New Books in American Studies

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Interviews with Scholars of America about their New Books

Marshall Poe


    • Nov 29, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 54m AVG DURATION
    • 3,663 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from New Books in American Studies

    Eric Berkowitz, "Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West from the Ancients to Fake News" (Beacon Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 35:35

    Eric Berkowitz has written a short history of a censorship, a large topic that has been a phenomenon since the advent of recorded history. In Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West from the Ancients to Fake News (Beacon Press, 2021), Berkowitz reviews the motives and methods of governments, religious authorities, and private citizens to quell freedom of thought and expression. One theme Berkowitz reveals is how ineffective many censorship efforts have been. For example, after the printing press multiplied the sources available to readers and the opportunities for the Church and governments to suppress books and pamphlets, the attempts to censor speech served to heighten interest and encourage more dissent, creating profitable black markets for forbidden topics. Some publishers actually encouraged authors to write something likely to be forbidden. Yet, Berkowitz forthrightly acknowledges the dangers under which free thinker have lived and continue to live in our contemporary world. The dangers of daring to express oneself are present not only in authoritarian polities but in our own, and Berkowitz's history seeks to reveal the common motives of censors and their targets. Ian J. Drake is Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, Montclair State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Kevin Bruyneel, "Settler Memory: The Disavowal of Indigeneity and the Politics of Race in the United States" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 53:13

    Kevin Bruyneel confronts the chronic displacement of Indigeneity in the politics and discourse around race in American political theory and culture, arguing that the ongoing influence of settler-colonialism has undermined efforts to understand Indigenous politics while also hindering conversation around race itself. By reexamining major episodes, texts, writers, and memories of the political past from the seventeenth century to the present, Bruyneel reveals the power of settler memory at work in the persistent disavowal of Indigeneity.  In Settler Memory: The Disavowal of Indigeneity and the Politics of Race in the United States (University of North Carolina Press, 2021), he also shows how Indigenous and Black intellectuals have understood ties between racism and white settler memory, even as the settler dimensions of whiteness are frequently erased in our discourse about race, whether in conflicts over Indian mascotry or the white nationalist underpinnings of Trumpism. Envisioning a new political future, Bruyneel challenges readers to refuse settler memory and consider a third reconstruction that can meaningfully link antiracism and anticolonialism. John Cable will begin a teaching appointment at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in January 2022. He earned the Ph.D. in history at Florida State University in 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Hadassah Lieberman, "Hadassah: An American Story" (Brandeis UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 61:20


    Born in Prague to Holocaust survivors, Hadassah Lieberman and her family immigrated in 1949 to the United States. She went on to earn a BA from Boston University in government and dramatics and an MA in international relations and American government from Northeastern University. She built a career devoted largely to public health that has included positions at Lehman Brothers, Pfizer, and the National Research Council. After her first marriage ended in divorce, she married Joe Lieberman, a US senator from Connecticut who was the Democratic nominee for vice president with Al Gore and would go on to run for president. In Hadassah: An American Story (Brandeis UP, 2021), Lieberman pens the compelling story of her extraordinary life: from her family's experience in Eastern Europe to their move to Gardner, Massachusetts; forging her career; experiencing divorce; and, following her remarriage, her life on the national political stage. By offering insight into her identity as an immigrant, an American Jew, a working woman, and a wife, mother, and grandmother, Lieberman's moving memoir speaks to many of the major issues of our time, from immigration to gender politics. Featuring an introduction by Joe Lieberman and an afterword by Megan McCain, it is a true American story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Yael Levy, "Chick TV: Antiheroines and Time Unbound" (Syracuse UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 62:02

    Yael Levy examines the underexplored antiheroine of early twenty-first century television in Chick-TV: Antiheroines and Time Unbound (Syracuse UP, 2022). Levy advances antiheroines to the forefront of television criticism, revealing the varied and subtle ways in which they perform feminist resistance. Offering a retooling of gendered media analyses, Levy finds antiheroism not only in the morally questionable cop and tormented lawyer, but also in the housewife and nurse who inhabit more stereotypical feminine roles. By analyzing Girls, Desperate Housewives, Nurse Jackie, Being Mary Jane, Grey's Anatomy, Six Feet Under, Sister Wives, and the Real Housewives franchise, Levy explores the narrative complexities of “chick TV” and the radical feminist potential of these shows. Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Robin J. Hayes, "Love for Liberation: African Independence, Black Power, and a Diaspora Underground" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 70:47

    During the height of the Cold War, passionate idealists across the US and Africa came together to fight for Black self-determination and the antiracist remaking of society. Beginning with the 1957 Ghanaian independence celebration, the optimism and challenges of African independence leaders were publicized to African Americans through community-based newspapers and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Inspired by African independence--and frustrated with the slow pace of civil rights reforms in the US--a new generation of Black Power activists embarked on nonviolent direct action campaigns and built alternative institutions designed as spaces of freedom from racial subjugation. In Love for Liberation: African Independence, Black Power, and a Diaspora Underground (U Washington Press, 2021), Robin Hayes reveals how Black Power and African independence activists created a diaspora underground, characterized by collaboration and reciprocal empowerment. Together, they redefined racial discrimination as an international human rights issue requiring education, sustained collective action, and global solidarity--laying the groundwork for future transnational racial justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Clint Smith, "How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America" (Little, Brown and Company, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 89:27


    How do we narrate history, both the troubling past and what we chose to remember? Clint Smith sets out to wrestle with this question and its relationship to enslavement in his first nonfiction book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (Little, Brown and Company, 2021). From Monticello plantation to Angola Prison to Galveston Island, Smith guides the reader on a journey as he visits domestic and abroad landmarks. In his exploration, he includes the reactions of the people he meets, like tourists, local public historians, and teachers, illuminating how these sites and all of us participate in remembering enslavement in contemporary America. N'Kosi Oates is a Ph.D. candidate in Africana Studies at Brown University. Find him on Twitter at NKosiOates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Gretchen E. Minton, "Shakespeare in Montana: Big Sky Country's Love Affair with the World's Most Famous Writer" (U New Mexico Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 50:56

    Tracing more than two centuries of history, Shakespeare in Montana: Big Sky Country's Love Affair with the World's Most Famous Writer (University of New Mexico Press, 2020) uncovers a vast array of different voices that capture the state's love affair with the world's most famous writer. From mountain men, pioneers, and itinerant acting companies in mining camps to women's clubs at the turn of the twentieth century and the contemporary popularity of Shakespeare in the Parks throughout Montana, the book chronicles the stories of residents across this incredible western state who have been attracted to the words and works of Shakespeare. Gretchen Minton explores this unique relationship found in the Treasure State and provides considerable insight into the myriad places and times in which Shakespeare's words have been heard and discussed. By revealing what Shakespeare has meant to the people of Montana, Minton offers us a better understanding of the state's citizens and history while providing a key perspective on Shakespeare's enduring global influence. Gretchen Minton is a Professor of English at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. Troy A. Hallsell is the 341st Missile Wing Historian at Malmstrom AFB, MT. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not represent the 341st Missile Wing, United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Shelby Criswell, "Queer As All Get Out: 10 People Who've Inspired Me" (Street Noise Books, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 52:37


    On this episode of Queer Voices of the South, I talk with Shelby Criswell, whose book Queer As All Get Out: 10 People Who've Inspired Me (Street Noise Books, 2021) follows the daily life of one queer artist from Texas as they introduce us to the lives of ten extraordinary people. The author shares their life as a genderqueer person, living in the American South, revealing their own personal struggle for acceptance and how they were inspired by these historical LGBTQIA+ people to live their own truth. Featuring biographies of Mary Jones, We'wha, Magnus Hirschfeld, Dr. Pauli Murray, Wilmer "Little Axe" M. Broadnax, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Carlett Brown, Nancy Cardenas, Ifti Nasim, and Simon Nkoli. Shelby Criswell is a queer comic creator and graphic designer thriving in San Antonio, TX. They studied studio arts at the Santa Fe Institute of Art and Design as well as illustration at Academy of Arts University. They have been creating comics and drawing since childhood and haven't found anything more fulfilling to take its place. When Shelby is not creating comics or working on graphic design projects for clients, they are playing banjo, going on overnight bike trips, or drinking far too much coffee. Shelby has had work in a few comic anthologies including Sweaty Palms, Everything is Going Wrong, and is in the Ignatz and Ringo Award-winning book Be Gay Do Comics. Shelby made their debut into mainstream comics as the artist on TERMINAL PUNKS published by Mad Cave Studios. They have also illustrated online comics for Oh Joy Sex Toy and The Nib. Morris Ardoin is author of Stone Motel: Memoirs of a Cajan Boy (2020, University Press of Mississippi), which was optioned for TV/Film development in 2021. A communications practitioner, his work has appeared in regional, national, and international media. He divides his time between New York City and Cornwallville, New York, where he does most of his writing. His blog, Parenthetically Speaking, can be found at www.morrisardoin.com. Twitter: @morrisardoin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Marc Gallicchio, "Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 82:52

