Donald J. Trump’s Presidency: International Perspectives

Editors: John Dixon and Max J. Skidmore

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President Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric and actions become more understandable by reference to his personality traits, his worldview, and his view of the world. His campaign rhetoric catered to Americans comfortable with isolationism and certainly with no appetite for foreign military engagements. So, his foreign policy emphasis was on American isolationism and economic nationalism. He is not really interested in delving too deeply into some of the substantive issues of international politics, particularly the prevailing quandaries in the East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. Why bother when simple solutions will suffice, for his purposes. He has placed America’s global superpower status at risk. The gradual decline of its global influence seems inevitable.

Companion volume: John Dixon, Donald J. Trump as U.S. President: “It’s all about me!” (Westphalia Press, Washington, DC, 2018).

John Dixon is Professor of Public Administration at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He is a fellow of the British Academy of the Social Sciences in 2004, and has been an honorary life member of the American Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars since 2006.

Max J. Skidmore is University of Missouri’s Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Thomas Jefferson Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has been Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer to India, and Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong.

Whimsical Madam New Orleans: Short Stories from the Times-Picayune

 by Carmelite Janvier, Illustrated by Standish Buell

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Carmelite Janvier came from a wealthy family and enjoyed all its trappings, along with her siblings. Born to Charles Janvier and Josephine Celeste Bush, she enjoyed life as one of eight children. However, it was the opulence that came to hurt her. Specifically, when Janvier was nine and playing abroad her family’s yacht, she was injured by a small cannon which the family used to give greetings to other vessels. The accident was so serious that Janvier lost sight in one eye, and was left disfigured, but her family’s money helped ensure she was able to receive all the specialized care she needed to recuperate, and then to continue her education and live a long and enjoyable life in the upper echelons of society. These whimsical short stories illustrate the high life and low life and its undercurrents in New Orleans during the 1920s.


The Occult Arts: An Examination of the Claims Made for the Existence of Supernormal Powers

by J. W. Frings

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J.W. Fring opens by noting he is skeptical of any claims of the supernatural. He defines supernatural broadly, and dedicates chapters to a variety of manifestations, including alchemy, telepathy, palmistry, and hypnotism. Fring chooses to highlight multiple versions of the supernatural, broadly defining, it, and then offers some points to challenge beliefs in these manifestations. Those who are intrigued about the continuing belief in things strange will find this work both useful and controversial.


The Mysteries of the Head and Heart Explained: A Look at Phrenology and Mesmerism

by J. Stanley Grimes

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James Stanley Grimes was born in Boston on May 10, 1807. Although he wrote a tremendous amount, little is known about him personally. He married Frances Warner in 1832, but never remarried after she passed away in 1848. He graduated from Union College in 1840, went on to teach law the following year at Castleton Medical College. He quickly left law, focusing on writing on everything from natural selection, theology, and neurology but his focus became mesmerism and phrenology. He wrote extensively on issues of science, religion and human advancement as well.

The Mysteries of the Head and Heart is broken into three sections, with the first discussing phrenology, the second examining physiology and the third broadly looking at mesmerism. Some of his suggestions retain a certain possible validity, despite the controversial subject matter. One commentator notes, “In 1839 … Grimes — then living in Buffalo, New York and running a small group of phrenologists called the Western Phrenological Society — published a modification of Coombe’s phrenological system that [a] divided the organs of the brain into three groups (the ipseal, the social and the intellectual), and [b] added several new organs to the commonly-held phrenological model, including organs of chemicality, pneumativeness (merely having to do with breathing, alas), sanitativeness and (important for this discussion) credenciveness.”


A Different Dimension: Reflections on the History of Transpersonal Thought

by Mark B. Ryan

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A Different Dimension traces the historical development of an expanded, transpersonal view of consciousness—a view that sees the human mind as reaching beyond individual, personal consciousness into realms that we call “spiritual.” It provides a rich and vital discussion of some of the most fundamental questions of our lives: questions about the nature and capacities of the human mind, and its relation to ultimate realities.

While scientifically informed, transpersonal thought challenges common assumptions of our dominant, materialistic intellectual consensus, which sees all consciousness as a product of brain function. While sympathetic to mystical experience, it seldom endorses mainstream systems of religious belief; rather, it provides intellectual substance to the trend referred to as Spiritual But Not Religious.

Focusing on key figures and their seminal ideas, Mark Ryan presents a clear and graceful account of this current in psychology, from before the discovery of the unconscious in the late 19th century, through the emergence of transpersonal psychology as an organized field in the late 1960s, to its reverberations in our contemporary world.

For 22 years, Mark Ryan taught American Studies and History at Yale University, where he was the long-term Dean of Jonathan Edwards College. Subsequently, he was Titular IV Professor of International Relations and History at the Universidad de las Américas, Puebla in Mexico, where he also served as Dean of the Colleges and Director of the graduate program in United States Studies. For 14 years a Trustee of Naropa University, he is certified as a practitioner of Holotropic Breathwork. Currently he teaches at the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Houston, the Wisdom School of Graduate Studies of Ubiquity University, and other venues.


The Rise of the Book Plate: An Exemplative of the Art

by W. G. Bowdoin, Introduction by Henry Blackwell

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Bookplates were made to denote ownership and hopefully steer the volume back to the rightful shelf if borrowed. They often contained highly stylized writing, drawings, coat of arms, badges or other images of interest to the owner. Theearliest known form of a bookplate originates from roughly 1390 BCE, in Egypt. They became popular throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, and since have appeared throughout the world, being especially popular in larger personal libraries and book lending societies.

William Goodrich Bowdoin (1860–1947) wrote passionately and a great deal on the art of books, including book plates. His works include American Bookbinders, published in 1902. He published frequently under his initials, W. G. Bowdoin. In this particular work, Bowdoin has collected a fascinating variety of bookplates from around the world to showcase different styles.

This edition is dedicated to Larissa Watkins, librarian and bibliographer extraordinary, friend to countless authors.


Narrative of Samuel Hancock: Adventure, Escape, and Massacre During the California Gold Rush

by Samuel Hancock, Introduction by Arthur D. Howden Smith

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This work is an unusual autobiography, chronicling the experiences of Samuel Hancock between 1845-60. It details his journey to Oregon, his frustrating attempts to mine for gold in California, and his dramatic time as a captive under Native Americans. Hancock would go on to become a trader with the Native Americans, having used his time while under captivity to study the ceremonial rituals, building styles, medical practices, and other facets of Native American culture. Perhaps somewhat sensational, it offers interesting insights on the mindset of colonizers like Hancock.