Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Jerusalem Unbound"

New from Columbia University Press: Jerusalem Unbound: Geography, History, and the Future of the Holy City by Michael Dumper.

About the book, from the publisher:
Jerusalem’s formal political borders reveal neither the dynamics of power in the city nor the underlying factors that make an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians so difficult. The lines delineating Israeli authority are frequently different from those delineating segregated housing or areas of uneven service provision or parallel national electoral districts of competing educational jurisdictions. In particular, the city’s large number of holy sites and restricted religious compounds create enclaves that continually threaten to undermine the Israeli state’s authority and control over the city. This lack of congruity between political control and the actual spatial organization and everyday use of the city leaves many areas of occupied East Jerusalem in a kind of twilight zone where citizenship, property rights, and the enforcement of the rule of law are ambiguously applied.

Michael Dumper plots a history of Jerusalem that examines this intersecting and multileveled matrix and, in so doing, is able to portray the constraints on Israeli control over the city and the resilience of Palestinian enclaves after forty-five years of Israeli occupation. Adding to this complex mix is the role of numerous external influences—religious, political, financial, and cultural—so that the city is also a crucible for broader contestation. While the Palestinians may not return to their previous preeminence in the city, neither will Israel be able to assert a total and irreversible dominance. His conclusion is that the city will not only have to be shared but that the sharing will be based upon these many borders and the interplay between history, geography, and religion.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 30, 2014

"The Black Power Movement and American Social Work"

New from Columbia University Press: The Black Power Movement and American Social Work by Joyce M. Bell.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Black Power movement has often been portrayed in history and popular culture as the quintessential “bad boy” of modern black movement making in America. Yet this image misses the full extent of Black Power’s contributions to U.S. society, especially in regard to black professionals in social work.

Relying on extensive archival research and oral history interviews, this study follows two groups of black social workers in the 1960s and 1970s as they mobilized Black Power ideas, strategies, and tactics to change their national professional associations. Comparing black dissenters within the National Federation of Settlements (NFS), who fought for concessions from within their organization, and those within the National Conference on Social Work (NCSW), who ultimately adopted a separatist strategy, this book shows how the Black Power influence was central to the rise of black professional associations. It provides a nuanced approach to studying race-based movements and offers a framework for understanding the role of social movements in shaping the nonstate organizations of civil society.
Visit Joyce Bell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Ninigret, Sachem of the Niantics and Narragansetts"

New from Cornell University Press: Ninigret, Sachem of the Niantics and Narragansetts: Diplomacy, War, and the Balance of Power in Seventeenth-Century New England and Indian Country by Julie A. Fisher and David J. Silverman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ninigret (c. 1600–1676) was a sachem of the Niantic and Narragansett Indians of what is now Rhode Island from the mid-1630s through the mid-1670s. For Ninigret and his contemporaries, Indian Country and New England were multipolar political worlds shaped by ever-shifting intertribal rivalries. In the first biography of Ninigret, Julie A. Fisher and David J. Silverman assert that he was the most influential Indian leader of his era in southern New England. As such, he was a key to the balance of power in both Indian-colonial and intertribal relations.

Ninigret was at the center of almost every major development involving southern New England Indians between the Pequot War of 1636–37 and King Philip's War of 1675–76. He led the Narragansetts' campaign to become the region's major power, including a decades-long war against the Mohegans led by Uncas, Ninigret's archrival. To offset growing English power, Ninigret formed long-distance alliances with the powerful Mohawks of the Iroquois League and the Pocumtucks of the Connecticut River Valley. Over the course of Ninigret's life, English officials repeatedly charged him with plotting to organize a coalition of tribes and even the Dutch to roll back English settlement. Ironically, though, he refused to take up arms against the English in King Philip’s War. Ninigret died at the end of the war, having guided his people through one of the most tumultuous chapters of the colonial era.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"The Country of Football"

New from the University of California Press: The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil by Roger Kittleson.

About the book,from the publisher:
Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and the Brazilian national team is beloved around the planet for its beautiful playing style, the jogo bonito. With the most successful national soccer team in the history of the World Cup, Brazil is the only country to have played in every competition and the winner of more championships than any other nation. Soccer is perceived, like carnival and samba, to be quintessentially Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian.

Yet the practice and history of soccer are also synonymous with conflict and contradiction as Brazil continues its trajectory toward modernity and economic power. The ongoing debate over how Team Brazil should play and positively represent a nation of demanding supporters bears on many crucial facets of a country riven by racial and class tensions.

