Monday, May 23, 2022

"From the Holy Roman Empire to the Land of the Tsars"

New from Oxford University Press: From the Holy Roman Empire to the Land of the Tsars: One Family's Odyssey, 1768-1870 by Alexander M. Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:
In a manuscript in a Russian archive, an anonymous German eyewitness describes what he saw in Moscow during Napoleon's Russian campaign. Who was this nameless memoirist, and what brought him to Moscow in 1812? The search for answers to those questions uncovers a remarkable story of German and Russian life at the dawn of the modern age.

Johannes Ambrosius Rosenstrauch (1768-1835), the manuscript's author, was a man always on the move and reinventing himself. He spent half his life in the Holy Roman Empire, and the other half in Russia. He was a barber-surgeon, an actor, and a merchant, as well as a Catholic, a Freemason, and a Lutheran pastor. He saw the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, founded a business that flourished for sixty years, and took part in the Enlightenment, the consumer revolution, the Pietist Awakening, and Russia's colonization of the Black Sea steppe. A restless wanderer and seeker, but also the progenitor of an influential merchant family, he was a characteristic figure both of the Age of Revolution and of the bourgeois era that followed.

Presenting a broad panorama of life in the German lands and Russia from the Old Regime to modernity, this microhistory explores how individual people shape, and are shaped by, the historical forces of their time.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 22, 2022

"Powering American Farms"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Powering American Farms: The Overlooked Origins of Rural Electrification by Richard F. Hirsh.

About the book, from the publisher:
The untold story of the power industry's efforts to electrify growing numbers of farms in the years before the creation of Depression-era government programs.

Even after decades of retelling, the story of rural electrification in the United States remains dramatic and affecting. As textbooks and popular histories inform us, farmers obtained electric service only because a compassionate federal government established the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The agencies' success in raising the standard of living for millions of Americans contrasted with the failure of the greedy big-city utility companies, which showed little interest in the apparently unprofitable nonurban market. Traditional accounts often describe the nation's population as split in two, separated by access to a magical form of energy: just past cities' limits, a bleak, preindustrial class of citizens endured, literally in near darkness at night and envious of their urban cousins, who enjoyed electrically operated lights, refrigerators, radios, and labor-saving appliances.

In Powering American Farms, Richard F. Hirsh challenges the notion that electric utilities neglected rural customers in the years before government intervention. Drawing on previously unexamined resources, Hirsh demonstrates that power firms quadrupled the number of farms obtaining electricity in the years between 1923 and 1933, for example. Though not all corporate managers thought much of the farm business, a cadre of rural electrification advocates established the knowledge base and social infrastructure upon which New Deal organizations later capitalized. The book also suggests that the conventional storyline of rural electrification remains popular because it contains a colorful hero, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and villainous utility magnates, such as Samuel Insull, who make for an engaging—but distorted—narrative.

Hirsh describes the evolution of power company managers' thinking in the 1920s and early 1930s—from believing that rural electrification made no economic sense to realizing that serving farmers could mitigate industry-wide problems. This transformation occurred as agricultural engineers in land-grant universities, supported by utilities, demonstrated productive electrical technologies that yielded healthy profits to farmers and companies alike. Gaining confidence in the value of rural electrification, private firms strung wires to more farms than did the REA until 1950, a fact conveniently omitted in conventional accounts. Powering American Farms will interest academic and lay readers of New Deal history, the history of technology, and revisionist historiography.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 21, 2022

"In the Shade of the Sunna"

New from the University of California Press: In the Shade of the Sunna: Salafi Piety in the Twentieth-Century Middle East by Aaron Rock-Singer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Salafis explicitly base their legitimacy on continuity with the Quran and the Sunna, and their distinctive practices—praying in shoes, wearing long beards and short pants, and observing gender segregation—are understood to have a similarly ancient pedigree. In this book, however, Aaron Rock-Singer draws from a range of media forms as well as traditional religious texts to demonstrate that Salafism is a creation of the twentieth century and that its signature practices emerged primarily out of Salafis’ competition with other social movements amid the intellectual and social upheavals of modernity. In the Shade of the Sunna thus takes readers beyond the surface claims of Salafism’s own proponents—and the academics who often repeat them—into the larger sociocultural and intellectual forces that have shaped Islam’s fastest growing revivalist movement.
Follow Aaron Rock-Singer on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 20, 2022

"Sextarianism"

New from Stanford University Press: Sextarianism: Sovereignty, Secularism, and the State in Lebanon by Maya Mikdashi.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Lebanese state is structured through religious freedom and secular power sharing across sectarian groups. Every sect has specific laws that govern kinship matters like marriage or inheritance. Together with criminal and civil laws, these laws regulate and produce political difference. But whether women or men, Muslims or Christians, queer or straight, all people in Lebanon have one thing in common—they are biopolitical subjects forged through bureaucratic, ideological, and legal techniques of the state.

With this book, Maya Mikdashi offers a new way to understand state power, theorizing how sex, sexuality, and sect shape and are shaped by law, secularism, and sovereignty. Drawing on court archives, public records, and ethnography of the Court of Cassation, the highest civil court in Lebanon, Mikdashi shows how political difference is entangled with religious, secular, and sexual difference. She presents state power as inevitably contingent, like the practices of everyday life it engenders, focusing on the regulation of religious conversion, the curation of legal archives, state and parastatal violence, and secular activism. Sextarianism locates state power in the experiences, transitions, uprisings, and violence that people in the Middle East continue to live.
Follow Maya Mikdashi on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 19, 2022

"Distrust of Institutions in Early Modern Britain and America"

New from Oxford University Press: Distrust of Institutions in Early Modern Britain and America by Brian P. Levack.

