Saturday, October 21, 2017

"A Different Kind of Animal"

New from Princeton University Press: A Different Kind of Animal: How Culture Transformed Our Species by Robert Boyd.

About the book, from the publisher:
How our ability to learn from each other has been the essential ingredient to our remarkable success as a species

Human beings are a very different kind of animal. We have evolved to become the most dominant species on Earth. We have a larger geographical range and process more energy than any other creature alive. This astonishing transformation is usually explained in terms of cognitive ability—people are just smarter than all the rest. But in this compelling book, Robert Boyd argues that culture—our ability to learn from each other—has been the essential ingredient of our remarkable success.

A Different Kind of Animal demonstrates that while people are smart, we are not nearly smart enough to have solved the vast array of problems that confronted our species as it spread across the globe. Over the past two million years, culture has evolved to enable human populations to accumulate superb local adaptations that no individual could ever have invented on their own. It has also made possible the evolution of social norms that allow humans to make common cause with large groups of unrelated individuals, a kind of society not seen anywhere else in nature. This unique combination of cultural adaptation and large-scale cooperation has transformed our species and assured our survival—making us the different kind of animal we are today.

Based on the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, A Different Kind of Animal features challenging responses by biologist H. Allen Orr, philosopher Kim Sterelny, economist Paul Seabright, and evolutionary anthropologist Ruth Mace, as well as an introduction by Stephen Macedo.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 20, 2017

"The Forgotten Emancipator"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Forgotten Emancipator: James Mitchell Ashley and the Ideological Origins of Reconstruction by Rebecca E. Zietlow.

About the book, from the publisher:
Congressman James M. Ashley, a member of the House of Representatives from 1858 to 1868, and was the main sponsor of the Thirteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, which declared the institution of slavery unconstitutional. Rebecca E. Zietlow uses Ashley's life as a unique lens through which to explore the ideological origins of Reconstruction and the constitutional changes of this era. Zietlow recounts how Ashley and his antislavery allies shared an egalitarian free labor ideology that was influenced by the political antislavery movement and the nascent labor movement - a vision that conflicted directly with the institution of slavery. Ashley's story sheds important light on the meaning and power of popular constitutionalism: how the constitution is interpreted outside of the courts and the power that citizens and their elected officials can have in enacting legal change. The book shows how Reconstruction not only expanded racial equality but also transformed the rights of workers throughout America.
Rebecca E. Zietlow is Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values at the University of Toledo, College of Law.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"The Virtual Weapon and International Order"

New from Yale University Press: The Virtual Weapon and International Order by Lucas Kello.

About the book, from the publisher:
An urgently needed examination of the current cyber revolution that draws on case studies to develop conceptual frameworks for understanding its effects on international order

The cyber revolution is the revolution of our time. The rapid expansion of cyberspace in society brings both promise and peril. It promotes new modes of political cooperation, but it also disrupts interstate dealings and empowers subversive actors who may instigate diplomatic and military crises. Despite significant experience with cyber incidents, the conceptual apparatus to analyze, understand, and address their effects on international order remains primitive. Here, Lucas Kello adapts and applies international relations theory to create new ways of thinking about cyber strategy.

Kello draws on a broad range of case studies - including the Stuxnet operation against Iran, the cyberattacks against Sony Pictures, and the disruption of the 2016 U.S. presidential election - to make sense of the contemporary technological revolution.

Synthesizing data from government documents, forensic reports of major events, and interviews with senior decision-makers, this important work establishes new theoretical benchmarks to help security experts revise strategy and policy for the unprecedented challenges of our era.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Forgotten Disease"

New from Stanford University Press: Forgotten Disease: Illnesses Transformed in Chinese Medicine by Hilary A. Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
Around the turn of the twentieth century, disorders that Chinese physicians had been writing about for over a millennium acquired new identities in Western medicine—sudden turmoil became cholera; flowers of heaven became smallpox; and foot qi became beriberi. Historians have tended to present these new identities as revelations, overlooking evidence that challenges Western ideas about these conditions. In Forgotten Disease, Hilary A. Smith argues that, by privileging nineteenth century sources, we misrepresent what traditional Chinese doctors were seeing and doing, therefore unfairly viewing their medicine as inferior.

Drawing on a wide array of sources, ranging from early Chinese classics to modern scientific research, Smith traces the history of one representative case, foot qi, from the fourth century to the present day. She examines the shifting meanings of disease over time, showing that each transformation reflects the social, political, intellectual, and economic environment. The breathtaking scope of this story offers insights into the world of early Chinese doctors and how their ideas about health, illness, and the body were developing far before the advent of modern medicine. Smith highlights the fact that modern conceptions of these ancient diseases create the impression that the West saved the Chinese from age-old afflictions, when the reality is that many prominent diseases in China were actually brought over as a result of imperialism. She invites the reader to reimagine a history of Chinese medicine that celebrates its complexity and nuance, rather than uncritically disdaining this dynamic form of healing.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"John Locke: The Philosopher as Christian Virtuoso"

New from Oxford University Press: John Locke: The Philosopher as Christian Virtuoso by Victor Nuovo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Early modern Europe was the birthplace of the modern secular outlook. During the seventeenth century nature and human society came to be regarded in purely naturalistic, empirical ways, and religion was made an object of critical historical study. John Locke was a central figure in all these events. This study of his philosophical thought shows that these changes did not happen smoothly or without many conflicts of belief: Locke, in the role of Christian Virtuoso, endeavoured to resolve them. He was an experimental natural philosopher, a proponent of the so-called 'new philosophy', a variety of atomism that emerged in early modern Europe. But he was also a practising Christian, and he professed confidence that the two vocations were not only compatible, but mutually sustaining. He aspired, without compromising his empirical stance, to unite the two vocations in a single philosophical endeavour with the aim of producing a system of Christian philosophy.
Victor Nuovo is Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Middlebury College.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Broke and Patriotic"

New from Stanford University Press: Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country by Francesco Duina.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why are poor Americans so patriotic? They have significantly worse social benefits compared to other Western nations, and studies show that the American Dream of upward mobility is, for them, largely a myth. So why do these people love their country? Why have they not risen up to demand more from a system that is failing them?

In Broke and Patriotic, Francesco Duina contends that the best way to answer these questions is to speak directly to America's most impoverished. Spending time in bus stations, laundromats, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, public libraries, and fast food restaurants, Duina conducted over sixty revealing interviews in which his subjects explain how they view themselves and their country. He masterfully weaves their words into three narratives. First, America's poor still see their country as the "last hope" for themselves and the world: America offers its people a sense of dignity, closeness to God, and answers to most of humanity's problems. Second, America is still the "land of milk and honey:" a very rich and generous country where those who work hard can succeed. Third, America is the freest country on earth where self-determination is still possible.

This book offers a stirring portrait of the people left behind by their country and left out of the national conversation. By giving them a voice, Duina sheds new light on a sector of American society that we are only beginning to recognize as a powerful force in shaping the country's future.
The Page 99 Test: Winning.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 16, 2017

"A Cultural History of Chess-Players"

New from Manchester University Press: A cultural history of chess-players: Minds, machines, and monsters by John Sharples.

About the book, from the publisher:
This inquiry concerns the cultural history of the chess-player. It takes as its premise the idea that the chess-player has become a fragmented collection of images, underpinned by challenges to, and confirmations of, chess's status as an intellectually-superior and socially-useful game, particularly since the medieval period. Yet, the chess-player is an understudied figure. No previous work has shone a light on the chess-player itself. Increasingly, chess-histories have retreated into tidy consensus. This work aspires to a novel reading of the figure as both a flickering beacon of reason and a sign of monstrosity. To this end, this book, utilising a wide range of sources, including newspapers, periodicals, detective novels, science-fiction, and comic-books, is underpinned by the idea that the chess-player is a pluralistic subject used to articulate a number of anxieties pertaining to themes of mind, machine, and monster.
John Sharples is an independent historian.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight"

New from Stanford University Press: The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight: How Place Still Matters for the Rich by Cristobal Young.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this age of globalization, many countries and U.S. states are worried about the tax flight of the rich. As income inequality grows and U.S. states consider raising taxes on their wealthiest residents, there is a palpable concern that these high rollers will board their private jets and fly away, taking their wealth with them. Many assume that the importance of location to a person's success is at an all-time low. Cristobal Young, however, makes the surprising argument that location is very important to the world's richest people. Frequently, he says, place has a great deal to do with how they make their millions.

In The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight, Young examines a trove of data on millionaires and billionaires—confidential tax returns, Forbes lists, and census records—and distills down surprising insights. While economic elites have the resources and capacity to flee high-tax places, their actual migration is surprisingly limited. For the rich, ongoing economic potential is tied to the place where they become successful—often where they are powerful insiders—and that success ultimately diminishes both the incentive and desire to migrate.

This important book debunks a powerful idea that has driven fiscal policy for years, and in doing so it clears the way for a new era. Millionaire taxes, Young argues, could give states the funds to pay for infrastructure, education, and other social programs to attract a group of people who are much more mobile—the younger generation.
Visit Cristobal Young's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"London Cage"

New from Yale University Press: London Cage: The Secret History of Britain's World War II Interrogation Centre by Helen Fry.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first complete account of the fiercely guarded secrets of London’s clandestine interrogation center, operated by the British Secret Service from 1940 to 1948

Behind the locked doors of three mansions in London’s exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens neighborhood, the British Secret Service established a highly secret prison in 1940: the London Cage. Here recalcitrant German prisoners of war were subjected to “special intelligence treatment.” The stakes were high: the war’s outcome could hinge on obtaining information German prisoners were determined to withhold. After the war, high-ranking Nazi war criminals were housed in the Cage, revamped as an important center for investigating German war crimes.

This riveting book reveals the full details of operations at the London Cage and subsequent efforts to hide them. Helen Fry’s extraordinary original research uncovers the grim picture of prisoners’ daily lives and of systemic Soviet-style mistreatment. The author also provides sensational evidence to counter official denials concerning the use of “truth drugs” and “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Bringing dark secrets to light, this groundbreaking book at last provides an objective and complete history of the London Cage.
Visit Helen Fry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"The Big Push"

New from the University of California Press: The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy by Cynthia Enloe.

About the book, from the publisher:
For over a century and in scores of countries, patriarchal presumptions and practices have been challenged by women and their male allies. “Sexual harassment” has entered common parlance; police departments are equipped with rape kits; more than half of the national legislators in Bolivia and Rwanda are women; and a woman candidate won the plurality of the popular votes in the 2016 United States presidential election. But have we really reached equality and overthrown a patriarchal point of view?  The Big Push exposes how patriarchal ideas and relationships continue to be modernized to this day. Through contemporary cases and reports, renowned political scientist Cynthia Enloe exposes the workings of everyday patriarchy—in how Syrian women civil society activists have been excluded from international peace negotiations; how sexual harassment became institutionally accepted within major news organizations; or in how the UN Secretary General’s post has remained a masculine domain. Enloe then lays out strategies and skills for challenging patriarchal attitudes and operations. Encouraging self-reflection, she guides us in the discomforting curiosity of reviewing our own personal complicity in sustaining patriarchy in order to withdraw our own support for it. Timely and globally conscious, The Big Push is a call for feminist self-reflection and strategic action with a belief that exposure complements resistance.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Contesting the City"

New from Oxford University Press: Contesting the City: The Politics of Citizenship in English Towns, 1250-1530 by Christian D. Liddy.

About the book, from the publisher:
The political narrative of late medieval English towns is often reduced to the story of the gradual intensification of oligarchy, in which power was exercised and projected by an ever smaller ruling group over an increasingly subservient urban population. Contesting the City takes its inspiration not from English historiography, but from a more dynamic continental scholarship on towns in the southern Low Countries, Germany, and France. Its premise is that scholarly debate about urban oligarchy has obscured contemporary debate about urban citizenship. It identifies from the records of English towns a tradition of urban citizenship, which did not draw upon the intellectual legacy of classical models of the 'citizen'. This was a vernacular citizenship, which was not peculiar to England, but which was present elsewhere in late medieval Europe. It was a citizenship that was defined and created through action. There were multiple, and divergent, ideas about citizenship, which encouraged townspeople to make demands, to assert rights, and to resist authority. This volume exploits the rich archival sources of the five major towns in England - Bristol, Coventry, London, Norwich, and York - in order to present a new picture of town government and urban politics over three centuries. The power of urban governors was much more precarious than historians have imagined. Urban oligarchy could never prevail - whether ideologically or in practice - when there was never a single, fixed meaning of the citizen.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"The Assassination of William McKinley"

Coming in December from Lexington Books: The Assassination of William McKinley: Anarchism, Insanity, and the Birth of the Social Sciences by Cary Federman.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book is an examination of the assassination of President William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz, an American-born purported anarchist. This work offers a new and different way to approach historical crime stories. Rather than accepting the idea that Czolgosz was inherently dangerous because of his ethnic background or his obscure political statements, Federman argues, rather, that political relations, historical events, and the developing discourses in the natural and social sciences toward normal and pathological behaviors structured the meaning of the assassination. Federman proposes there are six ways to view an assassin, each corresponding to a social science. Consequently, each chapter of this manuscript examines a social science and its relation to the assassination. Overall, there are three purposes to this work: One is to examine the rise of the social sciences at the time of the assassination. The second is to explore the historical and political understanding of political violence; and the third is to examine the meaning of legal responsibility
Cary Federman is associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Germany and the Ottoman Railways"

New from Yale University Press: Germany and the Ottoman Railways: Art, Empire, and Infrastructure by Peter H. Christensen.

