Wednesday, July 26, 2017

"Jabotinsky's Children"

New from Princeton University Press: Jabotinsky's Children: Polish Jews and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism by Daniel Kupfert Heller.

About the book, from the publisher:
How interwar Poland and its Jewish youth were instrumental in shaping the ideology of right-wing Zionism

By the late 1930s, as many as fifty thousand Polish Jews belonged to Betar, a youth movement known for its support of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of right-wing Zionism. Poland was not only home to Jabotinsky’s largest following. The country also served as an inspiration and incubator for the development of right-wing Zionist ideas. Jabotinsky’s Children draws on a wealth of rare archival material to uncover how the young people in Betar were instrumental in shaping right-wing Zionist attitudes about the roles that authoritarianism and military force could play in the quest to build and maintain a Jewish state.

Recovering the voices of ordinary Betar members through their letters, diaries, and autobiographies, Jabotinsky’s Children paints a vivid portrait of young Polish Jews and their turbulent lives on the eve of the Holocaust. Rather than define Jabotinsky as a firebrand fascist or steadfast democrat, the book instead reveals how he deliberately delivered multiple and contradictory messages to his young followers, leaving it to them to interpret him as they saw fit. Tracing Betar’s surprising relationship with interwar Poland’s authoritarian government, Jabotinsky’s Children overturns popular misconceptions about Polish-Jewish relations between the two world wars and captures the fervent efforts of Poland’s Jewish youth to determine, on their own terms, who they were, where they belonged, and what their future held in store.

Shedding critical light on a vital yet neglected chapter in the history of Zionism, Jabotinsky’s Children provides invaluable perspective on the origins of right-wing Zionist beliefs and their enduring allure in Israel today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"The Philosophical Parent"

New from Oxford University Press: The Philosophical Parent: Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children by Jean Kazez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Becoming parents draws us into philosophical quandaries before our children have even been born. Why do most of us want to have children? Should we make new people, despite life's travails and our crowded world? Is adoptive parenthood just the same as biological parenthood? Once children arrive, the questions start to be a mix of the profound and the practical. Should we share our lifestyle with our children, no matter how unusual? Should we vaccinate and may we circumcise? Should we encourage gender differences?

Tracing the arc of parenthood from the earliest days to the college years and beyond, Jean Kazez explores 18 questions for philosophical parents, applying the tools of philosophy and drawing on personal experience. The Philosophical Parent offers a novel account of the parent-child relationship and uses it to tackle a variety of parenting puzzles, but more than that, Kazez celebrates both having children and philosophical reflection. Her book provides a challenging but cheerful companion for thoughtful parents and parents-to-be.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Dwelling in Resistance"

New from Rutgers University Press: Dwelling in Resistance: Living with Alternative Technologies in America by Chelsea Schelly.

About the book, from the publisher:
Most Americans take for granted much of what is materially involved in the daily rituals of dwelling. In Dwelling in Resistance, Chelsea Schelly examines four alternative U.S. communities—“The Farm,” “Twin Oaks,” “Dancing Rabbit,” and “Earthships”—where electricity, water, heat, waste, food, and transportation practices differ markedly from those of the vast majority of Americans.

Schelly portrays a wide range of residential living alternatives utilizing renewable, small-scale, de-centralized technologies. These technologies considerably change how individuals and communities interact with the material world, their natural environment, and one another. Using in depth interviews and compelling ethnographic observations, the book offers an insightful look at different communities’ practices and principles and their successful endeavors in sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Chelsea Schelly is an associate professor of sociology at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. She is the author of Crafting Collectivity: American Rainbow Gatherings and Alternative Forms of Community.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 23, 2017

"American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens"

New from Oxford University Press: American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens: Supporting Democracy in the Age of Accountability by Sarah M. Stitzlein.

About the book, from the publisher:
Public school systems are central to a flourishing democracy, where children learn how to solve problems together, build shared identities, and come to value justice and liberty for all. However, as citizen support for public schools steadily declines, our democratic way of life is increasingly at risk.

Often, we hear about the poor performances of students and teachers in the public school system, but as author Sarah M. Stitzlein asserts in her compelling new volume, the current educational crisis is not about accountability, but rather citizen responsibility.

Now, more than ever, citizens increasingly do not feel as though public schools are our schools, forgetting that we have influence over their outcomes and are responsible for their success. In effect, accountability becomes more and more about finding failure and casting blame on our school administrators and teachers, rather than taking responsibility as citizens for shaping our expectations of the classroom, determining the criteria we use to measure its success, and supporting our public schools as they nurture our children for the future.

American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens sheds an important light on recent shifts in the link between education and citizenship, helping readers to understand not only how schools now work, but also how citizens can take an active and influential role in shaping them. Moving from philosophical critique of these changes to practical suggestions for action, Stitzlein provides readers with the tools, habits, practices, and knowledge necessary to support public education. Further, by sharing examples of citizens and successful communities that are effectively working with their school systems, Stitzlein offers a torch of hope to sustain citizens through this difficult work in order to keep our democracy strong.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Unprepared"

New from the University of California Press: Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency by Andrew Lakoff.

About the book, from the publisher:
Recent years have witnessed an upsurge in global health emergencies—from SARS to pandemic influenza to Ebola to Zika. Each of these occurrences has sparked calls for improved health preparedness. In Unprepared, Andrew Lakoff follows the history of health preparedness from its beginnings in 1950s Cold War civil defense to the early twenty-first century, when international health authorities carved out a global space for governing potential outbreaks. Alert systems and trigger devices now link health authorities, government officials, and vaccine manufacturers, all of whom are concerned with the possibility of a global pandemic. Funds have been devoted to cutting-edge research on pathogenic organisms, and a system of post hoc diagnosis analyzes sites of failed preparedness to find new targets for improvement. Yet, despite all these developments, the project of global health security continues to be unsettled by the prospect of surprise.
Andrew Lakoff is Professor of Sociology and Communication at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry and coeditor of Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Hospitals and Charity"

New from Manchester University Press: Hospitals and charity: Religious culture and civic life in medieval northern Italy by Sally Mayall Brasher.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the first book in English to provide a comprehensive examination of the hospital movement that arose and prospered in northern Italy between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Throughout this flourishing urbanised area hundreds of independent semi-religious facilities appeared, offering care for the ill, the poor and pilgrims en route to holy sites in Rome and the eastern Mediterranean. Over three centuries they became mechanisms for the appropriation of civic authority and political influence in the communities they served, and created innovative experiments in healthcare and poor relief which are the precursors to modern social welfare systems.

