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Growing Business in Delaware: The Politics of Job Creation in a Small State
by William W. Boyer and Edward C. Ratledge
In this fourth book in the authors’ series about public affairs in Delaware, the state’s strategies to maintain a business-friendly environment are examined, especially by awarding grants and loans to grow businesses and jobs. The book addresses the nation’s 2008-2014 Great Recession that was very severe in Delaware. Among the large Delaware employers that disappeared were Chrysler, General Motors, and Avon. Meanwhile, DuPont cut many jobs, while MBNA’s sale to Bank of America also caused many job losses. This small state’s efforts to deal with this overwhelming crisis are analyzed. Accordingly, the book is timely regarding politics and policy choices involving jobs, competition with other states, and a host of other problems.
The introduction provides a historical context featuring the state’s transition from a passive to a proactive management approach. Each of the following first six chapters provides an in-depth analysis of a prominent recipient awarded state funding to create jobs. Chapter one focuses on the rise and decline of AstraZeneca. Chapter two discusses Delaware’s under-performing port and union politics. Chapter three features the rejuvenation of Wilmington’s riverfront. Chapter four tells how Fisker Automotive’s huge promise and moribund performance ended in bankruptcy. Chapter five reveals how Bloom Energy’s negotiated a deal that stretched credulity and never delivered promised jobs. Chapter six relates how the state’s only refinery finally became profitable.
The remaining four chapters complete the book’s analysis. Chapter seven discusses a potpourri, or hodge-podge, of many more large and small firms that received state grants or loans, showing the process followed no consistent rationale in its entirety, except to note it lacked transparency. Chapter eight concentrates on other means to grow businesses that create jobs, such as tax preferences and real estate development projects. Chapter nine discusses the permeation of politics, defined as the process of affecting the allocation of resources. In this sense, the politics of job creation became ubiquitous, involving variously the media, political parties, special interests, government and business leaders, and citizens and their groups—depending on the situation. The concluding Chapter ten discusses what the authors have learned from their study.
November 2015 ISBN: 978-1611495942 $75.00
Marguerite, Countess of Blessington: The Turbulent Life of a Salonnière and Author
by Susan Matoff
This new biography of Lady Blessington, the first in over eighty years, illuminates the private and public life of this important but neglected salonnière and author. The study enriches our knowledge of the social, political and literary history of the post-Romantic and early Victorian era, and throws light upon Lady Blessington’s close friendships with politicians and writers, especially Edward Bulwer Lytton and Benjamin Disraeli. Statesmen, diplomats, writers and artists were her constant visitors, finding her frienship and conversation invaluable to their professional and social lives.
The circumstances of a life lived in luxury and indulgence changed on the death of Lady Blessington’s husband, forcing her to support herself and several dependants by her writing. Throughout this biography Lady Blessington’s voice is in evidence, and should reawaken scholarly and popular interest in her voluminous works. She wrote twenty novels in genres including silver-fork fiction, psychological drama and a verse narrative. She also produced four travel books, many short stories and numerous poems. In addition she edited the popular literary gift annuals, Heath’s Book of Beauty and The Keepsake.
This book reveals the humanity of a woman whom contemporary gossip considered scandalous, because of the alleged relationship with her step-daughter’s estranged husband, the dandy Count D’Orsay. Lady Blessington’s struggle to face her many challenges is an inspiring story of individual strength. It is a tale of a woman whose life was one of integrity, determination and sheer hard work, and whose legacy provides us with insights into an era and society often overlooked by history.
December 2015 ISBN: 978-1611495911 $90.00
Of Memory and Literary Form: Making the Early Modern English Nation
by Kyle Pivetti
This book opens with a crisis of recollection. In the early modern period, real political traumas like civil war and regicide exacerbated what were already perceived ruptures in myths of English descent. William Camden and other scholars had revealed that the facts of history could not justify the Arthurian myths, nor could history itself guarantee any moment of collective origin for the English people. Yet poets and playwrights concerned with the status of the emerging nation state did not respond with new material evidence. Instead, they turned to the literary structures that—through a range of what the author calls mnemonic effects—could generate the experience of a collective past. As Sir Philip Sidney recognized, verse depends upon the repetitions of rhyme and meter; consequently poetry “far exceedeth prose in the knitting up of memory.” These poetic and linguistic forms expose national memory as a construction at potential odds with history, for memory operates like language—through a series of signifiers that acquire new meaning as one rearranges and rereads them. Moving from the tragedy Gorboduc (1561) to Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Pivetti shows how such “knitting up of memory” created the shared pasts that generate nationhood. His work implies that memory emerges not from what actually occurred, but from the forms that compose it. Or to adapt the words of Paul Ricoeur: “we have nothing better than memory to signify that something has taken place.” The same is true even when that “something” is nationhood.
September 2015 ISBN: 978-1611495584 $70.00
Sterne, Tristram, Yorick: Tercentenary Essays on Laurence Sterne
Edited by Peter de Voogd; Judith Hawley and Melvyn New – Contributions by Ashleigh Blackwood; Robert Chibka; Amelia Dale; Stephanie DeGooyer; John Owen Havard; Christoph Henke; Tom Keymer; Elizabeth Kraft; Jakub Lipski; Ray McDermott; Brian Michael Norton; Pat Rogers; Artem Serebrennikov and Donald R. Wehrs
This volume derives from the Laurence Sterne Tercentenary Conference, held at Royal Holloway, University of London, on July 8–11, 2013. Attended by some eighty scholars from fourteen countries, the conference heard more than sixty papers. The organizers invited participants to submit revised versions of their contributions for this collection and they selected thirteen from some forty essays submitted. These selections exhibit, it is hoped, the defining features both of the conference and of Sterne studies at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is worth remarking that the authors selected represent seven countries; that Sterne may well be the most internationally-accepted of all eighteenth-century English authors is certainly a claim worthy of a sentimental traveler.
The collection recognizes the several faces of Sterne, beginning with several biographical essays that examine, respectively, his celebrity status, his family life, his politics, and his philosophy. The second face is Tristram’s, studied from vantage points provided by ethics, linguistics, gender studies, and comparative literature. The final group of essays examines the face of Yorick as the protagonist of A Sentimental Journey, beginning with an ethnographic study of relationships, moving through questions of identity, and concluding where the future of literary studies might indeed be heading, a return to aesthetics.
November 2015 ISBN: 978-1611495706 $85.00