Sunday, July 21, 2019

"Charles I's Killers in America"

New from Oxford University Press: Charles I's Killers in America: The Lives and Afterlives of Edward Whalley and William Goffe by Matthew Jenkinson.

About the book, from the publisher:
When the British monarchy was restored in 1660, King Charles II was faced with the conundrum of what to with those who had been involved in the execution of his father eleven years earlier. Facing a grisly fate at the gallows, some of the men who had signed Charles I's death warrant fled to America.

Charles I's Killers in America traces the gripping story of two of these men -- Edward Whalley and William Goffe -- and their lives in America, from their welcome in New England until their deaths there. With fascinating insights into the governance of the American colonies in the seventeenth century, and how a network of colonists protected the regicides, Matthew Jenkinson overturns the enduring theory that Charles II unrelentingly sought revenge for the murder of his father.

Charles I's Killers in America also illuminates the regicides' afterlives, with conclusions that have far-reaching implications for our understanding of Anglo-American political and cultural relations. Novels, histories, poems, plays, paintings, and illustrations featuring the fugitives were created against the backdrop of America's revolutionary strides towards independence and its forging of a distinctive national identity. The history of the 'king-killers' was distorted and embellished as they were presented as folk heroes and early champions of liberty, protected by proto-revolutionaries fighting against English tyranny. Jenkinson rewrites this once-ubiquitous and misleading historical orthodoxy, to reveal a far more subtle and compelling picture of the regicides on the run.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 20, 2019

"Pacifying the Homeland"

New from the University of California Press: Pacifying the Homeland Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision by Brendan McQuade.

About the book, from the publisher:
The United States has poured over a billion dollars into a network of interagency intelligence centers called “fusion centers.” These centers were ostensibly set up to prevent terrorism, but politicians, the press, and policy advocates have criticized them for failing on this account. So why do these security systems persist? Pacifying the Homeland travels inside the secret world of intelligence fusion, looks beyond the apparent failure of fusion centers, and reveals a broader shift away from mass incarceration and toward a more surveillance- and police-intensive system of social regulation.

Provided with unprecedented access to domestic intelligence centers, Brendan McQuade uncovers how the institutionalization of intelligence fusion enables decarceration without fully addressing the underlying social problems at the root of mass incarceration. The result is a startling analysis that contributes to the debates on surveillance, mass incarceration, and policing and challenges readers to see surveillance, policing, mass incarceration, and the security state in an entirely new light.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 19, 2019

"The Lived Nile"

New from Stanford University Press: The Lived Nile: Environment, Disease, and Material Colonial Economy in Egypt by Jennifer L. Derr.

About the book, from the publisher:
In October 1902, the reservoir of the first Aswan Dam filled, and Egypt's relationship with the Nile River forever changed. Flooding villages of historical northern Nubia and filling the irrigation canals that flowed from the river, the perennial Nile not only reshaped agriculture and the environment, but also Egypt's colonial economy and forms of subjectivity.

Jennifer L. Derr follows the engineers, capitalists, political authorities, and laborers who built a new Nile River through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The river helped to shape the future of technocratic knowledge, and the bodies of those who inhabited rural communities were transformed through the environmental intimacies of their daily lives. At the root of this investigation lies the notion that the Nile is not a singular entity, but a realm of practice and a set of temporally, spatially, and materially specific relations that structured experiences of colonial economy. From the microscopic to the regional, the local to the imperial, The Lived Nile recounts the history and centrality of the environment to questions of politics, knowledge, and the lived experience of the human body itself.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 18, 2019

"The End is Nigh"

New from Oxford University Press: The End is Nigh: British Politics, Power, and the Road to the Second World War by Robert Crowcroft.

About the book, from the publisher:
Few decades have given rise to such potent mythologies as the 1930s. Popular impressions of those years prior to the Second World War were shaped by the single outstanding personality of that conflict, Winston Spencer Churchill. Churchill depicted himself as a political prophet, exiled into the wilderness prior to 1939 by those who did not want to hear of the growing threats to peace in Europe. Although it is a familiar story, it is one we need to unlearn as the truth is somewhat murkier.

