Sunday, August 18, 2019

"Female Fighters"

New from Columbia University Press: Female Fighters: Why Rebel Groups Recruit Women for War by Reed M. Wood.

About the book, from the publisher:
The presence of women combatants on the battlefield—especially in large numbers—strikes many observers as a notable departure from the historical norm. Yet women have played a significant active role in many contemporary armed rebellions. Over recent decades, numerous resistance movements in many regions of the globe have deployed thousands of female fighters in combat.

In Female Fighters, Reed M. Wood explains why some rebel groups deploy women in combat while others exclude women from their ranks, and the strategic implications of this decision. Examining a vast original dataset on female fighters in over 250 rebel organizations, Wood argues rebel groups can gain considerable strategic advantages by including women fighters. Drawing on women increases the pool of available recruits and helps ameliorate resource constraints. Furthermore, the visible presence of female fighters often becomes an important propaganda tool for domestic and international audiences. Images of women combatants help raise a group’s visibility, boost local recruitment, and aid the group’s efforts to solicit support from transnational actors and diaspora communities. However, Wood finds that, regardless of the wartime resource challenges they face, religious fundamentalist rebels consistently resist utilizing female fighters. A rich, data-driven study, Female Fighters presents a systematic, comprehensive analysis of the impact women’s participation has on organized political violence in the modern era.
Visit Reed M. Wood's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 17, 2019

"Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost"

New from Princeton University Press: Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost by Caitlin Zaloom.

About the book, from the publisher:
How the financial pressures of paying for college affect the lives and well-being of middle-class families

The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class life in America today. At kitchen tables all across the country, parents agonize over whether to burden their children with loans or to sacrifice their own financial security by taking out a second mortgage or draining their retirement savings. Indebted takes readers into the homes of middle-class families throughout the nation to reveal the hidden consequences of student debt and the ways that financing college has transformed family life.

Caitlin Zaloom gained the confidence of numerous parents and their college-age children, who talked candidly with her about stressful and intensely personal financial matters that are usually kept private. In this remarkable book, Zaloom describes the profound moral conflicts for parents as they try to honor what they see as their highest parental duty—providing their children with opportunity—and shows how parents and students alike are forced to take on enormous debts and gamble on an investment that might not pay off. What emerges is a troubling portrait of an American middle class fettered by the "student finance complex"—the bewildering labyrinth of government-sponsored institutions, profit-seeking firms, and university offices that collect information on household earnings and assets, assess family needs, and decide who is eligible for aid and who is not.

Superbly written and unflinchingly honest, Indebted breaks through the culture of silence surrounding the student debt crisis, revealing the unspoken costs of sending our kids to college.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 16, 2019

"The Republic of Color"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Republic of Color: Science, Perception, and the Making of Modern America by Michael Rossi.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Republic of Color delves deep into the history of color science in the United States to unearth its origins and examine the scope of its influence on the industrial transformation of turn-of-the-century America.

For a nation in the grip of profound economic, cultural, and demographic crises, the standardization of color became a means of social reform—a way of sculpting the American population into one more amenable to the needs of the emerging industrial order. Delineating color was also a way to characterize the vagaries of human nature, and to create ideal structures through which those humans would act in a newly modern American republic. Michael Rossi’s compelling history goes far beyond the culture of the visual to show readers how the control and regulation of color shaped the social contours of modern America—and redefined the way we see the world.
Michael Rossi is assistant professor of the history of science and medicine at the University of Chicago.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"Lives on the Line"

New from Oxford University Press: Lives on the Line: How the Philippines became the World's Call Center Capital by Jeffrey J. Sallaz.

About the book, from the publisher:
The call center industry is booming in the Philippines. Around the year 2005, the country overtook India as the world's "voice capital," and industry revenues are now the second largest contributor to national GDP. In Lives on the Line, Jeffrey J. Sallaz retraces the assemblage of a global market for voice over the past two decades. Drawing upon case studies of sixty Filipino call center workers and two years of fieldwork in Manila, he illustrates how offshore call center jobs represent a middle path for educated Filipinos, who are faced with the dismaying choice to migrate abroad in search of prosperity versus stay at home as an impoverished professional. A rich ethnographic study, this book challenges existing stereotypes regarding offshore service jobs and sheds light upon the reasons that the Philippines has become the world's favored location for "voice." It looks beyond call centers and beyond India to advance debates concerning global capitalism, the future of work, and the lives of those who labor in offshored jobs.
Jeffrey J. Sallaz is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

"Remaking a Life"

New from the University of California Press: Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality by Celeste Watkins-Hayes.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the face of life-threatening news, how does our view of life change—and what do we do it transform it? Remaking a Life uses the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a lens to understand how women generate radical improvements in their social well being in the face of social stigma and economic disadvantage. Drawing on interviews with nationally recognized AIDS activists as well as over one hundred Chicago-based women living with HIV/AIDS, Celeste Watkins-Hayes takes readers on an uplifting journey through women’s transformative projects, a multidimensional process in which women shift their approach to their physical, social, economic, and political survival, thereby changing their viewpoint of “dying from” AIDS to “living with” it. With an eye towards improving the lives of women, Remaking a Life provides techniques to encourage private, nonprofit, and government agencies to successfully collaborate, and shares policy ideas with the hope of alleviating the injuries of inequality faced by those living with HIV/AIDS everyday.
Celeste Watkins-Hayes is Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. She is also the author of The New Welfare Bureaucrats: Entanglements of Race, Class, and Policy Reform.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

"Why America Loses Wars"

New from Cambridge University Press: Why America Loses Wars: Limited War and US Strategy from the Korean War to the Present by Donald Stoker.

About the book, from the publisher:
How can you achieve victory in war if you don't have a clear idea of your political objectives and a vision of what victory means? In this provocative challenge to US policy and strategy, Donald Stoker argues that America endures endless wars because its leaders no longer know how to think about war, particularly limited wars. He reveals how ideas on limited war and war in general evolved against the backdrop of American conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. These ideas, he shows, were flawed and have undermined America's ability to understand, wage, and win its wars, and to secure peace afterwards. America's leaders have too often taken the nation to war without understanding what they want or valuing victory, leading to the 'forever wars' of today. Why America Loses Wars dismantles seventy years of misguided thinking and lays the foundations for a new approach to the wars of tomorrow.
The Page 99 Test: The Grand Design.

My Book, The Movie: Clausewitz: His Life and Work.

The Page 99 Test: Clausewitz: His Life and Work.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 12, 2019

"Mary, Countess of Derby, and the Politics of Victorian Britain"

New from Oxford University Press: Mary, Countess of Derby, and the Politics of Victorian Britain by Jennifer Davey.

