Saturday, March 24, 2018

"Before the Refrigerator"

New from Johns Hopkins University Press: Before the Refrigerator: How We Used to Get Ice by Jonathan Rees.

About the book, from the publisher:
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Americans depended upon ice to stay cool and to keep their perishable foods fresh. Jonathan Rees tells the fascinating story of how people got ice before mechanical refrigeration came to the household. Drawing on newspapers, trade journals, and household advice books, Before the Refrigerator explains how Americans built a complex system to harvest, store, and transport ice to everyone who wanted it, even the very poor.

Rees traces the evolution of the natural ice industry from its mechanization in the 1880s through its gradual collapse, which started after World War I. Meatpackers began experimenting with ice refrigeration to ship their products as early as the 1860s. Starting around 1890, large, bulky ice machines the size of small houses appeared on the scene, becoming an important source for the American ice supply. As ice machines shrunk, more people had access to better ice for a wide variety of purposes. By the early twentieth century, Rees writes, ice had become an essential tool for preserving perishable foods of all kinds, transforming what most people ate and drank every day.

Reviewing all the inventions that made the ice industry possible and the way they worked together to prevent ice from melting, Rees demonstrates how technological systems can operate without a central controlling force. Before the Refrigerator is ideal for history of technology classes, food studies classes, or anyone interested in what daily life in the United States was like between 1880 and 1930.
The Page 99 Test: Refrigeration Nation.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Art and War in the Pacific World"

New from the University of California Press: Art and War in the Pacific World: Making, Breaking, and Taking from Anson's Voyage to the Philippine-American War by J.M. Mancini.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Pacific world has long been recognized as a hub for the global trade in art objects, but the history of art and architecture has seldom reckoned with another profound aspect of the region’s history: its exposure to global conflict during the British and US imperial incursions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Art and War in the Pacific World provides a new view of the Pacific world and of global artistic interaction by exploring how the making, alteration, looting, and destruction of images, objects, buildings, and landscapes intersected with the exercise of force. Focusing on the period from Commodore George Anson’s voyage to the Philippine-American War, J. M. Mancini’s exceptional study deftly weaves together disparate strands of history to create a novel paradigm for cultural analysis.
J. M. Mancini is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Maynooth University, Ireland. Her publications include Pre-Modernism: Art-World Change and American Culture from the Civil War to the Armory Show and Architecture and Armed Conflict, edited with Keith Bresnahan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 23, 2018


New from Oxford University Press: Bugsplat: The Politics of Collateral Damage in Western Armed Conflicts by Bruce Cronin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Why do states who are committed to the principle of civilian immunity and the protection of non-combatants end up killing and injuring large numbers of civilians during their military operations? Bugsplat explains this paradox through an in-depth examination of five conflicts fought by Western powers since 1989. It argues that despite the efforts of Western military organizations to comply with the laws of armed conflict, the level of collateral damage produced by Western military operations is the inevitable outcome of the strategies and methods through which their military organizations fight wars. Drawing on their superior technology and the strategic advantage of not having to fight on their own territory, such states employ highly-concentrated and overwhelming military force against a wide variety of political, economic, and military targets under conditions likely to produce high civilian casualties. As a result, collateral damage in western-fought wars is largely both foreseeable and preventable. The book title is derived from the name of a computer program that had been used by the Pentagon to calculate probable civilian casualties prior to launching air attacks.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Secret History of the Jersey Devil"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: The Secret History of the Jersey Devil: How Quakers, Hucksters, and Benjamin Franklin Created a Monster by Brian Regal & Frank J. Esposito.

About the book, from the publisher:
Legend has it that in 1735, a witch named Mother Leeds gave birth to a horrifying monster—a deformed flying horse with glowing red eyes—that flew up the chimney of her New Jersey home and disappeared into the Pine Barrens. Ever since, this nightmarish beast has haunted those woods, presaging catastrophe and frightening innocent passersby—or so the story goes. In The Secret History of the Jersey Devil, Brian Regal and Frank J. Esposito examine the genesis of this popular myth, which is also one of the oldest monster legends in the United States.

According to Regal and Esposito, everything you think you know about the Jersey Devil is wrong. The real story of the Jersey Devil’s birth is far more interesting, complex, and important than most people—believers and skeptics alike—realize. Leaving the Pine Barrens, Regal and Esposito turn instead to the varied political and cultural roots behind the Devil’s creation. Fascinating and lively, this book finds the origins of New Jersey’s favorite monster not in witchcraft or an unnatural liaison between woman and devil but in the bare-knuckled political fights and religious upheavals of colonial America. A product of innuendo and rumor, as well as scandal and media hype, the Jersey Devil enjoys a rich history involving land grabs, astrological predictions, mermaids and dinosaur bones, sideshows, Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, a cross-dressing royal governor, and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Risen from Ruins"

New from Stanford University Press: Risen from Ruins: The Cultural Politics of Rebuilding East Berlin by Paul Stangl.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Berliners grappled with how to rebuild their devastated city. In East Berlin, where the historic core of the city lay, decisions made by the socialist leadership about what should be restored, reconstructed, or entirely reimagined would have a tremendous and lasting impact on the urban landscape. Risen from Ruins examines the cultural politics of the rebuilding of East Berlin from the end of World War II until the construction of the Berlin Wall, combining political analysis with spatial and architectural history to examine how the political agenda of East German elites and the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) played out in the built environment.

Following the destruction of World War II, the center of Berlin could have been completely restored and preserved, or razed in favor of a sanitized, modern city. The reality fell somewhere in between, as decision makers balanced historic preservation against the opportunity to model the Socialist future and reject the example of the Nazi dictatorship through architecture and urban design. Paul Stangl's analysis expands our understanding of urban planning, historic preservation, modernism, and Socialist Realism in East Berlin, shedding light on how the contemporary shape of the city was influenced by ideology and politics.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Free the Beaches"

New from Yale University Press: Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline by Andrew W. Kahrl.

About the book, from the publisher:
The story of our separate and unequal America in the making, and one man’s fight against it

During the long, hot summers of the late 1960s and 1970s, one man began a campaign to open some of America’s most exclusive beaches to minorities and the urban poor. That man was anti-poverty activist and one-time presidential candidate Ned Coll of Connecticut, a state that permitted public access to a mere seven miles of its 253-mile shoreline. Nearly all of the state’s coast was held privately, for the most part by white, wealthy residents.

This book is the first to tell the story of the controversial protester who gathered a band of determined African American mothers and children and challenged the racist, exclusionary tactics of homeowners in a state synonymous with liberalism. Coll’s legacy of remarkable successes—and failures—illuminates how our nation’s fragile coasts have not only become more exclusive in subsequent decades but also have suffered greater environmental destruction and erosion as a result of that private ownership.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"Engaged Anthropology"

New from the University of California Press: Engaged Anthropology: Politics beyond the Text by Stuart Kirsch.

About the book, from the publisher:
Does anthropology have more to offer than just its texts? In this timely and remarkable book, Stuart Kirsch shows how anthropology can—and why it should—become more engaged with the problems of the world. Engaged Anthropology draws on the author’s experiences working with indigenous peoples fighting for their environment, land rights, and political sovereignty. Including both short interventions and collaborations spanning decades, it recounts interactions with lawyers and courts, nongovernmental organizations, scientific experts, and transnational corporations. This unflinchingly honest account addresses the unexamined “backstage” of engaged anthropology. Coming at a time when some question the viability of the discipline, the message of this powerful and original work is especially welcome, as it not only promotes a new way of doing anthropology, but also compellingly articulates a new rationale for why anthropology matters.
Visit Stuart Kirsch's webpage.

The Page 99 Test: Mining Capitalism.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"The Burning House"

New from Yale University Press: The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America by Anders Walker.

About the book, from the publisher:
A startling and gripping reexamination of the Jim Crow era, as seen through the eyes of some of the most important American writers

In this dramatic reexamination of the Jim Crow South, Anders Walker demonstrates that racial segregation fostered not simply terror and violence, but also diversity, one of our most celebrated ideals. He investigates how prominent intellectuals like Robert Penn Warren, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, and Zora Neale Hurston found pluralism in Jim Crow, a legal system that created two worlds, each with its own institutions, traditions, even cultures. The intellectuals discussed in this book all agreed that black culture was resilient, creative, and profound, brutally honest in its assessment of American history. By contrast, James Baldwin likened white culture to a “burning house,” a frightening place that endorsed racism and violence to maintain dominance. Why should black Americans exchange their experience for that? Southern whites, meanwhile, saw themselves preserving a rich cultural landscape against the onslaught of mass culture and federal power, a project carried to the highest levels of American law by Supreme Court justice and Virginia native Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

Anders Walker shows how a generation of scholars and judges has misinterpreted Powell’s definition of diversity in the landmark case Regents v. Bakke, forgetting its Southern origins and weakening it in the process. By resituating the decision in the context of Southern intellectual history, Walker places diversity on a new footing, independent of affirmative action but also free from the constraints currently placed on it by the Supreme Court. With great clarity and insight, he offers a new lens through which to understand the history of civil rights in the United States.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Empire of Sentiment"

New from Cambridge University Press: Empire of Sentiment: The Death of Livingstone and the Myth of Victorian Imperialism by Joanna Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is the first emotional history of the British Empire. Joanna Lewis explores how David Livingstone's death tied together British imperialism and Victorian humanitarianism and inserted it into popular culture. Sacrifice and death; Superman like heroism; the devotion of Africans; the cruelty of Arab slavery; and the sufferings of the 'ordinary man', generated waves of sentimental feeling. These powerful myths, images and feelings incubated down the generations - through grand ceremonies, further exploration, humanitarianism, Christian teaching, narratives of masculine endeavour and heroic biography - inspiring colonial rule in Africa, white settler pioneers, missionaries and Africans. Empire of Sentiment demonstrates how this central African story shaped Britain's romantic perception of itself as a humane power overseas when the colonial reality fell far short. Through sentimental humanitarianism, Livingstone helped sustain a British Empire in Africa that remained profoundly Victorian, polyphonic and ideological; whilst always understood at home as proudly liberal on race.
Joanna Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science, having previously studied at the University of Cambridge after winning a Thomas and Elizabeth Williams Scholarship for students with a first class degree, and first-generation to attend university.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 19, 2018

"French Cartoon Art in the 1960s and 1970s"

New from Leuven University Press: French Cartoon Art in the 1960s and 1970s: "Pilote hebdomadaire" and the Teenager "Bande Dessinée" by Wendy Michallat.

About the book, from the publisher:
The French comic magazine Pilote hebdomadaire arrived in a weakening comics market in 1959 largely dominated by syndicated translations of American comics and comics inspired by a Catholic ethos. It tailored its content and tone to an older adolescent reader far removed from that of France’s infant comic. Pilote’s profile set it on a turbulent course subject to the vicissitudes and fickleness of fashion which situated it within an emerging teenager press under pressure to renew and innovate to survive. When it made cartoons its defining characteristic in 1963, Pilote articulated its uniqueness by channelling teenager discourse through them whilst also trying to encourage a zest for education in a modernising and economically buoyant France of exciting new opportunities. Pilote’s cartoon art thus became a dynamic repository for the ideas and attitudes of France’s educated youth which evolved into the radical discourses of the lifestyle and political revolutions of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

This book tells how Pilote hebdomadaire’s unique positioning in a new and fast developing youth press market for teenagers provided the forum and catalyst for the bande dessinĂ©e’s stylistic evolution over the course of the 1960s and 1970s.
--Marshal Zeringue