    Signed on September 2, 1945 aboard the American battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay by Japanese and Allied leaders, the instrument of surrender formally ended the war in the Pacific and brought to a close one of the most cataclysmic engagements in history, one that had cost the lives of millions. VJ―Victory over Japan―Day had taken place two weeks or so earlier, in the wake of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the entrance of the Soviet Union into the war. In the end, the surrender itself fulfilled the commitment that Franklin Roosevelt had made that it be "unconditional," as had been the case with Nazi Germany in May, 1945.  Though readily accepted as war policy at the time, after Roosevelt's death in April 1945, popular support for unconditional surrender wavered, particularly when the bloody campaigns on Iwo Jima and Okinawa made clear the cost of military victory against Japan. The ending of the war in Europe spurred calls in Congress, particularly among anti-New Deal Republicans, to shift the American economy to peacetime and bring home troops. Even after the atomic bombs had been dropped, Japan continued to seek a negotiated surrender, further complicating the debate. Though this was the last time Americans would impose surrender unconditionally, questions surrounding it continued at home through the 1950s and 1960s, when liberal and conservative views reversed, and particularly in Vietnam and the definition of "peace with honor." It remained controversial through the ceremonies surrounding the 50th anniversary and the Gulf War, when the subject revived. In Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II (Oxford UP, 2020), which publishes in time for the 75th anniversary of the surrender, Bancroft Prize co-winner Marc Gallicchio offers a narrative of the surrender in its historical moment, revealing how and why the event unfolded as it did and the principle figures behind it, including George C. Marshall and Douglas MacArthur, who would effectively become the leader of Japan during the American occupation. It also reveals how the policy underlying it remained controversial at the time and in the decades following, shaping our understanding of World War II. Grant Golub is a PhD candidate in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the politics of American grand strategy during World War II. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Steven P. Brown, "Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed a Nation" (U Alabama Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 38:45

    Steven P. Brown, professor of political science at Auburn University, has written a history of notable U.S. Supreme Cases and justices that hailed from Alabama. In Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed a Nation (U Alabama Press, 2020), Brown reviews eight landmark cases which originated in Alabama and were eventually reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although most of these cases were reflective of the civil rights issues endemic to Alabama and other states in the American South of the mid-twentieth century, not all are race related. For example, a notable gender equity case, Frontiero v. Richardson, which was concerned with benefits discrimination based on gender, was an important decision in the history of women's rights. Brown also reviews the lives and times of three Supreme Court justices, John McKinley, John Archibald Campbell, and Hugo Black. Ian J. Drake is Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, Montclair State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    James Bailey Blackshear and Glen Sample Ely, "Confederates and Comancheros: Skullduggery and Double-Dealing in the Texas-New Mexico Borderlands" (U Oklahoma Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 47:59


    A vast and desolate region, the Texas-New Mexico borderlands have long been an ideal setting for intrigue and illegal dealings--never more so than in the lawless early days of cattle trafficking and trade among the Plains tribes and Comancheros. This book takes us to the borderlands in the 1860s and 1870s for an in-depth look at Union-Confederate skullduggery amid the infamous Comanche-Comanchero trade in stolen Texas livestock. In 1862, the Confederates abandoned New Mexico Territory and Texas west of the Pecos River, fully expecting to return someday. Meanwhile, administered by Union troops under martial law, the region became a hotbed of Rebel exiles and spies, who gathered intelligence, disrupted federal supply lines, and plotted to retake the Southwest. Using a treasure trove of previously unexplored documents, authors James Bailey Blackshear and Glen Sample Ely trace the complicated network of relationships that drew both Texas cattlemen and Comancheros into these borderlands, revealing the urban elite who were heavily involved in both the legal and illegal transactions that fueled the region's economy. James Bailey Blackshear and Glen Sample Ely's Confederates and Comancheros: Skullduggery and Double-Dealing in the Texas-New Mexico Borderlands (U Oklahoma Press, 2021) deftly weaves a complex tale of Texan overreach and New Mexican resistance, explores cattle drives and cattle rustling, and details shady government contracts and bloody frontier justice. Peopled with Rebels and bluecoats, Comanches and Comancheros, Texas cattlemen and New Mexican merchants, opportunistic Indian agents and Anglo arms dealers, this book illustrates how central these contested borderlands were to the history of the American West. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Christopher Coker, "The Rise of the Civilizational State" (Polity Press, 2019)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 31:05

    In recent years the resurgence of great power competition has gripped the headlines, with new emerging powers (such as Russia and China) seeking to challenge the American and Western hegemony that has prevailed since the end of the Cold War. While the geopolitics of the Cold War era were based on ideology, the current geopolitics appear to be based more on cultural and civilizational identities. In his pioneering book The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity Press, 2019), renowned political philosopher Christopher Coker examines in depth how Xi Jinping's China and Vladimir Putin's Russia not only seek to challenge Western powers, but also operate under very different conceptions of how the world should be structured. Instead of the standard nation-state and liberal internationalism that Western power operate under, both powers insist more on the civilizational basis of both the state and world order. Christopher Coker is Director of the London School of Economics' foreign policy think tank LSE Ideas. He was Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, retiring in 2019. He is a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defense Colleges in the United Kingdom, United States, Rome, Singapore, Tokyo, Norway and Sweden. Stephen Satkiewicz is independent scholar whose research areas are related to Civilizational Analysis, Big History, Historical Sociology, War studies, as well as Russian and East European history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Jasmine Mitchell, "Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U. S. and Brazilian Media" (U Illinois Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 41:04

    Brazil markets itself as a racially mixed utopia. The United States prefers the term melting pot. Both nations have long used the image of the mulatta to push skewed cultural narratives. Highlighting the prevalence of mixed race women of African and European descent, the two countries claim to have perfected racial representation-all the while ignoring the racialization, hypersexualization, and white supremacy that the mulatta narrative creates. In Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U. S. and Brazilian Media (U Illinois Press, 2020), Jasmine Mitchell investigates the development and exploitation of the mulatta figure in Brazilian and U.S. popular culture. Drawing on a wide range of case studies, she analyzes policy debates and reveals the use of mixed-Black female celebrities as subjects of racial and gendered discussions. Mitchell also unveils the ways the media moralizes about the mulatta figure and uses her as an example of an "acceptable" version of blackness that at once dreams of erasing undesirable blackness while maintaining the qualities that serve as outlets for interracial desire. Mickell Carter is a doctoral student in the department of history at Auburn University. She can be reached at mzc0152@auburn.edu and on twitter @MickellCarter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Postscript: The Supreme Court, Concealed Carry, and How Your Laws Might Change

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 54:48

    An earlier Postscript explained what was at stake for concealed carry laws in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court – and guessed at what the oral arguments might reveal. Now that arguments have been heard in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, three legal scholars join the podcast to analyze the oral argument. Even if you are not a SCOTUS junky -- this conversation is important because 80 million (or 25% of) Americans may have their democratically crafted gun laws overturned by the decision of 9 justices. Jacob D. Charles is the Executive Director & Lecturing Fellow at the Center for Firearms Law at Duke University School of Law. His work on the Second Amendment has appeared in numerous law journals and “Securing Gun Rights By Statute: The Right To Keep and Bear Arms Outside the Constitution,” (forthcoming, University of Michigan Law Review) interrogates the non-constitutional gun rights that create broad powers for gun owners beyond the Second Amendment. His extensive public-facing scholarship includes a new piece in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage, “Supreme Court justices sounded suspicious of New York's gun law. Here's what might come next.” Eric Ruben is an assistant professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law and a Brennan Center fellow. Working at the intersection of criminal law, legal ethics, and the Second Amendment, his scholarship has been published in law reviews such as California, Duke and Georgetown as well as public facing outlets like The Atlantic, New York Times, Vox, Jurist, The Conversation, and Scotusblog. He organized -- and contributed scholarship to the 2021 Brennan Center Report, Protests, Insurrection, and the Second Amendment. Joseph Blocher is the Lanty L. Smith '67 Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law and one of the attorneys who helped write the brief for DC in Heller. He co-authored The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, 2018) with Darrell Miller in 2018 (New Books interview here). Among his numerous law review articles is “When Guns Threaten the Public Sphere: A New Account of Public Safety Regulation Under Heller” (Northwestern University Law Review, Vol 116, 2021) in which he and Reva Siegel interrogate the impact of gun rights on free speech. Recently, he has been a guest on the podcast Strict Scrutiny, contributed to the New York Times and NPR reporting of the case. Joseph and Eric's recent op ed, “No, courts don't treat the Second Amendment as a ‘second-class right': The latest gun-rights case may hinge on some conservatives' sense of victimhood” just appeared in the Washington Post. Susan Liebell is Dirk Warren '50 Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Tanya L. Roth, "Her Cold War: Women in the U.S. Military, 1945–1980" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 43:31

    Tanya L. Roth's Her Cold War: Women in the U.S. Military, 1945–1980 (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) explains that while Rosie the Riveter had fewer paid employment options after being told to cede her job to returning World War II veterans, her sisters and daughters found new work opportunities in national defense. The 1948 Women's Armed Services Integration Act created permanent military positions for women with the promise of equal pay. Her Cold War follows the experiences of women in the military from the passage of the Act to the early 1980s. In the late 1940s, defense officials structured women's military roles on the basis of perceived gender differences. Classified as noncombatants, servicewomen filled roles that they might hold in civilian life, such as secretarial or medical support positions. Defense officials also prohibited pregnant women and mothers from remaining in the military and encouraged many women to leave upon marriage. Before civilian feminists took up similar issues in the 1970s, many servicewomen called for a broader definition of equality free of gender-based service restrictions. Tanya L. Roth shows us that the battles these servicewomen fought for equality paved the way for women in combat, a prerequisite for promotion to many leadership positions, and opened opportunities for other servicepeople, including those with disabilities, LGBT and gender nonconforming people, noncitizens, and more. Jane Scimeca is Professor of History at Brookdale Community College. You can watch Professor Scimeca's YouTube channel on Women's History here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Kate Fortmueller, "Below the Stars: How the Labor of Working Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production" (U Texas Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 73:41

    Despite their considerable presence in Hollywood, extras and working actors have received scant attention within film and media studies as significant contributors to the history of the industry. Looking not to the stars but to these supporting players in film, television, and, recently, streaming programming, Below the Stars: How the Labor of Working Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production (University of Texas Press, 2021), highlights such actors as precarious laborers whose work as freelancers has critically shaped the entertainment industry throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the books, Kate Fortmueller, Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia, proposes a media industry history that positions underrepresented and quotidian experiences as the structural elements of the culture and business of Hollywood. Resisting a top-down assessment, Fortmueller explores the wrangling of labor unions and guilds that advocated for collective action for everyday actors and helped shape professional norms. She pulls from archival research, in-person interviews, and firsthand observation to examine a history that cuts across industry boundaries and situates actors as a labor group at the center of industrial and technological upheavals, with lasting implications for race, gender, and labor relations in Hollywood. Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    David Barak-Gorodetsky, "Judah Magnes: The Prophetic Politics of a Religious Binationalist" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 44:38


    In this episode, I interview David Barak-Gorodetzky about his new book, Judah Magnes: The Prophetic Politics of a Religious Binationalist (U Nebraska Press, 2021). This comprehensive intellectual biography of Judah Magnes—the Reform rabbi, American Zionist leader, and inaugural Hebrew University chancellor—offers novel analysis of how theology and politics intertwined to drive Magnes's writings and activism—especially his championing of a binational state—against all odds. Like a prophet unable to suppress his prophecy, Magnes could not resist a religious calling to take political action, whatever the cost. In Palestine no one understood his uniquely American pragmatism and insistence that a constitutional system was foundational for a just society. Jewish leaders regarded his prophetic politics as overly conciliatory and dangerous for negotiations. Magnes's central European allies in striving for a binational Palestine, including Martin Buber, credited him with restoring their faith in politics, but they ultimately retreated from binationalism to welcome the new State of Israel. In candidly portraying the complex Magnes as he understood himself, Barak-Gorodetsky elucidates why Magnes persevered, despite evident lack of Arab interest, to advocate binationalism with Truman in May 1948 at the ultimate price of Jewish sovereignty. Accompanying Magnes on his long-misunderstood journey, we gain a unique broader perspective: on early peacemaking efforts in Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish role in the history of the state, binationalism as political theology, an American view of binationalism, and the charged realities of Israel today. Bar Guzi is PhD candidate at Brandeis University. His research focuses on modern Jewish thought and theology. Bar's dissertation discerns and conceptualizes a non-supernaturalistic current of American Jewish thought that is nevertheless profoundly concerned with God. He can be found on Twitter and reached via email at bguzi@brandeis.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Dennis C. Rasmussen, "Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America's Founders" (Princeton UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 54:34


    When Americans conjure the image of the signing of the Constitution of the United States, they often think about the various paintings that depict the Founders looking to George Washington on the dais at the convention. It is this snapshot of history that embodies Americans' perceptions of the Founders and their conviction in the creation of the great nation. What Americans fail to understand about America's Founding is the overwhelming anxieties that many of the Founders experienced, especially as they lived in the new republic that they had created. Not only did they find themselves anxious about the future of the new country, but many were also explicitly pessimistic about the future that they noted in so much of their later writings and letters. Dennis C. Rasmussen, in his new book Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of American Founders, addresses this gap in research on the American Founding, and on the Founders themselves. Washington, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison all wondered whether the system they had worked to establish, build, and defend would live beyond their own generation. In Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America's Founders (Princeton UP, 2021), Rasmussen explores the enduring arguments made by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams that convinced them of America's inevitable demise. Modern Americans conceptualize the founding of the United States as an isolated moment in time, and rarely consider the reality of how the Founders spent the remainder of their lives putting the Constitution to work. Rasmussen places the founders' fears in context of the ongoing chaos of the late 1700's where other countries were facing revolution, treason, and anarchy. Fear of a Setting Sun's purpose is not to disregard the founders' optimism in the system they created, and in fact the book heralds James Madison's lifelong optimism and belief that the American experiment would prevail—though he is at odds with the other major Founders in this regard. Fear of a Setting Sun explores the Founders' disillusionment in order to provide a fuller meaning of American constitutionalism and the value that is formed in its implementation. Rasmussen provides a perspective that changes what scholars and the general public believe and know about the founding of the republic, the historical stakes at the time of the founding, and how the Founders generally grew more pessimistic over time about the potential for the new republic to achieve its great potential. This book will be of interest to political scientists, historians, students and scholars of the founding period and the ideas and personalities that dominated the early days of the American republic. Shaina Boldt assisted with this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Adam Bonica and Maya Sen, "The Judicial Tug of War: How Lawyers, Politicians, and Ideological Incentives Shape the American Judiciary" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 68:33

    Why have conservatives decried 'activist judges'? And why have liberals - and America's powerful legal establishment - emphasized qualifications and experience over ideology? The Judicial Tug of War: How Lawyers, Politicians, and Ideological Incentives Shape the American Judiciary (Cambridge UP, 2020) tackles these questions with a new framework for thinking about the nation's courts, 'the judicial tug of war', which not only explains current political clashes over America's courts, but also powerfully predicts the composition of courts moving forward. As the text demonstrates through novel quantitative analyses, a greater ideological rift between politicians and legal elites leads politicians to adopt measures that put ideology and politics front and center - for example, judicial elections. On the other hand, ideological closeness between politicians and the legal establishment leads legal elites to have significant influence on the selection of judges. Ultimately, the judicial tug of war makes one point clear: for good or bad, politics are critical to how judges are selected and whose interests they ultimately represent. Adam Bonica is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. His research has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, and JAMA Internal Medicine. Maya Sen is Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her research has been published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics, and has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Economist, National Public Radio, and other outlets. Ursula Hackett is Senior Lecturer in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her Cambridge University Press book America's Voucher Politics: How Elites Learned to Hide the State won the 2021 Education Politics and Policy Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association. Her writing guide Brilliant Essays is published by Macmillan Study Skills. She tweets @UrsulaBHackett. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Stephen Cushman, "The Generals' Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 58:37


