Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Wounded City"

New from Oxford University Press: Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio by Robert Vargas.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 2009, Chicago spent millions of dollars to create programs to prevent gang violence in some of its most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Yet in spite of the programs, violence has grown worse in some of the very neighborhoods that the violence prevention programs were intended to help. While public officials and social scientists often attribute the violence - and the failure of the programs - to a lack of community in poor neighborhoods, closer study reveals another source of community division: local politics.

Through an ethnographic case study of Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, Wounded City dispels the popular belief that a lack of community is the primary source of violence, arguing that competition for political power and state resources often undermine efforts to reduce gang violence. Robert Vargas argues that the state, through the way it governs, can contribute to distrust and division among community members, thereby undermining social cohesion. The strategic actions taken by police officers, politicians, nonprofit organizations, and gangs to collaborate or compete for power and resources can vary block by block, triggering violence on some blocks while successfully preventing it on others.

A rich blend of urban politics, sociology, and criminology, Wounded City offers a cautionary tale for elected officials, state agencies, and community based organizations involved with poor neighborhoods.
Visit Robert Vargas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Engines of Empire"

New from Stanford University Press: Engines of Empire: Steamships and the Victorian Imagination by Douglas R. Burgess Jr..

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1859, the S.S. Great Eastern departed from England on her maiden voyage. She was a remarkable wonder of the nineteenth century: an iron city longer than Trafalgar Square, taller than Big Ben's tower, heavier than Westminster Cathedral. Her paddles were the size of Ferris wheels; her decks could hold four thousand passengers bound for America, or ten thousand troops bound for the Raj. Yet she ended her days as a floating carnival before being unceremoniously dismantled in 1889.

Steamships like the Great Eastern occupied a singular place in the Victorian mind. Crossing oceans, ferrying tourists and troops alike, they became emblems of nationalism, modernity, and humankind's triumph over the cruel elements. Throughout the nineteenth century, the spectacle of a ship's launch was one of the most recognizable symbols of British social and technological progress. Yet this celebration of the power of the empire masked overconfidence and an almost religious veneration of technology. Equating steam with civilization had catastrophic consequences for subjugated peoples around the world.

Engines of Empire tells the story of the complex relationship between Victorians and their wondrous steamships, following famous travelers like Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Jules Verne as well as ordinary spectators, tourists, and imperial administrators as they cross oceans bound for the colonies. Rich with anecdotes and wry humor, it is a fascinating glimpse into a world where an empire felt powerful and anything seemed possible—if there was an engine behind it.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"The Sacred Mirror"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: The Sacred Mirror: Evangelicalism, Honor, and Identity in the Deep South, 1790-1860 by Robert Elder.

About the book, from the publisher:
Most histories of the American South describe the conflict between evangelical religion and honor culture as one of the defining features of southern life before the Civil War. The story is usually told as a battle of clashing worldviews, but in this book, Robert Elder challenges this interpretation by illuminating just how deeply evangelicalism in Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches was interwoven with traditional southern culture, arguing that evangelicals owed much of their success to their ability to appeal to people steeped in southern honor culture. Previous accounts of the rise of evangelicalism in the South have told this tale as a tragedy in which evangelicals eventually adopted many of the central tenets of southern society in order to win souls and garner influence. But through an examination of evangelical language and practices, Elder shows that evangelicals always shared honor’s most basic assumptions.

Making use of original sources such as diaries, correspondence, periodicals, and church records, Elder recasts the relationship between evangelicalism and secular honor in the South, proving the two concepts are connected in much deeper ways than have ever been previously understood.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Crook County"

New from Stanford University Press: Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve.

About the book, from the publisher:
America's justice system is broken. Racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration are rampant, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities of color. But what of the criminal courts, the places where primarily Black and Latino men are taken from the streets and processed into the prisons? The majority of Americans have remained in the dark for too long about this vital aspect of the system. Crook County breaks open the courthouse doors and enters the hallways, courtrooms, judges' chambers, and attorneys' offices to reveal a world of punishment determined by race, not offense.

After ten years and over 1,000 hours of working in and observing the largest criminal courthouse in the country, Chicago-Cook County, Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve takes readers inside to our so-called halls of justice to witness the types of everyday racial abuses that fester within the courts, often in plain sight. We watch as mostly Black and Latino defendants confront white professionals charged with classifying and deliberating their fates in the courtroom. Racial abuses and violations are encouraged and even seen as justified. Courthouse security guards cruelly mock and joke at the expense of a defendant's family members. Public defenders make choices about which defendants they will try to "save" and which they will sacrifice. Judges fall asleep on the bench. Prosecutors hang out like frat boys in the judges' chambers while the fates of defendants hang in the balance. These are just a few snapshots of the impossibly unprofessional behaviors of those tasked with the deadly serious job of facilitating justice in America.

Crook County's powerful, and at times devastating, stories reveal a legal culture steeped in racial stigma—a pernicious legal world where courtroom actors live and breathe racism while simultaneously committing themselves to a colorblind ideal. This book urges all citizens to take a closer look at the way we do justice in America and to hold our arbiters of justice accountable to a high standard of equality.
Visit Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"No Mercy Here"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity by Sarah Haley.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries imprisoned black women faced wrenching forms of gendered racial terror and heinous structures of economic exploitation. Subjugated as convict laborers and forced to serve additional time as domestic workers before they were allowed their freedom, black women faced a pitiless system of violence, terror, and debasement. Drawing upon black feminist criticism and a diverse array of archival materials, Sarah Haley uncovers imprisoned women’s brutalization in local, county, and state convict labor systems, while also illuminating the prisoners’ acts of resistance and sabotage, challenging ideologies of racial capitalism and patriarchy and offering alternative conceptions of social and political life.

A landmark history of black women’s imprisonment in the South, this book recovers stories of the captivity and punishment of black women to demonstrate how the system of incarceration was crucial to organizing the logics of gender and race, and constructing Jim Crow modernity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 25, 2016

"Partners of the Empire"

New from Stanford University Press: Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions by Ali Yaycioglu.

