protgunbeilochu.gq/women-s-psychological-fiction/kenya-a-natural-outlook-chapter-20-overview.pdf Yes, I'll eat some too. There will be enough for mother. They paused before a tall building on the Laende that still exhaled a moist, new smell. The peddler rang the bell. All remained quiet. After a bit he pulled again at the brass knob, saying, "The janitor knows who it is. That's why he takes his time.
Many a time I have to stand here for an hour. He is a rude man. Often I do not trust myself to come if I haven't five kreutzer to give him for opening the door. Friedrich tugged vigorously at the bell. Once, twice. Behind the gate they heard a rustling, shuffling footsteps, jingling keys. A gleam of light showed through the slits. The gate was opened. The janitor held up the lantern and shouted, "Who was that rang so loudly?
The Jew baggage? The peddler timidly excused himself. Hearing the clink of silver on the cobbles, the man became servile. That Jew there! The janitor stooped to pick up the money. A whole crown! This must be a very great gentleman. He promptly took the stub out of his lantern and handed it to Friedrich. Then he disappeared, muttering.
Friedrich climbed up the five flights. It was well they had the candle; the darkness was impenetrable. The Littwaks' one-windowed room, too, was in darkness, though the woman was awake and sitting upright on her straw pallet. Friedrich noticed that the narrow room contained no stick of furniture whatever. Not a chair, table, or cupboard. On the window sill were a few small bottles and some broken pots. It was a picture of deepest poverty. A whimpering baby lay at the woman's flabby breast.
The mother stared at him anxiously out of her hollow eyes. She broke it with difficulty and slowly put a bit into her mouth. She was emaciated and very weak, but the careworn face still showed traces of beauty. We have been told to move. But how shall I get three gulden by the day after tomorrow? We and the children will lie in the street. Friedrich reached into his pocket and found eight gulden. He handed them to the peddler. Is it possible? God has helped us! Blessed be His Name! Rebecca, too, was beside herself with joy.
She rose to her knees and crawled toward the benefactor. She held the sleeping baby on her right arm, and reached with her left for Friedrich's hand that she might kiss it. He cut their thanks short. The few gulden are nothing to me-it doesn't matter whether I have them or not David can light me downstairs.
The woman sank back on her pallet, sobbing pitifully in her joy. Littwak murmured a Hebrew prayer. Friedrich left the room, escorted by David. When they reached the second landing, the boy, who had been holding the candle high, stopped short. Friedrich marveled at the little fellow's words and tone.
There was something curiously firm and mature about him. I have heard that one who studies becomes a free, strong man. I shall study, God helping me. Then I shall go to the Land of Israel with my parents and Miriam. The poor Jew boy seemed in no wise ridiculous as he announced his program in a few emphatic words. Friedrich recalled those silly jesters, Gruen and Blau, who had made Zionism the butt of their insipid humor. Friedrich smiled. I shall repay everything-good and evil. Friedrich placed his hand on the boy's head. Later he wondered at his own words.
He had had nothing to do with the ancestral God since as a child he had gone to temple with his father. This remarkable encounter, however, had stirred old and forgotten things within him. He longed for the strong faith of his youth, when he had communed with the God of his fathers in prayer. The janitor shuffled forward. Friedrich turned to him. Otherwise, you will have to reckon with me. As Friedrich's words were accompanied by a second tip, the fellow murmured meekly, "Kiss your grace's hand! In the reply which Friedrich received to his letter to the N.
Body of the newspaper advertisement, he was asked to call at a certain fashionable hotel on the Ringstrasse. He came at the hour appointed, and asked for Mr. He was shown to a salon on the first floor. A tall, broad-shouldered man greeted him there. They sat down. Friedrich observed the stranger closely, and waited for him to speak. Kingscourt was a man in the fifties. His full beard was streaked with gray, his thick brown hair interlaced with silver threads that already shimmered white at the temples.
He puffed slowly at a thick cigar. Kingscourt carefully blew a smoke ring into the air, and watched it attentively until the cloudy strands were dissipated. Only when the last traces had vanished, he asked, without looking at his visitor, "Why are you disgusted with life?
Kingscourt now looked him full in the face, and nodded approvingly as he flicked the ash from his cigar. It's none of my affair. And then, if we put this deal through, you'll tell me of your own accord some time. Meanwhile, I shall tell you who I am. My real name is Koenigshoff.
I am a German nobleman. I was an officer in my youth, but the coat-of-mail fitted me too snugly. I can't bear another man's will over mine, be it the best in the world. Obedience was good for a few years. But after that I had to quit. Otherwise, I'd have exploded and caused damage I went to America, called myself Kingscourt, and made a fortune in twenty years of blood-sweating work. When I had come so far, I took a wife.
What did you say, Dr. But I thought, Mr. Kingscourt, that you would tell me about this experiment you want to propose to me. If we should arrange to be together, I shall tell you in detail how I worked my way up and made my millions.
For I have millions What did you say? That's what counts. Want a thing with all your might, and you're dead certain to get it. I never realized until I lived in America what a lazy, weak-kneed lot we Europeans are. Devil take me! In short, I was successful. As it happened, a Koenigshoff, a son of my brother's who was in the guards, made a fool of himself.
I had the boy come out to me-just at the time I was courting my wife. Yes, I wanted to establish a family, set up a hearth, seek out a wife upon whom I might hang jewels like any other parvenu. I yearned for children so that they might enjoy the fruits of my drudgery. I wanted to be damned clever, and so I married a poor girl.
She was the daughter of one of my employees. I had shown her and her father much kindness. Of course she consented. I thought she loved me, but she was only grateful, or perhaps cowardly. She did not dare to refuse me. So we went housekeeping, and my nephew lived with us. I called myself an ass when I first found out. But, had it not been he, it would have been someone else. In brief, they betrayed me; from the first moment, I believe. My first move was for a revolver, but then I told myself that really I alone was the guilty one. I let them off.
It is human to be base, and every opportunity is a panderer. Avoid human beings if you would not have them ruin you. I collapsed, you see. The thought crept into my mind to end the shabby comedy of my life with a bullet. But on thinking it over, I decided that there was always time to shoot oneself. I had no more desire for gain, and of the dream of a family I had had enough. Only solitude remained as a last experiment. But it must be a vast, unheard-of solitude, where one would know nothing more of mankind of its wretched struggles, its uncleanness, its disloyalties.
I wanted genuine, deep solitude without struggle or desire. A full, true return to Nature! Solitude is the paradise which humanity forfeited by its sins. But I have found it. Have you found it? I settled my affairs, and ran away from everything and everyone. No one knew what had become of me. I built myself a comfortable yacht and vanished with it. I wandered about the seas for many months.
It's a glorious life, you must know. Wouldn't you. Or perhaps you are already familiar with it? Life on the yacht is freedom, but not real solitude. You must have a crew about you, you have to put into a harbor occasionally for coal. Then you come into contact with people once more, and that's a dirty business. But I know an island in the South Seas where one is really alone. It is a rocky little nest in Cook's Archipelago.
I bought it, and had men come over from Raratonga to build me a comfortable home. It is so well hidden by the cliffs that it cannot be spied on any side from the sea. Besides, ships rarely come that way. My island still looks uninhabited. I live there with two servants, a dumb negro whom I had in America, and a Tahitan whom I pulled out of the water at Avarua harbor when he tried to drown himself over an unhappy love affair.
Now I have come to Europe for a last visit to buy whatever I shall need for the rest of my life over there-books - apparatus for physics, and weapons. My Tahitan brings provisions from the nearest inhabited island. He and my negro go over every morning in an electric launch. Whatever else we need can be bought for money in Raratonga, just like anywhere else in the world But I do not know why you are telling me all this.
Because I want to take a companion back with me-so that I shall not unlearn human speech, and so that there may be someone by me to close my eyes when I die. Do you want to be that someone? Kingscourt nodded his satisfaction, but added, "However, I must remind you that you are undertaking a lifelong obligation. At least, it must hold for the rest of my life. If you come with me now, there will be no going back.
You must cut all your ties:'. You will actually leave this life if you go with me. You will know nothing more of the good or evil of this world. You will be dead to it, and it will have gone under-as far as you are concerned. Does that suit you? I like your type. Kingscourt laughed. That's an amusing question. You are a man. I can see that. And you seem to be an educated man. You are disgusted with life. That shows your good taste. Everything else is frightfully unimportant where we are going Well, then, shake hands on it. Say tomorrow. We go from here to Trieste, where my yacht is anchored Perhaps you still wish to provide yourself with some things here?
This is no pleasure trip, but a farewell to life:'. You may need money for your purchases, Draw on me. We're off tomorrow, then. But we might begin having our meals together today. Kingscourt rang for a waiter, and gave his order briefly. An elaborate luncheon was served in Kingscoun's sitting room. The two men soon grew intimate as they talked over the meal. After Kingscourt had so quickly reposed confidence in him, Friedrich felt he ought to tell his own story.
He did so briefly and clearly. When he had finished, the American remarked, "Now I believe that you will not leave me once I have you upon my island. Lovesickness, Weltschmerz suffering as a Jew-all that together is enough to make even a young man wish to have done with living. Even if you bestow benefits upon them, they deceive you and make you suffer. The philanthropists are the greatest fools of all. Don't you think so, Dr. Kingscourt, that there is pleasure in well-doing That reminds me. You offered me money a moment ago if I cared to leave some behind me before I depart from this world, I know a family in the greatest straits.
With your permission, I should like to help them,". But I cannot refuse you. I had intended giving you a sum of money to settle your affairs. Will five thousand gulden suffice? The Littwak's room by daylight looked even drearier than at night, but Friedrich found the family in an almost happy mood. David was standing near the window-sill with an open book before him, chewing a mighty slice of bread and butter. His father and mother sat on the straw, and little Miriam played with bits of chaff.
Hayim hastily rose to greet his benefactor. The wife too tried to rise, but Friedrich checked her. He knelt beside her quickly and petted the nurseling, who smiled at him sweetly out of her rags. David had put down his bread and butter, and stood regarding Friedrich steadily with folded arms. I once read a story about a man who helped a sick lion. Friedrich rose, and said jestingly, as he placed his hand on the boy's round head, "And so you are the lion? Judah once had a lion. I came only to see how you were feeling today, and to bring something.
You are to open this letter only after I have left. It contains a recommendation that will be useful to you. You must eat well, Mrs. Littwak, and bring up this pretty little girl to be as fine a woman as yourself. Give me your hand, boy! Promise me you will become an upright man. What remarkable eyes the boy has, thought Friedrich, as he shook the small hand. He laid the bulky envelope on the window-sill and turned to go. He walked quickly out of the room and ran down the stairs as if he were being pursued. A cab was waiting for him in the street: "Hurry!
The horses started off at a gallop. It was high time. A moment later David came running breathlessly through the gate, spying in every direction. When he could find no trace of the benefactor, he wept bitterly. Friedrich watched him through the rear cab window, happy to have escaped the flood of thanks. With five thousand gulden the family could probably establish itself. At the hotel Kingscourt greeted him laughingly. The money was yours. I object decidedly. I should not have given a penny in order to benefit people.
I don't mind your being a fool about loving your neighbor. I'm not any more. The money was an advance to yourself. You were free to use it as you pleased. But for humans, no! Don't bring that kind around. They're too vile. Wisdom consists only in recognizing their baseness There was a story in the papers recently about an old lady who left her fortune to her cats. In her last will she left instructions that her home was to be turned into thus-and-so many fine apartments for the cat tribe, with servants, and all that, to look after them.
The writer fellow stupidly said that very likely the old lady was cracked. She wasn't cracked at all, but enormously clever. She wanted to make a demonstration against the human race, and especially against her beastly, fortune-hunting relatives. Help for animals, yes. For humans, no!
You see, I feel deeply for that old lady, God rest her soul! The vileness of mankind was Kingscourt's favorite topic, and he elaborated it with inexhaustible verve. Friedrich arranged his few affairs, and was ready to join Kingscourt the following day. He told his landlady that he was making an excursion to the Grossglockner. She tried to dissuade him; one heard so much about mountain accidents in mid-winter. I shall probably be resting peacefully in some mountain cleft. My belongings here I bequeath to you. That evening Friedrich left Vienna with Kingscourt.
He had not gone again to the Cafe Birkenreis, and so did not know that little David Littwak waited for him in the doorway night after night Kingscourt's handsome yacht was rolling on the waters of Trieste harbor. The two men made their final purchases for the long journey in the town; and then, on a beautiful December day, the anchor was raised and the yacht steered south and eastward. In other circumstances, Friedrich would have been enchanted with the free life of the sea. But, as it was, the sunny cruise hardly eased his heartache. Kingscourt was really a delightful person, good-natured despite the misanthropy he boasted of, charming, and tender-hearted.
When he saw Friedrich depressed, he tried to divert him with all sorts of pleasantries, treating him like a sick child. Then Friedrich would say, "If the crew watch us together, they will get a wrong idea of our relations. They'll take me for the host, and you for the guest whom I've invited to entertain me. Ah, Mr.. Kingscourt, you could have found a more cheerful companion.
But I'll cure you yet. You'll look at things quite differently when we've left the human mob behind us altogether. Then you'll become a cheerful fellow like me. When we're on our blessed island. If that's not true, may the Devil take me! The yacht was very cozy, and equipped with all sorts of American conveniences. Friedrich's cabin was just as fine as Kingscourt's.
The dining saloon was magnificently decorated. The hours flew by in congenial talk as they sat together in the evenings under the friendly, steady light of the ceiling lamp. There was a small, well-selected library on board, but their days always seemed too full for books. Kingscourt exerted himself constantly to distract his companion.
As they were crossing the rough waters near Crete, he suddenly came out with a suggestion. Loewenberg, haven't you any desire to see your fatherland before you say farewell to the world? You are mistaken. I have no connection with Palestine. I have never been there. It does not interest me. My ancestors left it eighteen hundred years ago. What should I seek there? I think that only anti-Semites can call Palestine our fatherland. But, even as he spoke, Friedrich remembered David Littwak, and added, "Aside from the anti-Semites, I have heard only one little Jewboy say that Palestine is our land.
Did you mean to tease me, Mr. I meant it seriously. Really, I don't understand you Jews. If I were a Jew, I should be frightfully proud of that sort of thing. And yet you are ashamed of it. You needn't wonder that you are despised. Present company excluded, of course. He had called his companion by his German name for the first time, without himself knowing why. You know all about that. But you take it amiss if I don't care for the Jews.
Comfort yourself, man. I hate the Jews no more and no less than I hate Christians, Moslems, and fire-worshipers. The whole lot aren't worth a charge of powder. I understand good old Nero. One single neck, to be run through at a single stroke.
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Or, no! Rather let the rascally crew live and worry each other to death. Friedrich was mollified. That's the best proof. In short, with a Jew. It happened in the regiment. We had a volunteer there. Cohn was the creature's name, a low This Cohn was a damned bow-legged fellow, as if created for the cavalry. It happened during the riding lesson. I made the swine jump the barriers. That is, I wanted to make them jump.
They didn't want to, or couldn't. It was a bit high, that's true. Well, I cursed them as such God-forsaken swine deserved. I've forgotten since. I gave them to understand in cavalry oaths that they were a cowardly bunch of scamps. I went for Cohn in particular. The blood rushed to the Jew's face. He took the jump, but fell and broke his arm. That worried me for a while. Why must such carrion have a sense of honor into the bargain? How you twist my words Well, and if the Jews have a sense of honor, why do they put up with all the mischief?
What would I have them do? Really, I don't know. Something like that Cohn in the Tiding school. I respected him more after that. If I were in your place, I'd do something bold, something big, something that would make my enemies gape. Prejudices, my dear fellow, there will always be. Driving a boat, you try to follow the compass heading or aim for a landmark on shore; planting corn, you try to follow the groove in the soil laid down on the previous pass by a rolling disk at the end of a steel arm attached to the planter behind us.
Deviate from the line and your corn rows will wobble, overlapping or drifting away from one another. Either way, it'll earn you a measure of neighborly derision and hurt your yield. And yield, measured in bushels per acre, is the measure of all things here in corn country. Naylor is a big man with a moon face and a scraggly gray beard. On the phone his gravelly voice and incontrovertible pronouncements "That is just the biggest bunch of bullshit! Naylor had on the farmer's standard-issue baseball cap, a yellow chamois shirt, and overalls — the stripy blue kind favored by railroad workers, about as un- intimidating an article of clothing as has ever been donned by a man.
My first impression was more shambling Gentle Ben than fiery prairie populist, but I would discover that Naylor can be either fellow, the mere mention of "Cargill" or "Earl Butz" supplying the transformational trigger. This part of Iowa has some of the richest soil in the world, a layer of cakey alluvial loam nearly two feet thick. The initial deposit was made by the retreat of the Wisconsin glacier ten thousand years ago, and then compounded at the rate of another inch or two every decade by prairie grasses — big bluestem, foxtail, needlegrass, and switchgrass.
Tall-grass prairie is what this land was until the middle of the nine- teenth century, when the sod was first broken by the settler's plow.
George's grandfather moved his family to Iowa from Derbyshire, Eng- land, in the s, a coal miner hoping to improve his lot in life. The sight of such soil, pushing up and then curling back down behind the blade of his plow like a thick black wake behind a ship, must have stoked his confidence, and justifiably so: It's gorgeous stuff, black gold as deep as you can dig, as far as you can see.
What you can't see is all the soil that's no longer here, having been blown or washed away since the sod was broken; the two-foot crust of topsoil here probably started out closer to four. It begins with a farmer supporting a family on a dozen different species of plants and animals. There would have been a fair amount of corn then too, but also fruits and other vegetables, as well as oats, hay, and alfalfa to feed the pigs, cattle, chickens, and horses — horses being the tractors of that time.
One of every four Americans lived on a farm when Naylor 's grand- father arrived here in Churdan; his land and labor supplied enough food to feed his family and twelve other Americans besides. Less than a century after, fewer than 2 million Americans still farm— and they grow enough to feed the rest of us. What that means is that Naylor 's grandson, raising nothing but corn and soybeans on a fairly typical Iowa farm, is so astoundingly productive that he is, in effect, feeding some Americans.
Measured in terms of output per worker, Ameri- can farmers like Naylor are the most productive humans who have ever lived. Yet George Naylor is all but going broke — and he's doing better than many of his neighbors. Partly because he's still driving that tractor. For though this farm might feed , it can no longer support the four who live on it: The Naylor farm survives by the grace of Peggy Naylor 's paycheck she works for a social services agency in Jefferson and an annual subsidy payment from Washington, D.
Nor can the Naylor farm literally feed the Naylor family, as it did in grandfather Naylor 's day. George's crops are basically inedible — they're commodi- ties that must be processed or fed to livestock before they can feed peo- ple. Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink: Like most of Iowa, which now imports 80 percent of its food, George's farm apart from his garden, his laying hens, and his fruit trees is basically a food desert.
The 1 29 people who depend on George Naylor for their sustenance are all strangers, living at the far end of a food chain so long, intricate, and obscure that neither producer nor consumer has any reason to know the first thing about the other. I came to George Naylor 's farm as an unelected representative of the Group of 1 29, curious to learn whom, and what, I'd find at the far end of the food chain that keeps me alive.
There's no way of knowing whether George Naylor is literally growing the corn that feeds the steer that be- comes my steak, or that sweetened my son's soft drink, or that supplied the dozen or so corn-derived ingredients from which his chicken nug- get is constructed. But given the complexly ramifying fate of a bushel of commodity corn, the countless forking paths followed by its ninety thousand kernels as they're dispersed across the nation's sprawling food system, the odds are good that at least one of the kernels grown on the Naylor farm has, like the proverbial atom from Caesar's dying breath, made its way to me.
And if not me, then certainly you. This Iowa corn- field and all the others just like it is the place most of our food comes from. The two crops take turns in these fields year after year, in what has been the classic Corn Belt ro- tation since the s. Since that time soybeans have become the sec- ond leg supporting the industrial food system: It too is fed to livestock and now finds its way into two-thirds of all processed foods.
For most of the afternoon I sat on a rough cushion George had fashioned for me from crumpled seed bags, but after a while he let me take the wheel. Back and forth and back again, a half a mile in each direction, plant- ing corn feels less like planting, or even driving, than stitching an inter- minable cloak, or covering a page with the same sentence over and over.
The monotony, compounded by the roar of a diesel engine well past its prime, is hypnotic after a while. Every pass across this field, which is almost but not quite dead flat, represents another acre of corn planted, another thirty thousand seeds tucked into one of the eight fur- rows being simultaneously etched into the soil by pairs of stainless steel disks; a trailing roller then closes the furrows over the seed. The seed we were planting was Pioneer Hi-Bred 's 34H3 1 , a strain that the catalog described as "an adaptable hybrid with solid agronomics and yield potential.
He has a gut distrust of the technology "They're messing with three billion years of evolution" and doesn't think it's worth the extra twenty-five dollars a bag in technology fees they cost. I fail to see why I should be laun- dering money for Monsanto.
Even without the addition of transgenes for traits like insect resis- tance, the standard F-l hybrids Naylor plants are technological marvels, capable of coaxing bushels of corn from an acre of Iowa soil. One bushel holds 56 pounds of kernels, so that's slightly more than ten thousand pounds of food per acre; the field George and I planted that day would produce 1.
Not bad for a day's work sit- ting down, I thought to myself that afternoon, though of course there 'd be several more days of work between now and the harvest in October. One way to tell the story of this farm is by following the steady up- ward arc in the yield of corn. Corn then was planted in widely spaced bunches in a checkerboard pattern so farmers could easily cul- tivate between the stands in either direction.
Hybrid seed came on the market in the late the s, when his father was farming. Doubled Dad's yields, till he was getting seventy to eighty an acre in the fifties. The only other domesticated species ever to have multiplied its productivity by such a factor is the Holstein cow. Neither of the above, Naylor explained. The higher yield of mod- ern hybrids stems mainly from the fact that they can be planted so close together, thirty thousand to the acre instead of eight thousand in his fa- ther's day. Planting the old open-pollinated nonhybrid varieties so densely would result in stalks grown spindly as they jostled each other for sunlight; eventually the plants would topple in the wind.
Hybrids have been bred for thicker stalks and stronger root systems, the better to stand upright in a crowd and withstand mechanical harvesting. Basi- cally, modern hybrids can tolerate the corn equivalent of city life, growing amid the multitudes without succumbing to urban stress. You would think that competition among individuals would threaten the tranquility of such a crowded metropolis, yet the modern field of corn forms a most orderly mob.
This is because every plant in it, being an F- 1 hybrid, is genetically identical to every other. Since no individ- ual plant has inherited any competitive edge over any other, precious resources like sunlight, water, and soil nutrients are shared equitably. There are no alpha corn plants to hog the light or fertilizer. The true so- cialist Utopia turns out to be a field of F- 1 hybrid plants.
There may be little pavement out here, but this is no middle landscape. Though by any reasonable definition Iowa is a rural state, it is more thoroughly developed than many cities: A mere 2 percent of the state's land remains what it used to be tall-grass prairie , every square foot of the rest having been completely remade by man. The only thing miss- ing from this man-made landscape is. When Naylor's grandfather ar- rived in America the population of Greene County was near its peak: 1 6, people. In the most recent census it had fallen to 1 0,3 6 6. There are many reasons for the depopulation of the American Farm Belt, but the triumph of corn deserves a large share of the blame — or the credit, depending on your point of view.
When George Naylor's grandfather was farming, the typical Iowa farm was home to whole families of different plant and animal species, corn being only the fourth most common. Horses were the first, be- cause every farm needed working animals there were only trac- tors in all of America in , followed by cattle, chickens, and then corn. After corn came hogs, apples, hay, oats, potatoes, and cherries; many Iowa farms also grew wheat, plums, grapes, and pears. This diver- sity allowed the farm not only to substantially feed itself — and by that I don't mean feed only the farmers, but also the soil and the livestock — but to withstand a collapse in the market for any one of those crops.
It also produced a completely different landscape than the Iowa of today. Everyone had livestock, so large parts of the farm would be green most of the year. The ground never used to be this bare this long. Even in May the only green you see are the moats of lawn surrounding the houses, the nar- row strips of grass dividing one farm from another, and the roadside ditches. The fences were pulled up when the animals left, beginning in the fifties and sixties, or when they moved indoors, as Iowa's hogs have more recently done; hogs now spend their lives in aluminum sheds perched atop manure pits.
Greene County in the spring has become a monotonous landscape, vast plowed fields relieved only by a dwindling number of farmsteads, increasingly lonesome islands of white wood and green grass marooned in a sea of black. Without the fences and hedgerows to slow it down, Naylor says, the winds blow more fiercely in Iowa today than they once did. Corn isn't solely responsible for remaking this landscape: It was the tractor, after all, that put the horses out of work, and with the horses went the fields of oats and some of the pasture. But corn was the crop that put cash in the farmer's pocket, so as corn yields began to soar at midcentury, the temptation was to give the miracle crop more and more land.
Of course, every other farmer in America was thinking the same way having been encouraged to do so by government policies , with the inevitable result that the price of corn declined. One might think falling corn prices would lead farmers to plant less of it, but the economics and psychology of agriculture are such that exactly the op- posite happened.
