Thursday, June 30, 2022

"Fire and Steel"

New from Oxford University Press: Fire and Steel: The End of World War Two in the West by Peter Caddick-Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:
The final volume in one of the most acclaimed works of military history of this generation.

Here is Peter Caddick-Adams' third volume in his trilogy about the final year of the Western front in World War Two. Fire & Steel covers the war's final 100 days-beginning in late January 1945 and continuing until May 8th, 1945, when the German high command surrendered unconditionally to all Allied forces. Caddick-Adams' previous two volumes in the acclaimed series-Sand & Steel, which covers the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, and Snow & Steel, the definitive study of the Battle of the Bulge, the German's final offensive in the war-have set the stage for this concluding volume.

In these final months of World War Two, all of Germany is ablaze, from daily bombing runs launched from just across its borders and incessant artillery fire from the east. In the west, the Allied progress was inexorable, with Eisenhower's seven armies taking on Germany's seven armies, town by town, bridge by bridge. With his customary narrative verve and utter mastery of the material, Caddick-Adams does these climactic final months full justice, from the capture of the Ludendorff Railway Bridge at Remagen, to the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, to the taking of Munich on Hitler's birthday, April 20th, and through to VE Day. Fire & Steel ends with the return of prisoners, demobilization of servicemen, and the beginning of the occupation of Germany.

A triumphant concluding volume to one of the most distinguished works of military history of this generation.
Follow Peter Caddick-Adams on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

"Nonprofit Neighborhoods"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Nonprofit Neighborhoods: An Urban History of Inequality and the American State by Claire Dunning.

About the book, from the publisher:
An exploration of how and why American city governments delegated the responsibility for solving urban inequality to the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofits serving a range of municipal and cultural needs are now so ubiquitous in US cities, it can be difficult to envision a time when they were more limited in number, size, and influence. Turning back the clock, however, uncovers both an illuminating story of how the nonprofit sector became such a dominant force in American society, as well as a troubling one of why this growth occurred alongside persistent poverty and widening inequality. Claire Dunning’s book connects these two stories in histories of race, democracy, and capitalism, revealing how the federal government funded and deputized nonprofits to help individuals in need, and in so doing avoided addressing the structural inequities that necessitated such action in the first place.

Nonprofit Neighborhoods begins after World War II, when suburbanization, segregation, and deindustrialization inaugurated an era of urban policymaking that applied private solutions to public problems. Dunning introduces readers to the activists, corporate executives, and politicians who advocated addressing poverty and racial exclusion through local organizations, while also raising provocative questions about the politics and possibilities of social change. The lessons of Nonprofit Neighborhoods exceed the bounds of Boston, where the story unfolds, providing a timely history of the shift from urban crisis to urban renaissance for anyone concerned about American inequality—past, present, or future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

"Sharing Territories"

New from Oxford University Press: Sharing Territories: Overlapping Self-Determination and Resource Rights by Cara Nine.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Sharing Territories, Cara Nine defends a river model of territorial rights. On a river model, groups are assumed to be interdependent and overlapping. If we imagine human settlements and territorial rights as established in river catchment areas-not on lands with walls and borders-the primary features of group life are not independence and distinctness. Drawing on natural law philosophy, Nine's theory argues for the establishment of foundational territories around geographical areas like rivers. Usually lower-scale political entities, foundational territories overlap with and serve as the grounding blocks of larger territorial units. Examples of foundational territories include not only river catchment areas but also urban areas, drawn around individuals who hold obligations to collectively manage their surroundings. Foundational territorial authorities manage spatially integrated areas where agents are interconnected by dense and scaffolded physical circumstances. In these areas, individuals cannot fulfil their natural obligations to each other without the help of collective rules. As foundational territories overlap the territories of other political units, Nine frames a theory of nested and shared territorial rights, and argues for insightful changes to the allocation of resource rights between political groups and individuals.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 27, 2022

"Cultural Appropriation in Fashion and Entertainment"

New from Bloomsbury Visual Arts: Cultural Appropriation in Fashion and Entertainment by Yuniya Kawamura and Jung-Whan (Marc) de Jong.

About the book, from the publisher:
Is it ever appropriate to “borrow” culturally inspired ideas? Who has ownership over intangible culture? What role does power inequality play? These questions are often at the center of heated public debates around cultural appropriation, with new controversies breaking seemingly every day.

Cultural Appropriation in Fashion and Entertainment offers a sociological perspective on the debate, exploring appropriation of cultures embedded in race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and religion in entertainment as well as the clothing, textiles, jewelry, accessories, hairstyles, and tattoos we wear.

Case studies are drawn from K-pop, Bollywood dance, J-pop, Bhangra music, Jamaican reggae, hip hop and EDM fashion to explore how, when, and why cultural borrowing or appreciation can become cultural appropriation. There's also discussion of subcultural territories that extend beyond geography, race and ethnicity, such as cosplay and LGBTQI+ communities.

