Saturday, April 30, 2022

"Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art"

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

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

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 29, 2022

"Lawful Sins"

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 28, 2022

"Reliability and Alliance Interdependence"

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

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

"Happy Dreams of Liberty"

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

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

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

"Degrees of Equality"

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

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

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

Monday, April 25, 2022

"Dancing on Bones"

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

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 24, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, April 23, 2022

"Growing Moral"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 22, 2022

"A Man among Other Men"

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 21, 2022

"True Blue"

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

"Violent Appetites"

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

"Scars on the Land"

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

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 18, 2022

"The Nature of the Religious Right"

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

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

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

Sunday, April 17, 2022

"The Accidental Ecosystem"

New from the University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona.

About the book, from the publisher:
With wildlife thriving in cities, we have the opportunity to create vibrant urban ecosystems that serve both people and animals.

The Accidental Ecosystem tells the story of how cities across the United States went from having little wildlife to filling, dramatically and unexpectedly, with wild creatures. Today, many of these cities have more large and charismatic wild animals living in them than at any time in at least the past 150 years. Why have so many cities—the most artificial and human-dominated of all Earth’s ecosystems—grown rich with wildlife, even as wildlife has declined in most of the rest of the world? And what does this paradox mean for people, wildlife, and nature on our increasingly urban planet?

The Accidental Ecosystem is the first book to explain this phenomenon from a deep historical perspective, and its focus includes a broad range of species and cities. Cities covered include New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Austin, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Digging into the natural history of cities and unpacking our conception of what it means to be wild, this book provides fascinating context for why animals are thriving more in cities than outside of them. Author Peter S. Alagona argues that the proliferation of animals in cities is largely the unintended result of human decisions that were made for reasons having little to do with the wild creatures themselves. Considering what it means to live in diverse, multispecies communities and exploring how human and non-human members of communities might thrive together, Alagona goes beyond the tension between those who embrace the surge in urban wildlife and those who think of animals as invasive or as public safety hazards. The Accidental Ecosystem calls on readers to reimagine interspecies coexistence in shared habitats, as well as policies that are based on just, humane, and sustainable approaches.
Visit Peter S. Alagona's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 16, 2022

"Being Good in a World of Need"

New from Oxford University Press: Being Good in a World of Need by Larry S. Temkin.

About the book, from the publisher:
In a world filled with both enormous wealth and pockets of great devastation, how should the well-off respond to the world's needy?

This is the urgent central question of Being Good in a World of Need. Larry S. Temkin, one of the world's foremost ethicists, challenges common assumptions about philanthropy, his own prior beliefs, and the dominant philosophical positions of Peter Singer and Effective Altruism. Filled with keen analysis and insightful discussions of philosophy, current events, development economics, history, literature, and age-old wisdom, this book is a thorough and sobering exploration of the complicated ways that global aid may incentivize disastrous policies, reward corruption, and foster “brain drains” that hinder social and economic development.

Using real-world examples and illuminating thought experiments, Temkin discusses ethical imperialism, humanitarian versus developmental aid, how charities ignore or coverup negative impacts, replicability and scaling-up problems, and the views of the renowned economists Angus Deaton and Jeffrey Sachs, all within the context of deeper philosophical issues of fairness, responsibility, and individual versus collective morality. At times both inspiring and profoundly disturbing, he presents the powerful argument that neglecting the needy is morally impermissible, even as he illustrates that the path towards helping others is often fraught with complex ethical and practical perils. Steeped in empathy, morality, pathos, and humanity, this is an engaging and eye-opening text for any reader who shares an intense concern for helping others in need.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 15, 2022

"The New Model Army"

New from Yale University Press: The New Model Army: Agent of Revolution by Ian Gentles.

About the book, from the publisher:
The definitive account of the superior fighting force that powered the English Revolution

The New Model Army was one of the most formidable fighting forces ever assembled. Formed in 1645, it was crucial in overthrowing the monarchy and propelling one of its most brilliant generals, Oliver Cromwell, to power during the English Revolution. Paradoxically, it was also instrumental in restoring the king in 1660. But the true nature of this army has long been debated.

In this authoritative history, Ian Gentles examines the full scope of the New Model Army. As a fighting force it engineered regicide, pioneered innovative military tactics, and helped to keep Cromwell in power as Lord Protector until his death. All the while, those within its ranks promoted radical political ideas inspired by the Levellers and held dissenting religious beliefs. Gentles explores how brilliant battlefield maneuvering and logistical prowess contributed to its victories—and demonstrates the vital role religion played in building morale and military effectiveness.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 14, 2022

"Global Burning"

New from Stanford University Press: Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis by Eve Darian-Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
How extreme-right antidemocratic governments around the world are prioritizing profits over citizens, stoking catastrophic wildfires, and accelerating global climate change.

Recent years have seen out-of-control wildfires rage across remote Brazilian rainforests, densely populated California coastlines, and major cities in Australia. What connects these separate events is more than immediate devastation and human loss of life. In Global Burning, Eve Darian-Smith contends that using fire as a symbolic and literal thread connecting different places around the world allows us to better understand the parallel, and related, trends of the growth of authoritarian politics and climate crises and their interconnected global consequences.

Darian-Smith looks deeply into each of these three cases of catastrophic wildfires and finds key similarities in all of them. As political leaders and big business work together in the pursuit of profits and power, anti-environmentalism has become an essential political tool enabling the rise of extreme right governments and energizing their populist supporters. These are the governments that deny climate science, reject environmental protection laws, and foster exclusionary worldviews that exacerbate climate injustice.

The fires in Australia, Brazil and the United States demand acknowledgment of the global systems of inequality that undergird them, connecting the political erosion of liberal democracy with the corrosion of the environment. Darian-Smith argues that these wildfires are closely linked through capitalism, colonialism, industrialization, and resource extraction. In thinking through wildfires as environmental and political phenomenon, Global Burning challenges readers to confront the interlocking powers that are ensuring our future ecological collapse.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

"Aristotle on Sexual Difference"

New from Oxford University Press: Aristotle on Sexual Difference: Metaphysics, Biology, Politics by Marguerite Deslauriers.

About the book, from the publisher:
Aristotle's remarks about the differences between the sexes have become infamous for their implications for the social status of women. In his observations on female biology, Aristotle claims that "the female nature is, as it were, a deformity." In describing women's role in the public sphere, he claims that women are naturally subordinate because, while they possess a deliberative faculty, that capacity is "without authority." While both claims express the "inferiority" of female bodies/women relative to male bodies/men, it is not self-evident that the defects Aristotle identifies in female biology have cognitive or moral manifestations that would justify the rule of men over women in political life. Marguerite Deslauriers here aims to construct a coherent picture of Aristotle's views on sexual and gender-based difference from these remarks and to show the extent to which his views on female biology and women's role in politics are causally connected.

Without exculpating Aristotle from charges of misogyny, Deslauriers contextualizes his explanations of the role and origin of female animals in his biology and the role of women in his political philosophy; she shows how Aristotle developed these views and the importance they hold for his wider philosophical commitments. She then explores how Aristotle might have seen the link between the physiology of sex and the bearing it has on political life. She ultimately argues that in Aristotle's conception of sexual difference in biology and politics, there is a tension between his view of the inferiority of female bodies and women and his commitment to the idea that females and women are valuable both for generation and for the political life characteristic of human beings. In this tension she finds a difference between Aristotle and his predecessors: while previous accounts associate sexual difference with affliction, Aristotle sees sexual difference as a benefit, both to a species and a political community. This volume will be of interest to philosophers and students interested in ancient philosophy, feminist philosophy, as well as those studying moral and political philosophy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

"Empires of Eurasia"

New from Yale University Press: Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security by Jeffrey Mankoff.

About the book, from the publisher:
How the collapse of empires helps explain the efforts of China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey to challenge the international order

Eurasia’s major powers—China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey—increasingly intervene across their borders while seeking to pull their smaller neighbors more firmly into their respective orbits. While analysts have focused on the role of leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in explaining this drive to dominate neighbors and pull away from the Western-dominated international system, they have paid less attention to the role of imperial legacies. Jeffrey Mankoff argues that what unites these contemporary Eurasian powers is their status as heirs to vast terrestrial empires, whose collapse left all four states deeply entangled with the lands and peoples along their peripheries but outside their formal borders. Today, they have all found new opportunities to project power within and beyond their borders in patterns shaped by their respective imperial pasts.
Follow Jeff Mankoff on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 11, 2022

"Why We Fight"

New from Viking: Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace by Christopher Blattman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine or the fear of another American civil war, most of the time wars don’t happen, and of the millions of hostile rivalries worldwide, only a fraction erupt into violence. At this moment of crisis in world affairs, this necessary book from a seasoned peacebuilder and acclaimed expert in the field lays out the root causes and remedies for war and explain the reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers can turn the tides once conflict threatens to or becomes war. Its message could not be more urgent right now.