Beginning in the fifties and sixties, the flood tide of cheap corn made it profitable to fatten cattle on feedlots instead of on grass, and to raise chickens in giant factories rather than in farmyards. Iowa livestock farmers couldn't compete with the factory-farmed animals their own cheap corn had helped spawn, so the chickens and catde disappeared from the farm, and with them the pastures and hay fields and fences. In their place the farmers planted more of the one crop they could grow more of than anything else: corn.
And whenever the price of corn slipped they planted a little more of it, to cover expenses and stay even. By the s the di- versified family farm was history in Iowa, and corn was king. Recently, though, bean prices having fallen and bean diseases hav- ing risen, some farmers are going back to a risky rotation of "corn on corn.
Now it proceeded to push out the people. For the radically sim- plified farm of corn and soybeans doesn't require nearly as much hu- man labor as the old diversified farm, especially when the farmer can call on sixteen-row planters and chemical weed killers. One man can handle a lot more acreage by himself when it's planted in monoculture, and without animals to care for he can take the weekend off, and even think about spending the winter in Florida. So the farms got bigger, and eventually the people, whom the steadily falling price of corn could no longer support anyway, went elsewhere, ceding the field to the monstrous grass.
Today Churdan is virtually a ghost town, much of its main street shuttered. The middle school can no longer field a baseball team or put together a band, it has so few students left, and it takes four local high schools to field a single football team: the Jefferson-Scranton-Paton-Churdan Rams. Just about the only going con- cern left standing in Churdan is the grain elevator, rising at the far end of town like a windowless concrete skyscraper.
It endures because, peo- ple or no people, the corn keeps coming, more of it every year. As in so many other "self-made" Amer- ican successes, the closer you look the more you find the federal government lending a hand — a patent, a monopoly, a tax break — to our hero at a critical juncture.
In the case of corn, the botanical hero I've depicted as plucky and ambitious was in fact subsidized in crucial ways, both economically and biologically. There's a good reason I met farmers in Iowa who don't respect corn, who will tell you in disgust that the plant has become "a welfare queen. After the war the government had found itself with a tremendous surplus of ammonium nitrate, the principal ingredient in the making of explosives.
Ammonium nitrate also happens to be an ex- cellent source of nitrogen for plants. Serious thought was given to spraying America's forests with the surplus chemical, to help out the timber industry. But agronomists in the Department of Agriculture had a better idea: Spread the ammonium nitrate on farmland as fertilizer.
The chemical fertilizer industry along with that of pesticides, which are based on poison gases developed for the war is the product of the government's effort to convert its war machine to peacetime purposes. Hybrid corn is the greediest of plants, consuming more fertilizer than any other crop. For though the new hybrids had the genes to sur- vive in teeming cities of corn, the richest acre of Iowa soil could never have fed thirty thousand hungry corn plants without prompdy bank- rupting its fertility. Before synthetic fertilizers the amount of nitrogen in the soil strictly limited the amount of corn an acre of land could support.
Though hybrids were introduced in the thirties, it wasn't until they made the acquaintance of chemical fertilizers in the 1 s that corn yields exploded. The discovery of synthetic nitrogen changed everything — not just for the corn plant and the farm, not just for the food system, but also for the way life on earth is conducted. All life depends on nitrogen; it is the building block from which nature assembles amino acids, proteins, and nucleic acids; the genetic information that orders and perpetuates life is written in nitrogen ink.
This is why scientists speak of nitrogen as supplying life's quality, while carbon provides the quantity. But the supply of usable nitrogen on earth is limited. Although earth's atmos- phere is about 80 percent nitrogen, all those atoms are tightly paired, nonreactive, and therefore useless; the nineteenth-century chemist Justus von Liebig spoke of atmospheric nitrogen's "indifference to all other substances. Chemists call this process of taking atoms from the atmosphere and combining them into molecules useful to living things "fixing" that element.
Until a German Jewish chemist named Fritz Haber fig- ured out how to turn this trick in 1 , all the usable nitrogen on earth had at one time been fixed by soil bacteria living on the roots of legu- minous plants such as peas or alfalfa or locust trees or, less com- monly, by the shock of electrical lightning, which can break nitrogen bonds in the air, releasing a light rain of fertility. Vaclav Smil, a geographer who has written a fascinating book about Fritz Haber called Enriching the Earth, pointed out that "there is no way to grow crops and human bodies without nitrogen.
By , Eu- ropean scientists recognized that unless a way was found to augment this naturally occurring nitrogen, the growth of the human population would soon grind to a very painful halt. The same recognition by Chi- nese scientists a few decades later is probably what compelled China's opening to the West: After Nixon's trip the first major order the Chinese government placed was for thirteen massive fertilizer factories.
Without them, China would probably have starved. This is why it may not be hyperbole to claim, as Smil does, that the Haber-Bosch process Carl Bosch gets the credit for commercializing Haber's idea for fixing nitrogen is the most important invention of the twentieth century. He estimates that two of every five humans on earth today would not be alive if not for Fritz Haber's invention.
We can eas- ily imagine a world without computers or electricity, Smil points out, but without synthetic fertilizer billions of people would never have been born. Though, as these numbers suggest, humans may have struck something of a Faustian bargain with nature when Fritz Haber gave us the power to fix nitrogen. Fritz Haber? No, I'd never heard of him either, even though he was awarded the Nobel Prize in for "improving the standards of agri- culture and the well-being of mankind. During World War I, Haber threw him- self into the German war effort, and his chemistry kept alive Germany's hopes for victory.
After Britain choked off Germany's supply of nitrates from Chilean mines, an essential ingredient in the manufacture of ex- plosives, Haber's technology allowed Germany to continue making bombs from synthetic nitrate. Later, as the war became mired in the trenches of France, Haber put his genius for chemistry to work devel- oping poison gases — ammonia, then chlorine.
He subsequently devel- oped Zyklon B, the gas used in Hitler's concentration camps. On April 22 , , Smil writes, Haber was "on the front lines directing the first gas attack in military history. Though Haber later converted to Christianity, his Jewish background forced him to flee Nazi Germany in the thirties; he died, broken, in a Basel hotel room in Perhaps because the history of science gets written by the victors, Fritz Haber's story has been all but written out of the twentieth century.
Not even a plaque marks the site of his great discovery at the University of Karlsruhe. Haber's story embodies the paradoxes of science: the double edge to our manipulations of nature, the good and evil that can flow not only from the same man but the same knowledge. Haber brought a vital new source of fertility and an awful new weapon into the world; as his bi- ographer wrote, "[I]t's the same science and the same man doing both.
When humankind acquired the power to fix nitrogen, the basis of soil fertility shifted from a total reliance on the energy of the sun to a new reliance on fossil fuel. For the Haber-Bosch process works by com- bining nitrogen and hydrogen gases under immense heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst. The heat and pressure are supplied by prodigious amounts of electricity, and the hydrogen is supplied by oil, coal, or, most commonly today, natural gas — fossil fuels.
True, these fossil fuels were at one time billions of years ago created by the sun, but they are not renewable in the same way that the fertility created by a legume nourished by sunlight is. That nitrogen is actually fixed by a bacterium living on the roots of the legume, which trades a tiny drip of sugar for the nitrogen the plant needs. On the day in the 1 s that George Naylor's father spread his first load of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, the ecology of his farm underwent a quiet revolution.
What had been a local, sun-driven cycle of fertility, in which the legumes fed the corn which fed the livestock which in turn with their manure fed the corn, was now broken. He could buy fertility in a bag, fertility that had originally been produced a billion years ago halfway around the world. Liberated from the old biological constraints, the farm could now be managed on industrial principles, as a factory transforming inputs of raw material — chemical fertilizer — into outputs of corn.
Since the farm no longer needs to generate and conserve its own fertility by maintaining a diversity of species, synthetic fertilizer opens the way to monoculture, allowing the farmer to bring the factory's economies of scale and mechanical efficiency to nature. If, as has sometimes been said, the discovery of agriculture represented the first fall of man from the state of nature, then the discovery of synthetic fertility is surely a second precipitous fall.
Fixing nitrogen allowed the food chain to turn from the logic of biology and embrace the logic of industry. Instead of eating exclusively from the sun, humanity now began to sip petroleum. Com adapted brilliantly to the new industrial regime, consuming prodigious quantities of fossil fuel energy and turning out ever more prodigious quantities of food energy. More than half "of all the synthetic nitrogen made today is applied to corn, whose hybrid strains can make better use of it than any other plant.
Growing corn, which from a bio- logical perspective had always been a process of capturing sunlight to turn it into food, has in no small measure become a process of convert- ing fossil fuels into food. This shift explains the color of the land: The reason Greene County is no longer green for half the year is because the farmer who can buy synthetic fertility no longer needs cover crops to capture a whole year's worth of sunlight; he has plugged himself into a new source of energy.
