Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"The Burning House"

New from Yale University Press: The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America by Anders Walker.

About the book, from the publisher:
A startling and gripping reexamination of the Jim Crow era, as seen through the eyes of some of the most important American writers

In this dramatic reexamination of the Jim Crow South, Anders Walker demonstrates that racial segregation fostered not simply terror and violence, but also diversity, one of our most celebrated ideals. He investigates how prominent intellectuals like Robert Penn Warren, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, and Zora Neale Hurston found pluralism in Jim Crow, a legal system that created two worlds, each with its own institutions, traditions, even cultures. The intellectuals discussed in this book all agreed that black culture was resilient, creative, and profound, brutally honest in its assessment of American history. By contrast, James Baldwin likened white culture to a “burning house,” a frightening place that endorsed racism and violence to maintain dominance. Why should black Americans exchange their experience for that? Southern whites, meanwhile, saw themselves preserving a rich cultural landscape against the onslaught of mass culture and federal power, a project carried to the highest levels of American law by Supreme Court justice and Virginia native Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

Anders Walker shows how a generation of scholars and judges has misinterpreted Powell’s definition of diversity in the landmark case Regents v. Bakke, forgetting its Southern origins and weakening it in the process. By resituating the decision in the context of Southern intellectual history, Walker places diversity on a new footing, independent of affirmative action but also free from the constraints currently placed on it by the Supreme Court. With great clarity and insight, he offers a new lens through which to understand the history of civil rights in the United States.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Empire of Sentiment"

New from Cambridge University Press: Empire of Sentiment: The Death of Livingstone and the Myth of Victorian Imperialism by Joanna Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the first emotional history of the British Empire. Joanna Lewis explores how David Livingstone's death tied together British imperialism and Victorian humanitarianism and inserted it into popular culture. Sacrifice and death; Superman like heroism; the devotion of Africans; the cruelty of Arab slavery; and the sufferings of the 'ordinary man', generated waves of sentimental feeling. These powerful myths, images and feelings incubated down the generations - through grand ceremonies, further exploration, humanitarianism, Christian teaching, narratives of masculine endeavour and heroic biography - inspiring colonial rule in Africa, white settler pioneers, missionaries and Africans. Empire of Sentiment demonstrates how this central African story shaped Britain's romantic perception of itself as a humane power overseas when the colonial reality fell far short. Through sentimental humanitarianism, Livingstone helped sustain a British Empire in Africa that remained profoundly Victorian, polyphonic and ideological; whilst always understood at home as proudly liberal on race.
Joanna Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science, having previously studied at the University of Cambridge after winning a Thomas and Elizabeth Williams Scholarship for students with a first class degree, and first-generation to attend university.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 19, 2018

"French Cartoon Art in the 1960s and 1970s"

New from Leuven University Press: French Cartoon Art in the 1960s and 1970s: "Pilote hebdomadaire" and the Teenager "Bande Dessinée" by Wendy Michallat.

About the book, from the publisher:
The French comic magazine Pilote hebdomadaire arrived in a weakening comics market in 1959 largely dominated by syndicated translations of American comics and comics inspired by a Catholic ethos. It tailored its content and tone to an older adolescent reader far removed from that of France’s infant comic. Pilote’s profile set it on a turbulent course subject to the vicissitudes and fickleness of fashion which situated it within an emerging teenager press under pressure to renew and innovate to survive. When it made cartoons its defining characteristic in 1963, Pilote articulated its uniqueness by channelling teenager discourse through them whilst also trying to encourage a zest for education in a modernising and economically buoyant France of exciting new opportunities. Pilote’s cartoon art thus became a dynamic repository for the ideas and attitudes of France’s educated youth which evolved into the radical discourses of the lifestyle and political revolutions of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

This book tells how Pilote hebdomadaire’s unique positioning in a new and fast developing youth press market for teenagers provided the forum and catalyst for the bande dessinée’s stylistic evolution over the course of the 1960s and 1970s.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Crime Control and Everyday Life in the Victorian City"

New from Oxford University Press: Crime Control and Everyday Life in the Victorian City: The Police and the Public by David Churchill.

