Tuesday, August 11, 2020

"The Province of Affliction"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England by Ben Mutschler.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Province of Affliction, Ben Mutschler explores the surprising roles that illness played in shaping the foundations of New England society and government from the late seventeenth century through the early nineteenth century. Considered healthier than people in many other regions of early America, and yet still riddled with disease, New Englanders grappled steadily with what could be expected of the sick and what allowances were made to them and their providers. Mutschler integrates the history of disease into the narrative of early American social and political development, illuminating the fragility of autonomy, individualism, and advancement . Each sickness in early New England created its own web of interdependent social relations that could both enable survival and set off a long bureaucratic struggle to determine responsibility for the misfortune. From families and households to townships, colonies, and states, illness both defined and strained the institutions of the day, bringing people together in the face of calamity, yet also driving them apart when the cost of persevering grew overwhelming. In the process, domestic turmoil circulated through the social and political world to permeate the very bedrock of early American civic life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 10, 2020

"Racing the Street"

New from the University of California Press: Racing the Street: Race, Rhetoric, and Technology in Metropolitan London, 1840-1900 by Robert J. Topinka.

About the book, from the publisher:
Racing the Street traces the history of how race was used as a technology for gathering, assembling, and networking the early cosmopolitan city. Drawing on an archive that ranges from engineering blueprints and parliamentary committee reports to sensationalistic pamphlets and periodical press accounts, Robert J. Topinka conducts an original genealogy of the nineteenth-century London street, demonstrating how race as a technology gathers, sorts, and assembles the teeming particularities of the street into a manageable network. This interdisciplinary study offers a novel approach to the intersections of race, rhetoric, media, technology, and urban government.
Robert J. Topinka is Lecturer in Transnational Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London and recipient of an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant for the project, “Politics, Ideology, and Rhetoric in the 21st Century: The Case of the Alt-Right.”

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 9, 2020

"The Myth of Luck"

New from Bloomsbury Academic: The Myth of Luck: Philosophy, Fate, and Fortune by Steven D. Hales.

About the book, from the publisher:
Humanity has thrown everything we have at implacable luck-novel theologies, entire philosophical movements, fresh branches of mathematics-and yet we seem to have gained only the smallest edge on the power of fortune. The Myth of Luck tells us why we have been fighting an unconquerable foe.

Taking us on a guided tour of one of our oldest concepts, we begin in ancient Greece and Rome, considering how Plato, Plutarch, and the Stoics understood luck, before entering the theoretical world of probability and exploring how luck relates to theology, sports, ethics, gambling, knowledge, and present-day psychology. As we travel across traditions, times and cultures, we come to realize that it's not that as soon as we solve one philosophical problem with luck that two more appear, like heads on a hydra, but rather that the monster is altogether mythological. We cannot master luck because there is nothing to defeat: luck is no more than a persistent and troubling illusion.

By introducing us to compelling arguments and convincing reasons that explain why there is no such thing as luck, we finally see why in a very real sense we make our own luck, that luck is our own doing. The Myth of Luck helps us to regain our own agency in the world - telling the entertaining story of the philosophy and history of luck along the way.
Coffee with a canine: Steven D. Hales & Sophie.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 8, 2020

"The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals"

New from Stanford University Press: The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals by Katja M. Guenther.

About the book, from the publisher:
Monster is an adult pit bull, muscular and grey, who is impounded in a large animal shelter in Los Angeles. Like many other dogs at the shelter, Monster is associated with marginalized humans and assumed to embody certain behaviors because of his breed. And like approximately one million shelter animals each year, Monster will be killed. The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals takes us inside one of the country's highest-intake animal shelters. Katja M. Guenther witnesses the dramatic variance in the narratives assigned different animals, including Monster, which dictate their chances for survival. She argues that these inequalities are powerfully linked to human ideas about race, class, gender, ability, and species. Guenther deftly explores internal hierarchies, breed discrimination, and importantly, instances of resistance and agency.
Katja M. Guenther is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and author of Making Their Place (2010). Her research focuses on gender, social movements, human-animal relationships, and the state.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 7, 2020

"Hitler's Northern Utopia"

New from Princeton University Press: Hitler's Northern Utopia: Building the New Order in Occupied Norway by Despina Stratigakos.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between 1940 and 1945, German occupiers transformed Norway into a vast construction zone. This remarkable building campaign, largely unknown today, was designed to extend the Greater German Reich beyond the Arctic Circle and turn the Scandinavian country into a racial utopia. From ideal new cities to a scenic superhighway stretching from Berlin to northern Norway, plans to remake the country into a model “Aryan” society fired the imaginations of Hitler, his architect Albert Speer, and other Nazi leaders. In Hitler’s Northern Utopia, Despina Stratigakos provides the first major history of Nazi efforts to build a Nordic empire—one that they believed would improve their genetic stock and confirm their destiny as a new order of Vikings.

Drawing on extraordinary unpublished diaries, photographs, and maps, as well as newspapers from the period, Hitler’s Northern Utopia tells the story of a broad range of completed and unrealized architectural and infrastructure projects far beyond the well-known German military defenses built on Norway’s Atlantic coast. These ventures included maternity centers, cultural and recreational facilities for German soldiers, and a plan to create quintessential National Socialist communities out of twenty-three towns damaged in the German invasion, an overhaul Norwegian architects were expected to lead. The most ambitious scheme—a German cultural capital and naval base—remained a closely guarded secret for fear of provoking Norwegian resistance.

A gripping account of the rise of a Nazi landscape in occupied Norway, Hitler’s Northern Utopia reveals a haunting vision of what might have been—a world colonized under the swastika.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 6, 2020

"The Power of Deserts"

New from Stanford University Press: The Power of Deserts: Climate Change, the Middle East, and the Promise of a Post-Oil Era by Dan Rabinowitz.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hotter and dryer than most parts of the world, the Middle East could soon see climate change exacerbate food and water shortages, aggravate social inequalities, and drive displacement and political destabilization. And as renewable energy eclipses fossil fuels, oil rich countries in the Middle East will see their wealth diminish. Amidst these imminent risks is a call to action for regional leaders. Could countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates harness the region's immense potential for solar energy and emerge as vanguards of global climate action?

The Power of Deserts surveys regional climate models and identifies the potential impact on socioeconomic disparities, population movement, and political instability. Offering more than warning and fear, however, the book highlights a potentially brighter future—a recent shift across the Middle East toward renewable energy. With his deep knowledge of the region and knack for presenting scientific data with clarity, Dan Rabinowitz makes a sober yet surprisingly optimistic investigation of opportunity arising from a looming crisis.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

"The Craft: How the Freemasons Made the Modern World"

New from PublicAffairs: The Craft: How the Freemasons Made the Modern World by John Dickie.

