Tales of the Narts: Ancient Myths and Legends of the Ossetians
The Nart sagas are to the Caucasus what Greek mythology is to Western civilization. Tales of the Narts presents a wide selection of fascinating tales preserved as a living tradition among the peoples of Ossetia in southern Russia, a region where ethnic identities have been maintained for thousands of years in the face of major cultural upheavals. A mythical tribe of tall, nomad warriors, the Narts were courageous, bold, and good-hearted. But they were also capable of cruelty, envy, and forceful measures to settle disputes. In this wonderfully vivid and accessible compilation of stories, colorful and exciting heroes, heroines, villains, and monsters pursue their destinies though a series of peculiar exploits, often with the intervention of ancient gods. The world of the Narts can be as familiar as it is alien, and the tales contain local themes as well as echoes of influence from diverse lands. The ancestors of the Ossetians once roamed freely from eastern Europe to western China, and their myths exhibit striking parallels with ancient Indian, Norse, and Greek myth. The Nart sagas may also have formed a crucial component of the Arthurian cycle. Tales of the Narts further expands the canon of this precious body of lore and demonstrates the passion and values that shaped the lives of the ancient Ossetians.
About the Author
John Colarusso is professor of anthropology and modern languages and linguistics at McMaster University and one of the world's most distinguished scholars of comparative linguistics. He is the author of The Northwest Caucasian Languages: A Phonological Survey and A Grammar of the Kabardian Language. He is also the editor of Nart Sagas: Ancient Myths and Legends from the Circassians and Abkhazians (Princeton). Tamerlan Salbiev is professor of English at North Ossetian State University and an expert of Old English.
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The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won’t Admit It
When it comes to politics, we often perceive our own beliefs as fair and socially beneficial, while seeing opposing views as merely self-serving. But in fact most political views are governed by self-interest, even if we usually don’t realize it. Challenging our fiercely held notions about what motivates us politically, this book explores how self-interest divides the public on a host of hot-button issues, from abortion and the legalization of marijuana to same-sex marriage, immigration, affirmative action, and income redistribution. Expanding the notion of interests beyond simple economics, Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban look at how people’s interests clash when it comes to their sex lives, social status, family, and friends. Drawing on a wealth of data, they demonstrate how different groups form distinctive bundles of political positions that often stray far from what we typically think of as liberal or conservative. They show how we engage in unconscious rationalization to justify our political positions, portraying our own views as wise, benevolent, and principled while casting our opponents’ views as thoughtless and greedy. While many books on politics seek to provide partisans with new ways to feel good about their own side, The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind illuminates the hidden drivers of our politics, even if it’s a picture neither side will find flattering.
About the Author
Jason Weeden is a senior researcher with the Pennsylvania Laboratory for Experimental Evolutionary Psychology (PLEEP) and a lawyer in Washington, DC. Robert Kurzban is professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of PLEEP. He is the author of “Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind” (Princeton).
About the Author
Aaron Podolefsky is Provost and Vice President for Academic at the University of Northern Iowa, where he also served eight years as Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and also holds degrees in Liberal Studies and Mathematics. He has authored books on law in Papua New Guinea and crime prevention in urban America. Peter J. Brown is a Professor of Anthropology at Emory University, where he also holds a faculty position in the Rollins School of Public Health. He is currently director of Emory’s Center for the Study of Health, Culture and Society. He has served as an officer in the Society for Medical Anthropology and was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Medical Anthropology for nine years. He has done research on a variety of topics, including malaria, tuberculosis, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, male gender and health, and the history of international health policy. He has been the recipient of three teaching awards. He has co-edited The Anthropology of Infectious Disease (with Marcia Inhorn) as well as the textbooks Applying Anthropology (sixth edition) and Applying Cultural Anthropology (fifth edition) (both with Aaron Podolefsky.
About the Author
Robert Gottlieb is Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Mark Vallianatos is Research Coordinator at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Regina M. Freer is Associate Professor of Politics at Occidental College. Peter Dreier is E. P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.
The Annual Editions series is designed to provide convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Annual Editions are updated on a regular basis through a continuous monitoring of over 300 periodical sources. The articles selected are authored by prominent scholars, researchers, and commentators writing for a general audience. Annual Editions volumes have a number of organizational features designed to make them especially valuable for classroom use: a general introduction; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; an annotated listing of supporting World Wide Web sites; Learning Outcomes and a brief overview at the beginning of each unit; and a Critical Thinking section at the end of each article. Each volume also offers an online Instructor’s Resource Guide with testing materials. Using Annual Editions in the Classroom is a general guide that provides a number of interesting and functional ideas for using Annual Editions readers in the classroom. Visit www.mhhe.com/annualeditions for more details.