Saturday, October 31, 2020

"The Truth Society"

New from Cornell University Press: The Truth Society: Science, Disinformation, and Politics in Berlusconi's Italy by Noelle Molé Liston.

About the book, from the publisher:
Noelle Molé Liston's The Truth Society seeks to understand how a period of Italian political spectacle, which regularly blurred fact and fiction, has shaped how people understand truth, mass-mediated information, scientific knowledge, and forms of governance. Liston scrutinizes Italy's late twentieth-century political culture, particularly the impact of the former prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi. By doing so, she examines how this truth-bending political era made science, logic, and rationality into ideas that needed saving.

With the prevalence of fake news and our seeming lack of shared reality in the "post-truth" world, many people struggle to figure out where this new normal came from. Liston argues that seemingly disparate events and practices that have unfolded in Italy are historical reactions to mediatized political forms and particular, cultivated ways of knowing. Politics, then, is always sutured to how knowledge is structured, circulated, and processed. The Truth Society offers Italy as a case study for understanding the remaking of politics in an era of disinformation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 30, 2020

"Intoxicating Zion"

New from Stanford University Press: Intoxicating Zion: A Social History of Hashish in Mandatory Palestine and Israel by Haggai Ram.

About the book, from the publisher:
When European powers carved political borders across the Middle East following World War I, a curious event in the international drug trade occurred: Palestine became the most important hashish waystation in the region and a thriving market for consumption. British and French colonial authorities utterly failed to control the illicit trade, raising questions about the legitimacy of their mandatory regimes. The creation of the Israeli state, too, had little effect to curb illicit trade. By the 1960s, drug trade had become a major point of contention in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and drug use widespread.

Intoxicating Zion is the first book to tell the story of hashish in Mandatory Palestine and Israel. Trafficking, use, and regulation; race, gender, and class; colonialism and nation-building all weave together in Haggai Ram's social history of the drug from the 1920s to the aftermath of the 1967 War. The hashish trade encompassed smugglers, international gangs, residents, law enforcers, and political actors, and Ram traces these flows through the interconnected realms of cross-border politics, economics, and culture. Hashish use was and is a marker of belonging and difference, and its history offers readers a unique glimpse into how the modern Middle East was made.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 29, 2020

"Rivals in Arms"

New from McGill-Queens University Press: Rivals in Arms: The Rise of UK-France Defence Relations in the Twenty-First Century by Alice Pannier.

About the book, from the publisher:
As the UK leaves the European Union and as the multilateral order is increasingly under stress, bilateral security links are more important than ever. Among such relationships, the UK-France partnership has become particularly critical in the past decades. Alice Pannier's Rivals in Arms reveals the history of the growing special partnership between Europe's two leading military powers in the twenty-first century. Using an innovative analytical framework rooted in theories of cooperation and negotiation, this book exposes the challenges the two countries have faced to develop, equip, and employ their military capabilities together. Through a decade-long study, Pannier highlights how France and the UK have endeavoured to make their partnership more effective and resistant to domestic and international shifts, including Brexit. Building on more than one hundred interviews with key stakeholders and unmatched access to primary sources, Rivals in Arms takes the reader behind the scenes, investigating the complicated but crucial defence relationship between France and the UK - a relationship that is critical to the future of Euro-Atlantic security.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

"Say What Your Longing Heart Desires"

New from Stanford University Press: Say What Your Longing Heart Desires: Women, Prayer, and Poetry in Iran by Niloofar Haeri.

About the book, from the publisher:
Following the 1979 revolution, the Iranian government set out to Islamize society. Muslim piety had to be visible, in personal appearance and in action. Iranians were told to pray, fast, and attend mosques to be true Muslims. The revolution turned questions of what it means to be a true Muslim into a matter of public debate, taken up widely outside the exclusive realm of male clerics and intellectuals.

Say What Your Longing Heart Desires offers an elegant ethnography of these debates among a group of educated, middle-class women whose voices are often muted in studies of Islam. Niloofar Haeri follows them in their daily lives as they engage with the classical poetry of Rumi, Hafez, and Saadi, illuminating a long-standing mutual inspiration between prayer and poetry. She recounts how different forms of prayer may transform into dialogues with God, and, in turn, Haeri illuminates the ways in which believers draw on prayer and ritual acts as the emotional and intellectual material through which they think, deliberate, and debate.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

"How to Prevent Coups d'État"

New from Cornell University Press: How to Prevent Coups d'État: Counterbalancing and Regime Survival by Erica De Bruin.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this lively and provocative book, Erica De Bruin looks at the threats that rulers face from their own armed forces. Can they make their regimes impervious to coups?

How to Prevent Coups d'État shows that how leaders organize their coercive institutions has a profound effect on the survival of their regimes. When rulers use presidential guards, militarized police, and militia to counterbalance the regular military, efforts to oust them from power via coups d'état are less likely to succeed. Even as counterbalancing helps to prevent successful interventions, however, the resentment that it generates within the regular military can provoke new coup attempts. And because counterbalancing changes how soldiers and police perceive the costs and benefits of a successful overthrow, it can create incentives for protracted fighting that result in the escalation of a coup into full-blown civil war.

Drawing on an original dataset of state security forces in 110 countries over a span of fifty years, as well as case studies of coup attempts in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, De Bruin sheds light on how counterbalancing affects regime survival. Understanding the dynamics of counterbalancing, she shows, can help analysts predict when coups will occur, whether they will succeed, and how violent they are likely to be. The arguments and evidence in this book suggest that while counterbalancing may prevent successful coups, it is a risky strategy to pursue—and one that may weaken regimes in the long term.
Visit Erica De Bruin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 26, 2020

"Forging Global Fordism"

New from Princeton University Press: Forging Global Fordism: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the Contest over the Industrial Order by Stefan J. Link.

About the book, from the publisher:
As the United States rose to ascendancy in the first decades of the twentieth century, observers abroad associated American economic power most directly with its burgeoning automobile industry. In the 1930s, in a bid to emulate and challenge America, engineers from across the world flocked to Detroit. Chief among them were Nazi and Soviet specialists who sought to study, copy, and sometimes steal the techniques of American automotive mass production, or Fordism. Forging Global Fordism traces how Germany and the Soviet Union embraced Fordism amid widespread economic crisis and ideological turmoil. This incisive book recovers the crucial role of activist states in global industrial transformations and reconceives the global thirties as an era of intense competitive development, providing a new genealogy of the postwar industrial order.

Stefan Link uncovers the forgotten origins of Fordism in Midwestern populism, and shows how Henry Ford’s antiliberal vision of society appealed to both the Soviet and Nazi regimes. He explores how they positioned themselves as America’s antagonists in reaction to growing American hegemony and seismic shifts in the global economy during the interwar years, and shows how Detroit visitors like William Werner, Ferdinand Porsche, and Stepan Dybets helped spread versions of Fordism abroad and mobilize them in total war.

