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There is much heated rhetoric about the widening gulf between Europe and America. But are the US and Europe so different? Peter Baldwin, one of the world's leading historians of comparative social policy, thinks not, and in this bracingly argued but remarkably informed polemic, he lays out how similar the two continents really are. Drawing on the latest evidence from sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, and other international organizations, Baldwin offers a fascinating comparison of the United States and Europe, looking at the latest statistics on the economy, crime, health care, education and culture, religion, the environment, and much more. It is a book filled with surprising revelations. For most categories of crime, for instance, America is safe and peaceful by European standards. But the biggest surprise is that, though there are many differences between America and Europe, in almost all cases, these differences are no greater than the differences among European nations. Europe and the US are, in fact, part of a common, big-tent grouping. America is not Sweden, for sure. But nor is Italy Sweden, nor France, nor even Germany. And who says that Sweden is Europe? Anymore than Vermont is America? "Meticulous, insistent, and elegant." --John Lloyd, Financial Times "A must-read...filled with intriguing facts that add nuance to what can often be a black-and-white debate." --Foreign Affairs "An exhaustive and enthralling catalogue of our commonalities that begs a reconsideration of just what it means to be European or American." --Publishers Weekly
The Indiana State University Conference on Baseball in Literature and American Culture has consistently produced a strong body of scholarship since its inception in 1995. Eighteen essays presented at the 2004 and 2005 ISU conferences are published in this work. In "Baseball is a Place: Reflections On Building a Baseball Novel," novelist Mick Cochrane discusses writing a baseball novel, using his 2002 novel Sport to exemplify the process. Tracy Collins, in "Women, American Society, and Baseball Literature in the High Cannon," examines the ways in which canonical baseball novels are obliged to exclude women. In "'A Grim Harvest': Baseball's Changing of the Guard, 1931," Steve Gietschier shows baseball progressing from the tenuous agreements of the early modern era to become a stable urban business ready to take on the challenges of the mid-century. Joan Thomas's "Baseball and America, a Timeless Love Story" muses on the ways in which fans' relationship with baseball is like that of the lover to the beloved, irrational, forgiving, even maddening but always total. Fourteen other essays on the literature and culture of the game take on topics that include Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, August Wilson's Fences, baseball's long connection with presidents, its even longer connection with tobacco, and the virtue of cheering Chicago's Cubs.

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