Sunday, February 23, 2020

"Us versus Them"

New from Oxford University Press: Us versus Them: Race, Crime, and Gentrification in Chicago Neighborhoods by Jan Doering.

About the book, from the publisher:
Crime and gentrification are hot button issues that easily polarize racially diverse neighborhoods. How do residents, activists, and politicians navigate the thorny politics of race as they fight crime or resist gentrification? And do conflicts over competing visions of neighborhood change necessarily divide activists into racially homogeneous camps, or can they produce more complex alliances and divisions? In Us versus Them, Jan Doering answers these questions through an in-depth study of two Chicago neighborhoods. Drawing on three and a half years of ethnographic fieldwork, Doering examines how activists and community leaders clashed and collaborated as they launched new initiatives, built coalitions, appeased critics, and discredited opponents. At the heart of these political maneuvers, he uncovers a ceaseless battle over racial meanings that unfolded as residents strove to make local initiatives and urban change appear racially benign or malignant. A thoughtful and clear-eyed contribution to the field, Us versus Them reveals the deep impact that competing racial meanings have on the fabric of community and the direction of neighborhood change.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 22, 2020

"The Journey Before Us"

New from Rutgers University Press: The Journey Before Us: First-Generation Pathways from Middle School to College by Laura Nichols.

About the book, from the publisher:
More students are enrolling in college than ever before in U.S. history. Yet, many never graduate. In The Journey Before Us, Laura Nichols examines why this is by sharing the experiences of aspiring first-generation college students as they move from middle-school to young adulthood. By following the educational trajectories and transitions of Latinx, mainly second-generation immigrant students and analyzing national data, Nichols explores the different paths that students take and the factors that make a difference. The interconnected role of schools, neighborhoods, policy, employment, advocates, identity, social class, and family reveal what must change to address the “college completion crisis.” Appropriate for anyone wanting to understand their own educational journey as well as students, teachers, counselors, school administrators, scholars, and policymakers, The Journey Before Us outlines what is needed so that education can once again be a means of social mobility for those who would be the first in their families to graduate from college.
Laura Nichols is an associate professor of sociology at Santa Clara University in California. She is the co-editor of Undocumented and In College: Students and Institutions in a Climate of National Hostility.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 21, 2020

"Contentious Minds"

New from Oxford University Press: Contentious Minds: How Talk and Ties Sustain Activism by Florence Passy and Gian-Andrea Monsch.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why does the mind matter for collective action? In Contentious Minds, Florence Passy and Gian-Andrea Monsch explain how cognitive and relational processes allow activists participate in and sustain their commitment to activism. Based on a wide array of survey and interview data with activists engaged in protest, volunteering and unions, they highlight how a commitment community develop shared values, identities, and meanings through interaction. The interplay of talk and ties enables stories and meanings to be constructed and exchanged, conveys worldviews and intentions that are modified through ongoing conversations, and reinforces and maintains commitment over time. Passy and Monsch's ambitious work brings the mind and culture back into the study of social movements and highlights the crucial role social networks play in constructing the communities and shared values that sustain commitment.
Florence Passy is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Gian-Andrea Monsch is a Senior Researcher at FORS, the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences based at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Midlife Crisis"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Midlife Crisis: The Feminist Origins of a Chauvinist Cliche by Susanne Schmidt.

About the book, from the publisher:
The phrase “midlife crisis” today conjures up images of male indulgence and irresponsibility—an affluent, middle-aged man speeding off in a red sports car with a woman half his age—but before it become a gendered cliché, it gained traction as a feminist concept. Journalist Gail Sheehy used the term to describe a midlife period when both men and women might reassess their choices and seek a change in life. Sheehy’s definition challenged the double standard of middle age—where aging is advantageous to men and detrimental to women—by viewing midlife as an opportunity rather than a crisis. Widely popular in the United States and internationally, the term was quickly appropriated by psychological and psychiatric experts and redefined as a male-centered, masculinist concept.

The first book-length history of this controversial concept, Susanne Schmidt’s Midlife Crisis recounts the surprising origin story of the midlife debate and traces its movement from popular culture into academia. Schmidt’s engaging narrative telling of the feminist construction—and ensuing antifeminist backlash—of the midlife crisis illuminates a lost legacy of feminist thought, shedding important new light on the history of gender and American social science in the 1970s and beyond.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 20, 2020

"Sensible Politics"

New from Oxford University Press: Sensible Politics: Visualizing International Relations by William A. Callahan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Visual images are everywhere in international politics. But how are we to understand them? In Sensible Politics, William A. Callahan uses his expertise in theory and filmmaking to explore not only what visuals mean, but also how visuals can viscerally move and connect us in "affective communities of sense." The book's rich analysis of visual images (photographs, film, art) and visual artifacts (maps, veils, walls, gardens, cyberspace) shows how critical scholarship needs to push beyond issues of identity and security to appreciate the creative politics of social-ordering and world-ordering. Here "sensible politics" isn't just sensory, but looks beyond icons and ideology to the affective politics of everyday life. It challenges our Eurocentric understanding of international politics by exploring the meaning and impact of visuals from Asia and the Middle East. Sensible Politics offers a unique approach to politics that allows us to not only think visually, but also feel visually-and creatively act visually for a multisensory appreciation of politics.
The Page 99 Test: China: The Pessoptimist Nation.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"Revolution Goes East"

New from Cornell University Press: Revolution Goes East: Imperial Japan and Soviet Communism by Tatiana Linkhoeva.

About the book, from the publisher:
Revolution Goes East is an intellectual history that applies a novel global perspective to the classic story of the rise of communism and the various reactions it provoked in Imperial Japan. Tatiana Linkhoeva demonstrates how contemporary discussions of the Russian Revolution, its containment, and the issue of imperialism played a fundamental role in shaping Japan's imperial society and state.

In this bold approach, Linkhoeva explores attitudes toward the Soviet Union and the communist movement among the Japanese military and politicians, as well as interwar leftist and rightist intellectuals and activists. Her book draws on extensive research in both published and archival documents, including memoirs, newspaper and journal articles, political pamphlets, and Comintern archives. Revolution Goes East presents us with a compelling argument that the interwar Japanese Left replicated the Orientalist outlook of Marxism-Leninism in its relationship with the rest of Asia, and that this proved to be its undoing. Furthermore, Linkhoeva shows that Japanese imperial anticommunism was based on geopolitical interests for the stability of the empire rather than on fear of communist ideology.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are"

New from Oxford University Press: Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are by Abigail C. Saguy.

