Monthly Archives: January 2014

OCCIDENT, n. The part of the world lying west (or east) of the Orient… whose principal industries are murder and cheating, which they are pleased to call “war” and “commerce.” These, also, are the principal industries of the Orient… Ambrose Bierce

Dangerous knowledge : orientalism and its discontents  Robert Irwin  Woodstock, NY : Overlook Press, 2006  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. 409 p. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

The publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism in 1981 called into question the entire history of the Western study of Islamic culture, condemning this scholarly tradition as one that presented inaccurate and deliberately demeaning representations of Islamic peoples and institutions so much so that the words Oriental and Orientalist came to take on the most negative connotations.

But what is Orientalism, who were the Orientalists, and how did Western scholars of Islamic culture come to be vilified as insidious agents of European imperialism. In Robert Irwin s groundbreaking new history, he answers this question with a detailed and colorful story of the motley crew of intellectuals and eccentrics who brought an understanding of the Islamic world to the West.

In a narrative that ranges from an analysis of Ancient Greek perceptions of the Persians to a portrait of the first Western European translators of Arabic to the contemporary Muslim world s perceptions of the Western study of Islam, Irwin affirms the value of the Orientalists legacy: not only for the contemporary scholars who have disowned it, but also for anyone committed to fostering the cross-cultural understanding which could bridge the real or imagined gulf between Islamic and Western civilization.

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The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea… Ovid

Headquarters and Barracks Building; S and E sides of building. - Point Arguello Coast Guard Rescue Station, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, CA

Headquarters and Barracks Building; S and E sides of building. – Point Arguello Coast Guard Rescue Station, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, CA

Great Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast  Robert C. Belyk  New York : Wiley, c 2001  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xii, 276 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 257-261) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Fascinating, never-before-documented stories of the worst shipwrecks on the Pacific Coast during the golden age of coastal transportation, 1854 to 1929 In this intriguing chronicle, author Robert Belyk closely examines ten significant maritime disasters that occurred during one of the most turbulent eras in the history of travel. Discover the real-life drama endured by those caught in the terrifying midst of disaster at sea – and the real causes behind the tragedies.

Servicing Cape Flattery Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island at the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. - U.S. Coast Guard Cutter FIR, Puget Sound Area, Seattle, King County, WA

Servicing Cape Flattery Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island at the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. – U.S. Coast Guard Cutter FIR, Puget Sound Area, Seattle, King County, WA

Vividly re-created and painstakingly researched, the shipwrecks accounted for here include: 1854: the Yankee Blade runs aground off Point Arguello, California.Twenty-eight passengers lose their lives. 1875: The old side-wheeler Pacific rams another passenger ship off the coast of Cape Flattery, Washington. Two hundred and seventy-seven people perish when her rotting hull gives way. 1906: The Valencia strikes a reef off the Washington coastline. Before dozens of dazed onlookers on the shore, the ship goes down, taking 117 passengers and crew with her.

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Every one soon or late comes round by Rome… Robert Browning

The vision of Rome in late Renaissance France  Margaret M. McGowan  New Haven : Yale University Press, c 2000  Hardcover. First edition. xiii, 461 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 425-450) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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The extraordinary richness of ancient Rome was a recurring inspiration to writers, artists, scholars, and architects in sixteenth-century France. This book explores the ways in which the perception of Rome as a physical and symbolic entity stimulated intellectual endeavor across the disciplines.

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Examining work by writers such as Du Bellay, Grévin, Montaigne, and Garnier, and by architects and artists such as Philibert de L’Orme and Jean Cousin, Margaret McGowan shows how they drew upon classical ruins and upon their reconstruction not only to reenact past meanings and achievements but also, more dynamically, to interpret the present.

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She describes how Renaissance Rome, enhanced by the presence of so many signs of ancient grandeur, provided a fertile source of intellectual and artistic creativity. Study of the fragments of the past tempted writers to an imaginative reconstruction of whole forms, while the new structures they created in France revealed the artistic potency of the incomplete and the fragmentary.

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McGowan carries the underlying themes of the book – perception, impediments to seeing, and artistic transformation – to the end of the sixteenth century, when, she claims, they culminated in the transfer to France of the grandeur that was Rome.

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When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it, the deer hears it, and the bear smells it.

 During the winter ceremony, Kwakiutl dancers in masks and costumes representing (l to r) Wasp, Thunderbird, and Grizzly-bear, arrive in canoes. Edward S. Curtis - Published in: The North American Indian

During the winter ceremony, Kwakiutl dancers in masks and costumes representing (l to r) Wasp, Thunderbird, and Grizzly-bear, arrive in canoes. Edward S. Curtis – Published in: The North American Indian

Grizzly maze : Timothy Treadwell’s fatal obsession with Alaskan bears  Nick Jans  New York : Dutton, c 2005  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xi, 274 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [253]-257) and index.  Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

1839 print shows men in a rowboat coming ashore on the left on a desolate coastline to shoot ravaging bears, seen in center at a carcass and on the right fleeing from the approaching hunters.

1839 print shows men in a rowboat coming ashore on the left on a desolate coastline to shoot ravaging bears, seen in center at a carcass and on the right fleeing from the approaching hunters.

Ursus arctos horribilis, commonly known as the grizzly or brown bear, is one of the most feared animals on the planet. As its most outspoken protector, Timothy Treadwell tirelessly sought to overturn the perception of grizzlies as dangerously aggressive. It was therefore a media sensation when in October 2003 Treadwell and his girlfriend were fatally mauled by a bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, the first such attack in the park in eighty-five years. The horrifying audiotape of Treadwell’s final, frantic screams begged the question: How could this happen?