Why We Fight draws on decades of economics, political science, psychology, and real-world interventions to lay out the root causes and remedies for war, showing that violence is not the norm; that there are only five reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers turn the tides through tinkering, not transformation.

From warring states to street gangs, ethnic groups and religious sects to political factions, there are common dynamics to heed and lessons to learn. Along the way, through Blattman’s time studying Medellín, Chicago, Sudan, England, and more, we learn from vainglorious monarchs, dictators, mobs, pilots, football hooligans, ancient peoples, and fanatics.

What of remedies that shift incentives away from violence and get parties back to dealmaking? Societies are surprisingly good at interrupting and ending violence when they want to—even gangs do it. Realistic and optimistic, this is a book that lends new meaning to the adage “Give peace a chance.”
Visit Chris Blattman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 10, 2022

"From the Ashes of History"

New from Oxford University Press: From the Ashes of History: Collective Trauma and the Making of International Politics by Adam B. Lerner.

About the book, from the publisher:
In recent years, calls for reparations and restorative justice, alongside the rise of populist grievance politics, have demonstrated the stubborn resilience of traumatic memory. From the transnational Black Lives Matter movement's calls for reckoning with the legacy of slavery and racial oppression, to continued efforts to secure recognition of the Armenian genocide or Imperial Japan's human rights abuses, international politics is replete with examples of past violence reasserting itself in the present. But how should scholars understand trauma's long-term impacts? Why do some traumas lie dormant for generations, only to surface anew in pivotal moments? And how does trauma scale from individuals to larger political groupings like nations and states, shaping political identities, grievances, and policymaking?

In From the Ashes of History, Adam B. Lerner looks at collective trauma as a foundational force in international politics--a "shock" to political cultures that can constitute new actors and shape decision-making over the long-term. As Lerner shows, uncovering collective trauma's role in international politics is vital for two key reasons. First, it can help explain longstanding tensions between groups--an especially relevant topic as scholars examine the transnational resurgence of nationalism and populism. Second, it pushes the discipline of International Relations to more completely account for mass violence's true long-term costs, particularly as they become embedded in longstanding structural inequalities and injustices. While IR scholarship has largely dismissed non-systematic, latent phenomena like trauma, Lerner argues that collective trauma can help draw the lines between international political groups and frame the logics of international political action. Drawing on three historical cases that uncover the impact of collective trauma in Indian, Israeli, and American foreign policymaking, From the Ashes of History demonstrates the broad utility of collective trauma as a theoretical lens for investigating how mass violence's legacy can resurge and dissipate over time.
Visit Adam B. Lerner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 9, 2022

"Children of the Revolution"

New from Stanford University Press: Children of the Revolution: Violence, Inequality, and Hope in Nicaraguan Migration by Laura J. Enríquez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Andrea, Silvia, Ana, and Pamela were impoverished youth when the Sandinista revolution took hold in Nicaragua in 1979. Against the backdrop of a war and economic crisis, the revolution gave them hope of a better future — if not for themselves, then for their children. But, when it became clear that their hopes were in vain, they chose to emigrate. Children of the Revolution tells these four women's stories up to their adulthood in Italy. Laura J. Enríquez's compassionate account highlights the particularities of each woman's narrative, and shows how their lives were shaped by social factors such as their class, gender, race, ethnicity, and immigration status. These factors limited the options available to them, even as the women challenged the structures and violence surrounding them. By extending the story to include the children, and now grandchildren, of the four women, Enríquez demonstrates how their work abroad provided opportunities for their families that they themselves never had. Hence, these stories reveal that even when a revolution fails to fundamentally transform a society in a lasting way, seeds of change may yet take hold.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 8, 2022

"Security and Conservation"

New from Yale University Press: Security and Conservation: The Politics of the Illegal Wildlife Trade by Rosaleen Duffy.