When you add together the natural gas in the fer- tilizer to the fossil fuels it takes to make the pesticides, drive the trac- tors, and harvest, dry, and transport the corn, you find that every bushel of industrial corn requires the equivalent of between a quarter and a third of a gallon of oil to grow it — or around fifty gallons of oil per acre of corn.
Some estimates are much higher. From the standpoint of industrial efficiency, it's too bad we can't sim- ply drink the petroleum directly. Ecologically this is a fabulously expensive way to produce food — but "ecologically" is no longer the operative standard.
As long as fossil fuel energy is so cheap and available, it makes good economic sense to produce corn this way. The old way of growing corn — using fertility drawn from the sun — may have been the biological equivalent of a free lunch, but the service was much slower and the portions were much skimpier. In the factory time is money, and yield is everything. One problem with factories, as compared to biological systems, is that they tend to pollute.
Hungry for fossil fuel as hybrid corn is, farm- ers still feed it far more than it can possibly eat, wasting most of the fer- tilizer they buy. Maybe it's applied at the wrong time of year; maybe it runs off the fields in the rain; maybe the farmer puts down extra just to play it safe. I don't know. I'm putting on up to two hundred. You don't want to err on the side of too little," Naylor explained to me, a bit sheepishly. Some of it evaporates into the air, where it acidifies the rain and contributes to global warming.
Am- monium nitrate is transformed into nitrous oxide, an important green- house gas. Some seeps down to the water table. When I went to pour myself a glass of water in the Naylors' kitchen, Peggy made sure I drew it from a special faucet connected to a reverse-osmosis filtration system in the basement. As for the rest of the excess nitrogen, the spring rains wash it off Naylor s fields, carrying it into drainage ditches that eventu- ally spill into the Raccoon River.
In spring, when nitrogen runoff is at its heaviest, the city THE FARM issues "blue baby alerts," warning parents it's unsafe to give children water from the tap. The nitrates in the water convert to nitrite, which binds to hemoglobin, compromising the blood's ability to carry oxy- gen to the brain.
So I guess I was wrong to suggest we don't sip fossil fuels directly; sometimes we do. It has been less than a century since Fritz Haber's invention, yet already it has changed the earth's ecology. More than half of the world's supply of usable nitrogen is now man-made. Unless you grew up on organic food, most of the kilo or so of nitrogen in your body was fixed by the Haber-Bosch process. The flood of synthetic nitrogen has fertilized not just the farm fields but the forests and the oceans too, to the benefit of some species corn and algae being two of the biggest beneficiaries , and to the detri- ment of countless others.
The ultimate fate of the nitrates that George Naylor spreads on his cornfield in Iowa is to flow down the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico, where their deadly fertility poisons the marine ecosystem. The nitrogen tide stimulates the wild growth of algae, and the algae smother the fish, creating a "hypoxic," or dead, zone as big as the state of New Jersey — and still growing. By fertilizing the world, we alter the planet's composition of species and shrink its biodiversity. But by the time Naylor was ready to take his first crop to the elevator, the price of a bushel of corn had dropped from three dollars to two dollars, the result of a bumper crop.
So he held his corn off the market, storing it in the hope that the price would rebound. But the price kept falling all through that winter and into the following spring and, if you factor in inflation, it has pretty much been falling ever since. These days the price of a bushel of corn is about a dol- lar beneath the true cost of growing it, a boon for everyone but the corn farmer.
What I was hoping George Naylor could help me under- stand is, if there's so much corn being grown in America today that the market won't pay the cost of producing it, then why would any farmer in his right mind plant another acre of it? The answer is complicated, as I would learn, but it has something to do with the perverse economics of agriculture, which would seem to defy the classical laws of supply and demand; a little to do with the psy- chology of farmers; and everything to do with farm policies, which un- derwent a revolution right around the time George Naylor was buying his first tractor.
Government farm programs once designed to limit pro- duction and support prices and therefore farmers were quietly rejig- gered to increase production and drive down prices. Put another way, instead of supporting farmers, during the Nixon administration the government began supporting corn at the expense of farmers.
Corn, al- ready the recipient of a biological subsidy in the form of synthetic ni- trogen, would now receive an economic subsidy too, ensuring its final triumph over the land and the food system. Naylor 's perspective on farm policy was shaped by a story his dad used to tell him. It takes place during the winter of 1 , in the depths of the farm depression. America's farm policy was forged during the Depression not, as many people seem to think, to encourage farmers to produce more food for a hungry nation, but to rescue farmers from the disastrous effects of growing too much food — far more than Americans could af- ford to buy.
For as long as people have been farming, fat years have posed almost as stiff a challenge as lean, since crop surpluses collapse prices and bankrupt farmers who will be needed again when the inevitable lean years return. When it comes to food, nature can make a mockery of the classical economics of supply and demand — nature in the form of good or bad weather, of course, but also the nature of the human body, which can consume only so much food no matter how plentiful the supply.
So, going back to the Old Testament, communities have devised various strategies to even out the destructive swings of agricultural pro- duction. The Bible's recommended farm policy was to establish a grain reserve. Not only did this ensure that when drought or pestilence ru- ined a harvest there 'd still be food to eat, but it kept farmers whole by taking food off the market when the harvest was bountiful. This is more or less what New Deal farm programs attempted to do.
For storable commodities such as corn, the government established a target price based on the cost of production, and whenever the market price dropped below that target, the farmer was given a choice. Instead of dumping corn onto a weak market thereby weakening it further , the farmer could take out a loan from the government — using his crop as collateral — that allowed him to store his grain until prices recovered.
At that point, he sold the corn and paid back the loan; if corn prices stayed low, he could elect to keep the money he'd borrowed and, in re- payment, give the government his corn, which would then go into something that came to be called, rather quaintly, the "Ever-Normal Granary. Surpluses were held off the market by the offer of these "nonrecourse loans," which cost the government rela- tively little, since most of the loans were eventually repaid.
And when prices climbed, as a result of bad weather, say, the government sold corn from its granary, which helped both to pay for the farm programs and smooth out the inevitable swings in price. I say this system remained in place "more or less" until the s because, beginning in the s, a campaign to dismantle the New Deal farm programs took root, and with every new farm bill since then another strut was removed from the structure of support. Almost from the start, the policy of supporting prices and limiting production had collected powerful enemies: exponents of laissez-faire economics, who didn't see why farming should be treated differently than any other economic sector; food processors and grain exporters, who profited from overproduction and low crop prices; and a coalition of political and business leaders who for various reasons thought America had far too many farmers for her or at least their own good.
America's farmers had long been making political trouble for Wall Street and Washington; in the words of historian Walter Karp, "since the Civil War at least, the most unruly, the most independent, the most re- publican of American citizens have been the small farmers. Rising agricultural productivity handed a golden opportu- nity to the farmers' traditional adversaries. Since a smaller number of farmers could now feed America, the moment had come to "rational- ize" agriculture by letting the market force prices down and farmers off the land.
So Wall Street and Washington sought changes in farm policies that would loose "a plague of cheap corn" in the words of George Naylor, a man very much in the old rural-populist mold on the nation, the effects of which are all around us — indeed, in us. In every newspaper article about him, and there were scores, the name of Earl Butz, a blustering, highly quotable agricultural economist from Purdue University, is invariably accompanied by the epithet "colorful.
Though chiefly remem- bered outside agriculture for the racist joke that cost him his job during the election, Butz revolutionized American agriculture, helping to shift the food chain onto a foundation of cheap corn. Butz took over the Department of Agriculture during the last period in American history that food prices climbed high enough to generate real political heat; his legacy would be to make sure that never happened again. In the fall of Russia, having suffered a series of disastrous harvests, purchased 30 million tons of American grain.
Butz had helped arrange the sale, in the hopes of giving a boost to crop prices in order to bring restive farmers tempted to vote for George McGovern into the Re- publican fold. The plan worked all too well: The unexpected surge in de- mand, coinciding with a spell of bad weather in the Farm Belt, drove grain prices to historic heights. These were the corn prices that per- suaded George Naylor he could make a go of it on his family's farm. The Russian grain sale and the resulting spike in farm income that fall helped Nixon nail down the farm vote for his reelection, but by the following year those prices had reverberated through the food chain, all the way to the supermarket.
By the inflation rate for groceries reached an all-time high, and housewives were organizing protests at supermarkets. Farmers were killing chicks because they couldn't afford to buy feed, and the price of beef was slipping beyond the reach of middle-class consumers. News and World Report that summer. A Fidel Castro is dead.
Donald Trump is in the White House. And to most outsiders, the fate of Cuba has never been more uncertain. But those who look close enough realize the blueprints for the island's next revolution may be etched in plain view. This is Cuba begins in the summer of when CNN offers David Ariosto, a wide-eyed, inexperienced journalist, the chance of a lifetime--a two-year assignment in Havana. Ariosto moves to Cuba with visions of covering the island in the fashion of such literary legends as Graham Greene and Ernest Hemingway. But as the realities of both Castro's police state and America's trade embargo set in, those rose-tinted lenses begin to clear up.
Beyond the classic cars, salsa and cigars, lies a country that fiercely guards its Cold War persona--perhaps even more so after the death of its iconic leader. Though Wi-Fi hot spots and American tourists now dot the landscape, the fists of the regime are still up and guarding against the specter of its old nemesis, just 93 miles north.
And a crisis is brewing. As American diplomats withdraw following suspected sonic attacks, the country is dealing with its biggest political transition in more than half a century.
The fate of a country is up for grabs. By looking at Cuba from the inside-out, Ariosto's personal journey helps to navigate what's in store for the island after that transition, all while under the shadow of President Donald Trump"-- Provided by publisher. A65 T77 Journalists and public policy analysts often discuss the black poor as "consumers" rather than "producers," as "takers" rather than "givers," and as "liabilities" instead of "assets.
Covering the last four hundred years since Africans were first brought to Virginia in , Trotter traces black workers' complicated journey from the transatlantic slave trade through the American Century to the demise of the industrial order in the 21st century. At the center of this compelling, fast-paced narrative are the actual experiences of these African American men and women. A dynamic and vital history of remarkable contributions despite repeated setbacks, Workers on Arrival expands our understanding of America's economic and industrial growth, its cities, ideas, and institutions, and the real challenges confronting black urban communities today"--Provided by publisher.
Science journalist and lucid dreamer Alice Robb explores fresh, revelatory research to uncover why we dream and how we can improve our dream life. While on a research trip in Peru, Robb became hooked on lucid dreaming: the phenomenon in which a sleeping person can realize that they're dreaming and even control the dreamed experience. Digging deeper into the science of dreams at an extremely opportune moment, she discovered how they help us learn and even overcome psychic trauma. Here she shows why dreams are vital to our emotional and physical health, traces the links between dreaming and creativity, and offers advice on how we can relish the intense adventure of lucid dreaming for ourselves.
C66 What was so special about ancient Egypt that provided women this kind of access to the highest political office? What was it about these women that allowed them to transcend patriarchal obstacles? What did Egypt gain from its liberal reliance on female leadership, and could today's world learn from its example? A56 This quiet crisis was only exacerbated by the recession, which cut black households' wealth by over 30 percent. Black millennials watched their parents try to play by the rules, buying homes and aspiring to the trappings of middle-class life, only to sink deeper and deeper into debt.
Now, in the post-Obama era, young black Americans face a critical turning point, as they try to realize dreams too long deferred Allen interweaves reflections on defining moments, from Hurricane Katrina to the murder of Michael Brown to the election of Donald Trump. Together, the lives and reflections in these pages offer a portrait of a generation on the brink, tracing their efforts to build their own futures and write their own history"-- Provided by publisher.
A2 O85 N38 Based on extensive original research, legal scholar Alexandra Natapoff reveals the inner workings of a massive petty offense system that produces over 13 million cases each year. People arrested for minor crimes are swept through courts where defendants often lack lawyers, judges process cases in mere minutes, and nearly everyone pleads guilty. This misdemeanor machine starts punishing people long before they are convicted; it punishes the innocent; and it punishes conduct that never should have been a crime.
As a result, vast numbers of Americans -- most of them poor and people of color -- are stigmatized as criminals, impoverished through fines and fees, and stripped of drivers' licenses, jobs, and housing. For too long, misdemeanors have been ignored. But they are crucial to understanding our punitive criminal system and our widening economic and racial divides. D39 In this age of intense political conflict, we sense objective fact is growing less important. Experts are attacked as partisan, statistics and scientific findings are decried as propaganda, and public debate devolves into personal assaults.
How did we get here, and what can we do about it? In this sweeping and provocative work, political economist William Davies draws on a four-hundred-year history of ideas to reframe our understanding of the contemporary world. He argues that global trends decades and even centuries in the making have reduced a world of logic and fact into one driven by emotions--particularly fear and anxiety. This has ushered in an age of "nervous states," both in our individual bodies and our body politic. Eloquently tracing the history of accounting, statistics, science, and human anatomy from the Enlightenment to the present, Davies shows how we invented expertise in the seventeenth century to calm the violent disputes--over God and the nature of reality--that ravaged Europe.
By separating truth from emotion, scientific, testable facts paved a way out of constant warfare and established a basis for consensus, which became the bedrock of modern politics, business, and democracy. Informed by research on psychology and economics, Davies reveals how widespread feelings of fear, vulnerability, physical and psychological pain, and growing inequality reshaped our politics, upending these centuries-old ideals of how we understand the world and organize society.
Yet Davies suggests that the rise of emotion may open new possibilities for confronting humanity's greatest challenges. Ambitious and compelling, Nervous States is a perceptive and enduring account of our turbulent times. T66 Can it ever be fixed? These are the questions that motivate Michael Tomasky's deeply original examination into the origins of our hopelessly polarized nation. Sandel , Tomasky ranges across centuries and disciplines to show first how America's system of representative government was conjured into being, why it is so peculiar compared to political systems around the world, and why it has only rarely worked the way its creators intended.
Beginning his history in , when the Constitution was written, Tomasky shows that America has almost always had two clashing political tribes that are existentially, and often violently, opposed. When he turns to the twenty-first century, Tomasky shows how our two political parties have grown not just further apart but have become different creatures entirely--with Republicans making politics more ideological and Democrats being sometimes unsure about how to adapt.
Not content merely to diagnose these problems, Tomasky offers an audacious agenda for how we can help fix our broken political system--both political reforms and broader changes in how we live and communicate with one another--from ranked-choice voting and at-large congressional elections to expanding high-school civics education nationwide. I3 P55 An entirely fresh approach to ending the high school dropout crisis is revealed in this groundbreaking chronicle of unprecedented transformation in a city notorious for its 'failing schools'"-- Provided by publisher.
P64 J86 K Q4 Her name conjures more than music, it has come to be synonymous with beauty, glamour, power, creativity, love, and romance. Her performances are legendary, her album releases events. She is not even forty but she has already rewritten the Beyonce playbook more than half a dozen times. She is consistently provocative, political and surprising. As a solo artist, she has sold more than million records. She has won 22 Grammys and is the most-nominated woman artist in the history of Grammy awards.
Her performance at Coachella wowed the world. The New York Times wrote: "There's not likely to be a more meaningful, absorbing, forceful and radical performance by an American musician this year or any year soon. Queen Bey features a diverse range of voices, from star academics to outspoken cultural critics to Hollywood and music stars. W A3 A Fox Sports personality and former NFL player describes his life, including growing up in Compton, attending Columbia University, and making it to the NFL, and discusses controversial issues within the game of football.
Marcellus Wiley has never had a problem expressing his opinion, whether it was growing up in Compton with a football tucked under his arm, or going to college at Columbia University, where he learned to survive Advanced Calculus and self-important pseudo-intellectuals. Or making it to the NFL against all odds, where he put together a ten-year career of massive paydays, massive painkillers, and massive sacks of everyone from Steve Young to Peyton Manning. Now, in Never Shut Up, Fox Sports' hottest rising persona doesn't hold back as he goes off on everything that's controversial with the game today, from concussions to political protests to inherent violence that's worse than the hood he grew up in.
Not because he hates football, but because he wants to save it. Marcellus has never held back, even when a lot of people wanted him to. Now, he's letting it all hang out--right there on each page. Way more than just another book about the latest NFL scandals, this warm, moving, and genuinely funny story of awkward transitions, family loyalty, fame, fortune, and failure will make you fall in love with Marcellus--and football--all over again. In Never Shut Up, Marcellus will take you on a truly unique journey from Crenshaw to Broadway to the Buffalo Bills and back again, sometimes making you laugh, sometimes making you cry, but always leaving you entertained.
G75 With more than one in every five people over the age of fourteen addicted, drug abuse has been called the most formidable health problem worldwide. If we are not victims ourselves, we all know someone struggling with the merciless compulsion to alter their experience by changing how their brain functions. Drawing on years of research--as well as personal experience as a recovered addict--researcher and professor Judy Grisel has reached a fundamental conclusion: for the addict, there will never be enough drugs. The brain's capacity to learn and adapt is seemingly infinite, allowing it to counteract any regular disruption, including that caused by drugs.
