Tuesday, July 5, 2022

"Yes to the City"

New from Princeton University Press: Yes to the City: Millennials and the Fight for Affordable Housing by Max Holleran.

About the book, from the publisher:
The exorbitant costs of urban housing and the widening gap in income inequality are fueling a combative new movement in cities around the world. A growing number of influential activists aren’t waiting for new public housing to be built. Instead, they’re calling for more construction and denser cities in order to increase affordability. Yes to the City offers an in-depth look at the “Yes in My Backyard” (YIMBY) movement. From its origins in San Francisco to its current cadre of activists pushing for new apartment towers in places like Boulder, Austin, and London, Max Holleran explores how urban density, once maligned for its association with overpopulated slums, has become a rallying cry for millennial activists locked out of housing markets and unable to pay high rents.

Holleran provides a detailed account of YIMBY activists campaigning for construction, new zoning rules, better public transit, and even candidates for local and state office. YIMBY groups draw together an unlikely coalition, from developers and real estate agents to environmentalists, and Holleran looks at the increasingly contentious battles between market-driven pragmatists and rent-control idealists. Arguing that advocates for more housing must carefully weigh their demands for supply with the continuing damage of gentrification, he shows that these individuals see high-density urbanism and walkable urban spaces as progressive statements about the kind of society they would like to create.

Chronicling a major shift in housing activism during the past twenty years, Yes to the City considers how one movement has reframed conversations about urban growth.
Follow Max Holleran on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 4, 2022

"Ploughshares and Swords"

New from Cornell University Press: Ploughshares and Swords: India's Nuclear Program in the Global Cold War by Jayita Sarkar.

About the book, from the publisher:
India's nuclear program is often misunderstood as an inward-looking endeavor of secretive technocrats. In Ploughshares and Swords, Jayita Sarkar challenges this received wisdom, narrating a global story of India's nuclear program during its first forty years. The book foregrounds the program's civilian and military features by probing its close relationship with the space program. Through nuclear and space technologies, India's leaders served the technopolitical aims of economic modernity and the geopolitical goals of deterring adversaries.

The politically savvy, transnationally connected scientists and engineers who steered the program obtained technologies, materials, and information through a variety of state and nonstate actors from Europe and North America, including both superpowers. They thus maneuvered around Cold War politics and the choke points of the nonproliferation regime. Hyperdiversification increased choices for the leaders of the nuclear program but reduced democratic accountability at home. The nuclear program became a consensus-enforcing device in the name of the nation.

Ploughshares and Swords is a provocative new history with global implications. It shows how geopolitical and technopolitical visions influence decisions about the nation after decolonization.
Visit Jayita Sarkar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 3, 2022

"The Difficult Politics of Peace"

New from Oxford University Press: The Difficult Politics of Peace: Rivalry in Modern South Asia by Christopher Clary.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sweeping and theoretically original analysis of the India-Pakistan rivalry from 1947 to the present.

Since their mutual independence in 1947, India and Pakistan have been engaged in a fierce rivalry. Even today, both rivals continue to devote enormous resources to their military competition even as they face other pressing challenges at home and abroad. Why and when do rival states pursue conflict or cooperation? In The Difficult Politics of Peace, Christopher Clary provides a systematic examination of war-making and peace-building in the India-Pakistan rivalry from 1947 to the present. Drawing upon new evidence from recently declassified documents and policymaker interviews, the book traces India and Pakistan's complex history to explain patterns in their enduring rivalry and argues that domestic politics have often overshadowed strategic interests. It shows that Pakistan's dangerous civil-military relationship and India's fractious coalition politics have frequently stymied leaders that attempted to build a more durable peace between the South Asian rivals. In so doing, Clary offers a revised understanding of the causes of war and peace that brings difficult and sometimes dangerous domestic politics to the forefront.
Follow Christopher Clary on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 2, 2022

"Making Peace with Nature"

New from Duke University Press: Making Peace with Nature: Ecological Encounters along the Korean DMZ by Eleana J. Kim.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) has been off-limits to human habitation for nearly seventy years, and in that time, biodiverse forms of life have flourished in and around the DMZ as beneficiaries of an unresolved war. In Making Peace with Nature Eleana J. Kim shows how a closer examination of the DMZ in South Korea reveals that the area’s biodiversity is inseparable from scientific practices and geopolitical, capitalist, and ecological dynamics. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with ecologists, scientists, and local residents, Kim focuses on irrigation ponds, migratory bird flyways, and land mines in the South Korean DMZ area, demonstrating how human and nonhuman ecologies interact and transform in spaces defined by war and militarization. In so doing, Kim reframes peace away from a human-oriented political or economic peace and toward a more-than-human, biological peace. Such a peace recognizes the reality of war while pointing to potential forms of human and nonhuman relations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 1, 2022

"Racial Baggage"

New from Stanford University Press: Racial Baggage: Mexican Immigrants and Race Across the Border by Sylvia Zamora.

About the book, from the publisher:
Upon arrival to the United States, Mexican immigrants are racialized as simultaneously non-White and "illegal." This racialization process complicates notions of race that they bring with them, as the "pigmentocracy" of Mexican society, in which their skin color may have afforded them more privileges within their home country, collides with the American racial system. Racial Baggage examines how immigration reconfigures U.S. race relations, illuminating how the immigration experience can transform understandings of race in home and host countries.

Drawing on interviews with Mexicans in Los Angeles and Guadalajara, sociologist Sylvia Zamora illustrates how racialization is a transnational process that not only changes immigrants themselves, but also everyday understandings of race and racism within the United States and Mexico. Within their communities and networks that span an international border, Zamora argues, immigrants come to define "race" in a way distinct from both the color-conscious hierarchy of Mexican society and the Black-White binary prevalent within the United States. In the process, their stories demonstrate how race is not static, but rather an evolving social phenomenon forever altered by immigration.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 30, 2022

"Fire and Steel"

New from Oxford University Press: Fire and Steel: The End of World War Two in the West by Peter Caddick-Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:
The final volume in one of the most acclaimed works of military history of this generation.

Here is Peter Caddick-Adams' third volume in his trilogy about the final year of the Western front in World War Two. Fire & Steel covers the war's final 100 days-beginning in late January 1945 and continuing until May 8th, 1945, when the German high command surrendered unconditionally to all Allied forces. Caddick-Adams' previous two volumes in the acclaimed series-Sand & Steel, which covers the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, and Snow & Steel, the definitive study of the Battle of the Bulge, the German's final offensive in the war-have set the stage for this concluding volume.

In these final months of World War Two, all of Germany is ablaze, from daily bombing runs launched from just across its borders and incessant artillery fire from the east. In the west, the Allied progress was inexorable, with Eisenhower's seven armies taking on Germany's seven armies, town by town, bridge by bridge. With his customary narrative verve and utter mastery of the material, Caddick-Adams does these climactic final months full justice, from the capture of the Ludendorff Railway Bridge at Remagen, to the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, to the taking of Munich on Hitler's birthday, April 20th, and through to VE Day. Fire & Steel ends with the return of prisoners, demobilization of servicemen, and the beginning of the occupation of Germany.

A triumphant concluding volume to one of the most distinguished works of military history of this generation.
Follow Peter Caddick-Adams on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

"Nonprofit Neighborhoods"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Nonprofit Neighborhoods: An Urban History of Inequality and the American State by Claire Dunning.

About the book, from the publisher:
An exploration of how and why American city governments delegated the responsibility for solving urban inequality to the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofits serving a range of municipal and cultural needs are now so ubiquitous in US cities, it can be difficult to envision a time when they were more limited in number, size, and influence. Turning back the clock, however, uncovers both an illuminating story of how the nonprofit sector became such a dominant force in American society, as well as a troubling one of why this growth occurred alongside persistent poverty and widening inequality. Claire Dunning’s book connects these two stories in histories of race, democracy, and capitalism, revealing how the federal government funded and deputized nonprofits to help individuals in need, and in so doing avoided addressing the structural inequities that necessitated such action in the first place.

Nonprofit Neighborhoods begins after World War II, when suburbanization, segregation, and deindustrialization inaugurated an era of urban policymaking that applied private solutions to public problems. Dunning introduces readers to the activists, corporate executives, and politicians who advocated addressing poverty and racial exclusion through local organizations, while also raising provocative questions about the politics and possibilities of social change. The lessons of Nonprofit Neighborhoods exceed the bounds of Boston, where the story unfolds, providing a timely history of the shift from urban crisis to urban renaissance for anyone concerned about American inequality—past, present, or future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

"Sharing Territories"

New from Oxford University Press: Sharing Territories: Overlapping Self-Determination and Resource Rights by Cara Nine.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Sharing Territories, Cara Nine defends a river model of territorial rights. On a river model, groups are assumed to be interdependent and overlapping. If we imagine human settlements and territorial rights as established in river catchment areas-not on lands with walls and borders-the primary features of group life are not independence and distinctness. Drawing on natural law philosophy, Nine's theory argues for the establishment of foundational territories around geographical areas like rivers. Usually lower-scale political entities, foundational territories overlap with and serve as the grounding blocks of larger territorial units. Examples of foundational territories include not only river catchment areas but also urban areas, drawn around individuals who hold obligations to collectively manage their surroundings. Foundational territorial authorities manage spatially integrated areas where agents are interconnected by dense and scaffolded physical circumstances. In these areas, individuals cannot fulfil their natural obligations to each other without the help of collective rules. As foundational territories overlap the territories of other political units, Nine frames a theory of nested and shared territorial rights, and argues for insightful changes to the allocation of resource rights between political groups and individuals.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 27, 2022

"Cultural Appropriation in Fashion and Entertainment"

New from Bloomsbury Visual Arts: Cultural Appropriation in Fashion and Entertainment by Yuniya Kawamura and Jung-Whan (Marc) de Jong.

About the book, from the publisher:
Is it ever appropriate to “borrow” culturally inspired ideas? Who has ownership over intangible culture? What role does power inequality play? These questions are often at the center of heated public debates around cultural appropriation, with new controversies breaking seemingly every day.

Cultural Appropriation in Fashion and Entertainment offers a sociological perspective on the debate, exploring appropriation of cultures embedded in race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and religion in entertainment as well as the clothing, textiles, jewelry, accessories, hairstyles, and tattoos we wear.

Case studies are drawn from K-pop, Bollywood dance, J-pop, Bhangra music, Jamaican reggae, hip hop and EDM fashion to explore how, when, and why cultural borrowing or appreciation can become cultural appropriation. There's also discussion of subcultural territories that extend beyond geography, race and ethnicity, such as cosplay and LGBTQI+ communities.

By providing a range of global perspectives on the adoption, adaptation, and application of both tangible and intangible cultural objects, Kawamura and de Jong help move the conversation beyond simply criticizing designers and creators to encourage nuanced discussion and raise awareness of diverse cultures in the creative industries.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 26, 2022

"The Right to Be Counted"

New from Stanford University Press: The Right to Be Counted: The Urban Poor and the Politics of Resettlement in Delhi by Sanjeev Routray.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the last 30 years, Delhi, the capital of India, has displaced over 1.5 million poor people. Resettlement and welfare services are available—but exclusively so, as the city deems much of the population ineligible for civic benefits. The Right to Be Counted examines how Delhi's urban poor, in an effort to gain visibility from the local state, incrementally stake their claims to a house and life in the city. Contributing to debates about the contradictions of state governmentality and the citizenship projects of the poor in Delhi, this book explores social suffering, logistics, and the logic of political mobilizations that emanate from processes of displacement and resettlement. Sanjeev Routray draws upon fieldwork conducted in various low-income neighborhoods throughout the 2010s to describe the process of claims-making as an attempt by the political community of the poor to assert its existence and numerical strength, and demonstrates how this struggle to be counted constitutes the systematic, protracted, and incremental political process by which the poor claim their substantive entitlements and become entrenched in the city. Analyzing various social, political, and economic relationships, as well as kinship networks and solidarity linkages across the political and social spectrum, this book traces the ways the poor work to gain a foothold in Delhi and establish agency for themselves.
Follow Sanjeev Routray on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue