Greetings from Utopia Park
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|Author||: Claire Hoffman|
In this engrossing, provocative, and intimate memoir, a young journalist reflects on her childhood in the heartland, growing up in an increasingly isolated meditation community in the 1980s and ’90s—a fascinating, disturbing look at a fringe culture and its true believers. When Claire Hoffman’s alcoholic father abandons his family, his desperate wife, Liz, tells five-year-old Claire and her seven-year-old brother, Stacey, that they are going to heaven—Iowa—to live in Maharishi’s national headquarters for Heaven on Earth. For Claire’s mother, Transcendental Meditation—the Maharishi’s method of meditation and his approach to living the fullest possible life—was a salvo that promised world peace and enlightenment just as their family fell apart. At first this secluded utopia offers warmth and support, and makes these outsiders feel calm, secure, and connected to the world. At the Maharishi School, Claire learns Maharishi’s philosophy for living and meditates with her class. With the promise of peace and enlightenment constantly on the horizon, every day is infused with magic and meaning. But as Claire and Stacey mature, their adolescent skepticism kicks in, drawing them away from the community and into delinquency and drugs. To save herself, Claire moves to California with her father and breaks from Maharishi completely. After a decade of working in journalism and academia, the challenges of adulthood propel her back to Iowa, where she reexamines her spiritual upbringing and tries to reconnect with the magic of her childhood. Greetings from Utopia Park takes us deep into this complex, unusual world, illuminating its joys and comforts, and its disturbing problems. While there is no utopia on earth, Hoffman reveals, there are noble goals worth striving for: believing in belief, inner peace, and a firm understanding that there is a larger fabric of the universe to which we all belong.
|Author||: Joseph Weber|
|Editor||: University of Iowa Press|
Follows the establishment of Maharishi University of Management by Marharishi Mahesh Yogi, discussing how it influenced the community in Fairfield, Iowa, and how the founder's death has impacted the university.
|Author||: Christopher Bergland|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Press|
"The Athlete's Way is amazingly informative and complete with a program to get and keep you off the couch. Bravo, for another exercising zealot who has written a book that should be read on your elliptical or stationary bike. He pushed me to go farther on a sleepy Sunday." - John J. Ratey, M.D., author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science in Exercise and the Brain, and co-author of Driven to Distraction
|Author||: Alexander Bogdanov|
|Editor||: Indiana University Press|
“An Earth-man’s journey to the planet Mars, where he is treated to a wondrous vision of a communist future, complete with flying cars and 3D color movies.” —Wonders & Marvels A communist society on Mars, the Russian revolution, and class struggle on two planets is the subject of this arresting science fiction novel by Alexander Bogdanov (1873–1928), one of the early organizers and prophets of the Russian Bolshevik party. The red star is Mars, but it is also the dream set to paper of the society that could emerge on earth after the dual victory of the socialist and scientific-technical revolutions. While portraying a harmonious and rational socialist society, Bogdanov sketches out the problems that will face industrialized nations, whether socialist or capitalist. “[A] surprisingly moving story.” —The New Yorker “The contemporary reader will marvel at [Bogdanov’s] foresight: nuclear fusion and propulsion, atomic weaponry and fallout, computers, blood transfusions, and (almost) unisexuality.” —Choice “Bogdanov’s novels reveal a great deal about their fascinating author, about his time and, ironically, ours, and about the genre of utopia as well as his contribution to it.” —Slavic Review
|Author||: Douglas Coupland,Hans Ulrich Obrist,Shumon Basar|
A highly provocative, mindbending, beautifully designed, and visionary look at the landscape of our rapidly evolving digital era. 50 years after Marshall McLuhan's ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture in The Medium is the Massage, Basar, Coupland and Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that’s redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the 'extreme present'. THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors offer five characteristics of the Extreme Present (see below); invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and ‘mindsource’ images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly’s striking graphic design imports the surreal, juxtaposed, mashed mannerisms of screen to page. It’s like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read. Welcome to THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES, a paper portrait of Now, where the Internet hasn’t just changed the structure of our brains these past few years, it’s also changing the structure of the planet. This is a new history of the world that fits perfectly in your back pocket. 30+ artists contributions: With contributions from Farah Al Qasimi, Ed Atkins, Alessandro Bavo, Gabriele Basilico, Josh Bitelli, James Bridle, Cao Fei, Alex Mackin Dolan, Thomas Dozol, Constant Dullaart, Cecile B Evans, Rami Farook, Hans-Peter Feldmann, GCC, K-Hole, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Eloise Hawser, Camille Henrot, Hu Fang, K-Hole, Koo Jeong-A, Katja Novitskova, Lara Ogel, Trevor Paglen, Yuri Patterson, Jon Rafman, Bunny Rogers, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Taryn Simon, Hito Steyerl, Michael Stipe, Rosemarie Trockel, Amalia Ulman, David Weir, Trevor Yeung.