About the book, from the publisher:
Lady Mary Derby (1824-1900) occupied a pivotal position in Victorian politics, yet her activities have largely been overlooked or ignored. This volume places Mary back into the political position she occupied and offers the first dedicated account of her career.

Based on extensive archival research, including hitherto neglected or lost sources, this study reconstructs the political worlds Mary inhabited. Her political landscape was dominated by the machinations and intrigues of high politics and diplomacy. As Jennifer Davey uncovers, Mary's political skill and acumen were highly valued by leading politicians of the day, including Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, and she played a significant role in many of the key events of the mid-Victorian era. This included the passing of the Second Reform Act, the formation of Disraeli's 1874 Government, the Eastern Crisis of 1875-1878, and Gladstone's 1880-1885 Government.

By exploring how one woman was able to exercise influence at the heart of Victorian politics, this book considers what Mary's career tells us about the nature of political life in the mid-nineteenth century. It sheds new light on the connections between informal and formal political culture, incorporating the politics of the home, letter-writing, and social relations into a consideration of the politics of Parliament and Government. It provides a rich investigation of how a woman, with few legal or constitutional rights, was able to become a significant figure in mid-Victorian political life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 11, 2019

"The Costs of Connection"

New from Stanford University Press: The Costs of Connection: How Data Is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism by Nick Couldry and Ulises A. Mejias.

About the book, from the publisher:
Just about any social need is now met with an opportunity to "connect" through digital means. But this convenience is not free—it is purchased with vast amounts of personal data transferred through shadowy backchannels to corporations using it to generate profit. The Costs of Connection uncovers this process, this "data colonialism," and its designs for controlling our lives—our ways of knowing; our means of production; our political participation.

Colonialism might seem like a thing of the past, but this book shows that the historic appropriation of land, bodies, and natural resources is mirrored today in this new era of pervasive datafication. Apps, platforms, and smart objects capture and translate our lives into data, and then extract information that is fed into capitalist enterprises and sold back to us. The authors argue that this development foreshadows the creation of a new social order emerging globally—and it must be challenged. Confronting the alarming degree of surveillance already tolerated, they offer a stirring call to decolonize the internet and emancipate our desire for connection.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 10, 2019

"Preserving Islamic Tradition"

New from Oxford University Press: Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism by Nathan Spannaus.

About the book, from the publisher:
The end of the eighteenth century was a transformational period for the Muslim communities of the Russian Empire and their relationship with the tsarist state. Though they had been under Russian rule since the sixteenth century, it was at this time that they were incorporated into the imperial bureaucracy, most significantly through the founding of an official hierarchy for the Islamic religious scholars in 1788.

The introduction of a state-backed structure for Muslim religious institutions altered Islamic religious authority and, in turn, religious discourse. One of the major figures to emerge from this new context was Abu Nasr Qursawi (1776-1812). A controversial figure who was condemned for heresy in Bukhara in 1808, Qursawi put forward a sweeping reform of the Islamic scholarly tradition. Focusing on taqlid, the principle of conformity to established doctrine, Qursawi argued that its overuse had weakened scholarship in the areas of Islamic law (fiqh) and theology (kalam) and undermined scholars' ability to serve as religious guides.

In Preserving Islamic Tradition, Nathan Spannaus presents the first detailed analysis of Qursawi's reformist project, both in its contours and broad historical setting. Spannaus shows how state control of Muslim institutions impacted religious discourse, but also how it altered the entire religious environment into the twentieth century. Addressing issues of modernity, secularity, tradition, and intellectual history, Preserving Islamic Tradition demonstrates how the interaction with a European imperial state transformed the Islamic tradition, both directly and indirectly, and elicited new forms of religious thought and discourse.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 9, 2019

"World War II and American Racial Politics"

New from Cambridge University Press: World War II and American Racial Politics: Public Opinion, the Presidency, and Civil Rights Advocacy by Steven White.

About the book, from the publisher:
World War II played an important role in the trajectory of race and American political development, but the War's effects were much more complex than many assume. Steven White offers an extensive analysis of rarely utilized survey data and archival evidence to assess white racial attitudes and the executive branch response to civil rights advocacy. He finds that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the white mass public's racial policy attitudes largely did not liberalize during the war against Nazi Germany. In this context, advocates turned their attention to the possibility of unilateral action by the president, emphasizing a wartime civil rights agenda focused on discrimination in the defense industry and segregation in the military. This book offers a reinterpretation of this critical period in American political development, as well as implications for the theoretical relationship between war and the inclusion of marginalized groups in democratic societies.
Steven White is Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, New York. His research examines race and American political development, particularly the complicated relationship between war and the inclusion of marginalized groups.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 8, 2019

"Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate"

New from Beacon Press: Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination by Alexandra Minna Stern.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is the alt-right? What do they believe, and how did they take center stage in the American social and political consciousness?

From a loose movement that lurked in the shadows in the early 2000s, the alt-right has achieved a level of visibility that has allowed it to expand significantly throughout America’s cultural, political, and digital landscapes. Racist, sexist, and homophobic beliefs that were previously unspeakable have become commonplace, normalized, and accepted—endangering American democracy and society as a whole. Yet in order to dismantle the destructive movement that has invaded our public consciousness, we must first understand the core beliefs that drive the alt-right.

To help guide us through the contemporary moment, historian Alexandra Minna Stern excavates the alt-right memes and tropes that have erupted online and explores the alt-right’s central texts, narratives, constructs, and insider language. She digs to the root of the alt-right’s motivations: their deep-seated fear of an oncoming “white genocide” that can only be remedied through swift and aggressive action to reclaim white power. As the group makes concerted efforts to cast off the vestiges of neo-Nazism and normalize their appearance and their beliefs, the alt-right and their ideas can be hard to recognize. Through careful analysis, Stern brings awareness to the underlying concepts that guide the alt-right and animate its overlapping forms of racism, xenophobia, transphobia, and anti-egalitarianism. She explains the key ideas of “red-pilling,” strategic trolling, gender essentialism, and the alt-right’s ultimate fantasy: a future where minorities have been removed and “cleansed” from the body politic and a white ethnostate is established in the United States. By unearthing the hidden mechanisms that power white nationalism, Stern reveals just how pervasive this movement truly is.
Visit Alexandra Minna Stern's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mass Exodus"

New from Oxford University Press: Mass Exodus: Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain and America since Vatican II by Stephen Bullivant.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council with the prophecy that 'a new day is dawning on the Church, bathing her in radiant splendour'. Desiring 'to impart an ever increasing vigour to the Christian life of the faithful', the Council Fathers devoted particular attention to the laity, and set in motion a series of sweeping reforms. The most significant of these centred on refashioning the Church's liturgy--'the source and summit of the Christian life'--in order to make 'it pastorally efficacious to the fullest degree'.

