Friday, June 23, 2017

"In Lady Liberty's Shadow"

New from Rutgers University Press: In Lady Liberty's Shadow: The Politics of Race and Immigration in New Jersey by Robyn Magalit Rodriguez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Home to Ellis Island, New Jersey has been the first stop for many immigrant groups for well over a century. Yet in this highly diverse state, some of the most anti-immigrant policies in the nation are being tested. American suburbs are home to increasing numbers of first and second-generation immigrants who may actually be bypassing the city to settle directly into the neighborhoods that their predecessors have already begun to plant roots in—a trajectory that leads to nativist ordinances and other forms of xenophobia.

In Lady Liberty’s Shadow examines popular white perceptions of danger represented by immigrants and their children, as well the specter that lurks at the edges of suburbs in the shape of black and Latino urban underclasses and the ever more nebulous hazard of (presumed-Islamic) terrorism that threatening to undermine “life as we know it.” Robyn Magalit Rodriguez explores the impact of anti-immigrant municipal ordinances on a range of immigrant groups living in varied suburban communities, from undocumented Latinos in predominantly white suburbs to long-established Asian immigrants in “majority-minority” suburbs. The “American Dream” that suburban life is supposed to represent is shown to rest on a racialized, segregated social order meant to be enjoyed only by whites. Although it is a case study of New Jersey, In Lady Liberty’s Shadow offers crucial insights that can shed fresh light on the national immigration debate.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Heretics and Believers"

New from Yale University Press: Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation by Peter Marshall.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sumptuously written people’s history and a major retelling and reinterpretation of the story of the English Reformation

Centuries on, what the Reformation was and what it accomplished remain deeply contentious. Peter Marshall’s sweeping new history—the first major overview for general readers in a generation—argues that sixteenth-century England was a society neither desperate for nor allergic to change, but one open to ideas of “reform” in various competing guises. King Henry VIII wanted an orderly, uniform Reformation, but his actions opened a Pandora’s Box from which pluralism and diversity flowed and rooted themselves in English life.

With sensitivity to individual experience as well as masterfully synthesizing historical and institutional developments, Marshall frames the perceptions and actions of people great and small, from monarchs and bishops to ordinary families and ecclesiastics, against a backdrop of profound change that altered the meanings of “religion” itself. This engaging history reveals what was really at stake in the overthrow of Catholic culture and the reshaping of the English Church.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Haiti and the Uses of America"

New from Rutgers University Press: Haiti and the Uses of America: Post-U.S. Occupation Promises by Chantalle F. Verna.

About the book, from the publisher:
Contrary to popular notions, Haiti-U.S. relations have not only been about Haitian resistance to U.S. domination. In Haiti and the Uses of America, Chantalle F. Verna makes evident that there have been key moments of cooperation that contributed to nation-building in both countries.

In the years following the U.S. occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), Haitian politicians and professionals with a cosmopolitan outlook shaped a new era in Haiti-U.S. diplomacy. Their efforts, Verna shows, helped favorable ideas about the United States, once held by a small segment of Haitian society, circulate more widely. In this way, Haitians contributed to and capitalized upon the spread of internationalism in the Americas and the larger world.
Chantalle F. Verna is an associate professor of history and international relations at Florida International University in Miami.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Unshackling America"

New from St. Martin's Press: Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution by Willard Sterne Randall.

About the book, from the publisher:
Unshackling America challenges the persistent fallacy that Americans fought two separate wars of independence. Willard Sterne Randall documents an unremitting fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain overlapping two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Throughout this perilous period, the struggle was all about free trade.

Neither Jefferson nor any other Founding Father could divine that the Revolutionary Period of 1763 to 1783 had concluded only one part, the first phase of their ordeal. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 at the end of the Revolutionary War halted overt combat but had achieved only partial political autonomy from Britain. By not guaranteeing American economic independence and agency, Britain continued to deny American sovereignty.

Randall details the fifty years and persistent attempts by the British to control American trade waters, but he also shows how, despite the outrageous restrictions, the United States asserted the doctrine of neutral rights and developed the world’s second largest merchant fleet as it absorbed the French Caribbean trade. American ships carrying trade increased five-fold between 1790 and 1800, its tonnage nearly doubling again between 1800 and 1812, ultimately making the United States the world’s largest independent maritime power.
Visit Willard Sterne Randall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Classical Greek Oligarchy"

New from Princeton University Press: Classical Greek Oligarchy: A Political History by Matthew Simonton.

About the book, from the publisher:
Classical Greek Oligarchy thoroughly reassesses an important but neglected form of ancient Greek government, the "rule of the few." Matthew Simonton challenges scholarly orthodoxy by showing that oligarchy was not the default mode of politics from time immemorial, but instead emerged alongside, and in reaction to, democracy. He establishes for the first time how oligarchies maintained power in the face of potential citizen resistance. The book argues that oligarchs designed distinctive political institutions—such as intra-oligarchic power sharing, targeted repression, and rewards for informants—to prevent collective action among the majority population while sustaining cooperation within their own ranks.

To clarify the workings of oligarchic institutions, Simonton draws on recent social science research on authoritarianism. Like modern authoritarian regimes, ancient Greek oligarchies had to balance coercion with co-optation in order to keep their subjects disorganized and powerless. The book investigates topics such as control of public space, the manipulation of information, and the establishment of patron-client relations, frequently citing parallels with contemporary nondemocratic regimes. Simonton also traces changes over time in antiquity, revealing the processes through which oligarchy lost the ideological battle with democracy for legitimacy.

Classical Greek Oligarchy represents a major new development in the study of ancient politics. It fills a longstanding gap in our knowledge of nondemocratic government while greatly improving our understanding of forms of power that continue to affect us today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 19, 2017

"The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information"

New from Oxford University Press: The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information: The History of Information in Modern Economics by Philip Mirowski and Edward Nik-Khah.

