Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"After Aquarius Dawned"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: After Aquarius Dawned: How the Revolutions of the Sixties Became the Popular Culture of the Seventies by Judy Kutulas.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this book, Judy Kutulas complicates the common view that the 1970s were a time of counterrevolution against the radical activities and attitudes of the previous decade. Instead, Kutulas argues that the experiences and attitudes that were radical in the 1960s were becoming part of mainstream culture in the 1970s, as sexual freedom, gender equality, and more complex notions of identity, work, and family were normalized through popular culture--television, movies, music, political causes, and the emergence of new communities. Seemingly mundane things like watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show, listening to Carole King songs, donning Birkenstock sandals, or reading Roots were actually critical in shaping Americans’ perceptions of themselves, their families, and their relation to authority.

Even as these cultural shifts eventually gave way to a backlash of political and economic conservatism, Kutulas shows that what critics perceive as the narcissism of the 1970s was actually the next logical step in a longer process of assimilating 1960s values like individuality and diversity into everyday life. Exploring such issues as feminism, sexuality, and race, Kutulas demonstrates how popular culture helped many Americans make sense of key transformations in U.S. economics, society, politics, and culture in the late twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Exceptional America"

New from the University of California Press: Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other by Mugambi Jouet.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why did Donald Trump follow Barack Obama into the White House? Why is America so polarized? And how does American exceptionalism explain these social changes?

In this provocative book, Mugambi Jouet describes why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues, including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, gender roles, abortion, gay rights, sex, gun control, mass incarceration, the death penalty, torture, human rights, and war. Raised in Paris by a French mother and Kenyan father, Jouet then lived in the Bible Belt, Manhattan, and beyond. Drawing inspiration from Alexis de Tocqueville, he wields his multicultural sensibility to parse how the intense polarization of U.S. conservatives and liberals has become a key dimension of American exceptionalism—an idea widely misunderstood as American superiority. While exceptionalism once was a source of strength, it may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts. They also shed light on the intriguing ideological evolution of American conservatism, which long predated Trumpism. Anti-intellectualism, conspiracy-mongering, a visceral suspicion of government, and Christian fundamentalism are far more common in America than the rest of the Western world—Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Exceptional America dissects the American soul, in all of its peculiar, clashing, and striking manifestations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Britain"

New from Cambridge University Press: Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Britain by Chris Moores.

About the book, from the publisher:
The National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) was formed in the 1930s against a backdrop of fascism and 'popular front' movements. In this volatile political atmosphere, the aim of the NCCL was to ensure that civil liberties were a central component of political discourse. Chris Moores's new study shows how the NCCL - now Liberty - had to balance the interests of extremist allies with the desire to become a respectable force campaigning for human rights and civil liberties. From new social movements of the 1960s and 1970s to the formation of the Human Rights Act in 1998, this study traces the NCCL's development over the last eighty years. It enables us to observe shifts and continuities in forms of political mobilisation throughout the twentieth century, changes in discourse about extensions and retreats of freedoms, as well as the theoretical conceptualisation and practical protection of rights and liberties.
Chris Moores is Director of Modern British Studies at the University of Birmingham.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Aftershocks"

New from Princeton University Press: Aftershocks: Great Powers and Domestic Reforms in the Twentieth Century by Seva Gunitsky.

About the book, from the publisher:
Over the past century, democracy spread around the world in turbulent bursts of change, sweeping across national borders in dramatic cascades of revolution and reform. Aftershocks is the first book to offer a detailed explanation for this wavelike spread and retreat—not only of democracy but also of its twentieth-century rivals, fascism and communism.

Seva Gunitsky argues that waves of regime change are driven by the aftermath of cataclysmic disruptions to the international system. These hegemonic shocks, marked by the sudden rise and fall of great powers, have been essential and often-neglected drivers of domestic transformations. Though rare and fleeting, they not only repeatedly alter the global hierarchy of powerful states but also create unique and powerful opportunities for sweeping national reforms—by triggering military impositions, swiftly changing the incentives of domestic actors, or transforming the basis of political legitimacy itself. As a result, the evolution of modern regimes cannot be fully understood without examining the consequences of clashes between great powers, which repeatedly—and often unsuccessfully—sought to cajole, inspire, and intimidate other states into joining their camps.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 24, 2017

"Political Islam in Tunisia"

New from Oxford University Press: Political Islam in Tunisia: The History of Ennahda by Anne Wolf.

About the book, from the publisher:
Political Islam in Tunisia uncovers the secret history of Tunisia's main Islamist movement, Ennahda, from its origins in the 1960s to the present. Banned until the popular uprisings of 2010-11 and the overthrow of Ben Ali's dictatorship, Ennahda has until now been impossible to investigate. This is the first in-depth account of the movement, one of Tunisia's most influential political actors.

Based on more than four years of field research, over 400 interviews, and access to private archives, Anne Wolf masterfully unveils the evolution of Ennahda's ideological and strategic orientations within changing political contexts and, at times, conflicting ambitions amongst its leading cadres. She also explores the challenges to Ennahda's quest for power from both secularists and Salafis. As the first full history of Ennahda, this book is a major contribution to the literature on Tunisia, Islamist movements, and political Islam in the Arab world. It will be indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand the forces driving a key player in the country most hopeful of pursuing a democratic trajectory in the wake of the Arab Spring.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Disruptive Fixation"

New from Princeton University Press: Disruptive Fixation: School Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism by Christo Sims.

About the book, from the publisher:
In New York City in 2009, a new kind of public school opened its doors to its inaugural class of middle schoolers. Conceived by a team of game designers and progressive educational reformers and backed by prominent philanthropic foundations, it promised to reinvent the classroom for the digital age. Ethnographer Christo Sims documented the life of the school from its planning stages to the graduation of its first eighth-grade class. Disruptive Fixation is his account of how this "school for digital kids," heralded as a model of tech-driven educational reform, reverted to a more conventional type of schooling with rote learning, an emphasis on discipline, and traditional hierarchies of authority. Troubling gender and racialized class divisions also emerged.

Sims shows how the philanthropic possibilities of new media technologies are repeatedly idealized even though actual interventions routinely fall short of the desired outcomes—often dramatically so. He traces the complex processes by which idealistic tech-reform perennially takes root, unsettles the worlds into which it intervenes, and eventually stabilizes in ways that remake and extend many of the social predicaments reformers hope to fix. Sims offers a nuanced look at the roles that powerful elites, experts, the media, and the intended beneficiaries of reform—in this case, the students and their parents—play in perpetuating the cycle.