About the book, from the publisher:
Distrust of public institutions, which reached critical proportions in Britain and the United States in the first two decades of the twenty-first century, was an important theme of public discourse in Britain and colonial America during the early modern period. Demonstrating broad chronological and thematic range, the historian Brian P. Levack explains that trust in public institutions is more tenuous and difficult to restore once it has been betrayed than trust in one's family, friends, and neighbors, because the vast majority of the populace do not personally know the officials who run large national institutions. Institutional distrust shaped the political, legal, economic, and religious history of England, Scotland, and the British colonies in America. It provided a theoretical and rhetorical foundation for the two English revolutions of the seventeenth century and the American Revolution in the late eighteenth century. It also inspired reforms of criminal procedure, changes in the system of public credit and finance, and challenges to the clergy who dominated the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, and the churches in the American colonies. This study reveals striking parallels between the loss of trust in British and American institutions in the early modern period and the present day.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

"Crimesploitation"

New from Stanford University Press: Crimesploitation: Crime, Punishment, and Pleasure on Reality Television by Paul Kaplan and Daniel LaChance.

About the book, from the publisher:
"Due to the graphic nature of this program, viewer discretion is advised." Most of us have encountered this warning while watching television at some point. It is typically attached to a brand of reality crime TV that Paul Kaplan and Daniel LaChance call "crimesploitation": spectacles designed to entertain mass audiences by exhibiting "real" criminal behavior and its consequences. This book examines their enduring popularity in American culture. Analyzing the structure and content of several popular crimesploitation shows, including Cops, Dog: The Bounty Hunter, and To Catch a Predator, as well as newer examples like Making a Murderer and Don't F**K with Cats, Kaplan and LaChance highlight the troubling nature of the genre: though it presents itself as ethical and righteous, its entertainment value hinges upon suffering. Viewers can imagine themselves as deviant and ungovernable like the criminals in the show, thereby escaping a law-abiding lifestyle. Alternatively, they can identify with law enforcement officials, exercising violence, control, and "justice" on criminal others. Crimesploitation offers a sobering look at the depictions of criminals, policing, and punishment in modern America.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

"Coalitions of the Weak"

New from Cambridge University Press: Coalitions of the Weak by Victor C. Shih.

About the book, from the publisher:
For the first time since Mao, a Chinese leader may serve a life-time tenure. Xi Jinping may well replicate Mao's successful strategy to maintain power. If so, what are the institutional and policy implications for China? Victor C. Shih investigates how leaders of one-party autocracies seek to dominate the elite and achieve true dictatorship, governing without fear of internal challenge or resistance to major policy changes. Through an in-depth look of late-Mao politics informed by thousands of historical documents and data analysis, Coalitions of the Weak uncovers Mao's strategy of replacing seasoned, densely networked senior officials with either politically tainted or inexperienced officials. The book further documents how a decentralized version of this strategy led to two generations of weak leadership in the Chinese Communist Party, creating the conditions for Xi's rapid consolidation of power after 2012.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 16, 2022

"The Currency of Politics"

New from Princeton University Press: The Currency of Politics: The Political Theory of Money from Aristotle to Keynes by Stefan Eich.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, critical attention has shifted from the economy to the most fundamental feature of all market economies—money. Yet despite the centrality of political struggles over money, it remains difficult to articulate its democratic possibilities and limits. The Currency of Politics takes readers from ancient Greece to today to provide an intellectual history of money, drawing on the insights of key political philosophers to show how money is not just a medium of exchange but also a central institution of political rule.

Money appears to be beyond the reach of democratic politics, but this appearance—like so much about money—is deceptive. Even when the politics of money is impossible to ignore, its proper democratic role can be difficult to discern. Stefan Eich examines six crucial episodes of monetary crisis, recovering the neglected political theories of money in the thought of such figures as Aristotle, John Locke, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. He shows how these layers of crisis have come to define the way we look at money, and argues that informed public debate about money requires a better appreciation of the diverse political struggles over its meaning.

Recovering foundational ideas at the intersection of monetary rule and democratic politics, The Currency of Politics explains why only through greater awareness of the historical limits of monetary politics can we begin to articulate more democratic conceptions of money.
Visit Stefan Eich's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 15, 2022

"Geek Girls"

New from NYU Press: Geek Girls: Inequality and Opportunity in Silicon Valley by France Winddance Twine.

About the book, from the publisher:
An inside account of gender and racial discrimination in the high-tech industry

Why is being a computer “geek” still perceived to be a masculine occupation? Why do men continue to greatly outnumber women in the high-technology industry? Since 2014, a growing number of employment discrimination lawsuits has called attention to a persistent pattern of gender discrimination in the tech world. Much has been written about the industry’s failure to adequately address gender and racial inequalities, yet rarely have we gotten an intimate look inside these companies. In Geek Girls, France Winddance Twine provides the first book by a sociologist that “lifts the Silicon veil” to provide firsthand accounts of inequality and opportunity in the tech ecosystem. This work draws on close to a hundred interviews with male and female technology workers of diverse racial, ethnic, and educational backgrounds who are currently employed at tech firms such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and at various start-ups in the San Francisco Bay area. Geek Girls captures what it is like to work as a technically skilled woman in Silicon Valley.

With a sharp eye for detail and compelling testimonials from industry insiders, Twine shows how the technology industry remains rigged against women, and especially Black, Latinx, and Native American women from working class backgrounds. From recruitment and hiring practices that give priority to those with family, friends, and classmates employed in the industry, to social and educational segregation, to academic prestige hierarchies, Twine reveals how women are blocked from entering this industry. Women who do not belong to the dominant ethnic groups in the industry are denied employment opportunities, and even actively pushed out, despite their technical skills and qualifications.

While the technology firms strongly embrace the rhetoric of diversity and oppose discrimination in the workplace, Twine argues that closed social networks and routine hiring practices described by employees reinforce the status quo and reproduce inequality. The myth of meritocracy and gender stereotypes operate in tandem to produce a culture where the use of race-, color-, and power-evasive language makes it difficult for individuals to name the micro-aggressions and forms of discrimination that they experience.

Twine offers concrete insights into how the technology industry can address ongoing racial and gender disparities, create more transparency and empower women from underrepresented groups, who continued to be denied opportunities.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 14, 2022

"The Riviera, Exposed"

New from Cornell University Press: The Riviera, Exposed: An Ecohistory of Postwar Tourism and North African Labor by Stephen L. Harp.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sweeping social and environmental history, The Riviera, Exposed illuminates the profound changes to the physical space that we know as the quintessential European tourist destination. Stephen L. Harp uncovers the behind-the-scenes impact of tourism following World War II, both on the environment and on the people living and working on the Riviera, particularly North African laborers, who not only did much of the literal rebuilding of the Riviera but also suffered in that process.