About the book, from the publisher:
Information is a central concept in economics, and The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information explores its treatment in modern economics. The study of information, far from offering enlightenment, resulted in all matter of confusion for economists and the public.

Philip Mirowski and Edward Nik-Khah argue that the conventional wisdom suggesting "economic rationality" was the core of modern economics is incomplete. In this trenchant investigation, they demonstrate that the history of modern microeconomics is better organized as a history of the treatment of information. The book begins with a brief primer on information, and then shows how economists have responded over time to successive developments on the concept of information in the natural sciences. Mirowski and Nik-Khah detail various intellectual battles that were fought to define, analyze, and employ information in economics. As these debates developed, economists progressively moved away from pure agent conscious self-awareness as a non-negotiable desideratum of economic models toward a focus on markets and their design as information processors. This has led to a number of policies, foremost among them: auction design of resources like the electromagnetic spectrum crucial to modern communications.

The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information provides insight into the interface between disputes within the economics discipline and the increasing role of information in contemporary society. Mirowski and Nik-Khah examine how this intersection contributed to the dominance of neoliberal approaches to economics, politics, and other realms.
The Page 99 Test: Philip Mirowski's Science-Mart.

--Marshal Zeringue

"What Is an Event?"

New from the University of Chicago Press: What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici.

About the book, from the publisher:
We live in a world of breaking news, where at almost any moment our everyday routine can be interrupted by a faraway event. Events are central to the way that individuals and societies experience life. Even life’s inevitable moments—birth, death, love, and war—are almost always a surprise. Inspired by the cataclysmic events of September 11, Robin Wagner-Pacifici presents here a tour de force, an analysis of how events erupt and take off from the ground of ongoing, everyday life, and how they then move across time and landscape.

What Is an Event? ranges across several disciplines, systematically analyzing the ways that events emerge, take shape, gain momentum, flow, and even get bogged down. As an exploration of how events are constructed out of ruptures, it provides a mechanism for understanding eventful forms and flows, from the micro-level of individual life events to the macro-level of historical revolutions, contemporary terrorist attacks, and financial crises. Wagner-Pacifici takes a close look at a number of cases, both real and imagined, through the reports, personal narratives, paintings, iconic images, political posters, sculptures, and novels they generate and through which they live on. What is ultimately at stake for individuals and societies in events, Wagner-Pacifici argues, are identities, loyalties, social relationships, and our very experiences of time and space. What Is an Event? provides a way for us all—as social and political beings living through events, and as analysts reflecting upon them—to better understand what is at stake in the formations and flows of the events that mark and shape our lives.
The Page 99 Test: The Art of Surrender.

Writers Read: Robin Wagner-Pacifici (October 2007).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 18, 2017

"Mega-events and Social Change"

New from Manchester University Press: Mega-events and Social Change: Spectacle, legacy and public culture by Maurice Roche.

About the book, from the publisher:
The spectacle of major cultural and sporting events can preoccupy modern societies. This book is concerned with contemporary mega-events, like the Olympics and Expos. Using a sociological perspective Roche argues that mega-events reflect the major social changes which now influence our societies, particularly in the West, and that these amount to a new 'second phase' of the modernization process. Changes are particularly visible in the media, urban and global locational aspects of mega-events. Thus he suggests that contemporary mega-events, both in their achievements and their vulnerabilities, reflect, in the media sphere, the rise of the internet; in the urban sphere, de-industrialisation and the growing ecological crisis; and in the global sphere, the relative decline of the West and the rise of China and other 'emerging' countries. The book investigates the ways in which contemporary mega-events reflect, but also mark and influence, social changes in each of these three contexts.
Maurice Roche is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 17, 2017

"An Unlikely Audience"

New from Oxford University Press: An Unlikely Audience: Al Jazeera's Struggle in America by William Lafi Youmans.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 2006, the Al Jazeera Media Network sought to penetrate the United States media sphere, the world's most influential national market for English language news. These unyielding ambitions surprised those who knew the network as the Arab media service President Bush lambasted as "hateful propaganda" in his 2004 State of the Union address. The world watched skeptically yet curiously as Al Jazeera labored to establish a presence in the famously insular American market.

The network's decade-long struggle included both fleeting successes, like the sudden surge of popular interest during the Arab spring, as well as momentous failures. The April 2016 closure of its $2 billion Al Jazeera America channel was just one of a series of setbacks. An Unlikely Audience investigates the inner workings of a complex news organization fighting to overcome deep obstacles, foster strategic alliances and build its identity in a country notoriously disinterested in international news.

William Youmans argues counter-intuitively that making sense of Al Jazeera's tortured push into the United States as a national news market, actually requires a local lens. He reveals the network's appeal to American audiences by presenting its three independent US-facing subsidiaries in their primary locales of production: Al Jazeera English (AJE) in Washington, DC, Al Jazeera America (AJAM) in New York, and AJ+ in San Francisco. These cities are centers of vital industries-media-politics, commercial TV news and technology, respectively. As Youmans shows, the success of the outlets hinged on the locations in which they operated because Al Jazeera assimilated aspects of their core industries. An Unlikely Audience proves that place is critical to the formation and evolution of multi-national media organizations, despite the rise of communication technologies that many believe make location less relevant.

Mining data from over 50 interviews since 2010, internal documents, and original surveys, the book offers a brisk and authoritative account of the world's most recognizable media-brand and its decade-long ingress into the US - crucial background for Al Jazeera's continued expansion in the United States.
Visit William Youmans's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Complicated Lives"

New from Rutgers University Press: Complicated Lives: Girls, Parents, Drugs, and Juvenile Justice by Vera Lopez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Complicated Lives focuses on the lives of sixty-five drug-using girls in the juvenile justice system (living in group homes, a residential treatment center, and a youth correctional facility) who grew up in families characterized by parental drug use, violence, and child maltreatment. Vera Lopez situates girls’ relationships with parents who fail to live up to idealized parenting norms and examines how these relationships change over time, and ultimately contribute to the girls’ future drug use and involvement in the justice system.

