Sunday, July 31, 2011


New from Yale University Press: Afghanistan: How the West Lost Its Way by Tim Bird and Alex Marshall.

About the book, from the publisher:
In October 2001, NATO forces invaded Afghanistan. Their initial aim, to topple the Taliban regime and replace it with a more democratic government aligned to Western interests, was swiftly achieved. However, stabilizing the country in the ensuing years has proven much more difficult. Despite billions of dollars in aid and military expenditure, Afghanistan remains a nation riddled with warlords, the world's major heroin producer, and the site of a seemingly endless conflict between Islamist militants and NATO forces.

In this timely and important book, Tim Bird and Alex Marshall offer a panoramic view of international involvement in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2011. Tackling the subject matter as a whole, Bird and Marshall weave together analysis of military strategy, regional context, aid policy, the Afghan government, and the many disagreements between and within the Western powers involved in the intervention. Given the complicating factors of the heroin trade, unwelcoming terrain, and precarious relations with Pakistan, the authors acknowledge the ways in which Afghanistan has presented unique challenges for its foreign invaders. Ultimately, however, they argue that the international community has failed in its self-imposed effort to solve Afghanistan's problems and that there are broader lessons to be learned from their struggle, particularly in terms of counterinsurgency and the ever-complicated work of "nation-building." The overarching feature of the intervention, they argue, has been an absence of strategic clarity and coherence.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Hollywood Left and Right"

New from Oxford University Press: Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics by Steven J. Ross.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Hollywood Left and Right, Steven J. Ross tells a story that has escaped public attention: the emergence of Hollywood as a vital center of political life and the important role that movie stars have played in shaping the course of American politics.

Ever since the film industry relocated to Hollywood early in the twentieth century, it has had an outsized influence on American politics. Through compelling larger-than-life figures in American cinema--Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Edward G. Robinson, George Murphy, Ronald Reagan, Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda, Charlton Heston, Warren Beatty, and Arnold Schwarzenegger--Hollywood Left and Right reveals how the film industry's engagement in politics has been longer, deeper, and more varied than most people would imagine. As shown in alternating chapters, the Left and the Right each gained ascendancy in Tinseltown at different times. From Chaplin, whose movies almost always displayed his leftist convictions, to Schwarzenegger's nearly seamless transition from action blockbusters to the California governor's mansion, Steven J. Ross traces the intersection of Hollywood and political activism from the early twentieth century to the present.

Hollywood Left and Right challenges the commonly held belief that Hollywood has always been a bastion of liberalism. The real story, as Ross shows in this passionate and entertaining work, is far more complicated. First, Hollywood has a longer history of conservatism than liberalism. Second, and most surprising, while the Hollywood Left was usually more vocal and visible, the Right had a greater impact on American political life, capturing a senate seat (Murphy), a governorship (Schwarzenegger), and the ultimate achievement, the Presidency (Reagan).

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Love's Vision"

New from Princeton University Press: Love's Vision by Troy Jollimore.

About the book, from the publisher:
Love often seems uncontrollable and irrational, but we just as frequently appear to have reasons for loving the people we do. In Love's Vision, Troy Jollimore offers a new way of understanding love that accommodates both of these facts, arguing that love is guided by reason even as it resists and sometimes eludes rationality. At the same time, he reconsiders love's moral status, acknowledging its moral dangers while arguing that it is, at heart, a moral phenomenon--an emotion that demands empathy and calls us away from excessive self-concern. Love is revealed as neither wholly moral nor deeply immoral, neither purely rational nor profoundly irrational. Rather, as Diotima says in Plato's Symposium, love is "something in between."

Jollimore makes his case by proposing a "vision" view of love, according to which loving is a way of seeing that involves bestowing charitable attention on a loved one. This view recognizes the truth in the cliché "love is blind," but holds that love's blindness does not undermine the idea that love is guided by reason. Reasons play an important role in love even if they rest on facts that are not themselves rationally justifiable.

Filled with illuminating examples from literature, Love's Vision is an original examination of a subject of vital philosophical and human concern.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"The Caring Self"

New from Cornell University Press: The Caring Self: The Work Experiences of Home Care Aides by Clare L. Stacey.

About the book, from the publisher:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 1.7 million home health aides and personal and home care aides in the United States as of 2008. These home care aides are rapidly becoming the backbone of America's system of long-term care, and their numbers continue to grow. Often referred to as frontline care providers or direct care workers, home care aides—disproportionately women of color—bathe, feed, and offer companionship to the elderly and disabled in the context of the home. In The Caring Self, Clare L. Stacey draws on observations of and interviews with aides working in Ohio and California to explore the physical and emotional labor associated with the care of others.

