Hi Lantana Library patrons.
See “Best Credit Cards,” authored by Taylor Tepper, in October 2015’s issue of Money magazine, which has a helpful overview of good deals, including more cash back and with lowered interest rates.
It’s available at the Library , or log into Flipster, one of our e-zine services, at http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?authtype=ip,cpid&custid=s9047794&profile=eon
The Vicissitudes of Sex…Biologist Steven Hecht Ozack has studied various fertility records, prenatal test, induced abortions and U.S. Census data points, to discover that sex-ratios or odds of a fetus or baby being a girl or boy waver at the various stages of gestation.
An Antidote to Murder…a Columbian scientist, Rodrigo Guerrero Velasco, employs epidemiological/public health strategies “to identify sources of homicide and reveal social policy changes that might make a difference.”
Sleep On It! By Robert Stickhold
It seems sleep deprivation not only interferes with normal body functions such as hormonal activity and immune defense, but also is associated with weight gain and development of type 2 diabetes. Also, restricted sleep impacts our brains’ abilities to manage emotional memories (particularly negative ones). Better sleep also enables us to better remember things that are important to us and our futures. Fascinating!
The Eat Gene…by Richard Johnson and Peter Andrews
A genetic mutation (crippled uricase) in an ape species millions of years ago is hypothesized to be a “thrifty gene” that enabled our ancestors to store fat and survive food shortages. Today, however, it may be a factor in weight gain, diabetes, and obesity.
Come read these news stories and others at Lantana Public Library’s magazine reading room! Or, check them out from your home via Zinio at https://www.rbdigital.com/seflin/service/zinio/landing?
It’s really easy — just login to your account or Create a new one using your library card number.
Are you struggling to understand suspicious charges on a bill or mortgage?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created after the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that followed, much to the surprise of everyone, has emerged as a muscular watchdog of the lending/consumer credit industry, levying penalties and gaining billions in reimbursement for millions of U.S. consumers. Headed by Richard Cordray, a Midwesterner and former legislator, the CFPB has taken on large credit card companies (American Express, Discover, and Capital One) and mortgage lenders (Ocwen, Bank of America, and Citibank) for deceptive marketing and fraud, as well as cell phone providers such as Sprint and Verizon and predatory lending companies linked to for profit educational institutions such as Corinthian College.
To read more on the CFPB:
1. Head over to Lantana Public Library’s Resources page at http://www.lantanalibrary.org/use-a-library-resource-1
2. Click on the Flipster logo and into Flipster with your Lantana Library Card number.
3. Then select the latest issue of Time, select the Pages option, and you’ll easily be able to find the various articles in the issue. Calabresi’s article begins on p. 42.
Trollope Trending by Adam Gopnik
The New Yorker, May 4, 2015
Did you enjoy Andrew Greeley’s Cardinal Sins? Or, perhaps, you follow(ed) West Wing or presently House of Cards and Madam Secretary on TV? Then, Anthony Trollope is likely a writer you should read. Trollope faithfully chronicled and satirized the everyday life of the clergy, as well as bureaucrats and politicians in England.
Trollope, claims Adam Gopnik, understands how power divided and diffused among various office holders’ voices and bodies, “is not just an aspect of politics – it is a precondition of politics…with the hum of gossip and backbiting.” More than many of us, Trollope is interested in how ambivalent and confusing the forces of change can be, and how compromise and painful growth form much of that change. Trollope tackles this theme through entirely invented worlds, characters, and institutions grappling with modernization of a particular kind and the impositions of efficiency and accountability. As Gopnik writes:
In Trollope’s fiction, even the most small-scale and homely stories have as a background this special crisis of modernization—not the crisis of industrialization and mass immiseration, seen by Dickens, but a crisis of institutions, produced by reform and standardization…[T]he agents of reform are often ugly, that the beneficiaries of corruption are often graceful, that the effects of reform are often dubious, but that reform in a liberal society is nonetheless as inevitable as the standardization of measurement.
The characters of Trollope’s Barsetshire novels — including the characters of parish newcomer Mr. Harding (The Warden), Bishop Proudie and his wife, Dr. Stanhope or Mr. Quiverful – could all exist on a modern university campus in various roles, according to Gopnik — ranging from university president to lowly adjunct instructor. In the Palliser novels, outsider Irish lawyer Phineas Finn rises through the British political system to become a British MP and later Cabinet member, through relations formed with others, as well as with ambition, charm, favors, and luck.
Trollope could very well help Americans understand their current political landscape, populated as it is by die-hard radicals on either side of the spectrum, reactionaries, moderates, as well as middling careerists and interest groups. If he were still alive today, claims Gopnik, he’d no doubt be comically depicting the European Parliament in Brussels – or other powerful institutions.
Lantana Public Library, by the way, has many of Trollope’s works, including these:
|Palliser Novels The Duke’s Children Phineas Finn Phineas Redux The Eustace Diamonds The Prime Minister Can You Forgive Her?||Barset Novels The Warden Doctor Thorpe Framley parsonage Barchester Towers The Last Chronicle of Barset|
|Dramatic/Comic Novels The Claverings Dr. Wortle’s School Lady Anna Orley Farm Ralph the Heir Rachel Ray Miss Mackenzie The Way We Live Now||Irish & overseas novels The Bertrams An Eye For an Eye Short stories Kept in the Dark|
Our library has a small but superb collection of art books, ranging from classical to popular. Whether you want to peruse images of sculpture, paintings, ceramics, cartoons or learn to pursue them yourselves — we have what you are looking for! Here is a sampling of them…
The Essential Andy Warhol by Ingrid Schaffner
[Hardcover]112 pages 1999 Call No.: 759.13 War
Famous artists of the past : with 177 reproductions including 44 in full color by Alice Elizabeth Chase [Hardcover] 1964, Platt & Munk, 120 pp Call No. 709 Cha
Art in Florida: 1564-1945 by Maybelle Mann. [Hardocver] Sarasota : Pineapple Press, 1999. Call No.: Fla 709 Man.
The Chinese art book. Phaidon, 2014. Call No.: 709.51 Chi
Lantana Public Library has other excellent works in its collection on Founders and also on Colonial history, including recent studies and classics related to Thomas Jefferson. Here are some brief reviews and reflections on some of them.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham [Hardback] Random House, 2012. 759 pp. Call No: B Jef
“Where some saw hypocrisy, others saw political agility. As long as a political leader has some core strategic belief — and Jefferson did, in his defense of republicanism — then tactical flexibility can be a virtue” (p. 254).
Jon Meacham’s recent biography of Jefferson focuses more on Jefferson’s politics. He views Jefferson as a “creatively flexible,” “transformative leader” who championed the individual American’s liberty and rights and also exercised executive powers pragmatically when required. Jefferson was a brilliant dinner table politician who carefully listened and brilliantly conversed to both opponents and friends, always avoiding direct confrontation Jefferson by turn seeking to charm, fascinate, discern, enlighten, or indoctrinate.
Meacham offers that Jefferson came to view the acts of his compatriots for representation and self-determination as justified by Britain’s own Glorious Revolution of 1688-89, which had deposed the absolute monarch James II and passed a Bill of Rights that protected liberty and free elections and limited the power of monarchs. Paul de Rapin-Thoyras’s history of England and Henry St. John Lord Bolingbroke’s political writings, as well as other classics such as Tacitus’ Germania, likely led Jefferson to view Britain’s authority to tax colonial Englishmen and limit their representation as monarchical tyranny reminiscent of the mother country’s Civil War and the Restoration periods.
Meacham observes that Jefferson never governed with blind self-interest or rigid ideology but with tactical maneuvering or expansion wherever possible. Some examples: Jefferson’s infamous abandonment of Richmond during the raiding British and Gen. Benedict Arnold in Jan. 1781 was understandable and defensible as intelligence at the time was unreliable and the Virginia militia defense uncoordinated. Also, Jefferson’s secret, divisive acts of plotting while serving as Vice-President under the Adams’ Presidency was arguably artful politics to survive and prevail in the toxic political climate of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Lastly, Jefferson expanded Executive authority quickly and decisively by upholding Madison and Livingstone’s negotiations with France for the Louisiana Purchase, and by overseeing its retroactive ratification by the U.S. Senate, as well as in imposing the Embargo Act of 1807.
Meacham’s biography has also been critically reviewed. See Eric Herschthal’s Atlantic Monthly article of Nov. 1, 2012.
Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History by Fawn Brodie [Hardback] W.W. Norton, 1974, 1998. 571 pp. Call No. : B Jef
Brodie’s is the first ground-breaking academic biography ever to claim Jefferson fathered children by a slave woman, Sally Hemings, and that Jefferson may have even likened his life-long relationship with her to the Biblical tale of Abraham and Abraham’s slave concubine Hagar. Brodie weighs Jefferson’s upbringing and privately charming and sensual, conflicted, tightly controlled psychological/inner psyche, alongside a carefully calculated and cultivated public life of partisan leadership and democratic simplicity.
Jefferson’s privileged upbringing and adult life in colonial Virginia and the newly independent republic were certainly not trouble-free, as Brodie documents. After losing his father prematurely and finishing his education, Jefferson came to head a large family while forced to assume and manage its inherited debts, all while launching a turbulent political career in the Virginia legislature and suffering demanding relationships with a mother (and possibly his wife Martha Wayles Skelton) who likely held conservative/Tory sympathies. Throughout his lifetime Jefferson would sell or mortgage land, his slaves, as well as his famous 7,000 book library to Congress, to maintain social standing and multiple roles of family patriarch, plantation and slave owner, intellectual, politician, diplomat, and President.
Like Meacham, Brodie appraises Jefferson’s presidency mostly positively, as it fortuitously began with the Peace of Amiens and continued with its peaceful diplomacy with Tripoli/the Barbary Pirates, together with the “restoration of freedom of the press and speech and aborting the Hamiltonian trend toward militarism.”
The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed. [Hardback]. W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. 798 pp. Call No. : B Hem
“The relationship of the Hemingses to the tragedy of slavery was unique only because they happened to be owned by one who made himself a public man, but wanted to keep private the world he really lived in with this particular African American enslaved family.”
In this somewhat labored, but well-researched and exhaustive history of the Hemingses, we discover there were many of them in addition to Sally; she and her extensive family lived at the center of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Poplar Forest plantations, as well as in Virginia itself, over several generations. As one learns, many of them were Jefferson’s unofficial in-laws, children, and shadow kin (through his father-in-law and deceased wife). Readers also learn much about the history of colonial Virginia and how its people lived with slavery (whereby a person’s slave status of a child derived from that of his or her mother, ensuring its perpetuity).
My previous blog on Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton began what will be a series of blog posts to follow on what enlightenment and wisdom we may still discover in reading on our Founding Fathers and late American colonial history.
For after all, there is so much now that has been re-written and revised, and journalist/critic Barry Gewen urges us in his piece of June 5, 2005, to consider divergent, global perspectives of our history that speak more directly to the needs of our time than do biographies of dead white Founding Fathers. We are missing, according to Gewen, the “bigger picture [that ]is in the process of being lost” and we are running out of Founding Fathers to write about. These concerns I hope to explore in reviewing some relevant historic works readers can find in Lantana Public Library’s collection.