Thursday, July 29, 2021

"At War with Government"

New from Columbia University Press: At War with Government: How Conservatives Weaponized Distrust from Goldwater to Trump by Amy Fried and Douglas B. Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:
Polling shows that since the 1950s Americans’ trust in government has fallen dramatically to historically low levels. In At War with Government, the political scientists Amy Fried and Douglas B. Harris reveal that this trend is no accident. Although distrust of authority is deeply rooted in American culture, it is fueled by conservative elites who benefit from it. Since the postwar era conservative leaders have deliberately and strategically undermined faith in the political system for partisan aims.

Fried and Harris detail how conservatives have sown distrust to build organizations, win elections, shift power toward institutions that they control, and secure policy victories. They trace this strategy from the Nixon and Reagan years through Gingrich’s Contract with America, the Tea Party, and Donald Trump’s rise and presidency. Conservatives have promoted a political identity opposed to domestic state action, used racial messages to undermine unity, and cultivated cynicism to build and bolster coalitions. Once in power, they have defunded public services unless they help their constituencies and rolled back regulations, perversely proving the failure of government. Fried and Harris draw on archival sources to document how conservative elites have strategized behind the scenes. With a powerful diagnosis of our polarized era, At War with Government also proposes how we might rebuild trust in government by countering the strategies conservatives have used to weaken it.
Follow Amy Fried on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

"Cabbage and Caviar"

New from Reaktion Books: Cabbage and Caviar: A History of Food in Russia by Alison K. Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
When people think of Russian food, they generally think either of the opulent luxury of the tsarist aristocracy or of post-Soviet elites, signified above all by caviar, or on the other hand of poverty and hunger—of cabbage and potatoes and porridge. Both of these visions have a basis in reality, but both are incomplete. The history of food and drink in Russia includes fasts and feasts, scarcity and, for some, at least, abundance. It includes dishes that came out of the northern, forested regions and ones that incorporate foods from the wider Russian Empire and later from the Soviet Union. Cabbage and Caviar places Russian food and drink in the context of Russian history and shows off the incredible (and largely unknown) variety of Russian food.
Visit Alison K. Smith's webpage.

Smith is a professor and chair of history at the University of Toronto. Her books include For the Common Good and Their Own Well-Being: Social Estates in Imperial Russia and Recipes for Russia: Food and Nationhood under the Tsars.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"Hungry for Revolution"

New from the University of California Press: Hungry for Revolution: The Politics of Food and the Making of Modern Chile by Joshua Frens-String.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hungry for Revolution tells the story of how struggles over food fueled the rise and fall of Chile's Popular Unity coalition and one of Latin America's most expansive social welfare states. Reconstructing ties among workers, consumers, scientists, and the state, Joshua Frens-String explores how Chileans across generations sought to center food security as a right of citizenship. In so doing, he deftly untangles the relationship between two of twentieth-century Chile's most significant political and economic processes: the fight of an emergent urban working class to gain reliable access to nutrient-rich foodstuffs and the state's efforts to modernize its underproducing agricultural countryside.
Follow Joshua Frens-String on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 26, 2021

"Trade and Nation"

New from Columbia University Press: Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought by Emily Erikson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the seventeenth century, English economic theorists lost interest in the moral status of exchange and became increasingly concerned with the roots of national prosperity. This shift marked the origins of classical political economy and provided the foundation for the contemporary discipline of economics. The seventeenth-century revolution in economic thought fundamentally reshaped the way economic processes have been interpreted and understood. In Trade and Nation, Emily Erikson brings together historical, comparative, and computational methods to explain the institutional forces that brought about this transformation.

Erikson pinpoints how the rise of the company form in confluence with the political marginalization of English merchants created an opening for public argumentation over economic matters. Independent merchants, who were excluded from state institutions and vast areas of trade, confronted the power and influence of crown-endorsed chartered companies. Their distance from the halls of government drove them to take their case to the public sphere. The number of merchant-authored economic texts rose as members of this class sought to show that their preferred policies would contribute to the benefit of the state and commonwealth. In doing so, they created and disseminated a new moral framework of growth, prosperity, and wealth for evaluating economic behavior. By using computational methods to document these processes, Trade and Nation provides both compelling evidence and a prototype for how methodological innovations can help to provide new insights into large-scale social processes.
The Page 99 Test: Between Monopoly and Free Trade.

Follow Emily Erikson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 25, 2021

"Grey Wars"

New from Yale University Press: Grey Wars: A Contemporary History of U.S. Special Operations by N. W. Collins.

About the book, from the publisher:
This original and accessible book is a comprehensive, authoritative analysis of U.S. Special Operations. U.S. Special Operations Command trains and equips units to undertake select military activities, frequently high-risk missions, often for the purposes of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. Since 9/11, impelled by an attack on U.S. soil, these forces have been a central instrument of America’s military campaign—operating in about one hundred countries on any given day. This fight—neither hot war nor cold peace—was launched and executed as a new type of global war in 2001 and has since splintered into a spectrum of regional conflicts. The result is our nation’s grey wars: hazy and lethal. This contemporary history, incorporating extensive interviews and archival research by security studies expert N. W. Collins, delves deeply into the transformation of these forces since 9/11.
N. W. Collins is a senior fellow of the Modern War Institute at West Point. Collins is the chair of the Defense and Security Seminar at Columbia University. Collins has received fellowships and grants from, among others, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the Rockefeller Foundation, Yale University, and the Wilson Center.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 24, 2021

"To Deter and Punish"

New from Columbia University Press: To Deter and Punish: Global Collaboration Against Terrorism in the 1970s by Silke Zoller.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, governments in North America and Western Europe faced a new transnational threat: militants who crossed borders with impunity to commit attacks. These violent actors cooperated in hijacking planes, taking hostages, and organizing assassinations, often in the name of national liberation movements from the decolonizing world. How did this form of political violence become what we know today as “international terrorism”—lacking in legitimacy and categorized first and foremost as a crime?

To Deter and Punish examines why and how the United States and its Western European allies came to treat nonstate “terrorists” as a key threat to their security and interests. Drawing on a multinational array of sources, Silke Zoller traces Western state officials’ attempts to control the meaning of and responses to terrorism from the first Palestinian hijacking in 1968 to Ronald Reagan’s militarization of counterterrorism in the early 1980s. She details how Western states sought to criminalize border-crossing nonstate violence—and thus delegitimized offenders’ political aspirations. U.S. and European officials pressured states around the world to join agreements requiring them to create and enforce criminal laws against alleged individual terrorists. Zoller underscores how recently decolonized states countered that only a more equitable global system capable of addressing political grievances would end the violence.

To Deter and Punish offers a new account of the emergence of modern counterterrorism that pinpoints its international dimensions—a story about diplomats and bureaucrats as well as national liberation militancy and the processes of decolonization.
Visit Silke Zoller's webpage.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 23, 2021

"Trading with the Enemy"

New from Yale University Press: Trading with the Enemy: Britain, France, and the 18th-Century Quest for a Peaceful World Order by John Shovlin.

