Friday, August 18, 2017

"Raised under Stalin"

New from Cornell University Press: Raised under Stalin: Young Communists and the Defense of Socialism by Seth Bernstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Raised under Stalin, Seth Bernstein shows how Stalin's regime provided young people with opportunities as members of the Young Communist League or Komsomol even as it surrounded them with violence, shaping socialist youth culture and socialism more broadly through the threat and experience of war. Informed by declassified materials from post-Soviet archives, as well as films, memoirs, and diaries by and about youth, Raised under Stalin explains the divided status of youth for the Bolsheviks: they were the "new people" who would someday build communism, the potential soldiers who would defend the USSR, and the hooligans who might undermine it from within.

Bernstein explains how, although Soviet revolutionary youth culture began as the preserve of proletarian activists, the Komsomol transformed under Stalin to become a mass organization of moral education; youth became the targets of state repression even as Stalin’s regime offered them the opportunity to participate in political culture. Raised under Stalin follows Stalinist youth into their ultimate test, World War II. Even as the war against Germany decimated the ranks of Young Communists, Bernstein finds evidence that it cemented Stalinist youth culture as a core part of socialism.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael Provence.

About the book
, from the publisher:
The modern Middle East emerged out of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, when Britain and France partitioned the Ottoman Arab lands into several new colonial states. The following period was a charged and transformative time of unrest. Insurgent leaders, trained in Ottoman military tactics and with everything to lose from the fall of the Empire, challenged the mandatory powers in a number of armed revolts. This is a study of this crucial period in Middle Eastern history, tracing the period through popular political movements and the experience of colonial rule. In doing so, Provence emphasises the continuity between the late Ottoman and Colonial era, explaining how national identities emerged, and how the seeds were sown for many of the conflicts which have defined the Middle East in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This is a valuable read for students of Middle Eastern history and politics.
Michael Provence teaches Middle East history at the Department of History, University of California, San Diego. He is the author of The Great Syrian Revolt and the Rise of Arab Nationalism (2005).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Medical Misadventure in an Age of Professionalisation"

New from Manchester University Press: Medical Misadventure in an Age of Professionalisation, 1780-1890 by Alannah Tomkins.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book looks at medical professionalisation from a new perspective, one of failure rather than success. It questions the existing picture of broad and rising medical prosperity across the nineteenth century to consider the men who did not keep up with professionalising trends. It unpicks the life stories of men who could not make ends meet or who could not sustain a professional persona of disinterested expertise, either because they could not overcome public accusations of misconduct or because they struggled privately with stress. In doing so it uncovers the trials of the medical marketplace and the pressures of medical masculinity. All professionalising groups risked falling short of rising expectations, but for doctors these expectations were inflected in some occupationally specific ways.
Alannah Tomkins is a Professor in History at Keele University.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Stalin's Defectors"

New from Oxford University Press: Stalin's Defectors: How Red Army Soldiers became Hitler's Collaborators, 1941-1945 by Mark Edele.

About the book, from the publisher:
Stalin's Defectors is the first systematic study of the phenomenon of frontline surrender to the Germans in the Soviet Union's 'Great Patriotic War' against the Nazis in 1941-1945. No other Allied army in the Second World War had such a large share of defectors among its prisoners of war. Based on a broad range of sources, this volume investigates the extent, the context, the scenarios, the reasons, the aftermath, and the historiography of frontline defection.

It shows that the most widespread sentiments animating attempts to cross the frontline was a wish to survive this war. Disgruntlement with Stalin's 'socialism' was also prevalent among those who chose to give up and hand themselves over to the enemy. While politics thus played a prominent role in pushing people to commit treason, few desired to fight on the side of the enemy. Hence, while the phenomenon of frontline defection tells us much about the lack of popularity of Stalin's regime, it does not prove that the majority of the population was ready for resistance, let alone collaboration. Both sides of a long-standing debate between those who equate all Soviet captives with defectors, and those who attempt to downplay the phenomenon, then, over-stress their argument. Instead, more recent research on the moods of both the occupied and the unoccupied Soviet population shows that the majority understood its own interest in opposition to both Hitler's and Stalin's regime. The findings of Mark Edele in this study support such an interpretation.
Visit Mark Edele's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"What Remains"

New from Columbia University Press: What Remains: Everyday Encounters with the Socialist Past in Germany by Jonathan Bach.

About the book, from the publisher:
What happens when an entire modern state's material culture becomes abruptly obsolete? How do ordinary people encounter what remains? In this ethnography, Jonathan Bach examines the afterlife of East Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall, as things and places from that vanished socialist past continue to circulate and shape the politics of memory.

What Remains traces the unsettling effects of these unmoored artifacts on the German present, arguing for a rethinking of the role of the everyday as a site of reckoning with difficult pasts. Bach juxtaposes four sites where the stakes of the everyday appear: products commodified as nostalgia, amateur museums dedicated to collecting everyday life under socialism, the "people's palace" that captured the national imagination through its destruction, and the feared and fetishized Berlin Wall. Moving from the local, the intimate, and the small to the national, the impersonal, and the large, this book's interpenetrating chapters show the unexpected social and political force of the ordinary in the production of memory. What Remains offers a unique vantage point on the workings of the everyday in situations of radical discontinuity, contributing to new understandings of postsocialism and the intricate intersection of material remains and memory.
Visit Jonathan Bach's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"When Women Rule the Court"

New from Rutgers University Press: When Women Rule the Court: Gender, Race, and Japanese American Basketball by Nicole Willms.

About the book, from the publisher:
For nearly one hundred years, basketball has been an important part of Japanese American life. Women’s basketball holds a special place in the contemporary scene of highly organized and expansive Japanese American leagues in California, in part because these leagues have produced numerous talented female players. Using data from interviews and observations, Nicole Willms explores the interplay of social forces and community dynamics that have shaped this unique context of female athletic empowerment. As Japanese American women have excelled in mainstream basketball, they have emerged as local stars who have passed on the torch by becoming role models and building networks for others.
Nicole Willms is an assistant professor of sociology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Dilemmas of Inclusion"

New from Princeton University Press: Dilemmas of Inclusion: Muslims in European Politics by Rafaela M. Dancygier.

About the book, from the publisher:
As Europe’s Muslim communities continue to grow, so does their impact on electoral politics and the potential for inclusion dilemmas. In vote-rich enclaves, Muslim views on religion, tradition, and gender roles can deviate sharply from those of the majority electorate, generating severe trade-offs for parties seeking to broaden their coalitions. Dilemmas of Inclusion explains when and why European political parties include Muslim candidates and voters, revealing that the ways in which parties recruit this new electorate can have lasting consequences.