While Lopez’s subjects express concerns and doubt in their chances for success, Lopez provides an optimistic prescription for reform and improvement of the lives of these young women and presents a number of suggestions ranging from enhanced cultural competency training for all juvenile justice professionals to developing stronger collaborations between youth and adult serving systems and agencies.
Vera Lopez is an associate professor of Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University in Tempe.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 16, 2017

"Fit for War"

New from the University Press of Florida: Fit for War: Sustenance and Order in the Mid-Eighteenth-Century Catawba Nation by Mary Elizabeth Fitts.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Catawba Nation played an important role in the early colonial Southeast, serving as a military ally of the British and a haven for refugees from other native groups, yet it has largely been overlooked by scholars and the public. Fit for War explains how the Nation maintained its sovereignty while continuing to reside in its precolonial homeland near present-day Charlotte, North Carolina.

Drawing from colonial archives and new archaeological data, Mary Elizabeth Fitts shows that militarization helped the Catawba maintain political autonomy but forced them to consolidate their settlements and--with settler encroachment and a regional drought--led to a food crisis. Focusing on craft and foodways, Fitts uncovers how Catawba women worked to feed the Nation, a story missing from colonial records. Her research highlights the double-edged nature of tactics available to American Indian groups seeking to keep their independence in the face of colonization.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Heading Out: A History of American Camping"

New from Cornell University Press: Heading Out: A History of American Camping by Terence Young.

About the book, from the publisher:
Who are the real campers? Through-hiking backpackers traversing the Appalachian Trail? The family in an SUV making a tour of national parks and sleeping in tents at campgrounds? People committed to the RV lifestyle who move their homes from state to state as season and whim dictate? Terence Young would say: all of the above. Camping is one of the country's most popular pastimes—tens of millions of Americans go camping every year. Whether on foot, on horseback, or in RVs, campers have been enjoying themselves for well more than a century, during which time camping’s appeal has shifted and evolved. In Heading Out, Young takes readers into nature and explores with them the history of camping in the United States.

Young shows how camping progressed from an impulse among city-dwellers to seek temporary retreat from their exhausting everyday surroundings to a form of recreation so popular that an industry grew up around it to provide an endless supply of ever-lighter and more convenient gear. Young humanizes camping’s history by spotlighting key figures in its development and a sampling of the campers and the variety of their excursions. Readers will meet William H. H. Murray, who launched a craze for camping in 1869; Mary Bedell, who car camped around America for 12,000 miles in 1922; William Trent Jr., who struggled to end racial segregation in national park campgrounds before World War II; and Carolyn Patterson, who worked with the U.S. Department of State in the 1960s and 1970s to introduce foreign service personnel to the "real" America through trailer camping. These and many additional characters give readers a reason to don a headlamp, pull up a chair beside the campfire, and discover the invigorating and refreshing history of sleeping under the stars.
--Marshal Zeringue

"All Measures Short of War"

New from Yale University Press: All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the Twenty-First Century and the Future of American Power by Thomas J. Wright.

About the book, from the publisher:
A groundbreaking look at the future of great power competition in an age of globalization and what the United States can do in response

The two decades after the Cold War saw unprecedented cooperation between the major powers as the world converged on a model of liberal international order. Now, great power competition is back and the liberal order is in jeopardy. Russia and China are increasingly revisionist in their regions. The Middle East appears to be unraveling. And many Americans question why the United States ought to lead. What will great power competition look like in the decades ahead? Will the liberal world order survive? What impact will geopolitics have on globalization? And, what strategy should the United States pursue to succeed in an increasingly competitive world? In this book Thomas Wright explains how major powers will compete fiercely even as they try to avoid war with each other. Wright outlines a new American strategy—Responsible Competition—to navigate these challenges and strengthen the liberal order.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"An Empire of Print"

New from Penn State University Press: An Empire of Print: The New York Publishing Trade in the Early American Republic by Steven Carl Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
Home to the so-called big five publishers as well as hundreds of smaller presses, renowned literary agents, a vigorous arts scene, and an uncountable number of aspiring and established writers alike, New York City is widely perceived as the publishing capital of the United States and the world. This book traces the origins and early evolution of the city’s rise to literary preeminence.

Through five case studies, Steven Carl Smith examines publishing in New York from the post–Revolutionary War period through the Jacksonian era. He discusses the gradual development of local, regional, and national distribution networks, assesses the economic relationships and shared social and cultural practices that connected printers, booksellers, and their customers, and explores the uncharacteristically modern approaches taken by the city’s preindustrial printers and distributors. If the cultural matrix of printed texts served as the primary legitimating vehicle for political debate and literary expression, Smith argues, then deeper understanding of the economic interests and political affiliations of the people who produced these texts gives necessary insight into the emergence of a major American industry. Those involved in New York’s book trade imagined for themselves, like their counterparts in other major seaport cities, a robust business that could satisfy the new nation’s desire for print, and many fulfilled their ambition by cultivating networks that crossed regional boundaries, delivering books to the masses.

A fresh interpretation of the market economy in early America, An Empire of Print reveals how New York started on the road to becoming the publishing powerhouse it is today.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Human Predicament"

New from Oxford University Press: The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life's Biggest Questions by David Benatar.

About the book, from the publisher:
Are our lives meaningful, or meaningless? Is our inevitable death a bad thing? Would immortality be an improvement? Would it be better, all things considered, to hasten our deaths by suicide? Many people ask these big questions -- and some people are plagued by them. Surprisingly, analytic philosophers have said relatively little about these important questions about the meaning of life. When they have tackled the big questions, they have tended, like popular writers, to offer comforting, optimistic answers. The Human Predicament invites readers to take a clear-eyed and unfettered view of the human condition.

