What We Are Reading Today: Sophocles: A Study of His Theater in Its Political and Social Context

Updated 31 July 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Sophocles: A Study of His Theater in Its Political and Social Context

  • Sophocles was the commanding figure of his day
  • He was not only the leading dramatist but also a distinguished politician, military commander, and religious figure

Here, for the first time in English, is celebrated French classicist Jacques Jouanna’s magisterial account of the life and work of Sophocles. Exhaustive and authoritative, this acclaimed book, translated to English by Steven Rendall, combines biography and detailed studies of Sophocles’ plays, all set in the rich context of classical Greek tragedy and the political, social, religious, and cultural world of Athens’ greatest age, the fifth century.

Sophocles was the commanding figure of his day. The author of Oedipus Rex and Antigone, he was not only the leading dramatist but also a distinguished politician, military commander, and religious figure. And yet the evidence about his life has, until now, been fragmentary.

Reconstructing a lost literary world, Jouanna has finally assembled all the available information, culled from inscriptions, archaeological evidence, and later sources. He also offers a huge range of new interpretations, from his emphasis on the significance of Sophocles’ political and military offices (previously often seen as honorary) to his analysis of Sophocles’ plays in the mythic and literary context of fifth-century drama.

Written for scholars, students, and general readers, this book will interest anyone who wants to know more about Greek drama in general and Sophocles in particular. 


What We Are Reading Today: Below the Surface

Updated 16 January 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Below the Surface

  • The book explores the latest research in ethnic and racial identity and interracial relations among diverse youth in the US

Authors: Deborah Rivas-Drake and Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Today’s young people are growing up in an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse society. How do we help them navigate this world productively, given some of the seemingly intractable conflicts we constantly hear about? 

In Below the Surface, Deborah Rivas-Drake and Adriana Umaña-Taylor explore the latest research in ethnic and racial identity and interracial relations among diverse youth in the US, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Drawing from multiple disciplines, including developmental psychology, social psychology, education, and sociology, the authors demonstrate that young people can have a strong ethnic-racial identity and still view other groups positively, and that in fact, possessing a solid ethnic-racial identity makes it possible to have a more genuine understanding of other groups. During adolescence, teens reexamine, redefine, and consolidate their ethnic-racial identities in the context of family, schools, peers, communities, and the media.