Walk into any nursery, florist, or supermarket, and you’ll encounter displays of dozens of gorgeous flowers, from chrysanthemums to orchids. At one time these fanciful blooms were the rare trophies of the rich and influential—even the carnation, today thought of as one of the humblest cut flowers. Every blossom we take for granted now is the product of painstaking and imaginative planning, breeding, horticultural ingenuity, and sometimes chance. The personalities of the breeders, from an Indiana farmer to Admiral Lord Gambier’s gardener, were as various and compelling as the beauty they conjured from skilled hybridization.
In Visions of Loveliness: Great Flower Breeders of the Past, Judith Taylor wrote engagingly about the vivid history and characters behind eighteen types of popular flowers. In this companion volume she uncovers information about another eight familiar flowers: poinsettias, chrysanthemums, gladioli, pansies, carnations, water lilies, clematis, and penstemons.
Taylor has tapped into an enormous trove of stories about extraordinary people with vision and skill who added to our enjoyment piece by piece, starting about 150 years ago. This beautifully illustrated book will please flower enthusiasts, gardeners, and history buffs alike.
Throughout his award-winning career, Bruce Weigl has proven himself to be a poet of extraordinary emotional acuity and consummate craftsmanship. In The Abundance of Nothing, these qualities are on full display, animating and informing poems that combine rich, metaphoric imagery with direct, powerful language. Deftly weaving history and everyday experience, Weigl transports readers from the front lines of the Vietnam War and all the tangled cultural and emotional scenes of that time to the slow winds of the American Midwest that softly ease the voice of the veteran returning home. Though the poems struggle with themes of mortality and illness, violence and forgiveness, the poet’s voice never wavers in its meditative calm, poise, and compassion. Elegiac yet agile, ethereal yet embodied, The Abundance of Nothing is a work of searching openness, generous insight, and remarkable grace.
Using case studies from around the globe—including Mesoamerica, North and South America, Africa, China, and the Greco-Roman world—and across multiple time periods, the authors in this volume make the case that abundance provides an essential explanatory perspective on ancient peoples’ choices and activities. Economists frequently focus on scarcity as a driving principle in the development of social and economic hierarchies, yet focusing on plenitude enables the understanding of a range of cohesive behaviors that were equally important for the development of social complexity.
Our earliest human ancestors were highly mobile hunter-gatherers who sought out places that provided ample food, water, and raw materials. Over time, humans accumulated and displayed an increasing quantity and variety of goods. In households, shrines, tombs, caches, and dumps, archaeologists have discovered large masses of materials that were deliberately gathered, curated, distributed, and discarded by ancient peoples. The volume’s authors draw upon new economic theories to consider the social, ideological, and political implications of human engagement with abundant quantities of resources and physical objects and consider how individual and household engagements with material culture were conditioned by the quest for abundance.
Abundance shows that the human propensity for mass consumption is not just the result of modern production capacities but fulfills a longstanding focus on plenitude as both the assurance of well-being and a buffer against uncertainty. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students in economics, anthropology, and cultural studies.
Contributors: Traci Ardren, Amy Bogaard, Elizabeth Klarich, Abigail Levine, Christopher R. Moore, Tito E. Naranjo, Stacey Pierson, James M. Potter, François G. Richard, Christopher W. Schmidt, Carol Schultze, Payson Sheets, Monica L. Smith, Katheryn C. Twiss, Mark D. Varien, Justin St. P. Walsh, María Nieves Zedeño
“A compelling, even moving, portrait of the national landscape—its past, its meaning, its urgent need of rescue.”
—James Carroll, author of House of War and An American Requiem, winner of the National Book Award
“Anne Mackin has taken a fresh and provocative look at that most fascinating of relationships: the one between the American people and the American land.”
—Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism and Director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism at University of California Berkeley, contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, and author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire
“Anne Mackin has given us a valuable and less-used lens to view the development of our neighborhoods, towns and cities: the land itself. Our relationship to the earth beneath our feet—how we dig it, buy it, sell it, zone it, pave it, spoil it or pamper it—helps explain what is produced on top of the land in our nation, from farms to homes to skyscrapers. All in all, Mackin takes us on a novel and erudite journey, from one coast to the other, and from Colonial times to the present. This valuable book marks a significant and lasting contribution to the way we see and understand our landscape and ourselves.”
—Alex Marshall, author of How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken
“To really understand the origins of the range war now raging between smart growth and property rights advocates over the future of the American land, you need to read this exceptional book.”
—Robert D. Yaro, President Regional Plan Association and Professor in Practice, University of Pennsylvania
Thomas Malthus once said, “The happiness of the Americans depended much less upon their peculiar degree of civilization than . . . upon their having a great plenty of fertile uncultivated land.”
