Sunday, July 31, 2016

"Defectives in the Land"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Defectives in the Land: Disability and Immigration in the Age of Eugenics by Douglas C. Baynton.

About the book, from the publisher:
Immigration history has largely focused on the restriction of immigrants by race and ethnicity, overlooking disability as a crucial factor in the crafting of the image of the “undesirable immigrant.” Defectives in the Land, Douglas C. Baynton’s groundbreaking new look at immigration and disability, aims to change this.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Baynton explains, immigration restriction in the United States was primarily intended to keep people with disabilities—known as “defectives”—out of the country. The list of those included is long: the deaf, blind, epileptic, and mobility impaired; people with curved spines, hernias, flat or club feet, missing limbs, and short limbs; those unusually short or tall; people with intellectual or psychiatric disabilities; intersexuals; men of “poor physique” and men diagnosed with “feminism.” Not only were disabled individuals excluded, but particular races and nationalities were also identified as undesirable based on their supposed susceptibility to mental, moral, and physical defects.

In this transformative book, Baynton argues that early immigration laws were a cohesive whole—a decades-long effort to find an effective method of excluding people considered to be defective. This effort was one aspect of a national culture that was increasingly fixated on competition and efficiency, anxious about physical appearance and difference, and haunted by a fear of hereditary defect and the degeneration of the American race.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Information Nexus"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Information Nexus: Global Capitalism from the Renaissance to the Present by Steven G. Marks.

About the book, from the publisher:
Capitalism is central to our understanding of contemporary economic and political life and yet what does it really mean? If, as has now been shown to be the case, capital and property rights existed in pre-modern and pre-capitalist societies, what is left of our understanding of capitalism? Steven Marks' provocative new book calls into question everything we thought we knew about capitalism, from the word's very origins and development to the drivers of Western economic growth. Ranging from the Middle Ages to the present, The Information Nexus reveals that the truly distinctive feature of capitalism is business's drive to acquire and analyze information, supported by governments that allow unfettered access to public data. This new interpretation of capitalism helps to explain the rise of the West, puts our current information age into historical perspective, and provides a benchmark for the comparative assessment of economic systems in today's globalized environment.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 30, 2016

"Sustainability through Soccer"

New from the University of California Press: Sustainability through Soccer: An Unexpected Approach to Saving Our World by Leidy Klotz.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the quest for sustainability, we strive to meet our present needs without sacrificing the same opportunity for future generations. Our success or failure depends on our ability to think in “systems,” integrating environmental, social, and economic considerations. But how do we learn systems-thinking? In a series of engaging, rapid-fire stories, Sustainability through Soccer takes readers on a journey through a progression of systems-thinking and sustainability concepts. Using the beautiful game of soccer as an analogy, Leidy Klotz illuminates real-world interdependencies (such as between climate change and human rights), building the chain of concepts in a fun, accessible way. Soccer nerds and newbies alike will be entertained on the way to a deeper understanding of sustainability science.
Leidy Klotz is Associate Professor of Engineering at Clemson University. Less than a decade into his academic career, he has been awarded a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and named to NerdScholar’s inaugural list of “40 under 40: Professors Who Inspire” for his ability to captivate and engage students. Before becoming a professor, he was a professional soccer player.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome"

New from Cornell University Press: Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome: Sexuality, Identity, and Community in Early Modern Europe by Gary Ferguson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Same-sex marriage is a hotly debated topic in the United States, and the world, today. From the tenor of most discussions, however, it would be easy to conclude that the idea of marriage between two people of the same sex is a uniquely contemporary phenomenon. Not so, argues Gary Ferguson in this remarkable book about a same-sex wedding ceremony in sixteenth-century Rome. The case in question involved a group of mostly Spanish and Portuguese men, arrested and executed in Rome in 1578, said to have performed same-sex wedding ceremonies in one of the city's major churches. We know about the incident from a number of sources, including the travel journal of the French essayist Michel de Montaigne.

Several substantial fragments of the transcript of the men’s trial have also survived, along with copies of their wills. Making use of all these documents, Ferguson brings the story to life in striking detail. He reveals not only the names of the men but also where they lived, how they were employed, and who their friends were. In particular, he unearths a surprising amount of detail about the men’s sex lives, and how others responded to this information, which allows him to explore attitudes toward marriage, sex, and gender at the time. Emphasizing the instability of marriage in premodern Europe, Ferguson argues that same-sex unions should be considered part of the institution’s complex and contested history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 29, 2016

"Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels"

New from Cambridge University Press: Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels: Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Brazil by Teresa Cribelli.

About the book, from the publisher:
An account of modernization and technological innovation in nineteenth-century Brazil that provides a distinctly Brazilian perspective. Existing scholarship on the period describes the beginnings of Brazilian modernization as a European or North American import dependent on foreign capital, transfers of technology, and philosophical inspiration. Promoters of modernization were considered few in number, derivative in their thinking, or thwarted by an entrenched slaveholding elite hostile to industrialization. Teresa Cribelli presents a more nuanced picture. Nineteenth-century Brazilians selected among the transnational flow of ideas and technologies with care and attention to the specific conditions of their tropical nation. Studying underutilized sources, Cribelli illuminates a distinctly Brazilian vision of modernization that challenges the view that Brazil, a nation dependent on slave labor for much of the nineteenth century, was merely reactive in the face of the modernization models of the North Atlantic industrializing nations.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Gringo Gulch"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Gringo Gulch: Sex, Tourism, and Social Mobility in Costa Rica by Megan Rivers-Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:
The story of sex tourism in the Gringo Gulch neighborhood of San José, Costa Rica could be easily cast as the exploitation of poor local women by privileged North American men—men who are in a position to take advantage of the vast geopolitical inequalities that make Latin American women into suppliers of low-cost sexual labor. But in Gringo Gulch, Megan Rivers-Moore tells a more nuanced story, demonstrating that all the actors intimately entangled in the sex tourism industry—sex workers, sex tourists, and the state—use it as a strategy for getting ahead.

