Sunday, July 31, 2022

"Eating While Black"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Eating While Black: Food Shaming and Race in America by Psyche A. Williams-Forson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Psyche A. Williams-Forson is one of our leading thinkers about food in America. In Eating While Black, she offers her knowledge and experience to illuminate how anti-Black racism operates in the practice and culture of eating. She shows how mass media, nutrition science, economics, and public policy drive entrenched opinions among both Black and non-Black Americans about what is healthful and right to eat. Distorted views of how and what Black people eat are pervasive, bolstering the belief that they must be corrected and regulated. What is at stake is nothing less than whether Americans can learn to embrace nonracist understandings and practices in relation to food.

Sustainable culture—what keeps a community alive and thriving—is essential to Black peoples’ fight for access and equity, and food is central to this fight. Starkly exposing the rampant shaming and policing around how Black people eat, Williams-Forson contemplates food’s role in cultural transmission, belonging, homemaking, and survival. Black people’s relationships to food have historically been connected to extreme forms of control and scarcity—as well as to stunning creativity and ingenuity. In advancing dialogue about eating and race, this book urges us to think and talk about food in new ways in order to improve American society on both personal and structural levels.
Follow Psyche A. Williams-Forson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 30, 2022

"Pioneering Death"

New from the University of Washington Press: Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-of-the-Century Oregon by Peter Boag.

About the book, from the publisher:
On an autumn day in 1895, eighteen-year-old Loyd Montgomery shot his parents and a neighbor in a gruesome act that reverberated beyond the small confines of Montgomery's Oregon farming community. The dispassionate slaying and Montgomery's consequent hanging exposed the fault lines of a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing society and revealed the burdens of pioneer narratives boys of the time inherited.

In Pioneering Death, Peter Boag examines the Brownsville parricide as an allegory for the destabilizing transitions within the rural United States at the end of the nineteenth century. While pioneer families celebrated and memorialized founders of western white settler society, their children faced a present and future in frightening decline. Connecting a fascinating true-crime story with the broader forces that produced the murders, Boag uncovers how Loyd's violent acts reflected the brutality of American colonizing efforts, the anxieties of global capitalism, and the buried traumas of childhood in the American West.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 29, 2022

"Hoax: The Popish Plot that Never Was"

New from Yale University Press: Hoax: The Popish Plot that Never Was by Victor Stater.

About the book, from the publisher:
The extraordinary story of the Popish Plot and how it shaped the political and religious future of Britain

In 1678, a handful of perjurers claimed that the Catholics of England planned to assassinate the king. Men like the “Reverend Doctor” Titus Oates and “Captain” William Bedloe parlayed their fantastical tales of Irish ruffians, medical poisoners, and silver bullets into public adulation and government pensions. Their political allies used the fabricated plot as a tool to undermine the ministry of Thomas Lord Danby and replace him themselves. The result was the trial and execution of over a dozen innocent Catholics, and the imprisonment of many more, some of whom died in custody.

Victor Stater examines the Popish Plot in full, arguing that it had a profound and lasting significance on British politics. He shows how Charles II emerged from the crisis with credit, moderating the tempers of the time, and how, as the catalyst for the later attempt to deny James II his throne through parliamentary action, it led to the birth of two-party politics in England.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 28, 2022

"Islamic Ethics"

New from Oxford University Press: Islamic Ethics: Fundamental Aspects of Human Conduct by Abdulaziz Sachedina.

About the book, from the publisher:
There have been two main traditions of writing on ethics in the Islamic tradition, one philosophical and related to the works of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers, represented by thinkers such as Avicenna, and one theological, represented by such figures as the famous theologian al-Qadi Abd al-Jabbar. Some later scholars attempted to combine those two traditions. For the most part, however, the views of the jurists have been ignored. Abdulaziz Sachedina here calls attention to this third tradition of ethics, which has its home in legal literature. The problem is that Islamic jurists did not produce a genre of ethical manuals, and their form of ethics, which Sachedina terms juridical ethics, must be derived or extracted from works that ostensibly treat legal rulings and obligations, or scriptural hermeneutics and legal theory. Presenting an outline of the version of Islamic ethics that is embedded in the textual legacy of the Islamic legal tradition, he argues that this juridical ethics is an important, even dominant form of ethics in modern Islam. He notes that this form of ethics has been challenged by modernity and examines the variety of ways in which legal ethical thinkers have reacted. How do Muslim religious leaders come to grips with modern demands of directing their communities to live as modern citizens of nation-states? What kind of moral and spiritual resources are being garnered by their scholars to respond to the new issues in sciences, more immediately in medicine, and constantly changing social relationships? To answer these pressing questions, it is necessary to go beyond the philosophical ethics of virtue and human character and acknowledge the importance of ethics to the formulation in Muslim interpretive jurisprudence of religious and moral decisions that are based on reason and revelation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

"Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas"

New from the University of Illinois Press: Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas: Remembering Xicana Indigena Ancestries by Susy J. Zepeda.