The Country of Football is filled with engaging stories of star players and other key figures, as well as extraordinary research on local, national, and international soccer communities. Soccer fans, scholars, and readers who are interested in the history of sport will emerge with a greater understanding of the complex relationship between Brazilian soccer and the nation’s history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"From Development to Dictatorship"

New from Cornell University Press: From Development to Dictatorship: Bolivia and the Alliance for Progress in the Kennedy Era by Thomas C. Field, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the most idealistic years of John F. Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress development program, Bolivia was the highest per capita recipient of U.S. foreign aid in Latin America. Nonetheless, Washington’s modernization programs in early 1960s' Bolivia ended up on a collision course with important sectors of the country’s civil society, including radical workers, rebellious students, and a plethora of rightwing and leftwing political parties. In From Development to Dictatorship, Thomas C. Field Jr. reconstructs the untold story of USAID’s first years in Bolivia, including the country’s 1964 military coup d’état.

Field draws heavily on local sources to demonstrate that Bolivia’s turn toward anticommunist, development-oriented dictatorship was the logical and practical culmination of the military-led modernization paradigm that provided the liberal underpinnings of Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress. In the process, he explores several underappreciated aspects of Cold War liberal internationalism: the tendency of “development” to encourage authoritarian solutions to political unrest, the connection between modernization theories and the rise of Third World armed forces, and the intimacy between USAID and CIA covert operations. Challenging the conventional dichotomy between ideology and strategy in international politics, From Development to Dictatorship engages with a growing literature on development as a key rubric for understanding the interconnected processes of decolonization and the Cold War.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 26, 2014

"Brazil: The Fortunes of War"

New from Basic Books: Brazil: The Fortunes of War by Neill Lochery.

About the book, from the publisher:
An acclaimed historian unravels Brazil's deft geopolitical machinations during World War II, showing how the country became a modern nation by first manipulating, then joining, the Allied powers.

When World War II erupted in 1939, Brazil seemed a world away. Lush, remote, and underdeveloped, the country and its capital of Rio de Janeiro lured international travelers seeking a respite from the drums of the war. "Rio: at the end of civilization, as we know it," claimed Orson Welles as he set out for the city in 1942. But Brazil's bucolic reputation as a distant land of palm trees and pristine beaches masked a more complex reality—one that the country's leaders were busily exploiting in a desperate gambit to secure Brazil's place in the modern world.

In Brazil, acclaimed historian Neill Lochery reveals the secret history of the country's involvement in World War II, showing how the cunning statecraft and economic opportunism of Brazil's leaders transformed it into a regional superpower over the course of the war. Brazil's natural resources and proximity to the United States made it strategically invaluable to both the Allies and the Axis, a fact that the country's dictator, Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, keenly understood. In the war's early years, Vargas and a handful of his close advisors dexterously played both sides against each other, generating enormous wealth for Brazil and fundamentally transforming its economy and infrastructure.

But Brazil's cozy neutrality was not to last. Forced to choose sides, Vargas declared war on the Axis powers and sent 25,000 troops to the European theater. This Brazilian expeditionary force arrived too late—and was called home too early—to secure a significant role for Brazil in the postwar order. But within Brazil, at least, Vargas had made his mark, ensuring Rio's emergence as a major international city and effectively remaking Brazil as a modern nation.

A fast-paced tale of war and diplomatic intrigue, Brazil reveals a long-buried chapter of World War II and the little-known origins of one of the world's emerging economic powerhouses.
Visit Neill Lochery's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Prisons in the Late Ottoman Empire"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Prisons in the Late Ottoman Empire: Microcosms of Modernity by Kent Schull.

About the book, from the publisher:
Contrary to the stereotypical images of torture, narcotics and brutal sexual behaviour traditionally associated with Ottoman (or 'Turkish') prisons, Kent F. Schull argues that these places were sites of immense reform and contestation during the 19th century. He shows that they were key components for Ottoman nation-state construction and acted as 'microcosms of modernity' for broader imperial transformation. It was within the walls of these prisons that many of the pressing questions of Ottoman modernity were worked out, such as administrative centralisation, the rationalisation of Islamic criminal law and punishment, issues of gender and childhood, prisoner rehabilitation, bureaucratic professionalisation, identity and social engineering.

Juxtaposing state-mandated reform with the reality of prison life, the author investigates how these reforms affected the lives of local prison officials and inmates, and shows how these individuals actively conformed, contested and manipulated new penal policies and practices for their own benefit.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Agustin Lara: A Cultural Biography"

New from Oxford University Press: Agustin Lara: A Cultural Biography by Andrew Grant Wood.