By providing a range of global perspectives on the adoption, adaptation, and application of both tangible and intangible cultural objects, Kawamura and de Jong help move the conversation beyond simply criticizing designers and creators to encourage nuanced discussion and raise awareness of diverse cultures in the creative industries.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 26, 2022

"The Right to Be Counted"

New from Stanford University Press: The Right to Be Counted: The Urban Poor and the Politics of Resettlement in Delhi by Sanjeev Routray.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the last 30 years, Delhi, the capital of India, has displaced over 1.5 million poor people. Resettlement and welfare services are available—but exclusively so, as the city deems much of the population ineligible for civic benefits. The Right to Be Counted examines how Delhi's urban poor, in an effort to gain visibility from the local state, incrementally stake their claims to a house and life in the city. Contributing to debates about the contradictions of state governmentality and the citizenship projects of the poor in Delhi, this book explores social suffering, logistics, and the logic of political mobilizations that emanate from processes of displacement and resettlement. Sanjeev Routray draws upon fieldwork conducted in various low-income neighborhoods throughout the 2010s to describe the process of claims-making as an attempt by the political community of the poor to assert its existence and numerical strength, and demonstrates how this struggle to be counted constitutes the systematic, protracted, and incremental political process by which the poor claim their substantive entitlements and become entrenched in the city. Analyzing various social, political, and economic relationships, as well as kinship networks and solidarity linkages across the political and social spectrum, this book traces the ways the poor work to gain a foothold in Delhi and establish agency for themselves.
Follow Sanjeev Routray on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 25, 2022

"The Digital Border"

New from NYU Press: The Digital Border: Migration, Technology, Power by Lilie Chouliaraki and Myria Georgiou.

About the book, from the publisher:
How do digital technologies shape the experiences and meanings of migration?

As the numbers of people fleeing war, poverty, and environmental disaster reach unprecedented levels worldwide, states also step up their mechanisms of border control. In this, they rely on digital technologies, big data, artificial intelligence, social media platforms, and institutional journalism to manage not only the flow of people at crossing-points, but also the flow of stories and images of human mobility that circulate among their publics.

What is the role of digital technologies is shaping migration today? How do digital infrastructures, platforms, and institutions control the flow of people at the border? And how do they also control the public narratives of migration as a “crisis”? Finally, how do migrants themselves use these same platforms to speak back and make themselves heard in the face of hardship and hostility?

Taking their case studies from the biggest migration event of the twenty-first century in the West, the 2015 European migration “crisis” and its aftermath up to 2020, Lilie Chouliaraki and Myria Georgiou offer a holistic account of the digital border as an expansive assemblage of technological infrastructures (from surveillance cameras to smartphones) and media imaginaries (stories, images, social media posts) to tell the story of migration as it unfolds in Europe’s outer islands as much as its most vibrant cities.

This is a story of exclusion, marginalization, and violence, but also of care, conviviality, and solidarity. Through it, the border emerges neither as strictly digital nor as totally controlling. Rather, the authors argue, the digital border is both digital and pre-digital; datafied and embodied; automated and self-reflexive; undercut by competing emotions, desires, and judgments; and traversed by fluid and fragile social relationships—relationships that entail both the despair of inhumanity and the promise of a better future.
Follow Lilie Chouliaraki on Twitter; follow Myria Georgiou on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 24, 2022

"The Image of God"

New from Oxford University Press: The Image of God: The Problem of Evil and the Problem of Mourning by Eleonore Stump.

About the book, from the publisher:
The problem of evil has generated varying attempts at theodicy. To show that suffering is defeated for a sufferer, a theodicy argues that there is an outweighing benefit which could not have been gotten without the suffering. Typically, this condition has the tacit presupposition given that this is a post-Fall world. Consequently, there is a sense in which human suffering would not be shown to be defeated even if there were a successful theodicy because a theodicy typically implies that the benefit in question could have been gotten without the suffering if there had not been a Fall. There is a part of the problem of evil that would remain, then, even if there were a successful theodicy. This is the problem of mourning: even defeated suffering in the post-Fall world merits mourning. How is this warranted mourning compatible with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good God? The traditional response to this problem is the felix culpa view, which maintains that the original sin was fortunate because there is an outweighing benefit to sufferers that could not be gotten in a world without suffering. The felix culpa view presupposes an object of evaluation, namely, the true self of a human being, and a standard of evaluation for human lives. This book explores these and a variety of other topics in philosophical theology in order to explain and evaluate the role of suffering in human lives.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 23, 2022

"American Crusade"

New from Cornell University Press: American Crusade: Christianity, Warfare, and National Identity, 1860–1920 by Benjamin J. Wetzel.

About the book, from the publisher:
When is a war a holy crusade? And when does theology cause Christians to condemn violence? In American Crusade, Benjamin Wetzel argues that the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I shared a cultural meaning for white Protestant ministers in the United States, who considered each conflict to be a modern-day crusade.

American Crusade examines the "holy war" mentality prevalent between 1860 and 1920, juxtaposing mainline Protestant support for these wars with more hesitant religious voices: Catholics, German-speaking Lutherans, and African American Methodists. The specific theologies and social locations of these more marginal denominations made their ministries highly critical of the crusading mentality. Religious understandings of the nation, both in support of and opposed to armed conflict, played a major role in such ideological contestation. Wetzel's book questions traditional periodizations and suggests that these three wars should be understood as a unit. Grappling with the views of America's religious leaders, supplemented by those of ordinary people, American Crusade provides a fresh way of understanding the three major American wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Page 99 Test: Theodore Roosevelt: Preaching from the Bully Pulpit.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

"The Battle Nearer to Home"

New from Stanford University Press: The Battle Nearer to Home: The Persistence of School Segregation in New York City by Christopher Bonastia.