Forging Global Fordism challenges the notion that global mass production was a product of post–World War II liberal internationalism, demonstrating how it first began in the global thirties, and how the spread of Fordism had a distinctly illiberal trajectory.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 25, 2020

"Slavery, Fatherhood, and Paternal Duty in African American Communities over the Long Nineteenth Century"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Slavery, Fatherhood, and Paternal Duty in African American Communities over the Long Nineteenth Century by Libra R. Hilde.

About the book, from the publisher:
Analyzing published and archival oral histories of formerly enslaved African Americans, Libra R. Hilde explores the meanings of manhood and fatherhood during and after the era of slavery, demonstrating that black men and women articulated a surprisingly broad and consistent vision of paternal duty across more than a century. Complicating the tendency among historians to conflate masculinity within slavery with heroic resistance, Hilde emphasizes that, while some enslaved men openly rebelled, many chose subtle forms of resistance in the context of family and local community. She explains how a significant number of enslaved men served as caretakers to their children and shaped their lives and identities. From the standpoint of enslavers, this was particularly threatening--a man who fed his children built up the master’s property, but a man who fed them notions of autonomy put cracks in the edifice of slavery.

Fatherhood highlighted the agonizing contradictions of the condition of enslavement, and to be an involved father was to face intractable dilemmas, yet many men tried. By telling the story of the often quietly heroic efforts that enslaved men undertook to be fathers, Hilde reveals how formerly enslaved African Americans evaluated their fathers (including white fathers) and envisioned an honorable manhood.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 24, 2020

"The Bloomsbury Look"

New from Yale University Press: The Bloomsbury Look by Wendy Hitchmough.

About the book, from the publisher:
An in-depth study of how the famed Bloomsbury Group expressed their liberal philosophies and collective identity in visual form

The Bloomsbury Group was a loose collective of forward-thinking writers, artists, and intellectuals in London, with Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and E. M. Forster among its esteemed members. The group’s works and radical beliefs, spanning literature, economics, politics, and non-normative relationships, changed the course of 20th-century culture and society. Although its members resisted definition, their art and dress imparted a coherent, distinctive group identity.

Drawing on unpublished photographs and extensive new research, The Bloomsbury Look is the first in-depth analysis of how the Bloomsbury Group generated and broadcast its self-fashioned aesthetic. One chapter is dedicated to photography, which was essential to the group’s visual narrative—from casual snapshots, to amateur studio portraits, to family albums. Others examine the Omega Workshops as a design center, and the evidence for its dress collections, spreading the Bloomsbury aesthetic to the general public. Finally, the book considers the group’s extensive participation in 20th-century modernism as artists, models, curators, critics, and collectors.
Wendy Hitchmough is senior lecturer in art history at the University of Sussex and was curator at the Bloomsbury artists’ home, Charleston, for over 12 years.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 23, 2020

"Embodying Geopolitics"

New from the University of California Press: Embodying Geopolitics: Generations of Women’s Activism in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon by Nicola Pratt.

About the book, from the publisher:
When women took to the streets during the mass protests of the Arab Spring, the subject of feminism in the Middle East and North Africa returned to the international spotlight. In the subsequent years, countless commentators treated the region’s gender inequality as a consequence of fundamentally cultural or religious problems. In so doing, they overlooked the specifically political nature of these women’s activism. Moving beyond such culturalist accounts, this book turns to the relations of power in regional and international politics to understand women’s struggles for their rights.

Based on over a hundred extensive personal narratives from women of different generations in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, Nicola Pratt traces women’s activism from national independence through to the Arab uprisings, arguing that activist women are critical geopolitical actors. Weaving together these personal accounts with the ongoing legacies of colonialism, Embodying Geopolitics demonstrates how the production and regulation of gender is integrally bound up with the exercise and organization of geopolitical power, with consequences for women’s activism and its effects.
Nicola Pratt is Associate Professor of International Politics of the Middle East at the University of Warwick. She is the coauthor of What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq and author of Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Arab World.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 22, 2020

"Comrades Betrayed"

New from Cornell University Press: Comrades Betrayed: Jewish World War I Veterans under Hitler by Michael Geheran.

About the book, from the publisher:
At the end of 1941, six weeks after the mass deportations of Jews from Nazi Germany had begun, Gestapo offices across the Reich received an urgent telex from Adolf Eichmann, decreeing that all war-wounded and decorated Jewish veterans of World War I be exempted from upcoming "evacuations." Why this was so, and how Jewish veterans at least initially were able to avoid the fate of ordinary Jews under the Nazis, is the subject of Comrades Betrayed.

Michael Geheran deftly illuminates how the same values that compelled Jewish soldiers to demonstrate bravery in the front lines in World War I made it impossible for them to accept passively, let alone comprehend, persecution under Hitler. After all, they upheld the ideal of the German fighting man, embraced the fatherland, and cherished the bonds that had developed in military service. Through their diaries and private letters, as well as interviews with eyewitnesses and surviving family members and records from the police, Gestapo, and military, Michael Geheran presents a major challenge to the prevailing view that Jewish veterans were left isolated, neighborless, and having suffered a social death by 1938.

Tracing the path from the trenches of the Great War to the extermination camps of the Third Reich, Geheran exposes a painful dichotomy: while many Jewish former combatants believed that Germany would never betray them, the Holocaust was nonetheless a horrific reality. In chronicling Jewish veterans' appeal to older, traditional notions of comradeship and national belonging, Comrades Betrayed forces reflection on how this group made use of scant opportunities to defy Nazi persecution and, for some, to evade becoming victims of the Final Solution.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

"Beer and Racism"

New from Bristol University Press: Beer and Racism: How Beer Became White, Why It Matters, and the Movements to Change It by Nathaniel Chapman and David Brunsma.

About the book, from the publisher:
Beer in the United States has always been bound up with race, racism, and the construction of white institutions and identities. Given the very quick rise of craft beer, as well as the myopic scholarly focus on economic and historical trends in the field, there is an urgent need to take stock of the intersectional inequalities that such realities gloss over. This unique book carves a much-needed critical and interdisciplinary path to examine and understand the racial dynamics in the craft beer industry and the popular consumption of beer.
Nathaniel G. Chapman is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Arkansas Tech University.

David L. Brunsma is Professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

"Engaging the Evil Empire"

New from Cornell University Press: Engaging the Evil Empire: Washington, Moscow, and the Beginning of the End of the Cold War by Simon Miles.