What begins as a normal state punctuated by periods of being high transforms over time into a state of desperate craving that is only temporarily subdued by a fix, explaining why addicts are unable to live either with or without their drug. One by one, Grisel shows how different drugs act on the brain, the kind of experiential effects they generate, and the specific reasons why each is so hard to kick. Grisel's insights lead to a better understanding of the brain's critical contributions to addictive behavior, and will help inform a more rational, coherent, and compassionate response to the epidemic in our homes and communities"-- Provided by publisher.
The People vs. Ferlinghetti by Ronald K. Collins; David M. Skover Call Number: KF F4 C65 K A smart, snappy, and comprehensive guide for the millions of adults who are thinking about going--or going back--to college and want to know how to do it right. S6 L35 A neglected and obscured episode of the late Civil Rights movement, The Poor People's Campaign, designed by King in and carried out after his death, brought together impoverished Americans of all races to demand better wages, better jobs, better homes, and better education.
He believed that not only a fight for rights but the radical distribution of wealth had to be demanded through interracial protest. King and the Other America explores this overlooked campaign to not only understand King's commitment to social justice but to understand the long-term trajectory of the Civil Rights Movement. Digging into earlier 20th century arguments about economic inequality across America, which King drew on through his entire political and religious life, Sylvie Laurent argues that the Poor People's Campaign was the logical culmination of King's influences and ideas and the lasting impact he had on young activists and the public.
Fifty years later, growing inequality and grinding poverty in the United States have spurred new efforts to rejuvenate the campaign. This book is essential to understanding today's movement through King's radical, intellectual thought and his struggle for genuine equality for all"--Provided by publisher.
Hurst Call Number: F J1 H9 Referred to as Ax Handle Saturday, [this book] chronicles the racial and political climate of Jacksonville, Florida in the late fifties, the events leading up to that infamous day, and the aftermath. F56 Includes keys to navigating each stage of professional development--from self-assessment and job search to survival in a new position and career advancement"-- Provided by publisher. J66 Complex conversations around race, class, and gender that have been happening behind the closed doors of academia for decades are now becoming part of the wider cultural vernacular--one pithy tweet at a time.
These online platforms have given those outside the traditional university setting an opportunity to engage with and advance these conversations--and in doing so have created new energy for intersectional movements around the world. As Jones reveals, some of the best-loved devices of our shared social media language are a result of Black women's innovations, from well-known movement-building hashtags BlackLivesMatter, SayHerName, and BlackGirlMagic to the now ubiquitous use of threaded tweets as a marketing and storytelling tool. For some, these online dialogues provide an introduction to the work of Black feminist icons like Angela Davis, Barbara Smith, bell hooks, and the women of the Combahee River Collective.
For others, this discourse provides a platform for continuing their feminist activism and scholarship in a new interactive way. Hard-hitting, intelligent, incisive, yet bursting with humor and pop-culture savvy, Reclaiming Our Space is a survey of Black feminism's past, present, and future, and places Black women front and center in a new chapter of resistance and political engagement"-- Provided by publisher.
Why Should We Obey the Law? K56 C54 Worried about what a super conservative majority on the Supreme Court means for the future of civil liberties? From gun control to reproductive health, a conservative court will reshape the lives of all Americans for decades to come. The time to develop and defend a progressive vision of the U. Constitution that protects the rights of all people is now. University of California Berkeley Dean and respected legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky expertly exposes how conservatives are using the Constitution to advance their own agenda that favors business over consumers and employees, and government power over individual rights.
But exposure is not enough. Progressives have spent too much of the last forty-five years trying to preserve the legacy of the Warren Court's most important rulings and reacting to the Republican-dominated Supreme Courts by criticizing their erosion of rights--but have not yet developed a progressive vision for the Constitution itself. Yet, if we just look to the promise of the Preamble--liberty and justice for all--and take seriously its vision, a progressive reading of the Constitution can lead us forward as we continue our fight ensuring democratic rule, effective government, justice, liberty, and equality.
This book is a broad-ranging survey that explores and celebrates humankind's ongoing fascination with animals. Since our very first moments on Earth, we have been compelled to make images of the curious beasts around us--whether as sources of food, danger, wonder, power, scientific significance or companionship. This carefully curated selection of images, chosen by an international panel of experts, delves into our shared past to tell the story of animal life.
He consciously stayed out of it on the theory that Defense should be nonpartisan: the old story that you hear many times, that "politics stops at the shoreline of the United States. There may be little pavement out here, but this is no middle landscape. The present trend has been of value to book people in making them more aware of related fields. In the richest gold mine yet discovered in America, the Espiritu Santo at Santa Cruz de Cana, was opened up in the coastal province of Darien. Hence some grammarians affirm, that salmon, mackerel, herring, perch, tench , and several others, are alike in both numbers, and ought never to be used in the plural form. Oral History Interview with Felix E.
From the first cave paintings, extraordinary medieval bestiaries and exquisite scientific illustration, to iconic paintings, contemporary artworks and the incredible technological advancements that will shape our futures together, the huge range of works reflects the beauty and variety of animals themselves--including butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, frogs, tigers, dogs, jellyfish, spiders and elephants.
Arranged in a curated and thought-provoking sequence, this compilation includes iconic works by some of the great names in zoology, such as Conrad Gesner, Charles Darwin and John James Audubon, as well as celebrated artists and photographers, indigenous cultures and lesser-known figures who have made important contributions to the study and representation of animals throughout history. In Building Reuse: Sustainability, Preservation, and the Value of Design, Kathryn Rogers Merlino makes an impassioned case that truly sustainable design requires reusing and reimagining existing buildings.
The construction and operation of buildings is responsible for 41 percent of all primary energy use and 48 percent of all carbon emissions. The impact of the demolition and removal of an older building can greatly diminish the advantages of adding green technologies to new construction. Reusing existing buildings can be challenging to accomplish, but changing the way we think about environmentally conscious architecture has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, Merlino calls for a more expansive view of historic preservation that goes beyond keeping only the most distinctive structures and requiring that they remain fundamentally unchanged to embracing the creative reuse of even unremarkable buildings.
In support of these points, Building Reuse includes a compelling range of case studies-from an eighteen-story office building to a private home-all located in the Pacific Northwest, a region with a long history of sustainable design and urban growth policies that have made reuse projects feasible.
Don't Hide the Madness by William S. U75 Z Is America Safe? J67 This second edition provides the knowledge and skills needed to understand terrorist strategies, which, in turn, allow each of us to contribute to disrupting the terrorists' intended goals through education and preparation. A25 G33 From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come.
Gutsy and indomitable, Lee Krasner was a hell-raising leader among artists long before she became part of the modern art world's first celebrity couple by marrying Jackson Pollock. Elaine de Kooning, whose brilliant mind and peerless charm made her the emotional center of the New York School, used her work and words to build a bridge between the avant-garde and a public that scorned abstract art as a hoax.
Grace Hartigan fearlessly abandoned life as a New Jersey housewife and mother to achieve stardom as one of the boldest painters of her generation. Joan Mitchell, whose notoriously tough exterior shielded a vulnerable artist within, escaped a privileged but emotionally damaging Chicago childhood to translate her fierce vision into magnificent canvases. And Helen Frankenthaler, the beautiful daughter of a prominent New York family, chose the difficult path of the creative life. Her gamble paid off: At twenty-three she created a work so original it launched a new school of painting.
These women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation. In Ninth Street Women, acclaimed author Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping not just postwar America but the future.
D7 M Drone Nation provides historical context for the rise and acceptance of drone warfare by the United States and examines likely impacts of drone use. This gradual and important change signals a major departure from the traditional embrace of international law, military ethics, and domestic privacy. H2 W He was one of key leaders in the American Revolution, a chief architect of America's constitutional order of self-government, and the key figure in Washington's administration creating the institutions that governed America.
Williams expertly weaves together biography with historical events to place Hamilton as one of the most important founding fathers. Golden Contribution by ; Jason D. Policing and Race in America by James D. LeBron Contribution by ; Francisco I. Pedraza Contribution by ; Samuel L.
Friedman Contribution by ; Maria J. Kang Contribution by ; Juan E. Grandage Contribution by ; Britt S. Aliperti Contribution by ; Brian N. P66 Will the Gig Economy Prevail? C77 He shows how the idea of an employee - a stable status that involves a bundle of rights - has, despite many changes and threats, shown a curious persistence.
