Thursday, March 31, 2022

"The Struggle to Stay"

New from Columbia University Press: The Struggle to Stay: Why Single Evangelical Women Are Leaving the Church by Katie Gaddini.

About the book, from the publisher:
Evangelical Christianity is often thought of as oppressive to women. The #MeToo era, when many women hit a breaking point with rampant sexism, has also reached evangelical communities. Yet more than thirty million women in the United States still identify as evangelical. Why do so many women remain in male-dominated churches that marginalize them, and why do others leave? In each case, what does this cost them?

The Struggle to Stay is an intimate and insightful portrait of single women’s experiences in evangelical churches. Drawing on unprecedented access to churches in the United States and the United Kingdom, Katie Gaddini relates the struggles of four women, interwoven with her own story of leaving behind a devout faith. She connects these personal narratives with rigorous analysis of Christianity and politics in both countries, and contextualizes them through interviews with more than fifty other evangelical women. Gaddini grapples with the complexities of obedience and resistance for women within a patriarchal religion against the backdrop of a culture war. Her exploration of how women choose to leave or remain in environments that constrain them is nuanced and personal, telling powerful stories of faith, community, isolation, and loss. Bringing together meticulous research and deep empathy, The Struggle to Stay provides a revelatory account of the private burdens that evangelical women bear.
Visit Katie Gaddini's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

"The Capital of Free Women"

New from Yale University Press: The Capital of Free Women: Race, Legitimacy, and Liberty in Colonial Mexico by Danielle Terrazas Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:
A restoration of the agency and influence of free African-descended women in colonial Mexico through their traces in archives

“A breathtaking study that places free African-descended women at the nexus of questions about religion, commerce, and the law in colonial Mexico. Danielle Terrazas Williams has produced a dazzling and important contribution to the history of women, family, race, and slavery in the Americas.”—Sophie White, author of Voices of the Enslaved

The Capital of Free Women examines how African-descended women strove for dignity in seventeenth-century Mexico. Free women in central Veracruz, sometimes just one generation removed from slavery, purchased land, ran businesses, managed intergenerational wealth, and owned slaves of African descent. Drawing from archives in Mexico, Spain, and Italy, Danielle Terrazas Williams explores the lives of African-descended women across the economic spectrum, evaluates their elite sensibilities, and challenges notions of race and class in the colonial period.
Follow Danielle Terrazas Williams on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

"Ghosts of War"

New from Cornell University Press: Ghosts of War: Nazi Occupation and Its Aftermath in Soviet Belarus by Franziska Exeler.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do states and societies confront the legacies of war and occupation, and what do truth, guilt, and justice mean in that process? In Ghosts of War, Franziska Exeler examines people's wartime choices and their aftermath in Belarus, a war-ravaged Soviet republic that was under Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

After the Red Army reestablished control over Belarus, one question shaped encounters between the returning Soviet authorities and those who had lived under Nazi rule, between soldiers and family members, reevacuees and colleagues, Holocaust survivors and their neighbors: What did you do during the war?

Ghosts of War analyzes the prosecution and punishment of Soviet citizens accused of wartime collaboration with the Nazis and shows how individuals sought justice, revenge, or assistance from neighbors and courts. The book uncovers the many absences, silences, and conflicts that were never resolved, as well as the truths that could only be spoken in private, yet it also investigates the extent to which individuals accommodated, contested, and reshaped official Soviet war memory. The result is a gripping examination of how efforts at coming to terms with the past played out within, and at times through, a dictatorship.
Follow Franziska Exeler on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 28, 2022

"Bloody Flag of Anarchy"

New from Louisiana State University Press: Bloody Flag of Anarchy: Unionism in South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis by Brian C. Neumann.

About the book, from the publisher:
Generations of scholars have debated why the Union collapsed and descended into civil war in the spring of 1861. Turning this question on its head, Brian C. Neumann’s Bloody Flag of Anarchy asks how the fragile Union held together for so long. This fascinating study grapples with this dilemma by reexamining the nullification crisis, one of the greatest political debates of the antebellum era, when the country came perilously close to armed conflict in the winter of 1832–33 after South Carolina declared two tariffs null and void. Enraged by rising taxes and the specter of emancipation, 25,000 South Carolinians volunteered to defend the state against the perceived tyranny of the federal government. Although these radical Nullifiers claimed to speak for all Carolinians, the impasse left the Palmetto State bitterly divided. Forty percent of the state’s voters opposed nullification, and roughly 9,000 men volunteered to fight against their fellow South Carolinians to hold the Union together.

