Thursday, October 31, 2019

"Leadership Decapitation"

New from Stanford University Press: Leadership Decapitation: Strategic Targeting of Terrorist Organizations by Jenna Jordan.

About the book, from the publisher:
One of the central pillars of US counterterrorism policy is that capturing or killing a terrorist group's leader is effective. Yet this pillar rests more on a foundation of faith than facts. In Leadership Decapitation, Jenna Jordan examines over a thousand instances of leadership targeting—involving groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, Shining Path, and ISIS—to identify the successes, failures, and unintended consequences of this strategy. As Jordan demonstrates, group infrastructure, ideology, and popular support all play a role in determining how and why leadership decapitation succeeds or fails. Taking heed of these conditions is essential to an effective counterterrorism policy going forward.
Jenna Jordan is Associate Professor of International Affairs at Georgia Tech.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"The Politics of War Powers"

New from the University Press of Kansas: The Politics of War Powers: The Theory and History of Presidential Unilateralism by Sarah Burns.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Constitution of the United States divides war powers between the executive and legislative branches to guard against ill-advised or unnecessary military action. This division of powers compels both branches to hold each other accountable and work in tandem. And yet, since the Cold War, congressional ambition has waned on this front. Even when Congress does provide initial authorization for larger operations, they do not provide strict parameters or clear end dates. As a result, one president after another has initiated and carried out poorly developed and poorly executed military policy. The Politics of War Powers offers a measured, deeply informed look at how the American constitutional system broke down, how it impacts decision-making today, and how we might find our way out of this unhealthy power division.

Sarah Burns starts with a nuanced account of the theoretical and historical development of war powers in the United States. Where discussions of presidential power often lean on the concept of the Lockean Prerogative, Burns locates a more constructive source in Montesquieu. Unlike Locke, Montesquieu combines universal normative prescriptions with an emphasis on tailoring the structure to the unique needs of a society. In doing so, the separation of powers can be customized while maintaining the moderation needed to create a healthy institutional balance. He demonstrates the importance of forcing the branches into dialogue, putting them, as he says, “in a position to resist” each other. Burns’s conclusion—after tracing changes through Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration, the Cold War, and the War on Terror—is that presidents now command a dangerous degree of unilateral power.

Burns’s work ranges across Montesquieu’s theory, the debate over the creation of the Constitution, historical precedent, and the current crisis. Through her analysis, both a fuller picture of the alterations to the constitutional system and ideas on how to address the resulting imbalance of power emerge.
Visit Sarah Burns's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"The New Noir"

New from the University of California Press: The New Noir: Race, Identity, and Diaspora in Black Suburbia by Orly Clerge.

About the book, from the publisher:
The expansion of the Black American middle class and the unprecedented increase in the number of Black immigrants since the 1960s have transformed the cultural landscape of New York.

In The New Noir, Orly Clerge explores the richly complex worlds of an extraordinary generation of Black middle class adults who have migrated from different corners of the African diaspora to suburbia. The Black middle class today consists of diverse groups whose ongoing cultural, political, and material ties to the American South and Global South shape their cultural interactions at work, in their suburban neighborhoods, and at their kitchen tables. Clerge compellingly analyzes the making of a new multinational Black middle class and how they create a spectrum of Black identities that help them carve out places of their own in a changing 21st-century global city.

Paying particular attention to the largest Black ethnic groups in the country, Black Americans, Jamaicans, and Haitians, Clerge’s ethnography draws on over 80 interviews with residents to examine the overlooked places where New York’s middle class resides in Queens and Long Island. This book reveals that region and nationality shape how the Black middle class negotiates the everyday politics of race and class.
Visit Orly Clerge's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 28, 2019

"Right to Mourn"

New from Oxford University Press: Right to Mourn: Trauma, Empathy, and Korean War Memorials by Suhi Choi.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the highly politicized memory space of postwar South Korea, many families have been deprived of their right to mourn loved ones lost in the Korean War. Only since the 1990s has the government begun to acknowledge the atrocities committed by South Korean and American troops that resulted in large numbers of civilian casualties. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee, new laws honoring victims, and construction of monuments and memorials have finally opened public spaces for mourning. In Right to Mourn, Suhi Choi explores this new context of remembering in which memories that have long been private are brought into official sites. As the generation that once carried these memories fades away, Choi poses an increasingly critical question: can a memorial communicate trauma and facilitate mourning?

Through careful examination of recently built Korean War memorials (the Jeju April 3 Peace Park, the Memorial for the Gurye Victims of Yosun Killings, and the No Gun Ri Peace Park), Right to Mourn provokes readers to look at the nearly seven-decade-old war within the most updated context, and shows how suppressed trauma manifests at the transient interactions among bodies, objects, and rituals at the sites of these memorials.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 27, 2019

"The New American Farmer"

New from the MIT Press: The New American Farmer: Immigration, Race, and the Struggle for Sustainability by Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern.

About the book, from the publisher:
An examination of Latino/a immigrant farmers as they transition from farmworkers to farm owners that offers a new perspective on racial inequity and sustainable farming.