Outside of Paris, the Riviera has been the most visited region in France, depending almost exclusively on tourism as its economic lifeline. Until recently, we knew a great deal about the tourists but much less about the social and environmental impacts of their activities or about the life stories of the North African workers upon whom the Riviera's prosperity rests. The technologies embedded in roads, airports, hotels, water lines, sewers, beaches, and marinas all required human intervention—and travelers were encouraged to disregard this intervention. Harp's sharp analysis explores the impacts of massive construction and public works projects, revealing the invisible infrastructure of tourism, its environmental effects, and the immigrants who built the Riviera.

The Riviera, Exposed unearths a gritty history, one of human labor and ecological degradation that forms the true foundation of the glamorous Riviera of tourist mythology.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 13, 2022

"The Everyday Crusade"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Everyday Crusade: Christian Nationalism in American Politics by Eric L. McDaniel, Irfan Nooruddin, and Allyson F. Shortle.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is causing the American public to move more openly into alt-right terrain? What explains the uptick in anti-immigrant hysteria, isolationism, and an increasing willingness to support alternatives to democratic governance? The Everyday Crusade provides an answer. The book points to American Religious Exceptionalism (ARE), a widely held religious nationalist ideology steeped in myth about the nation's original purpose. The book opens with a comprehensive synthesis of research on nationalism and religion in American public opinion. Making use of survey data spanning three different presidential administrations, it then develops a new theory of why Americans form extremist attitudes, based on religious exceptionalism myths. The book closes with an examination of what's next for an American public that confronts new global issues, alongside existing challenges to perceived cultural authority. Timely and enlightening, The Everyday Crusade offers a critical touchstone for better understanding American national identity and the exclusionary ideologies that have plagued the nation since its inception.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 12, 2022

"Stars and Shadows"

Coming soon from Oxford University Press: Stars and Shadows: The Politics of Interracial Friendship from Jefferson to Obama by Saladin Ambar.

About the book, from the publisher:
The oppression of Blacks is America's original sin -- a sin that took root in 1619 and plagues the country to this day. Yet there have been instances of interracial bonding and friendship even in the worst of times. In Stars and Shadows -- a term taken from Huckleberry Finn -- Saladin Ambar analyzes two centuries of noteworthy interracial friendships that served as windows into the state of race relations in the US and, more often than not, as models for advancing the cause of racial equality.

Stars and Shadows is the first work in American political history to offer a comprehensive overview of how friendship has come to shape the possibilities for democratic politics in America. Covering ten cases -- from Benjamin Banneker and Thomas Jefferson's ill-fated effort to navigate the limits imposed on democracy by slavery and white supremacy, to the more hopeful stories of James Baldwin and Marlon Brando as well as Angela Davis and Gloria Steinem -- Ambar's study illuminates how friendship is critical to understanding the potential for multiracial democracy. Political leaders and cultural figures are frequently involved in translating private feelings, relationships, and ideas, into a public ideal. Friendships and their meaning are therefore a significant part of any effort to shape public or elite opinion.

The symbolism inherent in interracial friendship has always been readily apparent, down to the powerful example of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who were not only allied politicians, but most importantly, friends. Ambar weaves a set of interlocking stories that help create a working theory of multiracial democracy that demands more of us as citizens: a commitment to engage one another and to engage our past with even greater courage and trust. Such gestures are a vital part of the story of how race and America have been shaped. Stars and Shadows helps explain America's enduring difficulty in making friends of citizens across the color line -- and why the narrative of racial friendship matters.
Follow Saladin Ambar on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

"Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples"

New from Cornell University Press: Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples: Ethnic Mixing in Soviet Central Asia by Adrienne Edgar.

About the book, from the publisher:
Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples examines the racialization of identities and its impact on mixed couples and families in Soviet Central Asia. In marked contrast to its Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union celebrated mixed marriages among its diverse ethnic groups as a sign of the unbreakable friendship of peoples and the imminent emergence of a single "Soviet people." Yet the official Soviet view of ethnic nationality became increasingly primordial and even racialized in the USSR's final decades. In this context, Adrienne Edgar argues, mixed families and individuals found it impossible to transcend ethnicity, fully embrace their complex identities, and become simply "Soviet."

Looking back on their lives in the Soviet Union, ethnically mixed people often reported that the "official" nationality in their identity documents did not match their subjective feelings of identity, that they were unable to speak "their own" native language, and that their ambiguous physical appearance prevented them from claiming the nationality with which they most identified. In all these ways, mixed couples and families were acutely and painfully affected by the growth of ethnic primordialism and by the tensions between the national and supranational projects in the Soviet Union.

Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples is based on more than eighty in-depth oral history interviews with members of mixed families in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, along with published and unpublished Soviet documents, scholarly and popular articles from the Soviet press, memoirs and films, and interviews with Soviet-era sociologists and ethnographers.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

"Magic in Merlin's Realm"

New from Cambridge University Press: Magic in Merlin's Realm: A History of Occult Politics in Britain by Francis Young.

About the book, from the publisher:
Belief in magic was, until relatively recent times, widespread in Britain; yet the impact of such belief on determinative political events has frequently been overlooked. In his wide-ranging new book, Francis Young explores the role of occult traditions in the history of the island of Great Britain: Merlin's realm. He argues that while the great magus and artificer invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth was a powerful model for a succession of actual royal magical advisers (including Roger Bacon and John Dee), monarchs nevertheless often lived in fear of hostile sorcery while at other times they even attempted magic themselves. Successive governments were simultaneously fascinated by astrology and alchemy, yet also deeply wary of the possibility of treasonous spellcraft. Whether deployed in warfare, rebellion or propaganda, occult traditions were of central importance to British history and, as the author reveals, these dark arts of magic and politics remain entangled to this day.
Visit Francis Young's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 9, 2022

"Anatomy of Torture"

New from Cornell University Press: Anatomy of Torture by Ron E. Hassner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Does torture "work?" Can controversial techniques such as waterboarding extract crucial and reliable intelligence? Since 9/11, this question has been angrily debated in the halls of power and the court of public opinion. In Anatomy of Torture, Ron E. Hassner mines the archives of the Spanish Inquisition to propose an answer that will frustrate and infuriate both sides of the divide.

