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This is an amazing book. Perhaps the only one of its kind. In 320 pages with 640 high resolution black & white photos, the authors cover the medals of over 200 societies.
Colonial descendant societies, Revolutionary War societies such as the Daughters/Sons of the American Revolution, Civil War societies like the Grand Army of the Republic and the Daughters of the Confederacy, are all well represented in these pages.
Medals from more obscure groups such as the Order of the White Crane and the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York are also represented.
The emphasis of the book is definitely on military and lineage societies rather than on Masonic or other fraternal organizations such as the Odd Fellows or Knights of Columbus.
Information about each pictured medal is included along with a potted history about the issuing society. Why the medal was issued, who it was presented to, and changes or variations if known are described.
If you have an old society medal saved as a keepsake in your family or if you have a photograph of an ancestor wearing a medal , this book may help you identify the organization to which they belonged.
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This book covers the processes we all go through from birth to death, so it easily relates to your own life and helps explain some things you probably never understood about yourself. I would recommend it even outside of college... it is just so interesting. There are a total of 19 chapters as listed below:
1. An Introduction to Lifespan Development
2. The Start of Life: Prenatal Development
3. Birth and the Newborn Infant
4. Physical Development in Infancy
5. Cognitive Development in Infancy
6. Social and Personality Development in Infancy
7. Physical and Cognitive Development in the Preschool Years
8. Social and Personality Development in the Preschool Years
9. Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood
10. Social and Personality Development in Middle Childhood
11. Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence
12. Social and personality Development in Adolescence
13. Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Adulthood
14. Social and Personality Development in Early Adulthood
15. Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood
16. Social and Personality Development in Middle Adulthood
17. Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood
18. Social and Personality Development in Late Adulthood
19. Death and Dying
I thought the beginning chapters about children were particularly interesting. I would highly recommend this book to any parent, anyone about to become a parent, or anyone thinking about becoming a parent. The author talks about a lot of issues relating to learning and social development... something very important in life. Also, this is a new textbook published just this year so you are sure to get up-to-date information.
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The poets of "Eight" are Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsburg, and James Merrill. Each poet's work is prefaced by a substantial individual introduction.
There are many masterpieces in this book. Curiously, I found the most compelling poems to be those that focus on nature: Roethke's "The Meadow Mouse," Bishop's "The Fish," Plath's "Mushrooms," and Merrill's "The Octopus." Poems like these combine skillfully used language with keen insight, and reveal these poets to be true heirs of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson (two of the featured artists in "Six American Poets").
Overall, I felt that "Eight" was not as strong as its sister volume, "Six." Although there are many poetic masterpieces in "Eight," there is also much material which, in my opinion, hasn't aged well. The so-called "confessional poetry" of some of these writers strikes me as overwrought. Some of the longer poems failed to resonate with me. I was particularly disappointed by Berryman's "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet," especially since I am an admirer of Anne Bradtreet's own work. Admittedly, this criticism may merely reflect my own personal tastes, but I submit it for the reader's consideration.
The fact that so many of these poets either wrote about each other, or pop up in the editor's introductions to each others' work, sometimes gives the book as a whole a creepy, incestuous feel. And the fact that so many of these poets committed suicide, had long-term mental health problems, and/or suffered from addictions further gives the book as a whole a rather morbid feel. On second thought, maybe this group of eight is a bit problematic!
Still, editor Conarroe has assembled an impressive anthology that I would recommend for students and teachers, as well as to a general readership. Although a mixed bag, "Eight American Poets" contains some truly enduring work by an octet whose legacy is secure.
Like Conarroe's "Six American Poets", the anthology introduces us to each poet with a short biography that is presented before the poet's work. We learn about their lives and come to understand some of the primary forces that have shaped their poetry. I have found that this greatly enriches the experience of reading poetry because I better see the struggles that lead to each individual creation. After each collection, Conarroe offers a list of books and anthologies where each poet has been published so that we, should we wish, can come to know the work of a given poet much better.
This anthology is a wonderful starting place for someone who, like me, desires an introduction to some of the greatest American poetry ever produced. Personally, I feel, after reading this anthology that I have come to truly appreciate the work of Elizabeth Bishop and Theodore Roethke, in particular. I had never known their work well, but suddenly each jumped off the page at me, Bishop for her wonderfully vivid descriptions and Roethke for his intensely moving subjects. Plath and Sexton also really spoke to me, their work so reflecting their lives. Overall, this anthology is superbly worthwhile reading!