The Privately Printed Bible

The Privately Printed Bible: Private & Fine Press Editions of Biblical Texts in the British Isles and North America, 1892-2000 (Oak Knoll Press) by Boston College alumnus Ronald D. Patkus is the first book to offer a broad survey of the history of private and fine press printings of biblical texts. Patkus focuses on English-language examples from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America, and includes more than 500 works in his study and more than 100 illustrations that demonstrate the aesthetics of layout, design, and illustration taken up by various presses. The book is divided into chapters that each deal with a specific generation of printers: the Revival, the “Second Generation,” the Postwar Era, and the late 20th century. In his book, Patkus describes key texts, such as the Doves Bible, the Oxford Lectern Bible, the Golden Cockerel Four Gospels, the Spiral Press Ecclesiastes, the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, and the Arion Press Bible. Patkus received a BA and PhD from from Boston College. He holds the Frederick Weyerhaeuser Endowed Chair in Biblical Literature and Bibliography at Vassar College where he serves as associate director of the libraries for special collections and is a member of the History Department. He previously was head of archives at the John J. Burns Library at Boston College. His volume was reviewed recently by Burns Library Conservator Barbara Adams Hebard for the Guild of Book Workers Newsletter.

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Workplace blues

The American workplace has eroded across many dimensions, leaving workers feeling untethered and insecure about their futures, according to a new book by Lynch School of Education and Human Development Professor of Counseling Psychology David Blustein, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the psychology of work. The Importance of Work in an Age of Uncertainty: The Eroding Work Experience in America (Oxford University Press, June 2019) details Blustein’s new research that finds American workers increasingly beset by anxiety and distress wrought by economic trends that have reshaped when, where, how, and how long Americans work to earn both a living and a sense of purpose. Blustein hopes his findings will add a needed psychological perspective to debates and policies about work that thus far have been mainly limited to economic and political considerations. Read more from Boston College Chronicle.

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The old neighborhood

In his new book, Professor of English Carlo Rotella mixes journalism and memoir to write about his hometown, Chicago, and about the greater question of what defines a neighborhood. Rotella interviewed current and former residents of the neighborhood where he grew up, Chicago’s South Shore. As detailed in The World Is Always Coming to an End: Pulling Together and Apart in a Chicago Neighborhood (University of Chicago Press, May 2019) South Shore is a study in contrasts, shaped over the past 50 years by issues of race, class, crime, and other influences. As the middle class disappeared, South Shore became a place of the haves and have-nots, making it difficult for residents to recognize each other as neighbors. A microcosm for the American urban neighborhood, Chicago’s South Shore challenges one to think about how neighbors can build bridges and take down walls in order to create a vibrant community.Rotella, who teaches in BC’s American Studies program, is also the author of Cut Time: An Education at the Fights and Good With Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt, among other titles. Read an interview with Rotella in the Chicago Tribune.

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Blessed are the Peacemakers

In her new book Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Pacifism, Just War, and Peacebuilding (Fortress Press, 2o19), Monan Professor of Theology Lisa Sowle Cahill offers a historical understanding of pacifism and just war theory, while advocating a newer approach to conflict situations called peacebuilding. According to Cahill, peacebuilding seeks to transform conditions of violence and bring about a just and sustainable peace. It is particularly needed in the 21st century as evidence grows that other approaches have failed to achieve sustainable peace. She writes: “Peacebuilders agree on the preeminent importance of taking non-violent yet forceful measures to deter ongoing violence, undo social injustice, and bring opposed groups together around a negotiated vision of social coexistence and cooperation.”

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When is free trade not free?

In his new book Consent and Trade: Trading Freely in a Global Market (Cambridge University Press, 2019), BC Law School Professor Frank Garcia offers an examination of trade law’s roots in consensual exchange, highlighting the central role of consent in differentiating trade from legally facilitated coercion, exploitation or predation. Garcia contends the U.S. needs to re-capture a vision of trade as mutually beneficial consensual exchange, and negotiate agreements that protect and enhance consent, rather than undermine it. By recovering the idea of consent in trade law, in a global marketplace, the U.S. and its trade partners can flourish. Recently, BC’s Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy gathered a group of international scholars for a roundtable discussion of the ideas put forth by Garcia in his book. Read more in Boston College Law School Magazine.

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Award for Young

Dr. C. Dale Young, a Boston College alumnus from the Class of 1991, will receive the 2019  Distinguished Alumni Arts Award from the BC Arts Council on Apr. 26. The award recognizes graduates who have demonstrated creativity, innovation, leadership, and vision through their contributions to the arts. Young is the author of a novel in stories, The Affliction, and four collections of poetry, the most recent being The Halo. For more about the award ceremony and Young’s public discussion about his work with Professor of English Suzanne Matson, see the BC Arts Festival website.

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Remembering Nabokov

Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies Maxim D. Shrayer marked the 120th anniversary of Vladimir Nabokov’s birth on April 22 with an essay on visiting the Nabokovs’ last home, in Montreaux, Switzerland. The essay appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Shrayer’s publications include Waiting for America: A Story of Emigration, Yom Kippur in Amsterdam, Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story, among other titles.

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