About the book, from the publisher:
The complex political and cultural relationship between the German state and the Ottoman Empire is explored through the lens of the Ottoman Railway network, its architecture, and material culture

With lines extending from Bosnia to Baghdad to Medina, the Ottoman Railway Network (1868–1919) was the pride of the empire and its ultimate emblem of modernization—yet it was largely designed and bankrolled by German corporations. This exemplifies a uniquely ambiguous colonial condition in which the interests of Germany and the Ottoman Empire were in constant flux. German capitalists and cultural figures sought influence in the Near East, including access to archaeological sites such as Tell Halaf and Mshatta. At the same time, Ottoman leaders and laborers urgently pursued imperial consolidation. Germany and the Ottoman Railways explores the impact of these political agendas as well as the railways’ impact on the built environment. Relying on a trove of previously unpublished archival materials, including maps, plans, watercolors, and photographs, author Peter H. Christensen also reveals the significance of this major infrastructure project for the budding disciplines of geography, topography, art history, and archaeology.
Visit Peter H. Christensen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"The Wehrmacht's Last Stand"

New from the University Press of Kansas: The Wehrmacht's Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944-1945 by Robert M. Citino.

About the book, from the publisher:
By 1943, the war was lost, and most German officers knew it. Three quarters of a century later, the question persists: What kept the German army going in an increasingly hopeless situation? Where some historians have found explanations in the power of Hitler or the role of ideology, Robert M. Citino, the world’s leading scholar on the subject, posits a more straightforward solution: Bewegungskrieg, the way of war cultivated by the Germans over the course of history. In this gripping account of German military campaigns during the final phase of World War II, Citino charts the inevitable path by which Bewegungskrieg, or a “war of movement,” inexorably led to Nazi Germany’s defeat.

The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand analyzes the German Totenritt, or “death ride,” from January 1944—with simultaneous Allied offensives at Anzio and Ukraine—until May 1945, the collapse of the Wehrmacht in the field, and the Soviet storming of Berlin. In clear and compelling prose, and bringing extensive reading of the German-language literature to bear, Citino focuses on the German view of these campaigns. Often very different from the Allied perspective, this approach allows for a more nuanced and far-reaching understanding of the last battles of the Wehrmacht than any now available. With Citino’s previous volumes, Death of the Wehrmacht and The Wehrmacht Retreats, The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand completes a uniquely comprehensive picture of the German army’s strategy, operations, and performance against the Allies in World War II.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"The Burr Conspiracy"

New from Princeton University Press: The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis by James E. Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:
A multifaceted portrait of the early American republic as seen through the lens of the Burr Conspiracy

In 1805 and 1806, Aaron Burr, former vice president of the newly formed American republic, traveled through the Trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. This book explores the political and cultural forces that shaped how Americans made sense of the uncertain rumors and reports about Burr’s intentions and movements, and examines what the resulting crisis reveals about their anxieties concerning the new nation’s fragile union and uncertain republic.

Burr was said to have enticed some people with plans to liberate Spanish Mexico, others with promises of land in the Orleans Territory, still others with talk of building a new empire beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause célèbre of the early republic—with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers—even as the evidence against him was vague and conflicting. Rather than trying to discover the real intentions of Burr or his accusers—Thomas Jefferson foremost among them—James E. Lewis Jr. looks at how differing understandings of the Burr Conspiracy were shaped by everything from partisan politics and biased newspapers to notions of honor and gentility. He also traces the enduring legacy of the stories that were told and accepted during this moment of uncertainty.

The Burr Conspiracy offers a panoramic and multifaceted portrait of the United States at a time when it was far from clear to its people how long it would last.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 9, 2017

"Barbed-Wire Imperialism"

New from the University of California Press: Barbed-Wire Imperialism: Britain's Empire of Camps, 1876-1903 by Aidan Forth.

About the book, from the publisher:
Camps are emblems of the modern world, but they first appeared under the imperial tutelage of Victorian Britain. Comparative and transnational in scope, Barbed-Wire Imperialism situates the concentration and refugee camps of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) within longer traditions of controlling the urban poor in metropolitan Britain and managing "suspect" populations in the empire. Workhouses and prisons, along with criminal tribe settlements and enclosures for the millions of Indians displaced by famine and plague in the late nineteenth century, offered early prototypes for mass encampment. Venues of great human suffering, British camps were artifacts of liberal empire that inspired and legitimized the practices of future regimes.
Aidan Forth is Assistant Professor of British imperial history at Loyola University Chicago.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Russia in Flames"

New from Oxford University Press: Russia in Flames: War, Revolution, Civil War, 1914 - 1921 by Laura Engelstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
October 1917, heralded as the culmination of the Russian Revolution, remains a defining moment in world history. Even a hundred years after the events that led to the emergence of the world's first self-proclaimed socialist state, debate continues over whether, as historian E. H. Carr put it decades ago, these earth-shaking days were a "landmark in the emancipation of mankind from past oppression" or "a crime and a disaster." Some things are clear. After the implosion of the three-hundred-year-old Romanov dynasty as a result of the First World War, Russia was in crisis-one interim government replaced another in the vacuum left by imperial collapse.

In this monumental and sweeping new account, Laura Engelstein delves into the seven years of chaos surrounding 1917 --the war, the revolutionary upheaval, and the civil strife it provoked. These were years of breakdown and brutal violence on all sides, punctuated by the decisive turning points of February and October. As Engelstein proves definitively, the struggle for power engaged not only civil society and party leaders, but the broad masses of the population and every corner of the far-reaching empire, well beyond Moscow and Petrograd.

Yet in addition to the bloodshed they unleashed, the revolution and civil war revealed democratic yearnings, even if ideas of what constituted "democracy" differed dramatically. Into that vacuum left by the Romanov collapse rushed long-suppressed hopes and dreams about social justice and equality. But any possible experiment in self-rule was cut short by the October Revolution. Under the banner of true democracy, and against all odds, the Bolshevik triumph resulted in the ruthless repression of all opposition. The Bolsheviks managed to harness the social breakdown caused by the war and institutionalize violence as a method of state-building, creating a new society and a new form of power.