Drawing on original evidence from thousands of electoral contests in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain, Rafaela Dancygier sheds new light on when minority recruitment will match up with existing party positions and uphold electoral alignments and when it will undermine party brands and shake up party systems. She demonstrates that when parties are seduced by the quick delivery of ethno-religious bloc votes, they undercut their ideological coherence, fail to establish programmatic linkages with Muslim voters, and miss their opportunity to build cross-ethnic, class-based coalitions. Dancygier highlights how the politics of minority inclusion can become a testing ground for parties, showing just how far their commitments to equality and diversity will take them when push comes to electoral shove.

Providing a unified theoretical framework for understanding the causes and consequences of minority political incorporation, and especially as these pertain to European Muslim populations, Dilemmas of Inclusion advances our knowledge about how ethnic and religious diversity reshapes domestic politics in today’s democracies.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Who Should Rule?"

New from Oxford University Press: Who Should Rule?: Men of Arms, the Republic of Letters, and the Fall of the Spanish Empire by Mónica Ricketts.

About the book, from the publisher:
Who Should Rule? traces the ambitious imperial reform that empowered new and competing political actors in an era of intense imperial competition, war, and the breakdown of the Spanish empire.

Mónica Ricketts examines the rise of men of letters and military officers in two central areas of the Spanish world: the viceroyalty of Peru and Spain. This was a disruptive, dynamic, and long process of common imperial origins. In 1700, two dynastic lines, the Spanish Habsburgs and the French Bourbons, disputed the succession to the Spanish throne. After more than a decade of war, the latter prevailed. Suspicious of the old Spanish court circles, the new Bourbon Crown sought meritorious subjects for its ministries, men of letters and military officers of good training among the provincial elites. Writers and lawyers were to produce new legislation to radically transform the Spanish world. They would reform the educational system and propagate useful knowledge. Military officers would defend the monarchy in this new era of imperial competition. Additionally, they would govern. From the start, the rise of these political actors in the Spanish world was an uneven process. Military officers became a new and somewhat solid corps. In contrast, the rise of men of letters confronted constant opposition. Rooted elites in both Spain and Peru resisted any attempts at curtailing their power and prerogatives and undermined the reform of education and traditions. As a consequence, men of letters found limited spaces in which to exercise their new authority, but they aimed for more. A succession of wars and insurgencies in America fueled the struggles for power between these two groups, paving the way for decades of unrest.

Emphasizing the continuities and connections between the Spanish worlds on both sides of the Atlantic, this work offers new perspectives on the breakdown of the empire, the rise of modern politics in Spanish America, and the transition to Peruvian independence.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Understanding Ignorance"

New from The MIT Press: Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don't Know by Daniel R. DeNicola.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ignorance is trending. Politicians boast, “I’m not a scientist.” Angry citizens object to a proposed state motto because it is in Latin, and “This is America, not Mexico or Latin America.” Lack of experience, not expertise, becomes a credential. Fake news and repeated falsehoods are accepted and shape firm belief. Ignorance about American government and history is so alarming that the ideal of an informed citizenry now seems quaint. Conspiracy theories and false knowledge thrive. This may be the Information Age, but we do not seem to be well informed. In this book, philosopher Daniel DeNicola explores ignorance—its abundance, its endurance, and its consequences.

DeNicola aims to understand ignorance, which seems at first paradoxical. How can the unknown become known—and still be unknown? But he argues that ignorance is more than a lack or a void, and that it has dynamic and complex interactions with knowledge. Taking a broadly philosophical approach, DeNicola examines many forms of ignorance, using the metaphors of ignorance as place, boundary, limit, and horizon. He treats willful ignorance and describes the culture in which ignorance becomes an ideological stance. He discusses the ethics of ignorance, including the right not to know, considers the supposed virtues of ignorance, and concludes that there are situations in which ignorance is morally good.

Ignorance is neither pure nor simple. It is both an accusation and a defense (“You are ignorant!” “Yes, but I didn’t know!”). Its practical effects range from the inconsequential to the momentous. It is a scourge, but, DeNicola argues daringly, it may also be a refuge, a value, even an accompaniment to virtue.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People"

New from Rutgers University Press: Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People by Margaret Morganroth Gullette.

About the book, from the publisher:
When the term “ageism” was coined in 1969, many problems of exclusion seemed resolved by government programs like Social Security and Medicare. As people live longer lives, today’s great demotions of older people cut deeper into their self-worth and human relations, beyond the reach of law or public policy. In Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People, award-winning writer and cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette confronts the offenders: the ways people aging past midlife are portrayed in the media, by adult offspring; the esthetics and politics of representation in photography, film, and theater; and the incitement to commit suicide for those with early signs of “dementia.”

In this original and important book, Gullette presents evidence of pervasive age-related assaults in contemporary societies and their chronic affects. The sudden onset of age-related shaming can occur anywhere—the shove in the street, the cold shoulder at the party, the deaf ear at the meeting, the shut-out by the personnel office or the obtuseness of a government. Turning intimate suffering into public grievances, Ending Ageism, Or How Not to Shoot Old People effectively and beautifully argues that overcoming ageism is the next imperative social movement of our time.
The Page 99 Test: Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 12, 2017

"Conservatives Against Capitalism"

New from Columbia University Press: Conservatives Against Capitalism: From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization by Peter Kolozi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Few beliefs seem more fundamental to American conservatism than faith in the free market. Yet throughout American history, many of the major conservative intellectual and political figures have harbored deep misgivings about the unfettered market and its disruption of traditional values, hierarchies, and communities. In Conservatives Against Capitalism, Peter Kolozi traces the history of conservative skepticism about the influence of capitalism on politics, culture, and society.

Kolozi discusses conservative critiques of capitalism—from its threat to the Southern way of life to its emasculating effects on American society to the dangers of free trade—analyzing the positions of a wide-ranging set of individuals, including John Calhoun, Theodore Roosevelt, Russell Kirk, Irving Kristol, and Patrick J. Buchanan. He examines the ways in which conservative thought went from outright opposition to capitalism to more muted critiques, ultimately reconciling itself to the workings and ethos of the market. By analyzing the unaddressed historical and present-day tensions between capitalism and conservative values, Kolozi shows that figures regarded as iconoclasts belong to a coherent tradition, and he creates a vital new understanding of the American conservative pantheon.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Voyage of Thought"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Voyage of Thought: Navigating Knowledge across the Sixteenth-Century World by Michael Wintroub.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Voyage of Thought is a micro-historical and cross-disciplinary analysis of the texts and contexts that informed the remarkable journey of the French ship captain, merchant, and poet, Jean Parmentier, from Dieppe to Sumatra in 1529. In tracing the itinerary of this voyage, Michael Wintroub examines an early attempt by the French to challenge Spanish and Portuguese oceanic hegemony and to carve out an empire in the Indies. He investigates the commercial, cultural, and religious lives of provincial humanists, including their relationship to the classical authorities they revered, the literary culture they cultivated, the techniques of oceanic navigation they pioneered, and the distant peoples with whom they came into contact. Ideal for graduate students and scholars, this journey into the history of science describes the manifold and often contradictory genealogies of the modern in the early modern world.
Michael Wintroub is an Associate Professor in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of A Savage Mirror: Power, Identity and Knowledge in Early Modern France.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 11, 2017

"Her Own Hero"

New from New York University Press: Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement by Wendy L. Rouse.