Bloody Flag of Anarchy examines the hopes, fears, and ideals of these Union men, who viewed the nation as the last hope of liberty in a world dominated by despotism—a bold yet fragile testament to humanity’s capacity for self-government. They believed that the Union should preserve both liberty and slavery, ensuring peace, property, and prosperity for all white men. Nullification, they feared, would provoke social and political chaos, shattering the Union, destroying the social order, and inciting an apocalyptic racial war. By reframing the nullification crisis, Neumann provides fresh insight into the internal divisions within South Carolina, illuminating a facet of the conflict that has long gone underappreciated. He reveals what the Union meant to Americans in the Jacksonian era and explores the ways both factions deployed conceptions of manhood to mobilize supporters. Nullifiers attacked their opponents as timid “submission men” too cowardly to defend their freedom. Many Unionists pushed back by insisting that “true men” respected the law and shielded their families from the horrors of disunion. Viewing the nullification crisis against the backdrop of global events, they feared that America might fail when the world, witnessing turmoil across Europe and the Caribbean, needed its example the most. By closely examining how the nation avoided a ruinous civil war in the early 1830s, Bloody Flag of Anarchy sheds new light on why America failed three decades later to avoid a similar fate.
Follow Brian Neumann on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 27, 2022

"The Normans"

New from Yale University Press: The Normans: Power, Conquest and Culture in 11th Century Europe by Judith A. Green.

About the book, from the publisher:
A bold new history of the rise and expansion of the Norman Dynasty across Europe from Byzantium to England

In the eleventh century the climate was improving, population was growing, and people were on the move. The Norman dynasty ranged across Europe, led by men who achieved lasting fame like William the Conqueror and Robert Guiscard. These figures cultivated an image of unstoppable Norman success and their victories make for a great story, but how much of it is true?

In this insightful history, Judith Green challenges old certainties and explores the reality of Norman life across the continent. There were many soldiers of fortune, but their successes were down to timing, good luck, and ruthless leadership. Green shows the Normans’ profound impact, from drastic change in England to laying the foundations for unification in Sicily, to their contribution to the First Crusade. Going beyond the familiar, she looks at personal dynastic relationships and the important part women played in what at first sight seems a resolutely masculine world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 26, 2022

"Bonds of War"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Bonds of War: How Civil War Financial Agents Sold the World on the Union by David K. Thomson.

About the book, from the publisher:
How does one package and sell confidence in the stability of a nation riven by civil strife? This was the question that loomed before the Philadelphia financial house of Jay Cooke & Company, entrusted by the US government with an unprecedented sale of bonds to finance the Union war effort in the early days of the American Civil War. How the government and its agents marketed these bonds revealed a version of the war the public was willing to buy and buy into, based not just in the full faith and credit of the United States but also in the success of its armies and its long-term vision for open markets. From Maine to California, and in foreign halls of power and economic influence, thousands of agents were deployed to sell a clear message: Union victory was unleashing the American economy itself.

This fascinating work of financial and political history during the Civil War era shows how the marketing and sale of bonds crossed the Atlantic to Europe and beyond, helping ensure foreign countries’ vested interest in the Union’s success. Indeed, David K. Thomson demonstrates how Europe, and ultimately all corners of the globe, grew deeply interdependent on American finance during, and in the immediate aftermath of, the American Civil War. 
Follow David K. Thomson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 25, 2022

"Race for Revival"

New from Oxford University Press: Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire by Helen Jin Kim.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1973, Billy Graham, "America's Pastor," held his largest ever "crusade." But he was not, as one might expect, in the American heartland, but in South Korea. Why there?

Race for Revival seeks not only to answer that question, but to retell the story of modern American evangelicalism through its relationship with South Korea. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the first "hot" war of the Cold War era, a new generation of white fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals forged networks with South Koreans that helped turn evangelical America into an empire. South Korean Protestants were used to bolster the image of the US as a non-imperial beacon of democratic hope, in spite of ongoing racial inequalities. At the same time, South Koreans used these racialized transpacific networks for their own purposes, seeking to reimagine their own place in the world order. They envisioned Korea as the "new emerging Christian kingdom," that would beat the American evangelical empire in a race for revival. Yet these nonstate networks ultimately foreshadowed the rise of the Christian Right in the US and South Korea in the 1980s and 1990s.

Employing a bilingual and bi-national approach, Race for Revival reexamines the narrative of modern evangelicalism through an innovative transpacific framework, offering a new lens through which to understand evangelical history from the Korean War to the rise of Ronald Reagan.
Follow Helen Jin Kim on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 24, 2022

"Torn Apart"

New from Basic Books: Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families--and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World by Dorothy Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:
An award-winning scholar exposes the foundational racism of the child welfare system and calls for radical change

Many believe the child welfare system protects children from abuse. But as Torn Apart uncovers, this system is designed to punish Black families. Drawing on decades of research, legal scholar and sociologist Dorothy Roberts reveals that the child welfare system is better understood as a “family policing system” that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities. Child protection investigations ensnare a majority of Black children, putting their families under intense state surveillance and regulation. Black children are disproportionately likely to be torn from their families and placed in foster care, driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment.