About the book, from the publisher:
Despite its image as an epicenter of progressive social policy, New York City continues to have one of the nation's most segregated school systems. Tracing the quest for integration in education from the mid-1950s to the present, The Battle Nearer to Home follows the tireless efforts by educational activists to dismantle the deep racial and socioeconomic inequalities that segregation reinforces. The fight for integration has shifted significantly over time, not least in terms of the way "integration" is conceived, from transfers of students and redrawing school attendance zones, to more recent demands of community control of segregated schools. In all cases, the Board eventually pulled the plug in the face of resistance from more powerful stakeholders, and, starting in the 1970s, integration receded as a possible solution to educational inequality. In excavating the history of New York City school integration politics, in the halls of power and on the ground, Christopher Bonastia unearths the enduring white resistance to integration and the severe costs paid by Black and Latino students. This last decade has seen activists renew the fight for integration, but the war is still far from won.
Visit Chris Bonastia's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

"The Devil from over the Sea"

New from Oxford University Press: The Devil from over the Sea: Remembering and Forgetting Oliver Cromwell in Ireland by Sarah Covington.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Ireland, few figures have generated more hatred than Oliver Cromwell, whose seventeenth-century conquest, massacres, and dispossessions would endure in the social memory for ages to come. The Devil from over the Sea explores the many ways in which Cromwell was remembered and sometimes conveniently 'forgotten' in historical, religious, political, and literary texts, according to the interests of different communities across time. Cromwell's powerful afterlife in Ireland, however, cannot be understood without also investigating his presence in folklore and the landscape, in ruins and curses. Nor can he be separated from the idea of the 'Cromwellian': a term which came to elicit an entire chain of contemptuous associations that would begin after his invasion and assume a wholly new force in the nineteenth century.

What emerges from all these memorializing traces is a multitudinous Cromwell who could be represented as brutal, comic, sympathetic, or satanic. He could be discarded also, tellingly, from the accounts of the past, and especially by those which viewed him as an embarrassment or worse. In addition to exploring the many reasons why Cromwell was so vehemently remembered or forgotten in Ireland, Sarah Covington finally uncovers the larger truths conveyed by sometimes fanciful or invented accounts. Contrary to being damaging examples of myth-making, the memorializations contained in martyrologies, folk tales, or newspaper polemics were often productive in cohering communities, or in displaying agency in the form of 'counter-memories' that claimed Cromwell for their own and reshaped Irish history in the process.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 20, 2022

"Tangled Goods"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Tangled Goods: The Practical Life of Pro Bono Advertising by Iddo Tavory, Sonia Prelat and Shelly Ronen.

About the book, from the publisher:
A novel investigation of pro bono marketing and the relationship between goods, exploring the complex moral dimensions of philanthropic advertising.

The advertising industry may seem like one of the most craven manifestations of capitalism, turning consumption into a virtue. In Tangled Goods, authors Iddo Tavory, Sonia Prelat, and Shelly Ronen consider an important dimension of the advertising industry that appears to depart from the industry’s consumerist foundations: pro bono ad campaigns. Why is an industry known for biting cynicism and cutthroat competition also an industry in which people dedicate time and effort to “doing good”?

Interviewing over seventy advertising professionals and managers, the authors trace the complicated meanings of the good in these pro bono projects. Doing something altruistic, they show, often helps employees feel more at ease working for big pharma or corporate banks. Often these projects afford them greater creative leeway than they normally have, as well as the potential for greater recognition. While the authors uncover different motivations behind pro bono work, they are more interested in considering how various notions of the good shift, with different motivations and benefits rising to the surface at different moments. This book sheds new light on how goodness and prestige interact with personal and altruistic motivations to produce value for individuals and institutions and produces a novel theory of the relationship among goods: one of the most fraught questions in sociological theory.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 19, 2022

"Who Matters at the World Bank?"

New from Oxford University Press: Who Matters at the World Bank?: Bureaucrats, Policy Change, and Public Sector Governance by Kim Moloney.

About the book, from the publisher:
Who Matters at the World Bank explores "who matters" in a 32-year history (1980-2012) of policy change within the World Bank's public sector management and public sector governance agenda, and is anchored within the public administration discipline and its understanding of bureaucracy, bureaucratic politics, and stakeholder influences. In response to constructivist scholars' concerns about politics and the organizational culture of international civil servants within international organizations, Kim Moloney uses stakeholder theory and a bureaucratic politics approach to suggest the normality of politics, policy debate, and policy evolution. The book also highlights how for 21 of those 32 years it was not external stakeholders but the international civil servants of the World Bank who most influenced, led, developed, and institutionalized this sector's agenda. In so doing, the book explains how one sector of the Bank's work rose, against the odds, from being included in just under 3% of approved projects in 1980 to 73% of all projects approved between 1991 and 2012.
Follow Kim Moloney on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 18, 2022

"The New Goliaths"

New from Yale University Press: The New Goliaths: How Corporations Use Software to Dominate Industries, Kill Innovation, and Undermine Regulation by James Bessen.