Disruptive Fixation offers a timely examination of techno-philanthropism and the yearnings and dilemmas it seeks to address, revealing what failed interventions do manage to accomplish—and for whom.
--Marshal Zeringue

"World War I and the American Constitution"

New from Cambridge University Press: World War I and the American Constitution by William G. Ross.

About the book, from the publisher:
The First World War profoundly affected the American political system by transforming constitutional law and providing the predicate for the modern administrative state. In this groundbreaking study, William G. Ross examines the social, political, economic and legal forces that generated this rapid change. Ross explains how the war increased federal and state economic regulatory powers, transferred power from Congress to the President, and altered federalism by enhancing the powers of the federal government. He demonstrates how social changes generated by the war provided a catalyst for the expansion of personal liberties, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and industrial workers. Through a study of constitutional law, gender, race, economics, labor, the prohibition movement, international relations, civil liberties, and society, this book provides a major contribution to our understanding of the development of the American Constitution.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"The Emergence of Globalism"

New from Princeton University Press: The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and the United States, 1939-1950 by Or Rosenboim.

About the book, from the publisher:
During and after the Second World War, public intellectuals in Britain and the United States grappled with concerns about the future of democracy, the prospects of liberty, and the decline of the imperial system. Without using the term "globalization," they identified a shift toward technological, economic, cultural, and political interconnectedness and developed a "globalist" ideology to reflect this new postwar reality. The Emergence of Globalism examines the competing visions of world order that shaped these debates and led to the development of globalism as a modern political concept.

Shedding critical light on this neglected chapter in the history of political thought, Or Rosenboim describes how a transnational network of globalist thinkers emerged from the traumas of war and expatriation in the 1940s and how their ideas drew widely from political philosophy, geopolitics, economics, imperial thought, constitutional law, theology, and philosophy of science. She presents compelling portraits of Raymond Aron, Owen Lattimore, Lionel Robbins, Barbara Wootton, Friedrich Hayek, Lionel Curtis, Richard McKeon, Michael Polanyi, Lewis Mumford, Jacques Maritain, Reinhold Niebuhr, H. G. Wells, and others. Rosenboim shows how the globalist debate they embarked on sought to balance the tensions between a growing recognition of pluralism on the one hand and an appreciation of the unity of humankind on the other.

An engaging look at the ideas that have shaped today's world, The Emergence of Globalism is a major work of intellectual history that is certain to fundamentally transform our understanding of the globalist ideal and its origins.
Visit Or Rosenboim's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Peace of the Gods"

New from Princeton University Press: The Peace of the Gods: Elite Religious Practices in the Middle Roman Republic by Craige B. Champion.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Peace of the Gods takes a new approach to the study of Roman elites' religious practices and beliefs, using current theories in psychology, sociology, and anthropology, as well as cultural and literary studies. Craige Champion focuses on what the elites of the Middle Republic (ca. 250–ca. 100 BCE) actually did in the religious sphere, rather than what they merely said or wrote about it, in order to provide a more nuanced and satisfying historical reconstruction of what their religion may have meant to those who commanded the Roman world and its imperial subjects.

The book examines the nature and structure of the major priesthoods in Rome itself, Roman military commanders' religious behaviors in dangerous field conditions, and the state religion's acceptance or rejection of new cults and rituals in response to external events that benefited or threatened the Republic. According to a once-dominant but now-outmoded interpretation of Roman religion that goes back to the ancient Greek historian Polybius, the elites didn't believe in their gods but merely used religion to control the masses. Using that interpretation as a counterfactual lens, Champion argues instead that Roman elites sincerely tried to maintain Rome's good fortune through a pax deorum or "peace of the gods." The result offers rich new insights into the role of religion in elite Roman life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Reinventing the Propeller"

New from Cambridge University Press: Reinventing the Propeller: Aeronautical Specialty and the Triumph of the Modern Airplane by Jeremy R. Kinney.

About the book, from the publisher:
An international community of specialists reinvented the propeller during the Aeronautical Revolution, a vibrant period of innovation in North America and Europe from World War I to the end of World War II. They experienced both success and failure as they created competing designs that enabled increasingly sophisticated and 'modern' commercial and military aircraft to climb quicker and cruise faster using less power. Reinventing the Propeller nimbly moves from the minds of these inventors to their drawing boards, workshops, research and development facilities, and factories, and then shows us how their work performed in the air, both commercially and militarily. Reinventing the Propeller documents this story of a forgotten technology to reveal new perspectives on engineering, research and development, design, and the multi-layered social, cultural, financial, commercial, industrial, and military infrastructure of aviation.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Other People's Money"

New from Johns Hopkins University Press: Other People's Money: How Banking Worked in the Early American Republic by Sharon Ann Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:
Pieces of paper that claimed to be good for two dollars upon redemption at a distant bank. Foreign coins that fluctuated in value from town to town. Stock certificates issued by turnpike or canal companies—worth something... or perhaps nothing. IOUs from farmers or tradesmen, passed around by people who could not know the person who first issued them. Money and banking in antebellum America offered a glaring example of free-market capitalism run amok—unregulated, exuberant, and heading pell-mell toward the next "panic" of burst bubbles and hard times.

In Other People’s Money, Sharon Ann Murphy explains how banking and money worked before the federal government, spurred by the chaos of the Civil War, created the national system of US paper currency. Murphy traces the evolution of banking in America from the founding of the nation, when politicians debated the constitutionality of chartering a national bank, to Andrew Jackson’s role in the Bank War of the early 1830s, to the problems of financing a large-scale war. She reveals how, ultimately, the monetary and banking structures that emerged from the Civil War also provided the basis for our modern financial system, from its formation under the Federal Reserve in 1913 to the present.

Touching on the significant role that numerous historical figures played in shaping American banking—including Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Louis Brandeis— Other People’s Money is an engaging guide to the heated political fights that surrounded banking in early America as well as to the economic causes and consequences of the financial system that emerged from the turmoil. By helping readers understand the financial history of this period and the way banking shaped the society in which ordinary Americans lived and worked, this book broadens and deepens our knowledge of the Early American Republic.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 20, 2017

"The Politics of Scale"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Politics of Scale: A History of Rangeland Science by Nathan F. Sayre.

About the book, from the publisher:
Rangelands are vast, making up one quarter of the United States and forty percent of the Earth’s ice-free land. And while contemporary science has revealed a great deal about the environmental impacts associated with intensive livestock production—from greenhouse gas emissions to land and water degradation—far less is known about the historic role science has played in rangeland management and politics. Steeped in US soil, this first history of rangeland science looks to the origins of rangeland ecology in the late nineteenth-century American West, exploring the larger political and economic forces that—together with scientific study—produced legacies focused on immediate economic success rather than long-term ecological well being.

