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

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

"Captives of Conquest"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Captives of Conquest: Slavery in the Early Modern Spanish Caribbean by Erin Woodruff Stone.

About the book, from the publisher:
Captives of Conquest is one of the first books to examine the earliest indigenous slave trade in the Spanish Caribbean. Erin Woodruff Stone shows that the indigenous population of the region did not simply collapse from disease or warfare. Rather, upwards of 250,000 people were removed through slavery, a lucrative business sustained over centuries that formed the foundation of economic, legal, and religious policies in the Spanish colonies. The enslavement of and trade in indigenous peoples was central to the processes of conquest, as the search for new sources of Indian slaves propelled much of the early Spanish exploration into Central and South America.

Once captured, some indigenous slaves were shipped to various islands, or as far away as Spain, to be sold for immediate profit. Others became military auxiliaries, guides, miners, pearl divers, servants, or, in the case of women, unwilling sexual partners. In all these roles indigenous slaves helped mold the greater Spanish Caribbean.

Even as the number of African slaves grew in the Americas, enslaved Indians did not disappear. On the contrary, African and Indian slaves worked side by side, the methods and practices of both types of slavery influencing one another throughout the centuries. Together the two forms of slavery helped create the greater Spanish Caribbean, a space and economy founded upon the bondage and coerced labor of both indigenous and African peoples.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

"Texts after Terror"

New from Oxford University Press: Texts after Terror: Rape, Sexual Violence, and the Hebrew Bible by Rhiannon Graybill.

About the book, from the publisher:
Texts after Terror offers an important new theory of rape and sexual violence in the Hebrew Bible. While the Bible is filled with stories of rape, scholarly approaches to sexual violence in the scriptures remain exhausted, dated, and in some cases even un-feminist, lagging far behind contemporary discourse about sexual violence and rape culture. Graybill responds to this disconnect by engaging contemporary conversations about rape culture, sexual violence, and #MeToo, arguing that rape and sexual violence - both in the Bible and in contemporary culture - are frequently fuzzy, messy, and icky, and that we need to take these features seriously. Texts after Terror offers a new framework informed by contemporary conversations about sexual violence, writings by victims and survivors, and feminist, queer, and affect theory. In addition, Graybill offers significant new readings of biblical rape stories, including Dinah (Gen. 34), Tamar (2 Sam. 13), Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11), Hagar (Gen. 16), Daughter Zion (Lam. 1-2), and the unnamed woman known as the Levite's concubine (Judges 19). Texts after Terror urges feminist biblical scholars and readers of all sorts to take seriously sexual violence and rape, while also holding space for new ways of reading these texts that go beyond terror, considering what might come after.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 14, 2021

"Waves Across the South"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire by Sujit Sivasundaram.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is a story of tides and coastlines, winds and waves, islands and beaches. It is also a retelling of indigenous creativity, agency, and resistance in the face of unprecedented globalization and violence. Waves Across the South shifts the narrative of the Age of Revolutions and the origins of the British Empire; it foregrounds a vast southern zone that ranges from the Arabian Sea and southwest Indian Ocean across to the Bay of Bengal, and onward to the South Pacific and the Tasman Sea. As the empires of the Dutch, French, and especially the British reached across these regions, they faced a surge of revolutionary sentiment. Long-standing venerable Eurasian empires, established patterns of trade and commerce, and indigenous practice also served as a context for this transformative era. In addition to bringing long-ignored people and events to the fore, Sujit Sivasundaram opens the door to new and necessary conversations about environmental history, the consequences of historical violence, the legacies of empire, the extraction of resources, and the indigenous futures that Western imperialism cut short. The result is nothing less than a bold new way of understanding our global past, one that also helps us think afresh about our shared future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 13, 2021

"Psychiatric Casualties"

New from Columbia University Press: Psychiatric Casualties: How and Why the Military Ignores the Full Cost of War by Mark C. Russell and Charles Figley.

About the book, from the publisher:
The psychological toll of war is vast, and the social costs of war’s psychiatric casualties extend even further. Yet military mental health care suffers from extensive waiting lists, organizational scandals, spikes in veteran suicide, narcotic overprescription, shortages of mental health professionals, and inadequate treatment. The prevalence of conditions such as post–traumatic stress disorder is often underestimated, and there remains entrenched stigma and fear of being diagnosed. Even more alarming is how the military dismisses or conceals the significance and extent of the mental health crisis.