About the book, from the publisher:
Insiders call it the Craft.

Founded in London in 1717 as a way of binding men in fellowship, Freemasonry proved so addictive that within two decades it had spread across the globe. Masonic influence became pervasive. Under George Washington, the Craft became a creed for the new American nation. Masonic networks held the British empire together. Under Napoleon, the Craft became a tool of authoritarianism and then a cover for revolutionary conspiracy. Both the Mormon Church and the Sicilian mafia owe their origins to Freemasonry.

Yet the Masons were as feared as they were influential. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Freemasonry has always been a den of devil-worshippers. For Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, the Lodges spread the diseases of pacifism, socialism and Jewish influence, so had to be crushed.

Freemasonry’s story yokes together Winston Churchill and Walt Disney; Wolfgang Mozart and Shaquille O’Neal; Benjamin Franklin and Buzz Aldrin; Rudyard Kipling and ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody; Duke Ellington and the Duke of Wellington.

John Dickie’s The Craft is an enthralling exploration of a the world’s most famous and misunderstood secret brotherhood, a movement that not only helped to forge modern society, but has substantial contemporary influence, with 400,000 members in Britain, over a million in the USA, and around six million across the world.
Visit John Dickie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

"Peak Pursuits"

New from Yale University Press: Peak Pursuits: The Emergence of Mountaineering in the Nineteenth Century by Caroline Schaumann.

About the book, from the publisher:
An interdisciplinary cultural history of exploration and mountaineering in the nineteenth century

European forays to mountain summits began in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries with the search for plants and minerals and the study of geology and glaciers. Yet scientists were soon captivated by the enterprise of climbing itself, enthralled with the views and the prospect of “conquering” alpine summits. Inspired by Romantic notions of nature, early mountaineers idealized their endeavors as sublime experiences, all the while deliberately measuring what they saw. As increased leisure time and advances in infrastructure and equipment opened up once formidable mountain regions to those seeking adventure and sport, new models of masculinity emerged that were fraught with tensions. This book examines how written and artistic depictions of nineteenth-century exploration and mountaineering in the Andes, the Alps, and the Sierra Nevada shaped cultural understandings of nature and wilderness in the Anthropocene.
Caroline Schaumann is professor of German studies at Emory University. She is co-editor of Heights of Reflection: Mountains in the German Imagination from the Middle Ages to the Twenty-First Century and author of Memory Matters: Generational Responses to Germany’s Nazi Past in Recent Women’s Literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 3, 2020

"The Anatomy of Fake News"

New from the University of California Press: The Anatomy of Fake News: A Critical News Literacy Education by Nolan Higdon.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, concerns about fake news have fostered calls for government regulation and industry intervention to mitigate the influence of false content. These proposals are hindered by a lack of consensus concerning the definition of fake news or its origins. Media scholar Nolan Higdon contends that expanded access to critical media literacy education, grounded in a comprehensive history of fake news, is a more promising solution to these issues. The Anatomy of Fake News offers the first historical examination of fake news that takes as its goal the effective teaching of critical news literacy in the United States. Higdon employs a critical-historical media ecosystems approach to identify the producers, themes, purposes, and influences of fake news. The findings are then incorporated into an invaluable fake news detection kit. This much-needed resource provides a rich history and a promising set of pedagogical strategies for mitigating the pernicious influence of fake news.
Follow Nolan Higdon on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 2, 2020

"A Violent Peace"

New from Stanford University Press: A Violent Peace: Race, U.S. Militarism, and Cultures of Democratization in Cold War Asia and the Pacific by Christine Hong.

About the book, from the publisher:
A Violent Peace offers a radical cultural account of the midcentury transformation of the United States into a total-war state. As the Cold War turned hot in the Pacific, antifascist critique disclosed a continuity between U.S. police actions in Asia and a rising police state at home. Writers including James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and W.E.B. Du Bois discerned in U.S. domestic strategies to quell racial protests and urban riots the same logic of racial counterintelligence structuring America's devastating hot wars in Asia.

Christine Hong examines the centrality of U.S. militarism to the Cold War cultural imagination. She assembles a transpacific archive—including war writings, Japanese accounts of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, black radical human rights petitions, Korean War–era G.I. photographs, Filipino novels on guerrilla resistance, and Marshallese critiques of U.S. human radiation experiments—and places these materials alongside U.S. government documents to theorize these works as homologous responses to unchecked U.S. war and police power. In so doing, Hong shows how the so-called Pax Americana laid the grounds for solidarity—for imagining collective futures of total liberation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 1, 2020

"Misplacing Ogden, Utah"

New from The University of Utah Press: Misplacing Ogden, Utah: Race, Class, Immigration, and the Construction of Urban Reputations by Pepper Glass.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do we draw the lines between "good" and "bad" neighborhoods? How do we know “ghettos”? This book questions the widely held assumption that divisions between urban areas are reflections of varying amounts of crime, deprivation, and other social, cultural, and economic problems. Using Ogden, Utah, as a case study, Pepper Glass argues that urban reputations are “moral frontiers” that uphold and create divides between who is a good and respectable—or a bad and vilified—member of a community.

Ogden, a working-class city with a history of racial and immigrant diversity, has long held a reputation among Utahns as a “sin city” in the middle of an entrenched religious culture. Glass blends ethnographic research with historical accounts, census reports, and other secondary sources to provide insight into Ogden’s reputation, past and present. Capturing residents’ perceptions of an entire city, as opposed to only some of its neighborhoods, and exploring the regional contexts shaping these views, is rare among urban researchers. Glass’s unique approach suggests we can better confront urban problems by rethinking assumptions about place and promoting interventions that break down boundaries.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 31, 2020

"The Battle to Stay in America"

New from the University of Nevada Press: The Battle to Stay in America: Immigration's Hidden Front Line by Michael Kagan.

About the book, from the publisher:
The national debate over American immigration policy has obsessed politicians and disrupted the lives of millions of people for decades. The Battle to Stay in America focuses on Las Vegas, Nevada–a city where more than one in five residents was born in a foreign country, and where the community is struggling to defend itself against the federal government’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Told through the eyes of an immigration lawyer on the front lines of that battle, this book offers an accessible, intensely personal introduction to a broken legal system. It is also a raw, honest story of exhaustion, perseverance, and solidarity. Michael Kagan describes how current immigration law affects real people’s lives and introduces us to some remarkable individuals—immigrants and activists—who grapple with its complications every day. He explains how American immigration law often gives good people no recourse. He shows how under President Trump the complex bureaucracies that administer immigration law have been re-engineered to carry out a relentless but often invisible attack against people and families who are integral to American communities.

Kagan tells the stories of people desperate to escape unspeakable violence in their homeland, children separated from their families and trapped in a tangle of administrative regulations, and hardworking long-time residents suddenly ripped from their productive lives when they fall unwittingly into the clutches of the immigration enforcement system. He considers how the crackdown on immigrants negatively impacts the national economy and offers a deeply considered assessment of the future of immigration policy in the United States. Kagan also captures the psychological costs exacted by fear of deportation and by increasingly overt expressions of hatred against immigrants.
Visit Michael Kagan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 30, 2020

"Divided by the Wall"

New from the University of California Press: Divided by the Wall: Progressive and Conservative Immigration Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border by Emine Fidan Elcioglu.

About the book, from the publisher:
The construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border—whether to build it or not—has become a hot-button issue in contemporary America. A recent impasse over funding a wall caused the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, sharpening partisan divisions across the nation. In the Arizona borderlands, groups of predominantly white American citizens have been mobilizing for decades—some help undocumented immigrants bypass governmental detection, while others help law enforcement agents to apprehend immigrants. Activists on both the left and the right mobilize without an immediate personal connection to the issue at hand, many doubting that their actions can bring about the long-term change they desire. Why, then, do they engage in immigration and border politics so passionately?

Divided by the Wall offers a one-of-a-kind comparative study of progressive pro-immigrant activists and their conservative immigration-restrictionist opponents. Using twenty months of ethnographic research with five grassroots organizations, Emine Fidan Elcioglu shows how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans. She demonstrates how activists mobilized not only to change the rules of immigration but also to experience a change in themselves. Elcioglu finds that the variation in social class and intersectional identity across the two sides mapped onto disparate concerns about state power. As activists strategized ways to transform the scope of the state’s power, they also tried to carve out self-transformative roles for themselves. Provocative and even-handed, Divided by the Wall challenges our understanding of immigration politics in times of growing inequality and insecurity.
Visit Emine Fidan Elcioglu's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

"Tyranny of Greed"

New from Stanford University Press: Tyranny of Greed: Trump, Corruption, and the Revolution to Come by Timothy K. Kuhner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Democracy is being destroyed by an ancient evil, and modernity is in denial. In the Tyranny of Greed, Timothy K. Kuhner reveals the United States to be a government by and for the wealthy, with Trump—the spirit of infinite greed—at its helm. Taking readers on a tour through evolutionary biology, psychology, and biblical sources, Kuhner explores how democracy emerged from religious and revolutionary awakenings. He argues that to overcome Trump's regime and establish real democracy, we must reconnect with that radical heritage. Our political tradition demands a revolution against corruption.
Timothy K. Kuhner is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Auckland. He is the author of Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution (2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

"Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy"

New from St. Martin's Press: Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy by Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman.

About the book, from the publisher:
An urgent, historically-grounded take on the four major factors that undermine American democracy, and what we can do to address them.

While many Americans despair of the current state of U.S. politics, most assume that our system of government and democracy itself are invulnerable to decay. Yet when we examine the past, we find that the United States has undergone repeated crises of democracy, from the earliest days of the republic to the present.

In Four Threats, Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman explore five moments in history when democracy in the U.S. was under siege: the 1790s, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Depression, and Watergate. These episodes risked profound—even fatal—damage to the American democratic experiment. From this history, four distinct characteristics of disruption emerge. Political polarization, racism and nativism, economic inequality, and excessive executive power—alone or in combination—have threatened the survival of the republic, but it has survived—so far. What is unique, and alarming, about the present moment in American politics is that all four conditions exist.

This convergence marks the contemporary era as a grave moment for democracy. But history provides a valuable repository from which we can draw lessons about how democracy was eventually strengthened—or weakened—in the past. By revisiting how earlier generations of Americans faced threats to the principles enshrined in the Constitution, we can see the promise and the peril that have led us to today and chart a path toward repairing our civic fabric and renewing democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 27, 2020

"Smoke but No Fire"

New from the University of California Press: Smoke but No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened by Jessica S. Henry.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first book to explore a shocking yet all-too-common type of wrongful conviction—one that locks away innocent people for crimes that never actually happened.

Rodricus Crawford was convicted and sentenced to die for the murder by suffocation of his beautiful baby boy. After years on death row, evidence confirmed what Crawford had claimed all along: he was innocent, and his son had died from an undiagnosed illness. Crawford is not alone. A full one-third of all known exonerations stem from no-crime wrongful convictions.

The first book to explore this common but previously undocumented type of wrongful conviction, Smoke but No Fire tells the heartbreaking stories of innocent people convicted of crimes that simply never happened. A suicide is mislabeled a homicide. An accidental fire is mislabeled an arson. Corrupt police plant drugs on an innocent suspect. A false allegation of assault is invented to resolve a custody dispute. With this book, former New York City public defender Jessica S. Henry sheds essential light on a deeply flawed criminal justice system that allows—even encourages—these convictions to regularly occur. Smoke but No Fire promises to be eye-opening reading for legal professionals, students, activists, and the general public alike as it grapples with the chilling reality that far too many innocent people spend real years behind bars for fictional crimes.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 26, 2020

#HumanRights

New from Stanford University Press: #HumanRights: The Technologies and Politics of Justice Claims in Practice by Ronald Niezen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Social justice and human rights movements are entering a new phase. Social media, artificial intelligence, and digital forensics are reshaping advocacy and compliance. Technicians, lawmakers, and advocates, sometimes in collaboration with the private sector, have increasingly gravitated toward the possibilities and dangers inherent in the nonhuman. #HumanRights examines how new technologies interact with older models of rights claiming and communication, influencing and reshaping the modern-day pursuit of justice.

Ronald Niezen argues that the impacts of information technologies on human rights are not found through an exclusive focus on sophisticated, expert-driven forms of data management but in considering how these technologies are interacting with other, "traditional" forms of media to produce new avenues of expression, public sympathy, redress of grievances, and sources of the self. Niezen considers various ways that the pursuit of justice is happening via new technologies, including crowdsourcing, social media–facilitated mobilizations (and enclosures), WhatsApp activist networks, and the selective attention of Google's search engine algorithm. He uncovers how emerging technologies of data management and social media influence the ways that human rights claimants and their allies pursue justice, and the "new victimology" that prioritizes and represents strategic lives and types of violence over others. #HumanRights paints a striking and important panoramic picture of the contest between authoritarianism and the new tools by which people attempt to leverage human rights and bring the powerful to account.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 25, 2020

"The Jews and the Reformation"

New from Yale University Press: The Jews and the Reformation by Kenneth Austin.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first comprehensive account of Protestant and Catholic attitudes toward Jews and Judaism in the European Reformation

In this rich, wide-ranging, and meticulously researched account, Kenneth Austin examines the attitudes of various Christian groups in the Protestant and Catholic Reformations towards Jews, the Hebrew language, and Jewish learning. Martin Luther’s writings are notorious, but Reformation attitudes were much more varied and nuanced than these might lead us to believe. This book has much to tell us about the Reformation and its priorities—and has important implications for how we think about religious pluralism more broadly.
Kenneth Austin is a senior lecturer in early modern history at the University of Bristol, UK, and the author of From Judaism to Calvinism: The Life and Writings of Immanuel Tremellius.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 24, 2020

"Ethics, Security, and The War-Machine"

New from Oxford University Press: Ethics, Security, and The War-Machine: The True Cost of the Military by Ned Dobos.

About the book, from the publisher:
If pacifists are correct in thinking that war is always unjust, then it follows that we ought to eliminate the possibility and temptation of ever engaging in it; we should not build war-making capacity, and if we already have, then demilitarization--or military abolition--would seem to be the appropriate course to take. On the other hand, if war is sometimes justified, as many believe, then it must be permissible to prepare for it by creating and maintaining a military establishment. Yet this view that the justifiability of war-making is also sufficient to justify war-building is mistaken.

This book addresses questions of jus ante bellum, or justice before war. Under what circumstances is it justifiable for a polity to prepare for war by militarizing? When (if ever) and why (if at all) is it morally permissible to create and maintain the potential to wage war? In doing so it highlights the ways in which a civilian population compromises its own security in maintaining a permanent military establishment, explores the moral and social costs of militarization, and evaluates whether or not these costs are worth bearing.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 23, 2020

"Upsold"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Upsold: Real Estate Agents, Prices, and Neighborhood Inequality by Max Besbris.

About the book, from the publisher:
What do you want for yourself in the next five, ten years? Do your plans involve marriage, kids, a new job? These are the questions a real estate agent might ask in an attempt to unearth information they can employ to complete a sale, which as Upsold shows, often results in upselling. In this book, sociologist Max Besbris shows how agents successfully upsell, inducing buyers to spend more than their initially stated price ceilings. His research reveals how face-to-face interactions influence buyers’ ideas about which neighborhoods are desirable and which are less-worthy investments and how these preferences ultimately contribute to neighborhood inequality.

Stratification defines cities in the contemporary United States. In an era marked by increasing income segregation, one of the main sources of this inequality is housing prices. A crucial part of wealth inequality, housing prices are also directly linked to the uneven distribution of resources across neighborhoods and to racial and ethnic segregation. Upsold shows how the interactions between real estate agents and buyers make or break neighborhood reputations and construct neighborhoods by price.

Employing revealing ethnographic and quantitative housing data, Besbris outlines precisely how social influences come together during the sales process. In Upsold, we get a deep dive into the role that the interactions with sales agents play in buyers’ decision-making and how neighborhoods are differentiated, valorized, and deemed to be worthy of a certain price.
Visit Max Besbris's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

"Shaping the Future of Power"

New from the University of Michigan Press: Shaping the Future of Power: Knowledge Production and Network-Building in China-Africa Relations by Lina Benabdallah.

About the book, from the publisher:
China’s rise to power is one of the biggest questions in International Relations theory (IRT) and foreign policy circles. Although power has been a core concept of IRT for a long time, the faces and mechanisms of power as it relates to Chinese foreign policymaking has changed the contours of that debate. The rise of China and other powers across the global political arena sparks a new visibility for different kinds of encounters between states, particularly between China and other Global South states. These encounters are more visible to IR scholars because of the increasing influence that rising powers have in the international system. This book shows that foreign policy encounters between rising powers and Global South states do not necessarily exhibit the same logics, behaviors, or investment strategies of Euro-American hegemons. Instead, they have distinctive features that require new theoretical frameworks for analysis. Shaping the Future of Power probes the types of power mechanisms that build, diffuse, and project China’s power in Africa. One must take into account the processes of knowledge production, social capital formation, and skills transfers that Chinese foreign policy directs toward African states to fully understand China’s power-building mechanisms. The relational power framework requires these elements to capture both the material aspects and ideational people-centered aspects to power. By examining China’s investments in human resource development programs for Africa, the book reveals a vital, yet undertheorized, aspect of China’s foreign policy making.
Visit Lina Benabdallah's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

"Grief: The Biography of a Holocaust Photograph"

New from Oxford University Press: Grief: The Biography of a Holocaust Photograph by David Shneer.

About the book, from the publisher:
In January 1942, Soviet press photographers came upon a scene like none they had ever documented. That day, they took pictures of the first liberation of a German mass atrocity, where an estimated 7,000 Jews and others were executed at an anti-tank trench near Kerch on the Crimean peninsula. Dmitri Baltermants, a photojournalist working for the Soviet newspaper Izvestiia, took photos that day that would have a long life in shaping the image of Nazi genocide in and against the Soviet Union. Presenting never before seen photographs, Grief: The Biography of a Holocaust Photograph shows how Baltermants used the image of a grieving woman to render this gruesome mass atrocity into a transcendentally human tragedy.

David Shneer tells the story of how that one photograph from the series Baltermants took that day in 1942 near Kerch became much more widely known than the others, eventually being titled "Grief." Baltermants turned this shocking wartime atrocity photograph into a Cold War era artistic meditation on the profundity and horror of war that today can be found in Holocaust photo archives as well as in art museums and at art auctions. Although the journalist documented murdered Jews in other pictures he took at Kerch, in "Grief" there are likely no Jews among the dead or the living, save for the possible NKVD soldier securing the site. Nonetheless, Shneer shows that this photograph must be seen as an iconic Holocaust photograph. Unlike images of emaciated camp survivors or barbed wire fences, Shneer argues, the Holocaust by bullets in the Soviet Union make "Grief" a quintessential Soviet image of Nazi genocide.
Visit David Shneer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 20, 2020

"Charter School City"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Charter School City: What the End of Traditional Public Schools in New Orleans Means for American Education by Douglas N. Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the wake of the tragedy and destruction that came with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, public schools in New Orleans became part of an almost unthinkable experiment—eliminating the traditional public education system and completely replacing it with charter schools and school choice. Fifteen years later, the results have been remarkable, and the complex lessons learned should alter the way we think about American education. New Orleans became the first US city ever to adopt a school system based on the principles of markets and economics. When the state took over all of the city’s public schools, it turned them over to non-profit charter school managers accountable under performance-based contracts. Students were no longer obligated to attend a specific school based upon their address, allowing families to act like consumers and choose schools in any neighborhood. The teacher union contract, tenure, and certification rules were eliminated, giving schools autonomy and control to hire and fire as they pleased. In Charter School City, Douglas N. Harris provides an inside look at how and why these reform decisions were made and offers many surprising findings from one of the most extensive and rigorous evaluations of a district school reform ever conducted. Through close examination of the results, Harris finds that this unprecedented experiment was a noteworthy success on almost every measurable student outcome. But, as Harris shows, New Orleans was uniquely situated for these reforms to work well and that this market-based reform still required some specific and active roles for government. Letting free markets rule on their own without government involvement will not generate the kinds of changes their advocates suggest.