During the late 1880s and early 1890s, a variety of forces—from the Homestead Act of 1862 to the extermination of bison, foreign investment, and lack of government regulation—promoted free-for-all access to and development of the western range, with disastrous environmental consequences. To address the crisis, government agencies turned to scientists, but as Nathan F. Sayre shows, range science grew in a politically fraught landscape. Neither the scientists nor the public agencies could escape the influences of bureaucrats and ranchers who demanded results, and the ideas that became scientific orthodoxy—from fire suppression and predator control to fencing and carrying capacities—contained flaws and blind spots that plague public debates about rangelands to this day. Looking at the global history of rangeland science through the Cold War and beyond, The Politics of Scale identifies the sources of past conflicts and mistakes and helps us to see a more promising path forward, one in which rangeland science is guided less by capital and the state and more by communities working in collaboration with scientists.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Happiness for All?"

New from Princeton University Press: Happiness for All?: Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream by Carol Graham.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Declaration of Independence states that all people are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that among these is the pursuit of happiness. But is happiness available equally to everyone in America today? How about elsewhere in the world? Carol Graham draws on cutting-edge research linking income inequality with well-being to show how the widening prosperity gap has led to rising inequality in people's beliefs, hopes, and aspirations.

For the United States and other developed countries, the high costs of being poor are most evident not in material deprivation but rather in stress, insecurity, and lack of hope. The result is an optimism gap between rich and poor that, if left unchecked, could lead to an increasingly divided society. Graham reveals how people who do not believe in their own futures are unlikely to invest in them, and how the consequences can range from job instability and poor education to greater mortality rates, failed marriages, and higher rates of incarceration. She describes how the optimism gap is reflected in the very words people use—the wealthy use words that reflect knowledge acquisition and healthy behaviors, while the words of the poor reflect desperation, short-term outlooks, and patchwork solutions. She also explains why the least optimistic people in America are poor whites, not poor blacks or Hispanics.

Happiness for All? highlights the importance of well-being measures in identifying and monitoring trends in life satisfaction and optimism—and misery and despair—and demonstrates how hope and happiness can lead to improved economic outcomes.
The Page 99 Test: Happiness Around the World.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Curse on This Country"

New from Cornell University Press: Curse on This Country: The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan by Danny Orbach.

About the book, from the publisher:
Imperial Japanese soldiers were notorious for blindly following orders, and their enemies in the Pacific War derided them as "cattle to the slaughter." But, in fact, the Japanese Army had a long history as one of the most disobedient armies in the world. Officers repeatedly staged coups d'états, violent insurrections, and political assassinations; their associates defied orders given by both the government and the general staff, launched independent military operations against other countries, and in two notorious cases conspired to assassinate foreign leaders despite direct orders to the contrary.

In Curse on This Country, Danny Orbach explains the culture of rebellion in the Japanese armed forces. It was a culture created by a series of seemingly innocent decisions, each reasonable in its own right, which led to a gradual weakening of Japanese government control over its army and navy. The consequences were dire, as the armed forces dragged the government into more and more of China across the 1930s—a culture of rebellion that made the Pacific War possible. Orbach argues that brazen defiance, rather than blind obedience, was the motive force of modern Japanese history.

Curse on This Country follows a series of dramatic events: assassinations in the dark corners of Tokyo, the famous rebellion of Saigō Takamori, the “accidental” invasion of Taiwan, the Japanese ambassador’s plot to murder the queen of Korea, and the military-political crisis in which the Japanese prime minister “changed colors.” Finally, through the sinister plots of the clandestine Cherry Blossom Society, we follow the deterioration of Japan into chaos, fascism, and world war.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Life on Ice"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Life on Ice: A History of New Uses for Cold Blood by Joanna Radin.

About the book, from the publisher:
After the atomic bombing at the end of World War II, anxieties about survival in the nuclear age led scientists to begin stockpiling and freezing hundreds of thousands of blood samples from indigenous communities around the world. These samples were believed to embody potentially invaluable biological information about genetic ancestry, evolution, microbes, and much more. Today, they persist in freezers as part of a global tissue-based infrastructure. In Life on Ice, Joanna Radin examines how and why these frozen blood samples shaped the practice known as biobanking.

The Cold War projects Radin tracks were meant to form an enduring total archive of indigenous blood before it was altered by the polluting forces of modernity. Freezing allowed that blood to act as a time-traveling resource. Radin explores the unique cultural and technical circumstances that created and gave momentum to the phenomenon of life on ice and shows how these preserved blood samples served as the building blocks for biomedicine at the dawn of the genomic age. In an era of vigorous ethical, legal, and cultural debates about genetic privacy and identity, Life on Ice reveals the larger picture—how we got here and the promises and problems involved with finding new uses for cold human blood samples.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 18, 2017

"Dismantling Solidarity"

New from Cornell University Press: Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal by Michael A. McCarthy.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why has old-age security become less solidaristic and increasingly tied to risky capitalist markets? Drawing on rich archival data that covers more than fifty years of American history, Michael A. McCarthy argues that the critical driver was policymakers' reactions to capitalist crises and their political imperative to promote capitalist growth.

Pension development has followed three paths of marketization in America since the New Deal, each distinct but converging: occupational pension plans were adopted as an alternative to real increases in Social Security benefits after World War II, private pension assets were then financialized and invested into the stock market, and, since the 1970s, traditional pension plans have come to be replaced with riskier 401(k) retirement plans. Comparing each episode of change, Dismantling Solidarity mounts a forceful challenge to common understandings of America’s private pension system and offers an alternative political economy of the welfare state.

McCarthy weaves together a theoretical framework that helps to explain pension marketization with structural mechanisms that push policymakers to intervene to promote capitalist growth and avoid capitalist crises and contingent historical factors that both drive them to intervene in the particular ways they do and shape how their interventions bear on welfare change. By emphasizing the capitalist context in which policymaking occurs, McCarthy turns our attention to the structural factors that drive policy change. Dismantling Solidarity is both theoretically and historically detailed and superbly argued, urging the reader to reconsider how capitalism itself constrains policymaking. It will be of interest to sociologists, political scientists, historians, and those curious about the relationship between capitalism and democracy.
Visit Michael A. McCarthy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Art of Philosophy"

New from Princeton University Press: The Art of Philosophy: Visual Thinking in Europe from the Late Renaissance to the Early Enlightenment by Susanna Berger.

About the book, from the publisher:
Delving into the intersections between artistic images and philosophical knowledge in Europe from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, The Art of Philosophy shows that the making and study of visual art functioned as important methods of philosophical thinking and instruction. From frontispieces of books to monumental prints created by philosophers in collaboration with renowned artists, Susanna Berger examines visual representations of philosophy and overturns prevailing assumptions about the limited function of the visual in European intellectual history.