About the book, from the publisher:
Acts of remembering offer a path to decolonization for Indigenous peoples forcibly dislocated from their culture, knowledge, and land. Susy J. Zepeda highlights the often overlooked yet intertwined legacies of Chicana feminisms and queer decolonial theory through the work of select queer Indígena cultural producers and thinkers. By tracing the ancestries and silences of gender-nonconforming people of color, she addresses colonial forms of epistemic violence and methods of transformation, in particular spirit research. Zepeda also uses archival materials, raised ceremonial altars, and analysis of decolonial artwork in conjunction with oral histories to explore the matriarchal roots of Chicana/x and Latina/x feminisms. As she shows, these feminisms are forms of knowledge that people can remember through Indigenous-centered visual narratives, cultural wisdom, and spirit practices.

A fascinating exploration of hidden Indígena histories and silences, Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas blends scholarship with spirit practices to reimagine the root work, dis/connection to land, and the political decolonization of Xicana/x peoples.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

"Open Hand, Closed Fist"

New from the University of California Press: Open Hand, Closed Fist: Practices of Undocumented Organizing in a Hostile State by Kathryn Abrams.

About the book, from the publisher:
How does a group that lacks legal status organize its members to become effective political activists? In the early 2000s, Arizona's campaign of "attrition through enforcement" aimed to make life so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they would "self-deport." Undocumented activists resisted hostile legislation, registered thousands of new Latino voters, and joined a national movement to advance justice for immigrants. Drawing on five years of observation and interviews with activists in Phoenix, Arizona, Kathryn Abrams explains how the practices of storytelling, emotion cultures, and performative citizenship fueled this grassroots movement. Together these practices produced both the "open hand" (the affective bonds among participants) and the "closed fist" (the pragmatic strategies of resistance) that have allowed the movement to mobilize and sustain itself over time.
Kathryn Abrams is Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 25, 2022

"Twilight of the Self"

New from Stanford University Press: Twilight of the Self: The Decline of the Individual in Late Capitalism by Michael J. Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this new work, political theorist Michael J. Thompson argues that modern societies are witnessing a decline in one of the core building blocks of modernity: the autonomous self.

Far from being an illusion of the Enlightenment, Thompson contends that the individual is a defining feature of the project to build a modern democratic culture and polity. One of the central reasons for its demise in recent decades has been the emergence of what he calls the "cybernetic society," a cohesive totalization of the social logics of the institutional spheres of economy, culture and polity. These logics have been progressively defined by the imperatives of economic growth and technical-administrative management of labor and consumption, routinizing patterns of life, practices, and consciousness throughout the culture. Evolving out of the neoliberal transformation of economy and society since the 1980s, the cybernetic society has transformed how that the individual is articulated in contemporary society. Thompson examines the various pathologies of the self and consciousness that result from this form of socialization—such as hyper-reification, alienated moral cognition, false consciousness, and the withered ego—in new ways to demonstrate the extent of deformation of modern selfhood. Only with a more robust, more socially embedded concept of autonomy as critical agency can we begin to reconstruct the principles of democratic individuality and community.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 24, 2022

"Enemies Within"

New from Oxford University Press: Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns edited by Harris Mylonas and Scott Radnitz.

About the book, from the publisher:
The invocation of fifth columns in the political arena -- whether contrived or based on real fears -- has recurred periodically throughout history and is experiencing an upsurge in our era of democratic erosion and geopolitical uncertainty. Fifth columns accusations can have baleful effects on governance and trust, as they call into question the loyalty and belonging of the targeted populations. They can cause human rights abuses, political repression, and even ethnic cleansing. Enemies Within is the first book to systematically investigate the roots and implications of the politics of fifth columns. In this volume, a multidisciplinary group of leading scholars address several related questions: When are actors likely to employ fifth-column claims and against whom? What accounts for changes in fifth-column framing over time? How do the claims and rhetoric of governments differ from those of societal groups? How do accusations against ethnically or ideologically defined groups differ? Finally, how do actors labeled as fifth columns respond? To answer these questions, the contributors apply a common theoretical framework and work within the tradition of qualitative social science to analyze cases from three continents, oftentimes challenging conventional wisdom. Enemies Within offers a unique perspective to better understand contemporary challenges including the rise of populism and authoritarianism, the return of chauvinistic nationalism, the weakening of democratic norms, and the persecution of ethnic or religious minorities and political dissidents.
The Page 99 Test: Weapons of the Wealthy.

The Page 99 Test: Revealing Schemes.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 23, 2022

"This Mortal Coil"

New from Bloomsbury USA: This Mortal Coil: A History of Death by Andrew Doig.

About the book, from the publisher:
Causes of death have changed irrevocably across time. In the course of a few centuries we have gone from a world where disease or violence were likely to strike anyone at any age, and where famine could be just one bad harvest away, to one where in many countries excess food is more of a problem than a lack of it. Why have the reasons we die changed so much? How is it that a century ago people died mainly from infectious disease, while today the leading causes of death in industrialised nations are heart disease and stroke? And what do changing causes of death reveal about how previous generations have lived?

University of Manchester Professor Andrew Doig provides an eye-opening portrait of death throughout history, looking at particular causes – from infectious disease to genetic disease, violence to diet – who they affected, and the people who made it possible to overcome them. Along the way we hear about the long and torturous story of the discovery of vitamin C and its role in preventing scurvy; the Irish immigrant who opened the first washhouse for the poor of Liverpool, and in so doing educated the public on the importance of cleanliness in combating disease; and the Church of England curate who, finding his new church equipped with a telephone, started the Samaritans to assist those in emotional distress.

This Mortal Coil is a thrilling story of growing medical knowledge and social organisation, of achievement and, looking to the future, of promise.
Follow Andrew Doig on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 22, 2022

"Securing Borders, Securing Power"

New from Columbia University Press: Securing Borders, Securing Power: The Rise and Decline of Arizona's Border Politics by Mike Slaven.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 2010 Arizona enacted Senate Bill 1070, the notorious “show-me-your-papers” law. At the time, it was widely portrayed as a draconian outlier; today, it is clear that events in Arizona foreshadowed the rise of Donald Trump and underscored the worldwide trend toward the securitization of migration—treating immigrants as a security threat. Offering a comprehensive account of the SB 1070 era in Arizona and its fallout, this book provides new perspective on why policy makers adopt hard-line views on immigration and how this trend can be turned back.

Tracing how the issue of unauthorized migration consumed Arizona state politics from 2003 to 2010, Mike Slaven analyzes how previously extreme arguments can gain momentum among politicians across the political spectrum. He presents an insider account based on illuminating interviews with political actors as well as historical research, weaving a compelling narrative of power struggles and political battles. Slaven details how politicians strategize about border politics in the context of competitive partisan conflicts and how securitization spreads across parties and factions. He examines right-wing figures who pushed an increasingly extreme agenda; the lukewarm center-right, which faced escalating far-right pressure; and the nervous center-left, which feared losing the center to border-security appeals—and he explains why the escalation of securitization broke down, yielding new political configurations. A comprehensive chronicle of a key episode in recent American history, this book also draws out lessons that Arizona’s experience holds for immigration politics across the world.
Visit Mike Slaven's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 21, 2022

"Embattled America"

New from Oxford University Press: Embattled America: The Rise of Anti-Politics and America's Obsession with Religion by Jason C. Bivins.

About the book, from the publisher:
Histories of political religion since the 1960s often center on the rise of the powerful conservative evangelical voting bloc since the 1970s. One of the beliefs that has united these citizens is the idea that they are treated unfairly or are marginalized, despite their significant influence on public life. From the ascent of Reagan to the "Contract with America," from 9/11 to Obama to Trump--these claims have moved steadily to the center of conservative activism.

Scholars of religion have approached these phenomena with great caution, generally focusing on institutional history, or relying on journalistic conveniences like "populism," or embracing the self-understandings of evangelicals themselves. None of these approaches is sufficiently calibrated to decoding the fierce convergence of online conspiracy theory, public violence, white supremacy, and religious authoritarianism. Accepting the narrative of Embattlement on its own terms, or examining it as mere turbulence on the path of American pluralism, overlooks how such deeper structural or atmospheric conditions work through this discourse to undermine the actual practice of democratic politics.

Exploring the impact of these claims through case studies ranging from the Tea Party to Birthers to anti-sharia laws, Embattled America digs deeper into the debates between Martyrs (those who profess persecution) and Whistleblowers (those who sanctimoniously refute such claims). Hidden beneath each of these episodes is a series of ambivalences about democracy that require attention. Jason Bivins argues that the claims of Martyrs and Whistleblowers are symptoms of America's larger failings to strengthen the conditions for democratic life, and thus that rather than engaging their claims on the merits, concerned citizens should reassess fundamental democratic norms as part of a broader challenge to embolden American citizenship and institutions.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

"Health and Efficiency"

New from the University of Massachusetts Press: Health and Efficiency: Fatigue, the Science of Work, and the Making of the Working-Class Body by Steffan Blayney.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new model of health emerged in Britain between 1870 and 1939. Centered on the working body, organized around the concept of efficiency, and grounded in scientific understandings of human labor, scientists, politicians, and capitalists of the era believed that national economic productivity could be maximized by transforming the body of the worker into a machine. At the core of this approach was the conviction that worker productivity was intimately connected to worker health.

