Monday, October 31, 2022

"Saints, Heretics, and Atheists"

New from Oxford University Press: Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Jeffrey K. McDonough.

About the book, from the publisher:
Does God exist? What is the nature of evil, and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? Saints, Heretics and Atheists offers a historical introduction to fundamental questions in the philosophy of religion. Ranging from ancient times to the twentieth century, it is divided into twenty-five succinct, chronological chapters. Individual chapters discuss philosophies from history's greatest thinkers including Plato, Augustine, al-Ghazali, Aquinas, Margarite Porte, Spinoza, Hume, Mary Shepherd, and Nietzche. The book closes with an exploration of William James's defense of the right to believe, possible limitations of that right, and the nature of philosophical progress.

Based on lectures from a popular course taught in the Program for General Education at Harvard University for over a decade, Saints, Heretics, and Atheists invites readers along for a journey that is unique in its sweeping historical approach to the philosophy of religion and the balance it strikes between traditional, non-traditional, and atheistic standpoints with respect to religion in the western tradition.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 30, 2022

"Nature's Laboratory"

Coming soon from Johns Hopkins University Press: Nature's Laboratory: Environmental Thought and Labor Radicalism in Chicago, 1886–1937 by Elizabeth Grennan Browning.

About the book, from the publisher:
The untold history of how Chicago served as an important site of innovation in environmental thought as America transitioned to modern, industrial capitalism.

In Nature's Laboratory, Elizabeth Grennan Browning argues that Chicago—a city characterized by rapid growth, severe labor unrest, and its position as a gateway to the West—offers the clearest lens for analyzing the history of the intellectual divide between countryside and city in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. By examining both the material and intellectual underpinnings of Gilded Age and Progressive Era environmental theories, Browning shows how Chicago served as an urban laboratory where public intellectuals and industrial workers experimented with various strains of environmental thinking to resolve conflicts between capital and labor, between citizens and their governments, and between immigrants and long-term residents.

Chicago, she argues, became the taproot of two intellectual strands of American environmentalism, both emerging in the late nineteenth century: first, the conservation movement and the discipline of ecology; and second, the sociological and anthropological study of human societies as "natural" communities where human behavior was shaped in part by environmental conditions. Integrating environmental, labor, and intellectual history, Nature's Laboratory turns to the workplace to explore the surprising ways in which the natural environment and ideas about nature made their way into factories and offices—places that appeared the most removed from the natural world within the modernizing city.

As industrialization, urbanization, and immigration transformed Chicago into a microcosm of the nation's transition to modern, industrial capitalism, environmental thought became a protean tool that everyone from anarchists and industrial workers to social scientists and business managers looked to in order to stake their claims within the democratic capitalist order. Across political and class divides, Chicagoans puzzled over what relationship the city should have with nature in order to advance as a modern nation. Browning shows how historical understandings of the complex interconnections between human nature and the natural world both reinforced and empowered resistance against the stratification of social and political power in the city.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 29, 2022

"Hypocrisy and Human Rights"

Coming soon from Cornell University Press: Hypocrisy and Human Rights: Resisting Accountability for Mass Atrocities by Kate Cronin-Furman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hypocrisy and Human Rights examines what human rights pressure does when it does not work. Repressive states with absolutely no intention of complying with their human rights obligations often change course dramatically in response to international pressure. They create toothless commissions, permit but then obstruct international observers' visits, and pass showpiece legislation while simultaneously bolstering their repressive capacity.

Covering debates over transitional justice in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other countries, Kate Cronin-Furman investigates the diverse ways in which repressive states respond to calls for justice from human rights advocates, UN officials, and Western governments who add their voices to the victims of mass atrocities to demand accountability. She argues that although international pressure cannot elicit compliance in the absence of domestic motivations to comply, the complexity of the international system means that there are multiple audiences for both human rights behavior and advocacy and that pressure can produce valuable results through indirect paths.
Visit Kate Cronin-Furman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 28, 2022

"The Lost Paratroopers of Normandy"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Lost Paratroopers of Normandy: A Story of Resistance, Courage, and Solidarity in a French Village by Stephen G. Rabe.

