Monday, January 31, 2022

"Why Informal Workers Organize"

New from Oxford University Press: Why Informal Workers Organize: Contentious Politics, Enforcement, and the State by Calla Hummel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Informal workers make up over two billion workers or about 50% of the global workforce. Surprisingly, scholars know little about informal workers' political or civil society participation. An informal worker is anyone who holds a job and who does not pay taxes on taxable earnings, does not hold a license for their work when one is required, or is not part of a mandatory social security system. For decades, researchers argued that informal workers rarely organized or participated in civil society and politics. However, millions of informal workers around the world start and join unions. Why do informal workers organize? In countries like Bolivia, informal workers such as street vendors, fortune tellers, witches, clowns, gravestone cleaners, sex workers, domestic workers, and shoe shiners come together in powerful unions. In South Africa, South Korea, and India, national informal worker organizations represent millions of citizens. The data in this book finds that informal workers organize in nearly every country for which data exists, but to varying degrees. This raises a related question: Why do informal workers organize in some places more than others? The reality of informal work described in this book and supported by surveys in 60 countries, over 150 interviews with informal workers in Bolivia and Brazil, ethnographic data from multiple cities, and administrative data upends the conventional wisdom on the informal sector. The contrast between scholarly expectations and emerging data underpin the central argument of the book: Informal workers organize where state officials encourage them to.
Visit Calla Hummel's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 30, 2022


New from NYU Press: Unaccompanied: The Plight of Immigrant Youth at the Border by Emily Ruehs-Navarro.

About the book, from the publisher:
Explores how humanitarian aid workers help and hinder the care of unaccompanied children as they arrive in the United States

Every year, tens of thousands of children cross into the United States without a legal guardian at their side, often fleeing violence and poverty in their countries of origin. In Unaccompanied, Emily Ruehs-Navarro shows us one aspect of their heartbreaking journeys, as seen through the eyes of the aid workers who try—but too often fail—to help them.

Drawing on interviews with aid workers, migrant children, and others, Ruehs-Navarro follows unaccompanied youth as they seek help from a wide range of professionals. From legal relief organizations to family reunification specialists, she shows us how different aid workers may choose to work for, with, or against unaccompanied immigrant youth, deciding whether they should be treated as refugees, child dependents, or, in some cases, criminals.

Ruehs-Navarro highlights how aid workers, and the systems they represent, often harm the very children they are designed to help. Unaccompanied brings into focus the plight of immigrant youth at the border, illuminating our failure to manage the human casualties of a growing crisis.
Visit Emily Ruehs-Navarro's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 29, 2022

"Governing Security After War"

New from Oxford University Press: Governing Security After War: The Politics of Institutional Change in the Security Sector by Louis-Alexandre Berg.

About the book, from the publisher:
Security assistance has become the largest component of international peacebuilding and stabilization efforts, and a primary tool for responding to civil war and insurgency. Donors and peacekeepers not only train and equip military and police forces, they also seek to overhaul their structure, management, and oversight. Yet, we know little about why these efforts succeed or fail. Efforts to restructure security forces in Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, and the Democratic Republic of Congo ended amidst factional fighting. Similar efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, Mozambique, and Bosnia and Herzegovina helped to transform security forces and underpin peace. What accounts for the mixed outcomes of efforts to restructure security forces after civil war? What is the role of external involvement on these outcomes?

In Governing Security After War, Louis-Alexandre Berg examines the political dimensions of security governance through systematic, cross-country comparison. Berg argues that the extent to which state policymakers adopt changes to the management and oversight of security forces depends on internal political dynamics, specifically the degree to which leaders need to consolidate power. The different political strategies leaders pursue, in turn, affect opportunities for external actors to influence institutional changes through means such as conditions on aid, norm diffusion, or day-to-day participation in decision-making.

Drawing on an original dataset of security governance and field research in Liberia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Timor-Leste, as well as mini-case studies of Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Somalia, Berg draws out novel implications that help explain the recurrence of civil war and the impact of foreign aid on peacebuilding. Moreover, Berg provides practical recommendations for navigating the political challenges of institutional change in conflict-affected countries. Ultimately, Governing Security After War seeks to explain the success and failure of international assistance in war-torn countries and sheds light on the politics of peacebuilding.
Visit Louis-Alexandre Berg's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 28, 2022

"The Paris Commune: A Brief History"

New from Rutgers University Press: The Paris Commune: A Brief History by Carolyn J. Eichner.