About the book, from the publisher:
An approach to reinvigorating economic competition that doesn’t break up corporate giants, but compels them to share their technology, data, and knowledge

Historically, competition has powered progress under capitalism. Companies with productive new products rise to the top, but sooner or later, competitors come along with better innovations and disrupt the threat of monopoly. Dominant firms like Walmart, Amazon, and Google argue that this process of “creative destruction” prevents them from becoming too powerful or entrenched.

But the threat of competition has sharply decreased over the past twenty years, and today’s corporate giants have come to power by using proprietary information technologies to create a tilted playing field. This development has increased economic inequality and social division, slowed innovation, and allowed dominant firms to evade government regulation. In the face of increasing calls to break up the largest companies, James Bessen argues that a better way to restore competitive balance and dynamism is to encourage or compel these companies to share technology, data, and knowledge.
Visit James Bessen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 17, 2022

"The Book of Answers"

New from Oxford University Press: The Book of Answers: Alignment, Autonomy, and Affiliation in Social Interaction by Tanya Stivers.

About the book, from the publisher:
Imagine for a moment the only way to confirm a yes-no question was by saying Yeah. How different would this make our communication? Relying on a large corpus of naturally occurring recordings of spontaneous social interaction, this book explores all of the ways that we confirm questions in our everyday social lives.

Tanya Stivers analyzes what these different ways of responding allow us to do that is unique to each answer type. When do we answer with Yeah rather than He is, for instance; or when do we use more complicated forms of confirming? This information provides us with the basic response possibility space. From that point we can examine what the range of responses, in particular answers, tells us about what is important to us in managing social relationships through social interaction. The book explains that we can conceptualize the response possibility space as having three dimensions: alignment, autonomy, and affiliation. Speakers rely on the details of their response to position themselves at a particular point in that three-dimensional space, sometimes accepting trade-offs among the dimensions to achieve a stance that is higher in alignment and autonomy and lower in affiliation or higher in affiliation and autonomy but lower in alignment.

The Book of Answers uses real-life conversations to find hidden patterns in how we do things together such as reach decisions, tell stories, or arrive at agreement or disagreement. Delving into the science of how we talk, this book investigates what those patterns tell us about human communication and our social lives.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 16, 2022

"Revolutions Aesthetic"

New from Stanford University Press: Revolutions Aesthetic: A Cultural History of Ba'thist Syria by Max Weiss.

About the book, from the publisher:
The November 1970 coup that brought Hafiz al-Asad to power fundamentally transformed cultural production in Syria. A comprehensive intellectual, ideological, and political project—a Ba'thist cultural revolution—sought to align artistic endeavors with the ideological interests of the regime. The ensuing agonistic struggle pitted official aesthetics of power against alternative modes of creative expression that could evade or ignore the effects of the state. With this book, Max Weiss offers the first cultural and intellectual history of Ba'thist Syria, from the coming to power of Hafiz al-Asad, through the transitional period under Bashar al-Asad, and continuing up through the Syria War.
Revolutions Aesthetic reconceptualizes contemporary Syrian politics, authoritarianism, and cultural life. Engaging rich original sources—novels, films, and cultural periodicals—Weiss highlights themes crucial to the making of contemporary Syria: heroism and leadership, gender and power, comedy and ideology, surveillance and the senses, witnessing and temporality, and death and the imagination. Revolutions Aesthetic places front and center the struggle around aesthetic ideology that has been key to the constitution of state, society, and culture in Syria over the course of the past fifty years.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


New from Oxford University Press: Misfire: The Sarajevo Assassination and the Winding Road to World War I by Paul Miller-Melamed.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new interpretation of the Sarajevo assassination and the origins of World War I that places focus on the Balkans and the prewar period.

The story has so often been told: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Habsburg Empire, was shot dead on June 28, 1914, in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. Thirty days later, the Archduke's uncle, Emperor Franz Joseph, declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia, producing the chain reaction of European powers entering the First World War.

In Misfire, Paul Miller-Melamed narrates the history of the Sarajevo assassination and the origins of World War I from the perspective of the Balkans. Rather than focusing on the bang of assassin Gavrilo Princip's gun or reinforcing the mythology that has arisen around this act, Miller-Melamed embeds the incident in the longer-term conditions of the Balkans that gave rise to the political murder. He thus illuminates the centrality of the Bosnian Crisis and the Balkan Wars of the early twentieth century to European power politics, while explaining how Serbs, Bosnians, and Habsburg leaders negotiated their positions in an increasingly dangerous geopolitical environment. Despite the absence of evidence tying official Serbia to the assassination conspiracy, Miller-Melamed shows how it spiraled into a diplomatic crisis that European statesmen proved unable to resolve peacefully.

Contrasting the vast disproportionality between a single deadly act and an act of war that would leave ten million dead, Misfire contends that the real causes for the world war lie in "civilized" Europe rather than the endlessly discussed political murder.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

"Party Politics in Russia and Ukraine"

New from NYU Press: Party Politics in Russia and Ukraine: Electoral System Change in Diverging Regimes by Bryon Moraski.