About the book, from the publisher:
In a narrative-redefining approach, Engaging the Evil Empire dramatically alters how we look at the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Tracking key events in US-Soviet relations across the years between 1980 and 1985, Simon Miles shows that covert engagement gave way to overt conversation as both superpowers determined that open diplomacy was the best means of furthering their own, primarily competitive, goals. Miles narrates the history of these dramatic years, as President Ronald Reagan consistently applied a disciplined carrot-and-stick approach, reaching out to Moscow while at the same time excoriating the Soviet system and building up US military capabilities.

The received wisdom in diplomatic circles is that the beginning of the end of the Cold War came from changing policy preferences and that President Reagan in particular opted for a more conciliatory and less bellicose diplomatic approach. In reality, Miles clearly demonstrates, Reagan and ranking officials in the National Security Council had determined that the United States enjoyed a strategic margin of error that permitted it to engage Moscow overtly.

As US grand strategy developed, so did that of the Soviet Union. Engaging the Evil Empire covers five critical years of Cold War history when Soviet leaders tried to reduce tensions between the two nations in order to gain economic breathing room and, to ensure domestic political stability, prioritize expenditures on butter over those on guns. Miles's bold narrative shifts the focus of Cold War historians away from exclusive attention on Washington by focusing on the years of back-channel communiqués and internal strategy debates in Moscow as well as Prague and East Berlin.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 19, 2020

"Representing God"

New from Princeton University Press: Representing God: Christian Legal Activism in Contemporary England by Méadhbh McIvor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Over the past two decades, a growing number of Christians in England have gone to court to enforce their right to religious liberty. Funded by conservative lobby groups and influenced by the legal strategies of their American peers, these claimants—registrars who conscientiously object to performing the marriages of same-sex couples, say, or employees asking for exceptions to uniform policies that forbid visible crucifixes—highlight the uneasy truce between law and religion in a country that maintains an established Church but is wary of public displays of religious conviction.

Representing God charts the changing place of public Christianity in England through the rise of Christian political activism and litigation. Based on two years of fieldwork split between a conservative Christian lobby group and a conservative evangelical church, Méadhbh McIvor explores the ideas and contested reception of this ostensibly American-inspired legal rhetoric. She argues that legal challenges aimed at protecting “Christian values” ultimately jeopardize those values, as moralities woven into the fabric of English national life are filtered from their quotidian context and rebranded as the niche interests of a cultural minority. By framing certain moral practices as specifically Christian, these activists present their religious convictions as something increasingly set apart from broader English culture, thereby hastening the secularization they seek to counter.

Representing God offers a unique look at how Christian politico-legal activism in England simultaneously responds to and constitutes the religious life of a nation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 18, 2020

"Islanders and Empire"

New from Cambridge University Press: Islanders and Empire: Smuggling and Political Defiance in Hispaniola, 1580-1690 by Juan José Ponce-Vázquez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Islanders and Empire examines the role smuggling played in the cultural, economic, and socio-political transformation of Hispaniola from the late sixteenth to seventeenth centuries. With a rare focus on local peoples and communities, the book analyzes how residents of Hispaniola actively negotiated and transformed the meaning and reach of imperial bureaucracies and institutions for their own benefit. By co-opting the governing and judicial powers of local and imperial institutions on the island, residents could take advantage of, and even dominate, the contraband trade that reached the island's shores. In doing so, they altered the course of the European inter-imperial struggles in the Caribbean by limiting, redirecting, or suppressing the Spanish crown's policies, thus taking control of their destinies and that of their neighbors in Hispaniola, other Spanish Caribbean territories, and the Spanish empire in the region.
Juan José Ponce Vázquez is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 17, 2020

"Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community by Jodi Eichler-Levine.

About the book, from the publisher:
Exploring a contemporary Judaism rich with the textures of family, memory, and fellowship, Jodi Eichler-Levine takes readers inside a flourishing American Jewish crafting movement. As she traveled across the country to homes, craft conventions, synagogue knitting circles, and craftivist actions, she joined in the making, asked questions, and contemplated her own family stories. Jewish Americans, many of them women, are creating ritual challah covers and prayer shawls, ink, clay, or wood pieces, and other articles for family, friends, or Jewish charities. But they are doing much more: armed with perhaps only a needle and thread, they are reckoning with Jewish identity in a fragile and dangerous world.

The work of these crafters embodies a vital Judaism that may lie outside traditional notions of Jewishness, but, Eichler-Levine argues, these crafters are as much engaged as any Jews in honoring and nurturing the fortitude, memory, and community of the Jewish people. Craftmaking is nothing less than an act of generative resilience that fosters survival. Whether taking place in such groups as the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework or the Jewish Hearts for Pittsburgh, or in a home studio, these everyday acts of creativity—yielding a needlepoint rabbi, say, or a handkerchief embroidered with the Hebrew words tikkun olam—are a crucial part what makes a religious life.
Visit Jodi Eichler-Levine's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 16, 2020

"Reproductive Citizens"

New from Cornell University Press: Reproductive Citizens: Gender, Immigration, and the State in Modern France, 1880–1945 by Nimisha Barton.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the familiar tale of mass migration to France from 1880 onward, we know very little about the hundreds of thousands of women who formed a critical part of those migration waves. In Reproductive Citizens, Nimisha Barton argues that their relative absence in the historical record hints at a larger and more problematic oversight—the role of sex and gender in shaping the experiences of migrants to France before the Second World War.

Barton's compelling history of social citizenship demonstrates how, through the routine application of social policies, state and social actors worked separately toward a shared goal: repopulating France with immigrant families. Filled with voices gleaned from census reports, municipal statistics, naturalization dossiers, court cases, police files, and social worker registers, Reproductive Citizens shows how France welcomed foreign-born men and women—mobilizing naturalization, family law, social policy, and welfare assistance to ensure they would procreate, bearing French-assimilated children. Immigrants often embraced these policies because they, too, stood to gain from pensions, family allowances, unemployment benefits, and French nationality. By striking this bargain, they were also guaranteed safety and stability on a tumultuous continent.

Barton concludes that, in return for generous social provisions and refuge in dark times, immigrants joined the French nation through marriage and reproduction, breadwinning and child-rearing—in short, through families and family-making—which made them more French than even formal citizenship status could.
Visit Nimisha Barton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 15, 2020

"The Congo Trials in the International Criminal Court"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Congo Trials in the International Criminal Court by Richard Gaskins.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the first in-depth study of the first three ICC trials: an engaging, accessible text meant for specialists and students, for legal advocates and a wide range of professionals concerned with diverse cultures, human rights, and restorative justice. It introduces international justice and courtroom trials in practical terms, offering a balanced view on persistent tensions and controversies. Separate chapters analyze the working realities of central African armed conflicts, finding reasons for their surprising resistance to ICC legal formulas. The book dissects the Court's structural dynamics, which were designed to steer an elusive middle course between high moral ideals and hard political realities. Detailed chapters provide vivid accounts of courtroom encounters with four Congolese suspects. The mixed record of convictions, acquittals, dissents, and appeals, resulting from these trials, provides a map of distinct fault-lines within the ICC legal code, and suggests a rocky path ahead for the Court's next ventures.
Richard Gaskins is Joseph M. Proskauer Professor of Law and Social Welfare at Brandeis University. He spent the past decade designing and directing student exchange programs in The Hague, which combined academic theory with hands-on practicums in courts and NGO's. He holds a Ph.D. (Philosophy) and J.D. from Yale University.

