What We Are Reading Today: Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C.

Updated 10 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C.

  • The nature of “style as a concept of expression,” an issue that becomes more important given the increasingly multiple styles

AUTHOR: William A. P. Childs

Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C. analyzes the broad character of art produced during this period, providing an in-depth analysis of and commentary on many of its most notable examples of sculpture and painting.
Taking into consideration developments in style and subject matter, and elucidating political, religious, and intellectual context, William A. P. Childs argues that Greek art in this era was a natural outgrowth of the high classical period and focused on developing the rudiments of individual expression that became the hallmark of the classical in the fifth century.
As Childs shows, in many respects the art of this period corresponds with the philosophical inquiry by Plato and his contemporaries into the nature of art and speaks to the contemporaneous sense of insecurity and renewed religious devotion. Delving into formal and iconographic developments in sculpture and painting, Childs examines how the sensitive, expressive quality of these works seamlessly links the classical and Hellenistic periods.


What We Are Reading Today: How Plants Work

Updated 22 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: How Plants Work

  • Each section of the book focuses on a specific part of the plant — such as roots, stems and trunks, leaves, cones and flowers, and seeds and fruits

Author: Stephen Blackmore

All the plants around us today are descended from simple algae that emerged more than 500 million years ago. While new plant species are still being discovered, it is thought that there are around 400,000 species in existence.
From towering redwood trees and diminutive mosses to plants that have stinging hairs and poisons, the diverse range of plant life is extraordinary. How Plants Work is a fascinating inquiry into, and celebration of, the complex plant kingdom, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
With an extended introduction explaining the basics of plant morphology — the study of plant structures and their functions — this book moves beyond mere classification and anatomy by emphasizing the relationship between a plant and its environment.
It provides evolutionary context drawn from the fossil record and information about the habitats in which species evolved and argues for the major influence of predation on plant form.
Each section of the book focuses on a specific part of the plant — such as roots, stems and trunks, leaves, cones and flowers, and seeds and fruits — and how these manifest in distinct species, climates, and regions. The conclusion examines the ways humans rely on plant life and have harnessed their capacity for adaptation through selection and domestication.
Abundantly illustrated with 400 color images documenting a wide range of examples, How Plants Work is a highly informative account about an integral part of our natural world.