Friday, September 30, 2022

"Tudor England: A History"

Coming soon from Yale University Press: Tudor England: A History by Lucy Wooding.

About the book, from the publisher:
A compelling, authoritative account of the brilliant, conflicted, visionary world of Tudor England

When Henry VII landed in a secluded bay in a far corner of Wales, it seemed inconceivable that this outsider could ever be king of England. Yet he and his descendants became some of England’s most unforgettable rulers, and gave their name to an age. The story of the Tudor monarchs is as astounding as it was unexpected, but it was not the only one unfolding between 1485 and 1603.

In cities, towns, and villages, families and communities lived their lives through times of great upheaval. In this comprehensive new history, Lucy Wooding lets their voices speak, exploring not just how monarchs ruled but also how men and women thought, wrote, lived, and died. We see a monarchy under strain, religion in crisis, a population contending with war, rebellion, plague, and poverty. Remarkable in its range and depth, Tudor England explores the many tensions of these turbulent years and presents a markedly different picture from the one we thought we knew.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 29, 2022

"Public Relations and Neoliberalism"

New from Oxford University Press: Public Relations and Neoliberalism: The Language Practices of Knowledge Formation by Kristin Demetrious.

About the book, from the publisher:
Focusing on two of the most fraught and intractable public debates of the present time: human-induced climate change and the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and the stateless, this book raises critical questions about the role and relationship of public relations in weakening democratic political systems. It shows a clear, but often indirect, link between PR and a neoliberal agenda that has been vastly underestimated and oversimplified as "spin." This comes at a great cost for society.

Public Relations and Neoliberalism provides a panoramic view of public relations from the post-war period, when a powerful communication template propelled by the PR industry served the neoliberal agenda to create political diversion, division, and hegemony at the same time. But today, public relations is not just a tool of industry or government. Rather, it has become the default mode and style of being and relating in the world, that seeps into and affects all areas of life: professional, corporate, domestic, political, activist, and technological. And the metastasis of neoliberal meaning into so many realms has important ramifications for society and individuals. Looking at the confluences and contradictions within the logic of public relations both as a practice and in terms of how it has been theorized and understood, this book provides an important contribution to critical work in the communicative field.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

"Black France, White Europe"

New from Cornell University Press: Black France, White Europe: Youth, Race, and Belonging in the Postwar Era by Emily Marker.

About the book, from the publisher:
Black France, White Europe illuminates the deeply entangled history of European integration and African decolonization. Emily Marker maps the horizons of belonging in postwar France as leaders contemplated the inclusion of France's old African empire in the new Europe-in-the-making. European integration intensified longstanding structural contradictions of French colonial rule in Africa: Would Black Africans and Black African Muslims be French? If so, would they then also be European? What would that mean for republican France and united Europe more broadly?

Marker examines these questions through the lens of youth, amid a surprising array of youth and education initiatives to stimulate imperial renewal and European integration from the ground up. She explores how education reforms and programs promoting solidarity between French and African youth collided with transnational efforts to make young people in Western Europe feel more European. She connects a particular postwar vision for European unity―which coded Europe as both white and raceless, Christian and secular―to crucial decisions about what should be taught in African classrooms and how many scholarships to provide young Africans to study and train in France. That vision of Europe also informed French responses to African student activism for racial and religious equality, which ultimately turned many young francophone Africans away from France irrevocably. Black France, White Europe shows that the interconnected history of colonial and European youth initiatives is key to explaining why, despite efforts to strengthen ties with its African colonies in the 1940s and 1950s, France became more European during those years.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

"Casanova’s Lottery"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Casanova’s Lottery: The History of a Revolutionary Game of Chance by Stephen M. Stigler.

About the book, from the publisher:
The fascinating story of an important lottery that flourished in France from 1757 to 1836 and its role in transforming our understanding of the nature of risk.

In the 1750s, at the urging of famed adventurer Giacomo Casanova, the French state began to embrace risk in adopting a new Loterie. The prize amounts paid varied, depending on the number of tickets bought and the amount of the bet, as determined by each individual bettor. The state could lose money on any individual Loterie drawing while being statistically guaranteed to come out on top in the long run. In adopting this framework, the French state took on risk in a way no other has, before or after. At each drawing the state was at risk of losing a large amount; what is more, that risk was precisely calculable, generally well understood, and yet taken on by the state with little more than a mathematical theory to protect it.

Stephen M. Stigler follows the Loterie from its curious inception through its hiatus during the French Revolution, its renewal and expansion in 1797, and finally to its suppression in 1836, examining throughout the wider question of how members of the public came to trust in new financial technologies and believe in their value. Drawing from an extensive collection of rare ephemera, Stigler pieces together the Loterie’s remarkable inner workings, as well as its implications for the nature of risk and the role of lotteries in social life over the period 1700–1950.