About the book, from the publisher:
At dawn on March 18, 1871, Parisian women stepped between cannons and French soldiers, using their bodies to block the army from taking the artillery from their working-class neighborhood. When ordered to fire, the troops refused and instead turned and arrested their leaders. Thus began the Paris Commune, France’s revolutionary civil war that rocked the nineteenth century and shaped the twentieth. Considered a golden moment of hope and potential by the left, and a black hour of terrifying power inversions by the right, the Commune occupies a critical position in understanding modern history and politics. A 72-day conflict that ended with the ferocious slaughter of Parisians, the Commune represents for some the final insurgent burst of the French Revolution’s long wake, for others the first “successful” socialist uprising, and for yet others an archetype for egalitarian socio-economic, feminist, and political change. Militants have referenced and incorporated its ideas into insurrections across the globe, throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries, keeping alive the revolution’s now-iconic goals and images. Innumerable scholars in countless languages have examined aspects of the 1871 uprising, taking perspectives ranging from glorifying to damning this world-shaking event. The Commune stands as a critical and pivotal moment in nineteenth-century history, as the linchpin between revolutionary pasts and futures, and as the crucible allowing glimpses of alternate possibilities. Upending hierarchies of class, religion, and gender, the Commune emerged as a touchstone for the subsequent century-and-a-half of revolutionary and radical social movements.
Follow Carolyn Eichner on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 27, 2022

"Menace to Empire"

New from the University of California Press: Menace to Empire: Anticolonial Solidarities and the Transpacific Origins of the US Security State by Moon-Ho Jung.

About the book, from the publisher:
This history reveals how radical threats to the United States empire became seditious threats to national security and exposes the antiradical and colonial origins of anti-Asian racism. Menace to Empire transforms familiar themes in American history. This profoundly ambitious history of race and empire traces both the colonial violence and the anticolonial rage that the United States spread across the Pacific between the Philippine-American War and World War II. Moon-Ho Jung argues that the US national security state as we know it was born out of attempts to repress and silence anticolonial subjects, from the Philippines and Hawaiʻi to California and beyond.

Jung examines how various revolutionary movements spanning the Pacific confronted the US empire. In response, the US state closely monitored and brutally suppressed those movements, exaggerating fears of pan-Asian solidarities and sowing anti-Asian racism. Radicalized by their opposition to the US empire and racialized as threats to US security, peoples in and from Asia pursued a revolutionary politics that engendered and haunted the national security state—the heart and soul of the US empire ever since.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

"The Immigrant Superpower"

New from Oxford University Press: The Immigrant Superpower: How Brains, Brawn, and Bravery Make America Stronger by Tim Kane.

About the book, from the publisher:
An insightful, persuasive, and honest defense of immigration as central to the United States' economic power and national security.

America was built by immigrants, yet there has long been strong political opposition to immigration. In recent years, the hostility toward immigration has reached a tipping point. While partisan fighting and confusion over basic policy dominate a broken conversation, we often overlook a fundamental American truth: immigration makes America great.

In The Immigrant Superpower, Tim Kane argues that immigration has been a source of American strength and American exceptionalism since the nation's founding. This book explores how immigration is essential to the military strength, economic power, and innovation of the United States. By combining stories of immigrants who have contributed to the American experience, including in the military and business, with analysis of immigration's effects on wages and unemployment, Kane presents a clear defense of greater immigration as a matter of national security. The only way to win the great power competition of the twenty-first century is to embrace America's identity as a nation of immigrants. As politicians in Washington continue to negotiate with no intention to reach an agreement, Kane exposes the immigration consensus hiding in plain sight. Using original, in-depth surveys of American attitudes toward immigration reform he maps out a step-by-step process to achieve reform.

Straight-talking and full of common sense, The Immigrant Superpower stands in sharp contrast to the wholly dysfunctional debate about immigration in the United States.
Follow Tim Kane on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"Powers of Pilgrimage"

New from New York University Press: Powers of Pilgrimage: Religion in a World of Movement by Simon Coleman.

About the book, from the publisher:
A groundbreaking reframing of religious pilgrimage

Pious processions. Sites of miraculous healing. Journeys to far-away sacred places. These are what are usually called to mind when we think of religious pilgrimage. Yet while pilgrimage can include journeying to the heart of sacred shrines, it can also occur in apparently mundane places. Indeed, not everyone has the resources or mobility to take part in religiously inspired movement to foreign lands, and some find meaning in religious movement closer to home and outside of officially sanctioned practices. Powers of Pilgrimage argues that we must question the universality of Western assumptions of what religion is and where it should be located, including the notion that “genuine” pilgrimage needs to be associated with discrete, formally recognized forms of religiosity.

This necessary volume makes the case for expanding our gaze to reconsider the salience, scope, and scale of contemporary forms of pilgrimage and pilgrimage-related activity. It shows that we need to reflect on how pilgrimage sites, journeys, rituals, stories, and metaphors are entangled with each other and with wider aspects of people’s lives, ranging from an action as trivial as a stroll down the street to the magnitude of forced migration to another country or continent.