The Inquisition's scribes recorded every torment, every scream, and every confession in the torture chamber. Their transcripts reveal that Inquisitors used torture deliberately and meticulously, unlike the rash, improvised methods used by the United States after 9/11. In their relentless pursuit of underground Jewish communities in Spain and Mexico, the Inquisition tortured in cold blood. But they treated any information extracted with caution: torture was used to test information provided through other means, not to uncover startling new evidence.

Hassner's findings in Anatomy of Torture have important implications for ongoing torture debates. Rather than insist that torture is ineffective, torture critics should focus their attention on the morality of torture. If torture is evil, its efficacy is irrelevant. At the same time, torture defenders cannot advocate for torture as a counterterrorist "quick fix": torture has never located, nor will ever locate, the hypothetical "ticking bomb" that is frequently invoked to justify brutality in the name of security.
The Page 99 Test: War on Sacred Grounds.

The Page 99 Test: Religion on the Battlefield.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 8, 2022

"In the Hands of God"

New from Princeton University Press: In the Hands of God: How Evangelical Belonging Transforms Migrant Experience in the United States by Johanna Bard Richlin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why do migrants become more deeply evangelical in the United States and how does this religious identity alter their self-understanding? In the Hands of God examines this question through a unique lens, foregrounding the ways that churches transform what migrants feel. Drawing from her extensive fieldwork among Brazilian migrants in the Washington, DC, area, Johanna Bard Richlin shows that affective experience is key to comprehending migrants’ turn toward intense religiosity, and their resulting evangelical commitment.

The conditions of migrant life—family separation, geographic isolation, legal precariousness, workplace vulnerability, and deep uncertainty about the future—shape specific affective maladies, including loneliness, despair, and feeling stuck. These feelings in turn trigger novel religious yearnings. Evangelical churches deliberately and deftly articulate, manage, and reinterpret migrant distress through affective therapeutics, the strategic “healing” of migrants’ psychological pain. Richlin offers insights into the affective dimensions of migration, the strategies pursued by evangelical churches to attract migrants, and the ways in which evangelical belonging enables migrants to feel better, emboldening them to improve their lives.

Looking at the ways evangelical churches help migrants navigate negative emotions, In the Hands of God sheds light on the versatility and durability of evangelical Christianity.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Democracy’s Chief Executive"

Coming soon from the University of California Press: Democracy’s Chief Executive: Interpreting the Constitution and Defining the Future of the Presidency by Peter M. Shane.

About the book, from the publisher:
Legal scholar Peter M. Shane confronts U.S. presidential entitlement and offers a more reasonable way of conceptualizing our constitutional presidency in the twenty-first century.

In the eyes of modern-day presidentialists, the United States Constitution’s vesting of “executive power” means today what it meant in 1787. For them, what it meant in 1787 was the creation of a largely unilateral presidency, and in their view, a unilateral presidency still best serves our national interest. Democracy’s Chief Executive challenges each of these premises, while showing how their influence on constitutional interpretation for more than forty years has set the stage for a presidency ripe for authoritarianism.

Democracy’s Chief Executive explains how dogmatic ideas about expansive executive authority can create within the government a psychology of presidential entitlement that threatens American democracy and the rule of law. Tracing today’s aggressive presidentialism to a steady consolidation of White House power aided primarily by right-wing lawyers and judges since 1981, Peter M. Shane argues that this is a dangerously authoritarian form of constitutional interpretation that is not even well supported by an originalist perspective. Offering instead a fresh approach to balancing presidential powers, Shane develops an interpretative model of adaptive constitutionalism, rooted in the values of deliberative democracy. Democracy’s Chief Executive demonstrates that justifying outcomes explicitly based on core democratic values is more, not less, constraining for judicial decision making—and presents a model that Americans across the political spectrum should embrace.
Follow Peter M. Shane on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 7, 2022

"They Eat Our Sweat"

New from Oxford University Press: They Eat Our Sweat: Transport Labor, Corruption, and Everyday Survival in Urban Nigeria by Daniel E. Agbiboa.

About the book, from the publisher:
Accounts of corruption in Africa and the Global South are generally overly simplistic and macro-oriented, and commonly disconnect everyday (petty) corruption from political (grand) corruption. In contrast to this tendency, They Eat Our Sweat offers a fresh and engaging look at the corruption complex in Africa through a micro analysis of its informal transport sector, where collusion between state and nonstate actors is most rife. Focusing on Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital and Africa's largest city, Daniel Agbiboa investigates the workaday world of road transport operators as refracted through the extortion racket and violence of transport unions acting in complicity with the state. Steeped in an embodied knowledge of Lagos and backed by two years of thorough ethnographic fieldwork, including working as an informal bus conductor, Agbiboa provides an emic perspective on precarious labour, popular agency and the daily pursuit of survival under the shadow of the modern world system. Corruption, Agbiboa argues, is not rooted in Nigerian culture but is shaped by the struggle to get by and get ahead on the fast and slow lanes of Lagos. The pursuit of economic survival compels transport operators to participate in the reproduction of the very transgressive system they denounce. They Eat Our Sweat is not just a book about corruption but also about transportation, politics, and governance in urban Africa.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 6, 2022

"Small Bites"

New from the University of British Columbia Press: Small Bites: Biocultural Dimension of Children’s Food and Nutrition by Tina Moffat.

About the book, from the publisher:
Presents an anthropological and biocultural approach to child nutrition.