Although the majority of farms in the United States have US-born owners who identify as white, a growing number of new farmers are immigrants, many of them from Mexico, who originally came to the United States looking for work in agriculture. In The New American Farmer, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern explores the experiences of Latino/a immigrant farmers as they transition from farmworkers to farm owners, offering a new perspective on racial inequity and sustainable farming. She finds that many of these new farmers rely on farming practices from their home countries—including growing multiple crops simultaneously, using integrated pest management, maintaining small-scale production, and employing family labor—most of which are considered alternative farming techniques in the United States.

Drawing on extensive interviews with farmers and organizers, Minkoff-Zern describes the social, economic, and political barriers immigrant farmers must overcome, from navigating USDA bureaucracy to racialized exclusion from opportunities. She discusses, among other topics, the history of discrimination against farm laborers in the United States; the invisibility of Latino/a farmers to government and universities; new farmers' sense of agrarian and racial identity; and the future of the agrarian class system.

Minkoff-Zern argues that immigrant farmers, with their knowledge and experience of alternative farming practices, are—despite a range of challenges—actively and substantially contributing to the movement for an ecological and sustainable food system. Scholars and food activists should take notice.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 26, 2019

"To Begin the World Over Again"

New from Yale University Press: To Begin the World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe by Matthew Lockwood.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first exploration of the profound and often catastrophic impact the American Revolution had on the rest of the world

While the American Revolution led to domestic peace and liberty, it ultimately had a catastrophic global impact—it strengthened the British Empire and led to widespread persecution and duress. From the opium wars in China to anti-imperial rebellions in Peru to the colonization of Australia—the inspirational impact the American success had on fringe uprisings was outweighed by the influence it had on the tightening fists of oppressive world powers.

Here Matthew Lockwood presents, in vivid detail, the neglected story of this unintended revolution. It sowed the seeds of collapse for the preeminent empires of the early modern era, setting the stage for the global domination of Britain, Russia, and the United States. Lockwood illuminates the forgotten stories and experiences of the communities and individuals who adapted to this new world in which the global balance of power had been drastically altered.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 25, 2019

"This Land Is Their Land"

New from Bloomsbury USA: This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David J. Silverman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a new look at the Plymouth colony's founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story.

In March 1621, when Plymouth's survival was hanging in the balance, the Wampanoag sachem (or chief), Ousamequin (Massasoit), and Plymouth's governor, John Carver, declared their people's friendship for each other and a commitment to mutual defense. Later that autumn, the English gathered their first successful harvest and lifted the specter of starvation. Ousamequin and 90 of his men then visited Plymouth for the “First Thanksgiving.” The treaty remained operative until King Philip's War in 1675, when 50 years of uneasy peace between the two parties would come to an end.

400 years after that famous meal, historian David J. Silverman sheds profound new light on the events that led to the creation, and bloody dissolution, of this alliance. Focusing on the Wampanoag Indians, Silverman deepens the narrative to consider tensions that developed well before 1620 and lasted long after the devastating war-tracing the Wampanoags' ongoing struggle for self-determination up to this very day.

This unsettling history reveals why some modern Native people hold a Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving, a holiday which celebrates a myth of colonialism and white proprietorship of the United States. This Land is Their Land shows that it is time to rethink how we, as a pluralistic nation, tell the history of Thanksgiving.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 24, 2019

"The Black Republic"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti by Brandon R. Byrd.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Black Republic, Brandon R. Byrd explores the ambivalent attitudes that African American leaders in the post-Civil War era held toward Haiti, the first and only black republic in the Western Hemisphere. Following emancipation, African American leaders of all kinds—politicians, journalists, ministers, writers, educators, artists, and diplomats—identified new and urgent connections with Haiti, a nation long understood as an example of black self-determination. They celebrated not only its diplomatic recognition by the United States but also the renewed relevance of the Haitian Revolution.

While a number of African American leaders defended the sovereignty of a black republic whose fate they saw as intertwined with their own, others expressed concern over Haiti's fitness as a model black republic, scrutinizing whether the nation truly reflected the "civilized" progress of the black race. Influenced by the imperialist rhetoric of their day, many African Americans across the political spectrum espoused a politics of racial uplift, taking responsibility for the "improvement" of Haitian education, politics, culture, and society. They considered Haiti an uncertain experiment in black self-governance: it might succeed and vindicate the capabilities of African Americans demanding their own right to self-determination or it might fail and condemn the black diasporic population to second-class status for the foreseeable future.

When the United States military occupied Haiti in 1915, it created a crisis for W. E. B. Du Bois and other black activists and intellectuals who had long grappled with the meaning of Haitian independence. The resulting demand for and idea of a liberated Haiti became a cornerstone of the anticapitalist, anticolonial, and antiracist radical black internationalism that flourished between World War I and World War II. Spanning the Reconstruction, post-Reconstruction, and Jim Crow eras, The Black Republic recovers a crucial and overlooked chapter of African American internationalism and political thought.
Visit Brandon R. Byrd's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"Badges without Borders"

New from the University of California Press: Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing by Stuart Schrader.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the Cold War through today, the U.S. has quietly assisted dozens of regimes around the world in suppressing civil unrest and securing the conditions for the smooth operation of capitalism. Casting a new light on American empire, Badges Without Borders shows, for the first time, that the very same people charged with global counterinsurgency also militarized American policing at home.