    In the decades following the American Civil War, several of the generals who had laid down their swords picked up their pens and published accounts of their service in the conflict. In The Generals' Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today (University of North Carolina Press, 2021), Stephen Cushman analyzes a half-dozen of these works to discern the perspectives they provided on the era and the insights they offered about their authors. The publication of the service memoirs proliferated during the Gilded Age, thanks to the increases in literacy and the market for books that this created. Beginning in the 1870s several generals took advantage of the opportunity created by this emergence to recount for profit their time in uniform and justify the decisions they made. As Cushman details, several of these books, such as those of the Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston and Union commander William T. Sherman, contained contrasting views of similar events that, when read together, reflect the process of postwar reconciliation between the former foes. For others, such as Richard Taylor and George McClellan, their accounts served as an opportunity to present themselves as wagers of a more gentlemanly and “humane” war than that subsequently conducted by Sherman and Ulysses Grant. Grant's own memoir proved the greatest successes of the genre, a testament both to his wartime stature and the skills as a writer he developed over the course of his life. The success of Grant's posthumously published book was such that it overshadowed the subsequent release of both McClellan's and Philip Sheridan's memoirs, both of which proved a disappointment for their publisher, Charles L. Webster and Company. Cushman shows how the firm's founder, Mark Twain, exerted an outsized influence on the genre, not only as a publisher but more famously as the editor of Grant's memoirs and as a writer about the war in his own right. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Marilyn Lake, "Progressive New World: How Settler Colonialism and Transpacific Exchange Shaped American Reform" (Harvard UP, 2019)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 55:14

    The paradox of Progressivism continues to fascinate more than one hundred years on. Democratic but elitist, emancipatory but coercive, advanced and assimilationist, Progressivism was defined by its contradictions. In Progressive New World: How Settler Colonialism and Transpacific Exchange Shaped American Reform (Harvard UP, 2019), Marilyn Lake points to the significance of turn-of-the-twentieth-century exchanges between American and Australasian reformers who shared racial sensibilities, along with a commitment to forging an ideal social order. The book demonstrates that race and reform were mutually supportive as Progressivism became the political logic of settler colonialism. Settlers defined themselves in “New World” terms—both against Old World feudalism and the indigenous peoples that they considered backward and primitive. Lake also shows how indigenous people at times employed the language and tools of progressivism for their own ends, reshaping the broader Progressive movement in the process. John Cable will begin a teaching appointment at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in January 2022. He earned the Ph.D. in history at Florida State University in 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Naoko Wake, "American Survivors: Trans-Pacific Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 91:20

    The little-known history of U.S. survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings reveals captivating trans-Pacific memories of war, illness, gender, and community. The fact that there are indeed American survivors of the American nuclear attack on Hiroshima & Nagasaki is not common knowledge. Even in Hiroshima & Nagasaki the existence of American survivors is not well known. American survivors, however, number in the thousands. This number, like that of survivors in general is dwindling fast. But they have a unique and important history. And, Naoko Wake have written this book almost at the last possible moment to capture it. Counterintuitively, American Survivors: Trans-Pacific Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Cambridge UP, 2021) argues that it the very marginality of this group that make American survivors important. As she writes, “If, indeed, it is ‘not the centre that determines the periphery, but the periphery that ... determines the center,” US survivors' history is a periphery that threatens to disassemble established meanings of the bomb that have not taken notice of it.' (2). Based on oral testimonies and extensive documentation, American Survivors trace the history of American survivors from the interwar years to the present. American Survivors argues that Hiroshima, and to a lesser extent, Nagasaki (both of which were port towns) were cities of immigrants, and as such the attack on these cities was not just an attack on supposedly homogenous Japanese cities (as it is commonly understood) but on diverse communities. Wake traces the way immigration and re-migration between Hiroshima and the US, Korea, and other locations, as well as war time dislocations created the immigrant communities in Hiroshima. These trans-pacific connections, and what she terms “strengths of weak ties” in the history of immigration in the Pacific,” had an important impact on subsequent histories, which the b ook examines with great detail and deftness. Ran Zwigenberg is an associate professor at Pennsylvania State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh, "The Souls of Womenfolk: The Religious Cultures of Enslaved Women in the Lower South" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 55:15

    Beginning on the shores of West Africa in the sixteenth century and ending in the U.S. Lower South on the eve of the Civil War, Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh traces a bold history of the interior lives of bondwomen as they carved out an existence for themselves and their families amid the horrors of American slavery. With particular attention to maternity, sex, and other gendered aspects of women's lives, she documents how bondwomen crafted female-centered cultures that shaped the religious consciousness and practices of entire enslaved communities. Indeed, gender as well as race co-constituted the Black religious subject, she argues—requiring a shift away from understandings of "slave religion" as a gender-amorphous category. Women responded on many levels—ethically, ritually, and communally—to southern slavery. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Wells-Oghoghomeh shows how they remembered, reconfigured, and innovated beliefs and practices circulating between Africa and the Americas. In The Souls of Womenfolk: The Religious Cultures of Enslaved Women in the Lower South (UNC Press, 2021), she redresses the exclusion of enslaved women from the American religious narrative. Challenging conventional institutional histories, this book opens a rare window onto the spiritual strivings of one of the most remarkable and elusive groups in the American experience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Matthew Stewart, “The Epicurean Republic” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 87:37


    The Epicurean Republic is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and award-winning author and independent scholar Matthew Stewart. In his later years, Thomas Jefferson referred to “the revolutionary part of the [American] Revolution”, which for him meant the founding ideals that would serve as a model for the world on how to build a modern state, as opposed to an incidental squabble between one country and its former colonists. This wide-ranging conversation explores how many of these ideals that Jefferson referred to are part of an intellectual thread that passes through key Enlightenment thinkers such as Spinoza and can be traced all the way back to Epicurus. Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at howard@ideasroadshow.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Jen Corrinne Brown, "Trout Culture: How Fly Fishing Forever Changed the Rocky Mountain West" (U Washington Press, 2017)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 62:21

    From beer labels to literary classics like A River Runs Through It, trout fishing is a beloved feature of the iconography of the American West. But as Jen Brown demonstrates in Trout Culture: How Fly Fishing Forever Changed the Rocky Mountain West (U Washington Press, 2017), the popular conception of Rocky Mountain trout fishing as a quintessential experience of communion with nature belies the sport's long history of environmental manipulation, engineering, and, ultimately, transformation. A fly-fishing enthusiast herself, Brown places the rise of recreational trout fishing in a local and global context. Globally, she shows how the European sport of fly-fishing came to be a defining, tourist-attracting feature of the expanding 19th-century American West. Locally, she traces the way that the burgeoning fly-fishing tourist industry shaped the environmental, economic, and social development of the Western United States: introducing and stocking favored fish species, eradicating the less favored native "trash fish," changing the courses of waterways, and leading to conflicts with Native Americans' fishing and territorial rights. Through this analysis, Brown demonstrates that the majestic trout streams often considered a timeless feature of the American West are in fact the product of countless human interventions adding up to a profound manipulation of the Rocky Mountain environment. Troy A. Hallsell is the 341st Missile Wing historian at Malmstrom AFB, MT. The ideas expressed in this podcast do not represent the 341st Missile Wing, United States Air Force, or Department of Defense. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Celine-Marie Pascale, "Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become a Way of Life" (Polity Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 26:42

    For the majority of Americans, hard times have long been a way of life. Some work multiple low-wage jobs, others face the squeeze of stagnant wages and rising costs of living. Sociologist Celine-Marie Pascale talked with people across Appalachia, at the Standing Rock and Wind River reservations, and in the bustling city of Oakland, California. Their voices offer a wide range of experiences that complicate dominant national narratives about economic struggles. Yet Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become a Way of Life (Polity Press, 2021) is about more than individual experiences. It's about a nation in a deep economic and moral crisis. It's about the long-standing collusion between government and corporations that prioritizes profits over people, over the environment, and over the nation's well-being. It's about how racism, sexism, violence, and the pandemic shape daily experience in struggling communities. And, ultimately, it's a book about hope that lays out a vision for the future as honest as it is ambitious. Most people in the book are not progressives; none are radicals. They're hard-working people who know from experience that the current system is unsustainable. Across the country people described the need for a living wage, accessible health care, immigration reform, and free education. Their voices are worth listening to. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Ken Robison, "Cold War Montana" (History Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 58:32

    Home to some of the most powerful nuclear missile systems in the world, Montana played an indispensable role in the war against Communism. Utilizing the Lend-Lease pipeline, Soviet spies ferried stolen nuclear and industrial secrets, loaded in diplomatic pouches, from Great Falls to the Soviet Union. Army nurse Lieutenant Diane Carlson served as "an angel of mercy" at the Pleiku Evacuation Hospital in the Central Highlands in Vietnam. Young Montana smokejumper "Hog" Daniels joined the CIA's secret war in Southeast Asia, becoming the principal advisor to General Vang Pao in his desperate fight against Communists. In Cold War Montana (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2021), Captain Ken Robison (U.S. Navy, Ret.), award-winning author and Cold Warrior, reveals tales of Montanans who made their mark on this titanic struggle. Troy A. Hallsell is the 341st Missile Wing historian at Malmstrom AFB, MT. The ideas expressed in this podcast do not represent the 341st Missile Wing, United States Air Force, or Department of Defense. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Efrén O. Pérez, "Diversity's Child: People of Color and the Politics of Identity" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 53:05

    Political Scientist Efrén Pérez's new book, Diversity's Child: People of Color and the Politics of Identity (U Chicago Press, 2021), explores the term and category “people of color” and how this grouping has been used within politics, but also how it is has been used by those who are classified as people of color. Pérez examines group identity, language and public opinion, and implicit cognition to explain how marginalization of non-white groups can form a collective group identity that is interchangeable for the individual. Diversity's Child fills in a rather substantial gap in research about racial and ethnic identity in the United States by surveying people of color about how they think and feel about racial disparities that impact them as well as other groups that are often categorized as people of color. Part of what Pérez finds in the multi-method approach is that politics can be seen as a solution to the inequality that many of those within this broad umbrella category experience and understand. Pérez's training and research in both political science and political psychology allows him to bring together these connected social science threads and frameworks in exploring the understanding of broad group identity as well as intergroup identity. Diversity's Child: People of Color and the Politics of identity both conceptualizes and analyzes the identity of people of color by developing meaningful measurements and using Social Identity Theory to examine connections to differing identities. Pérez's work also thinks through the evolving demographic shifts in the United States, exploring the projection that white Americans will become the minority population by 2050, and what the political ramifications are for the new majority minority. Although the term “people of color” has been used to identify Black, Latino, and other races for some time, Pérez research examines how these groups that are often pulled together under this common identity actually share in this broader category, and whether there are commonalities and concerns across ethnic, racial, and national identities. He does this by gathering data through opinion surveys, experiments, content analysis of newspapers and congressional archives, and in-depth interviews. Pérez's research indicates that a person's “color” identity exists and can be measured, and that identifying as a person of color shapes how minorities view themselves and their position within the political system. Diversity's Child introduces a new perspective into the ongoing conversation about shifting political demographics, and elaborates on how the people of color identity has the capacity to mobilize groups and shape American politics. Pérez's research also indicates how and where this umbrella category can essentially come undone—how the unifying qualities can be undermined by intergroup antagonisms. As he notes in our discussion, the research that highlights the capacity to bring together African Americans, LatinX Americans, and Asian Americans under the title of “people of color” also has within it the fissures and factions that can disconnect these groups from each other and from shared political pursuits. Shaina Boldt assisted with this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Samuel Moyn, "Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War" (FSG, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 62:50

    Geographic and temporal limits have typically contained modern wars—rulers can ask their populace to risk lives and treasure for so long before losing legitimacy. But wars have also been horrifyingly unlimited in cruelty. Over the course of the past two decades, American activists and government officials have sought to make war less cruel and more humane. The consequence of this, Samuel Moyn argues in his well-reasoned and polemical book Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, has been the elimination of those earlier geographic and temporal guardrails on war. And the evidence isn't hard to find. The contemporary US military may leave a smaller body count than it did during, say, the Vietnam War, but it has also entered the third decade of a War on Terror across a so-called “global battlefield.” This scope is unprecedented. Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War (FSG, 2021) is a book about war and peace, specifically about how Americans have “made a moral choice to prioritize humane war,” rather than a “peaceful globe.” And, as the United States wraps up its occupation of Afghanistan but continues to pursue its global War on Terror, this is a choice that Americans need to grapple with. In my conversation with Moyn, we discuss everything from Tolstoy's critique of humane war and the rise of the peace movement to the Obama administration's role in smashing the geographic and temporal limits of war. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    David Lester, "Prophet Against Slavery: Benjamin Lay, A Graphic Novel" (Beacon Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 56:21

    Who is the most fascinating historical figure that you have never heard of? David Lester and Marcus Rediker make a good case that it was Benjamin Lay. Based on Rediker's 2017 The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist, Lester has created a moving, engaging, and eye-opening graphic novel. Lay embodied inter-sectional resistance centuries before the term was coined. In the 18th century he not only fought against slavery and condemned racism but supported women's rights, criticized class disparities, and promoted the human treatment of animals. Lay was a vegetarian who lived in a humble cave with his beloved wife. He condemned the hypocrisy of the slave owning church leadership. The diminutive Lay engaged in powerful acts of guerilla theater that included smashing expensive Chinese porcelain in the public square and splashing fake blood about a Quaker meeting house. Well-known after his death as a founder of the abolitionist movement, post-Civil War white supremacists marginalized Benjamin Lay. Prophet Against Slavery: Benjamin Lay (Beacon Press, 2021) will revive the memory of this role model of speaking truth to power. David Lester is an author and graphic artist. His work includes but is not limited to 1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike, Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada, Drawn To Change: Graphic Histories of Working Class Struggle, and The Listener, a graphic novel. He is also the guitarist for the underground duo Mecca Normal. Marcus Rediker is a Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburg and a Guest Curator at the J. M. W. Turner Gallery, Tate Britain. He is the author of numerous books on the history of piracy, the slave trade, and the Atlantic world such as The Many Headed Hydra, The Slave Ship: A Human History, Villains of all Nations, Outlaws of the Atlantic, The Amistad, and The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he's not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Chris McLaughlin, "Mississippi Barking: Hurricane Katrina and a Life That Went to the Dogs" (UP of Mississippi, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 56:23

    On August 29, 2005, the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States devastated the city of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. Like many others in America and around the world, Chris McLaughlin watched the tragedy of Katrina unfold on a television screen from the comfort of her living room on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. In the devastation afterwards, almost 2,000 people and an estimated 250,000 animals had perished. Miraculously, many pets did manage to survive. But in the months that followed the hurricane, thousands of them were fending for themselves in the ruins of devastated neighborhoods. They roamed the streets in feral packs or struck out alone. Their plight triggered a grassroots rescue effort unlike any this country had ever seen, and while relief organizations such as the Red Cross were tending to the human survivors, and movie stars and celebrities were airlifting food and endorsing seven-figure checks, a much smaller and meagerly funded effort was underway to save the four-legged victims. With no prior experience in disaster response and no real grasp of the hell that awaited them, scores of animal lovers, including McLaughlin, made their way to the Gulf Coast to help in any way they could. Including photos from four-time Pulitzer Prize–winning photojournalist Carol Guzy, Mississippi Barking: Hurricane Katrina and a Life That Went to the Dogs (UP of Mississippi, 2021)spans the course of two years as McLaughlin and others ventured into the wreckage of the Gulf Coast to rescue the animals left behind. McLaughlin tells the moving stories of the people she met along the way, both those who lost everything to the hurricane and those working beside her rescuing and transporting animals away from the neglected, derelict conditions in which they barely survived. Within this story of tragedy and cruelty, suffering and ignorance, Mississippi Barking also bears witness to selfless acts of bravery and compassion, and the beauty and heroics of those who risked everything to save the animals that could not save themselves. Chris McLaughlin is founder and executive director of the Animal Rescue Front. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston with a BA in earth sciences, she lives in Massachusetts with two cats. This is her first book. Morris Ardoin is author of STONE MOTEL – MEMOIRS OF A CAJUN BOY (2020, University Press of Mississippi), which was optioned for TV/Film development in 2021. A communications practitioner, his work has appeared in regional, national, and international media. He divides his time between New York City and Cornwallville, New York, where he does most of his writing. His blog, Parenthetically Speaking, can be found at www.morrisardoin.com. Twitter: @morrisardoin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Theresa Keeley, "Reagan's Gun-Toting Nuns: The Catholic Conflict Over Cold War Human Rights Policy in Central America" (Cornell UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 45:24


    In Reagan's Gun-Toting Nuns: The Catholic Conflict Over Cold War Human Rights Policy in Central America (Cornell UP, 2020), Theresa Keeley analyzes the role of intra-Catholic conflict within the framework of U.S. foreign policy formulation and execution during the Reagan administration. She challenges the preponderance of scholarship on the administration that stresses the influence of evangelical Protestants on foreign policy toward Latin America. Especially in the case of U.S. engagement in El Salvador and Nicaragua, Keeley argues, the bitter debate between the U.S. and Central American Catholics over the direction of the Catholic Church shaped President Reagan's foreign policy. The flashpoint for these intra-Catholic disputes was the December 1980 political murder of four American Catholic missionaries in El Salvador. Liberal Catholics described nuns and priests in Central America who worked to combat structural inequality as human rights advocates living out the Gospel's spirit. Conservative Catholics saw them as agents of class conflict who furthered the so-called Gospel, according to Karl Marx. The debate was an old one among Catholics, but, as Reagan's Gun-Toting Nuns contends, it intensified as conservative, anticommunist Catholics played instrumental roles in crafting U.S. policy to fund the Salvadoran government and the Nicaraguan Contras. Reagan's Gun-Toting Nuns describes the religious actors as human rights advocates and, against prevailing understandings of the fundamentally secular activism related to human rights, highlights religion-inspired activism during the Cold War. In charting the rightward development of American Catholicism, Keeley provides a new chapter in the history of U.S. diplomacy. She shows how domestic issues such as contraception and abortion joined with foreign policy matters to shift Catholic laity toward Republican principles at home and abroad. Allison Isidore is a graduate of the Religion in Culture Masters program at the University of Alabama. Her research interest is focused on the twentieth-century American Civil Rights Movement and the Catholic Church's response to racism and the participation of Catholic clergy, nuns, and laypeople in marches, sit-ins, and kneel-ins during the 1950s and 1960s. Allison is also a Video Editor for The Religious Studies Project, producing videos for the podcast and marketing team. She tweets from @AllisonIsidore1. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Alaina E. Roberts, "I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 59:00

    Perhaps no other symbol has more resonance in African American history than that of 40 acres and a mule--the lost promise of Black reparations for slavery after the Civil War. In I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land (U Pennsylvania Press, 2021), we meet the Black people who actually received this mythic 40 acres, the American settlers who coveted this land, and the Native Americans whose holdings it originated from. In nineteenth-century Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma), a story unfolds that ties African American and Native American history tightly together, revealing a western theatre of Civil War and Reconstruction, in which Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians, their Black slaves, and African Americans and whites from the eastern United States fought military and rhetorical battles to lay claim to land that had been taken from others. Through chapters that chart cycles of dispossession, land seizure, and settlement in Indian Territory, Alaina E. Roberts draws on archival research and family history to upend the traditional story of Reconstruction. She connects debates about Black freedom and Native American citizenship to westward expansion onto Native land. As Black, white, and Native people constructed ideas of race, belonging, and national identity, this part of the West became, for a short time, the last place where Black people could escape Jim Crow, finding land and exercising political rights, until Oklahoma statehood in 1907. Adam McNeil is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Jennifer Carlson, "Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement, and the Politics of Race" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 61:02

    When Americans talk about guns, they often use terms like “gun rights” or “gun control.” They also tend to separate gun politics and the politics of the police. In Policing and the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement, and the Politics of Race (Princeton University Press, 2021), Jennifer Carlson identifies the inaccuracies of both. She provides two alternative narratives of American “gun talk” -- gun militarism and gun populism -- that clarify the stakes in today's gun debates.. Based on her extensive research – using local and national newspapers, interviews with police chiefs, and observations made at gun licensing boards – she insists these two discourses reveal how race shapes both how gun politics unfold and how gun policies are created to differentiate between legitimate violence and criminal violence. Coercive social control is organized by racialized understandings of gun violence. Carlson demonstrates the roles that the NRA, police chiefs, and gun administrators play in distinguishing the boundaries of legitimate violence for both private and public gun owners. For her, linking the politics of guns with the politics of the police clarifies our political and policy debates -- as well as the complex terrain negotiated each day between police and private civilians in our social lives. Dr. Jennifer Carlson is an Associate Professor of Sociology, Government, & Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Her remarkable earlier book, Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline (Oxford, 2015), has shaped the study of how guns impact American society in multiple fields. Her public facing scholarship includes commentary in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Daniella Campos assisted with this podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Andrea Warner, "Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography" (Graystone Books, 2018)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 55:41


    Andrea Warner's Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography (Graystone Books, 2018) tells the story, often in Buffy's own words, of the life of the remarkable artist and activist. Buffy Sainte-Marie's musical career is as varied and fascinating as those of her Canadian contemporaries Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen, but he work has not always achieved the recognition it deserves. Warner's book is in part an attempt to rectify that by presenting Buffy's complete story to a new generation of readers and listeners. We encounter Buffy as a coffee shop folkie, an electronic music pioneer, and indigenous activist, a Sesame Street cast member, and finally as an elder stateswoman of Canadian music. This is a book for longtime fans or for new initiates who have never heard songs like Power in the Blood, Now That the Buffalo's Gone, The Universal Soldier, or The War Racket. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Samantha Durbin, "Raver Girl: Coming of Age in the 90s" (She Writes Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 57:13

    A '90s time capsule buried inside a coming-of-age memoir set against the neon backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area's rave scene, Raver Girl (She Writes Press, 2021) chronicles Samantha's double life as she teeters between hedonism and sobriety, chaos and calm, all while sneaking under the radar of her entrepreneur father—a man who happened to drop acid with LSD impresario Owsley Stanley in the '60s. Samantha keeps a list of every rave she goes to—a total of 104 over four years. During that time, what started as trippy fun morphs into a self-destructive roller coaster ride. Samantha opens the doors of her mind, but she's left with traumas her acid-fried brain won't let her escape; and when meth becomes her drug of choice, things get progressively darker. Through euphoric highs and dangerous lows, Samantha discovers she's someone who lives life to the fullest and learns best through alternative experience rather than mainstream ideals. She's a creative whose mind is limitless, whose quirks are charms, whose passion is inspirational. She's an independent woman whose inner strength is rooted in unwavering family ties. And if she can survive high school, she just might be okay. Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Murray Hogben, "Minarets on the Horizon: Muslim Pioneers in Canada" (Mawenzi House, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 56:54

    Minarets on the Horizon: Muslim Pioneers in Canada (Mawenzi House 2021) by Murray Hogben is an incredible archive of some of the early Muslim settlers in Canada. The book is a collection of wonderful oral histories of the early Muslims and their descendants from the east to the west coast of Canada. Be they the settlers from Syria/Lebanon or Punjabi men who worked in timber mills of British Columbia, to those who migrated later in the 20th century as a result of the changes to the Canadian immigration law, such as South Asian Muslims, Hogben captures the trials and tribulations of migration, and the challenges of adapting religious and cultural practices as minorities in a new nation state. Central are the voices of Muslim women, such as Hilwie Hamdon, who led the way to building the first mosque in Canada, the al-Rashid masjid, in Edmonton, while stories of inter-religious friendships abound through the early formation of the Muslim communities across Canada. This is an important book that adds deep texture to our understanding of the history of Islam in Canada and will be of interest to anyone who thinks and writes about Muslims in Canada and in the global west, generally. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen's University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    67 Everything and Less: Mark McGurl on Books in the Age of Amazon

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 44:17


    What do you make of Amazon: The new Sears Roebuck? A terrifying monopoly threat? Satisfaction (a paperback in your mailbox, a Kindle edition on your tablet) just a click away? John and Elizabeth speak with Stanford English prof Mark McGurl, whose previous books include the pathbreaking The Program Era. Mark faces that question squarely in his terrific new book, Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon: if you want to know even more about it, check out the NY Times review by RTB's own book-history maven, star of RTB 46, Leah Price. Mark ponders when service became an idiom for the relationship between writer and reader and how strong a claim he is willing to make about Amazon's impact on the modern novel (pretty strong!). Finally, he tackles the key question: is the genre of "Adult Diaper Baby Love" (a breakout hit in Kindle sales; google it at your peril!) the perfect metaphor for Amazon's effort to soothe, pacify and succor its infantilized consumer-base? Mentioned in the episode: Laura Miller, Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption Public libraries going trashy or classy: John wrote an article about this topic, praising a compelling database, "What Middletown Read" Recallable Books: Walter Tevis, Mockingbird (1980) Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1853) Anthony Trollope, The Warden (1855) Transcript available here RTB 67 Transcript (or Visit the Recall this Book Transcript page) Upcoming: Mark's discussion of the history of books and book publishing inspired next week's blog post: tune in next Thursday to find out more! It also sent us back to the archives for a golden RTB oldie starring Martin Puchner. That will appear, freshly rewrapped for the occasion, just before Thanksgiving. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies


    Doing an Ethnography of Policing: In Conversation with Sarah Brayne

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 52:39

    How has the use of big data and algorithms changed policing and police surveillance? On this episode, we speak with Dr. Sarah Brayne, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, about her new book, Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing (Oxford UP, 2020). She explains how an interest in mass incarceration led her to study police surveillance and eventually do ethnographic research with the LAPD. She describes how her gender and status as potential “pencil geek” affected how police officers responded to her, and how officers themselves had mixed responses to the use of big data and algorithms in policing. She then talks about her ongoing relationships with research participants and the most impactful experiences in her fieldwork with police that didn't make her book: the sadness of repeatedly dealing with people who are having the worst days of their life. Alex Diamond is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Jussi M. Hanhimäki, "Pax Transatlantica: America and Europe in the Post-Cold War Era" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 60:06

