Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"To Be a Man Is Not a One-Day Job"

New from the University of Chicago Press: To Be a Man Is Not a One-Day Job: Masculinity, Money, and Intimacy in Nigeria by Daniel Jordan Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
Refrains about financial hardship are ubiquitous in contemporary Nigeria, frequently expressed through the idiom “to be a man is not a one-day job.” But while men talk constantly about money, underlying their economic worries are broader concerns about the shifting meanings of masculinity, amid changing expectations and practices of intimacy.

Drawing on twenty-five years of experience in southeastern Nigeria, Daniel Jordan Smith takes readers through the principal phases and arenas of men’s lives: the transition to adulthood; searching for work and making a living; courtship, marriage, and fatherhood; fraternal and political relationships; and finally, the attainment of elder status and death. He relates men’s struggles both to fulfill their own aspirations and to meet society’s expectations. He also considers men who behave badly, mistreat their wives and children, or resort to crime and violence. All of these men face similar challenges as they navigate the complex geometry of money and intimacy. Unraveling these connections, Smith argues, provides us with a deeper understanding of both masculinity and society in Nigeria.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Litigating Across the Color Line"

New from Oxford University Press: Litigating Across the Color Line: Civil Cases Between Black and White Southerners from the End of Slavery to Civil Rights by Melissa Milewski.

About the book, from the publisher:
As a result of the violence, segregation, and disfranchisement that occurred throughout the South in the decades after Reconstruction, it has generally been assumed that African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South litigated few civil cases and faced widespread inequality in the suits they did pursue. In this groundbreaking work, Melissa Milewski shows that black men and women were far more able to negotiate the southern legal system during the era of Jim Crow than previously realized. She explores how, when the financial futures of their families were on the line, black litigants throughout the South took on white southerners in civil suits and, at times, succeeded in finding justice in the Southern courts.

Between 1865 and 1950, in almost a thousand civil cases across eight southern states, former slaves took their former masters to court, black sharecroppers litigated disputes against white landowners, and African Americans with little formal education brought disputes against wealthy white members of their communities. As black southerners negotiated a legal system with almost all white gate-keepers, they found that certain kinds of cases were much easier to gain whites' support for than others. But in the suits they were able to litigate, they displayed pragmatism and a savvy understanding of how to get whites on their side. Their negotiation of this system proved surprisingly successful: in the civil cases African Americans litigated in the highest courts of eight states, they won more than half of their suits against whites throughout this period.

Litigating Across the Color Line shows that in a tremendously constrained environment where they were often shut out of other government institutions, seen as racially inferior, and often segregated, African Americans found a way to fight for their rights in one of the only ways they could. Through these suits, they adapted and at times made a biased system work for them under enormous constraints. At the same time, Milewski considers the limitations of working within a white-dominated system at a time of great racial discrimination--and the choices black litigants had to make to get their cases heard.
Visit Melissa Milewski's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 20, 2017

"The Tiger in the Smoke"

New from Yale University Press: The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Post-War Britain by Lynda Nead.

About the book, from the publisher:
Taking an interdisciplinary approach that looks at film, television, and commercial advertisements as well as more traditional media such as painting, The Tiger in the Smoke provides an unprecedented analysis of the art and culture of post-war Britain. Art historian Lynda Nead presents fascinating insights into how the Great Fogs of the 1950s influenced the newfound fashion for atmospheric cinematic effects. She also discusses how the widespread use of color in advertisements was part of an increased ideological awareness of racial differences.  Tracing the parallel ways that different media developed new methods of creating images that variously harkened back to Victorian ideals, agitated for modern innovations, or redefined domesticity, this book’s broad purview gives a complete picture of how the visual culture of post-war Britain expressed the concerns of a society that was struggling to forge a new identity.
Lynda Nead is Pevsner Chair of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Soviet and Muslim"

New from Oxford University Press: Soviet and Muslim: The Institutionalization of Islam in Central Asia by Eren Tasar.

About the book, from the publisher:
Central Asia was the sole Muslim region of the former Russian Empire that lacked a centralized Islamic organization, or muftiate. When Soviet leader Joseph Stalin created such a body for the region as part of his religious reforms during World War II, he acknowledged that the Muslim faith could enjoy some legal protection under Communist rule. From a skeletal and disorganized body run by one family of Islamic scholars out of a modest house in Tashkent's old city, this muftiate acquired great political importance in the eyes of Soviet policymakers and equally significant symbolic significance for many Muslims.

Relying on recently declassified Central Asian archival sources, most of them never seen before by historians, Eren Tasar argues that Islam did not merely "survive" the decades from World War II until the Soviet collapse in 1991, but actively shaped the political and social context of Soviet Central Asia. Muslim figures, institutions, and practices evolved in response to the social and political reality of Communist rule. Through an analysis that spans all aspects of Islam under Soviet rule-from debates about religion inside the Communist Party, to the muftiate's efforts to acquire control over mosques across Central Asia, changes in Islamic practices and dogma, and overseas propaganda targeting the Islamic World-Soviet and Muslim offers a radical new reading of Islam's resilience and evolution under atheism.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"A Kingdom Divided"

New from the LSU Press: A Kingdom Divided: Evangelicals, Loyalty, and Sectionalism in the Civil War Era by April E. Holm.

About the book, from the publisher:
A Kingdom Divided uncovers how evangelical Christians in the border states influenced debates about slavery, morality, and politics from the 1830s to the 1890s. Using little-studied events and surprising incidents from the region, April E. Holm argues that evangelicals on the border powerfully shaped the regional structure of American religion in the Civil War era.

In the decades before the Civil War, the three largest evangelical denominations diverged sharply over the sinfulness of slavery. This division generated tremendous local conflict in the border region, where individual churches had to define themselves as being either northern or southern. In response, many border evangelicals drew upon the “doctrine of spirituality,” which dictated that churches should abstain from all political debate. Proponents of this doctrine defined slavery as a purely political issue, rather than a moral one, and the wartime arrival of secular authorities who demanded loyalty to the Union only intensified this commitment to “spirituality.” Holm contends that these churches’ insistence that politics and religion were separate spheres was instrumental in the development of the ideal of the nonpolitical southern church. After the Civil War, southern churches adopted both the disaffected churches from border states and their doctrine of spirituality, claiming it as their own and using it to supply a theological basis for remaining divided after the abolition of slavery. By the late nineteenth century, evangelicals were more sectionally divided than they had been at war’s end.

