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

Sunday, November 21, 2021

"Red Dynamite"

New from Cornell University Press: Red Dynamite: Creationism, Culture Wars, and Anticommunism in America by Carl R. Weinberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Red Dynamite, Carl R. Weinberg argues that creationism's tenacious hold on American public life depended on culture-war politics inextricably embedded in religion. Many Christian conservatives were convinced that evolutionary thought promoted immoral and even bestial social, sexual, and political behavior. The "fruits" of subscribing to Darwinism were, in their minds, a dangerous rearrangement of God-given standards and the unsettling of traditional hierarchies of power. Despite claiming to focus exclusively on science and religion, creationists were practicing politics. Their anticommunist campaign, often infused with conspiracy theory, gained power from the fact that the Marxist founders, the early Bolshevik leaders, and their American allies were staunch evolutionists.

Using the Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a starting point, Red Dynamite traces the politically explosive union of Darwinism and communism over the next century. Across those years, social evolution was the primary target of creationists, and their "ideas have consequences" strategy instilled fear that shaped the contours of America's culture wars. By taking the anticommunist arguments of creationists seriously, Weinberg reveals a neglected dimension of antievolutionism and illuminates a source of the creationist movement's continuing strength.
Follow Carl R. Weinberg on Twitter and visit his website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 20, 2021

"The Overseas Trade of British America"

New from Yale University Press: The Overseas Trade of British America: A Narrative History by Thomas M. Truxes.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sweeping history of early American trade and the foundation of the American economy

"We could have no better guide than Truxes explaining incisively how American colonial merchants enriched their communities through licit and illicit trade, and how this enrichment was the product of slavery and the slave trade."—Nicholas Canny, author of
Imagining Ireland's Pasts

In a single, readily digestible, coherent narrative, historian Thomas M. Truxes presents the three hundred–year history of the overseas trade of British America. Born from seeds planted in Tudor England in the sixteenth century, Atlantic trade allowed the initial survival, economic expansion, and later prosperity of British America, and brought vastly different geographical regions, each with a distinctive identity and economic structure, into a single fabric. Truxes shows how colonial American prosperity was only possible because of the labor of enslaved Africans, how the colonial economy became dependent on free and open markets, and how the young United States owed its survival in the struggle of the American Revolution to Atlantic trade.
Visit Thomas M. Truxes's website.

The Page 99 Test: Defying Empire.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 19, 2021

"The Rainbow after the Storm"

New from Oxford University Press: The Rainbow after the Storm: Marriage Equality and Social Change in the U.S. by Michael J. Rosenfeld.

About the book, from the publisher:
A detailed story of how social science contributed to gay rights gains in the courts.

For most of American history, public opinion was strongly opposed to gay rights. Marriage equality had negligible public support throughout the 1970s-1980s. Yet, starting in the 1990s, American opinion toward marriage equality changed more than any other attitude in the history of American public opinion. In Rainbow after the Storm, Michael J. Rosenfeld explains how attitudes toward marriage equality changed so much, and how public opinion change drove change at the ballot box and in the courts. As Rosenfeld shows, in three crucial same-sex marriage trials, the supporters and opponents of marriage equality faced off. Rosenfeld describes the struggles of the same-sex couples who, with few resources at their disposal, and against formidable state and religious opponents, sued for the right to marry and eventually won. The first comprehensive analysis of the marriage equality movement in the U.S., The Rainbow after the Storm tells the stories of key individuals, the court battles, and the society-wide explanations for the rapid liberalization of attitudes toward gay rights that made same-sex marriage the law of the U.S. sooner than almost anyone thought was possible.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 18, 2021

"Intelligence Analysis and Policy Making: The Canadian Experience"

New from Stanford University Press: Intelligence Analysis and Policy Making: The Canadian Experience by Thomas Juneau and Stephanie Carvin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Canada is a key member of the world's most important international intelligence-sharing partnership, the Five Eyes, along with the US, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. Until now, few scholars have looked beyond the US to study how effectively intelligence analysts support policy makers, who rely on timely, forward-thinking insights to shape high-level foreign, national security, and defense policy.

Intelligence Analysis and Policy Making provides the first in-depth look at the relationship between intelligence and policy in Canada. Thomas Juneau and Stephanie Carvin, both former analysts in the Canadian national security sector, conducted seventy in-depth interviews with serving and retired policy and intelligence practitioners, at a time when Canada's intelligence community underwent sweeping institutional changes.