In this groundbreaking exposé, Stuart Schrader shows how the United States projected imperial power overseas through police training and technical assistance—and how this effort reverberated to shape the policing of city streets at home. Examining diverse records, from recently declassified national security and intelligence materials to police textbooks and professional magazines, Schrader reveals how U.S. police leaders envisioned the beat to be as wide as the globe and worked to put everyday policing at the core of the Cold War project of counterinsurgency. A “smoking gun” book, Badges without Borders offers a new account of the War on Crime, “law and order” politics, and global counterinsurgency, revealing the connections between foreign and domestic racial control.
Visit Stuart Schrader's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

"That Most Precious Merchandise"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: That Most Precious Merchandise: The Mediterranean Trade in Black Sea Slaves, 1260-1500 by Hannah Barker.

About the book, from the publisher:
The history of the Black Sea as a source of Mediterranean slaves stretches from ancient Greek colonies to human trafficking networks in the present day. At its height during the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the Black Sea slave trade was not the sole source of Mediterranean slaves; Genoese, Venetian, and Egyptian merchants bought captives taken in conflicts throughout the region, from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, and the Aegean Sea. Yet the trade in Black Sea slaves provided merchants with profit and prestige; states with military recruits, tax revenue, and diplomatic influence; and households with the service of women, men, and children.

Even though Genoa, Venice, and the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt and Greater Syria were the three most important strands in the web of the Black Sea slave trade, they have rarely been studied together. Examining Latin and Arabic sources in tandem, Hannah Barker shows that Christian and Muslim inhabitants of the Mediterranean shared a set of assumptions and practices that amounted to a common culture of slavery. Indeed, the Genoese, Venetian, and Mamluk slave trades were thoroughly entangled, with wide-ranging effects. Genoese and Venetian disruption of the Mamluk trade led to reprisals against Italian merchants living in Mamluk cities, while their participation in the trade led to scathing criticism by supporters of the crusade movement who demanded commercial powers use their leverage to weaken the force of Islam.

Reading notarial registers, tax records, law, merchants' accounts, travelers' tales and letters, sermons, slave-buying manuals, and literary works as well as treaties governing the slave trade and crusade propaganda, Barker gives a rich picture of the context in which merchants traded and enslaved people met their fate.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 21, 2019

"Witnessing Slavery"

New from Yale University Press: Witnessing Slavery: Art and Travel in the Age of Abolition by Sarah Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:
A timely and original look at the role of the eyewitness account in the representation of slavery in British and European art

Gathering together over 160 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints, this book offers an unprecedented examination of the shifting iconography of slavery in British and European art between 1760 and 1840. In addition to considering how the work of artists such as Agostino Brunias, James Hakewill, and Augustus Earle responded to abolitionist politics, Sarah Thomas examines the importance of the eyewitness account in endowing visual representations of transatlantic slavery with veracity. “Being there,” indeed, became significant not only because of the empirical opportunities to document slave life it afforded but also because the imagery of the eyewitness was more credible than sketches and paintings created by the “armchair traveler” at home. Full of original insights that cast a new light on these highly charged images, this volume reconsiders how slavery was depicted within a historical context in which truth was a deeply contested subject.
Sarah Thomas is lecturer in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 20, 2019

"The Russia Anxiety"

New from Oxford University Press: The Russia Anxiety: And How History Can Resolve It by Mark B. Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
A history of Russophobia and its living legacy in world affairs

With proof of election-meddling and the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin an ongoing conundrum, little wonder many Americans are experiencing what historian Mark B. Smith calls "the Russia Anxiety." This is no new phenomenon. Time and time again, the West has judged Russia on assumptions of its inherent cunning, malevolence, and brutality. Yet for much of its history, Russia functioned no differently-or at least no more dysfunctionally-than other absolutist, war-mongering European states. So what is it about this country that so often provokes such excessive responses? And why is this so dangerous?

Russian history can indeed be viewed as a catalog of brutal violence, in which a rotation of secret police-from Ivan the Terrible's Oprichina to Andropov's KGB and Putin's FSB-hold absolute sway. However, as Smith shows, there are nevertheless deeper political and cultural factors that could lead to democratic outcomes. Violence is not an innate element of Russian culture, and Russia is not unknowable. From foreign interference and cyber-attacks to mega-corruption and nuclear weapons, Smith uses Russia's sprawling history to throw light on contemporary concerns. Smith reveals how the past has created today's Russia and how this past offers hints about its future place in the world-one that reaches beyond crisis and confrontation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 19, 2019

"Crisis!: When Political Parties Lose the Consent to Rule"

New from Stanford University Press: Crisis!: When Political Parties Lose the Consent to Rule by Cedric de Leon.