Malthus knew. Lord MacCaulay knew. Albert Gallatin knew. America and its people would change as a growing population whittled away the supply of land.
Nothing has shaped the American character like the abundance of land that met the colonist, the pioneer, and the early suburbanite. With today’s political and economic institutions shaped by the largesse of yesteryear, how will Americans fare in the new landscape of water wars, expensive housing, rising fuel prices, environmental and property rights battles, and powerful industrial lobbies?
Why is land the key to American democracy? How can we protect our democracy as more people and industries compete more intensively for our remaining resources? Americans and Their Land begins an important, overdue discussion of these questions. Anne Mackin takes the reader story by story from frontier history to the present and shows how land shaped the American political landscape. She shows how our evolving traditions of apportioning resources have allowed diminished supplies to create our present, increasingly unequal society, and she asks how 300 million Americans living in the new American landscape of growing competition can better share those resources.
Most people would be hard pressed to name a famous artist from Renaissance France. Yet sixteenth-century French kings believed they were the heirs of imperial Rome and commissioned a magnificent array of visual arts to secure their hopes of political ascendancy with images of overflowing abundance. With a wide-ranging yet richly detailed interdisciplinary approach, Rebecca Zorach examines the visual culture of the French Renaissance, where depictions of sacrifice, luxury, fertility, violence, metamorphosis, and sexual excess are central. Zorach looks at the cultural, political, and individual roles that played out in these artistic themes and how, eventually, these aesthetics of exuberant abundance disintegrated amidst perceptions of decadent excess.
Throughout the book, abundance and excess flow in liquids-blood, milk, ink, and gold-that highlight the materiality of objects and the human body, and explore the value (and values) accorded to them. The arts of the lavish royal court at Fontainebleau and in urban centers are here explored in a vibrant tableau that illuminates our own contemporary relationship to excess and desire.
From marvelous works by Francois Clouet to oversexed ornamental prints to Benvenuto Cellini's golden saltcellar fashioned for Francis I, Blood, Milk, Ink, Gold covers an astounding range of subjects with precision and panache, producing the most lucid, well-rounded portrait of the cultural politics of the French Renaissance to date.
From flea bites to galaxies, from love affairs to shadows, Paul Feyerabend reveled in the sensory and intellectual abundance that surrounds us. He found it equally striking that human senses and human intelligence are able to take in only a fraction of these riches. "This a blessing, not a drawback," he writes. "A superconscious organism would not be superwise, it would be paralyzed." This human reduction of experience to a manageable level is the heart of Conquest of Abundance, the book on which Feyerabend was at work when he died in 1994.
Prepared from drafts of the manuscript left at his death, working notes, and lectures and articles Feyerabend wrote while the larger work was in progress, Conquest of Abundance offers up rich exploration and startling insights with the charm, lucidity, and sense of mischief that are his hallmarks. Feyerabend is fascinated by how we attempt to explain and predict the mysteries of the natural world, and he looks at the ways in which we abstract experience, explain anomalies, and reduce wonder to formulas and equations. Through his exploration of the positive and negative consequences of these efforts, Feyerabend reveals the "conquest of abundance" as an integral part of the history and character of Western civilization.
"Paul Feyerabend . . . was the Norman Mailer of philosophy. . . . brilliant, brave, adventurous, original and quirky."—Richard Rorty, New Republic
"As much a smudged icon as a philosophical position holder, [Feyerabend] was alluring and erotic, a torch singer for philosophical anarchy."—Nancy Maull, New York Times Book Review
"[A] kind of final testament of Feyerabend's thought . . . Conquest of Abundance is as much the product of a brilliant, scintillating style as of an immense erudition and culture. . . . This book is as abundant and rich as the world it envisions."—Arkady Plotnitsky, Chicago Tribune
"The authors of The Distribution and Abundance of Animals have now written The Ecological Web, an extended and careful synthesis of theory and field research, which provides an illuminating analysis of how environment influences the distribution and abundance of animals. The work also provides the first comprehensive account, illustrated by numerous case histories, of P. J. den Boer's theory of 'spreading the risk.' . . . Andrewartha and Birch, by shifting the emphasis away from abstract theory and back to consideration of animals in their complex natural environments, have provided a useful guide for ecologically sound conservation and management."—Animal Behaviour
"The Ecological Web presents an entirely fresh look at ecology from the autecological perspective, and is a worthy successor to the authors' classic work, The Distribution and Abundance of Animals. The work is original—indeed unique—and the detailed coverage of case histories is unprecedented. The point of view will be controversial, but every ecologist will be impressed with the competence and completeness with which the arguments are mustered. A 'must' for every ecologist and environmental scientist."—Paul R. Ehrlich
"This book is the naturalist's vision of population ecology. The authors do not intend a formal description of the environment, but are seeking a way of functional analysis, a workable framework of theory within which to ask questions that will help us understand the distribution and abundance of animals in natural populations. The Ecological Web should be studied carefully by every population ecologist and should take a prominent place in the teaching of ecology. It marks a very significant period in our science as we change from one paradigm to another."—P. J. den Boer
Offering particular insight into Filippino Lippi’s artistic problem-solving, an innovative look at the Renaissance master.
The first focused study of Filippino Lippi in a generation, and the first in English in over eighty years, this book presents a new understanding of the Renaissance master-artist. Celebrated as “ingenious” by Vasari in 1550, Filippino was highly praised and influential, then fell out of favor and was forgotten for centuries. He was rediscovered by the poet Swinburne, who in 1868 celebrated the painter’s “inventive enjoyment and indefatigable fancy.” In a similar spirit, this volume explores Filippino’s creativity in solving artistic problems. If a Roman cardinal requested a classically inspired work or a Florentine humanist wanted to dazzle observers with his antiquarian interests, Filippino had the sensitivity to understand these diverse needs and express them with highly original solutions.
The management of coastal and ocean fisheries is highly contentious. Industry interests focus on maximizing catches while conservationists and marine scientists have become increasingly concerned about dramatic declines in fish stocks and the health of ecosystems. Besides attempting to mediate among these interests, government agencies have pursued their own agendas, which have often lagged behind shifts in scientific understanding and public attitudes about the productivity of the oceans and uses of marine wildlife.
From Abundance to Scarcity examines the historical evolution of U.S. fisheries policy and institutions from the late 19th century to the present day, with an emphasis on changes since World War II. Based on archival research and interviews with dozens of key players in marine policymaking, it traces the thinking, legislation, mandates, and people that have shaped the various agencies governing fisheries in the United States. The book:
discusses the development of federal programs in marine biological sciences and the evolution of scientific understanding about marine wildlife populations
describes the work of federal fisheries programs in promoting the interests of the fishing industry
considers the response of agencies to factors such as dam-building and coastal development that have led to increased pollution and habitat loss
examines the shifts in understanding and values that underlie major legislation including the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and the Sustainable Fisheries Act
examines the evolving relationship between federal agencies, the fishing industry, communities, and nongovernmental conservation organizations, with an eye toward future management practice
From Abundance to Scarcity sheds light on the sets of interests that have shaped U.S. fisheries policy, lending historical depth to current debates and providing a fuller understanding of current laws and regulations, and administrative structures and mechanisms. It offers an insightful overview for professionals involved with fisheries management or the fishing industry, conservationists working on marine issues, and students and scholars of marine policy and affairs, environmental policy and law, or public policy and administration.
In medieval culture, media forms were placesof mediated immediacy. They transported apresence of the divine, but also knowledge ofits unattainability. This volume investigates the multi-layered and fascinatingapproaches of medieval authors to the wordand writing, the body and materiality, andtheir experimentation with the possibilitiesof media before the concept was invented.The book presents, for the first time, acoherent, tightly argued history of medievalmediality, which also casts a new light onmodern thinking about the medial.
For most people, grocery shopping is a mundane activity. Few stop to think about the massive, global infrastructure that makes it possible to buy Chilean grapes in a Philadelphia supermarket in the middle of winter. Yet every piece of food represents an interlocking system of agriculture, manufacturing, shipping, logistics, retailing, and nonprofits that controls what we eat—or don’t.
The Problem with Feeding Cities is a sociological and historical examination of how this remarkable network of abundance and convenience came into being over the last century. It looks at how the US food system transformed from feeding communities to feeding the entire nation, and it reveals how a process that was once about fulfilling basic needs became focused on satisfying profit margins. It is also a story of how this system fails to feed people, especially in the creation of food deserts. Andrew Deener shows that problems with food access are the result of infrastructural failings stemming from how markets and cities were developed, how distribution systems were built, and how organizations coordinate the quality and movement of food. He profiles hundreds of people connected through the food chain, from farmers, wholesalers, and supermarket executives, to global shippers, logistics experts, and cold-storage operators, to food bank employees and public health advocates. It is a book that will change the way we see our grocery store trips and will encourage us all to rethink the way we eat in this country.
This collection of articles relates to a research area currently developing in the Humanities, which calls for philosophical and historical approaches to questions of sustainable development and waste management. The title of the issue reflects the central questions raised by all contributors: how are waste and abundance represented, how may we conceptualize these representations, and what ethical problems do they raise?
Particular attention is paid to the cultural and moral factors that condition our attitudes to waste and the ways in which literature addresses the problematic relationship that binds production, consumption and waste to social and political systems.