The only way to stop the destruction caused by family policing, Torn Apart argues, is to abolish the child welfare system and liberate Black communities.
Visit Dorothy Roberts's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

"The Greatest Raid"

New from Oxford University Press: The Greatest Raid: St. Nazaire, 1942 by Giles Whittell.

About the book, from the publisher:
The definitive account of one of the most desperately heroic missions launched during World War Two.

In March 1942, at perhaps the darkest moment of World War Two for the Allies, Britain launched a nearly suicidal raid on the Nazi-occupied French port of St. Nazaire, which the German Navy was using as a dry dock for ship repairs (the Tirpitz, the sister ship of the Bismarck, was scheduled for repairs there). Destroying it would hinder the U-boat campaign and force German ships to return hundreds of miles to home ports. The plan was for British commandos to attack the port and simultaneously to use an explosives-laden, American-built ship dating from World War One, the Campbelltown, as a gigantic torpedo, launching it into the docks. The first element of Operation Chariot went disastrously. The second proved spectacularly successful. The detonation of the Campbellown put the St. Nazaire dry dock out of commission for the war's duration.

To be published on the 80th anniversary, Giles Whittell's book will offer the definitive account of the raid, which was undertaken by Royal Navy and British commandos, most of whom were killed or captured. The Greatest Raid provides a gripping and authoritative narrative of one of the most daring military operations ever undertaken.
Follow Giles Whittell on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Bridge of Spies.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

"Atomic Americans"

New from Cornell University Press: Atomic Americans: Citizens in a Nuclear State by Sarah E. Robey.

About the book, from the publisher:
At the dawn of the Atomic Age, Americans encountered troubling new questions brought about by the nuclear revolution: In a representative democracy, who is responsible for national public safety? How do citizens imagine themselves as members of the national collective when faced with the priority of individual survival? What do nuclear weapons mean for transparency and accountability in government? What role should scientific experts occupy within a democratic government? Nuclear weapons created a new arena for debating individual and collective rights. In turn, they threatened to destabilize the very basis of American citizenship.

As Sarah E. Robey shows in Atomic Americans, people negotiated the contours of nuclear citizenship through overlapping public discussions about survival. Policymakers and citizens disagreed about the scale of civil defense programs and other public safety measures. As the public learned more about the dangers of nuclear fallout, critics articulated concerns about whether the federal government was operating in its citizens' best interests. By the early 1960s, a significant antinuclear movement had emerged, which ultimately contributed to the 1963 nuclear testing ban. Atomic Americans tells the story of a thoughtful body politic engaged in rewriting the rubric of rights and responsibilities that made up American citizenship in the Atomic Age.
Visit Sarah E. Robey's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 21, 2022

"Anticolonial Eruptions"

New from the University of California Press: Anticolonial Eruptions: Racial Hubris and the Cunning of Resistance by Geo Maher.

About the book, from the publisher:
This incisive study reveals the fundamental, paradoxical weakness of colonialism and the enduring power of anticolonial resistance.

Resistance is everywhere, but everywhere a surprise, especially when the agents of struggle are the colonized, the enslaved, the wretched of the earth. Anticolonial revolts and slave rebellions have often been described by those in power as “eruptions”—volcanic shocks to a system that does not, cannot, see them coming. In Anticolonial Eruptions, Geo Maher diagnoses a paradoxical weakness built right into the foundations of white supremacist power, a colonial blind spot that grows as domination seems more complete.

Anticolonial Eruptions argues that the colonizer’s weakness is rooted in dehumanization. When the oppressed and excluded rise up in explosive rebellion, with the very human demands for life and liberation, the powerful are ill-prepared. This colonial blind spot is, ironically, self-imposed: the more oppressive and expansive the colonial power, the lesser-than-human the colonized are believed to be, the greater the opportunity for resistance. Maher calls this paradox the cunning of decolonization, an unwitting reversal of the balance of power between the oppressor and the oppressed. Where colonial power asserts itself as unshakable, total, and perpetual, a blind spot provides strategic cover for revolutionary possibility; where race or gender make the colonized invisible, they organize, unseen. Anticolonial Eruptions shows that this fundamental weakness of colonialism is not a bug, but a permanent feature of the system, providing grounds for optimism in a contemporary moment roiled by global struggles for liberation.
Visit Geo Maher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 20, 2022

"Imitation of Rigor"