Russia in Flames offers a compelling narrative of heroic effort and brutal disappointment, revealing that what happened during these seven years was both a landmark in the emancipation of Russia from past oppression and a world-shattering disaster. As regimes fall and rise, as civil wars erupt, as state violence targets civilian populations, it is a story that remains profoundly and enduringly relevant.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"Singlewide: Chasing the American Dream in a Rural Trailer Park"

New from Cornell University Press: Singlewide: Chasing the American Dream in a Rural Trailer Park by Sonya Salamon and Katherine MacTavish.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Singlewide, Sonya Salamon and Katherine MacTavish explore the role of the trailer park as a source of affordable housing. America’s trailer parks, most in rural places, shelter an estimated 12 million people, and the authors show how these parks serve as a private solution to a pressing public need. Singlewide considers the circumstances of families with school-age children in trailer parks serving whites in Illinois, Hispanics in New Mexico, and African Americans in North Carolina. By looking carefully at the daily lives of families who live side by side in rows of manufactured homes, Salamon and MacTavish draw conclusions about the importance of housing, community, and location in the families’ dreams of opportunities and success as signified by eventually owning land and a conventional home.

Working-poor rural families who engage with what Salamon and MacTavish call the "mobile home industrial complex" may become caught in an expensive trap starting with their purchase of a mobile home. A family that must site its trailer in a land-lease trailer park struggles to realize any of the anticipated benefits of homeownership. Seeking to break down stereotypes, Salamon and MacTavish reveal the important place that trailer parks hold within the United States national experience. In so doing, they attempt to integrate and normalize a way of life that many see as outside the mainstream, suggesting that families who live in trailer parks, rather than being "trailer trash," culturally resemble the parks’ neighbors who live in conventional homes.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 6, 2017

"Blind Injustice"

New from the University of California Press: Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions by Mark Godsey.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this unprecedented view from the trenches, prosecutor turned champion for the innocent Mark Godsey takes us inside the frailties of the human mind as they unfold in real-world wrongful convictions. Drawing upon stories from his own career, Godsey shares how innate psychological flaws in judges, police, lawyers, and juries coupled with a “tough on crime” environment can cause investigations to go awry, leading to the convictions of innocent people.

In Blind Injustice, Godsey explores distinct psychological human weaknesses inherent in the criminal justice system—confirmation bias, memory malleability, cognitive dissonance, bureaucratic denial, dehumanization, and others—and illustrates each with stories from his time as a hard-nosed prosecutor and then as an attorney for the Ohio Innocence Project.

He also lays bare the criminal justice system’s internal political pressures. How does the fact that judges, sheriffs, and prosecutors are elected officials influence how they view cases? How can defense attorneys support clients when many are overworked and underpaid? And how do juries overcome bias leading them to believe that police and expert witnesses know more than they do about what evidence means?

This book sheds a harsh light on the unintentional yet routine injustices committed by those charged with upholding justice. Yet in the end, Godsey recommends structural, procedural, and attitudinal changes aimed at restoring justice to the criminal justice system.
Visit Mark Godsey's Wrongful Convictions Blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 5, 2017

"Protestants Abroad"

New from Princeton University Press: Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed America by David A. Hollinger.

About the book, from the publisher:
They sought to transform the world, and ended up transforming twentieth-century America

Between the 1890s and the Vietnam era, many thousands of American Protestant missionaries were sent to live throughout the non-European world. They expected to change the people they encountered, but those foreign people ended up transforming the missionaries. Their experience abroad made many of these missionaries and their children critical of racism, imperialism, and religious orthodoxy. When they returned home, they brought new liberal values back to their own society. Protestants Abroad reveals the untold story of how these missionary-connected individuals left an enduring mark on American public life as writers, diplomats, academics, church officials, publishers, foundation executives, and social activists.

David A. Hollinger provides riveting portraits of such figures as Pearl Buck, John Hersey, and Life< and Time publisher Henry Luce, former "mish kids" who strove through literature and journalism to convince white Americans of the humanity of other peoples. Hollinger describes how the U.S. government's need for citizens with language skills and direct experience in Asian societies catapulted dozens of missionary-connected individuals into prominent roles in intelligence and diplomacy. Meanwhile, Edwin Reischauer and other scholars with missionary backgrounds led the growth of Foreign Area Studies in universities during the Cold War. The missionary contingent advocated multiculturalism and anticolonialism, pushed their churches in ecumenical and social-activist directions, and joined with Jewish intellectuals to challenge traditional Protestant cultural hegemony and promote a pluralist vision of American life. Missionary cosmopolitans were the Anglo-Protestant counterparts of the New York Jewish intelligentsia of the same era.

Protestants Abroad reveals the crucial role that missionary-connected American Protestants played in the development of modern American liberalism, and how they helped other Americans reimagine their nation's place in the world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"Madeleine's Children"

New from Oxford University Press: Madeleine's Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France's Indian Ocean Colonies by Sue Peabody.

About the book, from the publisher:
Madeleine's Children uncovers a multigenerational saga of an enslaved family in India and two islands, Réunion and Mauritius, in the eastern empires of France and Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A tale of legal intrigue, it reveals the lives and secret relationships between slaves and free people that have remained obscure for two centuries.

As a child, Madeleine was pawned by her impoverished family and became the slave of a French woman in Bengal. She accompanied her mistress to France as a teenager, but she did not challenge her enslavement there on the basis of France's Free Soil principle, a consideration that did not come to light until future lawyers investigated her story. In France, a new master and mistress purchased her, despite laws prohibiting the sale of slaves within the kingdom. The couple transported Madeleine across the ocean to their plantation in the Indian Ocean colonies, where she eventually gave birth to three children: Maurice, Constance, and Furcy. One died a slave and two eventually became free, but under very different circumstances. On 21 November 1817, Furcy exited the gates of his master's mansion and declared himself a free man. The lawsuit waged by Furcy to challenge his wrongful enslavement ultimately brought him before the Royal Court of Paris, despite the extreme measures that his putative master, Joseph Lory, deployed to retain him as his slave.

A meticulous work of archival detection, Madeleine's Children investigates the cunning, clandestine, and brutal strategies that masters devised to keep slaves under their control-and paints a vivid picture of the unique and evolving meanings of slavery and freedom in the Indian Ocean world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Sewing Hope"

New from the University of California Press: Sewing Hope: How One Factory Challenges the Apparel Industry's Sweatshops by Sarah Adler-Milstein and John M. Kline.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sewing Hope offers the first account of a bold challenge to apparel-industry sweatshops. The Alta Gracia factory in the Dominican Republic is the anti-sweatshop. It boasts a living wage three times the legal minimum, high health and safety standards, and a legitimate union—all verified by an independent monitor. It is the only apparel factory in the global south to meet these criteria.