About the book, from the publisher:
Partners of Empire offers a radical rethinking of the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Over this unstable period, the Ottoman Empire faced political crises, institutional shakeups, and popular insurrections. It responded through various reform options and settlements. New institutional configurations emerged; constitutional texts were codified—and annulled. The empire became a political theater where different actors struggled, collaborated, and competed on conflicting agendas and opposing interests.

This book takes a holistic look at the era, interested not simply in central reforms or in regional developments, but in their interactions. Drawing on original archival sources, Ali Yaycioglu uncovers the patterns of political action—the making and unmaking of coalitions, forms of building and losing power, and expressions of public opinion. Countering common assumptions, he shows that the Ottoman transformation in the Age of Revolutions was not a linear transition from the old order to the new, from decentralized state to centralized, from Eastern to Western institutions, or from pre-modern to modern. Rather, it was a condensed period of transformation that counted many crossing paths, as well as dead-ends, all of which offered a rich repertoire of governing possibilities to be followed, reinterpreted, or ultimately forgotten.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Through the Keyhole"

New from Manchester University Press: Through the Keyhole: A history of sex, space and public modesty in modern France by Marcela Iacub, translated by Vinay Swamy.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1857, a group of young people who had participated in an orgy in a private mansion were sentenced for contempt of public decency (outrage public à la pudeur) because a voyeur was able to watch them through a keyhole. For Marcela Iacub, the crux of such cases hinges on where the public ends and the private begins, and what one can reveal, and what one ought to hide.

Today, the pudeur has disappeared from the French penal code to be replaced by Sex. But, far from being an epic story of hard-won freedom, Iacub demonstrates that the transformation techniques used by the State in the last two centuries have rendered sexuality into a spectacle and have conditioned our spaces, our clothes, our comportment and even some of our mental illnesses. In so doing, Iacub offers us a politico-legal history of the gaze.
Marcela Iacub is a Jurist and Researcher at Centre de Recherches Historiques.

Vinay Swamy is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Vassar College.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Infectious Change"

New from Stanford University Press: Infectious Change: Reinventing Chinese Public Health After an Epidemic by Katherine Mason.

About the book, from the publisher:
In February 2003, a Chinese physician crossed the border between mainland China and Hong Kong, spreading Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)—a novel flu-like virus—to over a dozen international hotel guests. SARS went on to kill about 800 people and sicken 8,000 worldwide. By July 2003 the disease had disappeared, but it left an indelible change on public health in China. The Chinese public health system, once famous for its grassroots, low-technology approach, was transformed into a globally-oriented, research-based, scientific endeavor.

In Infectious Change, Katherine A. Mason investigates local Chinese public health institutions in Southeastern China, examining how the outbreak of SARS re-imagined public health as a professionalized, biomedicalized, and technological machine—one that frequently failed to serve the Chinese people. Mason recounts the rapid transformation as young, highly trained biomedical scientists flooded into local public health institutions, replacing bureaucratic government inspectors who had dominated the field for decades. Infectious Change grapples with how public health in China was reinvented into a prestigious profession in which global impact and recognition were paramount—and service to vulnerable local communities was secondary.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 22, 2016

"Black Lives and Sacred Humanity"

New from Fordham University Press: Black Lives and Sacred Humanity: Toward an African American Religious Naturalism by Carol Wayne White.

About the book, from the publisher:
Identifying African American religiosity as the ingenuity of a people constantly striving to inhabit their humanity and eke out a meaningful existence for themselves amid harrowing circumstances, Black Lives and Sacred Humanity constructs a concept of sacred humanity and grounds it in the writings of Anna Julia Cooper, W. E. B. Du Bois, and James Baldwin. Supported by current theories in science studies, critical theory, and religious naturalism, this concept, as Carol Wayne White demonstrates, offers a capacious view of humans as interconnected, social, value-laden organisms with the capacity to transform themselves and create nobler worlds wherein all sentient creatures flourish.

Acknowledging the great harm wrought by divisive and problematic racial constructions in the United States, this book offers an alternative to theistic models of African American religiosity to inspire newer, conceptually compelling views of spirituality that address a classic, perennial religious question: What does it mean to be fully human and fully alive?
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Fumo: Italy's Love Affair with the Cigarette"

New from Stanford University Press: Fumo: Italy's Love Affair with the Cigarette by Carl David Ipsen.

About the book, from the publisher:
For over a century, Italy has had a love affair with the cigarette. Perhaps no consumer item better symbolizes the economic, political, social, and cultural dimensions of contemporary Italian history. Starting around 1900, the new and popular cigarette spread down the social hierarchy and eventually, during the 1960s, across the gender divide. For much of the century, cigarette consumption was an index of economic well-being and of modernism. Only at the end of the century did its meaning change as Italy achieved economic parity with other Western powers and entered into the antismoking era.

Drawing on film, literature, and the popular press, Carl Ipsen offers a view of the "cigarette century" in Italy, from the 1870s to the ban on public smoking in 2005. He traces important links between smoking and imperialism, world wars, Fascism, and the protest movements of the 1970s. In considering this grand survey of the cigarette, Fumo tells a much larger story about the socio-economic history of a society known for its casual attitude toward risk and a penchant for la dolce vita.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi's Black Freedom Struggle"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi's Black Freedom Struggle by Crystal R. Sanders.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this innovative study, Crystal Sanders explores how working-class black women, in collaboration with the federal government, created the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM) in 1965, a Head Start program that not only gave poor black children access to early childhood education but also provided black women with greater opportunities for political activism during a crucial time in the unfolding of the civil rights movement. Women who had previously worked as domestics and sharecroppers secured jobs through CDGM as teachers and support staff and earned higher wages. The availability of jobs independent of the local white power structure afforded these women the freedom to vote in elections and petition officials without fear of reprisal. But CDGM’s success antagonized segregationists at both the local and state levels who eventually defunded it.

