Explore Magazine Volume 2 Issue 2

 

Private Lives, Public Conflicts
Battles Over Gay Rights in American Communities

James W. Button, Barbara A. Rienzo and Kenneth D. Wald

CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly Inc.

". . . The most important lesson of this book for people who want to make America a fairer place is that politics - conventional, boring, but essential politics - will ultimately have a major impact on the extent to which we can rid our lives of prejudice . . . Understanding how in a democracy one best deals with antigay and lesbian prejudice is extremely important, which is why this book is such a welcome one."
-From the foreword by Congressman Barney Frank

Private Lives, Public Conflicts is the first book that explores the cutting edge of civil rights in the United States - the grassroots movement for gay and lesbian rights in American communities - and makes use of empirical techniques and interdisciplinary perspectives to do so.

James W. Button, Barbara A. Rienzo and Kenneth D. Wald do much more than simply chronicle the gay rights movement and the resulting political battles in communities: they analyze the quest for legal rights protection on the basis of sexual orientation; the politics of adoption of gay rights laws and policies; the impact of this legislation on various institutions, including schools, police and business; and the new politics of identity, including the political opposition so intrinsic to this movement. The result in this groundbreaking book is the first systematic effort to make sense of one of the most intense political struggles in recent American history.

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James W. Button and Kenneth D. Wald are professors of political science at the University of Florida. Button is the author of Black Violence: Political Impact of the 1960s Riots and Blacks and Social Change: The Impact of the Civil Rights Movement in Southern Communities. Wald is the author of Crosses on the Ballot: Patterns of British Voter Alignment Since 1885 and Religion and Politics in the United States, Third Edition. He is a member of the editorial board of Congressional Quarterly's forthcoming Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion.

Barbara A. Rienzo is professor of health science education at the University of Florida. She is the co-author of Sexuality Education Curricula: The Consumer's Guide.

Thinking Politics
Perspectives in Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern Political Theory

Leslie Paul Thiele

Chatham House Publishers, Inc.

"Thinking Politics is a breath of fresh air in the overcrowded field of political theory surveys. Rather than round up the usual suspects, arraying them chronologically and interrogating their texts to make them confess, Thiele arrays classic and contemporary theorists around disputed issues, such as modernity versus postmodernity, the scope and limits of public power, and the politics of identity. He also invokes cultural critics and social theorists from other disciplines, such as feminist and African-American studies. The result is a compelling inquiry, useful in senior-level or graduate curricula, and for specialists looking for a comprehensive, intelligent review of political thought today."

- Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott, Eastern Michigan University

The tradition of political theory, while rich in historical insight, conceptual refinement, ethical debate and philosophic reflection, is poor in eternal truths and practical implementations. It follows that the art and craft of political theory is less a learning of set principles, technical procedures or concrete applications than an exercise in critical thought. To teach political theory is to introduce students to a tradition of thought so that they might interact creatively with it. To teach political theory is to aid in the acquisition and development of the analytic and interpretive skills, the moral and philosophic judgment, and the social and historical knowledge needed to appreciate a tradition of thought, to contest its claims and to make good use of its insights.

Developing this skill, judgment and knowledge is an exciting but arduous task. Returns on investments of time and effort are seldom certain. This is partly because political theory has always been, and remains today, a field uncertain of its objectives, unsettled in its procedures and self-consciously critical of its own identity. Political theory might be described as an unending dance staged between skeptical reserve and the epic effort to achieve methodological rigor, conceptual stability and moral certainty about things political. Thinking Politics introduces the reader to this form of dance.

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Leslie Paul Thiele is associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida. He is the author of Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul and Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Politics.

Floods of Fortune

Michael Goulding, Nigel J.H. Smith
and Dennis J. Mahar

Columbia University Press

The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and river ecosystem. Ranchers, gold miners, loggers and others seeking to tap the resources of the region have been rapidly transforming the ecology of the Amazon - our planet's greatest storehouse of biodiversity. In the last five decades, the rivers and their floodplains have undergone more environmental change than in all of previous human history.