Combining the evidence from New Orleans with that from other cities, Harris draws out the broader lessons of this unprecedented reform effort. At a time when charter school debates are more based on ideology than data, this book is a powerful, evidence-based, and in-depth look at how we can rethink the roles for governments, markets, and nonprofit organizations in education to ensure that America’s schools fulfill their potential for all students.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 19, 2020

"Anger: The Conflicted History of an Emotion"

New from Yale University Press: Anger: The Conflicted History of an Emotion by Barbara H. Rosenwein.

About the book, from the publisher:
Tracing the story of anger from the Buddha to Twitter, Rosenwein provides a much-needed account of our changing and contradictory understandings of this emotion

All of us think we know when we are angry, and we are sure we can recognize anger in others as well. But this is only superficially true. We see anger through lenses colored by what we know, experience, and learn.

Barbara H. Rosenwein traces our many conflicting ideas about and expressions of anger, taking the story from the Buddha to our own time, from anger’s complete rejection to its warm reception. Rosenwein explores how anger has been characterized by gender and race, why it has been tied to violence and how that is often a false connection, how it has figured among the seven deadly sins and yet is considered a virtue, and how its interpretation, once largely the preserve of philosophers and theologians, has been gradually handed over to scientists—with very mixed results. Rosenwein shows that the history of anger can help us grapple with it today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 18, 2020

"Friendly Enemies"

New from the University of Nebraska Press: Friendly Enemies: Soldier Fraternization throughout the American Civil War by Lauren K. Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the American Civil War, Union and Confederate soldiers commonly fraternized, despite strict prohibitions from the high command. When soldiers found themselves surrounded by privation, disease, and death, many risked their standing in the army, and ultimately their lives, for a warm cup of coffee or pinch of tobacco during a sleepless shift on picket duty, to receive a newspaper from a “Yank” or “Johnny,” or to stop the relentless picket fire while in the trenches.

In Friendly Enemies Lauren K. Thompson analyzes the relations and fraternization of American soldiers on opposing sides of the battlefield and argues that these interactions represented common soldiers’ efforts to fight the war on their own terms. Her study reveals that despite different commanders, terrain, and outcomes on the battlefield, a common thread emerges: soldiers constructed a space to lessen hostilities and make their daily lives more manageable.

Fraternization allowed men to escape their situation briefly and did not carry the stigma of cowardice. Because the fraternization was exclusively between white soldiers, it became the prototype for sectional reunion after the war—a model that avoided debates over causation, honored soldiers’ shared sacrifice, and promoted white male supremacy. Friendly Enemies demonstrates how relations between opposing sides were an unprecedented yet highly significant consequence of mid-nineteenth-century civil warfare.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 17, 2020

"Catastrophic Thinking"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Catastrophic Thinking: Extinction and the Value of Diversity from Darwin to the Anthropocene by David Sepkoski.

About the book, from the publisher:
We live in an age in which we are repeatedly reminded—by scientists, by the media, by popular culture—of the looming threat of mass extinction. We’re told that human activity is currently producing a sixth mass extinction, perhaps of even greater magnitude than the five previous geological catastrophes that drastically altered life on Earth. Indeed, there is a very real concern that the human species may itself be poised to go the way of the dinosaurs, victims of the most recent mass extinction some 65 million years ago.

How we interpret the causes and consequences of extinction and their ensuing moral imperatives is deeply embedded in the cultural values of any given historical moment. And, as David Sepkoski reveals, the history of scientific ideas about extinction over the past two hundred years—as both a past and a current process—is implicated in major changes in the way Western society has approached biological and cultural diversity. It seems self-evident to most of us that diverse ecosystems and societies are intrinsically valuable, but the current fascination with diversity is a relatively recent phenomenon. In fact, the way we value diversity depends crucially on our sense that it is precarious—that it is something actively threatened, and that its loss could have profound consequences. In Catastrophic Thinking, Sepkoski uncovers how and why we learned to value diversity as a precious resource at the same time as we learned to think catastrophically about extinction.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 16, 2020

"Foucault's Strange Eros"

New from Columbia University Press: Foucault's Strange Eros by Lynne Huffer.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is the strange eros that haunts Foucault’s writing? In this deeply original consideration of Foucault’s erotic ethics, Lynne Huffer provocatively rewrites Foucault as a Sapphic poet. She uncovers eros as a mode of thought that erodes the interiority of the thinking subject. Focusing on the ethical implications of this mode of thought, Huffer shows how Foucault’s poetic archival method offers a way to counter the disciplining of speech.

At the heart of this method is a conception of the archive as Sapphic: the past’s remains are, like Sappho’s verses, hole-ridden, scattered, and dissolved by time. Listening for eros across fragmented texts, Huffer stages a series of encounters within an archive of literary and theoretical readings: the eroticization of violence in works by Freud and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, the historicity of madness in the Foucault-Derrida debate, the afterlives of Foucault’s antiprison activism, and Monique Wittig’s Sapphic materialism. Through these encounters, Foucault’s Strange Eros conceives of ethics as experiments in living that work poetically to make the present strange. Crafting fragments that dissolve into Sapphic brackets, Huffer performs the ethics she describes in her own practice of experimental writing. Foucault’s Strange Eros hints at the self-hollowing speech of an eros that opens a space for the strange.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

"Taking Back the Constitution"

New from Yale University Press: Taking Back the Constitution: Activist Judges and the Next Age of American Law by Mark Tushnet.

About the book, from the publisher:
How the Supreme Court’s move to the right has distorted both logic and the Constitution

What Supreme Court justices do is far more than just “calling balls and strikes.” The Court has never simply evaluated laws and arguments in light of permanent and immutable constitutional meanings. Social, moral, and yes, political ideas have always played into the justices’ impressions of how they think a case should be decided. Mark Tushnet traces the ways constitutional thought has evolved, from the liberalism of the New Deal and the Great Society to the Reagan conservatism that has been dominant since the 1980s. Looking at the current crossroads in the constitutional order, Tushnet explores the possibilities of either a Trumpian entrenchment of the most extreme ideas of the Reagan philosophy, or a dramatic and destabilizing move to the left. Wary of either outcome, he offers a passionate and informed argument for replacing judicial supremacy with popular constitutionalism—a move that would restore to the other branches of government a role in deciding constitutional questions.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

"The Politics of Maps"

New from Oxford University Press: The Politics of Maps: Cartographic Constructions of Israel/Palestine by Christine Leuenberger and Izhak Schnell.

