Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"After Aquarius Dawned"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: After Aquarius Dawned: How the Revolutions of the Sixties Became the Popular Culture of the Seventies by Judy Kutulas.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this book, Judy Kutulas complicates the common view that the 1970s were a time of counterrevolution against the radical activities and attitudes of the previous decade. Instead, Kutulas argues that the experiences and attitudes that were radical in the 1960s were becoming part of mainstream culture in the 1970s, as sexual freedom, gender equality, and more complex notions of identity, work, and family were normalized through popular culture--television, movies, music, political causes, and the emergence of new communities. Seemingly mundane things like watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show, listening to Carole King songs, donning Birkenstock sandals, or reading Roots were actually critical in shaping Americans’ perceptions of themselves, their families, and their relation to authority.

Even as these cultural shifts eventually gave way to a backlash of political and economic conservatism, Kutulas shows that what critics perceive as the narcissism of the 1970s was actually the next logical step in a longer process of assimilating 1960s values like individuality and diversity into everyday life. Exploring such issues as feminism, sexuality, and race, Kutulas demonstrates how popular culture helped many Americans make sense of key transformations in U.S. economics, society, politics, and culture in the late twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Exceptional America"

New from the University of California Press: Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other by Mugambi Jouet.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why did Donald Trump follow Barack Obama into the White House? Why is America so polarized? And how does American exceptionalism explain these social changes?

In this provocative book, Mugambi Jouet describes why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues, including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, gender roles, abortion, gay rights, sex, gun control, mass incarceration, the death penalty, torture, human rights, and war. Raised in Paris by a French mother and Kenyan father, Jouet then lived in the Bible Belt, Manhattan, and beyond. Drawing inspiration from Alexis de Tocqueville, he wields his multicultural sensibility to parse how the intense polarization of U.S. conservatives and liberals has become a key dimension of American exceptionalism—an idea widely misunderstood as American superiority. While exceptionalism once was a source of strength, it may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts. They also shed light on the intriguing ideological evolution of American conservatism, which long predated Trumpism. Anti-intellectualism, conspiracy-mongering, a visceral suspicion of government, and Christian fundamentalism are far more common in America than the rest of the Western world—Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Exceptional America dissects the American soul, in all of its peculiar, clashing, and striking manifestations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Britain"

New from Cambridge University Press: Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Britain by Chris Moores.

About the book, from the publisher:
The National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) was formed in the 1930s against a backdrop of fascism and 'popular front' movements. In this volatile political atmosphere, the aim of the NCCL was to ensure that civil liberties were a central component of political discourse. Chris Moores's new study shows how the NCCL - now Liberty - had to balance the interests of extremist allies with the desire to become a respectable force campaigning for human rights and civil liberties. From new social movements of the 1960s and 1970s to the formation of the Human Rights Act in 1998, this study traces the NCCL's development over the last eighty years. It enables us to observe shifts and continuities in forms of political mobilisation throughout the twentieth century, changes in discourse about extensions and retreats of freedoms, as well as the theoretical conceptualisation and practical protection of rights and liberties.
Chris Moores is Director of Modern British Studies at the University of Birmingham.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Aftershocks"

New from Princeton University Press: Aftershocks: Great Powers and Domestic Reforms in the Twentieth Century by Seva Gunitsky.

About the book, from the publisher:
Over the past century, democracy spread around the world in turbulent bursts of change, sweeping across national borders in dramatic cascades of revolution and reform. Aftershocks is the first book to offer a detailed explanation for this wavelike spread and retreat—not only of democracy but also of its twentieth-century rivals, fascism and communism.

Seva Gunitsky argues that waves of regime change are driven by the aftermath of cataclysmic disruptions to the international system. These hegemonic shocks, marked by the sudden rise and fall of great powers, have been essential and often-neglected drivers of domestic transformations. Though rare and fleeting, they not only repeatedly alter the global hierarchy of powerful states but also create unique and powerful opportunities for sweeping national reforms—by triggering military impositions, swiftly changing the incentives of domestic actors, or transforming the basis of political legitimacy itself. As a result, the evolution of modern regimes cannot be fully understood without examining the consequences of clashes between great powers, which repeatedly—and often unsuccessfully—sought to cajole, inspire, and intimidate other states into joining their camps.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 24, 2017

"Political Islam in Tunisia"

New from Oxford University Press: Political Islam in Tunisia: The History of Ennahda by Anne Wolf.

About the book, from the publisher:
Political Islam in Tunisia uncovers the secret history of Tunisia's main Islamist movement, Ennahda, from its origins in the 1960s to the present. Banned until the popular uprisings of 2010-11 and the overthrow of Ben Ali's dictatorship, Ennahda has until now been impossible to investigate. This is the first in-depth account of the movement, one of Tunisia's most influential political actors.

Based on more than four years of field research, over 400 interviews, and access to private archives, Anne Wolf masterfully unveils the evolution of Ennahda's ideological and strategic orientations within changing political contexts and, at times, conflicting ambitions amongst its leading cadres. She also explores the challenges to Ennahda's quest for power from both secularists and Salafis. As the first full history of Ennahda, this book is a major contribution to the literature on Tunisia, Islamist movements, and political Islam in the Arab world. It will be indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand the forces driving a key player in the country most hopeful of pursuing a democratic trajectory in the wake of the Arab Spring.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Disruptive Fixation"

New from Princeton University Press: Disruptive Fixation: School Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism by Christo Sims.

About the book, from the publisher:
In New York City in 2009, a new kind of public school opened its doors to its inaugural class of middle schoolers. Conceived by a team of game designers and progressive educational reformers and backed by prominent philanthropic foundations, it promised to reinvent the classroom for the digital age. Ethnographer Christo Sims documented the life of the school from its planning stages to the graduation of its first eighth-grade class. Disruptive Fixation is his account of how this "school for digital kids," heralded as a model of tech-driven educational reform, reverted to a more conventional type of schooling with rote learning, an emphasis on discipline, and traditional hierarchies of authority. Troubling gender and racialized class divisions also emerged.

Sims shows how the philanthropic possibilities of new media technologies are repeatedly idealized even though actual interventions routinely fall short of the desired outcomes—often dramatically so. He traces the complex processes by which idealistic tech-reform perennially takes root, unsettles the worlds into which it intervenes, and eventually stabilizes in ways that remake and extend many of the social predicaments reformers hope to fix. Sims offers a nuanced look at the roles that powerful elites, experts, the media, and the intended beneficiaries of reform—in this case, the students and their parents—play in perpetuating the cycle.

Disruptive Fixation offers a timely examination of techno-philanthropism and the yearnings and dilemmas it seeks to address, revealing what failed interventions do manage to accomplish—and for whom.
--Marshal Zeringue

"World War I and the American Constitution"

New from Cambridge University Press: World War I and the American Constitution by William G. Ross.

About the book, from the publisher:
The First World War profoundly affected the American political system by transforming constitutional law and providing the predicate for the modern administrative state. In this groundbreaking study, William G. Ross examines the social, political, economic and legal forces that generated this rapid change. Ross explains how the war increased federal and state economic regulatory powers, transferred power from Congress to the President, and altered federalism by enhancing the powers of the federal government. He demonstrates how social changes generated by the war provided a catalyst for the expansion of personal liberties, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and industrial workers. Through a study of constitutional law, gender, race, economics, labor, the prohibition movement, international relations, civil liberties, and society, this book provides a major contribution to our understanding of the development of the American Constitution.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"The Emergence of Globalism"

New from Princeton University Press: The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and the United States, 1939-1950 by Or Rosenboim.

About the book, from the publisher:
During and after the Second World War, public intellectuals in Britain and the United States grappled with concerns about the future of democracy, the prospects of liberty, and the decline of the imperial system. Without using the term "globalization," they identified a shift toward technological, economic, cultural, and political interconnectedness and developed a "globalist" ideology to reflect this new postwar reality. The Emergence of Globalism examines the competing visions of world order that shaped these debates and led to the development of globalism as a modern political concept.

Shedding critical light on this neglected chapter in the history of political thought, Or Rosenboim describes how a transnational network of globalist thinkers emerged from the traumas of war and expatriation in the 1940s and how their ideas drew widely from political philosophy, geopolitics, economics, imperial thought, constitutional law, theology, and philosophy of science. She presents compelling portraits of Raymond Aron, Owen Lattimore, Lionel Robbins, Barbara Wootton, Friedrich Hayek, Lionel Curtis, Richard McKeon, Michael Polanyi, Lewis Mumford, Jacques Maritain, Reinhold Niebuhr, H. G. Wells, and others. Rosenboim shows how the globalist debate they embarked on sought to balance the tensions between a growing recognition of pluralism on the one hand and an appreciation of the unity of humankind on the other.

An engaging look at the ideas that have shaped today's world, The Emergence of Globalism is a major work of intellectual history that is certain to fundamentally transform our understanding of the globalist ideal and its origins.
Visit Or Rosenboim's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Peace of the Gods"

New from Princeton University Press: The Peace of the Gods: Elite Religious Practices in the Middle Roman Republic by Craige B. Champion.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Peace of the Gods takes a new approach to the study of Roman elites' religious practices and beliefs, using current theories in psychology, sociology, and anthropology, as well as cultural and literary studies. Craige Champion focuses on what the elites of the Middle Republic (ca. 250–ca. 100 BCE) actually did in the religious sphere, rather than what they merely said or wrote about it, in order to provide a more nuanced and satisfying historical reconstruction of what their religion may have meant to those who commanded the Roman world and its imperial subjects.

The book examines the nature and structure of the major priesthoods in Rome itself, Roman military commanders' religious behaviors in dangerous field conditions, and the state religion's acceptance or rejection of new cults and rituals in response to external events that benefited or threatened the Republic. According to a once-dominant but now-outmoded interpretation of Roman religion that goes back to the ancient Greek historian Polybius, the elites didn't believe in their gods but merely used religion to control the masses. Using that interpretation as a counterfactual lens, Champion argues instead that Roman elites sincerely tried to maintain Rome's good fortune through a pax deorum or "peace of the gods." The result offers rich new insights into the role of religion in elite Roman life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Reinventing the Propeller"

New from Cambridge University Press: Reinventing the Propeller: Aeronautical Specialty and the Triumph of the Modern Airplane by Jeremy R. Kinney.

About the book, from the publisher:
An international community of specialists reinvented the propeller during the Aeronautical Revolution, a vibrant period of innovation in North America and Europe from World War I to the end of World War II. They experienced both success and failure as they created competing designs that enabled increasingly sophisticated and 'modern' commercial and military aircraft to climb quicker and cruise faster using less power. Reinventing the Propeller nimbly moves from the minds of these inventors to their drawing boards, workshops, research and development facilities, and factories, and then shows us how their work performed in the air, both commercially and militarily. Reinventing the Propeller documents this story of a forgotten technology to reveal new perspectives on engineering, research and development, design, and the multi-layered social, cultural, financial, commercial, industrial, and military infrastructure of aviation.
--Marshal Zeringue