Tracing the stories of the more than 2,500 women who staffed Mississippi's CDGM preschool centers, Sanders’s book remembers women who went beyond teaching children their shapes and colors to challenge the state’s closed political system and white supremacist ideology and offers a profound example for future community organizing in the South.
Visit Crystal R. Sanders's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The End of American Childhood"

New from Princeton University Press: The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child by Paula S. Fass.

About the book, from the publisher:
The End of American Childhood takes a sweeping look at the history of American childhood and parenting, from the nation's founding to the present day. Renowned historian Paula Fass shows how, since the beginning of the American republic, independence, self-definition, and individual success have informed Americans' attitudes toward children. But as parents today hover over every detail of their children's lives, are the qualities that once made American childhood special still desired or possible? Placing the experiences of children and parents against the backdrop of social, political, and cultural shifts, Fass challenges Americans to reconnect with the beliefs that set the American understanding of childhood apart from the rest of the world.

Fass examines how freer relationships between American children and parents transformed the national culture, altered generational relationships among immigrants, helped create a new science of child development, and promoted a revolution in modern schooling. She looks at the childhoods of icons including Margaret Mead and Ulysses S. Grant—who, as an eleven-year-old, was in charge of his father's fields and explored his rural Ohio countryside. Fass also features less well-known children like ten-year-old Rose Cohen, who worked in the drudgery of nineteenth-century factories. Bringing readers into the present, Fass argues that current American conditions and policies have made adolescence socially irrelevant and altered children's road to maturity, while parental oversight threatens children's competence and initiative.

Showing how American parenting has been firmly linked to historical changes, The End of American Childhood considers what implications this might hold for the nation's future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"Trash Talks"

New from Oxford University Press: Trash Talks: Revelations in the Rubbish by Elizabeth V. Spelman.

About the book, from the publisher:
A lively investigation of the intimate connections we maintain with the things we toss away

It's hard to think of trash as anything but a growing menace. Our communities face crises over what to do with the mountains of rubbish we produce, the enormous amount of biological waste generated by humans and animals, and the truckloads of electronic equipment judged to be obsolete. All this effluvia poses widespread problems for human health, the well-being of the planet, and the quality of our lives.

But though our notorious habits of disposal have put us well on the way to making the earth inhospitable to life, our relation to rejectamenta includes much more than shedding and tossing. In Trash Talks, philosopher Elizabeth V. Spelman explores the extent to which we rely on trash and waste to make sense of our lives. Examples are rich: We use people's rubbish to gain information about them. We trumpet wastefulness as a means of signaling social status. We take the occupation of handling trash and garbage as revelatory of possible moral or spiritual shortcomings. We are intrigued by or in distress over the idea that evolution is a prodigiously wasteful process and that it is to the dustbin that each of us, and our species, shall ultimately repair. In the heaps of our trash, some see consequences of dissatisfaction, while others find confirmation of a flourishing consumer economy. While we may want to shove debris and detritus out of sight, many of our most impassioned projects involve keeping these objects resolutely in mind. Trash talks, and there is much of which it speaks.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Crossing the Gulf"

New from Stanford University Press: Crossing the Gulf: Love and Family in Migrant Lives by Pardis Mahdavi.

About the book, from the publisher:
The lines between what constitutes migration and what constitutes human trafficking are messy at best. State policies rarely acknowledge the lived experiences of migrants, and too often the laws and policies meant to protect individuals ultimately increase the challenges faced by migrants and their kin. In some cases, the laws themselves lead to illegality or statelessness, particularly for migrant mothers and their children.

Crossing the Gulf tells the stories of the intimate lives of migrants in the Gulf cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City. Pardis Mahdavi reveals the interconnections between migration and emotion, between family and state policy, and shows how migrants can be both mobilized and immobilized by their family relationships and the bonds of love they share across borders. The result is an absorbing and literally moving ethnography that illuminates the mutually reinforcing and constitutive forces that impact the lives of migrants and their loved ones—and how profoundly migrants are underserved by policies that more often lead to their illegality, statelessness, deportation, detention, and abuse than to their aid.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 17, 2016

"Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland"

New from Oxford University Press: Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland: Religious Practice in Late Modernity by Gladys Ganiel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland is the first major book to explore the dynamic religious landscape of contemporary Ireland, north and south, and to analyze the island's religious transition. It confirms that the Catholic Church's long-standing "monopoly" has well and truly disintegrated, replaced by a mixed, post-Catholic religious "market" featuring new and growing expressions of Protestantism, as well as other religions. It describes how people of faith are developing "extra-institutional" expressions of religion, keeping their faith alive outside or in addition to the institutional Catholic Church.

Drawing on island-wide surveys of clergy and laypeople, as well as more than 100 interviews, Gladys Ganiel describes how people of faith are engaging with key issues such as increased diversity, reconciliation to overcome the island's sectarian past, and ecumenism. Ganiel argues that extra-institutional religion is especially well-suited to address these and other issues due to its freedom and flexibility when compared to traditional religious institutions. She explains how those who practice extra-institutional religion have experienced personal transformation, and analyses the extent that they have contributed to wider religious, social, and political change. On an island where religion has caused much pain, from clerical sexual abuse scandals, to sectarian violence, to a frosty reception for some immigrants, those who practice their faith outside traditional religious institutions may hold the key to transforming post-Catholic Ireland into a more reconciled society.
Visit Gladys Ganiel's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 16, 2016


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea by Mitchell Duneier.

About the book, from the publisher:
On March 29, 1516, the city council of Venice issued a decree forcing Jews to live in il geto—a closed quarter named for the copper foundry that once occupied the area. The term stuck.

In this sweeping and original interpretation, Mitchell Duneier traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the sixteenth century and its revival by the Nazis to the present. As Duneier shows, we cannot understand the entanglements of race, poverty, and place in America today without recalling the history of the ghetto in Europe, as well as later efforts to understand the problems of the American city.