    Is the West finished as a political idea? In recent years, observers have begun pointing to signs that the transatlantic community is eroding. When the European Union expanded, the classic European nation state was in decline. Now, nationalism is on the rise. Furthermore, nations within the EU are less willing to cooperate with the US on policies that require sacrifice and risks, such as using military force alongside the US. Today, following the twin shocks of Brexit and Trump's election, the concept of a unified Western transatlantic community seems to be a relic. But, in Pax Transatlantica: America and Europe in the Post-Cold War Era (Oxford UP, 2021) the international historian Jussi Hanhimäki explains why the West is far from over. Hanhimäki argues that despite Trump's inflammatory, dismissive rhetoric, NATO continues to provide robust security for its member states. NATO has survived by expanding its remit and scope, and it is viewed favorably by member states overall. Moreover, the transatlantic relationship boasts the richest and most closely connected transcontinental economy in the world. Despite the potential fallout from current trade wars—especially between the US and China—and the rise of economic nationalism, the West still benefits from significant transatlantic trade and massive investment flows. Lastly, Hanhimäki traces the parallel evolution of domestic politics on both sides of the Atlantic, focusing on the rise of populism. He contends that populism is not causing a rift between the US and Europe. Rather, the spread of populism evinces that their politics are in fact closely integrated. Shifts and even crises abound in the history of the transatlantic relationship. Still, the West endures. Conflicts, rather than undermining the relationship, illustrate its resilience. Hanhimäki shows that the transatlantic relationship is playing out this cycle today. Not only will the "Pax Transatlantica" continue to exist, Hanhimäki concludes, it is likely to thrive in the future. Jussi Hanhimaki is Professor of International History and co-director of the History and Policy Initiative at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He is the author of many books, including the award-winning The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (2004) and The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (2013). Joe Renouard is Resident Professor of American Studies and Fei Yi-Ming Journalism Foundation Chair of American Government and Comparative Politics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Nanjing, China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Renee Ann Cramer, "Birthing a Movement: Midwives, Law, and the Politics of Reproductive Care" (Stanford UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 52:45

    Political Scientist Renee Ann Cramer's newest book Birthing a Movement tells the stories of American midwives and their battle for reproductive rights, legal intervention, and mobilization. This book is grounded in over a decade's worth of empirical and qualitative data that illustrates the ways that gender, state regulations, health policy, law, and social movements intersect within the profession and advocation of midwives. Cramer uses the power of the personal narrative to expose the patchwork and fragmented nature of reproductive care in the United States, with a particular focus on the way that midwives do and don't fit into the birthing process. Birthing a Movement: Midwives, Law, and the Politics of Reproductive Care (Stanford UP, 2021) examines the legal and regulatory morass that certified professional midwives (CPM) face across the United States. Cramer explains the distinctions between CPM and certified nurse midwives (CNM) and how these two groups of differently trained midwives are differently treated by different laws in the various states across the country. Midwifery is part of the larger umbrella category of reproductive care in the United States, which is fragmented in a number of different policy areas, including access to abortion and pre- and post-natal care. Cramer's multi-method approach to the research also provides the reader with an understanding of the distinctions between care available in urban or suburban parts of the country in contrast to the rural parts of America, where medical care is harder to come by and often far away from where individuals live and work. This is even more problematic around reproductive care, since, as Cramer notes in our conversation, the healthcare crisis in rural America is really a maternity care crisis. This crisis has been made more acute, of late, by the efforts to undermine or shutter Planned Parenthood centers, leading to what are essentially healthcare “deserts” in parts of the U.S. The focus of Birthing a Movement, the capacity and regulation of midwives in the United States, also brings to the surface broader issues about the medical-industrial complex, including the way that this very natural process, the birth of a child, has been mechanized and has also led to substantial forms of intervention in the process itself. The mortality rates in the United States are higher than in other developed/industrialized countries, and these rates are disproportionate across the population, with much higher rates for women and children of color. Cramer dives into the research on how institutionalized racism is embedded in the birthing process, as it is in so many other aspects of American society and, specifically, healthcare. Birthing a Movement: Midwives, Law, and the Politics of Reproductive Care weaves together research from across a host of different academic disciplines and presents the reader with an accessible and captivating understanding of the legal, regulatory, and policy complexities of midwifery and reproductive health in the United States. Shaina Boldt assisted with this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Matthew J. Lacombe, "Firepower: How the NRA Turned Gun Owners Into a Political Force" (Princeton UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 50:39

    Firepower: How the NRA Turned Gun Owners into a Political Force (Princeton, 2021) explores the scope and power of one of America's most influential interest groups. Despite widespread public support for stricter gun control laws, the National Rifle Association has consistently managed to defeat or weaken proposed regulations. Firepower provides an unprecedented look at how this controversial organization built its political power and how it has deployed it on behalf of its pro-gun agenda. Taking readers from the 1930s to the age of Donald Trump, Matthew Lacombe traces how the NRA's immense influence on national politics arises from its ability to shape the political outlooks and actions of its followers. He draws on nearly a century of archival records and surveys to show how the organization has fashioned a distinct worldview around gun ownership and used it to mobilize its supporters. Lacombe reveals how the NRA's cultivation of a large, unified, and active base has enabled it to build a resilient alliance with the Republican Party, and he examines why the NRA and its members formed an important constituency that helped fuel Trump's unlikely political rise. Firepower sheds vital new light on how the NRA has grown powerful by mobilizing average Americans and how it uses its GOP alliance to advance its objectives and shape the national agenda. Matthew Lacombe is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University. He studies American politics, with a broad focus on understanding and explaining political power in the U.S. His research and teaching interests engage with interest groups and political parties, social identity and political ideology, inequality and representation, and American political development. In addition to Firepower, he is the co-author of Billionaires and Stealth Politics, a book that details the political preferences and behavior of U.S. billionaires. Joe Renouard is Resident Professor of American Studies and Fei Yi-Ming Journalism Foundation Chair of American Government and Comparative Politics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Nanjing, China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Ruby Hamad, "White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color" (Catapult, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 66:15

    Called “powerful and provocative" by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the New York Times bestselling How to be an Antiracist, Ruby Hamad's White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color (Catapult, 2020) is a breakthrough work of history and cultural criticism. The book reveals how white feminism has been used as a weapon of white supremacy and patriarchy deployed against Black and Indigenous women, and women of color.  Taking us from the slave era, when white women fought in court to keep “ownership” of their slaves, through the centuries of colonialism, when they offered a soft face for brutal tactics, to the modern workplace, White Tears/Brown Scars tells a charged story of white women's active participation in campaigns of oppression. It offers a long overdue validation of the experiences of women of color. Discussing subjects as varied as The Hunger Games, Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, the viral BBQ Becky video, and 19th century lynchings of Mexicans in the American Southwest, Ruby Hamad undertakes a new investigation of gender and race. She shows how the division between innocent white women and racialized, sexualized women of color was created, and why this division is crucial to confront.  Connect with Ruby Hamad (she/hers) @rubyhamadwriter on Instagram and click here to read Ruby's breakaway opinion piece for The Guardian. Connect with your host Lee Pierce (they/them) @rhetoriclee on Instagram and Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Habiba Ibrahim, "Black Age: Oceanic Lifespans and the Time of Black Life" (NYU Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 70:32

    Although more than fifty years apart, the murders of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin share a commonality: Black children are not seen as children. Time and time again, excuses for police brutality and aggression—particularly against Black children— concern the victim “appearing” as a threat. But why and how is the perceived “appearance” of Black persons so completely separated from common perceptions of age and time? Black Age: Oceanic Lifespans and the Time of Black Life (NYU Press, 2021) posits age, life stages, and lifespans as a central lens through which to view Blackness, particularly with regard to the history of transatlantic slavery. Focusing on Black literary culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Habiba Ibrahim examines how the history of transatlantic slavery and the constitution of modern Blackness has been reimagined through the embodiment of age. She argues that Black age—through nearly four centuries of subjugation— has become contingent, malleable, and suited for the needs of enslavement. As a result, rather than the number of years lived or a developmental life stage, Black age came to signify exchange value, historical under-development, timelessness, and other fantasies borne out of Black exclusion from the human. Ibrahim asks: What constitutes a normative timeline of maturation for Black girls when “all the women”—all the canonically feminized adults—“are white”? How does a “slave” become a “man” when adulthood is foreclosed to Black subjects of any gender? Black Age tracks the struggle between the abuses of Black exclusion from Western humanism and the reclamation of non-normative Black life, arguing that, if some of us are brave, it is because we dare to live lives considered incomprehensible within a schema of “human time.” Brittney Edmonds is an Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison. I specialize in 20th and 21st century African American Literature and Culture with a special interest in Black Humor Studies. Read more about my work at brittneymichelledmonds.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Hsuan L. Hsu, "The Smell of Risk: Environmental Disparities and Olfactory Aesthetics" (NYU Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 51:58

