Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 31, 2003|Volume 31, Number 16














Blair Hoxby's new book "Mammon's Music" explores how the commercial revolution influenced Milton and other authors of his time.

Yale Books in Brief

The following is a list of books recently or soon-to-be published by members of the Yale community. Descriptions are based on material provided by the publishers.

To submit information about books for this column, send e-mail to opa@yale.edu.

Mammon's Music: Literature and Economics in the Age of Milton
Blair G. Hoxby, assistant professor of English
(Yale University Press)

In this exploration of the influence of the commercial revolution on poet John Milton and the broader literary tradition in which he worked, Blair Hoxby places Milton's work within the framework of England's economic history between 1601 and 1724. Hoxby demonstrates how burgeoning economic discourse pressed Milton and other authors of his time to reimagine ideas about self, community and empire, and he shows how -- contrary to commonly held views --Milton was a sophisticated economic thinker. Close readings of Milton's prose and verse reveal the importance of economic ideas in a range of his most famous writings, from "Areopagitica" to "Samson Agonistes" to "Paradise Lost."

The First Three Years and Beyond
Edward F. Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology and director of Yale's Center in Child Development and Social Policy; Matia Finn-Stevenson, research scientist and associate director of Yale's Center in Child Development and Social Policy; and Nancy W. Hall, Yale doctoral candidate
(Yale University Press)

In this new book, Edward Zigler, Matia Finn-Stevenson and Nancy Hall document much of the more recent research and thinking about the importance of the first three years of life in a child's development, exploring some of the controversy surrounding this research in scientific and child policy circles. While conceding that brain science is in its infancy and that its findings have often been exaggerated or misunderstood, Zigler and his colleagues concur that the early years are profoundly important in shaping healthy individuals, and they argue that effective support programs for young children at risk are critical to the youngsters' future well-being. Among other topics, the authors explain the benefits of family leave, child care and home visitation programs; the damage inflicted by child abuse; the importance of nutrition for pregnant women and young children; and the adverse effects that occur in misguided efforts to disseminate scientific research too early.

Championing Child Care
Sally Cohen, associate professor and director of the Center for Health Policy and Ethics, School of Nursing
(Columbia University Press)

In her latest work, Sally Cohen, a pediatric nurse practitioner and scholar of maternal and child health, offers a comprehensive analysis of the politics behind child care legislation over the past 30 years. Identifying key junctures at which major child care bills were introduced and debated, she examines the politics surrounding each of these events and identifies the political structures and negotiations that evolved in the intervening years. Cohen also looks at the impact of child care legislation on other policy issues, including welfare reform, crime prevention, school readiness and tax policy revisions. In a foreword to the book, U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd describes the work as "[a]n inside glimpse of the powerful voices that have contributed to our national child care agenda."

Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds
Harold I. Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities, English
(Warner Books)

Literary critic Harold Bloom explores the meaning of the word "genius" in his latest book by illuminating the lives and work literary and philosophical thinkers considered to be among the most brilliant of all time, from Socrates and Plato through Shakespeare and Dante to Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. They are among the 100 people who qualify for the designation of "genius," asserts Bloom, who also includes Tolstoy, St. Augustine, Muhommad, Freud, Jane Austen, Ibsen and Nietszche on the list. Bloom suggests that all of the writers on his list are worthy of attention, for "Genius, in its writings, is our best path for reaching wisdom," he writes.

The Culture of Cursilería: Bad Taste, Kitsch, and Class in Modern Spain
Nöel Valis, professor of Spanish (Duke University Press)

In "The Culture of Cursilería" Valis examines the social meanings of cursilería -- a Spanish word, which, like "kitsch," evokes the idea of bad taste but also suggests one who has pretensions of refinement and elegance without possessing those qualities. Valis finds evidence in literature, cultural objects and popular customs to argue that cursilería has its roots in a sense of cultural inadequacy felt by the lower middle classes in 19th- and early 20th-century Spain. She characterizes the Spain of this era as suffering from nostalgia for a bygone, romanticized society. While the resulting manifestations of cursilería were often provincial, the concept was -- and still is -- closely associated with a sense of home, Valis says. She shows how cursilería embodied the disparity between old ways and new, and how, in its awkward manners, airs of pretension and graceless anxieties, it represents Spain's surrender to the forces of modernity.


Yale Community Unites in Grief For Victims of Tragic Accident


Talks, performances to mark Black History Month

Yale experts offer insights on ethical globalization

Senior to study 'directed evolution' at Cambridge as Churchill Scholar

IN FOCUS: Yale-China AIDS Education Program

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology faculty honored

News executive to discuss impact of 'One Hand Zapping'

Art gallery's history is showcased in new exhibit

Library exhibit highlights the peace movement


English department to present staged reading of Byron drama

Dr. Stephen Fleck, noted for research on schizophrenia, dies

Conference to focus on the people and politics of the Balkan region

'Public service in Hong Kong' to be highlighted in symposium

Jonathan Spence elected president of American Historical Association

Upcoming CPTV program on the slave trade filmed during Yale event

Salute to King

Yale Books in Brief

Campus Notes

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