Book Beat: October 2001

Recent publications from CLAS faculty

Interplanetary Dust

Interplanetary Dustedited by Bo A.S. Gustafson and Stan Dermott, Department of Astronomy, Eberhard Grün, and Hugo Fechtig
(Springer, 2001)
Available through Amazon

Published at the beginning of the new millennium, this book provides up-to-date coverage of all major aspects of dust in the Solar System.

- Preface

Dust in interplanetary space has many faces: dust originating from comets and asteroids, and interstellar dust sweeping through our solar system. These three components have a genetic relationship: interstellar dust is the solid phase of interstellar matter from which stars and planets form. Cometary dust is the most pristine material from the early solar nebula, and dust from asteroids is material modified during the formation of the solar system. Dusty planetary rings are analogues of the interplanetary dust cloud in their own right.

Among the topics covered in the book are optical and thermal properties of interplanetary dust, cometary dust, meteors, the near-Earth dust environment, laboratory analysis of collected dust grains, empirical modeling of the zodiacal dust cloud, instrumentation for detection and analysis of dust, and the physical processes affecting dust in space.

- Publisher

Beyond Kinship: Social and Material Reproduction in House Societies

Beyond Kinship: Social and Material Reproduction in House Societiesedited by Susan D. Gillespie , Department of Anthropology, and Rosemary A. Joyce
(Penn, 2001)
Available through Amazon

Beyond Kinship brings together ethnohistorians, archaeologists, and cultural anthropologists for the first time in a common discussion of the social model of house societies proposed by Claude Lévi-Strauss. While kinship theory has been central to the study of social organization, an alternative approach has emerged—that of seeing the "house" as both a physical and symbolic structure and a principle of social organization. As the essays in this volume make clear, the focus on material culture and on place contributes to the ongoing convergence of anthropology and history and helps erase the artificial distinctions between pre-history and history.

Contributions to the volume offer significant new interpretations of primary data as well as reconsidering classic ethnographic material. Beyond Kinship crosses the boundaries within anthropology—not only between cultural anthropology and archaeology but between American and British schools of anthropology.

- Publisher

"This book presents ample evidence that when cultural anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and together on common areas of continuing interest...the collaboration can be highly fruitful in providing new insights into such longstanding issues, as well as into particular regional problems that are clarified through comparative perspectives."

— Clark E. Cunningham, Professor Emeritus,
Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana

The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s-1880s

The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s-1880sby Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Department of History
(Chapel Hill, 2001)
Available through Amazon

Extending his investigation into the ethical life of the white American South beyond what he wrote in Southern Honor (1982), Bertram Wyatt-Brown explores three major themes in southern history: the political aspects of the South's code of honor, the increasing prominence of Protestant faith in white southerners' lives, and the devastating impact of war, defeat, and an angry loss of confidence during the post-Civil War era.

This eloquent and richly textured study first demonstrates the psychological complexity of race relations, drawing new and provocative comparisons between American slave oppression and the Nazi concentration camp experience. The author then reveals how the rhetoric and rituals of honor affected the Revolutionary generation and—through a study of Andrew Jackson, dueling, and other demonstrations of manhood—how early American politicians won or lost popularity. In perhaps the most subtle and intriguing section of the book, he discloses the interconnections of honor and religious belief and practice. Finally, exploring the effects of war and defeat on former Confederates, Wyatt-Brown suggests that the rise of violent racism following the Civil War had significant links to the shame of military defeat and the spurious invocation of religious convictions.

- Publisher

"Building on ideas developed in his highly acclaimed book Southern Honor, Wyatt-Brown's essays are thought-provoking and clearly argued and display strong thematic unity. They should be of unusual interest to all students of southern history."

—Peter Kolchin, University of Delaware

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