The Alta Gracia business model represents an alternative to the industry’s usual race-to-the-bottom model with its inherent poverty wages and unsafe factory conditions. Workers’ stories reveal how adding US$0.90 to a sweatshirt’s production price can change lives: from getting a life-saving operation to a reunited family; from purchasing children's school uniforms to taking night classes; from obtaining first-ever bank loans to installing running water. Sewing Hope invites readers into the apparel industry’s sweatshops and the Alta Gracia factory to learn how the anti-sweatshop started, how it overcame challenges, and how the impact of its business model could transform the global industry.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 2, 2017

"Deaf in the USSR"

New from Cornell University Press: Deaf in the USSR: Marginality, Community, and Soviet Identity, 1917-1991 by Claire L. Shaw.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Deaf in the USSR, Claire L. Shaw asks what it meant to be deaf in a culture that was founded on a radically utopian, socialist view of human perfectibility. Shaw reveals how fundamental contradictions inherent in the Soviet revolutionary project were negotiated—both individually and collectively— by a vibrant and independent community of deaf people who engaged in complex ways with Soviet ideology.

Deaf in the USSR engages with a wide range of sources from both deaf and hearing perspectives—archival sources, films and literature, personal memoirs, and journalism—to build a multilayered history of deafness. This book will appeal to scholars of Soviet history and disability studies as well as those in the international deaf community who are interested in their collective heritage. Deaf in the USSR will also enjoy a broad readership among those who are interested in deafness and disability as a key to more inclusive understandings of being human and of language, society, politics, and power.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 1, 2017

"Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization"

New from Yale University Press: Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization by Brian Fagan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Humanity’s last major source of food from the wild, and how it enabled and shaped the growth of civilization

In this history of fishing—not as sport but as sustenance—archaeologist and best-selling author Brian Fagan argues that fishing was an indispensable and often overlooked element in the growth of civilization. It sustainably provided enough food to allow cities, nations, and empires to grow, but it did so with a different emphasis. Where agriculture encouraged stability, fishing demanded movement. It frequently required a search for new and better fishing grounds; its technologies, centered on boats, facilitated movement and discovery; and fish themselves, when dried and salted, were the ideal food—lightweight, nutritious, and long-lasting—for traders, travelers, and conquering armies. This history of the long interaction of humans and seafood tours archaeological sites worldwide to show readers how fishing fed human settlement, rising social complexity, the development of cities, and ultimately the modern world.
Learn more about the book and author at Brian Fagan's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Great Warming.

The Page 99 Test: The Attacking Ocean.

The Page 99 Test: The Intimate Bond.

Writers Read: Brian Fagan (April 2015).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 30, 2017

"The Crime of Nationalism"

New from the University of California Press: The Crime of Nationalism: Britain, Palestine, and Nation-Building on the Fringe of Empire by Matthew Kraig Kelly.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Palestinian national movement gestated in the early decades of the twentieth century, but it was born during the Great Revolt of 1936–39, a period of Arab rebellion against British policy in the Palestine mandate. In The Crime of Nationalism, Matthew Kraig Kelly makes the unique case that the key to understanding the Great Revolt lies in what he calls the “crimino-national” domain—the overlap between the criminological and the nationalist dimensions of British imperial discourse, and the primary terrain upon which the war of 1936–39 was fought. Kelly’s analysis amounts to a new history of one of the major anticolonial insurgencies of the interwar period and a critical moment in the lead-up to Israel’s founding. The Crime of Nationalism offers crucial lessons for the scholarly understanding of nationalism and insurgency more broadly.
Matthew Kraig Kelly is a historian of the modern Middle East. He has served as a visiting professor at Occidental College and the University of California, Los Angeles, and his work has been published in the Journal of Palestine Studies, Middle East Critique, and other academic journals.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Vanguard of the Revolution"

New from Princeton University Press: Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party by A. James McAdams.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first comprehensive political history of the communist party

Vanguard of the Revolution is a sweeping history of one of the most significant political institutions of the modern world. The communist party was a revolutionary idea long before its supporters came to power. In this book, A. James McAdams argues that the rise and fall of communism can be understood only by taking into account the origins and evolution of this compelling idea. He shows how the leaders of parties in countries as diverse as the Soviet Union, China, Germany, Yugoslavia, Cuba, and North Korea adapted the original ideas of revolutionaries like Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to profoundly different social and cultural settings.

Taking readers from the drafting of The Communist Manifesto in the 1840s to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, McAdams describes the decisive role played by individual rulers in the success of their respective parties—men like Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro. He demonstrates how these personalities drew on vying conceptions of the party’s functions to mesmerize their followers, mobilize their populations, and transform their societies. He also shows how many of these figures abused these ideas to justify incomprehensible acts of inhumanity. McAdams explains why communist parties lasted as long as they did, and why they either disappeared or ceased to be meaningful institutions by the close of the twentieth century.

The first comprehensive political history of the communist party, Vanguard of the Revolution is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand world communism and the captivating idea that gave it life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 29, 2017

"Aesthetics of the Familiar"

New from Oxford University Press: Aesthetics of the Familiar: Everyday Life and World-Making by Yuriko Saito.

About the book, from the publisher:
Yuriko Saito explores the nature and significance of the aesthetic dimensions of people's everyday life. Everyday aesthetics has the recognized value of enriching one's life experiences and sharpening one's attentiveness and sensibility. Saito draws out its broader importance for how we make our worlds, environmentally, morally, as citizens and consumers. Saito urges that we have a social responsibility to encourage cultivation of aesthetic literacy and vigilance against aesthetic manipulation. Yuriko Saito argues that ultimately, everyday aesthetics can be an effective instrument for directing the humanity's collective and cumulative world-making project for the betterment of all its inhabitants.

Everyday aesthetics has been seen as a challenge to contemporary Anglo-American aesthetics discourse, which is dominated by the discussion of art and beauty. Saito responds to controversies about the nature, boundary, and status of everyday aesthetics and argues for its legitimacy. She highlights the multi-faceted aesthetic dimensions of everyday life that are not fully accounted for by the commonly-held account of defamiliarizing the familiar.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Thursday Night Lights"

New from the University of Texas Press: Thursday Night Lights: The Story of Black High School Football in Texas by Michael Hurd.

About the book, from the publisher:
At a time when “Friday night lights” shone only on white high school football games, African American teams across Texas burned up the gridiron on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The segregated high schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League (the African American counterpart of the University Interscholastic League, which excluded black schools from membership until 1967) created an exciting brand of football that produced hundreds of outstanding players, many of whom became college All-Americans, All-Pros, and Pro Football Hall of Famers, including NFL greats such as “Mean” Joe Green (Temple Dunbar), Otis Taylor (Houston Worthing), Dick “Night Train” Lane (Austin Anderson), Ken Houston (Lufkin Dunbar), and Bubba Smith (Beaumont Charlton-Pollard).

Thursday Night Lights tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of African American high school football in Texas. Drawing on interviews, newspaper stories, and memorabilia, Michael Hurd introduces the players, coaches, schools, and towns where African Americans built powerhouse football programs under the PVIL leadership. He covers fifty years (1920–1970) of high school football history, including championship seasons and legendary rivalries such as the annual Turkey Day Classic game between Houston schools Jack Yates and Phillis Wheatley, which drew standing-room-only crowds of up to 40,000, making it the largest prep sports event in postwar America. In telling this story, Hurd explains why the PVIL was necessary, traces its development, and shows how football offered a potent source of pride and ambition in the black community, helping black kids succeed both athletically and educationally in a racist society.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Merchants of Labor"

New from Oxford University Press: Merchants of Labor: Recruiters and International Labor Migration by Philip Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Some 10 million migrant workers cross national borders each year and, if they pay an average $1,000 to recruiters, moving workers over borders is a $10 billion a year business. Merchants of Labor examines the businesses that move low-skilled workers over national borders, asking how much they collect from migrant workers and what can be done to reduce worker-paid migration costs.

For-profit recruiters are likely to be an enduring feature of international labor migration, which makes developing tools to improve the management of their activities ever more crucial. The UN recognized in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 the need to measure what workers pay to get jobs in other countries with the goal of reducing worker-paid costs so that workers and their families can benefit more from international labor migration.

Using cost data from over 3,000 workers, Merchants of Labor examines the often murky world of labor brokers, travel agents, and others who move low-skilled workers from one country to another in order to explore lower worker-paid migration costs. It explains the three core functions of labor markets-- recruitment, remuneration, and retention-- and shows how national borders increase recruitment costs. New data on what workers pay to get jobs in other countries are presented, and incentives to complement enforcement are explored as a way to induce recruiters to protect migrant workers.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"Sanitized Sex"

New from the University of California Press: Sanitized Sex: Regulating Prostitution, Venereal Disease, and Intimacy in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952 by Robert Kramm.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sanitized Sex analyzes the development of new forms of regulation concerning prostitution, venereal disease, and intimacy during the American occupation of Japan after the Second World War, focusing on the period between 1945 and 1952. It contributes to the cultural and social history of the occupation of Japan by investigating the intersections of ordering principles like race, class, gender, and sexuality. It also reveals how sex and its regulation were not marginal but key issues in postwar empire-building, U.S.-Japanese relations, and American and Japanese self-imagery. The regulation of sexual encounters between occupiers and occupied was closely linked to the disintegration of the Japanese empire and the rise of U.S. hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region during the Cold War era. Shedding new light on the configuration of postwar Japan, the process of decolonization, the postcolonial formation of the Asia-Pacific region, and the particularities of postwar U.S. imperialism, Sanitized Sex offers a reading of the intimacies of empires—defeated and victorious.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Withdrawal"

New from Oxford University Press: Withdrawal: Reassessing America's Final Years in Vietnam by Gregory Daddis.

About the book, from the publisher:
A "better war." Over the last two decades, this term has become synonymous with US strategy during the Vietnam War's final years. The narrative is enticingly simple, appealing to many audiences. After the disastrous results of the 1968 Tet offensive, in which Hanoi's forces demonstrated the failures of American strategy, popular history tells of a new American military commander who emerged in South Vietnam and with inspired leadership and a new approach turned around a long stalemated conflict. In fact, so successful was General Creighton Abrams in commanding US forces that, according to the "better war" myth, the United States had actually achieved victory by mid-1970. A new general with a new strategy had delivered, only to see his victory abandoned by weak-kneed politicians in Washington, DC who turned their backs on the US armed forces and their South Vietnamese allies.

In a bold new interpretation of America's final years in Vietnam, acclaimed historian Gregory A. Daddis disproves these longstanding myths. Withdrawal is a groundbreaking reassessment that tells a far different story of the Vietnam War. Daddis convincingly argues that the entire US effort in South Vietnam was incapable of reversing the downward trends of a complicated Vietnamese conflict that by 1968 had turned into a political-military stalemate. Despite a new articulation of strategy, Abrams's approach could not materially alter a war no longer vital to US national security or global dominance. Once the Nixon White House made the political decision to withdraw from Southeast Asia, Abrams's military strategy was unable to change either the course or outcome of a decades' long Vietnamese civil war.

In a riveting sequel to his celebrated Westmoreland's War, Daddis demonstrates he is one of the nation's leading scholars on the Vietnam War. Withdrawal will be a standard work for years to come.
The Page 99 Test: Westmoreland's War.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"Midlife: A Philosophical Guide"

New from Princeton University Press: Midlife: A Philosophical Guide by Kieran Setiya.

About the book, from the publisher:
Philosophical wisdom and practical advice for overcoming the problems of middle age

How can you reconcile yourself with the lives you will never lead, with possibilities foreclosed, and with nostalgia for lost youth? How can you accept the failings of the past, the sense of futility in the tasks that consume the present, and the prospect of death that blights the future? In this self-help book with a difference, Kieran Setiya confronts the inevitable challenges of adulthood and middle age, showing how philosophy can help you thrive.

You will learn why missing out might be a good thing, how options are overrated, and when you should be glad you made a mistake. You will be introduced to philosophical consolations for mortality. And you will learn what it would mean to live in the present, how it could solve your midlife crisis, and why meditation helps.

Ranging from Aristotle, Schopenhauer, and John Stuart Mill to Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, as well as drawing on Setiya’s own experience, Midlife combines imaginative ideas, surprising insights, and practical advice. Writing with wisdom and wit, Setiya makes a wry but passionate case for philosophy as a guide to life.
Visit Kieran Setiya's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 25, 2017

"Against Marriage"

New from Oxford University Press: Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defense of the Marriage-Free State by Clare Chambers.

About the book, from the publisher:
Against Marriage is a radical argument for the abolition of state-recognised marriage. Clare Chambers argues that state-recognised marriage violates both equality and liberty, even when expanded to include same-sex couples. Instead Chambers proposes the marriage-free state: an egalitarian state in which religious or secular marriages are permitted but have no legal status.

Part I makes the case against marriage. Chambers investigates the critique of marriage that has developed within feminist and liberal theory. Feminists have long argued that marriage is a violation of equality since it is both sexist and heterosexist. Chambers endorses the feminist view and argues, in contrast to recent egalitarian pro-marriage movements, that same-sex marriage is not enough to make marriage equal. Chambers argues that state-recognised marriage is also problematic for liberalism, particularly political liberalism, since it imposes a controversial, hierarchical conception of the family that excludes many adults and children.

Part II sets out the case for the marriage-free state. Chambers critically assesses recent theories that attempt to make marriage egalitarian, either by replacing it with relationship contracts or by replacing it with alternative statuses such as civil union. She then sets out a new model for the legal regulation of personal relationships. In the marriage-free state regulation is based on relationship practices not relationship status, and these practices are regulated separately rather than as a bundle. The marriage-free state thus employs piecemeal, practice-based regulation. Finally, Chambers considers how the marriage-free state should respond to unequal religious marriage. The result is an inspiring egalitarian approach that fits the diversity of real relationships.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"1668: The Year of the Animal in France"

New from Zone Books: 1668: The Year of the Animal in France by Peter Sahlins,

About the book, from the publisher:
Peter Sahlins’s brilliant new book reveals the remarkable and understudied “animal moment” in and around 1668 in which authors (including La Fontaine, whose Fables appeared in that year), anatomists, painters, sculptors, and especially the young Louis XIV turned their attention to nonhuman beings. At the center of the Year of the Animal was the Royal Menagerie in the gardens of Versailles, dominated by exotic and graceful birds. In the unfolding of his original and sophisticated argument, Sahlins shows how the animal bodies of the menagerie and others were critical to a dramatic rethinking of governance, nature, and the human.

The animals of 1668 helped to shift an entire worldview in France—what Sahlins calls Renaissance humanimalism toward more modern expressions of classical naturalism and mechanism. In the wake of 1668 came the debasement of animals and the strengthening of human animality, including in Descartes’s animal-machine, highly contested during the Year of the Animal. At the same time, Louis XIV and his intellectual servants used the animals of Versailles to develop and then to transform the symbolic language of French absolutism. Louis XIV came to adopt a model of sovereignty after 1668 in which his absolute authority is represented in manifold ways with the bodies of animals and justified by the bestial nature of his human subjects.

1668 explores and reproduces the king’s animal collections—in printed text, weaving, poetry, and engraving, all seen from a unique interdisciplinary perspective. Sahlins brings the animals of 1668 together and to life as he observes them critically in their native habitats—within the animal palace itself by Louis Le Vau, the paintings and tapestries of Charles Le Brun, the garden installations of André Le Nôtre, the literary work of Charles Perrault and the natural history of his brother Claude, the poetry of Madeleine de Scudéry, the philosophy of René Descartes, the engravings of Sébastien Leclerc, the transfusion experiments of Jean Denis, and others. The author joins the nonhuman and human agents of 1668—panthers and painters, swans and scientists, weasels and weavers—in a learned and sophisticated treatment that will engage scholars and students of early modern France and Europe and readers broadly interested in the subject of animals in human history.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Hidden Atrocities"

New from Columbia University Press: Hidden Atrocities: Japanese Germ Warfare and American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial by Jeanne Guillemin.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the aftermath of World War II, the Allied intent to bring Axis crimes to light led to both the Nuremberg trials and their counterpart in Tokyo, the International Military Tribunal of the Far East. Yet the Tokyo Trial failed to prosecute imperial Japanese leaders for the worst of war crimes: inhumane medical experimentation, including vivisection and open-air pathogen and chemical tests, which rivaled Nazi atrocities, as well as mass attacks using plague, anthrax, and cholera that killed thousands of Chinese civilians. In Hidden Atrocities, Jeanne Guillemin goes behind the scenes at the trial to reveal the American obstruction that denied justice to Japan’s victims.

Responsibility for Japan’s secret germ-warfare program, organized as Unit 731 in Harbin, China, extended to top government leaders and many respected scientists, all of whom escaped indictment. Instead, motivated by early Cold War tensions, U.S. military intelligence in Tokyo insinuated itself into the Tokyo Trial by blocking prosecution access to key witnesses and then classifying incriminating documents. Washington decision makers, supported by the American occupation leader, General Douglas MacArthur, sought to acquire Japan’s biological-warfare expertise to gain an advantage over the Soviet Union, suspected of developing both biological and nuclear weapons. Ultimately, U.S. national-security goals left the victims of Unit 731 without vindication. Decades later, evidence of the Unit 731 atrocities still troubles relations between China and Japan. Guillemin’s vivid account of the cover-up at the Tokyo Trial shows how without guarantees of transparency, power politics can jeopardize international justice, with persistent consequences.
The Page 99 Test: American Anthrax.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Greater Gotham"

New from Oxford University Press: Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 by Mike Wallace.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this utterly immersive volume, Mike Wallace captures the swings of prosperity and downturn, from the 1898 skyscraper-driven boom to the Bankers' Panic of 1907, the labor upheaval, and violent repression during and after the First World War. Here is New York on a whole new scale, moving from national to global prominence -- an urban dynamo driven by restless ambition, boundless energy, immigrant dreams, and Wall Street greed.

Within the first two decades of the twentieth century, a newly consolidated New York grew exponentially. The city exploded into the air, with skyscrapers jostling for prominence, and dove deep into the bedrock where massive underground networks of subways, water pipes, and electrical conduits sprawled beneath the city to serve a surging population of New Yorkers from all walks of life. New York was transformed in these two decades as the world's second-largest city and now its financial capital, thriving and sustained by the city's seemingly unlimited potential.

Wallace's new book matches its predecessor in pure page-turning appeal and takes America's greatest city to new heights.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 22, 2017

"Rival Power"

New from Yale University Press: Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe by Dimitar Bechev.

About the book, from the publisher:
A nuanced and comprehensive study of the political dynamics between Russia and key countries in Southeast Europe

Is Russia threatening to disrupt more than two decades’ of E.U. and U.S. efforts to promote stability in post-communist Southeast Europe? Politicians and commentators in the West say, “yes.” With rising global anxiety over Russia’s political policies and objectives, Dimitar Bechev provides the only in-depth look at this volatile region.

Deftly unpacking the nature and extent of Russian influence in the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey, Bechev argues that both sides are driven by pragmatism and opportunism rather than historical loyalties. Russia is seeking to assert its role in Europe’s security architecture, establish alternative routes for its gas exports—including the contested Southern Gas Corridor—and score points against the West. Yet, leaders in these areas are allowing Russia to reinsert itself to serve their own goals. This urgently needed guide analyzes the responses of regional NATO members, particularly regarding the annexation of Crimea and the Putin-Erdogan rift over Syria.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Children Born of War in the Twentieth Century"

New from Manchester University Press: Children Born of War in the Twentieth Century by Sabine Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book explores the life courses of children born of war in different twentieth-century conflicts, including the Second World War, the Vietnam War, the Bosnian War, the Rwandan Genocide and the LRA conflict. It investigates both governmental and military policies vis-á-vis children born of war and their mothers, as well as family and local community attitudes, building a complex picture of the multi-layered challenges faced by many children born of war within their post-conflict receptor communities. Based on extensive archival research, the book also uses oral history and participatory research methods which allow the author to add the voices of the children born of war to historical analysis.
Sabine Lee is a Professor in Modern History at the University of Birmingham.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Sexual Politics and Feminist Science"

New from Cornell University Press: Sexual Politics and Feminist Science: Women Sexologists in Germany, 1900–1933 by Kirsten Leng.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Sexual Politics and Feminist Science, Kirsten Leng restores the work of female sexologists to the forefront of the history of sexology. While male researchers who led the practice of early-twentieth-century sexology viewed women and their sexuality as objects to be studied, not as collaborators in scientific investigation, Leng pinpoints nine German and Austrian "women sexologists" and "female sexual theorists" to reveal how sex, gender, and sexuality influenced the field of sexology itself. Leng’s book makes it plain that women not only played active roles in the creation of sexual scientific knowledge but also made significant and influential interventions in the field. Sexual Politics and Feminist Science provides readers with an opportunity to rediscover and engage with the work of these pioneers.