Over fifty years on, however, the statistics speak for themselves. In America, only 15% of cradle Catholics say that they attend Mass on a weekly basis; meanwhile, 35% no longer even tick the 'Catholic box' on surveys. In Britain, the signs are direr still. Of those raised Catholic, just 13% still attend Mass weekly, and 37% say they have 'no religion'. But is this all the fault of Vatican II, and its runaway reforms? Or are wider social, cultural, and moral forces primarily to blame? Catholicism is not the only Christian group to have suffered serious declines since the 1960s. If anything Catholics exhibit higher church attendance, and better retention, than most Protestant churches do. If Vatican II is not the cause of Catholicism's crisis, might it instead be the secret to its comparative success?

Mass Exodus is the first serious historical and sociological study of Catholic lapsation and disaffiliation. Drawing on a wide range of theological, historical, and sociological sources, Stephen Bullivant offers a comparative study of secularization across two famously contrasting religious cultures: Britain and the USA.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

"Thatcher's Progress"

New from Cambridge University Press: Thatcher's Progress: From Social Democracy to Market Liberalism through an English New Town by Guy Ortolano.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the quarter of a century after the Second World War, the United Kingdom designated thirty-two new towns across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Why, even before selling council houses or denationalising public industries, did Margaret Thatcher's government begin to privatise these new towns? By examining the most ambitious of these projects, Milton Keynes, Guy Ortolano recasts our understanding of British social democracy, arguing that the new towns comprised the spatial dimension of the welfare state. Following the Prime Minister's progress on a tour through Milton Keynes on 25 September 1979, Ortolano alights at successive stops to examine the broader histories of urban planning, modernist architecture, community development, international consulting, and municipal housing. Thatcher's journey reveals a dynamic social democracy during its decade of crisis, while also showing how public sector actors begrudgingly accommodated the alternative priorities of market liberalism.
Guy Ortolano is a cultural and intellectual historian of modern Britain, with interests in urban history and the history of science.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"Precarious Hope"

New from Stanford University Press: Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey by Ayse Parla.

About the book, from the publisher:
There are more than 700,000 Bulgaristanlı migrants residing in Turkey. Immigrants from Bulgaria who are ethnically Turkish, they assume certain privileges because of these ethnic ties, yet access to citizenship remains dependent on the whims of those in power. Through vivid accounts of encounters with the police and state bureaucracy, of nostalgic memories of home and aspirations for a more secure life in Turkey, Precarious Hope explores the tensions between ethnic privilege and economic vulnerability and rethinks the limits of migrant belonging among those for whom it is intimated and promised—but never guaranteed.

In contrast to the typical focus on despair, Ayşe Parla studies the hopefulness of migrants. Turkish immigration policies have worked in lockstep with national aspirations for ethnic, religious, and ideological conformity, offering Bulgaristanlı migrants an advantage over others. Their hope is the product of privilege and an act of dignity and perseverance. It is also a tool of the state, reproducing a migration regime that categorizes some as desirable and others as foreign and dispensable. Through the experiences of the Bulgaristanlı, Precarious Hope speaks to the global predicament in which increasing numbers of people are forced to manage both cultivation of hope and relentless anxiety within structures of inequality.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 5, 2019

"Transnational Nazism"

New from Cambridge University Press: Transnational Nazism: Ideology and Culture in German-Japanese Relations, 1919-1936 by Ricky W. Law.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1936, Nazi Germany and militarist Japan built a partnership which culminated in the Tokyo-Berlin Axis. This study of interwar German-Japanese relations is the first to employ sources in both languages. Transnational Nazism was an ideological and cultural outlook that attracted non-Germans to become adherents of Hitler and National Socialism, and convinced German Nazis to identify with certain non-Aryans. Because of the distance between Germany and Japan, mass media was instrumental in shaping mutual perceptions and spreading transnational Nazism. This work surveys the two national media to examine the impact of transnational Nazism. When Hitler and the Nazi movement gained prominence, Japanese newspapers, lectures and pamphlets, nonfiction, and language textbooks transformed to promote the man and his party. Meanwhile, the ascendancy of Hitler and his regime created a niche for Japan in the Nazi worldview and Nazified newspapers, films, nonfiction, and voluntary associations.
Ricky W. Law is Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania. He has received grants and fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the Royster Society of Fellows. In 2013, he received the Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he earned his Ph.D., and the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize of the Friends of the German Historical Institute.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 4, 2019

"The Encrypted State"

New from Stanford University Press: The Encrypted State: Delusion and Displacement in the Peruvian Andes by David Nugent.

About the book, from the publisher:
What happens when a seemingly rational state becomes paranoid and delusional? The Encrypted State engages in a close analysis of political disorder to shed new light on the concept of political stability. The book focuses on a crisis of rule in mid-20th-century Peru, a period when officials believed they had lost the ability to govern and communicated in secret code to protect themselves from imaginary subversives. The Encrypted State engages the notion of sacropolitics—the politics of mass group sacrifice—to make sense of state delusion. Nugent interrogates the forces that variously enable or disable organized political subjection, and the role of state structures in this process. Investigating the role of everyday cultural practices and how affect and imagination structure political affairs, Nugent provides a greater understanding of the conditions of state formation, and failure.
David Nugent is Professor of Anthropology at Emory University. His books include Locating Capital in Time and Space (2002) and Modernity at the Edge of Empire (1997).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 3, 2019

"Food and Power"

New from Cambridge University Press: Food and Power: Regime Type, Agricultural Policy, and Political Stability by Henry Thomson.

About the book, from the publisher:
The relationship between development and democratization remains one of the most compelling topics of research in political science, yet many aspects of authoritarian regime behavior remain unexplained. This book explores how different types of governments take action to shape the course of economic development, focusing on agriculture, a sector that is of crucial importance in the developing world. It explains variation in agricultural and food policy across regime type, who the winners and losers of these policies are, and whether they influence the stability of authoritarian governments. The book pushes us to think differently about the process linking economic development to political change, and to consider growth as an inherently politicized process rather than an exogenous driver of moves towards democracy.
Henry Thomson is an assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the political economy of authoritarianism and democratization. He has a special interest in role which agriculture plays in processes of development and democratization.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 2, 2019

"Common Enemies"

New from Oxford University Press: Common Enemies: Disease Campaigns in America by Rachel Kahn Best.

