The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
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Free E-Book: Outside the Gates of Eden: The Dream of America from Hiroshima to Now


Submitted by syntaxfactory on February 1, 2016 - 4:49pm


The American cultural landscape in the second half of the twentieth century is the focus of our free e-book for February, Outside the Gates of Eden: The Dream of America from Hiroshima to Now by Peter Bacon Hales. It was the age of atomic testing, duck-and-cover, sprawling suburbs, TV, rock-and-roll, rockets to the moon, and riots in the cities. It was the fevered ascendance of the new, pop, modern, and utopian. Levittown to Lucy to Dylan. It was a time of exhilaration and anxiety, of shock and malaise, of the yearning for community and the quest for identity.

 

Free Ebook: Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel by Bernd Stiegler


Submitted by syntaxfactory on August 3, 2015 - 9:48pm


From http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/freeEbook.html

Where to take your holiday? Sit down and travel. Your destination is our free e-book for August, Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel by Bernd Stiegler (and translated by Peter Filkins). Stiegler guides us on quirky journeys around the room: a writer under house arrest, the travel trailer of a poet, glimpses from a window, lyrics of George Harrison, cinematic voyages, and many stops in between. Freewheeling explorations in this month’s free e-book, Traveling in Place.

 

Our free e-book: Don’t Look, Don’t Touch, Don’t Eat: The Science Behind Revulsion by Valerie Curti


Submitted by syntaxfactory on May 1, 2015 - 11:31am


Our free e-book for May is not for the queasy. Don’t Look, Don’t Touch, Don’t Eat: The Science Behind Revulsion by Valerie Curtis investigates the “shadow emotion” of disgust. It turns out those universal human reactions hold deeper consequences than expected. Human social norms, from good manners to moral behavior, are deeply rooted in our sense of disgust. The disgust reaction informs our political opinions and our darkest tendencies. Explore what grosses us out, and why, in this month’s free e-book, Don’t Look, Don’t Touch, Don’t Eat.

 

Free e-book: Hybrid: The History and Science of Plant Breeding


Submitted by syntaxfactory on April 1, 2015 - 12:23pm


Dismayed by shrink-wrapped, Styrofoam-packed supermarket fruits and vegetables? Yearn for genetically natural produce, untouched by biotech manipulation? Sorry to say, thou yearnest in vain. As Noel Kingsbury shows in our free e-book for April, Hybrid: The History and Science of Plant Breeding, all of our produce is the result of millennia-long selective breeding and hybridization. Kingsbury traces the history of human attempts to make plants more reliable, productive, and nutritious—a story that owes as much to accident and error as to innovation and experiment.

 

E-book edition of Floating Gold free in February


Submitted by syntaxfactory on February 2, 2015 - 12:38pm


Ambergris is truly a testament to the transformative powers of nature. Secreted in the digestive tract of a sperm whale and excreted as whale dung, it floats for years in the sea, and changes, by the time it finally washes ashore, into a sweet-smelling waxy compound—one of the world’s most expensive substances—used in perfumes for centuries. Holy grail of beachcombers, immortalized by Herman Melville in Moby Dick, precious lumpy ambergris is the subject of our free e-book, Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris by Christopher Kemp.

 

Get the e-book edition of The Hunt for Nazi Spies free in January!


Submitted by syntaxfactory on January 2, 2015 - 3:04pm


From 1940 to 1942 Vichy France, collaborating with their Nazi occupiers, sent Jews to camps in Germany and executed members of the French Resistance. But the Vichy regime also arrested more than two thousand German spies and executed several dozen of them. This contradictory state of affairs is a previously untold chapter in the history of World War II and the gripping subject of The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France by Simon Kitson. Embrace complexity in the new year with our free e-book for January, The Hunt for Nazi Spies.

 

Free E-Book: Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America by Lee Alan Dugatkin


Submitted by syntaxfactory on November 4, 2014 - 7:31am


The United States had a lot to prove in the early days of the Republic: that an independent country could flourish in the Americas, that a democracy would not collapse in chaos, and, even, that American flora and fauna were every bit the equal of those in Europe. Some European naturalists—most notably French Count Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon—claimed the natural world of the Americas was populated by degenerate, weak, and feeble subspecies.

 

October free e-book: In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns


Submitted by syntaxfactory on October 1, 2014 - 7:07pm


It’s a midterm election and the airwaves are filled with nasty attack ads. Aren’t they a blot on our politics? John G. Geer takes a contrarian view in our free e-book for October, In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns .

 

Free E-Book: Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age


Submitted by syntaxfactory on September 5, 2014 - 7:25pm


Twenty-first century architecture began tragically with the fall of the Twin Towers and staggered through a real estate boom and bust. Along the way the world's tallest building was constructed in Dubai and green architecture went mainstream. Critic Blair Kamin takes note of it all and in our free e-book for September, Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age conveys the sublime and the substandard, the spectacular and the mere spectacle.