An American Childhood

An American Childhood
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 272
ISBN: 006184313X
Available:
Release: 2009-10-13
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A book that instantly captured the hearts of readers across the country, An American Childhood is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard's poignant, vivid memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.

An American Childhood

An American Childhood
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781782117766
Available:
Release: 2016-04-07
Editor: Canongate Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An American Childhood is the electrifying memoir of the wide-eyed and unconventional upbringing that influenced the lifetime love of nature and the stunning writing career of Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard. From her mother's boundless energy to her father's low-budget horror movies, jokes and lonesome river trips down to New Orleans to get away, the events of Dillard's 1950s Pittsburgh childhood loom larger than life. An American Childhood fizzes with the playful observations and sparkling prose of this American master, illuminating the seemingly ordinary and yet always thrilling, dizzying moments of a childhood and adolescence lived fearlessly.

Holy the Firm

Holy the Firm
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9780061871658
Available:
Release: 2009-10-13
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In 1975 Annie Dillard took up residence on an island in Puget Sound in a wooded room furnished with "one enormous window, one cat, one spider and one person." For the next two years she asked herself questions about time, reality, sacrifice death, and the will of God. In Holy the Firm she writes about a moth consumed in a candle flame, about a seven-year-old girl burned in an airplane accident, about a baptism on a cold beach. But behind the moving curtain of what she calls "the hard things -- rock mountain and salt sea," she sees, sometimes far off and sometimes as close by as a veil or air, the power play of holy fire. This is a profound book about the natural world -- both its beauty and its cruelty -- the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dillard knows so well.

The End of American Childhood

The End of American Childhood
Author: Paula S. Fass
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780691178202
Available:
Release: 2017-11-07
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The End of American Childhood takes a sweeping look at the history of American childhood and parenting, from the nation's founding to the present day. Renowned historian Paula Fass shows how, since the beginning of the American republic, independence, self-definition, and individual success have informed Americans' attitudes toward children. But as parents today hover over every detail of their children's lives, are the qualities that once made American childhood special still desired or possible? Placing the experiences of children and parents against the backdrop of social, political, and cultural shifts, Fass challenges Americans to reconnect with the beliefs that set the American understanding of childhood apart from the rest of the world. Fass examines how freer relationships between American children and parents transformed the national culture, altered generational relationships among immigrants, helped create a new science of child development, and promoted a revolution in modern schooling. She looks at the childhoods of icons including Margaret Mead and Ulysses S. Grant—who, as an eleven-year-old, was in charge of his father's fields and explored his rural Ohio countryside. Fass also features less well-known children like ten-year-old Rose Cohen, who worked in the drudgery of nineteenth-century factories. Bringing readers into the present, Fass argues that current American conditions and policies have made adolescence socially irrelevant and altered children's road to maturity, while parental oversight threatens children's competence and initiative. Showing how American parenting has been firmly linked to historical changes, The End of American Childhood considers what implications this might hold for the nation's future.

Racial Innocence

Racial Innocence
Author: Robin Bernstein
Pages: 318
ISBN: 9780814789780
Available:
Release: 2011-12-01
Editor: NYU Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