About the book, from the publisher:
For over a hundred years, millions of Americans have joined together to fight a common enemy by campaigning against diseases. In Common Enemies, Rachel Kahn Best asks why disease campaigns have dominated a century of American philanthropy and health policy and how the fixation on diseases shapes efforts to improve lives. Combining quantitative and qualitative analyses in an unprecedented history of disease politics, Best shows that to achieve consensus, disease campaigns tend to neglect stigmatized diseases and avoid controversial goals. But despite their limitations, disease campaigns do not crowd out efforts to solve other problems. Instead, they teach Americans to give and volunteer and build up public health infrastructure, bringing us together to solve problems and improve our lives.
Rachel Kahn Best is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. She studies political responses to social problems, focusing on how advocacy and culture shape whose concerns are addressed and whose are ignored.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 1, 2019

"Pipe Dreams"

New from Cambridge University Press: Pipe Dreams: Water and Empire in Central Asia's Aral Sea Basin by Maya K. Peterson.

About the book, from the publisher:
The drying up of the Aral Sea - a major environmental catastrophe of the late twentieth century - is deeply rooted in the dreams of the irrigation age of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a time when engineers, scientists, politicians, and entrepreneurs around the world united in the belief that universal scientific knowledge, together with modern technologies, could be used to transform large areas of the planet from 'wasteland' into productive agricultural land. Though ostensibly about bringing modernity, progress, and prosperity to the deserts, the transformation of Central Asia's landscapes through tsarist- and Soviet-era hydraulic projects bore the hallmarks of a colonial experiment. Examining how both regimes used irrigation-age fantasies of bringing the deserts to life as a means of claiming legitimacy in Central Asia, Maya K. Peterson brings a fresh perspective to the history of Russia's conquest and rule of Central Asia.
Maya K. Peterson is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"Creating a Constitution"

New from Princeton University Press: Creating a Constitution: Law, Democracy, and Growth in Ancient Athens by Federica Carugati.

About the book, from the publisher:
A comprehensive account of how the Athenian constitution was created—with lessons for contemporary constitution-building

We live in an era of constitution-making. More than half of the world's constitutions have been drafted in the past half-century. Yet, one question still eludes theorists and practitioners alike: how do stable, growth-enhancing constitutional structures emerge and endure? In Creating a Constitution, Federica Carugati argues that ancient Athens offers a unique laboratory for exploring this question. Because the city-state was reasonably well-documented, smaller than most modern nations, and simpler in its institutional makeup, the case of Athens reveals key factors of successful constitution-making that are hard to flesh out in more complex settings.

Carugati demonstrates that the institutional changes Athens undertook in the late fifth century BCE, after a period of war and internal strife, amounted to a de facto constitution. The constitution restored stability and allowed the democracy to flourish anew. The analysis of Athens's case reveals the importance of three factors for creating a successful constitution: first, a consensus on a set of shared values capable of commanding long-term support; second, a self-enforcing institutional structure that reflects those values; and, third, regulatory mechanisms for policymaking that enable tradeoffs of inclusion to foster growth without jeopardizing stability.

Uniquely combining institutional analysis, political economy, and history, Creating a Constitution is a compelling account of how political and economic goals that we normally associate with Western developed countries were once achieved through different institutional arrangements.
Visit Federica Carugati's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"Narrow Fairways"

New from Oxford University Press: Narrow Fairways: Getting By & Falling Behind in the New India by Patrick Inglis.

About the book, from the publisher:
India remains a country mired in poverty, with two-thirds of its 1.3 billion people living on little more than a few dollars a day. Just as telling, the country's informal working population numbers nearly 500 million, or approximately eighty percent of the entire labor force. Despite these figures and the related structural disadvantages that imperil the lives of so many, the Indian elite maintain that the poor need only work harder and they, too, can become rich. The results of this ambitious ten-year ethnography at exclusive golf clubs in Bangalore shatter such self-serving illusions. In Narrow Fairways, Patrick Inglis combines participant observation, interviews, and archival research to show how social mobility among the poor lower-caste golf caddies who carry the golf sets of wealthy upper-caste members at these clubs is ultimately constrained and narrowed. The book highlights how elites secure and extend class and caste privileges, while also delivering a necessary rebuke to India's present development strategy, which pays far too little attention to promoting quality healthcare, education, and other basic social services that would deliver real opportunities to the poor.
Visit Patrick Inglis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 29, 2019

"Slavery and Islam"

New from Oneworld Publications: Slavery and Islam by Jonathan A.C. Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:
What happens when authorities you venerate condone something you know is wrong?

Every major religion and philosophy once condoned or approved of slavery, but in modern times nothing is seen as more evil. Americans confront this crisis of authority when they erect statues of Founding Fathers who slept with their slaves. And Muslims faced it when ISIS revived sex-slavery, justifying it with verses from the Quran and the practice of Muhammad.

Exploring the moral and ultimately theological problem of slavery, Jonathan A.C. Brown traces how the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions have tried to reconcile modern moral certainties with the infallibility of God's message. He lays out how Islam viewed slavery in theory, and the reality of how it was practiced across Islamic civilization. Finally, Brown carefully examines arguments put forward by Muslims for the abolition of slavery.
Visit Jonathan A.C. Brown's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 28, 2019

"The College Dropout Scandal"

New from Oxford University Press: The College Dropout Scandal by David Kirp.

About the book, from the publisher:
Higher education today faces a host of challenges, from quality to cost. But too little attention gets paid to a startling fact: four out of ten students -- that's more than ten percent of the entire population - -who start college drop out. The situation is particularly dire for black and Latino students, those from poor families, and those who are first in their families to attend college.

In The College Dropout Scandal, David Kirp outlines the scale of the problem and shows that it's fixable - -we already have the tools to boost graduation rates and shrink the achievement gap. Many college administrators know what has to be done, but many of them are not doing the job - -the dropout rate hasn't decreased for decades. It's not elite schools like Harvard or Williams who are setting the example, but places like City University of New York and Long Beach State, which are doing the hard work to assure that more students have a better education and a diploma. As in his New York Times columns, Kirp relies on vivid, on-the-ground reporting, conversations with campus leaders, faculty and students, as well as cogent overviews of cutting-edge research to identify the institutional reforms--like using big data to quickly identify at-risk students and get them the support they need -- and the behavioral strategies -- from nudges to mindset changes - -that have been proven to work.