This is the story of the scholars and activists who tried to achieve that understanding. Their efforts to wrestle with race and poverty in their times cannot be divorced from their individual biographies, which often included direct encounters with prejudice and discrimination in the academy and elsewhere. Using new and forgotten sources, Duneier introduces us to Horace Cayton and St. Clair Drake, graduate students whose conception of the South Side of Chicago established a new paradigm for thinking about Northern racism and poverty in the 1940s. We learn how the psychologist Kenneth Clark subsequently linked Harlem’s slum conditions with the persistence of black powerlessness in the civil rights era, and we follow the controversy over Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the black family. We see how the sociologist William Julius Wilson redefined the debate about urban America as middle-class African Americans increasingly escaped the ghetto and the country retreated from racially specific remedies. And we trace the education reformer Geoffrey Canada’s efforts to transform the lives of inner-city children with ambitious interventions, even as other reformers sought to help families escape their neighborhoods altogether.

Ghetto offers a clear-eyed assessment of the thinkers and doers who have shaped American ideas about urban poverty—and the ghetto. The result is a valuable new understanding of an age-old concept.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 15, 2016

"The Gospel of Kindness"

New from Oxford University Press: The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America by Janet M. Davis.

About the book, from the publisher:
When we consider modern American animal advocacy, we often think of veganism, no-kill shelters, Internet campaigns against trophy hunting, or celebrities declaring that they would "rather go naked" than wear fur. Contemporary critics readily dismiss animal protectionism as a modern secular movement that privileges animals over people. Yet the movement's roots are deeply tied to the nation's history of religious revivalism and social reform.

In The Gospel of Kindness, Janet M. Davis explores the broad cultural and social influence of the American animal welfare movement at home and overseas from the Second Great Awakening to the Second World War. Dedicated primarily to laboring animals at its inception in an animal-powered world, the movement eventually included virtually all areas of human and animal interaction. Embracing animals as brethren through biblical concepts of stewardship, a diverse coalition of temperance groups, teachers, Protestant missionaries, religious leaders, civil rights activists, policy makers, and anti-imperialists forged an expansive transnational "gospel of kindness," which defined animal mercy as a signature American value. Their interpretation of this "gospel" extended beyond the New Testament to preach kindness as a secular and spiritual truth. As a cultural product of antebellum revivalism, reform, and the rights revolution of the Civil War era, animal kindness became a barometer of free moral agency, higher civilization, and assimilation. Yet given the cultural, economic, racial, and ethnic diversity of the United States, its empire, and other countries of contact, standards of kindness and cruelty were culturally contingent and potentially controversial. Diverse constituents defended specific animal practices, such as cockfighting, bullfighting, songbird consumption, and kosher slaughter, as inviolate cultural traditions that reinforced their right to self-determination. Ultimately, American animal advocacy became a powerful humanitarian ideal, a touchstone of inclusion and national belonging at home and abroad that endures to this day.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"The Great Fear: Stalin's Terror of the 1930s"

New from Oxford University Press: The Great Fear: Stalin's Terror of the 1930s by James Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between the winter of 1936 and the autumn of 1938, approximately three quarters of a million Soviet citizens were subject to summary execution. More than a million others were sentenced to lengthy terms in labor camps. Commonly known as "Stalin's Great Terror," these events are also among the most misunderstood moments in the history of the twentieth century. The Terror gutted the ranks of factory directors and engineers in three years, and raged through the armed forces on the eve of the Nazi invasion. The wholesale slaughter of party and state officials endangered the Soviet state, making the country all but ungovernable.

The majority of the Terror's victims were accused of participating in counter-revolutionary conspiracies, though there was rarely any substance to the state's claims or material evidence to support their accusations. By the time the Terror ended, most of its victims were ordinary Soviet citizens for whom "counter-revolution" was an unfathomable abstraction. In short, the Terror was wholly destructive, not merely in terms of the incalculable human cost, but also in terms of the interests of the Soviet leaders, principally Joseph Stalin at its helm.

The Great Fear presents a new and original explanation of Stalin's Terror based on intelligence materials in Russian archives. It shows how Soviet leaders developed a grossly exaggerated fear of conspiracy and foreign invasion and lashed out at enemies largely of their own making.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Racial Realignment"

New from Princeton University Press: Racial Realignment: The Transformation of American Liberalism, 1932-1965 by Eric Schickler.

About the book, from the publisher:
Few transformations in American politics have been as important as the integration of African Americans into the Democratic Party and the Republican embrace of racial policy conservatism. The story of this partisan realignment on race is often told as one in which political elites—such as Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater—set in motion a dramatic and sudden reshuffling of party positioning on racial issues during the 1960s. Racial Realignment instead argues that top party leaders were actually among the last to move, and that their choices were dictated by changes that had already occurred beneath them. Drawing upon rich data sources and original historical research, Eric Schickler shows that the two parties' transformation on civil rights took place gradually over decades.

Schickler reveals that Democratic partisanship, economic liberalism, and support for civil rights had crystallized in public opinion, state parties, and Congress by the mid-1940s. This trend was propelled forward by the incorporation of African Americans and the pro-civil-rights Congress of Industrial Organizations into the Democratic coalition. Meanwhile, Republican partisanship became aligned with economic and racial conservatism. Scrambling to maintain existing power bases, national party elites refused to acknowledge these changes for as long as they could, but the civil rights movement finally forced them to choose where their respective parties would stand.

Presenting original ideas about political change, Racial Realignment sheds new light on twentieth and twenty-first century racial politics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Nations Torn Asunder"

New from Oxford University Press: Nations Torn Asunder: The Challenge of Civil War by Bill Kissane.

About the book, from the publisher:
Civil war has been a recurring feature of human societies throughout history -- and an essential catalyst for major international conflict. Since 1945, the number of civil wars in the world has grown steadily, bringing devastation on a scale more traditionally associated with international wars.

In spite of this, there is no classic treatise on civil war to compare with the classic works we have on war, revolution, or peace. On the one hand, historians have tended to treat the "big" civil wars, such as the American and the Spanish, in isolation. On the other, social scientists have concentrated on identifying common patterns, without looking in too much detail at the specifics of any given conflict.

Focusing on the numerous civil conflicts that have occurred throughout the world since the Second World War, Bill Kissane bridges this gap, asking what the recent social science literature adds to what we already know about civil war, but also how insights from the historical literature, from the ancient Greeks onwards, can help explain the violent experience of so many parts of the world since 1945.

At its heart is the question of what makes the contemporary challenge posed by civil war so different from that of past periods -- and what, if anything, is new about the contemporary experience of civil war at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
Visit Bill Kissane's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Incarcerating the Crisis"

New from the University of California Press: Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State by Jordan T. Camp.

About the book, from the publisher:
The United States currently has the largest prison population on the planet. Over the last four decades, structural unemployment, concentrated urban poverty, and mass homelessness have also become permanent features of the political economy. These developments are without historical precedent, but not without historical explanation. In this searing critique, Jordan T. Camp traces the rise of the neoliberal carceral state through a series of turning points in U.S. history including the Watts insurrection in 1965, the Detroit rebellion in 1967, the Attica uprising in 1971, the Los Angeles revolt in 1992, and events in post-Katrina New Orleans in 2005. Incarcerating the Crisis argues that these dramatic events coincided with the emergence of neoliberal capitalism and the state’s attempts to crush radical social movements. Through an examination of the poetic visions of social movements—including those by James Baldwin, Marvin Gaye, June Jordan, José Ramírez, and Sunni Patterson—it also suggests that alternative outcomes have been and continue to be possible.
Jordan T. Camp is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"The Pornography Industry: What Everyone Needs to Know"

New from Oxford University Press: The Pornography Industry: What Everyone Needs to Know by Shira Tarrant.

About the book, from the publisher:
We may know pornography when we see it, but the business of pornography is a surprisingly elusive subject. Reliable figures about the industry are difficult to come by and widely disputed, but one matter that is hardly debatable is that pornography is a major and ubiquitous enterprise. Porn allegedly accounts for one-third of all internet traffic currently, though the data about actual consumption is unclear. Reports in recent years have suggested that 70 million individuals visit porn sites every week; that among viewers aged 18-24, women watch more porn than men; and that among middle-aged, white-collar workers, three-quarters of men and half of women have admitted to looking at pornography websites while at work.

While debates and emotions around porn can run high, there is a crucial need for reliable information and rational conversation. In this book, Shira Tarrant parses the wide range of statistics that we have on the pornography industry, sorting myth from reality in an objective, fascinating and knowledgeable fashion. She looks at ongoing political controversies around the industry, the feminist porn wars, the views of the religious right, the history of pornography, landmark legal cases, and the latest in medical research. The Pornography Industry also explains the industry basics -who works in porn, why people become performers, how much they earn, and what happens on a porn set. It further delves into important questions such as: how many teenagers watch porn and should we worry about it? What is porn piracy and can it be stopped? What can the industry do about sexist and racist pornography? Does porn cause violence against women? Can people become addicted to porn? Is watching porn the same as infidelity? By presenting competing perspectives in an even-handed way, The Pornography Industry will enable readers to explore these provocative issues and make their own best decisions about the debates.
Visit Shira Tarrant's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 11, 2016

"The Gunning of America"

New from Basic Books: The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture by Pamela Haag.

About the book, from the publisher:
An acclaimed historian explodes the myth about the "special relationship" between Americans and their guns, revealing that savvy 19th century businessmen—not gun lovers—created American gun culture

Americans have always loved guns. This special bond was forged during the American Revolution and sanctified by the Second Amendment. It is because of this exceptional relationship that American civilians are more heavily armed than the citizens of any other nation.

Or so we're told.

In The Gunning of America, historian Pamela Haag overturns this conventional wisdom. American gun culture, she argues, developed not because the gun was exceptional, but precisely because it was not: guns proliferated in America because throughout most of the nation's history, they were perceived as an unexceptional commodity, no different than buttons or typewriters.

Focusing on the history of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, one of the most iconic arms manufacturers in America, Haag challenges many basic assumptions of how and when America became a gun culture. Under the leadership of Oliver Winchester and his heirs, the company used aggressive, sometimes ingenious sales and marketing techniques to create new markets for their product. Guns have never "sold themselves"; rather, through advertising and innovative distribution campaigns, the gun industry did. Through the meticulous examination of gun industry archives, Haag challenges the myth of a primal bond between Americans and their firearms.

Over the course of its 150 year history, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company sold over 8 million guns. But Oliver Winchester—a shirtmaker in his previous career—had no apparent qualms about a life spent arming America. His daughter-in-law Sarah Winchester was a different story. Legend holds that Sarah was haunted by what she considered a vast blood fortune, and became convinced that the ghosts of rifle victims were haunting her. She channeled much of her inheritance, and her conflicted conscience, into a monstrous estate now known as the Winchester Mystery House, where she sought refuge from this ever-expanding army of phantoms.

In this provocative and deeply-researched work of narrative history, Haag fundamentally revises the history of arms in America, and in so doing explodes the clichés that have created and sustained our lethal gun culture.
Learn more about the book and author at Pamela Haag's website.

The Page 99 Test: Marriage Confidential.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"All the Facts"

New from Oxford University Press: All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States since 1870 by James W. Cortada.

About the book, from the publisher:
All the Facts presents a history of the role of information in the United States since 1870, when the nation began a nearly 150-year period of economic prosperity and technological and scientific transformations. James Cortada argues that citizens and their institutions used information extensively as tools to augment their work and private lives and that they used facts to help shape how the nation evolved during these fourteen decades. He argues that information's role has long been a critical component of the work, play, culture, and values of this nation, and no more so than during the twentieth century when its function in society expanded dramatically. While elements of this story have been examined by thousands of scholars---such as the role of radio, newspapers, books, computers, and the Internet, about such institutions as education, big business, expanded roles of governments from town administration to the state house, from agriculture to the services and information industries---All the Facts looks at all of these elements holistically, providing a deeper insight into the way the United States evolved over time.

An introduction and 11 chapters describe what this information ecosystem looked like, how it evolved, and how it was used. For another vast layer of information about this subject the reader is directed to the detailed bibliographic essay in the back of this book. It includes a narrative history, case studies in the form of sidebars, and stories illustrating key points. Readers will find, for example, the story of how the US postal system helped create today's information society, along with everything from books and newspapers to TV, computers, and the Internet.

The build-up to what many today call the Information Age took a long time to achieve and continues to build momentum. The implications for the world, and not just for the United States, are as profound as any mega-trend one could identify in the history of humankind. All the Facts presents this development thoroughly in an easy-to-digest format that any lover of history, technology, or the history of information and business will enjoy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Learning Love from a Tiger"

New from the University of California Press: Learning Love from a Tiger: Religious Experiences with Nature by Daniel Capper.

About the book, from the publisher:
Learning Love from a Tiger explores the vibrancy and variety of humans’ sacred encounters with the natural world, gathering a range of stories culled from Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Mayan, Himalayan, Buddhist, and Chinese shamanic traditions. Readers will delight in tales of house cats who teach monks how to meditate, shamans who shape-shift into jaguars, crickets who perform Catholic mass, rivers that grant salvation, and many others. In addition to being a collection of wonderful stories, this book introduces important concepts and approaches that underlie much recent work in environmental ethics, religion, and ecology. Daniel Capper’s light touch prompts readers to engage their own views of humanity’s place in the natural world and question longstanding assumptions of human superiority.
Daniel Capper is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Southern Mississippi and the author of Guru Devotion and the American Buddhist Experience.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 8, 2016

"Mecca of Revolution"

New from Oxford University Press: Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization, and the Third World Order by Jeffrey James Byrne.

About the book, from the publisher:
Mecca of Revolution traces the ideological and methodological evolution of the Algerian Revolution, showing how an anticolonial nationalist struggle culminated in independent Algeria's ambitious agenda to reshape not only its own society, but international society too. In this work, Jeffrey James Byrne first examines the changing politics and international strategies of the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) during its war with France, including the embrace of more encompassing visions of "decolonization" that necessitated socio-economic transformation on a global scale along Marxist/Leninist/Fanonist/Maoist/Guevarian lines. After independence, the Algerians played a leading role in Arab-African affairs as well as the far-reaching Third World project that challenged structural inequalities in the international system and the world economy, including initiatives such as the Non-Aligned Movement, the G77, and the Afro-Asian movement. At the same time, Algiers, nicknamed the "Mecca of Revolution," became a key nexus in an intercontinental transnational network of liberation movements, revolutionaries, and radical groups of various kinds.

Drawing on unprecedented access to archival materials from the FLN, the independent Algerian state, and half a dozen other countries, Byrne narrates a postcolonial, or "South-South," international history. He situates dominant paradigms such as the Cold War in the larger context of decolonization and sheds new light on the relationships between the emergent elites of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Mecca of Revolution shows how Third Worldism evolved from a subversive transnational phenomenon into a mode of elite cooperation that reinforced the authority of the post-colonial state. In so doing, the Third World movement played a key role in the construction of the totalizing international order of the late-twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Hiding in Plain Sight"

New from the University of California Press: Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror by Eric Stover, Victor Peskin, K. Alexa Koenig.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hiding in Plain Sight tells the story of the global effort to apprehend the world’s most wanted fugitives. Beginning with the flight of tens of thousands of Nazi war criminals and their collaborators after World War II, then moving on to the question of justice following the recent Balkan wars and the Rwandan genocide, and ending with the establishment of the International Criminal Court and America’s pursuit of suspected terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11, the book explores the range of diplomatic and military strategies—both successful and unsuccessful—that states and international courts have adopted to pursue and capture war crimes suspects. It is a story fraught with broken promises, backroom politics, ethical dilemmas, and daring escapades—all in the name of international justice and human rights.

Hiding in Plain Sight is a companion book to the public television documentary Dead Reckoning: Postwar Justice from World War II to The War on Terror. For more information about the documentary, visit For information about the Human Rights Center, visit
--Marshal Zeringue

"Victims' Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights"

New from Oxford University Press: Victims' Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights by Diana Tietjens Meyers.

About the book, from the publisher:
Victim's Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights takes on a set of questions suggested by the worldwide persistence of human rights abuse and the prevalence of victims' stories in human rights campaigns, truth commissions, and international criminal tribunals: What conceptions of victims are presumed in contemporary human rights discourse? How do conventional narrative templates fail victims of human rights abuse and resist raising novel human rights issues? What is empathy, and how can victims frame their stories to overcome empathetic obstacles and promote commitment to human rights? How can victims' stories be used ethically in the service of human rights?

The book addresses these concerns by analyzing the rhetorical resources for and constraints on victims' ability to articulate their stories and by clarifying how their stories can contribute to enlarged understandings of human rights protections and deepened commitments to realizing human rights. It theorizes the normative content that victims' stories can convey and the bearing of that normative content on human rights. Throughout the book, published victims' stories-including stories of torture, slavery, genocide, rape in wartime, and child soldiering-are analyzed in conjunction with philosophical arguments. This book mobilizes philosophical theory to illuminate victims' stories and appeals to victims' stories to enrich the philosophy of human rights.
Visit Diana Tietjens Meyers's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden"

New from Cornell University Press: The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York by John M. Dixon.

About the book, from the publisher:
Was there a conservative Enlightenment? Could a self-proclaimed man of learning and progressive science also have been an agent of monarchy and reaction? Cadwallader Colden (1688–1776), an educated Scottish emigrant and powerful colonial politician, was at the forefront of American intellectual culture in the mid-eighteenth century. While living in rural New York, he recruited family, friends, servants, and slaves into multiple scientific ventures and built a transatlantic network of contacts and correspondents that included Benjamin Franklin and Carl Linnaeus. Over several decades, Colden pioneered colonial botany, produced new theories of animal and human physiology, authored an influential history of the Iroquois, and developed bold new principles of physics and an engaging explanation of the cause of gravity.