Rather than merely illustrating already existing philosophical concepts, visual images generated new knowledge for both Aristotelian thinkers and anti-Aristotelians, such as Descartes and Hobbes. Printmaking and drawing played a decisive role in discoveries that led to a move away from the authority of Aristotle in the seventeenth century. Berger interprets visual art from printed books, student lecture notebooks, alba amicorum (friendship albums), broadsides, and paintings, and examines the work of such artists as Pietro Testa, Léonard Gaultier, Abraham Bosse, Dürer, and Rembrandt. In particular, she focuses on the rise and decline of the "plural image," a genre that was popular among early modern philosophers. Plural images brought multiple images together on the same page, often in order to visualize systems of logic, metaphysics, natural philosophy, or moral philosophy.

Featuring previously unpublished prints and drawings from the early modern period and lavish gatefolds, The Art of Philosophy reveals the essential connections between visual commentary and philosophical thought.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 17, 2017

"Women in Global Science"

New from Stanford University Press: Women in Global Science: Advancing Academic Careers through International Collaboration by Kathrin Zippel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Scientific and engineering research is increasingly global, and international collaboration can be essential to academic success. Yet even as administrators and policymakers extol the benefits of global science, few recognize the diversity of international research collaborations and their participants, or take gendered inequalities into account. Women in Global Science is the first book to consider systematically the challenges and opportunities that the globalization of scientific work brings to U.S. academics, especially for women faculty.

Kathrin Zippel looks to the STEM fields as a case study, where gendered cultures and structures in academia have contributed to an underrepresentation of women. While some have approached underrepresentation as a national concern with a national solution, Zippel highlights how gender relations are reconfigured in global academia. For U.S. women in particular, international collaboration offers opportunities to step outside of exclusionary networks at home. International collaboration is not the panacea to gendered inequalities in academia, but, as Zippel argues, international considerations can be key to ending the steady attrition of women in STEM fields and developing a more inclusive academic world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Make It Rain"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Make It Rain: State Control of the Atmosphere in Twentieth-Century America by Kristine C. Harper.

About the book, from the publisher:
Weather control. Juxtaposing those two words is enough to raise eyebrows in a world where even the best weather models still fail to nail every forecast, and when the effects of climate change on sea level height, seasonal averages of weather phenomena, and biological behavior are being watched with interest by all, regardless of political or scientific persuasion. But between the late nineteenth century—when the United States first funded an attempt to “shock” rain out of clouds—and the late 1940s, rainmaking (as it had been known) became weather control. And then things got out of control.

In Make It Rain, Kristine C. Harper tells the long and somewhat ludicrous history of state-funded attempts to manage, manipulate, and deploy the weather in America. Harper shows that governments from the federal to the local became helplessly captivated by the idea that weather control could promote agriculture, health, industrial output, and economic growth at home, or even be used as a military weapon and diplomatic tool abroad. Clear fog for landing aircraft? There’s a project for that. Gentle rain for strawberries? Let’s do it! Enhanced snowpacks for hydroelectric utilities? Check. The heyday of these weather control programs came during the Cold War, as the atmosphere came to be seen as something to be defended, weaponized, and manipulated. Yet Harper demonstrates that today there are clear implications for our attempts to solve the problems of climate change.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"The Icon Project"

New from Oxford University Press: The Icon Project: Architecture, Cities, and Capitalist Globalization by Leslie Sklair.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the last quarter century, a new form of iconic architecture has appeared throughout the world's major cities. Typically designed by globe-trotting "starchitects" or by a few large transnational architectural firms, these projects are almost always funded by the private sector in the service of private interests. Whereas in the past monumental architecture often had a strong public component, the urban ziggurats of today are emblems and conduits of capitalist globalization.

In The Icon Project, Leslie Sklair focuses on ways in which capitalist globalization is produced and represented all over the world, especially in globalizing cities. Sklair traces how the iconic buildings of our era-elaborate shopping malls, spectacular museums, and vast urban megaprojects--constitute the triumphal "Icon Project" of contemporary global capitalism, promoting increasing inequality and hyperconsumerism. Two of the most significant strains of iconic architecture--unique icons recognized as works of art, designed by the likes of Gehry, Foster, Koolhaas, and Hadid, as well as successful, derivative icons that copy elements of the starchitects' work--speak to the centrality of hyperconsumerism within contemporary capitalism. Along with explaining how the architecture industry organizes the social production and marketing of iconic structures, he also shows how corporations increasingly dominate the built environment and promote the trend towards globalizing, consumerist cities. The Icon Project, Sklair argues, is a weapon in the struggle to solidify capitalist hegemony as well as reinforce transnational capitalist control of where we live, what we consume, and how we think.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Fraught Embrace"

New from Princeton University Press: A Fraught Embrace: The Romance and Reality of AIDS Altruism in Africa by Ann Swidler & Susan Cotts Watkins.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the wake of the AIDS pandemic, legions of organizations and compassionate individuals descended on Africa from faraway places to offer their help and save lives. A Fraught Embrace shows how the dreams of these altruists became entangled with complex institutional and human relationships. Ann Swidler and Susan Cotts Watkins vividly describe the often mismatched expectations and fantasies of those who seek to help, of the villagers who desperately seek help, and of the brokers on whom both Western altruists and impoverished villagers must rely.

Based on years of fieldwork in the heavily AIDS-affected country of Malawi, this powerful book digs into the sprawling AIDS enterprise and unravels the paradoxes of AIDS policy and practice. All who want to do good—from idealistic volunteers to world-weary development professionals—depend on brokers as guides, fixers, and cultural translators. These irreplaceable but frequently unseen local middlemen are the human connection between altruists' dreams and the realities of global philanthropy.

The mutual misunderstandings among donors, brokers, and villagers—each with their own desires and moral imaginations—create all the drama of a romance: longing, exhilaration, disappointment, heartache, and sometimes an enduring connection. Personal stories, public scandals, and intersecting, sometimes clashing fantasies bring the lofty intentions of AIDS altruism firmly down to earth.

Swidler and Watkins ultimately argue that altruists could accomplish more good, not by seeking to transform African lives but by helping Africans achieve their own goals. A Fraught Embrace unveils the tangled relations of those involved in the collective struggle to contain an epidemic.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"The Balance Gap"

New from Stanford University Press: The Balance Gap: Working Mothers and the Limits of the Law by Sarah Cote Hampson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In recent decades, laws and workplace policies have emerged that seek to address the "balance" between work and family. Millions of women in the U.S. take some time off when they give birth or adopt a child, making use of "family-friendly" laws and policies in order to spend time recuperating and to initiate a bond with their children.

