The Trial in American Life

The Trial in American Life

Author: Robert A. Ferguson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226243283

Category: Law

Page: 414

View: 944

Get eBOOK →
In a bravura performance that ranges from Aaron Burr to O. J. Simpson, Robert A. Ferguson traces the legal meaning and cultural implications of prominent American trials across the history of the nation. His interdisciplinary investigation carries him from courtroom transcripts to newspaper accounts, and on to the work of such imaginative writers as Emerson, Thoreau, William Dean Howells, and E. L. Doctorow. Ferguson shows how courtrooms are forced to cope with unresolved communal anxieties and how they sometimes make legal decisions that change the way Americans think about themselves. Burning questions control the narrative. How do such trials mushroom into major public dramas with fundamental ideas at stake? Why did outcomes that we now see as unjust enjoy such strong communal support at the time? At what point does overexposure undermine a trial’s role as a legal proceeding? Ultimately, such questions lead Ferguson to the issue of modern press coverage of courtrooms. While acknowledging that media accounts can skew perceptions, Ferguson argues forcefully in favor of full television coverage of them—and he takes the Supreme Court to task for its failure to grasp the importance of this issue. Trials must be seen to be understood, but Ferguson reminds us that we have a duty, currently ignored, to ensure that cameras serve the court rather than the media. The Trial in American Life weaves Ferguson’s deep knowledge of American history, law, and culture into a fascinating book of tremendous contemporary relevance. “A distinguished law professor, accomplished historian, and fine writer, Robert Ferguson is uniquely qualified to narrate and analyze high-profile trials in American history. This is a superb book and a tremendous achievement. The chapter on John Brown alone is worth the price of admission.”—Judge Richard Posner “A noted scholar of law and literature, [Ferguson] offers a work that is broad in scope yet focuses our attention on certain themes, notably the possibility of injustice, as illustrated by the Haymarket and Rosenberg prosecutions; the media’s obsession with pandering to baser instincts; and the future of televised trials. . . . One of the best books written on this subject in quite some time.”—Library Journal, starred review

American Lives

American Lives

Author: Robert F. Sayre

Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press

ISBN: 0299142442

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 732

View: 536

Get eBOOK →
American Lives is a groundbreaking book, the first historically organized anthology of American autobiographical writing, bringing us fifty-five voices from throughout the nation's history, from Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Jonathan Edwards, and Richard Wright to Quaker preacher Elizabeth Ashbridge, con man Stephen Burroughs, and circus impresario P.T. Barnum. Representing canonical and non-canonical writers, slaves and slave-owners, generals and conscientious objectors, scientists, immigrants, and Native Americans, the pieces in this collection make up a rich gathering of American "songs of ourselves." Robert F. Sayre frames the selections with an overview of theory and criticism of autobiography and with commentary on the relation between history and many kinds of autobiographical texts--travel narratives, stories of captivity, diaries of sexual liberation, religious conversions, accounts of political disillusionment, and discoveries of ethnic identity. With each selection Sayre also includes an extensive headnote providing valuable critical and biographical information. A scholarly and popular landmark, American Lives is a book for general readers and for teachers, students, and every American scholar.

Religion in American Life

Religion in American Life

Author: Jon Butler

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199832699

Category: History

Page: 532

View: 287

Get eBOOK →
"Quite ambitious, tracing religion in the United States from European colonization up to the 21st century.... The writing is strong throughout."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"One can hardly do better than Religion in American Life.... A good read, especially for the uninitiated. The initiated might also read it for its felicity of narrative and the moments of illumination that fine scholars can inject even into stories we have all heard before. Read it."--Church HistoryThis new edition of Religion in American Life, written by three of the country's most eminent historians of religion, offers a superb overview that spans four centuries, illuminating the rich spiritual heritage central to nearly every event in our nation's history. Beginning with the state of religious affairs in both the Old and New Worlds on the eve of colonization and continuing through to the present, the book covers all the major American religious groups, from Protestants, Jews, and Catholics to Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists, and New Age believers. Revised and updated, the book includes expanded treatment of religion during the Great Depression, of the religious influences on the civil rights movement, and of utopian groups in the 19th century, and it now covers the role of religion during the 2008 presidential election, observing how completely religion has entered American politics.

Biologists and the Promise of American Life

Biologists and the Promise of American Life

Author: Philip J. Pauly

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691186337

Category: Science

Page: 313

View: 578

Get eBOOK →
Explorers, evolutionists, eugenicists, sexologists, and high school biology teachers--all have contributed to the prominence of the biological sciences in American life. In this book, Philip Pauly weaves their stories together into a fascinating history of biology in America over the last two hundred years. Beginning with the return of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806, botanists and zoologists identified science with national culture, linking their work to continental imperialism and the creation of an industrial republic. Pauly examines this nineteenth-century movement in local scientific communities with national reach: the partnership of Asa Gray and Louis Agassiz at Harvard University, the excitement of work at the Smithsonian Institution and the Geological Survey, and disputes at the Agriculture Department over the continent's future. He then describes the establishment of biology as an academic discipline in the late nineteenth century, and the retreat of life scientists from the problems of American nature. The early twentieth century, however, witnessed a new burst of public-oriented activity among biologists. Here Pauly chronicles such topics as the introduction of biology into high school curricula, the efforts of eugenicists to alter the "breeding" of Americans, and the influence of sexual biology on Americans' most private lives. Throughout much of American history, Pauly argues, life scientists linked their study of nature with a desire to culture--to use intelligence and craft to improve American plants, animals, and humans. They often disagreed and frequently overreached, but they sought to build a nation whose people would be prosperous, humane, secular, and liberal. Life scientists were significant participants in efforts to realize what Progressive Era oracle Herbert Croly called "the promise of American life." Pauly tells their story in its entirety and explains why now, in a society that is rapidly returning to a complex ethnic mix similar to the one that existed for a hundred years prior to the Cold War, it is important to reconnect with the progressive creators of American secular culture.

O Powerful Western Star!

O Powerful Western Star!

Author: Peter Golden

Publisher: Gefen Publishing House Ltd

ISBN: 9789652295439

Category: Religion

Page: 569

View: 902

Get eBOOK →
American Jews, Russian Jews, and the Final Battle of the Cold War.

We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life. . . And Always Has [3 volumes]

We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life. . . And Always Has [3 volumes]

Author: Danielle Sarver Coombs

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 9780313392450

Category: Social Science

Page: 1004

View: 291

Get eBOOK →
For the last 150 years, advertising has created a consumer culture in the United States, shaping every facet of American life—from what we eat and drink to the clothes we wear and the cars we drive. • Includes original essays by noted cultural and advertising historians, commentators, and journalists • Provides analysis from experts in advertising and popular culture that places American advertising in historical and cultural context • Supplies a comprehensive examination of advertising history and its consequences across modern America • Presents an extensive analysis of the role of new media and the Internet • Documents why advertising is necessary, not only for companies, but in determining what being "an American" constitutes

An American Life: An Enhanced eBook with CBS Video

An American Life: An Enhanced eBook with CBS Video

Author: Ronald Reagan

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781439141489

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 736

View: 355

Get eBOOK →
Ronald Reagan’s autobiography is a work of major historical importance. Here, in his own words, is the story of his life—public and private—told in a book both frank and compellingly readable. Few presidents have accomplished more, or been so effective in changing the direction of government in ways that are both fundamental and lasting, than Ronald Reagan. Certainly no president has more dramatically raised the American spirit, or done so much to restore national strength and self-confidence. Here, then, is a truly American success story—a great and inspiring one. From modest beginnings as the son of a shoe salesman in Tampico, Illinois, Ronald Reagan achieved first a distinguished career in Hollywood and then, as governor of California and as president of the most powerful nation in the world, a career of public service unique in our history. Ronald Reagan’s account of that rise is told here with all the uncompromising candor, modesty, and wit that made him perhaps the most able communicator ever to occupy the White House, and also with the sense of drama of a gifted natural storyteller. He tells us, with warmth and pride, of his early years and of the elements that made him, in later life, a leader of such stubborn integrity, courage, and clear-minded optimism. Reading the account of this childhood, we understand how his parents, struggling to make ends meet despite family problems and the rigors of the Depression, shaped his belief in the virtues of American life—the need to help others, the desire to get ahead and to get things done, the deep trust in the basic goodness, values, and sense of justice of the American people—virtues that few presidents have expressed more eloquently than Ronald Reagan. With absolute authority and a keen eye for the details and the anecdotes that humanize history, Ronald Reagan takes the reader behind the scenes of his extraordinary career, from his first political experiences as president of the Screen Actors Guild (including his first meeting with a beautiful young actress who was later to become Nancy Reagan) to such high points of his presidency as the November 1985 Geneva meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, during which Reagan invited the Soviet leader outside for a breath of fresh air and then took him off for a walk and a man-to-man chat, without aides, that set the course for arms reduction and charted the end of the Cold War. Here he reveals what went on behind his decision to enter politics and run for the governorship of California, the speech nominating Barry Goldwater that first made Reagan a national political figure, his race for the presidency, his relations with the members of his own cabinet, and his frustrations with Congress. He gives us the details of the great themes and dramatic crises of his eight years in office, from Lebanon to Grenada, from the struggle to achieve arms control to tax reform, from Iran-Contra to the visits abroad that did so much to reestablish the United States in the eyes of the world as a friendly and peaceful power. His narrative is full of insights, from the unseen dangers of Gorbachev’s first visit to the United States to Reagan’s own personal correspondence with major foreign leaders, as well as his innermost feelings about life in the White House, the assassination attempt, his family—and the enduring love between himself and Mrs. Reagan. An American Life is a warm, richly detailed, and deeply human book, a brilliant self-portrait, a significant work of history.

America on Trial

America on Trial

Author: Alan M. Dershowitz

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 9780759511033

Category: Law

Page: 608

View: 690

Get eBOOK →
The renowned attorney and bestselling author reveals how notable trials throughout our history have helped to shape our nation. Offering insights into the human condition, these trials serve as a historical document, chronicling the struggles and passions of their time.

The Bible in American Life

The Bible in American Life

Author: Philip Goff

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190468934

Category: Religion

Page: 520

View: 755

Get eBOOK →
There is a paradox in American Christianity. According to Gallup, nearly eight in ten Americans regard the Bible as either the literal word of God or inspired by God. At the same time, surveys have revealed gaps in these same Americans' biblical literacy. These discrepancies reveal the complex relationship between American Christians and Holy Writ, a subject that is widely acknowledged but rarely investigated. The Bible in American Life is a sustained, collaborative reflection on the ways Americans use the Bible in their personal lives. It also considers how other influences, including religious communities and the Internet, shape individuals' comprehension of scripture. Employing both quantitative methods (the General Social Survey and the National Congregations Study) and qualitative research (historical studies for context), The Bible in American Life provides an unprecedented perspective on the Bible's role outside of worship, in the lived religion of a broad cross-section of Americans both now and in the past. The Bible has been central to Christian practice, and has functioned as a cultural touchstone From the broadest scale imaginable, national survey data about all Americans, down to the smallest details, such as the portrayal of Noah and his ark in children's Bibles, this book offers insight and illumination from scholars across the intellectual spectrum. It will be useful and informative for scholars seeking to understand changes in American Christianity as well as clergy seeking more effective ways to preach and teach about scripture in a changing environment.