About the book, from the publisher:
An exploration of the scale, practical reality, and future implications of the growing integration of biodiversity conservation with global security concerns

“There are few keener observers of international biodiversity conservation than Rosaleen Duffy. With a ferocity of purpose, she investigates the tenuous connection and nuances among illegal wildlife trade, terrorism threats, and national security.”—Steven R. Brechin, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Debates regarding environmental security risks have generally focused on climate change and geopolitical water conflicts. Biodiversity conservation, however, is increasingly identified as a critical contributor to national and global security. The illegal wildlife trade is often articulated as a driver of biodiversity losses, and as a source of finance for organized crime networks, armed groups, and even terrorist networks. Conservationists, international organizations, and national governments have raised concerns about “convergence” of wildlife trafficking with other serious offenses, including theft, fraud, corruption, drugs and human trafficking, counterfeiting, firearms smuggling, and money laundering.

In Security and Conservation, Rosaleen Duffy examines the scale, practical reality, and future implications of the growing integration of biodiversity conservation with global security concerns. Duffy takes a political ecology approach to develop a deeper understanding of how and why wildlife conservation turned toward security‑oriented approaches to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 7, 2022

"Dancing on Bones"

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

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

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

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

"Translating Food Sovereignty"

New from Stanford University Press: Translating Food Sovereignty: Cultivating Justice in an Age of Transnational Governance by Matthew C. Canfield.

About the book, from the publisher:
In its current state, the global food system is socially and ecologically unsustainable: nearly two billion people are food insecure, and food systems are the number one contributor to climate change. While agro-industrial production is promoted as the solution to these problems, growing global "food sovereignty" movements are challenging this model by demanding local and democratic control over food systems. Translating Food Sovereignty accompanies activists based in the Pacific Northwest of the United States as they mobilize the claim of food sovereignty across local, regional, and global arenas of governance. In contrast to social movements that frame their claims through the language of human rights, food sovereignty activists are one of the first to have articulated themselves in relation to the neoliberal transnational order of networked governance. While this global regulatory framework emerged to deepen market logics, Matthew C. Canfield reveals how activists are leveraging this order to make more expansive social justice claims. This nuanced, deeply engaged ethnography illustrates how food sovereignty activists are cultivating new forms of transnational governance from the ground up.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

"Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel"

New from Yale University Press: Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel by Susan Ackerman.

About the book, from the publisher:
A synthetic reconstruction of women's religious engagement and experiences in preexilic Israel

Throughout the biblical narrative, ancient Israelite religious life is dominated by male actors. When women appear, they are often seen only on the periphery: as tangential, accidental, or passive participants. However, despite their absence from the written record, they were often deeply involved in religious practice and ritual observance.

In this new volume, Susan Ackerman presents a comprehensive account of ancient Israelite women's religious lives and experiences. She examines the various sites of their practice, including household shrines, regional sanctuaries, and national temples; the calendar of religious rituals that women observed on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis; and their special roles in religious settings. Drawing on texts, archaeology, and material culture, and documenting the distinctions between Israelite women's experiences and those of their male counterparts, Ackerman reconstructs an essential picture of women's lived religion in ancient Israelite culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 4, 2022

"Women Healers"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Women Healers: Gender, Authority, and Medicine in Early Philadelphia by Susan H. Brandt.

About the book, from the publisher:
In her eighteenth-century medical recipe manuscript, the Philadelphia healer Elizabeth Coates Paschall asserted her ingenuity and authority with the bold strokes of her pen. Paschall developed an extensive healing practice, consulted medical texts, and conducted experiments based on personal observations. As British North America’s premier city of medicine and science, Philadelphia offered Paschall a nurturing environment enriched by diverse healing cultures and the Quaker values of gender equality and women’s education. She participated in transatlantic medical and scientific networks with her friend, Benjamin Franklin. Paschall was not unique, however. Women Healers recovers numerous women of European, African, and Native American descent who provided the bulk of health care in the greater Philadelphia area for centuries. Although the history of women practitioners often begins with the 1850 founding of Philadelphia’s Female Medical College, the first women’s medical school in the United States, these students merely continued the legacies of women like Paschall. Remarkably, though, the lives and work of early American female practitioners have gone largely unexplored. While some sources depict these women as amateurs whose influence declined, Susan Brandt documents women’s authoritative medical work that continued well into the nineteenth century. Spanning a century and a half, Women Healers traces the transmission of European women’s medical remedies to the Delaware Valley where they blended with African and Indigenous women’s practices, forming hybrid healing cultures.

