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Flattering the Demos: Fiction and Democratic Education. Marlene K. Sokolon and Travis D. Smith, eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
 
That America’s institutions of higher education are in crisis is widely accepted. What should be blamed and what the remedy should be is widely debated. Marlene K. Sokolon and Travis D. Smith's Flattering the Demos: Fiction and Democratic Education is a collection…

The Novel After Film: Modernism and the Decline of Autonomy. Jonathan Foltz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
 
What is the novel after the invention of cinema? For Foltz, the relationship between the novel and film is a paradoxical one with both mediums indebted as well as distrustful of each other. The invention of cinematic narrative has forced novelists to recognize they…

Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel. Clayton Childress. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
 
In Under the Cover, Childress examines the novel as a sociological cultural object with attention to three aspects: creation (art), production (commerce), and reception (meaning). Adopting field theory, Childress examines those group of people who orient their attention toward each other and similar…

Theory of the Novel. Guido Mazzoni. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017.
 
Between the mid-sixteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, the novel, which long considered to be a form of superficial entertainment, became the preeminent art form in the West because it portrayed the “totality of life” against the reductive accounts of science, philosophy, and other forms of systematic thought.…

This edited volume explores the relationship between short stories and political philosophy, broadly understood. More specifically, each chapter analyzes a single, brief fictional narrative to address the innovative ways that short stories grapple with the same complex political and moral questions studied in political theory and ethics. We have selected short stories as our medium because they offer specific pedagogical…

Anti-utopian fiction has recently gripped the American imagination. Books such as The Hunger Games and the Divergent series have sold millions of copies and the movies based on these books have also been extremely popular. In January and February of 2017, Amazon briefly ran out of copies of 1984 and the sales of A Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale,…

Human Nature and Politics in Utopian and Anti-Utopian Fiction. Nivedita Bagchi. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018.
 
In Human Nature and Politics in Utopian and Anti-Utopian Fiction, Nivedita Bagchi examines the philosophical underpinnings of four well-known works of utopian/dystopian fiction: Thomas More’s Utopia, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and George Orwell’s 1984. Bagchi’s expressed purpose in this book…

Storytelling is universal; a constitutive, definitive part of human nature.[1] We imagine our earliest ancestors sitting around the fire telling tales of heroic adventures and otherworldly interventions. Examples of our earliest extant written texts are epic poems likely derived from oral storytelling. We become fascinated by stories that happened long ago or far away as children. Until the development of…

Flattering the Demos: Fiction and Democratic Education.  Marlene K. Sokolon and Travis D. Smith, eds. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018.
 
This edited compilation by Marlene Sokolon and Travis Smith makes important contributions to the field of political science teaching. Concerned to understand better how the study of fiction through multiple genres can inform and shape democratic education, the editors begin these investigations…

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
 
Human nature encompasses both the rational and the emotional. Modern political science has segregated these two concepts while promoting the supremacy of rationalism. This manner of study reduces the multidimensionality of humans which further reduces how we view and address problems through political means. To the attentive reader this book will…