Friday, December 31, 2021

"The Ethics of Exile"

New from Oxford University Press: The Ethics of Exile: A Political Theory of Diaspora by Ashwini Vasanthakumar.

About the book, from the publisher:
Exiles have long been transformative actors in their homelands: they foment revolution, sustain dissent, and work to create renewed political institutions and identities back home. Ongoing waves of migration ensure that they will continue to play these vital roles. Rather than focus on what exiles mean for the countries they enter--a perspective that often treats them as passive victims--The Ethics of Exile recognises their political and moral agency, and explores their rich and vital relationship to the communities they have left. It offers a rare view of the other side of the migration story.

Engaging with a series of case studies, this book identifies the responsibilities and rights exiles have and the important roles they play in homeland politics. It argues that exile politics performs two functions: it can correct defective political institutions back home, and it can counter asymmetries of voice and power abroad. In short, exiles can act both as a linchpin and a buffer between political communities in crisis and the international actors who seek to, variously, aid and exploit them. When we think about the duties we owe to those forced to leave their homes, we should consider how to enable rather than thwart these roles.
Visit Ashwini Vasanthakumar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 30, 2021

"Developing Mission"

New from Cornell University Press: Developing Mission: Photography, Filmmaking, and American Missionaries in Modern China by Joseph W. Ho.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Developing Mission, Joseph W. Ho offers a transnational cultural history of US and Chinese communities framed by missionary lenses through time and space—tracing the lives and afterlives of images, cameras, and visual imaginations from before the Second Sino-Japanese War through the first years of the People's Republic of China.

When American Protestant and Catholic missionaries entered interwar China, they did so with cameras in hand. Missions principally aimed at the conversion of souls and the modernization of East Asia, became, by virtue of the still and moving images recorded, quasi-anthropological ventures that shaped popular understandings of and formal foreign policy toward China. Portable photographic technologies changed the very nature of missionary experience, while images that missionaries circulated between China and the United States affected cross-cultural encounters in times of peace and war.

Ho illuminates the centrality of visual practices in the American missionary enterprise in modern China, even as intersecting modernities and changing Sino-US relations radically transformed lives behind and in front of those lenses. In doing so, Developing Mission reconstructs the almost-lost histories of transnational image makers, subjects, and viewers across twentieth-century China and the United States.
Visit Joseph W. Ho's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

"Terrorists, Anarchists, and Republicans"

New in paperback from Princeton University Press: Terrorists, Anarchists, and Republicans: The Genevans and the Irish in Time of Revolution by Richard Whatmore.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1798, members of the United Irishmen were massacred by the British amid the crumbling walls of a half-built town near Waterford in Ireland. Many of the Irish were republicans inspired by the French Revolution, and the site of their demise was known as Geneva Barracks. The Barracks were the remnants of an experimental community called New Geneva, a settlement of Calvinist republican rebels who fled the continent in 1782. The British believed that the rectitude and industriousness of these imported revolutionaries would have a positive effect on the Irish populace. The experiment was abandoned, however, after the Calvinists demanded greater independence and more state money for their project. Terrorists, Anarchists, and Republicans tells the story of a utopian city inspired by a spirit of liberty and republican values being turned into a place where republicans who had fought for liberty were extinguished by the might of empire.

Richard Whatmore brings to life a violent age in which powerful states like Britain and France intervened in the affairs of smaller, weaker countries, justifying their actions on the grounds that they were stopping anarchists and terrorists from destroying society, religion and government. The Genevans and the Irish rebels, in turn, saw themselves as advocates of republican virtue, willing to sacrifice themselves for liberty, rights and the public good. Terrorists, Anarchists, and Republicans shows how the massacre at Geneva Barracks marked an end to the old Europe of diverse political forms, and the ascendancy of powerful states seeking empire and markets—in many respects the end of enlightenment itself.
The Page 99 Test: Against War and Empire: Geneva, Britain, and France in the Eighteenth Century by Richard Whatmore.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

"China's Rise in the Global South"

New from Stanford University Press: China's Rise in the Global South: The Middle East, Africa, and Beijing's Alternative World Order by Dawn C. Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:
As China and the U.S. increasingly compete for power in key areas of U.S. influence, great power conflict looms. Yet few studies have looked to the Middle East and Africa, regions of major political, economic, and military importance for both China and the U.S., to theorize how China competes in a changing world system.

China's Rise in the Global South examines China's behavior as a rising power in two key Global South regions, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Dawn C. Murphy, drawing on extensive fieldwork and hundreds of interviews, compares and analyzes thirty years of China's interactions with these regions across a range of functional areas: political, economic, foreign aid, and military. From the Belt and Road initiative to the founding of new cooperation forums and special envoys, China's Rise in the Global South offers an in-depth look at China's foreign policy approach to the countries it considers its partners in South-South cooperation.

Intervening in the emerging debate between liberals and realists about China's future as a great power, Murphy contends that China is constructing an alternate international order to interact with these regions, and this book provides policymakers and scholars of international relations with the tools to analyze it.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 27, 2021

"Useful Bullshit"

New from Cornell University Press: Useful Bullshit: Constitutions in Chinese Politics and Society by Neil J. Diamant.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Useful Bullshit Neil J. Diamant pulls back the curtain on early constitutional conversations between citizens and officials in the PRC. Scholars have argued that China, like the former USSR, promulgated constitutions to enhance its domestic and international legitimacy by opening up the constitution-making process to ordinary people, and by granting its citizens political and socioeconomic rights. But what did ordinary officials and people say about their constitutions and rights? Did constitutions contribute to state legitimacy?

Over the course of four decades, the PRC government encouraged millions of citizens to pose questions about, and suggest revisions to, the draft of a new constitution. Seizing this opportunity, people asked both straightforward questions like "what is a state?", but also others that, through implication, harshly criticized the document and the government that sponsored it. They pressed officials to clarify the meaning of words, phrases, and ideas in the constitution, proposing numerous revisions. Despite many considering the document "bullshit," successive PRC governments have promulgated it, amending the constitution, debating it at length, and even inaugurating a "Constitution Day."

Drawing upon a wealth of archival sources from the Maoist and reform eras, Diamant deals with all facets of this constitutional discussion, as well as its afterlives in the late '50s, the Cultural Revolution, and the post-Mao era. Useful Bullshit illuminates how the Chinese government understands and makes use of the constitution as a political document, and how a vast array of citizens—police, workers, university students, women, and members of different ethnic and religious groups—have responded.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 26, 2021

"The Invention of International Order"

New from Princeton University Press: The Invention of International Order: Remaking Europe after Napoleon by Glenda Sluga.

