Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"John Locke: The Philosopher as Christian Virtuoso"

New from Oxford University Press: John Locke: The Philosopher as Christian Virtuoso by Victor Nuovo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Early modern Europe was the birthplace of the modern secular outlook. During the seventeenth century nature and human society came to be regarded in purely naturalistic, empirical ways, and religion was made an object of critical historical study. John Locke was a central figure in all these events. This study of his philosophical thought shows that these changes did not happen smoothly or without many conflicts of belief: Locke, in the role of Christian Virtuoso, endeavoured to resolve them. He was an experimental natural philosopher, a proponent of the so-called 'new philosophy', a variety of atomism that emerged in early modern Europe. But he was also a practising Christian, and he professed confidence that the two vocations were not only compatible, but mutually sustaining. He aspired, without compromising his empirical stance, to unite the two vocations in a single philosophical endeavour with the aim of producing a system of Christian philosophy.
Victor Nuovo is Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Middlebury College.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Broke and Patriotic"

New from Stanford University Press: Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country by Francesco Duina.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why are poor Americans so patriotic? They have significantly worse social benefits compared to other Western nations, and studies show that the American Dream of upward mobility is, for them, largely a myth. So why do these people love their country? Why have they not risen up to demand more from a system that is failing them?

In Broke and Patriotic, Francesco Duina contends that the best way to answer these questions is to speak directly to America's most impoverished. Spending time in bus stations, laundromats, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, public libraries, and fast food restaurants, Duina conducted over sixty revealing interviews in which his subjects explain how they view themselves and their country. He masterfully weaves their words into three narratives. First, America's poor still see their country as the "last hope" for themselves and the world: America offers its people a sense of dignity, closeness to God, and answers to most of humanity's problems. Second, America is still the "land of milk and honey:" a very rich and generous country where those who work hard can succeed. Third, America is the freest country on earth where self-determination is still possible.

This book offers a stirring portrait of the people left behind by their country and left out of the national conversation. By giving them a voice, Duina sheds new light on a sector of American society that we are only beginning to recognize as a powerful force in shaping the country's future.
The Page 99 Test: Winning.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 16, 2017

"A Cultural History of Chess-Players"

New from Manchester University Press: A cultural history of chess-players: Minds, machines, and monsters by John Sharples.

About the book, from the publisher:
This inquiry concerns the cultural history of the chess-player. It takes as its premise the idea that the chess-player has become a fragmented collection of images, underpinned by challenges to, and confirmations of, chess's status as an intellectually-superior and socially-useful game, particularly since the medieval period. Yet, the chess-player is an understudied figure. No previous work has shone a light on the chess-player itself. Increasingly, chess-histories have retreated into tidy consensus. This work aspires to a novel reading of the figure as both a flickering beacon of reason and a sign of monstrosity. To this end, this book, utilising a wide range of sources, including newspapers, periodicals, detective novels, science-fiction, and comic-books, is underpinned by the idea that the chess-player is a pluralistic subject used to articulate a number of anxieties pertaining to themes of mind, machine, and monster.
John Sharples is an independent historian.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight"

New from Stanford University Press: The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight: How Place Still Matters for the Rich by Cristobal Young.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this age of globalization, many countries and U.S. states are worried about the tax flight of the rich. As income inequality grows and U.S. states consider raising taxes on their wealthiest residents, there is a palpable concern that these high rollers will board their private jets and fly away, taking their wealth with them. Many assume that the importance of location to a person's success is at an all-time low. Cristobal Young, however, makes the surprising argument that location is very important to the world's richest people. Frequently, he says, place has a great deal to do with how they make their millions.

In The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight, Young examines a trove of data on millionaires and billionaires—confidential tax returns, Forbes lists, and census records—and distills down surprising insights. While economic elites have the resources and capacity to flee high-tax places, their actual migration is surprisingly limited. For the rich, ongoing economic potential is tied to the place where they become successful—often where they are powerful insiders—and that success ultimately diminishes both the incentive and desire to migrate.

This important book debunks a powerful idea that has driven fiscal policy for years, and in doing so it clears the way for a new era. Millionaire taxes, Young argues, could give states the funds to pay for infrastructure, education, and other social programs to attract a group of people who are much more mobile—the younger generation.
Visit Cristobal Young's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"London Cage"

New from Yale University Press: London Cage: The Secret History of Britain's World War II Interrogation Centre by Helen Fry.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first complete account of the fiercely guarded secrets of London’s clandestine interrogation center, operated by the British Secret Service from 1940 to 1948

Behind the locked doors of three mansions in London’s exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens neighborhood, the British Secret Service established a highly secret prison in 1940: the London Cage. Here recalcitrant German prisoners of war were subjected to “special intelligence treatment.” The stakes were high: the war’s outcome could hinge on obtaining information German prisoners were determined to withhold. After the war, high-ranking Nazi war criminals were housed in the Cage, revamped as an important center for investigating German war crimes.

This riveting book reveals the full details of operations at the London Cage and subsequent efforts to hide them. Helen Fry’s extraordinary original research uncovers the grim picture of prisoners’ daily lives and of systemic Soviet-style mistreatment. The author also provides sensational evidence to counter official denials concerning the use of “truth drugs” and “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Bringing dark secrets to light, this groundbreaking book at last provides an objective and complete history of the London Cage.
Visit Helen Fry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"The Big Push"

New from the University of California Press: The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy by Cynthia Enloe.