About the book, from the publisher:
The fateful days and weeks surrounding 6 June 1944 have been extensively documented in histories of the Second World War, but less attention has been paid to the tremendous impact of these events on the populations nearby. The Lost Paratroopers of Normandy tells the inspiring yet heartbreaking story of ordinary people who did extraordinary things in defense of liberty and freedom. On D-Day, when transport planes dropped paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions hopelessly off-target into marshy waters in northwestern France, the 900 villagers of Graignes welcomed them with open arms. These villagers – predominantly women – provided food, gathered intelligence, and navigated the floods to retrieve the paratroopers' equipment at great risk to themselves. When the attack by German forces on 11 June forced the overwhelmed paratroopers to withdraw, many made it to safety thanks to the help and resistance of the villagers. In this moving book, historian Stephen G. Rabe, son of one of the paratroopers, meticulously documents the forgotten lives of those who participated in this integral part of D-Day history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 27, 2022

"Jerusalem Falls"

New from Yale University Press: Jerusalem Falls: Seven Centuries of War and Peace by John D. Hosler.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first full account of the medieval struggle for Jerusalem, from the seventh to the thirteenth century

The history of Jerusalem is one of conflict, faith, and empire. Few cities have been attacked as often and as savagely. This was no less true in the Middle Ages. From the Persian sack in 614 through the bloody First Crusade and beyond, Jerusalem changed hands countless times. But despite these horrific acts of violence, its story during this period is also one of interfaith tolerance and accord.

In this gripping history, John D. Hosler explores the great clashes and delicate settlements of medieval Jerusalem. He examines the city’s many sieges and considers the experiences of its inhabitants of all faiths. The city’s conquerors consistently acknowledged and reinforced the rights of those religious minorities over which they ruled. Deeply researched, this account reveals the way in which Jerusalem’s past has been constructed on partial histories—and urges us to reckon with the city’s broader historical contours.
Visit John D. Hosler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

"Illegitimacy, Family, and Stigma in England, 1660-1834"

New from Oxford University Press: Illegitimacy, Family, and Stigma in England, 1660-1834 by Kate Gibson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Illegitimacy, Family, and Stigma is the first full-length exploration of what it was like to be illegitimate in eighteenth-century England, a period of 'sexual revolution', unprecedented increase in illegitimate births, and intense debate over children's rights to state support. Using the words of illegitimate individuals and their families preserved in letters, diaries, poor relief, and court documents, this study reveals the impact of illegitimacy across the life cycle. How did illegitimacy affect children's early years, and their relationships with parents, siblings, and wider family as they grew up? Did illegitimacy limit education, occupation, or marriage chances? What were individuals' experiences of shame and stigma, and how did being illegitimate affect their sense of identity? Historian Kate Gibson investigates the circumstances that governed families' responses, from love and pragmatic acceptance, to secrecy and exclusion.

In a major reframing of assumptions that illegitimacy was experienced only among the poor, this volume tells the stories of individuals from across the socio-economic scale, including children of royalty, physicians and lawyers, servants and agricultural labourers. It demonstrates that the stigma of illegitimacy operated along a spectrum, varying according to the type of parental relationship, the child's race, gender, and socio-economic status. Financial resources and the class-based ideals of parenthood or family life had a significant impact on how families reacted to illegitimacy. Class became more important over the eighteenth century, under the influence of Enlightenment ideals of tolerance, sensibility, and redemption. The child of sin was now recast as a pitiable object of charity, but this applied only to those who could fit narrow parameters of genteel tragedy. This vivid investigation of the meaning of illegitimacy gets to the heart of powerful inequalities in families, communities, and the state.
Follow Kate Gibson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

"The Great Power of Small Nations"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Great Power of Small Nations: Indigenous Diplomacy in the Gulf South by Elizabeth N. Ellis.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Great Power of Small Nations, Elizabeth N. Ellis (Peoria) tells the stories of the many smaller Native American nations that shaped the development of the Gulf South. Based on extensive archival research and oral histories, Ellis’s narrative chronicles how diverse Indigenous peoples—including Biloxis, Choctaws, Chitimachas, Chickasaws, Houmas, Mobilians, and Tunicas—influenced and often challenged the growth of colonial Louisiana. The book centers on questions of Native nation-building and international diplomacy, and it argues that Native American migration and practices of offering refuge to migrants in crisis enabled Native nations to survive the violence of colonization.

Indeed, these practices also made them powerful. When European settlers began to arrive in Indigenous homelands at the turn of the eighteenth century, these small nations, or petites nations as the French called them, pulled colonists into their political and social systems, thereby steering the development of early Louisiana. In some cases, the same practices that helped Native peoples withstand colonization in the eighteenth century, including frequent migration, living alongside foreign nations, and welcoming outsiders into their lands, have made it difficult for their contemporary descendants to achieve federal acknowledgment and full rights as Native American peoples.

The Great Power of Small Nations tackles questions of Native power past and present and provides a fresh examination of the formidable and resilient Native nations who helped shape the modern Gulf South.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 24, 2022

"Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine"

New from Cornell University Press: Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine by Catherine Wanner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine reveals how and why religion has become a pivotal political force in a society struggling to overcome the legacy of its entangled past with Russia and chart a new future. If Ukraine is "ground zero" in the tensions between Russia and the West, religion is an arena where the consequences of conflicts between Russia and Ukraine keenly play out.