About the book, from the publisher:
The history of modern crime control is usually presented as a narrative of how the state wrested control over the governance of crime from the civilian public. Most accounts trace the decline of a participatory, discretionary culture of crime control in the early modern era, and its replacement by a centralized, bureaucratic system of responding to offending. The formation of the 'new' professional police forces in the nineteenth century is central to this narrative: henceforth, it is claimed, the priorities of criminal justice were to be set by the state, as ordinary people lost what authority they had once exercised over dealing with offenders.

This book challenges this established view, and presents a fundamental reinterpretation of changes to crime control in the age of the new police. It breaks new ground by providing a highly detailed, empirical analysis of everyday crime control in Victorian provincial cities - revealing the tremendous activity which ordinary people displayed in responding to crime - alongside a rich survey of police organization and policing in practice. With unique conceptual clarity, it seeks to reorient modern criminal justice history away from its established preoccupation with state systems of policing and punishment, and move towards a more nuanced analysis of the governance of crime. More widely, the book provides a unique and valuable vantage point from which to rethink the role of civil society and the state in modern governance, the nature of agency and authority in Victorian England, and the historical antecedents of pluralized modes of crime control which characterize contemporary society.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 18, 2018

"Argentina's Missing Bones"

New from the University of California Press: Argentina's Missing Bones: Revisiting the History of the Dirty War by James P. Brennan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Argentina’s Missing Bones is the first comprehensive English-language work of historical scholarship on the 1976–83 military dictatorship and Argentina’s notorious experience with state terrorism during the so-called dirty war. It examines this history in a single but crucial place: Córdoba, Argentina’s second largest city. A site of thunderous working-class and student protest prior to the dictatorship, it later became a place where state terrorism was particularly cruel. Considering the legacy of this violent period, James P. Brennan examines the role of the state in constructing a public memory of the violence and in holding those responsible accountable through the most extensive trials for crimes against humanity to take place anywhere in Latin America.
James P. Brennan is Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, where he teaches modern Latin American history.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Loyal Republic"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: The Loyal Republic: Traitors, Slaves, and the Remaking of Citizenship in Civil War America by Erik Mathisen.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the story of how Americans attempted to define what it meant to be a citizen of the United States, at a moment of fracture in the republic's history. As Erik Mathisen demonstrates, prior to the Civil War, American national citizenship amounted to little more than a vague bundle of rights. But during the conflict, citizenship was transformed. Ideas about loyalty emerged as a key to citizenship, and this change presented opportunities and profound challenges aplenty. Confederate citizens would be forced to explain away their act of treason, while African Americans would use their wartime loyalty to the Union as leverage to secure the status of citizens during Reconstruction.

In The Loyal Republic, Mathisen sheds new light on the Civil War, American emancipation, and a process in which Americans came to a new relationship with the modern state. Using the Mississippi Valley as his primary focus and charting a history that traverses both sides of the battlefield, Mathisen offers a striking new history of the Civil War and its aftermath, one that ushered in nothing less than a revolution in the meaning of citizenship in the United States.
Visit Erik Mathisen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"Healing from Hate"

New from the University of California Press: Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent Extremism by Michael Kimmel.

About the book, from the publisher:
By the time Matthias was in seventh grade, he felt he’d better belong to some group, lest he be alone and vulnerable. The punks and anarchists were identifiable by their tattoos and hairstyles and music. But it was the skinheads who captured his imagination. They had great parties, and everyone seemed afraid of them. “They really represented what it meant to be a strong man,” he said.

What draws young men into violent extremist groups? What are the ideologies that inspire them to join? And what are the emotional bonds forged that make it difficult to leave, even when they want to?

Having conducted in-depth interviews with ex–white nationalists and neo-Nazis in the United States, as well as ex-skinheads and ex-neo-Nazis in Germany and Sweden, renowned sociologist Michael Kimmel demonstrates the pernicious effects that constructions of masculinity have on these young recruits. Kimmel unveils how white extremist groups wield masculinity to recruit and retain members—and to prevent them from exiting the movement. Young men in these groups often feel a sense of righteous indignation, seeing themselves as victims, their birthright upended in a world dominated by political correctness. Offering the promise of being able to "take back their manhood," these groups leverage stereotypes of masculinity to manipulate despair into white supremacist and neo-Nazi hatred.

Kimmel combines individual stories with a multiangled analysis of the structural, political, and economic forces that marginalize these men to shed light on their feelings, yet make no excuses for their actions. Healing from Hate reminds us of some men's efforts to exit the movements and reintegrate themselves back into society and is a call to action to those who make it out to help those who are still trapped.
Visit Michael Kimmel's website.

The Page 99 Test: Guyland.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Puritan Cosmopolis"

New from Oxford University Press: The Puritan Cosmopolis: The Law of Nations and the Early American Imagination by Nan Goodman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Puritan Cosmopolis traces a sense of kinship that emerged from within the larger realm of Puritan law and literature in late seventeenth-century New England. Nan Goodman argues that these early modern Puritans-connected to the cosmopolis in part through travel, trade, and politics-were also thinking in terms that went beyond feeling affiliated with people in remote places, or what cosmopolitan theorists call "attachment at a distance." In this way Puritan writers and readers were not simply learning about others, but also cultivating an awareness of themselves as ethically related to people all around the world. Such thought experiments originated and advanced through the law, specifically the law of nations, a precursor to international law and an inspiration for much of the imagination and literary expression of cosmopolitanism among the Puritans. The Puritan Cosmopolis shows that by internalizing the legal theories that pertained to the world writ large, the Puritans were able to experiment with concepts of extended obligation, re-conceptualize war, contemplate new ways of cultivating peace, and rewrite the very meaning of Puritan living. Through a detailed consideration of Puritan legal thought, Goodman provides an unexpected link between the Puritans, Jews, and Ottomans in the early modern world and reveals how the Puritan legal and literary past relates to present concerns about globalism and cosmopolitanism.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 16, 2018

"The Heavens Might Crack"

New from Basic Books: The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by Jason Sokol.

About the book, from the publisher:
A vivid portrait of how Americans grappled with King’s death and legacy in the days, weeks, and months after his assassination

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. At the time of his murder, King was a polarizing figure–scorned by many white Americans, worshipped by some African Americans and liberal whites, and deemed irrelevant by many black youth. In The Heavens Might Crack, historian Jason Sokol traces the diverse responses, both in America and throughout the world, to King’s death. Whether celebrating or mourning, most agreed that the final flicker of hope for a multiracial America had been extinguished.

A deeply moving account of a country coming to terms with an act of shocking violence, The Heavens Might Crack is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand America’s fraught racial past and present.
Visit Jason Sokol's website.

My Book, The Movie: Jason Sokol's "There Goes My Everything".

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Moral Meaning of Nature"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Moral Meaning of Nature: Nietzsche’s Darwinian Religion and Its Critics by Peter J. Woodford.

About the book, from the publisher:
What, if anything, does biological evolution tell us about the nature of religion, ethical values, or even the meaning and purpose of life? The Moral Meaning of Nature sheds new light on these enduring questions by examining the significance of an earlier—and unjustly neglected—discussion of Darwin in late nineteenth-century Germany.

We start with Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings staged one of the first confrontations with the Christian tradition using the resources of Darwinian thought. The lebensphilosophie, or “life-philosophy,” that arose from his engagement with evolutionary ideas drew responses from other influential thinkers, including Franz Overbeck, Georg Simmel, and Heinrich Rickert. These critics all offered cogent challenges to Nietzsche’s appropriation of the newly transforming biological sciences, his negotiation between science and religion, and his interpretation of the implications of Darwinian thought. They also each proposed alternative ways of making sense of Nietzsche’s unique question concerning the meaning of biological evolution “for life.” At the heart of the discussion were debates about the relation of facts and values, the place of divine purpose in the understanding of nonhuman and human agency, the concept of life, and the question of whether the sciences could offer resources to satisfy the human urge to discover sources of value in biological processes. The Moral Meaning of Nature focuses on the historical background of these questions, exposing the complex ways in which they recur in contemporary philosophical debate.
--Marshal Zeringue