Aides experience material hardships—most work for minimum wage, and the services they provide are denigrated as unskilled labor—and find themselves negotiating social norms and affective rules associated with both family and work. This has negative implications for workers who struggle to establish clear limits on their emotional labor in the intimate space of the home. Aides often find themselves giving more, staying longer, even paying out of pocket for patient medications or incidentals; in other words, they feel emotional obligations expected more often of family members than of employees. However, there are also positive outcomes: some aides form meaningful ties to elderly and disabled patients. This sense of connection allows them to establish a sense of dignity and social worth in a socially devalued job. The case of home care allows us to see the ways in which emotional labor can simultaneously have deleterious and empowering consequences for workers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"The Summons of Love"

New from Columbia University Press: The Summons of Love by Mari Ruti.

About the book, from the publisher:
We are conditioned to think that love heals wounds, makes us happy, and gives our lives meaning. When the opposite occurs and love causes fracturing, disenchantment, and existential turmoil, we suffer deeply, especially if we feel that love has failed us or that we have failed to experience what others seem so effortlessly to enjoy.

In this eloquently argued, psychologically informed book, Mari Ruti portrays love as a much more complex, multifaceted phenomenon than we tend to appreciate—an experience that helps us encounter the depths of human existence. Love’s ruptures are as important as its triumphs, and sometimes love succeeds because it fails. At the heart of Ruti’s argument is a meditation on interpersonal ethics that acknowledges the inherent opacity of human interiority and the difficulty of taking responsibility for what we cannot fully understand.

Yet the fact that humans are often irrational in love does not absolve us of ethical accountability. In Ruti’s view, we must work harder to map the unconscious patterns motivating our romantic behavior. As opposed to popular spiritual approaches urging us to live fully in the now, Ruti treats the past as a living component of the present. Only when we catch ourselves at those moments when the past speaks in the present can we keep ourselves from hurting the ones we love. Equally important, Ruti emphasizes transcending our individual histories of pain, an act that allows us to face the unconscious demons that dictate our relational choices. Written with substance and compassion, The Summons of Love restores the enlivening and transformative possibilities of romance.
Visit Mari Ruti's website.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Before Porn Was Legal"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Before Porn Was Legal: The Erotica Empire of Beate Uhse by Elizabeth Heineman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Struggling to survive in post­–World War II Germany, Beate Uhse (1921–2001)—a former Luftwaffe pilot, war widow, and young mother—turned to selling goods on the black market. A self-penned guide to the rhythm method found eager buyers and started Uhse on her path to becoming the world’s largest erotica entrepreneur. Battling restrictive legislation, powerful churches, and conservative social mores, she built a mail-order business in the 1950s that sold condoms, sex aids, self-help books, and more. The following decades brought the world’s first erotica shop, the legalization of pornography, the expansion of her business into eastern Germany, and web-based commerce.

Uhse was only one of many erotica entrepreneurs who played a role in the social and sexual revolution accompanying Germany’s transition from Nazism to liberal democracy. Tracing the activities of entrepreneurs, customers, government officials, and citizen-activists, Before Porn Was Legal brings to light the profound social, legal, and cultural changes that attended the growth of the erotica sector. Heineman’s innovative readings of governmental and industry records, oral histories, and the erotica industry’s products uncover the roots of today’s sexual marketplace and reveal the indelible ways in which sexual expression and consumption have become intertwined.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Making Chastity Sexy"

New from the University of California Press: Making Chastity Sexy: The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns by Christine J. Gardner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Even though they are immersed in sex-saturated society, millions of teens are pledging to remain virgins until their wedding night. How are evangelical Christians persuading young people to wait until marriage? Christine J. Gardner looks closely at the language of the chastity movement and discovers a savvy campaign that uses sex to “sell” abstinence. Drawing from interviews with evangelical leaders and teenagers, she examines the strategy to shift from a negative “just say no” approach to a positive one: “just say yes” to great sex within marriage. Making Chastity Sexy sheds new light on an abstinence campaign that has successfully recast a traditionally feminist idea—“my body, my choice”—into a powerful message, but one that Gardner suggests may ultimately reduce evangelicalism’s transformative power. Focusing on the United States, her study also includes a comparative dimension by examining the export of this evangelical agenda to sub-Saharan Africa.
Read an excerpt from Making Chastity Sexy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


New from Yale University Press: Milk: A Local and Global History by Deborah Valenze.

About the book, from the publisher:
How did an animal product that spoils easily, carries disease, and causes digestive trouble for many of its consumers become a near-universal symbol of modern nutrition? In the first cultural history of milk, historian Deborah Valenze traces the rituals and beliefs that have governed milk production and consumption since its use in the earliest societies.