2013 Book Award Winner from the International Research Society in Children's Literature 2012 Outstanding Book Award Winner from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2012 Winner of the Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize presented by the New England American Studies Association 2012 Runner-Up, John Hope Franklin Publication Prize presented by the American Studies Association 2012 Honorable Mention, Distinguished Book Award presented by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Part of the American Literatures Initiative Series Beginning in the mid nineteenth century in America, childhood became synonymous with innocence—a reversal of the previously-dominant Calvinist belief that children were depraved, sinful creatures. As the idea of childhood innocence took hold, it became racialized: popular culture constructed white children as innocent and vulnerable while excluding black youth from these qualities. Actors, writers, and visual artists then began pairing white children with African American adults and children, thus transferring the quality of innocence to a variety of racial-political projects—a dynamic that Robin Bernstein calls “racial innocence.” This phenomenon informed racial formation from the mid nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Racial Innocence takes up a rich archive including books, toys, theatrical props, and domestic knickknacks which Bernstein analyzes as “scriptive things” that invite or prompt historically-located practices while allowing for resistance and social improvisation. Integrating performance studies with literary and visual analysis, Bernstein offers singular readings of theatrical productions from blackface minstrelsy to Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; literary works by Joel Chandler Harris, Harriet Wilson, and Frances Hodgson Burnett; material culture including Topsy pincushions, Uncle Tom and Little Eva handkerchiefs, and Raggedy Ann dolls; and visual texts ranging from fine portraiture to advertisements for lard substitute. Throughout, Bernstein shows how “innocence” gradually became the exclusive province of white children—until the Civil Rights Movement succeeded not only in legally desegregating public spaces, but in culturally desegregating the concept of childhood itself. Check out the author's blog for the book here.

Huck s Raft

Huck   s Raft
Author: Steven Mintz
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780674736474
Available:
Release: 2006-04-30
Editor: Harvard University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Like Huck's raft, the experience of American childhood has been both adventurous and terrifying. For more than three centuries, adults have agonized over raising children while children have followed their own paths to development and expression. Now, Steven Mintz gives us the first comprehensive history of American childhood encompassing both the child's and the adult's tumultuous early years of life. Underscoring diversity through time and across regions, Mintz traces the transformation of children from the sinful creatures perceived by Puritans to the productive workers of nineteenth-century farms and factories, from the cosseted cherubs of the Victorian era to the confident consumers of our own. He explores their role in revolutionary upheaval, westward expansion, industrial growth, wartime mobilization, and the modern welfare state. Revealing the harsh realities of children's lives through history—the rigors of physical labor, the fear of chronic ailments, the heartbreak of premature death—he also acknowledges the freedom children once possessed to discover their world as well as themselves. Whether at work or play, at home or school, the transition from childhood to adulthood has required generations of Americans to tackle tremendously difficult challenges. Today, adults impose ever-increasing demands on the young for self-discipline, cognitive development, and academic achievement, even as the influence of the mass media and consumer culture has grown. With a nod to the past, Mintz revisits an alternative to the goal-driven realities of contemporary childhood. An odyssey of psychological self-discovery and growth, this book suggests a vision of childhood that embraces risk and freedom—like the daring adventure on Huck's raft.

An American Childhood

An American Childhood
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 255
ISBN: 0330305794
Available:
Release: 1989
Editor: Picador
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

Appearing on bestseller lists everywhere (including five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list), the hardcover edition of this title instantly captured the hearts of readers across the country with its joyous, exhilarating memories of growing up in the 1950s.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780061847806
Available:
Release: 2009-10-13
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize “The book is a form of meditation, written with headlong urgency, about seeing. . . . There is an ambition about her book that I like. . . . It is the ambition to feel.” — Eudora Welty, New York Times Book Review Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is the story of a dramatic year in Virginia's Roanoke Valley. Annie Dillard sets out to see what she can see. What she sees are astonishing incidents of "beauty tangled in a rapture with violence." Dillard's personal narrative highlights one year's exploration on foot in the Virginia region through which Tinker Creek runs. In the summer, she stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics; in the fall, she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot; she collects pond water and examines it under a microscope. She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays King of the Meadow with a field of grasshoppers. The result is an exhilarating tale of nature and its seasons.