About the book, from the publisher:
The surprising roots of the self-defense movement and the history of women’s empowerment.

At the turn of the twentieth century, women famously organized to demand greater social and political freedoms like gaining the right to vote. However, few realize that the Progressive Era also witnessed the birth of the women’s self-defense movement.

It is nearly impossible in today’s day and age to imagine a world without the concept of women’s self defense. Some women were inspired to take up boxing and jiu-jitsu for very personal reasons that ranged from protecting themselves from attacks by strangers on the street to rejecting gendered notions about feminine weakness and empowering themselves as their own protectors. Women’s training in self defense was both a reflection of and a response to the broader cultural issues of the time, including the women’s rights movement and the campaign for the vote.

Perhaps more importantly, the discussion surrounding women’s self-defense revealed powerful myths about the source of violence against women and opened up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own homes. Through self-defense training, women debunked patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness, creating a new image of women as powerful and self-reliant. Whether or not women consciously pursued self-defense for these reasons, their actions embodied feminist politics. Although their individual motivations may have varied, their collective action echoed through the twentieth century, demanding emancipation from the constrictions that prevented women from exercising their full rights as citizens and human beings. This book is a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to one of the most important women’s issues of all time.

This book will provoke good debate and offer distinct responses and solutions.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Great War and the Remaking of Palestine"

New from the University of California Press: The Great War and the Remaking of Palestine by Salim Tamari.

About the book, from the publisher:
This rich history of Palestine in the last decade of the Ottoman Empire reveals the nation emerging as a cultural entity engaged in a vibrant intellectual, political, and social exchange of ideas and initiatives. Employing nuanced ethnography, rare autobiographies, and unpublished maps and photos, The Great War and the Remaking of Palestine discerns a self-consciously modern and secular Palestinian public sphere. New urban sensibilities, schools, monuments, public parks, railways, and roads catalyzed by the Great War and described in detail by Salim Tamari show a world that challenges the politically driven denial of the existence of Palestine as a geographic, cultural, political, and economic space.
Salim Tamari is Professor of Sociology at Birzeit University, Palestine, Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies, and the author of Mountain against the Sea and Year of the Locust.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"The Forgotten Front"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Forgotten Front: Patron-Client Relationships in Counterinsurgency by Walter C. Ladwig III.

About the book, from the publisher:
After a decade and a half of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, US policymakers are seeking to provide aid and advice to local governments' counterinsurgency campaigns rather than directly intervening with US forces. This strategy, and US counterinsurgency doctrine in general, fail to recognize that despite a shared aim of defeating an insurgency, the US and its local partner frequently have differing priorities with respect to the conduct of counterinsurgency operations. Without some degree of reform or policy change on the part of the insurgency-plagued government, American support will have a limited impact. Using three detailed case studies - the Hukbalahap Rebellion in the Philippines, Vietnam during the rule of Ngo Dinh Diem, and the Salvadorian Civil War - Ladwig demonstrates that providing significant amounts of aid will not generate sufficient leverage to affect a client's behaviour and policies. Instead, he argues that influence flows from pressure and tight conditions on aid rather than from boundless generosity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"Consecrating Science"

New from the University of California Press: Consecrating Science: Wonder, Knowledge, and the Natural World by Lisa H. Sideris.

About the book, from the publisher:
Debunking myths behind what is known collectively as the new cosmology—a grand, overlapping set of narratives that claim to bring science and spirituality together—Lisa H. Sideris offers a searing critique of the movement’s anthropocentric vision of the world. In Consecrating Science, Sideris argues that instead of cultivating an ethic of respect for nature, the new cosmology encourages human arrogance, uncritical reverence for science, and indifference to nonhuman life. Exploring moral sensibilities rooted in experience of the natural world, Sideris shows how a sense of wonder can foster environmental attitudes that will protect our planet from ecological collapse for years to come.
Lisa H. Sideris is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, where her research focuses on religion, science, and environmentalism. She is the author of Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"Becoming Brazilians"

New from Cambridge University Press: Becoming Brazilians: Race and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Brazil by Marshall C. Eakin.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book traces the rise and decline of Gilberto Freyre's vision of racial and cultural mixture (mestiçagem - or race mixing) as the defining feature of Brazilian culture in the twentieth century. Eakin traces how mestiçagem moved from a conversation among a small group of intellectuals to become the dominant feature of Brazilian national identity, demonstrating how diverse Brazilians embraced mestiçagem, via popular music, film and television, literature, soccer, and protest movements. The Freyrean vision of the unity of Brazilians built on mestiçagem begins a gradual decline in the 1980s with the emergence of an identity politics stressing racial differences and multiculturalism. The book combines intellectual history, sociological and anthropological field work, political science, and cultural studies for a wide-ranging analysis of how Brazilians - across social classes - became Brazilians.
Marshall C. Eakin is Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee. His books include The History of Latin America: Collision of Cultures (2007).

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 7, 2017

"The Myth of Independence"

New from Princeton University Press: The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve by Sarah Binder and Mark Spindel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Born out of crisis a century ago, the Federal Reserve has become the most powerful macroeconomic policymaker and financial regulator in the world. The Myth of Independence traces the Fed’s transformation from a weak, secretive, and decentralized institution in 1913 to a remarkably transparent central bank a century later. Offering a unique account of Congress’s role in steering this evolution, Sarah Binder and Mark Spindel explore the Fed’s past, present, and future and challenge the myth of its independence.

Binder and Spindel argue that recurring cycles of crisis, blame, and reform propelled lawmakers to create and revamp the powers and governance of the Fed at critical junctures, including the Panic of 1907, the Great Depression, the postwar Treasury-Fed Accord, the inflationary episode of the 1970s, and the recent financial crisis. Marshaling archival sources, interviews, and statistical analyses, the authors pinpoint political and economic dynamics that shaped interactions between the legislature and the Fed, and that have generated a far stronger central bank than anticipated at its founding. The Fed today retains its unique federal style, diluting the ability of lawmakers and the president to completely centralize control of monetary policy.

