Friday, June 30, 2023

"Food, Justice, and Animals"

New from Oxford University Press: Food, Justice, and Animals: Feeding the World Respectfully by Josh Milburn.

About the book, from the publisher:
How would we eat if animals had rights? A standard assumption is that our food systems would be plant-based. But maybe we should reject this assumption. Indeed, this book argues that a future non-vegan food system would be permissible on an animal rights view. It might even be desirable.

In Food, Justice, and Animals: Feeding the World Respectfully, Josh Milburn questions if the vegan food system risks cutting off many people's pursuit of the 'good life', risks exacerbating food injustices, and risks negative outcomes for animals. If so, then maybe non-vegan food systems would be preferable to vegan food systems, if they could respect animal rights.

Could they? The author provides a rigorous analysis of the ethics of farming invertebrates, producing plant-based meats, developing cultivated animal products, and co-working with animals on genuinely humane farms, arguing that these possibilities offer the chance for a food system that is non-vegan, but nonetheless respects animals' rights. He argues that there is a way for us to have our cake, and eat it too, because we can have our cow, and eat her too.
Visit Josh Milburn's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 29, 2023

"Let There Be Light"

New from Columbia University Press: Let There Be Light: How Electricity Made Modern Hong Kong by Mark Clifford.

About the book, from the publisher:
The remarkable success of twentieth-century Hong Kong was driven by electricity. The British colony’s stunning export-driven economic growth, its status as a Cold War capitalist dynamo, its energetic civil society, its alluring urban modernity—all of these are stories of electricity’s transformative power.

Let There Be Light
is a groundbreaking history of electrification in Hong Kong. Mark L. Clifford traces how a power company and its visionary founder jumpstarted Hong Kong’s postwar economic rise and set in motion far-reaching political and social change against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s shifting relations with the People’s Republic of China and the United Kingdom. Clifford examines avowedly laissez-faire Hong Kong’s attempt to nationalize electricity companies and the longer-term implications of debates over the power supply for citizen activism and the development of civil society, government involvement in tackling housing and other social issues, and state controls on private businesses.

Clifford explores the effects of electrification on both grand politics and daily life. In the geopolitical struggle of the Cold War, Hong Kong became an explicitly anti-Communist showcase of production and consumption. Its bright lights and neon signs stood in contrast to the darkness and drabness of neighboring China. Electricity transformed people’s everyday lives, allowing children to study at night, streets to be lit, and shops in a self-consciously commercial mecca to stay open late.

Offering new perspectives on twentieth-century Hong Kong, Let There Be Light reveals electricity as a catalyst of modernization.
Visit Mark L. Clifford's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

"The Donkey and the Boat"

New from Oxford University Press: The Donkey and the Boat: Reinterpreting the Mediterranean Economy, 950-1180 by Chris Wickham.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new account of the Mediterranean economy in the 10th to 12th centuries, forcing readers to entirely rethink the underlying logic to medieval economic systems. Chris Wickham re-examines documentary and archaeological sources to give a detailed account of both individual economies, and their relationships with each other.

Chris Wickham offers a new account of the Mediterranean economy in the tenth to twelfth centuries, based on a completely new look at the sources, documentary and archaeological. Our knowledge of the Mediterranean economy is based on syntheses which are between 50 and 150 years old; they are based on outdated assumptions and restricted data sets, and were written before there was any usable archaeology; and Wickham contends that they have to be properly rethought.

This is the first book ever to give a fully detailed comparative account of the regions of the Mediterranean in this period, in their internal economies and in their relationships with each other. It focusses on Egypt, Tunisia, Sicily, the Byzantine empire, Islamic Spain and Portugal, and north-central Italy, and gives the first comprehensive account of the changing economies of each; only Byzantium has a good prior synthesis. It aims to force our rethinking of how economies worked in the medieval Mediterranean. It also offers a rethinking of how we should understand the underlying logic of the medieval economy in general.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

"Antinuclear Citizens"

New from Stanford University Press: Antinuclear Citizens: Sustainability Policy and Grassroots Activism in Post-Fukushima Japan by Akihiro Ogawa.

About the book, from the publisher:
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, tsunamis engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant located on Japan's Pacific Coast, leading to the worst nuclear disaster the world has seen since the Chernobyl crisis of 1986. Prior to this disaster, Japan had the third largest commercial nuclear program in the world, surpassed only by those in the United States and France—nuclear power significantly contributed to Japan's economic prosperity, and nearly 30% of Japan's electricity was generated by reactors dotted across the archipelago, from northern Hokkaido to southern Kyushu. This long period of institutional stasis was, however, punctuated by the crisis of March 11, which became a critical juncture for Japanese nuclear policymaking. As Akihiro Ogawa argues, the primary agent for this change is what he calls "antinuclear citizens"— a conscientious Japanese public who envision a sustainable life in a nuclear-free society. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic research conducted across Japan—including antinuclear rallies, meetings with bureaucrats, and at renewable energy production sites—Ogawa presents an historical record of ordinary people's actions as they sought to survive and navigate a new reality post-Fukushima. Ultimately, Ogawa argues that effective sustainability efforts require collaborations that are grounded in civil society and challenge hegemonic ideology, efforts that reimagine societies and landscapes—especially those dominated by industrial capitalism—to help build a productive symbiosis between industry and sustainability.
Visit Akihiro Ogawa's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 26, 2023

"Baptizing Burma"

New from Columbia University Press: Baptizing Burma: Religious Change in the Last Buddhist Kingdom by Alexandra Kaloyanides.

About the book, from the publisher:
In July 1813, a young American couple from Boston arrived in Rangoon to preach the gospel. Celebrated in the Protestant press, which ran dramatic accounts of exotic adventures, the attempt to convert the Burmese met with mixed results. Although Burmese Buddhists resisted Christian evangelism, people from minority communities were baptized in large numbers throughout the nineteenth century. American Baptist Christianity was itself transformed in the Buddhist kingdom. Missionaries who were initially horrified by what they saw as the idolatry of Buddha statues found themselves creating tree shrines and their converts hanging colorful Jesus paintings in their churches.

Baptizing Burma explores the history of how the American Baptist mission to Burma failed to convert the country yet succeeded in transforming its religious landscape. Alexandra Kaloyanides examines how the Burmese majority positioned Buddhism to counter Christianity, how marginalized groups took on Baptist identities, and how Protestantism was reimagined as a Southeast Asian religion. She considers a series of holy objects to reveal the mechanics of religious practice in a period of entangled empires—British, Burmese, and American. By telling stories of four key things—the sacred book, the school house, the pagoda, and the portrait—this book illuminates the histories of Burma’s last kingdom and the unexpected consequences of America’s first overseas mission.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 25, 2023

"The Continental Dollar"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Continental Dollar: How the American Revolution Was Financed with Paper Money by Farley Grubb.

About the book, from the publisher:
An illuminating history of America’s original credit market.

The Continental Dollar is a revelatory history of how the fledgling United States paid for its first war. Farley Grubb upends the common telling of this story, in which the United States printed cross-colony money, called Continentals, to serve as an early fiat currency—a currency that is not tied to a commodity like gold, but rather to a legal authority. As Grubb details, the Continental was not a fiat currency, but a “zero-coupon bond”—a wholly different species of money. As bond payoffs were pushed into the future, the money’s value declined, killing the Continentals’ viability years before the Revolutionary War would officially end.

Drawing on decades of exhaustive mining of eighteenth-century records, The Continental Dollar is an essential origin story of the early American monetary system, promising to serve as the benchmark for critical work for decades to come.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 24, 2023

"Z Generation"

New from Hurst: Z Generation: Into the Heart of Russia's Fascist Youth by Ian Garner.

About the book, from the publisher:
How did Vladimir Putin galvanize the Russian people to back his genocidal war in Ukraine and why are so many of them willing to embrace fascism? This vivid, on-the-ground narrative reveals how Russia's fascist generation came into being-and the dark future that awaits the country if that hold cannot be broken.

Wartime Russia is drowning in fascist symbols. Zealous patriots attack journalists, opposition activists, and anyone suspected of betraying the motherland. Russians are urged to join the cause by hordes of online trolls and sleek videos of angry young men bellowing patriotic slogans. State television terrifies viewers with trumped up tales of anti-Russian conspiracies and genocidal yearnings. Child soldiers proudly parade across Red Square. This is Russia in the 2020s: a land of performative rage and nationalist untruth, where play-acting, pretense and broken promises are a way of life. But in a world where pretense has become the norm, a terrifying, apocalyptic mindset is seizing the Russians of tomorrow.

As enrapturing as it is terrifying, Z Generation reveals how Russia ended up where it is today, and where its young people are headed: a fascist generation more zealous, violent and ideological than anything the country has seen before.
Visit Ian Garner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 23, 2023

"Ecological States"

New from Cornell University Press: Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China by Jesse Rodenbiker.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ecological States critically examines ecological policies in the People's Republic of China to show how campaigns of scientifically based environmental protection transform nature and society. While many point to China's ecological civilization programs as a new paradigm for global environmental governance, Jesse Rodenbiker argues that ecological redlining extends the reach of the authoritarian state.

Although Chinese urban sustainability initiatives have driven millions of citizens from their land and housing, Rodenbiker shows that these migrants are not passive subjects of state policy. Instead, they creatively navigate resettlement processes in pursuit of their own benefit. However, their resistance is limited by varied forms of state-backed infrastructural violence.