The trauma experts Mark C. Russell and Charles Figley offer an impassioned and meticulous critique of the systemic failures in military mental health care in the United States. They examine the persistent disconnect between war culture, which valorizes an appearance of strength and seeks to purge weakness, and the science and treatment of trauma. Instead of reckoning with the mental health crisis, the military has neglected the needs of service members. It has discharged, prosecuted, and incarcerated a large number of people struggling with the psychological realities of war, and it has inflicted humiliation, ridicule, and shame on many more. Through a far-reaching historical account, Russell and Figley detail how the military has perpetuated a self-inflicted crisis. The book concludes with actionable prescriptions for change and a comprehensive approach to significantly improving military mental health.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 12, 2021

"Thirteen Clocks"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence by Robert G. Parkinson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In his celebrated account of the origins of American unity, John Adams described July 1776 as the moment when thirteen clocks managed to strike at the same time. So how did these American colonies overcome long odds to create a durable union capable of declaring independence from Britain? In this powerful new history of the fifteen tense months that culminated in the Declaration of Independence, Robert G. Parkinson provides a troubling answer: racial fear. Tracing the circulation of information in the colonial news systems that linked patriot leaders and average colonists, Parkinson reveals how the system’s participants constructed a compelling drama featuring virtuous men who suddenly found themselves threatened by ruthless Indians and defiant slaves acting on behalf of the king.

Parkinson argues that patriot leaders used racial prejudices to persuade Americans to declare independence. Between the Revolutionary War’s start at Lexington and the Declaration, they broadcast any news they could find about Native Americans, enslaved Blacks, and Hessian mercenaries working with their British enemies. American independence thus owed less to the love of liberty than to the exploitation of colonial fears about race. Thirteen Clocks offers an accessible history of the Revolution that uncovers the uncomfortable origins of the republic even as it speaks to our own moment.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 11, 2021

"The Strangers in Our Midst"

New from Oxford University Press: The Strangers in Our Midst: American Evangelicals and Immigration from the Cold War to the Twenty-First Century by Ulrike Elisabeth Stockhausen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Evangelical Christians in the United States today are known for their hard-line, restrictive approach to immigration and refugees. This book shows that this has not always been the case and is, in fact, a relatively new position. The history of evangelical involvement with refugees and immigrants has been overlooked in the current debate. Since the early 1960s, evangelical Christians have been integral players in US immigration and refugee policy. Motivated by biblical teachings to “welcome the stranger,” they have helped tens of thousands of newcomers by acting as refugee sponsors or providing legalization assistance to undocumented immigrants. Until the 1990s, many evangelicals did not distinguish between documented and undocumented newcomers – all were to be loved and welcomed. In the last decade of the twentieth century, however, a growing anti-immigrant consensus in American society grew alongside evangelicals' political alignment with the Republican Party, leading to a rethinking of their theology.

Following the GOP's lead, evangelicals increasingly emphasized the need to obey American law, which many argued undocumented immigrants failed to do. Today, the evangelical movement is more divided than ever about immigration policy. While conservative evangelicals are often immigration hard-liners, many progressive and Latinx evangelicals hope to convince their fellow evangelicals to take a more welcoming approach. The Strangers in Our Midst argues that the key to understanding evangelicals' divided approaches to immigration is to look at both their theology and their politics. Both of which have shaped how—and especially to whom—they extend their biblical values of hospitality.
Follow Ulrike Elisabeth Stockhausen on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 10, 2021

"Against Sex: Identities of Sexual Restraint in Early America"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Against Sex: Identities of Sexual Restraint in Early America by Kara M. French.

About the book, from the publisher:
How much sex should a person have? With whom? What do we make of people who choose not to have sex at all? As present as these questions are today, they were subjects of intense debate in the early American republic. In this richly textured history, Kara French investigates ideas about, and practices of, sexual restraint to better understand the sexual dimensions of American identity in the antebellum United States. French considers three groups of Americans—Shakers, Catholic priests and nuns, and followers of sexual reformer Sylvester Graham—whose sexual abstinence provoked almost as much social, moral, and political concern as the idea of sexual excess. Examining private diaries and letters, visual culture and material artifacts, and a range of published works, French reveals how people practicing sexual restraint became objects of fascination, ridicule, and even violence in nineteenth-century American culture.

Against Sex makes clear that in assessing the history of sexuality, an expansive view of sexual practice that includes abstinence and restraint can shed important new light on histories of society, culture, and politics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

"Constructing Community"

New from Princeton University Press: Constructing Community: Urban Governance, Development, and Inequality in Boston by Jeremy R. Levine.

