New Scholarly Books

Weekly Book List, January 1, 2016

December 28, 2015


Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right by Seth Dowland (University of Pennsylvania Press; 271 pages; $45). Documents how "family values" rhetoric became central to American evangelicism and considers the impact on political culture.

Nurturing Masculinities: Men, Food, and Family in Contemporary Egypt by Nefissa Naguib (University of Texas Press; 152 pages; $55 hardcover, $21.95 paperback). Offers an ethnographic perspective on how food and its provision figure as an expression of love and caregiving for Egyptian men.


Pieces of Eight: More Archaeology of Piracy edited by Charles R. Ewen and Russell K. Skowronek (University Press of Florida; 318 pages; $39.95). Writings on the maritime archaeology and material culture of piracy; topics include the French connection of Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge.


Brushstroke and Emergence: Courbet, Impressionism, Picasso by James D. Herbert (University of Chicago Press; 148 pages; $35). Explores the relationship between intent and habit in a study that challenges assumptions regarding the brushstroke as a signifier for the artistic self; compares 10 paintings by Courbet, Manet, Cezanne, Monet, Seurat, and Picasso.

Portrait of an Island: The Architecture and Material Culture of Goree, Senegal, 1758--1837 by Mark Hinchman (University of Nebraska Press; 396 pages; $70). An architectural history of a cosmopolitan trading center in the harbor of what is now modern Dakar.

Stop Reading! Look! Modern Vision and the Weimar Photographic Book by Pepper Stetler (University of Michigan Press; 280 pages; $60). Links books of sequential images produced during Germany's Weimar era to wider debates about photography's capacity to convey meaning in ways more powerful than the written word.


Federalism in Greek Antiquity edited by Hans Becke and Peter Funke (Cambridge University Press; 629 pages; $160). Writings on the varied leagues of Aegean Greece and its periphery.


The Limits of Identity: Politics and Poetics in Latin America by Charles Hatfield (University of Texas Press; 158 pages; $75 hardcover, $24.95 paperback). Topics include Jose Marti's 1891 essay "Nuestra America" and Jose Enrique Rodo's Ariel (1900).


Experimental Capitalism: The Nanoeconomics of American High-Tech Industries by Steven Klepper, edited by Serguey Braguinsky, David A. Hounshell, and John H. Miller (Princeton University Press; 280 pages; $39.95). Edition of writings by the late American economist (1949-2013); focuses on automobiles, television receivers, pneumatic tires, semiconductors, lasers, and penicillin in research on cluster patterns and the dynamics of certain firms' domination in industries.

Latin America after the Financial Crisis: Economic Ramifications from Heterodox Perspectives edited by Juan Santarcangelo (Palgrave Macmillan; 172 pages; $120). Focuses on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela in essays on Latin America as one of the regions least affected by the 2008 crisis.


Hidden in Plain Sight: An Archaeology of Magic and the Cinema by Colin Williamson (Rutgers University Press; 224 pages; $90 hardcover, $28.95 paperback). Explores the overlapping world of filmmakers and magicians, including examples of the latter who have worked in cinema and portrayals of illusionists and their tricks on-screen.


The Black Christ of Esquipulas: Religion and Identity in Guatemala by Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez (University of Nebraska Press; 208 pages; $55). Examines the significance to Guatemalans' political and religious lives of a shrine on the border with Honduras that features a large carved wooden statue of Christ crucified.

Child Soldiers in the Western Imagination: From Patriots to Victims by David M. Rosen (Rutgers University Press; 256 pages; $90 hardcover, $28.95 paperback). A study of how perceptions of child soldiers have changed over the past two centuries, departing from such iconic figures as the Civil War drummer boy.

Cold War on the Airwaves: The Radio Propaganda War Against East Germany by Nicholas J. Schlosser (University of Illinois Press; 233 pages; $50). Draws on broadcast transcripts, internal memoranda, listeners' letters, and other sources in a study of the Berlin-based Radio in the American Sector, a station created shortly after the end of World War II and retooled as a propaganda organ in the Cold War; topics include how its reporters' reputation for accuracy shaped its influence on East Germans.

Conspicuous Gallantry: The Civil War and Reconstruction Letters of James W. King, 11th Michigan Volunteer Infantry edited by Eric R. Faust (Kent State University Press; 304 pages; $45). Edition of the letters of a Michigan farm boy who after the war tried his hand at raising cotton in Tennessee and Alabama.

Deco Body, Deco City: Female Spectacle and Modernity in Mexico City, 1900--1939 by Ageeth Sluis (University of Nebraska Press; 381 pages; $35). Discusses a wave of female migrants to the city in the revolutionary era and how changing gender norms, and new ideals of the female body, shaped ideas of modernity in public works projects.

Healing the African Body: British Medicine in West Africa, 1800-1860 by John Rankin (University of Missouri Press; 245 pages; $65). Focuses on the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and the Gold Coast in a study of how British perceptions of Africans and their bodies shaped colonial medicine.

Holocaust Icons: Symbolizing the Shoah in History and Memory by Oren Baruch Stier (Rutgers University Press; 272 pages; $90 hardcover, $29.95 paperback). Explores the making of symbols and historical memory through a study of four iconic objects: the railroad cars that transported Jews to their deaths; the number 6 million, the persona of Anne Frank, and the sign over the entrance to Auschwitz, Arbeit Macht Frei (Works Makes You Free).

The New Negro in the Old South by Gabriel A. Briggs (Rutgers University Press; 224 pages; $90 hardcover, $27.95 paperback). Sets the emergence of the "New Negro" in a period prior to the Great Migration; focuses on the vibrant black community in post-Civil War Nashville as a setting that nurtured such intellectuals as W.E.B. DuBois and Sutton Griggs.

Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli by Ted Merwin (New York University Press; 245 pages; $26.95). Sets the height of the New York Jewish deli in the interwar rather than immigrant period.

Reporting the Cuban Revolution: How Castro Manipulated American Journalists by Leonard Ray Teel (Louisiana State University Press; 272 pages; $42.50). Examines the varied motives and experiences of 13 American journalists who worked underground in Cuba to report the revolution, avoided the censorship of the Batista regime, and were given medals by Castro when the new Cuban premier visited Washington.

The Selected Papers of John Jay: 1785-1788 edited by Elizabeth M. Nuxoll, Mary A.Y. Gallagher, and Jennifer Steenshorne (University of Virginia Press; 872 pages; $95). Documents a period as Jay began office as U.S. secretary for foreign affairs.

Trotskyists on Trial: Free Speech and Political Persecution Since the Age of FDR by Donna T. Haverty-Stacke (New York University Press; 304 pages; $55). Draws on newly declassified documents in a study of the first case brought under the Smith Act, a peacetime anti-sedition law passed in 1940.

Unruly Equality: US Anarchism in the Twentieth Century by Andrew Cornell (University of California Press; 364 pages; $65 hardcover, $24.95 paperback). An intellectual and social history of American anarchist activism and thought.

Varmints and Victims: Predator Control in the American West by Frank Van Nuys (University Press of Kansas; 352 pages; $29.95). Focuses on wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, and grizzly bears in a study of shifting attitudes toward predators in the region since the 19th century.

Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality by Katherine Franke (New York University Press; 288 pages; $35). Draws lessons for same-sex marriage from the experiences of newly emancipated slaves in the mid-19th century who were able to marry for the first time.


Charles Bell and the Anatomy of Reform by Carin Berkowitz (University of Chicago Press; 227 pages; $35). Uses the life of the Scottish surgeon, educator, and philosopher (1774-1842) to examine anatomical science and conservative reform in British medical education.


Implied Consent and Sexual Assault: Intimate Relationships, Autonomy, and Voice by Michael Plaxton (McGill-Queen's University Press; 280 pages; US$100 hardcover, US$34.95 paperback). A critique of R. v. Ewanchuk, a Canadian Supreme Court decision that ruled that sexual touching must be accompanied by express consent; argues that the decision undermines women's autonomy and proposes a revival, with limitations, of the notion of implied consent.


Charles Williams: The Third Inkling by Grevel Lindop (Oxford University Press; 493 pages; $34.95). Draws on previously untapped sources in a biography of the writer, critic, theologian, and occultist (1886-1945), described here as the most controversial of the famed Oxford literary group.

Chastity in Early Stuart Literature and Culture by Bonnie Lander Johnson (Cambridge University Press; 201 pages; $99.99). Draws on literary, medical, ceremonial, and other realms in a discussion of early Stuart understandings of chastity; topics include Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and Milton's Comus.

Egil, the Viking Poet: New Approaches to "Egil's Saga" edited by Laurence de Looze and others (University of Toronto Press; 256 pages; US$60). Essays on the Icelandic saga of Egil Skallagrimsson.

Home and Nation in British Literature From the English to the French Revolutions edited by A.D. Cousins and Geoffrey Payne (Cambridge University Press; 298 pages; $99.99). Writings on such British authors as Pepys, Pope, Austen, and Keats.

Listening for the Heartbeat of Being: The Arts of Robert Bringhurst edited by Brent Wood and Mark Dickinson (McGill-Queen's University Press; 280 pages; US$60). Writings on the Canadian poet, philosopher, translator, cultural historian, and typographer (b. 1946); documents how his poetry and prose, translations of Haida oral epics, and textbook The Elements of Typographic Style work together as a unified project.