Rivers-Moore situates her ethnography at the intersections of gender, race, class, and national dimensions in the sex industry. Instead of casting sex workers as hapless victims and sex tourists as neoimperialist racists, she reveals each group as involved in a complicated process of class mobility that must be situated within the sale and purchase of leisure and sex. These interactions operate within an almost entirely unregulated but highly competitive market beyond the reach of the state—bringing a distinctly neoliberal cast to the market. Throughout the book, Rivers-Moore introduces us to remarkable characters—Susan, a mother of two who doesn’t regret her career of sex work; Barry, a teacher and father of two from Virginia who travels to Costa Rica to escape his loveless, sexless marriage; Nancy, a legal assistant in the Department of Labor who is shocked to find out that prostitution is legal and still unregulated. Gringo Gulch is a fascinating and groundbreaking look at sex tourism, Latin America, and the neoliberal state.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Tracks of Change"

New from Cambridge University Press: Tracks of Change: Railways and Everyday Life in Colonial India by Ritika Prasad.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, railways became increasingly important in the lives of a growing number of Indians. While allowing millions to collectively experience the endemic discomforts of third-class travel, the public opportunities for proximity and contact created by railways simultaneously compelled colonial society to confront questions about exclusion, difference, and community. It was not only passengers, however, who were affected by the transformations that railways wrought. Even without boarding a train, one could see railway tracks and embankments reshaping familiar landscapes, realise that train schedules represented new temporal structures, fear that spreading railway links increased the reach of contagion, and participate in new forms of popular politics focused around railway spaces. Tracks of Change explores how railway technology, travel, and infrastructure became increasingly woven into everyday life in colonial India, how people negotiated with the growing presence of railways, and how this process has shaped India's history.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Down, Out, and Under Arrest"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Down, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row by Forrest Stuart.

About the book, from the publisher:
In his first year working in Los Angeles’s Skid Row, Forrest Stuart was stopped on the street by police fourteen times. Usually for doing little more than standing there.

Juliette, a woman he met during that time, has been stopped by police well over one hundred times, arrested upward of sixty times, and has given up more than a year of her life serving week-long jail sentences. Her most common crime? Simply sitting on the sidewalk—an arrestable offense in LA.

Why? What purpose did those arrests serve, for society or for Juliette? How did we reach a point where we’ve cut support for our poorest citizens, yet are spending ever more on policing and prisons? That’s the complicated, maddening story that Stuart tells in Down, Out and Under Arrest, a close-up look at the hows and whys of policing poverty in the contemporary United States. What emerges from Stuart’s years of fieldwork—not only with Skid Row residents, but with the police charged with managing them—is a tragedy built on mistakes and misplaced priorities more than on heroes and villains. He reveals a situation where a lot of people on both sides of this issue are genuinely trying to do the right thing, yet often come up short. Sometimes, in ways that do serious harm.

At a time when distrust between police and the residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods has never been higher, Stuart’s book helps us see where we’ve gone wrong, and what steps we could take to begin to change the lives of our poorest citizens—and ultimately our society itself—for the better.
Visit Forrest Stuart's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Morale and the Italian Army during the First World War"

New from Cambridge University Press: Morale and the Italian Army during the First World War by Vanda Wilcox.

About the book, from the publisher:
Italian performance in the First World War has been generally disparaged or ignored compared to that of the armies on the Western Front, and troop morale in particular has been seen as a major weakness of the Italian army. In this first book-length study of Italian morale in any language, Vanda Wilcox reassesses Italian policy and performance from the perspective both of the army as an institution and of the ordinary soldiers who found themselves fighting a brutally hard war. Wilcox analyses and contextualises Italy's notoriously hard military discipline along with leadership, training methods and logistics before considering the reactions of the troops and tracing the interactions between institutions and individuals. Restoring historical agency to soldiers often considered passive and indifferent, Wilcox illustrates how and why Italians complied, endured or resisted the army's demands through balancing their civilian and military identities.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Management of Hate"

New from Princeton University Press: The Management of Hate: Nation, Affect, and the Governance of Right-Wing Extremism in Germany by Nitzan Shoshan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since German reunification in 1990, there has been widespread concern about marginalized young people who, faced with bleak prospects for their future, have embraced increasingly violent forms of racist nationalism that glorify the country’s Nazi past. The Management of Hate, Nitzan Shoshan’s riveting account of the year and a half he spent with these young right-wing extremists in East Berlin, reveals how they contest contemporary notions of national identity and defy the clichés that others use to represent them.

Shoshan situates them within what he calls the governance of affect, a broad body of discourses and practices aimed at orchestrating their attitudes toward cultural difference—from legal codes and penal norms to rehabilitative techniques and pedagogical strategies. Governance has conventionally been viewed as rational administration, while emotions have ordinarily been conceived of as individual states. Shoshan, however, convincingly questions both assumptions. Instead, he offers a fresh view of governance as pregnant with affect and of hate as publicly mediated and politically administered. Shoshan argues that the state’s policies push these youths into a right-extremist corner instead of integrating them in ways that could curb their nationalist racism. His point is certain to resonate across European and non-European contexts where, amid robust xenophobic nationalisms, hate becomes precisely the object of public dispute.

Powerful and compelling, The Management of Hate provides a rare and disturbing look inside Germany’s right-wing extremist world, and shines critical light on a German nationhood haunted by its own historical contradictions.
Visit Nitzan Shoshan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Midnight Basketball"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Midnight Basketball: Race, Sports, and Neoliberal Social Policy by Douglas Hartmann.

About the book, from the publisher:
Midnight basketball may not have been invented in Chicago, but the City of Big Shoulders—home of Michael Jordan and the Bulls—is where it first came to national prominence. And it’s also where Douglas Hartmann first began to think seriously about the audacious notion that organizing young men to run around in the wee hours of the night—all trying to throw a leather ball through a metal hoop—could constitute meaningful social policy.

Organized in the 1980s and ’90s by dozens of American cities, late-night basketball leagues were designed for social intervention, risk reduction, and crime prevention targeted at African American youth and young men. In Midnight Basketball, Hartmann traces the history of the program and the policy transformations of the period, while exploring the racial ideologies, cultural tensions, and institutional realities that shaped the entire field of sports-based social policy. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the book also brings to life the actual, on-the-ground practices of midnight basketball programs and the young men that the programs intended to serve. In the process, Midnight Basketball offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of the intricate ways sports, race, and risk intersect and interact in urban America.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Epicureans and Atheists in France, 1650–1729"

New from Cambridge University Press: Epicureans and Atheists in France, 1650–1729 by Alan Charles Kors.

About the book, from the publisher:
Atheism was the most foundational challenge to early-modern French certainties. Theologians and philosophers labelled such atheism as absurd, confident that neither the fact nor behaviour of nature was explicable without reference to God. The alternative was a categorical naturalism, whose most extreme form was Epicureanism. The dynamics of the Christian learned world, however, which this book explains, allowed the wide dissemination of the Epicurean argument. By the end of the seventeenth century, atheism achieved real voice and life. This book examines the Epicurean inheritance and explains what constituted actual atheistic thinking in early-modern France, distinguishing such categorical unbelief from other challenges to orthodox beliefs. Without understanding the actual context and convergence of the inheritance, scholarship, protocols, and polemical modes of orthodox culture, the early-modern generation and dissemination of atheism are inexplicable. This book brings to life both early-modern French Christian learned culture and the atheists who emerged from its intellectual vitality.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 25, 2016


New from the University of Chicago Press: Scenescapes: How Qualities of Place Shape Social Life by Daniel Aaron Silver and Terry Nichols Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:
Let’s set the scene: there’s a regular on his barstool, beer in hand. He’s watching a young couple execute a complicated series of moves on the dance floor, while at the table in the corner the DJ adjusts his headphones and slips a new beat into the mix. These are all experiences created by a given scene—one where we feel connected to other people, in places like a bar or a community center, a neighborhood parish or even a train station. Scenes enable experiences, but they also cultivate skills, create ambiances, and nourish communities.

In Scenescapes, Daniel Aaron Silver and Terry Nichols Clark examine the patterns and consequences of the amenities that define our streets and strips. They articulate the core dimensions of the theatricality, authenticity, and legitimacy of local scenes—cafes, churches, restaurants, parks, galleries, bowling alleys, and more. Scenescapes not only reimagines cities in cultural terms, it details how scenes shape economic development, residential patterns, and political attitudes and actions. In vivid detail and with wide-angle analyses—encompassing an analysis of 40,000 ZIP codes—Silver and Clark give readers tools for thinking about place; tools that can teach us where to live, work, or relax, and how to organize our communities.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Continental Drift"

New from Cambridge University Press: Continental Drift: Britain and Europe from the End of Empire to the Rise of Euroscepticism by Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Churchill sought to lead Europe into an integrated union, but just over seventy years later, Britain is poised to vote on leaving the EU. Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon here recounts the fascinating history of Britain's uneasy relationship with the European continent since the end of the war. He shows how British views of the United Kingdom's place within Europe cannot be understood outside of the context of decolonization, the Cold War, and the Anglo-American relationship. At the end of the Second World War, Britons viewed themselves both as the leaders of a great empire and as the natural centre of Europe. With the decline of the British Empire and the formation of the European Economic Community, however, Britons developed a Euroscepticism that was inseparable from a post-imperial nostalgia. Britain had evolved from an island of imperial Europeans to one of post-imperial Eurosceptics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 24, 2016

"Spiritual Despots"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Spiritual Despots: Modern Hinduism and the Genealogies of Self-Rule by J. Barton Scott.

About the book, from the publisher:
Historians of religion have examined at length the Protestant Reformation and the liberal idea of the self-governing individual that arose from it. In Spiritual Despots, J. Barton Scott reveals an unexamined piece of this story: how Protestant technologies of asceticism became entangled with Hindu spiritual practices to create an ideal of the “self-ruling subject” crucial to both nineteenth-century reform culture and early twentieth-century anticolonialism in India. Scott uses the quaint term “priestcraft” to track anticlerical polemics that vilified religious hierarchy, celebrated the individual, and endeavored to reform human subjects by freeing them from external religious influence. By drawing on English, Hindi, and Gujarati reformist writings, Scott provides a panoramic view of precisely how the specter of the crafty priest transformed religion and politics in India.