David Benatar here offers a substantial, but not unmitigated, pessimism about the central questions of human existence. He argues that while our lives can have some meaning, we are ultimately the insignificant beings that we fear we might be. He maintains that the quality of life, although less bad for some than for others, leaves much to be desired in even the best cases. Worse, death is generally not a solution; in fact, it exacerbates rather than mitigates our cosmic meaninglessness. While it can release us from suffering, it imposes another cost - annihilation. This state of affairs has nuanced implications for how we should think about many things, including immortality and suicide, and how we should think about the possibility of deeper meaning in our lives. Ultimately, this thoughtful, provocative, and deeply candid treatment of life's big questions will interest anyone who has contemplated why we are here, and what the answer means for how we should live.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"The Future Life of Trauma"

New from Fordham University Press: The Future Life of Trauma: Partitions, Borders, Repetition by Jennifer Yusin.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Future Life of Trauma elaborates a transformation in the concepts of trauma and event by situating a groundbreaking encounter between psychoanalytic and postcolonial discourse. Proceeding from the formation of psychical life as presented in the Freudian metapsychology, it thinks anew the relation between temporality and traumatized subjectivity, demonstrating how the psychic event, as a traumatic event, is a material reality that alters the character of the structure of repetition.

By examining the role of borders in the history of the 1947 partition of British India and the politics of memorialization in postgenocide Rwanda, The Future Life of Trauma brings to light the implications of trauma as a material event in contemporary nation-formation, sovereignty, and geopolitical violence. In showing how the form of the psyche changes in the encounter, it presents a challenge to the category of difference in the condition of identity, resulting in the formation of a concept of life that elaborates a new relation to destruction and finitude by asserting its power to transform itself.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Hell and Its Rivals"

New from Cornell University Press: Hell and Its Rivals: Death and Retribution among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Early Middle Ages by Alan E. Bernstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
The idea of punishment after death—whereby the souls of the wicked are consigned to Hell (Gehenna, Gehinnom, or Jahannam)—emerged out of beliefs found across the Mediterranean, from ancient Egypt to Zoroastrian Persia, and became fundamental to the Abrahamic religions. Once Hell achieved doctrinal expression in the New Testament, the Talmud, and the Qur'an, thinkers began to question Hell’s eternity, and to consider possible alternatives—hell’s rivals. Some imagined outright escape, others periodic but temporary relief within the torments. One option, including Purgatory and, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the Middle State, was to consider the punishments to be temporary and purifying. Despite these moral and theological hesitations, the idea of Hell has remained a historical and theological force until the present.

In Hell and Its Rivals, Alan E. Bernstein examines an array of sources from within and beyond the three Abrahamic faiths—including theology, chronicles, legal charters, edifying tales, and narratives of near-death experiences—to analyze the origins and evolution of belief in Hell. Key social institutions, including slavery, capital punishment, and monarchy, also affected the afterlife beliefs of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Reflection on hell encouraged a stigmatization of "the other" that in turn emphasized the differences between these religions. Yet, despite these rivalries, each community proclaimed eternal punishment and answered related challenges to it in similar terms. For all that divided them, they agreed on the need for—and fact of—Hell.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 12, 2017

"We Know All About You"

New from Oxford University Press: We Know All About You: The Story of Surveillance in Britain and America by Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the story of surveillance in Britain and the United States, from the detective agencies of the late nineteenth century to 'wikileaks' and CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden in the twenty-first. Written by prize-winning historian and intelligence expert Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, it is the first full overview of its kind.

Delving into the roles of credit agencies, private detectives, and phone-hacking journalists as well as agencies like the FBI and NSA in the USA and GCHQ and MI5 in the UK, Jeffreys-Jones highlights malpractices such as the blacklist and illegal electronic interceptions. He demonstrates that several presidents - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon - conducted various forms of political surveillance, and also how British agencies have been under a constant cloud of suspicion for similar reasons.

Continuing with an account of the 1970s leaks that revealed how the FBI and CIA kept tabs on anti-Vietnam War protestors, he assesses the reform impulse of this era - an impulse that began in America and only gradually spread to Britain. The end of the Cold War further at the end of the 1980s then undermined confidence in the need for state surveillance still further, but it was to return with a vengeance after 9/11.

What emerges is a story in which governments habitually abuse their surveillance powers once granted, demonstrating the need for proper controls in this area. But, as Jeffreys-Jones makes clear, this is not simply a story of the Orwellian state. While private sector firms have sometimes acted as a brake on surveillance by the state (particularly in the electronic era), they have also often engaged in dubious surveillance practices of their own. Oversight and regulation, he argues, therefore need to be universal and not simply concentrate on the threat to the individual posed by the agencies of government.
Learn about Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones's top ten classic spy novels.

The Page 99 Test: In Spies We Trust.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Out of Oakland"

New from Cornell University Press: Out of Oakland: Black Panther Party Internationalism during the Cold War by Sean L. Malloy.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Out of Oakland, Sean L. Malloy explores the evolving internationalism of the Black Panther Party (BPP); the continuing exile of former members, including Assata Shakur, in Cuba is testament to the lasting nature of the international bonds that were forged during the party's heyday. Founded in Oakland, California, in October 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the BPP began with no more than a dozen members. Focused on local issues, most notably police brutality, the Panthers patrolled their West Oakland neighborhood armed with shotguns and law books. Within a few years, the BPP had expanded its operations into a global confrontation with what Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver dubbed "the international pig power structure."

Malloy traces the shifting intersections between the black freedom struggle in the United States, Third World anticolonialism, and the Cold War. By the early 1970s, the Panthers had chapters across the United States as well as an international section headquartered in Algeria and support groups and emulators as far afield as England, India, New Zealand, Israel, and Sweden. The international section served as an official embassy for the BPP and a beacon for American revolutionaries abroad, attracting figures ranging from Black Power skyjackers to fugitive LSD guru Timothy Leary. Engaging directly with the expanding Cold War, BPP representatives cultivated alliances with the governments of Cuba, North Korea, China, North Vietnam, and the People’s Republic of the Congo as well as European and Japanese militant groups and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. In an epilogue, Malloy directly links the legacy of the BPP to contemporary questions raised by the Black Lives Matter movement.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 11, 2017

"The Politics of Reproduction"

New from Oxford University Press: The Politics of Reproduction: Race, Disease, and Fertility in the Age of Abolition by Katherine Paugh.