About the book, from the publisher:
A look at the benefits and consequences of the rise of community-based organizations in urban development

Who makes decisions that shape the housing, policies, and social programs in urban neighborhoods? Who, in other words, governs? Constructing Community offers a rich ethnographic portrait of the individuals who implement community development projects in the Fairmount Corridor, one of Boston’s poorest areas. Jeremy Levine uncovers a network of nonprofits and philanthropic foundations making governance decisions alongside public officials—a public-private structure that has implications for democratic representation and neighborhood inequality.

Levine spent four years following key players in Boston’s community development field. While state senators and city councilors are often the public face of new projects, and residents seem empowered through opportunities to participate in public meetings, Levine found a shadow government of nonprofit leaders and philanthropic funders, nonelected neighborhood representatives with their own particular objectives, working behind the scenes. Tying this system together were political performances of “community”—government and nonprofit leaders, all claiming to value the community. Levine provocatively argues that there is no such thing as a singular community voice, meaning any claim of community representation is, by definition, illusory. He shows how community development is as much about constructing the idea of community as it is about the construction of physical buildings in poor neighborhoods.

Constructing Community demonstrates how the nonprofit sector has become integral to urban policymaking, and the tensions and trade-offs that emerge when private nonprofits take on the work of public service provision.
Follow Jeremy R. Levine on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

"Policing Prostitution"

New from Oxford University Press: Policing Prostitution: Regulating the Lower Classes in Late Imperial Russia by Siobhán Hearne.

About the book, from the publisher:
Policing Prostitution examines the complex world of commercial sex in the late Russian Empire. From the 1840s until 1917, prostitution was legally tolerated across the Russian Empire under a system known as regulation. Medical police were in charge of compiling information about registered prostitutes and ensuring that they followed the strict rules prescribed by the imperial state governing their visibility and behaviour. The vast majority of women who sold sex hailed from the lower classes, as did their managers and clients. This study examines how regulation was implemented, experienced, and resisted amid rapid urbanization, industrialization, and modernization around the turn of the twentieth century. Each chapter examines the lives and challenges of different groups who engaged with the world of prostitution, including women who sold sex, the men who paid for it, mediators, the police, and wider urban communities.

Drawing on archival material from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, Policing Prostitution illustrates how prostitution was an acknowledged, contested, and ever-present component of lower-class urban society in the late imperial period. In principle, the tsarist state regulated prostitution in the name of public order and public health; in practice, that regulation was both modulated by provincial police forces who had different local priorities, resources, and strategies, and contested by registered prostitutes, brothel madams, and others who interacted with the world of commercial sex.
Follow Siobhán Hearne on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 7, 2021

"Democracy and Deliberation"

New from the University of Michigan Press: Democracy and Deliberation: The Law and Politics of Sex Offender Legislation by Cary Federman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sex offender laws include residency restrictions, registration and notification requirements, and post-conviction civil commitment. These laws and regulations impose serious restrictions on the movements of convicted sex offenders. This is controversial because these laws and regulations occur after the sex offender has completed his time in prison. These laws and regulations are intended to have both a deterrent and therapeutic effect. Residency restrictions seek to prevent sex offenders from re-committing their crimes and civil commitment provides psychological services while incarcerated in a forensic facility. Most works on this subject are deeply critical of these laws.

Cary Federman takes a more sympathetic approach to sex offender legislation. He focuses on the deliberative intentions of legislators, exploring the limits of judicial review and the rights of interested parties to influence lawmaking. Leaders of these interested parties are usually the parents of children who have been sexually violated and murdered. Critics of sex offender legislation tend to focus on the convicted parties, arguing that their rights have been violated. The Law and Politics of Sex Offender Legislation asserts that these laws are expressions of the deliberative intentions of lawmakers concerned about public safety—they are thus constitutional, if not always wise.
Cary Federman is associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University and the author of The Body and the State: Habeas Corpus and American Jurisprudence and The Assassination of William McKinley: Anarchism, Insanity, and the Birth of the Social Sciences.

The Page 99 Test: The Assassination of William McKinley.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Swamp Peddlers"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: The Swamp Peddlers: How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream by Jason Vuic.

About the book, from the publisher:
Florida has long been a beacon for retirees, but for many, the American dream of owning a home there was a fantasy. That changed in the 1950s, when the so-called "installment land sales industry" hawked billions of dollars of Florida residential property, sight unseen, to retiring northerners. For only $10 down and $10 a month, working-class pensioners could buy a piece of the Florida dream: a graded home site that would be waiting for them in a planned community when they were ready to build. The result was Cape Coral, Port St. Lucie, Deltona, Port Charlotte, Palm Coast, and Spring Hill, among many others—sprawling communities with no downtowns, little industry, and millions of residential lots.