About the book, from the publisher:
The story of the women, financiers, and other unsung figures who helped to shape the post-Napoleonic global order

In 1814, after decades of continental conflict, an alliance of European empires captured Paris and exiled Napoleon Bonaparte, defeating French military expansionism and establishing the Concert of Europe. This new coalition planted the seeds for today’s international order, wedding the idea of a durable peace to multilateralism, diplomacy, philanthropy, and rights, and making Europe its center. Glenda Sluga reveals how at the end of the Napoleonic wars, new conceptions of the politics between states were the work not only of European statesmen but also of politically ambitious aristocratic and bourgeois men and women who seized the moment at an extraordinary crossroads in history.

In this panoramic book, Sluga reinvents the study of international politics, its limitations, and its potential. She offers multifaceted portraits of the leading statesmen of the age, such as Tsar Alexander, Count Metternich, and Viscount Castlereagh, showing how they operated in the context of social networks often presided over by influential women, even as they entrenched politics as a masculine endeavor. In this history, figures such as Madame de Staël and Countess Dorothea Lieven insist on shaping the political transformations underway, while bankers influence economic developments and their families agitate for Jewish rights.

Monumental in scope, this groundbreaking book chronicles the European women and men who embraced the promise of a new kind of politics in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, and whose often paradoxical contributions to modern diplomacy and international politics still resonate today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 25, 2021

"An Unholy Brew"

New from Oxford University Press: An Unholy Brew: Alcohol in Indian History and Religions by James McHugh.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first comprehensive book on alcohol in pre-modern India, An Unholy Brew: Alcohol in Indian History and Religions uses a wide range of sources from the Vedas to the Kamasutra to explore drinks and styles of drinking, as well as rationales for abstinence from the earliest Sanskrit written records through the second millennium CE.

Books about the global history of alcohol almost never give attention to India. But a wide range of texts provide plenty of evidence that there was a thriving culture of drinking in ancient and medieval India, from public carousing at the brewery and drinking house to imbibing at festivals and weddings. There was also an elite drinking culture depicted in poetic texts (often in an erotic mode), and medical texts explain how to balance drink and health. By no means everyone drank, however, and there were many sophisticated religious arguments for abstinence.

McHugh begins by surveying the intoxicating drinks that were available, including grain beers, palm toddy, and imported wine, detailing the ways people used grains, sugars, fruits, and herbs over the centuries to produce an impressive array of liquors. He presents myths that explain how drink came into being and how it was assigned the ritual and legal status it has in our time. The book also explores Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain moral and legal texts on drink and abstinence, as well as how drink is used in some Tantric rituals, and translates in full a detailed description of the goddess Liquor, Suradevi. Cannabis, betel, soma, and opium are also considered. Finally, McHugh investigates what has happened to these drinks, stories, and theories in the last few centuries.

An Unholy Brew brings to life the overlooked, complex world of brewing, drinking, and abstaining in pre-modern India, and offers illuminating case studies on topics such as law and medicine, even providing recipes for some drinks.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 24, 2021

"The Silent Shore"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State by Charles L. Chavis Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:
The definitive account of the lynching of twenty-three-year-old Matthew Williams in Maryland, the subsequent investigation, and the legacy of "modern-day" lynchings.

On December 4, 1931, a mob of white men in Salisbury, Maryland, lynched and set ablaze a twenty-three-year-old Black man named Matthew Williams. His gruesome murder was part of a wave of silent white terrorism in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929, which exposed Black laborers to white rage in response to economic anxieties. For nearly a century, the lynching of Matthew Williams has lived in the shadows of the more well-known incidents of racial terror in the deep South, haunting both the Eastern Shore and the state of Maryland as a whole. In The Silent Shore, author Charles L. Chavis Jr. draws on his discovery of previously unreleased investigative documents to meticulously reconstruct the full story of one of the last lynchings in Maryland.

Bringing the painful truth of anti-Black violence to light, Chavis breaks the silence that surrounded Williams's death. Though Maryland lacked the notoriety for racial violence of Alabama or Mississippi, he writes, it nonetheless was the site of at least 40 spectacle lynchings after the abolition of slavery in 1864. Families of lynching victims rarely obtained any form of actual justice, but Williams's death would have a curious afterlife: Maryland's politically ambitious governor Albert C. Ritchie would, in an attempt to position himself as a viable challenger to FDR, become one of the first governors in the United States to investigate the lynching death of a Black person. Ritchie tasked Patsy Johnson, a member of the Pinkerton detective agency and a former prizefighter, with going undercover in Salisbury and infiltrating the mob that murdered Williams. Johnson would eventually befriend a young local who admitted to participating in the lynching and who also named several local law enforcement officers as ringleaders. Despite this, a grand jury, after hearing 124 witness statements, declined to indict the perpetrators. But this denial of justice galvanized Governor Ritchie's Interracial Commission, which would become one of the pioneering forces in the early civil rights movement in Maryland.

Complicating historical narratives associated with the history of lynching in the city of Salisbury, The Silent Shore explores the immediate and lingering effect of Williams's death on the politics of racism in the United States, the Black community in Salisbury, the broader Eastern Shore, the state of Maryland, and the legacy of "modern-day lynchings."
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 23, 2021

"Flying Camelot"

New from Cornell University Press: Flying Camelot: The F-15, the F-16, and the Weaponization of Fighter Pilot Nostalgia by Michael W. Hankins.

About the book, from the publisher:
Flying Camelot brings us back to the post-Vietnam era, when the US Air Force launched two new, state-of-the art fighter aircraft: the F-15 Eagle and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. It was an era when debates about aircraft superiority went public—and these were not uncontested discussions. Michael W. Hankins delves deep into the fighter pilot culture that gave rise to both designs, showing how a small but vocal group of pilots, engineers, and analysts in the Department of Defense weaponized their own culture to affect technological development and larger political change.

The design and advancement of the F-15 and F-16 reflected this group's nostalgic desire to recapture the best of World War I air combat. Known as the "Fighter Mafia," and later growing into the media savvy political powerhouse "Reform Movement," it believed that American weapons systems were too complicated and expensive, and thus vulnerable. The group's leader was Colonel John Boyd, a contentious former fighter pilot heralded as a messianic figure by many in its ranks. He and his group advocated for a shift in focus from the multi-role interceptors the Air Force had designed in the early Cold War towards specialized air-to-air combat dogfighters. Their influence stretched beyond design and into larger politicized debates about US national security, debates that still resonate today.