In A Kingdom Divided, Holm provides the first analysis of the crucial role of churches in border states in shaping antebellum divisions in the major evangelical denominations, in navigating the relationship between church and the federal government, and in rewriting denominational histories to forestall reunion in the churches. Offering a new perspective on nineteenth-century sectionalism, it highlights how religion, morality, and politics interacted—often in unexpected ways—in a time of political crisis and war.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Becoming Better Muslims"

New from Princeton University Press: Becoming Better Muslims: Religious Authority and Ethical Improvement in Aceh, Indonesia by David Kloos.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do ordinary Muslims deal with and influence the increasingly pervasive Islamic norms set by institutions of the state and religion? Becoming Better Muslims offers an innovative account of the dynamic interactions between individual Muslims, religious authorities, and the state in Aceh, Indonesia. Relying on extensive historical and ethnographic research, David Kloos offers a detailed analysis of religious life in Aceh and an investigation into today’s personal processes of ethical formation.

Aceh is known for its history of rebellion and its recent implementation of Islamic law. Debunking the stereotypical image of the Acehnese as inherently pious or fanatical, Kloos shows how Acehnese Muslims reflect consciously on their faith and often frame their religious lives in terms of gradual ethical improvement. Revealing that most Muslims view their lives through the prism of uncertainty, doubt, and imperfection, he argues that these senses of failure contribute strongly to how individuals try to become better Muslims. He also demonstrates that while religious authorities have encroached on believers and local communities, constraining them in their beliefs and practices, the same process has enabled ordinary Muslims to reflect on moral choices and dilemmas, and to shape the ways religious norms are enforced.

Arguing that Islamic norms are carried out through daily negotiations and contestations rather than blind conformity, Becoming Better Muslims examines how ordinary people develop and exercise their religious agency.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 18, 2017

"Morale: A Modern British History"

New from Oxford University Press: Morale: A Modern British History by Daniel Ussishkin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Arguably no nation is as closely associated with the term morale as Great Britain. Yet this concept that seems so innate to the British people was carefully cultivated within many spheres of modern national life.

In this first critical history of morale, Daniel Ussishkin asks how is it that modern Britons have come to regard morale as a category of conduct, vital for the success of collective effort in war and peace, and a mark of good, modern, and human managerial practice, appropriate for a democratic age. He narrates the intellectual, cultural, and institutional history of morale in modern imperial Britain: its emergence as a new concept during the long nineteenth century, its changing meanings and significations, and the social and political goals those who discussed, observed, or managed morale sought to achieve. Formalized as a new military disciplinary problem during the long nineteenth century, morale came to permeate nearly every civilian sphere of life during the era of the two world wars as a new way of managing human conduct. This book traces how it gradually emerged from a problem that was regarded as residual at best to one that was seen as the epitome of proper managerial practice, its institutional manifestations and promotion by myriad organizations and the social-democratic state, and its emergence as a potent political concept from Britain's social-democratic moment until the ascendancy of the New Right.

Daniel Ussishkin's Morale tells the history of concept central to the management of war, business, and civic society not just in Britain but in modern culture writ large.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Owners of the Map"

New from the University of California Press: Owners of the Map: Motorcycle Taxi Drivers, Mobility, and Politics in Bangkok by Claudio Sopranzetti.

About the book, from the publisher:
On May 19, 2010, the Royal Thai Army deployed tanks, snipers, and war weapons to disperse the thousands of Red Shirts protesters who had taken over the commercial center of Bangkok to demand democratic elections and an end to inequality. Key to this mobilization were motorcycle taxi drivers, who slowed down, filtered, and severed mobility in the area, claiming a prominent role in national politics and ownership over the city and challenging state hegemony. Four years later, on May 20, 2014, the same army general who directed the dispersal staged a coup, unopposed by protesters. How could state power have been so fragile and open to challenge in 2010 and yet so seemingly sturdy only four years later? How could protesters who had once fearlessly resisted military attacks now remain silent?

Owners of the Map provides answers to these questions—central to contemporary political mobilizations around the globe—through an ethnographic study of motorcycle taxi drivers in Bangkok. Claudio Sopranzetti advances an analysis of power that focuses not on the sturdiness of hegemony or the ubiquity of everyday resistance but on its potential fragility and the work needed for its maintenance.
Visit Claudio Sopranzetti's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 17, 2017

"Who Speaks for Nature?"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Who Speaks for Nature?: On the Politics of Science by Laura Ephraim.

About the book, from the publisher:
When natural scientists speak up in public about the material phenomena they have observed, measured, and analyzed in the lab or the field, they embody a distinctive version of political authority. Where does science derive its remarkably resilient, though often contested, capacity to give voice to nature? What efforts on the part of scientists and nonscientists alike determine who is regarded as a legitimate witness to material reality and whose speech is discounted as idle chatter, mere opinion, or noise?

In Who Speaks for Nature?, Laura Ephraim reveals the roots of scientific authority in what she calls "world-building politics": the collection of practices through which scientists and citizens collaborate with and struggle against each other to engage natural things and events and to construct a shared yet heterogeneous world. Through innovative readings of some of the most important thinkers of science and politics of the near and distant past, including René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Giambattista Vico, and Hannah Arendt, Ephraim argues that the natural sciences are political because they are crucial sites in which the worldly relationships that bind together the human and nonhuman are inherited, augmented, and reconstructed.

Who Speaks for Nature? opens a novel conversation between political theory, science, and technology studies and augments existing efforts by feminists, environmentalists, and democratic theorists to challenge the traditional binary separating nature and politics. In an age of climate change and climate-change denial, Ephraim brings theoretical understandings of politics to bear on real-world events and decisions and uncovers fresh insights into the place of scientists in public life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"The Market Makers"

New from Oxford University Press: The Market Makers: Creating Mass Markets for Consumer Durables in Inter-war Britain by Peter Scott.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the twentieth century "affluence" (both at the level of the individual household and that of society as a whole) became intimately linked with access to a range of prestige consumer durables. The Market Makers charts the inter-war origins of a process that would eventually transform these features of modern life from being 'luxuries' to "necessities" for most British families. Peter Scott examines how producers and retailers succeeded in creating "mass" (though not universal) market for new suites of furniture, radios, modern housing, and some electrical and gas appliances, while also exploring why some other goods, such as refrigerators, telephones, and automobiles, failed to reach the mass market in Britain before the 1950s.

Creating mass markets presented a formidable challenge for manufacturers and retailers. Consumer durables required large markets. Most involved significant research and development costs. Some, such as the telephone, radio, and car, were dependent on complementary investments in infrastructure. All required intensive marketing--usually including expensive advertising in national newspapers and magazines, while some also needed mass production methods (and output volumes) to make them affordable to a mass market. This study charts the pioneering efforts of entrepreneurs (many of whom, though once household names, are now largely forgotten) to provide consumer durables at a price affordable to a mass market and to persuade a sometimes reluctant public to embrace the new products and the consumer credit that their purchase required. In doing so, Scott shows that, contrary to much received wisdom, there was a 'consumer durables revolution' in inter-war Britain--at least for certain highly prioritized goods.
The Page 99 Test: The Making of the Modern British Home.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Theodore Roosevelt's Ghost"

New from LSU Press: Theodore Roosevelt's Ghost: The History and Memory of an American Icon by Michael Patrick Cullinane.