In the long wake of the financial crisis, with economic prospects decidedly subpar, partisan rivals in Congress seem poised to continue battling over the Fed’s statutory mandates and the powers given to achieve them. Examining the interdependent relationship between America’s Congress and its central bank, The Myth of Independence presents critical insights about the future of monetary and fiscal policies that drive the nation’s economy.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Muslim Conspiracy in British India?"

New from Cambridge University Press: A Muslim Conspiracy in British India?: Politics and Paranoia in the Early Nineteenth-Century Deccan by Chandra Mallampalli.

About the book, from the publisher:
As the British prepared for war in Afghanistan in 1839, rumours spread of a Muslim conspiracy based in India's Deccan region. Colonial officials were convinced that itinerant preachers of jihad - whom they labelled 'Wahhabis' - were collaborating with Russian and Persian armies and inspiring Muslim princes to revolt. Officials detained and interrogated Muslim travellers, conducted weapons inspections at princely forts, surveyed mosques, and ultimately annexed territories of the accused. Using untapped archival materials, Chandra Mallampalli describes how local intrigues, often having little to do with 'religion', manufactured belief in a global conspiracy against British rule. By skilfully narrating stories of the alleged conspirators, he shows how fears of the dreaded 'Wahhabi' sometimes prompted colonial authorities to act upon thin evidence, while also inspiring Muslim plots against princes not of their liking. At stake were not only questions about Muslim loyalty, but also the very ideals of a liberal empire.
Chandra Mallampalli is Professor of History at Westmont College, California. He has written extensively on the intersection of religion, law and society in colonial India. His books include Race, Religion and Law in Colonial India.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 6, 2017

"Haunting History"

New from Stanford University Press: Haunting History: For a Deconstructive Approach to the Past by Ethan Kleinberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book argues for a deconstructive approach to the practice and writing of history at a moment when available forms for writing and publishing history are undergoing radical transformation. To do so, it explores the legacy and impact of deconstruction on American historical work; the current fetishization of lived experience, materialism, and the "real;" new trends in philosophy of history; and the persistence of ontological realism as the dominant mode of thought for conventional historians.

Arguing that this ontological realist mode of thinking is reinforced by current analog publishing practices, Ethan Kleinberg advocates for a hauntological approach to history that follows the work of Jacques Derrida and embraces a past that is at once present and absent, available and restricted, rather than a fixed and static snapshot of a moment in time. This polysemic understanding of the past as multiple and conflicting, he maintains, is what makes the deconstructive approach to the past particularly well suited to new digital forms of historical writing and presentation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"China as a Polar Great Power"

New from Cambridge University Press: China as a Polar Great Power by Anne-Marie Brady.

About the book, from the publisher:
China has emerged as a member of the elite club of nations who are powerful at both global poles. Polar states are global giants, strong in military, scientific, and economic terms. The concept of a polar great power is relatively unknown in international relations studies; yet China, a rising power globally, is now widely using this term to categorize its aspirations and emphasize the significance of the polar regions to their national interests. China's focus on becoming a polar great power represents a fundamental re-orientation - a completely new way of imagining the world. China's push into these regions encompasses maritime and nuclear security, the frontlines of climate change research, and the possibility of a resources bonanza. As shown in this book, China's growing strength at the poles will be a game-changer for a number of strategic vulnerabilities that could shift the global balance of power in significant and unexpected ways.
Anne-Marie Brady is Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and Global Fellow at the Wilson Centre, Washington DC. In 2014 she was appointed to a two-year term on the World Economic Forum's Global Action Council on the Arctic.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age"

New from Stanford University Press: Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age: Survivors' Stories and New Media Practices by Jeffrey Shandler.

About the book, from the publisher:
Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age explores the nexus of new media and memory practices, raising questions about how advances in digital technologies continue to influence the nature of Holocaust memorialization. Through an in-depth study of the largest and most widely available collection of videotaped interviews with survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust, the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive, Jeffrey Shandler weighs the possibilities and challenges brought about by digital forms of public memory.

The Visual History Archive's holdings are extensive—over 100,000 hours of video, including interviews with over 50,000 individuals—and came about at a time of heightened anxiety about the imminent passing of the generation of Holocaust survivors and other eyewitnesses. Now, the Shoah Foundation's investment in new digital media is instrumental to its commitment to remembering the Holocaust both as a subject of historical importance in its own right and as a paradigmatic moral exhortation against intolerance. Shandler not only considers the Archive as a whole, but also looks closely at individual survivors' stories, focusing on narrative, language, and spectacle to understand how Holocaust remembrance is mediated.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 4, 2017

"Cohabitation Nation"

New from the University of California Press: Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships by Sharon Sassler and Amanda Jayne Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:
“We have fun and we enjoy each other’s company, so why shouldn’t we just move in together?”—Lauren, from Cohabitation Nation

Living together is a typical romantic rite of passage in the United States today. In fact, census data shows a 37 percent increase in couples who choose to commit to and live with one another, forgoing marriage. And yet we know very little about this new “normal” in romantic life. When do people decide to move in together, why do they do so, and what happens to them over time?

Drawing on in-depth interviews, Sharon Sassler and Amanda Jayne Miller provide an inside view of how cohabiting relationships play out before and after couples move in together, using couples’ stories to explore the he said/she said of romantic dynamics. Delving into hot-button issues, such as housework, birth control, finances, and expectations for the future, Sassler and Miller deliver surprising insights about the impact of class and education on how relationships unfold. Showcasing the words, thoughts, and conflicts of the couples themselves, Cohabitation Nation offers a riveting and sometimes counterintuitive look at the way we live now.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Love, Madness, and Scandal"

New from Oxford University Press: Love, Madness, and Scandal: The Life of Frances Coke Villiers, Viscountess Purbeck by Johanna Luthman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The high society of Stuart, England found Frances Coke Villiers, Viscountess Purbeck (1602-1645) an exasperating woman. She lived at a time when women were expected to be obedient, silent, and chaste, but Frances displayed none of these qualities. Her determination to ignore convention contributed in no small measure to a life of high drama, one which encompassed kidnappings, secret rendezvous, an illegitimate child, accusations of black magic, imprisonments, disappearances, and exile, not to mention court appearances, high-speed chases, a jail-break, deadly disease, royal fury, and - by turns - religious condemnation and conversion.