About the book, from the publisher:
Examines how political parties navigate major election reforms by comparing electoral system changes in Russia and Ukraine at the same time, under different regimes

In Party Politics in Russia and Ukraine, Bryon Moraski provides a window into the political landscapes of Russia and Ukraine, two countries that have clashed with each other—and struggled with their own popular revolts—in recent years. Drawing on election outcomes, party nominations, parliamentary voting, and other data, Moraski highlights how ruling parties, incumbent legislators, and others have adapted to major electoral system changes in both countries.

Moraski sheds light on how authoritarian regimes—and the ruling parties that support them—have used changing conditions in their countries to consolidate their power, with varying success. Exploring the swiftly changing political arena of Eastern Europe, Party Politics in Russia and Ukraine offers timely insight into the impact of elections in the twenty-first century.
Follow Bryon Moraski on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 13, 2022

"Interconnected Worlds"

New from Stanford University Press: Interconnected Worlds: Global Electronics and Production Networks in East Asia by Henry Wai-chung Yeung.

About the book, from the publisher:
The global electronics industry is one of the most innovation-driven and technology-intensive sectors in the contemporary world economy. From semiconductors to end products, complex transnational production and value-generating activities have integrated diverse macro-regions and national economies worldwide into the "interconnected worlds" of global electronics. This book argues that the current era of interconnected worlds started in the early 1990s when electronics production moved from systems dominated by lead firms in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan towards increasingly globalized and cross-macro-regional electronics manufacturing centered in East Asia. By the 2010s, this co-evolution of production network complexity transformed global electronics, through which lead firms from South Korea, Taiwan, and China integrated East Asia into the interconnected worlds of electronics production across the globe.

Drawing on literature on the electronics industry, new empirical material comprising custom datasets, and extensive personal interviews, this book examines through a "network" approach the co-evolution of globalized electronics production centered in East Asia across different national economies and sub-national regions. With comprehensive analysis up to 2021, Yeung analyzes the geographical configurations ("where"), organizational strategies ("how"), and causal drivers ("why") of global production networks, setting a definitive benchmark into the dynamic transformations in global electronics and other globalized industries. The book will serve as a crucial resource for academic and policy research, offering a conceptual, empirically driven grounding in the theory of these networks that has become highly influential across the social sciences.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 12, 2022

"Doping: A Sporting History"

New from Reaktion Books: Doping: A Sporting History by April Henning and Paul Dimeo.

About the book, from the publisher:
A gripping, provocative history of doping in sports—packed with examples—that proposes a new emphasis for modern anti-doping efforts.

Why is doping a perennial problem for sports? Is this solely a contemporary phenomenon? And should doping always be regarded as cheating, or do today’s anti-doping measures go too far?

Drawing on case studies from the early twentieth century to the present day, Doping: A Sporting History explores why the current anti-doping system looks as it does, charting its origins to the founding of the modern Olympic Games. From interwar notions of sporting purity to the postwar stimulant crisis, what seemed an easily resolvable problem soon became an impossible challenge as the pharmacology improved, the policy system stuttered, and Cold War politics allowed doping to flourish. The late twentieth century saw the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency, but has the intensity of these global measures led to unintended harms?

From the cyclist Tommy Simpson who died in 1967 on Mont Ventoux with amphetamines in his jersey to Team Russia’s expulsion from the 2018 Winter Olympics, Doping: A Sporting History is a gripping, provocative account that ultimately proposes a new approach: one for the inclusion and protection of athletes themselves.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 11, 2022

"Freedom Inside?"

New from Oxford University Press: Freedom Inside?: Yoga and Meditation in the Carceral State by Farah Godrej.

About the book, from the publisher:
An estimated forty million people in the United States regularly practice yoga, and as an industry it generates over nine billion dollars annually. A major reason for its popularity is its promise of mental and physical well-being: yoga and meditation are thought to be spiritual paths to self-improvement. Yoga is also widely practiced in prisons, another large business in the United States. Prisons in all fifty states offer yoga and meditation as a form of rehabilitation. But critics argue that such practices can also have disempowering effects, due to their emphasis on acceptance, non-judgment, and non-reaction. If the root of suffering is in the mind, as the philosophy behind yoga and meditation suggests, then injustice (including mass incarceration) may be reduced to a mental state requiring coping techniques rather than a more critical mindset. Others insist that yoga can heighten people's attention to structural violence, hierarchy, racism, and inequity. In fact, some of history's most radical activists, including M.K. Gandhi and Thich Nhat Hanh, traced their ethical and political commitments to their grounding in yogic or meditative traditions.