Through this alternative genealogy of the self-ruling subject, Spiritual Despots demonstrates that Hindu reform movements cannot be understood solely within the precolonial tradition, but rather need to be read alongside other movements of their period. The book’s focus moves fluidly between Britain and India—engaging thinkers such as James Mill, Keshub Chunder Sen, Max Weber, Karsandas Mulji, Helena Blavatsky, M. K. Gandhi, and others—to show how colonial Hinduism shaped major modern discourses about the self. Throughout, Scott sheds much-needed light how the rhetoric of priestcraft and practices of worldly asceticism played a crucial role in creating a new moral and political order for twentieth-century India and demonstrates the importance of viewing the emergence of secularism through the colonial encounter.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Beyond the Rope"

New from Cambridge University Press: Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory by Karlos K. Hill.

About the book, from the publisher:
Beyond the Rope is an interdisciplinary study that draws on narrative theory and cultural studies methodologies to trace African Americans' changing attitudes and relationships to lynching over the twentieth century. Whereas African Americans are typically framed as victims of white lynch mob violence in both scholarly and public discourses, Karlos K. Hill reveals that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries African Americans lynched other African Americans in response to alleged criminality, and that twentieth-century black writers envisaged African American lynch victims as exemplars of heroic manhood. By illuminating the submerged histories of black vigilantism and consolidating narratives of lynching in African American literature that framed black victims of white lynch mob violence as heroic, Hill argues that rather than being static and one dimensional, African American attitudes towards lynching and the lynched black evolved in response to changing social and political contexts.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"After the Map"

New from the University of Chicago Press: After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century by William Rankin.

About the book, from the publisher:
For most of the twentieth century, maps were indispensable. They were how governments understood, managed, and defended their territory, and during the two world wars they were produced by the hundreds of millions. Cartographers and journalists predicted the dawning of a “map-minded age,” where increasingly state-of-the-art maps would become everyday tools. By the century’s end, however, there had been decisive shift in mapping practices, as the dominant methods of land surveying and print publication were increasingly displaced by electronic navigation systems.

In After the Map, William Rankin argues that although this shift did not render traditional maps obsolete, it did radically change our experience of geographic knowledge, from the God’s-eye view of the map to the embedded subjectivity of GPS. Likewise, older concerns with geographic truth and objectivity have been upstaged by a new emphasis on simplicity, reliability, and convenience. After the Map shows how this change in geographic perspective is ultimately a transformation of the nature of territory, both social and political.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Heavy: The Obesity Crisis in Cultural Context"

New from Oxford University Press: Heavy: The Obesity Crisis in Cultural Context by Helene A. Shugart.

About the book, from the publisher:
The current "obesity epidemic" has been at the top of the national and, increasingly, global public agenda for the last decade, the subject of extensive and intensive concern, scrutiny, and corrective efforts from various quarters. In the United States, much of this attention is predicated on the "official" discourse, or story, of obesity-that it is a matter of personal responsibility, specifically to the end of monitoring and ensuring appropriate caloric balance. However, even though it continues to have cultural presumption, that discourse does not resonate with the populace, which may explain why efforts of redress have been notoriously ineffective. In this book, Helene Shugart places obesity in cultural, political, and economic context, arguing that current anxieties regarding obesity reflect the contemporary crisis in neoliberalism, and that the failure of the official discourse of obesity mirrors the failure of neoliberalism more broadly: specifically, to account for authenticity, a powerfully resonant cultural concept today. She chronicles a number of competing discourses of obesity that have arisen in response to the failed official discourse, examining and evaluating each in relation to the idea of authenticity; assessing the practical and behavioral implications of each discourse for both obesity incidence and redress; and establishing the significance of each discourse for negotiating neoliberalism in crisis more broadly.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Death in Beijing"

New from Cambridge University Press: Death in Beijing: Murder and Forensic Science in Republican China by Daniel Asen.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this innovative and engaging history of homicide investigation in Republican Beijing, Daniel Asen explores the transformation of ideas about death in China in the first half of the twentieth century. In this period, those who died violently or under suspicious circumstances constituted a particularly important population of the dead, subject to new claims by police, legal and medical professionals, and a newspaper industry intent on covering urban fatality in sensational detail. Asen examines the process through which imperial China's old tradition of forensic science came to serve the needs of a changing state and society under these dramatically new circumstances. This is a story of the unexpected outcomes and contingencies of modernity, presenting new perspectives on China's transition from empire to modern nation state, competing visions of science and expertise, and the ways in which the meanings of death and dead bodies changed amid China's modern transformation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Breaking the WTO"

New from Stanford University Press: Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project by Kristen Hopewell.

About the book, from the publisher:
The world economic order has been upended by the rise of the BRIC nations and the attendant decline of the United States' international influence. In Breaking the WTO, Kristen Hopewell provides a groundbreaking analysis of how these power shifts have played out in one of the most important theaters of global governance: the World Trade Organization.

Hopewell argues that the collapse of the Doha Round negotiations in 2008 signals a crisis in the American-led project of neoliberal globalization. Historically, the U.S. has pressured other countries to open their markets while maintaining its own protectionist policies. Over the course of the Doha negotiations, however, China, India, and Brazil challenged America's hypocrisy. They did so not because they rejected the multilateral trading system, but because they embraced neoliberal rhetoric and sought to lay claim to its benefits. By demanding that all members of the WTO live up to the principles of "free trade," these developing states caused the negotiations to collapse under their own contradictions. Breaking the WTO probes the tensions between the WTO's liberal principles and the underlying reality of power politics, exploring what the Doha conflict tells us about the current and coming balance of power in the global economy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Too Great a Burden to Bear"

New from Fordham University Press: Too Great a Burden to Bear: The Struggle and Failure of the Freedmen's Bureau in Texas by Christopher B. Bean.