A biography of fighter pilot culture and the nostalgia that drove decision-making, Flying Camelot deftly engages both popular culture and archives to animate the movement that shook the foundations of the Pentagon and Congress.
Visit Michael W. Hankins's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"Doing What You Really Want"

New from Oxford University Press: Doing What You Really Want: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mengzi by Franklin Perkins.

About the book, from the publisher:
For more than two thousand years, the writings of the Confucian philosopher Mengzi have been a source of guidance and inspiration for those set on doing something to improve the state of the world. In Doing What You Really Want, Franklin Perkins presents a coherent, systematic, and accessible explanation of Mengzi's philosophy. He covers everything from the place of human beings in nature, to human psychology and philosophy of emotions, to the various ways in which we can deliberately change and cultivate ourselves.

Mengzi was concerned not just with theory but also effective action. Perkins thus includes a collection of practical advice and a Confucian analysis of politics oriented toward how individuals can make a difference in the world. These topics are integrated around Mengzi's philosophy as a way of life dedicated to changing the world, providing an alternative approach for understanding the contemporary relevance of Confucianism. Mengzi offers theoretical and practical resources valuable for anyone concerned with integrating efforts to improve the world with personal fulfillment and a sense of belonging.

Rather than giving an overview, this is a focused work of philosophy that delves deeply into the most relevant themes of Mengzi's thought. The core philosophical system is drawn from Mengzi, but the book regularly incorporates other Confucian materials, making this volume a useful introduction to Confucian thought.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

"Eastward of Good Hope"

New from Johns Hopkins University Press: Eastward of Good Hope: Early America in a Dangerous World by Dane A. Morrison.

About the book, from the publisher:
How did news from the East—carried in ship logs and mariners' reports, journals, and correspondence—shape early Americans' understanding of the world as a map of dangerous and incoherent sites?

Freed from restrictions of British mercantilism in the years following the War of Independence, Yankee merchants embarked on numerous voyages of commerce and discovery into distant seas. Through the news from the East, carried in mariners' reports, ship logs, journals, and correspondence, Americans at home imagined the world as a map of dangerous and deranged places. This was a world that was profoundly disordered, hobbled by tyranny and oppression or steeped in chaos and anarchy, often deadly, always uncertain, unpredictable, and unstable, yet amenable to American influence.

Focusing on four representative arenas—the Ottoman Empire, China, India, and the Great South Sea (collectively, the East Indies, Oceana, and the American continent's Northwest coast)—Eastward of Good Hope recasts the relationship between America and the world by examining the early years of the republic, when its national character was particularly pliable and its foundational posture in the world was forming. Drawing on recent scholarship in global ethnohistory, Dane A. Morrison recounts how reports of cannibal encounters, shipboard massacres, shipwrecks, tropical fever, and other tragedies in distant seas led Americans to imagine each region as a distinct set of threats to their republic. He also demonstrates how the concept of justification through self-doubt allowed for aggressive expansionism and for the foundations of imperialism to develop.

Morrison reconsiders American ideas about the world through three questions: How did British Americans imagine the world before independence allowed them to travel "Eastward of Good Hope"? What were the signal encounters that filled the public sphere in their early years of global encounter? And finally, how did Americans' contacts with other peoples inflect their ideas about the world and their place in it? Written in a lively, engaging style, Eastward of Good Hope will appeal to scholars and the general public alike.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 20, 2021

"Faith in Freedom"

New from Cornell University Press: Faith in Freedom: Propaganda, Presidential Politics, and the Making of an American Religion by Andrew R. Polk.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Faith in Freedom, Andrew R. Polk argues that the American civil religion so many have identified as indigenous to the founding ideology was, in fact, the result of a strategic campaign of religious propaganda. Far from being the natural result of the nation's religious underpinning or the later spiritual machinations of conservative Protestants, American civil religion and the resultant "Christian nationalism" of today were crafted by secular elites in the middle of the twentieth century. Polk's genealogy of the national motto, "In God We Trust," revises the very meaning of the contemporary American nation.

Polk shows how Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, working with politicians, advertising executives, and military public relations experts, exploited denominational religious affiliations and beliefs in order to unite Americans during the Second World War and, then, the early Cold War. Armed opposition to the Soviet Union was coupled with militant support for free economic markets, local control of education and housing, and liberties of speech and worship. These preferences were cultivated by state actors so as to support a set of right-wing positions including anti-communism, the Jim Crow status quo, and limited taxation and regulation.

Faith in Freedom is a pioneering work of American religious history. By assessing the ideas, policies, and actions of three US Presidents and their White House staff, Polk sheds light on the origins of the ideological, religious, and partisan divides that describe the American polity today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 19, 2021

"A Strategic Nature"

New from Oxford University Press: A Strategic Nature: Public Relations and the Politics of American Environmentalism by Melissa Aronczyk and Maria I. Espinoza.

About the book, from the publisher:
A look at how public relations has dominated public understanding of the natural environment for over one hundred years.

In A Strategic Nature, Melissa Aronczyk and Maria I. Espinoza examine public relations as a social and political force that shapes both our understanding of the environmental crises we now face and our responses to them. Drawing on in-depth interviews, ethnography, and archival research, Aronczyk and Espinoza document the evolution of PR techniques to control public perception of the environment since the beginning of the twentieth century. More than spin or misinformation, PR affects how institutions and individuals conceptualize environmental problems -- from conservation to coal mining to carbon credits. Revealing the linkages of professional strategists, information politics, and environmental standards, A Strategic Nature shows how public relations restricts alternative paths to a sustainable climate future.
Visit Melissa Aronczyk's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 18, 2021

"The Boundaries of Human Nature"

New from Columbia University Press: The Boundaries of Human Nature: The Philosophical Animal from Plato to Haraway by Matthew Calarco.

About the book, from the publisher:
Are animals capable of wonder? Can they be said to possess language and reason? What can animals teach us about how to live well? How can they help us to see the limitations of human civilization? Is it possible to draw firm distinctions between humans and animals? And how might asking and answering questions like these lead us to rethink human-animal relations in an age of catastrophic ecological destruction?

In this accessible and engaging book, Matthew Calarco explores key issues in the philosophy of animals and their significance for our contemporary world. He leads readers on a spirited tour of historical and contemporary philosophy, ranging from Plato to Donna Haraway and from the Cynics to the Jains. Calarco unearths surprising insights about animals from a number of philosophers while also underscoring ways in which the philosophical tradition has failed to challenge the dogma of human-centeredness. Along the way, he indicates how mainstream Western philosophy is both complemented and challenged by non-Western traditions and noncanonical theories about animals. Throughout, Calarco uses examples from contemporary culture to illustrate how philosophical theories about animals are deeply relevant to our lives today. The Boundaries of Human Nature shows readers why philosophy can help transform not just the way we think about animals but also how we interact with them.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 17, 2021

"Citizens of Everywhere"

New from Cambridge University Press: Citizens of Everywhere: Indian Women, Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism, 1920-1952 by Rosalind Parr.