As a child, Frances became a political pawn at the court of King James I. Her wealthy parents, themselves trapped in a disastrous marriage, fought tooth and nail over whom Frances should marry, pulling both king and court into their extended battles. When Frances was fifteen, her father forced her to marry John Villiers, the elder brother of the royal favorite, the Duke of Buckingham. But as her husband succumbed to mental illness, Frances fell for another man, and soon found herself pregnant with her lover's child.

The Viscountess paid a heavy price for her illicit love. Her outraged in-laws used their influence to bring her down. But bravely defying both social and religious convention, Frances refused to bow to the combined authority of her family, her church, or her king, and fought stubbornly to defend her honour, as well as the position of her illegitimate son.

On one level a thrilling tale of love and sex, kidnapping and elopement, the life of Frances Coke Villiers is also the story of an exceptional woman, whose personal experiences intertwined with the court politics and religious disputes of a tumultuous and crucially formative period in English history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"Uneasy Street"

New from Princeton University Press: Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence by Rachel Sherman.

About the book, from the publisher:
A surprising and revealing look at how today's elite view their own wealth and place in society

From TV’s “real housewives” to The Wolf of Wall Street, our popular culture portrays the wealthy as materialistic and entitled. But what do we really know about those who live on “easy street”? In this penetrating book, Rachel Sherman draws on rare in-depth interviews that she conducted with fifty affluent New Yorkers—including hedge fund financiers and corporate lawyers, professors and artists, and stay-at-home mothers—to examine their lifestyle choices and their understanding of privilege. Sherman upends images of wealthy people as invested only in accruing and displaying social advantages for themselves and their children. Instead, these liberal elites, who believe in diversity and meritocracy, feel conflicted about their position in a highly unequal society. They wish to be “normal,” describing their consumption as reasonable and basic and comparing themselves to those who have more than they do rather than those with less. These New Yorkers also want to see themselves as hard workers who give back and raise children with good values, and they avoid talking about money.

Although their experiences differ depending on a range of factors, including whether their wealth was earned or inherited, these elites generally depict themselves as productive and prudent, and therefore morally worthy, while the undeserving rich are lazy, ostentatious, and snobbish. Sherman argues that this ethical distinction between “good” and “bad” wealthy people characterizes American culture more broadly, and that it perpetuates rather than challenges economic inequality.

As the distance between rich and poor widens, Uneasy Street not only explores the real lives of those at the top but also sheds light on how extreme inequality comes to seem ordinary and acceptable to the rest of us.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893"

New from Oxford University Press: Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893 by Michael J. Altman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Today, there are more than two million Hindus in America. But before the twentieth century, Hinduism was unknown in the United States. But while Americans did not write about "Hinduism," they speculated at length about "heathenism," "the religion of the Hindoos," and "Brahmanism." In Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu, Michael J. Altman argues that this is not a mere sematic distinction-a case of more politically correct terminology being accepted over time-but a way that Americans worked out their own identities. American representations of India said more about Americans than about Hindus.

Cotton Mather, Hannah Adams, and Joseph Priestley engaged the larger European Enlightenment project of classifying and comparing religion in India. Evangelical missionaries used images of "Hindoo heathenism" to raise support at home. Unitarian Protestants found a kindred spirit in the writings of Bengali reformer Rammohun Roy. Popular magazines and common school books used the image of dark, heathen, despotic India to buttress Protestant, white, democratic American identity. Transcendentalists and Theosophists imagined the contemplative and esoteric religion of India as an alternative to materialist American Protestantism. Hindu delegates and American speakers at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions engaged in a protracted debate about the definition of religion in industrializing America.

Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu is a groundbreaking analysis of American representations of religion in India before the turn of the twentieth century. Altman reorients American religious history and the history of Asian religions in America, showing how Americans of all sorts imagined India for their own purposes. The questions that animated descriptions of heathens, Hindoos, and Hindus in the past, he argues, still animate American debates today.
Visit Michael J. Altman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 31, 2017

"From Head Shops to Whole Foods"

New from Columbia University Press: From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs by Joshua Clark Davis.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of storefronts—including head shops, African American bookstores, feminist businesses, and organic grocers—brought the work of the New Left, Black Power, feminism, environmentalism, and other movements into the marketplace. Through shared ownership, limited growth, and democratic workplaces, these activist entrepreneurs offered alternatives to conventional profit-driven corporate business models. By the middle of the 1970s, thousands of these enterprises operated across the United States—but only a handful survive today. Some, such as Whole Foods Market, have abandoned their quest for collective political change in favor of maximizing profits.

Vividly portraying the struggles, successes, and sacrifices of these unlikely entrepreneurs, From Head Shops to Whole Foods writes a new history of social movements and capitalism by showing how activists embraced small businesses in a way few historians have considered. The book challenges the widespread but mistaken idea that activism and political dissent are inherently antithetical to participation in the marketplace. Joshua Clark Davis uncovers the historical roots of contemporary interest in ethical consumption, social enterprise, buying local, and mission-driven business, while also showing how today’s companies have adopted the language—but not often the mission—of liberation and social change.
Visit Joshua Clark Davis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 30, 2017

"The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe"

New from Princeton University Press: The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe: A History by Rita Chin.

About the book, from the publisher:
A history of modern European cultural pluralism, its current crisis, and its uncertain future

In 2010, the leaders of Germany, Britain, and France each declared that multiculturalism had failed in their countries. Over the past decade, a growing consensus in Europe has voiced similar decrees. But what do these ominous proclamations, from across the political spectrum, mean? From the influx of immigrants in the 1950s to contemporary worries about refugees and terrorism, The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe examines the historical development of multiculturalism on the Continent. Rita Chin argues that there were few efforts to institute state-sponsored policies of multiculturalism, and those that emerged were pronounced failures virtually from their inception. She shows that today's crisis of support for cultural pluralism isn't new but actually has its roots in the 1980s.

Chin looks at the touchstones of European multiculturalism, from the urgent need for laborers after World War II to the public furor over the publication of The Satanic Verses and the question of French girls wearing headscarves to school. While many Muslim immigrants had lived in Europe for decades, in the 1980s they came to be defined by their religion and the public's preoccupation with gender relations. Acceptance of sexual equality became the critical gauge of Muslims' compatibility with Western values. The convergence of left and right around the defense of such personal freedoms against a putatively illiberal Islam has threatened to undermine commitment to pluralism as a core ideal. Chin contends that renouncing the principles of diversity brings social costs, particularly for the left, and she considers how Europe might construct an effective political engagement with its varied population.