Through extensive fieldwork with scientists, urban planners, and everyday citizens in southwestern China, Ecological States exposes the ways in which the scientific logics and practices fundamental to China's green urbanization have solidified state power and contributed to dispossession and social inequality.
Visit Jesse Rodenbiker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 22, 2023

"Self-Awareness and The Elusive Subject"

New from Oxford University Press: Self-Awareness and The Elusive Subject by Robert J. Howell.

About the book, from the publisher:
Self-Awareness and The Elusive Subject explores the puzzling fact that we are certain of the existence of a subject of experience despite its being objectively and subjectively elusive. It is objectively elusive in that, like phenomenal states, it cannot be found from the third-person perspective. It is subjectively elusive because it also cannot be found in introspection. On the one hand, then, the author agrees with the Buddhists and philosophers like Hume and Sartre that the self cannot be found in experience. He sides with Descartes', on the other hand, arguing the subject of experience exists and that we have certainty of the cogito. Along the way the book considers the claim that phenomenal states have “subjective character” or “mineness” and argues instead that they are phenomenally anonymous. Howell concludes with a deflationary account of pre-reflective self-consciousness and provides an account of basic self-awareness according to which we are most fundamentally aware of ourselves indirectly as the subject of our conscious states.
Visit Robert J. Howell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

"The Mobilized American West, 1940–2000"

New from the University of Nebraska Press: The Mobilized American West, 1940–2000 by John M. Findlay.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the years between 1940 and 2000, the American Far West went from being a relative backwater of the United States to a considerably more developed, modern, and prosperous region—one capable of influencing not just the nation but the world. By the dawn of the twenty-first century, the population of the West had multiplied more than four times since 1940, and western states had transitioned from rural to urban, becoming the most urbanized section of the country. Massive investment, both private and public, in the western economy had produced regional prosperity, and the tourism industry had undergone massive expansion, altering the ways Americans identified with the West.

In The Mobilized American West, 1940–2000, John M. Findlay presents a historical overview of the American West in its decades of modern development. During the years of U.S. mobilization for World War II and the Cold War, the West remained a significant, distinct region even as its development accelerated rapidly and, in many ways, it became better integrated into the rest of the country. By examining events and trends that occurred in the West, Findlay argues that a distinctive, region-wide political culture developed in the western states from a commitment to direct democracy, the role played by the federal government in owning and managing such a large amount of land, and the way different groups of westerners identified with and defined the region. While illustrating western distinctiveness, Findlay also aims to show how, in its sustaining mobilization for war, the region became tethered to the entire nation more than ever before, but on its own terms. Findlay presents an innovative approach to viewing the American West as a region distinctive of the United States, one that occasionally stood ahead of, at odds with, and even in defiance of the nation.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

"Roman Inequality"

New from Oxford University Press: Roman Inequality: Affluent Slaves, Businesswomen, Legal Fictions by Edward E. Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Roman Inequality explores how in Rome in the first and second centuries CE a number of male and female slaves, and some free women, prospered in business amidst a population of generally impoverished free inhabitants and of impecunious enslaved residents. Edward E. Cohen focuses on two anomalies to which only minimal academic attention has been previously directed: (1) the paradox of a Roman economy dependent on enslaved entrepreneurs who functioned, and often achieved considerable personal affluence, within a legal system that supposedly deprived unfree persons of all legal capacity and human rights; (2) the incongruity of the importance and accomplishments of Roman businesswomen, both free and slave, successfully operating under legal rules that in many aspects discriminated against women, but in commercial matters were in principle gender-blind and in practice generated egalitarian juridical conditions that often trumped gender-discriminatory customs. This book also examines the casuistry through which Roman jurists created "legal fictions" facilitating a commercial reality utterly incompatible with the fundamental precepts--inherently discriminatory against women and slaves---that Roman legal experts ("jurisprudents") continued explicitly to insist upon. Moreover, slaves' acquisition of wealth was actually aided by a surprising preferential orientation of the legal system: Roman law--to modern Western eyes counter-intuitively--in reality privileged servile enterprise, to the detriment of free enterprise.

Beyond its anticipated audience of economic historians and students and scholars of classical antiquity, especially of Roman history and law, Roman Inequality will appeal to all persons working on or interested in gender and liberation issues.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 19, 2023

"After Kant"

New from Princeton University Press: After Kant: The Romans, the Germans, and the Moderns in the History of Political Thought by Michael Sonenscher.

About the book, from the publisher:
Tracing the origins of modern political thought through three sets of arguments over history, morality, and freedom

In this wide-ranging work, Michael Sonenscher traces the origins of modern political thought and ideologies to a question, raised by Immanuel Kant, about what is involved in comparing individual human lives to the whole of human history. How can we compare them, or understand the results of the comparison? Kant’s question injected a new, future-oriented dimension into existing discussions of prevailing norms, challenging their orientation toward the past. This reversal made Kant’s question a bridge between three successive sets of arguments: between the supporters of the ancients and moderns, the classics and romantics, and the Romans and the Germans. Sonenscher argues that the genealogy of modern political ideologies―from liberalism to nationalism to communism―can be connected to the resulting discussions of time, history, and values, mainly in France but also in Germany, Switzerland, and Britain, in the period straddling the French and Industrial revolutions.