New from Oxford University Press: Imitation of Rigor: An Alternative History of Analytic Philosophy by Mark Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:
J.L. Austin has written of "the blinding veil of ease and obviousness that hides the mechanisms of the natural successful act". By revisiting a classic "small metaphysics" puzzle drawn from physics that launched a thousand ships of grander philosophizing, Imitation of Rigor employs recent insights into the architectures of effective reasoning as a means of explicating how Austin's covert "mechanisms" operate in concrete terms. By these means, the book attempts to reconnect analytic philosophy with the evolving practicalities within science from which many of its grander concerns originally sprang. In doing so, it provides an "alternative history" of how the subject might have developed had the diagnostic insights of its philosopher/scientist forebears (e.g. Heinrich Hertz and Ernst Mach) not been cast aside in the vain pursuit of inappropriate standards of "ersatz rigor".
Mark Wilson is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and the author of Physics Avoidance (2017) and Wandering Significance (2006). He has written widely on how our categories for describing the large-scale world around us have progressively evolved, within both science and our ordinary ways of speaking. He also supervises The North American Traditions Collection of Folk Music.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 19, 2022

"Woman: The American History of an Idea"

New from Yale University Press: Woman: The American History of an Idea by Lillian Faderman.

About the book, from the publisher:
A comprehensive history of the struggle to define womanhood in America, from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century

What does it mean to be a “woman” in America? Award-winning gender and sexuality scholar Lillian Faderman traces the evolution of the meaning from Puritan ideas of God’s plan for women to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and its reversals to the impact of such recent events as #metoo, the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the election of Kamala Harris as vice president, and the transgender movement.

This wide-ranging 400-year history chronicles conflicts, retreats, defeats, and hard-won victories in both the private and the public sectors and shines a light on the often-overlooked battles of enslaved women and women leaders in tribal nations. Noting that every attempt to cement a particular definition of “woman” has been met with resistance, Faderman also shows that successful challenges to the status quo are often short-lived. As she underlines, the idea of womanhood in America continues to be contested.
Visit Lillian Faderman's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Gay Revolution.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 18, 2022

"Regret: A Study in Ancient Moral Psychology"

New from Oxford University Press: Regret: A Study in Ancient Moral Psychology by James Warren.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book provides a study of regret (metameleia) in the moral psychology of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. It was important for all these philosophers to insist that regret is a characteristic of neither fully virtuous nor wholly irredeemable characters. Rather, they took regret to be something that affects people who retrospectively feel pain at realising an earlier mistaken action. Regret sets out in full the accounts of the nature of this emotion found in the works of these philosophers, viewing them in the context of their respective accounts of virtuous and non-virtuous agents, ethical progress, the role of knowledge in producing good actions, and compares it with modern philosophical notions of 'agent regret'.
James Warren studied Classics at Clare College, Cambridge, where he stayed to complete his MPhil and PhD. After two years as a Research Fellow at Magdalene College, in 2001 he took up a Lectureship at the Faculty of Classics in Cambridge and a Fellowship in Philosophy at Corpus Christi college. He became Professor of Ancient Philosophy in 2017.

Follow James Warren on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 17, 2022

"The Unsettled Plain"

New from Stanford University Press: The Unsettled Plain: An Environmental History of the Late Ottoman Frontier by Chris Gratien.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Unsettled Plain studies agrarian life in the Ottoman Empire to understand the making of the modern world. Over the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the environmental transformation of the Ottoman countryside became intertwined with migration and displacement. Muslim refugees, mountain nomads, families deported in the Armenian Genocide, and seasonal workers from all over the empire endured hardship, exile, and dispossession. Their settlement and survival defined new societies forged in the provincial spaces of the late Ottoman frontier. Through these movements, Chris Gratien reconstructs the remaking of Çukurova, a region at the historical juncture of Anatolia and Syria, and illuminates radical changes brought by the modern state, capitalism, war, and technology.

Drawing on both Ottoman Turkish and Armenian sources, Gratien brings rural populations into the momentous events of the period: Ottoman reform, Mediterranean capitalism, the First World War, and Turkish nation-building. Through the ecological perspectives of everyday people in Çukurova, he charts how familiar facets of quotidian life, like malaria, cotton cultivation, labor, and leisure, attained modern manifestations. As the history of this pivotal region hidden on the geopolitical map reveals, the remarkable ecological transformation of late Ottoman society configured the trajectory of the contemporary societies of the Middle East.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

"Madness: A Philosophical Exploration"

New from Oxford University Press: Madness: A Philosophical Exploration by Justin Garson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since the time of Hippocrates, madness has typically been viewed through the lens of disease, dysfunction, and defect. Madness, like all other disease, happens when something in the mind, or in the brain, does not operate the way that it should or as nature intended. In this paradigm, the role of the healer is simply to find the dysfunction and fix it. This remains the dominant perspective in global psychiatry today.

In Madness: A Philosophical Exploration, philosopher of science Justin Garson presents a radically different paradigm for conceiving of madness and the forms that it takes. In this paradigm, which he calls madness-as-strategy, madness is neither a disease nor a defect, but a designed feature, like the heart or lungs. That is to say, at least sometimes, when someone is mad, everything inside of them is working exactly as it should and as nature intended. Through rigorous engagement with texts spanning the classical era to Darwinian medicine, Garson shows that madness-as-strategy is not a new conception. Thus, more than a history of science or a conceptual genealogy, Madness is a recovery mission. In recovering madness-as-strategy, it leads us beyond today's dominant medical paradigm toward a very different form of thinking and practice.