About the book, from the publisher:
A ground-breaking account of British and French efforts to channel their eighteenth-century geopolitical rivalry into peaceful commercial competition

Britain and France waged war eight times in the century following the Glorious Revolution, a mutual antagonism long regarded as a “Second Hundred Years’ War.” Yet officials on both sides also initiated ententes, free trade schemes, and colonial bargains intended to avert future conflict. What drove this quest for a more peaceful order?

In this highly original account, John Shovlin reveals the extent to which Britain and France sought to divert their rivalry away from war and into commercial competition. The two powers worked to end future conflict over trade in Spanish America, the Caribbean, and India, and imagined forms of empire-building that would be more collaborative than competitive. They negotiated to cut cross-channel tariffs, recognizing that free trade could foster national power while muting enmity. This account shows that eighteenth-century capitalism drove not only repeated wars and overseas imperialism but spurred political leaders to strive for global stability.
Visit John Shovlin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 22, 2021

"Everyday Peace"

New from Oxford University Press: Everyday Peace: How So-called Ordinary People Can Disrupt Violent Conflict by Roger Mac Ginty.

About the book, from the publisher:
An exploration of how so-called ordinary people can disrupt violent conflict and forge peace.

In this pathbreaking book, Roger Mac Ginty explores everyday peace-or how individuals and small groups can eke out spaces of tolerance and conciliation in conflict-ridden societies. Drawing on original material from the Everyday Peace Indicators project, he blends theory and concept-building together with contemporary and comparative examples. Unusual for the disciplines of peace and conflict studies as well as international relations, Everyday Peace also utilizes personal diaries and memoirs from World Wars One and Two. The book unpacks the core components of everyday peace and argues that it is constructed from a mix of sociality, reciprocity, and solidarity. This exploration of bottom-up and community-level approaches to peace challenges the usual concentration on top-down approaches to peace advanced by governments and international organizations. Indeed, the book goes to the lowest level of social organization - individuals, families and small groups of friends and colleagues - and looks at everyday interaction in workplaces, the stairwells of apartment buildings, and the queue for public transport.

Mac Ginty sees peace and conflict as being embodied, lived, and experienced - and constructs a multi-layered definition of peace. Importantly, he applies his evidentiary base of micro-acts that constitute everyday peace to societies that have emerged out of conflict and have not experienced recidivism on a large scale. Unlike most who focus on top-down processes, he demonstrates that what matters is the interaction between top-down and bottom-up peace and how, in an ideal scenario, they can have a symbiotic relationship. By focusing on how the small-scale can have big and lasting effects, Everyday Peace will reshape our understanding of how peace comes about.
Visit Roger Mac Ginty's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

"Aeroscopics: Media of the Bird's-Eye View"

New from the University of California Press: Aeroscopics: Media of the Bird's-Eye View by Patrick Ellis.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1900, Paris had no skyscrapers, no tourist helicopters, no drones. Yet well before aviation made aerial views more accessible, those who sought such vantages had countless options available to them. They could take in the vista from an observation ride, see a painting of the view from Notre-Dame, or overlook a miniature model city. In Aeroscopics, Patrick Ellis offers a history of the view from above, written from below. Richly illustrated and premised upon extensive archival work, this interdisciplinary study reveals the forgotten media available to the public in the Balloon Era and after. Ellis resurrects these neglected spectacles as “aeroscopics,” opening up new possibilities for the history of aerial vision.
Follow Patrick Ellis on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

"The Long Game"

New from Oxford University Press: The Long Game: China's Grand Strategy to Displace American Order by Rush Doshi.

About the book, from the publisher
For more than a century, no US adversary or coalition of adversaries - not Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, or the Soviet Union - has ever reached sixty percent of US GDP. China is the sole exception, and it is fast emerging into a global superpower that could rival, if not eclipse, the United States. What does China want, does it have a grand strategy to achieve it, and what should the United States do about it?

In The Long Game, Rush Doshi draws from a rich base of Chinese primary sources, including decades worth of party documents, leaked materials, memoirs by party leaders, and a careful analysis of China's conduct to provide a history of China's grand strategy since the end of the Cold War. Taking readers behind the Party's closed doors, he uncovers Beijing's long, methodical game to displace America from its hegemonic position in both the East Asia regional and global orders through three sequential "strategies of displacement." Beginning in the 1980s, China focused for two decades on "hiding capabilities and biding time." After the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, it became more assertive regionally, following a policy of "actively accomplishing something." Finally, in the aftermath populist elections of 2016, China shifted to an even more aggressive strategy for undermining US hegemony, adopting the phrase "great changes unseen in century." After charting how China's long game has evolved, Doshi offers a comprehensive yet asymmetric plan for an effective US response. Ironically, his proposed approach takes a page from Beijing's own strategic playbook to undermine China's ambitions and strengthen American order without competing dollar-for-dollar, ship-for-ship, or loan-for-loan.
Visit Rush Doshi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 19, 2021

"A Dog's World"

Coming October 26 from Princeton University Press: A Dog's World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World without Humans by Jessica Pierce and Marc Bekoff.

About the book, from the publisher:
What would happen to dogs if humans simply disappeared? Would dogs be able to survive on their own without us? A Dog’s World imagines a posthuman future for dogs, revealing how dogs would survive—and possibly even thrive—and explaining how this new and revolutionary perspective can guide how we interact with dogs now.

Drawing on biology, ecology, and the latest findings on the lives and behavior of dogs and their wild relatives, Jessica Pierce and Marc Bekoff—two of today’s most innovative thinkers about dogs—explore who dogs might become without direct human intervention into breeding, arranged playdates at the dog park, regular feedings, and veterinary care. Pierce and Bekoff show how dogs are quick learners who are highly adaptable and opportunistic, and they offer compelling evidence that dogs already do survive on their own—and could do so in a world without us.

Challenging the notion that dogs would be helpless without their human counterparts, A Dog’s World enables us to understand these independent and remarkably intelligent animals on their own terms.
The Page 99 Test: Wild Justice.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 18, 2021

"Taking Stock of Shock"

New from Oxford University Press: Taking Stock of Shock: Social Consequences of the 1989 Revolutions by Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell Orenstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell A. Orenstein blend empirical data with lived experiences to produce a robust picture of who won and who lost in post-communist transition, contextualizing the rise of populism in Eastern Europe.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, more than 400 million people suddenly found themselves in a new reality, a dramatic transition from state socialist and centrally planned workers' states to liberal democracy (in most cases) and free markets. Thirty years later, postsocialist citizens remain sharply divided on the legacies of transition. Was it a success that produced great progress after a short recession, or a socio-economic catastrophe foisted on the East by Western capitalists? Taking Stock of Shock aims to uncover the truth using a unique, interdisciplinary investigation into the social consequences of transition—including the rise of authoritarian populism and xenophobia. Showing that economic, demographic, sociological, political scientific, and ethnographic research produce contradictory results based on different disciplinary methods and data, Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell Orenstein triangulate the results. They find that both the J-curve model, which anticipates sustained growth after a sharp downturn, and the "disaster capitalism" perspective, which posits that neoliberalism led to devastating outcomes, have significant basis in fact. While substantial percentages of the populations across a variety of postsocialist countries enjoyed remarkable success, prosperity, and progress, many others suffered an unprecedented socio-economic catastrophe. Ghodsee and Orenstein conclude that the promise of transition still remains elusive for many and offer policy ideas for overcoming negative social and political consequences.
Visit Kristen Ghodsee's website and Mitchell Orenstein's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Left Side of History.

The Page 99 Test: The Left Side of History.

Writers Read: Kristen Ghodsee (March 2019).

The Page 99 Test: Second World, Second Sex.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 17, 2021

"Dying to Learn"

New from Cornell University Press: Dying to Learn: Wartime Lessons from the Western Front by Michael A. Hunzeker.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Dying to Learn, Michael Hunzeker develops a novel theory to explain how wartime militaries learn. He focuses on the Western Front, which witnessed three great-power armies struggle to cope with deadlock throughout the First World War, as the British, French, and German armies all pursued the same solutions-assault tactics, combined arms, and elastic defense in depth. By the end of the war, only the German army managed to develop and implement a set of revolutionary offensive, defensive, and combined arms doctrines that in hindsight represented the best way to fight.

Hunzeker identifies three organizational variables that determine how fighting militaries generate new ideas, distinguish good ones from bad ones, and implement the best of them across the entire organization. These factors are: the degree to which leadership delegates authority on the battlefield; how effectively the organization retains control over soldier and officer training; and whether or not the military possesses an independent doctrinal assessment mechanism.

Through careful study of the British, French, and German experiences in the First World War, Dying to Learn provides a model that shows how a resolute focus on analysis, command, and training can help prepare modern militaries for adapting amidst high-intensity warfare in an age of revolutionary technological change.
Follow Michael Hunzeker on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 16, 2021

"At Risk"

New from Stanford University Press: At Risk: Indian Sexual Politics and the Global AIDS Crisis by Gowri Vijayakumar.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the mid-1990s, experts predicted that India would face the world's biggest AIDS epidemic by 2000. Though a crisis at this scale never fully materialized, global public health institutions, donors, and the Indian state initiated a massive effort to prevent it. HIV prevention programs channeled billions of dollars toward those groups designated as at-risk—sex workers and men who have sex with men. At Risk captures this unique moment in which these criminalized and marginalized groups reinvented their "at-risk" categorization and became central players in the crisis response. The AIDS crisis created a contradictory, conditional, and temporary opening for sex-worker and LGBTIQ activists to renegotiate citizenship and to make demands on the state.

Working across India and Kenya, Gowri Vijayakumar provides a fine-grained account of the political struggles at the heart of the Indian AIDS response. These range from everyday articulations of sexual identity in activist organizations in Bangalore to new approaches to HIV prevention in Nairobi, where prevention strategies first introduced in India are adapted and circulate, as in the global AIDS field more broadly. Vijayakumar illuminates how the politics of gender, sexuality, and nationalism shape global crisis response. In so doing, she considers the precarious potential for social change in and after a crisis.
Visit Gowri Vijayakumar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 15, 2021

"Smashing the Liquor Machine"

New from Oxford University Press: Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition by Mark Lawrence Schrad.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the history of temperance and prohibition as you've never read it before: redefining temperance as a progressive, global, pro-justice movement that affected virtually every significant world leader from the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries.

When most people think of the prohibition era, they think of speakeasies, rum runners, and backwoods fundamentalists railing about the ills of strong drink. In other words, in the popular imagination, it is a peculiarly American history.

Yet, as Mark Lawrence Schrad shows in Smashing the Liquor Machine, the conventional scholarship on prohibition is extremely misleading for a simple reason: American prohibition was just one piece of a global phenomenon. Schrad's pathbreaking history of prohibition looks at the anti-alcohol movement around the globe through the experiences of pro-temperance leaders like Vladimir Lenin, Leo Tolstoy, Thomás Masaryk, Kemal Atatürk, Mahatma Gandhi, and anti-colonial activists across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Schrad argues that temperance wasn't "American exceptionalism" at all, but rather one of the most broad-based and successful transnational social movements of the modern era. In fact, Schrad offers a fundamental re-appraisal of this colorful era to reveal that temperance forces frequently aligned with progressivism, social justice, liberal self-determination, democratic socialism, labor rights, women's rights, and indigenous rights. Placing the temperance movement in a deep global context, forces us to fundamentally rethink its role in opposing colonial exploitation throughout American history as well. Prohibitionism united Native American chiefs like Little Turtle and Black Hawk; African-American leaders Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells, and Booker T. Washington; suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Frances Willard; progressives from William Lloyd Garrison to William Jennings Bryan; writers F.E.W. Harper and Upton Sinclair, and even American presidents from Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Progressives rather than puritans, the global temperance movement advocated communal self-protection against the corrupt and predatory “liquor machine” that had become exceedingly rich off the misery and addictions of the poor around the world, from the slums of South Asia to the beerhalls of Central Europe to the Native American reservations of the United States.

Unlike many traditional "dry" histories, Smashing the Liquor Machine gives voice to minority and subaltern figures who resisted the global liquor industry, and further highlights that the impulses that led to the temperance movement were far more progressive and variegated than American readers have been led to believe.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

"Contact Strategies: Histories of Native Autonomy in Brazil"

New from Stanford University Press: Contact Strategies: Histories of Native Autonomy in Brazil by Heather F. Roller.

About the book, from the publisher:
Around the year 1800, independent Native groups still effectively controlled about half the territory of the Americas. How did they maintain their political autonomy and territorial sovereignty, hundreds of years after the arrival of Europeans? In a study that spans the eighteenth to twentieth centuries and ranges across the vast interior of South America, Heather F. Roller examines this history of power and persistence from the vantage point of autonomous Native peoples in Brazil. The central argument of the book is that Indigenous groups took the initiative in their contacts with Brazilian society. Rather than fleeing or evading contact, Native peoples actively sought to appropriate what was useful and potent from outsiders, incorporating new knowledge, products, and even people, on their own terms and for their own purposes.

At the same time, autonomous Native groups aimed to control contact with dangerous outsiders, so as to protect their communities from threats that came in the form of sicknesses, vices, forced labor, and land invasions. Their tactical decisions shaped and limited colonizing enterprises in Brazil, while revealing Native peoples' capacity for cultural persistence through transformation. These contact strategies are preserved in the collective memories of Indigenous groups today, informing struggles for survival and self-determination in the present.
Visit Heather F. Roller's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

"The Wretched Atom"

New from Oxford University Press: The Wretched Atom: America's Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology by Jacob Darwin Hamblin.

