Saturday, February 25, 2017

"Great Crossings"

New from Oxford University Press: Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson by Christina Snyder.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson, prize-winning historian Christina Snyder reinterprets the history of Jacksonian America. Most often, this drama focuses on whites who turned west to conquer a continent, extending "liberty" as they went. Great Crossings also includes Native Americans from across the continent seeking new ways to assert anciently-held rights and people of African descent who challenged the United States to live up to its ideals. These diverse groups met in an experimental community in central Kentucky called Great Crossings, home to the first federal Indian school and a famous interracial family.

Great Crossings embodied monumental changes then transforming North America. The United States, within the span of a few decades, grew from an East Coast nation to a continental empire. The territorial growth of the United States forged a multicultural, multiracial society, but that diversity also sparked fierce debates over race, citizenship, and America's destiny. Great Crossings, a place of race-mixing and cultural exchange, emerged as a battleground. Its history provides an intimate view of the ambitions and struggles of Indians, settlers, and slaves who were trying to secure their place in a changing world. Through deep research and compelling prose, Snyder introduces us to a diverse range of historical actors: Richard Mentor Johnson, the politician who reportedly killed Tecumseh and then became schoolmaster to the sons of his former foes; Julia Chinn, Johnson's enslaved concubine, who fought for her children's freedom; and Peter Pitchlynn, a Choctaw intellectual who, even in the darkest days of Indian removal, argued for the future of Indian nations. Together, their stories demonstrate how this era transformed colonizers and the colonized alike, sowing the seeds of modern America.
The Page 99 Test: Slavery in Indian Country.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Japanese War Criminals"

New from Columbia University Press: Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice After the Second World War by Sandra Wilson, Robert Cribb, Beatrice Trefalt, and Dean Aszkielowicz.

About the book, from the publisher:
Beginning in late 1945, the United States, Britain, China, Australia, France, the Netherlands, and later the Philippines, the Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China convened national courts to prosecute Japanese military personnel for war crimes. The defendants included ethnic Koreans and Taiwanese who had served with the armed forces as Japanese subjects. In Tokyo, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East tried Japanese leaders. While the fairness of these trials has been a focus for decades, Japanese War Criminals instead argues that the most important issues arose outside the courtroom. What was the legal basis for identifying and detaining subjects, determining who should be prosecuted, collecting evidence, and granting clemency after conviction? The answers to these questions helped set the norms for transitional justice in the postwar era and today contribute to strategies for addressing problematic areas of international law.

Examining the complex moral, ethical, legal, and political issues surrounding the Allied prosecution project, from the first investigations during the war to the final release of prisoners in 1958, Japanese War Criminals shows how a simple effort to punish the guilty evolved into a multidimensional struggle that muddied the assignment of criminal responsibility for war crimes. Over time, indignation in Japan over Allied military actions, particularly the deployment of the atomic bombs, eclipsed anger over Japanese atrocities, and, among the Western powers, new Cold War imperatives took hold. This book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the construction of the postwar international order in Asia and to our comprehension of the difficulties of implementing transitional justice.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 23, 2017

"Everyday Law in Russia"

New from Cornell University Press: Everyday Law in Russia by Kathryn Hendley.

About the book, from the publisher:
Everyday Law in Russia challenges the prevailing common wisdom that Russians cannot rely on their law and that Russian courts are hopelessly politicized and corrupt. While acknowledging the persistence of verdicts dictated by the Kremlin in politically charged cases, Kathryn Hendley explores how ordinary Russian citizens experience law. Relying on her own extensive observational research in Russia's new justice-of-the-peace courts as well as her analysis of a series of focus groups, she documents Russians’ complicated attitudes regarding law. The same Russian citizen who might shy away from taking a dispute with a state agency or powerful individual to court might be willing to sue her insurance company if it refuses to compensate her for damages following an auto accident. Hendley finds that Russian judges pay close attention to the law in mundane disputes, which account for the vast majority of the cases brought to the Russian courts.

Any reluctance on the part of ordinary Russian citizens to use the courts is driven primarily by their fear of the time and cost—measured in both financial and emotional terms—of the judicial process. Like their American counterparts, Russians grow more willing to pursue disputes as the social distance between them and their opponents increases; Russians are loath to sue friends and neighbors, but are less reluctant when it comes to strangers or acquaintances. Hendley concludes that the "rule of law" rubric is ill suited to Russia and other authoritarian polities where law matters most—but not all—of the time.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Unorthodox Kin"

New from the University of California Press: Unorthodox Kin: Portuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging by Naomi Leite.

About the book, from the publisher:
Unorthodox Kin is a groundbreaking exploration of identity, relatedness, and belonging in a global era. Naomi Leite paints an intimate portrait of Portugal’s urban Marranos, who trace their ancestry to fifteenth-century Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism, as they seek to rejoin the Jewish people. Focusing on mutual imaginings and direct encounters between Marranos, Portuguese Jews, and foreign Jewish tourists and outreach workers, Leite tracks how visions of self and kin evolve over time and across social spaces, ending in a surprising path to belonging. A poignant evocation of how ideas of ancestry shape the present, how feelings of kinship arise among far-flung strangers, and how some find mystical connection in a world said to be disenchanted, this is a model study for anthropology today.
Naomi Leite is Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Director of Studies in Anthropology of Travel and Tourism at SOAS, University of London.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"American Covenant"

New from Princeton University Press: American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present by Philip Gorski.

About the book, from the publisher:
Was the United States founded as a Christian nation or a secular democracy? Neither, argues Philip Gorski in American Covenant. What the founders actually envisioned was a prophetic republic that would weave together the ethical vision of the Hebrew prophets and the Western political heritage of civic republicanism. In this ambitious book, Gorski shows why this civil religious tradition is now in peril—and with it the American experiment.

Gorski traces the historical development of prophetic republicanism from the Puritan era to the present day. He provides close readings of thinkers such as John Winthrop, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Hannah Arendt, along with insightful portraits of recent and contemporary religious and political leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Gorski shows how the founders' original vision for America is threatened by an internecine struggle between two rival traditions, religious nationalism and radical secularism. Religious nationalism is a form of militaristic hyperpatriotism that imagines the United States as a divine instrument in the final showdown between good and evil. Radical secularists fervently deny the positive contributions of the Judeo-Christian tradition to the American project and seek to remove all traces of religious expression from the public square. Gorski offers an unsparing critique of both, demonstrating how half a century of culture war has drowned out the quieter voices of the vital center.

American Covenant makes the compelling case that if we are to rebuild that vital center, we must recover the civil religious tradition on which the republic was founded.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 20, 2017

"The Complacent Class"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs.

The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and best selling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition—we’re working harder than ever to avoid change. We're moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else.

Of course, this “matching culture” brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. We’re more comfortable. But, according to Cowen, there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create.

The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our near-sightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder. The forces unleashed by the Great Stagnation will eventually lead to a major fiscal and budgetary crisis: impossibly expensive rentals for our most attractive cities, worsening of residential segregation, and a decline in our work ethic. The only way to avoid this difficult future is for Americans to force themselves out of their comfortable slumber—to embrace their restless tradition again.
Visit Tyler Cowen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Live and Let Live"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood by Evelyn M. Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:
“We are in a bind,” writes Evelyn M. Perry. While conventional wisdom asserts that residential racial and economic integration holds great promise for reducing inequality in the United States, Americans are demonstrably not very good at living with difference. Perry’s analysis of the multiethnic, mixed-income Milwaukee community of Riverwest, where residents maintain relative stability without insisting on conformity, advances our understanding of why and how neighborhoods matter. In response to the myriad urban quantitative assessments, Perry examines the impacts of neighborhood diversity using more than three years of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews. Her in-depth examination of life “on the block” expands our understanding of the mechanisms by which neighborhoods shape the perceptions, behaviors, and opportunities of those who live in them. Perry challenges researchers’ assumptions about what “good” communities look like and what well-regulated communities want. Live and Let Live shifts the conventional scholarly focus from “What can integration do?” to “How is integration done?”
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Hitler's American Model"

New from Princeton University Press: Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Q. Whitman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws—the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's influence on racist practices in the wider world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Poets and Prophets of the Resistance"

New from Oxford University Press: Poets and Prophets of the Resistance: Intellectuals and the Origins of El Salvador's Civil War by Joaquín M. Chávez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Poets and Prophets of the Resistance offers a ground-up history and fresh interpretation of the polarization and mobilization that brought El Salvador to the eve of civil war in 1980. Challenging the dominant narrative that university students and political dissidents primarily formed the Salvadoran guerrillas, Joaquín Chávez argues that El Salvador's socioeconomic and political crises of the 1970s fomented a groundswell of urban and peasant intellectuals who collaborated to spur larger revolutionary social movements.