Both a fun read and fodder for many fields, Casanova’s Lottery shines new light on the conscious introduction of risk into the management of a nation-state and the rationality of playing unfair games.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 26, 2022


New from the University of California Press: Arise!: Global Radicalism in the Era of the Mexican Revolution by Christina Heatherton.

About the book, from the publisher:
An international history of radical movements and their convergences during the Mexican Revolution

The Mexican Revolution was a global event that catalyzed international radicals in unexpected sites and struggles. Tracing the paths of figures like Black American artist Elizabeth Catlett, Indian anti-colonial activist M.N. Roy, Mexican revolutionary leader Ricardo Flores Magón, Okinawan migrant organizer Paul Shinsei Kōchi, and Soviet feminist Alexandra Kollontai, Arise! reveals how activists around the world found inspiration and solidarity in revolutionary Mexico.

From art collectives and farm worker strikes to prison "universities," Arise! reconstructs how this era's radical organizers found new ways to fight global capitalism. Drawing on prison records, surveillance data, memoirs, oral histories, visual art, and a rich trove of untapped sources, Christina Heatherton considers how disparate revolutionary traditions merged in unanticipated alliances. From her unique vantage point, she charts the remarkable impact of the Mexican Revolution as radicals in this critical era forged an anti-racist internationalism from below.
Follow Christina Heatherton on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 25, 2022

"Precision Medicine and Distributive Justice"

New from Oxford University Press: Precision Medicine and Distributive Justice: Wicked Problems for Democratic Deliberation by Leonard M. Fleck.

About the book, from the publisher:
Metastatic cancer and costly precision medicines generate extremely complex problems of health care justice. Targeted cancer therapies yield only very marginal gains in life expectancy for most patients at very great cost, thereby threatening the just allocation of limited health care resources. Philosophers have high hopes for the utility of their theories of justice in addressing the challenges of resource allocation; however, none of these theories can address adequately the “wicked” ethical problems that have resulted from these targeted therapies.

What we need instead, bioethicist Leonard M. Fleck argues, is a political conception of health care justice, following Rawls, and a fair and inclusive process of rational democratic deliberation governed by public reason. His account makes the basic assumption that we have only limited health care resources to meet unlimited health care needs generated by emerging medical technologies. The primary ethical and political virtue of rational democratic deliberation is that it allows citizens to fashion autonomously shared understandings of how to fairly address the complex problems of health care justice generated by precision medicine. While ideally just outcomes are a moral and political impossibility, “wicked” problems can metastasize if rationing decisions are made invisibly--in ways effectively hidden from those affected by those decisions. As Fleck demonstrates, a fair and inclusive process of democratic deliberation could make these “wicked” problems visible, and subject, to public reason.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 24, 2022

"Life Is Hard"

New from Riverhead Books: Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way by Kieran Setiya.

About the book, from the publisher:
A philosophical guide to facing life’s inevitable hardships.

There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world.

In this profound and personal book, Setiya shows how the tools of philosophy can help us find our way. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy as well as fiction, history, memoir, film, comedy, social science, and stories from Setiya’s own experience, Life Is Hard is a book for this moment—a work of solace and compassion.

Warm, accessible, and good-humored, this book is about making the best of a bad lot. It offers guidance for coping with pain and making new friends, for grieving the lost and failing with grace, for confronting injustice and searching for meaning in life. Countering pop psychologists and online influencers who admonish us to “find our bliss” and “live our best lives,” Setiya acknowledges that the best is often out of reach. Instead, he asks how we can weather life’s adversities, finding hope and living well when life is hard.
Visit Kieran Setiya's website.

The Page 99 Test: Midlife: A Philosophical Guide.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 23, 2022

"Resurrecting the Jew"

New from Princeton University Press: Resurrecting the Jew: Nationalism, Philosemitism, and Poland’s Jewish Revival by Geneviève Zubrzycki.

About the book, from the publisher:
An in-depth look at why non-Jewish Poles are trying to bring Jewish culture back to life in Poland today

Since the early 2000s, Poland has experienced a remarkable Jewish revival, largely driven by non-Jewish Poles with a passionate new interest in all things Jewish. Klezmer music, Jewish-style restaurants, kosher vodka, and festivals of Jewish culture have become popular, while new museums, memorials, Jewish studies programs, and Holocaust research centers reflect soul-searching about Polish-Jewish relations before, during, and after the Holocaust. In Resurrecting the Jew, Geneviève Zubrzycki examines this revival and asks what it means to try to bring Jewish culture back to life in a country where 3 million Jews were murdered and where only about 10,000 Jews now live.