The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden traces the life and ideas of this fascinating and controversial "gentleman-scholar." John M. Dixon's lively and accessible account explores the overlapping ideological, social, and political worlds of this earliest of New York intellectuals. Colden and other learned colonials used intellectual practices to assert their gentility and establish their social and political superiority, but their elitist claims to cultural authority remained flimsy and open to widespread local derision. Although Colden, who governed New York as an unpopular Crown loyalist during the imperial crises of the 1760s and 1770s, was brutally lampooned by the New York press, his scientific work, which was published in Europe, raised the international profile of American intellectualism.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Cornering the Market"

New from Oxford University Press: Cornering the Market: Independent Grocers and Innovation in American Small Business by Susan V. Spellman.

About the book, from the publisher:
In popular stereotypes, local grocers were avuncular men who spent their days in pickle-barrel conversations and checkers games; they were backward small-town merchants resistant to modernizing impulses. Cornering the Market challenges these conventions to demonstrate that nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century grocers were important but unsung innovators of business models and retail technologies that fostered the rise of contemporary retailing. Small grocery owners revolutionized business practices from the bottom by becoming the first retailers to own and operate cash registers, develop new distribution paths, and engage in transforming the grocery trade from local enterprises to a nationwide industry.

Drawing on storekeepers' diaries, business ledgers and documents, and the letters of merchants, wholesalers, traveling men, and consumers, Susan V. Spellman details the remarkable achievements of American small businessmen, and their major contributions to the making of "modern" enterprise in the United States. The development of mass production, distribution, and marketing, the growth of regional and national markets, and the introduction of new organizational and business methods fundamentally changed the structures of American capitalism. Within the walls of their stores, proprietors confronted these changes by crafting solutions centered on notions of efficiency, scale, and price control. Without abandoning local ties, they turned social concepts of community into commercial profitability. It was a powerful combination that businesses from chain stores to Walmart continue to exploit today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Image Brokers"

New from the University of California Press: Image Brokers: Visualizing World News in the Age of Digital Circulation by Zeynep Devrim Gursel.

About the book, from the publisher:
How does a photograph become a news image? An ethnography of the labor behind international news images, Image Brokers ruptures the self-evidence of the journalistic photograph by revealing the many factors determining how news audiences are shown people, events, and the world. News images, Zeynep Gürsel argues, function as formative fictions – fictional insofar as these images are constructed and culturally mediated, and formative because their public presence and circulation have real consequences in the world.

Set against the backdrop of the War on Terror and based on fieldwork conducted at photojournalism’s centers of power, Image Brokers offers an intimate look at an industry in crisis. At the turn of the 21st century, image brokers—the people who manage the distribution and restriction of news images—found the core technologies of their craft, the status of images, and their own professional standing all changing rapidly with the digitalization of the infrastructures of representation. From corporate sales meetings to wire service desks, newsrooms to photography workshops and festivals, Image Brokers investigates how news images are produced and how worldviews are reproduced in the process.
--Marshal Zeringue

"No Place Like Home"

New from Oxford University Press: No Place Like Home: Wealth, Community and the Politics of Homeownership by Brian J. McCabe.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the decade following the housing crisis, Americans remain enthusiastic about the prospect of owning a home. Homeownership is a symbol of status attainment in the United States, and for many Americans, buying a home is the most important financial investment they will ever make. We are deeply committed to an ideology of homeownership that presents homeownership as a tool for building stronger communities and crafting better citizens.

However, in No Place Like Home, Brian McCabe argues that such beliefs about the public benefits of homeownership are deeply mischaracterized. As owning a home has emerged as the most important way to build wealth in the United States, it has also reshaped the way citizens become involved in their communities. Rather than engaging as public-spirited stewards of civic life, McCabe demonstrates that homeowners often engage in their communities as a way to protect their property values. This involvement contributes to the politics of exclusion, and prevents particular citizens from gaining access to high-opportunity neighborhoods, thereby reinforcing patterns of residential segregation.

A thorough analysis of the politics of homeownership, No Place Like Home prompts readers to reconsider the power of homeownership to strengthen citizenship and build better communities.
Visit Brian J. McCabe's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Making Monte Carlo"

New from Simon & Schuster: Making Monte Carlo: A History of Speculation and Spectacle by Mark Braude.

About the book, from the publisher:
A rollicking narrative history of Monte Carlo, capturing its nineteenth-century rise as the world’s first modern casino-resort and its Jazz Age heyday as infamous playground of the rich.

Monte Carlo has long been known as a dazzling playground for the rich and famous. Less well known are the shrewd and often ruthless strategies that went into creating such a potent symbol of luxury and cosmopolitan glamour. As historian Mark Braude reveals in his entertaining and informative Making Monte Carlo, the world’s first modern casino-resort started as an unlikely prospect—with the legalization of gambling in tiny Monaco in 1855—and eventually emerged as the most glamorous gambling destination of the Victorian era. The resort declined in the wake of WWI, and was reinvented, again, to suit the styles and desires of the new Jazz Age tastemakers, such as F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gerald and Sarah Murphy, and Coco Chanel.

Along the way, we encounter a colorful cast of characters, including the fast-talking Francois Blanc (a professional gambler, stock market manipulator, and founder of Monte Carlo); Basil Zaharoff (notorious munitions dealer and possible secret owner of the casino in the 1920s); Elsa Maxwell (a brash society figure and Hollywood maven, hired as the casino’s publicist); Réné Léon (a visionary Jewish businessman, who revitalized the resort after WWI); Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, and other satellite members of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes dance company; as well as Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and other American expats who ‘colonized’ the Riviera in the 1920s.

A rollercoaster history of how a small, rural town grew into the prosperous resort epicenter of the late nineteenth century and rose again to greatness out of the ashes of WWI, Making Monte Carlo is a classic rags-to-riches tale set in the most scenic of European settings.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Familiar Strangers"

New from Oxford University Press: Familiar Strangers: The Georgian Diaspora and the Evolution of Soviet Empire by Erik R. Scott.