--Marshal Zeringue

"For Might and Right"

New from the University of Massachusetts Press: For Might and Right: Cold War Defense Spending and the Remaking of American Democracy by Michael Brenes.

About the book, from the publisher:
How did the global Cold War influence American politics at home? For Might and Right traces the story of how Cold War defense spending remade participatory politics, producing a powerful and dynamic political coalition that reached across party lines. This “Cold War coalition” favored massive defense spending over social welfare programs, bringing together a diverse array of actors from across the nation, including defense workers, community boosters, military contractors, current and retired members of the armed services, activists, and politicians. Faced with neoliberal austerity and uncertainty surrounding America’s foreign policy after the 1960s, increased military spending became a bipartisan solution to create jobs and stimulate economic growth, even in the absence of national security threats.

Using a rich array of archival sources, Michael Brenes draws important connections between economic inequality and American militarism that enhance our understanding of the Cold War’s continued impact on American democracy and the resilience of the military-industrial complex, up to the age of Donald Trump.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

"Women, Crime and Punishment in Ireland"

New from Cambridge University Press: Women, Crime and Punishment in Ireland: Life in the Nineteenth-Century Convict Prison by Elaine Farrell.

About the book, from the publisher:
Focusing on women's relationships, decisions and agency, this is the first study of women's experiences in a nineteenth-century Irish prison for serious offenders. Showcasing the various crimes for which women were incarcerated in the post-Famine period, from repeated theft to murder, Elaine Farrell examines inmate files in close detail in order to understand women's lives before, during and after imprisonment. By privileging case studies and individual narratives, this innovative study reveals imprisoned women's relationships with each other, with the staff employed to manage and control them, and with their relatives, spouses, children and friends who remained on the outside. In doing so, Farrell illuminates the hardships many women experienced, their poverty and survival strategies, as well as their responsibilities, obligations, and decisions. Incorporating women's own voices, gleaned from letters and prison files, this intimate insight into individual women's lives in an Irish prison sheds new light on collective female experiences across urban and rural post-Famine Ireland.
Visit Elaine Farrell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Virulent Zones"

New from Duke University Press: Virulent Zones: Animal Disease and Global Health at China's Pandemic Epicenter by Lyle Fearnley.

About the book, from the publisher:
Scientists have identified southern China as a likely epicenter for viral pandemics, a place where new viruses emerge out of intensively farmed landscapes and human--animal interactions. In Virulent Zones, Lyle Fearnley documents the global plans to stop the next influenza pandemic at its source, accompanying virologists and veterinarians as they track lethal viruses to China's largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake. Revealing how scientific research and expert agency operate outside the laboratory, he shows that the search for origins is less a linear process of discovery than a constant displacement toward new questions about cause and context. As scientists strive to understand the environments from which the influenza virus emerges, the unexpected scale of duck farming systems and unusual practices such as breeding wild geese unsettle research objects, push scientific inquiry in new directions, and throw expert authority into question. Drawing on fieldwork with global health scientists, state-employed veterinarians, and poultry farmers in Beijing and at Poyang Lake, Fearnley situates the production of ecological facts about disease emergence inside the shifting cultural landscapes of agrarian change and the geopolitics of global health.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

"Europe's Migration Crisis"

New from Cambridge University Press: Europe's Migration Crisis: Border Deaths and Human Dignity by Vicki Squire.

About the book, from the publisher:
Rejecting claims that migration is a crisis for Europe, this book instead suggests that the 'migration crisis' reflects a more fundamental breakdown of a modern European tradition of humanism. Squire provides a detailed and broad-ranging analysis of the EU's response to the 'crisis', highlighting the centrality of practices of governing migration through death and precarity. Furthermore, she unpacks a series of pro-migration activist interventions that emerge from the lived experiences of those regularly confronting the consequences of the EU's response. By showing how these advance alternative horizons of solidarity and hope, Squire draws attention to a renewed humanism that is grounded both in a deepened respect for the lives and dignity of people on the move, and an appreciation of longer histories of violence and dispossession. This book will be of interest to scholars and researchers working on migration in political science, international relations, European studies, law and sociology.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Black Lives and Spatial Matters"

New from Cornell University Press: Black Lives and Spatial Matters: Policing Blackness and Practicing Freedom in Suburban St. Louis by Jodi Rios.

About the book, from the publisher:
Black Lives and Spatial Matters is a call to reconsider the epistemic violence that is committed when scholars, policymakers, and the general public continue to frame Black precarity as just another racial, cultural, or ethnic conflict that can be solved solely through legal, political, or economic means. Jodi Rios argues that the historical and material production of blackness-as-risk is foundational to the historical and material construction of our society and certainly foundational to the construction and experience of metropolitan space. She also considers how an ethics of lived blackness—living fully and visibly in the face of forces intended to dehumanize and erase—can create a powerful counter point to blackness-as-risk.

Using a transdisciplinary methodology, Black Lives and Spatial Matters studies cultural, institutional, and spatial politics of race in North St. Louis County, Missouri, as a set of practices that are intimately connected to each other and to global histories of race and race-making. As such, the book adds important insight into the racialization of metropolitan space and people in the United States. The arguments presented in this book draw from fifteen years of engaged research in North St. Louis County and rely on multiple disciplinary perspectives and local knowledge in order to study relationships between interconnected practices and phenomena.
Visit Jodi Rios's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 12, 2020

"Brexitland"

New from Cambridge University Press: Brexitland: Identity, Diversity and the Reshaping of British Politics by Maria Sobolewska and Robert Ford.

About the book, from the publlisher:
Long-term social and demographic changes - and the conflicts they create - continue to transform British politics. In this accessible and authoritative book Sobolewska and Ford show how deep the roots of this polarisation and volatility run, drawing out decades of educational expansion and rising ethnic diversity as key drivers in the emergence of new divides within the British electorate over immigration, identity and diversity. They argue that choices made by political parties from the New Labour era onwards have mobilised these divisions into politics, first through conflicts over immigration, then through conflicts over the European Union, culminating in the 2016 EU referendum. Providing a comprehensive and far-reaching view of a country in turmoil, Brexitland explains how and why this happened, for students, researchers, and anyone who wants to better understand the remarkable political times in which we live.
Maria Sobolewska is a Professor of Political Science, and Deputy Director of the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, at the University of Manchester, and a Specialist Adviser to a House of Lords Select Committee on electoral registration. She is co-author of The Political Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Britain (2013).