Drawing on a decade of participant-observation in Jewish and Jewish-related organizations in Poland, a Birthright trip to Israel with young Polish Jews, and more than a hundred interviews with Jewish and non-Jewish Poles engaged in the Jewish revival, Resurrecting the Jew presents an in-depth look at Jewish life in Poland today. The book shows how the revival has been spurred by progressive Poles who want to break the association between Polishness and Catholicism, promote the idea of a multicultural Poland, and resist the Far Right government. The book also raises urgent questions, relevant far beyond Poland, about the limits of performative solidarity and empathetic forms of cultural appropriation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 22, 2022

"Cooperating with the Colossus"

New from Oxford University Press: Cooperating with the Colossus: A Social and Political History of US Military Bases in World War II Latin America by Rebecca Herman.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the Second World War, the United States built over two hundred defense installations on sovereign soil in Latin America in the name of cooperation in hemisphere defense. Predictably, it proved to be a fraught affair. Despite widespread acclaim for Pan-American unity with the Allied cause, defense construction incited local conflicts that belied the wartime rhetoric of fraternity and equality.

Cooperating with the Colossus reconstructs the history of US basing in World War II Latin America, from the elegant chambers of the American foreign ministries to the cantinas, courtrooms, plazas, and brothels surrounding US defense sites. Foregrounding the wartime experiences of Brazil, Cuba, and Panama, the book considers how Latin American leaders and diplomats used basing rights as bargaining chips to advance their nation-building agendas with US resources, while limiting overreach by the "Colossus of the North" as best they could. Yet conflicts on the ground over labor rights, discrimination, sex, and criminal jurisdiction routinely threatened the peace. Steeped in conflict, the story of wartime basing certainly departs from the celebratory triumphalism commonly associated with this period in US-Latin American relations, but this book does not wholly upend the conventional account of wartime cooperation. Rather, the history of basing distills a central tension that has infused regional affairs since a wave of independence movements first transformed the Americas into a society of nations: national sovereignty and international cooperation may seem like harmonious concepts in principle, but they are difficult to reconcile in practice.

Drawing on archival research in five countries, Cooperating with the Colossus is a revealing history told at the local, national, and international levels of how World War II transformed power and politics in the Americas in enduring ways.
Follow Rebecca Herman on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

"A Murderous Midsummer"

New from Yale University Press: A Murderous Midsummer: The Western Rising of 1549 by Mark Stoyle.

About the book, from the publisher:
The fascinating story of the so-called “Prayer Book Rebellion” of 1549 which saw the people of Devon and Cornwall rise up against the Crown

The Western Rising of 1549 was the most catastrophic event to occur in Devon and Cornwall between the Black Death and the Civil War. Beginning as an argument between two men and their vicar, the rebellion led to a siege of Exeter, savage battles with Crown forces, and the deaths of 4,000 local men and women. It represents the most determined attempt by ordinary English people to halt the religious reformation of the Tudor period.

Mark Stoyle tells the story of the so-called “Prayer Book Rebellion” in full. Correcting the accepted narrative in a number of places, Stoyle shows that the government in London saw the rebels as a real threat. He demonstrates the importance of regional identity and emphasizes that religion was at the heart of the uprising. This definitive account brings to life the stories of the thousands of men and women who acted to defend their faith almost five hundred years ago.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

"Churchill's American Arsenal"

New from Oxford University Press: Churchill's American Arsenal: The Partnership Behind the Innovations that Won World War Two by Larrie D. Ferreiro.

About the book, from the publisher:
Churchill's American Arsenal reveals how the technology, know-how, and production power behind the victorious Allied partnership during World War II extended beyond the battlefront and onto the home-front.

Many weapons and inventions were credited with winning World War II, most famously in the assertion that the atomic bomb "ended the war, but radar won the war." What is less well known is that both airborne radar and the atomic bomb were invented in British laboratories, but built by Americans. The same holds true for many other American weapons credited with the Allied victory: the P-51 Mustang fighter, the Liberty ship, the proximity fuze, the Sherman tank, and even penicillin all began with British scientists and planners, but were designed and mass-produced by American engineers and factory workers. Churchill's American Arsenal chronicles this vital but often fraught relationship between British inventiveness and American technical might.

At first, leaders in each nation were deeply skeptical that such a relationship could ever be successful. But despite initial misunderstandings, petty jealousies, and continuing differences over priorities, scientists and engineers on both sides of the Atlantic found new and often ingenious ways to work together, jointly creating the weapons that often became the decisive factor in the strategy for victory that Churchill had laid out during the earliest days of the conflict. While no single invention won the war, without any one of them, the war could have been lost.
My Book, The Movie: Brothers at Arms.

The Page 99 Test: Brothers at Arms.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 19, 2022

"The Performative State"

New from Cornell University Press: The Performative State: Public Scrutiny and Environmental Governance in China by Iza Ding.

About the book, from the publisher:
What does the state do when public expectations exceed its governing capacity? The Performative State shows how the state can shape public perceptions and defuse crises through the theatrical deployment of language, symbols, and gestures of good governance—performative governance.

