Good Reads: New Books of Interest for the Longhorn Universe

 

Patients of the State: The Politics of Waiting in Argentina

By Javier Auyero

From the checkout line at the grocery store to the DMV, we hate to be kept waiting, even for just minutes at a time. But imagine having to wait months, even years, to get the social services promised to you by your country. In Patients of the State, Javier Auyero, the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Professor in Latin American Sociology, zooms in on the welfare offices of Buenos Aires, where the waiting game is played daily. Somewhere along the road, Auyero claims, the underprivileged citizens of Argentina learn the opposite of what it means to be a citizen—they learn to be reliant on the state, forever waiting for a chance at a full life.

 

Presidential Power and Accountability: Toward a Presidential Accounting System

By Bruce Buchanan

In light of this year’s upcoming elections, this evaluation of presidential power couldn’t be more relevant or timely. In Presidential Power and Accountability, government professor Bruce Buchanan attempts to reconcile an increase in presidential war power with the guidelines laid out in the Constitution. He expresses the need to restore order—and Congressional war power—but somehow leave the president enough wiggle room in case of emergencies. A tall order, but Buchanan is realistic, acknowledging the fact that change won’t happen overnight. Presidential Power and Accountability isn’t a step-by-step guide—it’s simply the start of a larger conversation.

 

Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity

By Janine Barchas

Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy—the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice have captured the hearts of readers since its publication in 1813. But is there more to them than we know? Yes, says associate English professor Janine Barchas. In Matters of Fact, Barchas suggests that Austen’s fictional characters have a historical tie to the high-profile politicians and celebrities of her time. In this new interpretation of a tried-and-true classic, Barchas illustrates how Austen finely walks the line between truth and fiction, often modifying real people into characters for humorous effect.

 

Navajo Talking Picture: Cinema on Native Ground

By Randolph Lewis

In 1985, Arlene Bowman’s groundbreaking documentary Navajo Talking Picture made waves for its up-close-and-personal coverage of her indigenous heritage. In her pursuit, Bowman followed the movements of her grandmother—who deeply objected to the invasion of privacy—to capture the traditional way of life on a reservation. In Navajo Talking Picture, associate American studies professor Randolph Lewis examines the film’s most controversial qualities and historical implications, including the ethical dilemmas involved in documentary filmmaking and the insider-outsider mentality assumed of the Native people.

 

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