Robert Ford is Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester. He is an expert on immigration, public opinion, and party politics in Britain. His first book, Revolt on the Right (2013), was named Political Book of the Year in 2015. He writes regularly on British electoral politics for national and international media outlets.

--Marshal Zeringue

"American Contagions"

New from Yale University Press: American Contagions: Epidemics and the Law from Smallpox to COVID-19 by John Fabian Witt.

About the book, from the publisher:
A concise history of how American law has shaped—and been shaped by—the experience of contagion

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history’s answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
John Fabian Witt is the Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law and History at Yale, where he serves as Head of Davenport College. He is author of the Bancroft Prize–winning Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 11, 2020

"The Antichrist: A New Biography"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Antichrist: A New Biography by Philip C. Almond.

About the book, from the publisher:
The malign figure of the Antichrist endures in modern culture, whether religious or secular; and the spectral shadow he has cast over the ages continues to exert a strong and powerful fascination. Philip C. Almond tells the story of the son of Satan from his early beginnings to the present day, and explores this false Messiah in theology, literature and the history of ideas. Discussing the origins of the malevolent being who at different times was cursed as Belial, Nero or Damien, the author reveals how Christianity in both East and West has imagined this incarnation of absolute evil destined to appear at the end of time. For the better part of the last two thousand years, Almond suggests, the human battle between right and wrong has been envisaged as a mighty cosmic duel between good and its opposite, culminating in an epic final showdown between Christ and his deadly arch-nemesis.
The Page 99 Test: Afterlife: A History of Life after Death.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Anti-Christian Violence in India"

New from Cornell University Press: Anti-Christian Violence in India by Chad M. Bauman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Does religion cause violent conflict, asks Chad M. Bauman, and if so, does it cause conflict more than other social identities? Through an extended history of Christian-Hindu relations, with particular attention to the 2007–2008 riots in Kandhamal, Odisha, Anti-Christian Violence in India examines religious violence and how it pertains to broader aspects of humanity. Is "religious" conflict sui generis, or is it merely one species of intergroup conflict? Why and how might violence become an attractive option for religious actors? What explains the increase in religious violence over the last twenty to thirty years?

Integrating theories of anti-Christian violence focused on politics, economics, and proselytization, Anti-Christian Violence in India additionally weaves in recent theory about globalization and, in particular, the forms of resistance against Western secular modernity that globalization periodically helps to provoke. With such theories in mind, Bauman explores the nature of anti-Christian violence in India, contending that resistance to secular modernities is, in fact, an important but often overlooked reason behind Hindu attacks on Christians.

Intensifying the widespread Hindu tendency to think of religion in ethnic rather than universal terms, the ideology of Hindutva, or "Hinduness," explicitly rejects both the secular privatization of religion and the separability of religions from the communities that incubate them. And so, with provocative and original analysis, Bauman questions whether anti-Christian violence in contemporary India is really about religion, in the narrowest sense, or rather a manifestation of broader concerns among some Hindus about the Western sociopolitical order with which they associate global Christianity.
The Page 99 Test: Pentecostals, Proselytization, and Anti-Christian Violence in Contemporary India.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 10, 2020

"Global Medicine in China"

New from Stanford University Press: Global Medicine in China: A Diasporic History by Wayne Soon.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1938, one year into the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese military found itself in dire medical straits. Soldiers were suffering from deadly illnesses, and were unable to receive blood transfusions for their wounds. The urgent need for medical assistance prompted an unprecedented flowering of scientific knowledge in China and Taiwan throughout the twentieth century. Wayne Soon draws on archives from three continents to argue that Overseas Chinese were key to this development, utilizing their global connections and diasporic links to procure much-needed money, supplies, and medical expertise. The remarkable expansion of care and education that they spurred saved more than four million lives and trained more than fifteen thousand medical personnel. Moreover, the introduction of military medicine shifted biomedicine out of elite, urban civilian institutions and laboratories and transformed it into an adaptive field-based practice for all. Universal care, practical medical education, and mobile medicine are all lasting legacies of this effort.
Visit Wayne Soon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 9, 2020

"The Churchill Myths"

New from Oxford University Press: The Churchill Myths by Steven Fielding, Bill Schwarz, and Richard Toye.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is not a book about Winston Churchill. It is not principally about his politics, nor his rhetorical imagination, nor even about the man himself. Instead, it addresses the varied afterlives of the man and the persistent, deeply located compulsion to bring him back from the dead, capturing and explaining the significance of the various Churchill myths to Britain's history and current politics.

The authors look at Churchill's portrayal in social memory. They demonstrate the ways in which politicians have often used the idea of Churchill as a means of self-validation - using him to show themselves as tough and honest players. They show the man dramatized in film and television - an onscreen persona that is often the product of a gratuitous mixing of fact and fantasy, one deliberately shaped to meet the preferences of the presumed audience. They discuss his legacy in light of the Brexit debate - showing how public figures on both sides of the Leave/Remain debate were able to use elements of Churchill's words and character to argue for their own point-of-view.
The Page 99 Test: Churchill's Empire.

My Book, The Movie: Churchill's Empire.

The Page 99 Test: Winston Churchill: A Life in the News.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 8, 2020

"Manifesto for a Dream: Inequality, Constraint, and Radical Reform"

New from Stanford University Press: Manifesto for a Dream: Inequality, Constraint, and Radical Reform by Michelle Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:
A searing critique of our contemporary policy agenda, and a call to implement radical change.

Although it is well known that the United States has an inequality problem, the social science community has failed to mobilize in response. Social scientists have instead adopted a strikingly insipid approach to policy reform, an ostensibly science-based approach that offers incremental, narrow-gauge, and evidence-informed "interventions." This approach assumes that the best that we can do is to contain the problem. It is largely taken for granted that we will never solve it. In Manifesto for a Dream, Michelle Jackson asserts that we will never make strides toward equality if we do not start to think radically. It is the structure of social institutions that generates and maintains social inequality, and it is only by attacking that structure that progress can be made. Jackson makes a scientific case for large-scale institutional reform, drawing on examples from other countries to demonstrate that reforms that have been unthinkable in the United States are considered to be quite unproblematic in other contexts. She persuasively argues that an emboldened social science has an obligation to develop and test the radical policies that would be necessary for equality to be assured for all.
Visit Michelle Jackson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

"Ars Vitae"

New from the University of Notre Dame Press: Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living by Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn.