About the book, from the publisher:
A timely analysis of the power and limits of political parties—and the lessons of the Civil War and the New Deal in the Age of Trump.

American voters have long been familiar with the phenomenon of the presidential frontrunner. In 2008, it was Hillary Clinton. In 1844, it was Martin Van Buren. And in neither election did the prominent Democrat win the party's nomination. Insurgent candidates went on to win the nomination and the presidency, plunging the two-party system into disarray over the years that followed.

In this book, Cedric de Leon analyzes two pivotal crises in the American two-party system: the first resulting in the demise of the Whig party and secession of eleven southern states in 1861, and the present crisis splintering the Democratic and Republican parties and leading to the election of Donald Trump. Recasting these stories through the actions of political parties, de Leon draws unsettling parallels in the political maneuvering that ultimately causes once-dominant political parties to lose the people's consent to rule.

Crisis! takes us beyond the common explanations of social determinants to illuminate how political parties actively shape national stability and breakdown. The secession crisis and the election of Donald Trump suggest that politicians and voters abandon the political establishment not only because people are suffering, but also because the party system itself is unable to absorb an existential challenge to its power. Just as the U.S. Civil War meant the difference between the survival of a slaveholding republic and the birth of liberal democracy, what political elites and civil society organizations do today can mean the difference between fascism and democracy.
The Page 99 Test: The Origins of Right to Work: Antilabor Democracy in Nineteenth-Century Chicago by Cedric de Leon.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 18, 2019

"Minding the Gap"

New from Oxford University Press: Minding the Gap: Moral Ideals and Moral Improvement by Karen Stohr.

About the book, from the publisher:
Most of us care about being a good person. Most of us also recognize that we fall far short of our morals aspirations, that there is a gap between what we are like and what we think we should be like. The aim of moral improvement is to narrow that gap. And yet as a practical undertaking, moral improvement is beset by difficulties. We are not very good judges of what we are like and we are often unclear about what it would mean to be better. This book aims to give an honest account of moral improvement that takes seriously the challenges that we encounter--the practical and philosophical--in trying to make ourselves morally better.

Ethical theories routinely present us with accounts of ideal moral agents that we are supposed to emulate. These accounts, however, often lack normative authority for us and they may also fail to provide us with adequate guidance about how to live in our flawed moral reality. Stohr presents moral improvement as a project for non-ideal persons living in non-ideal circumstances. An adequate account of moral improvement must have psychologically plausible starting points and rely on ideals that are normatively authoritative and regulatively efficacious for the person trying to emulate them. Moral improvement should be understood as the project of articulating and inhabiting an aspirational moral identity. That identity is cultivated through existing practical identities and standpoints, which are fundamentally social and which generate practical conflicts about how to live. The success of moral improvement depends on it taking place within what she calls good "moral neighborhoods." Moral neighborhoods are collaborative normative spaces, constructed from networks of social practices and conventions, in which we can articulate and act as better versions of ourselves. The book concludes with a discussion of three social practices that contribute to good moral neighborhoods, and so to moral improvement.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 17, 2019

"Futureproof: How to Build Resilience in an Uncertain World"

New from Yale University Press: Futureproof: How to Build Resilience in an Uncertain World by Jon Coaffee.

About the book, from the publisher:
A compelling and definitive account of why we need to radically rethink our approach to dealing with catastrophic events

Catastrophic events such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Tohoku "Triple Disaster" of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown that hit the eastern seaboard of Japan in 2012 are seen as surprises that have a low probability of occurring but have a debilitating impact when they do.

In this eye-opening journey through modern and ancient risk management practices, Jon Coaffee explains why we need to find a new way to navigate the deeply uncertain world that we live in. Examining how governments have responded to terrorist threats, climate change, and natural hazards, Coaffee shows how and why these measures have proven inadequate and what should be done to make us more resilient. While conventional approaches have focused on planning and preparing for disruptions and enhanced our ability to "bounce back," our focus should be on anticipating future challenges and enhancing our capacity to adapt to new threats.
Jon Coaffee is professor in urban geography and director of the Resilient Cities Laboratory at the University of Warwick, and an exchange professor at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

"Her Neighbor's Wife"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Her Neighbor's Wife: A History of Lesbian Desire Within Marriage by Lauren Jae Gutterman.

About the book, from the publisher:
At first glance, Barbara Kalish fit the stereotype of a 1950s wife and mother. Married at eighteen, Barbara lived with her husband and two daughters in a California suburb, where she was president of the Parent-Teacher Association. At a PTA training conference in San Francisco, Barbara met Pearl, another PTA president who also had two children and happened to live only a few blocks away from her. To Barbara, Pearl was "the most gorgeous woman in the world," and the two began an affair that lasted over a decade.