Through engaging stories that shine a light on an underappreciated problem in colleges today, David Kirp's hopeful book will prompt colleges to make student success a top priority and push more students across the finish line, keeping their hopes of achieving the American Dream alive.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 27, 2019

"The Implicated Subject"

New from Stanford University Press: The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators by Michael Rothberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
When it comes to historical violence and contemporary inequality, none of us are completely innocent. We may not be direct agents of harm, but we may still contribute to, inhabit, or benefit from regimes of domination that we neither set up nor control. Arguing that the familiar categories of victim, perpetrator, and bystander do not adequately account for our connection to injustices past and present, Michael Rothberg offers a new theory of political responsibility through the figure of the implicated subject. The Implicated Subject builds on the comparative, transnational framework of Rothberg's influential work on memory to engage in reflection and analysis of cultural texts, archives, and activist movements from such contested zones as transitional South Africa, contemporary Israel/Palestine, post-Holocaust Europe, and a transatlantic realm marked by the afterlives of slavery. As these diverse sites of inquiry indicate, the processes and histories illuminated by implicated subjectivity are legion in our interconnected world. An array of globally prominent artists, writers, and thinkers—from William Kentridge, Hito Steyerl, and Jamaica Kincaid, to Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Judith Butler, and the Combahee River Collective—speak to this interconnection and show how confronting our own implication in difficult histories can lead to new forms of internationalism and long-distance solidarity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 26, 2019

"Mr. Smith Goes to China"

New from Yale University Press: Mr. Smith Goes to China: Three Scots in the Making of Britain’s Global Empire by Jessica Hanser.

About the book, from the publisher:
An illuminating account of global commerce in the eighteenth-century Indian Ocean world as seen through the lives of three Scottish traders

This book delves into the lives of three Scottish private traders—George Smith of Bombay, George Smith of Canton, and George Smith of Madras—and uses them as lenses through which to explore the inner workings of Britain’s imperial expansion and global network of trade, revealing how an unstable credit system and a financial crisis ultimately led to greater British intervention in India and China.
Jessica Hanser is assistant professor of history at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Hanser’s doctoral dissertation, on which this book is based, won Yale University’s Hans Gatzke Prize in European History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"For God or Empire"

New from Stanford University Press: For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World by Wilson Chacko Jacob.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sayyid Fadl, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, led a unique life—one that spanned much of the nineteenth century and connected India, Arabia, and the Ottoman Empire. For God or Empire tells his story, part biography and part global history, as his life and legacy afford a singular view on historical shifts of power and sovereignty, religion and politics.

Wilson Chacko Jacob recasts the genealogy of modern sovereignty through the encounter between Islam and empire-states in the Indian Ocean world. Fadl's travels in worlds seen and unseen made for a life that was both unsettled and unsettling. And through his life at least two forms of sovereignty—God and empire—become apparent in intersecting global contexts of religion and modern state formation. While these changes are typically explained in terms of secularization of the state and the birth of rational modern man, the life and afterlives of Sayyid Fadl—which take us from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Indian Ocean worlds to twenty-first century cyberspace—offer a more open-ended global history of sovereignty and a more capacious conception of life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

"Pirates"

New from Yale University Press: Pirates: A New History, from Vikings to Somali Raiders by Peter Lehr.

About the book, from the publisher:
A global account of pirates and their modus operandi from the middle ages to the present day

In the twenty-first century piracy has regained a central place in Western culture, thanks to a surprising combination of Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as well as the dramatic rise of modern-day piracy around Somalia and the Horn of Africa.

In this global history of the phenomenon, maritime terrorism and piracy expert Peter Lehr casts fresh light on pirates. Ranging from the Vikings and Wako pirates in the Middle Ages to modern day Somali pirates, Lehr delves deep into what motivates pirates and how they operate. He also illuminates the state’s role in the development of piracy throughout history: from privateers sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth to pirates operating off the coast of Africa taking the law into their own hands. After exploring the structural failures which create fertile ground for pirate activities, Lehr evaluates the success of counter-piracy efforts—and the reasons behind its failures.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"Death and Nonexistence"

New from Oxford University Press: Death and Nonexistence by Palle Yourgrau.

About the book, from the publisher:
The dead are gone. They count for nothing. Yet, if we count the dead, their number is staggering. And they account for most of what is great about civilization. Compared to the greatness of the dead, the accomplishments of the living are paltry. Which is it then: are the dead still there to be counted or not? And if they are still there, where exactly is "there"? We are confronted with the ancient paradox of nonexistence bequeathed us by Parmenides. The mystery of death is the mystery of nonexistence.

A successful attempt to provide a metaphysics of death, then, must resolve the paradox of nonexistence. That is the aim of this study. At the same time, the metaphysics of death, of ceasing to exist, must serve as an account of birth, of coming to exist; the primary thesis of this book is that this demands going beyond existence and nonexistence to include what underlies both, which one can call, following tradition, "being." The dead and the unborn are therefore objects that lack existence but not being. Nonexistent objects - not corpses, or skeletons, or memories, all of which are existent objects - are what are "there" to be counted when we count the dead.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 22, 2019

"Trafficking with Demons"

New from Cornell University Press: Trafficking with Demons: Magic, Ritual, and Gender from Late Antiquity to 1000 by Martha Rampton.

About the book, from the publisher:
Trafficking with Demons explores how magic was perceived, practiced, and prohibited in western Europe during the first millennium CE. Through the overlapping frameworks of religion, ritual, and gender, Martha Rampton connects early Christian reckonings with pagan magic to later doctrines and dogmas. Challenging established views on the role of women in ritual magic during this period, Rampton provides a new narrative of the ways in which magic was embedded within the foundational assumptions of western European society, informing how people understood the cosmos, divinity, and their own Christian faith.

As Rampton shows, throughout the first Christian millennium, magic was thought to play a natural role within the functioning of the universe and existed within a rational cosmos hierarchically arranged according to a "great chain of being." Trafficking with the "demons of the lower air" was the essense of magic. Interactions with those demons occurred both in highly formalistic, ritual settings and on a routine and casual basis. Rampton tracks the competition between pagan magic and Christian belief from the first century CE, when it was fiercest, through the early Middle Ages, as atavistic forms of magic mutated and found sanctuary in the daily habits of the converted peoples and new paganisms entered Europe with their own forms of magic. By the year 1000, she concludes, many forms of magic had been tamed and were, by the reckoning of the elite, essentially ineffective, as were the women who practiced it and the rituals that attended it.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 21, 2019

"Charles I's Killers in America"

New from Oxford University Press: Charles I's Killers in America: The Lives and Afterlives of Edward Whalley and William Goffe by Matthew Jenkinson.

About the book, from the publisher:
When the British monarchy was restored in 1660, King Charles II was faced with the conundrum of what to with those who had been involved in the execution of his father eleven years earlier. Facing a grisly fate at the gallows, some of the men who had signed Charles I's death warrant fled to America.