Drawing on new archival sources and in-depth interviews, Poets and Prophets of the Resistance contests the idea that urban militants and Roman Catholic priests influenced by Liberation Theology single-handedly organized and politicized peasant groups. Chávez shows instead how peasant intellectuals acted as political catalysts among their own communities first, particularly in the region of Chalatenango, laying the groundwork for the peasant movements that were to come. In this way, he contends, the Salvadoran insurgency emerged in a dialogue between urban and peasant intellectuals working together to create and execute a common revolutionary strategy--one that drew on cultures of resistance deeply rooted in the country's history, poetry, and religion. Focusing on this cross-pollination, this book introduces the idea that a "pedagogy of revolution" originated in this historical alliance between urban and peasant, making use of secular and Catholic pedagogies such as radio schools, literacy programs, and rural cooperatives. This pedagogy became more and more radicalized over time as it pushed back against the increasingly repressive structures of 1970s El Salvador.

Teasing out the roles of little-known groups such as the politically active "La Masacuata" literary movement, the contributions of Catholic Action intellectuals to the New Left, and the overlooked efforts of peasant leaders, Poets and Prophets of the Resistance demonstrates how trans-class political and cultural interactions drove the revolutionary mobilizations that anticipated the Salvadoran civil war.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 17, 2017

"Ordinary Jews"

New from Princeton University Press: Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust by Evgeny Finkel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Focusing on the choices and actions of Jews during the Holocaust, Ordinary Jews examines the different patterns of behavior of civilians targeted by mass violence. Relying on rich archival material and hundreds of survivors' testimonies, Evgeny Finkel presents a new framework for understanding the survival strategies in which Jews engaged: cooperation and collaboration, coping and compliance, evasion, and resistance. Finkel compares Jews' behavior in three Jewish ghettos—Minsk, Kraków, and Białystok—and shows that Jews' responses to Nazi genocide varied based on their experiences with prewar policies that either promoted or discouraged their integration into non-Jewish society.

Finkel demonstrates that while possible survival strategies were the same for everyone, individuals' choices varied across and within communities. In more cohesive and robust Jewish communities, coping—confronting the danger and trying to survive without leaving—was more organized and successful, while collaboration with the Nazis and attempts to escape the ghetto were minimal. In more heterogeneous Jewish communities, collaboration with the Nazis was more pervasive, while coping was disorganized. In localities with a history of peaceful interethnic relations, evasion was more widespread than in places where interethnic relations were hostile. State repression before WWII, to which local communities were subject, determined the viability of anti-Nazi Jewish resistance.

Exploring the critical influences shaping the decisions made by Jews in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe, Ordinary Jews sheds new light on the dynamics of collective violence and genocide.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans"

New from the University of California Press: Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans: The Lure of the Local Film Economy by Vicki Mayer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Early in the twenty-first century, Louisiana, one of the poorest states in the United States, redirected millions in tax dollars from the public coffers in an effort to become the top location site globally for the production of Hollywood films and television series. Why would lawmakers support such a policy? Why would citizens accept the policy’s uncomfortable effects on their economy and culture? Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans addresses these questions through a study of the local and everyday experiences of the film economy in New Orleans, Louisiana—a city that has twice pursued the goal of becoming a movie production capital. From the silent era to today’s Hollywood South, Vicki Mayer explains that the aura of a film economy is inseparable from a prevailing sense of home, even as it changes that place irrevocably.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain"

New from Cambridge University Press: Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain by Tracey Loughran.

About the book, from the publisher:
Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain is a thought-provoking reassessment of medical responses to war-related psychological breakdown in the early twentieth century. Dr Loughran places shell-shock within the historical context of British psychological medicine to examine the intellectual resources doctors drew on as they struggled to make sense of nervous collapse. She reveals how medical approaches to shell-shock were formulated within an evolutionary framework which viewed mental breakdown as regression to a level characteristic of earlier stages of individual or racial development, but also ultimately resulted in greater understanding and acceptance of psychoanalytic approaches to human mind and behaviour. Through its demonstration of the crucial importance of concepts of mind-body relations, gender, willpower and instinct to the diagnosis of shell-shock, this book locates the disorder within a series of debates on human identity dating back to the Darwinian revolution and extending far beyond the medical sphere.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Crying for Our Elders"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Crying for Our Elders: African Orphanhood in the Age of HIV and AIDS by Kristen Cheney.