Through interviews, diaries, memoirs, and letters, Her Neighbor's Wife traces the stories of hundreds of women, like Barbara Kalish, who struggled to balance marriage and same-sex desire in the postwar United States. In doing so, Lauren Jae Gutterman draws our attention away from the postwar landscape of urban gay bars and into the homes of married women, who tended to engage in affairs with wives and mothers they met in the context of their daily lives: through work, at church, or in their neighborhoods.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, the lesbian feminist movement and the no-fault divorce revolution transformed the lives of wives who desired women. Women could now choose to divorce their husbands in order to lead openly lesbian or bisexual lives; increasingly, however, these women were confronted by hostile state discrimination, typically in legal battles over child custody. Well into the 1980s, many women remained ambivalent about divorce and resistant to labeling themselves as lesbian, therefore complicating a simple interpretation of their lives and relationship choices. By revealing the extent to which marriage has historically permitted space for wives' relationships with other women, Her Neighbor's Wife calls into question the presumed straightness of traditional American marriage.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

"At Europe's Edge"

New from Oxford University Press: At Europe's Edge: Migration and Crisis in the Mediterranean by Ċetta Mainwaring.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Mediterranean Sea is now the deadliest region in the world for migrants. Although the death toll has been rising for many years, the EU response remains fragmented and short sighted. Politicians frame these migration flows as an unprecedented crisis and emphasize migration control at the EU's external boundaries. In this context, At Europe's Edge investigates why the EU prioritizes the fortification of its external borders; why migrants nevertheless continue to cross the Mediterranean and to die at sea; and how EU member states on the southern periphery respond to their new role as migration gatekeepers. The book addresses these questions by examining the relationship between the EU and Malta, a small state with an outsized role in migration politics as EU policies place it at the crosshairs of migration flows and controls. The chapters combine ethnographic methods with macro-level analyses to weave together policymaker, practitioner, and migrant experiences, and demonstrate how the Mediterranean is an important space for the contested construction of 'Europe'. This book provides rich insight into the unexpected level of influence Malta exerts on EU migration governance, as well as the critical role migrants and their clandestine journeys play in animating EU and Maltese migration policies, driving international relations, and producing Malta's political power. By centring on the margins, the book pushes the boundaries of our knowledge of the global politics of migration, asylum, and border security.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 14, 2019

"Cursed Britain"

New from Yale University Press: Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times by Thomas Waters.

About the book, from the publisher:
The definitive history of how witchcraft and black magic have survived, through the modern era and into the present day

Cursed Britain unveils the enduring power of witchcraft, curses and black magic in modern times. Few topics are so secretive or controversial. Yet, whether in the 1800s or the early 2000s, when disasters struck or personal misfortunes mounted, many Britons found themselves believing in things they had previously dismissed – dark supernatural forces.

Historian Thomas Waters here explores the lives of cursed or bewitched people, along with the witches and witch-busters who helped and harmed them. Waters takes us on a fascinating journey from Scottish islands to the folklore-rich West Country, from the immense territories of the British Empire to metropolitan London. We learn why magic caters to deep-seated human needs but see how it can also be abused, and discover how witchcraft survives by evolving and changing. Along the way, we examine an array of remarkable beliefs and rituals, from traditional folk magic to diverse spiritualities originating in Africa and Asia.

This is a tale of cynical quacks and sincere magical healers, depressed people and furious vigilantes, innocent victims and rogues who claimed to possess evil abilities. Their spellbinding stories raise important questions about the state’s role in regulating radical spiritualities, the fragility of secularism and the true nature of magic.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 13, 2019

"West Germany and the Iron Curtain"

New from Oxford University Press: West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands by Astrid M. Eckert.

About the book, from the publisher:
West Germany and the Iron Curtain takes a fresh look at the history of Cold War Germany and the German reunification process from the spatial perspective of the West German borderlands that emerged along the volatile inter-German border after 1945. These border regions constituted the Federal Republic's most sensitive geographical space where it had to confront partition and engage its socialist neighbor East Germany in concrete ways. Each issue that arose in these borderlands - from economic deficiencies, border tourism, environmental pollution, landscape change, and the siting decision for a major nuclear facility - was magnified and mediated by the presence of what became the most militarized border of its day, the Iron Curtain.

In topical chapters, the book addresses the economic consequences of the border for West Germany, which defined the border regions as depressed areas, and examines the cultural practice of western tourism to the Iron Curtain. At the heart of this deeply-researched book stands an environmental history of the Iron Curtain that explores transboundary pollution, landscape change, and a planned nuclear industrial site at Gorleben that was meant to bring jobs into the depressed border regions. The book traces these subjects across the caesura of 1989/90, thereby integrating the "long" postwar era with the post-unification decades. As Eckert demonstrates, the borderlands that emerged with partition and disappeared with reunification did not merely mirror some larger developments in the Federal Republic's history but actually helped to shape them.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Underground Wealth of Nations"

New from Yale University Press: The Underground Wealth of Nations: On the Capitalist Origins of Silver Mining, A.D. 1150-1450 by Jeannette Graulau.

About the book, from the publisher:
Silver mining was a capitalist business long before the supposed origin of modern capitalism

Hundreds of years before a sixteenth-century crisis in European agriculture led to the origins of capital, investment, and finance, the silver mining industry exhibited many of the features of modern capitalism. Silver mines were large-scale businesses that demanded large investments and steady cash flow, achieved by spreading that risk through fungible shares and creating legal structures to protect entrepreneurs from financial disaster. Jeannette Graulau argues that mining preceded agriculture as the first true capitalist enterprise of the modern world.
Jeannette Graulau is associate professor of political science at Herbert H. Lehman College, The City University of New York.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 12, 2019

"Youth Squad: Policing Children in the Twentieth Century"

New from McGill Queen University Press: Youth Squad: Policing Children in the Twentieth Century by Tamara Gene Myers.

About the book, from the publisher:
How police surveillance and crime prevention programs became a normal part of modern-day childhood.

Starting in the 1930s, urban police forces from New York City to Montreal to Vancouver established youth squads and crime prevention programs, dramatically changing the nature of contact between cops and kids. Gone was the beat officer who scared children and threatened youth. Instead, a new breed of officer emerged whose intentions were explicit: befriend the rising generation. Good intentions, however, produced paradoxical results.

In Youth Squad Tamara Gene Myers chronicles the development of youth consciousness among North American police departments. Myers shows that a new comprehensive strategy for crime prevention was predicated on the idea that criminals are not born but made by their cultural environments. Pinpointing the origin of this paradigmatic shift to a period of optimism about the ability of police to protect children, she explains how, by the middle of the twentieth century, police forces had intensified their presence in children's lives through juvenile curfew laws, police athletic leagues, traffic safety and anti-corruption campaigns, and school programs. The book describes the ways that seemingly altruistic efforts to integrate working-class youth into society evolved into pervasive supervision and surveillance, normalizing the police presence in children's lives.

At the intersection of juvenile justice, policing, and childhood history, Youth Squad reveals how the overpolicing of young people today is rooted in well-meaning but misguided schemes of the mid-twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 11, 2019

"Elizabethan Globalism"

New from Yale University Press: Elizabethan Globalism: England, China and the Rainbow Portrait by Matthew Dimmock.

About the book, from the publisher:
A fascinating look at how Elizabethan England was transformed by its interactions with cultures from around the world

Challenging the myth of Elizabethan England as insular and xenophobic, this revelatory study sheds light on how the nation’s growing global encounters—from the Caribbean to Asia—created an interest and curiosity in the wider world that resonated deeply throughout society. Matthew Dimmock reconstructs an extraordinary housewarming party thrown at the newly built Cecil House in London in 1602 for Elizabeth I where a stunning display of Chinese porcelain served as a physical manifestation of how global trade and diplomacy had led to a new appreciation of foreign cultures. This party was also the likely inspiration for Elizabeth’s celebrated Rainbow Portrait, an image that Dimmock describes as a carefully orchestrated vision of England’s emerging ambitions for its engagements with the rest of the world. Bringing together an eclectic variety of sources including play texts, inventories, and artifacts, this extensively researched volume presents a picture of early modern England as an outward-looking nation intoxicated by what the world had to offer.
Matthew Dimmock is professor of early modern studies at the University of Sussex.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Free Traders"

New from Oxford University Press: Free Traders: Elites, Democracy, and the Rise of Globalization in North America by Malcolm Fairbrother.

About the book, from the publisher:
Today's global economy was largely established by political events and decisions in the 1980s and 90s, when scores of nations opened up their economies to the forces of globalization. In Free Traders, Malcolm Fairbrother argues that politicians' embrace of globalization was much less motivated by public preferences than by the agendas of businesspeople and other elites. Drawing on over one hundred interviews with decision-makers, and analyses of archival materials from Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., Fairbrother tells the story of how each country negotiated and ratified two agreements that substantially opened and integrated their economies: the 1989 Canada-U.S. and trilateral 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Contrary to what many commentators believe, these agreements-like free trade elsewhere-were based less on mainstream, neoclassical economics than on the informal, self-serving economic ideas of business. While the stakes in the globalization debate remain high, Free Traders uses a comparative-historical approach to sharpen our understanding of how globalization arose in the past to provide us with clearer trajectory for how it will develop in the future.
Visit Malcolm Fairbrother's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Unfaithful: Love, Adultery, and Marriage Reform in Nineteenth-Century America by Carol Faulkner.

About the book, from the publisher:
In her 1855 fictionalized autobiography, Mary Gove Nichols told the story of her emancipation from her first unhappy marriage, during which her husband controlled her body, her labor, and her daughter. Rather than the more familiar metaphor of prostitution, Nichols used adultery to define loveless marriages as a betrayal of the self, a consequence far more serious than the violation of a legal contract. Nichols was not alone. In Unfaithful, Carol Faulkner places this view of adultery at the center of nineteenth-century efforts to redefine marriage as a voluntary relationship in which love alone determined fidelity.

