LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal
Early experimentation with LSD in the 1950s and its widespread recreational use in the 1960s resulted in its outlawing and attracted all the negative associations of an illegal drug subculture. Using a series of case studies of the medical application of LSD and MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy), this exploration of the history of these psychedelic drugs presents a compelling case for their use in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illness.
The First Book of Foundations
The first volume of philosopher Michel Serres’ Foundations Trilogy comprises a ‘continuous and free reading’ of the Roman historian Livy’s account of the origins of Rome. As Serres identifies the ancient author’s key themes – violence, murder, sacrifice, hospitality – he considers what the foundation of Rome reveals about the beginnings of society, knowledge and culture. Originally published in French in 1983, the book now appears in a new English translation by Randolph Burks.
The Moral Culture of The Scottish Enlightenment
In this study of the connection between the religious beliefs and moral thought of the Enlightenment, Ahnert challenges the common assumption that Scotland’s ‘Moderate’ theologians relied heavily on arguments from reason. Showing that they were in fact sceptical of the power of unassisted reason, he examines how these thinkers developed a practical programme of ‘moral culture’ and promoted selfless love of God and neighbour, rather than exact knowledge of religious truths, as the means of achieving salvation.
Prophecy and Power in the Ancient World
The female prophets known as sibyls were renowned across the Greco-Roman world and their pronouncements were considered a source of authoritative wisdom. Guillermo focuses on the stories that were told about four prominent sibyls, at Erythrae, Cumae, Delphi and Tibur. He also reflects on the wider cultural associations between women and prophecy and asks how the ancient pagan tradition was later fused with Christianity so successfully that sibyls feature in Michelangelo’s decoration of the Sistine Chapel.
Animals in Myth, Legend, and Literature
In this great survey of animals and their symbolism, Boria Sax has abandoned biological classification in favour of tradition, linking the animals not only to their natural habitat and habits, but also to human cultural values and practices. The resulting categories range from almost human (apes, monkeys, bears, beavers, porcupines and pigs), through tricksters, musicians, man’s best friends, beasts of burden and tough guys to divinities (owls, eagles, doves and, remarkably, the rhinoceros).
A History of the Redhead
From the early migrations out of Africa in prehistoric times to Tintin, Rita Hayworth and a Dutch redhead festival in 2014, Jacky Colliss Harvey presents an overview of red hair and redheadedness. Her physiological and cultural survey explores phenomena including the red-haired Magdalene, Pre-Raphaelite redheads, movie stars with dyed red hair and the contradictory stereotypes of hot-blooded, highly sexed red-haired women and less-appealing ginger men. American-cut pages.
Weekly World News
With the rallying cry of ‘To incredulity...and beyond!’ and headlines such as ‘Werewolf sues airline over flight delay’, ‘Angel shot down by US troops!’ and ‘Second coming POSTPONED!’, the Weekly World News has been entertaining Americans since 1979. Here, to celebrate its 35th birthday, is a selection of its sensation-packed pages.
Women Drinking Out in Britain Since the Early 20th Century
Part of the Studies in Popular Culture series edited by Jeffrey Richards, this volume examines how women’s (responsible) drinking habits have changed in response to factors ranging from war to moral panic over the last century. Tracing the shifting cultures of drinking since the late Victorian ‘boozer’, Gutzke discusses, among many topics, the business of advertising alcohol to women, changes to drinking venues, the youth subculture of drinking, and binge drinking.
The Age of Genius
The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
In this survey of 17th-century Europe AC Grayling asks how 'the greatest ever change in the mental outlook of humanity' took place during a period of tumultuous wars, civil strife and post-Reformation religious agonies. He argues that the failure of authority and the breakdown of systems of control enabled a new focus on individual rights and the rise of reason over tradition. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and American-cut pages.
Cultural History of the Human Body
Aristotle coined the phrase ‘more than the sum of its parts’ to describe the human body. But are we right to think of the body as a collection of parts? And why do some cultures place the seat of our passions in the heart, others in the liver? Anatomies blends science and history in a tour of our organs, as the author compares different cultural attitudes to the body and drops in on a life-drawing class and a dissection room.
Symbol Beyond Redemption?
The swastika is an ancient religious symbol that existed for millennia before it was appropriated by the Nazis. In this study the design historian Steven Heller traces the swastika's origins in antiquity, its role in religion, folklore and mythology through the centuries, and the meanings attributed to it before it was transformed into an icon of evil. Accompanied by scores of illustrations, his analysis also addresses the question of whether the swastika is now irretrievably tainted.
Japan and the Art of Survival
Japan suffered three disasters in March 2011 – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown – which have been followed by a long period of recovery. This book connects the political and economic response to those events with the series of crises and stubbornly resilient reconstructions that have punctuated Japanese history. Drawing on his years of experience reporting from Japan, Pilling shares insights from interviews with the country's leaders and the stories of a cross-section of citizens young and old.
Women of the World
The Rise of the Female Diplomat
It was not until 1946, after decades of campaigning, that British women were allowed to represent their nation abroad. Helen McCarthy tells the story of the struggle to enter the diplomatic world, played out against a backdrop of war, superpower rivalry and global transformation. She explores the ways in which women influenced foreign affairs before 1946; tells the stories of women who subsequently made the diplomatic grade; and asks whether their presence has changed the way diplomacy is done.