Vibrant forms of everyday religiosity pave the way for religion to be weaponized and securitized to advance political agendas in Ukraine and beyond. These practices, Catherine Wanner argues, enable religiosity to be increasingly present in public spaces, public institutions, and wartime politics in a pluralist society that claims to be secular.

Based on ethnographic data and interviews conducted since before the Revolution of Dignity and the outbreak of armed combat in 2014, Wanner investigates the conditions that catapulted religiosity, religious institutions, and religious leaders to the forefront of politics and geopolitics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 23, 2022

"Foreign Jack Tars"

New from Cambridge University Press: Foreign Jack Tars: The British Navy and Transnational Seafarers during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars by Sara Caputo.

About the book, from the publisher:
The British Royal Navy of the French Wars (1793–1815) is an enduring national symbol, but we often overlook the tens of thousands of foreign seamen who contributed to its operations. Foreign Jack Tars presents the first in-depth study of their employment in the Navy during this crucial period. Based on sources from across Britain, Europe, and the US, and blending quantitative, social, cultural, economic, and legal history, it challenges the very notions of 'Britishness' and 'foreignness'. The need for manpower during wartime meant that naval recruitment regularly bypassed cultural prejudice, and even legal status. Temporarily outstripped by practical considerations, these categories thus revealed their artificiality. The Navy was not simply an employer in the British maritime market, but a nodal point of global mobility. Exposing the inescapable transnational dimensions of a quintessentially national institution, the book highlights the instability of national boundaries, and the compromises and contradictions underlying the power of modern states.
Follow Sara Caputo on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 22, 2022

"Empire on the Seine"

New from Oxford University Press: Empire on the Seine: The Policing of North Africans in Paris, 1925-1975 by Amit Prakash.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why are relations between minorities and the police in France so fraught? Stripping away the myth that this tension is a sudden and recent disruption of its universalist republican tradition brought on by the presence of North African immigrants, Amit Prakash locates the origins of contemporary conflicts in race and empire in France's history. In Empire on the Seine, Prakash argues that the métropole and the colony dynamically co-developed a policing regime over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to manage colonial and racial difference. With the North African community emerging as a sizable and durable presence in Paris after World War I, this policing became a key state practice in imagining and administering the immigrant population. Prakash shows that despite the French state's current reluctance to use race as an official category, racial thought and racial targets animated police services, social services, and urban planning schemes from the 1920s until the 1970s.

Using police archival records, reports from colonial officials, urban planning and housing studies, and the records of French social workers and immigrant associations, Prakash shows that colonial racism was integrated into the policing of Paris and that architecture, urbanism, and social housing assumed police functions for colonial and postcolonial migrants. In light of this history, contemporary social and racial segregation, periodic protests and rioting against police violence, and the aggressive posture of the Parisian police emerge as the material traces of French colonialism in the métropole. The city of Paris was the capital of an empire and its imperial shadows are long.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 21, 2022

"The Vulgarity of Caste"

New from Stanford University Press: The Vulgarity of Caste: Dalits, Sexuality, and Humanity in Modern India by Shailaja Paik.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book offers the first social and intellectual history of Dalit performance of Tamasha—a popular form of public, secular, traveling theater in Maharashtra—and places Dalit Tamasha women who represented the desire and disgust of the patriarchal society at the heart of modernization in twentieth century India. Drawing on ethnographies, films, and untapped archival materials, Shailaja Paik illuminates how Tamasha was produced and shaped through conflicts over caste, gender, sexuality, and culture. Dalit performers, activists, and leaders negotiated the violence and stigma in Tamasha as they struggled to claim manuski (human dignity) and transform themselves from ashlil (vulgar) to assli (authentic) and manus (human beings).

Building on and departing from the Ambedkar-centered historiography and movement-focused approach of Dalit studies, Paik examines the ordinary and everydayness in Dalit lives. Ultimately, she demonstrates how the choices that communities make about culture speak to much larger questions about inclusion, inequality, and structures of violence of caste within Indian society, and opens up new approaches for the transformative potential of Dalit politics and the global history of gender, sexuality, and the human.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 20, 2022

"Discounting Life"

New from Cambridge University Press: Discounting Life: Necropolitical Law, Culture, and the Long War on Terror by Jothie Rajah.