Offering a new theoretical lexicon and framework for exploring human pilgrimage, Powers of Pilgrimage presents a broad overview of how we can understand pilgrimage activity and proposes that it should be understood not solely as going to, staying at, and leaving a sacred place, but also as occurring in ordinary times, places, and practices.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 24, 2022

"The War That Doesn't Say Its Name"

New from Princeton University Press: The War That Doesn't Say Its Name: The Unending Conflict in the Congo by Jason K. Stearns.

About the book, from the publisher:
Well into its third decade, the military conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been dubbed a “forever war”—a perpetual cycle of war, civil unrest, and local feuds over power and identity. Millions have died in one of the worst humanitarian calamities of our time. The War That Doesn’t Say Its Name investigates the most recent phase of this conflict, asking why the peace deal of 2003—accompanied by the largest United Nations peacekeeping mission in the world and tens of billions in international aid—has failed to stop the violence. Jason Stearns argues that the fighting has become an end in itself, carried forward in substantial part through the apathy and complicity of local and international actors.

Stearns shows that regardless of the suffering, there has emerged a narrow military bourgeoisie of commanders and politicians for whom the conflict is a source of survival, dignity, and profit. Foreign donors provide food and urgent health care for millions, preventing the Congolese state from collapsing, but this involvement has not yielded transformational change. Stearns gives a detailed historical account of this period, focusing on the main players—Congolese and Rwandan states and the main armed groups. He extrapolates from these dynamics to other conflicts across Africa and presents a theory of conflict that highlights the interests of the belligerents and the social structures from which they arise.

Exploring how violence in the Congo has become preoccupied with its own reproduction, The War That Doesn’t Say Its Name sheds light on why certain military feuds persist without resolution.
Follow Jason Stearns on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 23, 2022

"Choosing Freedom"

New from Oxford University Press: Choosing Freedom: A Kantian Guide to Life by Karen Stohr.

About the book, from the publisher:
An exploration of everything Kant's philosophy can teach us about being the best people we can be, from using our human reasoning to its fullest potential to being affably drunk at dinner parties.

Immanuel Kant is well known as one of the towering figures of Western philosophical history, but he is less well known for his savvy advice about hosting dinner parties. This philosophical genius was a man of many interests and talents: his famously formal and abstract ethical system is only part of his story. But Kant not only made a profound impact on how people think about big questions like how to treat one another -- he also offered wise insights on things people confront in everyday life: things like gossip, friendship, manners, self-respect, cheerfulness, gratitude, mockery, contempt, and yes, dinner parties. In this book, philosopher Karen Stohr shows how Kant's whole ethical picture fits together. It's a picture that is as relevant and useful now as it was in the 18th century--and maybe even more so.

A Kantian way of living means using reason to guide your choices so that your life reflects your true nature as a free, rational being. This nature is one we share with others; Kantianism emphasizes the fundamental dignity and equality of each person. It presents an ideal for how we should live together without downplaying the challenges we face in the actual world. Though realistic about human weaknesses, Kant remained optimistic about our capacities and possibilities. He had great faith in the ability of human reason to point us in the direction of moral progress and to get us there. Each of us has the power within us to know and choose the right path--we just have to be willing to make that choice, and to discover how worthwhile life can be in the process.
The Page 99 Test: Karen Stohr's Minding the Gap.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 22, 2022

"An American Brothel"

Coming February 15 from Cornell University Press: An American Brothel: Sex and Diplomacy during the Vietnam War by Amanda Boczar.

About the book, from the publisher:
In An American Brothel, Amanda Boczar considers sexual encounters between American servicemen and civilians throughout the Vietnam War, and she places those fraught and sometimes violent meetings in the context of the US military and diplomatic campaigns.

In 1966, US Senator J. William Fulbright declared that "Saigon has become an American brothel." Concerned that, as US military involvement in Vietnam increased so, too, had prostitution, black market economies, and a drug trade fueled by American dollars, Fulbright decried an arrogance of power on the part of Americans and the corrosive effects unchecked immorality could have on Vietnam as well as on the war effort. The symbol, at home and abroad, of the sweeping social and cultural changes was often the so-called South Vietnamese bar girl.

As the war progressed, peaking in 1968 with more than half a million troops engaged, the behavior of soldiers off the battlefield started to impact affect the conflict more broadly. Beyond the brothel, shocking revelations of rapes and the increase in marriage applications complicated how the South Vietnamese and American allies cooperated and managed social behavior. Strictures on how soldiers conducted themselves during rest and relaxation time away from battle further eroded morale of disaffected servicemen. The South Vietnamese were loath to loosen moral restrictions and feared deleterious influence of a permissive wWestern culture on their society.