Covering the long span of human history, Milk reveals how developments in technology, public health, and nutritional science made this once-rare elixir a modern-day staple. The book looks at the religious meanings of milk, along with its association with pastoral life, which made it an object of mystery and suspicion during medieval times and the Renaissance. As early modern societies refined agricultural techniques, cow's milk became crucial to improving diets and economies, launching milk production and consumption into a more modern phase. Yet as business and science transformed the product in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, commercial milk became not only a common and widely available commodity but also a source of uncertainty when used in place of human breast milk for infant feeding. Valenze also examines the dairy culture of the developing world, looking at the example of India, currently the world's largest milk producer.

Ultimately, milk's surprising history teaches us how to think about our relationship to food in the present, as well as in the past. It reveals that although milk is a product of nature, it has always been an artifact of culture.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"A Kingdom of Stargazers"

New from Cornell University Press: A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon by Michael A. Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Astrology in the Middle Ages was considered a branch of the magical arts, one informed by Jewish and Muslim scientific knowledge in Muslim Spain. As such it was deeply troubling to some Church authorities. Using the stars and planets to divine the future ran counter to the orthodox Christian notion that human beings have free will, and some clerical authorities argued that it almost certainly entailed the summoning of spiritual forces considered diabolical. We know that occult beliefs and practices became widespread in the later Middle Ages, but there is much about the phenomenon that we do not understand. For instance, how deeply did occult beliefs penetrate courtly culture and what exactly did those in positions of power hope to gain by interacting with the occult? In A Kingdom of Stargazers, Michael A. Ryan examines the interest in astrology in the Iberian kingdom of Aragon, where ideas about magic and the occult were deeply intertwined with notions of power, authority, and providence.

Ryan focuses on the reigns of Pere III (1336–1387) and his sons Joan I (1387–1395) and Martí I (1395–1410). Pere and Joan spent lavish amounts of money on astrological writings, and astrologers held great sway within their courts. When Martí I took the throne, however, he was determined to purge Joan's courtiers and return to religious orthodoxy. As Ryan shows, the appeal of astrology to those in power was clear: predicting the future through divination was a valuable tool for addressing the extraordinary problems—political, religious, demographic—plaguing Europe in the fourteenth century. Meanwhile, the kings' contemporaries within the noble, ecclesiastical, and mercantile elite had their own reasons for wanting to know what the future held, but their engagement with the occult was directly related to the amount of power and authority the monarch exhibited and applied. A Kingdom of Stargazers joins a growing body of scholarship that explores the mixing of religious and magical ideas in the late Middle Ages.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility"

New from Oxford University Press: Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility by Dana Kay Nelkin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dana Kay Nelkin presents a simple and natural account of freedom and moral responsibility which responds to the great variety of challenges to the idea that we are free and responsible, before ultimately reaffirming our conception of ourselves as agents. Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility begins with a defense of the rational abilities view, according to which one is responsible for an action if and only if one acts with the ability to recognize and act for good reasons. The view is compatibilist -- that is, on the view defended, responsibility is compatible with determinism -- and one of its striking features is a certain asymmetry: it requires the ability to do otherwise for responsibility when actions are praiseworthy, but not when they are blameworthy. In defending and elaborating the view, Nelkin questions long-held assumptions such as those concerning the relation between fairness and blame and the nature of so-called reactive attitudes such as resentment and forgiveness. Her argument not only fits with a metaphysical picture of causation -- agent-causation -- often assumed to be available only to incompatibilist accounts, but receives positive support from the intuitively appealing Ought Implies Can Principle, and establishes a new interpretation of freedom and moral responsibility that dovetails with a compelling account of our inescapable commitments as rational agents.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Why Civil Resistance Works"

New from Columbia University Press: Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict by Erica Chenoweth and and Maria J. Stephan.

About the book, from the publisher:
For more than a century, from 1900 to 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals. By attracting impressive support from citizens, whose activism takes the form of protests, boycotts, civil disobedience, and other forms of nonviolent noncooperation, these efforts help separate regimes from their main sources of power and produce remarkable results, even in Iran, Burma, the Philippines, and the Palestinian Territories.

Combining statistical analysis with case studies of specific countries and territories, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan detail the factors enabling such campaigns to succeed and, sometimes, causing them to fail. They find that nonviolent resistance presents fewer obstacles to moral and physical involvement and commitment, and that higher levels of participation contribute to enhanced resilience, greater opportunities for tactical innovation and civic disruption (and therefore less incentive for a regime to maintain its status quo), and shifts in loyalty among opponents’ erstwhile supporters, including members of the military establishment.