Juneau and Carvin provide critical recommendations for improving intelligence performance in supporting policy—with implications for other countries that, like Canada, are not superpowers but small or mid-sized countries in need of intelligence that supports their unique interests.
The Page 99 Test: Stephanie Carvin's Prisoners of America’s Wars.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

"Appearance in Reality"

New from Oxford University Press: Appearance in Reality by John Heil.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Appearance in Reality, John Heil addresses a question at the heart of metaphysics: how are the appearances related to reality, how does what we find in the sciences comport with what we encounter in everyday experience and in the laboratory? Objects, for instance, appear to be colourful, noisy, self-contained, and massively interactive. Physics tells us they are dynamic swarms of colourless particles, or disturbances in fields, or something equally strange. Is what we experience illusory, present only in our minds? But then what are minds? Do minds elude physics? Or are the physicist's depictions mere constructs with no claim to reality? Perhaps reality is hierarchical: physics encompasses the fundamental things, the less than fundamental things are dependent on, but distinct from these. Heil's investigation advances a fourth possibility: the scientific image (what we have in physics) affords our best guide to the nature of what the appearances are appearances of.
John Heil is professor of philosophy at Washington University in St Louis and at Durham University, and an Honorary Research Associate at Monash University. He works primarily on topics in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind and is author of a number of books, including The Universe as We Find It (2012), From an Ontological Point of View (2003), Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction (2012), The Nature of True Minds (Cambridge, 1992), and Perception and Cognition (1983).

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

"Not One Inch"

New from Yale University Press: Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate by M. E. Sarotte.

About the book, from the publisher:
Thirty years after the Soviet Union’s collapse, this book reveals how tensions between America, NATO, and Russia transformed geopolitics in the decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall

Not one inch. With these words, Secretary of State James Baker proposed a hypothetical bargain to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev after the fall of the Berlin Wall: if you let your part of Germany go, we will move NATO not one inch eastward. Controversy erupted almost immediately over this 1990 exchange—but more important was the decade to come, when the words took on new meaning. Gorbachev let his Germany go, but Washington rethought the bargain, not least after the Soviet Union’s own collapse in December 1991. Washington realized it could not just win big but win bigger. Not one inch of territory needed to be off limits to NATO.

On the thirtieth anniversary of the Soviet collapse, this book uses new evidence and interviews to show how, in the decade that culminated in Vladimir Putin’s rise to power, the United States and Russia undermined a potentially lasting partnership. Prize-winning historian M. E. Sarotte shows what went wrong.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 15, 2021

"A Global History of Buddhism and Medicine"

Coming soon from Columbia University Press: A Global History of Buddhism and Medicine by C. Pierce Salguero.

About the book, from the publisher:
Medicine, health, and healing have been central to Buddhism since its origins. Long before the global popularity of mindfulness and meditation, Buddhism provided cultures around the world with conceptual tools to understand illness as well as a range of therapies and interventions for care of the sick. Today, Buddhist traditions, healers, and institutions continue to exert a tangible influence on medical care in societies both inside and outside Asia, including in the areas of mental health, biomedicine, and even in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the global history of the relationship between Buddhism and medicine remains largely untold.

This book is a wide-ranging and accessible account of the interplay between Buddhism and medicine over the past two and a half millennia. C. Pierce Salguero traces the intertwining threads linking ideas, practices, and texts from many different times and places. He shows that Buddhism has played a crucial role in cross-cultural medical exchange globally and that Buddhist knowledge formed the nucleus for many types of traditional practices that still thrive today throughout Asia. Although Buddhist medicine has always been embedded in local contexts and differs markedly across cultures, Salguero identifies key patterns that have persisted throughout this long history. This book will be informative and invaluable for scholars, students, and practitioners of both Buddhism and complementary and alternative medicine.
Visit C. Pierce Salguero's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 14, 2021

"Economic Poisoning"

New from the University of California Press: Economic Poisoning: Industrial Waste and the Chemicalization of American Agriculture by Adam M. Romero.

About the book, from the publisher:
The toxicity of pesticides to the environment and humans is often framed as an unfortunate effect of their benefits to agricultural production. In Economic Poisoning, Adam M. Romero upends this narrative and provides a fascinating new history of pesticides in American industrial agriculture prior to World War II. Through impeccable archival research, Romero reveals the ways in which late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American agriculture, especially in California, functioned less as a market for novel pest-killing chemical products and more as a sink for the accumulating toxic wastes of mining, oil production, and chemical manufacturing. Connecting farming ecosystems to technology and the economy, Romero provides an intriguing reconceptualization of pesticides that forces readers to rethink assumptions about food, industry, and the relationship between human and nonhuman environments.
Adam M. Romero is Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 13, 2021

"Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless"

New from Stanford University Press: Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless: A Japanese American Diaspora in the Pacific by Michael R. Jin.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the 1920s to the eve of the Pacific War in 1941, more than 50,000 young second-generation Japanese Americans (Nisei) embarked on transpacific journeys to the Japanese Empire, putting an ocean between themselves and pervasive anti-Asian racism in the American West. Born U.S. citizens but treated as unwelcome aliens, this contingent of Japanese Americans—one in four U.S.-born Nisei—came in search of better lives but instead encountered a world shaped by increasingly volatile relations between the U.S. and Japan.

Based on transnational and bilingual research in the United States and Japan, Michael R. Jin recuperates the stories of this unique group of American emigrants at the crossroads of U.S. and Japanese empire. From the Jim Crow American West to the Japanese colonial frontiers in Asia, and from internment camps in America to Hiroshima on the eve of the atomic bombing, these individuals redefined ideas about home, identity, citizenship, and belonging as they encountered multiple social realities on both sides of the Pacific. Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless examines the deeply intertwined histories of Asian exclusion in the United States, Japanese colonialism in Asia, and volatile geopolitical changes in the Pacific world that converged in the lives of Japanese American migrants.
Visit Michael Jin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 12, 2021

"Winter in America"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Winter in America: A Cultural History of Neoliberalism, from the Sixties to the Reagan Revolution by Daniel Robert McClure.

About the book, from the publisher:
Neoliberalism took shape in the 1930s and 1940s as a transnational political philosophy and system of economic, political, and cultural relations. Resting on the fundamental premise that the free market should be unfettered by government intrusion, neoliberal policies have primarily redirected the state’s prerogatives away from the postwar Keynesian welfare system and toward the insulation of finance and corporate America from democratic pressure. As neoliberal ideas gained political currency in the 1960s and 1970s, a reactionary cultural turn catalyzed their ascension. The cinema, music, magazine culture, and current events discourse of the 1970s provided the space of negotiation permitting these ideas to take hold and be challenged.

Daniel Robert McClure’s book follows the interaction between culture and economics during the transition from Keynesianism in the mid-1960s to the triumph of neoliberalism at the dawn of the 1980s. From the 1965 debate between William F. Buckley and James Baldwin, through the pages of BusinessWeek and Playboy, to the rise of exploitation cinema in the 1970s, McClure tracks the increasingly shared perception by white males that they had “lost” their long-standing rights and that a great neoliberal reckoning might restore America’s repressive racial, sexual, gendered, and classed foundations in the wake of the 1960s.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 11, 2021

"Saving the Children"

New from the University of California Press: Saving the Children: Humanitarianism, Internationalism, and Empire by Emily Baughan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Saving the Children analyzes the intersection of liberal internationalism and imperialism through the history of the humanitarian organization Save the Children, from its formation during the First World War through the era of decolonization. Whereas Save the Children claimed that it was "saving children to save the world," the vision of the world it sought to save was strictly delimited, characterized by international capitalism and colonial rule. Emily Baughan's groundbreaking analysis, across fifty years and eighteen countries, shows that Britain's desire to create an international order favorable to its imperial rule shaped international humanitarianism. In revealing that modern humanitarianism and its conception of childhood are products of the early twentieth-century imperial economy, Saving the Children argues that the contemporary aid sector must reckon with its past if it is to forge a new future.
Emily Baughan is Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Sheffield.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

"Underwriters of the United States"

New from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press: Underwriters of the United States: How Insurance Shaped the American Founding by Hannah Farber.

About the book, from the publisher:
Unassuming but formidable, American maritime insurers used their position at the pinnacle of global trade to shape the new nation. The international information they gathered and the capital they generated enabled them to play central roles in state building and economic development. During the Revolution, they helped the U.S. negotiate foreign loans, sell state debts, and establish a single national bank. Afterward, they increased their influence by lending money to the federal government and to its citizens. Even as federal and state governments began to encroach on their domain, maritime insurers adapted, preserving their autonomy and authority through extensive involvement in the formation of commercial law. Leveraging their claims to unmatched expertise, they operated free from government interference while simultaneously embedding themselves into the nation’s institutional fabric. By the early nineteenth century, insurers were no longer just risk assessors. They were nation builders and market makers.

Deeply and imaginatively researched, Underwriters of the United States uses marine insurers to reveal a startlingly original story of risk, money, and power in the founding era.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

"Between Dreams and Ghosts"

New from Stanford University Press: Between Dreams and Ghosts: Indian Migration and Middle Eastern Oil by Andrea Wright.

About the book, from the publisher:
More than one million Indians travel annually to work in oil projects in the Gulf, one of the few international destinations where men without formal education can find lucrative employment. Between Dreams and Ghosts follows their migration, taking readers to sites in India, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, from villages to oilfields and back again. Engaging all parties involved—the migrants themselves, the recruiting agencies that place them, the government bureaucrats that regulate their emigration, and the corporations that hire them—Andrea Wright examines labor migration as a social process as it reshapes global capitalism.

With this book, Wright demonstrates how migration is deeply informed both by workers' dreams for the future and the ghosts of history, including the enduring legacies of colonial capitalism. As workers navigate bureaucratic hurdles to migration and working conditions in the Gulf, they in turn influence and inform state policies and corporate practices. Placing migrants at the center of global capital rather than its periphery, Wright shows how migrants are not passive bodies at the mercy of abstract forces—and reveals through their experiences a new understanding of contemporary resource extraction, governance, and global labor.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 8, 2021

"Romania's Holy War"

New from Cornell University Press: Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust by Grant T. Harward.

About the book, from the publisher:
Romania's Holy War rights the widespread myth that Romania was a reluctant member of the Axis during World War II. In correcting this fallacy, Grant T. Harward shows that, of an estimated 300,000 Jews who perished in Romania and Romanian-occupied Ukraine, more than 64,000 were, in fact, killed by Romanian soldiers. Moreover, the Romanian Army conducted a brutal campaign in German-occupied Ukraine, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Soviet prisoners of war, partisans, and civilians. Investigating why Romanian soldiers fought and committed such atrocities, Harward argues that strong ideology—a cocktail of nationalism, religion, antisemitism, and anticommunism—undergirded their motivation.

Romania's Holy War draws on official military records, wartime periodicals, soldiers' diaries and memoirs, subsequent war crimes investigations, and recent interviews with veterans to tell the full story. Harward integrates the Holocaust into the narrative of military operations to show that most soldiers fully supported the wartime dictator, General Ion Antonescu, and his regime's holy war against "Judeo-Bolshevism." The army perpetrated mass reprisals, targeting Jews in liberated Romanian territory; supported the deportation and concentration of Jews in camps or ghettos in Romanian-occupied Soviet territory; and played a key supporting role in SS efforts to exterminate Jews in German-occupied Soviet territory.

Harward proves that Romania became Nazi Germany's most important ally in the war against the USSR because its soldiers were highly motivated, thus overturning much of what we thought we knew about this theater of war. Romania's Holy War provides the first complete history of why Romanian soldiers fought on the Eastern Front.
Follow Grant T. Harward on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, November 7, 2021

"Years of Glory"

New from Stanford University Press: Years of Glory: Nelly Benatar and the Pursuit of Justice in Wartime North Africa by Susan Gilson Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:
The compelling true story of Nelly Benatar—a hero of the anti-Fascist North African resistance and humanitarian who changed the course of history for the "last million" escaping the Second World War.

When France fell to Hitler's armies in June 1940, a flood of refugees fleeing Nazi terror quickly overwhelmed Europe's borders and spilled across the Mediterranean to North Africa, touching off a humanitarian crisis of dizzying proportions. Nelly Benatar, a highly regarded Casablancan Jewish lawyer, quickly claimed a role of rescuer and almost single-handedly organized a sweeping program of wartime refugee relief. But for all her remarkable achievements, Benatar's story has never been told.

With this book, Susan Gilson Miller introduces readers to a woman who fought injustice as an anti-Fascist resistant, advocate for refugee rights, liberator of Vichy-run forced labor camps, and legal counselor to hundreds of Holocaust survivors. Miller crafts a gripping biography that spins a tale like a Hollywood thriller, yet finds its truth in archives gathered across Europe, North Africa, Israel, and the United States and from Benatar's personal collection of eighteen thousand documents now housed in the US Holocaust Museum.

Years of Glory offers a rich narrative and a deeper understanding of the complex currents that shaped Jewish, North African, and world history over the course of the Second World War. The traumas of genocide, the struggle for anti-colonial liberation, and the eventual Jewish exodus from Arab lands all take on new meaning when reflected through the interstices of Benatar's life. A courageous woman with a deep moral conscience and an iron will, Nelly Benatar helped to lay the groundwork for crucial postwar efforts to build a better world over Europe's ashes.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, November 6, 2021

"No Standard Oil"

New from Oxford University Press: No Standard Oil: Managing Abundant Petroleum in a Warming World by Deborah Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:
In No Standard Oil, environmental policy expert Deborah Gordon examines the widely varying climate impacts of global oils and gases, and proposes solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions in this sector while making sustainable progress in transitioning to a carbon-free energy future.

The next decade will be decisive in the fight against climate change. It will be impossible to hold the planet to a 1.5o C temperature rise without controlling methane and CO2 emissions from the oil and gas sector. Contrary to popular belief, the world will not run out of these resources anytime soon. Consumers will continue to demand these abundant resources to fuel their cars, heat their homes, and produce everyday goods like shampoo, pajamas, and paint. But it is becoming more environmentally damaging to supply energy using technologies like fracking oil and liquefying gas. Policymakers, financial investors, environmental advocates, and citizens need to understand what oil and gas are doing to our climate to inform decision-making.

In No Standard Oil, Deborah Gordon shows that no two oils or gases are environmentally alike. Each has a distinct, quantifiable climate impact. While all oils and gases pollute, some are much worse for the climate than others. In clear, accessible language, Gordon explains the results of the Oil Climate Index Plus Gas (OCI+), an innovative, open source model that estimates global oil and gas emissions. Gordon identifies the oils and gases from every region of the globe-along with the specific production, processing, and refining activities-that are the most harmful to the planet, and proposes innovative solutions to reduce their climate footprints.

Global climate stabilization cannot afford to wait for oil and gas to run out. No Standard Oil shows how we can take immediate, practical steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the crucial oil and gas sector while making sustainable progress in transitioning to a carbon-free energy future.
The Page 99 Test: Two Billion Cars.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 5, 2021

"Rites of Retaliation"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Rites of Retaliation: Civilization, Soldiers, and Campaigns in the American Civil War by Lorien Foote.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the Civil War, Union and Confederate politicians, military commanders, everyday soldiers, and civilians claimed their approach to the conflict was civilized, in keeping with centuries of military tradition meant to restrain violence and preserve national honor. One hallmark of civilized warfare was a highly ritualized approach to retaliation. This ritual provided a forum to accuse the enemy of excessive behavior, to negotiate redress according to the laws of war, and to appeal to the judgment of other civilized nations. As the war progressed, Northerners and Southerners feared they were losing their essential identity as civilized, and the attention to retaliation grew more intense. When Black soldiers joined the Union army in campaigns in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, raiding plantations and liberating enslaved people, Confederates argued the war had become a servile insurrection. And when Confederates massacred Black troops after battle, killed white Union foragers after capture, and used prisoners of war as human shields, Federals thought their enemy raised the black flag and embraced savagery.

Blending military and cultural history, Lorien Foote’s rich and insightful book sheds light on how Americans fought over what it meant to be civilized and who should be extended the protections of a civilized world.
Writers Read: Lorien Foote (July 2010).

The Page 99 Test: The Gentlemen and the Roughs.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 4, 2021

"Ethics or the Right Thing?"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Ethics or the Right Thing?: Corruption and Care in the Age of Good Governance by Sylvia Tidey.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sympathetic examination of the failure of anti-corruption efforts in contemporary Indonesia.