About the book, from the publisher:
Citizens of Everywhere traces the international careers of a cohort of extraordinary Indian women leaders during the final decades of colonial rule. Working in pursuit of the dual goals of Indian independence and women's rights, the women featured in this book established productive transnational connections to gain influence on the world stage, all against the backdrop of momentous events in India and beyond. In doing so, they contributed a distinct set of ideas to global conversations about rights and citizenship. By bringing this transnational activism to light, the author offers new perspectives on Indian nationalism. More broadly the book establishes Indian women as actors in the global histories of women's rights and international movements during the era of decolonisation.
Rosalind Parr is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of St Andrews, UK, where she teaches global and South Asian history.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 16, 2021

"Black Power on the Move"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Black Power on the Move: Migration, Internationalism, and the British and Israeli Black Panthers by Anne-Marie Angelo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Though born in the American South in the mid-1960s, the Black Power movement traveled the world in the years between 1967 and 1972, capturing the imagination of people of color across the Caribbean, Africa, Australasia, Europe, and the Middle East. In Black Power on the Move, Anne-Marie Angelo tells the story of two of the most powerful Black Panther movements outside the United States, showing how a distinctively American movement gave a name to an assertive grassroots internationalist politics in the U.K. and Israel.

In London, Afro-Caribbean, West African, and South Asian people established the British Black Panther Movement in 1968. In Jerusalem, migrants from countries such as Morocco, Iraq, Yemen, and Egypt founded the Israeli Black Panther Party in 1971. In the face of national narratives that insisted that racism was solely an American problem, these groups adapted the Black Panther framework to suit their local struggles, deploying it to characterize everyday experiences of police harassment, unemployment, and poor housing as symptoms of larger structural problems and to envision community programs that might lead to a new social order. Highlighting some common strategies these parties shared, Angelo reveals how, as Black Panthers, people of color from many parts of the world strengthened their communities and provoked resistance to racism’s local and imperial formations.
Follow Anne-Marie Angelo on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

"Disorder"

New from Yale University Press: Disorder: A History of Reform, Reaction, and Money in American Medicine by Peter A. Swenson.

About the book, from the publisher:
An incisive look into the problematic relationships among medicine, politics, and business in America and their effects on the nation’s health

Meticulously tracing the dramatic conflicts both inside organized medicine and between the medical profession and the larger society over quality, equality, and economy in health care, Peter A. Swenson illuminates the history of American medical politics from the late nineteenth century to the present. This book chronicles the role of medical reformers in the progressive movement around the beginning of the twentieth century and the American Medical Association’s dramatic turn to conservatism later.

Addressing topics such as public health, medical education, pharmaceutical regulation, and health-care access, Swenson paints a disturbing picture of the entanglements of medicine, politics, and profit seeking that explain why the United States remains the only economically advanced democracy without universal health care. Swenson does, however, see a potentially brighter future as a vanguard of physicians push once again for progressive reforms and the adoption of inclusive, effective, and affordable practices.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

"Trust and Distrust"

New from Oxford University Press: Trust and Distrust: Corruption in Office in Britain and its Empire, 1600-1850 by Mark Knights.

About the book, from the publisher:
Trust and Distrust offers the first overview of Britain's history of corruption in office in the pre-modern era, 1600-1850, and as such will appeal not only to historians, but also to political and social scientists. Mark Knights paints a picture of the interaction of the domestic and imperial stories of corruption in office, showing how these stories were intertwined and related. Linking corruption in office to the domestic and imperial state has not been attempted before, and Knights does this by drawing on extensive interdisciplinary sources relating to the East India Company as well as other colonial officials in the Atlantic World and elsewhere in Britain's emerging empire.

Both 'corruption' and 'office' were concepts that were in evolution during the period 1600-1850 and underwent very significant but protracted change which this study charts and seeks to explain. The book makes innovative use of the concept of trust, which helped to shape office in ways that underlined principles of selflessness, disinterestedness, integrity, and accountability in officials.
The Page 99 Test: Mark Knights's The Devil in Disguise.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 13, 2021

"The Culture of Male Beauty in Britain"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Culture of Male Beauty in Britain: From the First Photographs to David Beckham by Paul R. Deslandes.

About the book, from the publisher:
A heavily illustrated history of two centuries of male beauty in British culture.

Spanning the decades from the rise of photography to the age of the selfie, this book traces the complex visual and consumer cultures that shaped masculine beauty in Britain, examining the realms of advertising, health, pornography, psychology, sport, and celebrity culture. Paul R. Deslandes chronicles the shifting standards of male beauty in British culture—from the rising cult of the athlete to changing views on hairlessness—while connecting discussions of youth, fitness, and beauty to growing concerns about race, empire, and degeneracy. From earlier beauty show contestants and youth-obsessed artists, the book moves through the decades into considerations of disfigured soldiers, physique models, body-conscious gay men, and celebrities such as David Beckham and David Gandy who populate the worlds of television and social media.

Deslandes calls on historians to take beauty and gendered aesthetics seriously while recasting how we think about the place of physical appearance in historical study, the intersection of different forms of high and popular culture, and what has been at stake for men in “looking good.”
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 12, 2021

"All for Liberty"

New from Cambridge University Press: All for Liberty: The Charleston Workhouse Slave Rebellion of 1849 by Jeff Strickland.

About the book, from the publisher:
Jeff Strickland tells the powerful story of Nicholas Kelly, the enslaved craftsman who led the Charleston Workhouse Slave Rebellion, the largest slave revolt in the history of the antebellum American South. With two accomplices, some sledgehammers, and pickaxes, Nicholas risked his life and helped thirty-six fellow enslaved people escape the workhouse where they had been sent by their enslavers to be tortured. While Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, and Denmark Vesey remain the most recognizable rebels, the pivotal role of Nicholas Kelly is often forgotten. All for Liberty centers his rebellion as a decisive moment leading up to the secession of South Carolina from the United States in 1861. This compelling micro-history navigates between Nicholas's story and the Age of Atlantic Revolutions, while also considering the parallels between race and incarceration in the nineteenth century and in modern America. Never before has the story of Nicholas Kelly been so eloquently told.
Jeff Strickland is a Professor of History and Department Chair at Montclair State University.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 11, 2021

"The King's Harvest"

New from Yale University Press: The King's Harvest: A Political Ecology of China from the First Farmers to the First Empire by Brian Lander.