Drawing on extensive archival research, Brandt demonstrates that women healers were not inflexible traditional practitioners destined to fall victim to the onward march of Enlightenment science, capitalism, and medical professionalization. Instead, women of various classes and ethnicities found new sources of healing authority, engaged in the consumer medical marketplace, and resisted physicians’ attempts to marginalize them. Brandt reveals that women healers participated actively in medical and scientific knowledge production and the transition to market capitalism.
Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 3, 2022


New from Cornell University Press: Freedomland: Co-op City and the Story of New York by Annemarie H. Sammartino.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Freedomland, Annemarie H. Sammartino tells Co-op City's story from the perspectives of those who built it and of the ordinary people who made their homes in this monument to imperfect liberal ideals of economic and social justice.

Located on the grounds of the former Freedomland amusement park on the northeastern edge of the Bronx, Co-op City's 35 towers and 236 townhouses have been home to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and is an icon visible to all traveling on the east coast corridor.

In 1965, Co-op City was planned as the largest middle-class housing development in the United States. It was intended as a solution to the problem of affordable housing in America's largest city. While Co-op City first appeared to be a huge success story for integrated, middle-class housing, tensions would lead its residents to organize the largest rent strike in American history. In 1975, a coalition of shareholders took on New York State and, against all odds, secured resident control. Much to the dismay of many denizens of the complex, even this achievement did not halt either rising costs or white flight. Nevertheless, after the challenges of the 1970s and 1980s, the cooperative achieved a hard-won stability as the twentieth century came to a close.

Freedomland chronicles the tumultuous first quarter century of Co-op City's existence. Sammartino's narrative connects planning, economic, and political history and the history of race in America. The result is a new perspective on twentieth-century New York City.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 2, 2022

"Self and Identity"

New from Oxford University Press: Self and Identity by Trenton Merricks.

About the book, from the publisher:
The personal identity literature is fragmented. There is a literature on the normative topic of 'what matters in survival'. And there is a separate literature on the metaphysics of persons. But in Self and Identity, Trenton Merricks shows that some important claims about personal identity cannot even be articulated, much less evaluated, unless these topics are brought together.

Merricks says that what matters in survival is constituted by its being appropriate for a present person to first-personally anticipate, and have self-interested concern with regard to, a future person's experiences. So what matters in survival is not constituted by identity with a future person. So identity is not what matters in survival. But Merricks argues that--given a metaphysics of 'enduring' persons--identity with a future person explains why it is appropriate to first-personally anticipate, and have self-interested concern with regard to, that person's experiences. So identity delivers what matters in survival.

Some claim that what matters in survival is delivered not by identity, but instead by psychological continuity. Or by having the 'same self' (that is, the same values, desires, and projects). Or by narrative connectedness. Or by unity of agency. Merricks argues that these claims--unlike the claim that identity delivers what matters in survival--cannot accommodate all the ways in which personal transformations can be good, or bad, for someone. At the end of Self and Identity, Merricks puts his conclusions about what matters in survival through their paces by applying them to a new topic: personal immortality.
Visit Trenton Merricks's website.

The Page 99 Test: Propositions.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 1, 2022

"Liberty's Chain"

New from Cornell University Press: Liberty's Chain: Slavery, Abolition, and the Jay Family of New York by David N. Gellman.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Liberty's Chain, David N. Gellman shows how the Jay family, abolitionists and slaveholders alike, embodied the contradictions of the revolutionary age. The Jays of New York were a preeminent founding family. John Jay, diplomat, Supreme Court justice, and coauthor of the Federalist Papers, and his children and grandchildren helped chart the course of the Early American Republic.

Liberty's Chain forges a new path for thinking about slavery and the nation's founding. John Jay served as the inaugural president of a pioneering antislavery society. His descendants, especially his son William Jay and his grandson John Jay II, embraced radical abolitionism in the nineteenth century, the cause most likely to rend the nation. The scorn of their elite peers—and racist mobs—did not deter their commitment to end southern slavery and to combat northern injustice.

John Jay's personal dealings with African Americans ranged from callousness to caring. Across the generations, even as prominent Jays decried human servitude, enslaved people and formerly enslaved people served in Jay households. Abbe, Clarinda, Caesar Valentine, Zilpah Montgomery, and others lived difficult, often isolated, lives that tested their courage and the Jay family's principles.

The personal and the political intersect in this saga, as Gellman charts American values transmitted and transformed from the colonial and revolutionary eras to the Civil War, Reconstruction, and beyond. The Jays, as well as those who served them, demonstrated the elusiveness and the vitality of liberty's legacy. This remarkable family story forces us to grapple with what we mean by patriotism, conservatism, and radicalism. Their story speaks directly to our own divided times.
--Marshal Zeringue