Charles I's Killers in America traces the gripping story of two of these men -- Edward Whalley and William Goffe -- and their lives in America, from their welcome in New England until their deaths there. With fascinating insights into the governance of the American colonies in the seventeenth century, and how a network of colonists protected the regicides, Matthew Jenkinson overturns the enduring theory that Charles II unrelentingly sought revenge for the murder of his father.

Charles I's Killers in America also illuminates the regicides' afterlives, with conclusions that have far-reaching implications for our understanding of Anglo-American political and cultural relations. Novels, histories, poems, plays, paintings, and illustrations featuring the fugitives were created against the backdrop of America's revolutionary strides towards independence and its forging of a distinctive national identity. The history of the 'king-killers' was distorted and embellished as they were presented as folk heroes and early champions of liberty, protected by proto-revolutionaries fighting against English tyranny. Jenkinson rewrites this once-ubiquitous and misleading historical orthodoxy, to reveal a far more subtle and compelling picture of the regicides on the run.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 20, 2019

"Pacifying the Homeland"

New from the University of California Press: Pacifying the Homeland Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision by Brendan McQuade.

About the book, from the publisher:
The United States has poured over a billion dollars into a network of interagency intelligence centers called “fusion centers.” These centers were ostensibly set up to prevent terrorism, but politicians, the press, and policy advocates have criticized them for failing on this account. So why do these security systems persist? Pacifying the Homeland travels inside the secret world of intelligence fusion, looks beyond the apparent failure of fusion centers, and reveals a broader shift away from mass incarceration and toward a more surveillance- and police-intensive system of social regulation.

Provided with unprecedented access to domestic intelligence centers, Brendan McQuade uncovers how the institutionalization of intelligence fusion enables decarceration without fully addressing the underlying social problems at the root of mass incarceration. The result is a startling analysis that contributes to the debates on surveillance, mass incarceration, and policing and challenges readers to see surveillance, policing, mass incarceration, and the security state in an entirely new light.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 19, 2019

"The Lived Nile"

New from Stanford University Press: The Lived Nile: Environment, Disease, and Material Colonial Economy in Egypt by Jennifer L. Derr.

About the book, from the publisher:
In October 1902, the reservoir of the first Aswan Dam filled, and Egypt's relationship with the Nile River forever changed. Flooding villages of historical northern Nubia and filling the irrigation canals that flowed from the river, the perennial Nile not only reshaped agriculture and the environment, but also Egypt's colonial economy and forms of subjectivity.

Jennifer L. Derr follows the engineers, capitalists, political authorities, and laborers who built a new Nile River through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The river helped to shape the future of technocratic knowledge, and the bodies of those who inhabited rural communities were transformed through the environmental intimacies of their daily lives. At the root of this investigation lies the notion that the Nile is not a singular entity, but a realm of practice and a set of temporally, spatially, and materially specific relations that structured experiences of colonial economy. From the microscopic to the regional, the local to the imperial, The Lived Nile recounts the history and centrality of the environment to questions of politics, knowledge, and the lived experience of the human body itself.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 18, 2019

"The End is Nigh"

New from Oxford University Press: The End is Nigh: British Politics, Power, and the Road to the Second World War by Robert Crowcroft.

About the book, from the publisher:
Few decades have given rise to such potent mythologies as the 1930s. Popular impressions of those years prior to the Second World War were shaped by the single outstanding personality of that conflict, Winston Spencer Churchill. Churchill depicted himself as a political prophet, exiled into the wilderness prior to 1939 by those who did not want to hear of the growing threats to peace in Europe. Although it is a familiar story, it is one we need to unlearn as the truth is somewhat murkier.

The End is Nigh is a tale of relentless intrigue, burning ambition, and the bitter rivalry in British politics during the years preceding the Second World War. Journeying from the corridors of Whitehall to the smoking rooms of Parliament, and from aircraft factories to summit meetings with Hitler, the book offers a fresh and provocative interpretation of one of the most crucial moments of British history. It assembles a cast of iconic characters--Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin, Clement Attlee, Anthony Eden, Ernest Bevin, and more--to explore the dangerous interaction between high politics at Westminster and the formulation of national strategy in a world primed to explode.

In the twenty-first century we are accustomed to being cynical about politicians, mistrusting what they say and wondering about their real motives, but Robert Crowcroft argues that this was always the character of democratic politics. In The End is Nigh he challenges some of the most resilient public myths of recent decades--myths that, even now, remain an important component of Britain's self-image.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

"Dissident Rabbi"

New from Princeton University Press: Dissident Rabbi: The Life of Jacob Sasportas by Yaacob Dweck.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1665, Sabbetai Zevi, a self-proclaimed Messiah with a mass following throughout the Ottoman Empire and Europe, announced that the redemption of the world was at hand. As Jews everywhere rejected the traditional laws of Judaism in favor of new norms established by Sabbetai Zevi, and abandoned reason for the ecstasy of messianic enthusiasm, one man watched in horror. Dissident Rabbi tells the story of Jacob Sasportas, the Sephardic rabbi who alone challenged Sabbetai Zevi's improbable claims and warned his fellow Jews that their Messiah was not the answer to their prayers.

Yaacob Dweck's absorbing and richly detailed biography brings to life the tumultuous century in which Sasportas lived, an age torn apart by war, migration, and famine. He describes the messianic frenzy that gripped the Jewish Diaspora, and Sasportas's attempts to make sense of a world that Sabbetai Zevi claimed was ending. As Jews danced in the streets, Sasportas compiled The Fading Flower of the Zevi, a meticulous and eloquent record of Sabbatianism as it happened. In 1666, barely a year after Sabbetai Zevi heralded the redemption, the Messiah converted to Islam at the behest of the Ottoman sultan, and Sasportas's book slipped into obscurity.

Dissident Rabbi is the revelatory account of a spiritual leader who dared to articulate the value of rabbinic doubt in the face of messianic certainty, and a revealing examination of how his life and legacy were rediscovered and appropriated by later generations of Jewish thinkers.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"Shared Reality"

New from Oxford University Press: Shared Reality: What Makes Us Strong and Tears Us Apart by E. Tory Higgins.