The Balance Gap traces the paths individual women take in understanding and invoking work/life balance laws and policies. Conducting in-depth interviews with women in two distinctive workplace settings—public universities and the U.S. military—Sarah Cote Hampson uncovers how women navigate the laws and the unspoken cultures of their institutions. Activists and policymakers hope that family-friendly law and policy changes will not only increase women's participation in the workplace, but also help women experience greater workplace equality. As Hampson shows, however, these policies and women's abilities to understand and utilize them have fallen short of fully alleviating the tensions that women across the nation are still grappling with as they try to reconcile their work and family responsibilities.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Supersizing Urban America"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help by Chin Jou.

About the book, from the publisher:
More than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are over 112,000 obesity-related deaths annually, and for many years, the government has waged a very public war on the problem. Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona warned in 2006 that “obesity is the terror within,” going so far as to call it a threat that will “dwarf 9/11.”

What doesn’t get mentioned in all this? The fact that the federal government helped create the obesity crisis in the first place—especially where it is strikingly acute, among urban African-American communities. Supersizing Urban America reveals the little-known story of how the U.S. government got into the business of encouraging fast food in inner cities, with unforeseen consequences we are only beginning to understand. Chin Jou begins her story in the late­ 1960s, when predominantly African-American neighborhoods went from having no fast food chain restaurants to being littered with them. She uncovers the federal policies that have helped to subsidize that expansion, including loan guarantees to fast food franchisees, programs intended to promote minority entrepreneurship, and urban revitalization initiatives. During this time, fast food companies also began to relentlessly market to urban African-American consumers. An unintended consequence of these developments was that low-income minority communities were disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic.

​In the first book about the U.S. government’s problematic role in promoting fast food in inner-city America, Jou tells a riveting story of the food industry, obesity, and race relations in America that is essential to understanding health and obesity in contemporary urban America.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"The Death of Expertise"

New from Oxford University Press: The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters by Tom Nichols.

About the book, from the publisher:
People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism.

As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, this rejection of experts has occurred for many reasons, including the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement.

Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.
Visit Tom Nichols's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Incorporeal"

New from Columbia University Press: The Incorporeal: Ontology, Ethics, and the Limits of Materialism by Elizabeth Grosz.

About the book, from the publisher:
Philosophy has inherited a powerful impulse to embrace either dualism or a reductive monism—either a radical separation of mind and body or the reduction of mind to body. But from its origins in the writings of the Stoics, the first thoroughgoing materialists, another view has acknowledged that no forms of materialism can be completely self-inclusive—space, time, the void, and sense are the incorporeal conditions of all that is corporeal or material. In The Incorporeal Elizabeth Grosz argues that the ideal is inherent in the material and the material in the ideal, and, by tracing its development over time, she makes the case that this same idea reasserts itself in different intellectual contexts.

Grosz shows that not only are idealism and materialism inextricably linked but that this "belonging together" of the entirety of ideality and the entirety of materiality is not mediated or created by human consciousness. Instead, it is an ontological condition for the development of human consciousness. Grosz draws from Spinoza's material and ideal concept of substance, Nietzsche's amor fati, Deleuze and Guattari's plane of immanence, Simondon's preindividual, and Raymond Ruyer's self-survey or autoaffection to show that the world preexists the evolution of the human and that its material and incorporeal forces are the conditions for all forms of life, human and nonhuman alike. A masterwork by an eminent theoretician, The Incorporeal offers profound new insight into the mind-body problem.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Fridays of Rage"

New from Oxford University Press: Fridays of Rage: Al Jazeera, the Arab Spring, and Political Islam by Sam Cherribi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Fridays of Rage reveals Al Jazeera's rise to that most respected of all Western media positions: the watchdog of democracy. Al Jazeera served as the nursery for the Arab world's democratic revolutions, promoting Friday as a "day of rage" and popular protest. This book provides a glimpse into how Al Jazeera strategically cast its journalists as martyrs in the struggle for Arab freedom while promoting itself as the mouthpiece and advocate of the Arab public.

In addition to heralding a new era of Arab democracy, Al Jazeera has become a major influence over Arab perceptions of American involvement in the Arab World, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the rise of global Islamic fundamentalism, and the expansion of the political far right. Al Jazeera's blueprint for "Muslim-democracy" was part of a vision announced by the network during its earliest broadcasts. The network embarked upon a mission to reconstruct the Arab mindset and psyche. Al Jazeera introduced exiled Islamist leaders to the larger Arab public while also providing Muslim feminists a platform.

The inclusion and consideration of Westerners, Israelis, Hamas, secularists and others earned the network a reputation for pluralism and inclusiveness. Al Jazeera presented a mirror to an Arab world afraid to examine itself and its democratic deficiencies. But rather than assuming that Al Jazeera is a monolithic force for positive transformation in Arab society, Fridays of Rage examines the potentially dark implications of Al Jazeera's radical re-conceptualization of media as a strategic tool or weapon.

As a powerful and rapidly evolving source of global influence, Al Jazeera embodies many paradoxes-the manifestations and effects of which we are likely only now becoming apparent. Fridays of Rage guides readers through this murky territory, where journalists are martyrs, words are weapons, and facts are bullets.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Far Out"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal by Mark Liechty.

About the book, from the publisher:
Westerners have long imagined the Himalayas as the world’s last untouched place and a repository of redemptive power and wisdom. Beatniks, hippie seekers, spiritual tourists, mountain climbers—diverse groups of people have traveled there over the years, searching for their own personal Shangri-La. In Far Out, Mark Liechty traces the Western fantasies that captured the imagination of tourists in the decades after World War II, asking how the idea of Nepal shaped the everyday cross-cultural interactions that it made possible.

Emerging from centuries of political isolation but eager to engage the world, Nepalis struggled to make sense of the hordes of exotic, enthusiastic foreigners. They quickly embraced the phenomenon, however, and harnessed it to their own ends by building tourists’ fantasies into their national image and crafting Nepal as a premier tourist destination. Liechty describes three distinct phases: the postwar era, when the country provided a Raj-like throwback experience for rich Americans; Nepal’s emergence as an exotic outpost of hippie counterculture in the 1960s; and its rebranding into a hip adventure destination, which began in the 1970s and continues today. He shows how Western projections of Nepal as an isolated place inspired creative enterprises and, paradoxically, allowed locals to participate in the global economy. Based on twenty-five years of research, Far Out blends ethnographic analysis, a lifelong passion for Nepal, and a touch of humor to produce the first comprehensive history of what tourists looked for—and found—on the road to Kathmandu.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Mixed Messages"

New from Oxford University Press: Mixed Messages: Norms and Social Control around Teen Sex and Pregnancy by Stefanie Mollborn.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sex is bad. Unprotected sex is a problem. Having a baby would be a disaster. Abortion is a sin. Teenagers in the United States hear conflicting messages about sex from everyone around them. How do teens understand these messages?