It is for this individual that Crouch proposes an agenda for a realistic future of secure work"-- Provided by publisher. C V57 In that time he's gone from being just another crank online to being a bestselling, award-winning crank, i. In this volume, Scalzi delves through the final term of Obama and the ushering in of the Trump years, surveys the increasingly-hostil online landscape, goes to the movies, and talks on subjects ranging from MeToo to the teachers who shaped him growing up. Through it all, Scalzi's distinct voice -- funny, sarcastic, passionate, sometimes angry, and honed by two decades of daily writing served up to hundreds of thousands of readers monthly--is on full display"--Jacket.
C F87 Women of all ages are using cannabis to feel and look better. For rookies and experienced marijuana users alike, this lively, information-filled book is just the supportive guide you need to find the right dose to relieve anxiety, depression, and inflammation, and mitigate the onset of dementia and other signs of aging. Plus boost moods, ease aches, even lose weight, and get restful sleep. And a dose just for fun? Well, that works, too! Here's how to navigate the typical dispensary, with its overwhelming options of concentrates, edibles, vape pens, and tinctures. Understand the amazing health-giving compounds found in cannabis,THC, CBD, terpenes, and more, and how to use topicals to reduce pain and give your skin a healthy glow.
There's even advice on how not to get high but still reap all the amazing health benefits. The Assault on Labor by Sandra L. Albrecht Call Number: HE A4 A73 Mina sees memes as the street art of the social web. She shows readers how they operate to reinforce, amplify, and shape today's politics, and are becoming fundamentally intertwined with how we find and affirm one another, direct attention to human rights and social justice issues, build narratives, and make culture.
In parts of the world where public dissent is downright dangerous, memes can belie contentious political opinions that would incur drastic consequences if expressed outright. S76 When world-renowned physicist Paul Steinhardt began his career in the s, scientists thought they had identified all the possible types of matter. The issue had been settled science for centuries. But when Steinhardt pursued a wild fantasy he first imagined as a curious teenager, it led to a radical new theory, predicting an astonishing form of matter that broke all the established rules.
The breakthrough would launch him on a thirty-five-year quest to prove the substance's existence in the natural world. Steinhardt and his stellar team of researchers encounter international smugglers, corrupt scientists, secret diaries, fraudulent traders, political intrigue, and Russian security agents. Their search culminates in a daring expedition to one of the most inhospitable regions on Earth, pursuing tiny fragments of a meteorite forged at the birth of the solar system. Steinhardt and his team chart a new direction in science.
They not only change our ideas about the fundamentals of matter but also reveal new truths about the processes that shaped our solar system. The underlying science is deceptively simple, unexpectedly beautiful, and nothing short of revolutionary. Steinhardt's firsthand account is a scientific thriller of the first order.
B36 Genesis by Edward O. Wilson Call Number: QL In [this book], Edward O. Wilson, examining evolutionary history further back than he has ever done before, delivers a revelatory account of the deep origins of society. Asserting that religious creeds and philosophical questions can be reduced to purely genetic and evolutionary components, and that the human body and mind have a physical base obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry, Wilson argues that the only way for us to fully understand human behavior is to appreciate the long, complicated evolutionary histories of nonhuman species.
Of these, Wilson demonstrates that at least seventeen--among them the naked African mole rat and sponge-dwelling shrimp--have developed advanced societies based on similar levels of altruism and cooperation found among humans. Just as Darwin, in his Descent of Man, proposed humanity's origins through the study of apes and human behavior, Wilson here synthesizes the most updated research in evolutionary science to offer a pithy yet path-breaking work of evolutionary theory. In Genesis, Wilson eloquently braids twenty-first-century scientific research with the lyrical biological and humanistic observations for which he is known and admired.
Antisemitism by Deborah E. Lipstadt Call Number: DS L When newsreels depicting the depredations of the Holocaust were shown in movie theaters to a horrified American public immediately after World War II, it was believed that the antisemitism that was part of the fabric of American culture in the s and s was finally going to be laid to rest. In the ensuing decades, Gregory Peck received an Academy Award for playing a journalist who passed as a Jew to blow the lid off genteel Jew hatred, clauses restricting where Jews could live were declared illegal, the KKK was pretty much litigated out of existence, and Joe Lieberman came within five electoral votes of becoming America's first Jewish vice president.
And then the unthinkable began to happen. Over the last decade, there has been a noticeable uptick in antisemitic rhetoric and incidents by left-wing groups targeting Jewish students and Jewish organizations on American college campuses. Jews in countries throughout Europe have been attacked by terrorists.
And the re-emergence of the white nationalist movement in America, complete with Nazi slogans and imagery, has brought to mind the fascist displays of the s. Where is all this hatred coming from? Is there any significant difference between left-wing and right-wing antisemitism? What role has the anti-Zionist movement played? And what can be done to combat this latest manifestation of an ancient hatred? In a series of letters to an imagined college student and imagined colleague, both of whom are perplexed by this resurgence, Deborah Lipstadt gives us her own superbly reasoned, brilliantly argued, and sure-to-be-controversial responses to these troubling questions"-- Provided by publisher.
A76 There are myriad competing theories, from the idea that aging is a simple wear and tear process, like the rusting of a car, to the belief that aging and death are genetically programmed and controlled. In fact, there is no clearly defined limit to life, and no single, predictable program playing itself out: different things are happening within and between tissues, and each system or organ accumulates damage at its own pace, according to the kind of insults imposed on it by daily living.
Sometime before , the number of people over sixty-five worldwide will, for the first time, be greater than the number of year olds; and by there are likely to be 2. Sue Armstrong tells the story of society's quest to understand aging through the eyes of the scientists themselves, as well as through the "ordinary" people who exemplify the mysteries of ageing--from those who suffer from the premature aging condition, Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, to people still running marathons in their 80s. Borrowed Time will investigate such mind-boggling experiments as transfusing young blood into old rodents, and research into transplanting the first human head, among many others.
It will explore where science is taking us and what issues are being raised from a psychological, philosophical and ethical perspective, through interviews with, and profiles of, key scientists in the field and the people who represent interesting and important aspects of aging. Brown, White, Black by Nishta J. Mehra Call Number: HQ M44 Essays describe how the author's experiences as an Indian American, the wife of a white Christian woman, and the mother of an adopted black son have been challenged by rigid cultural family norms.
D74 We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help. As Random House's copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades.
He is beloved by authors and editors alike--not to mention his followers on social media--for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.
As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer's English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and nonrules of grammar, including why it's OK to begin a sentence with 'And' gr 'But' and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it's best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including 'very,' 'rather,' 'of course,' and the dreaded 'actually. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge from his odyssey within America's prison and judicial systems with his humanity and sense of hope for the future intact is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the United States and around the world.
Arrested often as a teenager in New Orleans, Albert was behind bars in his early twenties when he was inspired to join the Black Panther Party because of its social commitment and code of living. He was serving a year sentence in Angola prison in Louisiana for armed robbery when on April 17, , a white guard was killed. Albert and another member of the Panthers were immediately accused of the crime and put in solitary confinement by the warden. Without a shred of actual evidence against them, their trial was a sham of justice that gave them life sentences in solitary.
Decades passed before Albert gained a lawyer of consequence; even so, sixteen more years and multiple appeals were needed before he was finally released in February Remarkably self-aware that anger or bitterness would have destroyed him in solitary confinement, sustained by the shared solidarity of two fellow Panthers, Albert turned his anger into activism and resistance.
The Angola 3, as they became known, resolved never to be broken by the grinding inhumanity and corruption that effectively held them for decades as political prisoners. Albert survived to give us Solitary, a chronicle of rare power and humanity that proves the better spirits of our nature can thrive against any odds. F52 C The world of 5G, the next generation of telecommunication technology, will be as different from what came before as the world after the advent of electricity. The massive amounts of data we'll be able to stream through fiber-optic connections will enable a degree of virtual presence that will radically transform health care, education, urban administration and services, agriculture, retail sales, and offices.
Yet all of those transformations will pale in comparison to the innovations that we can't even imagine today. In a fascinating account combining legal expertise with compelling on-the-ground reporting, Susan Crawford reveals how the giant corporations that control cable and internet access in the United States use their tremendous lobbying power to tilt the playing field against competition, holding back the infrastructure improvements necessary for the country to move forward. And she shows how a few cities and towns are fighting monopoly power to bring the next technological revolution to their communities.
I46 And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an "empire," exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories--the islands, atolls, and archipelagos--this country has governed and inhabited? In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century's most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.
In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history. S8 O33 Odette Sansom decides to follow in her war hero father's footsteps by becoming an SOE agent to aid Britain and her beloved homeland, France.