Books for course use

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    This illustrated edition of The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois is the first to be arranged and dedicated in accordance with Du Bois’s manuscript notes. It begins with these words: "I was born by a golden river and in the shadow of two great hills, five years after the Emancipation Proclamation which began the freeing of American Negro Slaves."  Du Bois was born in the town where Berkshire Publishing Group is located. His autobiography tells the story of a little boy, the only Black boy in his school, who became the first African American PhD at Harvard, an educator, editor, and activist, and a writer of expressive, lyrical, and accessible prose. While the Communism he praised did not turn out to offer the utopia so many hoped for, the problems he identified are still with us. His reasoning will resonant with modern readers who share his frustration with the continued inequities in our society. Read about Karen Christensen's discovery of the original manuscript: "A Du Bois Discovery."
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    Third Places (VVSI)

    Ray Oldenburg, coauthor of this book, is famous for giving a name to a phenomenon seen throughout history: the third place. Third places are social gathering spots, distinct from home (the first place) and work (the second place).  Traditional third places are havens of sociability where conversation is the main activity and conviviality prevails. They include cafes, coffee shops, tea houses, beauty parlors, general stores, taverns, parks, street corners, and all the other places where we come together. In the post-pandemic age, the concept of the third place is being adapted, and promoted, around the world. The term is used by developers and town planners, by social workers and coworking entrepreneurs. Social media platforms are sometimes described as online third places. But what is a true third place? Third Places: A Very VERY Short Introduction sets out the defining features of a third place and provides a wide variety of examples. Oldenburg's analysis of the effects of zoning is intended to promote fresh thinking about livable and walkable communities. The authors show how third places are related to social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, and libraries. They also provide specific ideas about how to assess, sustain, rebuild, and strengthen the third places that make us happier and healthier, strengthen democracy, and enable us to live sustainably.
  • The Joy of Tippling is a toast to importance of drinking together, crafted by the ultimate tippler. Like Ray Oldenburg's bestselling The Great Good Place, his new book is packed with factual information, humor and wit, personal insights, and sound sociological observations. The Joy of Tippling is a celebration of third places, and a call to community. “Great news, tipplers! The killjoys, buzzcrushers, pinch-faced scolds, and puritans are WRONG. Knocking a couple back at the local bar is good for you. In The Joy of Tippling, sociologist and inveterate tippler Ray Oldenburg tells us why, backed up with solid research, indisputable facts and real news, all cheerfully served with dash and wit.” — John Tebeau, author of Bars, Taverns, and Dives New Yorkers Love
  • Touchdown: An American Obsession is the first comprehensive guide to the history and culture of the sport, covering US college football as well as professional football worldwide.
  • Sewing Circles, Dime Suppers, and W. E. B. Du Bois: A History of the Clinton A. M. E. Zion Church offers fresh insight into a small New England church's role in the national civil rights movement. This is the original edition. An updated edition is also available, with the title The African American Community in Rural New England: W. E. B. Du Bois and His Boyhood Church.
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    The Story of Utopias was first published in 1922, in the aftermath of a world war and global pandemic, by a young writer. Berkshire’s 100th anniversary edition is designed for the reader of today. In a preface to the 50th anniversary edition, Lewis Mumford explained that The Story of Utopias began with an awareness “that the impetus of the great nineteenth century, with its fund of buoyant idealism and robust social enterprise, had come to an end. If we were to cope with the new age before us, whose grim outlines had long been visible to sensitive, probing minds, we would have to overcome the massive aberrations that had in fact led to the debacle of the First World War. . . . When I started to explore the historic utopias, I was seeking to discover what was missing, and to define what was still possible.” This book is in some ways the essential Lewis Mumford, an introduction to a man who had worldwide influence, and whose thinking is directly relevant to the challenges we face today.
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    The Souls of Black Folk is a founding text of the US civil rights movement, an inspiring work of literature and advocacy by a young man who drew on his own experience as a child in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a teacher in the hills of Tennessee, a father grieving after the death of his baby son. It is a book compiled in haste but nonetheless a command performance. The fourteen vivid essays are political, philosophical, historical, and personal. The first three explore the history of slavery, following by six chapters of sociological analysis in Du Bois’s resonant prose. The remainder of the book is replete with stories that show different facets of the Black experience and explain Du Bois’s statement that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” His concept of African American duality is, writes Henry Louis Gates Jr., his “most important gift to the Black literary tradition.”
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    Women: A World History