About the book, from the publisher:
A century after his death, Theodore Roosevelt remains one of the most recognizable figures in U.S. history, with depictions of the president ranging from the brave commander of the Rough Riders to a trailblazing progressive politician and early environmentalist to little more than a caricature of grinning teeth hiding behind a mustache and pince-nez. Theodore Roosevelt’s Ghost follows the continuing shifts and changes in this president’s reputation since his unexpected passing in 1919.

In the most comprehensive examination of Roosevelt’s legacy, Michael Patrick Cullinane explores the frequent refashioning of this American icon in popular memory. The immediate aftermath of Roosevelt’s death created a groundswell of mourning and goodwill that ensured his place among the great Americans of his generation, a stature bolstered by the charitable and political work of his surviving family. When Franklin Roosevelt ascended to the presidency, he worked to situate himself as the natural heir of Theodore Roosevelt, reshaping his distant cousin’s legacy to reflect New Deal values of progressivism, intervention, and patriotism. Others retroactively adapted Roosevelt’s actions and political record to fit the discourse of social movements from anticommunism to civil rights, with varying degrees of success. Richard Nixon’s frequent invocation led to a decline in Roosevelt’s popularity and a corresponding revival effort by scholars endeavoring to give an accurate, nuanced picture of the 26th president.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Punishing Disease"

New from the University of California Press: Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness by Trevor Hoppe.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the very beginning of the epidemic, AIDS was linked to punishment. Calls to punish people living with HIV—mostly stigmatized minorities—began before doctors had even settled on a name for the disease. Punishing Disease looks at how HIV was transformed from sickness to badness under the criminal law and investigates the consequences of inflicting penalties on people living with disease. Now that the door to criminalizing sickness is open, what other ailments will follow? With moves in state legislatures to extend HIV-specific criminal laws to include diseases such as hepatitis and meningitis, the question is more than academic.
Trevor Hoppe is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and a coeditor of The War on Sex.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Unfinished Business"

New from Oxford University Press: Unfinished Business: Michael Jackson, Detroit, and the Figural Economy of American Deindustrialization by Judith Hamera.

About the book, from the publisher:
How does structural economic change look and feel? How are such changes normalized? Who represents hope? Who are the cautionary tales? Unfinished Business argues that U.S. deindustrialization cannot be understood apart from issues of race, and specifically apart from images of, and works by and about African Americans that represent or resist normative or aberrant relationships to work and capital in transitional times. It insists that Michael Jackson's performances and coverage of his life, plays featuring Detroit, plans for the city's postindustrial revitalization, and Detroit installations The Heidelberg Project and Mobile Homestead have something valuable to teach us about three decades of structural economic transition in the U.S., particularly about the changing nature of work and capitalism between the mid 1980s and 2016. Jackson and Detroit offer examples of the racialization of deindustrialization, how it operates as a structure of feeling and as representations as well as a shift in the dominant mode of production, and how industrialization's successor mode, financialization, uses imagery both very similar to and very different from its predecessor.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"Technologies for Intuition"

New from the University of California Press: Technologies for Intuition: Cold War Circles and Telepathic Rays by Alaina Lemon.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since the Cold War, Americans and Russians have together cultivated fascination with the workings and failures of communicative channels. Each accuses the other of media jamming and propaganda, and each proclaims its own communication practices better for expression and creativity. Technologies for Intuition theorizes phaticity—the processes by which people make, check, discern, or describe channels and contacts, judging them weak or strong, blocked or open. This historical ethnography of intuition juxtaposes telepathy experiments and theatrical empathy drills, passing through settings where media and performance professionals encounter neophytes, where locals open channels with foreigners, and where skeptics of contact debate naifs. Tacking across geopolitical borders, the book demonstrates how contact and channel shift in significance over time, through events and political relations, in social conflict, and in conversation. The author suggests that Cold War preoccupations and strategies have marked theoretical models of communication and mediation, even while infusing everyday, practical technologies for intuition.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Gangsters to Governors"

New from Rutgers University Press: Gangsters to Governors: The New Bosses of Gambling in America by David Clary.

About the book, from the publisher:
Generations ago, gambling in America was an illicit activity, dominated by gangsters like Benny Binion and Bugsy Siegel. Today, forty-eight out of fifty states permit some form of legal gambling, and America’s governors sit at the head of the gaming table. But have states become addicted to the revenue gambling can bring? And does the potential of increased revenue lead them to place risky bets on new casinos, lotteries, and online games?

In Gangsters to Governors, journalist David Clary investigates the pros and cons of the shift toward state-run gambling. Unearthing the sordid history of America’s gaming underground, he demonstrates the problems with prohibiting gambling while revealing how today’s governors, all competing for a piece of the action, promise their citizens payouts that are rarely delivered.

Clary introduces us to a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters, from John “Old Smoke” Morrissey, the Irish-born gangster who built Saratoga into a gambling haven in the nineteenth century, to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who has furiously lobbied against online betting. By exploring the controversial histories of legal and illegal gambling in America, he offers a fresh perspective on current controversies, including bans on sports and online betting. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Gangsters to Governors considers the past, present, and future of our gambling nation.
Visit David Clary's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 13, 2017

"Hood's Texas Brigade"

New from the LSU Press: Hood's Texas Brigade: The Soldiers and Families of the Confederacy's Most Celebrated Unit by Susannah J. Ural.

About the book, from the publisher:
One of the most effective units to fight on either side of the Civil War, the Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia served under Robert E. Lee from the Seven Days Battles in 1862 to the surrender at Appomattox in 1865. In Hood’s Texas Brigade, Susannah J. Ural presents a nontraditional unit history that traces the experiences of these soldiers and their families to gauge the war’s effect on them and to understand their role in the white South’s struggle for independence.

According to Ural, several factors contributed to the Texas Brigade’s extraordinary success: the unit’s strong self-identity as Confederates; the mutual respect among the junior officers and their men; a constant desire to maintain their reputation not just as Texans but as the top soldiers in Robert E. Lee’s army; and the fact that their families matched the men’s determination to fight and win. Using the letters, diaries, memoirs, newspaper accounts, official reports, and military records of nearly 600 brigade members, Ural argues that the average Texas Brigade volunteer possessed an unusually strong devotion to southern independence: whereas most Texans and Arkansans fought in the West or Trans- Mississippi West, members of the Texas Brigade volunteered for a unit that moved them over a thousand miles from home, believing that they would exert the greatest influence on the war’s outcome by fighting near the Confederate capital in Richmond. These volunteers also took pride in their place in, or connections to, the slave-holding class that they hoped would secure their financial futures. While Confederate ranks declined from desertion and fractured morale in the last years of the war, this belief in a better life—albeit one built through slave labor— kept the Texas Brigade more intact than other units.