This book is essential reading for philosophers of medicine and psychiatry, particularly for those who seek to understand the nature of health, disease, and mental disorder. It will also be a valuable resource for historians and sociologists of medicine for its innovative approach to the history of madness. Most importantly, it will be useful for mental health service users, survivors, and activists, who seek an alternative and liberating vision of what it means to be mad.
Visit Justin Garson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

"Liberty Road"

New from NYU Press: Liberty Road: Black Middle-Class Suburbs and the Battle Between Civil Rights and Neoliberalism by Gregory Smithsimon.

About the book, from the publisher:
A unique insight into desegregation in the suburbs and how racial inequality persists

Half of Black Americans who live in the one hundred largest metropolitan areas are now living in suburbs, not cities. In Liberty Road, Gregory Smithsimon shows us how this happened, and why it matters, unearthing the hidden role that suburbs played in establishing the Black middle-class.

Focusing on Liberty Road, a Black middle-class suburb of Baltimore, Smithsimon tells the remarkable story of how residents broke the color barrier, against all odds, in the face of racial discrimination, tensions with suburban whites and urban Blacks, and economic crises like the mortgage meltdown of 2008. Drawing on interviews, census data, and archival research he shows us the unique strategies that suburban Black residents in Liberty Road employed, creating a blueprint for other Black middle-class suburbs.

Smithsimon re-orients our perspective on race relations in American life to consider the lived experiences and lessons of those who broke the color barrier in unexpected places. Liberty Road shows us that if we want to understand Black America in the twenty-first century, we must look not just to our cities, but to our suburbs as well.
Follow Gregory Smithsimon on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 14, 2022

"The BBC: A Century on Air"

New from PublicAffairs: The BBC: A Century on Air by David Hendy.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first in-depth history of the iconic radio and TV network that has shaped our past and present.

Doctor Who; tennis from Wimbledon; the Beatles and the Stones; the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales: for one hundred years, the British Broadcasting Corporation has been the preeminent broadcaster in the UK and around the world, a constant source of information, comfort, and entertainment through both war and peace, feast and famine.

The BBC has broadcast to over two hundred countries and in more than forty languages. Its history is a broad cultural panorama of the twentieth century itself, often, although not always, delivered in a mellifluous Oxford accent. With special access to the BBC’s archives, historian David Hendy presents a dazzling portrait of a unique institution whose cultural influence is greater than any other media organization.

Mixing politics, espionage, the arts, social change, and everyday life, The BBC is a vivid social history of the organization that has provided both background commentary and screen-grabbing headlines—woven so deeply into the culture and politics of the past century that almost none of us has been left untouched by it.
Follow David Hendy on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 13, 2022

"God, Grades, and Graduation"

New from Oxford University Press: God, Grades, and Graduation: Religion's Surprising Impact on Academic Success by Ilana M. Horwitz.

About the book, from the publisher:
The surprising ways in which a religious upbringing shapes the academic lives of teens

It's widely acknowledged that American parents from different class backgrounds take different approaches to raising their children. Upper and middle-class parents invest considerable time facilitating their children's activities, while working class and poor families take a more hands-off approach. These different strategies influence how children approach school. But missing from the discussion is the fact that millions of parents on both sides of the class divide are raising their children to listen to God. What impact does a religious upbringing have on their academic trajectories?

Drawing on 10 years of survey data with over 3,000 teenagers and over 200 interviews, God, Grades, and Graduation offers a revealing and at times surprising account of how teenagers' religious upbringing influences their educational pathways from high school to college. Dr. Ilana M. Horwitz estimates that approximately one out of every four students in American schools are raised with religious restraint. These students orient their life around God so deeply that it alters how they see themselves and how they behave, inside and outside of church.

This book takes us inside the lives of these teenagers to discover why they achieve higher grades than their peers, why they are more likely to graduate from college, and why boys from lower middle-class families particularly benefit from religious restraint. But readers also learn how for middle-upper class kids--and for girls especially--religious restraint recalibrates their academic ambitions after graduation, leading them to question the value of attending a selective college despite their stellar grades in high school. By illuminating the far-reaching effects of the childrearing logic of religious restraint, God, Grades and Graduation offers a compelling new narrative about the role of religion in academic outcomes and educational inequality.
Visit Ilana M. Horwitz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 12, 2022

"Reinventing Human Rights"

New from Stanford University Press: Reinventing Human Rights by Mark Goodale.

About the book, from the publisher:
A radical vision for the future of human rights as a fundamentally reconfigured framework for global justice.

Reinventing Human Rights offers a bold argument: that only a radically reformulated approach to human rights will prove adequate to confront and overcome the most consequential global problems. Charting a new path—away from either common critiques of the various incapacities of the international human rights system or advocacy for the status quo—Mark Goodale offers a new vision for human rights as a basis for collective action and moral renewal.

Goodale's proposition to reinvent human rights begins with a deep unpacking of human rights institutionalism and political theory in order to give priority to the "practice of human rights." Rather than a priori claims to universality, he calls for a working theory of human rights defined by "translocality," a conceptual and ethical grounding that invites people to form alliances beyond established boundaries of community, nation, race, or religious identity.

This book will serve as both a concrete blueprint and source of inspiration for those who want to preserve human rights as a key framework for confronting our manifold contemporary challenges, yet who agree—for many different reasons—that to do so requires radical reappraisal, imaginative reconceptualization, and a willingness to reinvent human rights as a cross-cultural foundation for both empowerment and social action.
Visit Mark Goodale's website.

The Page 99 Test: Surrendering to Utopia.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 11, 2022

"The Long Land War"

New from Yale University Press: The Long Land War: The Global Struggle for Occupancy Rights by Jo Guldi.

About the book, from the publisher:
A definitive history of ideas about land redistribution, allied political movements, and their varied consequences around the world

Jo Guldi tells the story of a global struggle to bring food, water, and shelter to all. Land is shown to be a central motor of politics in the twentieth century: the basis of movements for giving reparations to formerly colonized people, protests to limit the rent paid by urban tenants, intellectual battles among development analysts, and the capture of land by squatters taking matters into their own hands. The book describes the results of state-engineered “land reform” policies beginning in Ireland in 1881 until U.S.-led interests and the World Bank effectively killed them off in 1974.

The Long Land War provides a definitive narrative of land redistribution alongside an unflinching critique of its failures, set against the background of the rise and fall of nationalism, communism, internationalism, information technology, and free-market economics. In considering how we could make the earth livable for all, she works out the important relationship between property ownership and justice on a changing planet.
Visit Jo Guldi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 10, 2022

"What Do We Mean When We Talk about Meaning?"

New from Oxford University Press: What Do We Mean When We Talk about Meaning? by Steven Cassedy.

About the book, from the publisher:
A comprehensive journey through the history of "meaning," from antiquity to modern day.

The word meaning appears often in our daily lives: religious leaders holding out the promise of meaning for their followers, self-help manuals seeking to demonstrate the power of meaning to enrich our lives, and most frequently people questioning the meaning of life. The word carries a multitude of connotations, from "purpose" to "value" and "essence" to "mysterious truth", but this diversity of understanding is rarely explored.

In What Do We Mean When We Talk About Meaning?, Steven Cassedy tells the story of how a word that began by denoting "signifying" and "intending" came to acquire such a broad array of sub-definitions. The book begins with the early Christian thinkers who believed meaning could be "read" from the world as if it were holy scripture, then moves into the philosophers who adapted this notion and eventually the Romantic-era Germans that coined "the meaning of life," a phrase that later traveled to Great Britain, the United States, and Russia. The book also extends into the twentieth century, when "meaning" acquired its greatest power in the realms of religion, psychotherapy, and self-help, all of which helped it to accumulate the fluidity and ambiguity it still displays today.
Visit Steven Cassedy's website.

The Page 99 Test: Connected.

My Book, The Movie: Connected.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

"This Earthly Frame"

New from Yale University Press: This Earthly Frame: The Making of American Secularism by David Sehat.

About the book, from the publisher:
An award-winning scholar’s sweeping history of American secularism, from Jefferson to Trump

In This Earthly Frame, David Sehat narrates the making of American secularism through its most prominent proponents and most significant detractors. He shows how its foundations were laid in the U.S. Constitution and how it fully emerged only in the twentieth century. Religious and nonreligious Jews, liberal Protestants, apocalyptic sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and antireligious activists all used the courts and the constitutional language of the First Amendment to create the secular order. Then, over the past fifty years, many religious conservatives turned against that order, emphasizing their religious freedom.

Avoiding both polemic and lament, Sehat offers a powerful reinterpretation of American secularism and a clear framework for understanding the religiously infused conflict of the present.
Visit David Sehat's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Myth of American Religious Freedom.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

"Majority Minority"

New from Oxford University Press: Majority Minority by Justin Gest.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do societies respond to great demographic change? This question lingers over the contemporary politics of the United States and other countries where persistent immigration has altered populations and may soon produce a majority minority milestone, where the original ethnic or religious majority loses its numerical advantage to one or more foreign-origin minority groups. Until now, most of our knowledge about largescale responses to demographic change has been based on studies of individual people's reactions, which tend to be instinctively defensive and intolerant. We know little about why and how these habits are sometimes tempered to promote more successful coexistence.