From the consensual to the coerced, sexual encounters shaped the Vietnam War. Boczar shows that these encounters—sometimes facilitated and sometimes banned by the US military command—restructured the South Vietnamese economy, captivated international attention, dictated military policies, and hung over diplomatic relations during and after the war.
Follow Amanda Boczar on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 21, 2022

"Walking Mannequins"

New from the University of California Press: Walking Mannequins: How Race and Gender Inequalities Shape Retail Clothing Work by Joya Misra and Kyla Walters.

About the book, from the publisher:
In malls across the United States, clothing retail workers navigate low wages and unpredictable schedules. Despite these problems, they devote time and money to mirror the sleek mannequins stylishly adorned with the latest merchandise. Bringing workers' voices to the fore, sociologists Joya Misra and Kyla Walters demonstrate how employers reproduce gendered and racist "beauty" standards by regulating workers' size and look. Interactions with customers, coworkers, and managers further reinforce racial hierarchies. New surveillance technologies also lead to ineffective corporate decision-making based on flawed data. By focusing on the interaction of race, gender, and surveillance, Walking Mannequins sheds important new light on the dynamics of retail work in the twenty-first century.
Joya Misra is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She studies inequality from an intersectional perspective, including within workplace organizations.

Kyla Walters is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University. She studies race, gender, labor, and education politics using qualitative methods.

Follow Joya Misra on Twitter and Kyla Walters on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 20, 2022

"The Border Within"

New from Stanford University Press: The Border Within: Vietnamese Migrants Transforming Ethnic Nationalism in Berlin by Phi Hong Su.

About the book, from the publisher:
When the Berlin Wall fell, Germany united in a wave of euphoria and solidarity. Also caught in the current were Vietnamese border crossers who had left their homeland after its reunification in 1975. Unwilling to live under socialism, one group resettled in West Berlin as refugees. In the name of socialist solidarity, a second group arrived in East Berlin as contract workers. The Border Within paints a vivid portrait of these disparate Vietnamese migrants' encounters with each other in the post-socialist city of Berlin. Journalists, scholars, and Vietnamese border crossers themselves consider these groups that left their homes under vastly different conditions to be one people, linked by an unquestionable ethnic nationhood. Phi Hong Su's rigorous ethnography unpacks this intuition. In absorbing prose, Su reveals how these Cold War compatriots enact palpable social boundaries in everyday life. This book uncovers how 20th-century state formation and international migration—together, border crossings—generate enduring migrant classifications. In doing so, border crossings fracture shared ethnic, national, and religious identities in enduring ways.
Visit Phi Hong Su's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

"Carbon Technocracy"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia by Victor Seow.

About the book, from the publisher:
A forceful reckoning with the relationship between energy and power through the history of what was once East Asia’s largest coal mine.

The coal-mining town of Fushun in China’s Northeast is home to a monstrous open pit. First excavated in the early twentieth century, this pit grew like a widening maw over the ensuing decades, as various Chinese and Japanese states endeavored to unearth Fushun’s purportedly “inexhaustible” carbon resources. Today, the depleted mine that remains is a wondrous and terrifying monument to fantasies of a fossil-fueled future and the technologies mobilized in attempts to turn those developmentalist dreams into reality.

In Carbon Technocracy, Victor Seow uses the remarkable story of the Fushun colliery to chart how the fossil fuel economy emerged in tandem with the rise of the modern technocratic state. Taking coal as an essential feedstock of national wealth and power, Chinese and Japanese bureaucrats, engineers, and industrialists deployed new technologies like open-pit mining and hydraulic stowage in pursuit of intensive energy extraction. But as much as these mine operators idealized the might of fossil fuel–driven machines, their extractive efforts nevertheless relied heavily on the human labor that those devices were expected to displace. Under the carbon energy regime, countless workers here and elsewhere would be subjected to invasive techniques of labor control, ever-escalating output targets, and the dangers of an increasingly exploited earth.

Although Fushun is no longer the coal capital it once was, the pattern of aggressive fossil-fueled development that led to its ascent endures. As we confront a planetary crisis precipitated by our extravagant consumption of carbon, it holds urgent lessons. This is a groundbreaking exploration of how the mutual production of energy and power came to define industrial modernity and the wider world that carbon made.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

"Global Calvinism"

New from Yale University Press: Global Calvinism: Conversion and Commerce in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800 by Charles H. Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:
A comprehensive study of the connection between Calvinist missions and Dutch imperial expansion during the early modern period

Calvinism went global in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as close to a thousand Dutch Reformed ministers, along with hundreds of lay chaplains, attached themselves to the Dutch East India and West India companies. Across Asia, Africa, and the Americas where the trading companies set up operation, Dutch ministers sought to convert “pagans,” “Moors,” Jews, and Catholics and to spread the cultural influence of Protestant Christianity. As Dutch ministers labored under the auspices of the trading companies, the missionary project coalesced, sometimes grudgingly but often readily, with empire building and mercantile capitalism. Simultaneously, Calvinism became entangled with societies around the world as encounters with indigenous societies shaped the development of European religious and intellectual history. Though historians have traditionally treated the Protestant and European expansion as unrelated developments, the global reach of Dutch Calvinism offers a unique opportunity to understand the intermingling of a Protestant faith, commerce, and empire.
--Marsahl Zeringue

Monday, January 17, 2022

"The Bankers' Blacklist"

New from Cornell University Press: The Bankers' Blacklist: Unofficial Market Enforcement and the Global Fight against Illicit Financing by Julia C. Morse.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Banker's Blacklist, Julia C. Morse demonstrates how the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has enlisted global banks in the effort to keep "bad money" out of the financial system, in the process drastically altering the domestic policy landscape and transforming banking worldwide.

Trillions of dollars flow across borders through the banking system every day. While bank-to-bank transfers facilitate trade and investment, they also provide opportunities for criminals and terrorists to move money around the globe. To address this vulnerability, large economies work together through an international standard-setting body, the FATF, to shift laws and regulations on combating illicit financial flows. Morse examines how this international organization has achieved such impact, arguing that it relies on the power of unofficial market enforcement—a process whereby market actors punish countries that fail to meet international standards. The FATF produces a public noncomplier list, which banks around the world use to shift resources and services away from listed countries. As banks restrict cross-border lending, the domestic banking sector in listed countries advocates strongly for new laws and regulations, ultimately leading to deep and significant compliance improvements.

The Bankers' Blacklist offers lessons about the peril and power of globalized finance, revealing new insights into how some of today's most pressing international cooperation challenges might be addressed.
Follow Julia C. Morse on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 16, 2022

"The Atlantic Realists"

New from Stanford University Press: The Atlantic Realists: Empire and International Political Thought Between Germany and the United States by Matthew Specter.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Atlantic Realists, intellectual historian Matthew Specter offers a boldly revisionist interpretation of "realism," a prevalent stance in post-WWII US foreign policy and public discourse and the dominant international relations theory during the Cold War. Challenging the common view of realism as a set of universally binding truths about international affairs, Specter argues that its major features emerged from a century-long dialogue between American and German intellectuals beginning in the late nineteenth century. Specter uncovers an "Atlantic realist" tradition of reflection on the prerogatives of empire and the nature of power politics conditioned by fin de siècle imperial competition, two world wars, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. Focusing on key figures in the evolution of realist thought, including Carl Schmitt, Hans Morgenthau, and Wilhelm Grewe, this book traces the development of the realist worldview over a century, dismantling myths about the national interest, Realpolitik, and the "art" of statesmanship.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 15, 2022

"Black in White Space"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life by Elijah Anderson.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the vital voice of Elijah Anderson, Black in White Space sheds fresh light on the dire persistence of racial discrimination in our country.

A birder strolling in Central Park. A college student lounging on a university quad. Two men sitting in a coffee shop. Perfectly ordinary actions in ordinary settings—and yet, they sparked jarring and inflammatory responses that involved the police and attracted national media coverage. Why? In essence, Elijah Anderson would argue, because these were Black people existing in white spaces.

In Black in White Space, Anderson brings his immense knowledge and ethnography to bear in this timely study of the racial barriers that are still firmly entrenched in our society at every class level. He focuses in on symbolic racism, a new form of racism in America caused by the stubbornly powerful stereotype of the ghetto embedded in the white imagination, which subconsciously connects all Black people with crime and poverty regardless of their social or economic position. White people typically avoid Black space, but Black people are required to navigate the “white space” as a condition of their existence. From Philadelphia street-corner conversations to Anderson’s own morning jogs through a Cape Cod vacation town, he probes a wealth of experiences to shed new light on how symbolic racism makes all Black people uniquely vulnerable to implicit bias in police stops and racial discrimination in our country.

An unwavering truthteller in our national conversation on race, Anderson has shared intimate and sharp insights into Black life for decades. Vital and eye-opening, Black in White Space will be a must-read for anyone hoping to understand the lived realities of Black people and the structural underpinnings of racism in America.
Visit Elijah Anderson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 14, 2022


New from Yale University Press: Ránquil: Rural Rebellion, Political Violence, and Historical Memory in Chile by Thomas Miller Klubock.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first major history of Chile’s most significant peasant rebellion and the violent repression that followed

In 1934, peasants turned to revolution to overturn Chile’s oligarchic political order and the profound social inequalities in the Chilean countryside. The brutal military counterinsurgency that followed was one of the worst acts of state terror in Chile until the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990). Using untapped archival sources, award-winning scholar Thomas Miller Klubock exposes Chile’s long history of political violence and authoritarianism and chronicles peasants’ movements to build a more just and freer society. Klubock further explores how an amnesty law that erased both the rebellion and the military atrocities lay the foundation for the political stability that characterized Chile’s multi-party democracy. This historical amnesia or olvido, Klubock argues, was a precondition of national reconciliation and democratic rule, which endured until 1973, when conflict in the countryside ended once again with violent repression during the Pinochet dictatorship.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 13, 2022

"Humans, among Other Classical Animals"

New from Oxford University Press: Humans, among Other Classical Animals by Ashley Clements.