Hood’s Texas Brigade challenges key historical arguments about soldier motivation, volunteerism and desertion, home-front morale, and veterans’ postwar adjustment. It provides an intimate picture of one of the war’s most effective brigades and sheds new light on the rationales that kept Confederate soldiers fighting throughout the most deadly conflict in U.S. history.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Day at Home in Early Modern England"

New from Yale University Press: A Day at Home in Early Modern England: Material Culture and Domestic Life, 1500-1700 by Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson.

About the book, from the publisher:
This fascinating book offers the first sustained investigation of the complex relationship between the middling sort and their domestic space in the tumultuous, rapidly changing culture of early modern England. Presented in an innovative and engaging narrative form that follows the pattern of a typical day from early morning through the middle of the night, A Day at Home in Early Modern England examines the profound influence that the domestic material environment had on structuring and expressing modes of thought and behaviour of relatively ordinary people. With a multidisciplinary approach that takes both extant objects and documentary sources into consideration, Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson recreate the layered complexity of lived household experience and explore how a family’s investment in rooms, decoration, possessions, and provisions served to define not only their status, but the social, commercial, and religious concerns that characterised their daily existence.
Tara Hamling is senior lecturer in history at the University of Birmingham. Catherine Richardson is professor of early modern studies at the University of Kent.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 12, 2017

"In Search of the Mexican Beverly Hills"

New from Rutgers University Press: In Search of the Mexican Beverly Hills: Latino Suburbanization in Postwar Los Angeles by Jerry González.

About the book, from the publisher:
Residential and industrial sprawl changed more than the political landscape of postwar Los Angeles. It expanded the employment and living opportunities for millions of Angelinos into new suburbs. In Search of the Mexican Beverly Hills examines the struggle for inclusion into this exclusive world—a multilayered process by which Mexican Americans moved out of the barrios and emerged as a majority population in the San Gabriel Valley—and the impact that movement had on collective racial and class identity. Contrary to the assimilation processes experienced by most Euro-Americans, Mexican Americans did not graduate to whiteness on the basis of their suburban residence. Rather, In Search of the Mexican Beverly Hills illuminates how Mexican American racial and class identity were both reinforced by and took on added metropolitan and transnational dimensions in the city during the second half of the twentieth century.
Jerry González is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Politics of the Pantry"

New from Oxford University Press: Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth-Century America by Emily E. LB. Twarog.

About the book, from the publisher:
The history of women's political involvement has focused heavily on electoral politics, but throughout the twentieth century women engaged in grassroots activism when they found it increasingly challenging to feed their families and balance their household ledgers. Politics of the Pantry examines how working- and middle-class American housewives used their identity as housewives to protest the high cost of food. In doing so, housewives' relationships with the state evolved over the course of the century. Shifting the focus away from the workplace as a site of protest, Emily E. LB. Twarog looks to the homefront as a starting point for protest in the public sphere.

With a focus on food consumption rather than production, Twarog looks closely at the ways food--specifically meat--was used by women as a political tool. Engaging in domestic politics, housewives both challenged and embraced the social and economic order as they sought to craft a unique political voice and build a consumer movement focused on the home.

The book examines key moments when women used consumer actions to embrace their socially ascribed roles as housewives to demand economic stability for their families and communities. These include the Depression-era meat boycott of 1935, the consumer coalitions of the New Deal, and the wave of consumer protests between 1966 and 1973. Twarog introduces numerous labor and consumer activists and their organizations in both urban and suburban areas--Detroit, greater Chicago, Long Island, and Los Angeles.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Garden Variety"

New from Columbia University Press: Garden Variety: The American Tomato from Corporate to Heirloom by John Hoenig.

About the book, from the publisher:
Chopped in salads, scooped up in salsa, slathered on pizza and pasta, squeezed onto burgers and fries, and filling aisles with roma, cherry, beefsteak, on-the-vine, and heirloom: where would American food, fast and slow, high and low, be without the tomato? The tomato represents the best and worst of American cuisine: though the plastic-looking corporate tomato is the hallmark of industrial agriculture, the tomato’s history also encompasses farmers’ markets and home gardens. Garden Variety illuminates American culinary culture from 1800 to the present, challenging a simple story of mass-produced homogeneity and demonstrating the persistence of diverse food cultures throughout modern America.

John Hoenig explores the path by which, over the last two centuries, the tomato went from a rare seasonal crop to America’s favorite vegetable. He pays particular attention to the noncorporate tomato. During the twentieth century, as food production, processing, and distribution became increasingly centralized, the tomato remained king of the vegetable garden and, in recent years, has become the centerpiece of alternative food cultures. Reading seed catalogs, menus, and cookbooks, and following the efforts of cooks and housewives to find new ways to prepare and preserve tomatoes, Hoenig challenges the extent to which branding, advertising, and marketing dominated twentieth-century American life. He emphasizes the importance of tomatoes to numerous immigrant groups and their influence on the development of American food cultures. Garden Variety highlights the limits on corporations’ ability to shape what we eat, inviting us to rethink the history of our foodways and to take the opportunity to expand the palate of American cuisine.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Union Indivisible"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: A Union Indivisible: Secession and the Politics of Slavery in the Border South by Michael D. Robinson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many accounts of the secession crisis overlook the sharp political conflict that took place in the Border South states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri. Michael D. Robinson expands the scope of this crisis to show how the fate of the Border South, and with it the Union, desperately hung in the balance during the fateful months surrounding the clash at Fort Sumter. During this period, Border South politicians revealed the region’s deep commitment to slavery, disputed whether or not to leave the Union, and schemed to win enough support to carry the day. Although these border states contained fewer enslaved people than the eleven states that seceded, white border Southerners chose to remain in the Union because they felt the decision best protected their peculiar institution.

Robinson reveals anew how the choice for union was fraught with anguish and uncertainty, dividing families and producing years of bitter internecine violence. Letters, diaries, newspapers, and quantitative evidence illuminate how, in the absence of a compromise settlement, proslavery Unionists managed to defeat secession in the Border South.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 10, 2017

"Stormtroopers"

New from Yale University Press: Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler's Brownshirts by Daniel Siemens.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first full history of the Nazi Stormtroopers whose muscle brought Hitler to power, with revelations concerning their longevity and their contributions to the Holocaust

Germany’s Stormtroopers engaged in a vicious siege of violence that propelled the National Socialists to power in the 1930s. Known also as the SA or Brownshirts, these “ordinary” men waged a loosely structured campaign of intimidation and savagery across the nation from the 1920s to the “Night of the Long Knives” in 1934, when Chief of Staff Ernst Röhm and many other SA leaders were assassinated on Hitler’s orders.