Will appeal to students and lecturers in medieval, social, religious, and urban history and includes a detailed appendix that will assist researchers in the field.
Sally Mayall Brasher is Associate Professor of Medieval and Renaissance History at Shepherd University.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Social Revolution"

New from the University of California Press: A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran by Kevan Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:
For decades, political observers and pundits have characterized the Islamic Republic of Iran as an ideologically rigid state on the verge of collapse, exclusively connected to a narrow social base. In A Social Revolution, Kevan Harris convincingly demonstrates how they are wrong. Previous studies ignore the forceful consequences of three decades of social change following the 1979 revolution. Today, more people in the country are connected to welfare and social policy institutions than to any other form of state organization. In fact, much of Iran’s current political turbulence is the result of the success of these social welfare programs, which have created newly educated and mobilized social classes advocating for change. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted in Iran, Harris shows how the revolutionary regime endured through the expansion of health, education, and aid programs that have both embedded the state in everyday life and empowered its challengers. This focus on the social policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran opens a new line of inquiry into the study of welfare states in countries where they are often overlooked or ignored.
Visit Kevan Harris's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Convicted and Condemned"

New from NYU Press: Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry by Keesha M. Middlemass.

About the book, from the publisher:
Through the compelling words of former prisoners, Convicted and Condemned examines the lifelong consequences of a felony conviction.

Felony convictions restrict social interactions and hinder felons’ efforts to reintegrate into society. The educational and vocational training offered in many prisons are typically not recognized by accredited educational institutions as acceptable course work or by employers as valid work experience, making it difficult for recently-released prisoners to find jobs. Families often will not or cannot allow their formerly incarcerated relatives to live with them. In many states, those with felony convictions cannot receive financial aid for further education, vote in elections, receive welfare benefits, or live in public housing. In short, they are not treated as full citizens, and every year, hundreds of thousands of people released from prison are forced to live on the margins of society.

Convicted and Condemned explores the issue of prisoner reentry from the felons’ perspective. It features the voices of formerly incarcerated felons as they attempt to reconnect with family, learn how to acclimate to society, try to secure housing, find a job, and complete a host of other important goals. By examining national housing, education and employment policies implemented at the state and local levels, Keesha Middlemass shows how the law challenges and undermines prisoner reentry and creates second-class citizens.

Even if the criminal justice system never convicted another person of a felony, millions of women and men would still have to figure out how to reenter society, essentially on their own. A sobering account of the after-effects of mass incarceration, Convicted and Condemned is a powerful exploration of how individuals, and society as a whole, suffer when a felony conviction exacts a punishment that never ends.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"Subjects and Sovereign"

New from Oxford University Press: Subjects and Sovereign: Bonds of Belonging in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire by Hannah Weiss Muller.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the aftermath of the Seven Years' War, when a variety of conquered and ceded territories became part of an expanding British Empire, crucial struggles emerged about what it meant to be a "British subject." Individuals in Grenada, Quebec, Minorca, Gibraltar, and Bengal debated the meanings and rights of subjecthood, with many capitalizing on legal ambiguities and local exigencies to secure access to political and economic benefits. Inhabitants and colonial administrators transformed subjecthood into a shared language, practice, and opportunity as individuals proclaimed their allegiance to the crown and laid claim to a corresponding set of protections. Approaching subjecthood as a protean and porous concept, rather than an immutable legal status, Subjects and Sovereign demonstrates that it was precisely subjecthood's fluidity and imprecision that rendered it so useful to a remarkably diverse group of individuals.

In this book, Hannah Weiss Muller reexamines the traditional bond between subjects and sovereign and argues that this relationship endured as a powerful site for claims-making throughout the eighteenth century. Muller analyzes both legal understandings of subjecthood, as well as the popular tradition of declaring rights, in order to demonstrate why subjects believed they were entitled to make requests of their sovereign. She reconsiders narratives of upheaval during the Age of Revolution and insists on the relevance and utility of existing structures of state and sovereign. Emphasizing the stories of subjects who successfully leveraged their loyalty and negotiated their status, she also explores how and why subjecthood remained an organizing and contested principle of the eighteenth-century British Empire.

By placing the relationship between subjects and sovereign at the heart of her analysis, Muller offers a new perspective on a familiar period and suggests that imperial integration was as much about flexible and expansive conceptions of belonging as it was about shared economic, political, and intellectual networks.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Vexed with Devils"

New from NYU Press: Vexed with Devils: Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England by Erika Gasser.

About the book, from the publisher:
Stories of witchcraft and demonic possession from early modern England through the last official trials in colonial New England.

Those possessed by the devil in early modern England usually exhibited a common set of symptoms: fits, vomiting, visions, contortions, speaking in tongues, and an antipathy to prayer. However, it was a matter of interpretation, and sometimes public opinion, if these symptoms were visited upon the victim, or if they came from within. Both early modern England and colonial New England had cases that blurred the line between witchcraft and demonic possession, most famously, the Salem witch trials. While historians acknowledge some similarities in witch trials between the two regions, such as the fact that an overwhelming majority of witches were women, the histories of these cases primarily focus on local contexts and specifics. In so doing, they overlook the ways in which manhood factored into possession and witchcraft cases.

Vexed with Devils is a cultural history of witchcraft-possession phenomena that centers on the role of men and patriarchal power. Erika Gasser reveals that witchcraft trials had as much to do with who had power in the community, to impose judgement or to subvert order, as they did with religious belief. She argues that the gendered dynamics of possession and witchcraft demonstrated that contested meanings of manhood played a critical role in the struggle to maintain authority. While all men were not capable of accessing power in the same ways, many of the people involved—those who acted as if they were possessed, men accused of being witches, and men who wrote possession propaganda—invoked manhood as they struggled to advocate for themselves during these perilous times. Gasser ultimately concludes that the decline of possession and witchcraft cases was not merely a product of change over time, but rather an indication of the ways in which patriarchal power endured throughout and beyond the colonial period.

Vexed with Devils reexamines an unnerving time and offers a surprising new perspective on our own, using stories and voices which emerge from the records in ways that continue to fascinate and unsettle us.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Gandhi Against Caste"

New from Oxford University Press: Gandhi Against Caste: An Evolving Strategy to Abolish Caste System in India by Nishikant Kolge.