About the book, from the publisher:
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa has defined the childhoods of an entire generation. Over the past twenty years, international NGOs and charities have devoted immense attention to the millions of African children orphaned by the disease. But in Crying for Our Elders, anthropologist Kristen E. Cheney argues that these humanitarian groups have misread the ‘orphan crisis’. She explains how the global humanitarian focus on orphanhood often elides the social and political circumstances that actually present the greatest adversity to vulnerable children—in effect deepening the crisis and thereby affecting children’s lives as irrevocably as HIV/AIDS itself.

Through ethnographic fieldwork and collaborative research with children in Uganda, Cheney traces how the “best interest” principle that governs children’s’ rights can stigmatize orphans and leave children in the post-antiretroviral era even more vulnerable to exploitation. She details the dramatic effects this has on traditional family support and child protection and stresses child empowerment over pity. Crying for Our Elders advances current discussions on humanitarianism, children’s studies, orphanhood, and kinship. By exploring the unique experience of AIDS orphanhood through the eyes of children, caregivers, and policymakers, Cheney shows that despite the extreme challenges of growing up in the era of HIV/AIDS, the post-ARV generation still holds out hope for the future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 13, 2017

"Love's Enlightenment"

New from Cambridge University Press: Love's Enlightenment: Rethinking Charity in Modernity by Ryan Patrick Hanley.

About the book, from the publisher:
A number of prominent moral philosophers and political theorists have recently called for a recovery of love. But what do we mean when we speak of love today? Love's Enlightenment examines four key conceptions of other-directedness that transformed the meaning of love and helped to shape the way we understand love today: Hume's theory of humanity, Rousseau's theory of pity, Smith's theory of sympathy, and Kant's theory of love. It argues that these four Enlightenment theories are united by a shared effort to develop a moral psychology that can provide both justificatory and motivational grounds for concern for others in the absence of recourse to theological or transcendental categories. In this sense, each theory represents an effort to redefine the love of others that used to be known as caritas or agape - a redefinition that came with benefits and costs that have yet to be fully appreciated.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Wrongs and Crimes"

New from Oxford University Press: Wrongs and Crimes by Victor Tadros.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Criminalization series arose from an interdisciplinary investigation into criminalization, focussing on the principles that might guide decisions about what kinds of conduct should be criminalized, and the forms that criminalization should take. Developing a normative theory of criminalization, the series tackles the key questions at the heart of the issue: what principles and goals should guide legislators in deciding what to criminalize? How should criminal wrongs be classified and differentiated? How should law enforcement officials apply the law's specifications of offences?

The sixth volume in the series offers a philosophical investigation of the relationship between moral wrongdoing and criminalization. Considering they justification of punishment, the nature of harm, the importance of autonomy, inchoate wrongdoing, the role of consent, and the role of the state, the book provides an account of the nature of moral wrong doing, the sources of wrong doing, why wrong doing is the central target of the criminal law, and the ways in which criminalization of non-wrongful conduct might be permissible.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 11, 2017

"The Second Line of Defense"

New from the University of North Carolina Pres: The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I by Lynn Dumenil.

About the book, from the publisher:
In tracing the rise of the modern idea of the American “new woman,” Lynn Dumenil examines World War I’s surprising impact on women and, in turn, women’s impact on the war. Telling the stories of a diverse group of women, including African Americans, dissidents, pacifists, reformers, and industrial workers, Dumenil analyzes both the roadblocks and opportunities they faced. She richly explores the ways in which women helped the United States mobilize for the largest military endeavor in the nation’s history. Dumenil shows how women activists staked their claim to loyal citizenship by framing their war work as homefront volunteers, overseas nurses, factory laborers, and support personnel as “the second line of defense.” But in assessing the impact of these contributions on traditional gender roles, Dumenil finds that portrayals of these new modern women did not always match with real and enduring change. Extensively researched and drawing upon popular culture sources as well as archival material, The Second Line of Defense offers a comprehensive study of American women and war and frames them in the broader context of the social, cultural, and political history of the era.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 10, 2017

"Politicizing Islam"