In this deeply researched history, Daniel Siemens explores not only the roots of the SA and its swift decapitation but also its previously unrecognized transformation into a million-member Nazi organization, its activities in German-occupied territories during World War II, and its particular contributions to the Holocaust. The author provides portraits of individual members and their victims and examines their milieu, culture, and ideology. His book tells the long-overdue story of the SA and its devastating impact on German citizens and the fate of their country.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Jinnealogy"

New from Stanford University Press: Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi by Anand Vivek Taneja.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the ruins of a medieval palace in Delhi, a unique phenomenon occurs: Indians of all castes and creeds meet to socialize and ask the spirits for help. The spirits they entreat are Islamic jinns, and they write out requests as if petitioning the state. At a time when a Hindu right wing government in India is committed to normalizing a view of the past that paints Muslims as oppressors, Anand Vivek Taneja's Jinnealogy provides a fresh vision of religion, identity, and sacrality that runs counter to state-sanctioned history.

The ruin, Firoz Shah Kotla, is an unusually democratic religious space, characterized by freewheeling theological conversations, DIY rituals, and the sanctification of animals. Taneja observes the visitors, who come mainly from the Muslim and Dalit neighborhoods of Delhi, and uses their conversations and letters to the jinns as an archive of voices so often silenced. He finds that their veneration of the jinns recalls pre-modern religious traditions in which spiritual experience was inextricably tied to ecological surroundings. In this enchanted space, Taneja encounters a form of popular Islam that is not a relic of bygone days, but a vibrant form of resistance to state repression and post-colonial visions of India.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Ku Klux Kulture"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Ku Klux Kulture: America and the Klan in the 1920s by Felix Harcourt.

About the book, from the publisher:
In popular understanding, the Ku Klux Klan is a hateful white supremacist organization. In Ku Klux Kulture, Felix Harcourt argues that in the 1920s the self-proclaimed Invisible Empire had an even wider significance as a cultural movement.

Ku Klux Kulture reveals the extent to which the KKK participated in and penetrated popular American culture, reaching far beyond its paying membership to become part of modern American society. The Klan owned radio stations, newspapers, and sports teams, and its members created popular films, pulp novels, music, and more. Harcourt shows how the Klan’s racist and nativist ideology became subsumed in sunnier popular portrayals of heroic vigilantism. In the process he challenges prevailing depictions of the 1920s, which may be best understood not as the Jazz Age or the Age of Prohibition, but as the Age of the Klan. Ku Klux Kulture gives us an unsettling glimpse into the past, arguing that the Klan did not die so much as melt into America’s prevailing culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Robo sapiens japanicus"

New from the University of California Press: Robo sapiens japanicus: Robots, Gender, Family, and the Japanese Nation by Jennifer Robertson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Japan is arguably the first postindustrial society to embrace the prospect of human-robot coexistence. Over the past decade, Japanese humanoid robots designed for use in homes, hospitals, offices, and schools have become celebrated in mass and social media throughout the world.  In Robo sapiens japanicus, Jennifer Robertson casts a critical eye on press releases and public-relations videos that misrepresent robots as being as versatile and agile as their science-fiction counterparts. An ethnography and sociocultural history of governmental and academic discourse on human-robot relations in Japan, this book explores how actual robots—humanoids, androids, and animaloids—are “imagineered” in ways that reinforce the conventional sex/gender system and political-economic status quo. In addition, Robertson interrogates the notion of human exceptionalism as she considers whether “civil rights” should be granted to robots. Similarly, she juxtaposes how robots and robotic exoskeletons reinforce a conception of the “normal” body with a deconstruction of the much-invoked Theory of the Uncanny Valley.
Visit Jennifer Robertson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Framing a Lost City"

New from the University of Texas Press: Framing a Lost City: Science, Photography, and the Making of Machu Picchu by Amy Cox Hall.

About the book, from the publisher:
When Hiram Bingham, a historian from Yale University, first saw Machu Picchu in 1911, it was a ruin obscured by overgrowth whose terraces were farmed a by few families. A century later, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO world heritage site visited by more than a million tourists annually. This remarkable transformation began with the photographs that accompanied Bingham’s article published in National Geographic magazine, which depicted Machu Picchu as a lost city discovered. Focusing on the practices, technologies, and materializations of Bingham’s three expeditions to Peru (1911, 1912, 1914–1915), this book makes a convincing case that visualization, particularly through the camera, played a decisive role in positioning Machu Picchu as both a scientific discovery and a Peruvian heritage site.

Amy Cox Hall argues that while Bingham’s expeditions relied on the labor, knowledge, and support of Peruvian elites, intellectuals, and peasants, the practice of scientific witnessing, and photography specifically, converted Machu Picchu into a cultural artifact fashioned from a distinct way of seeing. Drawing on science and technology studies, she situates letter writing, artifact collecting, and photography as important expeditionary practices that helped shape the way we understand Machu Picchu today. Cox Hall also demonstrates that the photographic evidence was unstable, and, as images circulated worldwide, the “lost city” took on different meanings, especially in Peru, which came to view the site as one of national patrimony in need of protection from expeditions such as Bingham’s.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean"

New from Stanford University Press: Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean by Joshua M. White.

About the book, from the publisher:
The 1570s marked the beginning of an age of pervasive piracy in the Mediterranean that persisted into the eighteenth century. Nowhere was more inviting to pirates than the Ottoman-dominated eastern Mediterranean. In this bustling maritime ecosystem, weak imperial defenses and permissive politics made piracy possible, while robust trade made it profitable. By 1700, the limits of the Ottoman Mediterranean were defined not by Ottoman territorial sovereignty or naval supremacy, but by the reach of imperial law, which had been indelibly shaped by the challenge of piracy.

Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean is the first book to examine Mediterranean piracy from the Ottoman perspective, focusing on the administrators and diplomats, jurists and victims who had to contend most with maritime violence. Pirates churned up a sea of paper in their wake: letters, petitions, court documents, legal opinions, ambassadorial reports, travel accounts, captivity narratives, and vast numbers of decrees attest to their impact on lives and livelihoods. Joshua M. White plumbs the depths of these uncharted, frequently uncatalogued waters, revealing how piracy shaped both the Ottoman legal space and the contours of the Mediterranean world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Dopers in Uniform"

New from the University of Texas Press: Dopers in Uniform: The Hidden World of Police on Steroids by John Hoberman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The recorded use of deadly force against unarmed suspects and sustained protest from the Black Lives Matter movement, among others, have ignited a national debate about excessive violence in American policing. Missing from the debate, however, is any discussion of a factor that is almost certainly contributing to the violence—the use of anabolic steroids by police officers. Mounting evidence from a wide range of credible sources suggests that many cops are abusing testosterone and its synthetic derivatives. This drug use is illegal and encourages a “steroidal” policing style based on aggressive behaviors and hulking physiques that diminishes public trust in law enforcement.