In The Swamp Peddlers, Jason Vuic tells the raucous tale of the sale of residential lots in postwar Florida. Initially selling cheap homes to retirees with disposable income, by the mid-1950s developers realized that they could make more money selling parcels of land on installment to their customers. These "swamp peddlers" completely transformed the landscape and demographics of Florida, devastating the state environmentally by felling forests, draining wetlands, digging canals, and chopping up at least one million acres into grid-like subdivisions crisscrossed by thousands of miles of roads. Generations of northerners moved to Florida cheaply, but at a huge price: high-pressure sales tactics begat fraud; poor urban planning begat sprawl; poorly-regulated development begat environmental destruction, culminating in the perfect storm of the 21st-century subprime mortgage crisis.
Visit Jason Vuic's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Yucks.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 6, 2021

"Paradoxes of Care"

New from Stanford University Press: Paradoxes of Care: Children and Global Medical Aid in Egypt by Rania Kassab Sweis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Each year, billions of dollars are spent on global humanitarian health initiatives. These efforts are intended to care for suffering bodies, especially those of distressed children living in poverty. But as global medical aid can often overlook the local economic and political systems that cause bodily suffering, it can also unintentionally prolong the very conditions that hurt children and undermine local aid givers. Investigating medical humanitarian encounters in Egypt, Paradoxes of Care illustrates how child aid recipients and local aid experts grapple with global aid's shortcomings and its paradoxical outcomes.

Rania Kassab Sweis examines how some of the world's largest aid organizations care for vulnerable children in Egypt, focusing on medical efforts with street children and out-of-school village girls. Her in-depth ethnographic study reveals how global medical aid fails to "save" these children according to its stated aims, and often maintains—or produces new—social disparities in children's lives. Foregrounding vulnerable children's responses to medical aid, Sweis moves past the unquestioned benevolence of global health to demonstrate how children must manage their own bodies and lives in the absence of adult care. With this book, she challenges readers to engage with the question of what medical caregivers and donors alike gain from such global humanitarian transactions.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 5, 2021

"Building the Population Bomb"

New from Oxford University Press: Building the Population Bomb by Emily Klancher Merchant.

About the book, from the publisher:
Across the twentieth century, Earth's human population increased undeniably quickly, rising from 1.6 billion people in 1900 to 6.1 billion in 2000. As population grew, it also began to take the blame for some of the world's most serious problems, from global poverty to environmental degradation, and became an object of intervention for governments and nongovernmental organizations. But the links between population, poverty, and pollution were neither obvious nor uncontested.

Building the Population Bomb tells the story of the twentieth-century population crisis by examining how scientists, philanthropists, and governments across the globe came to define the rise of the world's human numbers as a problem. It narrates the history of demography and population control in the twentieth century, examining alliances and rivalries between natural scientists concerned about the depletion of the world's natural resources, social scientists concerned about a bifurcated global economy, philanthropists aiming to preserve American political and economic hegemony, and heads of state in the Global South seeking rapid economic development. It explains how these groups forged a consensus that promoted fertility limitation at the expense of women, people of color, the world's poor, and the Earth itself.

As the world's population continues to grow--with the United Nations projecting 11 billion people by the year 2100--Building the Population Bomb steps back from the conventional population debate to demonstrate that our anxieties about future population growth are not obvious but learned. Ultimately, this critical volume shows how population growth itself is not a barrier to economic, environmental, or reproductive justice; rather, it is our anxiety over population growth that distracts us from the pursuit of these urgent goals.
Visit Emily Klancher Merchant's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 4, 2021

"Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism by Heather Berg.

About the book, from the publisher:
Every porn scene is a record of people at work. But on-camera labor is only the beginning of the story. Porn Work takes readers behind the scenes to explore what porn performers think of their work and how they intervene to hack it. Blending extensive fieldwork with feminist and antiwork theorizing, Porn Work details entrepreneurial labor on the boundaries between pleasure and tedium. Rejecting any notion that sex work is an aberration from straight work, it reveals porn workers' creative strategies as prophetic of a working landscape in crisis. In the end, it looks to what porn has to tell us about what's wrong with work, and what it might look like to build something better.
Visit Heather Berg's website. Berg is assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 3, 2021

"Mordecai Would Not Bow Down"

New from Oxford University Press: Mordecai Would Not Bow Down: Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Christian Supersessionism by Timothy P. Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:
“Never again!” In the years following the Holocaust, the phrase came to signify a general determination never again to permit systemic anti-Semitism and genocidal violence. Yet anti-Semitism endures, and its underlying causes persist. The resilience of anti-Semitism casts the Holocaust not as inexplicable or singular, but as an event shaped by identifiable--and universal--human prejudices.

