Tuesday, July 7, 2020

"Power, Piety, and People"

New from Columbia University Press: Power, Piety, and People: The Politics of Holy Cities in the Twenty-First Century by Michael Dumper.

About the book, from the publisher:
Conflicts in cities that have particular religious significance often become intense, protracted, and violent. Why are holy cities so frequently contested, and how can these conflicts be mediated and resolved?

In Power, Piety, and People, Michael Dumper explores the causes and consequences of contemporary conflicts in holy cities. He explains how common features of holy cities, such as powerful and autonomous religious hierarchies, income from religious endowments, the presence of sacred sites, and the performance of ritual activities that affect other communities, can combine to create tension.

Power, Piety, and People offers five case studies of important disputes, beginning with Jerusalem, often seen as the paradigmatic example of a holy city in conflict. Dumper also discusses Córdoba, where the Islamic history of its Mosque-Cathedral poses challenges to the control exercised by the Roman Catholic Church; Banaras, where competing Muslim and Hindu claims to sacred sites threaten the fragile equilibrium that exists in the city; Lhasa, where the Communist Party of China severely restricts the ancient practice of Tibetan Buddhism; and George Town in Malaysia, a rare example of a city with many different religious communities whose leaders have successfully managed intergroup conflicts. Applying the lessons drawn from these cities to a broader global urban landscape, this book offers scholars and policy makers new insights into a pervasive category of conflict that often appears intractable.
Learn more about Jerusalem Unbound at the Columbia University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Jerusalem Unbound.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 6, 2020

"The Multifarious Mr. Banks"

New from Yale University Press: The Multifarious Mr. Banks: From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World by Toby Musgrave.

About the book, from the publisher:
A fascinating life of Sir Joseph Banks which restores him to his proper place in history as a leading scientific figure of the English Enlightenment

As official botanist on James Cook's first circumnavigation, the longest-serving president of the Royal Society, advisor to King George III, the "father of Australia," and the man who established Kew as the world's leading botanical garden, Sir Joseph Banks was integral to the English Enlightenment. Yet he has not received the recognition that his multifarious achievements deserve.

In this engaging account, Toby Musgrave reveals the true extent of Banks’s contributions to science and Britain. From an early age Banks pursued his passion for natural history through study and extensive travel, most famously on the HMS Endeavour. He went on to become a pivotal figure in the advancement of British scientific, economic, and colonial interests. With his enquiring, enterprising mind and extensive network of correspondents, Banks’s reputation and influence were global. Drawing widely on Banks's writings, Musgrave sheds light on Banks’s profound impact on British science and empire in an age of rapid advancement.
Visit Toby Musgrave's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 5, 2020

"Out of Milk: Infant Food Insecurity in a Rich Nation"

New from the University of British Columbia Press: Out of Milk: Infant Food Insecurity in a Rich Nation by Lesley Frank.

About the book, from the publisher:
“Did you ever go to bed and wonder if your child was getting enough to eat?” For food insecure mothers, the worry is constant, and babies are at risk of going hungry. Out of Milk calls out the pressing need to establish the economic and social conditions necessary for successful breastfeeding and for accessible, reliable, and safe formula feeding for families everywhere.

Through compelling interviews, Lesley Frank answers the breastfeeding paradox: why women who can least afford to buy infant formula are less likely to breastfeed. She reveals that what and how infants are fed is linked to the social and economic status of those who feed them. Out of Milk uncovers the shocking reality of food insecurity for formula-fed babies, the economic and social constraints limiting mothers’ ability to breastfeed, and the lengths to which mothers must go to provide for their children. But in a country that leaves the problem of food insecurity to ineffective charity models, public policies are failing to support our most vulnerable populations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 4, 2020

"Security Empire"

New from Yale University Press: Security Empire: The Secret Police in Communist Eastern Europe by Molly Pucci.

About the book, from the publisher:
A compelling examination of the establishment of the secret police in Communist Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Eastern Germany

This book examines the history of early secret police forces in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War. Molly Pucci delves into the ways their origins diverged from the original Soviet model based on differing interpretations of communism and local histories. She also illuminates the difference between veteran agents who fought in foreign wars and younger, more radical agents who combatted “enemies of communism” in the Stalinist terror in Eastern Europe.
Molly Pucci is assistant professor of twentieth-century European history at Trinity College Dublin. She was a Max Weber postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute. Her doctoral dissertation was awarded the Radomír Luža Prize in Central European History in 2015.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 3, 2020

"Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding"

New from Hurst: Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding by Daniel Marwecki.

About the book, from the publisher:
According to common perception, the Federal Republic of Germany supported the formation of the Israeli state for moral reasons--to atone for its Nazi past--but did not play a significant role in the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, the historical record does not sustain this narrative.

Daniel Marwecki's pathbreaking analysis deconstructs the myths surrounding the odd alliance between Israel and post-war democratic Germany. Thorough archival research shows how German policymakers often had disingenuous, cynical or even partly antisemitic motivations, seeking to whitewash their Nazi past by supporting the new Israeli state. This is the true context of West Germany's crucial backing of Israel in the 1950s and '60s. German economic and military support greatly contributed to Israel's early consolidation and eventual regional hegemony. This initial alliance has affected Germany's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the present day.

Marwecki reassesses German foreign policymaking and identity-shaping, and raises difficult questions about German responsibility after the Holocaust, exploring the many ways in which the genocide of European Jews and the dispossession of the Palestinians have become tragically intertwined in the Middle East's international politics. This long overdue investigation sheds new light on a major episode in the history of the modern Middle East.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 2, 2020

"Henry III"

New from Yale University Press: Henry III: The Rise to Power and Personal Rule, 1207-1258 by David Carpenter.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first in a ground-breaking two-volume history of Henry III’s rule, from when he first assumed the crown to the moment his personal rule ended

Nine years of age when he came to the throne in 1216, Henry III had to rule within the limits set by the establishment of Magna Carta and the emergence of parliament. Pacific, conciliatory, and deeply religious, Henry brought many years of peace to England and rebuilt Westminster Abbey in honor of his patron saint, Edward the Confessor. He poured money into embellishing his palaces and creating a magnificent court. Yet this investment in "soft power" did not prevent a great revolution in 1258, led by Simon de Montfort, ending Henry's personal rule.

Eminent historian David Carpenter brings to life Henry's character and reign as never before. Using source material of unparalleled richness—material that makes it possible to get closer to Henry than any other medieval monarch—Carpenter stresses the king’s achievements as well as his failures while offering an entirely new perspective on the intimate connections between medieval politics and religion.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

"The Other Side of Empire"

New from Cornell University Press: The Other Side of Empire: Just War in the Mediterranean and the Rise of Early Modern Spain by Andrew W. Devereux.

About the book, from the publisher:
Via rigorous study of the legal arguments Spain developed to justify its acts of war and conquest, The Other Side of Empire illuminates Spain's expansionary ventures in the Mediterranean in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Andrew Devereux proposes and explores an important yet hitherto unstudied connection between the different rationales that Spanish jurists and theologians developed in the Mediterranean and in the Americas.

Devereux describes the ways in which Spaniards conceived of these two theatres of imperial ambition as complementary parts of a whole. At precisely the moment that Spain was establishing its first colonies in the Caribbean, the Crown directed a series of Old World conquests that encompassed the Kingdom of Naples, Navarre, and a string of presidios along the coast of North Africa. Projected conquests in the eastern Mediterranean never took place, but the Crown seriously contemplated assaults on Egypt, Greece, Turkey, and Palestine. The Other Side of Empire elucidates the relationship between the legal doctrines on which Spain based its expansionary claims in the Old World and the New.

The Other Side of Empire vastly expands our understanding of the ways in which Spaniards, at the dawn of the early modern era, thought about religious and ethnic difference, and how this informed political thought on just war and empire. While focusing on imperial projects in the Mediterranean, it simultaneously presents a novel contextual background for understanding the origins of European colonialism in the Americas.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

"Poland 1939"

New from Basic Books: Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II by Roger Moorhouse.

About the book, from the publisher:
A “chilling” and “expertly” written history of the 1939 September Campaign and the onset of World War II (Times of London).

For Americans, World War II began in December of 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor; but for Poland, the war began on September 1, 1939, when Hitler’s soldiers invaded, followed later that month by Stalin’s Red Army. The conflict that followed saw the debut of many of the features that would come to define the later war-blitzkrieg, the targeting of civilians, ethnic cleansing, and indiscriminate aerial bombing-yet it is routinely overlooked by historians.

In Poland 1939, Roger Moorhouse reexamines the least understood campaign of World War II, using original archival sources to provide a harrowing and very human account of the events that set the bloody tone for the conflict to come.
Visit Roger Moorhouse's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Devils' Alliance.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 29, 2020

"Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora"

New from Rutgers University Press: Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora by José M Alamillo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Deportes uncovers the hidden experiences of Mexican male and female athletes, teams and leagues and their supporters who fought for a more level playing field on both sides of the border. Despite a widespread belief that Mexicans shunned physical exercise, teamwork or “good sportsmanship,” they proved that they could compete in a wide variety of sports at amateur, semiprofessional, Olympic and professional levels. Some even made their mark in the sports world by becoming the “first” Mexican athlete to reach the big leagues and win Olympic medals or world boxing and tennis titles.

These sporting achievements were not theirs alone, an entire cadre of supporters—families, friends, coaches, managers, promoters, sportswriters, and fans—rallied around them and celebrated their athletic success. The Mexican nation and community, at home or abroad, elevated Mexican athletes to sports hero status with a deep sense of cultural and national pride. Alamillo argues that Mexican-origin males and females in the United States used sports to empower themselves and their community by developing and sustaining transnational networks with Mexico. Ultimately, these athletes and their supporters created a “sporting Mexican diaspora” that overcame economic barriers, challenged racial and gender assumptions, forged sporting networks across borders, developed new hybrid identities and raised awareness about civil rights within and beyond the sporting world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 28, 2020

"We Built Reality"

New from Oxford University Press: We Built Reality: How Social Science Infiltrated Culture, Politics, and Power by Jason Blakely.

About the book, from the publisher:
Over the last fifty years, pseudoscience has crept into nearly every facet of our lives. Popular sciences of everything from dating and economics, to voting and artificial intelligence, radically changed the world today. The abuse of popular scientific authority has catastrophic consequences, contributing to the 2008 financial crisis; the failure to predict the rise of Donald Trump; increased tensions between poor communities and the police; and the sidelining of nonscientific forms of knowledge and wisdom. In We Built Reality, Jason Blakely explains how recent social science theories have not simply described political realities but also helped create them. But he also offers readers a way out of the culture of scientism: hermeneutics, or the art of interpretation. Hermeneutics urges sensitivity to the historical and cultural contexts of human behavior. It gives ordinary people a way to appreciate the insights of the humanities in guiding decisions. As Blakely contends, we need insights from the humanities to see how social science theories never simply neutrally describe reality, they also help build it.
Follow Jason Blakeley on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue