Saturday, September 21, 2019

"Quarters"

New from Cornell University Press: Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution by John Gilbert McCurdy.

About the book, from the publisher:
When Americans declared independence in 1776, they cited King George III "for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us." In Quarters, John Gilbert McCurdy explores the social and political history behind the charge, offering an authoritative account of the housing of British soldiers in America. Providing new interpretations and analysis of the Quartering Act of 1765, McCurdy sheds light on a misunderstood aspect of the American Revolution.

Quarters unearths the vivid debate in eighteenth-century America over the meaning of place. It asks why the previously uncontroversial act of accommodating soldiers in one's house became an unconstitutional act. In so doing, Quarters reveals new dimensions of the origins of Americans' right to privacy. It also traces the transformation of military geography in the lead up to independence, asking how barracks changed cities and how attempts to reorder the empire and the borderland led the colonists to imagine a new nation.

Quarters emphatically refutes the idea that the Quartering Act forced British soldiers in colonial houses, demonstrates the effectiveness of the Quartering Act at generating revenue, and examines aspects of the law long ignored, such as its application in the backcountry and its role in shaping Canadian provinces.

Above all, Quarters argues that the lessons of accommodating British troops outlasted the Revolutionary War, profoundly affecting American notions of place. McCurdy shows that the Quartering Act had significant ramifications, codified in the Third Amendment, for contemporary ideas of the home as a place of domestic privacy, the city as a place without troops, and a nation with a civilian-led military.
The Page 99 Test: Citizen Bachelors: Manhood and the Creation of the United States by John G. McCurdy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 20, 2019

"Sweet Taste of Liberty"

New from Oxford University Press: Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America by W. Caleb McDaniel.

About the book, from the publisher:
The unforgettable saga of one enslaved woman's fight for justice--and reparations

Born into slavery, Henrietta Wood was taken to Cincinnati and legally freed in 1848. In 1853, a Kentucky deputy sheriff named Zebulon Ward colluded with Wood's employer, abducted her, and sold her back into bondage. She remained enslaved throughout the Civil War, giving birth to a son in Mississippi and never forgetting who had put her in this position.

By 1869, Wood had obtained her freedom for a second time and returned to Cincinnati, where she sued Ward for damages in 1870. Astonishingly, after eight years of litigation, Wood won her case: in 1878, a Federal jury awarded her $2,500. The decision stuck on appeal. More important than the amount, though the largest ever awarded by an American court in restitution for slavery, was the fact that any money was awarded at all. By the time the case was decided, Ward had become a wealthy businessman and a pioneer of convict leasing in the South. Wood's son later became a prominent Chicago lawyer, and she went on to live until 1912.

McDaniel's book is an epic tale of a black woman who survived slavery twice and who achieved more than merely a moral victory over one of her oppressors. Above all, Sweet Taste of Liberty is a portrait of an extraordinary individual as well as a searing reminder of the lessons of her story, which establish beyond question the connections between slavery and the prison system that rose in its place.
Visit W. Caleb McDaniel's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Iran Reframed"

New from Stanford University Press: Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic by Narges Bajoghli.

About the book, from the publisher:
An inside look at what it means to be pro-regime in Iran, and the debates around the future of the Islamic Republic.

More than half of Iran's citizens were not alive at the time of the 1979 Revolution. Now entering its fifth decade in power, the Iranian regime faces the paradox of any successful revolution: how to transmit the commitments of its political project to the next generation. New media ventures supported by the Islamic Republic attempt to win the hearts and minds of younger Iranians. Yet members of this new generation—whether dissidents or fundamentalists—are increasingly skeptical of these efforts.

Iran Reframed offers unprecedented access to those who wield power in Iran as they debate and define the future of the Republic. Over ten years, Narges Bajoghli met with men in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Ansar Hezbollah, and Basij paramilitary organizations to investigate how their media producers developed strategies to court Iranian youth. Readers come to know these men—what the regime means to them and their anxieties about the future of their revolutionary project. Contestation over how to define the regime underlies all their efforts to communicate with the public. This book offers a multilayered story about what it means to be pro-regime in the Islamic Republic, challenging everything we think we know about Iran and revolution.
Visit Narges Bajoghli's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 19, 2019

"Superior Women"

New from Oxford University Press: Superior Women: Medieval Female Authority in Poitiers' Abbey of Sainte-Croix by Jennifer C. Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:
Superior Women examines the claims of abbesses of the abbey of Sainte-Croix in medieval Poitiers to authority from the abbey's foundation to its 1520 reform. These women claimed to hold authority over their own community, over dependent chapters of male canons, and over extensive properties in Poitou; male officials such as the king of France and the pope repeatedly supported these claims. To secure this support, the abbesses relied on two strategies that the abbey's founder, the sixth-century Saint Radegund, established: they documented support from a network of allies made up of powerful secular and ecclesiastical officials, and they used artefacts left from Radegund's life to shape her cult and win new patrons and allies. Abbesses across the 900 years of this study routinely turned to these strategies successfully when faced with conflict from dependents, or more local officials such as the bishop of Poitiers. Sainte-Croix's nuns proved adept at tailoring these strategies to shifting historical contexts, turning from Frankish bishops to the kings of Frankia, then to the Pope and finally to the King of France as former allies became unavailable to them. The book demonstrates respectful cooperation between men and monastic women, and more extensive respect for female monastic authority than scholars typically recognize. Chapters focus on the cult's manuscripts, church decoration, procession, jurisdictions between cult institutions, reform, and rebellion.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Rough Draft"

New from Cornell University Press: Rough Draft: Cold War Military Manpower Policy and the Origins of Vietnam-Era Draft Resistance by Amy J. Rutenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
Rough Draft draws the curtain on the race and class inequities of the Selective Service during the Vietnam War. Amy J. Rutenberg argues that policy makers' idealized conceptions of Cold War middle-class masculinity directly affected whom they targeted for conscription and also for deferment. Federal officials believed that college educated men could protect the nation from the threat of communism more effectively as civilians than as soldiers. The availability of deferments for this group mushroomed between 1945 and 1965, making it less and less likely that middle-class white men would serve in the Cold War army. Meanwhile, officials used the War on Poverty to target poorer and racialized men for conscription in the hopes that military service would offer them skills they could use in civilian life.

As Rutenberg shows, manpower policies between World War II and the Vietnam War had unintended consequences. While some men resisted military service in Vietnam for reasons of political conscience, most did so because manpower polices made it possible. By shielding middle-class breadwinners in the name of national security, policymakers militarized certain civilian roles—a move that, ironically, separated military service from the obligations of masculine citizenship and, ultimately, helped kill the draft in the United States.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"Twelve Days that Made Modern Britain"

New from Oxford University Press: Twelve Days that Made Modern Britain by Andrew Hindmoor.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the story of modern Britain, focusing on twelve formative days in the history of the United Kingdom over the last five decades. By describing what happened on those days and the subsequent consequences, Andrew Hindmoor paints a suggestive - and to some perhaps provocative - portrait of Britain today.

Everyone will have their own list of the truly formative moments in British history over the last five decades. The twelve days selected for this book are:

- The 28th of September 1976. The day Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan renounced Keynesian economics.
- The 4th of May 1979. The day Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister.
- The 3rd of March 1985. The day the miners' strike ended.
- The 20th of September 1988. The day of Margaret Thatcher's 'Bruges speech'.
- The 18th of May 1992. The day the television rights for the Premier League were sold to BskyB.
- The 22nd of April 1993. The day that young black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered by racist thugs.
- The 10th April 1998. The day of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
- The 11th of September 2001. The day of the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States.
- The 5th of December 2005. The day Chris Cramp and Matthew Roche became the first gay couple in the UK to become civil partners under the Civil Partnership Act.
- The 13th of September 2007. The day the BBC reported that the Northern Rock bank was in trouble.
- The 8th of May 2009. The day The Daily Telegraph began to publish details of MPs' expense claims.
- The 1st of February 2017. The day the House of Commons voted to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Full Spectrum Dominance"

New from Stanford University Press: Full Spectrum Dominance: Irregular Warfare and the War on Terror by Maria Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:
America's war on terror is widely defined by the Afghanistan and Iraq fronts. Yet, as this book demonstrates, both the international campaign and the new ways of fighting that grew out of it played out across multiple fronts beyond the Middle East. Maria Ryan explores how secondary fronts in the Philippines, sub-Saharan Africa, Georgia, and the Caspian Sea Basin became key test sites for developing what the Department of Defense called "full spectrum dominance": mastery across the entire range of possible conflict, from conventional through irregular warfare.

Full Spectrum Dominance is the first sustained historical examination of the secondary fronts in the war on terror. It explores whether irregular warfare has been effective in creating global stability or if new terrorist groups have emerged in response to the intervention. As the U.S. military, Department of Defense, White House, and State Department have increasingly turned to irregular capabilities and objectives, understanding the underlying causes as well as the effects of the quest for full spectrum dominance become ever more important. The development of irregular strategies has left a deeply ambiguous and concerning global legacy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"All That Glittered"

New from Oxford University Press: All That Glittered: Britain's Most Precious Metal from Adam Smith to the Gold Rush by Timothy Alborn.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the century after 1750, Great Britain absorbed much of the world's supply of gold into its pockets, cupboards, and coffers when it became the only major country to adopt the gold standard as the sole basis of its currency. Over the same period, the nation's emergence was marked by a powerful combination of Protestantism, commerce, and military might, alongside preservation of its older social hierarchy.

In this rich and broad-ranging work, Timothy Alborn argues for a close connection between gold and Britain's national identity. Beginning with Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, which validated Britain's position as an economic powerhouse, and running through the mid-nineteenth century gold rushes in California and Australia, Alborn draws on contemporary descriptions of gold's value to highlight its role in financial, political, and cultural realms. He begins by narrating British interests in gold mining globally to enable the smooth operation of the gold standard. In addition to explaining the metal's function in finance, he explores its uses in war expenditure, foreign trade, religious observance, and ornamentation at home and abroad. Britons criticized foreign cultures for their wasteful and inappropriate uses of gold, even as it became a prominent symbol of status in more traditional features of British society, including its royal family, aristocracy, and military. Although Britain had been ambivalent in its embrace of gold, ultimately it enabled the nation to become the world's most modern economy and to extend its imperial reach around the globe.

All That Glittered tells the story of gold as both a marker of value and a valuable commodity, while providing a new window onto Britain's ascendance after the 1750s.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Barriers Down"

New from Columbia University Press: Barriers Down: How American Power and Free-Flow Policies Shaped Global Media by Diana Lemberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
Freedom of information is a principle commonly associated with the United States’ First Amendment traditions or digital-era technology boosters. Barriers Down reveals its unexpected origins in political, economic, and cultural battles over analog media in the mid-twentieth century. Diana Lemberg traces how the United States shaped media around the world after 1945 under the banner of the “free flow of information,” showing how the push for global media access acted as a vehicle for American power.

Barriers Down considers debates over civil liberties and censorship in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and elsewhere alongside Americans’ efforts to circumvent foreign regulatory systems in the quest to expand markets and bring their ideas to new publics. Lemberg shows how in the decades following the Second World War American free-flow policies reshaped the world’s information landscape, though not always as intended. Through burgeoning information diplomacy and development aid, Washington diffused new media ranging from television and satellite broadcasting to global English. But these actions also spurred overseas actors to articulate alternative understandings of information freedom and of how information flows might be regulated. Bridging the historiographies of the United States in the world, human rights, decolonization and development, and media and technology, Barriers Down excavates the analog roots of digital-age debates over the politics and ethics of transnational information flows.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 16, 2019

"Me, Me, Me"

New from Oxford University Press: Me, Me, Me: The Search for Community in Post-war England by Jon Lawrence.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many commentators tell us that, in today's world, everyday life has become selfish and atomised--that individuals live only to consume. But are they wrong?

In Me, Me, Me, Jon Lawrence re-tells the story of England since the Second World War through the eyes of ordinary people--including his own parents-- to argue that, in fact, friendship, family, and place all remain central to our daily lives, and whilst community has changed, it is far from dead.

He shows how, in the years after the Second World War, people came increasingly to question custom and tradition as the pressure to conform to societal standards became intolerable. And as soon as they could, millions escaped the closed, face-to-face communities of Victorian Britain, where everyone knew your business. But this was not a rejection of community per se, but an attempt to find another, new way of living which was better suited to the modern world.

Community has become personal and voluntary, based on genuine affection rather than proximity or need. We have never been better connected or able to sustain the relationships that matter to us. Me, Me, Me makes that case that it's time we valued and nurtured these new groups, rather than lamenting the loss of more 'real' forms of community--it is all too easy to hold on to a nostalgic view of the past.
--Marshal Zeringue