About the book, from the publisher:
What does it mean to be human? Why do we feel and behave in the ways that we do? The classic answer is that we have a special kind of intelligence. But to understand what we are as humans, we also need to know what we are like motivationally. And what is central to this story, what is special about human motivation, is that humans want to share with others their inner experiences about the world--share how they feel, what they believe, and what they want to happen in the future. They want to create a shared reality with others. People have a shared reality together when they experience having in common a feeling about something, a belief about something, or a concern about something. They feel connected to another person or group by knowing that this person or group sees the world the same way that they do--they share what is real about the world. In this work, Dr. Higgins describes how our human motivation for shared reality evolved in our species, and how it develops in our children as shared feelings, shared practices, and shared goals and roles. Shared reality is crucial to what we believe--sharing is believing. It is central to our sense of self, what we strive for and how we strive. It is basic to how we get along with others. It brings us together in fellowship and companionship, but it also tears us apart by creating in-group "bubbles" that conflict with one another. Our shared realities are the best of us, and the worst of us.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 15, 2019

"Land Wars"

New from Stanford University Press: Land Wars: The Story of China's Agrarian Revolution by Brian J. DeMare.

About the book, from the publisher:
Mao Zedong's land reform campaigns comprise a critical moment in modern Chinese history, and were crucial to the rise of the CCP. In Land Wars, Brian DeMare draws on new archival research to offer an updated and comprehensive history of this attempt to fundamentally transform the countryside. Across this vast terrain loyal Maoists dispersed, intending to categorize poor farmers into prescribed social classes, and instigate a revolution that would redistribute the land. To achieve socialist utopia, the Communists imposed and performed a harsh script of peasant liberation through fierce class struggle. While many accounts of the campaigns give false credence to this narrative, DeMare argues that the reality was much more complex and brutal than is commonly understood—while many villagers prospered, there were families torn apart and countless deaths. Uniquely weaving narrative and historical accounts, DeMare powerfully highlights the often devastating role of fiction in determining history. This corrective retelling ultimately sheds new light on the contemporary legacy of land reform, a legacy fraught with inequality and resentment, but also hope.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Outsourcing US Intelligence"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Outsourcing US Intelligence: Contractors and Government Accountability by Damien Van Puyvelde.

About the book, from the publisher:
Explores the evolving role of contractors in the US Intelligence Community, particularly after the Cold War

In the 21st century, more than any other time, US agencies have relied on contractors to conduct core intelligence functions. This book charts the swell of intelligence outsourcing in the context of American political culture and considers what this means for the relationship between the state, its national security apparatus and accountability within a liberal democracy. Through analysis of a series of case studies, recently declassified documents and exclusive interviews with national security experts in the public and private sectors, the book provides an in-depth and illuminating appraisal of the evolving accountability regime for intelligence contractors.

Case Studies
The Air Force, the CIA and the U-2 spy plane
CIA and In-Q-Tel
FBI and Virtual Case File
NSA and Trailblazer
Contractors in the interrogation room
Contractors crossing the line
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 13, 2019

"Taking Nazi Technology"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Taking Nazi Technology: Allied Exploitation of German Science after the Second World War by Douglas M. O'Reagan.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the Second World War, German science and technology posed a terrifying threat to the Allied nations. Combined with Germany's generations-old reputation for excellence in science and engineering, these advanced weapons, which included rockets, V-2 missiles, tanks, submarines, and jet airplanes, gave troubling credence to Nazi propaganda about forthcoming "wonder-weapons" that would turn the war decisively in the Axis' favor. After the war ended, the Allied powers raced to seize "intellectual reparations" from almost every field of industrial technology and academic science in occupied Germany. It was likely the largest-scale technology transfer in history.

In Taking Nazi Technology, Douglas M. O'Reagan describes how the Western Allies gathered teams of experts to scour defeated Germany, seeking industrial secrets and the technical personnel who could explain them. Swarms of investigators recruited from industry, military branches, and intelligence agencies invaded Germany's factories and research institutions. They seized or copied all kinds of documents, from patent applications to factory production data to science journals. They questioned, hired, and sometimes even kidnapped hundreds of scientists, engineers, and other technical personnel. They studied technologies from aeronautics to audiotapes, toy making to machine tools, chemicals to carpentry equipment. They took over academic libraries, jealously competed over chemists, and schemed to deny the fruits of German invention to any other land—including that of their allies.

Drawing on declassified records, O'Reagan looks at which techniques worked for these very different nations, as well as which failed—and why. Most importantly, he shows why securing this technology, how the Allies did and when they did, still matters today. He also argues that these programs did far more than spread German industrial science: they forced businessmen and policymakers around the world to rethink how science and technology fit into diplomacy, business, and society itself. A deeply researched comparative history of the American, British, French, and Soviet efforts to control and exploit German science and technology amid fierce internal and external competition, Taking Nazi Technology is the first history to capture the whole picture of this crucial period at the dawn of the Cold War.
Visit Douglas M. O'Reagan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 12, 2019

"The Long Southern Strategy"

New from Oxford University Press: The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics by Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Southern Strategy is traditionally understood as a Goldwater and Nixon-era effort by the Republican Party to win over disaffected white voters in the Democratic stronghold of the American South. To realign these voters with the GOP, the party abandoned its past support for civil rights and used racially coded language to capitalize on southern white racial angst. However, that decision was but one in a series of decisions the GOP made not just on race, but on feminism and religion as well, in what Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields call the "Long Southern Strategy."

In the wake of Second-Wave Feminism, the GOP dropped the Equal Rights Amendment from its platform and promoted traditional gender roles in an effort to appeal to anti-feminist white southerners, particularly women. And when the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention became increasingly fundamentalist and politically active, the GOP tied its fate to the Christian Right. With original, extensive data on national and regional opinions and voting behavior, Maxwell and Shields show why all three of those decisions were necessary for the South to turn from blue to red.

To make inroads in the South, however, GOP politicians not only had to take these positions, but they also had to sell them with a southern "accent." Republicans embodied southern white culture by emphasizing an "us vs. them" outlook, preaching absolutes, accusing the media of bias, prioritizing identity over the economy, encouraging defensiveness, and championing a politics of retribution. In doing so, the GOP nationalized southern white identity, rebranded itself to the country at large, and fundamentally altered the vision and tone of American politics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 11, 2019

"Becoming Transnational Youth Workers"

New from Rutgers University Press: Becoming Transnational Youth Workers: Independent Mexican Teenage Migrants and Pathways of Survival and Social Mobility by Isabel Martinez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Becoming Transnational Youth Workers contests mainstream notions of adolescence with its study of a previously under-documented cross-section of Mexican immigrant youth. Preceding the latest wave of Central American children and teenagers now fleeing violence in their homelands, Isabel Martinez examines a group of unaccompanied Mexican teenage minors who emigrated to New York City in the early 2000s. As one of the consequences of intractable poverty in their homeland, these emigrant youth exhibit levels of agency and competence not usually assigned to children and teenage minors, and disrupt mainstream notions of what practices are appropriate at their ages. Leaving school and family in Mexico and financially supporting not only themselves through their work in New York City, but also their families back home, these youths are independent teenage migrants who, upon migration, wish to assume or resume autonomy and agency rather than dependence. This book also explores community and family understandings about survival and social mobility in an era of extreme global economic inequality.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"The Fixers"

New from Oxford University Press: The Fixers: Local News Workers' Perspectives on International Reporting by Lindsay Palmer.

