Language acquisition is a human endeavor par excellence. As children, all human beings learn to understand and speak at least one language: their mother tongue. It is a process that seems to take place without any obvious effort. Second language learning, particularly among adults, causes more difficulty. The purpose of this series is to compile a collection of high-quality monographs on language acquisition. The series serves the needs of everyone who wants to know more about the problem of language acquisition in general and/or about language acquisition in specific contexts.
Incredibly, the ten most costly catastrophes in U.S. history have all been natural disasters--seven of them hurricanes--and all have occurred since 1989, a period, ironically, that Congress has dubbed the Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. Why this tremendous plague on our houses? While some claim that nature is the problem, in fact, as environmental historian Ted Steinberg explains, historically speaking, much of the death and destruction has been well within the realm of human control. Surveying more than a century of losses from weather and seismic extremes, Steinberg exposes the fallacy of seeing such calamities as simply random events. Acts of God explores the unnatural history of natural calamity, the decisions of business leaders and government officials that have paved the way for the greater losses of life and property, especially among those least able to withstand such blows--America's poor, elderly, and minorities. Seeing nature or God as the primary culprit, Steinberg argues, has helped to paper over the fact that, in truth, some Americans are better protected from the violence of nature than their counterparts lower down the socioeconomic ladder. How else can we explain that the hardest hit areas have been mobile home parks and other low-income neighborhoods? Beginning with the 1886 Charleston and 1906 San Francisco earthquakes, and continuing to the present, Steinberg spotlights the defective approach to natural hazards taken by real estate interests, the media, and policymakers. By understating the extent of storm damage in news reports and offering quick repairs and cosmetic solutions to damaged property, fundamental flaws in the status quo go unremedied, class divisions are maintained, and unsafe practices continue unquestioned. Even today, with our increased scientific knowledge, he shows that reckless building continues unabated in seismically active areas and flood-prone coastal plains, often at taxpayer expense. Sure to provoke discussion, Acts of God is a call to action that must be heard before the next disaster hits.
This is a story of heroes and secrets. In the entrance of the CIA headquarters looms a huge marble wall into which seventy-one stars are carved--each representing an agent who has died in the line of duty. At the base of this wall lies "The Book of Honor," in which the names of these agents are inscribed--or at least thirty-five of them. Beside the dates of the other thirty-six, there are no names. The identity of these "nameless stars" has been one of the CIA's most closely guarded secrets for the fifty-three years of the agency's existence. Even family members are told little--in some cases, the agency has denied the fact that the deceased were covert operatives at all. But what the CIA keeps secret in the name of national security is often merely an effort to hide that which would embarrass the agency itself--even at the cost of denying peace of mind for the families and honor due the "nameless stars." In an extraordinary job of investigative reporting, Ted Gup has uncovered the identities, and the remarkable stories, of the men and women who died anonymously in the service of their country. In researchingThe Book of Honor, Gup interviewed over four hundred current and former covert CIA officers, immersed himself in archival records, death certificates, casualty lists from terrorist attacks, State Department and Defense Department personnel lists, cemetery records, obituaries, and tens of thousands of pages of personal letters and diaries. In telling the agents' stories, Gup shows them to be astonishingly complex, vibrant, and heroic individuals--nothing like the suave superspies of popular fiction or the amoral cynics of conspiracy buffs. The accounts of their lives--and deaths--are powerful and deeply moving, and in bringing them at long last to light, Gup manages to render an unprecedented history of covert operations at the CIA.
This collection of essays explores the history of control by looking at a variety of cultural forms, practices, and beliefs. These ideas are examined critically, not only in the light of the possibilities which control technologies seem to offer for resolving human problems, but also the contradictory moral, political, and economic consequences they have had. The discussion takes into account the important modes in which humans have cast their organizational efforts: political, social, sychological, economic, and legal. It also takes a longue duréeview of the history of control, looking back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and establishes the continuities in the twentieth century as a transatlantic phenomenon.
One of the most celebrated texts of the Hispanic Baroque, El sue#65533;o has been identified by critics as one of the inaugural voices of a Latin American feminist literary tradition. This study is unique in that it focuses upon the poetic conception of space within the text. It is through the exploration and exploitation of the dialectics of physical space that Sor Juana is able to construct a verbal labyrinth that genuinely reflects the intricacies and ambiguities inherent in the word and the world of seventeenth-century colonial Mexico. On the wings of poetic imagination, Sor Juana emerges from the marginalized depths of silence and shadows, transgressing spatiotemporal boundaries within the literary act, in the attempt to discover and colonize a space of her own, in which to freely express herself in the quest for omniscience and subjective identity.
Although traditional comparative literary research has always placed 'epic' plays of Brecht, Fisch, Wilder, Hazelton, and Li in the category of the same name, the label 'epic' actually minimizes the nature of these plays and the ways in which they have influenced modern world theatre. The 'epic' plays of these playwrights are not strictly 'epic,' but also theatrical. Because these plays have consciously involved spectators, they have created a double illusion, enhancing the original illusion rather than destroying it.
Will the universe continue to expand forever, reverse its expansion and begin to contract, or reach a delicately poised state where it simply persists forever? The answer depends on the amount and properties of matter in the universe, and that has given rise to one of the great paradoxes of modern cosmology: there is too little visible matter to account for the behavior we can see. Over ninety percent of the universe consists of ”missing mass” or ”dark matter” - what Lawrence Krauss, in his classic book, termed ”the fifth essence.”In this new edition of T he Fifth Essence , retitled Quintessence after the now widely accepted term for dark matter, Krauss shows how the dark matter problem is now connected with two of the hottest areas in recent cosmology: the fate of the universe and the ”cosmological constant.” With a new introduction, epilogue, and chapter updates, Krauss updates his classic for 1999 and shares one of the most stunning discoveries of recent years: an anti-gravity force that explains recent observations of a permanently expanding universe.