Sunday, July 15, 2018

"Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know®"

New from Oxford University Press: Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know® by Michael J. Gerhardt.

About the book, from the publisher:
Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know® is the step back and deep reflection on the law of impeachment that everyone needs now. Written in an accessible and lively question-and-answer format, it offers a timely explanation of the impeachment process from its very meaning to its role in politics today.

The book defines the scope of impeachable offenses, and how the Constitution provides alternative procedures and sanctions for addressing misconduct in office. It explains why the only two presidential impeachments, those of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, failed to lead to conviction, and how the impeachments of federal judges illuminate the law and politics of the process.

As a legal expert and the only joint witness in the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, author Michael J. Gerhardt also explores a question frequently asked-will Donald Trump be impeached? This book does not take a side in the debate over the possible impeachment of the president; instead, it is a primer for anyone eager to learn about impeachment's origins, practices, limitations, and alternatives.
Michael J. Gerhardt is Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a scholar in residence at the National Constitutional Center, and a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 14, 2018

"The End of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century America"

New from the University of California Press: The End of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century America by Maggie M. Cao.

About the book, from the publisher:
The End of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century America examines the dissolution of landscape painting in the late nineteenth-century United States. Maggie M. Cao explores the pictorial practices that challenged, mourned, or revised the conventions of landscape painting, a major cultural project for nineteenth-century Americans. Through rich analysis of artworks at the genre’s unsettling limits—landscapes that self-destruct, masquerade as currency, or even take flight—Cao shows that experiments in landscape played a crucial role in the American encounter with modernity. Landscape is the genre through which American art most urgently sought to come to terms with the modern world.
Maggie M. Cao is David G. Frey Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Virtuous Emotions"

New from Oxford University Press: Virtuous Emotions by Kristj√°n Kristj√°nsson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many people are drawn towards virtue ethics because of the central place it gives to emotions in the good life. Yet it may seem odd to evaluate emotions as virtuous or non-virtuous, for how can we be held responsible for those powerful feelings that simply engulf us? And how can education help us to manage our emotional lives? The aim of this book is to offer readers a new Aristotelian analysis and moral justification of a number of emotions that Aristotle did not mention (awe, grief, and jealousy), or relegated, at best, to the level of the semi-virtuous (shame), or made disparaging remarks about (gratitude), or rejected explicitly (pity, understood as pain at another person's deserved bad fortune). Kristjan Kristjansson argues that there are good Aristotelian reasons for understanding those emotions either as virtuous or as indirectly conducive to virtue. Virtuous Emotions begins with an overview of Aristotle's ideas on the nature of emotions and of emotional value, and concludes with an account of Aristotelian emotion education.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 13, 2018

"The Collapse of British Rule in Burma"

New from Bloomsbury Academic: The Collapse of British Rule in Burma: The Civilian Evacuation and Independence by Michael D. Leigh.

About the book, from the publisher:
In May 1942 colonial Burma was in a state of military, economic and constitutional collapse. Japanese forces controlled almost the whole country and thousands of evacuees were trapped in a huge area of no-man's-land in the north. They made their way to India through the so-called 'jungles of death', attempting to trek out of Burma amidst perilous conditions. Drawing on diverse and previously unpublished accounts, Michael D. Leigh analyses the experiences of evacuees in both Burma and India and critically examines the impact of evacuation on colonial and Burmese politics in the lead-up to independence in 1948. This study will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Burmese history, 20th-century imperialism and the global reach of the Second World War.
Michael D. Leigh is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London, UK.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Code of Putinism"

New from Oxford University Press: The Code of Putinism by Brian D. Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is Vladimir Putin up to? This book shows how the mentality of Putin and his team - the code of Putinism - has shaped Russian politics over the past two decades. It explains not only the thoughts and ideas that motivate Putin's decisions, but also the set of emotions and habits that influence how Putin and his close allies view the world.
The code of Putinism has powerfully shaped the nature of Russia's political system, its economy, and its foreign policy. Taylor draws on a large number of interviews, the speeches of Putin and other top officials, and the Russian media to analyze the mentality of Team Putin. Key features of Russian politics today -- such as authoritarianism, Putin's reliance on a small group of loyal friends and associates, state domination of the economy, and an assertive foreign policy - are traced to the code of Putinism. Key ideas of the code include conservatism, anti-Americanism, and the importance of a state that is powerful both at home and abroad. Dominant habits of Putin and his associates include control, order, and loyalty. Important feelings driving Russia's rulers include the need for respect, resentment about lost status and mistreatment by the West, and vulnerability.

While some observers portray Putin as either a cold-blooded pragmatist or a strident Russian nationalist, Taylor provides a more nuanced and compelling interpretation of Putin's motives and actions. The Code of Putinism also shows how Putin's choices, guided by this mentality, have led to a Russia that is misruled at home and punching above its weight abroad.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 12, 2018

"Selling the CIA"

New from the University Press of Kansas: Selling the CIA: Public Relations and the Culture of Secrecy by David S. McCarthy.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dubbed the “Year of Intelligence,” 1975 was not a good year for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Caught spying on American citizens, the agency was under investigation, indicted in shocking headlines, its future covert operations at risk. Like so many others caught up in public scandal, the CIA turned to public relations. This book tells what happened next.

In the mid-1970s CIA officials developed a public relations strategy to fend off the agency’s critics. In Selling the CIA David Shamus McCarthy describes a PR campaign that proceeded with remarkable continuity—and effectiveness—through the decades and regimes that followed. He deftly chronicles the agency’s efforts to project an image of openness and accountability, even as it did its best to put a positive spin on secrecy—“[m]ore openness with greater secrecy,” in the Orwellian words of one director of public affairs. A tale of machinations and manipulation worthy of Hollywood, McCarthy’s work exposes a culture of secrecy unwittingly sustained by the forces of popular culture; a public relations offensive working on all fronts to perpetuate the CIA’s mystique as the heroic guardian of national security.

“Our failures are known, our successes are not” has been the guiding mantra of this initiative. Selling the CIA spotlights how the agency’s success in outmaneuvering Congress and avoiding public scrutiny stands as a direct threat to American democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Playing Fair"

New from Oxford University Press: Playing Fair: Political Obligation and the Problems of Punishment by Richard Dagger.

About the book, from the publisher:
While much has been written on both political obligation and the justification of punishment, there has been little sustained effort to link the two.

In Playing Fair, Richard Dagger aims to fill this gap and provide a unified theory of political obligation and the justification of punishment that takes its bearings from the principle of fair play. To do this, he first establishes the principle of fair play-the idea that people in a cooperative venture have obligations to one another to shoulder a fair share of the burdens because they receive a fair share of the benefits of cooperation-as the basis of political obligation. Dagger then argues that the members of a reasonably just polity have an obligation to obey its laws because they have an obligation of reciprocity, or fair play, to one another. This theory of political obligation provides answers to fundamental and still debated questions about how to justify punishment, who has the right to carry it out, and how much to punish.

Playing Fair brings two long-standing concerns of political and legal philosophy together to rebut those who deny the possibility of a general obligation to obey the law, to defend the link between political authority and obligation, and to establish the proper scope of criminal law.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"Copycats and Contrarians"

New from Yale University Press: Copycats and Contrarians: Why We Follow Others... and When We Don't by Michelle Baddeley.

About the book, from the publisher:
A multidisciplinary exploration of our human inclination to herd and why our instinct to copy others can be dangerous in today’s interlinked world

Rioting teenagers, tumbling stock markets, and the spread of religious terrorism appear to have little in common, but all are driven by the same basic instincts: the tendency to herd, follow, and imitate others. In today’s interconnected world, group choices all too often seem maladaptive. With unprecedented speed, information flashes across the globe and drives rapid shifts in group opinion. Adverse results can include speculative economic bubbles, irrational denigration of scientists and other experts, seismic political reversals, and more.

Drawing on insights from across the social, behavioral, and natural sciences, Michelle Baddeley explores contexts in which behavior is driven by the herd. She analyzes the rational vs. nonrational and cognitive vs. emotional forces involved, and she investigates why herding only sometimes works out well. With new perspectives on followers, leaders, and the pros and cons of herd behavior, Baddeley shines vivid light on human behavior in the context of our ever-more-connected world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Reading Politics with Machiavelli"

New from Oxford University Press: Reading Politics with Machiavelli by Ronald J. Schmidt, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:
Political theorist Wendy Brown has argued recently that contemporary neoliberalism, with its relentless obsession on the economy, has all but undone the tenets of democracy. The focus on maximizing credit scores and capital has, over time, promoted a politics that operates beyond and below the institutional and electoral world, eroding not just the desire for democratic action but even our ability to imagine it. In light of recent politics, it seems we may have reached the apotheosis of this depressing vision.

This book is meant to suggest one way of thinking past and out of the current moment, and it does so by looking to a perhaps unlikely figure: Niccolo Machiavelli. The book presents Machiavelli as an anachronistic thinker -- a thinker who, deprived of his political community and public identity during his exile from Florence, originated a new approach to democratic theory and practice. In particular he immersed himself in the writings of ancient thinkers and looked to them as models for understanding contemporary problems of corruption, conspiracy, and torture. This book's main contribution is a methodological one: it argues that the power in Machiavelli's work derived from this sort of anachronistic reading, which went against the grain of Renaissance thought. In turn it shows that if we imitate Machiavelli's interpretive method in reading The Prince and Discourses of Livy, we can find in them solutions to the neoliberal problems Brown warns about.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"Risky Shores"

New from Stanford University Press: Risky Shores: Savagery and Colonialism in the Western Pacific by George Behlmer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why did the so-called "Cannibal Isles" of the Western Pacific fascinate Europeans for so long? Spanning three centuries—from Captain James Cook's death on a Hawaiian beach in 1779 to the end of World War II in 1945—this book considers the category of "the savage" in the context of British Empire in the Western Pacific, reassessing the conduct of Islanders and the English-speaking strangers who encountered them. Sensationalized depictions of Melanesian "savages" as cannibals and headhunters created a unifying sense of Britishness during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These exotic people inhabited the edges of empire—and precisely because they did, Britons who never had and never would leave the home islands could imagine their nation's imperial reach.

George Behlmer argues that Britain's early visitors to the Pacific—mainly cartographers and missionaries—wielded the notion of savagery to justify their own interests. But savage talk was not simply a way to objectify and marginalize native populations: it would later serve also to emphasize the fragility of indigenous cultures. Behlmer by turns considers cannibalism, headhunting, missionary activity, the labor trade, and Westerners' preoccupation with the perceived "primitiveness" of indigenous cultures, arguing that British representations of savagery were not merely straightforward expressions of colonial power, but also belied home-grown fears of social disorder.
--Marshal Zeringue