About the book, from the publisher:
The land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan Valley has been one of the most disputed territories in history. Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, Palestinians and Israelis have each sought claim to the national identity of the land through various martial, social and scientific tactics, but no method has offered as much legitimacy and national controversy as that of the map.

The Politics of Maps delves beneath the battlefield to unearth the cartographic strife behind the Israel/Palestine conflict. Blending science and technology studies, sociology, and geography with a host of archival material, in-depth interviews and ethnographies, this book explores how the geographical sciences came to be entangled with the politics, territorial claim-making, and nation-state building of Israel/Palestine. Chapters chart the cartographic history of the region, from the introduction of Western scientific and legal paradigms that seemingly legitimized and depoliticized new land regimes to the rise of new mapping technologies and software that expanded access to cartography into the public sphere. Maps produced by various sectors like the "peace camps" or the Jewish community enhanced national belonging, while others, like that of the Green Line, served largely to divide.

The stories of Israel's many boundaries reveal that there is no absolute, technocratic solution to boundary-making. As boundaries continue to be controversial and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains intractable and unresolved, The Politics of Maps uses nationally-based cartographic discourses to provide insight into the complexity, fissures and frictions within internal political debates, illuminating the persistent power of the nation-state as a framework for forging identities, citizens, and alliances.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 13, 2020

"Trading Life"

New from Stanford University Press: Trading Life: Organ Trafficking, Illicit Networks, and Exploitation by Seán Columb.

About the book, from the publisher:
This groundbreaking book investigates the emergence and evolution of the organ trade across North Africa and Europe. Seán Columb illuminates the voices and perspectives of organ sellers and brokers to demonstrate how crime and immigration controls produce circumstances where the business of selling organs has become a feature of economic survival.

Drawing on the experiences of African migrants, Trading Life brings together five years of fieldwork charting the development of the organ trade from an informal economic activity into a structured criminal network operating within and between Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, and Europe. Ground-level analysis provides new insight into the operation of organ trading networks and the impact of current legal and policy measures in response to the organ trade. Columb reveals how investing financial and administrative resources into law enforcement and border securitization at the expense of social services has led to the convergence of illicit smuggling and organ trading networks and the development of organized crime.

Trading Life delivers a powerful and grounded analysis of how economic pressures and the demands of survival force people into exploitative arrangements, like selling a kidney, that they would otherwise avoid. This fascinating and accessible book is a must-read for anyone interested in migration, organized crime, and exploitation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 12, 2020

"Troubling Masculinities"

New from the University Press of Mississippi: Troubling Masculinities: Terror, Gender, and Monstrous Others in American Film Post-9/11 by Glen Donnar.

About the book, from the publisher:
Troubling Masculinities: Terror, Gender, and Monstrous Others in American Film Post-9/11 is the first multigenre study of representations of masculinity following the emergence of violent terror as a plot element in American cinema after September 11, 2001. Across a broad range of subgenres—including disaster melodrama, monster movies, postapocalyptic science fiction, discovered footage and home invasion horror, action-thrillers, and frontier westerns—author Glen Donnar examines the impact of “terror-Others,” from Arab terrorists to giant monsters, especially in relation to cinematic representations in earlier periods of national turmoil.

Donnar demonstrates that the reassertion of masculinity and American national identity in post-9/11 cinema repeatedly unravels across genres. Taking up critical arguments about Hollywood’s attempts to resolve male crisis through Orientalizing figures of terror, he shows how this failure reflects an inability to effectively extinguish the threat or frightening difference of terror. The heroes in these movies are unable to heal themselves or restore order, often becoming as destructive as the threats they are supposed to be fighting.

Donnar concludes that interrelated anxieties about masculinity and nationhood continue to affect contemporary American cinema and politics. By showing how persistent these cultural fears are, the volume offers an important counternarrative to this supposedly unprecedented moment in American history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 11, 2020

"Queer Alliances"

New from Stanford University Press: Queer Alliances: How Power Shapes Political Movement Formation by Erin Mayo-Adam.

About the book, from the publisher:
A unique investigation into how alliances form in highly polarized times among LGBTQ, immigrant, and labor rights activists, revealing the impacts within each rights movement.

Queer Alliances investigates coalition formation among LGBTQ, immigrant, and labor rights activists in the United States, revealing how these new alliances impact political movement formation.

In the early 2000s, the LGBTQ and immigrant rights movements operated separately from and, sometimes, in a hostile manner towards each other. Since 2008, by contrast, major alliances have formed at the national and state level across these communities. Yet, this new coalition formation came at a cost. Today, coalitions across these communities have been largely reluctant to address issues of police brutality, mass incarceration, economic inequality, and the ruthless immigrant regulatory complex. Queer Alliances examines the extent to which grassroots groups bridged historic divisions based on race, gender, class, and immigration status through the development of coalitions, looking specifically at coalition building around expanding LGBTQ rights in Washington State and immigrant and migrant rights in Arizona. Erin Mayo-Adam traces the evolution of political movement formation in each state, and shows that while the movements expanded, they simultaneously ossified around goals that matter to the most advantaged segments of their respective communities.

Through a detailed, multi-method study that involves archival research and in-depth interviews with organization leaders and advocates, Queer Alliances centers local, coalition-based mobilization across and within multiple movements rather than national campaigns and court cases that often occur at the end of movement formation. Mayo-Adam argues that the construction of common political movement narratives and a shared core of opponents can help to explain the paradoxical effects of coalition formation. On the one hand, the development of shared political movement narratives and common opponents can expand movements in some contexts. On the other hand, the episodic nature of rights-based campaigns can simultaneously contain and undermine movement expansion, reinforcing movement divisions. Mayo-Adam reveals the extent to which inter- and intra-movement coalitions, formed to win rights or thwart rights losses, represent and serve intersectionally marginalized communities—who are often absent from contemporary accounts of social movement formation.
Visit Erin Mayo-Adam's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 10, 2020

"Asian Place, Filipino Nation"

New from Columbia University Press: Asian Place, Filipino Nation: A Global Intellectual History of the Philippine Revolution, 1887-1912 by Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Philippine Revolution of 1896–1905, which began against Spain and continued against the United States, took place in the context of imperial subjugation and local resistance across Southeast Asia. Yet scholarship on the revolution and the turn of the twentieth century in Asia more broadly has largely approached this pivotal moment in terms of relations with the West, at the expense of understanding the East-East and Global South connections that knit together the region’s experience. Asian Place, Filipino Nation reconnects the Philippine Revolution to the histories of Southeast and East Asia through an innovative consideration of its transnational political setting and regional intellectual foundations.

Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz charts turn-of-the-twentieth-century Filipino thinkers’ and revolutionaries’ Asianist political organizing and proto-national thought, scrutinizing how their constructions of the place of Asia connected them to their regional neighbors. She details their material and affective engagement with Pan-Asianism, tracing how colonized peoples in the “periphery” of this imagined Asia—focusing on Filipinos, but with comparison to the Vietnamese—reformulated a political and intellectual project that envisioned anticolonial Asian solidarity with the Asian “center” of Japan. CuUnjieng Aboitiz argues that the revolutionary First Philippine Republic’s harnessing of transnational networks of support, activism, and association represents the crucial first instance of Pan-Asianists lending material aid toward anticolonial revolution against a Western power. Uncovering the Pan-Asianism of the periphery and its critical role in shaping modern Asia, Asian Place, Filipino Nation offers a vital new perspective on the Philippine Revolution’s global context and content.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 9, 2020

"Colossal Ambitions"

New from the University of Virginia Press: Colossal Ambitions: Confederate Planning for a Post-Civil War World by Adrian Brettle.

About the book, from the publisher:
Leading politicians, diplomats, clerics, planters, farmers, manufacturers, and merchants preached a transformative, world-historical role for the Confederacy, persuading many of their compatriots to fight not merely to retain what they had but to gain their future empire. Impervious to reality, their vision of future world leadership—territorial, economic, political, and cultural—provided a vitally important, underappreciated motivation to form an independent Confederate republic.

In Colossal Ambitions, Adrian Brettle explores how leading Confederate thinkers envisioned their postwar nation—its relationship with the United States, its place in the Americas, and its role in the global order. Brettle draws on rich caches of published and unpublished letters and diaries, Confederate national and state government documents, newspapers published in North America and England, conference proceedings, pamphlets, contemporary and scholarly articles, and more to engage the perspectives of not only modern historians but some of the most salient theorists of the Western World in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An impressive and complex undertaking, Colossal Ambitions concludes that while some Confederate commentators saw wartime industrialization as pointing toward a different economic future, most Confederates saw their society as revolving once more around coercive labor, staple crop production, and exports in the war’s wake.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

"International Relations and the Problem of Time"

New from Oxford University Press: International Relations and the Problem of Time by Andrew R. Hom.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is time and how does it influence our knowledge of international politics? For decades International Relations (IR) paid little explicit attention to time. Recently this began to change as a range of scholars took an interest in the temporal dimensions of politics. Yet IR still has not fully addressed the issue of why time matters in international politics, nor has it reflected on its own use of time -- how temporal ideas affect the way we work to understand political phenomena. Moreover, IR remains beholden to two seemingly contradictory visions of time: the time of the clock and a longstanding tradition treating time as a problem to be solved.

International Relations and the Problem of Time develops a unique response to these interconnected puzzles. It reconstructs IR's temporal imagination by developing an argument that all times - from natural rhythms to individual temporal experience - spring from social and practical timing activities, or efforts to establish meaningful and useful relationships in complex and dynamic settings. In IR's case, across a surprisingly wide range of approaches scholars employ narrative timing techniques to make sense of confounding processes and events.

This innovative account of time provides a more systematic and rigorous explanation for time in international politics. It also develops provocative insights about IR's own history, its key methodological commitments, supposedly 'timeless' statistical methods, historical institutions, and the critical vanguard of time studies. This book invites us to reimagine time, and in so doing to significantly rethink the way we approach the analysis of international politics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

"Power, Piety, and People"

New from Columbia University Press: Power, Piety, and People: The Politics of Holy Cities in the Twenty-First Century by Michael Dumper.

About the book, from the publisher:
Conflicts in cities that have particular religious significance often become intense, protracted, and violent. Why are holy cities so frequently contested, and how can these conflicts be mediated and resolved?

In Power, Piety, and People, Michael Dumper explores the causes and consequences of contemporary conflicts in holy cities. He explains how common features of holy cities, such as powerful and autonomous religious hierarchies, income from religious endowments, the presence of sacred sites, and the performance of ritual activities that affect other communities, can combine to create tension.

Power, Piety, and People offers five case studies of important disputes, beginning with Jerusalem, often seen as the paradigmatic example of a holy city in conflict. Dumper also discusses Córdoba, where the Islamic history of its Mosque-Cathedral poses challenges to the control exercised by the Roman Catholic Church; Banaras, where competing Muslim and Hindu claims to sacred sites threaten the fragile equilibrium that exists in the city; Lhasa, where the Communist Party of China severely restricts the ancient practice of Tibetan Buddhism; and George Town in Malaysia, a rare example of a city with many different religious communities whose leaders have successfully managed intergroup conflicts. Applying the lessons drawn from these cities to a broader global urban landscape, this book offers scholars and policy makers new insights into a pervasive category of conflict that often appears intractable.
Learn more about Jerusalem Unbound at the Columbia University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Jerusalem Unbound.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 6, 2020

"The Multifarious Mr. Banks"

New from Yale University Press: The Multifarious Mr. Banks: From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World by Toby Musgrave.

About the book, from the publisher:
A fascinating life of Sir Joseph Banks which restores him to his proper place in history as a leading scientific figure of the English Enlightenment

As official botanist on James Cook's first circumnavigation, the longest-serving president of the Royal Society, advisor to King George III, the "father of Australia," and the man who established Kew as the world's leading botanical garden, Sir Joseph Banks was integral to the English Enlightenment. Yet he has not received the recognition that his multifarious achievements deserve.

In this engaging account, Toby Musgrave reveals the true extent of Banks’s contributions to science and Britain. From an early age Banks pursued his passion for natural history through study and extensive travel, most famously on the HMS Endeavour. He went on to become a pivotal figure in the advancement of British scientific, economic, and colonial interests. With his enquiring, enterprising mind and extensive network of correspondents, Banks’s reputation and influence were global. Drawing widely on Banks's writings, Musgrave sheds light on Banks’s profound impact on British science and empire in an age of rapid advancement.
Visit Toby Musgrave's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 5, 2020

"Out of Milk: Infant Food Insecurity in a Rich Nation"

New from the University of British Columbia Press: Out of Milk: Infant Food Insecurity in a Rich Nation by Lesley Frank.

About the book, from the publisher:
“Did you ever go to bed and wonder if your child was getting enough to eat?” For food insecure mothers, the worry is constant, and babies are at risk of going hungry. Out of Milk calls out the pressing need to establish the economic and social conditions necessary for successful breastfeeding and for accessible, reliable, and safe formula feeding for families everywhere.

