Sunday, February 23, 2020

"Us versus Them"

New from Oxford University Press: Us versus Them: Race, Crime, and Gentrification in Chicago Neighborhoods by Jan Doering.

About the book, from the publisher:
Crime and gentrification are hot button issues that easily polarize racially diverse neighborhoods. How do residents, activists, and politicians navigate the thorny politics of race as they fight crime or resist gentrification? And do conflicts over competing visions of neighborhood change necessarily divide activists into racially homogeneous camps, or can they produce more complex alliances and divisions? In Us versus Them, Jan Doering answers these questions through an in-depth study of two Chicago neighborhoods. Drawing on three and a half years of ethnographic fieldwork, Doering examines how activists and community leaders clashed and collaborated as they launched new initiatives, built coalitions, appeased critics, and discredited opponents. At the heart of these political maneuvers, he uncovers a ceaseless battle over racial meanings that unfolded as residents strove to make local initiatives and urban change appear racially benign or malignant. A thoughtful and clear-eyed contribution to the field, Us versus Them reveals the deep impact that competing racial meanings have on the fabric of community and the direction of neighborhood change.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 22, 2020

"The Journey Before Us"

New from Rutgers University Press: The Journey Before Us: First-Generation Pathways from Middle School to College by Laura Nichols.

About the book, from the publisher:
More students are enrolling in college than ever before in U.S. history. Yet, many never graduate. In The Journey Before Us, Laura Nichols examines why this is by sharing the experiences of aspiring first-generation college students as they move from middle-school to young adulthood. By following the educational trajectories and transitions of Latinx, mainly second-generation immigrant students and analyzing national data, Nichols explores the different paths that students take and the factors that make a difference. The interconnected role of schools, neighborhoods, policy, employment, advocates, identity, social class, and family reveal what must change to address the “college completion crisis.” Appropriate for anyone wanting to understand their own educational journey as well as students, teachers, counselors, school administrators, scholars, and policymakers, The Journey Before Us outlines what is needed so that education can once again be a means of social mobility for those who would be the first in their families to graduate from college.
Laura Nichols is an associate professor of sociology at Santa Clara University in California. She is the co-editor of Undocumented and In College: Students and Institutions in a Climate of National Hostility.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 21, 2020

"Contentious Minds"

New from Oxford University Press: Contentious Minds: How Talk and Ties Sustain Activism by Florence Passy and Gian-Andrea Monsch.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why does the mind matter for collective action? In Contentious Minds, Florence Passy and Gian-Andrea Monsch explain how cognitive and relational processes allow activists participate in and sustain their commitment to activism. Based on a wide array of survey and interview data with activists engaged in protest, volunteering and unions, they highlight how a commitment community develop shared values, identities, and meanings through interaction. The interplay of talk and ties enables stories and meanings to be constructed and exchanged, conveys worldviews and intentions that are modified through ongoing conversations, and reinforces and maintains commitment over time. Passy and Monsch's ambitious work brings the mind and culture back into the study of social movements and highlights the crucial role social networks play in constructing the communities and shared values that sustain commitment.
Florence Passy is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Gian-Andrea Monsch is a Senior Researcher at FORS, the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences based at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Midlife Crisis"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Midlife Crisis: The Feminist Origins of a Chauvinist Cliche by Susanne Schmidt.

About the book, from the publisher:
The phrase “midlife crisis” today conjures up images of male indulgence and irresponsibility—an affluent, middle-aged man speeding off in a red sports car with a woman half his age—but before it become a gendered cliché, it gained traction as a feminist concept. Journalist Gail Sheehy used the term to describe a midlife period when both men and women might reassess their choices and seek a change in life. Sheehy’s definition challenged the double standard of middle age—where aging is advantageous to men and detrimental to women—by viewing midlife as an opportunity rather than a crisis. Widely popular in the United States and internationally, the term was quickly appropriated by psychological and psychiatric experts and redefined as a male-centered, masculinist concept.