|Author||: Aryeh Siegel|
Former TM insider inundated with publicity about TM being a scientific relaxation technology that is a cure for just about everything and, since non-religious, should be in our public schools. It was a false narrative. Someone needed to set the record straight, and with his background in public health and behavioral science, he decided to do it.
|Author||: Jostein Gaarder|
|Editor||: Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher. Thus begins Jostein Gaarder's unique novel, which is not only a mystery, but also a complete and entertaining history of philosophy.
|Author||: Kevin Lynch|
|Editor||: MIT Press|
The classic work on the evaluation of city form. What does the city's form actually mean to the people who live there? What can the city planner do to make the city's image more vivid and memorable to the city dweller? To answer these questions, Mr. Lynch, supported by studies of Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey City, formulates a new criterion—imageability—and shows its potential value as a guide for the building and rebuilding of cities. The wide scope of this study leads to an original and vital method for the evaluation of city form. The architect, the planner, and certainly the city dweller will all want to read this book.
|Author||: Susan B. Levin|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
A tightly argued and expansive examination of the pitfalls of transhumanism that reacquaints us with what it means to live well. Advocates of transhumanism, or "radical" enhancement, urge us to pursue the biotechnological heightening of select capacities - above all, cognitive ability - so far beyond any human limit that the beings with those capacities would exist on a higher ontological plane. For proponents of such views, humanity's self-transcendence through advancements in science and technology may even be morally required. Consequently, the human stakes of how we respond to transhumanism are immeasurably high. In Posthuman Bliss? The Failed Promise of Transhumanism, Susan B. Levin challenges transhumanists' overarching commitments regarding the mind and brain, ethics, liberal democracy, knowledge, and reality, showing their notion of humanity's self-transcendence into "posthumanity" to be little more than fantasy. Uniting philosophical with scientific arguments, Levin mounts a significant challenge to transhumanists' claim that science and technology support their vision of posthumanity. In a clear and engaging style, she dismantles transhumanists' breezy assurances that posthumans will emerge if we but allocate sufficient resources to that end. Far from offering theoretical and practical "proof of concept" for the vision that they urge upon us, Levin argues, transhumanists engage inadequately with cognitive psychology, biology, and neuroscience, often relying on questionable or outdated views within those fields. Having shown in depth why transhumanism should be rejected, Levin argues forcefully for a holistic perspective on living well that is rooted in Aristotle's virtue ethics but that is adapted to liberal democracy. This holism is thoroughly human, in the best of senses: It directs us to consider worthy ends for us as human beings and to do the irreplaceable work of understanding ourselves rather than relying on technology and science to be our salvation.
|Author||: Terry Bisson|
|Editor||: PM Press|
It’s 1959 in socialist Virginia. The Deep South is an independent Black nation called Nova Africa. The second Mars expedition is about to touch down on the red planet. And a pregnant scientist is climbing the Blue Ridge in search of her great-great grandfather, a teenage slave who fought with John Brown and Harriet Tubman’s guerrilla army. Long unavailable in the U.S., published in France as Nova Africa, Fire on the Mountain is the story of what might have happened if John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry had succeeded—and the Civil War had been started not by the slave owners but the abolitionists.
|Author||: Elissa Wall,Lisa Pulitzer|
|Editor||: Harper Collins|
“Both creepy…and quite moving.” —New York Times Book Review “Wall’s story couldn’t be more timely.” —People Stolen Innocence is the gripping New York Times bestselling memoir of Elissa Wall, the courageous former member of Utah’s infamous FLDS polygamist sect whose powerful courtroom testimony helped convict controversial sect leader Warren Jeffs in September 2007. At once shocking, heartbreaking, and inspiring, Wall’s story of subjugation and survival exposes the darkness at the root of this rebel offshoot of the Mormon faith.
