Thursday, December 31, 2015

"The Great Exception"

New from Princeton University Press: The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics by Jefferson Cowie.

About the book, from the publisher:
The New Deal: where does it fit in the big picture of American history? What does it mean for us today? What happened to the economic equality it once engendered? In The Great Exception, Jefferson Cowie provides new answers to these big questions. Beginning in the Great Depression and through to the 1970s, he argues, the United States built a uniquely equitable period that contrasts with the deeper historical patterns of American political practice, economic structure, and cultural outlook.

During those exceptional decades, which Cowie situates in the long arc of American history, the government used its considerable resources on behalf of working Americans in ways that it had not before and has not since. The crises of the Depression and World War II forced realignments of American politics and class relations, but these changes were less a permanent triumph of the welfare state than the product of a temporary cessation of enduring tensions involving race, immigration, culture, class, and individualism. Against this backdrop, Cowie shows how any renewed American battle for collective economic rights needs to build on an understanding of how the New Deal was won—and how it ultimately succumbed to contrasting patterns ingrained in U.S. history. As positive as the era of Roosevelt was in creating a more equitable society, Cowie suggests that the New Deal may necessarily belong more to the past than the future of American politics.

Anyone who wants to come to terms with the politics of inequality in U.S. history will need to read The Great Exception.
Visit Jefferson Cowie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"The Wilmington Ten"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: The Wilmington Ten: Violence, Injustice, and the Rise of Black Politics in the 1970s by Kenneth Robert Janken.

About the book, from the publisher:
In February 1971, racial tension surrounding school desegregation in Wilmington, North Carolina, culminated in four days of violence and skirmishes between white vigilantes and black residents. The turmoil resulted in two deaths, six injuries, more than $500,000 in damage, and the firebombing of a white-owned store, before the National Guard restored uneasy peace. Despite glaring irregularities in the subsequent trial, ten young persons were convicted of arson and conspiracy and then sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison. They became known internationally as the Wilmington Ten. A powerful movement arose within North Carolina and beyond to demand their freedom, and after several witnesses admitted to perjury, a federal appeals court, also citing prosecutorial misconduct, overturned the convictions in 1980.

Kenneth Janken narrates the dramatic story of the Ten, connecting their story to a larger arc of Black Power and the transformation of post-Civil Rights era political organizing. Grounded in extensive interviews, newly declassified government documents, and archival research, this book thoroughly examines the 1971 events and the subsequent movement for justice that strongly influenced the wider African American freedom struggle.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Recovering Armenia"

New from Stanford University Press: Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey by Lerna Ekmekcioglu.

About the book, from the publisher:
Recovering Armenia offers the first in-depth study of the aftermath of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and the Armenians who remained in Turkey. Following World War I, as the victorious Allied powers occupied Ottoman territories, Armenian survivors returned to their hometowns optimistic that they might establish an independent Armenia. But Turkish resistance prevailed, and by 1923 the Allies withdrew, the Turkish Republic was established, and Armenians were left again to reconstruct their communities within a country that still considered them traitors. Lerna Ekmekcioglu investigates how Armenians recovered their identity within these drastically changing political conditions.

Reading Armenian texts and images produced in Istanbul from the close of WWI through the early 1930s, Ekmekcioglu gives voice to the community's most prominent public figures, notably Hayganush Mark, a renowned activist, feminist, and editor of the influential journal Hay Gin. These public figures articulated an Armenianess sustained through gendered differences, and women came to play a central role preserving traditions, memory, and the mother tongue within the home. But even as women were being celebrated for their traditional roles, a strong feminist movement found opportunity for leadership within the community. Ultimately, the book explores this paradox: how someone could be an Armenian and a feminist in post-genocide Turkey when, through its various laws and regulations, the key path for Armenians to maintain their identity was through traditionally gendered roles.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 28, 2015

"Ku-Klux: The Birth of the Klan during Reconstruction"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: Ku-Klux: The Birth of the Klan during Reconstruction by Elaine Frantz Parsons.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first comprehensive examination of the nineteenth-century Ku Klux Klan since the 1970s, Ku-Klux pinpoints the group's rise with startling acuity. Historians have traced the origins of the Klan to Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1866, but the details behind the group's emergence have long remained shadowy. By parsing the earliest descriptions of the Klan, Elaine Frantz Parsons reveals that it was only as reports of the Tennessee Klan's mysterious and menacing activities began circulating in northern newspapers that whites enthusiastically formed their own Klan groups throughout the South. The spread of the Klan was thus intimately connected with the politics and mass media of the North.

Shedding new light on the ideas that motivated the Klan, Parsons explores Klansmen's appropriation of images and language from northern urban forms such as minstrelsy, burlesque, and business culture. While the Klan sought to retain the prewar racial order, the figure of the Ku-Klux became a joint creation of northern popular cultural entrepreneurs and southern whites seeking, perversely and violently, to modernize the South. Innovative and packed with fresh insight, Parsons' book offers the definitive account of the rise of the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 27, 2015

"The War on Alcohol"

New from W.W. Norton: The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State by Lisa McGirr.

About the book, from the publisher:
A groundbreaking history of Prohibition and a new creation story for the powerful American state.

Prohibition has long been portrayed as a “noble experiment” that failed, a newsreel story of glamorous gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. Now at last Lisa McGirr dismantles this cherished myth to reveal a much more significant history. Prohibition was the seedbed for a pivotal expansion of the federal government, the genesis of our contemporary penal state. Her deeply researched, eye-opening account uncovers patterns of enforcement still familiar today: the war on alcohol was waged disproportionately in African American, immigrant, and poor white communities. Alongside Jim Crow and other discriminatory laws, Prohibition brought coercion into everyday life and even into private homes. Its targets coalesced into an electoral base of urban, working-class voters that propelled FDR to the White House.

This outstanding history also reveals a new genome for the activist American state, one that shows the DNA of the right as well as the left. It was Herbert Hoover who built the extensive penal apparatus used by the federal government to combat the crime spawned by Prohibition. The subsequent federal wars on crime, on drugs, and on terror all display the inheritances of the war on alcohol. McGirr shows the powerful American state to be a bipartisan creation, a legacy not only of the New Deal and the Great Society but also of Prohibition and its progeny.

The War on Alcohol is history at its best—original, authoritative, and illuminating of our past and its continuing presence today.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from Oxford University Press: Hattin (Great Battles Series) by John France.

About the book, from the publisher:
On July 4, 1187 the legendary Muslim leader Saladin destroyed the Crusader army of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem with a terrible slaughter at the battle of Hattin - and subsequently restored the Holy City of Jerusalem to Islamic rule.

The carnage at Hattin was the culmination of almost a century of religious wars between Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land. It had enormous consequences for the whole medieval world because it produced an intensification of holy war between Islam and Europe for over another century and, in retrospect, marked the beginning of the end for the Crusader presence in the Middle East.

In the 20th century, memory of the battle was revived as a symbol of Arab hope for liberation from Crusader Imperialism and in the 21st, it has become a rallying cry for radical Muslim fundamentalists in their struggle for the soul of Islam.