About the book, from the publisher:
The book seeks to examine Gandhi's understanding of the caste and varna system, and his evolving strategies to abolish it. It argues that in 1915, after returning to India from South Africa, Gandhi had started talking about the positive aspects of caste system and proclaimed his faith in it because he understood that the Hindu masses were not yet ready for radical reform, and that they must be gradually educated before being asked to abandon their faith in the doctrine of the caste system and the practices based on it. In order to substantiate the argument and to exhibit Gandhi's evolving strategy against the caste system, the book employs a close and chronological reading of Gandhi's writings and outlines the continuity and changes in Gandhi's views between 1915 (when he returned to India from South Africa) to 1948 (when he died). The book divides the entire phase into five periods-1915 to 1920, 1920 to 1927, 1927 to 1932, 1932 to 1945, and 1945 to 1948-based on the themes that emerge in his writings during those years. These are on the issues of untouchability, caste, varna, sanatani Hindu, inter-dining, and inter-caste marriage. Within each demarcated period, the book delineates the evolution of Gandhi's views, tracing shifts and turns in the context of political and social development of the time.
--Marshal Zeringue

"One Hot Summer"

New from Yale University Press: One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858 by Rosemary Ashton.

About the book, from the publisher:
A unique, in-depth view of Victorian London during the record-breaking summer of 1858, when residents both famous and now-forgotten endured “The Great Stink” together

While 1858 in London may have been noteworthy for its broiling summer months and the related stench of the sewage-filled Thames River, the year is otherwise little remembered. And yet, historian Rosemary Ashton reveals in this compelling microhistory, 1858 was marked by significant, if unrecognized, turning points. For ordinary people, and also for the rich, famous, and powerful, the months from May to August turned out to be a summer of consequence.

Ashton mines Victorian letters and gossip, diaries, court records, newspapers, and other contemporary sources to uncover historically crucial moments in the lives of three protagonists—Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Disraeli. She also introduces others who gained renown in the headlines of the day, among them George Eliot, Karl Marx, William Thackeray, and Edward Bulwer Lytton. Ashton reveals invisible threads of connection among Londoners at every social level in 1858, bringing the celebrated city and its citizens vibrantly to life.
Rosemary Ashton is Emeritus Quain Professor of English Language and Literature, University College London.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"First Martyr of Liberty"

New from Oxford University Press: First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory by Mitch Kachun.

About the book, from the publisher:
First Martyr of Liberty explores how Crispus Attucks's death in the 1770 Boston Massacre led to his achieving mythic significance in African Americans' struggle to incorporate their experiences and heroes into the mainstream of the American historical narrative. While the other victims of the Massacre have been largely ignored, Attucks is widely celebrated as the first to die in the cause of freedom during the era of the American Revolution. He became a symbolic embodiment of black patriotism and citizenship.

This book traces Attucks's career through both history and myth to understand how his public memory has been constructed through commemorations and monuments; institutions and organizations bearing his name; juvenile biographies; works of poetry, drama, and visual arts; popular and academic histories; and school textbooks. There will likely never be a definitive biography of Crispus Attucks since so little evidence exists about the man's actual life. While what can and cannot be known about Attucks is addressed here, the focus is on how he has been remembered--variously as either a hero or a villain--and why at times he has been forgotten by different groups and individuals from the eighteenth century to the present day.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?"

New from NYU Press: Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? by Heath Fogg Davis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Goes beyond transgender to question the need for gender classification.

Beyond Trans pushes the conversation on gender identity to its limits: questioning the need for gender categories in the first place. Whether on birth certificates or college admissions applications or on bathroom doors, why do we need to mark people and places with sex categories? Do they serve a real purpose or are these places and forms just mechanisms of exclusion? Heath Fogg Davis offers an impassioned call to rethink the usefulness of dividing the world into not just Male and Female categories but even additional categories of Transgender and gender fluid. Davis, himself a transgender man, explores the underlying gender-enforcing policies and customs in American life that have led to transgender bathroom bills, college admissions controversies, and more, arguing that it is necessary for our society to take real steps to challenge the assumption that gender matters.

He examines four areas where we need to re-think our sex-classification systems: sex-marked identity documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses and passports; sex-segregated public restrooms; single-sex colleges; and sex-segregated sports. Speaking from his own experience and drawing upon major cases of sex discrimination in the news and in the courts, Davis presents a persuasive case for challenging how individuals are classified according to sex and offers concrete recommendations for alleviating sex identity discrimination and sex-based disadvantage.

For anyone in search of pragmatic ways to make our world more inclusive, Davis’ recommendations provide much-needed practical guidance about how to work through this complex issue. A provocative call to action, Beyond Trans pushes us to think how we can work to make America truly inclusive of all people.
Visit Heath Fogg Davis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 17, 2017

"Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform"

New from Oxford University Press: Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform by Alison Forrestal.

About the book, from the publisher:
Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform offers a major re-assessment of the thought and activities of the most famous figure of the seventeenth-century French Catholic Reformation, Vincent de Paul. Confronting traditional explanations for de Paul's prominence in the devot reform movement that emerged in the wake of the Wars of Religion, the volume explores how he turned a personal vocational desire to evangelize the rural poor of France into a congregation of secular missionaries, known as the Congregation of the Mission or the Lazarists, with three inter-related strands of pastoral responsibility: the delivery of missions, the formation and training of clergy, and the promotion of confraternal welfare.

Alison Forrestal further demonstrates that the structure, ethos, and works that de Paul devised for the Congregation placed it at the heart of a significant enterprise of reform that involved a broad set of associates in efforts to transform the character of devotional belief and practice within the church. The central questions of the volume therefore concern de Paul's efforts to create, characterize, and articulate a distinctive and influential vision for missionary life and work, both for himself and for the Lazarist Congregation, and Forrestal argues that his prominence and achievements depended on his remarkable ability to exploit the potential for association and collaboration within the devot environment of seventeenth-century France in enterprising and systematic ways.

This is the first study to assess de Paul's activities against the wider backdrop of religious reform and Bourbon rule, and to reconstruct the combination of ideas, practices, resources, and relationships that determined his ability to pursue his ambitions. A work of forensic detail and complex narrative, Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform is the product of years of research in ecclesiastical and state archives. It offers a wholly fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities entailed in the promotion of religious reform and renewal in seventeenth-century France.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Wild by Nature"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Wild by Nature: North American Animals Confront Colonization by Andrea L. Smalley.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the time Europeans first came to the New World until the closing of the frontier, the benefits of abundant wild animals—from beavers and wolves to fish, deer, and bison—appeared as a recurring theme in colonizing discourses. Explorers, travelers, surveyors, naturalists, and other promoters routinely advertised the richness of the American faunal environment and speculated about the ways in which animals could be made to serve their colonial projects. In practice, however, American animals proved far less malleable to colonizers’ designs. Their behaviors constrained an English colonial vision of a reinvented and rationalized American landscape.

In Wild by Nature, Andrea L. Smalley argues that Anglo-American authorities’ unceasing efforts to convert indigenous beasts into colonized creatures frequently produced unsettling results that threatened colonizers’ control over the land and the people. Not simply acted upon by being commodified, harvested, and exterminated, wild animals were active subjects in the colonial story, altering its outcome in unanticipated ways. These creatures became legal actors—subjects of statutes, issues in court cases, and parties to treaties—in a centuries-long colonizing process that was reenacted on successive wild animal frontiers.

Following a trail of human–animal encounters from the seventeenth-century Chesapeake to the Civil War–era southern plains, Smalley shows how wild beasts and their human pursuers repeatedly transgressed the lines lawmakers drew to demarcate colonial sovereignty and control, confounding attempts to enclose both people and animals inside a legal frame. She also explores how, to possess the land, colonizers had to find new ways to contain animals without destroying the wildness that made those creatures valuable to English settler societies in the first place. Offering fresh perspectives on colonial, legal, environmental, and Native American history, Wild by Nature reenvisions the familiar stories of early America as animal tales.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Agrarian Crossings"

New from Princeton University Press: Agrarian Crossings: Reformers and the Remaking of the US and Mexican Countryside by Tore C. Olsson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the 1930s and 1940s, rural reformers in the United States and Mexico waged unprecedented campaigns to remake their countrysides in the name of agrarian justice and agricultural productivity. Agrarian Crossings tells the story of how these campaigns were conducted in dialogue with one another as reformers in each nation came to exchange models, plans, and strategies with their equivalents across the border.

Dismantling the artificial boundaries that can divide American and Latin American history, Tore Olsson shows how the agrarian histories of both regions share far more than we realize. He traces the connections between the US South and the plantation zones of Mexico, places that suffered parallel problems of environmental decline, rural poverty, and gross inequities in land tenure. Bringing this tumultuous era vividly to life, he describes how Roosevelt’s New Deal drew on Mexican revolutionary agrarianism to shape its program for the rural South. Olsson also looks at how the US South served as the domestic laboratory for the Rockefeller Foundation’s “green revolution” in Mexico—which would become the most important Third World development campaign of the twentieth century—and how the Mexican government attempted to replicate the hydraulic development of the Tennessee Valley Authority after World War II.

Rather than a comparative history, Agrarian Crossings is an innovative history of comparisons and the ways they affected policy, moved people, and reshaped the landscape.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Counting Americans"

New from Oxford University Press: Counting Americans: How the US Census Classified the Nation by Paul Schor.

About the book, from the publisher:
How could the same person be classified by the US census as black in 1900, mulatto in 1910, and white in 1920? The history of categories used by the US census reflects a country whose identity and self-understanding--particularly its social construction of race--is closely tied to the continuous polling on the composition of its population.

By tracing the evolution of the categories the United States used to count and classify its population from 1790 to 1940, Paul Schor shows that, far from being simply a reflection of society or a mere instrument of power, censuses are actually complex negotiations between the state, experts, and the population itself. The census is not an administrative or scientific act, but a political one. Counting Americans is a social history exploring the political stakes that pitted various interests and groups of people against each other as population categories were constantly redefined. Utilizing new archival material from the Census Bureau, this study pays needed attention to the long arc of contested changes in race and census-making. It traces changes in how race mattered in the United States during the era of legal slavery, through its fraught end, and then during (and past) the period of Jim Crow laws, which set different ethnic groups in conflict. And it shows how those developing policies also provided a template for classifying Asian groups and white ethnic immigrants from southern and eastern Europe--and how they continue to influence the newly complicated racial imaginings informing censuses in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.

Focusing in detail on slaves and their descendants, on racialized groups and on immigrants, and on the troubled imposition of U.S. racial categories upon the populations of newly acquired territories, Counting Americans demonstrates that census-taking in the United States has been at its core a political undertaking shaped by racial ideologies that reflect its violent history of colonization, enslavement, segregation and discrimination.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 14, 2017

"The Recording Machine"

New from Yale University Press: The Recording Machine: Art and Fact during the Cold War by Joshua Shannon.

About the book, from the publisher:
A revealing look at the irrevocable change in art during the 1960s and its relationship to the modern culture of fact

This refreshing and erudite book offers a new understanding of the transformation of photography and the visual arts around 1968. Author Joshua Shannon reveals an oddly stringent realism in the period, tracing artists’ rejection of essential truths in favor of surface appearances. Dubbing this tendency factualism, Shannon illuminates not only the Cold War’s preoccupation with data but also the rise of a pervasive culture of fact.

Focusing on the United States and West Germany, where photodocumentary traditions intersected with 1960s politics, Shannon investigates a broad variety of art, ranging from conceptual photography and earthworks to photorealist painting and abstraction. He looks closely at art by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Robert Bechtle, Vija Celmins, Douglas Huebler, Gerhard Richter, and others. These artists explored fact’s role as a modern paradigm for talking, thinking, and knowing. Their art, Shannon concludes, helps to explain both the ambivalent anti-humanism of today’s avant-garde art and our own culture of fact.
Joshua Shannon is associate professor of contemporary art history and theory at the University of Maryland.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Priest of Nature"

New from Oxford University Press: Priest of Nature: The Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton by Rob Iliffe.

About the book, from the publisher:
After Sir Isaac Newton revealed his discovery that white light was compounded of more basic colored rays, he was hailed as a genius and became an instant international celebrity. An interdisciplinary enthusiast and intellectual giant in a number of disciplines, Newton published revolutionary, field-defining works that reached across the scientific spectrum, including the Principia Mathematica and Opticks. His renown opened doors for him throughout his career, ushering him into prestigious positions at Cambridge, the Royal Mint, and the Royal Society. And yet, alongside his public success, Newton harbored religious beliefs that set him at odds with law and society, and, if revealed, threatened not just his livelihood but his life.

Religion and faith dominated much of Newton's life and work. His papers, never made available to the public, were filled with biblical speculation and timelines along with passages that excoriated the early Church fathers. Indeed, his radical theological leanings rendered him a heretic, according to the doctrines of the Anglican Church. Newton believed that the central concept of the Trinity was a diabolical fraud and loathed the idolatry, cruelty, and persecution that had come to define religion in his time. Instead, he proposed a "simple Christianity"--a faith that would center on a few core beliefs and celebrate diversity in religious thinking and practice. An utterly original but obsessively private religious thinker, Newton composed several of the most daring works of any writer of the early modern period, works which he and his inheritors suppressed and which have been largely inaccessible for centuries.

In Priest of Nature, historian Rob Iliffe introduces readers to Newton the religious animal, deepening our understanding of the relationship between faith and science at a formative moment in history and thought. Previous scholars and biographers have generally underestimated the range and complexity of Newton's religious writings, but Iliffe shows how wide-ranging his observations and interests were, spanning the entirety of Christian history from Creation to the Apocalypse. Iliffe's book allows readers to fully engage in the theological discussion that dominated Newton's age. A vibrant biography of one of history's towering scientific figures, Priest of Nature is the definitive work on the spiritual views of the man who fundamentally changed how we look at the universe.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Hegel's Social Ethics"

New from Princeton University Press: Hegel's Social Ethics: Religion, Conflict, and Rituals of Reconciliation by Molly Farneth.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hegel’s Social Ethics offers a fresh and accessible interpretation of G. W. F. Hegel’s most famous book, the Phenomenology of Spirit. Drawing on important recent work on the social dimensions of Hegel’s theory of knowledge, Molly Farneth shows how his account of how we know rests on his account of how we ought to live.

Farneth argues that Hegel views conflict as an unavoidable part of living together, and that his social ethics involves relationships and social practices that allow people to cope with conflict and sustain hope for reconciliation. Communities create, contest, and transform their norms through these relationships and practices, and Hegel’s model for them are often the interactions and rituals of the members of religious communities.

The book’s close readings reveal the ethical implications of Hegel’s discussions of slavery, Greek tragedy, early modern culture wars, and confession and forgiveness. The book also illuminates how contemporary democratic thought and practice can benefit from Hegelian insights.

Through its sustained engagement with Hegel’s ideas about conflict and reconciliation, Hegel’s Social Ethics makes an important contribution to debates about how to live well with religious and ethical disagreement.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"Hitler's Monsters"

New from Yale University Press: Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich by Eric Kurlander.

About the book, from the publisher:
The definitive history of the supernatural in Nazi Germany, exploring the occult ideas, esoteric sciences, and pagan religions touted by the Third Reich in the service of power

The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. In this eye-opening history, Eric Kurlander reveals how the Third Reich’s relationship to the supernatural was far from straightforward. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire.
The Page 99 Test: Eric Kurlander's Living with Hitler.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 10, 2017

"Making the Bible Belt"

New from Oxford University Press: Making the Bible Belt: Texas Prohibitionists and the Politicization of Southern Religion by Joseph L. Locke.

About the book,from the publisher:
Making the Bible Belt upends notions of a longstanding, stable marriage between political religion and the American South. H.L. Mencken coined the term "the Bible Belt" in the 1920s to capture the peculiar alliance of religion and public life in the South, but the reality he described was only the closing chapter of a long historical process. Into the twentieth century, a robust anticlerical tradition still challenged religious forays into southern politics. Inside southern churches, an insular evangelical theology looked suspiciously on political meddling. Outside of the churches, a popular anticlericalism indicted activist ministers with breaching the boundaries of their proper spheres of influence, calling up historical memories of the Dark Ages and Puritan witch hunts.

Through the politics of prohibition, and in the face of bitter resistance, a complex but shared commitment to expanding the power and scope of religion transformed southern evangelicals' inward-looking restraints into an aggressive, self-assertive, and unapologetic political activism. The decades-long religious crusade to close saloons and outlaw alcohol in the South absorbed the energies of southern churches and thrust religious leaders headlong into the political process--even as their forays into southern politics were challenged at every step.

Early defeats impelled prohibitionist clergy to recast their campaign as a broader effort not merely to dry up the South, but to conquer anticlerical opposition and inject religion into public life. Clerical activists churned notions of history, race, gender, and religion into a powerful political movement and elevated ambitious leaders such as the pugnacious fundamentalist J. Frank Norris and Senator Morris Sheppard, the "Father of National Prohibition."

Exploring the controversies surrounding the religious support of prohibition in Texas, Making the Bible Belt reconstructs the purposeful, decades-long campaign to politicize southern religion, hints at the historical origins of the religious right, and explores a compelling and transformative moment in American history.
Visit Joseph L. Locke's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 9, 2017

"Creditworthy"

New from Columbia University Press: Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America by Josh Lauer.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first consumer credit bureaus appeared in the 1870s and quickly amassed huge archives of deeply personal information. Today, the three leading credit bureaus are among the most powerful institutions in modern life—yet we know almost nothing about them. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are multi-billion-dollar corporations that track our movements, spending behavior, and financial status. This data is used to predict our riskiness as borrowers and to judge our trustworthiness and value in a broad array of contexts, from insurance and marketing to employment and housing.

In Creditworthy, the first comprehensive history of this crucial American institution, Josh Lauer explores the evolution of credit reporting from its nineteenth-century origins to the rise of the modern consumer data industry. By revealing the sophistication of early credit reporting networks, Creditworthy highlights the leading role that commercial surveillance has played—ahead of state surveillance systems—in monitoring the economic lives of Americans. Lauer charts how credit reporting grew from an industry that relied on personal knowledge of consumers to one that employs sophisticated algorithms to determine a person's trustworthiness. Ultimately, Lauer argues that by converting individual reputations into brief written reports—and, later, credit ratings and credit scores—credit bureaus did something more profound: they invented the modern concept of financial identity. Creditworthy reminds us that creditworthiness is never just about economic "facts." It is fundamentally concerned with—and determines—our social standing as an honest, reliable, profit-generating person.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Pierre de L'Estoile and his World in the Wars of Religion"

New from Oxford University Press: Pierre de L'Estoile and his World in the Wars of Religion by Tom Hamilton.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Wars of Religion embroiled France in decades of faction, violence, and peacemaking in the late sixteenth century. When historians interpret these events they inevitably depend on sources of information gathered by contemporaries, none more valuable than the diaries and collection of Pierre de L'Estoile (1546-1611), who lived through the civil wars in Paris and shaped how they have been remembered ever since. Taking him out of the footnotes, and demonstrating his significance in the culture of the late Renaissance, this is the first life of L'Estoile in any language. It examines how he negotiated and commemorated the conflicts that divided France as he assembled an extraordinary collection of the relics of the troubles, a collection that he called "the storehouse of my curiosities." The story of his life and times is the history of the civil wars in the making.

Focusing on a crucial individual for understanding Reformation Europe, this study challenges historians' assumptions about the widespread impact of confessional conflict in the sixteenth century. L'Estoile's prudent, non-confessional responses to the events he lived through and recorded were common among his milieu of Gallican Catholics. His life-writing and engagement with contemporary news, books, and pictures reveals how individuals used different genres and media to destabilize rather than fix confessional identities. Bringing together the great variety of topics in society and culture that attracted L'Estoile's curiosity, this volume rethinks his world in the Wars of Religion.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 8, 2017

"Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat"

New from Rutgers University Press: Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat: The Origins of School Lunch in the United States by Andrew R. Ruis.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat, historian A. R. Ruis explores the origins of American school meal initiatives to explain why it was (and, to some extent, has continued to be) so difficult to establish meal programs that satisfy the often competing interests of children, parents, schools, health authorities, politicians, and the food industry. Through careful studies of several key contexts and detailed analysis of the policies and politics that governed the creation of school meal programs, Ruis demonstrates how the early history of school meal program development helps us understand contemporary debates over changes to school lunch policies.
A. R. Ruis is a fellow in the department of surgery and department of medical history and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a researcher in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

Visit Andrew R. Ruis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"International Women's Year"

New from Oxford University Press: International Women's Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History by Jocelyn Olcott.

About the book, from the publisher:
Amid the geopolitical and social turmoil of the 1970s, the United Nations declared 1975 as International Women's Year. The capstone event, a two-week conference in Mexico City, was dubbed by organizers and journalists as "the greatest consciousness-raising event in history." The event drew an all-star cast of characters, including Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, Iranian Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, and US feminist Betty Friedan, as well as a motley array of policymakers, activists, and journalists.

International Women's Year, the first book to examine this critical moment in feminist history, starts by exploring how organizers juggled geopolitical rivalries and material constraints amid global political and economic instability. The story then dives into the action in Mexico City, including conflicts over issues ranging from abortion to Zionism. The United Nations provided indispensable infrastructure and support for this encounter, even as it came under fire for its own discriminatory practices. While participants expressed dismay at levels of discord and conflict, Jocelyn Olcott explores how these combative, unanticipated encounters generated the most enduring legacies, including women's networks across the global south, greater attention to the intersectionalities of marginalization, and the arrival of women's micro-credit on the development scene.

This watershed moment in transnational feminism, colorfully narrated in International Women's Year, launched a new generation of activist networks that spanned continents, ideologies, and generations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 7, 2017

"Choosing Daughters: Family Change in Rural China"

New from Stanford University Press: Choosing Daughters: Family Change in Rural China by Lihong Shi.

About the book, from the publisher:
China's patrilineal and patriarchal tradition has encouraged a long-standing preference for male heirs within families. Coupled with China's birth-planning policy, this has led to a severe gender imbalance. But a counterpattern is emerging in rural China where a noticeable proportion of young couples have willingly accepted having a single daughter. They are doing so even as birth-planning policies are being relaxed and having a second child, and the opportunity of having a son, is a new possibility.

Choosing Daughters explores this critical, yet largely overlooked, reproductive pattern emerging in China's demographic landscape. Lihong Shi delves into the social, economic, and cultural forces behind the complex decision-making process of these couples to unravel their life goals and childrearing aspirations, the changing family dynamics and gender relations, and the intimate parent–daughter ties that have engendered this drastic transformation of reproductive choice. She reveals a leading-edge social force that fosters China's recent fertility decline, namely pursuit of a modern family and successful childrearing achieved through having a small family. Through this discussion, Shi refutes the conventional understanding of a universal preference for sons and discrimination against daughters in China and counters claims of continuing resistance against China's population control program.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"The Other Side of Assimilation"

New from the University of California Press: The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life by Tomás Jiménez.

About the book, from the publisher:
The immigration patterns of the last three decades have profoundly changed nearly every aspect of life in the United States. What do those changes mean for the most established Americans—those whose families have been in the country for multiple generations?

The Other Side of Assimilation shows that assimilation is not a one-way street. Jiménez explains how established Americans undergo their own assimilation in response to profound immigration-driven ethnic, racial, political, economic, and cultural shifts. Drawing on interviews with a race and class spectrum of established Americans in three different Silicon Valley cities, The Other Side of Assimilation illuminates how established Americans make sense of their experiences in immigrant-rich environments, in work, school, public interactions, romantic life, and leisure activities. With lucid prose, Jiménez reveals how immigration not only changes the American cityscape but also reshapes the United States by altering the outlooks and identities of its most established citizens.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Democracy's Schools"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Democracy's Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America by Johann N. Neem.

About the book, from the publisher:
At a time when Americans are debating the future of public education, Johann N. Neem tells the inspiring story of how and why Americans built a robust public school system in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. It’s a story in which ordinary people in towns across the country worked together to form districts and build schoolhouses and reformers sought to expand tax support and give every child a liberal education. By the time of the Civil War, most northern states had made common schools free, and many southern states were heading in the same direction. Americans made schooling a public good.

Yet back then, like today, Americans disagreed over the kind of education needed, who should pay for it, and how schools should be governed. Neem explores the history and meaning of these disagreements. As Americans debated, teachers and students went about the daily work of teaching and learning. Neem takes us into the classrooms of yore so that we may experience public schools from the perspective of the people whose daily lives were most affected by them.

Ultimately, Neem concludes, public schools encouraged a diverse people to see themselves as one nation. By studying the origins of America’s public schools, Neem urges us to focus on the defining features of democratic education: promoting equality, nurturing human beings, preparing citizens, and fostering civic solidarity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"If I Give My Soul"

New from Oxford University Press: If I Give My Soul: Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro by Andrew Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Pentecostal Christianity is flourishing inside the prisons of Rio de Janeiro. To find out why, Andrew Johnson dug deep into the prisons themselves. He began by spending two weeks living in a Brazilian prison as if he were an inmate: sleeping in the same cells as the inmates, eating the same food, and participating in the men's daily routines as if he were incarcerated. And he returned many times afterward to observe prison churches' worship services, which were led by inmates who had been voted into positions of leadership by their fellow prisoners. He accompanied Pentecostal volunteers when they visited cells that were controlled by Rio's most dominant criminal gang to lead worship services, provide health care, and deliver other social services to the inmates. Why does this faith resonate so profoundly with the incarcerated? Pentecostalism, argues Johnson, is the "faith of the killable people" and offers ex-criminals and gang members the opportunity to positively reinvent their public personas. If I Give My Soul is a deeply personal look at the relationship between the margins of Brazilian society and the Pentecostal faith, both behind bars and in the favelas, Rio de Janeiro's peripheral neighborhoods. Based on his intimate relationships with the figures in this book, Johnson makes a passionate case that Pentecostal practice behind bars is an act of political radicalism as much as a spiritual experience.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 3, 2017

"Playing War"

New from the University of California Press: Playing War: Children and the Paradoxes of Modern Militarism in Japan by Sabine Frühstück.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Playing War, Sabine Frühstück makes a bold proposition: that for over a century throughout Japan and beyond, children and concepts of childhood have been appropriated as tools for decidedly unchildlike purposes: to validate, moralize, humanize, and naturalize war, and to sentimentalize peace. She argues that modern conceptions of war insist on and exploit a specific and static notion of the child: that the child, though the embodiment of vulnerability and innocence, nonetheless possesses an inherent will to war, and that this seemingly contradictory creature demonstrates what it means to be human. In examining the intersection of children/childhood with war/military, Frühstück identifies the insidious factors perpetuating this alliance, thus rethinking the very foundations of modern militarism. She interrogates how essentialist notions of both childhood and war have been productively intertwined; how assumptions about childhood and war have converged; and how children and childhood have worked as symbolic constructions and powerful rhetorical tools, particularly in the decades between the nation- and empire-building efforts of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries up to the uneven manifestations of globalization at the beginning of the twenty-first.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 2, 2017

"Secret Cures of Slaves"

New from Stanford University Press: Secret Cures of Slaves: People, Plants, and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World by Londa Schiebinger.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the natural course of events, humans fall sick and die. The history of medicine bristles with attempts to find new and miraculous remedies, to work with and against nature to restore humans to health and well-being. In this book, Londa Schiebinger examines medicine and human experimentation in the Atlantic World, exploring the circulation of people, disease, plants, and knowledge between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. She traces the development of a colonial medical complex from the 1760s, when a robust experimental culture emerged in the British and French West Indies, to the early 1800s, when debates raged about banning the slave trade and, eventually, slavery itself.

Massive mortality among enslaved Africans and European planters, soldiers, and sailors fueled the search for new healing techniques. Amerindian, African, and European knowledges competed to cure diseases emerging from the collision of peoples on newly established, often poorly supplied, plantations. But not all knowledge was equal. Highlighting the violence and fear endemic to colonial struggles, Schiebinger explores aspects of African medicine that were not put to the test, such as Obeah and vodou. This book analyzes how and why specific knowledges were blocked, discredited, or held secret.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 1, 2017

"Game Changer"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Game Changer: The Technoscientific Revolution in Sports by Rayvon Fouché.

About the book, from the publisher:
We like to think of sports as elemental: strong bodies trained to overcome height, weight, distance; the thrill of earned victory or the agony of defeat in a contest decided on a level playing field. But in Game Changer, Rayvon Fouché argues that sports have been radically shaped by an explosion of scientific and technological advances in materials, training, nutrition, and medicine dedicated to making athletes stronger and faster. Technoscience, as Fouché dubs it, increasingly gives the edge (however slight) to the athlete with the latest gear, the most advanced training equipment, or the performance-enhancing drugs that are hardest to detect.

In this revealing book, Fouché examines a variety of sports paraphernalia and enhancements, from fast suits, athletic shoes, and racing bicycles to basketballs and prosthetic limbs. He also takes a hard look at gender verification testing, direct drug testing, and the athlete biological passport in an attempt to understand the evolving place of technoscience across sport.

In this book, Fouché:

• Examines the relationship among sport, science, and technology• Considers what is at stake in defining sporting culture by its scientific knowledge and technology• Provides readers and students with an informative and engagingly written study

Focusing on well-known athletes, including Michael Phelps, Oscar Pistorius, Caster Semenya, Usain Bolt, and Lance Armstrong, Fouché argues that technoscience calls into question the integrity of games, records, and our bodies themselves. He also touches on attempts by sporting communities to regulate the use of technology, from elite soccer’s initial reluctance to utilize goal-line technology to automobile racing’s endless tweaking of regulatory formulas in an attempt to blur engineering potency and reclaim driver skill and ability. Game Changer will change the way you look at sports—and the outsized impact technoscience has on them.
Visit Rayvon Fouché's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 30, 2017

"Raised on Christian Milk"

New from Yale University Press: Raised on Christian Milk: Food and the Formation of the Soul in Early Christianity by John David Penniman.

About the book, from the publisher:
A fascinating new study of the symbolic power of food and its role in forming kinship bonds and religious identity in early Christianity

Scholar of religion John Penniman considers the symbolic importance of food in the early Roman world in an engaging and original new study that demonstrates how “eating well” was a pervasive idea that served diverse theories of growth, education, and religious identity. Penniman places early Christian discussion of food in its moral, medical, legal, and social contexts, revealing how nourishment, especially breast milk, was invested with the power to transfer characteristics, improve intellect, and strengthen kinship bonds.
John David Penniman is assistant professor of religious studies at Bucknell University.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 29, 2017

"Law Mart: Justice, Access, and For-Profit Law Schools"

New from Stanford University Press: Law Mart: Justice, Access, and For-Profit Law Schools by Riaz Tejani.

About the book, from the publisher:
American law schools are in deep crisis. Enrollment is down, student loan debt is up, and the profession's supply of high-paying jobs is shrinking. Meanwhile, thousands of graduates remain underemployed while the legal needs of low-income communities go substantially unmet. Many blame overregulation and seek a "free" market to solve the problem, but this has already been tested. Seizing on a deregulatory policy shift at the American Bar Association, private equity financiers established the first for-profit law schools in the early 2000s with the stated mission to increase access to justice by "serving the underserved". Pursuing this mission at a feverish rate of growth, they offered the promise of professional upward mobility through high-tech, simplified teaching and learning.

In Law Mart, a vivid ethnography of one such environment, Riaz Tejani argues that the rise of for profit law schools shows the limits of a market-based solution to American access to justice. Building on theories in law, political economy, and moral anthropology, Tejani reveals how for-profit law schools marketed themselves directly to ethnoracial and socioeconomic "minority" communities, relaxed admission standards, increased diversity, shook up established curricula, and saw student success rates plummet. They contributed to a dramatic rise in U.S. law student debt burdens while charging premium tuition financed up-front through federal loans over time. If economic theories have so influenced legal scholarship, what happens when they come to shape law school transactions, governance, and oversight? For students promised professional citizenship by these institutions, is there a need for protections that better uphold institutional quality and sustainability? Offering an unprecedented glimpse of this landscape, Law Mart is a colorful foray into these essential questions.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love"

New from Yale University Press: (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work by Brooke Erin Duffy.

About the book, from the publisher:
An illuminating investigation into a class of enterprising women aspiring to “make it” in the social media economy but often finding only unpaid work

Profound transformations in our digital society have brought many enterprising women to social media platforms—from blogs to YouTube to Instagram—in hopes of channeling their talents into fulfilling careers. In this eye-opening book, Brooke Erin Duffy draws much-needed attention to the gap between the handful who find lucrative careers and the rest, whose “passion projects” amount to free work for corporate brands.