Chenoweth and Stephan conclude that successful nonviolent resistance ushers in more durable and internally peaceful democracies, which are less likely to regress into civil war. Presenting a rich, evidentiary argument, they originally and systematically compare violent and nonviolent outcomes in different historical periods and geographical contexts, debunking the myth that violence occurs because of structural and environmental factors and that it is necessary to achieve certain political goals. Instead, the authors discover, violent insurgency is rarely justifiable on strategic grounds.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Tocqueville and His America"

New from Yale University Press: Tocqueville and His America: A Darker Horizon by Arthur Kaledin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Arthur Kaledin's groundbreaking book on Alexis de Tocqueville offers an original combination of biography, character study, and wide-ranging analysis of Tocqueville's Democracy in America, bringing new light to that classic work. The author examines the relation between Tocqueville's complicated inner life, his self-imagination, and his moral thought, and the meaning of his enduring writings, leading to a new understanding of Tocqueville's view of democratic culture and democratic politics. With particular emphasis on Tocqueville's prescient anticipation of various threats to liberty, social unity, and truly democratic politics in America posed by aspects of democratic culture, Kaledin underscores the continuing pertinence of Tocqueville's thought in our own changing world of the twenty-first century.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Poverty, Battered Women, and Work in U.S. Public Policy"

New from Oxford University Press: Poverty, Battered Women, and Work in U.S. Public Policy by Lisa D. Brush.

About the book, from the publisher:
Drawing on longitudinal interviews, government records, and personal narratives, feminist sociologist Lisa Brush examines the intersection of work, welfare, and battering. Brush contrasts conventional wisdom with illuminating analyses of social change and social structures, highlighting how race and class shape women's experiences with poverty and abuse and how "domestic" violence moves out of the home and follows women to work.

Brush's unique interview data on work-related control, abuse, and sabotage, together with administrative data on earnings, welfare, and restraining orders, offer new empirical insights on the impact of work requirements and other post-welfare rescission changes on the lives of low-income and battered mothers. Personal narratives provide first-hand accounts of women's perceptions of the broad forces that shape the circumstances of their everyday lives, their health, their prospects, their ambitions, and their diagnoses of their world. Deftly integrating the political and the personal, the administrative and the narrative, the economic and the emotional, Brush underscores the vital need to reexamine ideas, policies, and practices meant to keep women safe and economically productive that instead trap women in poverty and abuse.

With her fresh approach to problems people often see as intractable, Brush offers a new way of calculating the costs of battering for the policy makers and practitioners concerned with the well being of poor, battered women and their families and communities.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War "

New from Cambridge University Press: NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War by Curt Cardwell.

About the book, from the publisher:
NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War reexamines the origins and implementation of NSC 68, the massive rearmament program that the United States embarked on beginning in the summer of 1950. Curt Cardwell reinterprets the origins of NSC 68 to demonstrate that the aim of the program was less about containing communism than ensuring the survival of the nascent postwar global economy, on which rested postwar U.S. prosperity. The book challenges most studies on NSC 68 as a document of geostrategy and argues, instead, that it is more correctly understood as a document rooted in concerns for the U.S. domestic political economy.
Read an excerpt from NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Not Here, Not Now, Not That!"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Not Here, Not Now, Not That!: Protest over Art and Culture in America by Steven J. Tepper.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the late 1990s Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s epic play about homosexuality and AIDS in the Reagan era, toured the country, inspiring protests in a handful of cities while others received it warmly. Why do people fight over some works of art but not others? Not Here, Not Now, Not That! examines a wide range of controversies over films, books, paintings, sculptures, clothing, music, and television in dozens of cities across the country to find out what turns personal offense into public protest.

What Steven J. Tepper discovers is that these protests are always deeply rooted in local concerns. Furthermore, they are essential to the process of working out our differences in a civil society. To explore the local nature of public protests in detail, Tepper analyzes cases in seventy-one cities, including an in-depth look at Atlanta in the late 1990s, finding that debates there over memorials, public artworks, books, and parades served as a way for Atlantans to develop a vision of the future at a time of rapid growth and change.

Eschewing simplistic narratives that reduce public protests to political maneuvering, Not Here, Not Now, Not That! at last provides the social context necessary to fully understand this fascinating phenomenon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Fighting Chance"

New from Oxford University Press: Fighting Chance: The Struggle over Woman Suffrage and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America by Faye E. Dudden.

About the book, from the publisher:
The advocates of woman suffrage and black suffrage came to a bitter falling-out in the midst of Reconstruction, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton opposed the 15th Amendment because it granted the vote to black men but not to women. How did these two causes, so long allied, come to this?