Yoga and meditation programs no doubt offer crucial respite for those who are incarcerated, but what sort of political effects do they have? Do they reinforce the neoliberal logic of mass incarceration which emphasizes individual choices, or can they assist marginalized people in navigating systemic injustice? Drawing on collaborations with incarcerated practitioners, interviews with volunteers and formerly incarcerated practitioners, and her own fieldwork with organizations offering yoga/meditation classes inside prisons, Farah Godrej examines both the promises and pitfalls of yoga and meditation. Freedom Inside? reveals the ways in which incarcerated persons have used yogic practices to resist the dehumanizing effects of prisons, and to heighten their awareness of institutional racism and mass incarceration among poor people and people of color. Godrej argues that while these practices could unwittingly exacerbate systemic forms of inequity and injustice, they also serve as resources for challenging such injustice, whether internally (via the realm of belief) or externally (through action). A combination of ethnography and political theory, Freedom Inside? reimagines the concept of "resistance" in a way that considers people's interior lives as a crucial arena for liberation.
Learn more about Farah Godrej's work.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 10, 2022

"Dollars for Life"

New from Yale University Press: Dollars for Life: The Anti-Abortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment by Mary Ziegler.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new understanding of the slow drift to extremes in American politics that shows how the antiabortion movement remade the Republican Party

The modern Republican Party is the party of conservative Christianity and big business—two things so closely identified with the contemporary GOP that we hardly notice the strangeness of the pairing. Legal historian Mary Ziegler traces how the anti-abortion movement helped to forge and later upend this alliance. Beginning with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Buckley v. Valeo, right‑to‑lifers fought to gain power in the GOP by changing how campaign spending—and the First Amendment—work. The anti-abortion movement helped to revolutionize the rules of money in U.S. politics and persuaded conservative voters to fixate on the federal courts. Ultimately, the campaign finance landscape that abortion foes created fueled the GOP’s embrace of populism and the rise of Donald Trump. Ziegler offers a surprising new view of the slow drift to extremes in American politics—and explains how it had everything to do with the strange intersection of right-to-life politics and campaign spending.
Visit Mary Ziegler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 9, 2022

"Families We Keep"

New from NYU Press: Families We Keep: LGBTQ People and Their Enduring Bonds with Parents by Rin Reczek and Emma Bosley-Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why LGBTQ adults don’t end troubled ties with parents and why (perhaps) they should

Families We Keep is a surprising look at the life-long bonds between LGBTQ adults and their parents. Alongside the importance of “chosen families” in the queer community, Rin Reczek and Emma Bosley-Smith found that very few LGBTQ people choose to become estranged from their parents, even if those parent refuse to support their gender identity, sexuality, or both.

Drawing on interviews with over seventy-five LGBTQ people and their parents, Reczek and Bosley-Smith explore the powerful ties that bind families together, for better or worse. They show us why many feel obliged to maintain even troubled—and sometimes outright toxic—relationships with their parents. They argue that this relationship persists because what we think of as the “natural” and inevitable connection between parents and adult children is actually created and sustained by the sociocultural power of compulsory kinship. After revealing what holds even the most troubled intergenerational ties together, Families We Keep gives us permission to break free of those family bonds that are not in our best interests.

Reczek and Bosley-Smith challenge our deep-rooted conviction that family—and specifically, our relationships with our parents—should be maintained at any cost. Families We Keep shines a light on the shifting importance of family in America, and how LGBTQ people navigate its complexities as adults.
Visit Rin Reczek's website and Emma Bosley-Smith's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

"Are We Rich Yet?"

New from the University of California Press: Are We Rich Yet?: The Rise of Mass Investment Culture in Contemporary Britain by Amy Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:
An in-depth history of how finance remade everyday life in Thatcher's Britain.

Are We Rich Yet? tells the story of the financialization of British society. During the 1980s and 1990s, financial markets became part of daily life for many Britons as the practice of investing moved away from the offices of the City of London, onto Britain’s high streets, and into people’s homes. The Conservative Party claimed this shift as evidence that capital ownership was in the process of being democratized. In practice, investing became more institutionalized than ever in late-twentieth-century Britain: inclusion frequently meant tying one’s fortunes to the credit, insurance, pension, and mortgage industries to maintain independence from state-run support systems.

In tracing the rise of a consumer-oriented mass investment culture, historian Amy Edwards explains how the "financial" became such a central part of British society, not only economically and politically, but socially and culturally, too. She shifts our focus away from the corridors of Whitehall and towards a cast of characters that included brokers, bankers and traders, newspaper editors, goods manufacturers, marketing departments, production companies, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and women. Between them, they shaped the terrain upon which political and economic reform occurred. Grappling with the interactions between structural transformation and the rhythms of everyday life, Are We Rich Yet? thus understands the rise of neoliberalism as something other than the inevitable outcome of a carefully orchestrated right-wing political revolution.
Follow Amy Edwards on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

"The Secular Paradox"

New from NYU Press: The Secular Paradox: On the Religiosity of the Not Religious by Joseph Blankholm.

About the book, from the publisher:
A radically new way of understanding secularism which explains why being secular can seem so strangely religious

For much of America’s rapidly growing secular population, religion is an inescapable source of skepticism and discomfort. It shows up in politics and in holidays, but also in common events like weddings and funerals. In The Secular Paradox, Joseph Blankholm argues that, despite their desire to avoid religion, nonbelievers often seem religious because Christianity influences the culture around them so deeply. Relying on several years of ethnographic research among secular activists and organized nonbelievers in the United States, the volume explores how very secular people are ambivalent toward belief, community, ritual, conversion, and tradition. As they try to embrace what they share, secular people encounter, again and again, that they are becoming too religious. And as they reject religion, they feel they have lost too much. Trying to strike the right balance, secular people alternate between the two sides of their ambiguous condition: absolutely not religious and part of a religion-like secular tradition.