About the book, from the publisher:
The ancient Roman philosopher Cicero wrote that philosophy is ars vitae, the art of living. Today, signs of stress and duress point to a full-fledged crisis for individuals and communities while current modes of making sense of our lives prove inadequate. Yet, in this time of alienation and spiritual longing, we can glimpse signs of a renewed interest in ancient approaches to the art of living.

In this ambitious and timely book, Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn engages both general readers and scholars on the topic of well-being. She examines the reappearance of ancient philosophical thought in contemporary American culture, probing whether new stirrings of Gnosticism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Cynicism, and Platonism present a true alternative to our current therapeutic culture of self-help and consumerism, which elevates the self’s needs and desires yet fails to deliver on its promises of happiness and healing. Do the ancient philosophies represent a counter-tradition to today’s culture, auguring a new cultural vibrancy, or do they merely solidify a modern way of life that has little use for inwardness—the cultivation of an inner life—stemming from those older traditions? Tracing the contours of this cultural resurgence and exploring a range of sources, from scholarship to self-help manuals, films, and other artifacts of popular culture, this book sees the different schools as organically interrelated and asks whether, taken together, they can point us in important new directions.

Ars Vitae sounds a clarion call to take back philosophy as part of our everyday lives. It proposes a way to do so, sifting through the ruins of long-forgotten and recent history alike for any shards helpful in piecing together the coherence of a moral framework that allows us ways to move forward toward the life we want and need.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

"The Kidnapping Club"

New from PublicAffairs: The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War by Jonathan Daniel Wells.

About the book, from the publisher:
In a rapidly changing New York, two forces battled for the city’s soul: the pro-slavery New Yorkers who kept the illegal slave trade alive and well, and the abolitionists fighting for freedom.

We often think of slavery as a southern phenomenon, far removed from the booming cities of the North. But even though slavery had been outlawed in Gotham by the 1830s, Black New Yorkers were not safe. Not only was the city built on the backs of slaves; it was essential in keeping slavery and the slave trade alive.

In The Kidnapping Club, historian Jonathan Daniel Wells tells the story of the powerful network of judges, lawyers, and police officers who circumvented anti-slavery laws by sanctioning the kidnapping of free and fugitive African Americans. Nicknamed “The New York Kidnapping Club,” the group had the tacit support of institutions from Wall Street to Tammany Hall whose wealth depended on the Southern slave and cotton trade. But a small cohort of abolitionists, including Black journalist David Ruggles, organized tirelessly for the rights of Black New Yorkers, often risking their lives in the process.

Taking readers into the bustling streets and ports of America’s great Northern metropolis, The Kidnapping Club is a dramatic account of the ties between slavery and capitalism, the deeply corrupt roots of policing, and the strength of Black activism.
Visit Jonathan Daniel Wells's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 5, 2020

"The First Pagan Historian"

New from Oxford University Press: The First Pagan Historian: The Fortunes of a Fraud from Antiquity to the Enlightenment by Frederic Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The History of the Destruction of Troy, Dares the Phrygian boldly claimed himself as eyewitness to the Trojan War, challenging the accounts of two of the ancient world's most canonical poets, Homer and Virgil. For over a milennium, Dares' work was circulated as the first pagan history. It promised facts and only facts about what really happened at Troy--precise casualty figures, no mentions of mythical phenomena, and a claim that Troy fell when Aeneas and other Trojans betrayed their city and opened gates to the Greeks. But for all its intrigue, the work was as sensational as it was fake.

From the late antique encyclopedist Isidore of Seville to Thomas Jefferson, The First Pagan Historian offers the first comprehensive account of Dares' rise and fall. Along the way, it reconstructs Dares' central place in longstanding debates over the nature of history, fiction, criticism, philology, and myth, from ancient Rome to the Enlightenment.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 4, 2020

"Archive Wars"

New from Stanford University Press: Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia by Rosie Bsheer.

About the book, from the publisher:
The production of history is premised on the selective erasure of certain pasts and the artifacts that stand witness to them. From the elision of archival documents to the demolition of sacred and secular spaces, each act of destruction is also an act of state building. Following the 1991 Gulf War, political elites in Saudi Arabia pursued these dual projects of historical commemoration and state formation with greater fervor to enforce their postwar vision for state, nation, and economy. Seeing Islamist movements as the leading threat to state power, they sought to de-center religion from educational, cultural, and spatial policies.

With this book, Rosie Bsheer explores the increasing secularization of the postwar Saudi state and how it manifested in assembling a national archive and reordering urban space in Riyadh and Mecca. The elites' project was rife with ironies: in Riyadh, they employed world-renowned experts to fashion an imagined history, while at the same time in Mecca they were overseeing the obliteration of a thousand-year-old topography and its replacement with commercial megaprojects. Archive Wars shows how the Saudi state's response to the challenges of the Gulf War served to historicize a national space, territorialize a national history, and ultimately refract both through new modes of capital accumulation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 3, 2020

"Invisible China"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Invisible China: How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China's Rise by Scott Rozelle and Natalie Hell.

About the book, from the publisher:
As the glittering skyline in Shanghai seemingly attests, China has quickly transformed itself from a place of stark poverty into a modern, urban, technologically savvy economic powerhouse. But as Scott Rozelle and Natalie Hell show in Invisible China, the truth is much more complicated and might be a serious cause for concern.

China’s growth has relied heavily on unskilled labor. Most of the workers who have fueled the country’s rise come from rural villages and have never been to high school. While this national growth strategy has been effective for three decades, the unskilled wage rate is finally rising, inducing companies inside China to automate at an unprecedented rate and triggering an exodus of companies seeking cheaper labor in other countries. Ten years ago, almost every product for sale in an American Walmart was made in China. Today, that is no longer the case. With the changing demand for labor, China seems to have no good back-up plan. For all of its investment in physical infrastructure, for decades China failed to invest enough in its people. Recent progress may come too late. Drawing on extensive surveys on the ground in China, Rozelle and Hell reveal that while China may be the second-largest economy in the world, its labor force has one of the lowest levels of education of any comparable country. Over half of China’s population—as well as a vast majority of its children—are from rural areas. Their low levels of basic education may leave many unable to find work in the formal workplace as China’s economy changes and manufacturing jobs move elsewhere.

In Invisible China, Rozelle and Hell speak not only to an urgent humanitarian concern but also a potential economic crisis that could upend economies and foreign relations around the globe. If too many are left structurally unemployable, the implications both inside and outside of China could be serious. Understanding the situation in China today is essential if we are to avoid a potential crisis of international proportions. This book is an urgent and timely call to action that should be read by economists, policymakers, the business community, and general readers alike.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 2, 2020

"Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust"

New from Yale University Press: Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust by Rebecca Clifford.

