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The Scholar Who Shaped History
By Drew Gilpin Faust

The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation
by David Brion Davis
Knopf, 422 pp., $30.00

".... Davis’s book and his subsequent work would become a major influence in the emergence of a comparative history of slavery and abolition, in essence a global history well avant la lettre. It would, among other achievements, powerfully influence traditional approaches to intellectual history by embedding ideas in social and political action and institutions. This was historical writing with a scope and ambition that would shape scholars and scholarship for decades to come. "

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2014 Leontief Prize Winners:
Angus Deaton & James K. Galbraith

GDAE will award its 2014 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought to Angus Deaton and James K. Galbraith. The award recognizes the contributions that these researchers have made to the studies of poverty, inequality, and well-being. They have both played a critical role in bringing grounded empirical analysis to bear on topics in need of applied interdisciplinary research.

“For too long many economists have viewed rising inequality as an inevitable consequence of economic development,” says GDAE Co-director Neva Goodwin. “But recent economic upheavals call for a new approach to understanding the causes and consequences of inequality. Angus Deaton has demonstrated that inequality is about much more than income differences, focusing on how inequality affects the health and well-being of societies. James Galbraith has shown that inequality isn’t an outcome driven by...

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Book Review: 'A Feathered River Across the Sky' by Joel Greenberg
The most numerous bird on the planet went extinct in less than a century.

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 17, 2014

A Feathered River Across the Sky
By Joel Greenberg
Bloomsbury, 289 pages, $26

"Two hundred years ago, the passenger pigeon was one of North America's greatest natural wonders, the equivalent of Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon. A hundred years later it was gone, as lost as the dinosaurs. In "A Feathered River Across the Sky," Joel Greenberg, a research associate at Chicago's Field Museum, tells the achingly sad story of how this singular species, once the most numerous bird on the planet, went extinct.

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Global Warming

"It’s a fascinating outdoor adventure, an illuminating look into the science of measuring a melting mountain — and a fresh warning that the warming world is already here."

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THE BIRDS: Why the passenger pigeon became extinct.
JANUARY 6, 2014

“The first major work in sixty years about the most famous extinct species since the dodo…equal parts natural history, elegy, and environmental outcry…A painstaking researcher, Greenberg writes with a naturalist’s curiosity about the birds…Answering even basic questions about the passenger pigeon requires a sort of forensic ornithology, which gives FEATHERED RIVER ACROSS THE SKY an unexpected poignancy.”

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The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe.

Kertzer, David I. (author).
Feb. 2014. 576p. Random, hardcover, $32 (9780812993462); Random, e-book (9780679645535). 322.
First published December 15, 2013 (Booklist).

Two leaders came to power in 1922 in Rome, Achille Ratti was elevated to the papacy as Pius XI, and Benito Mussolini was appointed Italian prime minister. How relations between them developed until the pope’s 1939 demise occupies this original history, which rests on Kertzer’s thorough research of available Vatican archives and other sources. ... An important work of history, Kertzer’s adroit profiles of Pius and Mussolini will broaden its audience."

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Prison Memoir of a Black Man in the 1850s
Published: December 11, 2013, New York Times

"Years ago, a rare-books dealer browsing at an estate sale in Rochester came across an unusual manuscript, dated 1858. The family selling it said little about where it had been for the last 150 years. It appeared never to have left upstate New York.

Scholars now believe that the mystery manuscript is the first recovered memoir written in prison by an African-American, a discovery that Yale University says it made after authenticating the document and acquiring it for its Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The 304-page memoir, titled “The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison,” describes the experiences of the author, Austin Reed, from the 1830s to the 1850s in a prison in upstate New York.

Caleb Smith, a professor of English at Yale who has written extensively about...

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A Memoir
by Helen Peppe

"Unsentimental in its character portrayals and forthright yet humorous in its depiction of devastated innocence and family dysfunction, Peppe’s book is a celebration of difference, resilience and the healing power of love."

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 The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation

David Brion Davis. Knopf, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-0-307-26909-6
"In stately prose and with unparalleled command of his subject, he offers a profound historical examination of the termination of servitude in the West—a termination that, however, failed to end slavery’s accompanying racism, whose consequences remain with us still. While requiring much of readers, this is a book of surpassing importance. (Feb.)"
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"Kertzer unravels the relationship between two of 20th-century Europe’s most important political figures and does so in an accessible style that makes for a fast-paced must-read." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 

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"Kertzer is unflinching and relentless in his exposure of the Vatican’s shocking actions."-- Kirkus, Starred Review

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