In this new volume in the Great Battles series, John France analyzes the origins and course of this pivotal battle, illuminating the roots of the bitter hatred that underlay it and explains its significance in world history - from medieval times to the present.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Rationalizing Korea"

New from the University of California Press: Rationalizing Korea: The Rise of the Modern State, 1894-1945 by Kyung Moon Hwang.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first book to explore the institutional, ideological, and conceptual development of the modern state on the peninsula, Rationalizing Korea analyzes the state’s relationship to five social sectors, each through a distinctive interpretive theme: economy (developmentalism), religion (secularization), education (public schooling), population (registration), and public health (disease control). Kyung Moon Hwang argues that while this formative process resulted in a more commanding and systematic state, it was also highly fragmented, socially embedded, and driven by competing, often conflicting rationalizations, including those of Confucian statecraft and legitimation. Such outcomes reflected the acute experience of imperialism, nationalism, colonialism, and other sweeping forces of the era.
Kyung Moon Hwang is a professor of history and East Asian languages and cultures at the University of Southern California. He is the author of A History of Korea: An Episodic Narrative and Beyond Birth: Social Status in the Emergence of Modern Korea and coeditor of Contentious Kwangju: The May 18 Uprising in Korea’s Past and Present.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 25, 2015

"Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848"

New from Manchester University Press: Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848 by Katrina Navickas.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book is a wide-ranging survey of the rise of mass movements for democracy and workers' rights in northern England. It is a provocative narrative of the closing down of public space and dispossession from place. The book offers historical parallels for contemporary debates about protests in public space and democracy and anti-globalisation movements. In response to fears of revolution from 1789 to 1848, the British government and local authorities prohibited mass working-class political meetings and societies. Protesters faced the privatisation of public space. The 'Peterloo Massacre' of 1819 marked a turning point. Radicals, trade unions and the Chartists fought back by challenging their exclusion from public spaces, creating their own sites and eventually constructing their own buildings or emigrating to America. This book also uncovers new evidence of protest in rural areas of northern England, including rural Luddism. It will appeal to academic and local historians, as well as geographers and scholars of social movements in the UK, France and North America.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 24, 2015

"China's Early Mosques"

New from Edinburgh University Press: China's Early Mosques by Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt.

About the book, from the publisher:
What happens when a monotheistic, foreign religion needs a space in which to worship in China, a civilisation with a building tradition that has been largely unchanged for several millennia? The story of this extraordinary convergence begins in the 7th century and continues under the Chinese rule of Song and Ming, and the non-Chinese rule of the Mongols and Manchus, each with a different political and religious agenda. The author shows that mosques, and ultimately Islam, have survived in China because the Chinese architectural system, though often unchanging, is adaptable: it can accommodate the religious requirements of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Islam.
Nancy S. Steinhardt is Professor of East Asian Art and Curator of Chinese Art at the University of Pennsylvania where she has taught since 1982. She received her PhD at Harvard in 1981 where she was a Junior Fellow from 1978-81. Steinhardt taught at Bryn Mawr from 1981-1982. She has broad research interests in the art and architecture of China and China's border regions, particularly problems that result from the interaction between Chinese art and that of peoples to the North, Northeast, and Northwest.

Steinhardt is author or co-author of Chinese Traditional Architecture (1984), Chinese Imperial City Planning (1990), Liao Architecture (1997), Chinese Architecture (2003), Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture (2005), Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts (2011), Chinese Architecture in an Age of Turmoil, 200-600 (2014), and more than 70 scholarly articles.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"Transatlantic Obligations"

New from Oxford University Press: Transatlantic Obligations: Creating the Bonds of Family in Conquest-Era Peru and Spain by Jane E. Mangan.

About the book, from the publisher:
The sixteenth-century changes wrought by expansion of Spanish empire into Peru shaped the ways of being a family in colonial Peru. Even as migration, race mixture, and transculturation took place, family members fulfilled obligations to one another by adapting custom to a changing world. Family began to shift when, from the moment of their arrival in 1532, Spaniards were joined with elite indigenous women in political marriage-like alliances. Almost immediately, a generation of mestizos was born that challenged the hierarchies of colonial society. In response, the Spanish Crown began to promote the marriage of these men and the travel of Spanish women to Peru to promote good customs and even serve as surrogate parents. Other reactions came from wives in Spain who, abandoned by husbands, sought assistance to fulfill family duties. For indigenous families, the pressures of colonialism prompted migration to cities. By mid-century, the increase of Spanish migration to Peru changed the social landscape, but did not halt mixed-race marriages. The book posits that late sixteenth-century cities, specifically Lima and Arequipa, were host to indigenous and Spanish families but also to numerous 'blended' families borne of a process of mestizaje. In its final chapter, the legacies for the next generation reveal how Spanish fathers sometimes challenged law with custom and sentiment to establish inheritance plans for their children. By tracing family obligations connecting Peru and Spain through dowries, bequests, legal powers, and letters, Transatlantic Obligations presents a powerful call to rethink sixteenth-century definitions of family.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"The Face of Medicine"

New from Manchester University Press: The Face of Medicine: Visualising medical masculinities in late nineteenth-century Paris by Mary Hunter.

About the book, from the publisher:
The face of medicine examines the overlapping worlds of art and medicine in late nineteenth-century France. It sheds new light on the relevance of the visual in medical and scientific cultures, and on the relationship between artistic and medical practices and imagery. By examining previously unstudied sources that traverse disciplinary boundaries, this original study rethinks the politics of medical representations and their social impact.

Hunter argues that artworks and medical collections played a key role in forming the public face of scientific medicine. Through a focused examination of paintings from the 1886 and 1887 Paris Salons that portray famous men from the medical and scientific elite DS Louis Pasteur, Jules-Émile Péan and Jean-Martin Charcot DS along with the images and objects that these men made for personal and occupational purposes, she explores how the masculinities of eminent medical men were visualised. Anatomical wax models, painted portraits, medical photographs and popular caricatures, amongst other items, were central to the performance of individual and collective identities, social and professional exchanges, and to the production of knowledge.

The face of medicine investigates the medical community's use of art and aesthetics, and the art world's cultural appropriation of scientific principles. It explores how artists, physicians and scientists worked together to produce depictions of bodies, diseases and sexualities that were considered as real as possible. By examining the competing claims to truth made by different media, stylistic practices and professions, The face of medicine questions the varying rhetorical strategies of realism, nationalism and objectivity to explore realism's multiple roles and guises.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Greece on Air"

New from Oxford University Press: Greece on Air: Engagements with Ancient Greece on BBC Radio, 1920s-1960s by Amanda Wrigley.

About the book, from the publisher:
Greece on Air offers the first substantial discussion of the fascinating history of creative and public engagements with ancient Greek literature, history, and thought via the BBC Radio, from the birth of domestic broadcasting in the 1920s up to the 1960s.

The astonishing range of programmes broadcast in this period includes some of the most interesting, creative, and political engagements with ideas from and about ancient Greece in twentieth-century Britain. From talks to schools and adult education groups, creative re-imaginings of ancient historical texts written and broadcast as Second World War propaganda, and scores of performances of Greek tragedy, comedy, and their modern adaptations, Wrigley draws on the vast amount of evidence that exists in the written archives (both for production processes and also listeners' responses) to develop a full understanding of the role of the radio medium in public engagements with ancient Greece in twentieth-century Britain.
Visit Amanda Wrigley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 20, 2015

"The Political Origins of Inequality"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal World Is Better for Us All by Simon Reid-Henry.

About the book, from the publisher:
Inequality is the defining issue of our time. But it is not just a problem for the rich world. It is the global 1% that now owns fully half the world’s wealth—the true measure of our age of inequality. In this historical tour de force, Simon Reid-Henry rewrites the usual story of globalization and development as a story of the management of inequality. Reaching back to the eighteenth century and around the globe, The Political Origins of Inequality foregrounds the political turning points and decisions behind the making of today’s uneven societies. As it weaves together insights from the Victorian city to the Cold War, from US economic policy to Europe’s present migration crisis, a true picture emerges of the structure of inequality itself.

The problem of inequality, Reid-Henry argues, is a problem that manifests between places as well as over time. This is one reason why it cannot be resolved by the usual arguments of left versus right, bound as they are to the national scale alone. Most of all, however, it is why the level of inequality that confronts us today is indicative of a more general crisis in political thought. Modern political discourse has no place for public reason or the common good. Equality is yesterday’s dream. Yet the fact that we now accept such a world—a world that values security over freedom, special treatment over universal opportunity, and efficiency over fairness—is ultimately because we have stopped even trying in recent decades to build the political architecture the world actually requires.

Our politics has fallen out of step with the world, then, and at the every moment it is needed more than ever. Yet it is within our power to address this. Doing so involves identifying and then meeting our political responsibilities to others, not just offering them the selective charity of the rich. It means looking beyond issues of economics and outside our national borders. But above all it demands of us that we reinvent the language of equality for a modern, global world: and then institute this. The world is not falling apart. Different worlds, we all can see, are colliding together. It is our capacity to act in concert that is falling apart. It is this that needs restoring most of all.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Islam and Colonialism"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Islam and Colonialism: Becoming Modern in Indonesia and Malaya by Muhamad Ali.

About the book, from the publisher:
Focusing on Indonesia and Malaysia, this book looks at how European colonial and Islamic modernising powers operated in the common and parallel domains of government and politics, law and education in the first half of the twentieth century. It shows that colonialisation was able to co-exist with Islamisation, arguing that Islamic movements were not necessarily antithetical to modernisation, nor that Western modernity was always anathema to Islamic and local custom. Rather, in distinguishing religious from worldly affairs, they were able to adopt and adapt modern ideas and practices that were useful or relevant while maintaining the Islamic faith and ritual that they believed to be essential.

In developing an understanding of the common ways in which Islam was defined and treated in Indonesia and Malaysia, we can gain a new insight to Muslim politics and culture in Southeast Asia.
Muhamad Ali is Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 18, 2015

"Courtrooms and Classrooms"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Courtrooms and Classrooms: A Legal History of College Access, 1860−1960 by Scott M. Gelber.

About the book, from the publisher:
Conventional wisdom holds that American courts historically deferred to institutions of higher learning in most matters involving student conduct and access. Historian Scott M. Gelber upends this theory, arguing that colleges and universities never really enjoyed an overriding judicial privilege.

Focusing on admissions, expulsion, and tuition litigation, Courtrooms and Classrooms reveals that judicial scrutiny of college access was especially robust during the nineteenth century, when colleges struggled to differentiate themselves from common schools that were expected to educate virtually all students. During the early twentieth century, judges deferred more consistently to academia as college enrollment surged, faculty engaged more closely with the state, and legal scholars promoted widespread respect for administrative expertise. Beginning in the 1930s, civil rights activism encouraged courts to examine college access policies with renewed vigor.

Gelber explores how external phenomena—especially institutional status and political movements—influenced the shifting jurisprudence of higher education over time. He also chronicles the impact of litigation on college access policies, including the rise of selectivity and institutional differentiation, the decline of de jure segregation, the spread of contractual understandings of enrollment, and the triumph of vocational emphases.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"The Astronomer and the Witch"

New from Oxford University Press: The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler's Fight for his Mother by Ulinka Rublack.

About the book, from the publisher:
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was one of the most admired astronomers who ever lived and a key figure in the scientific revolution. A defender of Copernicus's sun-centred universe, he famously discovered that planets move in ellipses and defined the three laws of planetary motion. Perhaps less well known is that in 1615, when Kepler was at the height of his career, his widowed mother Katharina was accused of witchcraft. The proceedings led to a criminal trial that lasted six years, with Kepler conducting his mother's defense.

In The Astronomer and the Witch, Ulinka Rublack pieces together the tale of this extraordinary episode in Kepler's life, one that takes us to the heart of his changing world. First and foremost an intense family drama, the story brings to life the world of a small Lutheran community in the center of Europe at a time of deep religious and political turmoil - a century after the Reformation and on the threshold of the Thirty Years' War.

Kepler's defense of his mother also offers us a fascinating glimpse into the great astronomer's world view, on the cusp between Reformation and scientific revolution. While advancing rational explanations for the phenomena that his mother's accusers attributed to witchcraft, Kepler nevertheless did not call into question the existence of magic and witches. On the contrary, he clearly believed in them. And, as the story unfolds, it appears that there were moments when even Katharina's children wondered whether their mother really did have nothing to hide...
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"The Crimean Tatars"

New from Oxford University Press: The Crimean Tatars: From Soviet Genocide to Putin's Conquest by Brian Glyn Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Russian annexation of the Crimea in March 2014 focused the world's attention on the Peninsula in ways not seen since the Crimean War. Thousands of Crimean Tatars clashed with pro-Russian militiamen in Simferopol, while Moscow has in turn stoked fears of jihadi terrorism among the overwhelmingly Muslim Tatars as retrospective justification for its invasion. The key thread in this book is the Crimean Tatars' changing relationship with their Vatan (homeland) and how this interaction with their natal territory changed under the Ottoman Sultans, Russian Tsars, Soviet Commissars, post-Soviet Ukrainian authorities and now Putin's Russia. Taking as its starting point the 1783 Russian conquest of the independent Tatar state known as the Crimean Khanate, Williams explains how the peninsula's native population, with ethnic roots among the Goths, Kipchak Turks, and Mongols, was scattered across the Ottoman Empire. He also traces their later emigration and the radical transformation of this conservative tribal-religious group into a modern, politically mobilized, secular nation under Soviet rule. Stalin's genocidal deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 to Uzbekistan and their almost messianic return to their cherished 'Green Isle' in the 1990s are examined in detail, while the author's archival investigations are bolstered by his field research among the Crimean Tatar exiles in Uzbekistan and in their samozakhvat (self-seized) squatter camps and settlements in the Crimea.
Visit Brian Glyn Williams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Youth and Empire"

New from Stanford University Press: Youth and Empire: Trans-Colonial Childhoods in British and French Asia by David M. Pomfret.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the first study of its kind to provide such a broadly comparative and in-depth analysis of children and empire. Youth and Empire brings to light new research and new interpretations on two relatively neglected fields of study: the history of imperialism in East and South East Asia and, more pointedly, the influence of childhood—and children's voices—on modern empires.

By utilizing a diverse range of unpublished source materials drawn from three different continents, David M. Pomfret examines the emergence of children and childhood as a central historical force in the global history of empire in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This book is unusual in its scope, extending across the two empires of Britain and France and to points of intense impact in "tropical" places where indigenous, immigrant, and foreign cultures mixed: Hong Kong, Singapore, Saigon, and Hanoi. It thereby shows how childhood was crucial to definitions of race, and thus European authority, in these parts of the world. By examining the various contradictory and overlapping meanings of childhood in colonial Asia, Pomfret is able to provide new and often surprising readings of a set of problems that continue to trouble our contemporary world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Feast of Excess"

New from Oxford University Press: Feast of Excess: A Cultural History of the New Sensibility by George Cotkin.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1952, John Cage shocked audiences with 4'33", his compositional ode to the ironic power of silence. From Cage's minimalism to Chris Burden's radical performance art two decades later (in one piece he had himself shot), the post-war American avant-garde shattered the divide between low and high art, between artist and audience. They changed the cultural landscape.

Feast of Excess is an engaging and accessible portrait of "The New Sensibility," as it was named by Susan Sontag in 1965. The New Sensibility sought to push culture in extreme directions: either towards stark minimalism or gaudy maximalism. Through vignette profiles of prominent figures-John Cage, Patricia Highsmith, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Anne Sexton, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Erica Jong, and Thomas Pynchon, to name a few-George Cotkin presents their bold, headline-grabbing performances and places them within the historical moment.

This inventive and jaunty narrative captures the excitement of liberation in American culture. The roots of this release, as Cotkin demonstrates, began in the 1950s, boomed in the 1960s, and became the cultural norm by the 1970s.

More than a detailed immersion in the history of cultural extremism, Feast of Excess raises provocative questions for our present-day culture.
Writers Read: George Cotkin (October 2012).

The Page 99 Test: Dive Deeper.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Colored Television"

New from Stanford University Press: Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global by Marla F. Frederick.

About the book, from the publisher:
The presence of women and African Americans not simply as viewers, but also as televangelists and station owners in their own right has dramatically changed the face of American religious broadcasting in recent decades. Colored Television looks at the influence of these ministries beyond the United States, where complex gospels of prosperity and gospels of sexual redemption mutually inform one another while offering hopeful yet socially contested narratives of personal uplift. As an ethnography, Colored Television illuminates the phenomenal international success of American TV preachers like T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, and Juanita Bynum. Focusing particularly on Jamaica and the Caribbean, it also explores why the genre has resonated so powerfully around the world. Investigating the roles of producers, consumers, and distributors, Marla Frederick takes a unique look at the ministries, the communities they enter, and the global markets of competition that buffer them.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 14, 2015

"Athenian Prostitution"

New from Oxford University Press: Athenian Prostitution: The Business of Sex by Edward E. Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is a pioneering study that examines the sale of sex in classical Athens from a commercial (rather than from a cultural or moral) perspective. Following the author's earlier book on Athenian banking, this work analyzes erotic business at Athens in the context of the Athenian economy. For the Athenians, the social acceptability and moral standing of human labor was largely determined by the conditions under which work was performed. Pursued in a context characteristic of servile endeavor, prostitution--like all forms of slave labor--was contemptible. Pursued under conditions appropriate to non-servile endeavor, prostitution--like all forms of free labor--was not violative of Athenian work ethics. As a mercantile activity, however, prostitution was not untouched by Athenian antagonism toward commercial and manual pursuits; as the "business of sex," prostitution further evoked negativity from segments of Greek opinion uncomfortable with any form of carnality. Yet ancient sources also adumbrate another view, in which the sale of sex, lawful and indeed pervasive at Athens, is presented alluringly.

In a book that will be of interest to all students of sex and gender, to economic, legal and social historians, and to classicists, the author explores the high compensation earned by female sexual entrepreneurs who often controlled prostitutional businesses that were perpetuated from generation to generation on a matrilineal basis, and that benefitted from legislative restrictions on pimping. The author juxtaposes the widespread practice of "prostitution pursuant to written contract" with legislation targeting male prostitutes functioning as governmental leaders, and explores the seemingly contradictory phenomena of extensive sexual exploitation of slave prostitutes (male and female) coexisting with Athenian society's pride in its legislative protection of slaves and minors against sexual outrage.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Fatal Love"

New from Stanford University Press: Fatal Love: Spousal Killers, Law, and Punishment in the Late Colonial Spanish Atlantic by Victor M. Uribe-Uran.

About the book, from the publisher:
One night in December 1800, in the distant mission outpost of San Antonio in northern Mexico, Eulalia Californio and her lover Primo plotted the murder of her abusive husband. While the victim was sleeping, Prio and his brother tied a rope around Juan Californio's neck. One of them sat on his body while the other pulled on the rope and the woman, grabbing her husband by the legs, pulled in the opposite direction. After Juan Californio suffocated, Eulalia ran to the mission and reported that her husband had choked while chewing tobacco. Suspicious, the mission priests reported the crime to the authorities in charge of the nearest presidio.

For historians, spousal murders are significant for what they reveal about social and family history, in particular the hidden history of day-to-day gender relations, conflicts, crimes, and punishments. Fatal Love examines this phenomenon in the late colonial Spanish Atlantic, focusing on incidents occurring in New Spain (colonial Mexico), New Granada (colonial Colombia), and Spain from the 1740s to the 1820s. In the more than 200 cases consulted, it considers not only the social features of the murders, but also the legal discourses and judicial practices guiding the historical treatment of spousal murders, helping us understand the historical intersection of domestic violence, private and state/church patriarchy, and the law.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Founding Sins"

New from Oxford University Press: Founding Sins: How a Group of Antislavery Radicals Fought to Put Christ into the Constitution by Joseph S. Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Covenanters, now mostly forgotten, were America's first Christian nationalists. For two centuries they decried the fact that, in their view, the United States was not a Christian nation because slavery was in the Constitution but Jesus was not. Having once ruled Scotland as a part of a Presbyterian coalition, they longed to convert America to a holy Calvinist vision in which church and state united to form a godly body politic. Their unique story has largely been submerged beneath the histories of the events in which they participated and the famous figures with whom they interacted, making them the most important religious movement in American history that no one remembers.

Despite being one of North America's smallest religious sects, the Covenanters found their way into every major revolt. They were God's rebels--just as likely to be Patriots against Britain as they were to be Whiskey Rebels against the federal government. As the nation's earliest and most avowed abolitionists, they had a significant influence on the fight for emancipation. In Founding Sins, Joseph S. Moore examines this forgotten history, and explores how Covenanters profoundly shaped American's understandings of the separation of church and state.

While modern arguments about America's Christian founding usually come from the right, the Covenanters have a more complicated legacy. They fought for an explicitly Christian America in the midst of what they saw as a secular state that failed the test of Christian nationhood. But they did so on behalf of a cause--abolition--that is traditionally associated with the left. Though their attempts to insert God into the Constitution ultimately failed, Covenanters set the acceptable limits for religion in politics for generations to come.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Wonderful Things"

New from The American University in Cairo Press: Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology: The Golden Age: 1881-1914 by Jason Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:
The second part of the first comprehensive history of the study and understanding of ancient Egypt, from ancient times to the twenty-first century

The discovery of ancient Egypt and the development of Egyptology are momentous events in intellectual and cultural history. The history of Egyptology is the story of the people, famous and obscure, who constructed the picture of ancient Egypt that we have today, recovered the Egyptian past while inventing it anew, and made a lost civilization comprehensible to generations of enchanted readers and viewers thousands of years later. This, the second of a three-volume survey of the history of Egyptology, explores the years 1881–1914, a period marked by the institutionalization of Egyptology amid an ever increasing pace of discovery and the opening of vast new vistas into the Egyptian past. Wonderful Things affirms that the history of ancient Egypt has proved continually fascinating, but it also demonstrates that the history of Egyptology is no less so. Only by understanding how Egyptology has developed can we truly understand ancient Egypt.
--Marshal Zeringue

"No Depression in Heaven"

New from Oxford University Press: No Depression in Heaven: The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Transformation of Religion in the Delta by Alison Collis Greene.

About the book, from the publisher:
In No Depression in Heaven, Alison Collis Greene demonstrates how the Great Depression and New Deal transformed the relationship between church and state. Grounded in Memphis and the Delta, this book traces the collapse of voluntarism, the link between southern religion and the New Deal, and the gradual alienation of conservative Christianity from the state.

At the start of the Great Depression, churches and voluntary societies provided the only significant source of aid for those in need in the South. Limited in scope, divided by race, and designed to control the needy as much as to support them, religious aid collapsed under the burden of need in the early 1930s. Hungry, homeless, and out-of-work Americans found that they had nowhere to turn at the most desolate moment of their lives.

Religious leaders joined a chorus of pleas for federal intervention in the crisis and a permanent social safety net. They celebrated the New Deal as a religious triumph. Yet some complained that Franklin Roosevelt cut the churches out of his programs and lamented their lost moral authority. Still others found new opportunities within the New Deal. By the late 1930s, the pattern was set for decades of religious and political realignment.

More than a study of religion and politics, No Depression in Heaven uncovers the stories of men and women who endured the Depression and sought in their religious worlds the spiritual resources to endure material deprivation. Its characters are rich and poor, black and white, mobile sharecroppers and wealthy reformers, enamored of the federal government and appalled by it. Woven into this story of political and social transformation are stories of southern men and women who faced the greatest economic disaster of the twentieth century and tried to build a better world than the one they inhabited.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Commons Democracy"

New from Fordham University Press: Commons Democracy: Reading the Politics of Participation in the Early United States by Dana Nelson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Commons Democracy highlights a poorly understood dimension of democracy in the early United States. It tells a story that, like the familiar one, begins in the Revolutionary era. But instead of the tale of the Founders’ high-minded ideals and their careful crafting of the safe framework for democracy—a representative republican government—Commons Democracy examines the power of the democratic spirit, the ideals and practices of everyday people in the early nation. As Dana D. Nelson reveals in this illuminating work, the sensibility of participatory democratic activity fueled the involvement of ordinary folk in resistance, revolution, state constitution-making, and early national civic dissent. The rich variety of commoning customs and practices in the late colonies offered non-elite actors a tangible and durable relationship to democratic power, one significantly different from the representative democracy that would be institutionalized by the Framers in 1787. This democracy understood political power and liberties as communal, not individual.

Ordinary folk practiced a democracy that was robustly participatory and insistently local. To help tell this story, Nelson turns to early American authors—Hugh Henry Brackenridge, James Fenimore Cooper, Robert Montgomery Bird, and Caroline Kirkland—who were engaged with conflicts that emerged from competing ideals of democracy in the early republic, such as the Whiskey Rebellion and the Anti-Rent War as well as the enclosure of the legal commons, anxieties about popular suffrage, and practices of frontier equalitarianism. While Commons Democracy is about the capture of “democracy” for the official purposes of state consolidation and expansion, it is also a story about the ongoing (if occluded) vitality of commons democracy, of its power as part of our shared democratic history and its usefulness in the contemporary toolkit of citizenship.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Groundless: Rumors, Legends, and Hoaxes on the Early American Frontier by Gregory Evans Dowd.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why did Elizabethan adventurers believe that the interior of America hid vast caches of gold? Who started the rumor that British officers purchased revolutionary white women’s scalps, packed them by the bale, and shipped them to their superiors? And why are people today still convinced that white settlers—hardly immune as a group to the disease—routinely distributed smallpox-tainted blankets to the natives?

Rumor—spread by colonists and Native Americans alike—ran rampant in early America. In Groundless, historian Gregory Evans Dowd explores why half-truths, deliberate lies, and outrageous legends emerged in the first place, how they grew, and why they were given such credence throughout the New World. Arguing that rumors are part of the objective reality left to us by the past—a kind of fragmentary archival record—he examines how uncertain news became powerful enough to cascade through the centuries.

Drawing on specific case studies and tracing recurring rumors over many generations, Dowd explains the seductive power of unreliable stories in the eastern North American frontiers from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. The rumors studied here—some alluring, some frightening—commanded attention and demanded action. They were all, by definition, groundless, but they were not all false, and they influenced the classic issues of historical inquiry: the formation of alliances, the making of revolutions, the expropriation of labor and resources, and the origins of war.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"The Cotton Kings"

New from Oxford University Press: The Cotton Kings: Capitalism and Corruption in Turn-of-the-Century New York and New Orleans by Bruce E. Baker and Barbara Hahn.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Cotton Kings relates a rip-roaring drama of competition in the marketplace and reveals the damage markets can cause when they do not work properly. It also explains how they can be fixed through careful regulation. At the turn of the twentieth century, cotton was still the major agricultural product of the American South and an important commodity for world industry. Key to marketing cotton were futures contracts, traded at exchanges in New York and New Orleans. Futures contracts had the potential to hedge risk and reduce price volatility, but only if the markets in which they were traded worked properly. Increasing corruption on the powerful New York Cotton Exchange pushed prices steadily downwards in the 1890s, impoverishing millions of cotton farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture tried to solve the problem with better crop predictions and market information, shared equally and simultaneously with all participants, but these efforts failed.

To fight the cotton market's corruption, cotton brokers in New Orleans, led by William P. Brown and Frank Hayne, began quietly to assemble resources. They triumphed in the summer of 1903, when they cornered the world market in cotton and raised its price to reflect the reality of increasing demand and struggling supply. The brokers' success pushed up the price of cotton for the next ten years. However, the structural problems of self-regulation by market participants still threatened the cotton trade. More corruption at the New York Cotton Exchange appeared, until eventually political pressure inspired the Cotton Futures Act of 1914, the federal government's first successful regulation of a financial derivative.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Beyond the Walled City"

New from the University of California Press: Beyond the Walled City: Colonial Exclusion in Havana by Guadalupe García.

About the book, from the publisher:
One of the earliest and most important port cities in the New World, Havana quickly became a model for the planning and construction of other colonial cities. Beyond the Walled City tells the story of how Havana was conceived, built, and managed. Examining imperial efforts to police urban space from the late sixteenth century onward, Guadalupe García shows how the production of urban space was explicitly centered on the politics of racial exclusion and social control. Connecting colonial governing practices to broader debates on urbanization, the regulation of public spaces, and the racial dislocation of urban populations, Beyond the Walled City points to the ways in which colonialism is inscribed on modern topographies.
Guadalupe García is Assistant Professor of History at Tulane University.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"A Foot in the River"

New from Oxford University Press: A Foot in the River: Why Our Lives Change - and the Limits of Evolution by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.

About the book, from the publisher:
We are a weird species. Like other species, we have a culture. But by comparison with other species, we are strangely unstable: human cultures self-transform, diverge, and multiply with bewildering speed. They vary, radically and rapidly, from time to time and place to place. And the way we live - our manners, morals, habits, experiences, relationships, technology, values - seems to be changing at an ever accelerating pace. The effects can be dislocating, baffling, sometimes terrifying. Why is this?

In A Foot in the River, best-selling historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto sifts through the evidence and offers some radical answers to these very big questions about the human species and its history - and speculates on what these answers might mean for our future. Combining insights from a huge range of disciplines, including history, biology, anthropology, archaeology, philosophy, sociology, ethology, zoology, primatology, psychology, linguistics, the cognitive sciences, and even business studies, he argues that culture is exempt from evolution. Ultimately, no environmental conditions, no genetic legacy, no predictable patterns, no scientific laws determine our behaviour. We can consequently make and remake our world in the freedom of unconstrained imaginations.

A revolutionary book which challenges scientistic assumptions about culture and how and why cultural change happens, A Foot in the River comes to conclusions which readers may well find by turns both daunting and also potentially hugely liberating.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Angels of the Underground"

New from Oxford University Press: Angels of the Underground: The American Women who Resisted the Japanese in the Philippines in World War II by Theresa Kaminski.

About the book, from the publisher:
When the Japanese began their brutal occupation of the Philippines in January 1942, 76,000 ill and starving Filipino and American troops tried to hold out on Bataan and Corregidor. That spring, after having been forced to surrender, most of those men were thrown into Japanese POW camps while dozens of others slipped away to organize guerrilla forces. During the three violent years of occupation that followed, Allied sympathizers in Manila smuggled supplies and information to the guerrillas and the prisoners.

Theresa Kaminski's Angels of the Underground tells the story of four American women who were part of this little-known resistance movement: Gladys Savary, Claire Phillips, Yay Panlilio, and Peggy Utinsky - all incredibly adept at skirting occupation authorities to support the Allied war effort. The nature of their clandestine work meant that the truth behind their dangerous activities had to be obscured as long as the Japanese occupied the Philippines. If caught, they would be imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Throughout the Pacific War, these four women remained hidden behind a veil of deceit and subterfuge.

An impressive work of scholarship grounded in archival research, FBI documents, and memoirs, Angels of the Underground illuminates the complex political dimensions of the occupied Philippines and its importance to the war effort in the Pacific. Kaminski's narrative sheds light on the Japanese-occupied city of Manila; the Bataan Death March and subsequent incarceration of American military prisoners in camps O'Donnell and Cabanatuan; and the formation of guerrilla units in the mountains of Luzon.

Angels of the Underground offers the compelling tale of four ordinary American women propelled by extraordinary circumstances into acts of heroism, and makes a significant contribution to the work on women's wartime experiences. Through the lives of Gladys, Yay, Claire, and Peggy, who never wavered in their belief that it was their duty as patriotic American women to aid the Allied cause, Kaminski highlights how women have always been active participants in war, whether or not they wear a military uniform.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"The Land of Gold"

New from Cornell University Press: The Land of Gold: Post-Conflict Recovery and Cultural Revival in Independent Timor-Leste by Judith M. Bovensiepen.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the village of Funar, located in the central highlands of Timor-Leste, the disturbing events of the twenty-four-year-long Indonesian occupation are rarely articulated in narratives of suffering. Instead, the highlanders emphasize the significance of their return to the sacred land of the ancestors, a place where "gold" is abundant and life is thought to originate. On one hand, this collective amnesia is due to villagers' exclusion from contemporary nation-building processes, which bestow recognition only on those who actively participated in the resistance struggle against Indonesia. On the other hand, the cultural revival and the privileging of the ancestral landscape and traditions over narratives of suffering derive from a particular understanding of how human subjects are constituted. Before life and after death, humans and the land are composed of the same substance; only during life are they separated. To recover from the forced dislocation the highlanders experienced under the Indonesian occupation, they thus seek to reestablish a mythical, primordial unity with the land by reinvigorating ancestral practices.

Never leaving out of sight the intense political and emotional dilemmas imposed by the past on people’s daily lives, The Land of Gold seeks to go beyond prevailing theories of postconflict reconstruction that prioritize human relationships. Instead, it explores the significance of people’s affective and ritual engagement with the environment and with their ancestors as survivors come to terms with the disruptive events of the past.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Lives in Limbo"

New from the University of California Press: Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto G. Gonzales.

About the book, from the publisher:
“My world seems upside down. I have grown up but I feel like I’m moving backward. And I can’t do anything about it.” –Esperanza

Over two million of the nation’s eleven million undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States since childhood. Due to a broken immigration system, they grow up to uncertain futures. In Lives in Limbo, Roberto G. Gonzales introduces us to two groups: the college-goers, like Ricardo, who had good grades and a strong network of community support that propelled him to college and DREAM Act organizing but still landed in a factory job a few short years after graduation, and the early-exiters, like Gabriel, who failed to make meaningful connections in high school and started navigating dead-end jobs, immigration checkpoints, and a world narrowly circumscribed by legal limitations. This vivid ethnography explores why highly educated undocumented youth share similar work and life outcomes with their less-educated peers, despite the fact that higher education is touted as the path to integration and success in America. Mining the results of an extraordinary twelve-year study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles, Lives in Limbo exposes the failures of a system that integrates children into K-12 schools but ultimately denies them the rewards of their labor.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 7, 2015

"Of Beards and Men"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Of Beards and Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair by Christopher R. Oldstone-Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:
Beards—they’re all the rage these days. Take a look around: from hip urbanites to rustic outdoorsmen, well-groomed metrosexuals to post-season hockey players, facial hair is everywhere. The New York Times traces this hairy trend to Big Apple hipsters circa 2005 and reports that today some New Yorkers pay thousands of dollars for facial hair transplants to disguise patchy, juvenile beards. And in 2014, blogger Nicki Daniels excoriated bearded hipsters for turning a symbol of manliness and power into a flimsy fashion statement. The beard, she said, has turned into the padded bra of masculinity.

Of Beards and Men makes the case that today’s bearded renaissance is part of a centuries-long cycle in which facial hairstyles have varied in response to changing ideals of masculinity. Christopher Oldstone-Moore explains that the clean-shaven face has been the default style throughout Western history—see Alexander the Great’s beardless face, for example, as the Greek heroic ideal. But the primacy of razors has been challenged over the years by four great bearded movements, beginning with Hadrian in the second century and stretching to today’s bristled resurgence. The clean-shaven face today, Oldstone-Moore says, has come to signify a virtuous and sociable man, whereas the beard marks someone as self-reliant and unconventional. History, then, has established specific meanings for facial hair, which both inspire and constrain a man’s choices in how he presents himself to the world.

This fascinating and erudite history of facial hair cracks the masculine hair code, shedding light on the choices men make as they shape the hair on their faces. Oldstone-Moore adeptly lays to rest common misperceptions about beards and vividly illustrates the connection between grooming, identity, culture, and masculinity. To a surprising degree, we find, the history of men is written on their faces.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Beyond Rust"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Beyond Rust: Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Fate of Industrial America by Allen Dieterich-Ward.

About the book, from the publisher:
Beyond Rust chronicles the rise, fall, and rebirth of metropolitan Pittsburgh, an industrial region that once formed the heart of the world's steel production and is now touted as a model for reviving other hard-hit cities of the Rust Belt. Writing in clear and engaging prose, historian and area native Allen Dieterich-Ward provides a new model for a truly metropolitan history that integrates the urban core with its regional hinterland of satellite cities, white-collar suburbs, mill towns, and rural mining areas.

Pittsburgh reached its industrial heyday between 1880 and 1920, as vertically integrated industrial corporations forged a regional community in the mountainous Upper Ohio River Valley. Over subsequent decades, metropolitan population growth slowed as mining and manufacturing employment declined. Faced with economic and environmental disaster in the 1930s, Pittsburgh's business elite and political leaders developed an ambitious program of pollution control and infrastructure development. The public-private partnership behind the "Pittsburgh Renaissance," as advocates called it, pursued nothing less than the selective erasure of the existing social and physical environment in favor of a modernist, functionally divided landscape: a goal that was widely copied by other aging cities and one that has important ramifications for the broader national story. Ultimately, the Renaissance vision of downtown skyscrapers, sleek suburban research campuses, and bucolic regional parks resulted in an uneven transformation that tore the urban fabric while leaving deindustrializing river valleys and impoverished coal towns isolated from areas of postwar growth.

Beyond Rust is among the first books of its kind to continue past the collapse of American manufacturing in the 1980s by exploring the diverse ways residents of an iconic industrial region sought places for themselves within a new economic order.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 6, 2015

"Righteous Transgressions"

New from Princeton University Press: Righteous Transgressions: Women's Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right by Lihi Ben Shitrit.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do women in conservative religious movements expand spaces for political activism in ways that go beyond their movements' strict ideas about male and female roles? How and why does this activism happen in some movements but not in others? Righteous Transgressions examines these questions by comparatively studying four groups: the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Palestinian Hamas. Lihi Ben Shitrit demonstrates that women's prioritization of a nationalist agenda over a proselytizing one shapes their activist involvement.

Ben Shitrit shows how women construct "frames of exception" that temporarily suspend, rather than challenge, some of the limiting aspects of their movements' gender ideology. Viewing women as agents in such movements, she analyzes the ways in which activists use nationalism to astutely reframe gender role transgressions from inappropriate to righteous. The author engages the literature on women's agency in Muslim and Jewish religious contexts, and sheds light on the centrality of women's activism to the promotion of the spiritual, social, cultural, and political agendas of both the Israeli and Palestinian religious right.

Looking at the four most influential political movements of the Israeli and Palestinian religious right, Righteous Transgressions reveals how the bounds of gender expectations can be crossed for the political good.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Eisenhower's Armies"

New from Pegasus Books: Eisenhower's Armies: The American-British Alliance during World War II by Niall Barr.

About the book, from the publisher:
An authoritative and dramatic behind-the-scenes history of 'the Atlantic Alliance' during World War II.

The Anglo-American relationship from 1941-1945 proved to be the most effective military alliance in history. Yet there were also constant tensions and disagreements that threatened to pull the alliance apart. This book highlights why the unprecedented level of cooperation between the very different American and British forces eventually led to victory but also emphasizes the tensions and controversies which inevitably arose. Based on considerable archival research on both sides of the Atlantic, this work considers the breadth and depth of the relationship from high-level strategic decisions, the rivalries and personalities of the commanders to the ordinary British and American soldiers who fought alongside one another. The book also looks back and demonstrates how the legacy of previous experience shaped the decisions of the war. Eisenhower's Armies is the story of two very different armies learning to live, work, and fight together even in the face of serious strategic disagreements. The book is also a very human story about the efforts of many individuals—famous or otherwise—who worked and argued together to defeat Hitler’s Germany. In highlighting the cooperation, tensions, and disagreements inherent in this military alliance, this work shows that Allied victory was far from pre-ordained and proves that the business of making this alliance work was vital for eventual success. Thus this dynamic new history provides a fresh perspective on many of the controversies and critical strategic decisions of World War II. As such, this book provides expert analysis of the Anglo-American military alliance as well as new insights into the ‘special relationship’ of the mid-twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 5, 2015

"A Delicate Relationship"

New from Cornell University Press: A Delicate Relationship: The United States and Burma/Myanmar since 1945 by Kenton Clymer.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 2012, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president ever to visit Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. This official state visit marked a new period in the long and sinuous diplomatic relationship between the United States and Burma/Myanmar, which Kenton Clymer examines in A Delicate Relationship. From the challenges of decolonization and heightened nationalist activities that emerged in the wake of World War II to the Cold War concern with domino states to the rise of human rights policy in the 1980s and beyond, Clymer demonstrates how Burma/Myanmar has fit into the broad patterns of U.S. foreign policy and yet has never been fully integrated into diplomatic efforts in the region of Southeast Asia.

When Burma, a British colony since the nineteenth century, achieved independence in 1948, the United States feared that the country might be the first Southeast Asian nation to fall to the communists, and it embarked on a series of efforts to prevent this. In 1962, General Ne Win, who toppled the government in a coup d'état, established an authoritarian socialist military junta that severely limited diplomatic contact and led to a period in which the primary American diplomatic concern became Burma's increasing opium production. Ne Win's rule ended (at least officially) in 1988, when the Burmese people revolted against the oppressive military government. Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as the charismatic leader of the opposition and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Amid these great changes in policy and outlook, Burma/Myanmar remained fiercely nonaligned and, under Ne Win, isolationist. The limited diplomatic exchange that resulted meant that the state was often a frustrating puzzle to U.S. officials.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 4, 2015

"German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic"

New from Princeton University Press: German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic by John M. Efron.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as German Jews struggled for legal emancipation and social acceptance, they also embarked on a program of cultural renewal, two key dimensions of which were distancing themselves from their fellow Ashkenazim in Poland and giving a special place to the Sephardim of medieval Spain. Where they saw Ashkenazic Jewry as insular and backward, a result of Christian persecution, they depicted the Sephardim as worldly, morally and intellectually superior, and beautiful, products of the tolerant Muslim environment in which they lived. In this elegantly written book, John Efron looks in depth at the special allure Sephardic aesthetics held for German Jewry.

Efron examines how German Jews idealized the sound of Sephardic Hebrew and the Sephardim’s physical and moral beauty, and shows how the allure of the Sephardic found expression in neo-Moorish synagogue architecture, historical novels, and romanticized depictions of Sephardic history. He argues that the shapers of German-Jewish culture imagined medieval Iberian Jewry as an exemplary Jewish community, bound by tradition yet fully at home in the dominant culture of Muslim Spain. Efron argues that the myth of Sephardic superiority was actually an expression of withering self-critique by German Jews who, by seeking to transform Ashkenazic culture and win the acceptance of German society, hoped to enter their own golden age.

Stimulating and provocative, this book demonstrates how the goal of this aesthetic self-refashioning was not assimilation but rather the creation of a new form of German-Jewish identity inspired by Sephardic beauty.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Certain Sainthood"

New from Cornell University Press: Certain Sainthood: Canonization and the Origins of Papal Infallibility in the Medieval Church by Donald S. Prudlo.

About the book, from the publisher:
The doctrine of papal infallibility is a central tenet of Roman Catholicism, and yet it is frequently misunderstood by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Much of the present-day theological discussion points to the definition of papal infallibility made at Vatican I in 1870, but the origins of the debate are much older than that. In Certain Sainthood, Donald S. Prudlo traces this history back to the Middle Ages, to a time when Rome was struggling to extend the limits of papal authority over Western Christendom. Indeed, as he shows, the very notion of papal infallibility grew out of debates over the pope's authority to canonize saints.

Prudlo's story begins in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries when Rome was increasingly focused on the fight against heresy. Toward this end the papacy enlisted the support of the young mendicant orders, specifically the Dominicans and Franciscans. As Prudlo shows, a key theme in the papacy's battle with heresy was control of canonization: heretical groups not only objected to the canonizing of specific saints, they challenged the concept of sainthood in general. In so doing they attacked the roots of papal authority. Eventually, with mendicant support, the very act of challenging a papally created saint was deemed heresy.

Certain Sainthood draws on the insights of a new generation of scholarship that integrates both lived religion and intellectual history into the study of theology and canon law. The result is a work that will fascinate scholars and students of church history as well as a wider public interested in the evolution of one of the world’s most important religious institutions.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Masters of Empire"

New from Hill and Wang: Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America by Michael A. McDonnell.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Masters of Empire, the historian Michael A. McDonnell reveals the pivotal role played by the native peoples of the Great Lakes in the history of North America. Though less well known than the Iroquois or Sioux, the Anishinaabeg, who lived across Lakes Michigan and Huron, were equally influential. Masters of Empire charts the story of one group, the Odawa, who settled at the straits between those two lakes, a hub for trade and diplomacy throughout the vast country west of Montreal known as the pays d’en haut.

Highlighting the long-standing rivalries and relationships among the great Indian nations of North America, McDonnell shows how Europeans often played only a minor role in this history, and reminds us that it was native peoples who possessed intricate and far-reaching networks of commerce and kinship, of which the French and British knew little. As empire encroached upon their domain, the Anishinaabeg were often the ones doing the exploiting. By dictating terms at trading posts and frontier forts, they played a crucial part in the making of early America.

Through vivid depictions—all from a native perspective—of early skirmishes, the French and Indian War, and the American Revolution, Masters of Empire overturns our assumptions about colonial America. By calling attention to the Great Lakes as a crucible of culture and conflict, McDonnell reimagines the landscape of American history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"The Battle for Algeria"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Battle for Algeria: Sovereignty, Health Care, and Humanitarianism by Jennifer Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Battle for Algeria Jennifer Johnson reinterprets one of the most violent wars of decolonization: the Algerian War (1954-1962). Johnson argues that the conflict was about who—France or the National Liberation Front (FLN)—would exercise sovereignty of Algeria. The fight between the two sides was not simply a military affair; it also involved diverse and competing claims about who was positioned to better care for the Algerian people's health and welfare. Johnson focuses on French and Algerian efforts to engage one another off the physical battlefield and highlights the social dimensions of the FLN's winning strategy, which targeted the local and international arenas. Relying on Algerian sources, which make clear the centrality of health and humanitarianism to the nationalists' war effort, Johnson shows how the FLN leadership constructed national health care institutions that provided critical care for the population and functioned as a protostate. Moreover, Johnson demonstrates how the FLN's representatives used postwar rhetoric about rights and national self-determination to legitimize their claims, which led to international recognition of Algerian sovereignty.

By examining the local context of the war as well as its international dimensions, Johnson deprovincializes North Africa and proposes a new way to analyze how newly independent countries and nationalist movements engage with the international order. The Algerian case exposed the hypocrisy of selectively applying universal discourse and provided a blueprint for claim-making that nonstate actors and anticolonial leaders throughout the Third World emulated. Consequently, The Battle for Algeria explains the FLN's broad appeal and offers new directions for studying nationalism, decolonization, human rights, public health movements, and concepts of sovereignty.
--Marshal Zeringue

"G.I. Messiahs: Soldiering, War, and American Civil Religion"

New from Yale University Press: G.I. Messiahs: Soldiering, War, and American Civil Religion by Jonathan H. Ebel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Jonathan Ebel has long been interested in how religion helps individuals and communities render meaningful the traumatic experiences of violence and war. In this new work, he examines cases from the Great War to the present day and argues that our notions of what it means to be an American soldier are not just strongly religious, but strongly Christian.

Drawing on a vast array of sources, he further reveals the effects of soldier veneration on the men and women so often cast as heroes. Imagined as the embodiments of American ideals, described as redeemers of the nation, adored as the ones willing to suffer and die that we, the nation, may live—soldiers have often lived in subtle but significant tension with civil religious expectations of them. With chapters on prominent soldiers past and present, Ebel recovers and re-narrates the stories of the common American men and women that live and die at both the center and edges of public consciousness.
Jonathan H. Ebel is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a former naval intelligence officer. He is the author of Faith in the Fight: Religion and the American Soldier in the First World War and the co-editor, with John D. Carlson, of From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"On the Line"

New from the University of California Press: On the Line: Slaughterhouse Lives and the Making of the New South by Vanesa Ribas.

About the book, from the publisher:
“How does one put into words the rage that workers feel when supervisors threaten to replace them with workers who will not go to the bathroom in the course of a fourteen-hour day of hard labor, even if it means wetting themselves on the line?”—From the Preface

In this gutsy, eye-opening examination of the lives of workers in the New South, Vanesa Ribas, working alongside mostly Latino/a and native-born African American laborers for sixteen months, takes us inside the contemporary American slaughterhouse. Ribas, a native Spanish speaker, occupies an insider/outsider status there, enabling her to capture vividly the oppressive exploitation experienced by her fellow workers. She showcases the particular vulnerabilities faced by immigrant workers—a constant looming threat of deportation, reluctance to seek medical attention, and family separation—as she also illuminates how workers find connection and moments of pleasure during their grueling shifts. Bringing to the fore the words, ideas, and struggles of the workers themselves, On The Line underlines how deep racial tensions permeate the factory, as an overwhelmingly minority workforce is subject to white dominance. Compulsively readable, this extraordinary ethnography makes a powerful case for greater labor protection, especially for our nation’s most vulnerable workers.
--Marshal Zeringue