About the book, from the publisher:
The fertility of Afro-Caribbean women's bodies was at the crux of visions of economic success elaborated by many British politicians, planters, and doctors during the age of abolition. Reformers hoped that a home-grown labor force would obviate the need for the Atlantic slave trade. By establishing the ubiquity of visions of fertility and subsequent economic growth during the age of abolition, The Politics of Reproduction sheds fresh light on the oft-debated question of whether abolitionism was understood by contemporaries as economically beneficial to the British Empire. At the same time, Katherine Paugh makes novel assertions about the importance of Britain's colonies in the emergence of population as a political problem. The need to manipulate the labor market in Britain's Caribbean colonies prompted crucial innovations in governmental strategies for managing reproduction. While assessing the politics of reproduction in the British Empire and its Caribbean colonies as a whole, the study also focuses in on the island colony of Barbados in order to explore the politics of reproduction within the British Caribbean. By recounting the remarkable story of an enslaved midwife and her family, The Politics of Reproduction explores the deployment of plantation management policies designed to promote fertility during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Along the way, the volume draws on a wide variety of sources, including debates in the British Parliament and the Barbados House of Assembly, the records of Barbadian plantations, tracts about plantation management published by doctors and plantation owners, and missionary records related to the island of Barbados.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"China's Green Religion"

New from Columbia University Press: China's Green Religion: Daoism and the Quest for a Sustainable Future by James Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:
How can Daoism, China's indigenous religion, give us the aesthetic, ethical, political, and spiritual tools to address the root causes of our ecological crisis and construct a sustainable future? In China's Green Religion, James Miller shows how Daoism orients individuals toward a holistic understanding of religion and nature. Explicitly connecting human flourishing to the thriving of nature, Daoism fosters a "green" subjectivity and agency that transforms what it means to live a flourishing life on earth.

Through a groundbreaking reconstruction of Daoist philosophy and religion, Miller argues for four key, green insights: a vision of nature as a subjective power that informs human life; an anthropological idea of the porous body based on a sense of qi flowing through landscapes and human beings; a tradition of knowing founded on the experience of transformative power in specific landscapes and topographies; and an aesthetic and moral sensibility based on an affective sensitivity to how the world pervades the body and the body pervades the world. Environmentalists struggle to raise consciousness for their cause, Miller argues, because their activism relies on a quasi-Christian concept of "saving the earth." Instead, environmentalists should integrate nature and culture more seamlessly, cultivating through a contemporary intellectual vocabulary a compelling vision of how the earth materially and spiritually supports human flourishing.
Visit James Miller's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Pope and the Professor"

New from Oxford University Press: The Pope and the Professor: Pius IX, Ignaz von Dollinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age by Thomas Albert Howard.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Pope and the Professor tells the captivating story of the German Catholic theologian and historian Ignaz von Dollinger (1799-1890), who fiercely opposed the teaching of Papal Infallibility at the time of the First Vatican Council (1869-70), convened by Pope Pius IX (r. 1846-1878), among the most controversial popes in the history of the papacy. Dollinger's thought, his opposition to the Council, his high-profile excommunication in 1871, and the international sensation that this action caused offer a fascinating window into the intellectual and religious history of the nineteenth century. Thomas Albert Howard examines Dollinger's post-conciliar activities, including pioneering work in ecumenism and inspiring the"Old Catholic" movement in Central Europe. Set against the backdrop of Italian and German national unification, and the rise of anticlericalism and ultramontanism after the French Revolution, The Pope and the Professor is at once an endeavor of historical and theological inquiry. It provides nuanced historical contextualization of the events, topics, and personalities, while also raising abiding questions about the often fraught relationship between individual conscience and scholarly credentials, on the one hand, and church authority and tradition, on the other.
Visit Thomas Albert Howard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 9, 2017

"Gentlemen Revolutionaries"

New from Princeton University Press: Gentlemen Revolutionaries: Power and Justice in the New American Republic by Tom Cutterham.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the years between the Revolutionary War and the drafting of the Constitution, American gentlemen—the merchants, lawyers, planters, and landowners who comprised the independent republic's elite—worked hard to maintain their positions of power. Gentlemen Revolutionaries shows how their struggles over status, hierarchy, property, and control shaped the ideologies and institutions of the fledgling nation.

Tom Cutterham examines how, facing pressure from populist movements as well as the threat of foreign empires, these gentlemen argued among themselves to find new ways of justifying economic and political inequality in a republican society. At the heart of their ideology was a regime of property and contract rights derived from the norms of international commerce and eighteenth-century jurisprudence. But these gentlemen were not concerned with property alone. They also sought personal prestige and cultural preeminence. Cutterham describes how, painting the egalitarian freedom of the republic's "lower sort" as dangerous licentiousness, they constructed a vision of proper social order around their own fantasies of power and justice. In pamphlets, speeches, letters, and poetry, they argued that the survival of the republican experiment in the United States depended on the leadership of worthy gentlemen and the obedience of everyone else.

Lively and elegantly written, Gentlemen Revolutionaries demonstrates how these elites, far from giving up their attachment to gentility and privilege, recast the new republic in their own image.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 8, 2017

"This Worldwide Struggle"


New from Oxford University Press: This Worldwide Struggle: Religion and the International Roots of the Civil Rights Movement by Sarah Azaransky.