About the book, from the publisher:
A multidisciplinary environmental history of early China’s political systems, featuring newly available Chinese archaeological data

This book is a multidisciplinary study of the ecology of China’s early political systems up to the fall of the first empire in 207 BCE. Brian Lander traces the formation of lowland North China’s agricultural systems and the transformation of its plains from diverse forestland and steppes to farmland. He argues that the growth of states in ancient China, and elsewhere, was based on their ability to exploit the labor and resources of those who harnessed photosynthetic energy from domesticated plants and animals. Focusing on the state of Qin, Lander amalgamates abundant new scientific, archaeological, and excavated documentary sources to argue that the human domination of the central Yellow River region, and the rest of the planet, was made possible by the development of complex political structures that managed and expanded agroecosystems.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 10, 2021

"Waste Worlds"

New from the University of California Press: Waste Worlds: Inhabiting Kampala's Infrastructures of Disposability by Jacob Doherty.

About the book, from the publisher:
Uganda's capital, Kampala, is undergoing dramatic urban transformations as its new technocratic government seeks to clean and green the city. Waste Worlds tracks the dynamics of development and disposability unfolding amid struggles over who and what belong in the new Kampala. Garbage materializes these struggles. In the densely inhabited social infrastructures in and around the city's waste streams, people, places, and things become disposable but conditions of disposability are also challenged and undone. Drawing on years of ethnographic research, Jacob Doherty illustrates how waste makes worlds, offering the key intervention that disposability is best understood not existentially, as a condition of social exclusion, but infrastructurally, as a form of injurious social inclusion.
Jacob Doherty is Lecturer in Anthropology of Development at the University of Edinburgh.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 9, 2021

"Bringing Global Governance Home"

New from Oxford University Press: Bringing Global Governance Home: NGO Mediation in the BRICS States by Laura A. Henry and Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom.

About the book, from the publisher:
The world's problems--climate change, epidemics, and the actions of multinational corporations--are increasingly global in scale and beyond the ability of any single state to manage. Since the end of the Cold War, states and civil society actors have worked together through global governance initiatives to address these challenges collectively.

While global governance, by definition, is initiated at the international level, the effects of global governance occur at the domestic level and implementation depends upon the actions of domestic actors. NGOs act as "mediators" between global and domestic political arenas, translating and adapting global norms for audiences at home. Yet the role of domestic NGOs in global governance has been neglected relatively in previous research.

Bringing Global Governance Home examines how NGO engagement at the global level shapes domestic governance around climate change, corporate social responsibility, HIV/AIDS, and sustainable forestry. It does so by comparing domestic reception of global standards and practices in the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). These newly emerging global powers, representing a range of regime types, aspire to become global policy makers rather than mere policy takers and have banded together through periodic summits to devise alternative approaches to economic development and global challenges. Nevertheless, these countries still engage the world primarily through existing global governance institutions that they did not create themselves. Ultimately, this book explores the interplay of international and domestic factors that allow domestically-rooted NGOs to participate globally, and the extent to which that participation shapes their ability to mediate and promote global governance perspectives within the borders of their own countries with varying regimes and state-society relations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

"Changing Land"

New from the NYU Press: Changing Land: Diaspora Activism and the Irish Land War by Niall Whelehan.

About the book, from the publisher:
How diaspora activism in the Irish land movement intersected with wider radical and reform causes

The Irish Land War represented a turning point in modern Irish history, a social revolution that was part of a broader ideological moment when established ideas of property and land ownership were fundamentally challenged. The Land War was striking in its internationalism, and was spurred by links between different emigrant locations and an awareness of how the Land League’s demands to lower rents, end evictions, and abolish “landlordism” in Ireland connected with wider radical and reform causes.

Changing Land offers a new and original study of Irish emigrants’ activism in the United States, Argentina, Scotland, and England and their multifaceted relationships with Ireland. Niall Whelehan brings unfamiliar figures to the surface and recovers the voices of women and men who have been on the margins of, or entirely missing from, existing accounts. Retracing their transnational lives reveals new layers of radical circuitry between Ireland and disparate international locations, and demonstrates how the land movement overlapped with different types of oppositional politics from moderate reform to feminism to revolutionary anarchism. By including Argentina, which was home to the largest Irish community outside the English-speaking world, this book addresses the neglect of developments in non-Anglophone places in studies of the “Irish world.” Changing Land presents a powerful addition to our understanding of the history of modern Ireland and the Irish diaspora, migration, and the history of transnational radicalism.
Follow Niall Whelehan on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

"The Moving City"

New from the University of California Press: The Moving City: Scenes from the Delhi Metro and the Social Life of Infrastructure by Rashmi Sadana.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Moving City is a rich and intimate account of urban transformation told through the story of Delhi's Metro, a massive infrastructure project that is reshaping the city's social and urban landscapes. Ethnographic vignettes introduce the feel and form of the Metro and let readers experience the city, scene by scene, stop by stop, as if they, too, have come along for the ride. Laying bare the radical possibilities and concretized inequalities of the Metro, and how people live with and through its built environment, this is a story of women and men on the move, the nature of Indian aspiration, and what it takes morally and materially to sustain urban life. Through exquisite prose, Rashmi Sadana transports the reader to a city shaped by both its Metro and those who depend on it, revealing a perspective on Delhi unlike any other.
Rashmi Sadana is Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Mason University and author of English Heart, Hindi Heartland: The Political Life of Literature in India.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 6, 2021

"Governing Financialization"

New from Oxford University Press: Governing Financialization: The Tangled Politics of Financial Liberalization in Britain by Jack Copley.

About the book, from the publisher:
Capitalism has become 'financialized'. Since the 1970s, the swelling of financial markets and asset price bubbles has occurred alongside weaker underlying economic growth. Yet financialization was not a spontaneous market development - it was deeply political. States fuelled this process through policies of financial liberalization, and the British state lies at the heart of the story. Britain's radical financial liberalizations in the 1970s and 1980s were instrumental in creating a financialized global economic order in which the City of London emerged as a central hub.

But why did the British state propel financialization? The conventional wisdom points to the lobbying power of financial elites and the strength of neoliberal ideology. However, Governing Financialization offers an alternative explanation through an in-depth exploration of declassified state archives. By examining key financial liberalizations in the 1970s and 1980s - including the notorious 'Big Bang' - this book argues that these policies were not part of an intentional scheme to create a new finance-led economic model. Instead, they were designed to address immediate governing dilemmas related to the grinding 'stagflation' crisis and its aftershocks. In this era, British governments found themselves trapped between global competitive pressures to enforce painful domestic adjustment and national political pressures to maintain existing living standards. Financial liberalization was pursued in a trial-and-error manner to navigate this dilemma. By unleashing financial markets, the state hoped to either postpone the worst effects of the crisis, or enact tough economic restructuring in an arm's-length fashion. Financialization was an accidental outcome, not an intentional result.
Follow Jack Copley on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 5, 2021

"White Men's Law"

New from Oxford University Press: White Men's Law: The Roots of Systemic Racism by Peter Irons.

About the book, from the publisher:
A searing--and sobering--account of the legal and extra-legal means by which systemic white racism has kept Black Americans 'in their place' from slavery to police and vigilante killings of Black men and women, from 1619 to the present.

From the arrival of the first English settlers in America until now-a span of four centuries-a minority of white men have created, managed, and perpetuated their control of every major institution, public and private, in American society. And no group in America has suffered more from the harms imposed by white men's laws than African Americans, with punishment by law often replaced by extra-legal means. Over the centuries, thousands of victims have been murdered by lynching, white mobs, and appalling massacres.

In White Men's Law, the eminent scholar Peter Irons makes a powerful and persuasive case that African Americans have always been held back by systemic racism in all major institutions that can hold power over them. Based on a wide range of sources, from the painful words of former slaves to test scores that reveal how our education system has failed Black children, this searing and sobering account of legal and extra-legal violence against African Americans peels away the fictions and myths expressed by white racists. The centerpiece of Irons' account is a 1935 lynching in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The episode produced a photograph of a blonde white girl of about seven looking at the hanging, bullet-riddled body of Rubin Stacy, who was accused of assaulting a white woman. After analyzing this gruesome murder and the visual evidence left behind, Irons poses a foundational question: What historical forces preceded and followed this lynching to spark resistance to Jim Crow segregation, especially in schools that had crippled Black children with inferior education? The answers are rooted in the systemic racism-especially in the institutions of law and education--that African Americans, and growing numbers of white allies, are demanding be dismantled in tangible ways.

A thought-provoking look at systemic racism and the legal systems that built it, White Men's Law is an essential contribution to this painful but necessary debate.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Spaces of Enslavement"

New from Cornell University Press: Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York by Andrea C. Mosterman.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Spaces of Enslavement, Andrea C. Mosterman addresses the persistent myth that the colonial Dutch system of slavery was more humane. Investigating practices of enslavement in New Netherland and then in New York, Mosterman shows that these ways of racialized spatial control held much in common with the southern plantation societies.

In the 1620s, Dutch colonial settlers brought slavery to the banks of the Hudson River and founded communities from New Amsterdam in the south to Beverwijck near the terminus of the navigable river. When Dutch power in North America collapsed and the colony came under English control in 1664, Dutch descendants continued to rely on enslaved labor. Until 1827, when slavery was abolished in New York State, slavery expanded in the region, with all free New Yorkers benefitting from that servitude.

Mosterman describes how the movements of enslaved persons were controlled in homes and in public spaces such as workshops, courts, and churches. She addresses how enslaved people responded to regimes of control by escaping from or modifying these spaces so as to expand their activities within them. Through a close analysis of homes, churches, and public spaces, Mosterman shows that, over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the region's Dutch communities were engaged in a daily struggle with Black New Yorkers who found ways to claim freedom and resist oppression.

Spaces of Enslavement writes a critical and overdue chapter on the place of slavery and resistance in the colony and young state of New York.
Visit Andrea C. Mosterman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 4, 2021

"The Anatomy of Loneliness"

New from the University of California Press: The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection, and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan by Chikako Ozawa-de Silva.

About the book, from the publisher:
Loneliness is everybody’s business. Neither a pathology nor a rare affliction, it is part of the human condition. Severe and chronic loneliness, however, is a threat to individual and public health and appears to be on the rise. In this illuminating book, anthropologist Chikako Ozawa-de Silva examines loneliness in Japan, focusing on rising rates of suicide, the commodification of intimacy, and problems impacting youth. Moving from interviews with college students, to stories of isolation following the 2011 natural and nuclear disasters, to online discussions in suicide website chat rooms, Ozawa-de Silva points to how society itself can exacerbate experiences of loneliness. A critical work for our world, The Anatomy of Loneliness considers how to turn the tide of the “lonely society” and calls for a deeper understanding of empathy and subjective experience on both individual and systemic levels.
Chikako Ozawa-de Silva is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emory University and the author of Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 3, 2021

"Policing Bodies"

New from Stanford University Press: Policing Bodies: Law, Sex Work, and Desire in Johannesburg by I. India Thusi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sex work occupies a legally gray space in Johannesburg, South Africa, and police attitudes towards it are inconsistent and largely unregulated. As I. India Thusi argues in Policing Bodies, this results in both room for negotiation that can benefit sex workers and also extreme precarity in which the security police officers provide can be offered and taken away at a moment's notice. Sex work straddles the line between formal and informal. Attitudes about beauty and subjective value are manifest in formal tasks, including police activities, which are often conducted in a seemingly ad hoc manner. However, high-level organizational directives intended to regulate police obligations and duties toward sex workers also influence police action and tilt the exercise of discretion to the formal. In this liminal space, this book considers how sex work is policed and how it should be policed. Challenging discourses about sexuality and gender that inform its regulation, Thusi exposes the limitations of dominant feminist arguments regarding the legal treatment of sex work. This in-depth, historically informed ethnography illustrates the tension between enforcing a country's laws and protecting citizens' human rights.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 2, 2021

"Red Sea-Red Square-Red Thread"

New from Oxford University Press: Red Sea-Red Square-Red Thread: A Philosophical Detective Story by Lydia Goehr.

About the book, from the publisher:
A profoundly original philosophical detective story tracing the surprising history of an anecdote ranging across centuries of traditions, disciplines, and ideas

Red Sea-Red Square-Red Thread
is a work of passages taken, written, painted, and sung. It offers a genealogy of liberty through a micrology of wit. It follows the long history of a short anecdote. Commissioned to depict the biblical passage through the Red Sea, a painter covered over a surface with red paint, explaining thereafter that the Israelites had already crossed over and that the Egyptians were drowned. Clearly, not all you see is all you get. Who was the painter and who the first teller of the tale?