Iza Ding unpacks the black box of street-level bureaucracy in China through ethnographic participation, in-depth interviews, and public opinion surveys. She demonstrates in vivid detail how China's environmental bureaucrats deal with intense public scrutiny over pollution when they lack the authority to actually improve the physical environment. They assuage public outrage by appearing responsive, benevolent, and humble. But performative governance is hard work. Environmental bureaucrats paradoxically work themselves to exhaustion even when they cannot effectively implement environmental policies. Instead of achieving "performance legitimacy" by delivering material improvements, the state can shape public opinion through the theatrical performance of goodwill and sincere effort.

The Performative State also explains when performative governance fails at impressing its audience and when governance becomes less performative and more substantive. Ding focuses on Chinese evidence but her theory travels: comparisons with Vietnam and the United States show that all states, democratic and authoritarian alike, engage in performative governance.
Visit Iza Ding's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 18, 2022

"Excommunication in Thirteenth-Century England"

New from Oxford University Press: Excommunication in Thirteenth-Century England: Communities, Politics, and Publicity by Felicity Hill.

About the book, from the publisher:
Excommunication was the medieval churchâs most severe sanction, used against people at all levels of society. It was a spiritual, social, and legal penalty. Excommunication in Thirteenth-Century England offers a fresh perspective on medieval excommunication by taking a multi-dimensional approach to discussion of the sanction. Using England as a case study, Felicity Hill analyzes the intentions behind excommunication; how it was perceived and received, at both national and local level; the effects it had upon individuals and society. The study is structured thematically to argue that our understanding of excommunication should be shaped by how it was received within the community as well as the intentions of canon law and clerics.

Challenging past assumptions about the inefficacy of excommunication, Hill argues that the sanction remained a useful weapon for the clerical elite: bringing into dialogue a wide range of source material allows âeffectivenessâ to be judged within a broader context. The complexity of political communication and action are revealed through public, conflicting, accepted and rejected excommunications. Excommunication could be manipulated to great effect in political conflicts and was an important means by which political events were communicated down the social strata of medieval society.

Through its exploration of excommunication, the book reveals much about medieval cursing, pastoral care, fears about the afterlife, social ostracism, shame and reputation, and mass communication.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 17, 2022

"Panama in Black"

New from Duke University Press: Panama in Black: Afro-Caribbean World Making in the Twentieth Century by Kaysha Corinealdi.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Panama in Black, Kaysha Corinealdi traces the multigenerational activism of Afro-Caribbean Panamanians as they forged diasporic communities in Panama and the United States throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on a rich array of sources including speeches, yearbooks, photographs, government reports, radio broadcasts, newspaper editorials, and oral histories, Corinealdi presents the Panamanian isthmus as a crucial site in the making of an Afro-diasporic world that linked cities and towns like Colón, Kingston, Panamá City, Brooklyn, Bridgetown, and La Boca. In Panama, Afro-Caribbean Panamanians created a diasporic worldview of the Caribbean that privileged the potential of Black innovation. Corinealdi maps this innovation by examining the longest-running Black newspaper in Central America, the rise of civic associations created to counter policies that stripped Afro-Caribbean Panamanians of citizenship, the creation of scholarship-granting organizations that supported the education of Black students, and the emergence of national conferences and organizations that linked anti-imperialism and Black liberation. By showing how Afro-Caribbean Panamanians used these methods to navigate anti-Blackness, xenophobia, and white supremacy, Corinealdi offers a new mode of understanding activism, community, and diaspora formation.
Visit Kaysha Corinealdi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 16, 2022

"Hybrid Sovereignty in World Politics"

New from Cambridge University Press: Hybrid Sovereignty in World Politics by Swati Srivastava.

About the book, from the publisher:
The idea of 'hybrid sovereignty' describes overlapping relations between public and private actors in important areas of global power, such as contractors fighting international wars, corporations regulating global markets, or governments collaborating with nongovernmental entities to influence foreign elections. This innovative study shows that these connections – sometimes hidden and often poorly understood – underpin the global order, in which power flows without regard to public and private boundaries. Drawing on extensive original archival research, Swati Srivastava reveals the little-known stories of how this hybrid power operated at some of the most important turning points in world history: spreading the British empire, founding the United States, establishing free trade, realizing transnational human rights, and conducting twenty-first century wars. In order to sustain meaningful dialogues about the future of global power and political authority, it is crucial that we begin to understand how hybrid sovereignty emerged and continues to shape international relations.
Visit Swati Srivastava's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 15, 2022

"Moral Economies of Money"

New from Stanford University Press: Moral Economies of Money: Politics and the Monetary Constitution of Society by Jakob Feinig.

About the book, from the publisher:
For much of American history, large numbers of people claimed that money was a public good and asserted the right to shape money creation practices. If popular knowledge about money creation was once widely shared, how and why did it disappear?