Dopers in Uniform offers the first assessment of the dimensions and consequences of the felony use of anabolic steroids in major urban police departments. Marshalling an array of evidence, John Hoberman refutes the frequent claim that police steroid use is limited to a few “bad apples,” explains how the “Blue Wall of Silence” stymies the collection of data, and introduces readers to the broader marketplace for androgenic drugs. He then turns his attention to the people and organizations at the heart of police culture: the police chiefs who often see scandals involving steroid use as a distraction from dealing with more dramatic forms of misconduct and the police unions that fight against steroid testing by claiming an officer’s “right to privacy” is of greater importance. Hoberman’s findings clearly demonstrate the crucial need to analyze and expose the police steroid culture for the purpose of formulating a public policy to deal with its dysfunctional effects.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 6, 2017

"Hurt: Chronicles of the Drug War Generation"

New from the University of California Press: Hurt: Chronicles of the Drug War Generation by Miriam Boeri.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hurt: Chronicles of the Drug War Generation weaves engaging first-person accounts of the lives of baby boomer drug users, including author Miriam Boeri’s first-hand knowledge as the sister of a heroin addict. The compelling stories are set in historical context, from the cultural influence of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll to contemporary discourse that pegs drug addiction as a disease punishable by incarceration. With penetrating insight and conscientious attention to the intersectionality of race, gender, and class, Boeri reveals the impact of an increasingly punitive War on Drugs on a hurting generation.
Miriam Boeri is Associate Professor of Sociology at Bentley University. She is the author of Women on Ice: Methamphetamine Use among Suburban Women.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 5, 2017

"Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial"

New from Oxford University Press: Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine by Lynne Viola.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between the summer of 1937 and November 1938, the Stalinist regime arrested over 1.5 million people for "counterrevolutionary" and "anti-Soviet" activity and either summarily executed or exiled them to the Gulag. While we now know a great deal about the experience of victims of the Great Terror, we know almost nothing about the lower- and middle-level Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del (NKVD), or secret police, cadres who carried out Stalin's murderous policies. Unlike the postwar, public trials of Nazi war criminals, NKVD operatives were tried secretly. And what exactly happened in those courtrooms was unknown until now.

In what has been dubbed "the purge of the purgers," almost one thousand NKVD officers were prosecuted by Soviet military courts. Scapegoated for violating Soviet law, they were charged with multiple counts of fabrication of evidence, falsification of interrogation protocols, use of torture to secure "confessions," and murder during pre-trial detention of "suspects" - and many were sentenced to execution themselves. The documentation generated by these trials, including verbatim interrogation records and written confessions signed by perpetrators; testimony by victims, witnesses, and experts; and transcripts of court sessions, provides a glimpse behind the curtains of the terror. It depicts how the terror was implemented, what happened, and who was responsible, demonstrating that orders from above worked in conjunction with a series of situational factors to shape the contours of state violence.

Based on chilling and revelatory new archival documents from the Ukrainian secret police archives, Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial illuminates the darkest recesses of Soviet repression -- the interrogation room, the prison cell, and the place of execution -- and sheds new light on those who carried out the Great Terror.
The Page 99 Test: The Unknown Gulag.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 4, 2017

"Medieval Empires and the Culture of Competition"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Medieval Empires and the Culture of Competition: Literary Duels at Islamic and Christian Courts by Samuel England.

About the book, from the publisher:
A probing inquiry into medieval court struggles, this book shows the relationship between intellectual conflict and the geopolitics of empire. It examines the Persian Buyids' takeover of the great Arab caliphate in Iraq, the counter-Crusade under Saladin, and the literature of sovereignty in Spain and Italy at the cusp of the Renaissance. The question of high culture-who best qualified as a poet, the function of race and religion in forming a courtier, what languages to use in which official ceremonies-drove much of medieval writing, and even policy itself. From the last moments of the Abbasid Empire, to the military campaign for Jerusalem, to the rise of Crusades literature in spoken Romance languages, authors and patrons took a competitive stance as a way to assert their place in a shifting imperial landscape.
Samuel England is Assistant Professor of Arabic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 3, 2017

"Monitoring the Movies"

New from the University of Texas Press: Monitoring the Movies: The Fight over Film Censorship in Early Twentieth-Century Urban America by Jennifer Fronc.

About the book, from the publisher:
As movies took the country by storm in the early twentieth century, Americans argued fiercely about whether municipal or state authorities should step in to control what people could watch when they went to movie theaters, which seemed to be springing up on every corner. Many who opposed the governmental regulation of film conceded that some entity—boards populated by trusted civic leaders, for example—needed to safeguard the public good. The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (NB), a civic group founded in New York City in 1909, emerged as a national cultural chaperon well suited to protect this emerging form of expression from state incursions.

Using the National Board’s extensive files, Monitoring the Movies offers the first full-length study of the NB and its campaign against motion-picture censorship. Jennifer Fronc traces the NB’s Progressive-era founding in New York; its evolving set of “standards” for directors, producers, municipal officers, and citizens; its “city plan,” which called on citizens to report screenings of condemned movies to local officials; and the spread of the NB’s influence into the urban South. Ultimately, Monitoring the Movies shows how Americans grappled with the issues that arose alongside the powerful new medium of film: the extent of the right to produce and consume images and the proper scope of government control over what citizens can see and show.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 2, 2017

"Empire of Ruin"

New from Oxford University Press: Empire of Ruin: Black Classicism and American Imperial Culture by John Levi Barnard.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial Museum, classical forms and ideas have been central to an American nationalist aesthetic. Beginning with an understanding of this centrality of the classical tradition to the construction of American national identity and the projection of American power, Empire of Ruin describes a mode of black classicism that has been integral to the larger critique of American politics, aesthetics, and historiography that African American cultural production has more generally advanced. While the classical tradition has provided a repository of ideas and images that have allowed white American elites to conceive of the nation as an ideal Republic and the vanguard of the idea of civilization, African American writers, artists, and activists have characterized this dominant mode of classical appropriation as emblematic of a national commitment to an economy of enslavement and a geopolitical project of empire. If the dominant forms of American classicism and monumental culture have asserted the ascendancy of what Thomas Jefferson called an "empire for liberty," for African American writers and artists it has suggested that the nation is nothing exceptional, but rather another iteration of what the radical abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet identified as an "empire of slavery," inexorably devolving into an "empire of ruin."
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"The Charity of War"

New from Stanford University Press: The Charity of War: Famine, Humanitarian Aid, and World War I in the Middle East by Melanie S. Tanielian.