About the book, from the publisher:
Few Mexican musicians in the twentieth century achieved as much notoriety or had such an international impact as the popular singer and songwriter Agustín Lara (1897-1970). Widely known as "el flaco de oro" ("the Golden Skinny"), this remarkably thin fellow was prolific across the genres of bolero, ballad, and folk. His most beloved "Granada", a song so enduring that it has been covered by the likes of Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra, and Placido Domingo, is today a standard in the vocal repertory. However, there exists very little biographical literature on Lara in English. In Agustín Lara: A Cultural Biography, author Andrew Wood's informed and informative placement of Lara's work in a broader cultural context presents a rich and comprehensive reading of the life of this significant musical figure. Lara's career as a media celebrity as well as musician provides an excellent window on Mexican society in the mid-twentieth century and on popular culture in Latin America. Wood also delves into Lara's music itself, bringing to light how the composer's work unites a number of important currents in Latin music of his day, particularly the bolero. With close musicological focus and in-depth cultural analysis riding alongside the biographical narrative, Agustin Lara: A Cultural Biography is a welcome read to aficionados and performers of Latin American musics, as well as a valuable addition to the study of modern Mexican music and Latin American popular culture as a whole.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 23, 2014

"A Changing Wind"

New from Yale University Press: A Changing Wind: Commerce and Conflict in Civil War Atlanta by Wendy Hamand Venet.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1845, Atlanta was the last stop at the end of a railroad line, the home of just twelve families and three general stores. By the 1860s, it was a thriving Confederate city, second only to Richmond in importance. A Changing Wind is the first history to explore the experiences of Atlanta’s civilians during the young city’s rapid growth, the devastation of the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era when Atlanta emerged as a “New South” city.

A Changing Wind vividly brings to life the stories of Atlanta’s diverse citizens—white and black, free and enslaved, well-to-do and everyday people. A rich and compelling account of residents’ changing loyalties to the Union and the Confederacy, the book highlights the unequal economic and social impacts of the war, General Sherman’s siege, and the stunning rebirth of the city in postwar years. The final chapter of the book focuses on Atlanta’s historical memory of the Civil War and how racial divisions have led to separate commemorations of the war’s meaning.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"The Literary Churchill"

New from Yale University Press: The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor by Jonathan Rose.

About the book, from the publisher:
This strikingly original book introduces a Winston Churchill we have not known before. Award-winning author Jonathan Rose explores in tandem Churchill’s careers as statesman and author, revealing the profound influence of literature and theater on Churchill’s personal, carefully composed grand story and on the decisions he made throughout his political life.

Rose provides in this expansive literary biography an analysis of Churchill’s writings and their reception (he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 and was a best-selling author), and a chronicle of his dealings with publishers, editors, literary agents, and censors. The book also identifies an array of authors who shaped Churchill’s own writings and politics: George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Margaret Mitchell, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, and many more. Rose investigates the effect of Churchill’s passion for theater on his approach to reportage, memoirs, and historical works. Perhaps most remarkably, Rose reveals the unmistakable influence of Churchill’s reading on every important episode of his public life, including his championship of social reform, plans for the Gallipoli invasion, command during the Blitz, crusade for Zionism, and efforts to prevent a nuclear arms race. In a fascinating conclusion, Rose traces the significance of Churchill’s writings to later generations of politicians, among them President John F. Kennedy as he struggled to extricate the U.S. from the Cuban Missile Crisis.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City"

New from the University of Chicago Press: On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Forty years in, the War on Drugs has done almost nothing to prevent drugs from being sold or used, but it has nonetheless created a little-known surveillance state in America’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Arrest quotas and high-tech surveillance techniques criminalize entire blocks, and transform the very associations that should stabilize young lives—family, relationships, jobs—into liabilities, as the police use such relationships to track down suspects, demand information, and threaten consequences.

Alice Goffman spent six years living in one such neighborhood in Philadelphia, and her close observations and often harrowing stories reveal the pernicious effects of this pervasive policing. Goffman introduces us to an unforgettable cast of young African American men who are caught up in this web of warrants and surveillance—some of them small-time drug dealers, others just ordinary guys dealing with limited choices. All find the web of presumed criminality, built as it is on the very associations and friendships that make up a life, nearly impossible to escape. We watch as the pleasures of summer-evening stoop-sitting are shattered by the arrival of a carful of cops looking to serve a warrant; we watch—and can’t help but be shocked—as teenagers teach their younger siblings and cousins how to run from the police (and, crucially, to keep away from friends and family so they can stay hidden); and we see, over and over, the relentless toll that the presumption of criminality takes on families—and futures.

While not denying the problems of the drug trade, and the violence that often accompanies it, through her gripping accounts of daily life in the forgotten neighborhoods of America's cities, Goffman makes it impossible for us to ignore the very real human costs of our failed response—the blighting of entire neighborhoods, and the needless sacrifice of whole generations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Love, Money, and HIV"

New from the University of California Press: Love, Money, and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS by Sanyu A. Mojola.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do modern women in developing countries experience sexuality and love? Drawing on a rich array of interview, ethnographic, and survey data from her native country of Kenya, Sanyu A. Mojola examines how young African women, who suffer disproportionate rates of HIV infection compared to young African men, navigate their relationships, schooling, employment, and finances in the context of economic inequality and a devastating HIV epidemic. Writing from a unique outsider-insider perspective, Mojola argues that the entanglement of love, money, and the transformation of girls into “consuming women” lies at the heart of women’s coming-of-age and health crises. At once engaging and compassionate, this text is an incisive analysis of gender, sexuality, and health in Africa.
Read Chapter 1 of Love, Money, and HIV.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 19, 2014

"Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods"

New from Cornell University Press: Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order by Eric Helleiner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Eric Helleiner's new book provides a powerful corrective to conventional accounts of the negotiations at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944. These negotiations resulted in the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank—the key international financial institutions of the postwar global economic order. Critics of Bretton Woods have argued that its architects devoted little attention to international development issues or the concerns of poorer countries. On the basis of extensive historical research and access to new archival sources, Helleiner challenges these assumptions, providing a major reinterpretation that will interest all those concerned with the politics and history of the global economy, North-South relations, and international development.

The Bretton Woods architects—who included many officials and analysts from poorer regions of the world—discussed innovative proposals that anticipated more contemporary debates about how to reconcile the existing liberal global economic order with the development aspirations of emerging powers such as India, China, and Brazil. Alongside the much-studied Anglo-American relationship was an overlooked but pioneering North-South dialogue. Helleiner’s unconventional history brings to light not only these forgotten foundations of the Bretton Woods system but also their subsequent neglect after World War II.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"How the Bible Became Holy"

New from Yale University Press: How the Bible Became Holy by Michael L. Satlow.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this sweeping narrative, Michael Satlow tells the fascinating story of how an ancient collection of obscure Israelite writings became the founding texts of both Judaism and Christianity, considered holy by followers of each faith. Drawing on cutting-edge historical and archeological research, he traces the story of how, when, and why Jews and Christians gradually granted authority to texts that had long lay dormant in a dusty temple archive. The Bible, Satlow maintains, was not the consecrated book it is now until quite late in its history.

He describes how elite scribes in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. began the process that led to the creation of several of our biblical texts. It was not until these were translated into Greek in Egypt in the second century B.C.E., however, that some Jews began to see them as culturally authoritative, comparable to Homer’s works in contemporary Greek society. Then, in the first century B.C.E. in Israel, political machinations resulted in the Sadducees assigning legal power to the writings. We see how the world Jesus was born into was largely biblically illiterate and how he knew very little about the texts upon which his apostles would base his spiritual leadership.

Synthesizing an enormous body of scholarly work, Satlow’s groundbreaking study offers provocative new assertions about commonly accepted interpretations of biblical history as well as a unique window into how two of the world’s great faiths came into being.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 16, 2014

"The Tsar's Foreign Faiths"

New from Oxford University Press: The Tsar's Foreign Faiths: Toleration and the Fate of Religious Freedom in Imperial Russia by Paul W. Werth.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Russian Empire presented itself to its subjects and the world as an Orthodox state, a patron and defender of Eastern Christianity. Yet the tsarist regime also lauded itself for granting religious freedoms to its many heterodox subjects, making 'religious toleration' a core attribute of the state's identity. The Tsar's Foreign Faiths shows that the resulting tensions between the autocracy's commitments to Orthodoxy and its claims to toleration became a defining feature of the empire's religious order.

In this panoramic account, Paul W. Werth explores the scope and character of religious freedom for Russia's diverse non-Orthodox religions, from Lutheranism and Catholicism to Islam and Buddhism. Considering both rhetoric and practice, he examines discourses of religious toleration and the role of confessional institutions in the empire's governance. He reveals the paradoxical status of Russia's heterodox faiths as both established and 'foreign', and explains the dynamics that shaped the fate of newer conceptions of religious liberty after the mid-nineteenth century. If intellectual change and the shifting character of religious life in Russia gradually pushed the regime towards the acceptance of freedom of conscience, then statesmen's nationalist sentiments and their fears of 'politicized' religion impeded this development. Russia's religious order thus remained beset by contradiction on the eve of the Great War. Based on archival research in five countries and a vast scholarly literature, The Tsar's Foreign Faiths represents a major contribution to the history of empire and religion in Russia, and to the study of toleration and religious diversity in Europe.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Christ Child: Cultural Memories of a Young Jesus"

New from Yale University Press: Christ Child: Cultural Memories of a Young Jesus by Stephen J. Davis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Little is known about the early childhood of Jesus Christ. But in the decades after his death, stories began circulating about his origins. One collection of such tales was the so-called Infancy Gospel of Thomas, known in antiquity as the Paidika or “Childhood Deeds” of Jesus. In it, Jesus not only performs miracles while at play (such as turning clay birds into live sparrows) but also gets enmeshed in a series of interpersonal conflicts and curses to death children and teachers who rub him the wrong way. How would early readers have made sense of this young Jesus?

In this highly innovative book, Stephen Davis draws on current theories about how human communities construe the past to answer this question. He explores how ancient readers would have used texts, images, places, and other key reference points from their own social world to understand the Christ child’s curious actions. He then shows how the figure of a young Jesus was later picked up and exploited in the context of medieval Jewish-Christian and Christian-Muslim encounters. Challenging many scholarly assumptions, Davis adds a crucial dimension to the story of how Christian history was created.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Fight or Flight"

New from Oxford University Press: Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and the Roads from Empire by Martin Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:
Although shattered by war, in 1945 Britain and France still controlled the world's two largest colonial empires, with imperial territories stretched over four continents. And they appeared determined to keep them: the roll-call of British and French politicians, soldiers, settlers and writers who promised in word and print at this time to defend their colonial possessions at all costs is a long one. Yet, within twenty years both empires had almost completely disappeared.

The collapse was cataclysmic. Peaceable 'transfers of power' were eclipsed by episodes of territorial partition and mass violence whose bitter aftermath still lingers. Hundreds of millions across four continents were caught up in the biggest reconfiguration of the international system ever seen.

In the meantime, even the most dogged imperialists, who had once stiffly defended imperial rule, ultimately bent to the wind of change. By the early 1950s Winston Churchill had retreated from his wartime pledge to keep Britain's Empire intact. And General de Gaulle, who quit the French presidency in 1946 complaining that France's new post-war democracy would never hang on to the country's imperial prizes, narrowly escaped assassination a generation later - after negotiating the humiliating French withdrawal from Algeria.

Fight or Flight is the first ever comparative account of this dramatic collapse, explaining the end of the British and French colonial empires as an intertwined, even co-dependent process. Decolonization gathered momentum, not as an empire-specific affair, but as a global one, in which the wider march of twentieth-century history played a vital part: industrial concentration and global depression, World War and Cold War, Communism and other anti-colonial ideologies, mass consumerism and the allure of American popular culture. Above all, as Martin Thomas shows, the internationalization of colonial affairs made it impossible to contain colonial problems locally, spelling the end for Europe's two largest colonial empires in less than two decades from the end of the Second World War.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Political Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912-1921"

New from Oxford University Press: Political Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912-1921 by William Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:
For a revolutionary generation of Irishmen and Irishwomen - including suffragettes, labour activists, and nationalists - imprisonment became a common experience. In the years 1912-1921, thousands were arrested and held in civil prisons or in internment camps in Ireland and Britain. The state's intent was to repress dissent, but instead, the prisons and camps became a focus of radical challenge to the legitimacy and durability of the status quo.

Some of these prisons and prisoners are famous: Terence MacSwiney and Thomas Ashe occupy a central position in the prison martyrology of Irish republican culture, and Kilmainham Gaol has become one of the most popular tourist sites in Dublin. In spite of this, a comprehensive history of political imprisonment focused on these years does not exist. In Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912-1921, William Murphy attempts to provide such a history. He seeks to detail what it was like to be a political prisoner; how it smelled, tasted, and felt. More than that, the volume demonstrates that understanding political imprisonment of this period is one of the keys to understanding the Irish revolution.

Murphy argues that the politics of imprisonment and the prison conflicts analysed here reflected and affected the rhythms of the revolution, and this volume not only reconstructs and assesses the various experiences and actions of the prisoners, but those of their families, communities, and political movements, as well as the attitudes and reactions of the state and those charged with managing the prisoners.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 12, 2014

"Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age"

New from Princeton University Press: Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age by Jacqueline Bhabha.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why, despite massive public concern, is child trafficking on the rise? Why are unaccompanied migrant children living on the streets and routinely threatened with deportation to their countries of origin? Why do so many young refugees of war-ravaged and failed states end up warehoused in camps, victimized by the sex trade, or enlisted as child soldiers? This book provides the first comprehensive account of the widespread but neglected global phenomenon of child migration, exploring the complex challenges facing children and adolescents who move to join their families, those who are moved to be exploited, and those who move simply to survive.

Spanning several continents and drawing on the actual stories of young migrants, the book shows how difficult it is for children to reunite with parents who left them behind to seek work abroad. It looks at the often-insurmountable obstacles we place in the paths of adolescents fleeing war, exploitation, or destitution; the contradictory elements in our approach to international adoption; and the limited support we give to young people brutalized as child soldiers. Part history, part in-depth legal and political analysis, this powerful book challenges the prevailing wisdom that widespread protection failures are caused by our lack of awareness of the problems these children face, arguing instead that our societies have a deep-seated ambivalence to migrant children--one we need to address head-on.

Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age offers a road map for doing just that, and makes a compelling and courageous case for an international ethics of children's human rights.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"The Politics of English Nationhood"

New from Oxford University Press: The Politics of English Nationhood by Michael Kenny.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Politics of English Nationhood supplies the first comprehensive overview of the evidence, research and major arguments relating to the revival of Englishness, exploring its varied, and often overlooked, political ramifications and dimensions. It examines the difficulties which the major political parties have encountered in dealing with 'the English question' against the backdrop of the diminishing hold of established ideas of British government and national identity in the final years of the last century. And it explores a range of factors --including insecurities generated by economic change, Euroscepticism, and a growing sense of cultural anxiety - which helped make the renewal of Englishness appealing and imperative, prior to the introduction of devolution by the first Blair government, a policy which also gave this process a further impetus.

The book therefore provides a powerful challenge to the two established orthodoxies in this area. These either maintain that the English are dispositionally unable to assert their own nationhood outside the framework of the British state, or point to the supposed resurgence of a resentful and reactive sense of English nationalism. This volume instead demonstrates that a renewed, resonant and internally divided sense of English nationhood is apparent across the lines of class, geography, age, and ethnicity. And it identifies several distinct strands of national identity that have emerged in this period, contrasting the appearance of populist and resentful forms of English nationalism with an embedded and deeply rooted sense of conservative Englishness and attempts to reconstruct a more liberal and civic idea of a multicultural England. This volume also includes a wide-ranging analysis of the culturally rooted revival of Englishness, drawing out the political dimensions and implications of this re-emerging form of national consciousness.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 10, 2014


New from Princeton University Press: Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities by James Turner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many today do not recognize the word, but "philology" was for centuries nearly synonymous with humanistic intellectual life, encompassing not only the study of Greek and Roman literature and the Bible but also all other studies of language and literature, as well as religion, history, culture, art, archaeology, and more. In short, philology was the queen of the human sciences. How did it become little more than an archaic word? In Philology, the first history of Western humanistic learning as a connected whole ever published in English, James Turner tells the fascinating, forgotten story of how the study of languages and texts led to the modern humanities and the modern university.

This compelling narrative traces the development of humanistic learning from its beginning among ancient Greek scholars and rhetoricians, through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Enlightenment, to the English-speaking world of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Turner shows how evolving researches into the texts, languages, and physical artifacts of the past led, over many centuries, to sophisticated comparative methods and a deep historical awareness of the uniqueness of earlier ages. But around 1800, he explains, these interlinked philological and antiquarian studies began to fragment into distinct academic fields. These fissures resulted, within a century or so, in the new, independent "disciplines" that we now call the humanities. Yet the separation of these disciplines only obscured, rather than erased, their common features.

The humanities today face a crisis of relevance, if not of meaning and purpose. Understanding their common origins--and what they still share--has never been more urgent.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 9, 2014

"The Hero of Italy"

New from Oxford University Press: The Hero of Italy: Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma, his Soldiers, and his Subjects in the Thirty Years' War by Gregory Hanlon.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Hero of Italy examines a salient episode in Italy's Thirty Years' War with Spain and France, whereby the young duke Odoardo Farnese of Parma embraced the French alliance, only to experience defeat and occupation after two tumultuous years (1635-1637). Gregory Hanlon stresses the narrative of events unfolding in northern Italy, examining the participation of the little state in these epic European events.

The first chapter describes the constitution of Cardinal Richelieu's anti-Habsburg alliance and Odoardo's eagerness to be part of it. A chapter on the Parman professional army, based on an extraordinary collection of company roster-books, sheds light on the identity of over 13,000 individuals, soldier by soldier, the origin and background of their officers, the conditions of their lodgings, and the good state of their equipment. Chapter three follows the first campaign of 1635 alongside French and Savoyard contingents at the failed siege of Valenza, and the logistical difficulties of organizing such large-scale operations. Another chapter examines the financial expedients the duchy adopted to fend off incursions on all its borders in 1636, and how militia contingents on both sides were drawn into the fighting. A final chapter relates the Spanish invasion and occupation which forced duke Odoardo to make a separate peace. The volume includes a detailed assessment of the impact of war on civilians based on parish registers for city and country. The application of the laws of war was largely nullified by widespread starvation, disease and routine sex-selective infanticide. These quantitative analyses, supported by maps and tables, are among the most detailed anywhere in Europe in the era of the Thirty Years' War.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Postcolonial Germany"

New from Oxford University Press: Postcolonial Germany: Memories of Empire in a Decolonized Nation by Britta Schilling.

About the book, from the publisher:
At the end of the First World War, Germany appeared to have lost everything: the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians, control over borderland territories, and, above all, a sense of national self-worth in the international political arena. But it also lost almost three million square kilometres of land overseas in the form of colonies and concessions in Africa, China, and the Pacific. Allied powers declared Germany unfit to rule over overseas populations, and it was forcibly decolonized. It thus became the first 'postcolonial' European nation that had participated in the 'new imperialism' of the modern era.