About the book, from the publisher:
While people used to conceal the fact that they were gay or lesbian to protect themselves from stigma and discrimination, it is now commonplace for people to "come out" and encourage others to do so as well. Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are systematically examines how coming out has moved beyond gay and lesbian rights groups and how different groups wrestle with the politics of coming out in their efforts to resist stigma and enact social change. It shows how different experiences and disparate risks of disclosure shape these groups' collective strategies. Through scores of interviews with LGBTQ+ people, undocumented immigrant youth, fat acceptance activists, Mormon fundamentalist polygamists, and sexual harassment lawyers and activists in the era of the #MeToo movement, Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are explains why so many different groups gravitate toward the term coming out. By focusing on the personal and political resonance of coming out, it provides a novel way to understand how identity politics work in America today.
Abigail Saguy is Professor of Sociology and of Gender Studies at UCLA. She has been a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at Yale University (2000-2002) and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2008-2009). She is the author of What is Sexual Harassment? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne (2003) and What's Wrong with Fat (2013), which received Honorable Mention for the Association for Humanist Sociology's Best Book Award. She has also written scores of scientific journal articles and several op-eds published in leading news outlets.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote"

New from Simon & Schuster: Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote by Ellen Carol DuBois.

About the book, from the publisher:
Honoring the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, this exciting history explores the full scope of the movement to win the vote for women through portraits of its bold leaders and devoted activists.

Distinguished historian Ellen Carol DuBois begins in the pre-Civil War years with foremothers Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth as she explores the links of the woman suffrage movement to the abolition of slavery. After the Civil War, Congress granted freed African American men the right to vote but not white and African American women, a crushing disappointment. DuBois shows how suffrage leaders persevered through the Jim Crow years into the reform era of Progressivism. She introduces new champions Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul, who brought the fight into the 20th century, and she shows how African American women, led by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, demanded voting rights even as white suffragists ignored them.

DuBois explains how suffragists built a determined coalition of moderate lobbyists and radical demonstrators in forging a strategy of winning voting rights in crucial states to set the stage for securing suffrage for all American women in the Constitution. In vivid prose DuBois describes suffragists’ final victories in Congress and state legislatures, culminating in the last, most difficult ratification, in Tennessee.

DuBois follows women’s efforts to use their voting rights to win political office, increase their voting strength, and pass laws banning child labor, ensuring maternal health, and securing greater equality for women.

Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote is sure to become the authoritative account of one of the great episodes in the history of American democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 17, 2020

"Pasteur's Empire"

New from Oxford University Press: Pasteur's Empire: Bacteriology and Politics in France, Its Colonies, and the World by Aro Velmet.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the 1890s, the Pasteur Institute established a network of laboratories that stretched across France's empire, from Indochina to West Africa. Quickly, researchers at these laboratories became central to France's colonial project, helping officials monopolize industries, develop public health codes, establish disease containment measures, and arbitrate political conflicts around questions of labor rights, public works, and free association.

Pasteur's Empire shows how the scientific prestige of the Pasteur Institute came to depend on its colonial laboratories, and how, conversely, the institutes themselves became central to colonial politics. This book argues that decisions as small as the isolation of a particular yeast or the choice of a laboratory animal could have tremendous consequences on the lives of Vietnamese and African subjects, who became the consumers of new vaccines or industrially fermented intoxicants. Simultaneously, global forces, such as the rise of international standards and American competitors pushed Pastorians to their imperial laboratories, where they could conduct studies that researchers in France considered too difficult or controversial. Chapters follow not just Alexandre Yersin's studies of the plague, Charles Nicolle's public health work in Tunisia, and Jean Laigret's work on yellow fever in Dakar, but also the activities of Vietnamese doctors, African students and politicians, Syrian traders, and Chinese warlords. It argues that a specifically Pastorian understanding of microbiology shaped French colonial politics across the world, allowing French officials to promise hygienic modernity while actually committing to little development. In bringing together global history, imperial history, and science and technology studies, Pasteur's Empire deftly integrates micro and macro analyses into one connected narrative that sheds critical light on a key era in the history of medicine.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Promiscuous Knowledge"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Promiscuous Knowledge: Information, Image, and Other Truth Games in History by Kenneth Cmiel and John Durham Peters.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sergey Brin, a cofounder of Google, once compared the perfect search engine to “the mind of God.” As the modern face of promiscuous knowledge, however, Google’s divine omniscience traffics in news, maps, weather, and porn indifferently. This book, begun by the late Kenneth Cmiel and completed by his close friend John Durham Peters, provides a genealogy of the information age from its early origins up to the reign of Google. It examines how we think about fact, image, and knowledge, centering on the different ways that claims of truth are complicated when they pass to a larger public. To explore these ideas, Cmiel and Peters focus on three main periods—the late nineteenth century, 1925 to 1945, and 1975 to 2000, with constant reference to the present. Cmiel’s original text examines the growing gulf between politics and aesthetics in postmodern architecture, the distancing of images from everyday life in magical realist cinema, the waning support for national betterment through taxation, and the inability of a single presentational strategy to contain the social whole. Peters brings Cmiel’s study into the present moment, providing the backstory to current controversies about the slipperiness of facts in a digital age. A hybrid work from two innovative thinkers, Promiscuous Knowledge enlightens our understanding of the internet and the profuse visual culture of our time.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 16, 2020

"Do Morals Matter?"

New from Oxford University Press: Do Morals Matter?: Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump by Joseph S. Nye.

About the book, from the publisher:
Americans constantly make moral judgments about presidents and foreign policy. Unfortunately, many of these assessments are poorly thought through. A president is either praised for the moral clarity of his statements or judged solely on the results of their actions.

In Do Morals Matter?, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., one of the world's leading scholars of international relations, provides a concise yet penetrating analysis of the role of ethics in US foreign policy during the American era after 1945. Nye works through each presidency from FDR to Trump and scores their foreign policy on three ethical dimensions of their intentions, the means they used, and the consequences of their decisions. Alongside this, he also evaluates their leadership qualities, elaborating on which approaches work and which ones do not. Regardless of a president's policy preference, Nye shows that each one was not fully constrained by the structure of the system and actually had choices. He further notes the important ethical consequences of non-actions, such as Truman's willingness to accept stalemate in Korea rather than use nuclear weapons.

Since we so often apply moral reasoning to foreign policy, Nye suggests how to do it better. Most importantly, presidents need to factor in both the political context and the availability of resources when deciding how to implement an ethical policy-especially in a future international system that presents not only great power competition from China and Russia, but a host of transnational threats: the illegal drug trade, infectious diseases, terrorism, cybercrime, and climate change.
Follow Joseph S. Nye on Twitter.

Also see: Joseph Nye's top 5 books on global power.

Writers Read: Joseph S. Nye (August 2007).

The Page 99 Test: Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Peacekeeping in the Midst of War"

New from Oxford University Press: Peacekeeping in the Midst of War by Lisa Hultman, Jacob D. Kathman, and Megan Shannon.

About the book, from the publisher:
Civil wars have caused tremendous human suffering in the last century, and the United Nations is often asked to send peacekeepers to stop ongoing violence. Yet despite being the most visible tool of international intervention, policymakers and scholars have little systematic knowledge about how well peacekeeping works. Peacekeeping in the Midst of War offers the most comprehensive analyses of peacekeeping on civil war violence to date. With unique data on different types of violence in civil wars around the world, Peacekeeping in the Midst of War offers a rigorous understanding of UN intervention by analysing both wars with and without UN peacekeeping efforts. It also directly measures the strength of UN missions in personnel capacity and constitution. Using large-n quantitative analyses, the book finds that UN peacekeeping missions with appropriately constituted force capacities mitigate violence in civil wars. The authors conclude by analyzing the broader context of UN intervention effectiveness, and conclude that peacekeeping is a more generally effective way to reduce the human suffering associated with civil war.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 15, 2020

"The Profits of Nature"

New from Columbia University Press: The Profits of Nature: Colonial Development and the Quest for Resources in Nineteenth-Century China by Peter B. Lavelle.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the nineteenth century, the Qing empire experienced a period of profound turmoil caused by an unprecedented conjunction of natural disasters, domestic rebellions, and foreign incursions. The imperial government responded to these calamities by introducing an array of new policies and institutions to bolster its power across its massive territories. In the process, Qing officials launched campaigns for natural resource development, seeking to take advantage of the unexploited lands, waters, and minerals of the empire’s vast hinterlands and borderlands.

In this book, Peter B. Lavelle uses the life and career of Chinese statesman Zuo Zongtang (1812–1885) as a lens to explore the environmental history of this era. Although known for his pacification campaigns against rebel movements, Zuo was at the forefront of the nineteenth-century quest for natural resources. Influenced by his knowledge of nature, geography, and technology, he created government bureaus and oversaw state-funded projects to improve agriculture, sericulture, and other industries in territories across the empire. His work forged new patterns of colonial development in the Qing empire’s northwest borderlands, including Xinjiang, at a time when other empires were scrambling to secure access to resources around the globe. Weaving a narrative across the span of Zuo’s lifetime, The Profits of Nature offers a unique approach to understanding the dynamic relationship among social crises, colonialism, and the natural world during a critical juncture in Chinese history, between the high tide of imperial power in the eighteenth century and the challenges of modern state-building in the twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 14, 2020

"High on God"

New from Oxford University Press: High on God: How Megachurches Won the Heart of America by James Wellman, Jr., Katie Corcoran, and Kate Stockly.

About the book, from the publisher:
"God is like a drug, a high, [I] can't wait for the next hit." This direct quote from a megachurch member speaking about his experience of God might be dismissed as some sort of spiritually-induced drug riff. However, according to the research in this book, it was not only sincere, but a deeply felt, and sought-after sensibility. Megachurch attendees desire this first-hand experience of God, and many report finding it in their congregations. The book focuses on the emotional, social and religious dynamics that pull thousands of people into megachurches and how those churches make some feel like they are "high on God" and can't wait to get their next spiritual "hit."

High on God gives the first robust and plausible explanation for why megachurches have conquered the churchgoing market of America. Without condescension or exaggeration, the authors show the genius of megachurches: the power of charisma, the design of facilities, the training of leaders, the emotional dynamics, and the strategies that bring people together and lead them to serve and help others. Using Emile Durkheim's concept of homo duplex, the authors plot the strategies that megachurches employ to satisfy the core human craving for personal meaning and social integration, as well as personal identity and communal solidarity. The authors also show how these churches can go wrong, sometimes tragically so. But they argue that, for the most part, megachurches help their attendees find themselves through bonding with and serving others.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 13, 2020

"Healing Labor"

New from Stanford University Press: Healing Labor: Japanese Sex Work in the Gendered Economy by Gabriele Koch.

About the book, from the publisher:
Contemporary Japan is home to one of the world's largest and most diversified markets for sex. Widely understood to be socially necessary, the sex industry operates and recruits openly, staffed by a diverse group of women who are attracted by its high pay and the promise of autonomy—but whose work remains stigmatized and unmentionable. Based on fieldwork with adult Japanese women in Tokyo's sex industry, Healing Labor explores the relationship between how sex workers think about what sex is and what it does and the political-economic roles and possibilities that they imagine for themselves. Gabriele Koch reveals how Japanese sex workers regard sex as a deeply feminized care—a healing labor—that is both necessary and significant for the well-being and productivity of men. In this nuanced ethnography that approaches sex as a social practice with political and economic effects, Koch compellingly illustrates the linkages between women's work, sex, and the gendered economy.
Gabriele Koch is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Yale-NUS College.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"Lost and Found: Young Fathers in the Age of Unwed Parenthood"

New from Oxford University Press: Lost and Found: Young Fathers in the Age of Unwed Parenthood by Paul Florsheim and David Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:
Over the past six decades, there have been dramatic changes in the dynamics of family life in the United States. Today, about half of all babies born to mothers under the age of 25 will not live with their fathers for much of their childhood. From the perspective of many social scientists and politicians, this change has wreaked havoc on society by trapping women and children in poverty and loosening the civilizing bond between men and their families. But what is causing the phenomenon? Some place blame at the feet of the young men themselves, together with eroding cultural and family values. Others point to systemic failures in our economy or social support programs. Rather than assign blame, the first goal of Lost and Found is to tell the stories of young men as they struggle (with varying degrees of success) to become fathers. The second goal is to outline a strategy for helping young fathers remain constructively involved with their partners and children.

Drawing from their research with over 1,000 young parents in Chicago and Salt Lake City, Paul Florsheim and David Moore focus on a group of about 20 young fathers, whose stories-conveyed in their own words-help the reader make sense of what is happening to fatherhood in America. Having interviewed young fathers and their partners before and after their children were born, these accounts provide a dynamic perspective on the development of young men and their relationships. Young mothers-the partners of these young men-both corroborate and sometimes offer alternative or contradictory perspectives. Oriented to undo stereotypes, the authors introduce the notion of "good-enough" fathering, tempering the tendency to think simply in terms of good or bad fathers. They go on to provide concrete recommendations for strengthening fathers' roles and helping young fathers and mothers create stable home environments for their children, whether the parents are together or not.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

"Hellfire from Paradise Ranch"

New from the University of California Press: Hellfire from Paradise Ranch: On the Front Lines of Drone Warfare by Joseba Zulaika.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this intimate and innovative work, terror expert Joseba Zulaika examines drone warfare as manhunting carried out via satellite. Using Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas as his center of study, he interviews drone operators as well as resisters to the war economy of the region to expose the layers of fantasy on which counterterrorism and its self-sustaining logic are grounded.

Hellfire from Paradise Ranch exposes the terror and warfare of drone killings that dominate our modern military. It unveils the trauma drone operators experience, in part due to their visual intimacy with their victims, and explores the resistance to drone killings in the same apocalyptic Nevada desert where nuclear testing, pacifist militancy, and Shoshone tradition overlap.

Stunning and absorbing, Zulaika offers a richly detailed account of how we continue to manufacture, deconstruct, and perpetuate terror.
Joseba Zulaika received his licentiate in philosophy from the University of Deusto, Spain, in 1975, his M.A. in social anthropology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, in 1977 and his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Princeton in 1982. He has taught at the University of the Basque Country, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at the University of Nevada, Reno, since 1990, where he is currently affiliated as a researcher with the Basque Studies program.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 10, 2020

"Calamity: The Many Lives of Calamity Jane"

New from Yale University Press: Calamity: The Many Lives of Calamity Jane by Karen R. Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:
A fascinating new account of the life and legend of the Wild West’s most notorious woman: Calamity Jane

Martha Jane Canary, popularly known as Calamity Jane, was the pistol-packing, rootin’ tootin’ “lady wildcat” of the American West. Brave and resourceful, she held her own with the men of America’s most colorful era and became a celebrity both in her own right and through her association with the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody.

In this engaging account, Karen Jones takes a fresh look at the story of this iconic frontierswoman. She pieces together what is known of Canary’s life and shows how a rough and itinerant lifestyle paved the way for the scattergun, alcohol-fueled heroics that dominated Canary’s career. Spanning Canary’s rise from humble origins to her role as “heroine of the plains” and the embellishment of her image over subsequent decades, Jones shows her to be feisty, eccentric, transgressive—and very much complicit in the making of the myth that was Calamity Jane.
Karen Jones is a professor at the University of Kent. Her previous publications include Wolf Mountains: A History of Wolves Along the Great Divide, The Invention of the Park, and Epiphany in the Wilderness: Hunting, Nature, and Performance in the Nineteenth-Century American West.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 9, 2020

"A Woman's Place"

New from Oxford University Press: A Woman's Place: US Counterterrorism Since 9/11 by Joana Cook.

About the book, from the publisher:
The 9/11 attacks fundamentally transformed how the US approached terrorism, and led to the unprecedented expansion of counterterrorism strategies, policies, and practices. While the analysis of these developments is rich and vast, there remains a significant void. The diverse actors contributing to counterterrorism increasingly consider, engage and impact women as agents, partners, and targets of their work. Yet, flawed assumptions and stereotypes remain prevalent, and it remains undocumented and unclear how and why counterterrorism efforts have evolved as they did, including in relation to women.

Drawing on extensive primary source documents, A Woman's Place traces the evolution of women in US counterterrorism efforts through the administrations of Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump, examining key agencies like the US Department of Defense, the Department of State, and USAID. In their own words, Joana Cook investigates how and why women have developed the roles they have, and interrogates US counterterrorism practices in key countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Analysing conceptions of and responses to terrorists, she also considers how the roles of women in Al- Qaeda and Daesh have evolved and impacted on US counterterrorism considerations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 8, 2020

"10% Less Democracy"

New from Stanford University Press: 10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites a Little More and the Masses a Little Less by Garett Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the 2016 presidential election, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders argued that elites were hurting the economy. But, drawing together evidence and theory from across economics, political science, and even finance, Garett Jones says otherwise. In 10% Less Democracy, he makes the case that the richest, most democratic nations would be better off if they slightly reduced accountability to the voting public, turning up the dial on elite influence.

To do this, Jones builds on three foundational lines of evidence in areas where he has personal experience. First, as a former staffer in the U.S. Senate, he saw how senators voted differently as elections grew closer. Second, as a macroeconomist, Jones knows the merits of "independent" central banks, which sit apart from the political process and are controlled by powerful insiders. The consensus of the field is that this detached, technocratic approach has worked far better than more political and democratic banking systems. Third, his previous research on the effects of cognitive skills on political, social, and economic systems revealed many ways in which well-informed voters improve government.

Discerning repeated patterns, Jones draws out practical suggestions for fine-tuning, focusing on the length of political terms, the independence of government agencies, the weight that voting systems give to the more-educated, and the value of listening more closely to a group of farsighted stakeholders with real skin in the game—a nation's sovereign bondholders. Accessible to political news junkies while firmly rooted and rigorous, 10% Less Democracy will fuel the national conversation about what optimal government looks like.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 7, 2020

"Speak of the Devil"

New from Oxford University Press: Speak of the Devil: How The Satanic Temple is Changing the Way We Talk about Religion by Joseph P. Laycock.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 2013, when the state of Oklahoma erected a statue of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state capitol, a group calling themselves The Satanic Temple applied to erect a statue of Baphomet alongside the Judeo-Christian tablets. Since that time, The Satanic Temple has become a regular voice in national conversations about religious freedom, disestablishment, and government overreach. In addition to petitioning for Baphomet to appear alongside another monument of the Ten Commandments in Arkansas, the group has launched campaigns to include Satanic "nativity scenes" on government property in Florida, Michigan, and Indiana, offer Satanic prayers at a high school football game in Seattle, and create "After School Satan" programs in elementary schools that host Christian extracurricular programs. Since their 2012 founding, The Satanic Temple has established 19 chapters and now claims 100,000 supporters. Is this just a political group perpetuating a series of stunts? Or is it a sincere religious movement?

Speak of the Devil is the first book-length study of The Satanic Temple. Joseph Laycock, a scholar of new religious movements, contends that the emergence of "political Satanism" marks a significant moment in American religious history that will have a lasting impact on how Americans frame debates about religious freedom. Though the group gained attention for its strategic deployment of outrage, it claims to have developed beyond politics into a genuine religious movement. Equal parts history and ethnography, Speak of the Devil is Laycock's attempt to take seriously The Satanic Temple's work to redefine religion, the nature of pluralism and religious tolerance, and what "religious freedom" means in America.
The Page 99 Test: The Seer of Bayside.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 6, 2020

"Colonial Migrants at the Heart of Empire"

New from the University of California Press: Colonial Migrants at the Heart of Empire: Puerto Rican Workers on U.S. Farms by Ismael García-Colón.

About the book, from the publisher:
Colonial Migrants at the Heart of Empire is the first in-depth look at the experiences of Puerto Rican migrant workers in continental U.S. agriculture in the twentieth century. The Farm Labor Program, established by the government of Puerto Rico in 1947, placed hundreds of thousands of migrant workers on U.S. farms and fostered the emergence of many stateside Puerto Rican communities. Ismael García-Colón investigates the origins and development of this program and uncovers the unique challenges faced by its participants.

A labor history and an ethnography, Colonial Migrants evokes the violence, fieldwork, food, lodging, surveillance, and coercion that these workers experienced on farms and conveys their hopes and struggles to overcome poverty. Island farmworkers encountered a unique form of prejudice and racism arising from their dual status as both U.S. citizens and as “foreign others,” and their experiences were further shaped by evolving immigration policies. Despite these challenges, many Puerto Rican farmworkers ultimately chose to settle in rural U.S. communities, contributing to the production of food and the Latinization of the U.S. farm labor force.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

"1774: The Long Year of Revolution"

New from Knopf: 1774: The Long Year of Revolution by Mary Beth Norton.

About the book, from the publisher:
From one of our most acclaimed and original colonial historians, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2018 president of the American Historical Association, a groundbreaking book–the first to look at the critical “long year” of 1774 and the revolutionary change that took place from December 1773 to mid-April 1775, from the Boston Tea Party and the first Continental Congress to the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

This masterly work of historical writing, Mary Beth Norton’s first in almost a decade, looks at the sixteen months during which the traditional loyalists to King George III began their discordant “discussions” that led to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire and to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775.

Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it happened, showing the vigorous campaign mounted by conservatives criticizing congressional actions. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, governors throughout the colonies informed colonial officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of the committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans, even before the outbreak of war in April 1775, had in effect “declared independence” by obeying the decrees of their new provincial governments rather than colonial officials.

The much-anticipated new book by one of America’s most dazzling historians–the culmination of more than four decades of Norton’s research and thought.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

"When Misfortune Becomes Injustice"

New from Stanford University Press: When Misfortune Becomes Injustice: Evolving Human Rights Struggles for Health and Social Equality by Alicia Ely Yamin.

About the book, from the publisher:
When Misfortune Becomes Injustice surveys the progress and challenges in deploying human rights to advance health and social equality over recent decades, with a focus on women's health and rights. Yamin weaves together theory and firsthand experience in a compelling narrative of how evolving legal norms, empirical knowledge, and development paradigms have interacted in the realization of health rights.

When Misfortune Becomes Injustice reveals extraordinary progress in recognizing health-related claims as legal rights and understanding the policy implications of doing so over the last few decades. Yet Yamin challenges us to consider why these advances have failed to produce greater equality within and between nations, and how the human rights praxis must now urgently address threats to social and gender justice, in health and beyond.
Alicia Ely Yamin has spent half of her professional career working outside the United States, with and through local organizations. She currently leads the Global Health and Rights Project, a collaboration of the Petrie-Flom Center on Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University. Yamin is known globally for her pioneering scholarship and advocacy in relation to economic and social rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the right to health.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 3, 2020

"After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy"

New from Oxford University Press: After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy: Carnival, Politics, and Musical Engagement in Haiti by Rebecca Hope Dirksen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Richly ethnographic and a compelling read, After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy is a study of carnival, politics, and the musical engagement of ordinary citizens and celebrity musicians in contemporary Haiti. The book explores how the self-declared president of konpa Sweet Micky (Michel Martelly) rose to the nation's highest office while methodically crafting a political product inherently entangled with his musical product. It offers deep historical perspective on the characteristics of carnivalesque verbal play-and the performative skillset of the artist (Sweet Micky) who dominated carnival for more than a decade-including vulgarities and polemics.

Yet there has been profound resistance to this brand of politics led by many other high-profile artists, including Matyas and Jòj, Brothers Posse, Boukman Eksperyans, and RAM. These groups have each released popular carnival songs that have contributed to the public's discussions on what civic participation and citizenship in Haiti can and should be. Drawing on more than a decade and a half of ethnographic research, Rebecca Dirksen presents an in-depth consideration of politically and socially engaged music and what these expressions mean for the Haitian population in the face of challenging political and economic circumstances. After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy centers the voices of Haitian musicians and regular citizens by extensively sharing interviews and detailed analyses of musical performance in the context of contemporary events well beyond the musical realm.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 2, 2020

"Carbon Captured"

New from the MIT Press: Carbon Captured: How Business and Labor Control Climate Politics by Matto Mildenberger.

About the book, from the publisher:
A comparative examination of domestic climate politics that offers a theory for cross-national differences in domestic climate policymaking.

Climate change threatens the planet, and yet policy responses have varied widely across nations. Some countries have undertaken ambitious programs to stave off climate disaster, others have done little, and still others have passed policies that were later rolled back. In this book, Matto Mildenberger opens the “black box” of domestic climate politics, examining policy making trajectories in several countries and offering a theoretical explanation for national differences in the climate policy process.

Mildenberger introduces the concept of double representation—when carbon polluters enjoy political representation on both the left (through industrial unions fearful of job loss) and the right (through industrial business associations fighting policy costs)—and argues that different climate policy approaches can be explained by the interaction of climate policy preferences and domestic institutions. He illustrates his theory with detailed histories of climate politics in Norway, the United States, and Australia, along with briefer discussions of policies in in Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada. He shows that Norway systematically shielded politically connected industrial polluters from costs beginning with its pioneering carbon tax; the United States, after the failure of carbon reduction legislation, finally acted on climate reform through a series of Obama administration executive actions; and Australia's Labor and Green parties enacted an emissions trading scheme, which was subsequently repealed by a conservative Liberal party government. Ultimately, Mildenberger argues for the importance of political considerations in understanding the climate policymaking process and discusses possible future policy directions.
Visit Matto Mildenberger's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 1, 2020

"Bandage, Sort, and Hustle"

New from the University of California Press: Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering by Josh Seim.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is the role of the ambulance in the American city? The prevailing narrative provides a rather simple answer: saving and transporting the critically ill and injured. This is not an incorrect description, but it is incomplete.