About the book, from the publisher:
With the exception of a few targeted aerial bombardments of the city's port, Beirut and Mount Lebanon did not see direct combat in World War I. Yet civilian casualties in this part of the Ottoman Empire reached shocking heights, possibly numbering half a million people. No war, in its usual understanding, took place there, but Lebanon was incontestably war-stricken. As a food crisis escalated into famine, it was the bloodless incursion of starvation and the silent assault of fatal disease that defined everyday life.

The Charity of War tells how the Ottoman home front grappled with total war and how it sought to mitigate starvation and sickness through relief activities. Melanie S. Tanielian examines the wartime famine's reverberations throughout the community: in Beirut's municipal institutions, in its philanthropic and religious organizations, in international agencies, and in the homes of the city's residents. Her local history reveals a dynamic politics of provisioning that was central to civilian experiences in the war, as well as to the Middle Eastern political landscape that emerged post-war. By tracing these responses to the conflict, she demonstrates World War I's immediacy far from the European trenches, in a place where war was a socio-economic and political process rather than a military event.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"Red at Heart"

New from Oxford University Press: Red at Heart: How Chinese Communists Fell in Love with the Russian Revolution by Elizabeth McGuire.

About the book, from the publisher:
Red at Heart conjures a tale of cross-cultural romance from a topic that is normally seen in geopolitical or ideological terms--and thereby offers a new interpretation of twentieth century communism's most crucial alliance.

This is the multigenerational history of people who experienced Sino-Soviet affairs most intimately: prominent Chinese revolutionaries who traveled to Russia in their youths to study, often falling in love and having children there. Their deeply personal memoirs, interviews with their children, and a vivid collection of documents from the Russian archives allow Elizabeth McGuire to reconstruct the sexually-charged, physically difficult, and politically dangerous lives of Chinese communists in the Soviet Union. The choices they made shaped not only the lives of their children, but also the postwar alliance between the People's Republic of China and Soviet Russia.

Red at Heart brings to life a cast of transnational characters--including a son of Chiang Kai-shek and a wife of Mao Zedong--who connected the two great communist revolutions in human terms. Weaving personal stories and cultural interactions into political history, McGuire movingly shows that the Sino-Soviet relationship was not a brotherhood or a friendship, but rather played out in phases like many lifelong love affairs - from first love, early betrayal, and love children; through eventual marriage with its conveniences and annoyances, guarded optimism, and official heirs; to divorce, reconciliation, and a nostalgia that lingers even today.

A century after 1917, this book offers a novel story about Chinese communism, the Russian Revolution's most geopolitically significant legacy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 30, 2017

"Race and America's Long War"

New from the University of California Press: Race and America's Long War by Nikhil Pal Singh.

About the book, from the publisher:
Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency in 2016, which placed control of the government in the hands of the most racially homogenous, far-right political party in the Western world, produced shock and disbelief for liberals, progressives, and leftists globally. Yet most of the immediate analysis neglects longer-term accounting of how the United States arrived here. Race and America’s Long War examines the relationship between war, politics, police power, and the changing contours of race and racism in the contemporary United States. Nikhil Pal Singh argues that the United States’ pursuit of war since the September 11 terrorist attacks has reanimated a longer history of imperial statecraft that segregated and eliminated enemies both within and overseas. America’s territorial expansion and Indian removals, settler in-migration and nativist restriction, and African slavery and its afterlives were formative social and political processes that drove the rise of the United States as a capitalist world power long before the onset of globalization. Spanning the course of U.S. history, these crucial essays show how the return of racism and war as seemingly permanent features of American public and political life is at the heart of our present crisis and collective disorientation.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Dance in Chains"

New from Oxford University Press: Dance in Chains: Political Imprisonment in the Modern World by Padraic Kenney.

About the book, from the publisher:
States around the world imprison people for their beliefs or politically-motivated actions. Oppositional movements of all stripes celebrate their comrades behind bars. Yet they are more than symbols of repression and human rights. Dance in Chains examines the experiences of political prisoners themselves in order to understand who they are, what they do, and why it matters.

This is the first book to trace the history of modern political imprisonment from its origins in the mid-nineteenth century. The letters, diaries, and memoirs of political prisoners, as well as the records of regime policies, relate the contest in the prison cell to political conflicts between regime and opposition. Padraic Kenney draws on examples from regimes ranging from communist and fascist to colonial and democratic, including Ireland, the United Kingdom, Poland, and South Africa. They include the Fenian Brotherhood, imprisoned in England and Ireland in the 1860s, and their successors during the Irish War of Independence and the Northern Ireland Troubles; Afrikaaners suspected of treason during the Boer War; socialists fighting for Polish freedom in the Russian Empire, and then Communists denouncing "bourgeois" rule in newly-independent Poland; the opponents of apartheid South Africa and stalinist Poland; and those imprisoned by the United States in Guantanamo Bay detention camp today. Some prisons are well-known; in others, inmates suffered in obscurity. Through self-organization, education, and actions ranging from solitary non-cooperation to mass hunger strikes, these prisoners transform their incarceration and counter states' efforts to control them.

While considering the international movements that have sought to publicize the plight of political prisoners, Dance in Chains examines the actions of the prisoners themselves to find universal answers to questions about the meaning and purpose of their imprisonment.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 29, 2017

"Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs by David Ikard.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this incredibly timely book, David Ikard dismantles popular white supremacist tropes, which effectively devalue black life and trivialize black oppression. Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs investigates the tenacity and cultural capital of white redemption narratives in literature and popular media from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Help.

In the book, Ikard explodes the fiction of a postracial society while awakening us to the sobering reality that we must continue to fight for racial equality or risk losing the hard-fought gains of the Civil Rights movement. Through his close reading of novels, films, journalism, and political campaigns, he analyzes willful white blindness and attendant master narratives of white redemption—arguing powerfully that he who controls the master narrative controls the perception of reality. The book sounds the alarm about seemingly innocuous tropes of white redemption that abound in our society and generate the notion that blacks are perpetually indebted to whites for liberating, civilizing, and enlightening them. In Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs, Ikard expertly and unflinchingly gives us a necessary critical historical intervention.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Chicago on the Make"

New from the University of California Press: Chicago on the Make: Power and Inequality in a Modern City by Andrew J. Diamond.

About the book, from the publisher:
Heralded as America’s quintessentially modern city, Chicago has attracted the gaze of journalists, novelists, essayists, and scholars as much as any city in the nation. And, yet, few historians have attempted big-picture narratives of the city’s transformation over the twentieth century. Chicago on the Make traces the evolution of the city’s politics, culture, and economy as it grew from an unruly tangle of rail yards, slaughterhouses, factories, tenement houses, and fiercely defended ethnic neighborhoods into a truly global urban center. Reinterpreting the familiar narrative that Chicago’s autocratic machine politics shaped its institutions and public life, Andrew J. Diamond demonstrates how the grassroots politics of race crippled progressive forces and enabled an alliance of downtown business interests to promote a neoliberal agenda that created stark inequalities. Chicago on the Make takes the story into the twenty-first century, chronicling Chicago’s deeply entrenched social and urban problems as the city ascended to the national stage during the Obama years.
Andrew J. Diamond is Professor of American History and Civilization at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. He is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and books on the history of race, politics, and political culture in the urban United States, including Mean Streets: Chicago Youths and the Everyday Struggle for Empowerment in the Multiracial City, 1908–1969.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 28, 2017

"Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic by Richard A. McKay.