About the book, from the publisher:
A groundbreaking narrative of how the United States offered the promise of nuclear technology to the developing world and its gamble that other nations would use it for peaceful purposes.

After the Second World War, the United States offered a new kind of atom that differed from the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This atom would cure diseases, produce new foods, make deserts bloom, and provide abundant energy for all. It was an atom destined for the formerly colonized, recently occupied, and mostly non-white parts of the world that were dubbed the "wretched of the earth" by Frantz Fanon.

The "peaceful atom" had so much propaganda potential that President Dwight Eisenhower used it to distract the world from his plan to test even bigger thermonuclear weapons. His scientists said the peaceful atom would quicken the pulse of nature, speeding nations along the path of economic development and helping them to escape the clutches of disease, famine, and energy shortfalls. That promise became one of the most misunderstood political weapons of the twentieth century. It was adopted by every subsequent US president to exert leverage over other nations' weapons programs, to corner world markets of uranium and thorium, and to secure petroleum supplies. Other countries embraced it, building reactors and training experts. Atomic promises were embedded in Japan's postwar recovery, Ghana's pan-Africanism, Israel's quest for survival, Pakistan's brinksmanship with India, and Iran's pursuit of nuclear independence.

As The Wretched Atom shows, promoting civilian atomic energy was an immense gamble, and it was never truly peaceful. American promises ended up exporting violence and peace in equal measure. While the United States promised peace and plenty, it planted the seeds of dependency and set in motion the creation of today's expanded nuclear club.
Visit Jacob Darwin Hamblin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 12, 2021

"Nonviolence before King"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Nonviolence before King: The Politics of Being and the Black Freedom Struggle by Anthony C. Siracusa.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the early 1960s, thousands of Black activists used nonviolent direct action to challenge segregation at lunch counters, movie theaters, skating rinks, public pools, and churches across the United States, battling for, and winning, social change. Organizers against segregation had used litigation and protests for decades but not until the advent of nonviolence did they succeed in transforming ingrained patterns of white supremacy on a massive scale. In this book, Anthony C. Siracusa unearths the deeper lineage of anti-war pacifist activists and thinkers from the early twentieth century who developed nonviolence into a revolutionary force for Black liberation.

Telling the story of how this powerful political philosophy came to occupy a central place in the Black freedom movement by 1960, Siracusa challenges the idea that nonviolent freedom practices faded with the rise of the Black Power movement. He asserts nonviolence's staying power, insisting that the indwelling commitment to struggle for freedom collectively in a spirit of nonviolence became, for many, a lifelong commitment. In the end, what was revolutionary about the nonviolent method was its ability to assert the basic humanity of Black Americans, to undermine racism's dehumanization, and to insist on the right to be.
Visit Anthony C. Siracusa's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 11, 2021

"When Money Talks"

New from Oxford University Press: When Money Talks: A History of Coins and Numismatics by Frank L. Holt.

About the book, from the publisher:
Coinage--it is one of the most successful and consistent technologies ever invented. Nothing else we still use in everyday life has a history quite like it. Look around at all the things that would bewilder a Greek, Roman, or Renaissance ancestor; then, dig into your purse or pocket for that one artifact that they would immediately recognize as part of their world. Historian Frank L. Holt takes us on a lively journey through the history of numismatics, the study of coins--one of the oldest and most important contributions to the arts and humanities.

For 2600 years, poets, economists, philosophers, historians, and theologians have pondered the mysteries of money. Who invented coins, and why? Does coinage function beyond our control as if it had a mind of its own? How has it changed world history and culture? What does numismatics reveal about our past that could never be discovered from any other source? How has numismatics advanced using modern science? Does it still suffer from racist ideas about physiognomy and phrenology? What does its future hold? The approach taken in this richly illustrated book is as multi-faceted as coined money itself. Coins are integral to our economic, social, political, religious, and cultural history. When Money Talks: A History of Coins and Numismatics explores each aspect of coinage, and takes a special interest in how coins have appeared in literature and pop culture, ranging in its analysis from Greek drama and the New Testament to T.V. sitcoms and meme theory.
The Page 99 Test: The Treasures of Alexander the Great.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 10, 2021

"The Future Conditional"

New from Cornell University Press: The Future Conditional: Building an English-Speaking Society in Northeast China by Eric S. Henry.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Future Conditional, Eric S. Henry brings twelve-years of expertise and research to offer a nuanced discussion of the globalization of the English language and the widespread effects it has had on Shenyang, the capital and largest city of China's northeast Liaoning Province. Adopting an ethnographic and linguistic perspective, Henry considers the personal connotations that English, has for Chinese people, beyond its role in the education system. Through research on how English is spoken, taught, and studied in China, Henry considers what the language itself means to Chinese speakers. How and why, he asks, has English become so deeply fascinating in contemporary China, simultaneously existing as a source of desire and anxiety? The answer, he suggests, is that English-speaking Chinese consider themselves distinctly separate from those who do not speak the language, the result of a cultural assumption that speaking English makes a person modern. Seeing language as a study that goes beyond the classroom, The Future Conditional assesses the emerging viewpoint that, for many citizens, speaking English in China has become a cultural need—and, more immediately, a realization of one's future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 9, 2021

"The Mexican American Experience in Texas"

Coming December 2021 from the University of Texas Press: The Mexican American Experience in Texas: Citizenship, Segregation, and the Struggle for Equality by Martha Menchaca.

About the book, from the publisher:
For hundreds of years, Mexican Americans in Texas have fought against political oppression and exclusion—in courtrooms, in schools, at the ballot box, and beyond. Through a detailed exploration of this long battle for equality, this book illuminates critical moments of both struggle and triumph in the Mexican American experience.

Martha Menchaca begins with the Spanish settlement of Texas, exploring how Mexican Americans’ racial heritage limited their incorporation into society after the territory’s annexation. She then illustrates their political struggles in the nineteenth century as they tried to assert their legal rights of citizenship and retain possession of their land, and goes on to explore their fight, in the twentieth century, against educational segregation, jury exclusion, and housing covenants. It was only in 1967, she shows, that the collective pressure placed on the state government by Mexican American and African American activists led to the beginning of desegregation. Menchaca concludes with a look at the crucial role that Mexican Americans have played in national politics, education, philanthropy, and culture, while acknowledging the important work remaining to be done in the struggle for equality.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 8, 2021

"Far-Right Vanguard"

Coming October 29 from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Far-Right Vanguard: The Radical Roots of Modern Conservatism by John S. Huntington.

