some cool books from Prometheus
Prometheus Books is the largest and most well-known publisher of books about secular humanism in the United States, but it also has a few books that are a bit more offbeat. Here's a list of random interesting-looking books from them, prepared as part of my research for possible topics and guests for Equal Time For Freethought. In fact, a couple of books on the list (the ones by Litman and Davin) are ones I knew about and was interested in long before I noticed they were from Prometheus.
- Kropotkin: The Politics of Community by Brian Morris—About one of the greatest anarchist thinkers, Peter Kropotkin, and his current relevance. Morris also has a book (not published by Prometheus) about Bakunin, and Prometheus does publish a book on French anarchist Jean Grave and a collection of Bakunin's writings.
- Digital Copyright by Jessica Litman—Shows how pathetic copyright is and how modern changes in copyright laws, with an emphasis on the particularly egregious 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, are self-serving corporate welfare. It's a bit old (from 2000) so it's somewhat out of date in the particular issues it covers (such as the then-current Napster), but on a more general level it's still relevant. An excerpt about the history of copyright legislation is available online.
- Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries by Paul Fregosi—This book was canceled by its original publisher due to pressure from Islamic fundamentalist groups; afterwards, Prometheus was the only publisher willing to print it.
- Pioneers of Wonder: Conversations with the Founders of Science Fiction by Eric Leif Davin—A series of interviews with old-time science fiction authors, including a rare one with one of my favorite SF authors, the publicity-shy and underrated Raymond Z. Gallun.
- Howard Zinn: A Radical American Vision by Davis D. Joyce—a biography of Zinn (the first and AFAIK only one).
- Exodus to Humanism: Jewish Identity Without Religion by David Ibry
- Exercise of Conscience: A World War II Objector Remembers by Harry R. Van Dyck
- It's Not the Glass Ceiling, It's the Sticky Floor: And Other Things Our Daughters Should Know About Marriage, Work, and Motherhood by Karen Engberg
Liberation blasted open the doors of business to women, but failed to answer one unavoidable question--who is left to take care of the children and attend to the minutiae of daily home life while the husband is also at work? The essentials of cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children are not "small stuff" and seem to require a Ph.D. in life lessons to be handled properly.... This is an urgent call for women to negotiate equality in the home and for men to understand that motherhood and "housework" are just as important as breadwinning.
- The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist by Neil de Grasse Tyson—Autobiographical memoir by the leading black astrophysicist.
- Whips and Kisses: Parting the Leather Curtain by Mistress Jacqueline
This very personal exploration of the fantasies that populate the underworld of sexual desire will shatter preconceived notions that S&M is based on perversion and pain; Jacqueline argues that the act is founded on consensuality and mutual agreement, a 'bond' lacking in such truly perverse sexual encounters as rape and other forms of sexual abuse.There are a lot of classic older texts in the catalog, many being well-known and reprinted elsewhere. However, I find the selection of classic feminist books, including many critical of religion's role in perpetuating male dominance, particularly interesting:
- Women at the Hague: The International Peace Congress of 1915 by Jane Addams, Emily G. Balch, & Alice Hamilton Certainly an example of the connection between feminism and pacifism, this book is about an effort of leading feminists like Addams to stop WWI.
- Woman, Church and State by Matilda Joslyn Gage Gage was the mother-in-law of L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, and it's said that her feminism might have influenced the characterization of Dorothy in that book!
- The Man-Made World & Women and Economics by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- The Woman's Bible by Elizabeth Cady Stanton