In this astute new work, Jakob Feinig shows how the relation between money users and money-issuing governments changed from British colonial North America to today's United States, discussing how popular movements reshaped money-creating institutions, and how their opponents attempted to silence them. He also reveals how monetary and political history unfolds in the tension between "moral economies of money" and "monetary silencing." Offering an introduction to money creation practices since the colonial era, the book enables readers to understand why most people are disconnected from knowledge about money creation today. At the same time, the book also allows readers to situate the recent prominence of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) against a broader historical background. Historians of capitalism, economic and political sociologists, social theorists, anthropologists of money, and anyone seeking to understand monetary activism, will find this book helps to clarify present-day possibilities in light of historical processes.
Follow Jakob Feinig on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

"The Gratifications of Whiteness"

New from Oxford University Press: The Gratifications of Whiteness: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Enduring Rewards of Anti-Blackness by Ella Myers.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first book-length study of W. E. B. Du Bois's conceptualization of American whiteness.

W. E. B. Du Bois famously argued that whiteness in the US in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries functioned as a "public and psychological wage," offering valuable social standing to even the poorest of whites. Such "compensation," dependent on the devaluation of Black existence, helped secure the US capitalist regime and prevent interracial class solidarity. This book argues that Du Bois's influential account of compensatory whiteness is crucially important, but also incomplete. For Du Bois, whiteness was never one thing, but many. Focusing on Du Bois's middle-period work (about 1920-1940), Ella Myers uncovers an overlooked, complex analysis that theorizes whiteness as a source of varied gratifications. These gratifications include not only the status rewards of racial capitalism, but also the enjoyment of gratuitous Black suffering and the conviction that the planet belongs to those marked as "white." The book shows that Du Bois's analysis, developed in response to the pressing political problems of his own day, also offers insight into 21st century struggles for racial justice. Myers argues that it is important to recognize the extent to which anti-Blackness continues to underwrite plural -and deeply disturbing-forms of white gratification here and now. Doing so helps explain the tenacity of America's unequal racial order and also reveals why creative, multifaceted strategies of resistance are necessary to end it.
Follow Ella Myers on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

"Recentering the World"

New from Cambridge University Press: Recentering the World: China and the Transformation of International Law by Ryan Martínez Mitchell.

About the book, from the publisher:
Recentering the World recovers a richly contextual, detailed history of Western-imposed legal structures in China, as well as engagements with international law by Chinese officials, jurists, and citizens. Beginning in the Late Qing era, it shows how international law functioned as a channel for power relations, techniques of economic domination, as well as novel forms of resistance. The book also radically diversifies traditionally Eurocentric accounts of modern international law's origins, demonstrating how, by the mid-twentieth century, Chinese jurists had made major contributions to international organizations and the UN system, the international judiciary, the laws of armed conflict, and more. Drawing on extensive archival research, this book is a valuable guide to China's often conflicted role in international law, its reception and contention of concepts of sovereignty, property, obligation, and autonomy, and its gradual move from the 'periphery' to a shared spot at the 'center' of global legal order.
Follow Ryan Martínez Mitchell on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 12, 2022

"Entrepôt of Revolutions"

New from Oxford University Press: Entrepôt of Revolutions: Saint-Domingue, Commercial Sovereignty, and the French-American Alliance by Manuel Covo.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Age of Revolutions has been celebrated for the momentous transition from absolute monarchies to representative governments and the creation of nation-states in the Atlantic world. Much less recognized than the spread of democratic ideals was the period's growing traffic of goods, capital, and people across imperial borders and reforming states' attempts to control this mobility.

Analyzing the American, French, and Haitian revolutions in an interconnected narrative, Manuel Covo centers imperial trade as a driving force, arguing that commercial factors preceded and conditioned political change across the revolutionary Atlantic. At the heart of these transformations was the "entrepôt," the island known as the "Pearl of the Caribbean," whose economy grew dramatically as a direct consequence of the American Revolution and the French-American alliance. Saint-Domingue was the single most profitable colony in the Americas in the second half of the eighteenth century, with its staggering production of sugar and coffee and the unpaid labor of enslaved people. The colony was so focused on its lucrative exports that it needed to import food and timber from North America, which generated enormous debate in France about the nature of its sovereignty over Saint-Domingue. At the same time, the newly independent United States had to come to terms with contradictory interests between the imperial ambitions of European powers, its connections with the Caribbean, and its own domestic debates over the future of slavery. This work sheds light on the three-way struggle among France, the United States, and Haiti to assert, define, and maintain "commercial" sovereignty.

Drawing on a wealth of archives in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Entrepôt of Revolutions offers an innovative perspective on the primacy of economic factors in this era, as politicians and theorists, planters and merchants, ship captains, smugglers, and the formerly enslaved all attempted to transform capitalism in the Atlantic world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 11, 2022

"Chinese Americans in the Heartland"

New from Rutgers University Press: Chinese Americans in the Heartland: Migration, Work, and Community by Huping Ling.