About the book, from the publisher:
Donald Trump shocked the nation in 2016 by winning the presidency through an ultraconservative, anti-immigrant platform, but, despite the electoral surprise, Trump's far-right views were not an aberration, nor even a recent phenomenon. In Far-Right Vanguard, John Huntington shows how, for almost a century, the far right has forced so-called "respectable" conservatives to grapple with their concerns, thereby intensifying right-wing thought and forecasting the trajectory of American politics. Ultraconservatives of the twentieth century were the vanguard of modern conservatism as it exists in the Republican Party of today.

Far-Right Vanguard chronicles the history of the ultraconservative movement, its national network, its influence on Republican Party politics, and its centrality to America's rightward turn during the second half of the twentieth century. Often marginalized as outliers, the far right grew out of the same ideological seedbed that nourished mainstream conservatism. Ultraconservatives were true reactionaries, dissenters seeking to peel back the advance of the liberal state, hoping to turn one of the major parties, if not a third party, into a bastion of true conservatism.

In the process, ultraconservatives left a deep imprint upon the cultural and philosophical bedrock of American politics. Far-right leaders built their movement through grassroots institutions, like the John Birch Society and Christian Crusade, each one a critical node in the ultraconservative network, a point of convergence for activists, politicians, and businessmen. This vibrant, interconnected web formed the movement's connective tissue and pushed far-right ideas into the political mainstream. Conspiracy theories, nativism, white supremacy, and radical libertarianism permeated far-right organizations, producing an uncompromising mindset and a hyper-partisanship that consumed conservatism and, eventually, the Republican Party.

Ultimately, the far right's politics of dissent—against racial progress, federal power, and political moderation—laid the groundwork for the aggrieved, vitriolic conservatism of the twenty-first century.
Visit John S. Huntington's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

"Oil Palm: A Global History"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Oil Palm: A Global History by Jonathan E. Robins.

About the book, from the publisher:
Oil palms are ubiquitous—grown in nearly every tropical country, they supply the world with more edible fat than any other plant and play a role in scores of packaged products, from lipstick and soap to margarine and cookies. And as Jonathan E. Robins shows, sweeping social transformations carried the plant around the planet. First brought to the global stage in the holds of slave ships, palm oil became a quintessential commodity in the Industrial Revolution. Imperialists hungry for cheap fat subjugated Africa’s oil palm landscapes and the people who worked them. In the twentieth century, the World Bank promulgated oil palm agriculture as a panacea to rural development in Southeast Asia and across the tropics. As plantation companies tore into rainforests, evicting farmers in the name of progress, the oil palm continued its rise to dominance, sparking new controversies over trade, land and labor rights, human health, and the environment.

By telling the story of the oil palm across multiple centuries and continents, Robins demonstrates how the fruits of an African palm tree became a key commodity in the story of global capitalism, beginning in the eras of slavery and imperialism, persisting through decolonization, and stretching to the present day.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

"The American Newsroom: A History, 1920-1960"

New from the University of Missouri Press: The American Newsroom: A History, 1920-1960 by Will Mari.

About the book, from the publisher:
The story of the American newsroom is that of modern American journalism. In this holistic history, Will Mari tells that story from the 1920s through the 1960s, a time of great change and controversy in the field, one in which journalism was produced in “news factories” by news workers with dozens of different roles, and not just once a day, but hourly, using the latest technology and setting the stage for the emergence later in the century of the information economy. During this time, the newsroom was more than a physical place—it symbolically represented all that was good and bad in journalism, from the shift from blue- to white-collar work to the flexing of journalism’s power as a watchdog on government and an advocate for social reform. Told from an empathetic, omnivorous, ground-up point of view, The American Newsroom: A History, 1920–1960 uses memoirs, trade journals, textbooks, and archival material to show how the newsroom expanded our ideas of what journalism could and should be.
Follow Will Mari on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 5, 2021

"Shock to the System"

New from Princeton University Press: Shock to the System: Coups, Elections, and War on the Road to Democratization by Michael K. Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do democracies emerge? Shock to the System presents a novel theory of democratization that focuses on how events like coups, wars, and elections disrupt autocratic regimes and trigger democratic change. Employing the broadest qualitative and quantitative analyses of democratization to date, Michael Miller demonstrates that more than nine in ten transitions since 1800 occur in one of two ways: countries democratize following a major violent shock or an established ruling party democratizes through elections and regains power within democracy. This framework fundamentally reorients theories on democratization by showing that violent upheavals and the preservation of autocrats in power—events typically viewed as antithetical to democracy—are in fact central to its foundation.

Through in-depth examinations of 139 democratic transitions, Miller shows how democratization frequently follows both domestic shocks (coups, civil wars, and assassinations) and international shocks (defeat in war and withdrawal of an autocratic hegemon) due to autocratic insecurity and openings for opposition actors. He also shows how transitions guided by ruling parties spring from their electoral confidence in democracy. Both contexts limit the power autocrats sacrifice by accepting democratization, smoothing along the transition. Miller provides new insights into democratization’s predictors, the limited gains from events like the Arab Spring, the best routes to democratization for long-term stability, and the future of global democracy.

Disputing commonly held ideas about violent events and their effects on democracy, Shock to the System offers new perspectives on how regimes are transformed.
Follow Michael K. Miller on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 4, 2021

"Policing China"

New from Cornell University Press: Policing China: Street-Level Cops in the Shadow of Protest by Suzanne E. Scoggins.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Policing China, Suzanne E. Scoggins delves into the paradox of China's self-projection of a strong security state while having a weak police bureaucracy. Assessing the problems of resources, enforcement, and oversight that beset the police, outside of cracking down on political protests, Scoggins finds that the central government and the Ministry of Public Security have prioritized "stability maintenance" (weiwen) to the detriment of nearly every aspect of policing. The result, she argues, is a hollowed out and ineffective police force that struggles to deal with everyday crime.

Using interviews with police officers up and down the hierarchy, as well as station data, news reports, and social media postings, Scoggins probes the challenges faced by ground-level officers and their superiors at the Ministry of Public Security as they attempt to do their jobs in the face of funding limitations, reform challenges, and structural issues. Policing China concludes that despite the social control exerted by China's powerful bureaucracies, security failures at the street level have undermined Chinese citizens' trust in the legitimacy of the police and the capabilities of the state.
Visit Suzanne E. Scoggins's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 3, 2021

"To End a Plague"

New from PublicAffairs: To End a Plague: America's Fight to Defeat AIDS in Africa by Emily Bass.

About the book, from the publisher:
With his 2003 announcement of a program known as PEPFAR, George W. Bush launched an astonishingly successful American war against a global pandemic. PEPFAR played a key role in slashing HIV cases and AIDS deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, leading to the brink of epidemic control. Resilient in the face of flatlined funding and political headwinds, PEPFAR is America’s singular example of how to fight long-term plague—and win.