About the book, from the publisher:
We are living in a moment of environmental and existential crisis that demands a response. Why then study Classics now? From the European assimilation and destruction of the New World to our present environmental destruction of our shared world, Humans, among Other Classical Animals explores in encounters an answer by demonstrating how the Classics have been implicated in the structures of thought that have ultimately led us to our present historical moment. Telling the story of anthropology's Classical entanglements from its inception to its growth to critical self-awareness, it demonstrates that Classical ideas have played a crucial -and often deleterious- role in the Western placing of the human and in the discipline that claimed the study of humanity as its own. Responses to our present crisis, it argues, should therefore include as a prerequisite, considering the origins and implications of these Classical foundations because only by so doing can we attain the full self-awareness necessary to think beyond them and consider the alternatives we now need.

Postclassical Interventions aims to reorient the meaning of antiquity across and beyond the humanities. Building on the success of Classical Presences, this complementary series features shorter-length monographs designed to provoke debate about the current and future potential of Classical Reception through fresh, bold, and critical thinking.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"Permanent Markers"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Permanent Markers: Race, Ancestry, and the Body after the Genome by Sarah Abel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Over the past twenty years, DNA ancestry testing has morphed from a niche market into a booming international industry that encourages members of the public to answer difficult questions about their identity by looking to the genome. At a time of intensified interest in issues of race and racism, the burgeoning influence of corporations like AncestryDNA and 23andMe has sparked debates about the commodification of identity, the antiracist potential of genetic science, and the promises and pitfalls of using DNA as a source of “objective” knowledge about the past.

This book engages these debates by looking at the ways genomic ancestry testing has been used in Brazil and the United States to address the histories and legacies of slavery, from personal genealogical projects to collective racial politics. Reckoning with the struggles of science versus capitalism, "race-blind" versus "race-positive" public policies, and identity fluidity versus embodied experiences of racism, Permanent Markers seeks to explain why societies that have broadly embraced the social construction of race continue to search for, and find, evidence that our bodies are indelibly marked by the past.
Follow Sarah Abel on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

"Natural Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age"

New from Cambridge University Press: Natural Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age by Adam Sundberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
By the early eighteenth century, the economic primacy, cultural efflorescence, and geopolitical power of the Dutch Republic appeared to be waning. The end of this Golden Age was also an era of natural disasters. Between the late seventeenth and the mid-eighteenth century, Dutch communities weathered numerous calamities, including river and coastal floods, cattle plagues, and an outbreak of strange mollusks that threatened the literal foundations of the Republic. Adam Sundberg demonstrates that these disasters emerged out of longstanding changes in environment and society. They were also fundamental to the Dutch experience and understanding of eighteenth-century decline. Disasters provoked widespread suffering, but they also opened opportunities to retool management strategies, expand the scale of response, and to reconsider the ultimate meaning of catastrophe. This book reveals a dynamic and often resilient picture of a society coping with calamity at odds with historical assessments of eighteenth-century stagnation.
Visit Adam Sundberg's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 10, 2022

"The Age of Mass Child Removal in Spain"

New from Oxford University Press: The Age of Mass Child Removal in Spain: Taking, Losing, and Fighting for Children, 1926-1945 by Peter Anderson.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Age of Mass Child Removal in Spain analyses the ideas and practices that underpinned the age of mass child removal. This era emerged from growing criticisms across the world of 'dangerous' parents and the developing belief in the nineteenth century that the state could provide superior guardianship to 'unfit' parents. In the late nineteenth century, the juvenile-court movement led the way in forging a new and more efficient system of child removal that severely curtailed the previously highly protected sovereignty of guardians deemed dangerous. This transnational movement rapidly established courts across the world and used them to train the personnel and create the systems that frequently lay behind mass child removal. Spaniards formed a significant part of this transnational movement and the country's juvenile courts became involved in the three main areas of removal that characterize the age: the taking of children from poor families, from families displaced by war, and from political opponents.

The study of Spanish case files reveals much about how the removal process worked in practice across time and across democratic regimes and dictatorships. These cases also afford an insight into the rich array of child-removal practices that lay between the poles of coercion and victimhood. Accordingly, the study offers a history of some of most marginalized parents and children and recaptures their voice, agency, and experience. Peter Anderson also analyses the removal of tens of thousands of children from General Franco's political opponents, sometimes referred to as the lost children of Francoism, through the history and practice of the juvenile courts.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 9, 2022

"Trading Freedom"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Trading Freedom: How Trade with China Defined Early America by Dael A. Norwood.

About the book, from the publisher:
Trading Freedom explores the surprisingly rich early history of US-China trade and its unexpected impact on the developing republic.

The economic and geographic development of the early United States is usually thought of in trans-Atlantic terms, defined by entanglements with Europe and Africa. In Trading Freedom, Dael A. Norwood recasts these common conceptions by looking to Asia, making clear that from its earliest days, the United States has been closely intertwined with China—monetarily, politically, and psychologically.

Norwood details US trade with China from the late eighteenth through the late nineteenth centuries—a critical period in America’s self-definition as a capitalist nation—and shows how global commerce was central to the articulation of that national identity. Trading Freedom illuminates how debates over political economy and trade policy, the building of the transcontinental railroad, and the looming sectional struggle over slavery were all influenced by Sino-American relations. Deftly weaving together interdisciplinary threads from the worlds of commerce, foreign policy, and immigration, Trading Freedom thoroughly dismantles the idea that American engagement with China is anything new.
Visit Dael A. Norwood's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 8, 2022

"The Economic Weapon"

New from Yale University Press: The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War by Nicholas Mulder.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first international history of the emergence of economic sanctions during the interwar period and the legacy of this development

Economic sanctions dominate the landscape of world politics today. First developed in the early twentieth century as a way of exploiting the flows of globalization to defend liberal internationalism, their appeal is that they function as an alternative to war. This view, however, ignores the dark paradox at their core: designed to prevent war, economic sanctions are modeled on devastating techniques of warfare.

Tracing the use of economic sanctions from the blockades of World War I to the policing of colonial empires and the interwar confrontation with fascism, Nicholas Mulder uses extensive archival research in a political, economic, legal, and military history that reveals how a coercive wartime tool was adopted as an instrument of peacekeeping by the League of Nations. This timely study casts an overdue light on why sanctions are widely considered a form of war, and why their unintended consequences are so tremendous.
Visit Nicholas Mulder's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 7, 2022

"Selling Black Brazil"

New from the University of Texas Press: Selling Black Brazil: Race, Nation, and Visual Culture in Salvador, Bahia by Anadelia A. Romo.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the early twentieth century, Brazil shifted from a nation intent on whitening its population to one billing itself as a racial democracy. Anadelia Romo shows that this shift centered in Salvador, Bahia, where throughout the 1950s, modernist artists and intellectuals forged critical alliances with Afro-Brazilian religious communities of Candomblé to promote their culture and their city. These efforts combined with a growing promotion of tourism to transform what had been one of the busiest slaving depots in the Americas into a popular tourist enclave celebrated for its rich Afro-Brazilian culture. Vibrant illustrations and texts by the likes of Jorge Amado, Pierre Verger, and others contributed to a distinctive iconography of the city, with Afro-Bahians at its center. But these optimistic visions of inclusion, Romo reveals, concealed deep racial inequalities. Illustrating how these visual archetypes laid the foundation for Salvador’s modern racial landscape, this book unveils the ways ethnic and racial populations have been both included and excluded not only in Brazil but in Latin America as a whole.
Anadelia A. Romo is an associate professor of history at Texas State University. She is the author of Brazil's Living Museum: Race, Reform, and Tradition in Bahia.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 6, 2022

"When God Stops Fighting"

New from the University of California Press: When God Stops Fighting: How Religious Violence Ends by Mark Juergensmeyer.

About the book, from the publisher:
A gripping study of how religiously motivated violence and militant movements end, from the perspectives of those most deeply involved.

Mark Juergensmeyer is arguably the globe’s leading expert on religious violence, and for decades his books have helped us understand the worlds and worldviews of those who take up arms in the name of their faith. But even the most violent of movements, characterized by grand religious visions of holy warfare, eventually come to an end. Juergensmeyer takes readers into the minds of religiously motivated militants associated with the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, the Sikh Khalistan movement in India’s Punjab, and the Moro movement for a Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines to understand what leads to drastic changes in the attitudes of those once devoted to all-out ideological war. When God Stops Fighting reveals how the transformation of religious violence manifests for those who once promoted it as the only answer.
The Page 99 Test: Buddhist Warfare by Michael Jerryson and Mark Juergensmeyer.

Visit Mark Juergensmeyer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

"Closing the Golden Door"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Closing the Golden Door: Asian Migration and the Hidden History of Exclusion at Ellis Island by Anna Pegler-Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:
The immigration station at New York’s Ellis Island opened in 1892 and remained the largest U.S. port for immigrant entry until World War I. In popular memory, Ellis Island is typically seen as a gateway for Europeans seeking to join the “great American melting pot.” But as this fresh examination of Ellis Island’s history reveals, it was also a major site of immigrant detention and exclusion, especially for Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian travelers and maritime laborers who reached New York City from Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, and even within the United States. And from 1924 to 1954, the station functioned as a detention camp and deportation center for a range of people deemed undesirable.

Anna Pegler-Gordon draws on immigrants’ oral histories and memoirs, government archives, newspapers, and other sources to reorient the history of migration and exclusion in the United States. In chronicling the circumstances of those who passed through or were detained at Ellis Island, she shows that Asian exclusion was both larger in scope and more limited in force than has been previously recognized.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

"Educating the Enemy"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Educating the Enemy: Teaching Nazis and Mexicans in the Cold War Borderlands by Jonna Perrillo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Compares the privileged educational experience offered to the children of relocated Nazi scientists in Texas with the educational disadvantages faced by Mexican American students living in the same city.

Educating the Enemy
begins with the 144 children of Nazi scientists who moved to El Paso, Texas, in 1946 as part of the military program called Operation Paperclip. These German children were bused daily from a military outpost to four El Paso public schools. Though born into a fascist enemy nation, the German children were quickly integrated into the schools and, by proxy, American society. Their rapid assimilation offered evidence that American public schools played a vital role in ensuring the victory of democracy over fascism.

Jonna Perrillo not only tells this fascinating story of Cold War educational policy, but she draws an important contrast with another, much more numerous population of children in the El Paso public schools: Mexican Americans. Like everywhere else in the Southwest, Mexican American children in El Paso were segregated into “Mexican” schools, where the children received a vastly different educational experience. Not only were they penalized for speaking Spanish—the only language all but a few spoke due to segregation—they were tracked for low-wage and low-prestige careers, with limited opportunities for economic success. Educating the Enemy charts what two groups of children—one that might have been considered the enemy, the other that was treated as such—reveal about the ways political assimilation has been treated by schools as an easier, more viable project than racial or ethnic assimilation.
Follow Jonna Perrillo on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 3, 2022

"Refusal to Eat: A Century of Prison Hunger Strikes"

New from the University of California Press: Refusal to Eat: A Century of Prison Hunger Strikes by Nayan Shah.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first global history of hunger strikes as a tactic in prisons, conflicts, and protest movements.

The power of the hunger strike lies in its utter simplicity. The ability to choose to forego eating is universally accessible, even to those living under conditions of maximal constraint, as in the prisons of apartheid South Africa, Israeli prisons for Palestinian prisoners, and the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay. It is a weapon of the weak, potentially open to all. By choosing to hunger strike, a prisoner wields a last-resort personal power that communicates viscerally, in a way that is undeniable—especially when broadcast over prison barricades through media and to movements outside. Refusal to Eat is the first book to compile a global history of this vital form of modern protest, the hunger strike.

In this enormously ambitious but concise book, Nayan Shah observes how hunger striking stretches and recasts to turn a personal agony into a collective social agony in conflicts and contexts all around the world, laying out a remarkable number of case studies over the last century and more. From suffragettes in Britain and the US in the early twentieth century to Irish political prisoners, Bengali prisoners, and detainees at post-9/11 Guantánamo Bay; from Japanese Americans in US internment camps to conscientious objectors in the 1960s; from South Africans fighting apartheid to asylum seekers in Australia and Papua New Guinea, Shah shows the importance of context for each case and the interventions the protesters faced. The power that hunger striking unleashes is volatile, unmooring all previous resolves, certainties, and structures and forcing supporters and opponents alike to respond in new ways. It can upend prison regimens, medical ethics, power hierarchies, governments, and assumptions about gender, race, and the body's endurance. This book takes hunger strikers seriously as decision-makers in desperate situations, often bound to disagree or fail, and captures the continued frustration of authorities when confronted by prisoners willing to die for their positions. Above all, Refusal to Eat revolves around a core of moral, practical, and political questions that hunger strikers raise, investigating what it takes to resist and oppose state power.
Visit Nayan Shah's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 2, 2022

"The Mexican American Experience in Texas"

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

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

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

Saturday, January 1, 2022


New from Stanford University Press: Counterrevolution: The Crusade to Roll Back the Gains of the Civil Rights Movement by Stephen Steinberg.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Black Reconstruction W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, "The slave went free; stood for a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery." His words echo across the decades as the civil rights revolution, marked by the passage of landmark civil rights laws in the '60s, has seen those gains steadily and systematically whittled away. As history testifies, revolution nearly always triggers its antithesis: counterrevolution. In this book Steinberg provides an analysis of this backlash, tracing the reverse flow of history that has led to the current national reckoning on race.

Steinberg puts counterrevolution into historical and theoretical perspective, exploring the "victim-blaming" and "colorblind" discourses that emerged in the post-segregation era and undermined progress toward racial equality, and led to the gutting of affirmative action. This book reflects Steinberg's long career as a critical race scholar, culminating with his assessment of our current moment and the possibilities for political transformation.
--Marshal Zeringue