About the book, from the publisher:
The term “Heartland” in American cultural context conventionally tends to provoke imageries of corn-fields, flat landscape, hog farms, and rural communities, along with ideas of conservatism, homogeneity, and isolation. But as the Midwestern and Southern states experienced more rapid population growth than that in California, Hawaii, and New York in the recent decades, the Heartland region has emerged as a growing interest of Asian American studies. Focused on the Heartland cities of Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri, this book draws rich evidences from various government records, personal stories and interviews, and media reports, and sheds light on the commonalities and uniqueness of the region, as compared to the Asian American communities on the East and West Coast and Hawaii. Some of the poignant stories such as “the Three Moy Brothers,” “Alla Lee,” and “Save Sam Wah Laundry” told in the book are powerful reflections of Asian American history.
Follow Huping Ling on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 10, 2022

"Madness in the Family"

New from Oxford University Press: Madness in the Family: Women, Care, and Illness in Japan by H. Yumi Kim.

About the book, from the publisher:
To fend off American and European imperialism in the nineteenth century, Japan strove to strengthen itself by drawing on the most updated ideas and practices from around the world. By the 1880s, this included the introduction of Western-derived psychiatry and its ideas about mental illness. The first Japanese psychiatrists claimed that mental illnesses required medical treatment in specialized institutions rather than confinement at home, as had been common practice. Yet the state implemented no social welfare policies to make new medical services more accessible and affordable to the public. The family, especially women, thus continued to carry the burden of caring for those considered mad.

Madness in the Family examines how the family in Japan came to be seen as the natural provider of care for those suffering from mental illnesses. It centers on the experiences of women and families, which have long been obscured by the voices of male psychiatrists, state officials, and lawmakers. H. Yumi Kim traces how women and families negotiated a dizzying array of claims about madness and its proper management across various settings. In the countryside, psychiatrists tried to refute the notion that fox spirits could cause madness, and the government regulated the use of cage-like structures inside homes. In cities, a booming medical marketplace spread ideas about feminized illnesses such as hysteria, and female defendants were evaluated for menstruation-induced disorders. As women and families navigated this shifting therapeutic landscape, they produced their own gendered approaches to madness that would take precedence over the claims of psychiatry, the law, and the state in everyday life.

Decoupling the history of mental illness from the discipline and institutions of psychiatry, Madness in the Family reveals the power and fragilities of gender, kinship, and care in the creation of different modes of caring for and understanding mental illness that persist to this day.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 9, 2022

"Pink Triangle Legacies"

New from Cornell University Press: Pink Triangle Legacies: Coming Out in the Shadow of the Holocaust by W. Jake Newsome.

About the book, from the publisher:
Pink Triangle Legacies traces the transformation of the pink triangle from a Nazi concentration camp badge and emblem of discrimination into a widespread, recognizable symbol of queer activism, pride, and community. W. Jake Newsome provides an overview of the Nazis' targeted violence against LGBTQ+ people and details queer survivors' fraught and ongoing fight for the acknowledgement, compensation, and memorialization of LGBTQ+ victims. Within this context, a new generation of queer activists has used the pink triangle―a reminder of Germany's fascist past―as the visual marker of gay liberation, seeking to end queer people's status as second-class citizens by asserting their right to express their identity openly.

The reclamation of the pink triangle occurred first in West Germany, but soon activists in the United States adopted this chapter from German history as their own. As gay activists on opposite sides of the Atlantic grafted pink triangle memories onto new contexts, they connected two national communities and helped form the basis of a shared gay history, indeed a new gay identity, that transcended national borders.

Pink Triangle Legacies illustrates the dangerous consequences of historical silencing and how the incorporation of hidden histories into the mainstream understanding of the past can contribute to a more inclusive experience of belonging in the present. There can be no justice without acknowledging and remembering injustice. As Newsome demonstrates, if a marginalized community seeks a history that liberates them from the confines of silence, they must often write it themselves.
Visit Jake Newsome's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 8, 2022

"The Gun Dilemma"

New from Oxford University Press: The Gun Dilemma: How History is Against Expanded Gun Rights by Robert J. Spitzer.

About the book, from the publisher:
An informed and sophisticated look at the current debate between gun laws and gun rights in America.

Contemporary gun controversies are deeply rooted in our history, yet much of that history is unknown, ignored, or distorted. This is all the more important because a new gun rights movement is pressing to expand the definition of gun rights well beyond the standard set by the Supreme Court in its landmark, controversial Heller ruling from 2008. These activists' efforts have found a receptive audience among a new generation of very conservative federal judges cultivated in part for their professed adherence to the doctrine of constitutional Originalism and fealty to an expansive reading of gun rights.

In The Gun Dilemma, Robert J. Spitzer examines this "gun rights 2.0" movement in the light of a host of gun controversies: assault weapons, ammunition magazines, silencers, public gun brandishing and display, and the emergent Second Amendment sanctuary movement. Given the importance of actual gun law history to this debate, Spitzer draws from the historical record to illuminate several contemporary and emergent gun controversies that may well make their way to the Supreme Court. Revealing and illuminating as that history is, he argues that we should not be straitjacketed by that history, but rather informed by it as the nation struggles with how to frame its gun policies.