About the book, from the publisher:
Extrajudicial, extraterritorial killings of War on Terror adversaries by the US state have become the new normal. Alongside targeted individuals, unnamed and uncounted others are maimed and killed. Despite the absence of law's conventional sites, processes, and actors, the US state celebrates these killings as the realization of 'justice.' Meanwhile, images, narrative, and affect do the work of law; authorizing and legitimizing the discounting of some lives so that others – implicitly, American nationals – may live. How then, as we live through this unending, globalized war, are we to make sense of law in relation to the valuing of life? Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to law to excavate the workings of necropolitical law, and interrogating the US state's justifications for the project of counterterror, this book's temporal arc, the long War on Terror, illuminates the profound continuities and many guises for racialized, imperial violence informing the contemporary discounting of life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

"Desert Edens"

New from Princeton University Press: Desert Edens: Colonial Climate Engineering in the Age of Anxiety by Philipp Lehmann.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the 1870s to the mid-twentieth century, European explorers, climatologists, colonial officials, and planners were avidly interested in large-scale projects that might actively alter the climate. Uncovering this history, Desert Edens looks at how arid environments and an increasing anxiety about climate in the colonial world shaped this upsurge in ideas about climate engineering. From notions about the transformation of deserts into forests to Nazi plans to influence the climates of war-torn areas, Philipp Lehmann puts the early climate change debate in its environmental, intellectual, and political context, and considers the ways this legacy reverberates in the present climate crisis.

Lehmann examines some of the most ambitious climate-engineering projects to emerge in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Confronted with the Sahara in the 1870s, the French developed concepts for a flooding project that would lead to the creation of a man-made Sahara Sea. In the 1920s, German architect Herman Sörgel proposed damming the Mediterranean in order to geoengineer an Afro-European continent called “Atlantropa,” which would fit the needs of European settlers. Nazi designs were formulated to counteract the desertification of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Despite ideological and technical differences, these projects all incorporated and developed climate change theories and vocabulary. They also combined expressions of an extreme environmental pessimism with a powerful technological optimism that continue to shape the contemporary moment.

Focusing on the intellectual roots, intended effects, and impact of early measures to modify the climate, Desert Edens investigates how the technological imagination can be inspired by pressing fears about the environment and civilization.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

"Demagogues in American Politics"

New from Oxford University Press: Demagogues in American Politics by Charles U. Zug.

About the book, from the publisher:
While demagoguery is traditionally regarded as destabilizing and dangerous, this book shows how it can also be used to advance the common good.

Most of us think that demagoguery is, by definition, bad. Relatedly, scholars almost invariably treat demagoguery as a divisive practice that appeals to what is worst in an audience at the expense of what is best for the public good. In Demagogues in American Politics, Charles U. Zug offers a historical analysis of the role of demagoguery in the American political system. Challenging the conventional wisdom, he argues that demagoguery is not an inherently bad form of leadership. Whereas classical thinkers had believed that demagoguery was always a threat to political order, the most sophisticated founders of the American Constitution-inspired by Enlightenment political philosophy-recognized that demagoguery, though dangerous, could be recruited by the Constitution to improve the political system. Through case studies drawn from the presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court, this book argues that demagogic leadership can be deployed by public officials to advance the aspirations of constitutional democracy.
Visit Charles U. Zug's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 17, 2022

"The Muslim Difference"

New from Yale University Press: The Muslim Difference: Defining the Line between Believers and Unbelievers from Early Islam to the Present by Youshaa Patel.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sweeping history of Muslim identity from its origins in late antiquity to the present

How did Muslims across time and place define the line between themselves and their neighbors? Youshaa Patel explores why the Prophet Muhammad first advised his followers to emulate Christians and Jews, but then allegedly reversed course, urging them to “be different!” He details how subsequent generations of Muslim scholars canonized the Prophet’s admonition into an influential doctrine against imitation that enjoined ordinary believers to embody and display their religious difference in public life.

Tracing this Islamic discourse from its origins in Arabia to Mamluk and Ottoman Damascus, colonial Egypt, and beyond, this sweeping intellectual and social history offers a panoramic view of Muslim identity, revealing unexpected intersections between religion and other markers of difference across ethnicity, gender, and status. Patel illustrates that contemporary debates in the West over visible expressions of Islam, from headscarves and beards to minarets and mosques, are just the latest iterations in a long history of how small differences have defined Muslim interreligious encounters.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 16, 2022

"The Migration-Development Regime"

New from Oxford University Press: The Migration-Development Regime: How Class Shapes Indian Emigration by Rina Agarwala.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sweeping history of how India has used its poor and elite emigrants to further Indian development and how Indian emigrants have reacted, resisted, and re-shaped India's development in response.