Based on extensive research, Fighting Chance is a major contribution to women's history and to 19th-century political history--a story of how idealists descended to racist betrayal and desperate failure.
Faye E. Dudden is Professor of History at Colgate University. Her previous books include Serving Women: Household Service in Nineteenth-Century America and Women in the American Theatre: Actresses and Audiences, 1790-1870, which won the George Freedley Memorial Prize.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Of War and Men"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Of War and Men: World War II in the Lives of Fathers and Their Families by Ralph LaRossa.

About the book, from the publisher:
Fathers in the fifties tend to be portrayed as wise and genial pipe-smokers or distant, emotionless patriarchs. This common but limited stereotype obscures the remarkable diversity of their experiences and those of their children. To uncover the real story of fatherhood during this transformative era, Ralph LaRossa takes the long view—from the attack on Pearl Harbor up to the election of John F. Kennedy—revealing the myriad ways that World War II and its aftermath shaped men.

Offering compelling accounts of people both ordinary and extraordinary, Of War and Men digs deep into the terrain of fatherhood. LaRossa explores the nature and aftereffects of combat, the culture of fear during the Cold War, the ways that fear altered the lives of racial and sexual minorities, and how the civil rights movement affected families both black and white. Overturning some calcified myths, LaRossa also analyzes the impact of suburbanization on fathers and their kids, discovering that living in the suburbs often strengthened their bond. And finally, looking beyond the idealized dad enshrined in TV sitcoms, Of War and Men explores the brutal side of family life in the postwar years. LaRossa’s richly researched book dismantles stereotypes while offering up a fascinating and incisive chronicle of fatherhood in all its complexity.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Ethics for Enemies"

New from Oxford University Press: Ethics for Enemies: Terror, Torture, and War by F. M. Kamm.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ethics for Enemies comprises three original philosophical essays on torture, terrorism, and war. F. M. Kamm deploys ethical theory in her challenging new treatments of these most controversial practical issues. First she considers the nature of torture and the various occasions on which it could occur, in order to determine why it might be wrong to torture a wrongdoer held captive, even if this were necessary to save his victims. In the second essay she considers what makes terrorism wrong--whether it is the intention to harm civilians, rather than harm to them being 'collateral damage,' or something else--and whether terrorism is always wrong. The third essay discusses whether having a right reason, in the sense of a right intention, is necessary in order for a war to be just. Kamm then examines ways in which the harms of war can be proportional to the achievement of the just cause and other goods that war can bring about, so as to make the declaration of war permissible.
Frances Kamm is the Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government, as well as Professor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Confronting America"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Confronting America: The Cold War between the United States and the Communists in France and Italy by Alessandro Brogi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Throughout the Cold War, the United States encountered unexpected challenges from Italy and France, two countries with the strongest, and determinedly most anti-American, Communist Parties in Western Europe. Based primarily on new evidence from communist archives in France and Italy, as well as research archives in the United States, Alessandro Brogi's original study reveals how the United States was forced by political opposition within these two core Western countries to reassess its own anticommunist strategies, its image, and the general meaning of American liberal capitalist culture and ideology.

Brogi shows that the resistance to Americanization was a critical test for the French and Italian communists' own legitimacy and existence. Their anti-Americanism was mostly dogmatic and driven by the Soviet Union, but it was also, at crucial times, subtle and ambivalent, nurturing fascination with the American culture of dissent. The staunchly anticommunist United States, Brogi argues, found a successful balance to fighting the communist threat in France and Italy by employing diplomacy and fostering instances of mild dissent in both countries. Ultimately, both the French and Italian communists failed to adapt to the forces of modernization that stemmed both from indigenous factors and from American influence. Confronting America illuminates the political, diplomatic, economic, and cultural conflicts behind the U.S.-communist confrontation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"The Pretenses of Loyalty"

New from Oxford University Press: The Pretenses of Loyalty: Locke, Liberal Theory, and American Political Theology by John Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the face of ongoing religious conflicts and unending culture wars, what are we to make of liberalism's promise that it alone can arbitrate between church and state? In this wide-ranging study, John Perry examines the roots of our thinking on religion and politics, placing the early-modern founders of liberalism in conversation with today's theologians and political philosophers.

From the story of Antigone to debates about homosexuality and bans on religious attire, it is clear that liberalism's promise to solve all theo-political conflict is a false hope. The philosophy connecting John Locke to John Rawls seeks a world free of tragic dilemmas, where there can be no Antigones. Perry rejects this as an illusion. Disputes like the culture wars cannot be adequately comprehended as border encroachments presided over by an impartial judge. Instead, theo-political conflict must be considered a contest of loyalties within each citizen and believer. Drawing on critics of Rawls ranging from Michael Sandel to Stanley Hauerwas, Perry identifies what he calls a 'turn to loyalty' by those who recognize the inadequacy of our usual thinking on the public place of religion. The Pretenses of Loyalty offers groundbreaking analysis of the overlooked early work of Locke, where liberalism's founder himself opposed toleration.