The end of colonialism was the beginning of a memory culture that has been remarkably long-lived and dynamic. Postcolonial Germany traces the evolution of the collective memory of German colonialism, stretching from the loss of the colonies across the eras of National Socialism, national division, and the Cold War to the present day. It shows to what extent this memory was intimately bound to objects of material culture in the former colonial metropole, such as tropical fruit sold at colonial balls, state gifts handed to the former colonies at independence, and ethnological items kept as family heirlooms.

The study draws on a wide range of sources, including popular literature, oral history, and previously unexplored archival holdings. It marks an important shift in historical methodology, considering the significance of both material culture and private memories in constructing accounts of the past. Above all, it raises important questions about the public responsibilities of postcolonial nations and governments in Europe and their relationship to the private legacies of colonialism.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Myth of the Western"

New from Oxford University Press: Myth of the Western: The American Frontier in Hollywood Cinema by Matthew Carter.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is the nature of the relationship between the Hollywood Western and American frontier mythology? How have Western films helped develop cultural and historical perceptions, attitudes and beliefs towards the frontier? Is there still a place for the genre in light of revisionist histories of the American West?

Myth of the Western re-invigorates the debate surrounding the relationship between the Western and frontier mythology, arguing for the importance of the genre's socio-cultural, historical and political dimensions. Taking a number of critical-theoretical and philosophical approaches, Matthew Carter applies them to prominent forms of frontier historiography. He also considers the historiographic element of the Western by exploring the different ways in which the genre has responded to the issues raised by the frontier. Carter skilfully argues that the genre has - and continues to reveal - the complexities and contradictions at the heart of US society.

With its clear analyses of and intellectual challenges to the film scholarship that has developed around the Western over a 65-year period, this book adds new depth to our understanding of specific film texts and of the genre as a whole - a welcome resource for students and scholars in both Film Studies and American Studies.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Gruesome Spectacles"

New from Stanford University Press: Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty by Austin Sarat.

About the book, from the publisher:
"How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection," wrote Justice Scalia, in a concurring opinion that denied review of a Texas death penalty case. But is it quiet? Renewed and vigorous debate over the death penalty has erupted as DNA testing has proven that many on death row are in fact innocent. In this debate, however, the guilty have been forgotten. In his new book, Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty, renowned legal scholar Austin Sarat describes just how unquiet death by execution can be. If we assume a death row prisoner is guilty, how can we be sure that we are fulfilling the Supreme Court's mandate to ensure that his execution is "the mere extinguishment of life" and not a cruel and unusual punishment?

Gruesome Spectacles is a history of botched, mismanaged, and painful executions in the U.S. from 1890–2010. Using new research, Sarat traces the evolution of methods of execution that were employed during this time, and were meant to improve on the methods that went before, from hanging or firing squad to electrocution to gas and lethal injection. Even though each of these technologies was developed to "perfect" state killing by decreasing the chance of a cruel death, an estimated three percent of all American executions went awry in one way or another. Sarat recounts the gripping and truly gruesome stories of some of these deaths—stories obscured by history and to some extent, the popular press.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 5, 2014

"A World Without Jews"

New from Yale University Press: A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide by Alon Confino.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why exactly did the Nazis burn the Hebrew Bible everywhere in Germany on November 9, 1938? The perplexing event has not been adequately accounted for by historians in their large-scale assessments of how and why the Holocaust occurred. In this gripping new analysis, Alon Confino draws on an array of archives across three continents to propose a penetrating new assessment of one of the central moral problems of the twentieth century. To a surprising extent, Confino demonstrates, the mass murder of Jews during the war years was powerfully anticipated in the culture of the prewar years.

The author shifts his focus away from the debates over what the Germans did or did not know about the Holocaust and explores instead how Germans came to conceive of the idea of a Germany without Jews. He traces the stories the Nazis told themselves—where they came from and where they were heading—and how those stories led to the conclusion that Jews must be eradicated in order for the new Nazi civilization to arise. The creation of this new empire required that Jews and Judaism be erased from Christian history, and this was the inspiration—and justification—for Kristallnacht. As Germans imagined a future world without Jews, persecution and extermination became imaginable, and even justifiable.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 4, 2014

"Mothering the Fatherland"

New from Oxford University Press: Mothering the Fatherland: A Protestant Sisterhood Repents for the Holocaust by George Faithful.

About the book, from the publisher:
How should one respond, personally or theologically, to genocide committed on one's behalf? After the Allied bombing of Darmstadt, Germany, in 1944, some Lutheran young women perceived their city's destruction as an expression of God's wrath-a punishment for Hitler's murder of six million Jews, purportedly on behalf of the German people.

George Faithful tells the story of a number of these young women, who formed the Ecumenical Sisterhood of Mary in 1947 in order to embrace lives of radical repentance for the sins of the German people against God and against the Jews. Under Mother Basilea Schlink, the sisters embraced an ideology of collective national guilt. According to Schlink, a handful of true Christians were called to lead their nation in repentance, interceding and making spiritual sacrifices as priests on its behalf and saving it from looming destruction. Schlink explained that these ideas were rooted in her reading of the Hebrew Bible; in fact, Faithful discovers, they also bore the influence of German nationalism. Schlink's vision resulted in penitential practices that dominated the life of her community.

While the women of the sisterhood were subject to each other, they elevated themselves and their spiritual authority above that of any male leaders. They offered female and gender-neutral paradigms of self-sacrifice as normative for all Christians. Mothering the Fatherland shows how the sisters overturned German Protestant norms for gender roles, communal life, and nationalism in their pursuit of redemption.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 3, 2014

"The Last Empire"

New from Basic Books: The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhy.

About the book, from the publisher:
A prize-winning historian presents a vivid revisionist account of the Soviet Union's collapse over the final five months of 1991.

On Christmas Day, 1991, President George H. W. Bush addressed the nation to declare an American victory in the Cold War: earlier that day Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned as the first and last Soviet president. The enshrining of that narrative, one in which the end of the Cold War was linked to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the triumph of democratic values over communism, took center stage in American public discourse immediately after Bush's speech and has persisted for decades—with disastrous consequences for American standing in the world.

As prize-winning historian Serhii Plokhy reveals in The Last Empire, the collapse of the Soviet Union was anything but the handiwork of the United States. On the contrary, American leaders dreaded the possibility that the Soviet Union—weakened by infighting and economic turmoil—might suddenly crumble, throwing all of Eurasia into chaos. Bush was firmly committed to supporting his ally and personal friend Gorbachev, and remained wary of nationalist or radical leaders such as recently elected Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Fearing what might happen to the large Soviet nuclear arsenal in the event of the union's collapse, Bush stood by Gorbachev as he resisted the growing independence movements in Ukraine, Moldova, and the Caucasus. Plokhy's detailed, authoritative account shows that it was only after the movement for independence of the republics had gained undeniable momentum on the eve of the Ukrainian vote for independence that fall that Bush finally abandoned Gorbachev to his fate.

Drawing on recently declassified documents and original interviews with key participants, Plokhy presents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union's final months and argues that the key to the Soviet collapse was the inability of the two largest Soviet republics, Russia and Ukraine, to agree on the continuing existence of a unified state. By attributing the Soviet collapse to the impact of American actions, US policy makers overrated their own capacities in toppling and rebuilding foreign regimes. Not only was the key American role in the demise of the Soviet Union a myth, but this misplaced belief has guided—and haunted—American foreign policy ever since.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 2, 2014

"Bride Ales and Penny Weddings"

New from Oxford University: Bride Ales and Penny Weddings: Recreations, Reciprocity, and Regions in Britain from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries by R. A. Houston.

About the book, from the publisher:
Some of the poorest regions of historic Britain had some of its most vibrant festivities. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the peoples of northern England, Lowland Scotland, and Wales used extensive celebrations at events such as marriage, along with reciprocal exchange of gifts, to emote a sense of belonging to their locality. Bride Ales and Penny Weddings looks at regionally distinctive practices of giving and receiving wedding gifts, in order to understand social networks and community attitudes.

Examining a wide variety of sources over four centuries, the volume examines contributory weddings, where guests paid for their own entertainment and gave money to the couple, to suggest a new view of the societies of 'middle Britain', and re-interpret social and cultural change across Britain. These regions were not old fashioned, as is commonly assumed, but differently fashioned, possessing social priorities that set them apart both from the south of England and from 'the Celtic fringe'. This volume is about informal communities of people whose aim was maintaining and enhancing social cohesion through sociability and reciprocity. Communities relied on negotiation, compromise, and agreement, to create and re-create consensus around more-or-less shared values, expressed in traditions of hospitality and generosity. Ranging across issues of trust and neighbourliness, recreation and leisure, eating and drinking, order and authority, personal lives and public attitudes, R. A. Houston explores many areas of interest not only to social historians, but also literary scholars of the British Isles.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"Name, Rank, and Serial Number"

New from Oxford University Press: Name, Rank, and Serial Number: Exploiting Korean War POWs at Home and Abroad by Charles S. Young.

About the book, from the publisher:
Vietnam POWs came home heroes, but twenty years earlier their predecessors returned from Korea to shame and suspicion. In the Korean War American prisoners were used in propaganda twice, first during the conflict, then at home. While in Chinese custody in North Korea, they were pressured to praise their treatment and criticize the war. When they came back, the Department of the Army and cooperative pundits said too many were weaklings who did not resist communist indoctrination or "brainwashing." Ex-prisoners were featured in a publicity campaign scolding the nation to raise tougher sons for the Cold War. This propaganda was based on feverish exaggerations that ignored the convoluted circumstances POWs were put in, which decisions in Washington helped create.
--Marshal Zeringue