Picky eating. Obesity. Malnutrition. Small Bites challenges preconceptions about the biological basis of children’s eating habits, gendered and parent-focused responsibility, and the notion of naturally determined children’s foods. Tina Moffat draws on extensive anthropological research to explore the biological and sociocultural determinants of child nutrition and feeding. Are children naturally picky eaters? How can school meal programs help to address food insecurity and malnutrition? How has the industrial food system commodified children’s food and shaped children’s bodies? Small Bites investigates how children are fed in school and at home in Nepal, France, Japan, Canada, and the United States to reveal the ways child nutrition reflects broader cultural approaches to childhood and food. This important work also sets a course for food policy, schools, communities, and caregivers to improve children’s food and nutrition equitably and sustainably.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 5, 2022

"Catholic Spectacle and Rome's Jews"

New from Princeton University Press: Catholic Spectacle and Rome's Jews: Early Modern Conversion and Resistance by Emily Michelson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A new investigation that shows how conversionary preaching to Jews was essential to the early modern Catholic Church and the Roman religious landscape

Starting in the sixteenth century, Jews in Rome were forced, every Saturday, to attend a hostile sermon aimed at their conversion. Harshly policed, they were made to march en masse toward the sermon and sit through it, all the while scrutinized by local Christians, foreign visitors, and potential converts. In Catholic Spectacle and Rome’s Jews, Emily Michelson demonstrates how this display was vital to the development of early modern Catholicism.

Drawing from a trove of overlooked manuscripts, Michelson reconstructs the dynamics of weekly forced preaching in Rome. As the Catholic Church began to embark on worldwide missions, sermons to Jews offered a unique opportunity to define and defend its new triumphalist, global outlook. They became a point of prestige in Rome. The city’s most important organizations invested in maintaining these spectacles, and foreign tourists eagerly attended them. The title of “Preacher to the Jews” could make a man’s career. The presence of Christian spectators, Roman and foreign, was integral to these sermons, and preachers played to the gallery. Conversionary sermons also provided an intellectual veneer to mask ongoing anti-Jewish aggressions. In response, Jews mounted a campaign of resistance, using any means available.

Examining the history and content of sermons to Jews over two and a half centuries, Catholic Spectacle and Rome’s Jews argues that conversionary preaching to Jews played a fundamental role in forming early modern Catholic identity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

"Riot and Rebellion in Mexico"

New from the University of Texas Press: Riot and Rebellion in Mexico: The Making of a Race War Paradigm by Ana Sabau.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many scholars assert that Mexico’s complex racial hierarchy, inherited from Spanish colonialism, became obsolete by the turn of the nineteenth century as class-based distinctions became more prominent and a largely mestizo population emerged. But the residues of the colonial caste system did not simply dissolve after Mexico gained independence. Rather, Ana Sabau argues, ever-present fears of racial uprising among elites and authorities led to persistent governmental techniques and ideologies designed to separate and control people based on their perceived racial status, as well as to the implementation of projects for development in fringe areas of the country.

Riot and Rebellion in Mexico traces this race-based narrative through three historical flashpoints: the Bajío riots, the Haitian Revolution, and the Yucatan’s caste war. Sabau shows how rebellions were treated as racially motivated events rather than political acts and how the racialization of popular and indigenous sectors coincided with the construction of “whiteness” in Mexico. Drawing on diverse primary sources, Sabau demonstrates how the race war paradigm was mobilized in foreign and domestic affairs and reveals the foundations of a racial state and racially stratified society that persist today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

"Making Refugees in India"

New from Oxford University Press: Making Refugees in India by Ria Kapoor.

About the book, from the publisher:
Offering a global history of India's refugee regime, Making Refugees in India explores how one of the first postcolonial states during the mid-twentieth century wave of decolonisation rewrote global practices surrounding refugees - signified by India's refusal to sign the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. In broadening the scope of this decision well beyond the Partition of India, starting with the so called 'Wilsonian moment' and extending to the 1970s, the refugee is placed within the postcolonial effort to address the inequalities of the subject-citizenship of the British empire through the fullest realisation of self-determination. India's 'strategically ambiguous' approach to refugees is thus far from ad hoc, revealing a startling consistency when viewed in conversation of postcolonial state building and anti-imperial worldmaking to address inequity across the former colonies. The anti-colonial cry for self-determination as the source of all rights, it is revealed in this work, was in tension with the universal human rights that focused on the individual, and the figure of the refugee felt this irreconcilable difference most intensely. To elucidate this, this work explores contrasts in Indians' and Europeans' rights in the British empire and in World War Two, refugee rehabilitation during Partition, the arrival of the Tibetan refugees, and the East Pakistani refugee crisis. Ria Kapoor finds that the refugee was constitutive of postcolonial Indian citizenship, and that assistance permitted to refugees - a share of the rights guaranteed by self-determination - depended on their potential to threaten or support national sovereignty that allowed Indian experiences to be included in the shaping of universal principles.
Follow Ria Kapoor on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 2, 2022

"Untying Things Together"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Untying Things Together: Philosophy, Literature, and a Life in Theory by Eric L. Santner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Untying Things Together helps to clarify the stakes of the last fifty years of literary and cultural theory by proposing the idea of a sexuality of theory.

In 1905, Freud published his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, the book that established the core psychoanalytic thesis that sexuality is central to formations of the unconscious. With this book, Eric L. Santner inverts Freud’s title to take up the sexuality of theory—or, more exactly, the modes of enjoyment to be found in the kinds of critical thinking that, since the 1960s, have laid claim to that ancient word, “theory.” Santner unfolds his argument by tracking his own relationship with this tradition and the ways his intellectual and spiritual development has been informed by it.

Untying Things Together is both an intellectual history of major theoretical paradigms and a call for their reexamination and renewal. Revisiting many of the topics he has addressed in previous work, Santner proposes a new way of conceptualizing the eros of thinking, attuned to how our minds and bodies individually and collectively incorporate or “encyst” on a void at the heart of things. Rather than proposing a “return to theory,” Santner’s book simply employs theory as a way of further “(un)tying together” the resources of philosophy, art and literature, theology, psychoanalysis, political thought, and more.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 1, 2022

"Prisons of Debt"

New from the University of California Press: Prisons of Debt: The Afterlives of Incarcerated Fathers by Lynne Haney.

About the book, from the publisher:
A profound portrait of the hidden injustices that trap fathers in a cycle of punishment and debt.

In the first study of its kind, sociologist Lynne Haney travels into state institutions across the country to document the experiences of the millions of fathers cycling through the criminal justice and child support systems. Prisons of Debt shows how these systems work together to create complex entanglements—rather than "piling up" in men's lives, these entanglements form feedback loops of disadvantage. The prison–child support pipeline flows in both directions, deepening parents' debt and criminal justice involvement.