In Mixed Messages, Stefanie Mollborn examines how social norms and social control work through in-depth interviews with college students and teen mothers and fathers, revealing the tough conversations teeangers just can't have with adults. Delving into teenagers' complicated social worlds Mollborn argues that by creating informal social sanctions like gossip and exclusion and formal communication such as sex education, families, peers, schools, and communities strategize to gain control over teens' behaviors. However, while teens strategize to keep control, they resist the constraints of the norms, revealing the variety of outcomes that occur beyond compliance or deviance.

By showing that the norms existing today around teen sex are ineffective, failing to regulate sexual behavior, and instead punishing teens that violate them, Mollborn calls for a more thoughtful and consistent dialogue between teens and adults, emphasizing messages that will lead to more positive health outcomes.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Human Targets"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Human Targets: Schools, Police, and the Criminalization of Latino Youth by Victor M. Rios.

About the book, from the publisher:
At fifteen, Victor Rios found himself a human target—flat on his ass amid a hail of shotgun fire, desperate for money and a place on the street. Faced with the choice of escalating a drug turf war or eking out a living elsewhere, he turned to a teacher, who mentored him and helped him find a job at an auto shop. That job would alter the course of his whole life—putting him on the road to college and eventually a PhD. Now, Rios is a rising star, hailed for his work studying the lives of African American and Latino youth.

In Human Targets, Rios takes us to the streets of California, where we encounter young men who find themselves in much the same situation as fifteen-year-old Victor. We follow young gang members into schools, homes, community organizations, and detention facilities, watch them interact with police, grow up to become fathers, get jobs, get rap sheets—and in some cases get killed. What is it that sets apart young people like Rios who succeed and survive from the ones who don’t? Rios makes a powerful case that the traditional good kid/bad kid, street kid/decent kid dichotomy is much too simplistic, arguing instead that authorities and institutions help create these identities—and that they can play an instrumental role in providing young people with the resources for shifting between roles. In Rios’s account, to be a poor Latino youth is to be a human target—victimized and considered an enemy by others, viewed as a threat to law enforcement and schools, and burdened by stigma, disrepute, and punishment. That has to change.

This is not another sensationalistic account of gang bangers. Instead, the book is a powerful look at how authority figures succeed—and fail—at seeing the multi-faceted identities of at-risk youths, youths who succeed—and fail—at demonstrating to the system that they are ready to change their lives. In our post-Ferguson era, Human Targets is essential reading.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"The Politics of Freedom of Information"

New from Manchester University Press: The politics of freedom of information: How and why governments pass laws that threaten their power by Ben Worthy.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why do governments pass freedom of information laws? The symbolic power and force surrounding FOI makes it appealing as an electoral promise but hard to disengage from once in power. However, behind closed doors compromises and manoeuvers ensure that bold policies are seriously weakened before they reach the statute book.

The politics of freedom of information examines how Tony Blair's government proposed a radical FOI law only to back down in fear of what it would do. But FOI survived, in part due to the government's reluctance to be seen to reject a law that spoke of 'freedom', 'information' and 'rights'. After comparing the British experience with the difficult development of FOI in Australia, India and the United States - and the rather different cases of Ireland and New Zealand - the book concludes by looking at how the disruptive, dynamic and democratic effects of FOI laws continue to cause controversy once in operation.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Read My Lips"

New from Princeton University Press: Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes by Vanessa S. Williamson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Conventional wisdom holds that Americans hate taxes. But the conventional wisdom is wrong. Bringing together national survey data with in-depth interviews, Read My Lips presents a surprising picture of tax attitudes in the United States. Vanessa Williamson demonstrates that Americans view taxpaying as a civic responsibility and a moral obligation. But they worry that others are shirking their duties, in part because the experience of taxpaying misleads Americans about who pays taxes and how much. Perceived "loopholes" convince many income tax filers that a flat tax might actually raise taxes on the rich, and the relative invisibility of the sales and payroll taxes encourages many to underestimate the sizable tax contributions made by poor and working people.

Americans see being a taxpayer as a role worthy of pride and respect, a sign that one is a contributing member of the community and the nation. For this reason, the belief that many Americans are not paying their share is deeply corrosive to the social fabric. The widespread misperception that immigrants, the poor, and working-class families pay little or no taxes substantially reduces public support for progressive spending programs and undercuts the political standing of low-income people. At the same time, the belief that the wealthy pay less than their share diminishes confidence that the political process represents most people.

Upending the idea of Americans as knee-jerk opponents of taxes, Read My Lips examines American taxpaying as an act of political faith. Ironically, the depth of the American civic commitment to taxpaying makes the failures of the tax system, perceived and real, especially potent frustrations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 10, 2017

"The Rise of Network Christianity"

New from Oxford University Press: The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders Are Changing the Religious Landscape by Brad Christerson and Richard Flory.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why, when traditionally organized religious groups are seeing declining membership and participation, are networks of independent churches growing so explosively? Drawing on in-depth interviews with leaders and participants, The Rise of Network Christianity explains the social forces behind the fastest-growing form of Christianity in the U.S., which Brad Christerson and Richard Flory have labeled "Independent Network Charismatic." This form of Christianity emphasizes aggressive engagement with the supernatural-including healing, direct prophecies from God, engaging in "spiritual warfare" against demonic spirits--and social transformation. Christerson and Flory argue that macro-level social changes since the 1970s, including globalization and the digital revolution, have given competitive advantages to religious groups organized as networks rather than traditionally organized congregations and denominations.

Network forms of governance allow for experimentation with controversial supernatural practices, innovative finances and marketing, and a highly participatory, unorthodox, and experiential faith, which is attractive in today's unstable religious marketplace. Christerson and Flory hypothesize that as more religious groups imitate this type of governance, religious belief and practice will become more experimental, more orientated around practice than theology, more shaped by the individual religious "consumer," and authority will become more highly concentrated in the hands of individuals rather than institutions. Network Christianity, they argue, is the future of Christianity in America.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 9, 2017

"Sonic Intimacy"

New from Stanford University Press: Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics (or, How To Listen to the World) by Dominic Pettman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sonic Intimacy asks us who—or what—deserves to have a voice, beyond the human. Arguing that our ears are far too narrowly attuned to our own species, the book explores four different types of voices: the cybernetic, the gendered, the creaturely, and the ecological. Through both a conceptual framework and a series of case studies, Dominic Pettman tracks some of the ways in which these voices intersect and interact. He demonstrates how intimacy is forged through the ear, perhaps even more than through any other sense, mode, or medium. The voice, then, is what creates intimacy, both fleeting and lasting, not only between people, but also between animals, machines, and even natural elements: those presumed not to have a voice in the first place. Taken together, the manifold, material, actual voices of the world, whether primarily natural or technological, are a complex cacophony that is desperately trying to tell us something about the rapidly failing health of the planet and its inhabitants. As Pettman cautions, we would do well to listen.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Hindu Pluralism"

New from the University of California Press: Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India by Elaine M. Fisher.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term “sectarianism,” Fisher’s work excavates the pluralistic textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention. Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the tenor for religion's role in public life in India through the present day.
Elaine M. Fisher is a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Mysore. Starting in the fall of 2017 she will be Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Holy Rus'"

New from Yale University Press: Holy Rus': The Rebirth of Orthodoxy in the New Russia by John P. Burgess.

About the book, from the publisher:
A fascinating, vivid, and on-the-ground account of Russian Orthodoxy’s resurgence

A bold experiment is taking place in Russia. After a century of being scarred by militant, atheistic communism, the Orthodox Church has become Russia’s largest and most significant nongovernmental organization. As it has returned to life, it has pursued a vision of reclaiming Holy Rus’: that historical yet mythical homeland of the eastern Slavic peoples; a foretaste of the perfect justice, peace, harmony, and beauty for which religious believers long; and the glimpse of heaven on earth that persuaded Prince Vladimir to accept Orthodox baptism in Crimea in A.D. 988.

Through groundbreaking initiatives in religious education, social ministry, historical commemoration, and parish life, the Orthodox Church is seeking to shape a new, post-communist national identity for Russia. In this eye-opening and evocative book, John Burgess examines Russian Orthodoxy’s resurgence from a grassroots level, providing Western readers with an enlightening, inside look at the new Russia.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Uprising of the Fools"

New from Stanford University Press: Uprising of the Fools: Pilgrimage as Moral Protest in Contemporary India by Vikash Singh.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Kanwar is India's largest annual religious pilgrimage. Millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in Śiva shrines. These devotees—called bhola, gullible or fools, and seen as miscreants by many Indians—are mostly young, destitute men, who have been left behind in the globalizing economy. But for these young men, the ordeal of the pilgrimage is no foolish pursuit, but a means to master their anxieties and attest their good faith in unfavorable social conditions.

Vikash Singh walked with the pilgrims of the Kanwar procession, and with this book, he highlights how the procession offers a social space where participants can prove their talents, resolve, and moral worth. Working across social theory, phenomenology, Indian metaphysics, and psychoanalysis, Singh shows that the pilgrimage provides a place in which participants can simultaneously recreate and prepare for the poor, informal economy and inevitable social uncertainties. In identifying with Śiva, who is both Master of the World and yet a pathetic drunkard, participants demonstrate their own sovereignty and desirability despite their stigmatized status. Uprising of the Fools shows how religion today is not a retreat into tradition, but an alternative forum for recognition and resistance within a rampant global neoliberalism.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"The End of Europe"

New from Yale University Press: The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age by James Kirchick.

About the book, from the publisher:
Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. In riveting dispatches from this unfolding tragedy, James Kirchick shows us the shallow disingenuousness of the leaders who pushed for “Brexit;” examines how a vast migrant wave is exacerbating tensions between Europeans and their Muslim minorities; explores the rising anti-Semitism that causes Jewish schools and synagogues in France and Germany to resemble armed bunkers; and describes how Russian imperial ambitions are destabilizing nations from Estonia to Ukraine. With President Trump now threatening to abandon America's traditional role as upholder of the liberal world order and guarantor of the continent's security, Europe may be alone in dealing with these unprecedented challenges.

Based on extensive firsthand reporting, this book is a provocative, disturbing look at a continent in unexpected crisis.
Visit James Kirchick's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Viet Nam"

New from Oxford University Press: Viet Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present by Ben Kiernan.

About the book, from the publisher:
For many Westerners, the name Vietnam evokes images of a bloody televised American war that generated a firestorm of protest and brought conflict into their living rooms. In his sweeping account, Ben Kiernan broadens this vision by narrating the rich history of the peoples who have inhabited the land now known as Viet Nam over the past three thousand years.

Despite the tragedies of the American-Vietnamese conflict, Viet Nam has always been much more than a war. Its long history had been characterized by the frequent rise and fall of different political formations, from ancient chiefdoms to imperial provinces, from independent kingdoms to divided regions, civil wars, French colonies, and modern republics. In addition to dramatic political transformations, the region has been shaped by its environment, changing climate, and the critical importance of water, with rivers, deltas, and a long coastline facilitating agricultural patterns, trade, and communications.

Kiernan weaves together the many narrative strands of Viet Nam's multi-ethnic populations, including the Chams, Khmers, and Vietnamese, and its multi-religious heritage, from local spirit cults to Buddhism, Confucianism, and Catholicism. He emphasizes the peoples' interactions over the millennia with foreigners, particularly their neighbors in China and Southeast Asia, in engagements ranging from military conflict to linguistic and cultural influences. He sets the tumultuous modern period--marked by French and Japanese occupation, anticolonial nationalism, the American-Vietnamese war, and communist victory--against the continuities evident in the deeper history of the people's relationships with the lands where they have lived. In contemporary times, he explores this one-party state's transformation into a global trading nation, the country's tense diplomatic relationship with China and developing partnership with the United States in maintaining Southeast Asia's regional security, and its uncertain prospects for democracy.

Written by a leading scholar of Southeast Asia, Viet Nam presents an authoritative history of an ancient land.
The Page 69 Test: Blood and Soil.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 6, 2017

"Raised Right"

New from Stanford University Press: Raised Right: Fatherhood in Modern American Conservatism by Jeffrey R. Dudas.

About the book, from the publisher:
How has the modern conservative movement thrived in spite of the lack of harmony among its constituent members? What, and who, holds together its large corporate interests, small-government libertarians, social and racial traditionalists, and evangelical Christians?

Raised Right pursues these questions through a cultural study of three iconic conservative figures: National Review editor William F. Buckley, Jr., President Ronald Reagan, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Examining their papers, writings, and rhetoric, Jeffrey R. Dudas identifies what he terms a "paternal rights discourse"—the arguments about fatherhood and rights that permeate their personal lives and political visions. For each, paternal discipline was crucial to producing autonomous citizens worthy and capable of self-governance. This paternalist logic is the cohesive agent for an entire conservative movement, uniting its celebration of "founding fathers," past and present, constitutional and biological. Yet this discourse produces a paradox: When do authoritative fathers transfer their rights to these well-raised citizens? This duality propels conservative politics forward with unruly results. The mythology of these American fathers gives conservatives something, and someone, to believe in—and therein lies its timeless appeal.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 5, 2017

"Inventing the Cave Man"

New from Oxford University Press: Inventing the Cave Man: From Darwin to the Flintstones by Andrew Horrall.