About the book, from the publisher:
A small, non-Slavic country located far from the Soviet capital, Georgia has been more closely linked with the Ottoman and Persian empires than with Russia for most of its history. One of over one hundred officially classified Soviet nationalities, Georgians represented less than 2% of the Soviet population, yet they constituted an extraordinarily successful and powerful minority. Familiar Strangers aims to explain how Georgians gained widespread prominence in the Soviet Union, yet remained a distinctive national community.

Through the history of a remarkably successful group of ethnic outsiders at the heart of Soviet empire, Erik R. Scott reinterprets the course of modern Russian and Soviet history. Scott contests the portrayal of the Soviet Union as a Russian-led empire composed of separate national republics and instead argues that it was an empire of diasporas, forged through the mixing of a diverse array of nationalities behind external Soviet borders. Internal diasporas from the Soviet republics migrated throughout the socialist empire, leaving their mark on its politics, culture, and economics. Arguably the most prominent diasporic group, Georgians were the revolutionaries who accompanied Stalin in his rise to power and helped build the socialist state; culinary specialists who contributed dishes and rituals that defined Soviet dining habits; cultural entrepreneurs who perfected a flamboyant repertoire that spoke for a multiethnic society on stage and screen; traders who thrived in the Soviet Union's burgeoning informal economy; and intellectuals who ultimately called into question the legitimacy of Soviet power.

Looking at the rise and fall of the Soviet Union from a Georgian perspective, Familiar Strangers offers a new way of thinking about the experience of minorities in multiethnic states, with implications far beyond the imperial borders of Russia and Eurasia.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 3, 2016

"America's War for the Greater Middle East"

New from Random House: America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by Andrew J. Bacevich.

About the book, from the publisher:
Retired army colonel and New York Times bestselling author Andrew J. Bacevich provides a searing reassessment of U.S. military policy in the Middle East over the past four decades.

From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight.

During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred. As the Cold War wound down, the United States initiated a new conflict—a War for the Greater Middle East—that continues to the present day. The long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union had involved only occasional and sporadic fighting. But as this new war unfolded, hostilities became persistent. From the Balkans and East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, U.S. forces embarked upon a seemingly endless series of campaigns across the Islamic world. Few achieved anything remotely like conclusive success. Instead, actions undertaken with expectations of promoting peace and stability produced just the opposite. As a consequence, phrases like “permanent war” and “open-ended war” have become part of everyday discourse.

Connecting the dots in a way no other historian has done before, Bacevich weaves a compelling narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut bombing of 1983, the Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in the present decade. Understanding what America’s costly military exertions have wrought requires seeing these seemingly discrete events as parts of a single war. It also requires identifying the errors of judgment made by political leaders in both parties and by senior military officers who share responsibility for what has become a monumental march to folly. This Bacevich unflinchingly does.

A twenty-year army veteran who served in Vietnam, Andrew J. Bacevich brings the full weight of his expertise to this vitally important subject. America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a bracing after-action report from the front lines of history. It will fundamentally change the way we view America’s engagement in the world’s most volatile region.
The Page 99 Test: The New American Militarism.

The Page 99 Test: The Limits of Power.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 2, 2016

"Ireland's Exiled Children"

New from Oxford University Press: Ireland's Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising by Robert Schmuhl.

About the book, from the publisher:
In their long struggle for independence from British rule, Irish republicans had long looked west for help, and with reason. The Irish-American population in the United States was larger than the population of Ireland itself, and the bond between the two cultures was visceral. Irish exiles living in America provided financial support-and often much more than that-but also the inspiration of example, proof that a life independent of England was achievable. Yet the moment of crisis-"terrible beauty," as William Butler Yeats put it-came in the armed insurrection during Easter week 1916. Ireland's "exiled children in America" were acknowledged in the Proclamation announcing "the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic," a document which circulated in Dublin on the first day of the Rising. The United States was the only country singled out for offering Ireland help. Yet the moment of the uprising was one of war in Europe, and it was becoming clear that America would join in the alliance with France and Britain against Germany. For many Irish-Americans, the choice of loyalty to American policy or the Home Rule cause was deeply divisive.

Based on original archival research, Ireland's Exiled Children brings into bold relief four key figures in the Irish-American connection at this fatal juncture: the unrepentant Fenian radical John Devoy, the driving force among the Irish exiles in America; the American poet and journalist Joyce Kilmer, whose writings on the Rising shaped public opinion and guided public sympathy; President Woodrow Wilson, descended from Ulster Protestants, whose antipathy to Irish independence matched that to British imperialism; and the only leader of the Rising not executed by the British-possibly because of his having been born in America--Éamon de Valera. Each in his way contributed to America's support of and response to the Rising, informing the larger narrative and broadly reflecting reactions to the event and its bitter aftermath.

Engaging and absorbing, Schmuhl's book captures through these figures the complexities of American politics, Irish-Americanism, and Anglo-American relations in the war and post-war period, illuminating a key part of the story of the Rising and its hold on the imagination.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 1, 2016

"Hellboy's World"

New from the University of California Press: Hellboy's World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins by Scott Bukatman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hellboy, Mike Mignola’s famed comic book demon hunter, wanders through a haunting and horrific world steeped in the history of weird fictions and wide-ranging folklores. Hellboy's World shows how our engagement with Hellboy's world is a highly aestheticized encounter with comics and their materiality. Scott Bukatman’s dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened “adventure of reading” in which syntheses of image and word, image sequences, and serial narratives create compelling worlds for the reader’s imagination to inhabit. Drawing upon other media—including children’s books, sculpture, pulp fiction, cinema, graphic design, painting, and illuminated manuscripts—Bukatman reveals the mechanics of creating a world on the page. He also demonstrates the pleasurable and multiple complexities of the reader’s experience, invoking the riotous colors of comics that elude rationality and control and delving into shared fictional universes and occult detection, the horror genre and the evocation of the sublime, and the place of abstraction in Mignola’s art. Monsters populate the world of Hellboy comics, but Bukatman argues that comics are themselves little monsters, unruly sites of sensory and cognitive pleasures that exist, happily, on the margins. The book is not only a treat for Hellboy fans, but it will entice anyone interested in the medium of comics and the art of reading.
--Marshal Zeringue