Tuesday, August 21, 2018

"Tight Knit"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Tight Knit: Global Families and the Social Life of Fast Fashion by Elizabeth L. Krause.

About the book, from the publisher:
The coveted “Made in Italy” label calls to mind visions of nimble-fingered Italian tailors lovingly sewing elegant, high-end clothing. The phrase evokes a sense of authenticity, heritage, and rustic charm. Yet, as Elizabeth L. Krause uncovers in Tight Knit, Chinese migrants are the ones sewing “Made in Italy” labels into low-cost items for a thriving fast-fashion industry—all the while adding new patterns to the social fabric of Italy’s iconic industry.

Krause offers a revelatory look into how families involved in the fashion industry are coping with globalization based on longterm research in Prato, the historic hub of textile production in the heart of metropolitan Tuscany. She brings to the fore the tensions—over value, money, beauty, family, care, and belonging—that are reaching a boiling point as the country struggles to deal with the same migration pressures that are triggering backlash all over Europe and North America. Tight Knit tells a fascinating story about the heterogeneity of contemporary capitalism that will interest social scientists, immigration experts, and anyone curious about how globalization is changing the most basic of human conditions—making a living and making a life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 20, 2018

"Enlightened Immunity"

New from Stanford University Press: Enlightened Immunity: Mexico's Experiments with Disease Prevention in the Age of Reason by Paul Ramírez.

About the book, from the publisher:
In eighteenth-century Mexico, outbreaks of typhus and smallpox brought ordinary residents together with administrators, priests, and doctors to restore stability and improve the population's health. This book traces the monumental shifts in preventive medicine and public health measures that ensued. Reconstructing the cultural, ritual, and political background of Mexico's early experiments with childhood vaccines, Paul Ramírez steps back to consider how the design of public health programs was thoroughly enmeshed with religion and the church, the spread of Enlightenment ideas about medicine and the body, and the customs and healing practices of indigenous villages.

Ramírez argues that it was not only educated urban elites—doctors and men of science—whose response to outbreaks of disease mattered. Rather, the cast of protagonists crossed ethnic, gender, and class lines: local officials who decided if and how to execute plans that came from Mexico City, rural priests who influenced local practices, peasants and artisans who reckoned with the consequences of quarantine, and parents who decided if they would allow their children to be handed over to vaccinators. By following the multiethnic and multiregional production of medical knowledge in colonial Mexico, Enlightened Immunity explores fundamental questions about trust, uncertainty, and the role of religion in a moment of discovery and innovation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 19, 2018

"This Land Is Your Land"

New from the University of Chicago Press: This Land Is Your Land: The Story of Field Biology in America by Michael J. Lannoo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Field biology is enjoying a resurgence due to several factors, the most important being the realization that there is no ecology, no conservation, and no ecosystem restoration without an understanding of the basic relationships between species and their environments—an understanding gleaned only through field-based natural history. With this resurgence, modern field biologists find themselves asking fundamental existential questions such as: Where did we come from? What is our story? Are we part of a larger legacy? In This Land Is Your Land, seasoned field biologist Michael J. Lannoo answers these questions and more in a tale rooted in the people and institutions of the Midwest. It is a story told from the ground up, a rubber boot–based natural history of field biology in America.

Lannoo illuminates characters such as John Wesley Powell, William Temple Hornaday, and Olaus and Adolph Murie—homegrown midwestern field biologists who either headed east to populate major research centers or went west to conduct their fieldwork along the frontier. From the pioneering work of Victor Shelford, Henry Chandler Cowles, and Aldo Leopold to contemporary insights from biologists such as Jim Furnish and historians such as William Cronon, Lannoo’s unearthing of American—and particularly midwestern—field biologists reveals how these scientists influenced American ecology, conservation biology, and restoration ecology, and in turn drove global conservation efforts through environmental legislation and land set-asides. This Land Is Your Land reveals the little-known legacy of midwestern field biologists, whose ethos and discoveries have enabled us to preserve and understand not just their land, but all lands.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 18, 2018

"One in Christ"

New from Oxford University Press: One in Christ: Chicago Catholics and the Quest for Interracial Justice by Karen J. Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Today, the images of Catholic priests and nuns marching in 1960s civil rights protests are iconic. Their cassocks and habits clothed the movement in sacred garments. But by the time of those protests Catholic Civil Rights activism already had a long history, one in which the religious leadership of the Church played, at best, a supporting role. Instead, it was laypeople, first African Americans and then, as they found white partners, black and white Catholics working together, who shaped the movement- regular people who, in self-consciously Catholic ways, devoted their time, energy, and prayers to what they called "interracial justice," a vision of economic, social, religious, and civil equality.