New from Oxford University Press: Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India by Z. Fareen Parvez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Home to the largest Muslim minorities in Western Europe and Asia, France and India are both grappling with crises of secularism. In Politicizing Islam, Fareen Parvez offers an in-depth look at how Muslims have responded to these crises, focusing on Islamic revival movements in the French city of Lyon and the Indian city of Hyderabad. Presenting a novel comparative view of middle-class and poor Muslims in both cities, Parvez illuminates how Muslims from every social class are denigrated but struggle in different ways to improve their lives and make claims on the state. In Hyderabad's slums, Muslims have created vibrant political communities, while in Lyon's banlieues they have retreated into the private sphere. Politicizing Islam elegantly explains how these divergent reactions originated in India's flexible secularism and France's militant secularism and in specific patterns of Muslim class relations in both cities. This fine-grained ethnography pushes beyond stereotypes and has consequences for burning public debates over Islam, feminism, and secular democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth'

New from Yale University Press: The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth: Restoring Our Democratic Ideals by Burton L. Mack.

About the book, from the publisher:
A preeminent scholar explores the evolution of the Christian worldview and argues that it no longer offers a satisfactory vision for our democratic, multicultural society

This book is the culmination of a lifelong scholarly inquiry into Christian history, religion as a social institution, and the role of myth in the history of religions. Mack shows that religions are essentially mythological and that Christianity in particular has been an ever-changing mythological engine of social formation, from Roman times to its distinct American expression in our time.

The author traces the cultural influence of the Christian myth that has persisted for sixteen hundred years but now should be much less consequential in our social and cultural life, since it runs counter to our democratic ideals. We stand at a critical impasse: badly splintered by conflicting groups pursuing their own social interests, a binding common myth needs to be established by renewing a truly cohesive national and international story rooted in our democratic and egalitarian origins, committed to freedom, equality, and vital human values.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Plague of War"

New from Oxford University Press: The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece by Jennifer T. Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 431 BC, the long simmering rivalry between the city-states of Athens and Sparta erupted into open warfare, and for more than a generation the two were locked in a life-and-death struggle. The war embroiled the entire Greek world, provoking years of butchery previously unparalleled in ancient Greece. Whole cities were exterminated, their men killed, their women and children enslaved. While the war is commonly believed to have ended with the capture of the Athenian navy in 405 and the subsequent starvation of Athens, fighting in Greece would continue for several decades. Sparta's authority was challenged in the so-called Corinthian War (395-387) when Persian gold helped unite Athens with Sparta's former allies. The war did not truly end until, in 371, Thebes' crack infantry resoundingly defeated Sparta at Leuctra, forever shattering the myth of Spartan military supremacy.

Jennifer Roberts' rich narrative of this famous conflict is the first general history to tell the whole story, from the war's origins down to Sparta's defeat at Leuctra. In her masterful account, this long and bloody war affected every area of life in Athens, exacerbated divisions between rich and poor in Sparta, and sparked civil strife throughout the Greek world. Yet despite the biting sorrows the fighting occasioned, it remains a gripping saga of plots and counter-plots, murders and lies, thrilling sea chases and desperate overland marches, missed opportunities and last-minute reprieves, and, as the war's first historian Thucydides had hoped, lessons for a less bellicose future. In addition, Roberts considers the impact of the war on Greece's cultural life, including the great masterworks of tragedy and comedy performed at this time and, most infamously, the trial and execution of Socrates. A fast-paced narrative of one of antiquity's most famous clashes, The Plague of War is a must-read for history enthusiasts of all ages.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"The Health of Newcomers"

New from NYU Press: The Health of Newcomers: Immigration, Health Policy, and the Case for Global Solidarity by Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet.

About the book, from the publisher:
Immigration and health care are hotly debated and contentious issues. Policies that relate to both issues—to the health of newcomers—often reflect misimpressions about immigrants, and their impact on health care systems. Despite the fact that immigrants are typically younger and healthier than natives, and that many immigrants play a vital role as care-givers in their new lands, native citizens are often reluctant to extend basic health care to immigrants, choosing instead to let them suffer, to let them die prematurely, or to expedite their return to their home lands. Likewise, many nations turn against immigrants when epidemics such as Ebola strike, under the false belief that native populations can be kept well only if immigrants are kept out.