How can states and migrants themselves explain the causes and effects of global migration? The Migration-Development Regime introduces a novel analytical framework to help answer this question in India, the world's largest emigrant exporter and the world's largest remittance-receiving country. Drawing on an archival analysis of Indian government documents, an original data base of Indian migrants' transnational organizations, and over 200 interviews with poor and elite Indian emigrants, recruiters, and government officials, this book exposes the vital role the Indian state (from the colonial era to the present day) has long played in forging and legitimizing class inequalities within India through the management of international emigration. It also exposes how poor and elite emigrants have differentially resisted and re-shaped state emigration practices over time. By taking a long and class-based view, this book recasts contemporary migration not simply as a problematic function of neoliberalism or as a development panacea for sending countries, but as a dynamic historical process that sending states and migrants have long used to shape local development. In doing so, it re-defines the primary problems of global migration, exposes the material and ideological impact that migration has on sending state development, and isolates what is truly novel about contemporary migration.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 15, 2022

"Agents of Subversion"

New from Cornell University Press: Agents of Subversion: The Fate of John T. Downey and the CIA's Covert War in China by John Delury.

About the book, from the publisher:
Agents of Subversion reconstructs the remarkable story of a botched mission into Manchuria, showing how it fit into a wider CIA campaign against Communist China and highlighting the intensity—and futility—of clandestine operations to overthrow Mao.

In the winter of 1952, at the height of the Korean War, the CIA flew a covert mission into China to pick up an agent. Trained on a remote Pacific island, the agent belonged to an obscure anti-communist group known as the Third Force based out of Hong Kong. The exfiltration would fail disastrously, and one of the Americans on the mission, a recent Yale graduate named John T. Downey, ended up a prisoner of Mao Zedong's government for the next twenty years.

Unraveling the truth behind decades of Cold War intrigue, John Delury documents the damage that this hidden foreign policy did to American political life. The US government kept the public in the dark about decades of covert activity directed against China, while Downey languished in a Beijing prison and his mother lobbied desperately for his release.

Mining little-known Chinese sources, Delury sheds new light on Mao's campaigns to eliminate counterrevolutionaries and how the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party used captive spies in diplomacy with the West. Agents of Subversion is an innovative work of transnational history, and it demonstrates both how the Chinese Communist regime used the fear of special agents to tighten its grip on society and why intellectuals in Cold War America presciently worried that subversion abroad could lead to repression at home.
Visit John Delury's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 14, 2022

"Before the Holocaust"

New from Oxford University Press: Before the Holocaust: Antisemitic Violence and the Reaction of German Elites and Institutions during the Nazi Takeover by Hermann Beck.

About the book, from the publisher:
As the Nazis staged their takeover in 1933, instances of antisemitic violence began to soar.

While previous historical research assumed that this violence happened much later, Hermann Beck counteracts this, drawing on sources from twenty German archives, and focussing on this early violence, and on the reaction of German institutions and the elites who led them.

Before the Holocaust examines the antisemitic violence experienced in this period - from boycotts, violent attacks, robbery, extortion, abductions, and humiliating 'pillory marches', to grievous bodily harm and murder - which has hitherto not been adequately recognized. Beck then analyses the reactions of those institutions that still had the capacity to protest against Nazi attacks and legislative measures - the Protestant Church, the Catholic Church, the bureaucracies, and Hitler's conservative coalition partner, the DNVP - and the mindset of the elites who led them, to determine their various responses to flagrant antisemitic abuses. Individual protests against violent attacks, the April boycott, and Nazi legislative measures were already hazardous in March and April 1933, but established institutions in the German State and society were still able to voice their concerns and raise objections. By doing so, they might have stopped or at least postponed a radicalization that eventually led to the pogrom of 1938 (Kristallnacht) and the Holocaust.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 13, 2022

"The Globalization Myth"

New from Yale University Press: The Globalization Myth: Why Regions Matter by Shannon K. O'Neil.

About the book, from the publisher:
A case for why regionalization, not globalization, has been the biggest economic trend of the past forty years

The conventional wisdom about globalization is wrong. Over the past forty years as companies, money, ideas, and people went abroad more often than not, they looked regional rather than globally. O’Neil details this transformation and the rise of three major regional hubs in Asia, Europe, and North America. Current technological, demographic, and geopolitical trends look only to deepen these regional ties. O'Neil argues that this has urgent implications for the United States. Regionalization has enhanced economic competitiveness and prosperity in Europe and Asia. It could do the same for the United States, if only it would embrace its neighbors.
Visit Shannon K. O'Neil's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

"The Opium Business"

New from Stanford University Press: The Opium Business: A History of Crime and Capitalism in Maritime China by Peter Thilly.

About the book, from the publisher:
From its rise in the 1830s to its pinnacle in the 1930s, the opium trade was a guiding force in the Chinese political economy. Opium money was inextricably bound up in local, national, and imperial finances, and the people who piloted the trade were integral to the fabric of Chinese society. In this book, Peter Thilly narrates the dangerous lives and shrewd business operations of opium traffickers in southeast China, situating them within a global history of capitalism. By tracing the evolution of the opium trade from clandestine offshore agreements in the 1830s, to multi-million dollar prohibition bureau contracts in the 1930s, Thilly demonstrates how the modernizing Chinese state was infiltrated, manipulated, and profoundly transformed by opium profiteers.

