Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Hitler's American Model"

New from Princeton University Press: Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Q. Whitman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws—the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's influence on racist practices in the wider world.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Poets and Prophets of the Resistance"

New from Oxford University Press: Poets and Prophets of the Resistance: Intellectuals and the Origins of El Salvador's Civil War by Joaquín M. Chávez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Poets and Prophets of the Resistance offers a ground-up history and fresh interpretation of the polarization and mobilization that brought El Salvador to the eve of civil war in 1980. Challenging the dominant narrative that university students and political dissidents primarily formed the Salvadoran guerrillas, Joaquín Chávez argues that El Salvador's socioeconomic and political crises of the 1970s fomented a groundswell of urban and peasant intellectuals who collaborated to spur larger revolutionary social movements.

Drawing on new archival sources and in-depth interviews, Poets and Prophets of the Resistance contests the idea that urban militants and Roman Catholic priests influenced by Liberation Theology single-handedly organized and politicized peasant groups. Chávez shows instead how peasant intellectuals acted as political catalysts among their own communities first, particularly in the region of Chalatenango, laying the groundwork for the peasant movements that were to come. In this way, he contends, the Salvadoran insurgency emerged in a dialogue between urban and peasant intellectuals working together to create and execute a common revolutionary strategy--one that drew on cultures of resistance deeply rooted in the country's history, poetry, and religion. Focusing on this cross-pollination, this book introduces the idea that a "pedagogy of revolution" originated in this historical alliance between urban and peasant, making use of secular and Catholic pedagogies such as radio schools, literacy programs, and rural cooperatives. This pedagogy became more and more radicalized over time as it pushed back against the increasingly repressive structures of 1970s El Salvador.

Teasing out the roles of little-known groups such as the politically active "La Masacuata" literary movement, the contributions of Catholic Action intellectuals to the New Left, and the overlooked efforts of peasant leaders, Poets and Prophets of the Resistance demonstrates how trans-class political and cultural interactions drove the revolutionary mobilizations that anticipated the Salvadoran civil war.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 17, 2017

"Ordinary Jews"

New from Princeton University Press: Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust by Evgeny Finkel.

About the book, from the publisher:
Focusing on the choices and actions of Jews during the Holocaust, Ordinary Jews examines the different patterns of behavior of civilians targeted by mass violence. Relying on rich archival material and hundreds of survivors' testimonies, Evgeny Finkel presents a new framework for understanding the survival strategies in which Jews engaged: cooperation and collaboration, coping and compliance, evasion, and resistance. Finkel compares Jews' behavior in three Jewish ghettos—Minsk, Kraków, and Białystok—and shows that Jews' responses to Nazi genocide varied based on their experiences with prewar policies that either promoted or discouraged their integration into non-Jewish society.

Finkel demonstrates that while possible survival strategies were the same for everyone, individuals' choices varied across and within communities. In more cohesive and robust Jewish communities, coping—confronting the danger and trying to survive without leaving—was more organized and successful, while collaboration with the Nazis and attempts to escape the ghetto were minimal. In more heterogeneous Jewish communities, collaboration with the Nazis was more pervasive, while coping was disorganized. In localities with a history of peaceful interethnic relations, evasion was more widespread than in places where interethnic relations were hostile. State repression before WWII, to which local communities were subject, determined the viability of anti-Nazi Jewish resistance.

Exploring the critical influences shaping the decisions made by Jews in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe, Ordinary Jews sheds new light on the dynamics of collective violence and genocide.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans"

New from the University of California Press: Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans: The Lure of the Local Film Economy by Vicki Mayer.

About the book, from the publisher:
Early in the twenty-first century, Louisiana, one of the poorest states in the United States, redirected millions in tax dollars from the public coffers in an effort to become the top location site globally for the production of Hollywood films and television series. Why would lawmakers support such a policy? Why would citizens accept the policy’s uncomfortable effects on their economy and culture? Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans addresses these questions through a study of the local and everyday experiences of the film economy in New Orleans, Louisiana—a city that has twice pursued the goal of becoming a movie production capital. From the silent era to today’s Hollywood South, Vicki Mayer explains that the aura of a film economy is inseparable from a prevailing sense of home, even as it changes that place irrevocably.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain"

New from Cambridge University Press: Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain by Tracey Loughran.

About the book, from the publisher:
Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain is a thought-provoking reassessment of medical responses to war-related psychological breakdown in the early twentieth century. Dr Loughran places shell-shock within the historical context of British psychological medicine to examine the intellectual resources doctors drew on as they struggled to make sense of nervous collapse. She reveals how medical approaches to shell-shock were formulated within an evolutionary framework which viewed mental breakdown as regression to a level characteristic of earlier stages of individual or racial development, but also ultimately resulted in greater understanding and acceptance of psychoanalytic approaches to human mind and behaviour. Through its demonstration of the crucial importance of concepts of mind-body relations, gender, willpower and instinct to the diagnosis of shell-shock, this book locates the disorder within a series of debates on human identity dating back to the Darwinian revolution and extending far beyond the medical sphere.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Crying for Our Elders"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Crying for Our Elders: African Orphanhood in the Age of HIV and AIDS by Kristen Cheney.

About the book, from the publisher:
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa has defined the childhoods of an entire generation. Over the past twenty years, international NGOs and charities have devoted immense attention to the millions of African children orphaned by the disease. But in Crying for Our Elders, anthropologist Kristen E. Cheney argues that these humanitarian groups have misread the ‘orphan crisis’. She explains how the global humanitarian focus on orphanhood often elides the social and political circumstances that actually present the greatest adversity to vulnerable children—in effect deepening the crisis and thereby affecting children’s lives as irrevocably as HIV/AIDS itself.

Through ethnographic fieldwork and collaborative research with children in Uganda, Cheney traces how the “best interest” principle that governs children’s’ rights can stigmatize orphans and leave children in the post-antiretroviral era even more vulnerable to exploitation. She details the dramatic effects this has on traditional family support and child protection and stresses child empowerment over pity. Crying for Our Elders advances current discussions on humanitarianism, children’s studies, orphanhood, and kinship. By exploring the unique experience of AIDS orphanhood through the eyes of children, caregivers, and policymakers, Cheney shows that despite the extreme challenges of growing up in the era of HIV/AIDS, the post-ARV generation still holds out hope for the future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 13, 2017

"Love's Enlightenment"

New from Cambridge University Press: Love's Enlightenment: Rethinking Charity in Modernity by Ryan Patrick Hanley.

About the book, from the publisher:
A number of prominent moral philosophers and political theorists have recently called for a recovery of love. But what do we mean when we speak of love today? Love's Enlightenment examines four key conceptions of other-directedness that transformed the meaning of love and helped to shape the way we understand love today: Hume's theory of humanity, Rousseau's theory of pity, Smith's theory of sympathy, and Kant's theory of love. It argues that these four Enlightenment theories are united by a shared effort to develop a moral psychology that can provide both justificatory and motivational grounds for concern for others in the absence of recourse to theological or transcendental categories. In this sense, each theory represents an effort to redefine the love of others that used to be known as caritas or agape - a redefinition that came with benefits and costs that have yet to be fully appreciated.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Wrongs and Crimes"

New from Oxford University Press: Wrongs and Crimes by Victor Tadros.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Criminalization series arose from an interdisciplinary investigation into criminalization, focussing on the principles that might guide decisions about what kinds of conduct should be criminalized, and the forms that criminalization should take. Developing a normative theory of criminalization, the series tackles the key questions at the heart of the issue: what principles and goals should guide legislators in deciding what to criminalize? How should criminal wrongs be classified and differentiated? How should law enforcement officials apply the law's specifications of offences?

The sixth volume in the series offers a philosophical investigation of the relationship between moral wrongdoing and criminalization. Considering they justification of punishment, the nature of harm, the importance of autonomy, inchoate wrongdoing, the role of consent, and the role of the state, the book provides an account of the nature of moral wrong doing, the sources of wrong doing, why wrong doing is the central target of the criminal law, and the ways in which criminalization of non-wrongful conduct might be permissible.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 11, 2017

"The Second Line of Defense"

New from the University of North Carolina Pres: The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I by Lynn Dumenil.

About the book, from the publisher:
In tracing the rise of the modern idea of the American “new woman,” Lynn Dumenil examines World War I’s surprising impact on women and, in turn, women’s impact on the war. Telling the stories of a diverse group of women, including African Americans, dissidents, pacifists, reformers, and industrial workers, Dumenil analyzes both the roadblocks and opportunities they faced. She richly explores the ways in which women helped the United States mobilize for the largest military endeavor in the nation’s history. Dumenil shows how women activists staked their claim to loyal citizenship by framing their war work as homefront volunteers, overseas nurses, factory laborers, and support personnel as “the second line of defense.” But in assessing the impact of these contributions on traditional gender roles, Dumenil finds that portrayals of these new modern women did not always match with real and enduring change. Extensively researched and drawing upon popular culture sources as well as archival material, The Second Line of Defense offers a comprehensive study of American women and war and frames them in the broader context of the social, cultural, and political history of the era.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 10, 2017

"Politicizing Islam"

New from Oxford University Press: Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India by Z. Fareen Parvez.

About the book, from the publisher:
Home to the largest Muslim minorities in Western Europe and Asia, France and India are both grappling with crises of secularism. In Politicizing Islam, Fareen Parvez offers an in-depth look at how Muslims have responded to these crises, focusing on Islamic revival movements in the French city of Lyon and the Indian city of Hyderabad. Presenting a novel comparative view of middle-class and poor Muslims in both cities, Parvez illuminates how Muslims from every social class are denigrated but struggle in different ways to improve their lives and make claims on the state. In Hyderabad's slums, Muslims have created vibrant political communities, while in Lyon's banlieues they have retreated into the private sphere. Politicizing Islam elegantly explains how these divergent reactions originated in India's flexible secularism and France's militant secularism and in specific patterns of Muslim class relations in both cities. This fine-grained ethnography pushes beyond stereotypes and has consequences for burning public debates over Islam, feminism, and secular democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue