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224 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
Juan Rulfo's Mexico

Photographed by Juan Rulfo
Translated by Carlos Fuentes and Margot Glantz

Format: Hardcover, 223 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: August 17, 2002
Price: $60.00
ISBN: 978-1-58834-097-9 (1-58834-097-X)

Juan Rulfo was one of the great literary innovators of the twentieth century. His 1955 novel Pedro Páramo is considered one of the foundational classics of magic realism, predating One Hundred Years of Solitude by more than a decade. Lesser known are his haunting photographs of Mexico, which exhibit remarkable parallels... Read more >

Exam Copy
Entheogens and the Development of Culture
The Anthropology and Neurobiology of Ecstatic Experience
Edited by John A. Rush Ph.D.

Format: Trade Paperback, 672 pages
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
On Sale: July 30, 2013
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-58394-600-8 (1-58394-600-4)

Entheogens and the Development of Culture makes the radical proposition that mind-altering substances have played a major part not only in cultural development but also in human brain development. Researchers suggest that we have purposely enhanced receptor sites in the brain, especially those for dopamine and serotonin, through the use of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Letter Perfect
The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z
Written by David Sacks

Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: August 3, 2004
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1173-3 (0-7679-1173-3)

“[A] gem of popular linguistic history.”
Publishers Weekly

David Sacks has written a lively and learned account of the alphabet–and cultural history–in Letter Perfect.

Clearly explaining the letters as symbols of precise sounds of speech, the book begins with the earliest known alphabetic inscriptions (circa 1800 b.c.), recently discovered by archaeologists in Egypt... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Island of the Colorblind

Written by Oliver Sacks

Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 12, 1998
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-70073-6 (0-375-70073-0)

Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands--their remoteness, their mystery, above all the unique forms of life they harbor. For him, islands conjure up equally the romance of Melville and Stevenson, the adventure of Magellan and Cook, and the scientific wonder of Darwin and Wallace.

Drawn to the tiny Pacific atoll... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy

Written by Edward W. Said

Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 12, 1979
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-394-74067-6 (0-394-74067-X)

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Updated with a new Afterword in 1994. In this acclaimed and now-classic work, Said examines the way in which the West has discovered, invented, and sought to control the East. Orientalism is a subtle and far-reaching critique of the attitudes that the West has traditionally assumed... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Yes, Chef
A Memoir
Written by Marcus Samuelsson and Veronica Chambers

Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: May 21, 2013
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-34261-2 (0-385-34261-6)

Winner, James Beard Foundation Book Award (Writing and Literature)

“One of the great culinary stories of our time.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The... Read more >

A Woman Scorned

Written by Peggy Sanday

Format: eBook, 338 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: December 14, 2011
Price: $11.99
ISBN: 978-0-307-80209-5 (0-307-80209-4)

2011 Edition with a New Afterword by the author

The venerable and often misquoted phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" continues to haunt American women who accuse men of sexual harassment and rape. In this bracing study of American sexual culture and the politics of acquaintance rape, anthropologist Peggy... Read more >

Exam Copy
Taking Charge
The Electric Automobile in America
Written by Michael Schiffer

Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 22, 2010
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-076-4 (1-58834-076-7)

The tumultuous history of inventors and corporations who have tried to bring the electric car to the market.

Amazingly, in 1900 28 percent of all cars were electric. By 1920 the electric car had all but vanished and gas-powered cars dominated the market. In Taking Charge, Schiffer deftly explores how cultural factors... Read more >

Exam Copy
Tastes of Paradise
A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants
Written by Wolfgang Schivelbusch

Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 29, 1993
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-74438-2 (0-679-74438-X)

Schivelbusch chronicles how humanity transformed its history in the course of finding the rare condiments, stimulants, intoxicants, and narcotics—from coffee, tea, and chocolate to nutmeg, alcohol, and opium—that helped to make life more tolerable, and how the drive for these pleasure substances fueled the energies of the Old World with a... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Balfour Declaration
The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Written by Jonathan Schneer

Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: January 3, 2012
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7603-8 (0-8129-7603-7)

Winner, 2010 National Jewish Book Award (Writing Based on Archival Material)

Issued in London in 1917, the Balfour Declaration was one of the key documents of the twentieth century. It committed Britain to supporting the establishment in Palestine of “a National Home for the Jewish people,” and its reverberations continue to be... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Out of Time
The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing
Written by Lynne Segal and Elaine Showalter

Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Verso
On Sale: July 1, 2014
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-78168-299-9 (1-78168-299-2)

As the baby boomers approach their sixth or seventh decade, they are faced with new challenges and questions of politics and identity. In the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir, Out of Time looks at many of the issues facing the aged–the war of the generations and baby-boomer bashing, the politics of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
The Stammering Century

Written by Gilbert Seldes
Introduction by Greil Marcus

Format: Trade Paperback, 452 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics
On Sale: November 6, 2012
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-580-4 (1-59017-580-8)

Gilbert Seldes, the author of The Stammering Century, writes:

This book is not a record of the major events in Ameri­can history during
the nineteenth century. It is concerned with minor movements, with the
cults and manias of that period. Its personages are fanatics, and radicals,
and mountebanks... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Anthropology Explored, Second Edition
The Best of Smithsonian AnthroNotes
Edited by Ruth Selig, Marilyn R. London and P. Ann Kaupp

Format: Trade Paperback, 496 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: April 17, 2004
Price: $21.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-093-1 (1-58834-093-7)