To End a Plague is not merely the definitive history of this extraordinary program; it traces the lives of the activists who first impelled President Bush to take action, and later sought to prevent AIDS deaths at the whims of American politics. Moving from raucous street protests to the marbled halls of Washington and the clinics and homes where Ugandan people living with HIV fight to survive, it reveals an America that was once capable of real and meaningful change—and illuminates imperatives for future pandemic wars. Exhaustively researched and vividly written, this is the true story of an American moonshot.
Follow Emily Bass on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 2, 2021

"Below the Stars"

New from the University of Texas Press: Below the Stars: How the Labor of Working Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production by Kate Fortmueller.

About the book, from the publisher:
Despite their considerable presence in Hollywood, extras and working actors have received scant attention within film and media studies as significant contributors to the history of the industry. Looking not to the stars but to these supporting players in film, television, and, recently, streaming programming, Below the Stars highlights such actors as precarious laborers whose work as freelancers has critically shaped the entertainment industry throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. By addressing ordinary actors as a labor force, Kate Fortmueller proposes a media industry history that positions underrepresented and quotidian experiences as the structural elements of the culture and business of Hollywood.

Resisting a top-down assessment, Fortmueller explores the wrangling of labor unions and guilds that advocated for collective action for everyday actors and helped shape professional norms. She pulls from archival research, in-person interviews, and firsthand observation to examine a history that cuts across industry boundaries and situates actors as a labor group at the center of industrial and technological upheavals, with lasting implications for race, gender, and labor relations in Hollywood.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 1, 2021

"Dogopolis"

Coming September 14 from the University of Chicago Press: Dogopolis: How Dogs and Humans Made Modern New York, London, and Paris (Animal Lives) by Chris Pearson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dogopolis suggests a surprising source of urban innovation in the history of three major cities: human-canine relationships.

Stroll through any American or European city today and you probably won’t get far before seeing a dog being taken for a walk. It’s expected that these domesticated animals can easily navigate sidewalks, streets, and other foundational elements of our built environment. But what if our cities were actually shaped in response to dogs more than we ever realized?

Chris Pearson’s Dogopolis boldly and convincingly asserts that human-canine relations were a crucial factor in the formation of modern urban living. Focusing on New York, London, and Paris from the early nineteenth century into the 1930s, Pearson shows that human reactions to dogs significantly remolded them and other contemporary western cities. It’s an unalterable fact that dogs—often filthy, bellicose, and sometimes off-putting—run away, spread rabies, defecate, and breed wherever they like, so as dogs became a more and more common in nineteenth-century middle-class life, cities had to respond to people’s fear of them and revulsion at their least desirable traits. The gradual integration of dogs into city life centered on disgust at dirt, fear of crime and vagrancy, and the promotion of humanitarian sentiments. On the other hand, dogs are some people’s most beloved animal companions, and human compassion and affection for pets and strays were equally powerful forces in shaping urban modernity. Dogopolis details the complex interrelations among emotions, sentiment, and the ways we manifest our feelings toward what we love—showing that together they can actually reshape society.
Follow Chris Pearson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

"Cruising for Conspirators"

Coming September 14 from The University of North Carolina Press: Cruising for Conspirators: How a New Orleans DA Prosecuted the Kennedy Assassination as a Sex Crime by Alecia P. Long.

About the book, from the publisher:
New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison’s decision to arrest Clay Shaw on March 1, 1967, set off a chain of events that culminated in the only prosecution undertaken in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In the decades since Garrison captured headlines with this high-profile legal spectacle, historians, conspiracy advocates, and Hollywood directors alike have fixated on how a New Orleans–based assassination conspiracy might have worked. Cruising for Conspirators settles the debate for good, conclusively showing that the Shaw prosecution was not based in fact but was a product of the criminal justice system’s long-standing preoccupation with homosexuality.

Tapping into the public’s willingness to take seriously conspiratorial explanations of the Kennedy assassination, Garrison drew on the copious files the New Orleans police had accumulated as they surveilled, harassed, and arrested increasingly large numbers of gay men in the early 1960s. He blended unfounded accusations with homophobia to produce a salacious story of a New Orleans-based scheme to assassinate JFK that would become a national phenomenon.

At once a dramatic courtroom narrative and a deeper meditation on the enduring power of homophobia, Cruising for Conspirators shows how the same dynamics that promoted Garrison’s unjust prosecution continue to inform conspiratorial thinking to this day.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

"Downtown Juárez"

Coming November 2021 from the University of Texas Press: Downtown Juárez: Underworlds of Violence and Abuse by Howard Campbell.

About the book, from the publisher:
At least 200,000 people have died in Mexico’s so-called drug war, and the worst suffering has been in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. How did it get so bad? After three decades studying that question, Howard Campbell doesn’t believe there is any one answer. Misguided policies, corruption, criminality, and the borderland economy are all factors. But none explains how violence in downtown Juárez has become heartbreakingly “normal.”

A rigorous yet moving account, Downtown Juárez is informed by the sex workers, addicts, hustlers, bar owners, human smugglers, migrants, and down-and-out workers struggling to survive in an underworld where horrifying abuses have come to seem like the natural way of things. Even as Juárez’s elite northeast section thrives on the profits of multinational corporations, and law-abiding citizens across the city mobilize against crime and official malfeasance, downtown’s cantinas, barrios, and brothels are tyrannized by misery.

Campbell’s is a chilling perspective, suggesting that, over time, violent acts feed off each other, losing their connection to any specific cause. Downtown Juárez documents this banality of evil—and confronts it—with the stories of those most affected.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 28, 2021

"The Male Chauvinist Pig"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: The Male Chauvinist Pig: A History by Julie Willett.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, a series of stock characters emerged to define and bolster white masculinity. Alongside such caricatures as "the Playboy" and "the Redneck" came a new creation: "the Male Chauvinist Pig." Coined by second-wave feminists as an insult, the Male Chauvinist Pig was largely defined by an anti-feminism that manifested in boorish sexist jokes. But the epithet backfired: being a sexist pig quickly transformed into a badge of honor worn proudly by misogynists, and, in time, it would come to define a strain of right-wing politics. Historian Julie Willett tracks the ways in which the sexist pig was sanitized by racism, popularized by consumer culture, weaponized to demean feminists, and politicized to mobilize libertine sexists to adopt reactionary politics. Mapping out a trajectory that links the sexist buffoonery of Bobby Riggs in the 1970s, the popularity of Rush Limbaugh’s screeds against "Feminazis" in the 1990s, and the present day misogyny underpinning Trumpism, Willett makes a case for the potency of this seemingly laughable cultural symbol, showing what can happen when we neglect or trivialize the political power of humor.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 27, 2021

"Theodore Roosevelt: Preaching from the Bully Pulpit"