Echo Mountain grizzly by Will James 1921

Echo Mountain grizzly by Will James 1921

In The Grizzly Maze, Nick Jans, who for years has written about the Alaskan wilderness, ventures to answer this question. Based on exclusive access to the killing site and his own and other’s expert knowledge of Alaskan bears, Jans plots out Treadwell’s final expedition and encounter with the grizzly. In doing so, Jans provides a moving and complex portrait of the man known as the “Bear Whisperer,” whose controversial ideas earned him the scorn of hunters, the adoration of some animal lovers, and the skepticism of naturalists. The Grizzly Maze also offers a definitive, close-up look at bears, bear behavior, and our complicated relationship with them.

Pictorial lettersheet shows progression of a hunter winning a fight with a bear.   San Francisco : Lithographed & published by Britton & Rey, [between 1850 and 1860]

Pictorial lettersheet shows progression of a hunter winning a fight with a bear. San Francisco : Lithographed & published by Britton & Rey, [between 1850 and 1860]

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. . . the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey is to condone it . . . the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense… Theodore Roosevelt, May 11, 1918, letter to Cleveland Hoadley Dodge

And all those dead of Belgium and all that mighty procession of the slain in Armenia--how if all these hosts still live? German military officer astride artillery in a cemetery waving off a ghostly army.

And all those dead of Belgium and all that mighty procession of the slain in Armenia–how if all these hosts still live? German military officer astride artillery in a cemetery waving off a ghostly army.

The burning Tigris : the Armenian genocide and America’s response  Peter Balakian  New York : HarperCollins, c 2003  Hardcover. 1st ed., later printing. xx, 475 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [441]-453) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

The Turks' bag of game This picture shows that the Turks, in the remote districts of Aisa Monor [i.e. Asia Minor] beyond the reach of the protecting hand of the Allies, have continued their policy of the slaughter of the Armenian Christians after the signing of the armistice. The massacre of the forty shown in the picture, which has just been received in this country, occurred in February 1919.

The Turks’ bag of game This picture shows that the Turks, in the remote districts of Aisa Monor [i.e. Asia Minor] beyond the reach of the protecting hand of the Allies, have continued their policy of the slaughter of the Armenian Christians after the signing of the armistice. The massacre of the forty shown in the picture, which has just been received in this country, occurred in February 1919.


In this history of the Armenian Genocide, the author brings us a narrative of the massacres of the Armenians in the 1890s and genocide in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Using rarely seen archival documents and  first-person accounts, Peter Balakian presents the history of how the Young Turk government implemented the first modern genocide behind the cover of World War I. And in the telling, he also resurrects an extraordinary lost chapter of American history.

Give or we perish American Committee for Relief in the Near East--Armenia-Greece-Syria-Persia--Campaign for $30,000,000

Give or we perish American Committee for Relief in the Near East–Armenia-Greece-Syria-Persia–Campaign for $30,000,000

During the United States’ ascension in the global arena at the turn of the twentieth century, America’s humanitarian movement for Armenia was an important part of the rising nation’s first epoch of internationalism. Intellectuals, politicians, diplomats, religious leaders, and ordinary citizens came together to try to save the Armenians.

Lest they perish Campaign for $30,000,000 - American Committee for Relief in the Near East--Armenia-Greece-Syria-Persia

Lest they perish Campaign for $30,000,000 – American Committee for Relief in the Near East–Armenia-Greece-Syria-Persia

The Burning Tigris reconstructs this landmark American cause that was spearheaded by the passionate commitments and commentaries of a remarkable cast of public figures, including Julia Ward Howe, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice Stone Blackwell, Stephen Crane, and Ezra Pound, as well as courageous missionaries, diplomats, and relief workers who recorded their eyewitness accounts and often risked their lives in the killing fields of Armenia.

Lest we perish Campaign for $30,000,000 ; American Committee for Relief in the Near East ; Armenia - Greece - Syria - Persia ; One Madison Ave., New York, Cleveland H. Dodge, Treasurer.

Lest we perish Campaign for $30,000,000 ; American Committee for Relief in the Near East ; Armenia – Greece – Syria – Persia ; One Madison Ave., New York, Cleveland H. Dodge, Treasurer.

The crisis of the “starving Armenians” was so embedded in American popular culture that, in an age when a loaf of bread cost a nickel, the American people sent more than $100 million in aid through the American Committee on Armenian Atrocities and its successor, Near East Relief. In 1915 alone, the New York Times published 145 articles about the Armenian Genocide.

"The child at your door" 400,000 orphans starving, no state aid available--Campaign for $30,000,000.

“The child at your door” 400,000 orphans starving, no state aid available–Campaign for $30,000,000.

Theodore Roosevelt called the extermination of the Armenians “the greatest crime of the war.” But in the turmoil following World War I, it was a crime that went largely unpunished. In depicting the 1919 Ottoman court-martial trials, Balakian reveals the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide confessing their guilt – an astonishing fact given the Turkish government’s continued denial of the Genocide.

Syria - Aleppo - Armenian woman kneeling beside dead child in field "within sight of help and safety at Aleppo"

Syria – Aleppo – Armenian woman kneeling beside dead child in field “within sight of help and safety at Aleppo”

Comments Off on . . . the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey is to condone it . . . the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense… Theodore Roosevelt, May 11, 1918, letter to Cleveland Hoadley Dodge

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