|Author||: Harrison Scott Key|
A Good Housekeeping Book of the Month This funny and wise new memoir from Harrison Scott Key, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, will inspire laughter and hope for anyone who’s ever been possessed by a dream of what they want to be when they grow up. Little-known author Mark Twain once said that the two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why. He's talking about dreams here, the destiny that calls every living soul to some kind of greatness. What Mr. Twain doesn't say is: A dream is also a monster that wants to eat you. Nobody tells you this part of the American Dream — until now. In this new memoir, Congratulations Who Are You Again, readers join Harrison Scott Key on his outrageous journey to becoming a great American writer. As a young boy in Mississippi, Harrison possessed many special gifts, such as the ability to read and complete college applications. And yet, throughout young adulthood, he failed at many vocations, until one day, after drinking perhaps too many beers and dusting off his King James Bible, he stumbled across a passage about a lonely pelican, which burst into flame inside him. In a mad blaze of holy illumination, Harrison realized his dream: to set the world afire with the light inside him. He would write a funny book. This was his dream. With unforgettable wit and tenderness, Congratulations Who Are You Again is Harrison’s instructive tale of pursuing his destiny with relentless and often misguided devotion, transforming his life beyond all comprehension: He becomes a signer of autographs, a doer of interviews, a casher of checks that are "worth more money than my father had ever imagined any of us might see, this side of a drug-related felony." On this journey, Harrison finds that as he gains the world, he stands on the precipice of losing everything that means the most: his family, his mind, his soul. Hilarious, honest, and absolutely practical, Congratulations Who Are You Again is a no-holds-barred look at the life of every ambitious human creature, whether you want to write books or make music, start a business or start a revolution. This is a book for the dreamers.
|Author||: Joanna Rajkowska|
|Editor||: John Hunt Publishing|
WHERE THE BEAST IS BURIED is the first English-language book about Joanna Rajkowska and her unique practice of work in public space, in extremely diverse cultures and geographies: from Konya in Anatolia, through Warsaw and Berlin up to Curitiba in Brazil. A collection of stories, essays, interviews and images covers her best-known projects. The most intimate insight into them offer her own stories, which form a dramatic enquiry into both the personal and the conceptual roots of her work.
|Author||: Leigh Eric Schmidt|
|Editor||: Princeton University Press|
A compelling history of atheism in American public life A much-maligned minority throughout American history, atheists have been cast as a threat to the nation’s moral fabric, barred from holding public office, and branded as irreligious misfits in a nation chosen by God. Yet village atheists—as these godless freethinkers came to be known by the close of the nineteenth century—were also hailed for their gutsy dissent from stultifying pieties and for posing a necessary secularist challenge to the entanglements of church and state. In Village Atheists, Leigh Eric Schmidt explores the complex cultural terrain that unbelievers have long had to navigate in their fight to secure equal rights and liberties in American public life. He rebuilds the history of American secularism from the ground up, giving flesh and blood to these outspoken infidels. Village Atheists demonstrates that the secularist vision for the United States proved to be anything but triumphant in a country where faith and citizenship were—and still are—closely interwoven.
|Author||: Matt Landing|
Matt Landing recounts the ups and downs as a Transcendental Meditation teacher. After a 1990 kundalini crisis, he thought he was enlightened, but he later painfully became aware that it was a grandiose delusion. Matt reflects on kundalini, mania, epileptic religiosity, psychedelic experience, and the experiences of people who claim enlightenment. Matt provides an entertaining account of his life with a look behind the scenes of the TM organization, advanced training courses, and the TM-Sidhis course. The book also contains a thought-provoking analysis of kundalini, enlightenment, celibacy, gurus, kriyas, speaking in tongues, Pure Awareness, super radiance, and reincarnation. Matt explains why the similarities between grandiose delusions, psychotic mania, and kundalini crises are more than a coincidence. He provides recommendations for those who are in the midst of a kundalini crisis. Matt explains how spiritual aspirants become ungrounded and offers suggestions on how to become grounded. He provides evidence against the existence of enlightenment. He looks at some of the unflattering characteristics of gurus and labels them as "guru maniacs". Beginning in 1972 while reading books in college, Matt acquired a desire to reach enlightenment. He then learned TM, went on numerous TM residence courses, practiced the TM-Sidhis program, ate a predominately raw food diet, fasted, detoxed his body, and used self muscle testing. His spiritual practice took 3 hours per day and included asanas, pranayama, and meditation. Matt delivers a powerful punch against enlightenment, gurus, spiritual movements, and religions. Matt strikes at the concepts of karma, kundalini, shaktipat, faith, support of nature, devotion to a guru, Pure Awareness, and right action. Version 2.00 of My Enlightenment Delusion is a 60,000-word book that was completed in December 2017 and contains the original material in Version 1.00 plus 7 additional chapters. Chapter 13 contains a comparison of epileptic religiosity with kundalini crises and mania. Chapter 21 juxtaposes spiritual experiences, psychedelic experiences, mania, near death experiences, and G-force induced loss of consciousness. Chapter 22 discusses Robert Forman's book Enlightenment Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be and the unrealistic, rosy picture that enlightenment brings an end to all suffering. Chapter 23 is devoted to looking at the disquieting aspects in the lives of Suzanne Segal, Ramana Maharshi, and Gopi Krishna who are all departed but continue to inspire many spiritual seekers. Chapter 24 thoroughly describes the enlightenment experiences of 22 individuals and then offers a critique of their experience.