Drawing on field observations, medical records, and his own experience as a novice emergency medical technician, sociologist Josh Seim reimagines paramedicine as a frontline institution for governing urban suffering. Bandage, Sort, and Hustle argues that the ambulance is part of a fragmented regime that is focused more on neutralizing hardships (which are disproportionately carried by poor people and people of color) than on eradicating the root causes of agony. Whether by compressing lifeless chests on the streets or by transporting the publicly intoxicated into the hospital, ambulance crews tend to handle suffering bodies near the bottom of the polarized metropolis.

Seim illustrates how this work puts crews in recurrent, and sometimes tense, contact with the emergency department nurses and police officers who share their clientele. These street-level relations, however, cannot be understood without considering the bureaucratic and capitalistic forces that control and coordinate ambulance labor from above. Beyond the ambulance, this book motivates a labor-centric model for understanding the frontline governance of down-and-out populations.
Follow Josh Seim on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 31, 2020

"Economists at War"

New from Oxford University Press: Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars by Alan Bollard.

About the book, from the publisher:
Wartime is not just about military success. Economists at War tells a different story - about a group of remarkable economists who used their skills to help their countries fight their battles during the Chinese-Japanese War, Second World War, and the Cold War.

1935-55 was a time of conflict, confrontation, and destruction. It was also a time when the skills of economists were called upon to finance the military, to identify economic vulnerabilities, and to help reconstruction. Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars focuses on the achievements of seven finance ministers, advisors, and central bankers from Japan, China, Germany, the UK, the USSR, and the US. It is a story of good and bad economic thinking, good and bad policy, and good and bad moral positions. The economists suffered threats, imprisonment, trial, and assassination. They all believed in the power of economics to make a difference, and their contributions had a significant impact on political outcomes and military ends.

Economists at War shows the history of this turbulent period through a unique lens. It details the tension between civilian resources and military requirements; the desperate attempts to control economies wracked with inflation, depression, political argument, and fighting; and the clever schemes used to evade sanctions, develop barter trade, and use economic espionage. Politicians and generals cannot win wars if they do not have the resources. This book tells the human stories behind the economics of wartime.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 30, 2020

"The Mating Game"

New from the University of California Press: The Mating Game: How Gender Still Shapes How We Date by Ellen Lamont.

About the book, from the publisher:
Despite enormous changes in patterns of dating and courtship in twenty-first-century America, contemporary understandings of romance and intimacy remain firmly rooted in age-old assumptions of gender difference. These tenacious beliefs now vie with cultural messages of gender equality that stress independence, self-development, and egalitarian practices in public and private life.

Through interviews with heterosexual and LGBTQ individuals, Ellen Lamont’s The Mating Game explores how people with diverse sexualities and gender identities date, form romantic relationships, and make decisions about future commitments as they negotiate uncertain terrain fraught with competing messages about gender, sexuality, and intimacy.
Ellen Lamont is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Appalachian State University.

Visit Ellen Lamont's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

"Hail Columbia!: American Music and Politics in the Early Nation"

New from Oxford University Press: Hail Columbia!: American Music and Politics in the Early Nation by Laura Lohman.

About the book, from the publisher:
To the tune of "Yankee Doodle," the American obsession with politics was born alongside America itself. From the end of the Revolutionary War through to the antebellum era, music made front page news and brought men to blows. Both common citizens and politicians, even early presidents of the young nation, used well-known songs to fuel heated debates over the meaning of liberty, the future and nature of the republic, and Americans' proper place within it. As both propaganda and protest, music called for allegiance to a new federal government, spread utopian visions of worldwide revolution, broadcast infringements on American freedoms, and spun exaggerated tales of national military might.

In Hail Columbia!, author Laura Lohman uncovers hundreds of songs circulated in newspapers, broadsides, song collections, sheet music, manuscripts, and scrapbooks over the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. These give evidence that a diversity of Americans⁠—elite lawyers, immigrant actresses, humble craftsmen, and African American abolitionists⁠—employed music for political purposes, creating new and deeply partisan lyrics to famous tunes of "Yankee Doodle," "The Star-Spangled Banner," and the like. These charged versions found their way to electioneering, tavern gatherings, presidential encomia, street theatre, and community celebrations, making song a political weapon between neighbours and citizens, to hail the new nation in partisan terms.
Visit Laura Lohman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

"Divided Armies"

New from Princeton University Press: Divided Armies: Inequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War by Jason Lyall.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do armies fight and what makes them victorious on the modern battlefield? In Divided Armies, Jason Lyall challenges long-standing answers to this classic question by linking the fate of armies to their levels of inequality. Introducing the concept of military inequality, Lyall demonstrates how a state’s prewar choices about the citizenship status of ethnic groups within its population determine subsequent battlefield performance. Treating certain ethnic groups as second-class citizens, either by subjecting them to state-sanctioned discrimination or, worse, violence, undermines interethnic trust, fuels grievances, and leads victimized soldiers to subvert military authorities once war begins. The higher an army’s inequality, Lyall finds, the greater its rates of desertion, side-switching, casualties, and use of coercion to force soldiers to fight.

In a sweeping historical investigation, Lyall draws on Project Mars, a new dataset of 250 conventional wars fought since 1800, to test this argument. Project Mars breaks with prior efforts by including overlooked non-Western wars while cataloguing new patterns of inequality and wartime conduct across hundreds of belligerents. Combining historical comparisons and statistical analysis, Lyall also marshals evidence from nine wars, ranging from the Eastern Fronts of World Wars I and II to less familiar wars in Africa and Central Asia, to illustrate inequality’s effects.

Sounding the alarm on the dangers of inequality for battlefield performance, Divided Armies offers important lessons about warfare over the past two centuries—and for wars still to come.
Visit Jason Lyall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 27, 2020

"Health Care Off the Books"

New from the University of California Press: Health Care Off the Books: Poverty, Illness, and Strategies for Survival in Urban America by Danielle T. Raudenbush.

About the book, from the publisher:
Millions of low-income African Americans in the United States lack access to health care. How do they treat their health care problems? In Health Care Off the Books, Danielle T. Raudenbush provides an answer that challenges public perceptions and prior scholarly work. Informed by three and a half years of fieldwork in a public housing development, Raudenbush shows how residents who face obstacles to health care gain access to pharmaceutical drugs, medical equipment, physician reference manuals, and insurance cards by mobilizing social networks that include not only their neighbors but also local physicians. However, membership in these social networks is not universal, and some residents are forced to turn to a robust street market to obtain medicine. For others, health problems simply go untreated.

Raudenbush reconceptualizes U.S. health care as a formal-informal hybrid system and explains why many residents who do have access to health services also turn to informal strategies to treat their health problems. While the practices described in the book may at times be beneficial to people’s health, they also have the potential to do serious harm. By understanding this hybrid system, we can evaluate its effects and gain new insight into the sources of social and racial disparities in health outcomes.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 26, 2020

"Love Drugs"

New from Stanford University Press: Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships by Brian D. Earp and Julian Savulescu.

About the book, from the publisher:
Is there a pill for love? What about an "anti-love drug", to help us get over an ex? This book argues that certain psychoactive substances, including MDMA—the active ingredient in Ecstasy—may help ordinary couples work through relationship difficulties and strengthen their connection. Others may help sever an emotional connection during a breakup. These substances already exist, and they have transformative implications for how we think about love. This book builds a case for conducting research into "love drugs" and "anti-love drugs" and explores their ethical implications for individuals and society. Scandalously, Western medicine tends to ignore the interpersonal effects of drug-based interventions. Why are we still in the dark about the effects of these drugs on romantic partnerships? And how can we overhaul scientific research norms to take relationships more fully into account?

Ethicists Brian D. Earp and Julian Savulescu say that the time to think through such questions is now. Biochemical interventions into love and relationships are not some far-off speculation. Our most intimate connections are already being influenced by drugs we ingest for other purposes. Controlled studies are underway to see whether artificial brain chemicals can enhance couples therapy. And conservative religious groups are experimenting with certain medications to quash romantic desires—and even the urge to masturbate—among children and vulnerable sexual minorities. Simply put, the horse has bolted. Where it runs is up to us. Love Drugs arms us with the latest scientific knowledge and a set of ethical tools that we can use to decide if these sorts of medications should be a part of our society. Or whether a chemical romance will be right for us.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 25, 2020

"Military Waste"

New from the University of California Press: Military Waste: The Unexpected Consequences of Permanent War Readiness by Joshua O. Reno.

About the book, from the publisher:
World War III has yet to happen, and yet material evidence of this conflict is strewn everywhere: resting at the bottom of the ocean, rusting in deserts, and floating in near-Earth orbit.

In Military Waste, Joshua O. Reno offers a unique analysis of the costs of American war preparation through an examination of the lives and stories of American civilians confronted with what is left over and cast aside when a society is permanently ready for war. Using ethnographic and archival research, Reno demonstrates how obsolete military junk in its various incarnations affects people and places far from the battlegrounds that are ordinarily associated with warfare. Using a broad swath of examples—from excess planes, ships, and space debris that fall into civilian hands, to the dispossessed and polluted island territories once occupied by military bases, to the militarized masculinities of mass shooters—Military Waste reveals the unexpected and open-ended relationships that non-combatants on the home front form with a nation permanently ready for war.
The Page 99 Test: Waste Away.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 24, 2020

"Dangerously Divided"

New from Cambridge University Press: Dangerously Divided: How Race and Class Shape Winning and Losing in American Politics by Zoltan L. Hajnal.

About the book, from the publisher:
As America has become more racially diverse and economic inequality has increased, American politics has also become more clearly divided by race and less clearly divided by class. In this landmark book, Zoltan L. Hajnal draws on sweeping data to assess the political impact of the two most significant demographic trends of last 50 years. Examining federal and local elections over many decades, as well as policy, Hajnal shows that race more than class or any other demographic factor shapes not only how Americans vote but also who wins and who loses when the votes are counted and policies are enacted. America has become a racial democracy, with non-Whites and especially African Americans regularly on the losing side. A close look at trends over time shows that these divisions are worsening, yet also reveals that electing Democrats to office can make democracy more even and ultimately reduce inequality in well-being.
Zoltan Hajnal is a professor of political science at the University of California San Diego.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 23, 2020

"The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist"

New from Yale University Press: The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire by Kate Fullagar.

About the book, from the publisher:
A portrait of empire through the biographies of a Native American, a Pacific Islander, and the British artist who painted them both

Three interconnected eighteenth-century lives offer a fresh account of the British Empire and its intrusion into Indigenous societies. This engaging history brings together the stories of Joshua Reynolds and two Indigenous men, the Cherokee Ostenaco and the Raiatean Mai. Fullagar uncovers the life of Ostenaco, tracing his emergence as a warrior, his engagement with colonists through war and peace, and his eventual rejection of imperial politics during the American Revolution. She delves into the story of Mai, his confrontation with conquest and displacement, his voyage to London on Cook’s imperial expedition, and his return home with a burning ambition to right past wrongs. Woven throughout is a new history of Reynolds, growing up in Devon near a key port in England, becoming a portraitist of empire, rising to the top of Britain’s art world and yet remaining ambivalent about his nation’s expansionist trajectory.
Visit Kate Fullagar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

"Jefferson Davis, Napoleonic France, and the Nature of Confederate Ideology, 1815-1870"

New from the LSU Press: Jefferson Davis, Napoleonic France, and the Nature of Confederate Ideology, 1815-1870 by Jeffrey Zvengrowski.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this highly original study of Confederate ideology and politics, Jeffrey Zvengrowski suggests that Confederate president Jefferson Davis and his supporters saw Bonapartist France as a model for the Confederate States of America. They viewed themselves as struggling not so much for the preservation of slavery but for antebellum Democratic ideals of equality and white supremacy. The faction dominated the Confederate government and deemed Republicans a coalition controlled by pro-British abolitionists championing inequality among whites.

Like Napoleon I and Napoleon III, pro-Davis Confederates desired to build an industrial nation-state capable of waging Napoleonic-style warfare with large conscripted armies. States’ rights, they believed, should not preclude the national government from exercising power. Anglophile anti-Davis Confederates, in contrast, advocated inequality among whites, favored radical states’ rights, and supported slavery-in-the-abstract theories that were dismissive of white supremacy. Having opposed pro-Davis Democrats before the war, they preferred decentralized guerrilla warfare to Napoleonic campaigns and hoped for support from Britain. The Confederacy, they avowed, would willingly become a de facto British agricultural colony upon achieving independence. Pro-Davis Confederates, wanted the Confederacy to become an ally of France and protector of sympathetic northern states.

Zvengrowski traces the origins of the pro-Davis Confederate ideology to Jeffersonian Democrats and their faction of War Hawks, who lost power on the national level in the 1820s but regained it during Davis' term as secretary of war. Davis used this position to cultivate friendly relations with France and later warned northerners that the South would secede if Republicans captured the White House. When Lincoln won the 1860 election, Davis endorsed secession. The ideological heirs of the pro-British faction soon came to loathe Davis for antagonizing Britain and for offering to accept gradual emancipation in exchange for direct assistance from French soldiers in Mexico.

Zvengrowski’s captivating new interpretation of Confederate ideology situates the Civil War in a global context of imperial competition. It also shows how anti-Davis ex-Confederates came to dominate the postwar South and obscure the true nature of Confederate ideology. Furthermore, it updates the biographies of familiar characters: Calhoun, who befriended Bonapartist officers; Davis, who was as much a Francophile as his namesake; Jefferson, who may have been a Napoleon I sympathizer; and Robert E. Lee, who as West Point’s superintendent mentored a grand-nephew of Napoleon I.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

"A Century of Votes for Women"

New from Cambridge University Press: A Century of Votes for Women: American Elections since Suffrage by Christina Wolbrecht and J. Kevin Corder.

About the book, from the publisher:
How have American women voted in the first 100 years since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment? How have popular understandings of women as voters both persisted and changed over time? In A Century of Votes for Women, Christina Wolbrecht and J. Kevin Corder offer an unprecedented account of women voters in American politics over the last ten decades. Bringing together new and existing data, the book provides unique insight into women's (and men's) voting behavior, and traces how women's turnout and vote choice evolved across a century of enormous transformation overall and for women in particular. Wolbrecht and Corder show that there is no such thing as 'the woman voter'; instead they reveal considerable variation in how different groups of women voted in response to changing political, social, and economic realities. The book also demonstrates how assumptions about women as voters influenced politicians, the press, and scholars.
Christina Wolbrecht is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. J. Kevin Corder is Professor of Political Science at Western Michigan University.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 20, 2020

"Provincializing Global History"

New from Yale University Press: Provincializing Global History: Money, Ideas, and Things in the Languedoc, 1680-1830 by James Livesey.

About the book, from the publisher:
A microhistory of eighteenth-century systemic change that places ordinary French lives alongside global advances

Provincializing Global History explores the subtle transformation of the coastal province of the Languedoc in the eighteenth century. Mining a wealth of archival sources, James Livesey unveils how provincial elites and peasant households unwittingly created new practices. Managing local political institutions, establishing new credit systems, building networks of natural historians, and introducing new plants and farm machinery to the region opened up the inhabitants of the province to new norms and standards. The practices were gradually embedded in daily life and allowed the province to negotiate the new worlds of industrial society and capitalism.
James Livesey is professor of global history and dean of the School of Humanities at the University of Dundee in Scotland. He is the author of several books, including Making Democracy in the French Revolution and Civil Society and Empire.

The Page 99 Test: James Livesey's Civil Society and Empire.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 19, 2020

"Bathroom Battlegrounds"

New from the University of California Press: Bathroom Battlegrounds: How Public Restrooms Shape the Gender Order by Alexander K. Davis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Today’s debates about transgender inclusion and public restrooms may seem unmistakably contemporary, but they have a surprisingly long and storied history in the United States—one that concerns more than mere “potty politics.” Alexander K. Davis takes readers behind the scenes of two hundred years’ worth of conflicts over the existence, separation, and equity of gendered public restrooms, documenting at each step how bathrooms have been entangled with bigger cultural matters: the importance of the public good, the reach of institutional inclusion, the nature of gender difference, and, above all, the myriad privileges of social status. Chronicling the debut of nineteenth-century “comfort stations,” twentieth-century mandates requiring equal-but-separate men’s and women’s rooms, and twenty-first-century uproar over laws like North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” Davis reveals how public restrooms are far from marginal or unimportant social spaces. Instead, they are—and always have been—consequential sites in which ideology, institutions, and inequality collide.
Visit Alexander K. Davis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 18, 2020

"The Decline of Magic"

New from Yale University Press: The Decline of Magic: Britain in the Enlightenment by Michael Hunter.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new history which overturns the received wisdom that science displaced magic in Enlightenment Britain

In early modern Britain, belief in prophecies, omens, ghosts, apparitions and fairies was commonplace. Among both educated and ordinary people the absolute existence of a spiritual world was taken for granted. Yet in the eighteenth century such certainties were swept away. Credit for this great change is usually given to science – and in particular to the scientists of the Royal Society. But is this justified?

Michael Hunter argues that those pioneering the change in attitude were not scientists but freethinkers. While some scientists defended the reality of supernatural phenomena, these sceptical humanists drew on ancient authors to mount a critique both of orthodox religion and, by extension, of magic and other forms of superstition. Even if the religious heterodoxy of such men tarnished their reputation and postponed the general acceptance of anti-magical views, slowly change did come about. When it did, this owed less to the testing of magic than to the growth of confidence in a stable world in which magic no longer had a place.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 17, 2020

"Becoming Free, Becoming Black"

New from Cambridge University Press: Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and the Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana by Alejandro de la Fuente and Ariela J. Gross.

About the book, from the publisher:
How did Africans become 'blacks' in the Americas? Becoming Free, Becoming Black tells the story of enslaved and free people of color who used the law to claim freedom and citizenship for themselves and their loved ones. Their communities challenged slaveholders' efforts to make blackness synonymous with slavery. Looking closely at three slave societies - Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana - Alejandro de la Fuente and Ariela J. Gross demonstrate that the law of freedom - not slavery - established the meaning of blackness in law. Contests over freedom determined whether and how it was possible to move from slave to free status, and whether claims to citizenship would be tied to racial identity. Laws regulating the lives and institutions of free people of color created the boundaries between black and white, the rights reserved to white people, and the degradations imposed only on black people.
Alejandro de la Fuente is the Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, Professor of African and African American Studies, and the Director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University.

Ariela J. Gross is the John B. and Alice R. Sharp Professor of Law and History and the Co-Director of the Center for Law, History, and Culture at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

The Page 99 Test: Ariela J. Gross's What Blood Won't Tell.

--Marshal Zeringue