What is the genuinely human content of human history? Everything begins somewhere―democracy with the Greeks, or the idea of a res publica with the Romans―but these local arrangements have become vectors of values that are, apparently, universal. The intellectual upheaval that Sonenscher describes involved a struggle to close the gap, highlighted by Kant, between individual lives and human history. After Kant is an examination of that struggle’s enduring impact on the history and the historiography of political thought.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 18, 2023

"Decolonizing Religion and Peacebuilding"

New from Oxford University Press: Decolonizing Religion and Peacebuilding by Atalia Omer.

About the book, from the publisher:
An investigation of what consolidating religion as a technology of peacebuilding and development does to people's accounts of their religious and cultural traditions and why interreligious peacebuilding entrenches colonial legacies in the present.

Throughout the global south, local and international organizations are frequent participants in peacebuilding projects that focus on interreligious dialogue. Yet as Atalia Omer argues in Decolonizing Religion and Peacebuilding, the effects of their efforts are often perverse, reinforcing neocolonial practices and disempowering local religious actors. Based on empirical research of inter and intra-religious peacebuilding practices in Kenya and the Philippines, Omer identifies two paradoxical findings: first, religious peacebuilding practices are both empowering and depoliticizing and, second, more doing of religion does not necessarily denote deeper or more critical religious literacy. Further, she shows that these religious actors generate decolonial openings regardless of how closed or open their religious communities are. Hence, religion's occasional usefulness in peacebuilding does not necessarily mean justice-oriented outcomes. The book not only uses decolonial and intersectional prisms to expose the entrenched and ongoing colonial dynamics operative in religion and the practices of peacebuilding and development in the global South, but it also speaks to decolonial theory through stories of transformation and survival.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 17, 2023

"The Authoritarian International"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Authoritarian International: Tracing How Authoritarian Regimes Learn in the Post-Soviet Space by Stephen G. F. Hall.

About the book, from the publisher:
Stephen Hall argues that democracies can preserve their norms and values from increasing attacks and backsliding by better understanding how authoritarian regimes learn. He focuses on the post-Soviet region, investigating two established authoritarian regimes, Belarus and Russia, and two hybrid-regimes, Moldova and Ukraine, with the aim of explaining the concept of authoritarian learning and revealing the practices that are developed and the sources of that learning. Hall finds clear signs of collaboration between countries in developing best survival practices between authoritarian-minded elites, and demonstrates that learning does not just occur between states, rather it can happen at the intra-state level, with elites learning lessons from previous regimes in their own countries. He highlights the horizontal nature of this learning, with authoritarian-minded elites developing methods from a range of sources to ascertain the best practices for survival. Post-Soviet regional organisations are crucial for the development and sharing of these survival practices as they provide 'learning rooms' and training exercises.
Visit Stephen G. F. Hall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 16, 2023

"Nasty Politics"

New from Oxford University Press: Nasty Politics: The Logic of Insults, Threats, and Incitement by Thomas Zeitzoff.

About the book, from the publisher:
A novel explanation for why politicians insult, accuse, and threaten their opponents, even though voters say they don't like it.

Why do politicians engage in nasty politics? Why do they use insult, accusations, intimidation, and in rare cases violence against their domestic political opponents? In Nasty Politics, Thomas Zeitzoff answers these questions by examining this global political trend in the US, Ukraine, and Israel and looking at how key leaders such as Trump, Zelensky, and Netanyahu use it. Drawing on surveys, case studies, in-depth interviews, databases of nasty politics, and large social media datasets, Zeitzoff shows that across all three countries, the public generally doesn't like nasty politics and it increases the threat of political violence. But it can also be a way to signal toughness to voters, which is especially important in threatening times. Featuring a powerful theory of why nastiness takes hold in democratic polities, Nasty Politics highlights how it influences the kinds of politicians who run for office and deepens our understanding for why so many politicians now rely on outsized anger and withering insults for political gain.
Visit Thomas Zeitzoff's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 15, 2023

"The Bureaucracy of Empathy"

Coming soon from Cornell University Press: The Bureaucracy of Empathy: Law, Vivisection, and Animal Pain in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain by Shira Shmuely.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Bureaucracy of Empathy revolves around two central questions: What is pain? And how do we recognize, understand, and ameliorate the pain of nonhuman animals? Shira Shmuely investigates these ethical issues through a close and careful history of the origins, implementation, and enforcement of the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act of Parliament, which for the first time imposed legal restrictions on animal experimentation and mandated official supervision of procedures "calculated to give pain" to animal subjects.