About the book, from the publisher:
In its brief seven-year existence, the Freedmen's Bureau became the epicenter of the debate about Reconstruction. Historians have only recently begun to focus on the Bureau's personnel in Texas, the individual agents termed the "hearts of Reconstruction." Specifically addressing the historiographical debates concerning the character of the Bureau and its sub-assistant commissioners (SACs), Too Great a Burden to Bear sheds new light on the work and reputation of these agents.

Focusing on the agents on a personal level, author Christopher B. Bean reveals the type of man Bureau officials believed qualified to oversee the Freedpeople's transition to freedom. This work shows that each agent, moved by his sense of fairness and ideas of citizenship, gender, and labor, represented the agency's policy in his subdistrict. These men further ensured the former slaves' right to an education and right of mobility, something they never had while in bondage.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"A Dream Denied"

New from the University of California Press: A Dream Denied: Incarceration, Recidivism, and Young Minority Men in America by Michaela Soyer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Young minority men are often portrayed in popular media as victims of poverty and discrimination. A Dream Denied delves deeper, investigating the social and cultural implications of the “American dream” narrative for young minority men in the juvenile justice systems in Boston and Chicago. This book connects young male offenders’ cycles of desistance and recidivism with normative assumptions about success and failure in American society, exposing a tragic disconnect between structural reality and juvenile justice policy. This book challenges us to reconsider how American society relates to its most vulnerable members, how it responds to their personal failures, and how it promises them a better future.
Michaela Soyer is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Hunter College.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 18, 2016

"The Shaykh of Shaykhs"

New from Stanford University Press: The Shaykh of Shaykhs: Mithqal al-Fayiz and Tribal Leadership in Modern Jordan by Yoav Alon.

About the book, from the publisher:
Shaykh Mithqal al-Fayiz's life spanned a period of dramatic transformation in the Middle East. Born in the 1880s during a time of rapid modernization across the Ottoman Empire, Mithqal led his tribe through World War I, the development and decline of colonial rule and founding of Jordan, the establishment of the state of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict that ensued, and the rise of pan-Arabism. As Mithqal navigated regional politics over the decades, he redefined the modern role of the shaykh.

In following Mithqal's remarkable life, this book explores tribal leadership in the modern Middle East more generally. The support of Mithqal's tribe to the Jordanian Hashemite regime extends back to the creation of Jordan in 1921 and has characterized its political system ever since. The long-standing alliances between tribal elites and the royal family explain, to a large extent, the extraordinary resilience of Hashemite rule in Jordan and the country's relative stability. Mithqal al-Fayiz's life and work as a shaykh offer a notable individual story, as well as a unique window into the history, society, and politics of Jordan.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"The Power of Place"

New from Princeton University Press: The Power of Place: Rulers and Their Palaces, Landscapes, Cities, and Holy Places by David Rollason.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Power of Place explores the nature of power—the power of kings, emperors, and popes—through the places that these rulers created or developed, including palaces, cities, landscapes, holy places, inauguration sites, and burial places. Ranging across all of Europe from the first to the sixteenth centuries—from Prague and Seville to Palermo and the Oslo Fjord—David Rollason examines how these places conveyed messages of power and what those messages were.

Rollason draws on the latest research in a range of disciplines—principally archaeology, and the histories of art, architecture, and landscape, as well as historical and literary studies—to investigate what the power of rulers consisted of. Was their power based on impersonal bureaucratic mechanisms, on personal relationships between rulers and subjects, or on strong beliefs in the quasi-divine status of rulers? How did impressive edifices support and emphasize these practices of power? Rollason takes readers to spectacular sites, including the remarkable remains of the tenth-century city of Madinat al-Zahra near Cordoba, the remarkably preserved palace-church of the emperor Charlemagne in Aachen, and the soaring shrine-church of the Saint-Chapelle of King Louis IX.

Giving readers the tools to analyze rulers' palaces, landscapes, cities, and holy places, The Power of Place offers a fascinating perspective on the development of power throughout history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Arms and Influence"

New from Stanford University Press: Arms and Influence: U.S. Technology Innovations and the Evolution of International Security Norms by Jeffrey Lantis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Arms and Influence explores the complex relationship between technology, policymaking, and international norms. Modern technological innovations such as the atomic bomb, armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and advanced reconnaissance satellites have fostered debates about the boundaries of international norms and legitimate standards of behavior. These advances allow governments new opportunities for action around the world and have, in turn, prompted a broader effort to redefine international standards in areas such as self-defense, sovereignty, and preemptive strikes.

In this book, Jeffrey S. Lantis develops a new theory of norm change and identifies its stages, including redefinition (involving domestic political deliberations) and constructive norm substitution (in multilateral institutions). He deftly takes some of the most controversial new developments in military technologies and embeds them in international relations theory. The case evidence he presents suggests that periods of change are underway across numerous different issue areas.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 15, 2016

"Hitler's Compromises"

New from Yale University Press: Hitler's Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany by Nathan Stoltzfus.

About the book, from the publisher:
A comprehensive and eye-opening examination of Hitler’s regime, revealing the numerous strategic compromises he made in order to manage dissent

History has focused on Hitler’s use of charisma and terror, asserting that the dictator made few concessions to maintain power. Nathan Stoltzfus, the award-winning author of Resistance of Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Germany, challenges this notion, assessing the surprisingly frequent tactical compromises Hitler made in order to preempt hostility and win the German people’s complete fealty.

