Monday, September 1, 2014

"Gulag Town, Company Town"

New from Yale University Press: Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta by Alan Barenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
This insightful volume offers a radical reassessment of the infamous “Gulag Archipelago” by exploring the history of Vorkuta, an arctic coal-mining outpost originally established in the 1930s as a prison camp complex. Author Alan Barenberg’s eye-opening study reveals Vorkuta as an active urban center with a substantial nonprisoner population where the borders separating camp and city were contested and permeable, enabling prisoners to establish social connections that would eventually aid them in their transitions to civilian life. With this book, Barenberg makes an important historical contribution to our understanding of forced labor in the Soviet Union and its enduring legacy.
Preview Gulag Town, Company Town.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Upscaling Downtown"

New from Princeton University Press: Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City by Richard E. Ocejo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Once known for slum-like conditions in its immigrant and working-class neighborhoods, New York City's downtown now features luxury housing, chic boutiques and hotels, and, most notably, a vibrant nightlife culture. While a burgeoning bar scene can be viewed as a positive sign of urban transformation, tensions lurk beneath, reflecting the social conflicts within postindustrial cities. Upscaling Downtown examines the perspectives and actions of disparate social groups who have been affected by or played a role in the nightlife of the Lower East Side, East Village, and Bowery. Using the social world of bars as windows into understanding urban development, Richard Ocejo argues that the gentrifying neighborhoods of postindustrial cities are increasingly influenced by upscale commercial projects, causing significant conflicts for the people involved.

Ocejo explores what community institutions, such as neighborhood bars, gain or lose amid gentrification. He considers why residents continue unsuccessfully to protest the arrival of new bars, how new bar owners produce a nightlife culture that attracts visitors rather than locals, and how government actors, including elected officials and the police, regulate and encourage nightlife culture. By focusing on commercial newcomers and the residents who protest local changes, Ocejo illustrates the contested and dynamic process of neighborhood growth.

Delving into the social ecosystem of one emblematic section of Manhattan, Upscaling Downtown sheds fresh light on the tensions and consequences of urban progress.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"The Great War at Sea"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Great War at Sea: A Naval History of the First World War by Lawrence Sondhaus.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is a major new naval history of the First World War which reveals the decisive contribution of the war at sea to Allied victory. In a truly global account, Lawrence Sondhaus traces the course of the campaigns in the North Sea, Atlantic, Adriatic, Baltic and Mediterranean and examines the role of critical innovations in the design and performance of ships, wireless communication and firepower. He charts how Allied supremacy led the Central Powers to attempt to revolutionize naval warfare by pursuing unrestricted submarine warfare, ultimately prompting the United States to enter the war. Victory against the submarine challenge, following their earlier success in sweeping the seas of German cruisers and other surface raiders, left the Allies free to use the world's sea lanes to transport supplies and troops to Europe from overseas territories, and eventually from the United States, which proved a decisive factor in their ultimate victory.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 29, 2014

"Can't Catch a Break"

New from the University of California Press: Can't Catch a Break: Gender, Jail, Drugs, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility by Susan Starr Sered and Maureen Norton-Hawk.

About the book, from the publisher:
Based on five years of fieldwork in Boston, Can’t Catch a Break documents the day-to-day lives of forty women as they struggle to survive sexual abuse, violent communities, ineffective social and therapeutic programs, discriminatory local and federal policies, criminalization, incarceration, and a broad cultural consensus that views suffering as a consequence of personal flaws and bad choices. Combining hard-hitting policy analysis with an intimate account of how marginalized women navigate an unforgiving world, Susan Sered and Maureen Norton-Hawk shine new light on the deep and complex connections between suffering and social inequality.
Susan Starr Sered is Professor of Sociology and Senior Researcher at the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University in Boston. She is the author of Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity. Read more about the women in Can't Catch a Break and Sered's research on her blog.

Maureen Norton-Hawk is Professor of Sociology and Codirector of the Center for Crime and Justice Policy Research at Suffolk University in Boston. She has published widely in the field of women and prostitution.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Banking in Crisis"

New from Cambridge University Press: Banking in Crisis: The Rise and Fall of British Banking Stability, 1800 to the Present by John D. Turner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Can the lessons of the past help us to prevent another banking collapse in the future? This is the first book to tell the story of the rise and fall of British banking stability over the past two centuries, shedding new light on why banking systems crash and on the factors underpinning banking stability. John Turner shows that there have only been two major banking crises in Britain during this time - the crises of 1825–6 and 2007–8. Although there were episodic bouts of instability in the interim, the banking system was crisis free. Why was the British banking system stable for such a long time? And, why did the British banking system implode in 2008? In answering these questions, the book explores the long-run evolution of bank regulation, the role of the Bank of England, bank rescues and the need to hold shareholders to account.
Follow John Turner on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Motherload"

New from the University of California Press: Motherload: Making It All Better in Insecure Times by Ana Villalobos.

About the book, from the publisher:
In a time of economic anxiety, fear of terrorism, and marital uncertainty, insecurity has become a big part of life for many American mothers. With bases of security far from guaranteed, mothers are often seeking something they can count on. In this beautifully written and accessible book, Ana Villalobos shows how mothers frequently rely on the one thing that seems sure to them: the mother-child relationship. Based on over one hundred interviews with and observations of mothers—single or married, but all experiencing varying forms of insecurity in their lives—Villalobos finds that mothers overwhelmingly expect the mothering relationship to "make it all better" for themselves and their children.

But there is a price to pay for loading this single relationship with such high expectations. Using detailed case studies, Villalobos shows how women's Herculean attempts to create various kinds of security through mothering often backfire, thereby exhausting mothers, deflecting their focus from other possible sources of security, and creating more stress. That stress is further exacerbated by dominant ideals about "good" mothering—ideals that are fraught with societal pressures and expectations that reach well beyond what mothers can actually do for their children. Pointing to hopeful alternatives, Villalobos shows how more realistic expectations about motherhood lead remarkably to greater security in families by prompting mothers to cast broader security nets, making conditions less stressful and—just as significantly—bringing greater joy in mothering.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Renegade Amish"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Renegade Amish: Beard Cutting, Hate Crimes, and the Trial of the Bergholz Barbers by Donald B. Kraybill.

About the book, from the publisher:
On the night of September 6, 2011, terror called at the Amish home of the Millers. Answering a late-night knock from what appeared to be an Amish neighbor, Mrs. Miller opened the door to her five estranged adult sons, a daughter, and their spouses. It wasn’t a friendly visit. Within moments, the men, wearing headlamps, had pulled their frightened father out of bed, pinned him into a chair, and—ignoring his tearful protests—sheared his hair and beard, leaving him razor-burned and dripping with blood. The women then turned on Mrs. Miller, yanking her prayer cap from her head and shredding it before cutting off her waist-long hair. About twenty minutes later, the attackers fled into the darkness, taking their parents’ hair as a trophy for their community.

Four similar beard-cutting attacks followed, disfiguring nine victims and generating a tsunami of media coverage. While pundits and late-night talk shows made light of the attacks and poked fun at the Amish way of life, FBI investigators gathered evidence about troubling activities in a maverick Amish community near Bergholz, Ohio—and the volatile behavior of its leader, Bishop Samuel Mullet.

Ten men and six women from the Bergholz community were arrested and found guilty a year later of 87 felony charges involving conspiracy, lying, and obstructing justice. In a precedent-setting decision, all of the defendants, including Bishop Mullet and his two ministers, were convicted of federal hate crimes. It was the first time since the 2009 passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that assailants had been found guilty for religiously motivated hate crimes within the same faith community.

Renegade Amish goes behind the scenes to tell the full story of the Bergholz barbers: the attacks, the investigation, the trial, and the aftermath. In a riveting narrative reminiscent of a true crime classic, scholar Donald B. Kraybill weaves a dark and troubling story in which a series of violent Amish-on-Amish attacks shattered the peace of these traditionally nonviolent people, compelling some of them to install locks on their doors and arm themselves with pepper spray.

The country’s foremost authority on Amish society, Kraybill spent six months assisting federal prosecutors with the case against the Bergholz defendants and served as an expert witness during the trial. Informed by trial transcripts and his interviews of ex-Bergholz Amish, relatives of Bishop Mullet, victims of the attacks, Amish leaders, and the jury foreman, Renegade Amish delves into the factors that transformed the Bergholz Amish from a typical Amish community into one embracing revenge and retaliation.

Kraybill gives voice to the terror and pain experienced by the victims, along with the deep shame that accompanied their disfigurement—a factor that figured prominently in the decision to apply the federal hate crime law. Built on Kraybill’s deep knowledge of Amish life and his contacts within many Amish communities, Renegade Amish highlights one of the strangest and most publicized sagas in contemporary Amish history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 25, 2014

"American Identity and the Politics of Multiculturalism"

New from Cambridge University Press: American Identity and the Politics of Multiculturalism by Jack Citrin and David Sears.

About the book, from the publisher:
The civil rights movement and immigration reform transformed American politics in the mid-1960s. Demographic diversity and identity politics raised the challenge of e pluribus unum anew, and multiculturalism emerged as a new ideological response to this dilemma. This book uses national public opinion data and public opinion data from Los Angeles to compare ethnic differences in patriotism and ethnic identity and ethnic differences in support for multicultural norms and group-conscious policies. The authors find evidence of strong patriotism among all groups and the classic pattern of assimilation among the new wave of immigrants. They argue that there is a consensus in rejecting harder forms of multiculturalism that insist on group rights but also a widespread acceptance of softer forms that are tolerant of cultural differences and do not challenge norms, such as by insisting on the primacy of English. There is little evidence of a link between strong group consciousness and a lack of patriotism, even in the most disadvantaged minority groups. The authors conclude that the United States is not breaking apart due to the new ethnic diversity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"A Golden Weed"

New from Yale University Press: A Golden Weed: Tobacco and Environment in the Piedmont South by Drew A. Swanson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Drew A. Swanson has written an “environmental” history about a crop of great historical and economic significance: American tobacco. A preferred agricultural product for much of the South, the tobacco plant would ultimately degrade the land that nurtured it, but as the author provocatively argues, the choice of crop initially made perfect agrarian as well as financial sense for southern planters.

Swanson, who brings to his narrative the experience of having grown up on a working Virginia tobacco farm, explores how one attempt at agricultural permanence went seriously awry. He weaves together social, agricultural, and cultural history of the Piedmont region and illustrates how ideas about race and landscape management became entangled under slavery and afterward. Challenging long-held perceptions, this innovative study examines not only the material relationships that connected crop, land, and people but also the justifications that encouraged tobacco farming in the region.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Republican Theology"

New from Oxford University Press: Republican Theology: The Civil Religion of American Evangelicals by Benjamin T. Lynerd.

About the book, from the publisher:
White evangelicals occupy strange property on the ideological map in America, exhibiting a pronounced commitment to the principle of limited government, and yet making a significant exception for issues relating to personal morality - an exception many observers take to be paradoxical at best. Explanations of this phenomenon usually point to the knotty political alliance evangelicals built with free-market types in the late twentieth century, but sermonic evidence suggests a deeper and longer intellectual thread, one that has pervaded evangelical thought all the way back to the American founding.

In Republican Theology, Benjamin Lynerd offers an historical and theological account of the hybrid position evangelicals have long affected to hold in American culture - as champions of individual liberty and as guardians of American morality. Lynerd documents the development of a resilient, if problematic, tradition in American political thought, one that sees a free republic, a virtuous people, and an assertive Christianity as mutually dependent. Situating the recent rise of the "New Right" within this larger framework, Republican Theology traces the contentious political journey of evangelicals from its earliest moments, laying bare the conceptual tensions built into their civil religion.
--Marshal Zeringue