Opium merchants carried the drug by sea, over mountains, and up rivers, with leading traders establishing monopolies over trade routes and territories and assembling "opium armies" to protect their businesses. Over time, and as their ranks grew, these organizations became more bureaucratized and militarized, mimicking—and then eventually influencing, infiltrating, or supplanting—the state. Through the chaos of revolution, warlordism, and foreign invasion, opium traders diligently expanded their power through corruption, bribery, and direct collaboration with the state. Drug traders mattered—not only in the seedy ways in which they have been caricatured but also crucially as shadowy architects of statecraft and China's evolution on the world stage.
Follow Peter Thilly on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

"Tocqueville's Dilemmas"

New from Princeton University Press: Tocqueville's Dilemmas, and Ours: Sovereignty, Nationalism, Globalization by Ewa Atanassow.

About the book, from the publisher:
How Tocqueville’s ideas can help us build resilient liberal democracies in a divided world

How can today’s liberal democracies withstand the illiberal wave sweeping the globe? What can revive our waning faith in constitutional democracy? Tocqueville’s Dilemmas, and Ours argues that Alexis de Tocqueville, one of democracy’s greatest champions and most incisive critics, can guide us forward.

Drawing on Tocqueville’s major works and lesser-known policy writings, Ewa Atanassow shines a bright light on the foundations of liberal democracy. She argues that its prospects depend on how we tackle three dilemmas that were as urgent in Tocqueville’s day as they are in ours: how to institutionalize popular sovereignty, how to define nationhood, and how to grasp the possibility and limits of global governance. These are pivotal but often neglected dimensions of Tocqueville’s work, and this fresh look at his writings provides a powerful framework for addressing the tensions between liberalism and democracy in the twenty-first century.

Recovering a richer liberalism capable of weathering today’s political storms, Tocqueville’s Dilemmas, and Ours explains how we can reclaim nationalism as a liberal force and reimagine sovereignty in a global age―and do so with one of democracy’s most discerning thinkers as our guide.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 10, 2022

"Anthropological Witness"

New from Cornell University Press: Anthropological Witness: Lessons from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal by Alexander Laban Hinton.

About the book, from the publisher:
Anthropological Witness tells the story of Alexander Laban Hinton's encounter with an accused architect of genocide and, more broadly, Hinton's attempt to navigate the promises and perils of expert testimony. In March 2016, Hinton served as an expert witness at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, an international tribunal established to try senior Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes committed during the 1975–79 Cambodian genocide. His testimony culminated in a direct exchange with Pol Pot's notorious right-hand man, Nuon Chea, who was engaged in genocide denial.

Anthropological Witness looks at big questions about the ethical imperatives and epistemological assumptions involved in explanation and the role of the public scholar in addressing issues relating to truth, justice, social repair, and genocide. Hinton asks: Can scholars who serve as expert witnesses effectively contribute to international atrocity crimes tribunals where the focus is on legal guilt as opposed to academic explanation? What does the answer to this question say more generally about academia and the public sphere? At a time when the world faces a multitude of challenges, the answers Hinton provides to such questions about public scholarship are urgent.
Follow Alex Hinton on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 9, 2022

"The Economic Consequences of U.S. Mobilization for the Second World War"

New from Yale University Press: The Economic Consequences of U.S. Mobilization for the Second World War by Alexander J. Field.

About the book, from the publisher:
A reminder that war is not always, or even generally, good for long-term growth

Many believe that despite its destructive character, war ultimately boosts long‑term economic growth. For the United States this view is often supported by appeal to the experience of the Second World War, understood as a triumph of both production and productivity. Alexander Field shows that between 1941 and 1945 manufacturing productivity actually declined, depressed by changes in the output mix and resource shocks from enemy action, including curtailed access to natural rubber and, on the Eastern Seaboard, petroleum. The war forced a shift away from producing goods in which the country had a great deal of experience toward those in which it had little. Learning by doing was only a partial counterbalance to the intermittent idleness and input hoarding that characterized a shortage economy and dragged down productivity. The conflict distorted human and physical capital accumulation and once it ended, America stopped producing most of the new goods. The war temporarily shut down basic scientific research and the ongoing development of civilian goods. U.S. world economic dominance in 1948, Field shows, was due less to the experience of making war goods and more to the country’s productive potential in 1941.
The Page 99 Test: A Great Leap Forward.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 8, 2022

"Interplanetary Liberty"

New from Oxford University Press: Interplanetary Liberty: Building Free Societies in the Cosmos by Charles S. Cockell.

About the book, from the publisher:
On the Moon or Mars, where even the oxygen you breathe is made in a manufacturing process controlled by someone else, can you be free?

In Interplanetary Liberty: Building Free Societies in the Cosmos, Charles S. Cockell argues that beyond Earth, space is especially tyranny-prone. Yet rather than consign humanity to a dim future of extraterrestrial despotisms, he suggests that the construction of free societies is possible using uniquely blended and reformulated classical liberal ideas for the space frontier.

Considering politics, science, engineering, art, education, prisons, and other facets of society, this book lays out the general ethos and culture around which settlements might be constructed to secure the establishment and flourishing of freedom in the cosmos.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 7, 2022

"Stained Glass Ceilings"

New from Rutgers University Press: Stained Glass Ceilings: How Evangelicals Do Gender and Practice Power by Lisa Weaver Swartz.

About the book, from the publisher:
Stained Glass Ceilings speaks to the intersection of gender and power within American evangelicalism by examining the formation of evangelical leaders in two seminary communities. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary inspires a vision of human flourishing through gender differentiation and male headship. Men practice “Godly Manhood," and are taught to act as the "head" of a family, while their wives are socialized into codes of “Godly Womanhood" that prioritize prescribed gender roles. This power structure privileges men yet offers agency to their wives in women-centered spaces and through marital relationships. Meanwhile, Asbury Theological Seminary promises freedom from gendered hierarchies. Appealing to a story of gender-blind equality, Asbury welcomes women into classrooms, administrative offices, and pulpits. But the institution’s construction of egalitarianism obscures the fact that women are rewarded for adapting to an existing male-centered status quo rather than for developing their own voices as women. Featuring high-profile evangelicals such as Al Mohler and Owen Strachan, along with young seminarians poised to lead the movement in the coming decades, Stained Glass Ceilings illustrates the liabilities of white evangelical toolkits and argues that evangelical culture upholds male-centered structures of power even as it facilitates meaning and identity.
Visit Lisa Weaver Swartz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 6, 2022

"Fragile Resonance"

New from Cornell University Press: Fragile Resonance: Caring for Older Family Members in Japan and England by Jason Danely.

About the book, from the publisher:
Fragile Resonance describes the paths carers take as they make meaning of their experiences and find a sense of moral purpose to sustain them and guide their decisions. When a parent or partner becomes frail or disabled, often a family member assumes responsibility for their care. But family care is a physically and emotionally exhausting undertaking. Carers experience moments of profound connection as well as pain and grief. Carers ask themselves questions about the meaning of family, their entitlement to support, and their capacity to understand and sympathize with another person's pain.

Based on his research gathering stories of family carers in Japan and England, Jason Danely traces how care transforms individual sensibilities and the roles of cultural narratives and imagination in shaping these transformations, which persist even after the care recipient has died. Throughout Fragile Resonance, Danely examines the implications of unpaid carer's experiences for challenging and enhancing social policies and institutions, highlighting innovative alternatives grounded in the practical ethics of care.
Visit Jason Danely's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

"The Classical and Christian Origins of American Politics"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Classical and Christian Origins of American Politics: Political Theology, Natural Law, and the American Founding by Kody W. Cooper and Justin Buckley Dyer.

About the book, from the publisher:
There has been a considerable amount of literature in the last 70 years claiming that the American founders were steeped in modern thought. This study runs counter to that tradition, arguing that the founders of America were deeply indebted to the classical Christian natural-law tradition for their fundamental theological, moral, and political outlook. Evidence for this thesis is found in case studies of such leading American founders as Thomas Jefferson and James Wilson, the pamphlet debates, the founders' invocation of providence during the revolution, and their understanding of popular sovereignty. The authors go on to reflect on how the founders' political thought contained within it the resources that undermined, in principle, the institution of slavery, and explores the relevance of the founders' political theology for contemporary politics. This timely, important book makes a significant contribution to the scholarly debate over whether the American founding is compatible with traditional Christianity.
The Page 99 Test: Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition by Justin Buckley Dyer.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

"Misinformation Nation"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: Misinformation Nation: Foreign News and the Politics of Truth in Revolutionary America by Jordan E. Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:
Fundamentally reshapes our understanding of the causes of the American Revolution and the pivotal role foreign news and misinformation played in driving colonists to revolt.

"Fake news" is not new. Just like millions of Americans today, the revolutionaries of the eighteenth century worried that they were entering a "post-truth" era. Their fears, however, were not fixated on social media or clickbait, but rather on peoples' increasing reliance on reading news gathered from foreign newspapers. In Misinformation Nation, Jordan E. Taylor reveals how foreign news defined the boundaries of American politics and ultimately drove colonists to revolt against Britain and create a new nation.

News was the lifeblood of early American politics, but newspaper printers had few reliable sources to report on events from abroad. Accounts of battles and beheadings, as well as declarations and constitutions, often arrived alongside contradictory intelligence. Though frequently false, the information that Americans encountered in newspapers, letters, and conversations framed their sense of reality, leading them to respond with protests, boycotts, violence, and the creation of new political institutions. Fearing that their enemies were spreading fake news, American colonists fought for control of the news media. As their basic perceptions of reality diverged, Loyalists separated from Patriots and, in the new nation created by the revolution, Republicans inhabited a political reality quite distinct from that of their Federalist rivals.

The American Revolution was not only a political contest for liberty, equality, and independence (for white men, at least); it was also a contest to define certain accounts of reality to be truthful while defining others as false and dangerous. Misinformation Nation argues that we must also conceive of the American Revolution as a series of misperceptions, misunderstandings, and uninformed overreactions. In addition to making a striking and original argument about the founding of the United States, Misinformation Nation will be a valuable prehistory to our current political moment.
Visit Jordan E. Taylor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 3, 2022

"Teachers as State-Builders"

New from Princeton University Press: Teachers as State-Builders: Education and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Hilary Falb Kalisman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Today, it is hard to imagine a time and place when public school teachers were considered among the elite strata of society. But in the lands controlled by the Ottomans, and then by the British in the early and mid-twentieth century, teachers were key players in government and leading formulators of ideologies. Drawing on archival research and oral histories, Teachers as State-Builders brings to light educators’ outsized role in shaping the politics of the modern Middle East.

Hilary Falb Kalisman tells the story of the few young Arab men—and fewer young Arab women—who were lucky enough to teach public school in the territories that became Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine/Israel. Crossing Ottoman provincial and, later, Mandate and national borders for work and study, these educators were advantageously positioned to assume mid- and even high-level administrative positions in multiple government bureaucracies. All told, over one-third of the prime ministers who served in Iraq from the 1950s through the 1960s, and in Jordan from the 1940s through the early 1970s, were former public school teachers—a trend that changed only when independence, occupation, and mass education degraded the status of teaching.

The first history of education across Britain’s Middle Eastern Mandates, this transnational study reframes our understanding of the profession of teaching, the connections between public education and nationalism, and the fluid politics of the interwar Middle East.
Follow Hilary Falb Kalisman on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 2, 2022

"Royal Childhood and Child Kingship"

New from Cambridge University Press: Royal Childhood and Child Kingship: Boy Kings in England, Scotland, France and Germany, c. 1050–1262 by Emily Joan Ward.

About the book, from the publisher:
Refining adult-focused perspectives on medieval rulership, Emily Joan Ward exposes the problematic nature of working from the assumption that kingship equated to adult power. Children's participation and political assent could be important facets of the day-to-day activities of rule, as this study shows through an examination of royal charters, oaths to young boys, cross-kingdom diplomacy and coronation. The first comparative and thematic study of child rulership in this period, Ward analyses eight case studies across northwestern Europe from c.1050 to c.1250. The book stresses innovations and adaptations in royal government, questions the exaggeration of political disorder under a boy king, and suggests a ruler's childhood posed far less of a challenge than their adolescence and youth. Uniting social, cultural and political historical methodologies, Ward unveils how wider societal changes between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries altered children's lived experiences of royal rule and modified how people thought about child kingship.
Follow Emily Joan Ward on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 1, 2022

"The Roots of American Individualism"

New from Princeton University Press: The Roots of American Individualism: Political Myth in the Age of Jackson by Alex Zakaras.

About the book, from the publisher:
A panoramic history of American individualism from its nineteenth-century origins to today’s bitterly divided politics

Individualism is a defining feature of American public life. Its influence is pervasive today, with liberals and conservatives alike promising to expand personal freedom and defend individual rights against unwanted intrusion, be it from big government, big corporations, or intolerant majorities. The Roots of American Individualism traces the origins of individualist ideas to the turbulent political controversies of the Jacksonian era (1820–1850) and explores their enduring influence on American politics and culture.

Alex Zakaras plunges readers into the spirited and rancorous political debates of Andrew Jackson’s America, drawing on the stump speeches, newspaper editorials, magazine articles, and sermons that captivated mass audiences and shaped partisan identities. He shows how these debates popularized three powerful myths that celebrated the young nation as an exceptional land of liberty: the myth of the independent proprietor, the myth of the rights-bearer, and the myth of the self-made man.

The Roots of American Individualism reveals how generations of politicians, pundits, and provocateurs have invoked these myths for competing political purposes. Time and again, the myths were used to determine who would enjoy equal rights and freedoms and who would not. They also conjured up heavily idealized, apolitical visions of social harmony and boundless opportunity, typically centered on the free market, that have distorted American political thought to this day.
--Marshal Zeringue