The decision of whether to go to college, or where, is hampered by poor information and inadequate understanding of the financial risk involved.

Adding to the confusion, the same degree can cost dramatically different amounts for different people. A barrage of advertising offers new degrees designed to lead to specific jobs, but we see no information on whether graduates ever get those jobs. Mix in the frenzied applications process, and pressure from politicians for “relevant” programs, and there is an urgent need to separate myth from reality.

Peter Cappelli, an acclaimed expert in employment trends, the workforce, and education, provides hard evidence that counters conventional wisdom and helps us make cost-effective choices. Among the issues Cappelli analyzes are:

  • What is the real link between a college degree and a job that enables you to pay off the cost of college, especially in a market that is in constant change?
  • Why it may be a mistake to pursue degrees that will land you the hottest jobs because what is hot today is unlikely to be so by the time you graduate.
  • Why the most expensive colleges may actually be the cheapest because of their ability to graduate students on time.
  • How parents and students can find out what different colleges actually deliver to students and whether it is something that employers really want.

College is the biggest expense for many families, larger even than the cost of the family home, and one that can bankrupt students and their parents if it works out poorly. Peter Cappelli offers vital insight for parents and students to make decisions that both make sense financially and provide the foundation that will help students make their way in the world.”
– publisher description

Lighting Up

Lighting Up

Lighting Up: The Rise of Social Smoking on College Campuses by Mimi Nichter

HV 5760 .N53 2015

“Over the past 40 years, rates of adult smoking have fallen dramatically, yet young adults continue to smoke substantially more than any other age group. At a time when just about everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, why do so many college students smoke? Will they eventually give up smoking, either as graduation approaches or once they enter the “real world”? Lighting Up investigates such questions about smoking and explores the experiences and perspectives of hundreds of college students.

Mimi Nichter examines how and why many college students engage in social smoking, emphasizing its key role in students’ lives and how different social contexts can either stimulate or inhibit the practice. Nichter examines how smoking can act as a social lubricant, help college students express and explore their identities, or enable them to communicate their emotions. Although most college students claimed their social smoking was “no big deal” because it was only temporary and most smoked at low levels, they often expressed ambivalence or reluctance to quit once graduation approached. Life after college involves many uncertainties, and a difficult job market heightens stress and instability. For those who have come to depend on the comfort of cigarettes during college, this array of life stressors makes cutting back or quitting more difficult, despite their intentions and understanding of the harms of tobacco. Further, emerging products, like e-cigarettes, offer an opportunity to move from smoking to vaping. Lighting Up provides a rare glimpse into the role of social smoking in the lives of college students and considers how uncertain times may lead to uncertain smoking trajectories that reach into adulthood.”
– publisher description