New from Oxford University Press: Theodore Roosevelt: Preaching from the Bully Pulpit by Benjamin J. Wetzel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Theodore Roosevelt is well-known as a rancher, hunter, naturalist, soldier, historian, explorer, and statesman. His visage is etched on Mount Rushmore--alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln--as a symbol of his vast and consequential legacy. While Roosevelt's life has been written about from many angles, no modern book probes deeply into his engagement with religious beliefs, practices, and controversies despite his lifelong church attendance and commentary on religious issues. Theodore Roosevelt: Preaching from the Bully Pulpit traces Roosevelt's personal religious odyssey from youthful faith and pious devotion to a sincere but more detached adult faith. Benjamin J. Wetzel presents the president as a champion of the separation of church and state, a defender of religious ecumenism, and a "preacher" who used his "bully pulpit" to preach morality using the language of the King James Bible. Contextualizing Roosevelt in the American religious world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Wetzel shows how religious groups interpreted the famous Rough Rider and how he catered to, rebuked, and interacted with various religious constituencies. Based in large part on personal correspondence and unpublished archival materials, this book offers a new interpretation of an extremely significant historical figure.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 26, 2021

"Brewing a Boycott"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Brewing a Boycott: How a Grassroots Coalition Fought Coors and Remade American Consumer Activism by Allyson P. Brantley.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the late twentieth century, nothing united union members, progressive students, Black and Chicano activists, Native Americans, feminists, and members of the LGBTQ+ community quite as well as Coors beer. They came together not in praise of the ice cold beverage but rather to fight a common enemy: the Colorado-based Coors Brewing Company. Wielding the consumer boycott as their weapon of choice, activists targeted Coors for allegations of antiunionism, discrimination, and conservative political ties. Over decades of organizing and coalition-building from the 1950s to the 1990s, anti-Coors activists molded the boycott into a powerful means of political protest.

In this first narrative history of one of the longest boycott campaigns in U.S. history, Allyson P. Brantley draws from a broad archive as well as oral history interviews with long-time boycotters to offer a compelling, grassroots view of anti-corporate organizing and the unlikely coalitions that formed in opposition to the iconic Rocky Mountain brew. The story highlights the vibrancy of activism in the final decades of the twentieth century and the enduring legacy of that organizing for communities, consumer activists, and corporations today.
Visit Allyson Brantley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 25, 2021

"Imperial Women of Rome"

New from Oxford University Press: Imperial Women of Rome: Power, Gender, Context by Mary T. Boatwright.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Imperial Women of Rome explores the constraints and activities of the women who were part of Rome's imperial families from 35 BCE to 235 CE, the Roman principate. Boatwright uses coins, inscriptions, papyri, material culture, and archaeology, as well as the more familiar but biased ancient authors, to depict change and continuity in imperial women's pursuits and representations over time. Focused vignettes open each thematic chapter, emphasizing imperial women as individuals and their central yet marginalized position in the principate. Evaluating historical contingency and personal agency, the book assesses its subjects in relation to distinct Roman structures rather than as a series of biographies. Rome's imperial women allow us to probe the meanings of the emperor's authority and power; Roman law; the Roman family; Roman religion and imperial cult; imperial presence in the city of Rome; statues and exemplarity; and the military and communications. The book is richly illustrated and offers detailed information in tables and appendices, including one for the life events of the imperial women discussed in the text. Considered over time and as a whole, Livia, the Agrippinas and Faustinas, Julia Domna, and others closely connected to Rome's emperors enrich our understanding of Roman history and offer glimpses of fascinating and demanding lives.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 24, 2021

"Errand into the Wilderness of Mirrors"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Errand into the Wilderness of Mirrors: Religion and the History of the CIA by Michael Graziano.

About the book, from the publisher:
Michael Graziano’s intriguing book fuses two landmark titles in American history: Perry Miller’s Errand into the Wilderness (1956), about the religious worldview of the early Massachusetts colonists, and David Martin’s Wilderness of Mirrors (1980), about the dangers and delusions inherent to the Central Intelligence Agency. Fittingly, Errand into the Wilderness of Mirrors investigates the dangers and delusions that ensued from the religious worldview of the early molders of the Central Intelligence Agency. Graziano argues that the religious approach to intelligence by key OSS and CIA figures like “Wild” Bill Donovan and Edward Lansdale was an essential, and overlooked, factor in establishing the agency’s concerns, methods, and understandings of the world. In a practical sense, this was because the Roman Catholic Church already had global networks of people and safe places that American agents could use to their advantage. But more tellingly, Graziano shows, American intelligence officers were overly inclined to view powerful religions and religious figures through the frameworks of Catholicism. As Graziano makes clear, these misconceptions often led to tragedy and disaster on an international scale. By braiding the development of the modern intelligence agency with the story of postwar American religion, Errand into the Wilderness of Mirrors delivers a provocative new look at a secret driver of one of the major engines of American power.
Visit Michael Graziano's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

"The Venetian Bride"

New from Oxford University Press: The Venetian Bride: Bloodlines and Blood Feuds in Venice and its Empire by Patricia Fortini Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:
A true story of vendetta and intrigue, triumph and tragedy, exile and repatriation, this book recounts the interwoven microhistories of Count Girolamo Della Torre, a feudal lord with a castle and other properties in the Friuli, and Giulia Bembo, grand-niece of Cardinal Pietro Bembo and daughter of Gian Matteo Bembo, a powerful Venetian senator with a distinguished career in service to the Venetian Republic. Their marriage in the mid-sixteenth century might be regarded as emblematic of the Venetian experience, with the metropole at the center of a fragmented empire: a Terraferma nobleman and the daughter of a Venetian senator, who raised their family in far off Crete in the stato da mar, in Venice itself, and in the Friuli and the Veneto in the stato da terra. The fortunes and misfortunes of the nine surviving Della Torre children and their descendants, tracked through the end of the Republic in 1797, are likewise emblematic of a change in feudal culture from clan solidarity to individualism and intrafamily strife, and ultimately, redemption.

Despite the efforts by both the Della Torre and the Bembo families to preserve the patrimony through a succession of male heirs, the last survivor in the paternal bloodline of each was a daughter. This epic tale highlights the role of women in creating family networks and opens a precious window into a contentious period in which Venetian republican values clash with the deeply rooted feudal traditions of honor and blood feuds of the mainland.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

"Bread and Freedom"

New from Stanford University Press: Bread and Freedom: Egypt's Revolutionary Situation by Mona El-Ghobashy.

About the book, from the publisher:
>A multivocal account of why Egypt's defeated revolution remains a watershed in the country's political history.

Bread and Freedom offers a new account of Egypt's 2011 revolutionary mobilization, based on a documentary record hidden in plain sight—party manifestos, military communiqués, open letters, constitutional contentions, protest slogans, parliamentary debates, and court decisions. A rich trove of political arguments, the sources reveal a range of actors vying over the fundamental question in politics: who holds ultimate political authority. The revolution's tangled events engaged competing claims to sovereignty made by insurgent forces and entrenched interests alike, a vital contest that was terminated by the 2013 military coup and its aftermath.

