What We Are Reading Today: Birds of the West Indies

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Updated 28 June 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Birds of the West Indies

Edited by Herbert Raffaele, Wiley, Garrido, Keith, and Janis Raffaele

Birds of the West Indies is the first field guide that covers and depicts all birds known to occur in the region, including infrequently occurring and introduced forms. 

Now fully updated and expanded, this stunningly illustrated book features detailed accounts of more than 600 species, describing identification field marks, range, status, voice, and habitat. 

There are more than 100 beautiful color plates that depict plumages of all species — including those believed to have recently become extinct — as well as distribution maps, a color code for endemic birds, and an incisive introduction that discusses avifaunal changes in the West Indies in the past fifteen years and the importance of conservation.

It covers more than 60 new species, including vagrants, introductions, and taxonomic splits and updates the status of every species.

It features illustrations for all new species and improved artwork for warblers and flycatchers.

It includes many new and enhanced maps and provides bird weights for each species.

It is compact and easy to use in the field. It color codes endemic species confined to one or just a few islands.

What We Are Reading Today: Down from Olympus

Updated 06 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Down from Olympus

Since the publication of Eliza May Butler’s Tyranny of Greece over Germany in 1935, the obsession of the German educated elite with the ancient Greeks has become an accepted, if severely underanalyzed, cliché. In Down from Olympus, Suzanne Marchand attempts to come to grips with German Graecophilia, not as a private passion but as an institutionally generated and preserved cultural trope. 

The book argues that 19th-century philhellenes inherited both an elitist, normative aesthetics and an ascetic, scholarly ethos from their Romantic predecessors; German “neohumanists” promised to reconcile these intellectual commitments, and by so doing, to revitalize education and the arts. 

Focusing on the history of classical archaeology, Marchand shows how the injunction to imitate Greek art was made the basis for new, state-funded cultural institutions. 

Tracing interactions between scholars and policymakers that made possible grand-scale cultural feats like the acquisition of the Pergamum Altar.