Culture, Northern Ireland, and the Second World War
Exploring the impact of the Second World War on literature and culture in Northern Ireland between 1939 and 1970, Woodward argues that the war challenged the entrenched political and social make-up of the province. The study looks at how the war is reflected in autobiographical fiction and memoir, including Benedict Kiely's Land Without Stars (1946); poetry and particularly the work of Louis MacNeice, John Hewitt and WR Rodgers; the visual arts; and political writing.
'It is often the case with the English,' writes Linda Proud, 'that the more something is treasured, the less it is spoken of.' Here she argues that the values of truth, freedom, peace and wisdom underpin our way of life, and explores how they find expression in the language, law and religion that have shaped our nation. Her lyrical yet well-researched text is accompanied by 90 watercolours that celebrate the beauty and character of our cities and our countryside.
I Hope I Don't Intrude
Privacy and Its Dilemmas in Nineteenth-Century Britain
David Vincent's study takes its title from the catchphrase of the eponymous hero of Paul Pry, a hugely successful play first staged in London in 1825. The book tackles the complex subject of privacy in 19th-century Britain by examining the way in which the tropes, language and imagery of the play resonated through society and reveals contemporary concerns with secrecy, intimacy and the evolution of public and private spheres.
The Worldly Kingdom
Tourist brochures portray Thailand as an 'exotic' country with a rich cultural heritage and strong religious tradition; the reality is more complex. This revealing study charts the development of the Thai nation-state, its changing boundaries, the modification of its ethnic and linguistic make-up, class and gender relations, the role of institutions and ideologies, the emergence of a modern culture, and Thai perceptions of others – principally Burmese, Chinese and Westerners.
Beacon for Change
How the 1951 Festival of Britain Helped to Shape a New Age
The 1951 Festival of Britain brought a breath of excitement and optimism to the drab post-war years of rationing and austerity. This absorbing book explores the intentions of its creators, charts the effect of its satellite festivals all over Britain, and records how it transformed London's South Bank with buildings such as the Royal Festival Hall and the futuristic Skylon, spawned the Miss World contest, introduced Britons to Scandinavian design ... and offered them their first experience of soft lavatory paper.
The Art of Death
Visual Culture in the English Death Ritual C.1500-C.1800
In contrast to our modern customs of death, with their mostly unostentatious brevity, the ritualized process of dying and commemoration in pre-industrial England was drawn out in ways which can sometimes seem bizarre. The focus of this book is the period's rich culture of visual artefacts connected with death - both the symbols and devices which warned the living to 'remember their end' and the monuments that were produced to keep alive the memory of the departed.
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life
Before and During the Holocaust. Three volumes.
Profiling more than 6,500 Jewish communities, with over 600 photographs, 17 pages of maps, a chronology and glossary, these volumes are the product of three decades of work at Yad Vasham, the Holocaust Remembrance Authority of Israel. The alphabetically arranged entries provide details of the history, people and customs of communities, large and small, that thrived throughout much of Europe, north Africa and the Middle East during the early part of the 20th century, but were changed irrevocably by the Holocaust.
Britain's Chief Rabbis & the Religious Character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880-1970
Benjamin J Elton presents a radical reinterpretation of Britain's Chief Rabbis from Nathan Adler to Immanuel Jakobovits; and by placing them in their intellectual context, reveals their impact on the religious life of Anglo-Jewry.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book covers the great variety of unique festivals that have evolved over the course of China's long history, describing a representative selection of 42 traditional and statutory events. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book provides an accessible overview of one of China's most distinctive cultural traditions. Xu Chengbei traces the history of Peking Opera from its origins to the present day, and devotes chapters to its conventions and appreciation. Like all the books in the series, it is well illustrated with colour photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
Designing Modern Britain
Cheryl Buckley's history of British design culture examines how design and society have interacted from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st, and explores the connected themes of modernity and identity. Among the issues discussed are the spread of international modernism in Britain, the rise of eco-conscious design, the role of galleries and retailers, the celebrity designer and the influence of the heritage industry.
Gossip from the Forest
The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales
Forests are among our most ancient, primal landscapes, and fairytales one of our earliest and most vital forms of storytelling. In this richly layered book, Sara Maitland travels the length of Britain, exploring woodlands from the New Forest to Galloway, through the changing seasons of a year. Each journey is paired with an enchanting retelling of an ancient fairytale, evoking the secrets and silence, the joys and terrors of the woods in a magical blend of nature writing and fiction.
A History of Writing
From Hieroglyph to Multimedia
This lavishly illustrated history of written language comprises 58 chapters by leading specialists, who describe more than 30 significant scripts and alphabets from around the world. The book begins with the oldest, non-alphabetic systems, such as Mesopotamian cuneiform and the still undeciphered script of Easter Island. The second section focuses on the history and dissemination of alphabets, while the final chapters examine how imagery has been reincorporated into the Western alphabet, from illuminated manuscripts to digital typography.
The Sacred to Santa
This cultural study explores the evolution of Christmas. From its historical origins to the folklore of Santa Claus and the fiction of Scrooge, and from traditional trees and carols to Yuletide films and novelty singles, Tara Moore discusses the holiday as a unifying but also divisive event, and probes the tension between the sacred and the secular.