Perry discovers that Locke made a turn to loyalty analogous to that of today's communitarian critics. Liberal toleration is thus more sophisticated, more theologically subtle, and ultimately more problematic than has been supposed. It demands not only governmental neutrality (as Rawls believed) but also a reworked political theology. Yet this must remain under suspicion for Christians because it places religion in the service of the state. Perry concludes by suggesting where we might turn next, looking beyond our usual boundaries to possibilities obscured by the liberalism we have inherited.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"The Rights of the Defenseless"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America by Susan J. Pearson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1877, the American Humane Society was formed as the national organization for animal and child protection. Thirty years later, there were 354 anticruelty organizations chartered in the United States, nearly 200 of which were similarly invested in the welfare of both humans and animals. In The Rights of the Defenseless, Susan J. Pearson seeks to understand the institutional, cultural, legal, and political significance of the perceived bond between these two kinds of helpless creatures, and the attempts made to protect them.

Unlike many of today’s humane organizations, those Pearson follows were delegated police powers to make arrests and bring cases of cruelty to animals and children before local magistrates. Those whom they prosecuted were subject to fines, jail time, and the removal of either animal or child from their possession. Pearson explores the limits of and motivation behind this power and argues that while these reformers claimed nothing more than sympathy with the helpless and a desire to protect their rights, they turned “cruelty” into a social problem, stretched government resources, and expanded the state through private associations. The first book to explore these dual organizations and their storied history, The Rights of the Defenseless will appeal broadly to reform-minded historians and social theorists alike.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"The North American Idea"

New from Oxford University Press: The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future by Robert A. Pastor.

About the book, from the publisher:
In its first seven years, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tripled trade and quintupled foreign investment among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, increasing its share of the world economy. In 2001, however, North America peaked. Since then, trade has slowed among the three, manufacturing has shrunk, and illegal migration and drug-related violence have soared. At the same time, Europe caught up, and China leaped ahead. In The North American Idea, eminent scholar and policymaker Robert A. Pastor explains that NAFTA's mandate was too limited to address the new North American agenda. Instead of offering bold initiatives like a customs union to expand trade, leaders of the three nations thought small. Interest groups stalemated the small ideas while inhibiting the bolder proposals, and the governments accomplished almost nothing.

To overcome this resistance and reinvigorate the continent, the leaders need to start with an idea based on a principle of interdependence. Pastor shows how this idea--once woven into the national consciousness of the three countries--could mobilize public support for continental solutions to problems like infrastructure and immigration that have confounded each nation working on its own. Providing essential historical context and challenging readers to view the continent in a new way, The North American Idea combines an expansive vision with a detailed blueprint for a more integrated, dynamic, and equitable North America.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labor"

New from Princeton University Press: Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labor: Sex Work and the Law in India by Prabha Kotiswaran.

About the book, from the publisher:
Popular representations of third-world sex workers as sex slaves and vectors of HIV have spawned abolitionist legal reforms that are harmful and ineffective, and public health initiatives that provide only marginal protection of sex workers' rights. In this book, Prabha Kotiswaran asks how we might understand sex workers' demands that they be treated as workers. She contemplates questions of redistribution through law within the sex industry by examining the political economies and legal ethnographies of two archetypical urban sex markets in India.

Kotiswaran conducted in-depth fieldwork among sex workers in Sonagachi, Kolkata's largest red-light area, and Tirupati, a temple town in southern India. Providing new insights into the lives of these women--many of whom are demanding the respect and legal protection that other workers get--Kotiswaran builds a persuasive theoretical case for recognizing these women's sexual labor. Moving beyond standard feminist discourse on prostitution, she draws on a critical genealogy of materialist feminism for its sophisticated vocabulary of female reproductive and sexual labor, and uses a legal realist approach to show why criminalization cannot succeed amid the informal social networks and economic structures of sex markets. Based on this, Kotiswaran assesses the law's redistributive potential by analyzing the possible economic consequences of partial decriminalization, complete decriminalization, and legalization. She concludes with a theory of sex work from a postcolonial materialist feminist perspective.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Nonviolent Revolutions"