As part of his strategy to secure a “1,000-year Reich,” Hitler sought to convince the German people to believe in Nazism so they would perpetuate it permanently and actively shun those who were out of step with society. When widespread public dissent occurred at home—which most often happened when policies conflicted with popular traditions or encroached on private life—Hitler made careful calculations and acted strategically to maintain his popular image. Extending from the 1920s to the regime’s collapse, this revealing history makes a powerful and original argument that will inspire a major rethinking of Hitler’s rule.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields"

New from the University of California Press: They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields: Illness, Injury, and Illegality among U.S. Farmworkers by Sarah Bronwen Horton.

About the book, from the publisher:
They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields takes the reader on an ethnographic tour of the melon and corn harvesting fields of California’s Central Valley to understand why farmworkers suffer heatstroke and chronic illness at rates higher than workers in any other industry. Through captivating accounts of the daily lives of a core group of farmworkers over nearly a decade, Sarah Bronwen Horton documents in startling detail how a tightly interwoven web of public policies and private interests creates exceptional and needless suffering.
Sarah Bronwen Horton is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"This Mortal Coil"

New from Oxford University Press: This Mortal Coil: The Human Body in History and Culture by Fay Bound Alberti.

About the book, from the publisher:
To many people the idea that 'the body' has its own history might sound faintly ridiculous. The body and its experiences are usually seen as something that we share with people from the past. Like 'human nature', it represents the unchanging in a changing world. Bodies just are...

But the body does have a history. The way that it moves, feels, breathes, and engages with the world has been viewed very differently across times and cultures. For centuries, 'we' were believed to be composed of souls that were part of the body and inseparable from it. Now we exist in our heads, and our bodies have become the vessels for that uncertain and elusive thing we call our 'true selves'. The way we understand the material structure of the body has also changed radically over the centuries. From the bones to the skin, from the senses to the organs of sexual reproduction, every part of the body has an ever-changing history, dependent on time, culture, and place.

This Mortal Coil is an exploration of that history. Peeling away our assumptions about the unchanging nature of the human body, Fay Bound Alberti takes it apart in order to put it back anew, telling the cultural history of our key organs and systems from the inside out, from blood to guts, brains to sex organs. The understanding of the 'modern body' she reveals in the process is far removed from the 'eternal' or timeless object of common assumption. In fact, she argues, its roots go back no further than the sixteenth century at the earliest - and it has only truly existed in its current form since the nineteenth century.
Visit Fay Bound Alberti's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"The Real School Safety Problem"

New from the University of California Press: The Real School Safety Problem: The Long-Term Consequences of Harsh School Punishment by Aaron Kupchik.

About the book, from the publisher:
Schools across the U.S. look very different today than they did a generation ago. Police officers, drug-sniffing dogs, surveillance cameras, and high suspension rates have become commonplace. The Real School Safety Problem uncovers the unintended but far-reaching effects of harsh school discipline climates. Evidence shows that current school security practices may do more harm than good by broadly affecting the entire family, encouraging less civic participation in adulthood, and garnering future financial costs in the form of high rates of arrests, incarceration, and unemployment. This text presents a blueprint for reform that emphasizes problem-solving and accountability while encouraging the need to implement smarter school policies.
Aaron Kupchik is Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. His books include Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear, Judging Juveniles: Prosecuting Adolescents in Adult and Juvenile Courts, and Criminal Courts.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 11, 2016

"Modern Religion, Modern Race"

New from Oxford University Press: Modern Religion, Modern Race by Theodore Vial.

About the book, from the publisher:
Religion is a racialized category, even when race is not explicitly mentioned. In Modern Religion, Modern Race Theodore Vial argues that because the categories of religion and race are rooted in the post-Enlightenment project of reimagining what it means to be human, we cannot simply will ourselves to stop using them. Only by acknowledging that religion is already racialized can we begin to understand how the two concepts are intertwined and how they operate in our modern world.

It has become common to argue that the category religion is not universal, or even very old, but is a product of Europe's Enlightenment modernization. Equally common is the argument that religion is not an innocent category of analysis, but is implicated in colonial regimes of control and as such plays a role in Europe's process of identity construction of itself and of non-European Although it may not be time to abandon the very category of religion, with all its attendant baggage, Modern Religion, Modern Race calls for us to examine that baggage critically, and to be fully conscious of the ways in which religion always carries with it dangerous ideas of race.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America"

New from Princeton University Press: Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America by James E. Campbell.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many continue to believe that the United States is a nation of political moderates. In fact, it is a nation divided. It has been so for some time and has grown more so. This book provides a new and historically grounded perspective on the polarization of America, systematically documenting how and why it happened.

Polarized presents commonsense benchmarks to measure polarization, draws data from a wide range of historical sources, and carefully assesses the quality of the evidence. Through an innovative and insightful use of circumstantial evidence, it provides a much-needed reality check to claims about polarization. This rigorous yet engaging and accessible book examines how polarization displaced pluralism and how this affected American democracy and civil society.

Polarized challenges the widely held belief that polarization is the product of party and media elites, revealing instead how the American public in the 1960s set in motion the increase of polarization. American politics became highly polarized from the bottom up, not the top down, and this began much earlier than often thought. The Democrats and the Republicans are now ideologically distant from each other and about equally distant from the political center. Polarized also explains why the parties are polarized at all, despite their battle for the decisive median voter. No subject is more central to understanding American politics than political polarization, and no other book offers a more in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the subject than this one.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Camelot and Canada"

New from Oxford University Press: Camelot and Canada: Canadian-American Relations in the Kennedy Era by Asa McKercher.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1958 Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts proclaimed at the University of New Brunswick that "Canada and the United States have carefully maintained the good fences that help make them good neighbours." He could not have foreseen that his presidency would be marked not just by some of the tensest moments of the Cold War but also by the most contentious moments in the Canadian-American relationship. Indeed, the 1963 Canadian federal election was marked by charges that the US government had engineered a plot to oust John Diefenbaker, Canada's nationalist prime minister.

Camelot and Canada explores political, economic, and military elements in Canada-US relations in the early 1960s.

Asa McKercher challenges the prevailing view that US foreign policymakers, including President Kennedy, were imperious in their conduct toward Canada. Rather, he shows that the period continued to be marked by the special diplomatic relationship that characterized the early postwar years. Even as Diefenbaker's government pursued distinct foreign and economic policies, American officials acknowledged that Canadian objectives legitimately differed from their own and adjusted their policies accordingly. Moreover, for all its bluster, Ottawa rarely moved without weighing the impact that its initiatives might have on Washington.

At the same time, McKercher illustrates that there were significant strains on the bilateral relationship, which occurred as a result of mounting doubts in Canada about US leadership in the Cold War, growing Canadian nationalism, and Canadian concern over their country's close economic, military, and cultural ties with the United States. While personal clashes between the two leaders have become mythologized by historians and the public alike, the special relationship between their governments continued to function.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 8, 2016

"Becoming Religious in a Secular Age"

New from the University of California Press: Becoming Religious in a Secular Age by Mark Elmore.

About the book, from the publisher:
Religion is often viewed as a universally ancient element of the human inheritance, but in the Western Himalayas the community of Himachal Pradesh discovered its religion only after India became an independent secular state. Based on extensive ethnographic and archival work, Becoming Religious in a Secular Age tells the story of this discovery and how it transformed a community’s relations to its past and to its members, as well as to those outside the community. And, as Mark Elmore demonstrates, Himachali religion offers a unique opportunity to reimagine relations between religion and secularity. Elmore shows that modern secularity is not so much the eradication of religion as the very condition for its development. Showing us that to become a modern, ethical subject is to become religious, this book creatively augments our understanding of both religion and modernity.
Mark Elmore is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun"

New from Oxford University Press: Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations, Past and Present by June Teufel Dreyer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Japan and China have been rivals for more than a millennium. In more recent times, China was the more powerful until the late nineteenth century, while Japan took the upper hand in the twentieth. Now, China's resurgence has emboldened it even as Japan perceives itself falling behind, exacerbating long-standing historical frictions.

June Teufel Dreyer's Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun provides a highly accessible overview of one of the world's great civilizational rivalries. Dreyer, a senior scholar of East Asia, begins in the seventh century in order to provide a historical background for the main story: by the mid-nineteenth century, the shrinking distances afforded by advances in technology and the intrusion of Western powers brought the two into closer proximity in ways that alternately united and divided them. In the aftermath of multiple wars between them, including a long and brutal conflict in World War II, Japan developed into an economic power but rejected any concomitant military capabilities. China's journey toward modernization was hindered by ideological and leadership struggles that lasted until the death of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in 1976.

Bringing the narrative up to the present day, Dreyer focuses on the issues that dominate China and Japan's fraught current relationship: economic rivalry, memories of World War II, resurgent nationalism, military tensions, Taiwan, the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, and globalization. Dreyer argues that recent disputes should be seen as manifestations of embedded rivalries rather than as issues whose resolution would provide a lasting solution to deep-standing disputes. For anyone interested in the political dynamics of East Asia, this integrative history of the relationship between the region's two giants is essential reading.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"AIDS and Masculinity in the African City"

New from the University of California Press: AIDS and Masculinity in the African City: Privilege, Inequality, and Modern Manhood by Robert Wyrod.

About the book, from the publisher:
AIDS has been a devastating plague in much of sub-Saharan Africa, yet the long-term implications for gender and sexuality are just emerging. AIDS and Masculinity in the African City tackles this issue head on and examines how AIDS has altered the ways masculinity is lived in Uganda—a country known as Africa’s great AIDS success story. Based on a decade of ethnographic research in an urban slum community in the capital Kampala, this book reveals the persistence of masculine privilege in the age of AIDS and the implications such privilege has for combating AIDS across the African continent.
Robert Wyrod is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies and the International Affairs Program at the University of Colorado Boulder.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Defenseless Under the Night"

New from Oxford University Press: Defenseless Under the Night: The Roosevelt Years and the Origins of Homeland Security by Matthew Dallek.

About the book, from the publisher:
In his 1933 inaugural address, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Yet even before Pearl Harbor, Americans feared foreign invasions, air attacks, biological weapons, and, conversely, the prospect of a dictatorship being established in the United States. To protect Americans from foreign and domestic threats, Roosevelt warned Americans that "the world has grown so small" and eventually established the precursor to the Department of Homeland Security - an Office of Civilian Defense (OCD). At its head, Roosevelt appointed New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt became assistant director. Yet within a year, amid competing visions and clashing ideologies of wartime liberalism, a frustrated FDR pressured both to resign.