The Vietnam War in American Childhood

The Vietnam War in American Childhood
Author: Joel P. Rhodes
Pages: 286
ISBN: 9780820356129
Available:
Release: 2019-11-15
Editor: University of Georgia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For American children raised exclusively in wartime—that is, a Cold War containing monolithic communism turned hot in the jungles of Southeast Asia—and the first to grow up with televised combat, Vietnam was predominately a mediated experience. Walter Cronkite was the voice of the conflict, and grim, nightly statistics the most recognizable feature. But as involvement grew, Vietnam affected numerous changes in child life, comparable to the childhood impact of previous conflicts—chiefly the Civil War and World War II—whose intensity and duration also dominated American culture. In this protracted struggle that took on the look of permanence from a child’s perspective, adult lives were increasingly militarized, leaving few preadolescents totally insulated. Over the years 1965 to 1973, the vast majority of American children integrated at least some elements of the war into their own routines. Parents, in turn, shaped their children’s perspectives on Vietnam, while the more politicized mothers and fathers exposed them to the bitter polarization the war engendered. The fighting only became truly real insomuch as service in Vietnam called away older community members or was driven home literally when families shared hardships surrounding separation from cousins, brothers, and fathers. In seeing the Vietnam War through the eyes of preadolescent Americans, Joel P. Rhodes suggests broader developmental implications from being socialized to the political and ethical ambiguity of Vietnam. Youth during World War II retained with clarity into adulthood many of the proscriptive patriotic messages about U.S. rightness, why we fight, heroism, or sacrifice. In contrast, Vietnam tended to breed childhood ambivalence, but not necessarily of the hawk and dove kind. This unique perspective on Vietnam continues to complicate adult notions of militarism and warfare, while generally lowering expectations of American leadership and the presidency.

Little Cold Warriors

Little Cold Warriors
Author: Victoria M. Grieve
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780190675707
Available:
Release: 2018-06-21
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Both conservative and liberal Baby Boomers have romanticized the 1950s as an age of innocence--of pickup ball games and Howdy Doody, when mom stayed home and the economy boomed. These nostalgic narratives obscure many other histories of postwar childhood, one of which has more in common with the war years and the sixties, when children were mobilized and politicized by the U.S. government, private corporations, and individual adults to fight the Cold War both at home and abroad. Children battled communism in its various guises on television, the movies, and comic books; they practiced safety drills, joined civil preparedness groups, and helped to build and stock bomb shelters in the backyard. Children collected coins for UNICEF, exchanged art with other children around the world, prepared for nuclear war through the Boy and Girl Scouts, raised funds for Radio Free Europe, sent clothing to refugee children, and donated books to restock the diminished library shelves of war-torn Europe. Rather than rationing and saving, American children were encouraged to spend and consume in order to maintain the engine of American prosperity. In these capacities, American children functioned as ambassadors, cultural diplomats, and representatives of the United States. Victoria M. Grieve examines this politicized childhood at the peak of the Cold War, and the many ways children and ideas about childhood were pressed into political service. Little Cold Warriors combines approaches from childhood studies and diplomatic history to understand the cultural Cold War through the activities and experiences of young Americans.

Jim Fobel s Old Fashioned Baking Book

Jim Fobel s Old Fashioned Baking Book
Author: Jim Fobel
Pages: 207
ISBN: 0962740365
Available:
Release: 1996
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents recipes for cakes, pies, quick breads, coffee cakes, cookies, yeast breads, frostings, and glazes, and includes useful baking tips

For the Time Being

For the Time Being
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780307477668
Available:
Release: 2010-05-19
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

National Bestseller "Beautifully written and delightfully strange...as earthy as it is sublime...in the truest sense, an eye-opener." --Daily News From Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and one of the most compelling writers of our time, comes For the Time Being, her most profound narrative to date. With her keen eye, penchant for paradox, and yearning for truth, Dillard renews our ability to discover wonder in life's smallest--and often darkest--corners. Why do we exist? Where did we come from? How can one person matter? Dillard searches for answers in a powerful array of images: pictures of bird-headed dwarfs in the standard reference of human birth defects; ten thousand terra-cotta figures fashioned for a Chinese emperor in place of the human court that might have followed him into death; the paleontologist and theologian Teilhard de Chardin crossing the Gobi Desert; the dizzying variety of clouds. Vivid, eloquent, haunting, For the Time Being evokes no less than the terrifying grandeur of all that remains tantalizingly and troublingly beyond our understanding. "Stimulating, humbling, original--. [Dillard] illuminate[s] the human perspective of the world, past, present and future, and the individual's relatively inconsequential but ever so unique place in it."--Rocky Mountain News