To anticipate and inform future responses to demographic change, Justin Gest looks to the past. In Majority Minority, Gest wields historical analysis and interview-based fieldwork inside six of the world's few societies that have already experienced a majority minority transition to understand what factors produce different social outcomes. Gest concludes that, rather than yield to people's prejudices, states hold great power to shape public responses and perceptions of demographic change through political institutions and the rhetoric of leaders. Through subsequent survey research, Gest also identifies novel ways that leaders can leverage nationalist sentiment to reduce the appeal of nativism--by framing immigration and demographic change in terms of the national interest. Grounded in rich narratives and surprising survey findings, Majority Minority reveals that this contentious milestone and its accompanying identity politics are ultimately subject to unifying or divisive governance.
Visit Justin Gest's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 7, 2022

"Academic Apartheid"

New from the University of California Press: Academic Apartheid: Race and the Criminalization of Failure in an American Suburb by Sean J. Drake.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Academic Apartheid, sociologist Sean J. Drake addresses long-standing problems of educational inequality from a nuanced perspective, looking at how race and class intersect to affect modern school segregation. Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic observation and dozens of interviews at two distinct high schools in a racially diverse Southern California suburb, Drake unveils hidden institutional mechanisms that lead to the overt segregation and symbolic criminalization of Black, Latinx, and lower-income students who struggle academically. His work illuminates how institutional definitions of success contribute to school segregation, how institutional actors leverage those definitions to justify inequality, and the ways in which local immigrant groups use their ethnic resources to succeed. Academic Apartheid represents a new way forward for scholars whose work sits at the intersection of education, race and ethnicity, class, and immigration.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 6, 2022

"The Virtues of Limits"

New from Oxford University Press: The Virtues of Limits by David McPherson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Human beings seek to transcend limits. This is part of our potential greatness, since it is how we can realize what is best in our humanity. However, the limit-transcending feature of human life is also part of our potential downfall, as it can lead to dehumanization and failure to attain important human goods and to prevent human evils. Exploring the place of limits within a well-lived human life this work develops and defends an original account of limiting virtues, which are concerned with recognizing proper limits in human life. The limiting virtues that are the focus are humility, reverence, moderation, contentment, neighborliness, and loyalty, and they are explored in relation to four kinds of limits: existential limits, moral limits, political limits, and economic limits. These virtues have been underexplored in discussions about virtue ethics, and when they have been explored it has not been with regard to the general issue of the place of limits within a well-lived human life. The account of the limiting virtues provided here, however, is intended as a counter to other prominent approaches to ethics: namely, autonomy-centered approaches and consequentialist (or maximizing) approaches. This account is also used to address a number of important contemporary issues such as genetic engineering, distributive justice, cosmopolitanism vs. patriotism, and the ethical status of growth-based economics.
Follow David McPherson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 5, 2022

"The Horrors of Adana"

New from Stanford University Press: The Horrors of Adana: Revolution and Violence in the Early Twentieth Century by Bedross Der Matossian.

About the book, from the publisher:
In April 1909, twin massacres shook the province of Adana, located in the southern Anatolia region of modern-day Turkey, killing more than 20,000 Armenians and 2,000 Muslims. The central Ottoman government failed to prosecute the main culprits, a miscarriage of justice that would have repercussions for years to come. Despite the significance of these events and the extent of violence and destruction, the Adana Massacres are often left out of historical narratives. The Horrors of Adana offers one of the first close examinations of these events, analyzing sociopolitical and economic transformations that culminated in a cataclysm of violence.

Bedross Der Matossian provides voice and agency to all involved in the massacres—perpetrators, victims, and bystanders. Drawing on primary sources in a dozen languages, he develops an interdisciplinary approach to understand the rumors and emotions, public spheres and humanitarian interventions that together informed this complex event. Ultimately, through consideration of the Adana Massacres in micro-historical detail, this book offers an important macrocosmic understanding of ethnic violence, illuminating how and why ordinary people can become perpetrators.
Follow Bedross Der Matossian on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 4, 2022

"Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century"

New from Oxford University Press: Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century by Helen Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Getting to grips with the overlapping geopolitical, economic, and political crises faced by Western democratic societies in the 2020s.

The 21st century has brought a powerful tide of geopolitical, economic, and democratic shocks. Their fallout has led central banks to create over $25 trillion of new money, brought about a new age of geopolitical competition, destabilised the Middle East, ruptured the European Union, and exposed old political fault lines in the United States.

Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century is a long history of this present political moment. It recounts three histories - one about geopolitics, one about the world economy, and one about western democracies - and explains how in the years of political disorder prior to the pandemic the disruption in each became one big story. It shows how much of this turbulence originated in problems generated by fossil-fuel energies, and it explains why as the green transition takes place the long-standing predicaments energy invariably shapes will remain in place.
Follow Helen Thompson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 3, 2022

"Last Call at the Hotel Imperial"

New from Random House: Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took On a World at War by Deborah Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:
A prize-winning historian’s revelatory account of a close-knit band of wildly famous American reporters who, in the run-up to World War II, took on dictators and rewrote the rules of modern journalism

They were an astonishing group: glamorous, gutsy, and irreverent to the bone. As cub reporters in the 1920s, they roamed across a war-ravaged world, sometimes perched atop mules on wooden saddles, sometimes gliding through countries in the splendor of a first-class sleeper car. While empires collapsed and fledgling democracies faltered, they chased deposed empresses, international financiers, and Balkan gun-runners, and then knocked back doubles late into the night.