By utilizing novel information sources to explore both gun law history and current debates, The Gun Dilemma provides an informed and sophisticated challenge to the ascendant originalists who appear to be set on enshrining in law a radical libertarian vision of gun rights.
Visit Robert Spitzer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

"Spiderweb Capitalism"

New from Princeton University of Press: Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets by Kimberly Kay Hoang.

About the book, from the publisher:
A behind-the-scenes look at how the rich and powerful use offshore shell corporations to conceal their wealth and make themselves richer

In 2015, the anonymous leak of the Panama Papers brought to light millions of financial and legal documents exposing how the superrich hide their money using complex webs of offshore vehicles. Spiderweb Capitalism takes you inside this shadow economy, uncovering the mechanics behind the invisible, mundane networks of lawyers, accountants, company secretaries, and fixers who facilitate the illicit movement of wealth across borders and around the globe.

Kimberly Kay Hoang traveled more than 350,000 miles and conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews with private wealth managers, fund managers, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, bankers, auditors, and other financial professionals. She traces the flow of capital from offshore funds in places like the Cayman Islands, Samoa, and Panama to special-purpose vehicles and holding companies in Singapore and Hong Kong, and how it finds its way into risky markets onshore in Vietnam and Myanmar. Hoang reveals the strategies behind spiderweb capitalism and examines the moral dilemmas of making money in legal, financial, and political gray zones.

Dazzlingly written, Spiderweb Capitalism sheds critical light on how global elites capitalize on risky frontier markets, and deepens our understanding of the paradoxical ways in which global economic growth is sustained through states where the line separating the legal from the corrupt is not always clear.
Visit Kimberly Kay Hoang's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

"Passion Plays"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: Passion Plays: How Religion Shaped Sports in North America by Randall Balmer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Randall Balmer was a late convert to sports talk radio, but he quickly became addicted, just like millions of other devoted American sports fans. As a historian of religion, the more he listened, Balmer couldn't help but wonder how the fervor he heard related to religious practice. Houses of worship once railed against Sabbath-busting sports events, but today most willingly accommodate Super Bowl Sunday. On the other hand, basketball's inventor, James Naismith, was an ardent follower of Muscular Christianity and believed the game would help develop religious character. But today those religious roots are largely forgotten.

Here one of our most insightful writers on American religion trains his focus on that other great passion—team sports—to reveal their surprising connections. From baseball to basketball and football to ice hockey, Balmer explores the origins and histories of big-time sports from the late nineteenth century to the present, with entertaining anecdotes and fresh insights into their ties to religious life. Referring to Notre Dame football, the Catholic Sun called its fandom "a kind of sacramental." Legions of sports fans reading Passion Plays will recognize exactly what that means.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 5, 2022

"Capitalist Peace"

New from Oxford University Press: Capitalist Peace: A History of American Free-Trade Internationalism by Thomas W. Zeiler.

About the book, from the publisher:
A wide-ranging history of modern America that argues that free trade has been an engine of US foreign policy and the key to global prosperity.

Surprisingly, exports and imports, tariffs and quotas, and trade deficits and surpluses are central to American foreign relations. Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt took office during the Great Depression, the United States has linked trade to its long-term diplomatic objectives and national security. Washington, DC saw free trade as underscoring its international leadership and as instrumental to global prosperity, to winning wars and peace, and to shaping the liberal internationalist world order. Free trade, in short, was a cornerstone of an ideology of "capitalist peace."

Covering nearly a century, Capitalist Peace provides the first chronologically sweeping look at the intersection of trade and diplomacy. This policy has been pursued oftentimes at a cost to US producers and workers, whose interests were sacrificed to serve the purpose of grand strategy. To be sure, capitalists sought a particular type of global trade, which harnessed the market through free trade. This liberal trade policy sought the common good as defined by the needs, aims, and strengths of the capitalist and democratic world. Leaders believed that free trade advanced private enterprise, which, in turn, promoted prosperity, democracy, security, and attendant by-products like development, cooperation, integration, and human rights. The capitalist peace took liberalization as integral to cooperation among nations and even to morality in global affairs. Drawing on new research from the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush presidential libraries, as well as business/ industry and civic association archives, Thomas W. Zeiler narrates this history from the road to World War II, through the Cold War, to the resurgent protectionism of the Trump era and up to the present.

Offering a new interpretation of diplomatic history, Capitalist Peace shows how US power, interests, and values were projected into the international arena even as capitalism brought both positive and negative results to the global order.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 4, 2022

"Victory through Influence"

New from Texas A&M University Press: Victory through Influence: Origins of Psychological Operations in the US Army by Jared M. Tracy, foreword by Troy J. Sacquety.