Through moving accounts of men struggling to be fathers from behind prison walls and under the weight of support debt, Prisons of Debt exposes how the criminalization of child support undermines the most essential of familial relationships. Haney argues that these state systems can end up producing exactly the kind of parent they fear and loathe: bitter, unreliable, and cyclical fathers. Based on observations of 1,200 child support cases and interviews with 145 indebted fathers in New York, California, and Florida, Prisons of Debt reveals the actual practices of child support adjudication and enforcement alongside the lived realities of fathers trapped in those systems. The result is a rigorously documented analysis of how poor men are too often denied their rights of citizenship and of fatherhood.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 30, 2022

"Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art"

New from Oxford University Press: Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art by Sherri Irvin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Irvin argues that rules are the key to understanding what's going on in contemporary art.

Contemporary art can seem chaotic: it may be made of toilet paper, candies you can eat, or meat that is thrown out after each exhibition. Some works fill a room with obsessively fabricated objects, while others purport to include only concepts, thoughts, or language. Immaterial argues that, despite these unruly appearances, making rules is a key part of what many contemporary artists do when they make their works, and these rules can explain disparate developments in installation art, conceptual art, time-based media art, and participatory art.

Sherri Irvin shows how rules are now an artistic medium: they are part of the work's structure and shape what it expresses. Rules are meaningful in themselves and help to activate the meanings of non-art materials and found objects, so audiences need to know about the rules to get the most out of their art experiences. Loss of information about the rules, like loss of a chunk of marble, can seriously damage the work, and preserving rules as well as objects is reshaping how museums maintain their collections. Where rules collide with real-world circumstances, they may be broken maliciously, mistakenly, or for good reasons, threatening the work's meanings and sometimes its very existence.

Should we celebrate the prominence of rules in contemporary art? Irvin argues that, while rules aren't always used well, they can be used to create distinctive meanings and provide powerful immersive experiences not achievable through any other means.
Follow Sherri Irvin on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 29, 2022

"Lawful Sins"

New from Stanford University Press: Lawful Sins: Abortion Rights and Reproductive Governance in Mexico by Elyse Ona Singer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Mexico is at the center of the global battle over abortion. In 2007, a watershed reform legalized the procedure in the national capital, making it one of just three places across Latin America where it was permitted at the time. Abortion care is now available on demand and free of cost through a pioneering program of the Mexico City Ministry of Health, which has served hundreds of thousands of women. At the same time, abortion laws have grown harsher in several states outside the capital as part of a coordinated national backlash.

In this book, Elyse Ona Singer argues that while pregnant women in Mexico today have options that were unavailable just over a decade ago, they are also subject to the expanded reach of the Mexican state and the Catholic Church over their bodies and reproductive lives. By analyzing the moral politics of clinical encounters in Mexico City's public abortion program, Lawful Sins offers a critical account of the relationship among reproductive rights, gendered citizenship, and public healthcare. With timely insights on global struggles for reproductive justice, Singer reorients prevailing perspectives that approach abortion rights as a hallmark of women's citizenship in liberal societies.
Follow Elyse Ona Singer on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 28, 2022

"Reliability and Alliance Interdependence"

New from Cornell University Press: Reliability and Alliance Interdependence: The United States and Its Allies in Asia, 1949–1969 by Iain D. Henry.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Reliability and Alliance Interdependence, Iain D. Henry argues for a more sophisticated approach to alliance politics and ideas of interdependence.

It is often assumed that if the United States failed to defend an ally, then this disloyalty would instantly and irrevocably damage US alliances across the globe. Henry proposes that such damage is by no means inevitable and that predictions of disaster are dangerously simplistic. If other allies fear the risks of military escalation more than the consequences of the United States abandoning an ally, then they will welcome, encourage, and even praise such an instance of disloyalty. It is also often assumed that alliance interdependence only constrains US policy options, but Henry shows how the United States can manipulate interdependence to set an example of what constitutes acceptable allied behavior.

Using declassified documents, Henry explores five case studies involving US alliances with South Korea, Japan, the Republic of China, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand. Reliability and Alliance Interdependence makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of how America's alliances in Asia function as an interdependent system.
Follow Iain D. Henry on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

"Happy Dreams of Liberty"

New from Oxford University Press: Happy Dreams of Liberty: An American Family in Slavery and Freedom by R. Isabela Morales.

About the book, from the publisher:
A poignant, multi-generational saga of a mixed-race family in the US West and South from the antebellum period through the rise of Jim Crow.

When Samuel Townsend died at his home in Madison County, Alabama, in November 1856, the fifty-two-year-old white planter left behind hundreds of slaves, thousands of acres of rich cotton land, and a net worth of approximately $200,000. In life, Samuel had done little to distinguish himself from other members of the South's elite slaveholding class. But he made a name for himself in death by leaving almost the entirety of his fortune to his five sons, four daughters, and two nieces: all of them his slaves.

In this deeply researched, movingly narrated portrait of the extended Townsend family, R. Isabela Morales reconstructs the migration of this mixed-race family across the American West and South over the second half of the nineteenth century. Searching for communities where they could exercise their newfound freedom and wealth to the fullest, members of the family homesteaded and attended college in Ohio and Kansas; fought for the Union Army in Mississippi; mined for silver in the Colorado Rockies; and, in the case of one son, returned to Alabama to purchase part of the old plantation where he had once been held as a slave. In Morales's telling, the Townsends' story maps a new landscape of opportunity and oppression, where the meanings of race and freedom--as well as opportunities for social and economic mobility--were dictated by highly local circumstances.

During the turbulent period between the Civil War and the rise of Jim Crow at the turn of the twentieth century, the Townsends carved out spaces where they were able to benefit from their money and mixed-race ancestry, pass down generational wealth, and realize some of their happy dreams of liberty.
Visit R. Isabela Morales's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

"Degrees of Equality"

New from Louisiana State University Press: Degrees of Equality: Abolitionist Colleges and the Politics of Race by John Frederick Bell.

About the book, from the publisher:
The abolitionist movement not only helped bring an end to slavery in the United States but also inspired the large-scale admission of African Americans to the country’s colleges and universities. Oberlin College changed the face of American higher education in 1835 when it began enrolling students irrespective of race and sex. Camaraderie among races flourished at the Ohio institution and at two other leading abolitionist colleges, Berea in Kentucky and New York Central, where Black and white students allied in the fight for emancipation and civil rights. After Reconstruction, however, color lines emerged on even the most progressive campuses. For new generations of white students and faculty, ideas of fairness toward African Americans rarely extended beyond tolerating their presence in the classroom, and overt acts of racial discrimination against Blacks grew increasingly common by the 1880s.

John Frederick Bell’s Degrees of Equality analyzes the trajectory of interracial reform at Oberlin, New York Central, and Berea, noting its implications for the progress of racial equality in nineteenth-century America. Drawing on student and alumni writings, institutional records, and promotional materials, Bell uses case studies to interrogate how abolitionists and their successors put their principles into practice. The ultimate failure of these social experiments illustrates a tragic irony of interracial reform, as the achievement of African American freedom and citizenship led whites to divest from the project of racial pluralism.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 25, 2022

"Dancing on Bones"

New from Oxford University Press: Dancing on Bones: History and Power in China, Russia and North Korea by Katie Stallard.

About the book, from the publisher:
History didn't end. Democracy didn't triumph. America's leading role in the world is no longer assured. Instead, autocrats and populist strongmen are on the rise, and the global order established after 1945 is under attack. This is the phenomenon Katie Stallard tackles in Dancing on Bones, as she examines how the leaders of China, Russia, and North Korea manipulate the past to serve the present and secure the future of authoritarian rule.

Russia has annexed Crimea, started a war in eastern Ukraine, and repeatedly massed troops on its borders. China has stepped up war games near Taiwan and militarized the South China Sea, while North Korea has resumed missile testing and blood-curdling threats against the United States. These three states consistently top lists of threats to US and European security, and yet the leaders of all three insist that it is their country that is threatened, rewriting history and exploiting the memory of the wars of the last century to justify their actions and shore up popular support. Since coming to power, Xi Jinping has almost doubled the length of China's World War II, Vladimir Putin has elevated the memory of the Great Patriotic War to the status of a national religion, and Kim Jong Un has invested vast sums in rebuilding war museums in his impoverished state, while those who try to challenge the official version of history are silenced and jailed. But this didn't start with Putin, Xi, and Kim, and it won't end with them.

Drawing on first-hand, on-the-ground reporting, Dancing on Bones argues that if we want to understand where these three nuclear powers are heading, we must understand the stories they are telling their citizens about the past.
Visit Katie Stallard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 24, 2022

"The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900"

New from Cornell University Press: The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900 by Christina B. Carroll.

About the book, from the publisher:
By highlighting the connections between domestic political struggles and overseas imperial structures, The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900 explains how and why French Republicans embraced colonial conquest as a central part of their political platform. Christina B. Carroll explores the meaning and value of empire in late-nineteenth-century France, arguing that ongoing disputes about the French state's political organization intersected with racialized beliefs about European superiority over colonial others in French imperial thought.

For much of this period, French writers and politicians did not always differentiate between continental and colonial empire. By employing a range of sources—from newspapers and pamphlets to textbooks and novels—Carroll demonstrates that the memory of older continental imperial models shaped French understandings of, and justifications for, their new colonial empire. She shows that the slow identification of the two types of empire emerged due to a politicized campaign led by colonial advocates who sought to defend overseas expansion against their opponents. This new model of colonial empire was shaped by a complicated set of influences, including political conflict, the legacy of both Napoleons, international competition, racial science, and French experiences in the colonies.

The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900 skillfully weaves together knowledge from its wide-ranging source base to articulate how the meaning and history of empire became deeply intertwined with the meaning and history of the French nation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 23, 2022

"Growing Moral"

New from Oxford University Press: Growing Moral: A Confucian Guide to Life by Stephen C. Angle.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ancient and enduring, rich and wide-ranging, the tradition of Confucianism offers profound insights into how we can lead good lives--lives built on understanding that we are deeply connected to one another.

For thousands of years, Confucian thinkers have carefully honed a philosophy for living fully, passing that knowledge along to their students over generations. Kongzi, also known as Confucius (551-479 BCE), is the most famous of the 2500-year-long tradition's philosophers. Though Kongzi lived more than two millennia ago and on the other side of the earth from many picking up this book, his teachings about how to live reverberate everywhere there are parents, children, and families; everywhere people feel stirrings of compassion for others, but sometimes selfishly ignore them; everywhere people wonder how they should interact with their environment.

In Growing Moral, philosopher Stephen C. Angle engages readers to reflect on and to practice the teachings of Confucianism in the contemporary world. Angle draws on the whole history of Confucianism, focusing on three thinkers from the classical era (Kongzi, Mengzi, and Xunzi) and two from the Neo-Confucian era (Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming). While laying out the fundamental teachings of Confucianism, the book highlights the enduring lessons that the philosophy offers contemporary readers.

Although the book reveals the many helpful ways we can engage Confucian philosophy in our modern lives, it also scrutinizes those elements of Confucianism that may not align with 21st-century standpoints. Angle questions whether Confucianism, historically affiliated with patriarchal societies and monarchical governments, genuinely can be attractive to those committed to gender equality and democratic politics, and points the way towards a progressive, evolving version of Confucianism that is nonetheless consistent with the principles it has upheld over the centuries.

At its core, Confucianism describes a way for humans to live and grow together in our world--a way characterized at its best by joy, beauty, and harmony. This book builds a case for modern Confucianism as a way of life well worth the attention of reflective modern readers no matter their age, where they live, or the paths they've taken so far.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 22, 2022

"A Man among Other Men"

New from Cornell University Press: A Man among Other Men: The Crisis of Black Masculinity in Racial Capitalism by Jordanna Matlon.