Blankholm relies heavily on the voices of women and people of color to understand what it means to live with the secular paradox. The struggles of secular misfits—the people who mis-fit normative secularism in the United States—show that becoming secular means rejecting parts of life that resemble Christianity and embracing a European tradition that emphasizes reason and avoids emotion. Women, people of color, and secular people who have left non-Christian religions work against the limits and contradictions of secularism to create new ways of being secular that are transforming the American religious landscape. They are pioneering the most interesting and important forms of secular “religiosity” in America today.
Follow Joe Blankholm on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 6, 2022

"Feminism's Empire"

New from Cornell University Press: Feminism's Empire by Carolyn J. Eichner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Feminism's Empire investigates the complex relationships between imperialisms and feminisms in the late nineteenth century and demonstrates the challenge of conceptualizing "pro-imperialist" and "anti-imperialist" as binary positions. By intellectually and spatially tracing the era's first French feminists' engagement with empire, Carolyn J. Eichner explores how feminists opposed—yet employed—approaches to empire in writing, speaking, and publishing. In differing ways, they ultimately tied forms of imperialism to gender liberation.

Among the era's first anti-imperialists, French feminists were enmeshed in the hierarchies and epistemologies of empire. They likened their gender-based marginalization to imperialist oppressions. Imperialism and colonialism's gendered and sexualized racial hierarchies established categories of inclusion and exclusion that rested in both universalism and ideas of "nature" that presented colonized people with theoretical, yet impossible, paths to integration. Feminists faced similar barriers to full incorporation due to the gendered contradictions inherent in universalism. The system presumed citizenship to be male and thus positioned women as outsiders. Feminism's Empire connects this critical struggle to hierarchical power shifts in racial and national status that created uneasy linkages between French feminists and imperial authorities.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 5, 2022

"Teenage Dreams"

New from Rutgers University Press: Teenage Dreams: Girlhood Sexualities in the U.S. Culture Wars by Charlie Jeffries.

About the book, from the publisher:
Utilizing a breadth of archival sources from activists, artists, and policymakers, Teenage Dreams examines the race- and class-inflected battles over adolescent women’s sexual and reproductive lives in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century United States. Charlie Jeffries finds that most adults in this period hesitated to advocate for adolescent sexual and reproductive rights, revealing a new culture war altogether—one between adults of various political stripes in the cultural mainstream who prioritized the desire to delay girlhood sexual experience at all costs, and adults who remained culturally underground in their support for teenagers’ access to frank sexual information, and who would dare to advocate for this in public. The book tells the story of how the latter group of adults fought alongside teenagers themselves, who constituted a large and increasingly visible part of this activism. The history of the debates over teenage sexual behavior reveals unexpected alliances in American political battles, and sheds new light on the resurgence of the right in the US in recent years.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 4, 2022

"How the Clinic Made Gender"

New from the University of Chicago Press: How the Clinic Made Gender: The Medical History of a Transformative Idea by Sandra Eder.

About the book, from the publisher:
An eye-opening exploration of the medical origins of gender in modern US history.

Today, a world without “gender” is hard to imagine. Gender is at the center of contentious political and social debates, shapes policy decisions, and informs our everyday lives. Its formulation, however, is lesser known: Gender was first used in clinical practice. This book tells the story of the invention of gender in American medicine, detailing how it was shaped by mid-twentieth-century American notions of culture, personality, and social engineering.

Sandra Eder shows how the concept of gender transformed from a pragmatic tool in the sex assignment of children with intersex traits in the 1950s to an essential category in clinics for transgender individuals in the 1960s. Following gender outside the clinic, she reconstructs the variable ways feminists integrated gender into their theories and practices in the 1970s. The process by which ideas about gender became medicalized, enforced, and popularized was messy, and the route by which gender came to be understood and applied through the treatment of patients with intersex traits was fraught and contested. In historicizing the emergence of the sex/gender binary, Eder reveals the role of medical practice in developing a transformative idea and the interdependence between practice and wider social norms that inform the attitudes of physicians and researchers. She shows that ideas like gender can take on a life of their own and may be used to question the normative perceptions they were based on. Illuminating and deeply researched, the book closes a notable gap in the history of gender and will inspire current debates on the relationship between social norms and medical practice.
Follow Sandra Eder on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 3, 2022

"Invisible Weapons"

New from Oxford University Press: Invisible Weapons: Infiltrating Resistance and Defeating Movements by Marcus Board, Jr..

About the book, from the publisher:
Radicalism is an inclusive political tradition that lives on in the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). Key radical principles include empowering people to advocate for themselves and their communities, the idea that power must embrace accountability, and a transformative interpretation of justice and change. Everyone is not a radical any more than everyone supports the M4BL. And yet, some people claim to support the M4BL while rejecting radical movement principles and often practicing deeply anti-radical politics. In Invisible Weapons, Marcus Board Jr. wrestles with these contradictions and reveals the key political stumbling blocks posed by government powerbrokers--from elected officials to welfare-bureaucrats--in the face of radical political movements. Board shows how neoliberalism is synonymous with anti-radicalism and uses invisible weapons that stop oppressed people from advocating for their own needs and grievances.

