Category: Book Excerpts

An Excerpt from “Drug Lords, Cowboys, and Desperadoes” by Rafael Acosta Morales

Drug Lords, Cowboys, and Desperadoes examines the relationship between affect, narrative, and violence surrounding three historical archetypes—social bandits (often associated with the drug trade), cowboys, and desperadoes—and how these narratives create affective loops that recreate violent structures in the Mexican American frontier. Acosta Morales analyzes narrative in literary, cinematic, and musical form, examining works by Américo […]

An Excerpt from “Regret: A Theology” by Paul J. Griffiths

In the concise theological grammar Regret: A Theology, Paul J. Griffiths analyzes this attitude toward the past and distinguishes its various kinds. He examines attitudes encapsulated in the phrase, “I would it were otherwise,” including regret, contrition, remorse, compunction, lament, and repentance. By using literature (especially poetry) and Christian theology, Griffiths shows both what is […]

An Excerpt from “Stories from Palestine,” by Marda Dunsky

In Stories from Palestine: Narratives of Resilience, Marda Dunsky presents a vivid overview of contemporary Palestinian society in the venues envisioned for a future Palestinian state. Dunsky has interviewed women and men from cities, towns, villages, and refugee camps who are farmers, scientists, writers, cultural innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs. Using their own words, she illuminates their […]

An Excerpt from “Faith, Nationalism, and the Future of Liberal Democracy,” by David M. Elcott

In Faith, Nationalism, and the Future of Liberal Democracy, David Elcott, C. Colt Anderson, Tobias Cremer, and Volker Haarmann present a pragmatic and modernist exploration of how religion engages in the public square. Elcott and his co-authors examine the ways religious identity is weaponized to fuel populist revolts against a political, social, and economic order that […]

An Excerpt from “William Still,” by William C. Kashatus

William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia (April 2020) is the first major biography of the free black abolitionist William Still, who coordinated the Eastern Line of the Underground Railroad and was a pillar of the Railroad as a whole. This monumental work details Still’s life story beginning with his parents’ escape from […]

An Excerpt from “Taking the Fight South,” by Howard Ball

Distinguished historian and civil rights activist Howard Ball has written dozens of books during his career, including the landmark biography of Thurgood Marshall, A Defiant Life, and the critically acclaimed Murder in Mississippi, chronicling the Mississippi Burning killings. In Taking the Fight South (February 2021), arguably his most personal book, Ball focuses on six years, from 1976 to […]

An Excerpt from “The History of the Congregation of Holy Cross,” by James T. Connelly C.S.C.

In 1837, Basile Moreau, C.S.C., founded the Congregation of Holy Cross (C.S.C.), a community of Catholic priests and brothers, to minister to and educate the people of France devastated by the French Revolution. During the centuries that followed, the Congregation expanded its mission around the globe to educate and evangelize, including the establishment in 1842 […]

An Excerpt from “John Berryman and Robert Giroux” by Patrick Samway S.J.

John Berryman and Robert Giroux: A Publishing Friendship (October 2020) provides new perspectives on the lives and work of two major figures in American poetry and publishing in the second half of the twentieth century: Robert Giroux (1914–2008), editor-in-chief of Harcourt, Brace and Company and later of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and John Berryman (1914–1972), […]

An Excerpt from “Ars Vitae” by Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn

In Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living (October 2020), Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn engages both general readers and scholars on the topic of well-being. She examines the reappearance of ancient philosophical thought in contemporary American culture, probing whether new stirrings of Gnosticism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Cynicism, and Platonism present […]