Illustrated with more than 70 extraordinary color photographs, Floods of Fortune offers the first holistic view of the development and conservation drama unfolding on the Amazonian floodplain. Michael Goulding, Nigel Smith and Dennis Mahar, leading authorities on the Amazon, present a unique perspective on the planet's greatest and, arguably, most important wetland ecosystem. People and culture, ecology and economy, are brought together within a broad historical context in order to assess future prospects for the region and formulate a plan for managed development.

Floods of Fortune describes the stunning diversity of plant and animal life found in and along the rivers, and shows how this wealth is being plundered. Readers will also learn about the Amazon's cultural history, from its earliest human habitation to the present, and how various populations have used the rivers and floodplains.

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Nigel J.H. Smith is professor of geography at the University of Florida. He is the author of Man, Fishes, and the Amazon and Tropical Forests and Their Crops.

Michael Goulding is a senior scientist at the Rainforest Alliance, based in New York City, and director of its Amazon Rivers Project.

Dennis J. Mahar is the World Bank's resident representative in Brazil. He is the author of Frontier Development in Brazil and Government Policies and Deforestation in Brazil.

Archaeology of Northern Florida, A.D. 200-900
The McKeithen Weeden Island Culture

Jerald T. Milanich, Ann S. Cordell,
Vernon J. Knight, Jr., Timothy A. Kohler and Brenda J. Sigler-Lavelle

University Press of Florida

"Will be the fundamental reference on the archaeology of the north Florida area [and] the Woodland period. . . . Provides a fascinating and informative picture of how modern archaeological studies are performed and how the ideas of researchers can evolve in the face of new data. I highly recommend it."
- John F. Scarry, Florida Historical Quarterly

More than a millennium ago, the Weeden Island culture flourished across the northern half of Florida and adjacent portions of the Alabama and Georgia coastal plain. For more than a century, archaeologists have marveled over the extraordinary animal effigy pottery vessels left behind by these pre-Columbian peoples in their mounds and villages. In this volume the authors draw on north Florida archaeological excavations and site surveys to unlock the secrets of the Weeden Island culture and its magnificent ceramics. In particular, investigations at the McKeithen site, a multi-mound village site, provide information used to place the culture within the evolutionary framework of native societies in the southeastern United States.

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The authors, with more than a half century of professional experience among them, have carried out archaeological investigations across the United States. Jerald T. Milanich is curator of anthropology at the Florida Museum of Natural History and author of Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida and Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe.

The Geology of Florida

Anthony F. Randazzo and Douglas S. Jones, Editors

University Press of Florida

"A marvelous and timely overview of the geology of Florida . . . assembled by some of the state's best geoscientists."
- Henry T. Mullins, Syracuse University

The first comprehensive geology of the state of Florida published in more than 30 years, this volume brings together leading geoscience authorities from academia, state and federal geological surveys and private industry in a liberally illustrated, up-to-date summary and analysis. Early chapters introduce the origin and development of the unique landscape of the Florida peninsula and panhandle. Succeeding chapters cover geomorphology, stratigraphy, plate tectonics, petrology, geochemistry, hydrogeology, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, geologic history, economic geology, coastal and marine geology and environmental geology.

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Anthony F. Randazzo is professor of geology at the University of Florida. Douglas S. Jones is director of the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Florida Lawn Handbook

Kathleen C. Ruppert and Robert J. Black

University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

This popular guide for homeowners and yard-care professionals features sections on selecting and maintaining lawngrasses; identifying and controlling weeds, diseases and insects and other pests; and pesticide application and use. Includes numerous quick-reference tables, photographs and illustrations.

Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide

Jim Ferguson

University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

The most detailed guide about Florida citrus ever published. Author Jim Ferguson of the Department of Horticultural Sciences applies expertise learned working with commercial citrus growers to the specific needs of the home gardener. Dooryard fruit growers can profit from the wealth of detailed information, charts, appendices and color photographs.

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