Under this new “science of work,” fatigue was seen as the ultimate pathology of the working-class body, reducing workers’ capacity to perform continued physical or mental labor. As Steffan Blayney shows, the equation between health and efficiency did not go unchallenged. While biomedical and psychological experts sought to render the body measurable, governable, and intelligible, ordinary men and women found ways to resist the logics of productivity and efficiency imposed on them, and to articulate alternative perspectives on work, health, and the body.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

"Gender and the Dismal Science"

New from Columbia University Press: Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession by Ann Mari May.

About the book, from the publisher:
The economics profession is belatedly confronting glaring gender inequality. Women are systematically underrepresented throughout the discipline, and those who do embark on careers in economics find themselves undermined in any number of ways. Women in the field report pervasive biases and barriers that hinder full and equal participation—and these obstacles take an even greater toll on women of color. How did economics become such a boys’ club, and what lessons does this history hold for attempts to achieve greater equality?

Gender and the Dismal Science is a groundbreaking account of the role of women during the formative years of American economics, from the late nineteenth century into the postwar period. Blending rich historical detail with extensive empirical data, Ann Mari May examines the structural and institutional factors that excluded women, from graduate education to academic publishing to university hiring practices. Drawing on material from the archives of the American Economic Association along with novel data sets, she details the vicissitudes of women in economics, including their success in writing monographs and placing journal articles, their limitations in obtaining academic positions, their marginalization in professional associations, and other hurdles that the professionalization of the discipline placed in their path. May emphasizes the formation of a hierarchical culture of status seeking that stymied women’s participation and shaped what counts as knowledge in the field to the advantage of men. Revealing the historical roots of the homogeneity of economics, this book sheds new light on why biases against women persist today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 18, 2022

"News from Moscow"

New from Oxford University Press: News from Moscow: Soviet Journalism and the Limits of Postwar Reform by Simon Huxtable.

About the book, from the publisher:
News from Moscow is a social and cultural history of Soviet journalism after World War II. Focusing on the youth newspaper Komsomol'skaia Pravda, the study draws on transcripts of behind-the-scenes editorial meetings to chart the changing professional ethos of the Soviet journalist. Simon Huxtable shows how journalists viewed themselves both as propagandists bringing the Party's ideas to the wider public, but also as reformers who tried to implement new ideas that would help usher the country towards Communism. The volume focuses on both aspects of the journalists' role, from propaganda editorials in praise of Comrade Stalin and articles lauding young heroes' exploits in the Virgin Lands, to revolutionary new initiatives, such as the country's first ever polling institute and clubs promoting the virtues of unfettered public debate. Soviet journalism, argues Huxtable, was riven with an unresolvable tension between innovation and conservativism: the more journalists tried to promote new innovations to perfect Soviet society, the more officials grew anxious about the disruptive consequences of reform. By demonstrating the day-to-day conflicts that characterised the press's activity, and by showing that the production of Soviet propaganda involved much more than redrafting orders from above, News from Moscow offers a new perspective on Soviet propaganda that expands our understanding of the possibilities and limits of reform in a period of rapid change.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 17, 2022

"Making Space for Justice"

New from Columbia University Press: Making Space for Justice: Social Movements, Collective Imagination, and Political Hope by Michele Moody-Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:
From nineteenth-century abolitionism to Black Lives Matter today, progressive social movements have been at the forefront of social change. Yet it is seldom recognized that such movements have not only engaged in political action but also posed crucial philosophical questions about the meaning of justice and about how the demands of justice can be met.

Michele Moody-Adams argues that anyone who is concerned with the theory or the practice of justice—or both—must ask what can be learned from social movements. Drawing on a range of compelling examples, she explores what they have shown about the nature of justice as well as what it takes to create space for justice in the world. Moody-Adams considers progressive social movements as wellsprings of moral inquiry and as agents of social change, drawing out key philosophical and practical principles. Social justice demands humane regard for others, combining compassionate concern and robust respect. Successful movements have drawn on the transformative power of imagination, strengthening the motivation to pursue justice and to create the political institutions and social policies that can sustain it by inspiring political hope.

Making Space for Justice contends that the insights arising from social movements are critical to bridging the gap between discerning theory and effective practice—and should be transformative for political thought as well as for political activism.
Visit Michele Moody-Adams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 16, 2022

"Keep the Bones Alive"

New from the University of California Press: Keep the Bones Alive: Missing People and the Search for Life in Brazil by Graham Denyer Willis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Every year at least 20,000 people go missing in São Paulo, Brazil. Many will be found, sometimes in mundane mass graves, but thousands will not. Keep the Bones Alive explores this phenomenon and why there is little concern for those who vanish. Ethnographer Graham Denyer Willis works beside family members, state workers, and gravediggers to examine the rationalization behind why bodies are missing in space—from cemeteries, the criminal coroner's office, prisons, and elsewhere. By accompanying the bereaved as they confront an indifferent state and a suspicious society and search for loved ones against all odds, this gripping book reveals where missing bodies go and the reasons why people can disappear without being pursued. Recognizing that disappearance has long been central to Brazil's everyday political order, this humanistic account of the silences surrounding disappearance shows why a demand for a politics of life is needed now more than ever.
Visit Graham Denyer Willis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 15, 2022

"Inventing the It Girl"

New from Liveright: Inventing the It Girl: How Elinor Glyn Created the Modern Romance and Conquered Early Hollywood by Hilary A Hallett.