Designed as a philosophical detective story, Red Sea-Red Square-Red Thread follows the extraordinary number of thinkers and artists who have used the Red Sea anecdote to make so much more than a merely anecdotal point. Leading the large cast are the philosophers, Arthur Danto and Søren Kierkegaard, the poet and playwright, Henri Murger, the opera composer, Giacomo Puccini, and the painter and print-maker, William Hogarth. Strange companions perhaps, until their use of the anecdote is shown as working its extraordinary passage through so many cosmopolitan cities of art and capital. What about the anecdote brings Danto's philosophy of art into conversation with Kierkegaard's stages on life's way, with Murger and Puccini's la vie de bohème, and with Hogarth's modern moral pictures?

The book explores narratives of emancipation in philosophy, theology, politics, and the arts. What has the passage of the Israelites to do with the Egyptians who, by many gypsy names, came to be branded as bohemians when arriving in France from the German lands of Bohemia? What have Moses and monotheism to do with the history of monism and the monochrome? And what sort of thread connects a sea to a square when each is so purposefully named red?
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

"A Troubled Birth"

New from the University of Chicago Press: A Troubled Birth: The 1930s and American Public Opinion by Susan Herbst.

About the book, from the publisher:
Pollsters and pundits armed with the best public opinion polls failed to predict the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Is this because we no longer understand what the American public is? In A Troubled Birth, Susan Herbst argues that we need to return to earlier meanings of “public opinion” to understand our current climate.

Herbst contends that the idea that there was a public—whose opinions mattered—emerged during the Great Depression, with the diffusion of radio, the devastating impact of the economic collapse on so many people, the appearance of professional pollsters, and Franklin Roosevelt’s powerful rhetoric. She argues that public opinion about issues can only be seen as a messy mixture of culture, politics, and economics—in short, all the things that influence how people live. Herbst deftly pins down contours of public opinion in new ways and explores what endures and what doesn’t in the extraordinarily troubled, polarized, and hyper-mediated present. Before we can ask the most important questions about public opinion in American democracy today, we must reckon yet again with the politics and culture of the 1930s.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

"The Dissolution of the Monasteries"

New from Yale University Press: The Dissolution of the Monasteries: A New History by James Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first account of the dissolution of the monasteries for fifty years—exploring its profound impact on the people of Tudor England

Shortly before Easter, 1540 saw the end of almost a millennium of monastic life in England. Until then religious houses had acted as a focus for education, literary, and artistic expression and even the creation of regional and national identity. Their closure, carried out in just four years between 1536 and 1540, caused a dislocation of people and a disruption of life not seen in England since the Norman Conquest.

Drawing on the records of national and regional archives as well as archaeological remains, James Clark explores the little-known lives of the last men and women who lived in England’s monasteries before the Reformation. Clark challenges received wisdom, showing that buildings were not immediately demolished and Henry VIII’s subjects were so attached to the religious houses that they kept fixtures and fittings as souvenirs. This rich, vivid history brings back into focus the prominent place of abbeys, priories, and friaries in the lives of the English people.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 29, 2021

"Catastrophic Success"

New from Cornell University Press: Catastrophic Success: Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Goes Wrong by Alexander B. Downes.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Catastrophic Success, Alexander B. Downes compiles all instances of regime change around the world over the past two centuries. Drawing on this impressive data set, Downes shows that regime change increases the likelihood of civil war and violent leader removal in target states and fails to reduce the probability of conflict between intervening states and their targets. As Downes demonstrates, when a state confronts an obstinate or dangerous adversary, the lure of toppling its government and establishing a friendly administration is strong. The historical record, however, shows that foreign-imposed regime change is, in the long term, neither cheap, easy, nor consistently successful. The strategic impulse to forcibly oust antagonistic or non-compliant regimes overlooks two key facts. First, the act of overthrowing a foreign government sometimes causes its military to disintegrate, sending thousands of armed men into the countryside where they often wage an insurgency against the intervener. Second, externally-imposed leaders face a domestic audience in addition to an external one, and the two typically want different things. These divergent preferences place imposed leaders in a quandary: taking actions that please one invariably alienates the other. Regime change thus drives a wedge between external patrons and their domestic protégés or between protégés and their people. Catastrophic Success provides sober counsel for leaders and diplomats. Regime change may appear an expeditious solution, but states are usually better off relying on other tools of influence, such as diplomacy. Regime change, Downes urges, should be reserved for exceptional cases. Interveners must recognize that, absent a rare set of promising preconditions, regime change often instigates a new period of uncertainty and conflict that impedes their interests from being realized.
Visit Alexander B. Downes's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 28, 2021

"Power to the People"

New from Oxford University Press: Power to the People: Constitutionalism in the Age of Populism by Mark Tushnet and Bojan Bugarič.

About the book, from the publisher:
Self-described populist leaders around the world are dismantling their nation's constitutions. This has led to a widespread view that populism as such is inconsistent with constitutionalism. This book proposes that some forms of populism are inconsistent with constitutionalism, while others aren't. Context and detail matter.

Power to the People offers a thin definition of constitutionalism that people from the progressive left to the conservative right should be able to agree on even if they would supplement the thin definition withn other more partisan ideas. This is followed by a similarly basic definition of populism. Comparing the two, this book argues that one facet of populism -its suspicion of institutions that are strongly entrenched against change by political majorities-is sometimes inconsistent with constitutionalism'sbthinly understood definition.

The book provides a series of case studies, some organized by nation, others by topic, to identify, more precisely, when and how populist programs are inconsistent with constitutionalism-and, importantly, when and how they are not. Concluding with a discussion of the possibilities for a deeper, populist democracy, the book examines recent challenges to the idea that democracy is a good form of government by exploring possibilities for new, albeit revisable, institutions that can determine and implement a majority's views without always threatening constitutionalism.
The Page 99 Test: Mark Tushnet's Taking Back the Constitution.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 27, 2021

"Zwingli: God's Armed Prophet"

New from Yale University Press: Zwingli: God's Armed Prophet by Bruce Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:
A major new biography of Huldrych Zwingli—the warrior preacher who shaped the early Reformation

Huldrych Zwingli (1484–1531) was the most significant early reformer after Martin Luther. As the architect of the Reformation in Switzerland, he created the Reformed tradition later inherited by John Calvin. His movement ultimately became a global religion. A visionary of a new society, Zwingli was also a divisive and fiercely radical figure.