In The Health of Newcomers, Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet demonstrate how shortsighted and dangerous it is to craft health policy on the basis of ethnocentrism and xenophobia. Because health is a global public good and people benefit from the health of neighbor and stranger alike, it is in everyone’s interest to ensure the health of all. Drawing on rigorous legal and ethical arguments and empirical studies, as well as deeply personal stories of immigrant struggles, Illingworth and Parmet make the compelling case that global phenomena such as poverty, the medical brain drain, organ tourism, and climate change ought to inform the health policy we craft for newcomers and natives alike.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Stealing Home"

New from Oxford University Press: Stealing Home: Looting, Restitution, and Reconstructing Jewish Lives in France, 1942-1947 by Shannon L. Fogg.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between 1942 and 1944 the Germans sealed and completely emptied at least 38,000 Parisian apartments. The majority of the furnishings and other household items came from 'abandoned' Jewish apartments and were shipped to Germany. After the war, Holocaust survivors returned to Paris to discover their homes completely stripped of all personal possessions or occupied by new inhabitants. In 1945, the French provisional government established a Restitution Service to facilitate the return of goods to wartime looting victims. Though time-consuming, difficult, and often futile, thousands of people took part in these early restitution efforts. Stealing Home demonstrates that attempts to reclaim one's furnishings and personal possessions were key in efforts to rebuild Jewish political and social inclusion in the war's wake. Far from remaining silent, Jewish survivors sought recognition of their losses, played an active role in politics, and turned to both the government and each other for aid. Drawing on memoirs, oral histories, restitution claims, social workers' reports, newspapers, and government documents, Stealing Home provides a social history of the period that focuses on Jewish survivors' everyday lives during the lengthy process of restoring citizenship and property rights. It examines social rebirth through the prism of restitution and argues that the home was critical in shaping the postwar relationship between Jews and the state, and in the successes and failures associated with rebuilding Jewish lives in France after the Holocaust.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 6, 2017

"Neocitizenship"

New from NYU Press: Neocitizenship: Political Culture after Democracy by Eva Cherniavsky.

About the book, from the publisher:
Neocitizenship explores how the constellation of political and economic forces of neoliberalism have assailed and arguably dismantled the institutions of modern democratic governance in the U.S. As overtly oligarchical structures of governance replace the operations of representative democracy, the book addresses the implications of this crisis for the practices and imaginaries of citizenship through the lens of popular culture. Rather than impugn the abject citizen-subject who embraces her degraded condition, Eva Cherniavsky asks what new or hybrid forms of civic agency emerge as popular sovereignty recedes.

Drawing on a range of political theories, Neocitizenship also suggests that theory is at a disadvantage in thinking the historical present, since its analytical categories are wrought in the very historical contexts whose dissolution we now seek to comprehend. Cherniavsky thus supplements theory with a focus on popular culture that explores the de-democratization for citizenship in more generative and undecided ways. Tracing the contours of neocitizenship in fiction through examples such as The White Boy Shuffle and Distraction, television shows like Battlestar Galactica, and in the design of American studies abroad, Neocitizenship aims to take the measure of a transformation in process, while evading the twin lures of optimism and regret.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Singapore: Unlikely Power"

New from Oxford University Press: Singapore: Unlikely Power by John Curtis Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:
Singapore has gained a reputation for being one of the wealthiest and best-educated countries in the world and one of the brightest success stories for a colony-turned-sovereign state, but the country's path to success was anything but assured. Its strategic location and natural resources both allowed Singapore to profit from global commerce and also made the island an attractive conquest for the world's naval powers, resulting in centuries of stunting colonialization.

In Singapore: Unlikely Power, John Curtis Perry provides an evenhanded and authoritative history of the island nation that ranges from its Malay origins to the present day. Singapore development has been aided by its greatest natural blessing-a natural deepwater port, shielded by mountain ranges from oceanic storms and which sits along one of the most strategic straits in the world, cementing the island's place as a major shipping entrepot throughout modern history. Perry traces the succession of colonizers, beginning with China in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and followed by the island's most famous colonizer, Britain, which ruled Singapore until the 1960s excluding the Japanese occupation of World War II. After setting a historical context, Perry turns to the era of independence beginning in the 1960s. Plagued with corruption, inequality, lack of an educated population, Singapore improbably vaulted from essentially third-world status into a first world dynamo over the course of three decades-with much credit due longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister who led the country for over three decades, who embraced the colonial past, established close ties with former foe Japan, and adopted a resolutely pragmatist approach to economic development. His efforts were successful, and Singapore today is a model regime for other developing states.

Singapore's stunning transformation from a poor and corrupt colonial backwater into an economic powerhouse renowned for its wealth, order, and rectitude is one of the great-and most surprising-success stories of modern era. Singapore is an accessible, comprehensive, and indeed colorful overview of one of the most influential political-economic models in the world and is an enlightening read for anyone interested in how Singapore achieved the unachievable.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 5, 2017

"The Dignity of Commerce"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Dignity of Commerce: Markets and the Moral Foundations of Contract Law by Nathan B. Oman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why should the law care about enforcing contracts? We tend to think of a contract as the legal embodiment of a moral obligation to keep a promise. When two parties enter into a transaction, they are obligated as moral beings to play out the transaction in the way that both parties expect. But this overlooks a broader understanding of the moral possibilities of the market. Just as Shakespeare’s Shylock can stand on his contract with Antonio not because Antonio is bound by honor but because the enforcement of contracts is seen as important to maintaining a kind of social arrangement, today’s contracts serve a fundamental role in the functioning of society.

With The Dignity of Commerce, Nathan B. Oman argues persuasively that well-functioning markets are morally desirable in and of themselves and thus a fit object of protection through contract law. Markets, Oman shows, are about more than simple economic efficiency. To do business with others, we must demonstrate understanding of and satisfy their needs. This ability to see the world from another’s point of view inculcates key virtues that support a liberal society. Markets also provide a context in which people can peacefully cooperate in the absence of political, religious, or ideological agreement. Finally, the material prosperity generated by commerce has an ameliorative effect on a host of social ills, from racial discrimination to environmental destruction.

The first book to place the moral status of the market at the center of the justification for contract law, The Dignity of Commerce is sure to elicit serious discussion about this central area of legal studies.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"The House of Truth"

New from Oxford University Press: The House of Truth: A Washington Political Salon and the Foundations of American Liberalism by Brad Snyder.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1912, a group of ambitious young men, including future Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter and future journalistic giant Walter Lippmann, became disillusioned by the sluggish progress of change in the Taft Administration. The individuals started to band together informally, joined initially by their enthusiasm for Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose campaign. They self-mockingly called the 19th Street row house in which they congregated the "House of Truth," playing off the lively dinner discussions with frequent guest (and neighbor) Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. about life's verities. Lippmann and Frankfurter were house-mates, and their frequent guests included not merely Holmes but Louis Brandeis, Herbert Hoover, Herbert Croly - founder of the New Republic - and the sculptor (and sometime Klansman) Gutzon Borglum, later the creator of the Mount Rushmore monument.

Weaving together the stories and trajectories of these varied, fascinating, combative, and sometimes contradictory figures, Brad Snyder shows how their thinking about government and policy shifted from a firm belief in progressivism - the belief that the government should protect its workers and regulate monopolies - into what we call liberalism - the belief that government can improve citizens' lives without abridging their civil liberties and, eventually, civil rights. Holmes replaced Roosevelt in their affections and aspirations. His famous dissents from 1919 onward showed how the Due Process clause could protect not just business but equality under the law, revealing how a generally conservative and reactionary Supreme Court might embrace, even initiate, political and social reform.

Across the years, from 1912 until the start of the New Deal in 1933, the remarkable group of individuals associated with the House of Truth debated the future of America. They fought over Sacco and Vanzetti's innocence; the dangers of Communism; the role the United States should play the world after World War One; and thought dynamically about things like about minimum wage, child-welfare laws, banking insurance, and Social Security, notions they not only envisioned but worked to enact. American liberalism has no single source, but one was without question a row house in Dupont Circle and the lives that intertwined there at a crucial moment in the country's history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 3, 2017

"Patent Politics"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe by Shobita Parthasarathy.

About the book, from the publisher:
Over the past thirty years, the world’s patent systems have experienced pressure from civil society like never before. From farmers to patient advocates, new voices are arguing that patents impact public health, economic inequality, morality—and democracy. These challenges, to domains that we usually consider technical and legal, may seem surprising. But in Patent Politics, Shobita Parthasarathy argues that patent systems have always been deeply political and social.