About the book, from the publisher:
This Worldwide Struggle: Religion and the International Roots of the Civil Rights Movement identifies a network of black Christian intellectuals and activists who looked abroad, even in other religious traditions, for ideas and practices that could transform American democracy. From the 1930s to the 1950s, they drew lessons from independence movements around for the world for an American racial justice campaign. Their religious perspectives and methods of moral reasoning developed theological blueprints for the classical phase of the Civil Rights Movement.

The network included professors and public intellectuals Howard Thurman, Benjamin Mays, and William Stuart Nelson, each of whom met with Mohandas Gandhi in India; ecumenical movement leaders, notably YWCA women, Juliette Derricotte, Sue Bailey Thurman, and Celestine Smith; and pioneers of black Christian nonviolence James Farmer, Pauli Murray, and Bayard Rustin. People in this group became mentors and advisors to and coworkers with Martin Luther King and thus became links between Gandhi, who was killed in 1948, and King, who became a national figure in 1956.

Azaransky's research reveals fertile intersections of worldwide resistance movements, American racial politics, and interreligious exchanges that crossed literal borders and disciplinary boundaries, and underscores the role of religion in justice movements. Shedding new light on how international and interreligious encounters were integral to the greatest American social movement of the last century, This Worldwide Struggle confirms the relationship between moral reflection and democratic practice, and it contains vital lessons for movement building today.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Social Life of Politics"

New from Stanford University Press: The Social Life of Politics: Ethics, Kinship, and Union Activism in Argentina by Sian Lazar.

About the book, from the publisher:
A central motor of Argentine historical and political development since the early twentieth century, unions have been the site of active citizenship in both political participation and the distribution of social, economic, political, and cultural rights. What brings activists to Argentine unions and what gives these unions their remarkable strength?

The Social Life of Politics examines the intimate, personal, and family dimensions of two political activist groups: the Union of National Civil Servants (UPCN) and the Association of State Workers (ATE). These two unions represent distinct political orientations within Argentina's broad, vibrant labor movement: the UPCN identifies as predominantly Peronist, disciplined, and supportive of incumbent government, while the ATE prides itself on its democratic, horizontal approach and relative autonomy from the electoral process. Sian Lazar examines how activists in both unions create themselves as particular kinds of militants and forms of political community. The Social Life of Politics places the lived experience of political activism into historical relief and shows how ethics and family values deeply inform the process by which political actors are formed, understood, and joined together through collectivism.
Visit Sian Lazar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Lions and Lambs"

New from Yale University Press: Lions and Lambs: Conflict in Weimar and the Creation of Post-Nazi Germany by Noah Benezra Strote.

About the book, from the publisher:
A bold new interpretation of Germany’s democratic transformation in the twentieth century, focusing on the generation that shaped the post-Nazi reconstruction

Not long after the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, Germans rebuilt their shattered country and emerged as one of the leading nations of the Western liberal world. In his debut work, Noah Strote analyzes this remarkable turnaround and challenges the widely held perception that the Western Allies—particularly the United States—were responsible for Germany’s transformation. Instead, Strote draws from never-before-seen material to show how common opposition to Adolf Hitler united the fractious groups that had once vied for supremacy under the Weimar Republic, Germany’s first democracy (1918-1933). His character-driven narrative follows ten Germans of rival worldviews who experienced the breakdown of Weimar society, lived under the Nazi dictatorship, and together assumed founding roles in the democratic reconstruction.

While many have imagined postwar Germany as the product of foreign-led democratization, this study highlights the crucial role of indigenous ideas and institutions that stretched back decades before Hitler. Foregrounding the resolution of key conflicts that crippled the country’s first democracy, Strote presents a new model for understanding the origins of today’s Federal Republic.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire"

New from Oxford University Press: Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire: Europe and the Transformation of the Tropical World by Corey Ross.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire provides the first wide-ranging environmental history of the heyday of European imperialism, from the late nineteenth century to the end of the colonial era. It focuses on the ecological dimensions of the explosive growth of tropical commodity production, global trade, and modern resource management-transformations that still visibly shape our world today-and how they were related to broader social, cultural, and political developments in Europe's colonies. Covering the overseas empires of all the major European powers, Corey Ross argues that tropical environments were not merely a stage on which conquest and subjugation took place, but were an essential part of the colonial project, profoundly shaping the imperial enterprise even as they were shaped by it. The story he tells is not only about the complexities of human experience, but also about people's relationship with the ecosystems in which they were themselves embedded: the soil, water, plants, and animals that were likewise a part of Europe's empire. Although it shows that imperial conquest rarely represented a sudden bout of ecological devastation, it nonetheless demonstrates that modern imperialism marked a decisive and largely negative milestone for the natural environment. By relating the expansion of modern empire, global trade, and mass consumption to the momentous ecological shifts that they entailed, this book provides a historical perspective on the vital nexus of social, political, and environmental issues that we face in the twenty-first-century world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 5, 2017

"For God, King, and People"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: For God, King, and People: Forging Commonwealth Bonds in Renaissance Virginia by Alexander B. Haskell.

About the book, from the publisher:
By recovering a largely forgotten English Renaissance mindset that regarded sovereignty and Providence as being fundamentally entwined, Alexander Haskell reconnects concepts historians had before treated as separate categories and argues that the first English planters in Virginia operated within a deeply providential age rather than an era of early modern entrepreneurialism. These men did not merely settle Virginia; they and their London-based sponsors saw this first successful English venture in America as an exercise in divinely inspired and approved commonwealth creation. When the realities of Virginia complicated this humanist ideal, growing disillusionment and contention marked debates over the colony.

Rather than just "selling" colonization to the realm, proponents instead needed to overcome profound and recurring doubts about whether God wanted English rule to cross the Atlantic and the process by which it was to happen. By contextualizing these debates within a late Renaissance phase in England, Haskell links increasing religious skepticism to the rise of decidedly secular conceptions of state power. Haskell offers a radical revision of accepted narratives of early modern state formation, locating it as an outcome, rather than as an antecedent, of colonial endeavor.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Socialist Peace?"

New from the University of Chicago Press: A Socialist Peace? Explaining the Absence of War in an African Country by Mike McGovern.

About the book, from the publisher:
For the last twenty years, the West African nation of Guinea has exhibited all of the conditions that have led to civil wars in other countries, and Guineans themselves regularly talk about the inevitability of war. Yet the country has narrowly avoided conflict again and again. In A Socialist Peace?, Mike McGovern asks how this is possible, how a nation could beat the odds and evade civil war.

Guinea is rich in resources, but its people are some of the poorest in the world. Its political situation is polarized by fiercely competitive ethnic groups. Weapons flow freely through its lands and across its borders. And, finally, it is still recovering from the oppressive regime of Sékou Touré. McGovern argues that while Touré’s reign was hardly peaceful, it was successful—often through highly coercive and violent measures—at establishing a set of durable national dispositions, which have kept the nation at peace. Exploring the ambivalences of contemporary Guineans toward the afterlife of Touré’s reign as well as their abiding sense of socialist solidarity, McGovern sketches the paradoxes that undergird political stability.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism"

New from Oxford University Press: Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914: A British Intellectual History by Emily Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between 1830 and 1914 in Britain a dramatic modification of the reputation of Edmund Burke (1730-1797) occurred. Burke, an Irishman and Whig politician, is now most commonly known as the "founder of modern conservatism" - an intellectual tradition which is also deeply connected to the identity of the British Conservative Party. The idea of "Burkean conservatism"--a political philosophy which upholds "the authority of tradition," the organic, historic conception of society, and the necessity of order, religion, and property--has been incredibly influential both in international academic analysis and in the wider political world. This is a highly significant intellectual construct, but its origins have not yet been understood. This volume demonstrates, for the first time, that the transformation of Burke into the "founder of conservatism" was in fact part of wider developments in British political, intellectual, and cultural history in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Drawing from a wide range of sources, including political texts, parliamentary speeches, histories, biographies, and educational curricula, Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism shows how and why Burke's reputation was transformed over a formative period of British history. In doing so, it bridges the significant gap between the history of political thought as conventionally understood and the history of the making of political traditions. The result is to demonstrate that, by 1914, Burke had been firmly established as a "conservative" political philosopher and was admired and utilized by political Conservatives in Britain who identified themselves as his intellectual heirs. This was one essential component of a conscious re-working of C/conservatism which is still at work today.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Grave New World"

New from Yale University Press: Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King.

About the book, from the publisher:
A controversial look at the end of globalization and what it means for prosperity, peace, and the global economic order

Globalization, long considered the best route to economic prosperity, is not inevitable. An approach built on the principles of free trade and, since the 1980s, open capital markets, is beginning to fracture. With disappointing growth rates across the Western world, nations are no longer willing to sacrifice national interests for global growth; nor are their leaders able—or willing—to sell the idea of pursuing a global agenda of prosperity to their citizens.

Combining historical analysis with current affairs, economist Stephen D. King provides a provocative and engaging account of why globalization is being rejected, what a world ruled by rival states with conflicting aims might look like, and how the pursuit of nationalist agendas could result in a race to the bottom. King argues that a rejection of globalization and a return to “autarky” will risk economic and political conflict, and he uses lessons from history to gauge how best to avoid the worst possible outcomes.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 3, 2017

"The Priest and the Prophetess"

New from Oxford University Press: The Priest and the Prophetess: Abbé Ouvière, Romaine Rivière, and the Revolutionary Atlantic World by Terry Rey.

About the book, from the publisher:
By 1791, the French Revolution had spread to Haïti, where slaves and free blacks alike had begun demanding civil rights guaranteed in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man. Enter Romaine-la-Prophétesse, a free black Dominican coffee farmer who dressed in women's clothes and claimed that the Virgin Mary was his godmother. Inspired by mystical revelations from the Holy Mother, he amassed a large and volatile following of insurgents who would go on to sack countless plantations and conquer the coastal cities of Jacmel and Léogâne.

For this brief period, Romaine counted as his political adviser the white French Catholic priest and physician Abbé Ouvière, a renaissance man of cunning politics who would go on to become a pioneering figure in early American science and medicine. Brought together by Catholicism and the turmoil of the revolutionary Atlantic, the priest and the prophetess would come to symbolize the enlightenment ideals of freedom and a more just social order in the eighteenth-century Caribbean.

Drawing on extensive archival research, Terry Rey offers a major contribution to our understanding of Catholic mysticism and traditional African religious practices at the time of the Haitian Revolution and reveals the significant ways in which religion and race intersected in the turbulence and triumphs of revolutionary France, Haïti, and early republican America.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Matatu: A History of Popular Transportation in Nairobi"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Matatu: A History of Popular Transportation in Nairobi by Kenda Mutongi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Drive the streets of Nairobi, and you are sure to see many matatus—colorful minibuses that transport huge numbers of people around the city. Once ramshackle affairs held together with duct tape and wire, matatus today are name-brand vehicles maxed out with aftermarket detailing. They can be stately black or extravagantly colored, sporting names, slogans, or entire tableaus, with airbrushed portraits of everyone from Kanye West to Barack Obama. In this richly interdisciplinary book, Kenda Mutongi explores the history of the matatu from the 1960s to the present.

As Mutongi shows, matatus offer a window onto the socioeconomic and political conditions of late-twentieth-century Africa. In their diversity of idiosyncratic designs, they reflect multiple and divergent aspects of Kenyan life—including, for example, rapid urbanization, organized crime, entrepreneurship, social insecurity, the transition to democracy, and popular culture—at once embodying Kenya’s staggering social problems as well as the bright promises of its future. Offering a shining model of interdisciplinary analysis, Mutongi mixes historical, ethnographic, literary, linguistic, and economic approaches to tell the story of the matatu and explore the entrepreneurial aesthetics of the postcolonial world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 2, 2017

"Implacable Foes"

New from Oxford University Press: Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 by Waldo Heinrichs and Marc Gallicchio.