    Our sense of smell is a uniquely visceral—and personal—form of experience. As Hsuan L. Hsu points out, smell has long been spurned by Western aesthetics as a lesser sense for its qualities of subjectivity, volatility, and materiality. But it is these very qualities that make olfaction a vital tool for sensing and staging environmental risk and inequality. Unlike the other senses, smell extends across space and reaches into our bodies. Hsu traces how writers, artists, and activists have deployed these embodied, biochemical qualities of smell in their efforts to critique and reshape modernity's olfactory disparities.  Hsuan L. Hsu's The Smell of Risk: Environmental Disparities and Olfactory Aesthetics (NYU Press, 2020) outlines the many ways that our differentiated atmospheres unevenly distribute environmental risk. Reading everything from nineteenth-century detective fiction and naturalist novels to contemporary performance art and memoir, Hsu takes up modernity's differentiated atmospheres as a subject worth sniffing out. From the industrial revolution to current-day environmental crises, Hsu uses ecocriticism, geography, and critical race studies to, for example, explore Latinx communities exposed to freeway exhaust and pesticides, Asian diasporic artists' response to racialized discourse about Asiatic odors, and the devastation settler colonialism has reaped on Indigenous smellscapes. In each instance, Hsu demonstrates the violence that air maintenance, control, and conditioning enacts on the poor and the marginalized. From nineteenth-century miasma theory theory to the synthetic chemicals that pervade twenty-first century air, Hsu takes smell at face value to offer an evocative retelling of urbanization, public health, and environmental violence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Gregg Mitman, "Empire of Rubber: Firestone's Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia" (New Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 44:00

    In the early 1920s, Americans owned 80 percent of the world's automobiles and consumed 75 percent of the world's rubber. But only one percent of the world's rubber grew under the U.S. flag, creating a bottleneck that hampered the nation's explosive economic expansion. To solve its conundrum, the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company turned to a tiny West African nation, Liberia, founded in 1847 as a free Black republic. Empire of Rubber: Firestone's Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia (New Press, 2021) tells a sweeping story of capitalism, racial exploitation, and environmental devastation, as Firestone transformed Liberia into America's rubber empire. Historian and filmmaker Gregg Mitman scoured remote archives to unearth a history of promises unfulfilled for the vast numbers of Liberians who toiled on rubber plantations built on taken land. Mitman reveals a history of racial segregation and medical experimentation that reflected Jim Crow America—on African soil. As Firestone reaped fortunes, wealth and power concentrated in the hands of a few elites, fostering widespread inequalities that fed unrest, rebellions and, eventually, civil war. A riveting narrative of ecology and disease, of commerce and science, and of racial politics and political maneuvering, Empire of Rubber uncovers the hidden story of a corporate empire whose tentacles reach into the present. Gregg Mitman is the Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History, Medical History, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. An award-winning author and filmmaker, his recent films and books include The Land Beneath Our Feet and Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin. Website. Brian Hamilton is Chair of the Department of History and Social Science at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Matthew J. Holian, "Data and the American Dream: Contemporary Social Controversies and the American Community Survey" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 64:05

    How much do new building codes reduce energy usage? How much and it what ways does it matter for an immigrant to be able to work legally? How has the Affordable Care Act affected people's work decisions? How did the Great Recession affect women's childbearing decisions? New statistical and econometric techniques give us better ways of distinguishing correlation from causation even when an experiment would be impossible or unethical. In Data and the American Dream: Contemporary Social Controversies and the American Community Survey, economist Matthew Holian provides a practical introduction to these techniques using publicly available data. Matthew Holian is a professor of economics at San Jose State University whose research focused on urban and energy economics. Host Peter Lorentzen is an economics professor at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new digital economy-focused Master's program in Applied Economics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    David Madland, "Re-Union: How Bold Labor Reforms Can Repair, Revitalize, and Reunite the United States" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 52:06

    In Re-Union: How Bold Labor Reforms Can Repair, Revitalize, and Reunite the United States (Cornell UP, 2021), David Madland explores how labor unions are essential to all workers. Yet, union systems are badly flawed and in need of rapid changes for reform. Madland's multilayered analysis presents a solution--a model to replace the existing firm-based collective bargaining with a larger, industry-scale bargaining method coupled with powerful incentives for union membership. These changes would represent a remarkable shift from the norm, but would be based on lessons from other countries, US history and current policy in several cities and states. In outlining the shift, Madland details how these proposals might mend the broken economic and political systems in the United States. He also uses three examples from Britain, Canada, and Australia to explore what there is yet to learn about this new system in other developed nations. Madland's practical advice in Re-Union extends to a proposal for how to implement the changes necessary to shift the current paradigm. This powerful call to action speaks directly to the workers affected by these policies--the very people seeking to have their voices recognized in a system that attempts to silence them. David Madland is Senior Fellow and Strategic Director of the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress. He is author of Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn't work without a strong middle class. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Robert J. Spitzer, "The Politics of Gun Control" (Routledge, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 54:45

    Dr. Robert J. Spitzer's classic text, The Politics of Gun Control: 8th Edition (Routledge, 2020), has been revised based on new data on gun ownership and use. Dr. Spitzer insightfully interrogates the impact of gun politics on the 2018 elections, new research on the history of American gun laws, and controversies over the geography of guns -- where and when they can be carried and whether they can be concealed. The podcast conversation digs into new findings on elections, public opinion, single-issue voting, the parallel histories of gun rights/regulations, and the changing profiles and strategies of gun safety groups. Dr. Spitzer provides insights on the upcoming midterm elections, forecasts what is at stake in the upcoming Supreme Court case, NYS Gun & Pistol v. Bruen, and provides a reminder that federalism can never be far from any case analysis in American politics. Dr. Robert J. Spitzer is a Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Cortland. Trained by Theodore Lowi, Dr, Spitzer has published books on the presidency, the right to life mov, and the constitution -- with several works focused on the right to bear arms, gun control, and gun rights. The Supreme Court will hear its first Second Amendment case since 2010 and Robert's article “Gun Law History in the United States and Second Amendment Rights” is cited by the Solicitor General of the US in his amicus brief. Daniella Campos assisted with this podcast. Susan Liebell is Dirk Warren '50 Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Joseph Tachovsky, "40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles" (Regnery History, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 42:06

    An elite platoon of Marine Scout-Snipers, Lieutenant Frank Tachovsky's "40 Thieves" were chosen for their willingness to defy rules and beat all-comers. When two Marines got into a fight, the loser ended up in the infirmary, the winner in the brig. Tachovsky wanted the winner on his team--a brush with military law was a recommendation. These full-blooded men were trained in a ruthless array of hand-to-hand killing techniques and then thrown into the battle for Saipan--Emperor Hirohito's "Treasure" and the bulwark of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific--where they would wreak havoc in and around, but mostly behind, enemy lines. They witnessed inhuman atrocities; walked into an ambush after the cunning Japanese used wounded Marines as bait; endured body-punishing extremes of heat, hunger, and thirst; fought a relentless enemy who would not surrender; and watched best friends die. In 40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles (Regnery History, 2020), Tachovsky's son Joseph tells their remarkable story--a story he didn't even know until after his father's death--reported from an extensive documentary record, including priceless mementos his father kept, and from exhaustive interviews with survivors who served under Lieutenant "Ski." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

    Joan Marie Johnson, "Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women's Movement, 1870-1967" (UNC Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 52:34

    Joan Marie Johnson examines an understudied dimension of women's history in the United States: how a group of affluent white women from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advanced the status of all women through acts of philanthropy. This cadre of activists included Phoebe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst; Grace Dodge, granddaughter of Wall Street "Merchant Prince" William Earle Dodge; and Ava Belmont, who married into the Vanderbilt family fortune. Motivated by their own experiences with sexism, and focusing on women's need for economic independence, these benefactors sought to expand women's access to higher education, promote suffrage, and champion reproductive rights, as well as to provide assistance to working-class women. In a time when women still wielded limited political power, philanthropy was perhaps the most potent tool they had. But even as these wealthy women exercised considerable influence, their activism had significant limits. As Johnson argues, restrictions tied to their giving engendered resentment and jeopardized efforts to establish coalitions across racial and class lines. As the struggle for full economic and political power and self-determination for women continues today, this history reveals how generous women helped shape the movement. And Johnson shows us that tensions over wealth and power that persist in the modern movement have deep historical roots. Jane Scimeca, Professor of History at Brookdale Community College Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

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