    Women: A World History was written for students in world history, women’s history, introductory sociology and anthropology courses, and women’s studies courses. It is also a helpful and engaging guide for the general reader who wants to understand why “women’s history” exists and how it expands traditional thinking about the past. Historian Pamela McVay explores the evolving roles of women in all parts of the world and focuses on issues particularly important in women’s lives such as lineage, family structure, and rules regarding marriage and sexuality. The book supplements core textbooks and monographs and course packs, and includes study questions and suggestions for further reading. Available as ePDF here, as a Kindle ebook, and from major academic ebook vendors.
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    Daughters of Dissent

    Daughters of Dissent Daughters of Dissent tells the story of the long fight for women's suffrage in the UK based on interviews with women who were there, committing sabotage, and going on hunger strike. She explains why women were so desperate to win the vote, and how their tactics changed, and how the movement split between the constitutional wing and the radical militant wing. Craigie centers her account in the lives of two women, Millicent Garrett Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst, who came to dominate the struggle for women's enfranchisement that lasted for over half a century. Through her interviews and years of research, Jill Craigie uncovered a new story that is relevant to any appraisal of the women's rights movement in the 20th century, and relevant to activists today in its assessment of tactics used for social change. Available as ePDF here, as a Kindle ebook, and from major academic ebook vendors.
  • Sewing Circles, Dime Suppers, and W. E. B. Du Bois: A History of the Clinton A. M. E. Zion Church offers fresh insight into a small New England church's role in the national civil rights movement. This is the original edition. An updated edition is also available, with the title The African American Community in Rural New England: W. E. B. Du Bois and His Boyhood Church.
  • Technology (VVSI)

    Ranging across disciplines, Technology: A Very VERY Short Introduction links together big questions of planetary futures with practical, everyday realities. It points towards a technological practice of sustainability that does not divide facts from values or objects from subjects. And it suggests an understanding and practice of technology that we urgently need as dwellers in the Anthropocene.
  • Sherman’s Invisible Poets pioneered in the rediscovery of nineteenth-century Afro-American literature. Black poets of that century not only were invisible: they were also forced to publish ‘mute’ texts, texts doomed not to be read because of the pervasive racism in American society. Sherman’s work of literary resurrection is a signal achievement, combining deft historical detective work with a subtle critical sensibility.

    -- Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard

    The Berkshire Edition includes a foreword by Jaki Shelton Green, 9th Poet Laureate of North Carolina. Invisible Poets: Afro-Americans of the Nineteenth Century brings into view over 130 other Black men and women who published poetry in America during the century between Phillis Wheatley and Paul Laurence Dunbar. In spite of their impressive achievements, these poets’ works have been out of print, their few biographies incomplete and unreliable, and criticism of their poetry rare and often biased. The author, Joan R. Sherman, was ahead of her time in seeking "to strip myth and misinformation from their lives and to offer the most accurate biographies and bibliographies obtainable after a century of neglect." In the only comprehensive and realistic appraisal of their contributions to American literature, Sherman intensively studies twenty-six representative poets of the nineteenth century, analyzing their poetry and providing the first significant profiles of their extraordinary life experiences. About three dozen other poets also receive attention. Their work, which ranges from "militant, race-proud jeremiads to sentimental nature and love lyrics," faithfully conforms to nineteenth-century poetic standards. At the same time, it reflects the changing American political and cultural scene and provides an invaluable record of over a hundred years of Black experience as articulated by sensitive and talented American writers.


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