alt textSacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools
Max Harris (Grad ’89)
Cornell University Press

For centuries, scholarship has misrepresented the medieval French celebration of the Feast of Fools as a rowdy holiday when the clergy performed services clothed in strange costumes, sang obscene songs and parodied the liturgy of the church. Harris revises the history of the feast as he turns to primary church documents—rather than scholarly opinions—for first-hand accounts of the feast. His findings expose the Feast of Fools as a reverential celebration of thanksgiving for the incarnation of Christ.

The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition
Edited by Nicholas Frankel (Grad ’94)
Belknap Press of Harvard University Pressalt text

When Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray first appeared in the July 1890 issue of Lippinscott’s Monthly Magazine, it ruffled the starched collars of many Victorian readers who found it to be “vulgar,” “unclean” and “immoral.” And that was after editing. Wilde’s own uncensored type script of the novel that altered the state of Victorian literature appears here in print for the first time, heavily annotated and extensively illustrated.

alt textHabeas Corpus: From England to Empire
Paul Halliday (faculty)
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

The writ of Habeas Corpus, or “you may have the body,” is used in many nations to protect individual freedom from state action. Halliday’s research reveals that Habeas Corpus was inspired by ideas about royal power and shows how “The Great Writ of Liberty,” as we call it, originated to protect not the prisoner’s right to liberty but the possible wrong committed by a jailer or the judge who gave the order to detain the prisoner. 

Out of Practice: Fighting for Primary Care Medicine in Americaalt text
Frederick M. Barken (medical resident ’84)
Cornell University Press

Primary care medicine was once the foundation of medical practice, but as medical students choose more lucrative specializations over general practice, the number of primary care physicians has dwindled in recent years. Barken shows how new trends in health care economics—such as practicing defensive medicine, widespread use of prescription drugs and changes in the family unit—contribute to the problematic disappearance of primary care practices.

Winning the Silicon Sweepstakes: Can the United States Compete in Global Telecommunications?
Rob Frieden (Law ’80)
Yale University Press

alt textWhen the iPhone was first introduced in the U.S., it cost $600, AT&T was the only service option and many consumers were left with inactive phones when the provider’s computers couldn’t handle the high volume of activation requests. Frieden examines the iPhone problem and many others, suggesting that current corporate and government communications policies leave American consumers with slow connectivity, outdated equipment and limited, overpriced choices. As a result, the U.S. has lost its competitive edge in the information, communications and entertainment marketplace.