|Author||: Will Hermes|
|Editor||: Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
Punk rock and hip-hop. Disco and salsa. The loft jazz scene and the downtown composers known as Minimalists. In the mid-1970s, New York City was a laboratory where all the major styles of modern music were reinvented—all at once, from one block to the next, by musicians who knew, admired, and borrowed from one another. Crime was everywhere, the government was broke, and the city's infrastructure was collapsing. But rent was cheap, and the possibilities for musical exploration were limitless. Love Goes to Buildings on Fire is the first book to tell the full story of the era's music scenes and the phenomenal and surprising ways they intersected. From New Year's Day 1973 to New Year's Eve 1977, the book moves panoramically from post-Dylan Greenwich Village, to the arson-scarred South Bronx barrios where salsa and hip-hop were created, to the Lower Manhattan lofts where jazz and classical music were reimagined, to ramshackle clubs like CBGBs and The Gallery, where rock and dance music were hot-wired for a new generation. As they remade the music, the musicians at the center of the book invented themselves: Willie Colón and the Fania All-Stars renting Yankee Stadium to take salsa to the masses, New Jersey locals Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith claiming the jungleland of Manhattan as their own, Grandmaster Flash transforming the turntable into a musical instrument, David Byrne and Talking Heads proving that rock music "ain't no foolin' around." Will Hermes was there—venturing from his native Queens to the small dark rooms where the revolution was taking place—and in Love Goes to Buildings on Fire he captures the creativity, drive, and full-out lust for life of the great New York musicians of those years, who knew that the music they were making would change the world.
|Author||: Richard Thompson Ford|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
A law professor and cultural critic offers an eye-opening exploration of the laws of fashion throughout history, from the middle ages to the present day, examining the canons, mores and customs of clothing rules that we often take for granted
|Author||: Janja Lalich,Karla McLaren|
Actors Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close, Rose McGowan and Leah Remini. Humorist Garrison Keillor. Musician Lisa Marie Presley. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Each of these well-know people has more than fame in common; each was born or raised in a cult. We think of cults as bizarre, inexplicable, or otherworldly places that only strange people inhabit, but cults and other abusive and high-demand groups (and relationships) are actually quite commonplace. In fact, the behaviors, social pressures, and authoritarian structures that create cults exist to a greater or lesser extent in every human relationship and every human group. Cult behavior is human behavior – and by studying cults, we can learn remarkably useful things about the social world and our place in it In the first in-depth research of its kind, sociologist and cult expert Janja Lalich interviewed sixty-five people who were born in or grew up in thirty-nine different cultic groups spanning more than a dozen countries. What’s especially interesting about these individuals is that they each left the cult on their own, without outside help or internal support. In Escaping Utopia: Growing Up in a Cult, Getting Out, and Starting Over, Lalich and award-winning author (and fellow cult survivor) Karla McLaren craft Lalich’s original and groundbreaking research into an accessible and engaging book, the first of its kind focusing on this particular population. Lalich and McLaren explore fundamental questions about human nature, human development, group dynamics, abuse and control, and triumphs of the human spirit in the face of intense and extended suffering.
|Author||: Marceline Loridan-Ivens|
|Editor||: Faber & Faber|
Marceline Loridan-Ivens was just fifteen when she was arrested by the Vichy government's militia, along with her father. He prepared her for the worst, telling her that he would not return. They were soon separated. The three kilometres between her father in Auschwitz and herself in Birkenau were an insurmountable distance, and yet he managed to send her a small note via an electrician in the camp - a sign of life. In But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline writes a letter to the father she would never know as an adult, to the man whose death enveloped her whole life. Her testimony is a haunting and challenging reminder of one of the worst crimes humanity has ever seen, and an affecting personal story of a woman whose life was shattered and never totally rebuilt.