About the book, from the publisher:
For over a century and in scores of countries, patriarchal presumptions and practices have been challenged by women and their male allies. “Sexual harassment” has entered common parlance; police departments are equipped with rape kits; more than half of the national legislators in Bolivia and Rwanda are women; and a woman candidate won the plurality of the popular votes in the 2016 United States presidential election. But have we really reached equality and overthrown a patriarchal point of view?  The Big Push exposes how patriarchal ideas and relationships continue to be modernized to this day. Through contemporary cases and reports, renowned political scientist Cynthia Enloe exposes the workings of everyday patriarchy—in how Syrian women civil society activists have been excluded from international peace negotiations; how sexual harassment became institutionally accepted within major news organizations; or in how the UN Secretary General’s post has remained a masculine domain. Enloe then lays out strategies and skills for challenging patriarchal attitudes and operations. Encouraging self-reflection, she guides us in the discomforting curiosity of reviewing our own personal complicity in sustaining patriarchy in order to withdraw our own support for it. Timely and globally conscious, The Big Push is a call for feminist self-reflection and strategic action with a belief that exposure complements resistance.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Contesting the City"

New from Oxford University Press: Contesting the City: The Politics of Citizenship in English Towns, 1250-1530 by Christian D. Liddy.

About the book, from the publisher:
The political narrative of late medieval English towns is often reduced to the story of the gradual intensification of oligarchy, in which power was exercised and projected by an ever smaller ruling group over an increasingly subservient urban population. Contesting the City takes its inspiration not from English historiography, but from a more dynamic continental scholarship on towns in the southern Low Countries, Germany, and France. Its premise is that scholarly debate about urban oligarchy has obscured contemporary debate about urban citizenship. It identifies from the records of English towns a tradition of urban citizenship, which did not draw upon the intellectual legacy of classical models of the 'citizen'. This was a vernacular citizenship, which was not peculiar to England, but which was present elsewhere in late medieval Europe. It was a citizenship that was defined and created through action. There were multiple, and divergent, ideas about citizenship, which encouraged townspeople to make demands, to assert rights, and to resist authority. This volume exploits the rich archival sources of the five major towns in England - Bristol, Coventry, London, Norwich, and York - in order to present a new picture of town government and urban politics over three centuries. The power of urban governors was much more precarious than historians have imagined. Urban oligarchy could never prevail - whether ideologically or in practice - when there was never a single, fixed meaning of the citizen.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"The Assassination of William McKinley"

Coming in December from Lexington Books: The Assassination of William McKinley: Anarchism, Insanity, and the Birth of the Social Sciences by Cary Federman.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book is an examination of the assassination of President William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz, an American-born purported anarchist. This work offers a new and different way to approach historical crime stories. Rather than accepting the idea that Czolgosz was inherently dangerous because of his ethnic background or his obscure political statements, Federman argues, rather, that political relations, historical events, and the developing discourses in the natural and social sciences toward normal and pathological behaviors structured the meaning of the assassination. Federman proposes there are six ways to view an assassin, each corresponding to a social science. Consequently, each chapter of this manuscript examines a social science and its relation to the assassination. Overall, there are three purposes to this work: One is to examine the rise of the social sciences at the time of the assassination. The second is to explore the historical and political understanding of political violence; and the third is to examine the meaning of legal responsibility
Cary Federman is associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Germany and the Ottoman Railways"

New from Yale University Press: Germany and the Ottoman Railways: Art, Empire, and Infrastructure by Peter H. Christensen.

About the book, from the publisher:
The complex political and cultural relationship between the German state and the Ottoman Empire is explored through the lens of the Ottoman Railway network, its architecture, and material culture

With lines extending from Bosnia to Baghdad to Medina, the Ottoman Railway Network (1868–1919) was the pride of the empire and its ultimate emblem of modernization—yet it was largely designed and bankrolled by German corporations. This exemplifies a uniquely ambiguous colonial condition in which the interests of Germany and the Ottoman Empire were in constant flux. German capitalists and cultural figures sought influence in the Near East, including access to archaeological sites such as Tell Halaf and Mshatta. At the same time, Ottoman leaders and laborers urgently pursued imperial consolidation. Germany and the Ottoman Railways explores the impact of these political agendas as well as the railways’ impact on the built environment. Relying on a trove of previously unpublished archival materials, including maps, plans, watercolors, and photographs, author Peter H. Christensen also reveals the significance of this major infrastructure project for the budding disciplines of geography, topography, art history, and archaeology.
Visit Peter H. Christensen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"The Wehrmacht's Last Stand"

New from the University Press of Kansas: The Wehrmacht's Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944-1945 by Robert M. Citino.

About the book, from the publisher:
By 1943, the war was lost, and most German officers knew it. Three quarters of a century later, the question persists: What kept the German army going in an increasingly hopeless situation? Where some historians have found explanations in the power of Hitler or the role of ideology, Robert M. Citino, the world’s leading scholar on the subject, posits a more straightforward solution: Bewegungskrieg, the way of war cultivated by the Germans over the course of history. In this gripping account of German military campaigns during the final phase of World War II, Citino charts the inevitable path by which Bewegungskrieg, or a “war of movement,” inexorably led to Nazi Germany’s defeat.

The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand analyzes the German Totenritt, or “death ride,” from January 1944—with simultaneous Allied offensives at Anzio and Ukraine—until May 1945, the collapse of the Wehrmacht in the field, and the Soviet storming of Berlin. In clear and compelling prose, and bringing extensive reading of the German-language literature to bear, Citino focuses on the German view of these campaigns. Often very different from the Allied perspective, this approach allows for a more nuanced and far-reaching understanding of the last battles of the Wehrmacht than any now available. With Citino’s previous volumes, Death of the Wehrmacht and The Wehrmacht Retreats, The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand completes a uniquely comprehensive picture of the German army’s strategy, operations, and performance against the Allies in World War II.
--Marshal Zeringue