American Childhood

American Childhood
Author: Anne Scott MacLeod
Pages: 256
ISBN: 0820318035
Available:
Release: 1995-10-01
Editor: University of Georgia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this collection of fourteen essays, Anne Scott MacLeod locates and describes shifts in the American concept of childhood as those changes are suggested in nearly two centuries of children's stories. Most of the essays concern domestic novels for children or adolescents--stories set more or less in the time of their publication. Some essays also draw creatively on childhood memoirs, travel writings that contain foreigners' observations of American children, and other studies of children's literature. The topics on which MacLeod writes range from the current politicized marketplace for children's books, to the reestablishment (and reconfiguration) of the family in recent children's fiction, to the ways that literature challenges or enforces the idealization of children. MacLeod sometimes considers a single author's canon, as when she discusses the feminism of the Nancy Drew mystery series or the Orwellian vision of Robert Cormier. At other times, she looks at a variety of works within a particular period, for example, Jacksonian America, the post-World War II decade, or the 1970s. MacLeod also examines books that were once immensely popular but currently have no appreciable readership--the Horatio Alger stories, for example--and finds fresh, intriguing ways to view the work of such well-known writers as Louisa May Alcott, Beverly Cleary, and Paul Zindel.

The Abundance

The Abundance
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062433015
Available:
Release: 2016-03-15
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In recognition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s long and lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection, including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work, rigorously curated by the author herself. “A writer who never seems tired, who has never plodded her way through a page or sentence, Dillard can only be enjoyed by a wide-awake reader,” warns Geoff Dyer in his introduction to this stellar collection. Carefully culled from her past work, The Abundance is quintessential Annie Dillard, delivered in her fierce and undeniably singular voice, filled with fascinating detail and metaphysical fact. The pieces within will exhilarate both admiring fans and a new generation of readers, having been “re-framed and re-hung,” with fresh editing and reordering by the author, to situate these now seminal works within her larger canon. The Abundance reminds us that Dillard’s brand of “novelized nonfiction” pioneered the form long before it came to be widely appreciated. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life—a commuter chases snowball-throwing children through neighborhood streets, a teenager memorizes Rimbaud’s poetry—with beauty and irony, inviting readers onto sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, with a sense of humor: on one page, an eagle falls from the sky with a weasel attached to its throat; on another, a man walks into a bar. Reminding us of the indelible contributions of this formative figure in contemporary nonfiction, The Abundance exquisitely showcases Annie Dillard’s enigmatic, enduring genius, as Dillard herself wishes it to be marked.

Canal Zone Daughter

Canal Zone Daughter
Author: Judy Haisten
Pages: 279
ISBN: 1614930856
Available:
Release: 2012
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In 1964, Edwin and Jean Armbruster left their home in the United States to raise their family on the Panama Canal Zone, a little known American territory in the Central American country of Panama. In Canal Zone Daughter, Judy (Armbruster) Haisten chronicles her unique childhood culminating to the crushing loss when former President Jimmy Carter signs treaties that effectively eliminates her -and fellow U.S. citizens' -former home. Charming, funny, and poignant, the author captures her remarkable American story in an exotic place and time. www.canalzonedaughter.com

The Seventeen Traditions

The Seventeen Traditions
Author: Ralph Nader
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9780061736759
Available:
Release: 2009-10-13
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“The Seventeen Traditions brings us back to what’s important in life—and what makes America truly great.” —Jim Hightower, Illinois Times The activist, humanitarian, and former presidential candidate named one of the 100 most influential figures in American history by The Atlantic—one of only three living Americans so honored—Ralph Nader, looks back at his small-town Connecticut childhood and the traditions and values that shaped his progressive worldview. At once eye-opening, thought-provoking, and surprisingly fresh and moving, Nader’s The Seventeen Traditions is a celebration of uniquely American ethics certain to appeal to fans of Mitch Albom, Tim Russert, and Anna Quindlen—an unexpected and most welcome gift from this fearlessly committed reformer and outspoken critic of corruption in government and society. In a time of widespread national dissatisfaction and disillusionment that has given rise to new dissent characterized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the liberal icon shows us how every American can learn from The Seventeen Traditions and, by embracing them, help bring about meaningful and necessary change.