Bruce Gordon presents a fresh interpretation of the early Reformation and the key role played by Zwingli. A charismatic preacher and politician, Zwingli transformed church and society in Zurich and inspired supporters throughout Europe. Yet, Gordon shows, he was seen as an agitator and heretic by many and his bellicose, unyielding efforts to realize his vision would prove his undoing. Unable to control the movement he had launched, Zwingli died on the battlefield fighting his Catholic opponents.
Bruce Gordon is Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale University. He has written widely on early modern history and religion. He is the author of Calvin, The Swiss Reformation, and John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 26, 2021

"Gender Threat"

New from Stanford University Press: Gender Threat: American Masculinity in the Face of Change by Dan Cassino and Yasemin Besen-Cassino.

About the book, from the publisher:
Against all evidence to the contrary, American men have come to believe that the world is tilted – economically, socially, politically – against them. A majority of men across the political spectrum feel that they face some amount of discrimination because of their sex. The authors of Gender Threat look at what reasoning lies behind their belief and how they respond to it. Many feel that there is a limited set of socially accepted ways for men to express their gender identity, and when circumstances make it difficult or impossible for them to do so, they search for another outlet to compensate. Sometimes these behaviors are socially positive, such as placing a greater emphasis on fatherhood, but other times they can be maladaptive, as in the case of increased sexual harassment at work. These trends have emerged, notably, since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Drawing on multiple data sources, the authors find that the specter of threats to their gender identity has important implications for men's behavior. Importantly, younger men are more likely to turn to nontraditional compensatory behaviors, such as increased involvement in cooking, parenting, and community leadership, suggesting that the conception of masculinity is likely to change in the decades to come.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 25, 2021

"Outrageous!: The Story of Section 28 and Britain's Battle for LGBT Education"

Coming January 24, 2022 from Reaktion Books: Outrageous!: The Story of Section 28 and Britain's Battle for LGBT Education by Paul Baker.

About the book, from the publisher:
A personal and impassioned history of the infamous Section 28, the 1988 UK law banning the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality.”

On May 23, 1988, Paul Baker sat down with his family to eat cake on his sixteenth birthday while The Six O’Clock News played in the background. But something was not quite right. There was muffled shouting—“Stop Section 28!”—and a scuffle. The papers would announce: “Beeb Man Sits on Lesbian.”

The next day Section 28 passed into UK law, forbidding local authorities from the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” It would send shockwaves through British society: silencing gay pupils and teachers, while galvanizing mass protests and the formation of the LGBTQ+ rights groups OutRage! and Stonewall.

Outrageous! tells its story: the background to the Act, how the press fanned the flames and what politicians said during debates, how protestors fought back to bring about the repeal of the law in the 2000s, and its eventual legacy. Based on detailed research, interviews with key figures—including Ian McKellen, Michael Cashman, and Angela Mason—and personal recollection, Outrageous! is an impassioned, warm, often moving account of unthinkable prejudice enshrined within the law and of the power of community to overcome it.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

"Kashmir at the Crossroads"

New from Yale University Press: Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside a 21st-Century Conflict by Sumantra Bose.

About the book, from the publisher:
An authoritative, fresh, and vividly written account of the Kashmir conflict—from 1947 to the present

The India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir is one of the world’s incendiary conflicts. Since 1990, at least 60,000 people have been killed—insurgents, civilians, and military and police personnel. In 2019, the conflict entered a dangerous new phase. India’s Hindu nationalist government, under Narendra Modi, repealed Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomous status and divided it into two territories subject to New Delhi’s direct rule. The drastic move was accompanied by mass arrests and lengthy suspension of mobile and internet services.

In this definitive account, Sumantra Bose examines the conflict in Kashmir from its origins to the present volatile juncture. He explores the global context of the current situation, including China’s growing role, as well as the human tragedy of the people caught in the bitter dispute. Drawing on three decades of field experience in Kashmir, Bose asks whether a compromise settlement is still possible given the ascendancy of Hindu nationalism in India and the complex geopolitical context.
Visit Sumantra Bose's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

"The Queerness of Home"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Queerness of Home: Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of Domesticity after World War II by Stephen Vider.

About the book, from the publisher:
>Vider uncovers how LGBTQ people reshaped domestic life in the postwar United States.

From the Stonewall riots to the protests of ACT UP, histories of queer and trans politics have almost exclusively centered on public activism. In The Queerness of Home, Stephen Vider turns the focus inward, showing that the intimacy of domestic space has been equally crucial to the history of postwar LGBTQ life.

Beginning in the 1940s, LGBTQ activists looked increasingly to the home as a site of connection, care, and cultural inclusion. They struggled against the conventions of marriage, challenged the gendered codes of everyday labor, reimagined domestic architecture, and contested the racial and class boundaries of kinship and belonging. Retelling LGBTQ history from the inside out, Vider reveals the surprising ways that the home became, and remains, a charged space in battles for social and economic justice, making it clear that LGBTQ people not only realized new forms of community and culture for themselves—they remade the possibilities of home life for everyone.
Visit Stephen Vider's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 22, 2021

"Why Privacy Matters"

New from Oxford University Press: Why Privacy Matters by Neil Richards.

About the book, from the publisher:
A much-needed corrective on what privacy is, why it matters, and how we can protect in an age when so many believe that the concept is dead.

Everywhere we look, companies and governments are spying on us--seeking information about us and everyone we know. Ad networks monitor our web-surfing to send us "more relevant" ads. The NSA screens our communications for signs of radicalism. Schools track students' emails to stop school shootings. Cameras guard every street corner and traffic light, and drones fly in our skies. Databases of human information are assembled for purposes of "training" artificial intelligence programs designed to predict everything from traffic patterns to the location of undocumented migrants. We're even tracking ourselves, using personal electronics like Apple watches, Fitbits, and other gadgets that have made the "quantified self" a realistic possibility. As Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg once put it, "the Age of Privacy is over." But Zuckerberg and others who say "privacy is dead" are wrong. In Why Privacy Matters, Neil Richards explains that privacy isn't dead, but rather up for grabs.

Richards shows how the fight for privacy is a fight for power that will determine what our future will look like, and whether it will remain fair and free. If we want to build a digital society that is consistent with our hard-won commitments to political freedom, individuality, and human flourishing, then we must make a meaningful commitment to privacy. Privacy matters because good privacy rules can promote the essential human values of identity, power, freedom, and trust. If we want to preserve our commitments to these precious yet fragile values, we will need privacy rules. Richards explains why privacy remains so important and offers strategies that can help us protect it from the forces that are working to undermine it. Pithy and forceful, this is essential reading for anyone interested in a topic that sits at the center of so many current problems.
--Marshal Zeringue