Now a decade after the 2011 Arab uprisings, Mona El-Ghobashy rethinks how we study revolutions, looking past causes and consequences to train our sights on the collisions of revolutionary politics. She moves beyond the simple judgments that once celebrated Egypt's revolution as an awe-inspiring irruption of people power or now label it a tragic failure. Revisiting the revolutionary interregnum of 2011–2013, Bread and Freedom takes seriously the political conflicts that developed after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, an eventful thirty months when it was impossible to rule Egypt without the Egyptians.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 21, 2021

"Charlie Brown's America"

New from Oxford University Press: Charlie Brown's America: The Popular Politics of Peanuts by Blake Scott Ball.

About the book, from the publisher:
Despite--or because of--its huge popular culture status, Peanuts enabled cartoonist Charles Schulz to offer political commentary on the most controversial topics of postwar American culture through the voices of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang.

In postwar America, there was no newspaper comic strip more recognizable than Charles Schulz's Peanuts. It was everywhere, not just in thousands of daily newspapers. For nearly fifty years, Peanuts was a mainstay of American popular culture in television, movies, and merchandising, from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to the White House to the breakfast table.

Most people have come to associate Peanuts with the innocence of childhood, not the social and political turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. Some have even argued that Peanuts was so beloved because it was apolitical. The truth, as Blake Scott Ball shows, is that Peanuts was very political. Whether it was the battles over the Vietnam War, racial integration, feminism, or the future of a nuclear world, Peanuts was a daily conversation about very real hopes and fears and the political realities of the Cold War world. As thousands of fan letters, interviews, and behind-the-scenes documents reveal, Charles Schulz used his comic strip to project his ideas to a mass audience and comment on the rapidly changing politics of America.

Charlie Brown's America covers all of these debates and much more in a historical journey through the tumultuous decades of the Cold War as seen through the eyes of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang.
Visit Blake Scott Ball's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 20, 2021

"Secular Power Europe and Islam"

New from the University of Michigan Press: Secular Power Europe and Islam: Identity and Foreign Policy by Sarah Wolff.

About the book, from the publisher:
Secular Power Europe and Islam argues that secularism is not the central principle of international relations but should be considered as one belief system that influences international politics. Through an exploration of Europe’s secular identity, an identity that is seen erroneously as normative, author Sarah Wolff shows how Islam confronts the EU’s existential anxieties about its security and its secular identity. Islam disrupts Eurocentric assumptions about democracy and revolution and human rights. Through three case studies, Wolff encourages the reader to unpack secularism as a bedrock principle of IR and diplomacy. This book argues that the EU’s interest and diplomacy activities in relation to religion, and to Islam specifically, is shaped by the insistence on a European secular identity, which should be reconsidered in areas of religion and foreign policy.
Sarah Wolff is Director for the Center for European Research and Reader in European Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 19, 2021

"Divine Accounting"

New from Yale University Press: Divine Accounting: Theo-Economics in Early Christianity by Jennifer A. Quigley.

About the book, from the publisher:
A nuanced narrative about the intersections of religious and economic life in early Christianity

The divine was an active participant in the economic spheres of the ancient Mediterranean world. Evidence demonstrates that gods and goddesses were represented as owning goods, holding accounts, and producing wealth through the mediation of religious and civic officials. This book argues that early Christ-followers also used financial language to articulate and imagine their relationship to the divine. Theo-economics—intertwined theological and economic logics in which divine and human beings regularly transact with one another—permeate the letters of Paul and other texts connected with Pauline communities. Unlike other studies, which treat the ancient economy and religion separately, Divine Accounting takes seriously the overlapping of themes such as poverty, labor, social status, suffering, cosmology, and eschatology in material evidence from the ancient Mediterranean and early Christian texts.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 18, 2021

"The Apache Diaspora"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Apache Diaspora: Four Centuries of Displacement and Survival by Paul Conrad.

About the book, from the publisher:
Across four centuries, Apache (Ndé) peoples in the North American West confronted enslavement and forced migration schemes intended to exploit, subjugate, or eliminate them. While many Indigenous groups in the Americas lived through similar histories, Apaches were especially affected owing to their mobility, resistance, and proximity to multiple imperial powers. Spanish, Comanche, Mexican, and American efforts scattered thousands of Apaches across the continent and into the Caribbean and deeply impacted Apache groups that managed to remain in the Southwest.

Based on archival research in Spain, Mexico, and the United States, as well Apache oral histories, The Apache Diaspora brings to life the stories of displaced Apaches and the kin from whom they were separated. Paul Conrad charts Apaches' efforts to survive or return home from places as far-flung as Cuba and Pennsylvania, Mexico City and Montreal. As Conrad argues, diaspora was deeply influential not only to those displaced, but also to Apache groups who managed to remain in the West, influencing the strategies of mobility and resistance for which they would become famous around the world.

Through its broad chronological and geographical scope, The Apache Diaspora sheds new light on a range of topics, including genocide and Indigenous survival, the intersection of Native and African diasporas, and the rise of deportation and incarceration as key strategies of state control. As Conrad demonstrates, centuries of enslavement, warfare, and forced migrations failed to bring a final solution to the supposed problem of Apache independence and mobility. Spain, Mexico, and the United States all overestimated their own power and underestimated Apache resistance and creativity. Yet in the process, both Native and colonial societies were changed.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 17, 2021

"Russian Energy Chains"

New from Columbia University Press: Russian Energy Chains: The Remaking of Technopolitics from Siberia to Ukraine to the European Union by Margarita M. Balmaceda.

About the book, from the publisher:
Russia’s use of its vast energy resources for leverage against post-Soviet states such as Ukraine is widely recognized as a threat. Yet we cannot understand this danger without also understanding the opportunity that Russian energy represents. From corruption-related profits to transportation-fee income to subsidized prices, many within these states have benefited by participating in Russian energy exports. To understand Russian energy power in the region, it is necessary to look at the entire value chain—including production, processing, transportation, and marketing—and at the full spectrum of domestic and external actors involved, from Gazprom to regional oligarchs to European Union regulators.

This book follows Russia’s three largest fossil-fuel exports—natural gas, oil, and coal—from production in Siberia through transportation via Ukraine to final use in Germany in order to understand the tension between energy as threat and as opportunity. Margarita M. Balmaceda reveals how this dynamic has been a key driver of political development in post-Soviet states in the period between independence in 1991 and Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. She analyzes how the physical characteristics of different types of energy, by shaping how they can be transported, distributed, and even stolen, affect how each is used—not only technically but also politically. Both a geopolitical travelogue of the journey of three fossil fuels across continents and an incisive analysis of technology’s role in fossil-fuel politics and economics, this book offers new ways of thinking about energy in Eurasia and beyond.
--Marshal Zeringue