Challenging the mounting opposition to a diverse society, The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe presents a historical investigation into one continent's troubled relationship with cultural difference.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"Mourning Remains"

New from Stanford University Press: Mourning Remains: State Atrocity, Exhumations, and Governing the Disappeared in Peru's Postwar Andes by Isaias Rojas-Perez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Mourning Remains examines the attempts to find, recover, and identify the bodies of Peruvians who were disappeared during the 1980s and 1990s counterinsurgency campaign in Peru's central southern Andes. Isaias Rojas-Perez explores the lives and political engagement of elderly Quechua mothers as they attempt to mourn and seek recognition for their kin.

Of the estimated 16,000 Peruvians disappeared during the conflict, only the bodies of 3,202 victims have been located, and only 1,833 identified. The rest remain unknown or unfound, scattered across the country and often shattered beyond recognition. Rojas-Perez examines how, in the face of the state's failure to account for their missing dead, the mothers rearrange senses of community, belonging, authority, and the human to bring the disappeared back into being through everyday practices of mourning and memorialization. Mourning Remains reveals how collective mourning becomes a political escape from the state's project of governing past death and how the dead can help secure the future of the body politic.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 28, 2017

"Addicted to Rehab"

New from Rutgers University Press: Addicted to Rehab: Race, Gender, and Drugs in the Era of Mass Incarceration by Allison McKim.

About the book, from the publisher:
After decades of the American “war on drugs” and relentless prison expansion, political officials are finally challenging mass incarceration. Many point to an apparently promising solution to reduce the prison population: addiction treatment.

In Addicted to Rehab, Bard College sociologist Allison McKim gives an in-depth and innovative ethnographic account of two such rehab programs for women, one located in the criminal justice system and one located in the private healthcare system—two very different ways of defining and treating addiction. McKim’s book shows how addiction rehab reflects the race, class, and gender politics of the punitive turn. As a result, addiction has become a racialized category that has reorganized the link between punishment and welfare provision. While reformers hope that treatment will offer an alternative to punishment and help women, McKim argues that the framework of addiction further stigmatizes criminalized women and undermines our capacity to challenge gendered subordination. Her study ultimately reveals a two-tiered system, bifurcated by race and class.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity"

New from Oxford University Press: Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity by Lori G. Beaman.

About the book, from the publisher:
While religious conflict receives plenty of attention, the everyday negotiation of religious diversity does not. Questions of how to accommodate religious minorities and of the limits of tolerance resonate in a variety of contexts and have become central preoccupations for many Western democracies. What might we see if we turned our attention to the positive narratives and success stories of the everyday working out of religious difference? Rather than "tolerance" and "accommodation," and through the stories of ordinary people, this book traces deep equality, which is found in the respect, humor, and friendship of seemingly mundane interactions. Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity shows that the telling of such stories can create an alternative narrative to that of diversity as a problem to be solved. It explores the non-event, or micro-processes of interaction that constitute the foundation for deep equality and the conditions under which deep equality emerges, exists, and sometimes flourishes.

Through a systematic search for and examination of such narratives, Lori G. Beaman demonstrates the possibility of uncovering, revealing, and recovering deep equality--a recovery that is vital to living in an increasingly diverse society. In achieving deep equality, identities are fluid, shifting in importance and structure as social interaction unfolds. Rigid identity imaginings, especially religious identities, block our vision to the complexities of social life and press us into corners that trap us in identities that we often ourselves do not recognize, want, or know how to escape. Although the focus of this study is deep equality and its existence and persistence in relation to religious difference, deep equality is located beyond the realm of religion. Beaman draws from the work of those whose primary focus is not in fact religion, and who are doing their own 'deep equality' work in other domains, illustrating especially why equality matters. By retelling and exploring stories of negotiation it is possible to reshape our social imaginary to better facilitate what works, which varies from place to place and time to time.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"Behind the Laughs"

New from Stanford University Press: Behind the Laughs: Community and Inequality in Comedy by Michael P. Jeffries.

About the book, from the publisher:
Comedy is a brutal business. When comedians define success, they don't talk about money—they talk about not quitting. They work in a business where even big names work for free, and the inequalities of race, class, and gender create real barriers. But they also work in a business where people still believe that hard work and talent lead to the big time. How do people working in comedy sustain these contradictions and keep laughing?

In Behind the Laughs, Michael P. Jeffries brings readers into the world of comedy to reveal its dark corners and share its buoyant lifeblood. He draws on conversations with comedians, as well as club owners, bookers, and managers, to show the extraordinary social connections professional humor demands. Not only do comedians have to read their audience night after night, but they must also create lasting bonds across the profession to get gigs in the first place. Comedy is not a meritocracy, and its rewards are not often fame and fortune. Only performers who know the rules of their community are able to make it a career.
The Page 99 Test: Thug Life.

The Page 99 Test: Paint the White House Black.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Paths to Fulfillment"

New from Oxford University Press: Paths to Fulfillment: Women's Search for Meaning and Identity by Ruthellen Josselson.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do women create fulfilling lives? How does the identity they choose (or not choose) by the end of their college career affect how their lives unfold? For 35 years, Ruthellen Josselson has followed 25 randomly selected women who graduated from college in the early 1970s. Because these women came of age at this particular time in history, they were the trailblazers in creating new possibilities for women's lives by taking up meaningful roles in the work world. These "real" women, in contrast to the stereotypes of the time, took on the challenge in very different ways and championed very different lives for themselves.

In Paths to Fulfillment: Women's Search for Meaning and Identity, Josselson traces the stages of these women's lives and the ways in which identity, intimacy, and care for others over time leads to fulfillment, or in some cases, a lack of fulfillment. She examines the complexity of the relationship between a woman's roots, her efforts to create a unique life for herself, and how others become part of identity. Josselson examines individual lives in depth for clues to understanding the strengths that help a woman to find fulfillment, and how in generativity becomes an anchor for meaningful identity as lives unfold.

With remarkable clarity and insight, Josselson challenges simplistic generalizations about women, and shows how work, love, and care are all intertwined in a woman's sense of identity.
Visit Ruthellen Josselson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

"Jabotinsky's Children"

New from Princeton University Press: Jabotinsky's Children: Polish Jews and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism by Daniel Kupfert Heller.

About the book, from the publisher:
How interwar Poland and its Jewish youth were instrumental in shaping the ideology of right-wing Zionism

By the late 1930s, as many as fifty thousand Polish Jews belonged to Betar, a youth movement known for its support of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of right-wing Zionism. Poland was not only home to Jabotinsky’s largest following. The country also served as an inspiration and incubator for the development of right-wing Zionist ideas. Jabotinsky’s Children draws on a wealth of rare archival material to uncover how the young people in Betar were instrumental in shaping right-wing Zionist attitudes about the roles that authoritarianism and military force could play in the quest to build and maintain a Jewish state.

Recovering the voices of ordinary Betar members through their letters, diaries, and autobiographies, Jabotinsky’s Children paints a vivid portrait of young Polish Jews and their turbulent lives on the eve of the Holocaust. Rather than define Jabotinsky as a firebrand fascist or steadfast democrat, the book instead reveals how he deliberately delivered multiple and contradictory messages to his young followers, leaving it to them to interpret him as they saw fit. Tracing Betar’s surprising relationship with interwar Poland’s authoritarian government, Jabotinsky’s Children overturns popular misconceptions about Polish-Jewish relations between the two world wars and captures the fervent efforts of Poland’s Jewish youth to determine, on their own terms, who they were, where they belonged, and what their future held in store.

Shedding critical light on a vital yet neglected chapter in the history of Zionism, Jabotinsky’s Children provides invaluable perspective on the origins of right-wing Zionist beliefs and their enduring allure in Israel today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"The Philosophical Parent"

New from Oxford University Press: The Philosophical Parent: Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children by Jean Kazez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Becoming parents draws us into philosophical quandaries before our children have even been born. Why do most of us want to have children? Should we make new people, despite life's travails and our crowded world? Is adoptive parenthood just the same as biological parenthood? Once children arrive, the questions start to be a mix of the profound and the practical. Should we share our lifestyle with our children, no matter how unusual? Should we vaccinate and may we circumcise? Should we encourage gender differences?

Tracing the arc of parenthood from the earliest days to the college years and beyond, Jean Kazez explores 18 questions for philosophical parents, applying the tools of philosophy and drawing on personal experience. The Philosophical Parent offers a novel account of the parent-child relationship and uses it to tackle a variety of parenting puzzles, but more than that, Kazez celebrates both having children and philosophical reflection. Her book provides a challenging but cheerful companion for thoughtful parents and parents-to-be.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Dwelling in Resistance"

New from Rutgers University Press: Dwelling in Resistance: Living with Alternative Technologies in America by Chelsea Schelly.

About the book, from the publisher:
Most Americans take for granted much of what is materially involved in the daily rituals of dwelling. In Dwelling in Resistance, Chelsea Schelly examines four alternative U.S. communities—“The Farm,” “Twin Oaks,” “Dancing Rabbit,” and “Earthships”—where electricity, water, heat, waste, food, and transportation practices differ markedly from those of the vast majority of Americans.

Schelly portrays a wide range of residential living alternatives utilizing renewable, small-scale, de-centralized technologies. These technologies considerably change how individuals and communities interact with the material world, their natural environment, and one another. Using in depth interviews and compelling ethnographic observations, the book offers an insightful look at different communities’ practices and principles and their successful endeavors in sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Chelsea Schelly is an associate professor of sociology at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. She is the author of Crafting Collectivity: American Rainbow Gatherings and Alternative Forms of Community.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 23, 2017

"American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens"

New from Oxford University Press: American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens: Supporting Democracy in the Age of Accountability by Sarah M. Stitzlein.

About the book, from the publisher:
Public school systems are central to a flourishing democracy, where children learn how to solve problems together, build shared identities, and come to value justice and liberty for all. However, as citizen support for public schools steadily declines, our democratic way of life is increasingly at risk.

Often, we hear about the poor performances of students and teachers in the public school system, but as author Sarah M. Stitzlein asserts in her compelling new volume, the current educational crisis is not about accountability, but rather citizen responsibility.

Now, more than ever, citizens increasingly do not feel as though public schools are our schools, forgetting that we have influence over their outcomes and are responsible for their success. In effect, accountability becomes more and more about finding failure and casting blame on our school administrators and teachers, rather than taking responsibility as citizens for shaping our expectations of the classroom, determining the criteria we use to measure its success, and supporting our public schools as they nurture our children for the future.

American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens sheds an important light on recent shifts in the link between education and citizenship, helping readers to understand not only how schools now work, but also how citizens can take an active and influential role in shaping them. Moving from philosophical critique of these changes to practical suggestions for action, Stitzlein provides readers with the tools, habits, practices, and knowledge necessary to support public education. Further, by sharing examples of citizens and successful communities that are effectively working with their school systems, Stitzlein offers a torch of hope to sustain citizens through this difficult work in order to keep our democracy strong.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Unprepared"

New from the University of California Press: Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency by Andrew Lakoff.

About the book, from the publisher:
Recent years have witnessed an upsurge in global health emergencies—from SARS to pandemic influenza to Ebola to Zika. Each of these occurrences has sparked calls for improved health preparedness. In Unprepared, Andrew Lakoff follows the history of health preparedness from its beginnings in 1950s Cold War civil defense to the early twenty-first century, when international health authorities carved out a global space for governing potential outbreaks. Alert systems and trigger devices now link health authorities, government officials, and vaccine manufacturers, all of whom are concerned with the possibility of a global pandemic. Funds have been devoted to cutting-edge research on pathogenic organisms, and a system of post hoc diagnosis analyzes sites of failed preparedness to find new targets for improvement. Yet, despite all these developments, the project of global health security continues to be unsettled by the prospect of surprise.
Andrew Lakoff is Professor of Sociology and Communication at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry and coeditor of Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Hospitals and Charity"

New from Manchester University Press: Hospitals and charity: Religious culture and civic life in medieval northern Italy by Sally Mayall Brasher.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the first book in English to provide a comprehensive examination of the hospital movement that arose and prospered in northern Italy between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Throughout this flourishing urbanised area hundreds of independent semi-religious facilities appeared, offering care for the ill, the poor and pilgrims en route to holy sites in Rome and the eastern Mediterranean. Over three centuries they became mechanisms for the appropriation of civic authority and political influence in the communities they served, and created innovative experiments in healthcare and poor relief which are the precursors to modern social welfare systems.

Will appeal to students and lecturers in medieval, social, religious, and urban history and includes a detailed appendix that will assist researchers in the field.
Sally Mayall Brasher is Associate Professor of Medieval and Renaissance History at Shepherd University.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Social Revolution"

New from the University of California Press: A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran by Kevan Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:
For decades, political observers and pundits have characterized the Islamic Republic of Iran as an ideologically rigid state on the verge of collapse, exclusively connected to a narrow social base. In A Social Revolution, Kevan Harris convincingly demonstrates how they are wrong. Previous studies ignore the forceful consequences of three decades of social change following the 1979 revolution. Today, more people in the country are connected to welfare and social policy institutions than to any other form of state organization. In fact, much of Iran’s current political turbulence is the result of the success of these social welfare programs, which have created newly educated and mobilized social classes advocating for change. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted in Iran, Harris shows how the revolutionary regime endured through the expansion of health, education, and aid programs that have both embedded the state in everyday life and empowered its challengers. This focus on the social policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran opens a new line of inquiry into the study of welfare states in countries where they are often overlooked or ignored.
Visit Kevan Harris's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Convicted and Condemned"

New from NYU Press: Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry by Keesha M. Middlemass.

About the book, from the publisher:
Through the compelling words of former prisoners, Convicted and Condemned examines the lifelong consequences of a felony conviction.

Felony convictions restrict social interactions and hinder felons’ efforts to reintegrate into society. The educational and vocational training offered in many prisons are typically not recognized by accredited educational institutions as acceptable course work or by employers as valid work experience, making it difficult for recently-released prisoners to find jobs. Families often will not or cannot allow their formerly incarcerated relatives to live with them. In many states, those with felony convictions cannot receive financial aid for further education, vote in elections, receive welfare benefits, or live in public housing. In short, they are not treated as full citizens, and every year, hundreds of thousands of people released from prison are forced to live on the margins of society.

Convicted and Condemned explores the issue of prisoner reentry from the felons’ perspective. It features the voices of formerly incarcerated felons as they attempt to reconnect with family, learn how to acclimate to society, try to secure housing, find a job, and complete a host of other important goals. By examining national housing, education and employment policies implemented at the state and local levels, Keesha Middlemass shows how the law challenges and undermines prisoner reentry and creates second-class citizens.

Even if the criminal justice system never convicted another person of a felony, millions of women and men would still have to figure out how to reenter society, essentially on their own. A sobering account of the after-effects of mass incarceration, Convicted and Condemned is a powerful exploration of how individuals, and society as a whole, suffer when a felony conviction exacts a punishment that never ends.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"Subjects and Sovereign"

New from Oxford University Press: Subjects and Sovereign: Bonds of Belonging in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire by Hannah Weiss Muller.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the aftermath of the Seven Years' War, when a variety of conquered and ceded territories became part of an expanding British Empire, crucial struggles emerged about what it meant to be a "British subject." Individuals in Grenada, Quebec, Minorca, Gibraltar, and Bengal debated the meanings and rights of subjecthood, with many capitalizing on legal ambiguities and local exigencies to secure access to political and economic benefits. Inhabitants and colonial administrators transformed subjecthood into a shared language, practice, and opportunity as individuals proclaimed their allegiance to the crown and laid claim to a corresponding set of protections. Approaching subjecthood as a protean and porous concept, rather than an immutable legal status, Subjects and Sovereign demonstrates that it was precisely subjecthood's fluidity and imprecision that rendered it so useful to a remarkably diverse group of individuals.

In this book, Hannah Weiss Muller reexamines the traditional bond between subjects and sovereign and argues that this relationship endured as a powerful site for claims-making throughout the eighteenth century. Muller analyzes both legal understandings of subjecthood, as well as the popular tradition of declaring rights, in order to demonstrate why subjects believed they were entitled to make requests of their sovereign. She reconsiders narratives of upheaval during the Age of Revolution and insists on the relevance and utility of existing structures of state and sovereign. Emphasizing the stories of subjects who successfully leveraged their loyalty and negotiated their status, she also explores how and why subjecthood remained an organizing and contested principle of the eighteenth-century British Empire.

By placing the relationship between subjects and sovereign at the heart of her analysis, Muller offers a new perspective on a familiar period and suggests that imperial integration was as much about flexible and expansive conceptions of belonging as it was about shared economic, political, and intellectual networks.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Vexed with Devils"

New from NYU Press: Vexed with Devils: Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England by Erika Gasser.

About the book, from the publisher:
Stories of witchcraft and demonic possession from early modern England through the last official trials in colonial New England.

Those possessed by the devil in early modern England usually exhibited a common set of symptoms: fits, vomiting, visions, contortions, speaking in tongues, and an antipathy to prayer. However, it was a matter of interpretation, and sometimes public opinion, if these symptoms were visited upon the victim, or if they came from within. Both early modern England and colonial New England had cases that blurred the line between witchcraft and demonic possession, most famously, the Salem witch trials. While historians acknowledge some similarities in witch trials between the two regions, such as the fact that an overwhelming majority of witches were women, the histories of these cases primarily focus on local contexts and specifics. In so doing, they overlook the ways in which manhood factored into possession and witchcraft cases.

Vexed with Devils is a cultural history of witchcraft-possession phenomena that centers on the role of men and patriarchal power. Erika Gasser reveals that witchcraft trials had as much to do with who had power in the community, to impose judgement or to subvert order, as they did with religious belief. She argues that the gendered dynamics of possession and witchcraft demonstrated that contested meanings of manhood played a critical role in the struggle to maintain authority. While all men were not capable of accessing power in the same ways, many of the people involved—those who acted as if they were possessed, men accused of being witches, and men who wrote possession propaganda—invoked manhood as they struggled to advocate for themselves during these perilous times. Gasser ultimately concludes that the decline of possession and witchcraft cases was not merely a product of change over time, but rather an indication of the ways in which patriarchal power endured throughout and beyond the colonial period.

Vexed with Devils reexamines an unnerving time and offers a surprising new perspective on our own, using stories and voices which emerge from the records in ways that continue to fascinate and unsettle us.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Gandhi Against Caste"

New from Oxford University Press: Gandhi Against Caste: An Evolving Strategy to Abolish Caste System in India by Nishikant Kolge.

About the book, from the publisher:
The book seeks to examine Gandhi's understanding of the caste and varna system, and his evolving strategies to abolish it. It argues that in 1915, after returning to India from South Africa, Gandhi had started talking about the positive aspects of caste system and proclaimed his faith in it because he understood that the Hindu masses were not yet ready for radical reform, and that they must be gradually educated before being asked to abandon their faith in the doctrine of the caste system and the practices based on it. In order to substantiate the argument and to exhibit Gandhi's evolving strategy against the caste system, the book employs a close and chronological reading of Gandhi's writings and outlines the continuity and changes in Gandhi's views between 1915 (when he returned to India from South Africa) to 1948 (when he died). The book divides the entire phase into five periods-1915 to 1920, 1920 to 1927, 1927 to 1932, 1932 to 1945, and 1945 to 1948-based on the themes that emerge in his writings during those years. These are on the issues of untouchability, caste, varna, sanatani Hindu, inter-dining, and inter-caste marriage. Within each demarcated period, the book delineates the evolution of Gandhi's views, tracing shifts and turns in the context of political and social development of the time.
--Marshal Zeringue