About the book, from the publisher:
A Man among Other Men examines competing constructions of modern manhood in the West African metropolis of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Engaging the histories, representational repertoires, and performative identities of men in Abidjan and across the Black Atlantic, Jordanna Matlon shows how French colonial legacies and media tropes of Blackness act as powerful axes, rooting masculine identity and value within labor, consumerism, and commodification.

Through a broad chronological and transatlantic scope that culminates in a deep ethnography of the livelihoods and lifestyles of men in Abidjan's informal economy, Matlon demonstrates how men's subjectivities are formed in dialectical tension by and through hegemonic ideologies of race and patriarchy. A Man among Other Men provides a theoretically innovative, historically grounded, and empirically rich account of Black masculinity that illuminates the sustained power of imaginaries even as capitalism affords a deficit of material opportunities. Revealed is a story of Black abjection set against the anticipation of male privilege, a story of the long crisis of Black masculinity in racial capitalism.
Visit Jordanna Matlon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 21, 2022

"True Blue"

New from the LSU Press: True Blue: White Unionists in the Deep South during the Civil War and Reconstruction by Clayton J. Butler.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the American Civil War, thousands of citizens in the Deep South remained loyal to the United States. Though often overlooked, they possessed broad symbolic importance and occupied an outsized place in the strategic thinking and public discourse of both the Union and the Confederacy. In True Blue, Clayton J. Butler investigates the lives of white Unionists in three Confederate states, revealing who they were, why and how they took their Unionist stand, and what happened to them as a result. He focuses on three Union regiments recruited from among the white residents of the Deep South—individuals who passed the highest bar of Unionism by enlisting in the United States Army to fight with the First Louisiana Cavalry, First Alabama Cavalry, and Thirteenth Tennessee Union Cavalry.

Northerners and southerners alike thought a considerable amount about Deep South Unionism throughout the war, often projecting their hopes and apprehensions onto these embattled dissenters. For both, the significance of these Unionists hinged on the role they would play in the postwar future. To northerners, they represented the tangible nucleus of national loyalty within the rebelling states on which to build Reconstruction policies. To Confederates, they represented traitors to the political ideals of their would-be nation and, as the war went on, to the white race, making them at times a target for vicious reprisal. Unionists’ wartime allegiance proved a touchstone during the political chaos and realignment of Reconstruction, a period when many of these veterans played a key role both as elected officials and as a pivotal voting bloc. In the end, white Unionists proved willing to ally with African Americans during the war to save the Union but unwilling to protect or advance Black civil rights afterward, revealing the character of Unionism during the era as a whole.
Follow Clayton Butler on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

"Violent Appetites"

New from Yale University Press: Violent Appetites: Hunger in the Early Northeast by Carla Cevasco.

About the book, from the publisher:
How hunger shaped both colonialism and Native resistance in Early America

Carla Cevasco reveals the disgusting, violent history of hunger in the context of the colonial invasion of early northeastern North America. Locked in constant violence throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Native Americans and English and French colonists faced the pain of hunger, the fear of encounters with taboo foods, and the struggle for resources. Their mealtime encounters with rotten meat, foraged plants, and even human flesh would transform the meanings of hunger across cultures. By foregrounding hunger and its effects in the early American world, Cevasco emphasizes the fragility of the colonial project, and the strategies of resilience that Native peoples used to endure both scarcity and the colonial invasion. In doing so, the book proposes an interdisciplinary framework for studying scarcity, expanding the field of food studies beyond simply the study of plenty.
Visit Carla Cevasco's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

"Scars on the Land"

New from Oxford University Press: Scars on the Land: An Environmental History of Slavery in the American South by David Silkenat.

About the book, from the publisher:
They worked Virginia's tobacco fields, South Carolina's rice marshes, and the Black Belt's cotton plantations. Wherever they lived, enslaved people found their lives indelibly shaped by the Southern environment. By day, they plucked worms and insects from the crops, trod barefoot in the mud as they hoed rice fields, and endured the sun and humidity as they planted and harvested the fields. By night, they clandestinely took to the woods and swamps to trap opossums and turtles, to visit relatives living on adjacent plantations, and at times to escape slave patrols and escape to freedom.

Scars on the Land is the first comprehensive history of American slavery to examine how the environment fundamentally formed enslaved people's lives and how slavery remade the Southern landscape. Over two centuries, from the establishment of slavery in the Chesapeake to the Civil War, one simple calculation had profound consequences: rather than measuring productivity based on outputs per acre, Southern planters sought to maximize how much labor they could extract from their enslaved workforce. They saw the landscape as disposable, relocating to more fertile prospects once they had leached the soils and cut down the forests. On the leading edge of the frontier, slavery laid waste to fragile ecosystems, draining swamps, clearing forests to plant crops and fuel steamships, and introducing devastating invasive species. On its trailing edge, slavery left eroded hillsides, rivers clogged with sterile soil, and the extinction of native species. While environmental destruction fueled slavery's expansion, no environment could long survive intensive slave labor. The scars manifested themselves in different ways, but the land too fell victim to the slave owner's lash.

Although typically treated separately, slavery and the environment naturally intersect in complex and powerful ways, leaving lasting effects from the period of emancipation through modern-day reckonings with racial justice.
Follow David Silkenat on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 18, 2022

"The Nature of the Religious Right"

New from Cornell University Press: The Nature of the Religious Right: The Struggle between Conservative Evangelicals and the Environmental Movement by Neall W. Pogue.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Nature of the Religious Right, Neall W. Pogue examines how white conservative evangelical Christians became a political force known for hostility toward environmental legislation. Before the 1990s, this group used ideas of nature to help construct the religious right movement while developing theologically based, eco-friendly philosophies that can be described as Christian environmental stewardship. On the twentieth anniversary of Earth Day in 1990, members of this conservative evangelical community tried to turn their eco-friendly philosophies into action. Yet this attempt was overwhelmed by a growing number in the leadership who made anti-environmentalism the accepted position through public ridicule, conspiracy theories, and cherry-picked science.

Through analysis of rhetoric, political expediency, and theological imperatives, The Nature of the Religious Right explains how ideas of nature played a role in constructing the conservative evangelical political movement, why Christian environmental stewardship was supported by members of the community for so long, and why they turned against it so decidedly beginning in the 1990s.
--Marshal Zeringue