The first book-length history of this controversial concept, Susanne Schmidt’s Midlife Crisis recounts the surprising origin story of the midlife debate and traces its movement from popular culture into academia. Schmidt’s engaging narrative telling of the feminist construction—and ensuing antifeminist backlash—of the midlife crisis illuminates a lost legacy of feminist thought, shedding important new light on the history of gender and American social science in the 1970s and beyond.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 20, 2020

"Sensible Politics"

New from Oxford University Press: Sensible Politics: Visualizing International Relations by William A. Callahan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Visual images are everywhere in international politics. But how are we to understand them? In Sensible Politics, William A. Callahan uses his expertise in theory and filmmaking to explore not only what visuals mean, but also how visuals can viscerally move and connect us in "affective communities of sense." The book's rich analysis of visual images (photographs, film, art) and visual artifacts (maps, veils, walls, gardens, cyberspace) shows how critical scholarship needs to push beyond issues of identity and security to appreciate the creative politics of social-ordering and world-ordering. Here "sensible politics" isn't just sensory, but looks beyond icons and ideology to the affective politics of everyday life. It challenges our Eurocentric understanding of international politics by exploring the meaning and impact of visuals from Asia and the Middle East. Sensible Politics offers a unique approach to politics that allows us to not only think visually, but also feel visually-and creatively act visually for a multisensory appreciation of politics.
The Page 99 Test: China: The Pessoptimist Nation.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"Revolution Goes East"

New from Cornell University Press: Revolution Goes East: Imperial Japan and Soviet Communism by Tatiana Linkhoeva.

About the book, from the publisher:
Revolution Goes East is an intellectual history that applies a novel global perspective to the classic story of the rise of communism and the various reactions it provoked in Imperial Japan. Tatiana Linkhoeva demonstrates how contemporary discussions of the Russian Revolution, its containment, and the issue of imperialism played a fundamental role in shaping Japan's imperial society and state.

In this bold approach, Linkhoeva explores attitudes toward the Soviet Union and the communist movement among the Japanese military and politicians, as well as interwar leftist and rightist intellectuals and activists. Her book draws on extensive research in both published and archival documents, including memoirs, newspaper and journal articles, political pamphlets, and Comintern archives. Revolution Goes East presents us with a compelling argument that the interwar Japanese Left replicated the Orientalist outlook of Marxism-Leninism in its relationship with the rest of Asia, and that this proved to be its undoing. Furthermore, Linkhoeva shows that Japanese imperial anticommunism was based on geopolitical interests for the stability of the empire rather than on fear of communist ideology.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are"

New from Oxford University Press: Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are by Abigail C. Saguy.

About the book, from the publisher:
While people used to conceal the fact that they were gay or lesbian to protect themselves from stigma and discrimination, it is now commonplace for people to "come out" and encourage others to do so as well. Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are systematically examines how coming out has moved beyond gay and lesbian rights groups and how different groups wrestle with the politics of coming out in their efforts to resist stigma and enact social change. It shows how different experiences and disparate risks of disclosure shape these groups' collective strategies. Through scores of interviews with LGBTQ+ people, undocumented immigrant youth, fat acceptance activists, Mormon fundamentalist polygamists, and sexual harassment lawyers and activists in the era of the #MeToo movement, Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are explains why so many different groups gravitate toward the term coming out. By focusing on the personal and political resonance of coming out, it provides a novel way to understand how identity politics work in America today.
Abigail Saguy is Professor of Sociology and of Gender Studies at UCLA. She has been a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at Yale University (2000-2002) and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2008-2009). She is the author of What is Sexual Harassment? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne (2003) and What's Wrong with Fat (2013), which received Honorable Mention for the Association for Humanist Sociology's Best Book Award. She has also written scores of scientific journal articles and several op-eds published in leading news outlets.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote"

New from Simon & Schuster: Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote by Ellen Carol DuBois.

About the book, from the publisher:
Honoring the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, this exciting history explores the full scope of the movement to win the vote for women through portraits of its bold leaders and devoted activists.

Distinguished historian Ellen Carol DuBois begins in the pre-Civil War years with foremothers Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth as she explores the links of the woman suffrage movement to the abolition of slavery. After the Civil War, Congress granted freed African American men the right to vote but not white and African American women, a crushing disappointment. DuBois shows how suffrage leaders persevered through the Jim Crow years into the reform era of Progressivism. She introduces new champions Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul, who brought the fight into the 20th century, and she shows how African American women, led by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, demanded voting rights even as white suffragists ignored them.

DuBois explains how suffragists built a determined coalition of moderate lobbyists and radical demonstrators in forging a strategy of winning voting rights in crucial states to set the stage for securing suffrage for all American women in the Constitution. In vivid prose DuBois describes suffragists’ final victories in Congress and state legislatures, culminating in the last, most difficult ratification, in Tennessee.

DuBois follows women’s efforts to use their voting rights to win political office, increase their voting strength, and pass laws banning child labor, ensuring maternal health, and securing greater equality for women.

Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote is sure to become the authoritative account of one of the great episodes in the history of American democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 17, 2020

"Pasteur's Empire"

New from Oxford University Press: Pasteur's Empire: Bacteriology and Politics in France, Its Colonies, and the World by Aro Velmet.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the 1890s, the Pasteur Institute established a network of laboratories that stretched across France's empire, from Indochina to West Africa. Quickly, researchers at these laboratories became central to France's colonial project, helping officials monopolize industries, develop public health codes, establish disease containment measures, and arbitrate political conflicts around questions of labor rights, public works, and free association.

Pasteur's Empire shows how the scientific prestige of the Pasteur Institute came to depend on its colonial laboratories, and how, conversely, the institutes themselves became central to colonial politics. This book argues that decisions as small as the isolation of a particular yeast or the choice of a laboratory animal could have tremendous consequences on the lives of Vietnamese and African subjects, who became the consumers of new vaccines or industrially fermented intoxicants. Simultaneously, global forces, such as the rise of international standards and American competitors pushed Pastorians to their imperial laboratories, where they could conduct studies that researchers in France considered too difficult or controversial. Chapters follow not just Alexandre Yersin's studies of the plague, Charles Nicolle's public health work in Tunisia, and Jean Laigret's work on yellow fever in Dakar, but also the activities of Vietnamese doctors, African students and politicians, Syrian traders, and Chinese warlords. It argues that a specifically Pastorian understanding of microbiology shaped French colonial politics across the world, allowing French officials to promise hygienic modernity while actually committing to little development. In bringing together global history, imperial history, and science and technology studies, Pasteur's Empire deftly integrates micro and macro analyses into one connected narrative that sheds critical light on a key era in the history of medicine.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Promiscuous Knowledge"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Promiscuous Knowledge: Information, Image, and Other Truth Games in History by Kenneth Cmiel and John Durham Peters.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sergey Brin, a cofounder of Google, once compared the perfect search engine to “the mind of God.” As the modern face of promiscuous knowledge, however, Google’s divine omniscience traffics in news, maps, weather, and porn indifferently. This book, begun by the late Kenneth Cmiel and completed by his close friend John Durham Peters, provides a genealogy of the information age from its early origins up to the reign of Google. It examines how we think about fact, image, and knowledge, centering on the different ways that claims of truth are complicated when they pass to a larger public. To explore these ideas, Cmiel and Peters focus on three main periods—the late nineteenth century, 1925 to 1945, and 1975 to 2000, with constant reference to the present. Cmiel’s original text examines the growing gulf between politics and aesthetics in postmodern architecture, the distancing of images from everyday life in magical realist cinema, the waning support for national betterment through taxation, and the inability of a single presentational strategy to contain the social whole. Peters brings Cmiel’s study into the present moment, providing the backstory to current controversies about the slipperiness of facts in a digital age. A hybrid work from two innovative thinkers, Promiscuous Knowledge enlightens our understanding of the internet and the profuse visual culture of our time.
--Marshal Zeringue