About the book, from the publisher:
News "fixers" are locally-based media employees who serve as translators, coordinators, and guides to foreign journalists in unfamiliar terrain. Operating in the shadows, fixers' contributions to journalism are largely hidden from us, yet they underpin the entire international news industry: almost every international news story we read today could not be produced without a fixer. Indeed, without fixers' on-the-ground skill and intimate knowledge of a territory, journalists would struggle to document stories unfolding in countries outside their own. Despite this, however, fixers remain one of the most under-protected and undervalued groups contributing to the production of news. Targeted by militant groups and governments, even by their neighbors, they must often engage in a precarious balancing act, bridging the divides between foreign journalists and the people who live and work in fixers' own communities.

In this book, Lindsay Palmer reveals the lives and struggle of those performing some of the most important work in international news. Drawing on interviews with 75 fixers around the world, Palmer is the first researcher to illuminate fixers' own rich narratives, offering a glimpse of how difficult it is to play the role of cultural mediator, both in and out of conflict zones. A news fixers' is not simply administrative; rather, the fixer's engagement with the story is editorial and, more importantly, cultural. Each task that a fixer takes on is a creative effort at mediating between different lived experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, politics, community, and nation. Ultimately, The Fixers offers a different picture of international reporting than most people are accustomed to seeing: one that is more collaborative, more contested, and more fluid in its understanding of "truth" in a global, cross-cultural context.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

"South Central Is Home"

New from Stanford University Press: South Central Is Home: Race and the Power of Community Investment in Los Angeles by Abigail Rosas.

About the book, from the publisher:
South Central Los Angeles is often characterized as an African American community beset by poverty and economic neglect. But this depiction obscures the significant Latina/o population that has called South Central home since the 1970s. More significantly, it conceals the efforts African American and Latina/o residents have made together in shaping their community. As residents have faced increasing challenges from diminished government social services, economic disinvestment, immigration enforcement, and police surveillance, they have come together in their struggle for belonging and justice.

South Central Is Home investigates the development of relational community formation and highlights how communities of color like South Central experience racism and discrimination—and how in the best of situations, they are energized to improve their conditions together. Tracking the demographic shifts in South Central from 1945 to the present, Abigail Rosas shows how financial institutions, War on Poverty programs like Headstart for school children, and community health centers emerged as crucial sites where neighbors engaged one another over what was best for their community. Through this work, Rosas illuminates the promise of community building, offering findings indispensable to our understandings of race, community, and place in U.S. society.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 8, 2019

"Pathogenic Policing"

New from Rutgers University Press: Pathogenic Policing: Immigration Enforcement and Health in the U.S. South by Nolan Kline.

About the book, from the publisher:
The relationship between undocumented immigrants and law enforcement officials continues to be a politically contentious topic in the United States. Nolan Kline focuses on the hidden, health-related impacts of immigrant policing to examine the role of policy in shaping health inequality in the U.S., and responds to fundamental questions regarding biopolitics, especially how policy can reinforce ‘race’ as a vehicle of social division. He argues that immigration enforcement policy results in a shadow medical system, shapes immigrants’ health and interpersonal relationships, and has health-related impacts that extend beyond immigrants to affect health providers, immigrant rights groups, hospitals, and the overall health system. Pathogenic Policing follows current immigrant policing regimes in Georgia and contextualizes contemporary legislation and law enforcement practices against a backdrop of historical forms of political exclusion from health and social services for all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. For anyone concerned about the health of the most vulnerable among us, and those who interact with the overall health safety net, this will be an eye-opening read.
Visit Nolan Kline's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 7, 2019

"Black Radio/Black Resistance"

New from Oxford University Press: Black Radio/Black Resistance: The Life & Times of the Tom Joyner Morning Show by Micaela di Leonardo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Every weekday, the wildly popular Tom Joyner Morning Show reaches more than eight million radio listeners. The show offers broadly progressive political talk, adult-oriented soul music, humor, advice, and celebrity gossip for largely older, largely working-class black audience. But it's not just an old-school show: it's an activist political forum and a key site reflecting on popular aesthetics. It focuses on issues affecting African Americans today, from the denigration of hard-working single mothers, to employment discrimination and sexual abuse, to the racism and violence endemic to the U.S. criminal justice system, to international tragedies.

In Black Radio/Black Resistance, author Micaela di Leonardo dives deep into the Tom Joyner Morning Show's 25 year history inside larger U.S. broadcast history. From its rise in the Clinton era and its responses to key events--9/11, Hurricane Katrina, President Obama's elections and presidency, police murders of unarmed black Americans and the rise of Black Lives Matter, and Donald Trump's ascendancy-it has broadcast the varied, defiant, and darkly comic voices of its anchors, guests, and audience members. di Leonardo also investigates the new synergistic set of cross-medium ties and political connections that have affected print, broadcast, and online reporting and commentary in antiracist directions. This new multiracial progressive public sphere has extraordinary potential for shaping America's future. Thus Black Radio/Black Resistance does far more than simply shed light on a major counterpublic institution unjustly ignored for reasons of color, class, generation, and medium. It demonstrates an alternative understanding of the shifting black public sphere in the digital age. Like the show itself, Black Radio/Black Resistance is politically progressive, music-drenched, and blisteringly funny.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 6, 2019

"Migrant Crossings"

New from Stanford University Press: Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S. by Annie Isabel Fukushima.

About the book, from the publisher:
Migrant Crossings examines the experiences and representations of Asian and Latina/o migrants trafficked in the United States into informal economies and service industries. Through sociolegal and media analysis of court records, press releases, law enforcement campaigns, film representations, theatre performances, and the law, Annie Isabel Fukushima questions how we understand victimhood, criminality, citizenship, and legality.

Fukushima examines how migrants legally cross into visibility, through frames of citizenship, and narratives of victimhood. She explores the interdisciplinary framing of the role of the law and the legal system, the notion of "perfect victimhood", and iconic victims, and how trafficking subjects are resurrected for contemporary movements as illustrated in visuals, discourse, court records, and policy. Migrant Crossings deeply interrogates what it means to bear witness to migration in these migratory times—and what such migrant crossings mean for subjects who experience violence during or after their crossing.
Visit Annie Isabel Fukushima's website.

--Marshal Zeringue