Combining ethnographic fieldwork in the city of Kupang with an acute historical sensibility, Sylvia Tidey shows how good governance initiatives paradoxically perpetuate civil service corruption while also facilitating the emergence of new forms of it. Importing critical insights from the anthropology of ethics to the burgeoning anthropology of corruption, Tidey exposes enduring developmentalist fallacies that treat corruption as endemic to non-Western subjects. In practice, it is often indistinguishable from the ethics of care and exchange, as Indonesian civil servants make worthwhile lives for themselves and their families. This book will be a vital text for anthropologists and other social scientists, particularly scholars of global studies, development studies, and Southeast Asia.
Sylvia Tidey is assistant professor of anthropology and global studies at the University of Virginia.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

"Origins of the Mass Party"

New from Oxford University Press: Origins of the Mass Party: Dispossession and the Party-Form in Mexico and Bolivia in Comparative Perspective by Edwin F. Ackerman.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Mexico (1921) and Bolivia (1952), nationalist insurrections with armies largely composed of peasants triumphed over oligarchical regimes. In the aftermath of these uprisings, parties led by members of an urban middle-class intelligentsia adopting a populist agrarian discourse attempted to incorporate this predominantly peasant base. The outcomes of these efforts were, however, radically different.

In Origins of the Mass Party, Edwin F. Ackerman tells the stories of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) as a mass party in post-revolutionary Mexico (1929-1946), and the attempt but ultimate failure of Bolivia's Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR) (1953-1964) to do the same. As he shows, Mexico's PRI successfully mobilized peasants into party politics, translating the insurrectionary effervescence of the peasantry into organizational incorporation. Bolivia's MNR, in contrast, attempted but failed to undertake a homologous process. To shed light on why this happened, Ackerman examines the historical conditions necessary for the emergence of the mass political parties, offering insights into the persistence of parties over time by linking the economic dispossession that makes it possible to articulate individuals into a political bloc, and the political dispossession that produces professional politicians to undertake articulation and create constituencies. He argues that parties are the predominant form of political mobilization at a global scale, even in an age of dissatisfaction with conventional organization and persistent experimentation with new forms of association.

Both comparative and historical in scope, Origins of the Mass Party seeks to show why there is such a strong bond between the party-form and the contemporary world by highlighting the connection between capitalism, modern-state formation, and the party-form.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

"Gettysburg 1963"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Gettysburg 1963: Civil Rights, Cold War Politics, and Historical Memory in America's Most Famous Small Town by Jill Ogline Titus.

About the book, from the publisher:
The year 1963 was unforgettable for Americans. In the midst of intense Cold War turmoil and the escalating struggle for Black freedom, the United States also engaged in a nationwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. Commemorative events centered on Gettysburg, site of the best-known, bloodiest, and most symbolically charged battle of the conflict. Inevitably, the centennial of Lincoln’s iconic Gettysburg Address received special focus, pressed into service to help the nation understand its present and define its future--a future that would ironically include another tragic event days later with the assassination of another American president.

In this fascinating work, Jill Ogline Titus uses centennial events in Gettysburg to examine the history of political, social, and community change in 1960s America. Examining the experiences of political leaders, civil rights activists, preservation-minded Civil War enthusiasts, and local residents, Titus shows how the era’s deep divisions thrust Gettysburg into the national spotlight and ensured that white and Black Americans would define the meaning of the battle, the address, and the war in dramatically different ways.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 1, 2021

"The Right of Sovereignty"

New from Oxford University Press: The Right of Sovereignty: Jean Bodin on the Sovereign State and the Law of Nations by Daniel Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sovereignty is the vital organizing principle of modern international law. This book examines the origins of that principle in the legal and political thought of its most influential theorist, Jean Bodin (1529/30-1596). As the author argues in this study, Bodin's most lasting theoretical contribution was his thesis that sovereignty must be conceptualized as an indivisible bundle of legal rights constitutive of statehood. While these uniform 'rights of sovereignty' licensed all states to exercise numerous exclusive powers, including the absolute power to 'absolve' and release its citizens from legal duties, they were ultimately derived from, and therefore limited by, the law of nations. The book explores Bodin's creative synthesis of classical sources in philosophy, history, and the medieval legal science of Roman and canon law in crafting the rules governing state-centric politics.

The Right of Sovereignty is the first book in English on Bodin's legal and political theory to be published in nearly a half-century and surveys themes overlooked in modern Bodin scholarship: empire, war, conquest, slavery, citizenship, commerce, territory, refugees, and treaty obligations. It will interest specialists in political theory and the history of modern political thought, as well as legal history, the philosophy of law, and international law.
Visit Daniel Lee's webpage.

--Marshal Zeringue