Exploring how scientists, bureaucrats, and lawyers wrestled with the problem of animal pain and its perception, Shmuely traces in depth and detail how the Act was enforced, the medical establishment's initial resistance and then embrace of regulation, and the challenges from anti-vivisection advocates who deemed it insufficient protection against animal suffering. She shows how a "bureaucracy of empathy" emerged to support and administer the legislation, navigating incongruent interpretations of pain. This crucial moment in animal law and ethics continues to inform laws regulating the treatment of nonhuman animals in laboratories, farms, and homes around the worlds to the present.
Follow Shira Shmuely on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

"Belisarius & Antonina"

New from Oxford University Press: Belisarius & Antonina: Love and War in the Age of Justinian by David Alan Parnell.

About the book, from the publisher:
A unique look at a powerful marriage in the celebrated age of Justinian

Belisarius and Antonina were titans in the Roman world some 1,500 years ago. Belisarius was the most well-known general of his age, victor over the Persians, conqueror of the Vandals and the Goths, and as if this were not enough, wealthy beyond imagination. His wife, Antonina, was an impressive person in her own right. She made a name for herself by traveling with Belisarius on his military campaigns, deposing a pope, and scheming to disgrace important Roman officials. Together, the pair were extremely influential, and arguably wielded more power in the late Roman world than anyone except the emperor Justinian and empress Theodora themselves. This unadulterated power and wealth did not mean that Belisarius and Antonina were universally successful in all that they undertook. They occasionally stumbled militarily, politically, and personally - in their marriage and with their children. These failures knock them from their lofty perch, humanize them, and make them even more relatable and intriguing to us today.

Belisarius & Antonina is the first modern portrait of this unique partnership. They were not merely husband and wife but also partners in power. This is a paradigm which might seem strange to us, as we reflexively imagine that marriages in the ancient world were staunchly traditional, relegating wives to the domestic sphere only. But Antonina was not a reserved housewife, and Belisarius showed no desire for Antonina to remain in the home. Their private and public lives blended as they traveled together, sometimes bringing their children, and worked side-by-side. Theirs was without a doubt the most important nonroyal marriage of the late Roman world, and one of the very few from all of antiquity that speaks directly to contemporary readers.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

"Order and Rivalry"

New from Cambridge University Press: Order and Rivalry: Rewriting the Rules of International Trade after the First World War by Madeleine Lynch Dungy.

About the book, from the publisher:
The First World War transformed the legal and geopolitical framework for international trade by decentring Europe in global markets. Order and Rivalry traces the formation and development of multilateral trade structures in the aftermath of the First World War in response to the marginalization of Europe in the world economy, the use of private commerce as a tool of military power and the collapse of empires across Central and Eastern Europe. In this accessible study, Madeleine Lynch Dungy highlights the 1920s as a pivotal transition phase between the network of bilateral trade treaties that underpinned the first globalization of the late nineteenth century and the institutionalised regime of international governance after 1945. Focusing on the League of Nations, she shows that this institution's legacy was not to initiate a linear forward march towards today's World Trade Organization, but rather to frame an open-ended and conflictual process of experimentation that is still ongoing.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 12, 2023

"Life Without Degrees of Moral Status"

New from Oxford University Press: Life Without Degrees of Moral Status: Implications for Rabbits, Robots, and the Rest of Us by David S. Wendler.

About the book, from the publisher:
Most people believe there are degrees of moral status. They believe animals matter morally, but human beings matter significantly more than animals. This belief, which is supported by important intuitions, fundamentally shapes our lives. It places us at the center of the moral universe, and it explains why we treat animals so differently from humans: why we put them in cages, conduct pain-inducing experiments on them, and eat them for dinner. However, the belief that there are degrees of moral status also raises the possibility that robots and genetically enhanced human beings could become significantly more important than the rest of us, in which case, they might be justified in putting us in cages, experimenting on us, and eating us for dinner. Despite the importance of these issues, there have been no systematic assessments of whether, in fact, there are degrees of moral status: Are some individuals more important morally than others? The goal of this book is to answer this vital question.

Degrees of moral status require moral status enhancing properties. However, David S Wendler argues that there are no moral status enhancing properties, and thus, no degrees of moral status. What implications does this conclusion have for how we should treat animals, whether it is acceptable to experiment on them and eat them for dinner? What implications does it have for how future advanced robots and genetically enhanced human beings ought to treat us? Would it be acceptable for them to conduct experiments on us, or eat us for dinner? Wendler's book addresses these and related questions.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 11, 2023

"Red Internationalism"