About the book, from the publisher:
The modern romance novel is elevated to a subject of serious study in this addictively readable biography of pioneering celebrity author Elinor Glyn.

Unlike typical romances, which end with wedding bells, Elinor Glyn’s (1864–1943) story really began after her marriage up the social ladder and into the English gentry class in 1892. Born in the Channel Islands, Elinor Sutherland, like most Victorian women, aspired only to a good match. But when her husband, Clayton Glyn, gambled their fortune away, she turned to her pen and boldly challenged the era’s sexually straightjacketed literary code with her notorious succès de scandale, Three Weeks (1907). An intensely erotic tale about an unhappily married woman’s sexual education of her young lover, the novel got Glyn banished from high society but went on to sell millions, revealing a deep yearning for a fuller account of sexual passion than permitted by the British aristocracy or the Anglo-American literary establishment.

In elegant prose, Hilary A. Hallett traces Glyn’s meteoric rise from a depressed society darling to a world-renowned celebrity author who consorted with world leaders from St. Petersburg to Cairo to New York. After reporting from the trenches during World War I, the author was lured by American movie producers from Paris to Los Angeles for her remarkable third act. Weaving together years of deep archival research, Hallett movingly conveys how Glyn, more than any other individual during the Roaring Twenties, crafted early Hollywood’s glamorous romantic aesthetic. She taught the screen’s greatest leading men to make love in ways that set audiences aflame, and coined the term “It Girl,” which turned actress Clara Bow into the symbol of the first sexual revolution.

With Inventing the It Girl, Hallett has done nothing less than elevate the origins of the modern romance genre to a subject of serious study. In doing so, she has also reclaimed the enormous influence of one of Anglo-America’s most significant cultural tastemakers while revealing Glyn’s life to have been as sensational as any of the characters she created on the page or screen. The result is a groundbreaking portrait of a courageous icon of independence who encouraged future generations to chase their desires wherever they might lead.
Follow Hilary A Hallett on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Go West, Young Women!.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 14, 2022

"A Great and Rising Nation"

New from the University of Chicago Press: A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic (American Beginnings, 1500-1900) by Michael A. Verney.

About the book, from the publisher:
A Great and Rising Nation illuminates the unexplored early decades of the United States’ imperialist naval aspirations.

Conventional wisdom holds that, until the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States was a feeble player on the world stage, with an international presence rooted in commerce rather than military might. Michael A. Verney’s A Great and Rising Nation flips this notion on its head, arguing that early US naval expeditions, often characterized as merely scientific, were in fact deeply imperialist. Circling the globe from the Mediterranean to South America and the Arctic, these voyages reflected the diverse imperial aspirations of the new republic, including commercial dominance in the Pacific World, religious empire in the Holy Land, proslavery expansion in South America, and diplomatic prestige in Europe. As Verney makes clear, the United States had global imperial aspirations far earlier than is commonly thought.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

"Contesting Race and Citizenship"

New from Cornell University Press: Contesting Race and Citizenship: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean by Camilla Hawthorne.

About the book, from the publisher:
Contesting Race and Citizenship is an original study of Black politics and varieties of political mobilization in Italy. Although there is extensive research on first-generation immigrants and refugees who traveled from Africa to Italy, there is little scholarship about the experiences of Black people who were born and raised in Italy. Camilla Hawthorne focuses on the ways Italians of African descent have become entangled with processes of redefining the legal, racial, cultural, and economic boundaries of Italy and by extension, of Europe itself.

Contesting Race and Citizenship opens discussions of the so-called migrant "crisis" by focusing on a generation of Black people who, although born or raised in Italy, have been thrust into the same racist, xenophobic political climate as the immigrants and refugees who are arriving in Europe from the African continent. Hawthorne traces not only mobilizations for national citizenship but also the more capacious, transnational Black diasporic possibilities that emerge when activists confront the ethical and political limits of citizenship as a means for securing meaningful, lasting racial justice—possibilities that are based on shared critiques of the racial state and shared histories of racial capitalism and colonialism.
Follow Camilla Hawthorne on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

"Refugee Solutions in the Age of Global Crisis"

New from Oxford University Press: Refugee Solutions in the Age of Global Crisis: Human Rights, Integration, and Sustainable Development by David K. Androff.

About the book, from the publisher:
One in every ninety-five people on the planet has been forcibly displaced from their home and our collective response is woefully inadequate. Through comparative case study, Refugee Solutions in the Age of Global Crisis provides the first policy analysis in 70 years of the three durable solutions -- voluntary repatriation, local integration, and third country resettlement -- and offers implications for their reform. Reforming yesterday's solutions requires understanding how they have been used, how they have failed, and how they can be improved.

Using comparative case studies of the Somali Voluntary Repatriation Program, the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement, and the Arizona Refugee Empowerment Project this book provides a comprehensive, global, and timely policy analysis grounded in social work, human rights, and sustainable development. The case studies focus on refugee policies and populations from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America, as well as contemporary voluntary repatriation, local integration, and third country resettlement programs. This book offers implications for improving refugee solutions to promote human rights, integration, and sustainable development. This is vital to counter the rising tide of restrictionist, anti-refugee sentiment and policies.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 11, 2022

"War of Words"

New from Cambridge University Press: War of Words: Britain, France and Discourses of Empire during the Second World War by Rachel Chin.

About the book, from the publisher:
War of Words argues that the conflicts that erupted over French colonial territory between 1940 and 1945 are central to understanding British, Vichy and Free French policy-making throughout the war. By analysing the rhetoric that surrounded these clashes, Rachel Chin demonstrates that imperial holdings were valued as more than material and strategic resources. They were formidable symbols of power, prestige and national legitimacy. She shows that having and holding imperial territory was at the core of competing Vichy and Free French claims to represent the true French nation and that opposing images of Franco-British cooperation and rivalry were at the heart of these arguments. The selected case studies show how British-Vichy-Free French relations evolved throughout the war and demonstrate that the French colonial empire played a decisive role in these shifts.
Follow Rachel Chin on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 10, 2022

"Unruly Souls"

New from Rutgers University Press: Unruly Souls: The Digital Activism of Muslim and Christian Feminists by Kristin M. Peterson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Amid growing digital activism to address gender-based violence, institutional racism, and homophobia in U.S. society, Unruly Souls explores the intersectional feminist activism among young people within Islam and Evangelical Christianity. These religious misfits—marginalized from traditional religious spaces due to their sexuality, gender, or race—employ the creative tactics of digital media in their work to seek justice and to display their fundamental equality in the eyes of God. Through an analysis of various digital projects from hip-hop music videos and Instagram accounts to Twitter hashtags and podcasts, Kristin Peterson argues that the hybrid, flexible, playful, and sensory nature of digital media facilitate intersectional feminist activism within and beyond religious communities. Drawing on work from queer theory, decolonial theory, and Black feminist theory, this study explores how those who have been marginalized are able to effectively deploy their disregarded status along with digital media tactics to cultivate empathetic communities for those recovering from religious trauma.
Visit Kristin M. Peterson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 9, 2022

"The Keys to Bread and Wine"

New from Cornell University Press: The Keys to Bread and Wine: Faith, Nature, and Infrastructure in Late Medieval Valencia by Abigail Agresta.

About the book, from the publisher:
How did medieval people think about the environments in which they lived? In a world shaped by God, how did they treat environments marked by religious difference? The Keys to Bread and Wine explores the answers to these questions in Valencia in the later Middle Ages. When Christians conquered the city in 1238, it was already one of the richest agricultural areas in the Mediterranean thanks to a network of irrigation canals constructed under Muslim rule. Despite this constructed environment, drought, flooding, plagues, and other natural disasters continued to confront civic leaders in the later medieval period.

Abigail Agresta argues that the city's Christian rulers took a technocratic approach to environmental challenges in the fourteenth century but by the mid-fifteenth century relied increasingly on religious ritual, reflecting a dramatic transformation in the city's religious identity. Using the records of Valencia's municipal council, she traces the council's efforts to expand the region's infrastructure in response to natural disasters, while simultaneously rendering the landscape within the city walls more visibly Christian. This having been achieved, Valencia's leaders began by the mid-fifteenth century to privilege rogations and other ritual responses over infrastructure projects. But these appeals to divine aid were less about desperation than confidence in the city's Christianity. Reversing traditional narratives of technological progress, The Keys to Bread and Wine shows how religious concerns shaped the governance of the environment, with far-reaching implications for the environmental and religious history of medieval Iberia.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 8, 2022

"Race at the Top"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Race at the Top: Asian Americans and Whites in Pursuit of the American Dream in Suburban Schools by Natasha Warikoo.

About the book, from the publisher:
An illuminating, in-depth look at competition in suburban high schools with growing numbers of Asian Americans, where white parents are determined to ensure that their children remain at the head of the class.

The American suburb conjures an image of picturesque privilege: manicured lawns, quiet streets, and—most important to parents—high-quality schools. These elite enclaves are also historically white, allowing many white Americans to safeguard their privileges by using public schools to help their children enter top colleges. That’s changing, however, as Asian American professionals increasingly move into wealthy suburban areas to give their kids that same leg up for their college applications and future careers.