About the book, from the publisher:
Fred Flintstone lived in a sunny Stone Age American suburb, but his ancestors were respectable, middle-class Victorians. They were very amused to think that prehistory was an archaic version of their own world because it suggested that British ideals were eternal. In the 1850s, our prehistoric ancestors were portrayed in satirical cartoons, songs, sketches and plays as ape-like, reflecting the threat posed by evolutionary ideas. By the end of the century, recognisably human cave men inhabited a Stone Age version of late-imperial Britain, sending-up its ideals and institutions. Cave men appeared constantly in parades, civic pageants, costume parties and fetes from Manchester to Melbourne. American cartoonists and early Hollywood stars like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton adopted and reimagined this very British character in the early 1900s, cementing it in global popular culture.

Extensive, groundbreaking research is presented in plain, engaging language with many illustrations. Cave men are an appealing way to explore and understand Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"Faithful to Secularism"

New from Columbia University Press: Faithful to Secularism: The Religious Politics of Democracy in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines by David T. Buckley.

About the book, from the publisher:
Religion and democracy can make tense bedfellows. Secular elites may view religious movements as conflict-prone and incapable of compromise, while religious actors may fear that anticlericalism will drive religion from public life. Yet such tensions are not inevitable: from Asia to Latin America, religious actors coexist with, and even help to preserve, democracy.

In Faithful to Secularism, David T. Buckley argues that political institutions that encourage an active role for public religion are a key part in explaining this variation. He develops the concept of "benevolent secularism" to describe institutions that combine a basic division of religion and state with extensive room for participation of religious actors in public life. He traces the impact of benevolent secularism on religious and secular elites, both at critical junctures in state formation and as politics evolves over time. Buckley shows how religious and secular actors build credibility and shared norms over time, and explains how such coalitions can endure challenges from both religious revivals and periods of anticlericalism. Faithful to Secularism tests this institutional theory in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines, using a blend of archival, interview, and public opinion data. These case studies illustrate how even countries with an active religious majority can become and remain faithful to secularism.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Lordship and Faith"

New from Oxford University Press: Lordship and Faith: The English Gentry and the Parish Church in the Middle Ages by Nigel Saul.

About the book, from the publisher:
Lordship and Faith takes as its subject the many hundreds of parish churches built in England in the Middle Ages by the gentry, the knights and esquires, and the lords of country manors. Nigel Saul uses lordly engagement with the parish church as a way of opening up the piety and sociability of the gentry, focusing on the gentry as founders and builders of churches, worshippers in them, holders of church advowsons, and patrons and sponsors of parish communities. Saul also looks at how the gentry's interest in the parish church sat alongside their patronage of the monks and friars, and their use of private chapels in their manor houses. Lordship and Faith seeks to weave together themes in social, religious, and architectural history, examining in all its richness a subject that has hitherto been considered only in journal articles. Written in an accessible way, this volume makes a significant contribution not only to the history of the English gentry but also to the history of the rural parish church, an institution now in the forefront of medieval historical studies.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 3, 2017

"Chinese Painting and Its Audiences"

New from Princeton University Press: Chinese Painting and Its Audiences by Craig Clunas.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is Chinese painting? When did it begin? And what are the different associations of this term in China and the West? In Chinese Painting and Its Audiences, which is based on the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts given at the National Gallery of Art, leading art historian Craig Clunas draws from a wealth of artistic masterpieces and lesser-known pictures, some of them discussed here in English for the first time, to show how Chinese painting has been understood by a range of audiences over five centuries, from the Ming Dynasty to today. Richly illustrated, Chinese Painting and Its Audiences demonstrates that viewers in China and beyond have irrevocably shaped this great artistic tradition.

Arguing that audiences within China were crucially important to the evolution of Chinese painting, Clunas considers how Chinese artists have imagined the reception of their own work. By examining paintings that depict people looking at paintings, he introduces readers to ideal types of viewers: the scholar, the gentleman, the merchant, the nation, and the people. In discussing the changing audiences for Chinese art, Clunas emphasizes that the diversity and quantity of images in Chinese culture make it impossible to generalize definitively about what constitutes Chinese painting.

Exploring the complex relationships between works of art and those who look at them, Chinese Painting and Its Audiences sheds new light on how the concept of Chinese painting has been formed and reformed over hundreds of years.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Diagram for Fire"

New from the University of California Press: A Diagram for Fire: Miracles and Variation in an American Charismatic Movement by Jon Bialecki.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is the work that miracles do in American Charismatic Evangelicalism? How can miracles be unanticipated and yet worked for? And finally, what do miracles tell us about other kinds of Christianity and even the category of religion? A Diagram for Fire engages with these questions in a detailed sociocultural ethnographic study of the Vineyard, an American Evangelical movement that originated in Southern California. The Vineyard is known worldwide for its intense musical forms of worship and for advocating the belief that all Christians can perform biblical-style miracles. Examining the miracle as both a strength and a challenge to institutional cohesion and human planning, this book situates the miracle as a fundamentally social means of producing change—surprise and the unexpected used to reimagine and reconfigure the will. Jon Bialecki shows how this configuration of the miraculous shapes typical Pentecostal and Charismatic religious practices as well as music, reading, economic choices, and conservative and progressive political imaginaries.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Family and Business During the Industrial Revolution"

New from Oxford University Press: Family and Business During the Industrial Revolution by Hannah Barker.

About the book, from the publisher:
Small businesses were at the heart of the economic growth and social transformation that characterized the industrial revolution in Britain. In towns across north-west England, shops and workshops dominated the streetscape, and helped to satisfy an increasing desire for consumer goods. Yet despite their significance, we know surprisingly little about these firms and the people who ran them, for whilst those engaged in craft-based manufacturing, retailing, and allied trades constituted a significant proportion of the urban population, they have been generally overlooked by historians. Instead, our view of the world of business is more usually taken up by narratives of particularly successful firms, and especially those involved in new modes of production.

By examining some of the forgotten businesses of the industrial revolution, and the men and women who worked in them, Family and Business During the Industrial Revolution presents a largely unfamiliar commercial world. Its approach, which spans economic, social, and cultural history, as well as encompassing business history and the histories of the emotions, space, and material culture, alongside studies of personal testimony, testatory practice, and property ownership, tests current understandings of gender, work, family, class, and power in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It provides us with new insights into the lives of ordinary men and women in trade, whose relatively mundane lives are easily overlooked, but who were central to the story of a pivotal period in British history.
--Marshal Zeringue