Environmental Awareness and the Design of Literature

Environmental Awareness and the Design of Literature
Author: François Specq
Pages: 174
ISBN: 9789004324831
Available:
Release: 2016-10-10
Editor: BRILL
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Environmental Awareness and the Design of Literature offers analyses of the diverse ways in which literature helps us escape the rigid frames of commonly assumed worldviews, and thus can transform our relation to the physical world.

A Lucky American Childhood

A Lucky American Childhood
Author: Paul Engle
Pages: 192
ISBN: 1587290596
Available:
Release: 1996-05
Editor: University of Iowa Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

More than any other individual, Paul Engle was the spirited force behind the creative writing workshops now so abundant in America. His indomitable nature, enthusiasm, and great persuasive powers, coupled with his distinguished reputation as a poet, loomed large behind the founding of the influential Iowa Writers' Workshop. A Lucky American Childhood will appeal to people with memories of the small-town America that Paul Engle describes with such affectionate realism and to all those interested in the roots of this renowned man of letters.

A Disease Called Childhood

A Disease Called Childhood
Author: Marilyn Wedge
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781101639634
Available:
Release: 2015-03-24
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A surprising new look at the rise of ADHD in America, arguing for a better paradigm for diagnosing and treating our children In 1987, only 3 percent of American children were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD. By 2000, that number jumped to 7 percent, and in 2014 the number rose to an alarming 11 percent. To combat the disorder, two thirds of these children, some as young as three years old, are prescribed powerful stimulant drugs like Ritalin and Adderall to help them cope with symptoms. Meanwhile, ADHD rates have remained relatively low in other countries such as France, Finland, and the United Kingdom, and Japan, where the number of children diagnosed with and medicated for ADHD is a measly 1 percent or less. Alarmed by this trend, family therapist Marilyn Wedge set out to understand how ADHD became an American epidemic. If ADHD were a true biological disorder of the brain, why was the rate of diagnosis so much higher in America than it was abroad? Was a child's inattention or hyperactivity indicative of a genetic defect, or was it merely the expression of normal behavior or a reaction to stress? Most important, were there alternative treatments that could help children thrive without resorting to powerful prescription drugs? In an effort to answer these questions, Wedge published an article in Psychology Today entitled "Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD" in which she argued that different approaches to therapy, parenting, diet, and education may explain why rates of ADHD are so much lower in other countries. In A Disease Called Childhood, Wedge examines how myriad factors have come together, resulting in a generation addictied to stimulant drugs, and a medical system that encourages diagnosis instead of seeking other solutions. Writing with empathy and dogged determination to help parents and children struggling with an ADHD diagnosis, Wedge draws on her decades of experience, as well as up-to-date research, to offer a new perspective on ADHD. Instead of focusing only on treating symptoms, she looks at the various potential causes of hyperactivity and inattention in children and examines behavioral and environmental, as opposed to strictly biological, treatments that have been proven to help. In the process, Wedge offers parents, teachers, doctors, and therapists a new paradigm for child mental health--and a better, happier, and less medicated future for American children

The Maytrees

The Maytrees
Author: Annie Dillard
Pages: 240
ISBN: 0061809748
Available:
Release: 2009-10-13
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems. In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. When their son Petie appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. But years later it is Deary who causes the town to talk. In this moving novel, Dillard intimately depicts willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love. She presents nature's vastness and nearness. Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Dillard's original body of work.