As Natasha Warikoo shows in Race at the Top, white and Asian parents alike will do anything to help their children get to the top of the achievement pile. She takes us into the affluent suburban East Coast school she calls “Woodcrest High,” with a student body about one-half white and one-third Asian American. As increasing numbers of Woodcrest’s Asian American students earn star-pupil status, many whites feel displaced from the top of the academic hierarchy, and their frustrations grow. To maintain their children’s edge, some white parents complain to the school that schoolwork has become too rigorous. They also emphasize excellence in extracurriculars like sports and theater, which maintains their children’s advantage.

Warikoo reveals how, even when they are bested, white families in Woodcrest work to change the rules in their favor so they can remain the winners of the meritocracy game. Along the way, Warikoo explores urgent issues of racial and economic inequality that play out in affluent suburban American high schools. Caught in a race for power and privilege at the very top of society, what families in towns like Woodcrest fail to see is that everyone in their race is getting a medal—the children who actually lose are those living beyond their town’s boundaries.
Visit Natasha Warikoo's website.

The Page 99 Test: Balancing Acts.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 7, 2022

"Afghan Crucible"

New from Oxford University Press: Afghan Crucible: The Soviet Invasion and the Making of Modern Afghanistan by Elisabeth Leake.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new global history of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - an invasion whose consequences are still felt in Afghanistan and across the wider world

On 24 December 1979, Soviet armed forces entered Afghanistan, beginning an occupation that would last almost a decade and creating a political crisis that shook the world. To many observers, the Soviet invasion showed the lengths to which one of the world's superpowers would go to vie for supremacy in the global Cold War. The Soviet war, and parallel covert American aid to Afghan resistance fighters, would come to be a defining event of international politics in the final years of the Cold War, lingering far beyond the Soviet Union's own demise. Yet Cold War competition is only a small part of the story. Soviet troops entered a country already at war with itself. A century of debates within Afghanistan over the nature of modern nationhood culminated in a 1978 coup in which self-described Afghan communists pledged to fundamentally reshape Afghanistan. Instead what broke out was a civil war in which Afghans asserted competing models of Afghan statehood. Afghan socialists and Islamists came to the fore of this conflict in the 1980s, thanks in part to Soviet and American involvement, but they represented a broader movement for local articulations of social and political modernity that did not derive from foreign models. Afghans, in conversation with foreigners, set many of the parameters of the conflict. This sweeping history moves between centres of state in Kabul, Moscow, Islamabad, and Washington, the halls of global governance in Geneva and New York, resistance hubs in Peshawar and Panjshir, and refugee camps scattered across Pakistan's borderlands to tell a story that is much more expansive than the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - a global history of a moment of crisis not just for Afghanistan or the Cold War but international relations and the postcolonial state.
Follow Elisabeth Leake on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

"Inglorious, Illegal Bastards"

New from Cornell University Press: Inglorious, Illegal Bastards: Japan's Self-Defense Force during the Cold War by Aaron Skabelund.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Inglorious, Illegal Bastards, Aaron Herald Skabelund examines how the Self-Defense Force (SDF)—the post–World War II Japanese military—and specifically the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF), struggled for legitimacy in a society at best indifferent to them and often hostile to their very existence.

From the early iterations of the GSDF as the Police Reserve Force and the National Safety Force, through its establishment as the largest and most visible branch of the armed forces, the GSDF deployed an array of public outreach and public service initiatives, including off-base and on-base events, civil engineering projects, and natural disaster relief operations. Internally, the GSDF focused on indoctrination of its personnel to fashion a reconfigured patriotism and esprit de corps. These efforts to gain legitimacy achieved some success and influenced the public over time, but they did not just change society. They also transformed the force itself, as it assumed new priorities and traditions and contributed to the making of a Cold War defense identity, which came to be shared by wider society in Japan. As Inglorious, Illegal Bastards demonstrates, this identity endures today, several decades after the end of the Cold War.
The Page 99 Test: Empire of Dogs.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

"Yes to the City"

New from Princeton University Press: Yes to the City: Millennials and the Fight for Affordable Housing by Max Holleran.

About the book, from the publisher:
The exorbitant costs of urban housing and the widening gap in income inequality are fueling a combative new movement in cities around the world. A growing number of influential activists aren’t waiting for new public housing to be built. Instead, they’re calling for more construction and denser cities in order to increase affordability. Yes to the City offers an in-depth look at the “Yes in My Backyard” (YIMBY) movement. From its origins in San Francisco to its current cadre of activists pushing for new apartment towers in places like Boulder, Austin, and London, Max Holleran explores how urban density, once maligned for its association with overpopulated slums, has become a rallying cry for millennial activists locked out of housing markets and unable to pay high rents.

Holleran provides a detailed account of YIMBY activists campaigning for construction, new zoning rules, better public transit, and even candidates for local and state office. YIMBY groups draw together an unlikely coalition, from developers and real estate agents to environmentalists, and Holleran looks at the increasingly contentious battles between market-driven pragmatists and rent-control idealists. Arguing that advocates for more housing must carefully weigh their demands for supply with the continuing damage of gentrification, he shows that these individuals see high-density urbanism and walkable urban spaces as progressive statements about the kind of society they would like to create.

Chronicling a major shift in housing activism during the past twenty years, Yes to the City considers how one movement has reframed conversations about urban growth.
Follow Max Holleran on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 4, 2022

"Ploughshares and Swords"

New from Cornell University Press: Ploughshares and Swords: India's Nuclear Program in the Global Cold War by Jayita Sarkar.

About the book, from the publisher:
India's nuclear program is often misunderstood as an inward-looking endeavor of secretive technocrats. In Ploughshares and Swords, Jayita Sarkar challenges this received wisdom, narrating a global story of India's nuclear program during its first forty years. The book foregrounds the program's civilian and military features by probing its close relationship with the space program. Through nuclear and space technologies, India's leaders served the technopolitical aims of economic modernity and the geopolitical goals of deterring adversaries.

The politically savvy, transnationally connected scientists and engineers who steered the program obtained technologies, materials, and information through a variety of state and nonstate actors from Europe and North America, including both superpowers. They thus maneuvered around Cold War politics and the choke points of the nonproliferation regime. Hyperdiversification increased choices for the leaders of the nuclear program but reduced democratic accountability at home. The nuclear program became a consensus-enforcing device in the name of the nation.

Ploughshares and Swords is a provocative new history with global implications. It shows how geopolitical and technopolitical visions influence decisions about the nation after decolonization.
Visit Jayita Sarkar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 3, 2022

"The Difficult Politics of Peace"

New from Oxford University Press: The Difficult Politics of Peace: Rivalry in Modern South Asia by Christopher Clary.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sweeping and theoretically original analysis of the India-Pakistan rivalry from 1947 to the present.

Since their mutual independence in 1947, India and Pakistan have been engaged in a fierce rivalry. Even today, both rivals continue to devote enormous resources to their military competition even as they face other pressing challenges at home and abroad. Why and when do rival states pursue conflict or cooperation? In The Difficult Politics of Peace, Christopher Clary provides a systematic examination of war-making and peace-building in the India-Pakistan rivalry from 1947 to the present. Drawing upon new evidence from recently declassified documents and policymaker interviews, the book traces India and Pakistan's complex history to explain patterns in their enduring rivalry and argues that domestic politics have often overshadowed strategic interests. It shows that Pakistan's dangerous civil-military relationship and India's fractious coalition politics have frequently stymied leaders that attempted to build a more durable peace between the South Asian rivals. In so doing, Clary offers a revised understanding of the causes of war and peace that brings difficult and sometimes dangerous domestic politics to the forefront.
Follow Christopher Clary on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 2, 2022

"Making Peace with Nature"

New from Duke University Press: Making Peace with Nature: Ecological Encounters along the Korean DMZ by Eleana J. Kim.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) has been off-limits to human habitation for nearly seventy years, and in that time, biodiverse forms of life have flourished in and around the DMZ as beneficiaries of an unresolved war. In Making Peace with Nature Eleana J. Kim shows how a closer examination of the DMZ in South Korea reveals that the area’s biodiversity is inseparable from scientific practices and geopolitical, capitalist, and ecological dynamics. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with ecologists, scientists, and local residents, Kim focuses on irrigation ponds, migratory bird flyways, and land mines in the South Korean DMZ area, demonstrating how human and nonhuman ecologies interact and transform in spaces defined by war and militarization. In so doing, Kim reframes peace away from a human-oriented political or economic peace and toward a more-than-human, biological peace. Such a peace recognizes the reality of war while pointing to potential forms of human and nonhuman relations.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 1, 2022

"Racial Baggage"

New from Stanford University Press: Racial Baggage: Mexican Immigrants and Race Across the Border by Sylvia Zamora.

About the book, from the publisher:
Upon arrival to the United States, Mexican immigrants are racialized as simultaneously non-White and "illegal." This racialization process complicates notions of race that they bring with them, as the "pigmentocracy" of Mexican society, in which their skin color may have afforded them more privileges within their home country, collides with the American racial system. Racial Baggage examines how immigration reconfigures U.S. race relations, illuminating how the immigration experience can transform understandings of race in home and host countries.

Drawing on interviews with Mexicans in Los Angeles and Guadalajara, sociologist Sylvia Zamora illustrates how racialization is a transnational process that not only changes immigrants themselves, but also everyday understandings of race and racism within the United States and Mexico. Within their communities and networks that span an international border, Zamora argues, immigrants come to define "race" in a way distinct from both the color-conscious hierarchy of Mexican society and the Black-White binary prevalent within the United States. In the process, their stories demonstrate how race is not static, but rather an evolving social phenomenon forever altered by immigration.
--Marshal Zeringue