Native American History, Global Meals, the Middle East, U.S. Presidencies | Reference Short Takes, August 2016

A thoughtful, inspiring compendium for Native American studies collections; a tasty roundup of global meal rituals; a sobering, authoritative briefing on a “zone of turmoil”; a timely update dedicated to the concept of modern presidency

American Indian Stories of Success: New Visions of Leadership in Indian Country. Praeger: ABC-CLIO. May 2015. 343p. ed. by Gerald E. Gipp & others. index. ISBN 9781440831409. $58; ebk. ISBN 9781440831416. ref

americanindian.jpg8216What has been the Native American experience of leadership, higher education, and success over the last 75 years? In this new reference, a companion to past titles Health and Social Issues of Native American Women and American Indians and Popular Culture, Gipp, Linda Sue Warner, Janine Pease, and James Shanley, all former tribal college presidents, offer up a multitude of perspectives to address that question, some 24 essays from “a unique group of survivors…individuals who, out of hundreds of thousands of post–World War II American Indian people, were able to move through a largely oppressive, discriminatory, and disinterested educational system to become educational leaders.” The resulting work covers such topics as battling learned helplessness and integrating indigenous knowledge into formal education systems. VERDICT A thoughtful, inspiring compendium for Native American studies collections.

At the Table: Food and Family Around the World. Greenwood. Apr. 2016. 342p. ed. by Ken Albala. photos. index. ISBN 9781610697378. $89; ebk. ISBN 9781610697385. ref

“Apparently among the Inuits farting after a meal is a grand gesture of appreciation.” That’s just one of many cultural nuggets served up by Albala (history, Univ. of the Pacific, San Francisco) in this reference reviewing family and group meal eating traditions around the world. Thirty-nine countries, from Afghanistan to the United States, are given individual essay treatment by contributor experts, with how-to instructions on related favorite dishes provided (i.e., Romania’s duck with onions) and fun-fact sidebars (the origin of the dining table, etc.) also sprinkled throughout. A recipe and overall index are included. VERDICT This tasty roundup of global meal rituals (including recipes!) will be a welcome addition.

Security Issues in the Greater Middle East. Praeger: ABC-CLIO. May 2016. 381p. ed. by Karl Yambert. notes. index. ISBN 9781440833984. $73; pap. ISBN 9781440835407. $44; ebk. ISBN 9781440833991. ref

World leaders including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. President Barack Obama are among 30 chapter contributors, alongside leading experts in academia, the military, and government and international organizations, in this new anthology focused on security issues within the Greater Middle East, now consisting of the traditional Middle East core countries plus the new republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Drones, the Benghazi attacks, and ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq) are among the topics discussed, in works that are either policy documents, speeches, or essays, most previously published elsewhere, with some updated for this new volume. An appendix providing IDs on prominent people mentioned in the text and a glossary of terms are also included. VERDICT This title offers a sobering, authoritative briefing on a “zone of turmoil.”

Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency: Case Studies in Presidential Leadership. 2d ed. Praeger: ABC-CLIO. Apr. 2016. 451p. ed. by Maxmillian Angerholzer III & others. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440840227. $73; ebk. ISBN 9781440840234. ref

Assessment of President Barack Obama’s “light footprint” foreign policy and former president George W. Bush’s decider/delegator personas are among new topics included in this second edition to an anthology that the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, a nonpartisan/nonprofit organization, first produced in 2000. The work is edited by Angerholzer (president, CEO, the Ctr. for the Study of the Presidency and Congress), James Kitfield (contributing editor, National Journal), Norman Orstein (resident scholar, the American Enterprise Inst.), and Stephen Skowronek (political & social science, Yale Univ.), and a host of well-known historians and journalists, including Ronald Reagan biographer Lou Cannon and the New York Times’ David Sanger, author chapters organized within sections dedicated to the concept of modern presidency, the first 100 days of a presidency, domestic milestones, national security, foreign policy, and scandals. VERDICT For this presidential election year, this book presents an illuminating and timely update.—Judy Quinn, formerly with Library Journal

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Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


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