Karen J. Johnson tells the story of Catholic interracial activism from the bottom up through the lives of a group of women and men in Chicago who struggled with one another, their Church, and their city to try to live their Catholic faith in a new, and what they thought was more complete and true, way. Black activists found a handful of white laypeople, some of whom later became priests, who believed in their vision of a universal church in the segregated city. Together, they began to fight for interracial justice, all while knitted together in sometimes-contentious friendship as members of the Mystical Body of Christ. In the end, not only had Catholic activists lived out their faith as active participants in the long civil rights movement and learned how to cooperate, and indeed love, across racial lines, but they had changed the practice of Catholicism. They broke down the hierarchy that placed priests above the laity and crossed the parish boundaries that defined urban Catholicism.

Chicago was a vital laboratory in what became a national story. One in Christ traces the development of Catholic interracial activism, revealing the ways religion and race combined both to enforce racial hierarchies and to tear them down, and demonstrating that we cannot understand race and civil rights in the North without accounting for religion.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 17, 2018

"Apocalypse as Holy War"

New from Yale University Press: Apocalypse as Holy War: Divine Politics and Polemics in the Letters of Paul by Emma Wasserman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Prevailing theories of apocalypticism assert that in a world that rebels against God, a cataclysmic battle between good and evil is needed to reassert God’s dominion. Emma Wasserman, a rising scholar of early Christian history, challenges this interpretation and reframes Paul’s apocalyptic texts as myths about politics in the world of divinity.

Wasserman argues that the most dominant historical-critical theories about Christian apocalypticism are ahistorical and tend to work with apologetic formulations of Christ’s victory and the uniqueness of Christianity. Assessing Paul’s claims about immanent war, divine enemies, and the transformation that will accompany Christ’s return, Wasserman sees him as envisioning a single, righteously ruled cosmic kingdom, the true nature of which will soon be revealed to all. A major scholarly contribution that ranges across Mediterranean and West Asian religious thought, this volume has broad implications for understanding Paul’s myth of heroic submission as well as his most distinctive ethical teachings.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 16, 2018

"Object Lessons"

New from Oxford University Press: Object Lessons: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Learned to Make Sense of the Material World by Sarah Anne Carter.

About the book, from the publisher:
Object Lessons: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Learned to Make Sense of the Material World examines the ways material things--objects and pictures--were used to reason about issues of morality, race, citizenship, and capitalism, as well as reality and representation, in the nineteenth-century United States. For modern scholars, an "object lesson" is simply a timeworn metaphor used to describe any sort of reasoning from concrete to abstract. But in the 1860s, object lessons were classroom exercises popular across the country. Object lessons helped children to learn about the world through their senses--touching and seeing rather than memorizing and repeating--leading to new modes of classifying and comprehending material evidence drawn from the close study of objects, pictures, and even people. In this book, Sarah Carter argues that object lessons taught Americans how to find and comprehend the information in things--from a type-metal fragment to a whalebone sample. Featuring over fifty images and a full-color insert, this book offers the object lesson as a new tool for contemporary scholars to interpret the meanings of nineteenth-century material, cultural, and intellectual life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

"Preventing Palestine"

New from Princeton University Press: Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo by Seth Anziska.

About the book, from the publisher:
On the fortieth anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a groundbreaking new history that shows how Egyptian-Israeli peace ensured lasting Palestinian statelessness

For seventy years Israel has existed as a state, and for forty years it has honored a peace treaty with Egypt that is widely viewed as a triumph of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Yet the Palestinians—the would-be beneficiaries of a vision for a comprehensive regional settlement that led to the Camp David Accords in 1978—remain stateless to this day. How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska’s groundbreaking book, which explores the complex legacy of the agreement brokered by President Jimmy Carter.

Based on newly declassified international sources, Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine. At the very start of this process, Anziska argues, Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges. With the introduction of the idea of restrictive autonomy, Israeli settlement expansion, and Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the chances for Palestinian statehood narrowed even further. The first Intifada in 1987 and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but many players, refusing to see Palestinians as a nation or a people, continued to steer international diplomacy away from their cause.

Combining astute political analysis, extensive original research, and interviews with diplomats, military veterans, and communal leaders, Preventing Palestine offers a bold new interpretation of a highly charged struggle for self-determination.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"A Dream of the Future"

New from Oxford University Press: A Dream of the Future: Race, Empire, and Modernity at the Atlanta and Nashville World's Fairs by Nathan Cardon.

About the book, from the publisher:
As an age of empire and industry dawned in the wake of American Civil War, Southerners grappled with what it meant to be modern. The fair expositions popular at this time allowed Southerners to explore this changing world on their own terms. On a local, national, and global stage, African Americans, New South boosters, New Women, and Civil War soldiers presented their dreams of the future to prove to the world how rapidly the South had embraced and, in the words of Henry Grady in 1890, built "from pitiful resources a great and expanding empire."

Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Atlanta and Nashville world's fairs held at the close of the nineteenth century. Here, Southerners presented themselves as modern and imperial citizens ready to spread the South's culture and racial politics across the globe. Unlike the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, the Southern expositions also gave African Americans an opportunity to present their own vision of modernity within the fairs' "Negro Buildings." At the fairs, southern African Americans defined themselves as both a separate race and a modern people, as "New Negroes." In Dream of the Future, Cardon explores these assertions of Southern identity and culture, critically placing them within the wider context of imperialism and industrialization.
Visit Nathan Cardon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 13, 2018

"Winter War"

Coming soon from Basic Books: Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal by Eric Rauchway.

About the book, from the publisher:
The history of the most acrimonious presidential handoff in American history–and of the origins of twentieth-century liberalism and conservatism

When Franklin Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 election, they represented not only different political parties but vastly different approaches to the question of the day: How could the nation recover from the Great Depression?

As historian Eric Rauchway shows in Winter War, FDR laid out coherent, far-ranging plans for the New Deal in the months prior to his inauguration. Meanwhile, still-President Hoover, worried about FDR’s abilities and afraid of the president-elect’s policies, became the first comprehensive critic of the New Deal. Thus, even before FDR took office, both the principles of the welfare state, and reaction against it, had already taken form.

Winter War reveals how, in the months before the hundred days, FDR and Hoover battled over ideas and shaped the divisive politics of the twentieth century.
The Page 69 Test: Eric Rauchway's Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 12, 2018

"Up the Trail"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Up the Trail: How Texas Cowboys Herded Longhorns and Became an American Icon by Tim Lehman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Cattle drives were the largest, longest, and ultimately the last of the great forced animal migrations in human history. Spilling out of Texas, they spread longhorns, cowboys, and the culture that roped the two together throughout the American West. In cities like Abilene, Dodge City, and Wichita, buyers paid off ranchers, ranchers paid off wranglers, and railroad lines took the cattle east to the packing plants of St. Louis and Chicago.

The cattle drives of our imagination are filled with colorful cowboys prodding and coaxing a line of bellowing animals along a dusty path through the wilderness. These sturdy cowhands always triumph over stampedes, swollen rivers, and bloodthirsty Indians to deliver their mighty-horned companions to market—but Tim Lehman’s Up the Trail reveals that the gritty reality was vastly different. Far from being rugged individualists, the actual cow herders were itinerant laborers—a proletariat on horseback who connected cattle from the remote prairies of Texas with the nation’s industrial slaughterhouses.

Lehman demystifies the cowboy life by describing the origins of the cattle drive and the extensive planning, complicated logistics, great skill, and good luck essential to getting the cows to market. He reveals how drives figured into the larger story of postwar economic development and traces the complex effects the cattle business had on the environment. He also explores how the premodern cowboy became a national hero who personified the manly virtues of rugged individualism and personal independence. Grounded in primary sources, this absorbing book takes advantage of recent scholarship on labor, race, gender, and the environment. The lively narrative will appeal to students of Texas and western history as well as anyone interested in cowboy culture.
--Marshal Zeringue