The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen's London by Nile Green (Princeton University Press; 388 pages; $35). Traces the four-year stay, beginning in July 1815, of six Iranian students who along with cultural pursuits, visited English industrial and scientific sites in an effort to learn how their country might defend itself against Russia; draws on the diary of one student, Mirza Salih, and the correspondence of the group.

Proust and the Arts edited by Christie McDonald and Francois Proulx (Cambridge University Press; 303 pages; $99.99). Essays by Proustian and interdisciplinary scholars on how the writer's engagement with varied works and realms of art shaped his relationship to sexuality, identity, humor, and writing.

Reconfiguring Citizenship and National Identity in the North American Literary Imagination by Kathy-Ann Tan (Wayne State University Press; 432 pages; $34.99). Explores the contested nature of citizenship in works by such American and Canadian authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Djuna Barnes, Etel Adnan, Sarah Schulman, Walt Whitman, Gail Scott, and Philip Roth.

Russian Literature Since 1991 edited by Evgeny Dobrenko and Mark Lipovetsky (Cambridge University Press; 316 pages; $99.99). Topics include postmodernism, magical historicism, hyper-naturalist drama, and other trends in post-Soviet Russian literature.

Writing Widowhood: The Landscapes of Bereavement by Jeffrey Berman (State University of New York Press; 224 pages; $80). Explores the role of reading and writing in bereavement through a study of narratives of spousal loss by Joan Didion, Sandra Gilbert, Gail Godwin, Kay Redfield Jamison, and Joyce Carol Oates.


Kierkegaard's Dancing Tax Collector: Faith, Finitude, and Silence by Sheridan Hough (Oxford University Press; 169 pages; $40). Examines Kierkegaard's image of the liver of a faithful life as a "tax collector" in the Danish philosopher's pseudonymous novel Fear and Trembling.

Truth and Irony: Philosophical Meditations on Erasmus by Terence J. Martin (Catholic University of America Press; 258 pages; $65). Discusses ironic truth-telling, the value of pleasure in religious life, and other perspectives key to an Erasmian way of thinking.


American Gridlock: The Sources, Character, and Impact of Political Polarization edited by James A. Thurber and Antoine Yoshinaka (Cambridge University Press; 428 pages; $99.99 hardcover, $34.99 paperback). Theoretical and empirical writings on polarization in federal institutions, at the state level, and in the media.

The Lhotsampa People of Bhutan: Resilience and Survival edited by Venkat Pulla (Palgrave Macmillan; 208 pages; $95). Traces the impact of laws passed by Bhutan's government in the 1980s and 90s designed to expel the Lhotsampa, a people with origins in Nepal who came as laborers beginning in the 1890s and eventual grew to 45 percent of Bhutan's population.

Uninformed: Why People Seem to Know So Little about Politics and What We Can Do about It by Arthur Lupia (Oxford University Press; 343 pages; $29.95). Examines what works and what fails in civic education.

Why Minority Governments Work: Multilevel Territorial Politics in Spain by Bonnie N. Field (Palgrave Macmillan; 276 pages; $110). A comparative study of minority governments in a country with a strong regionalist tradition.


Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric by John R. Suler (Cambridge University Press; 475 pages; $94.99 hardcover, $39.99 paperback). Topics include online identity management, disinhibition, intimacy and misunderstandings in online relationships, and media overload.


Ritual Violence in the Hebrew Bible: New Perspectives edited by Saul M. Olyan (Oxford University Press; 190 pages; $74). Topics include rites of military loyalty, ritual violence against corpses, and urbicide, or the ritual killing of cities.

Salvation with a Smile: Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, and American Christianity by Phillip Luke Sinitiere (New York University Press; 336 pages; $35). Examines the history of the Houston megachurch led by the preacher and best-selling author Joel Osteen, whose father, John, founded Lakewood in 1959.


The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty by Erica Kohl-Arenas (University of California Press; 261 pages; $65 hardcover, $29.95 paperback). Topics include how philanthropic programs fail to address the structural factors and power relationships that sustain inequality; draws on case studies from efforts to help impoverished migrant farm workers in California's Fresno Valley.


Planning Matter: Acting With Things by Robert A. Beauregard (University of Chicago Press; 256 pages; $90 hardcover, $30 paperback). Draws on actor-network theory and science and technology studies in an approach to city and regional planning termed the "new materialism."

Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities by Duncan McLaren and Julian Agyeman (MIT Press; 445 pages; $32). Develops models of sharing beyond or outside the commercial realm to further "just sustainability" in cities; includes case studies from San Francisco, Seoul, Copenhagen, Medellin, Amsterdam, and Bangalore.


Bikini-Ready Moms: Celebrity Profiles, Motherhood, and the Body by Lynn O'Brien Hallstein (State University of New York Press; 265 pages; $90 hardcover, $29.95 paperback). Examines how celebrities are shaping the expectations of mothers regarding their post-partum bodies and struggles to cope.