Leng highlights sexology’s empowering potential for women, but also contends that in its intersection with eugenics, the narrative is not wholly celebratory. By detailing gendered efforts to understand and theorize sex through science, she reveals the cognitive biases and sociological prejudices that ultimately circumscribed the transformative potential of their ideas. Ultimately, Sexual Politics and Feminist Science helps readers to understand these women’s ideas in all their complexity in order to appreciate their unique place in the history of sexology.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Street Occupations"

New from the University Press of Texas: Street Occupations: Urban Vending in Rio de Janeiro, 1850 by Patricia Acerbi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Street vending has supplied the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro with basic goods for several centuries. Once the province of African slaves and free blacks, street commerce became a site of expanded (mostly European) immigrant participation and shifting state regulations during the transition from enslaved to free labor and into the early post-abolition period. Street Occupations investigates how street vendors and state authorities negotiated this transition, during which vendors sought greater freedom to engage in commerce and authorities imposed new regulations in the name of modernity and progress.

Examining ganhador (street worker) licenses, newspaper reports, and detention and court records, and considering the emergence of a protective association for vendors, Patricia Acerbi reveals that street sellers were not marginal urban dwellers in Rio but active participants in a debate over citizenship. In their struggles to sell freely throughout the Brazilian capital, vendors asserted their citizenship as urban participants with rights to the city and to the freedom of commerce. In tracing how vendors resisted efforts to police and repress their activities, Acerbi demonstrates the persistence of street commerce and vendors’ tireless activity in the city, which the law eventually accommodated through municipal street commerce regulation passed in 1924.

A focused history of a crucial era of transition in Brazil, Street Occupations offers important new perspectives on patron-client relations, slavery and abolition, policing, the use of public space, the practice of free labor, the meaning of citizenship, and the formality and informality of work.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 18, 2017

"The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics: How Abortion Transformed the Culture Wars by Andrew R. Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics documents a recent, fundamental change in American politics with the waning of Christian America. Rather than conservatives emphasizing morality and liberals emphasizing rights, both sides now wield rights arguments as potent weapons to win political and legal battles and build grassroots support. Lewis documents this change on the right, focusing primarily on evangelical politics. Using extensive historical and survey data that compares evangelical advocacy and evangelical public opinion, Lewis explains how the prototypical culture war issue - abortion - motivated the conservative rights turn over the past half century, serving as a springboard for rights learning and increased conservative advocacy in other arenas. Challenging the way we think about the culture wars, Lewis documents how rights claims are used to thwart liberal rights claims, as well as to provide protection for evangelicals, whose cultural positions are increasingly in the minority; they have also allowed evangelical elites to justify controversial advocacy positions to their base and to engage more easily in broad rights claiming in new or expanded political arenas, from health care to capital punishment.
Visit Andrew R. Lewis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden"

New from Princeton University Press: The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner by Harriet I. Flower.

About the book, from the publisher:
The most pervasive gods in ancient Rome had no traditional mythology attached to them, nor was their worship organized by elites. Throughout the Roman world, neighborhood street corners, farm boundaries, and household hearths featured small shrines to the beloved lares, a pair of cheerful little dancing gods. These shrines were maintained primarily by ordinary Romans, and often by slaves and freedmen, for whom the lares cult provided a unique public leadership role. In this comprehensive and richly illustrated book, the first to focus on the lares, Harriet Flower offers a strikingly original account of these gods and a new way of understanding the lived experience of everyday Roman religion.

Weaving together a wide range of evidence, Flower sets forth a new interpretation of the much-disputed nature of the lares. She makes the case that they are not spirits of the dead, as many have argued, but rather benevolent protectors—gods of place, especially the household and the neighborhood, and of travel. She examines the rituals honoring the lares, their cult sites, and their iconography, as well as the meaning of the snakes often depicted alongside lares in paintings of gardens. She also looks at Compitalia, a popular midwinter neighborhood festival in honor of the lares, and describes how its politics played a key role in Rome’s increasing violence in the 60s and 50s BC, as well as in the efforts of Augustus to reach out to ordinary people living in the city’s local neighborhoods.

A reconsideration of seemingly humble gods that were central to the religious world of the Romans, this is also the first major account of the full range of lares worship in the homes, neighborhoods, and temples of ancient Rome.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Demolition on Karl Marx Square"

New from Oxford University Press: Demolition on Karl Marx Square: Cultural Barbarism and the People's State in 1968 by Andrew Demshuk.

About the book, from the publisher:
Communist East Germany's demolition of Leipzig's perfectly intact medieval University Church in May 1968 was an act decried as "cultural barbarism" across the two Germanies and beyond. Although overshadowed by the crackdown on Prague Spring mere weeks later, the willful destruction of this historic landmark on a central site symbolically renamed Karl Marx Square represents an essential turning point in the relationship between the Communist authorities and the people they claimed to serve. As the largest case of public protest in East German history between the 1953 Uprising and 1989 Revolution, this intimate local trauma exhibits the inner workings of a "dictatorial" system and exposes the often gray and overlapping lines between state and citizenry, which included both quiet and open resistance, passive and active collaboration. Through deep analysis of untapped periodicals and archives (including once-classified State documents, Stasi, and police records, and extensive private protest letters), it introduces a broad cast of characters who helped make the inconceivable possible, and restores the voices of not a few ordinary citizens of all stripes who dared in the name of culture, humanism, and civic pride to protest what they saw as an inconceivable tragedy. In this city that later started the 1989 October Revolution which ultimately triggered the fall of the Berlin Wall, residents from every social background desperately hoped to convince their leaders to step back from the brink. But as the dust cleared in 1968, they saw with all finality that their voices meant nothing, that the DDR was a sham democracy awash with utopian rhetoric that had no connection with their everyday lives. If Communism died in Prague in 1968, it had already died in Leipzig just weeks before, with repercussions that still haunt today's politics of memory.
The Page 99 Test: The Lost German East.

--Marshal Zeringue