About the book, from the publisher:
Told for the first time from their perspective, the story of children who survived the chaos and trauma of the Holocaust

How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing question for the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, whose prewar memories were vague or nonexistent. In this beautifully written account, Rebecca Clifford follows the lives of one hundred Jewish children out of the ruins of conflict through their adulthood and into old age.

Drawing on archives and interviews, Clifford charts the experiences of these child survivors and those who cared for them—as well as those who studied them, such as Anna Freud. Survivors explores the aftermath of the Holocaust in the long term, and reveals how these children—often branded “the lucky ones”—had to struggle to be able to call themselves “survivors” at all. Challenging our assumptions about trauma, Clifford’s powerful and surprising narrative helps us understand what it was like living after, and living with, childhoods marked by rupture and loss.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 1, 2020

"Return to Ruin"

New from Stanford University Press: Return to Ruin: Iraqi Narratives of Exile and Nostalgia by Zainab Saleh.

About the book, from the publisher:
With the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iraqis abroad, hoping to return one day to a better Iraq, became uncertain exiles. Return to Ruin tells the human story of this exile in the context of decades of U.S. imperial interests in Iraq—from the U.S. backing of the 1963 Ba'th coup and support of Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s, to the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 invasion and occupation.

Zainab Saleh shares the experiences of Iraqis she met over fourteen years of fieldwork in Iraqi London—offering stories from an aging communist nostalgic for the streets she marched since childhood, a devout Shi'i dreaming of holy cities and family graves, and newly uprooted immigrants with fresh memories of loss, as well as her own. Focusing on debates among Iraqi exiles about what it means to be an Iraqi after years of displacement, Saleh weaves a narrative that draws attention to a once-dominant, vibrant Iraqi cultural landscape and social and political shifts among the diaspora after decades of authoritarianism, war, and occupation in Iraq. Through it all, this book illuminates how Iraqis continue to fashion a sense of belonging and imagine a future, built on the shards of these shattered memories.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

"Theology and the Anthropology of Christian Life"

New from Oxford University Press: Theology and the Anthropology of Christian Life by Joel Robbins.

About the book, from the publisher:
Anthropological theory can radically transform our understanding of human experience and offer theologians an introduction to the interdisciplinary nature between anthropology and Christianity.

Both sociocultural anthropology and theology have made fundamental contributions to our understanding of human experience and the place of humanity in the world. But can these two disciplines, despite the radical differences that separate them, work together to transform their thinking on these topics? Robbins argues that they can. To make this point, he draws on key theological discussions of atonement, eschatology, interruption, passivity, and judgement to rethink important anthropological debates about such topics as ethical life, radical change, the ways people live in time, agency, gift giving, and the nature of humanity. The result is both a major reconsideration of important aspects of anthropological theory through theological categories and a series of careful readings of influential theologians such as Moltmann, Pannenberg, Jüngel, and Dalferth informed by rich ethnographic accounts of the lives of Christians from around the world. In conclusion, Robbins draws on contemporary discussions of secularism to interrogate the secular foundations of anthropology and suggests that the differences between anthropology and theology surrounding this topic can provide a foundation for transformative dialogue between them, rather than being an obstacle to it. Written as a work of interdisciplinary anthropological theorizing, this book also offers theologians an introduction to some of the most important ground covered by burgeoning field of the anthropology of Christianity while guiding anthropologists into core areas of theological discussion. Although theoretically ambitious, the book is clearly argued throughout and written to be accessible to all readers in the social sciences, theology, and religious studies interested in the place of religion in social life and human experience.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Republican Jesus"

New from the University of California Press: Republican Jesus: How the Right Has Rewritten the Gospels by Tony Keddie.

About the book, from the publisher:
The complete guide to debunking right-wing misinterpretations of the Bible—from economics and immigration to gender and sexuality.

Jesus loves borders, guns, unborn babies, and economic prosperity and hates homosexuality, taxes, welfare, and universal healthcare—or so say many Republican politicians, pundits, and preachers. Through outrageous misreadings of the New Testament gospels that started almost a century ago, conservative influencers have conjured a version of Jesus who speaks to their fears, desires, and resentments.

In Republican Jesus, Tony Keddie explains not only where this right-wing Christ came from and what he stands for but also why this version of Jesus is a fraud. By restoring Republicans’ cherry-picked gospel texts to their original literary and historical contexts, Keddie dismantles the biblical basis for Republican positions on hot-button issues like Big Government, taxation, abortion, immigration, and climate change. At the same time, he introduces readers to an ancient Jesus whose life experiences and ethics were totally unlike those of modern Americans, conservatives and liberals alike.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 28, 2020

"The Angel in the Marketplace"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Angel in the Marketplace: Adwoman Jean Wade Rindlaub and the Selling of America by Ellen Wayland-Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
The popular image of a midcentury adwoman is of a feisty girl beating men at their own game, a female Horatio Alger protagonist battling her way through the sexist workplace. But before the fictional rise of Peggy Olson or the real-life stories of Patricia Tierney and Jane Maas came Jean Wade Rindlaub: a female power broker who used her considerable success in the workplace to encourage other women—to stick to their kitchens.

The Angel in the Marketplace is the story of one of America’s most accomplished advertising executives. It is also the story of how advertisers like Rindlaub sold a postwar American dream of capitalism and a Christian corporate order. Rindlaub was responsible for award-winning, mega sales-generating advertisements for all things domestic, including Oneida silverware, Betty Crocker cake mix, Campbell’s soup, and Chiquita bananas. Her success largely came from embracing, rather than subverting, the cultural expectations of women. She believed her responsibility as an advertiser was not to spring women from their trap, but to make that trap more comfortable.

Rindlaub wasn’t just selling silverware and cakes; she was selling the virtues of free enterprise. By following the arc of Rindlaub’s career from the 1920s through the 1960s, we witness how a range of cultural narratives—advertising chief among them—worked powerfully to shape women’s emotional and economic behavior in support of the free market system. Alongside Rindlaub’s story, Ellen Wayland-Smith provides a riveting history of how women were repeatedly sold the idea that their role as housewives was more powerful, and more patriotic, than any outside the home. And by buying into the image of morality through an unregulated market, many of these women helped fuel backlash against economic regulation and socialization efforts throughout the twentieth century.

The Angel in the Marketplace is a nuanced portrayal of a complex woman, one who both shaped and reflected the complicated cultural, political, and religious forces defining femininity in America at mid-century. This compelling account of one of advertising’s most fervent believers is a tale of a Mad Woman we haven’t been told.
Visit Ellen Wayland-Smith's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 27, 2020

"Wastelands"

New from the University of California Press: Wastelands: Recycled Commodities and the Perpetual Displacement of Ashkali and Romani Scavengers by Eirik Saethre.