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial is the extraordinary story of John Gunther, H. R. Knickerbocker, Vincent Sheean, and Dorothy Thompson. In those tumultuous years, they landed exclusive interviews with Hitler and Mussolini, Nehru and Gandhi, and helped shape what Americans knew about the world. Alongside these backstage glimpses into the halls of power, they left another equally incredible set of records. Living in the heady afterglow of Freud, they subjected themselves to frank, critical scrutiny and argued about love, war, sex, death, and everything in between.

Plunged into successive global crises, Gunther, Knickerbocker, Sheean, and Thompson could no longer separate themselves from the turmoil that surrounded them. To tell that story, they broke long-standing taboos. From their circle came not just the first modern account of illness in Gunther’s Death Be Not Proud—a memoir about his son’s death from cancer—but the first no-holds-barred chronicle of a marriage: Sheean’s Dorothy and Red, about Thompson’s fractious relationship with Sinclair Lewis.

Told with the immediacy of a conversation overheard, this revelatory book captures how the global upheavals of the twentieth century felt up close.
Visit Deborah Cohen's website.

Writers Read: Deborah Cohen (March 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

"Solidarity in Conflict"

New from Stanford University Press: Solidarity in Conflict: A Democratic Theory by Rochelle DuFord.

About the book, from the publisher:
Democracy has become disentangled from our ordinary lives. Mere cooperation or ethical consumption now often stands in for a robust concept of solidarity that structures the entirety of sociality and forms the basis of democratic culture. How did democracy become something that is done only at ballot boxes and what role can solidarity play in reviving it? In Solidarity in Conflict, Rochelle DuFord presents a theory of solidarity fit for developing democratic life and a complementary theory of democracy that emerges from a society typified by solidarity.

DuFord argues that solidarity is best understood as a set of relations, one agonistic and one antagonistic: the solidarity groups' internal organization and its interactions with the broader world. Such a picture of solidarity develops through careful consideration of the conflicts endemic to social relations and solidarity organizations. Examining men's rights groups, labor organizing's role in recognitional protections for LGBTQ members of society, and the debate over trans inclusion in feminist praxis, DuFord explores how conflict, in these contexts, becomes the locus of solidarity's democratic functions and thereby critiques democratic theorizing for having become either overly idealized or overly focused on building and maintaining stability. Working in the tradition of the Frankfurt School, DuFord makes a provocative case that the conflict generated by solidarity organizations can address a variety of forms of domination, oppression, and exploitation while building a democratic society.
Visit Rochelle DuFord's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

"Ukraine's Revolt, Russia's Revenge"

New from Brookings Institution Press: Ukraine's Revolt, Russia's Revenge by Christopher M. Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
An eyewitness account by a U.S. diplomat of Russia’s brazen attempt to undo the democratic revolution in Ukraine

Told from the perspective of a U.S. diplomat in Kyiv, this book is the true story of Ukraine’s anti-corruption revolution in 2013—14, Russia’s intervention and invasion of that nation, and the limited role played by the United States. It puts into a readable narrative the previously unpublished reporting by seasoned U.S. diplomatic and military professionals, a wealth of information on Ukrainian high-level and street-level politics, a broad analysis of the international context, and vivid descriptions of people and places in Ukraine during the EuroMaidan Revolution. The book also counters Russia’s disinformation narratives about the revolution and America’s role in it. While focusing on a single country during a dramatic three-year period, the book’s universal themes—among them, truth versus lies, democracy versus autocracy—possess a broader urgency for our times. That urgency burns particularly hot for the United States and all other countries that are the targets of Russia's cyber warfare and other forms of political skullduggery.

From his posting in U.S. Embassy Kyiv (2012–14), the author observed and reported first-hand on the EuroMaidan Revolution that wrested power from corrupt pro-Kremlin Ukrainian autocrat Viktor Yanukovych.

The book also details Russia’s attempt to abort the Ukrainian revolution through threats, economic pressure, lies, and intimidation. When all of that failed, the Kremlin exacted revenge by annexing Ukraine's territory of Crimea and fomenting and sustaining a hybrid war in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 13,000 people and continues to this day.

Ukraine's Revolt, Russia’s Revenge is based on the author’s own observations and the multitude of reports of his Embassy colleagues who were eyewitnesses to a crucial event in contemporary history.
--Marshal Zeringue