The End is Nigh is a tale of relentless intrigue, burning ambition, and the bitter rivalry in British politics during the years preceding the Second World War. Journeying from the corridors of Whitehall to the smoking rooms of Parliament, and from aircraft factories to summit meetings with Hitler, the book offers a fresh and provocative interpretation of one of the most crucial moments of British history. It assembles a cast of iconic characters--Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin, Clement Attlee, Anthony Eden, Ernest Bevin, and more--to explore the dangerous interaction between high politics at Westminster and the formulation of national strategy in a world primed to explode.

In the twenty-first century we are accustomed to being cynical about politicians, mistrusting what they say and wondering about their real motives, but Robert Crowcroft argues that this was always the character of democratic politics. In The End is Nigh he challenges some of the most resilient public myths of recent decades--myths that, even now, remain an important component of Britain's self-image.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

"Dissident Rabbi"

New from Princeton University Press: Dissident Rabbi: The Life of Jacob Sasportas by Yaacob Dweck.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1665, Sabbetai Zevi, a self-proclaimed Messiah with a mass following throughout the Ottoman Empire and Europe, announced that the redemption of the world was at hand. As Jews everywhere rejected the traditional laws of Judaism in favor of new norms established by Sabbetai Zevi, and abandoned reason for the ecstasy of messianic enthusiasm, one man watched in horror. Dissident Rabbi tells the story of Jacob Sasportas, the Sephardic rabbi who alone challenged Sabbetai Zevi's improbable claims and warned his fellow Jews that their Messiah was not the answer to their prayers.

Yaacob Dweck's absorbing and richly detailed biography brings to life the tumultuous century in which Sasportas lived, an age torn apart by war, migration, and famine. He describes the messianic frenzy that gripped the Jewish Diaspora, and Sasportas's attempts to make sense of a world that Sabbetai Zevi claimed was ending. As Jews danced in the streets, Sasportas compiled The Fading Flower of the Zevi, a meticulous and eloquent record of Sabbatianism as it happened. In 1666, barely a year after Sabbetai Zevi heralded the redemption, the Messiah converted to Islam at the behest of the Ottoman sultan, and Sasportas's book slipped into obscurity.

Dissident Rabbi is the revelatory account of a spiritual leader who dared to articulate the value of rabbinic doubt in the face of messianic certainty, and a revealing examination of how his life and legacy were rediscovered and appropriated by later generations of Jewish thinkers.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"Shared Reality"

New from Oxford University Press: Shared Reality: What Makes Us Strong and Tears Us Apart by E. Tory Higgins.

About the book, from the publisher:
What does it mean to be human? Why do we feel and behave in the ways that we do? The classic answer is that we have a special kind of intelligence. But to understand what we are as humans, we also need to know what we are like motivationally. And what is central to this story, what is special about human motivation, is that humans want to share with others their inner experiences about the world--share how they feel, what they believe, and what they want to happen in the future. They want to create a shared reality with others. People have a shared reality together when they experience having in common a feeling about something, a belief about something, or a concern about something. They feel connected to another person or group by knowing that this person or group sees the world the same way that they do--they share what is real about the world. In this work, Dr. Higgins describes how our human motivation for shared reality evolved in our species, and how it develops in our children as shared feelings, shared practices, and shared goals and roles. Shared reality is crucial to what we believe--sharing is believing. It is central to our sense of self, what we strive for and how we strive. It is basic to how we get along with others. It brings us together in fellowship and companionship, but it also tears us apart by creating in-group "bubbles" that conflict with one another. Our shared realities are the best of us, and the worst of us.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 15, 2019

"Land Wars"

New from Stanford University Press: Land Wars: The Story of China's Agrarian Revolution by Brian J. DeMare.

About the book, from the publisher:
Mao Zedong's land reform campaigns comprise a critical moment in modern Chinese history, and were crucial to the rise of the CCP. In Land Wars, Brian DeMare draws on new archival research to offer an updated and comprehensive history of this attempt to fundamentally transform the countryside. Across this vast terrain loyal Maoists dispersed, intending to categorize poor farmers into prescribed social classes, and instigate a revolution that would redistribute the land. To achieve socialist utopia, the Communists imposed and performed a harsh script of peasant liberation through fierce class struggle. While many accounts of the campaigns give false credence to this narrative, DeMare argues that the reality was much more complex and brutal than is commonly understood—while many villagers prospered, there were families torn apart and countless deaths. Uniquely weaving narrative and historical accounts, DeMare powerfully highlights the often devastating role of fiction in determining history. This corrective retelling ultimately sheds new light on the contemporary legacy of land reform, a legacy fraught with inequality and resentment, but also hope.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Outsourcing US Intelligence"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Outsourcing US Intelligence: Contractors and Government Accountability by Damien Van Puyvelde.