Through compelling interviews, Lesley Frank answers the breastfeeding paradox: why women who can least afford to buy infant formula are less likely to breastfeed. She reveals that what and how infants are fed is linked to the social and economic status of those who feed them. Out of Milk uncovers the shocking reality of food insecurity for formula-fed babies, the economic and social constraints limiting mothers’ ability to breastfeed, and the lengths to which mothers must go to provide for their children. But in a country that leaves the problem of food insecurity to ineffective charity models, public policies are failing to support our most vulnerable populations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 4, 2020

"Security Empire"

New from Yale University Press: Security Empire: The Secret Police in Communist Eastern Europe by Molly Pucci.

About the book, from the publisher:
A compelling examination of the establishment of the secret police in Communist Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Eastern Germany

This book examines the history of early secret police forces in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War. Molly Pucci delves into the ways their origins diverged from the original Soviet model based on differing interpretations of communism and local histories. She also illuminates the difference between veteran agents who fought in foreign wars and younger, more radical agents who combatted “enemies of communism” in the Stalinist terror in Eastern Europe.
Molly Pucci is assistant professor of twentieth-century European history at Trinity College Dublin. She was a Max Weber postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute. Her doctoral dissertation was awarded the Radomír Luža Prize in Central European History in 2015.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 3, 2020

"Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding"

New from Hurst: Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding by Daniel Marwecki.

About the book, from the publisher:
According to common perception, the Federal Republic of Germany supported the formation of the Israeli state for moral reasons--to atone for its Nazi past--but did not play a significant role in the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, the historical record does not sustain this narrative.

Daniel Marwecki's pathbreaking analysis deconstructs the myths surrounding the odd alliance between Israel and post-war democratic Germany. Thorough archival research shows how German policymakers often had disingenuous, cynical or even partly antisemitic motivations, seeking to whitewash their Nazi past by supporting the new Israeli state. This is the true context of West Germany's crucial backing of Israel in the 1950s and '60s. German economic and military support greatly contributed to Israel's early consolidation and eventual regional hegemony. This initial alliance has affected Germany's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the present day.

Marwecki reassesses German foreign policymaking and identity-shaping, and raises difficult questions about German responsibility after the Holocaust, exploring the many ways in which the genocide of European Jews and the dispossession of the Palestinians have become tragically intertwined in the Middle East's international politics. This long overdue investigation sheds new light on a major episode in the history of the modern Middle East.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 2, 2020

"Henry III"

New from Yale University Press: Henry III: The Rise to Power and Personal Rule, 1207-1258 by David Carpenter.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first in a ground-breaking two-volume history of Henry III’s rule, from when he first assumed the crown to the moment his personal rule ended

Nine years of age when he came to the throne in 1216, Henry III had to rule within the limits set by the establishment of Magna Carta and the emergence of parliament. Pacific, conciliatory, and deeply religious, Henry brought many years of peace to England and rebuilt Westminster Abbey in honor of his patron saint, Edward the Confessor. He poured money into embellishing his palaces and creating a magnificent court. Yet this investment in "soft power" did not prevent a great revolution in 1258, led by Simon de Montfort, ending Henry's personal rule.

Eminent historian David Carpenter brings to life Henry's character and reign as never before. Using source material of unparalleled richness—material that makes it possible to get closer to Henry than any other medieval monarch—Carpenter stresses the king’s achievements as well as his failures while offering an entirely new perspective on the intimate connections between medieval politics and religion.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

"The Other Side of Empire"

New from Cornell University Press: The Other Side of Empire: Just War in the Mediterranean and the Rise of Early Modern Spain by Andrew W. Devereux.

About the book, from the publisher:
Via rigorous study of the legal arguments Spain developed to justify its acts of war and conquest, The Other Side of Empire illuminates Spain's expansionary ventures in the Mediterranean in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Andrew Devereux proposes and explores an important yet hitherto unstudied connection between the different rationales that Spanish jurists and theologians developed in the Mediterranean and in the Americas.

Devereux describes the ways in which Spaniards conceived of these two theatres of imperial ambition as complementary parts of a whole. At precisely the moment that Spain was establishing its first colonies in the Caribbean, the Crown directed a series of Old World conquests that encompassed the Kingdom of Naples, Navarre, and a string of presidios along the coast of North Africa. Projected conquests in the eastern Mediterranean never took place, but the Crown seriously contemplated assaults on Egypt, Greece, Turkey, and Palestine. The Other Side of Empire elucidates the relationship between the legal doctrines on which Spain based its expansionary claims in the Old World and the New.

The Other Side of Empire vastly expands our understanding of the ways in which Spaniards, at the dawn of the early modern era, thought about religious and ethnic difference, and how this informed political thought on just war and empire. While focusing on imperial projects in the Mediterranean, it simultaneously presents a novel contextual background for understanding the origins of European colonialism in the Americas.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

"Poland 1939"

New from Basic Books: Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II by Roger Moorhouse.

About the book, from the publisher:
A “chilling” and “expertly” written history of the 1939 September Campaign and the onset of World War II (Times of London).

For Americans, World War II began in December of 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor; but for Poland, the war began on September 1, 1939, when Hitler’s soldiers invaded, followed later that month by Stalin’s Red Army. The conflict that followed saw the debut of many of the features that would come to define the later war-blitzkrieg, the targeting of civilians, ethnic cleansing, and indiscriminate aerial bombing-yet it is routinely overlooked by historians.

In Poland 1939, Roger Moorhouse reexamines the least understood campaign of World War II, using original archival sources to provide a harrowing and very human account of the events that set the bloody tone for the conflict to come.
Visit Roger Moorhouse's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Devils' Alliance.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 29, 2020

"Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora"

New from Rutgers University Press: Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora by José M Alamillo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Deportes uncovers the hidden experiences of Mexican male and female athletes, teams and leagues and their supporters who fought for a more level playing field on both sides of the border. Despite a widespread belief that Mexicans shunned physical exercise, teamwork or “good sportsmanship,” they proved that they could compete in a wide variety of sports at amateur, semiprofessional, Olympic and professional levels. Some even made their mark in the sports world by becoming the “first” Mexican athlete to reach the big leagues and win Olympic medals or world boxing and tennis titles.

These sporting achievements were not theirs alone, an entire cadre of supporters—families, friends, coaches, managers, promoters, sportswriters, and fans—rallied around them and celebrated their athletic success. The Mexican nation and community, at home or abroad, elevated Mexican athletes to sports hero status with a deep sense of cultural and national pride. Alamillo argues that Mexican-origin males and females in the United States used sports to empower themselves and their community by developing and sustaining transnational networks with Mexico. Ultimately, these athletes and their supporters created a “sporting Mexican diaspora” that overcame economic barriers, challenged racial and gender assumptions, forged sporting networks across borders, developed new hybrid identities and raised awareness about civil rights within and beyond the sporting world.
--Marshal Zeringue