This new edition offers a variety of clearly written and readily accessible articles from the Smithsonian’s highly acclaimed, award-winning publication AnthroNotes. Some of the world’s leading anthropologists explore fundamental questions humans ask about themselves as individuals, as societies, and as a species. The articles reveal the richness and breadth of anthropology... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Storyteller's Daughter
One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland
Written by Saira Shah

Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: October 12, 2004
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3147-4 (1-4000-3147-8)

The vivid, often startling memoir of a young woman shaped by two dramatically disparate worlds. Saira Shah is the English-born daughter of an Afghan aristocrat, inspired by his dazzling stories to rediscover the now lost life their forebears presided over for nine hundred years within sight of the minarets and lush... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Under the Influence
The Literature of Addiction
Written by Rebecca Shannonhouse
Foreword by Pete Hamill

Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: February 4, 2003
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-75716-7 (0-375-75716-3)

Drawing on two centuries of important literary and historical writings, Rebecca Shannonhouse has shaped a remarkable collection of works that are, in turn, tragic, compelling, hilarious, and enlightening. Together, these selections comprise a profound and truthful portrait of the life experience known as addiction.

Under the Influence offers classic selections from fiction... Read more >

Exam Copy
Back to Our Future
How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything
Written by David Sirota

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: March 15, 2011
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-345-51878-1 (0-345-51878-0)

Wall Street scandals. Fights over taxes. Racial resentments. A Lakers-Celtics championship. The Karate Kid topping the box-office charts. Bon Jovi touring the country. These words could describe our current moment—or the vaunted iconography of three decades past.

In this wide-ranging and wickedly entertaining book, New York Times bestselling journalist David Sirota takes... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Written by Rebecca Skloot

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher: Crown
On Sale: February 2, 2010
Price: $26.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2 (1-4000-5217-3)

Winner of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Communication Award for Best Book
Winner of the 2010 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the 2010 Wellcome Trust Book Prize
Named by more than 60 critics as one of the best books of 2010,
... Read more >

Exam Copy
What's Love Got to Do with It?

Written by Meredith Small

Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: June 1, 1996
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-47702-4 (0-385-47702-3)

In this refreshingly down-to-earth exploration of human mating and sexuality, an acclaimed anthropologist looks at the fascinating intersection between the imperatives of our glands and genes, and the culture in which we live. Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Is there an alternative, more feminist, way... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Social Construction of Ancient Cities

Edited by Monica L. Smith

Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-291-1 (1-58834-291-3)

What made ancient cities successful? What are the similarities between modern cities and ancient ones? The Social Construction of Ancient Cities offers a fresh perspective on ancient cities and the social networks and relations that built and sustained them, marking a dramatic change in the way archaeologists approach them. Examining ancient... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy

Afterword by D. Foy
Photographed by Snorri Bros.

Format: Hardcover, 160 pages
Publisher: powerHouse Books
On Sale: March 12, 2013
Price: $40.00
ISBN: 978-1-57687-623-7 (1-57687-623-3)

Laundromats are a quintessential part of the New York City landscape: an indispensible element to many city dwellers’ lives, they’re an ersatz utility room shared with dozens of strangers at any given time, a moist environment of humming machines and strange clothes. No other public facility gathers so many people under... Read more >

Exam Copy
Simple Gifts
Lessons in Living from a Shaker Village
Written by June Sprigg

Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 7, 1999
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70432-1 (0-375-70432-9)

In Simple Gifts, June Sprigg tells the story of one of America’s last Shaker communities—Canterbury Shaker Village, in Canterbury, New Hampshire—during its twilight years, and of its seven remarkable “survivor” women, who were among the last representatives of our longest-lived and best-known communal utopian society. As a college student Sprigg spent... Read more >

Exam Copy
Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley

Written by Ephraim Squier

Format: Trade Paperback, 324 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: October 17, 1998
Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-898-4 (1-56098-898-3)

Originally published in 1848 as the first major work in the nascent discipline as well as the first publication of the newly established Smithsonian Institution, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley remains today not only a key document in the history of American archaeology but also the primary source of information... Read more >

Exam Copy
Outcasts United
An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference
Written by Warren St. John

Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
On Sale: December 1, 2009
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-52204-5 (0-385-52204-5)

Selected for Common Reading at:
Agnes Scott College
Andrew College
Baker University
Baldwin Wallace College
Bismarck State College
Butler University
Castleton State College
Central Ohio Technical College
Columbus State University
Ellington High School
Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Lewis College
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia State University
Hollins University
Holy Cross High School, Burlington, NJ
Johnson and Wales University
Johnson State College
Kennesaw State University
La Jolla Country Day School
McMurry University
Middle... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Southern Gates of Arabia
A Journey in the Hadhramaut
Written by Freya Stark
Introduction by Jane Fletcher Geniesse

Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: July 24, 2001
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-75754-9 (0-375-75754-6)

In 1934, famed British traveler Freya Stark sailed down the Red Sea, alighting in Aden, located at the tip of the Arabian peninsula. From this backwater outpost, Stark set forth on what was to be her most unforgettable adventure: Following the ancient frankincense routes of the Hadhramaut Valley, the most fertile... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Valleys of the Assassins
and Other Persian Travels
Written by Freya Stark

Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: July 24, 2001
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-75753-2 (0-375-75753-8)

Hailed as a classic upon its first publication in 1934, The Valleys of the Assassins firmly established Freya Stark as one of her generation's most intrepid explorers. The book chronicles her travels into Luristan, the mountainous terrain nestled between Iraq and present-day Iran, often with only a single guide and on... Read more >
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