In Defenseless Under the Night, Matthew Dallek reveals the dramatic history behind America's first federal office of homeland security, tracing the debate about the origins of national vulnerability to the rise of fascist threats during the Roosevelt years. While La Guardia focused on preparing the country against foreign attack and militarizing the civilian population, Eleanor Roosevelt insisted that the OCD should primarily focus on establishing a wartime New Deal, what she and her allies called "social defense." Unable to reconcile their visions, both were forced to leave the OCD in 1942. Their replacement, James Landis, would go on to recruit over ten million volunteers to participate in civilian defense, ultimately creating the largest volunteer program in World War II America.

Through the history of the OCD, Dallek examines constitutional questions about civil liberties, the role and power of government propaganda, the depth of militarization of civilian life, the quest for a wartime New Deal, and competing liberal visions for American national defense - questions that are still relevant today. The result is a gripping account of the origins of national security, which will interest anyone with a passion for modern American political history and the history of homeland defense.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 4, 2016

"Hitler's Soldiers"

New from Yale University Press: Hitler's Soldiers: The German Army in the Third Reich by Ben H. Shepherd.

About the book, from the publisher:
For decades after 1945, it was generally believed that the German army, professional and morally decent, had largely stood apart from the SS, Gestapo, and other corps of the Nazi machine. Ben Shepherd draws on a wealth of primary sources and recent scholarship to convey a much darker, more complex picture. For the first time, the German army is examined throughout the Second World War, across all combat theaters and occupied regions, and from multiple perspectives: its battle performance, social composition, relationship with the Nazi state, and involvement in war crimes and military occupation.

This was a true people’s army, drawn from across German society and reflecting that society as it existed under the Nazis. Without the army and its conquests abroad, Shepherd explains, the Nazi regime could not have perpetrated its crimes against Jews, prisoners of war, and civilians in occupied countries. The author examines how the army was complicit in these crimes and why some soldiers, units, and higher commands were more complicit than others. Shepherd also reveals the reasons for the army’s early battlefield successes and its mounting defeats up to 1945, the latter due not only to Allied superiority and Hitler’s mismanagement as commander-in-chief, but also to the failings—moral, political, economic, strategic, and operational—of the army’s own leadership.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 3, 2016

"From Empire to Humanity"

New from Oxford University Press: From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism by Amanda B. Moniz.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the decades before the Revolution, Americans and Britons shared an imperial approach to helping those in need during times of disaster and hardship. They worked together on charitable ventures designed to strengthen the British empire, and ordinary men and women made donations for faraway members of the British community. Growing up in this world of connections, future activists from the British Isles, North America, and the West Indies developed expansive outlooks and transatlantic ties. The schism created by the Revolution fractured the community that nurtured this generation of philanthropists.

In From Empire to Humanity, Amanda Moniz tells the story of a generation of American and British activists who transformed humanitarianism as they adjusted to being foreigners. American independence put an end to their common imperial humanitarianism, but not their friendships, their far-reaching visions, or their belief that philanthropy was a tool of statecraft. In the postwar years, these philanthropists, led by doctor-activists, collaborated on the anti-drowning cause, spread new medical charities, combatted the slave trade, reformed penal practices, and experimented with relieving needy strangers. The nature of their cooperation, however, had changed. No longer members of the same polity, they adopted a universal approach to their benevolence, working together for the good of humanity, rather than empire. Making the care of suffering strangers routine, these British and American activists laid the groundwork for later generations' global undertakings.

From Empire to Humanity offers new perspectives on the history of philanthropy, as well as the Atlantic world and colonial and postcolonial history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"Henry the Young King, 1155-1183"

New from Yale University Press: Henry the Young King, 1155-1183 by Matthew Strickland.

About the book, from the publisher:
This first modern study of Henry the Young King, eldest son of Henry II but the least known Plantagenet monarch, explores the brief but eventful life of the only English ruler after the Norman Conquest to be created co-ruler in his father’s lifetime. Crowned at fifteen to secure an undisputed succession, Henry played a central role in the politics of Henry II’s great empire and was hailed as the embodiment of chivalry. Yet, consistently denied direct rule, the Young King was provoked first into heading a major rebellion against his father, then to waging a bitter war against his brother Richard for control of Aquitaine, dying before reaching the age of thirty having never assumed actual power. In this remarkable history, Matthew Strickland provides a richly colored portrait of an all-but-forgotten royal figure tutored by Thomas Becket, trained in arms by the great knight William Marshal, and incited to rebellion by his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine, while using his career to explore the nature of kingship, succession, dynastic politics, and rebellion in twelfth-century England and France.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 1, 2016

"Methamphetamine: A Love Story"

New from the University of California Press: Methamphetamine: A Love Story by Rashi K. Shukla.

About the book, from the publisher:
Methamphetamine: A Love Story presents an insider’s view of the world of methamphetamine based on the life stories of thirty-three adults formerly immersed in using, dealing, and manufacturing meth in rural Oklahoma. Using a respectful tone towards her subjects, Shukla illuminates their often decades-long love affair with the drug, the attractions of the lifestyle, the eventual unsustainability of it, and the challenges of exiting the life. These personal stories reveal how and why people with limited economic means and inadequate resources become entrapped in the drug epidemic, while challenging longstanding societal views about addiction, drugs, drug policy, and public health.
Rashi K. Shukla is Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Oklahoma. She received her PhD in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University and has served as lead investigator of a multimethod study of the methamphetamine problem for more than a decade. Her research, which focuses on offender decision-making and the evolution of drug problems, has been presented in numerous forums, both nationally and internationally.

--Marshal Zeringue