About the book, from the publisher:
Wastelands is an exploration of trash, the scavengers who collect it, and the precarious communities it sustains. After enduring war and persecution in Kosovo, many Ashkali refugees fled to Belgrade, Serbia, where they were stigmatized as Gypsies, consigned to slums, sidelined from the economy, and subjected to violence. To survive, Ashkali collect the only resource available to them: garbage. Vividly recounting everyday life in an illegal Romani settlement, Eirik Saethre follows Ashkali as they scavenge through dumpsters, build shacks, siphon electricity, negotiate the recycling trade, and migrate between Belgrade, Kosovo, and the European Union. He argues that trash is not just a means of survival: it reinforces the status of Ashkali and Roma as polluted Others, creates indissoluble bonds to transnational capitalism, enfeebles bodies, and establishes a localized sovereignty.
Eirik Saethre is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He is the author of Illness Is a Weapon and coauthor of Negotiating Pharmaceutical Uncertainty.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 26, 2020

"Black Privilege"

New from Stanford University Press: Black Privilege: Modern Middle-Class Blacks with Credentials and Cash to Spend by Cassi Pittman Claytor.

About the book, from the publisher:
In their own words, the subjects of this book present a rich portrait of the modern black middle-class, examining how cultural consumption is a critical tool for enjoying material comforts as well as challenging racism.

New York City has the largest population of black Americans out of any metropolitan area in the United States. It is home to a steadily rising number of socio-economically privileged blacks. In Black Privilege Cassi Pittman Claytor examines how this economically advantaged group experiences privilege, having credentials that grant them access to elite spaces and resources with which they can purchase luxuries, while still confronting persistent anti-black bias and racial stigma.

Drawing on the everyday experiences of black middle-class individuals, Pittman Claytor offers vivid accounts of their consumer experiences and cultural flexibility in the places where they live, work, and play. Whether it is the majority white Wall Street firm where they're employed, or the majority black Baptist church where they worship, questions of class and racial identity are equally on their minds. They navigate divergent social worlds that demand, at times, middle-class sensibilities, pedigree, and cultural acumen; and at other times pride in and connection with other blacks.

Rich qualitative data and original analysis help account for this special kind of privilege and the entitlements it affords—materially in terms of the things they consume, as well as symbolically, as they strive to be unapologetically black in a society where a racial consumer hierarchy prevails.
Visit Cassi Pittman Claytor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 25, 2020

"The Great Inoculator"

New from Yale University Press: The Great Inoculator: The Untold Story of Daniel Sutton and his Medical Revolution by Gavin Weightman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Smallpox was the scourge of the eighteenth century: it showed no mercy, almost wiping out whole societies. Young and old, poor and royalty were equally at risk – unless they had survived a previous attack. Daniel Sutton, a young surgeon from Suffolk, used this knowledge to pioneer a simple and effective inoculation method to counter the disease. His technique paved the way for Edward Jenner’s discovery of vaccination – but, while Jenner is revered, Sutton has been vilified for not widely revealing his methods until later in life.

Gavin Weightman reclaims Sutton’s importance, showing how the clinician’s practical and observational discoveries advanced understanding of the nature of disease. Weightman explores Sutton’s personal and professional development, and the wider world of eighteenth-century health in which he practised inoculation. Sutton’s brilliant and exacting mind had a significant impact on medicine – the effects of which can still be seen today.
Visit Gavin Weightman's website.

The Page 99 Test: Eureka: How Invention Happens.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 24, 2020

"Blurring the Lines of Race and Freedom"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Blurring the Lines of Race and Freedom: Mulattoes and Mixed Bloods in English Colonial America by A. B. Wilkinson.

About the book, from the publisher:
The history of race in North America is still often conceived of in black and white terms. In this book, A. B. Wilkinson complicates that history by investigating how people of mixed African, European, and Native American heritage—commonly referred to as "Mulattoes," "Mustees," and "mixed bloods"—were integral to the construction of colonial racial ideologies. Thousands of mixed-heritage people appear in the records of English colonies, largely in the Chesapeake, Carolinas, and Caribbean, and this book provides a clear and compelling picture of their lives before the advent of the so-called one-drop rule. Wilkinson explores the ways mixed-heritage people viewed themselves and explains how they—along with their African and Indigenous American forebears—resisted the formation of a rigid racial order and fought for freedom in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century societies shaped by colonial labor and legal systems.

As contemporary U.S. society continues to grapple with institutional racism rooted in a settler colonial past, this book illuminates the earliest ideas of racial mixture in British America well before the founding of the United States.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

"Imagining the International"

New from Stanford University Press: Imagining the International: Crime, Justice, and the Promise of Community by Nesam McMillan.

About the book, from the publisher:
International crime and justice are powerful ideas, associated with a vivid imagery of heinous atrocities, injured humanity, and an international community seized by the need to act. Through an analysis of archival and contemporary data, Imagining the International provides a detailed picture of how ideas of international crime (crimes against all of humanity) and global justice are given content, foregrounding their ethical limits and potentials. Nesam McMillan argues that dominant approaches to these ideas problematically disconnect them from the lived and the specific and foster distance between those who have experienced international crime and those who have not. McMillan draws on interdisciplinary work spanning law, criminology, humanitarianism, socio-legal studies, cultural studies, and human geography to show how understandings of international crime and justice hierarchize, spectacularize, and appropriate the suffering of others and promote an ideal of justice fundamentally disconnected from life as it is lived. McMillan critiques the mode of global interconnection they offer, one which bears resemblance to past colonial global approaches and which seeks to foster community through the image of crime and the practice of punitive justice. This book powerfully underscores the importance of the ideas of international crime and justice and their significant limits, cautioning against their continued valorization.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"Alt-Right Gangs A Hazy Shade of White"

New from the University of California Press: Alt-Right Gangs A Hazy Shade of White by Shannon E. Reid and Matthew Valasik.

About the book, from the publisher:
Alt-Right Gangs provides a timely and necessary discussion of youth-oriented groups within the white power movement. Focusing on how these groups fit into the current research on street gangs, Shannon E. Reid and Matthew Valasik catalog the myths and realities around alt-right gangs and their members; illustrate how they use music, social media, space, and violence; and document the risk factors for joining an alt-right gang, as well as the mechanisms for leaving. By presenting a way to understand the growth, influence, and everyday operations of these groups, Alt-Right Gangs informs students, researchers, law enforcement members, and policy makers on this complex subject. Most significantly, the authors offer an extensively evaluated set of prevention and intervention strategies that can be incorporated into existing anti-gang initiatives. With a clear, coherent point of view, this book offers a contemporary synthesis that will appeal to students and scholars alike.
--Marshal Zeringue