About the book, from the publisher:
Explores the evolving role of contractors in the US Intelligence Community, particularly after the Cold War

In the 21st century, more than any other time, US agencies have relied on contractors to conduct core intelligence functions. This book charts the swell of intelligence outsourcing in the context of American political culture and considers what this means for the relationship between the state, its national security apparatus and accountability within a liberal democracy. Through analysis of a series of case studies, recently declassified documents and exclusive interviews with national security experts in the public and private sectors, the book provides an in-depth and illuminating appraisal of the evolving accountability regime for intelligence contractors.

Case Studies
The Air Force, the CIA and the U-2 spy plane
CIA and In-Q-Tel
FBI and Virtual Case File
NSA and Trailblazer
Contractors in the interrogation room
Contractors crossing the line
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 13, 2019

"Taking Nazi Technology"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Taking Nazi Technology: Allied Exploitation of German Science after the Second World War by Douglas M. O'Reagan.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the Second World War, German science and technology posed a terrifying threat to the Allied nations. Combined with Germany's generations-old reputation for excellence in science and engineering, these advanced weapons, which included rockets, V-2 missiles, tanks, submarines, and jet airplanes, gave troubling credence to Nazi propaganda about forthcoming "wonder-weapons" that would turn the war decisively in the Axis' favor. After the war ended, the Allied powers raced to seize "intellectual reparations" from almost every field of industrial technology and academic science in occupied Germany. It was likely the largest-scale technology transfer in history.

In Taking Nazi Technology, Douglas M. O'Reagan describes how the Western Allies gathered teams of experts to scour defeated Germany, seeking industrial secrets and the technical personnel who could explain them. Swarms of investigators recruited from industry, military branches, and intelligence agencies invaded Germany's factories and research institutions. They seized or copied all kinds of documents, from patent applications to factory production data to science journals. They questioned, hired, and sometimes even kidnapped hundreds of scientists, engineers, and other technical personnel. They studied technologies from aeronautics to audiotapes, toy making to machine tools, chemicals to carpentry equipment. They took over academic libraries, jealously competed over chemists, and schemed to deny the fruits of German invention to any other land—including that of their allies.

Drawing on declassified records, O'Reagan looks at which techniques worked for these very different nations, as well as which failed—and why. Most importantly, he shows why securing this technology, how the Allies did and when they did, still matters today. He also argues that these programs did far more than spread German industrial science: they forced businessmen and policymakers around the world to rethink how science and technology fit into diplomacy, business, and society itself. A deeply researched comparative history of the American, British, French, and Soviet efforts to control and exploit German science and technology amid fierce internal and external competition, Taking Nazi Technology is the first history to capture the whole picture of this crucial period at the dawn of the Cold War.
Visit Douglas M. O'Reagan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 12, 2019

"The Long Southern Strategy"

New from Oxford University Press: The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics by Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Southern Strategy is traditionally understood as a Goldwater and Nixon-era effort by the Republican Party to win over disaffected white voters in the Democratic stronghold of the American South. To realign these voters with the GOP, the party abandoned its past support for civil rights and used racially coded language to capitalize on southern white racial angst. However, that decision was but one in a series of decisions the GOP made not just on race, but on feminism and religion as well, in what Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields call the "Long Southern Strategy."

In the wake of Second-Wave Feminism, the GOP dropped the Equal Rights Amendment from its platform and promoted traditional gender roles in an effort to appeal to anti-feminist white southerners, particularly women. And when the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention became increasingly fundamentalist and politically active, the GOP tied its fate to the Christian Right. With original, extensive data on national and regional opinions and voting behavior, Maxwell and Shields show why all three of those decisions were necessary for the South to turn from blue to red.

To make inroads in the South, however, GOP politicians not only had to take these positions, but they also had to sell them with a southern "accent." Republicans embodied southern white culture by emphasizing an "us vs. them" outlook, preaching absolutes, accusing the media of bias, prioritizing identity over the economy, encouraging defensiveness, and championing a politics of retribution. In doing so, the GOP nationalized southern white identity, rebranded itself to the country at large, and fundamentally altered the vision and tone of American politics.
--Marshal Zeringue