Drawing on interviews and fieldwork, Duffy offers fascinating insights into the work and lives of fashion bloggers, beauty vloggers, and designers. She connects the activities of these women to larger shifts in unpaid and gendered labor, offering a lens through which to understand, anticipate, and critique broader transformations in the creative economy. At a moment when social media offer the rousing assurance that anyone can “make it”—and stand out among freelancers, temps, and gig workers—Duffy asks us all to consider the stakes of not getting paid to do what you love.
Visit Brooke Erin Duffy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"This City Belongs to You"

New from the University of California Press: This City Belongs to You: A History of Student Activism in Guatemala, 1944-1996 by Heather Vrana.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between 1944 and 1996, Guatemala experienced a revolution, counterrevolution, and civil war. Playing a pivotal role within these national shifts were students from Guatemala’s only public university, the University of San Carlos (USAC). USAC students served in, advised, protested, and were later persecuted by the government, all while crafting a powerful student nationalism. In no other moment in Guatemalan history has the relationship between the university and the state been so mutable, yet so mutually formative. By showing how the very notion of the middle class in Guatemala emerged from these student movements, this book places an often-marginalized region and period at the center of histories of class, protest, and youth movements and provides an entirely new way to think about the role of universities and student bodies in the formation of liberal democracy throughout Latin America.
Visit Heather Vrana's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 26, 2017

"Power without Victory"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Power without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment by Trygve Throntveit.

About the book, from the publisher:
For decades, Woodrow Wilson has been remembered as either a paternalistic liberal or reactionary conservative at home and as a naïve idealist or cynical imperialist abroad. Historians’ harsh judgments of Wilson are understandable. He won two elections by promising a deliberative democratic process that would ensure justice and political empowerment for all. Yet under Wilson, Jim Crow persisted, interventions in Latin America increased, and a humiliating peace settlement was forced upon Germany. A generation after Wilson, stark inequalities and injustices still plagued the nation, myopic nationalism hindered its responsible engagement in world affairs, and a second vastly destructive global conflict threatened the survival of democracy worldwide—leaving some Americans today to wonder what, exactly, the buildings and programs bearing his name are commemorating.

In Power without Victory, Trygve Throntveit argues that there is more to the story of Wilson than these sad truths. Throntveit makes the case that Wilson was not a “Wilsonian,” as that term has come to be understood, but a principled pragmatist in the tradition of William James. He did not seek to stamp American-style democracy on other peoples, but to enable the gradual development of a genuinely global system of governance that would maintain justice and facilitate peaceful change—a goal that, contrary to historical tradition, the American people embraced. In this brilliant intellectual, cultural, and political history, Throntveit gives us a new vision of Wilson, as well as a model of how to think about the complex relationship between the world of ideas and the worlds of policy and diplomacy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Where Three Worlds Met"

New from Cornell University Press: Where Three Worlds Met: Sicily in the Early Medieval Mediterranean by Sarah Davis-Secord.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sicily is a lush and culturally rich island at the center of the Mediterranean Sea. Throughout its history, the island has been conquered and colonized by successive waves of peoples from across the Mediterranean region. In the early and central Middle Ages, the island was ruled and occupied in turn by Greek Christians, Muslims, and Latin Christians.

In Where Three Worlds Met, Sarah Davis-Secord investigates Sicily's place within the religious, diplomatic, military, commercial, and intellectual networks of the Mediterranean by tracing the patterns of travel, trade, and communication among Christians (Latin and Greek), Muslims, and Jews. By looking at the island across this long expanse of time and during the periods of transition from one dominant culture to another, Davis-Secord uncovers the patterns that defined and redefined the broader Muslim-Christian encounter in the Middle Ages.

Sicily was a nexus for cross-cultural communication not because of its geographical placement at the center of the Mediterranean but because of the specific roles the island played in a variety of travel and trade networks in the Mediterranean region. Complex combinations of political, cultural, and economic need transformed Sicily’s patterns of connection to other nearby regions—transformations that were representative of the fundamental shifts that took place in the larger Mediterranean system during the Middle Ages. The meanings and functions of Sicily’s positioning within these larger Mediterranean communications networks depended on the purposes to which the island was being put and how it functioned at the boundaries of the Greek, Latin, and Muslim worlds.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"The Fifty-Year Rebellion"

New from the University of California Press: The Fifty-Year Rebellion: How the U.S. Political Crisis Began in Detroit by Scott Kurashige.

About the book, from the publisher:
On July 23, 1967, the eyes of the world fixed on Detroit, as thousands took to the streets to vent their frustrations with white racism, police brutality, and vanishing job prospects in the place that gave rise to the American Dream. Mainstream observers contended that the “riot” brought about the ruin of a once-great city; for them, the municipal bankruptcy of 2013 served as a bailout paving the way for the rebuilding of Detroit. Challenging this prevailing view, Scott Kurashige portrays the past half century as a long rebellion whose underlying tensions continue to haunt the city and the U.S. nation-state. He sees Michigan’s scandal-ridden "emergency management" regime, set up to handle the bankruptcy, as the most concerted effort to put it down by disenfranchising the majority black citizenry and neutralizing the power of unions.

Are we succumbing to authoritarian plutocracy or can we create a new society rooted in social justice and participatory democracy? The corporate architects of Detroit’s restructuring have championed the creation of a “business-friendly” city, where billionaire developers are subsidized to privatize and gentrify Downtown, while working-class residents are being squeezed out by rampant housing evictions, school closures, water shutoffs, toxic pollution, and militarized policing. Grassroots organizers, however, have transformed Detroit into an international model for survival, resistance, and solidarity through the creation of urban farms, freedom schools, and self-governing communities. This epochal struggle illuminates the possible futures for our increasingly unstable and polarized nation.
The Page 99 Test: The Shifting Grounds of Race.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 23, 2017

"In Lady Liberty's Shadow"

New from Rutgers University Press: In Lady Liberty's Shadow: The Politics of Race and Immigration in New Jersey by Robyn Magalit Rodriguez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Home to Ellis Island, New Jersey has been the first stop for many immigrant groups for well over a century. Yet in this highly diverse state, some of the most anti-immigrant policies in the nation are being tested. American suburbs are home to increasing numbers of first and second-generation immigrants who may actually be bypassing the city to settle directly into the neighborhoods that their predecessors have already begun to plant roots in—a trajectory that leads to nativist ordinances and other forms of xenophobia.

In Lady Liberty’s Shadow examines popular white perceptions of danger represented by immigrants and their children, as well the specter that lurks at the edges of suburbs in the shape of black and Latino urban underclasses and the ever more nebulous hazard of (presumed-Islamic) terrorism that threatening to undermine “life as we know it.” Robyn Magalit Rodriguez explores the impact of anti-immigrant municipal ordinances on a range of immigrant groups living in varied suburban communities, from undocumented Latinos in predominantly white suburbs to long-established Asian immigrants in “majority-minority” suburbs. The “American Dream” that suburban life is supposed to represent is shown to rest on a racialized, segregated social order meant to be enjoyed only by whites. Although it is a case study of New Jersey, In Lady Liberty’s Shadow offers crucial insights that can shed fresh light on the national immigration debate.
--Marshal Zeringue