Despite the intense attention focused on the Holocaust, we consistently misrepresent it. By describing it as a purely irrational phenomenon, we risk minimizing the threat that anti-Semitism continues to pose. Instead, we must identify and acknowledge its causes, which are not only political, economic, and pseudoscientific but ideological as well. Taking its title from the Book of Esther, Mordecai Would Not Bow Down investigates these ideological causes. Timothy P. Jackson argues that the Jewish victims of the Holocaust were persecuted for their belief in one God who is the sole Creator of a moral order centered in selflessness and love. Judaic teachings about the importance of caring for the weak and vulnerable overtly contradicted the Nazis' “natural” lust for power and enjoyment of cruelty, which further fueled their anti-Semitism.

By analyzing the ideological clash between Nazism and Judaism, Jackson reveals the ways in which Christianity was complicit in the Holocaust-specifically, the role of Christian supersessionism: the belief that the New Covenant supplants or erases the Old Covenant, making Christians and not Jews God's elect. Supersessionism has historically enabled Christian anti-Semitic violence. Yet Judaism and Christianity are ultimately complementary in their shared origins and analogous aims: the Law that saves the Jews and the Gospel that saves the Gentiles are of a piece. God's choosing the Jewish people to embody collectively a message of fellowship and moral responsibility is parallel to God's calling on Jesus to save humanity individually. Moreover, both divine vocations often engender demonic resentment. Recognizing that Auschwitz and Calvary are but two sites of the same murderous despair is an important step toward eliminating the pervasive menace of anti-Semitism.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

"The Tsar's Happy Occasion"

New from Northern Illinois University Press: The Tsar's Happy Occasion: Ritual and Dynasty in the Weddings of Russia's Rulers, 1495-1745 by Russell E. Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Tsar's Happy Occasion shows how the vast, ornate affairs that were royal weddings in early modern Russia were choreographed to broadcast powerful images of monarchy and dynasty. Processions and speeches emphasized dynastic continuity and legitimacy. Fertility rites blended Christian and pre-Christian symbols to assure the birth of heirs. Gift exchanges created and affirmed social solidarity among the elite. The bride performed rituals that integrated herself and her family into the inner circle of the court.

Using an array of archival sources, Russell E. Martin demonstrates how royal weddings reflected and shaped court politics during a time of dramatic cultural and dynastic change. As Martin shows, the rites of passage in these ceremonies were dazzling displays of monarchical power unlike any other ritual at the Muscovite court. And as dynasties came and went and the political culture evolved, so too did wedding rituals. Martin relates how Peter the Great first mocked, then remade wedding rituals to symbolize and empower his efforts to westernize Russia. After Peter, the two branches of the Romanov dynasty used weddings to solidify their claims to the throne.

The Tsar's Happy Occasion offers a sweeping, yet penetrating cultural history of the power of rituals and the rituals of power in early modern Russia.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

"Dispossession and Dissent"

New from Stanford University Press: Dispossession and Dissent: Immigrants and the Struggle for Housing in Madrid by Sophie L. Gonick.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since the 2008 financial crisis, complex capital flows have ravaged everyday communities across the globe. Housing in particular has become increasingly precarious. In response, many movements now contest the long-held promises and established terms of the private ownership of housing. Immigrant activism has played an important, if understudied, role in such struggles over collective consumption. In Dispossession and Dissent, Sophie Gonick examines the intersection of homeownership and immigrant activism through an analysis of Spain's anti-evictions movement, now a hallmark for housing struggles across the globe.

Madrid was the crucible for Spain's urban planning and policy, its millennial economic boom (1998–2008), and its more recent mobilizations in response to crisis. During the boom, the city also experienced rapid, unprecedented immigration. Through extensive archival and ethnographic research, Gonick uncovers the city's histories of homeownership and immigration to demonstrate the pivotal role of Andean immigrants within this movement, as the first to contest dispossession from mortgage-related foreclosures and evictions. Consequently, they forged a potent politics of dissent, which drew upon migratory experiences and indigenous traditions of activism to contest foreclosures and evictions.
--Marshal Zeringue