About the book, from the publisher:
The search for a “patient zero”—popularly understood to be the first person infected in an epidemic—has been key to media coverage of major infectious disease outbreaks for more than three decades. Yet the term itself did not exist before the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. How did this idea so swiftly come to exert such a strong grip on the scientific, media, and popular consciousness? In Patient Zero, Richard A. McKay interprets a wealth of archival sources and interviews to demonstrate how this seemingly new concept drew upon centuries-old ideas—and fears—about contagion and social disorder.

McKay presents a carefully documented and sensitively written account of the life of Gaétan Dugas, a gay man whose skin cancer diagnosis in 1980 took on very different meanings as the HIV/AIDS epidemic developed—and who received widespread posthumous infamy when he was incorrectly identified as patient zero of the North American outbreak. McKay shows how investigators from the US Centers for Disease Control inadvertently created the term amid their early research into the emerging health crisis; how an ambitious journalist dramatically amplified the idea in his determination to reframe national debates about AIDS; and how many individuals grappled with the notion of patient zero—adopting, challenging and redirecting its powerful meanings—as they tried to make sense of and respond to the first fifteen years of an unfolding epidemic. With important insights for our interconnected age, Patient Zero untangles the complex process by which individuals and groups create meaning and allocate blame when faced with new disease threats. What McKay gives us here is myth-smashing revisionist history at its best.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 27, 2017

"Bound to the Fire"

New from the University Press of Kentucky: Bound to the Fire: How Virginia's Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine by Kelley Fanto Deetz.

About the book, from the publisher:
In grocery store aisles and kitchens across the country, smiling images of "Aunt Jemima" and other historical and fictional black cooks can be found on various food products and in advertising. Although these images are sanitized and romanticized in American popular culture, they represent the untold stories of enslaved men and women who had a significant impact on the nation's culinary and hospitality traditions even as they were forced to prepare food for their oppressors.

Kelley Fanto Deetz draws upon archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to present a nuanced study of the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. She reveals how these men and women were literally "bound to the fire" as they lived and worked in the sweltering and often fetid conditions of plantation house kitchens. These highly skilled cooks drew upon skills and ingredients brought with them from their African homelands to create complex, labor-intensive dishes such as oyster stew, gumbo, and fried fish. However, their white owners overwhelmingly received the credit for their creations.

Focusing on enslaved cooks at Virginia plantations including Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and George Washington's Mount Vernon, Deetz restores these forgotten figures to their rightful place in American and Southern history. Bound to the Fire not only uncovers their rich and complex stories and illuminates their role in plantation culture, but it celebrates their living legacy with the recipes that they created and passed down to future generations.
Visit Kelley Fanto Deetz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Dawn Watch"

New from Penguin Press: The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World by Maya Jasanoff.

About the book, from the publisher:
A visionary exploration of the life and times of Joseph Conrad, his turbulent age of globalization and our own, from one of the most exciting young historians writing today

Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism, and a communications revolution: these forces shaped Joseph Conrad’s destiny at the dawn of the twentieth century. In this brilliant new interpretation of one of the great voices in modern literature, Maya Jasanoff reveals Conrad as a prophet of globalization. As an immigrant from Poland to England, and in travels from Malaya to Congo to the Caribbean, Conrad navigated an interconnected world, and captured it in a literary oeuvre of extraordinary depth. His life story delivers a history of globalization from the inside out, and reflects powerfully on the aspirations and challenges of the modern world.

Joseph Conrad was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, to Polish parents in the Russian Empire. At sixteen he left the landlocked heart of Europe to become a sailor, and for the next twenty years travelled the world’s oceans before settling permanently in England as an author. He saw the surging, competitive “new imperialism” that planted a flag in almost every populated part of the globe. He got a close look, too, at the places “beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines,” and the hypocrisy of the west’s most cherished ideals.

In a compelling blend of history, biography, and travelogue, Maya Jasanoff follows Conrad’s routes and the stories of his four greatest works—The Secret AgentLord JimHeart of Darkness, and Nostromo. Genre-bending, intellectually thrilling, and deeply humane, The Dawn Watch embarks on a spell-binding expedition into the dark heart of Conrad’s world—and through it to our own.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 26, 2017

"Revolutionizing Repertoires"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Revolutionizing Repertoires: The Rise of Populist Mobilization in Peru by Robert S. Jansen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Politicians and political parties are for the most part limited by habit—they recycle tried-and-true strategies, draw on models from the past, and mimic others in the present. But in rare moments politicians break with routine and try something new.

Drawing on pragmatist theories of social action, Revolutionizing Repertoires sets out to examine what happens when the repertoire of practices available to political actors is dramatically reconfigured. Taking as his case study the development of a distinctively Latin American style of populist mobilization, Robert S. Jansen analyzes the Peruvian presidential election of 1931. He finds that, ultimately, populist mobilization emerged in the country at this time because newly empowered outsiders recognized the limitations of routine political practice and understood how to modify, transpose, invent, and recombine practices in a whole new way. Suggesting striking parallels to the recent populist turn in global politics, Revolutionizing Repertoires offers new insights not only to historians of Peru but also to scholars of historical sociology and comparative politics, and to anyone interested in the social and political origins of populism.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Everyday Mysticism"

New from Yale University Press: Everyday Mysticism: A Contemplative Community at Work in the Desert by Ariel Glucklich.

About the book, from the publisher:
A scholar’s experiences inside a contemplative working community in Israel’s Negev desert

In this thoughtful and enlightening work, world renowned religion scholar Ariel Glucklich recounts his experiences at Neot Smadar, an ecological and spiritual oasis that has been thriving in the arid Southern Israeli desert for a quarter century. An intentional community originally established by a group of young professionals who abandoned urban life to found a school for the study of the self, Neot Smadar has thrived by putting ancient Buddhist and Hindu ideas into everyday practice as ways of living and working. Glucklich provides a fascinating detailed portrait of a dynamic farming community that runs on principles of spiritual contemplation and mindfulness, thereby creating a working environment that is highly ethical and nurturing. His study serves as a gentle invitation to join the world of mindful work, and to gain a new understanding of a unique form of mystical insight that exists without exoticism.
Ariel Glucklich is professor of theology at Georgetown University, specializing in Hinduism, the psychology of religion, and anthropological approaches to religion.

--Marshal Zeringue