To demonstrate this, Parthasarathy takes readers through a particularly fierce and prolonged set of controversies over patents on life forms linked to important advances in biology and agriculture and potentially life-saving medicines. Comparing battles over patents on animals, human embryonic stem cells, human genes, and plants in the United States and Europe, she shows how political culture, ideology, and history shape patent system politics. Clashes over whose voices and which values matter in the patent system, as well as what counts as knowledge and whose expertise is important, look quite different in these two places. And through these debates, the United States and Europe are developing very different approaches to patent and innovation governance. Not just the first comprehensive look at the controversies swirling around biotechnology patents, Patent Politics is also the first in-depth analysis of the political underpinnings and implications of modern patent systems, and provides a timely analysis of how we can reform these systems around the world to maximize the public interest.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 2, 2017

"The Transatlantic Kindergarten"

New from Oxford University Press: The Transatlantic Kindergarten: Education and Women's Movements in Germany and the United States by Ann Taylor Allen.

About the book, from the publisher:
The kindergarten--as institution, as educational philosophy, and as social reform movement--is one of Germany's most important contributions to the world. Swiss pedagogue Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and his German student Friedrich Fröbel, who founded the kindergarten movement around 1840, envisioned kindergartens as places of education and creative engagement for children across all classes, not merely as daycare centers for poor families. At first, however, Germany proved an inhospitable environment for this new institution. After the failure of the 1848 revolutions, several German governments banned the kindergarten as a hotbed of subversion because of its links to women's rights movements. German revolutionaries who were forced into exile introduced the kindergarten to the United States, where it soon found roots among native-born as well as immigrant educators.

In an era when convention limited middle-class women to the domestic sphere, the kindergarten provided them with a rare opportunity not only for professional work, but also for involvement in social reform in the fields of education and child welfare. Through three generations, American and German women established many kinds of contacts.

In this elegant book, Ann Taylor Allen presents the first transnational history of the kindergarten as it developed in Germany and the United States between 1840 and World War I. Based on a large body of previously untapped sources in both countries, The Transatlantic Kindergarten shows how a common body of ideas and practices adapted over time to two very different political and social environments. Since the end of the First World War, early childhood education in the United States and Germany has followed the patterns laid down in the nineteenth century. However, as Allen's nuanced analysis suggests, the provision of public preschool education is still an unfinished and much discussed project on both sides of the Atlantic.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"When Crime Pays"

New from Yale University Press: When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics by Milan Vaishnav.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first thorough study of the co-existence of crime and democratic processes in Indian politics

In India, the world’s largest democracy, the symbiotic relationship between crime and politics raises complex questions. For instance, how can free and fair democratic processes exist alongside rampant criminality? Why do political parties recruit candidates with reputations for wrongdoing? Why are one-third of state and national legislators elected—and often re-elected—in spite of criminal charges pending against them? In this eye-opening study, political scientist Milan Vaishnav mines a rich array of sources, including fieldwork on political campaigns and interviews with candidates, party workers, and voters, large surveys, and an original database on politicians’ backgrounds to offer the first comprehensive study of an issue that has implications for the study of democracy both within and beyond India’s borders.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921"

New from Oxford University Press: The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921 by Mark D. Steinberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Russian Revolution, 1905-1921 is a new history of Russia's revolutionary era as a story of experience-of people making sense of history as it unfolded in their own lives and as they took part in making history themselves. The major events, trends, and explanations, reaching from Bloody Sunday in 1905 to the final shots of the civil war in 1921, are viewed through the doubled perspective of the professional historian looking backward and the contemporary journalist reporting and interpreting history as it happened. The volume then turns toward particular places and people: city streets, peasant villages, the margins of empire (Central Asia, Ukraine, the Jewish Pale), women and men, workers and intellectuals, artists and activists, utopian visionaries, and discontents of all kinds. We spend time with the famous (Vladimir Lenin, Lev Trotsky, Alexandra Kollontai, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Isaac Babel) and with those whose names we don't even know. Key themes include difference and inequality (social, economic, gendered, ethnic), power and resistance, violence, and ideas about justice and freedom. Written especially for students and general readers, this history relies extensively on contemporary texts and voices in order to bring the past and its meanings to life. This is a history about dramatic and uncertain times and especially about the interpretations, values, emotions, desires, and disappointments that made history matter to those who lived it.
The Page 99 Test: Petersburg Fin de Siècle.

--Marshal Zeringue