New from Oxford University Press: Nonviolent Revolutions: Civil Resistance in the Late 20th Century by Sharon Erickson Nepstad.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the spring of 1989, Chinese workers and students captured global attention as they occupied Tiananmen Square, demanded political change, and were tragically suppressed by the Chinese army. Months later, East German civilians rose up nonviolently, brought down the Berlin Wall, and dismantled their regime. Although both movements used tactics of civil resistance, their outcomes were different. Why? In Nonviolent Revolutions, Sharon Erickson Nepstad examines these and other uprisings in Panama, Chile, Kenya, and the Philippines. Taking a comparative approach that includes both successful and failed cases of nonviolent resistance, Nepstad analyzes the effects of movements' strategies along with the counter-strategies regimes developed to retain power. She shows that a significant influence on revolutionary outcomes is security force defections, and explores the reasons why soldiers defect or remain loyal and the conditions that increase the likelihood of mutiny. She then examines the impact of international sanctions, finding that they can at times harm movements by generating new allies for authoritarian leaders or by shifting the locus of power from local civil resisters to international actors. Nonviolent Revolutions offers essential insights into the challenges that civil resisters face and elucidates why some of these movements failed. With a recent surge of popular uprisings across the Middle East, this book provides a valuable new understanding of the dynamics and potency of civil resistance and nonviolent revolt.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Translating Truth"

New from Yale University Press: Translating Truth: Ambitious Images and Religious Knowledge in Late Medieval France and England by Aden Kumler.

About the book, from the publisher:
Translating Truth is a novel and compelling account of how illuminated vernacular manuscripts transformed conceptions of Christian excellence in the later Middle Ages. Following the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), which legislated a broad pastoral outreach to the laity, new forms of religious instruction played a decisive role in the lives of Christians throughout Europe. For royal and aristocratic laypeople, luxury manuscripts of spiritual instruction made sacred truths and religious knowledge accessible—and authorizing—as never before.

In this beautifully illustrated book, Aden Kumler examines how manuscript paintings collaborated and, at times, competed with texts as they translated the rudiments of Christian belief as well as complex theological teachings to new audiences on both sides of the English Channel. In the illuminations in these books, Kumler argues, elite laypeople were offered an ambitious vision of spiritual excellence and a greater role in the pursuit of their salvation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Citizens and Sportsmen"

New from the University of Texas Press: Citizens and Sportsmen: Fútbol and Politics in Twentieth-Century Chile by Brenda Elsey.

About the book, from the publisher:
Fútbol, or soccer as it is called in the United States, is the most popular sport in the world. Millions of people schedule their lives and build identities around it. The World Cup tournament, played every four years, draws an audience of more than a billion people and provides a global platform for displays of athletic prowess, nationalist rhetoric, and commercial advertising. Fútbol is ubiquitous in Latin America, yet few academic histories of the sport exist, and even fewer focus on its relevance to politics in the region. To fill that gap, this book uses amateur fútbol clubs in Chile to understand the history of civic associations, popular culture, and politics.

In Citizens and Sportsmen, Brenda Elsey argues that fútbol clubs integrated working-class men into urban politics, connected them to parties, and served as venues of political critique. In this way, they contributed to the democratization of the public sphere. Elsey shows how club members debated ideas about class, ethnic, and gender identities, and also how their belief in the uniquely democratic nature of Chile energized state institutions even as it led members to criticize those very institutions. Furthermore, she reveals how fútbol clubs created rituals, narratives, and symbols that legitimated workers' claims to political subjectivity. Her case study demonstrates that the relationship between formal and informal politics is essential to fostering civic engagement and supporting democratic practices.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Under a Bad Sign"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Under a Bad Sign: Criminal Self-Representation in African American Popular Culture by Jonathan Munby.

About the book, from the publisher:
What accounts for the persistence of the figure of the black criminal in popular culture created by African Americans? Unearthing the overlooked history of art that has often seemed at odds with the politics of civil rights and racial advancement, Under a Bad Sign explores the rationale behind this tradition of criminal self-representation from the Harlem Renaissance to contemporary gangsta culture.

In this lively exploration, Jonathan Munby takes a uniquely broad view, laying bare the way the criminal appears within and moves among literary, musical, and visual arts. Munby traces the legacy of badness in Rudolph Fisher and Chester Himes’s detective fiction and in Claude McKay, Julian Mayfield, and Donald Goines’s urban experience writing. Ranging from Peetie Wheatstraw’s gangster blues to gangsta rap, he also examines criminals in popular songs. Turning to the screen, the underworld films of Oscar Micheaux and Ralph Cooper, the 1970s blaxploitation cycle, and the 1990s hood movie come under his microscope as well. Ultimately, Munby concludes that this tradition has been a misunderstood aspect of African American civic life and that, rather than undermining black culture, it forms a rich and enduring response to being outcast in America.

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Flying Tiger"

New from Oxford University Press: Flying Tiger: International Relations Theory and the Politics of Advanced Weapons by Ulrich Krotz.

About the book, from the publisher:
The rivalry between Germany and France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is well known. It was directly or indirectly responsible for four cataclysmic wars, and until recently, the idea that these two states could become close partners seemed implausible. Yet, following World War II and the birth of the European Union, they became the closest of allies. In fact, they collaborated for almost four decades on one of the most sophisticated weapons that Europe has produced: the Tiger Helicopter. How did this occur, and what does this unlikely outcome tell us about how interstate relations really work?

Through the lens of the Tiger, Ulrich Krotz draws from two theoretical approaches--social constructivism and historical institutionalism--to reframe our understanding of how international relationships evolve. How does a relationship between states affect a state internally? And how do the internal dynamics of a state limit such relationships? While other scholars have touched on these issues, until now no one has provided a sustained, finely--grained, and historically--informed analysis that explains how international relations inform domestic realities and how, in turn, domestic politics and institutions structure interstate relationships. Two famous rivals reshaped their relationship through a complicated, decades-long process, and in doing so, the nuts and bolts of domestic politics-approvals for state funding, or laws regarding corporations and technology transfer, for instance-were instrumental in creating a new reality.

Fully researched in French, German, and English, Krotz's account of how the Tiger project was conceived and funded, and how the combat helicopter was built and exported, presents a clear analysis of the dialectical relationship between 'high' interstate politics and 'low' domestic politics. In sum, it is a groundbreaking theoretical contribution to international relations scholarship.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"The Great War in Russian Memory"

New from Indiana University Press: The Great War in Russian Memory by Karen Petrone.

About the book, from the publisher:
Karen Petrone shatters the notion that World War I was a forgotten war in the Soviet Union. Although never officially commemorated, the Great War was the subject of a lively discourse about religion, heroism, violence, and patriotism during the interwar period. Using memoirs, literature, films, military histories, and archival materials, Petrone reconstructs Soviet ideas regarding the motivations for fighting, the justification for killing, the nature of the enemy, and the qualities of a hero. She reveals how some of these ideas undermined Soviet notions of military honor and patriotism while others reinforced them. As the political culture changed and war with Germany loomed during the Stalinist 1930s, internationalist voices were silenced and a nationalist view of Russian military heroism and patriotism prevailed.
Preview The Great War in Russian Memory.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"The Opera Fanatic"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession by Claudio E. Benzecry.

About the book, from the publisher:
Though some dismiss opera as old-fashioned, it shows no sign of disappearing from the world’s stage. So why do audiences continue to flock to it? Given its association with wealth, one might imagine that opera tickets function as a status symbol. But while a desire to hobnob with the upper crust might motivate the occasional operagoer, for hardcore fans the real answer, according to The Opera Fanatic, is passion—they do it for love.

Opera lovers are an intense lot, Claudio E. Benzecry discovers in his look at the fanatics who haunt the legendary Colón Opera House in Buenos Aires, a key site for opera’s globalization. Listening to the fans and their stories, Benzecry hears of two-hundred-mile trips for performances and nightlong camp-outs for tickets, while others testify to a particular opera’s power to move them—whether to song or to tears—no matter how many times they have seen it before. Drawing on his insightful analysis of these acts of love, Benzecry proposes new ways of thinking about people’s relationship to art and shows how, far from merely enhancing aspects of everyday life, art allows us to transcend it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Federal Fathers and Mothers"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933 by Cathleen D. Cahill.

About the book, from the publisher:
Established in 1824, the United States Indian Service, now known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was the agency responsible for carrying out U.S. treaty and trust obligations to American Indians, but it also sought to "civilize" and assimilate them. In Federal Fathers and Mothers, Cathleen Cahill offers the first in-depth social history of the agency during the height of its assimilation efforts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Making extensive and original use of federal personnel files and other archival materials, Cahill examines how assimilation practices were developed and enacted by an unusually diverse group of women and men, whites and Indians, married couples and single people. Cahill argues that the Indian Service pursued a strategy of intimate colonialism, using employees as surrogate parents and model families in order to shift Native Americans' allegiances from tribal kinship networks to Euro-American familial structures and, ultimately, the U.S. government. In seeking to remove Indians from federal wardship, the government experimented with new forms of maternalist social provision, which later influenced U.S. colonialism overseas. Cahill also reveals how the government's hiring practices unexpectedly allowed federal personnel on the ground to crucially influence policies devised in Washington, especially when Native employees used their positions to defend their families and communities.