After the Revolution, Americans understood adultery as a sin against God and a crime against the people. A betrayal of marriage vows, adultery was a cause for divorce in most states as well as a basis for civil suits. Faulkner depicts an array of nineteenth-century social reformers who challenged the restrictive legal institution of marriage, redefining adultery as a matter of individual choice and love. She traces the beginning of this redefinition of adultery to the evangelical ferment of the 1830s and 1840s, when perfectionists like John Humphrey Noyes, founder of the Oneida Community, concluded that marriage obstructed the individual's relationship to God. In the 1840s and 1850s, spiritualist, feminist, and free love critics of marriage fueled a growing debate over adultery and marriage by emphasizing true love and consent. After the Civil War, activists turned the act of adultery into a form of civil disobedience, culminating in Victoria Woodhull's publicly charging the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher with marital infidelity.

Unfaithful explores how nineteenth-century reformers mobilized both the metaphor and the act of adultery to redefine marriage between 1830 and 1880 and the ways in which their criticisms of the legal institution contributed to a larger transformation of marital and gender relations that continues to this day.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

"Power to the People"

New from Oxford University Press: Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow's Terrorists by Audrey Kurth Cronin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Never have so many possessed the means to be so lethal. The diffusion of modern technology (robotics, cyber weapons, 3-D printing, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence) to ordinary people has given them access to weapons of mass violence previously monopolized by the state. In recent years, states have attempted to stem the flow of such weapons to individuals and non-state groups, but their efforts are failing.

As Audrey Kurth Cronin explains in Power to the People, what we are seeing now is an exacerbation of an age-old trend. Over the centuries, the most surprising developments in warfare have occurred because of advances in technologies combined with changes in who can use them. Indeed, accessible innovations in destructive force have long driven new patterns of political violence. When Nobel invented dynamite and Kalashnikov designed the AK-47, each inadvertently spurred terrorist and insurgent movements that killed millions and upended the international system.

That history illuminates our own situation, in which emerging technologies are altering society and redistributing power. The twenty-first century "sharing economy" has already disrupted every institution, including the armed forces. New "open" technologies are transforming access to the means of violence. Just as importantly, higher-order functions that previously had been exclusively under state military control - mass mobilization, force projection, and systems integration - are being harnessed by non-state actors. Cronin closes by focusing on how to respond so that we both preserve the benefits of emerging technologies yet reduce the risks. Power, in the form of lethal technology, is flowing to the people, but the same technologies that empower can imperil global security - unless we act strategically.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 7, 2019

"Why We Believe"

New from Yale University Press: Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being by Agustín Fuentes.

About the book, from the publisher:
A wide-ranging argument by a renowned anthropologist that the capacity to believe is what makes us human

Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive capacities.

But what if the focus on religion is too narrow? Renowned anthropologist Agustín Fuentes argues that the capacity to be religious is actually a small part of a larger and deeper human capacity to believe. Why believe in religion, economies, love? A fascinating intervention into some of the most common misconceptions about human nature, this book employs evolutionary, neurobiological, and anthropological evidence to argue that belief—the ability to commit passionately and wholeheartedly to an idea—is central to the human way of being in the world.
The Page 99 Test: Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 6, 2019

"Memory: A Self-Referential Account"

New from Oxford University Press: Memory: A Self-Referential Account by Jordi Fernández.

About the book, from the publisher:
Jordi Fernández here offers a philosophical investigation of memory, one which engages with memory's philosophically puzzling characteristics in order to clarify what memory is. Memories interact with mental states of other types in a particular way, and they also have associated feelings that these other mental states lack. They are special in terms of their representational capacity too, since one can have memories of objective events as well as memories of one's own past experiences. Finally, memories are epistemically unique, in that beliefs formed on the basis of memories are protected from certain errors of misidentification, and are justified in a way which does not rely on any cognitive capacity other than memory.

To explain these unique features, Fernández proposes that memories have a particular functional role which involves past perceptual experiences and beliefs about the past. He suggests that memories have a particular content as well, namely that they represent themselves as having a certain causal origin. Fernández then explains the feelings associated with our memories as the experience of some of the things that our memories represent, things such as our own past experiences, or the fact that memories originate in those experiences. He also accounts for the special justification for belief afforded by our memories in terms of the content that memories have. The resulting picture is a unified account of several philosophically interesting aspects of memory, one that will appeal to philosophers of mind, metaphysicians, and epistemologists alike.
Visit Jordi Fernández's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 5, 2019

"Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People"

New from Rutgers University Press: Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People: Colonialism, Nature, and Social Action by Kari Marie Norgaard.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since time before memory, large numbers of salmon have made their way up and down the Klamath River. Indigenous management enabled the ecological abundance that formed the basis of capitalist wealth across North America. These activities on the landscape continue today, although they are often the site of intense political struggle. Not only has the magnitude of Native American genocide been of remarkable little sociological focus, the fact that this genocide has been coupled with a reorganization of the natural world represents a substantial theoretical void. Whereas much attention has (rightfully) focused on the structuring of capitalism, racism and patriarchy, few sociologists have attended to the ongoing process of North American colonialism. Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People draws upon nearly two decades of examples and insight from Karuk experiences on the Klamath River to illustrate how the ecological dynamics of settler-colonialism are essential for theorizing gender, race and social power today.
Kari Marie Norgaard (non-Native Professor of Sociology/Environmental Studies at University of Oregon) has engaged in environmental justice policy work with the Karuk Tribe since 2003. Norgaard is author of Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life and other publications on gender, race, and the sociology of emotions.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 4, 2019