About the book, from the publisher:
On May 8, 1945, Victory in Europe Day-shortened to "V.E. Day"-brought with it the demise of Nazi Germany. But for the Allies, the war was only half-won. Exhausted but exuberant American soldiers, ready to return home, were sent to join the fighting in the Pacific, which by the spring and summer of 1945 had turned into a gruelling campaign of bloody attrition against an enemy determined to fight to the last man. Germany had surrendered unconditionally. The Japanese would clearly make the conditions of victory extraordinarily high.

In the United States, Americans clamored for their troops to come home and for a return to a peacetime economy. Politics intruded upon military policy while a new and untested president struggled to strategize among a military command that was often mired in rivalry. The task of defeating the Japanese seemed nearly unsurmountable, even while plans to invade the home islands were being drawn. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall warned of the toll that "the agony of enduring battle" would likely take. General Douglas MacArthur clashed with Marshall and Admiral Nimitz over the most effective way to defeat the increasingly resilient Japanese combatants. In the midst of this division, the Army began a program of partial demobilization of troops in Europe, which depleted units at a time when they most needed experienced soldiers. In this context of military emergency, the fearsome projections of the human cost of invading the Japanese homeland, and weakening social and political will, victory was salvaged by means of a horrific new weapon. As one Army staff officer admitted, "The capitulation of Hirohito saved our necks."

In Implacable Foes, award-winning historians Waldo Heinrichs (a veteran of both theatres of war in World War II) and Marc Gallicchio bring to life the final year of World War Two in the Pacific right up to the dropping of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, evoking not only Japanese policies of desperate defense, but the sometimes rancorous debates on the home front. They deliver a gripping and provocative narrative that challenges the decision-making of U.S. leaders and delineates the consequences of prioritizing the European front. The result is a masterly work of military history that evaluates the nearly insurmountable trials associated with waging global war and the sacrifices necessary to succeed.
--Marshal Zeringue

"One Blue Child"

New from Stanford University Press: One Blue Child: Asthma, Responsibility, and the Politics of Global Health by Susanna Trnka.

About the book, from the publisher:
Radical changes in our understanding of health and healthcare are reshaping twenty-first-century personhood. In the last few years, there has been a great influx of public policy and biometric technologies targeted at engaging individuals in their own health, increasing personal responsibility, and encouraging people to "self-manage" their own care.

One Blue Child examines the emergence of self-management as a global policy standard, focusing on how healthcare is reshaping our relationships with ourselves and our bodies, our families and our doctors, companies, and the government. Comparing responses to childhood asthma in New Zealand and the Czech Republic, Susanna Trnka traces how ideas about self-management, as well as policies inculcating self-reliance and self-responsibility more broadly, are assumed, reshaped, and ignored altogether by medical professionals, asthma sufferers and parents, environmental activists, and policymakers. By studying nations that share a commitment to the ideals of neoliberalism but approach children's health according to very different cultural, political, and economic priorities, Trnka illuminates how responsibility is reformulated with sometimes surprising results.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany"

New from Oxford University Press: Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany by Alice Weinreb.

About the book, from the publisher:
During World War I and II, modern states for the first time experimented with feeding--and starving--entire populations. Within the new globalizing economy, food became intimately intertwined with waging war, and starvation claimed more lives than any other weapon. As Alice Weinreb shows in Modern Hungers, nowhere was this new reality more significant than in Germany, which struggled through food blockades, agricultural crises, economic depressions, and wartime destruction and occupation at the same time that it asserted itself as a military, cultural, and economic powerhouse of Europe.

The end of armed conflict in 1945 did not mean the end of these military strategies involving food. Fears of hunger and fantasies of abundance were instead reframed within a new Cold War world. During the postwar decades, Europeans lived longer, possessed more goods, and were healthier than ever before. This shift was signaled most clearly by the disappearance of famine from the continent. So powerful was the experience of post-1945 abundance that it is hard today to imagine a time when the specter of hunger haunted Europe, demographers feared that malnutrition would mean the end of whole nations, and the primary targets for American food aid were Belgium and Germany rather than Africa. Yet under both capitalism and communism, economic growth as well as social and political priorities proved inseparable from the modern food system.

Drawing on sources ranging from military records to cookbooks to economic and nutritional studies from a multitude of archives, Modern Hungers reveals similarities and striking ruptures in popular experience and state policy relating to the industrial food economy. In so doing, it offers historical perspective on contemporary concerns ranging from humanitarian food aid to the gender-wage gap to the obesity epidemic.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The I in Team"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The I in Team: Sports Fandom and the Reproduction of Identity by Erin C. Tarver.

About the book, from the publisher:
There is one sound that will always be loudest in sports. It isn’t the squeak of sneakers or the crunch of helmets; it isn’t the grunts or even the stadium music. It’s the deafening roar of sports fans. For those few among us on the outside, sports fandom—with its war paint and pennants, its pricey cable TV packages and esoteric stats reeled off like code—looks highly irrational, entertainment gone overboard. But as Erin C. Tarver demonstrates in this book, sports fandom become extraordinarily important to our psyche, a matter of the very essence of who we are.

Why in the world, Tarver asks, would anyone care about how well a total stranger can throw a ball, or hit one with a bat, or toss one through a hoop? Because such activities and the massive public events that surround them form some of the most meaningful ritual identity practices we have today. They are a primary way we—as individuals and a collective—decide both who we are who we are not. And as such, they are also one of the key ways that various social structures—such as race and gender hierarchies—are sustained, lending a dark side to the joys of being a sports fan. Drawing on everything from philosophy to sociology to sports history, she offers a profound exploration of the significance of sports in contemporary life, showing us just how high the stakes of the game are.
Visit Erin C. Tarver's website.

--Marshal Zeringue