New from Cambridge University Press: Red Internationalism: Anti-Imperialism and Human Rights in the Global Sixties and Seventies by Salar Mohandesi.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Red Internationalism, Salar Mohandesi returns to the Vietnam War to offer a new interpretation of the transnational left's most transformative years. In the 1960s, radicals mobilized ideas from the early twentieth century to reinvent a critique of imperialism that promised not only to end the war but also to overthrow the global system that made such wars possible. Focusing on encounters between French, American, and Vietnamese radicals, Mohandesi explores how their struggles did change the world, but in unexpected ways that allowed human rights to increasingly displace anti-imperialism as the dominant idiom of internationalism. When anti-imperialism collapsed in the 1970s, human rights emerged as a hegemonic alternative channeling anti-imperialism's aspirations while rejecting systemic change. Approaching human rights as neither transhistorical truth nor cynical imperialist ruse but instead as a symptom of anti-imperialism's epochal crisis, Red Internationalism dramatizes a shift that continues to affect prospects for emancipatory political change in the future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 10, 2023

"Japan's Nuclear Disaster and the Politics of Safety Governance"

New from Cornell University Press: Japan's Nuclear Disaster and the Politics of Safety Governance by Florentine Koppenborg.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Japan's Nuclear Disaster and the Politics of Safety Governance, Florentine Koppenborg argues that the regulatory reforms taken up in the wake of the Fukushima disaster on March 11, 2011, directly and indirectly raised the costs of nuclear power in Japan. The Nuclear Regulation Authority resisted capture by the nuclear industry and fundamentally altered the environment for nuclear policy implementation. Independent safety regulation changed state-business relations in the nuclear power domain from regulatory capture to top-down safety regulation, which raised technical safety costs for electric utilities. Furthermore, the safety agency's extended emergency preparedness regulations expanded the allegorical backyard of NIMBY demonstrations. Antinuclear protests, mainly lawsuits challenging restarts, incurred additional social acceptance costs. Increasing costs undermined pronuclear actors' ability to implement nuclear power policy and caused a rift inside the "nuclear village." Small nuclear safety administration reforms were, in fact, game changers for nuclear power politics in Japan.

Koppenborg's findings contribute to the vibrant conversations about the rise of independent regulatory agencies, crisis as a mechanism for change, and the role of nuclear power amid global interest in decarbonizing our energy supply.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 9, 2023

"Real Soldiering"

New from the University Press of Kansas: Real Soldiering: The US Army in the Aftermath of War, 1815-1980 by Brian McAllister Linn.

About the book, from the publisher:
What happens to the US Army after the battles are over, the citizen soldiers depart, and all that remains is the Regular Army? In this pathbreaking work, Brian Linn argues that in each decade following every major conflict since the War of 1812 the postwar army has undergone a long, painful, and remarkably consistent recovery process as it struggled to build a new model force to replace the “Old Army” that entered the conflict. Departing from the Washington-centric institutional histories of the past, Linn sets his focus on soldiering in the field, distilling the lived experiences of officers and troopers who were responsible for cleaning up the messes left in the wake of war.

Real Soldiering provides the first comprehensive study of the US Army’s transition from war to peace. It is both a wide-ranging history of the army’s postwar experience and a work detailing the commonalities of American soldiering over almost two centuries. Linn challenges three common historical interpretations: confusing Washington policy with implementation in the field; conflating postwar armies with prewar armies; and describing certain postwar eras as distinct and transformational. Rather, Linn examines the postwar force as a distinct entity worthy of study as a unique and important part of US Army history. He identifies the common dilemmas faced by the service in the aftermath of every war. These problems included such military priorities as defense legislation, preparing for the next war, and adapting to new missions. But they also incorporated often overlooked—but for those who lived through them more important—consistencies such as officer acquisition and career management, personnel turbulence, insufficient personnel and equipment, and many others.

Real Soldiering represents over four decades of research into the US Army and is deeply informed by Linn’s experiences teaching and working with soldiers. It breaks new ground in lifting out the similarities of each postwar army while still appreciating their individual complexities. It identifies the leaders and the methods the service employed to escape the inevitable postwar drawdowns. Insightful and entertaining, provocative and empathetic, and a work of history with immediate relevance, Real Soldiering will resonate with military historians, defense analysts, and those who have proudly worn the US Army uniform.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 8, 2023

"Engage and Evade"

New from Princeton University Press: Engage and Evade: How Latino Immigrant Families Manage Surveillance in Everyday Life by Asad L. Asad.

About the book, from the publisher:
How everyday forms of surveillance threaten undocumented immigrants―but also offer them hope for societal inclusion

Some eleven million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States, carving out lives amid a growing web of surveillance that threatens their and their families’ societal presence. Engage and Evade examines how undocumented immigrants navigate complex dynamics of surveillance and punishment, providing an extraordinary portrait of fear and hope on the margins.

Asad L. Asad brings together a wealth of research, from intimate interviews and detailed surveys with Latino immigrants and their families to up-close observations of immigration officials, to offer a rare perspective on the surveillance that undocumented immigrants encounter daily. He describes how and why these immigrants engage with various institutions―for example, by registering with the IRS or enrolling their kids in public health insurance programs―that the government can use to monitor them. This institutional surveillance feels both necessary and coercive, with undocumented immigrants worrying that evasion will give the government cause to deport them. Even so, they hope their record of engagement will one day help them prove to immigration officials that they deserve societal membership. Asad uncovers how these efforts do not always meet immigration officials’ high expectations, and how surveillance is as much about the threat of exclusion as the promise of inclusion.

Calling attention to the fraught lives of undocumented immigrants and their families, this superbly written and compassionately argued book proposes wide-ranging, actionable reforms to achieve societal inclusion for all.
Visit Asad L. Asad's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

"A History of Nihilism in the Nineteenth Century"

New from Cambridge University Press: A History of Nihilism in the Nineteenth Century: Confrontations with Nothingness by Jon Stewart.

About the book, from the publisher:
Nihilism – the belief that life is meaningless – is frequently associated with twentieth-century movements such as existentialism, postmodernism and Dadaism, and thought to result from the shocking experiences of the two World Wars and the Holocaust. In his rich and expansive new book, Jon Stewart shows that nihilism's beginnings in fact go back much further to the first half of the nineteenth century. He argues that the true origin of modern nihilism was the rapid development of Enlightenment science, which established a secular worldview. This radically diminished the importance of human beings so that, in the vastness of space and time, individuals now seemed completely insignificant within the universe. The author's panoramic exploration of how nihilism developed – not only in philosophy, but also in religion, poetry and literature – shows what an urgent topic it was for thinkers of all kinds, and how it has continued powerfully to shape intellectual debates ever since.
Visit Jon Stewart's website.

The Page 99 Test: Hegel's Century.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

"Gun Country"

Coming November 2023 from the University of North Carolina Press: Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture, and Control in Cold War America by Andrew C. McKevitt.

About the book, from the publisher:
Just as World War II transformed the United States into a global military and economic superpower, so too did it forge the gun country America is today. After 1945, war-ravaged European nations possessed large surpluses of mass-produced weapons, and American entrepreneurs seized the opportunity to buy used munitions for pennies on the dollar and resell them stateside. A booming consumer market made cheap guns accessible to millions of Americans, and rates of gun ownership and violence began to climb. Andrew C. McKevitt tells the history of this gun boom through the dynamics of consumer capitalism and Cold War ideology, the combination of which resulted in a vast number of Americans arming themselves to the teeth and centering their political identity on their guns.

When gun control legislation emerged in the 1960s, many Americans, accustomed to the unregulated postwar bounty of cheap guns and fearful of Soviet invasion, domestic subversion, and urban uprisings, fiercely challenged it. Meanwhile, gun control groups were diverted from their abolitionist roots toward a conciliatory, fundraising-focused strategy that struggled to limit the stockpiling of firearms. Gun Country recasts the story of guns in postwar America as one of Cold War and racial anxieties, unfettered capitalism, and exceptional violence that continues to haunt us to this day.
Follow Drew McKevitt on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 5, 2023

"Landscapes of Care"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: Landscapes of Care: Immigration and Health in Rural America by Thurka Sangaramoorthy.

About the book, from the publisher:
This insightful work on rural health in the United States examines the ways immigrants, mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean, navigate the health care system in the United States. Since 1990, immigration to the United States has risen sharply, and rural areas have seen the highest increases. Thurka Sangaramoorthy reveals that that the corporatization of health care delivery and immigration policies are deeply connected in rural America. Drawing from fieldwork that centers on Maryland's sparsely populated Eastern Shore, Sangaramoorthy shows how longstanding issues of precarity among rural health systems along with the exclusionary logics of immigration have mutually fashioned a "landscape of care" in which shared conditions of physical suffering and emotional anxiety among immigrants and rural residents generate powerful forms of regional vitality and social inclusion. Sangaramoorthy connects the Eastern Shore and its immigrant populations to many other places around the world that are struggling with the challenges of global migration, rural precarity, and health governance. Her extensive ethnographic and policy research shows the personal stories behind health inequity data and helps to give readers a human entry point into the enormous challenges of immigration and rural health.
Visit Thurka Sangaramoorthy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 4, 2023

"Prenatal Genetic Testing, Abortion, and Disability Justice"

New from Oxford University Press: Prenatal Genetic Testing, Abortion, and Disability Justice by Amber Knight and Joshua Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:
The routinization of non-invasive prenatal genetic testing (NIPT) raises urgent questions about disability rights and reproductive justice. Supporters defend NIPT on the grounds that genetic information about the fetus helps would-be parents make better family planning choices. Prenatal Genetic Testing, Abortion, and Disability Justice challenges that assessment by exploring how NIPT can actually constrain pregnant women's options. Prospective parents must balance a complicated array of factors, including the familial, social, and financial support they can reasonably expect to receive if they choose to carry a disabled fetus to term and raise after birth, causing many pregnant women to “choose” termination.

Focusing on the US, the book explores the intent and effects of prenatal screening in connection to women's bodily autonomy and disability rights, addressing themes at the intersection of genetic medicine, policymaking, critical disabilities studies, and political theory. Knight and Miller shift debates about reprogenetics from bioethics to political practice, as well as thoroughly critiquing the neoliberal state and the eugenic technologies that support it. Providing concrete suggestions for reforming medical practice, welfare policy, and cultural norms surrounding disability, this book highlights sites of necessary reform to envision how prospective parents can make truly free choices about prenatal genetic testing and selection abortion.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 3, 2023

"Rockin' in the Ivory Tower"

New from Rutgers University Press: Rockin' in the Ivory Tower: Rock Music on Campus in the Sixties by James M. Carter.

About the book, from the publisher:
Histories of American rock music and the 1960s counterculture typically focus on the same few places: Woodstock, Monterey, Altamont. Yet there was also a very active college circuit that brought edgy acts like the Jefferson Airplane and the Velvet Underground to different metropolitan regions and smaller towns all over the country. These campus concerts were often programmed, promoted, and reviewed by students themselves, and their diverse tastes challenged narrow definitions of rock music.

Rockin’ in the Ivory Tower takes a close look at two smaller universities, Drew in New Jersey and Stony Brook on Long Island, to see how the culture of rock music played an integral role in student life in the late 1960s. Analyzing campus archives and college newspapers, historian James Carter traces connections between rock fandom and the civil rights protests, free speech activism, radical ideas, lifestyle transformations, and anti-war movements that revolutionized universities in the 1960s. Furthermore, he finds that these progressive students refused to segregate genres like folk, R&B, hard rock, and pop. Rockin’ in the Ivory Tower gives readers a front-row seat to a dynamic time for the music industry, countercultural politics, and youth culture.
Visit James M. Carter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 2, 2023

"The Parliamentary Battle over Brexit"

New from Oxford University Press: The Parliamentary Battle over Brexit by Meg Russell and Lisa James.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Parliamentary Battle Over Brexit provides answers to those who want to understand the bitter arguments that occurred over Brexit, what might have been handled better, and the role that parliament played.

Since the 2016 referendum, the hotly contested issue of Brexit has raised fundamental questions about the workings of British democracy. Nowhere was this more true than regarding the role of parliament. This book addresses important questions about parliament's role in the UK constitution, and the impact on this of the Brexit process. While initially intended to re-establish 'parliamentary sovereignty', Brexit wrought significant damage on the reputation of parliament, and the wider culture of UK democracy.

Charting the full story of the parliamentary battle over Brexit, Meg Russell and Lisa James show that it wasn't always what it seemed. Based on careful documentary research and extensive interviews with key protagonists, the book explores multiple nail-biting moments, procedural innovations, and political 'what if's'. Drawing on insider accounts, alongside media and parliamentary debates, the book puts the events of Brexit into context and provides a clear and reliable document of record on a complex and disputed story. Ultimately, it argues that Brexit was largely a battle inside the Conservative Party, for which parliament got the blame.

Insightful and comprehensive, the book is necessary reading to those with broader interests in British Politics, the culture of UK democracy, and the challenges of populism and democratic 'backsliding'.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 1, 2023

"Of Light and Struggle"

Coming soon from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Of Light and Struggle: Social Justice, Human Rights, and Accountability in Uruguay by Debbie Sharnak.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the country’s dictatorship from 1973 to 1985, Uruguayans suffered under crushing repression, which included the highest rate of political incarceration in the world. In Of Light and Struggle, Debbie Sharnak explores how activists, transnational social movements, and international policymakers collaborated and clashed in response to this era and during the country’s transition back to democratic rule.

At the heart of the book is an examination of how the language and politics of human rights shifted over time as a result of conflict and convergence between local, national, and global dynamics. Sharnak examines the utility and limits of human rights language used by international NGOs, such as Amnesty International, and foreign governments, such as the Carter administration. She does so by exploring tensions between their responses to the dictatorship’s violations and the grassroots struggle for socioeconomic rights as well as new social movements around issues of race, gender, religion, and sexuality in Uruguay. Sharnak exposes how international activists used human rights language to combat repression in foreign countries, how local politicians, unionists, and students articulated more expansive social justice visions, how the military attempted to coopt human rights language for its own purposes, and how broader debates about human rights transformed the fight over citizenship in renewed democratic societies. By exploring the interplay between debates taking place in activists’ living rooms, presidential administrations, and international halls of power, Sharnak uncovers the messy and contingent process through which human rights became a powerful discourse for social change, and thus contributes to a new method for exploring the history of human rights.

By looking at this pivotal period in international history, Of Light and Struggle suggests that discussions around the small country on the Río de la Plata had global implications for the possibilities and constraints of human rights well beyond Uruguay’s shores.
Visit Debbie Sharnak's website.

--Marshal Zeringue