"In Search of Our Frontier"

New from the University of California Press: In Search of Our Frontier: Japanese America and Settler Colonialism in the Construction of Japan’s Borderless Empire by Eiichiro Azuma.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Search of Our Frontier explores the complex transnational history of Japanese immigrant settler colonialism, which linked Japanese America with Japan’s colonial empire through the exchange of migrant bodies, expansionist ideas, colonial expertise, and capital in the Asia-Pacific basin before World War II. The trajectories of Japanese transpacific migrants exemplified a prevalent national structure of thought and practice that not only functioned to shore up the backbone of Japan’s empire building but also promoted the borderless quest for Japanese overseas development. Eiichiro Azuma offers new interpretive perspectives that will allow readers to understand Japanese settler colonialism’s capacity to operate outside the aegis of the home empire.
Eiichiro Azuma is Alan Charles Kors Term Chair Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America and a coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 3, 2019

"Sharing the Burden"

New from Oxford University Press: Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention, and Anglo-American Visions of Global Order by Charlie Laderman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The destruction of the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire was an unprecedented tragedy. Even amidst the horrors of the First World War, Theodore Roosevelt insisted that it was the greatest crime of the conflict. The wartime mass killing of approximately one million Armenian Christians was the culmination of a series of massacres that Winston Churchill would later recall had roused publics on both sides of the Atlantic and inspired fervent appeals to save the Armenians.

Sharing the Burden explains how the Armenian struggle for survival became so entangled with the debate over the international role of the United States as it rose to world power status in the early twentieth century. In doing so, Charlie Laderman provides a fresh perspective on the role of humanitarian intervention in US foreign policy, Anglo-American relations, and the emergence of a new world order after World War I. The United States' responsibility to protect the Armenians was a central preoccupation of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Both American and British leaders proposed an Anglo-American alliance to take joint responsibilities for the Middle East and envisioned a US intervention to secure an independent Armenia as key to the new League of Nations. The Armenian question illustrates how policymakers, missionaries, and the public grappled for the first time with atrocities on this scale. It also reveals the values that animated American society during this pivotal period in the nation's foreign relations.

Deepening understanding of the Anglo-American special relationship and its role in reforming global order, Sharing the Burden illuminates the possibilities, limitations, and continued dilemmas of humanitarian intervention in international politics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

"The Slow Moon Climbs"

New from Princeton University Press: The Slow Moon Climbs: The Science, History, and Meaning of Menopause by Susan Mattern.

About the book, from the publisher:
Are the ways we look at menopause all wrong? Historian Susan Mattern says yes, and The Slow Moon Climbs reveals just how wrong we have been. Taking readers from the rainforests of Paraguay to the streets of Tokyo, Mattern draws on historical, scientific, and cultural research to reveal how our perceptions of menopause developed from prehistory to today. For most of human history, people had no word for menopause and did not view it as a medical condition. Rather, in traditional foraging and agrarian societies, it was a transition to another important life stage. This book, then, introduces new ways of understanding life beyond fertility.

Mattern examines the fascinating “Grandmother Hypothesis”—which argues for the importance of elders in the rearing of future generations—as well as other evolutionary theories that have generated surprising insights about menopause and the place of older people in society. She looks at agricultural communities where households relied on postreproductive women for the family’s survival. And she explores the emergence of menopause as a medical condition in the Western world. It was only around 1700 that people began to see menopause as a dangerous pathological disorder linked to upsetting symptoms that rendered women weak and vulnerable. Mattern argues that menopause was another syndrome, like hysterical suffocation or melancholia, that emerged or reemerged in early modern Europe in tandem with the rise of a professional medical class.

The Slow Moon Climbs casts menopause, at last, in the positive light it deserves—not only as an essential life stage, but also as a key factor in the history of human flourishing.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

"Smell in Eighteenth-Century England"

New from Oxford University Press: Smell in Eighteenth-Century England: A Social Sense by William Tullett.

About the book, from the publisher:
In England from the 1670s to the 1820s a transformation took place in how smell and the senses were viewed. The role of smell in developing medical and scientific knowledge came under intense scrutiny, and the equation of smell with disease was actively questioned. Yet a new interest in smell's emotive and idiosyncratic dimensions offered odour a new power in the sociable spaces of eighteenth-century England.

Using a wide range of sources from diaries, letters, and sanitary records to satirical prints, consumer objects, and magazines, William Tullett traces how individuals and communities perceived the smells around them, from paint and perfume to onions and farts. In doing so, the study challenges a popular, influential, and often cited narrative. Smell in Eighteenth-Century England is not a tale of the medicalization and deodorization of English olfactory culture. Instead, Tullett demonstrates that it was a new recognition of smell's asocial-sociability, and its capacity to create atmospheres of uncomfortable intimacy, that transformed the relationship between the senses and society.
--Marshal Zeringue