About the book, from the publisher:
Covering the period from World War I through the Korean War, Victory through Influence: Origins of Psychological Operations in the US Army argues that the development of US Army psychological operations occurred despite widespread institutional opposition. Skeptics noted that the effects of combat propaganda could not be measured like those of infantry, artillery, or air power. Combat arms officers viewed it as an ancillary, useless, or dishonorable military tactic. Careerists were wary of investing much time or energy in psychological warfare, or “psywar.”

After the War Department established a psywar planning cell in early 1918 under its Military Intelligence Branch, it then went a step further by deploying an understaffed, poorly resourced propaganda section. It was the first time that the US military had done such a thing. After the Armistice, that section was eliminated, and its operational lessons were lost. During World War II, the army activated tactical units such as combat propaganda teams, mobile radio broadcasting companies, and base station operating detachments for psywar.

When the Korean War began, the ill-prepared US Army again rebuilt its psywar capability from virtually nothing. The tactical groups proved once and for all that psychological operations were invaluable force multipliers in military operations. These units warned civilians of imminent danger, promoted United Nations humanitarian programs, assisted in getting the Communist delegation back to the negotiating table, and more. These indispensable contributions to wartime victory, coupled with recognition of the psychological dimensions of the Cold War, helped convince senior officers and policymakers of the value of psychological operations. Over three wars, and as part of a skeptical institution, practitioners of psychological operations earned for it the status of a permanent presence within the US Army.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 3, 2022

"State of Disaster"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: State of Disaster: The Failure of U.S. Migration Policy in an Age of Climate Change by Maria Cristina Garcia.

About the book, from the publisher:
Natural disasters and the dire effects of climate change cause massive population displacements and lead to some of the most intractable political and humanitarian challenges seen today. Yet, as Maria Cristina Garcia observes in this critical history of U.S. policy on migration in the Global South, there is actually no such thing as a "climate refugee" under current U.S. law. Most initiatives intended to assist those who must migrate are flawed and ineffective from inception because they are derived from outmoded policies. In a world of climate change, U.S. refugee policy simply does not work.

Garcia focuses on Central America and the Caribbean, where natural disasters have repeatedly worsened poverty, inequality, and domestic and international political tensions. She explains that the creation of better U.S. policy for those escaping disasters is severely limited by the 1980 Refugee Act, which continues to be applied almost exclusively for reasons of persecution directly related to politics, race, religion, and identity. Garcia contends that the United States must transform its outdated migration policies to address today's realities. Climate change and natural disasters are here to stay, and much of the human devastation left in their wake is essentially a policy choice.
Follow Maria Cristina Garcia on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: The Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 2, 2022

"Panics without Borders"

New from the University of California Press: Panics without Borders: How Global Sporting Events Drive Myths about Sex Trafficking by Gregory Mitchell.

About the book, from the publisher:
We are living in a time of great panic about “sex trafficking”—an idea whose meaning has been expanded beyond any real usefulness by evangelicals, conspiracy theorists, anti-prostitution feminists, and politicians with their own agendas. This is especially visible during events like the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, when claims circulate that as many as 40,000 women and girls will be sex trafficked. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Brazil as well as interviews with sex workers, policymakers, missionaries, and activists in Russia, Qatar, Japan, the UK, and South Africa, Gregory Mitchell shows that despite baseless statistical claims to the contrary, sex trafficking never increases as a result of these global mega-events—but police violence against sex workers always does.

While advocates have long decried this myth, Mitchell follows the discourse across host countries to ask why this panic so easily embeds during these mega-events. What fears animate it? Who profits? He charts the move of sex trafficking into the realm of the spectacular—street protests, awareness-raising campaigns, telenovelas, social media, and celebrity spokespeople—where it then spreads across borders. This trend is dangerous because these events happen in moments of nationalist fervor during which fears of foreigners and migrants are heightened and easily exploited to frightening ends.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 1, 2022

"Undue Process"

New from Cambridge University Press: Undue Process: Persecution and Punishment in Autocratic Courts by Fiona Feiang Shen-Bayh.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why do autocrats hold political trials when outcomes are presumed known from the start? Undue Process examines how autocrats weaponize the judiciary to stay in control. Contrary to conventional wisdom that courts constrain arbitrary power, Shen-Bayh argues that judicial processes can instead be used to legitimize dictatorship and dissuade dissent when power is contested. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa since independence, Shen-Bayh draws on fine-grained archival data on regime threats and state repression to explain why political trials are often political purges in disguise, providing legal cover for the persecution of regime rivals. This compelling analysis reveals how courts can be used to repress political challengers, institutionalize punishment, and undermine the rule of law. Engaging and illuminating, Undue Process provides new theoretical insights into autocratic judiciaries and will interest political scientists and scholars studying authoritarian regimes, African politics, and political control.
Visit Fiona Shen Bayh's website.

--Marshal Zeringue