Friday, February 17, 2017

Featured Book: Earning the Rockies by Robert D. Kaplan

Earning the Rockies:  How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World

By Robert D. Kaplan

Call Number:  E 161.3 .K37 2017

Review from the New York Times

Publisher's Description:  An incisive portrait of the American landscape that shows how geography continues to determine America’s role in the world—from the bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography and Balkan Ghosts

As a boy, Robert D. Kaplan listened to his truck-driver father tell evocative stories about traveling across America in his youth, travels in which he learned to understand the country literally from the ground up. There was a specific phrase from Kaplan’s childhood that captured this perspective: A westward traveler must “earn the Rockies” by driving—not flying—across the flat Midwest and Great Plains.

In Earning the Rockies, Kaplan undertakes his own cross-country journey to recapture an appreciation of American geography often lost in the jet age. Traveling west, in the same direction as the pioneers, Kaplan traverses a rich and varied landscape that remains the primary source of American power. Along the way, he witnesses both prosperity and decline—increasingly cosmopolitan cities that thrive on globalization, impoverished towns denuded by the loss of manufacturing—and paints a bracingly clear picture of America today.

The history of westward expansion is examined here in a new light—as a story not just of genocide and individualism, but also of communalism and a respect for the limits of a water-starved terrain, a frontier experience that bent our national character toward pragmatism. Kaplan shows how the great midcentury works of geography and geopolitics by Bernard DeVoto, Walter Prescott Webb, and Wallace Stegner are more relevant today than ever before. Concluding his journey at Naval Base San Diego, Kaplan looks out across the Pacific Ocean to the next frontier: China, India, and the emerging nations of Asia. And in the final chapter, he provides a gripping description of an anarchic world and explains why America’s foreign policy response ought to be rooted in its own geographical situation.

In this short, intense meditation on the American landscape, Robert D. Kaplan reminds us of an overlooked source of American strength: the fact that we are a nation, empire, and continent all at once. Earning the Rockies is an urgent reminder of how a nation’s geography still foreshadows its future, and how we must reexamine our own landscape in order to confront the challenges that lie before us.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Praxis Guides

The Praxis® tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations.

The Library has a number of Praxis titles in the Reserve area of the Library, including:

PRAXIS II English Subject Assessments

PRAXIS Core for Dummies

Praxis II, mathematics: content knowledge (5161) exam secrets, study guide : your key to exam success

Check out this collection! 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Featured Book: An Iron Wind by Peter Fritzsche

An Iron Wind:  Europe Under Hitler

By Peter Fritzsche

Call Number:  D 802 .A2 F77 2016

Review from the New York Times Book Review

Publisher's Information:  An award-winning historian presents a cultural history of German-occupied Europe during World War II, as told through the writings of civilians who experienced the horrors of war firsthand.

World War II reached into the homes and lives of ordinary people in an unprecedented way. Civilian men, women, and children made up the vast majority of those killed by the war, and the conflict displaced millions more. On Europe's home fronts, the war brought the German blitzkrieg, followed by long occupations and the racial genocide of the Holocaust.

In An Iron Wind, historian Peter Fritzsche draws on diaries, letters, and other first-person accounts to show how civilians in occupied Europe struggled to understand this terrifying chaos. As the Third Reich targeted Europe's Jews for deportation and death, confusion and mistrust reigned. What were Hitler's aims? Did Germany's rapid early victories mark the start of an enduring new era? Was collaboration or resistance the wisest response to occupation? How far should solidarity and empathy extend? And where was God? People tried desperately to answer such questions and make sense of the horrors around them, but the stories they told themselves often justified a selfish indifference to their neighbors' fates.

Piecing together the broken words of World War II's witnesses and victims—probing what they saw and what they failed to see—Fritzsche offers a haunting picture of the most violent conflict in modern history.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Featured Book: The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project:  A Friendship that Changed our Minds

By Michael Lewis

Call Number:  QP 360.5 .L49 2017

Review from the New York Times Book Review

Publisher's Description:  How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.
Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.
The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield—both had important careers in the Israeli military—and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.
This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Featured Book: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the World:  a novel

By Paulette Jiles

Call Number:  PR 9199.3 J54 N49 2016

Review from the New York Times Book Review
National Book Award Finalist - Fiction

Publisher's Description: 
It is 1870 and Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forging a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself. Exquisitely rendered and morally complex, News of the World is a brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Exam Cram Time! Mon. Dec. 19th

It's that time of the semester!

Need help with citations? A statistic? Help with a paper or final exam? 

The Library and Tutoring Learning Center staff will be here on Monday, Dec. 19th from 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm to help you!

We will also have free coffee, cookies, fruit, some surprises and Andy's infamous announcements. 

  • Monday, Dec. 19 - Library Lobby & IMC (3rd flr)
  • 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Good luck with studying from all of us at the Library and TLC!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Library Labs Workshop - Learn how to 3D Scan 12/6 @ noon

Description: Learn how to 3D scan using an Xbox Kinect. Get hands-on experience scanning objects (or even people) to see how this technology opens up unique possibilities, especially in collaboration with 3D Printing.

Date(s) and Time(s): Tuesday, Dec 6, Noon

Location: ALB 107

Presenter(s): Matt Sonnenberg

Audience: Campus Wide

Register Here - Approved for SBE Events Credit