Board argues that the insidious power of co-optation is transforming participation in mass social movements, potentially rendering active resistance ineffective. To support his argument, he looks at long-term unemployed Black welfare recipients in Chicago, original survey data, and case studies of police shootings in Baltimore and New York. At the center of Invisible Weapons are the seemingly conflicting responses to the 2015 Baltimore City police murder of Freddie Gray Jr. and the 2016 neglectful non-response to the Baltimore County police murder of Korryn Gaines. Beyond geography and personal histories, Board shows that Gray and Gaines are also deeply connected by the myriad systemic failures that shaped their lives. And the aftermath of their deaths further reveals the ways that oppressed masses are being silenced by the state under a veil of anti-radicalism.

Invisible Weapons teaches us how state co-optation of social movements like the M4BL is stealing power from people. This happens both in revolts like the Baltimore Uprising, when people are consciously resisting, and in cases memorialized by countless #SayHerName campaigns, when the masses are conspicuously absent. Neoliberalism and its proponents are creating an anti-democratic political landscape by convincing people falsely that radicalism has no place in U.S. politics. But strategies of non-violence, equality, and cooperation alone are insufficient means to regain this lost power and to stop lives from being destroyed. Grassroots resistance must also return to radicalism, remaining inclusive while also rejecting co-optation politics, embracing political and community self-defense, and recommitting to abolition.
Follow Marcus Board, Jr. on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 2, 2022

"Koreatown, Los Angeles"

New from Stanford University Press: Koreatown, Los Angeles: Immigration, Race, and the "American Dream" by Shelley Sang-Hee Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:
The story of how one ethnic neighborhood came to signify a shared Korean American identity.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, Los Angeles County's Korean population stood at about 186,000—the largest concentration of Koreans outside of Asia. Most of this growth took place following the passage of the Hart-Celler Act of 1965, which dramatically altered US immigration policy and ushered in a new era of mass immigration, particularly from Asia and Latin America. By the 1970s, Korean immigrants were seeking to turn the area around Olympic Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles into a full-fledged "Koreatown," and over the following decades, they continued to build a community in LA.

As Korean immigrants seized the opportunity to purchase inexpensive commercial and residential property and transformed the area to serve their community's needs, other minority communities in nearby South LA—notably Black and Latino working-class communities—faced increasing segregation, urban poverty, and displacement. Beginning with the early development of LA's Koreatown and culminating with the 1992 Los Angeles riots and their aftermath, Shelley Sang-Hee Lee demonstrates how Korean Americans' lives were shaped by patterns of racial segregation and urban poverty, and legacies of anti-Asian racism and orientalism.

Koreatown, Los Angeles tells the story of an American ethnic community often equated with socioeconomic achievement and assimilation, but whose experiences as racial minorities and immigrant outsiders illuminate key economic and cultural developments in the United States since 1965. Lee argues that building Koreatown was an urgent objective for Korean immigrants and US-born Koreans eager to carve out a spatial niche within Los Angeles to serve as an economic and social anchor for their growing community. More than a dot on a map, Koreatown holds profound emotional significance for Korean immigrants across the nation as a symbol of their shared bonds and place in American society.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

"Dangerous Ground"

New from Oxford University Press: Dangerous Ground: Squatters, Statesmen, and the Antebellum Rupture of American Democracy by John Suval.

About the book, from the publisher:
The squatter--defined by Noah Webster as "one that settles on new land without a title"--had long been a fixture of America's frontier past. In the antebellum period, white squatters propelled the Jacksonian Democratic Party to dominance and the United States to the shores of the Pacific. In a bold reframing of the era's political history, John Suval explores how Squatter Democracy transformed the partisan landscape and the map of North America, hastening clashes that ultimately sundered the nation.

With one eye on Washington and the other on flashpoints across the West, Dangerous Ground tracks squatters from the Mississippi Valley and cotton lands of Texas, to Oregon, Gold Rush-era California, and, finally, Bleeding Kansas. The sweeping narrative reveals how claiming western domains became stubbornly intertwined with partisan politics and fights over the extension of slavery. While previous generations of statesmen had maligned and sought to contain illegal settlers, Democrats celebrated squatters as pioneering yeomen and encouraged their land grabs through preemption laws, Indian removal, and hawkish diplomacy. As America expanded, the party's power grew. The US-Mexican War led many to ask whether these squatters were genuine yeomen or forerunners of slavery expansion. Some northern Democrats bolted to form the Free Soil Party, while southerners denounced any hindrance to slavery's spread. Faced with a fracturing party, Democratic leaders allowed territorial inhabitants to determine whether new lands would be slave or free, leading to a destabilizing transfer of authority from Congress to frontier settlers. Squatters thus morphed from agents of Manifest Destiny into foot soldiers in battles that ruptured the party and the country.

Deeply researched and vividly written, Dangerous Ground illuminates the overlooked role of squatters in the United States' growth into a continent-spanning juggernaut and in the onset of the Civil War, casting crucial light on the promises and vulnerabilities of American democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue