The House by the Side of the Road -- The Selma Civil Rights Movement by Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson, Alabama UP '11, 161 pages, ASIN #0817316949. Three appendices, b&w images sprinkled through text.
The 1965 Selma Voting Rights Campaign is one of the benchmarks of the American civil rights movement. As such, its protagonists, from Rev. Martin Luther King to Malcolm X, from Rev. Ralph Abernathy to Ala. Gov. George Wallace, have described it at length in their writings. Now comes an ordinary citizen to tell it from her point of view.
However, some may object to Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson being labeled an ordinary citizen. The wife of an African American dentist and girlhood friend of Coretta Scott King, Jackson allowed her Selma home to be the headquarters and haven for the strategists who would plan this dangerous march from Selma to Montgomery. She describes the tension in the air as the group watched President Johnson address a joint session of Congress, issuing "a national dedication to equal rights for all," an occasion at which many watched Rev. King shed tears for the first time. Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson is a retired housewife still living in the same house in Selma, Alabama.
Masculinity Lessons -- Rethinking Men's and Women's Studies, Edited by James V. Catano and Daniel A. Novak, Johns Hopkins UP '11, $35, 370 pages, ASIN #1421402254. Index, contributors, references, notes, unillustrated.
"Masculinity, as both performed and studied, continues to be a particularly productive site for understanding cultural dynamics. Contemporary work within women's and gender studies programs recognizes that potential, regularly exploring masculine, bisexual, and transgendered subjectivities in the classroom and in scholarship. This collection of essays on masculinity offers a unique perspective on the topic by featuring articles ranging from early work in biological science and gender behavior to contemporary socio-cultural readings of feminist pedagogy, gender violence, and global masculinities.
The book is divided into 4 parts: Engaging the Issue: Masculinity and Women's and Gender Studies; Embodying Masculinity: Science and Society; Performing Social Expectations: The Domestic Scene; and Performing Social Expectations: The Public Stage. Some of the topics covered are "male bashing," "Do Boys Have to be Boys?," "Folk and Popular Commentary on Lorena Bobbitt," "Microcredit, Men, and Masculinity," and "The Sexual Politics of Abu Ghraib." Editors James V. Catano and Daniel A. Novak teach English at Louisiana State University. Each has written several books.
Stalking Nabokov by Brian Boyd, Columbia UP '11, 452 pages, ASIN #0231158564. Index, bibliography, notes, unillustrated.
Author Brian Boyd's fascination with Russian author Vladimir Nabokov began when the famous author termed "brilliant" a thesis on him that Boyd had written at age 21. So impressed with Boyd was Nabokov that he gave him exclusive access to his archives, leading to Boyd's creation of a two-volume biography of the novelist/poet, published in 1990 and 1991. Since then, Boyd has written many essays about his subject, incorporating material gleaned from his research as well as new discoveries and formulations.
Among the facets of Nabokov's life that Boyd discusses in these essays are his "life, career, and legacy; his art, science and thought; his subtle humor and puzzlelike storytelling; his complex psychological portraits; and his inheritance from, reworking of, and affinities with Shakespeare, Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Machado de Assis." Brian Boyd is University Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Auckland. He has been called "the greatest Nabokov scholar in the world."