Questions of class and gender in Appalachia have, in the wake of the 2016 presidential election and the runaway success of Hillbilly Elegy, moved to the forefront of national conversations about politics and culture. From Todd Snyder, a first generation college student turned college professor, comes a passionate commentary on these themes in a family memoir set in West Virginia coal country.
12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym is the story of the author’s father, Mike “Lo” Snyder, a fifth generation West Virginia coal miner who opened a series of makeshift boxing gyms with the goal of providing local at-risk youth with the opportunities that eluded his adolescence. Taking these hardscrabble stories as his starting point, Snyder interweaves a history of the region, offering a smart analysis of the costs—both financial and cultural—of an economy built around extractive industries.
Part love letter to Appalachia, part rigorous social critique, readers may find 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym—and its narrative of individual and community strength in the face of globalism’s headwinds—a welcome corrective to popular narratives that blame those in the region for their troubles.
Politics in Alaska have changed significantly since the last major book on the subject was published more than twenty years ago, with the rise and fall of Sarah Palin and the rise and fall of oil prices being but two of the many developments to alter the political landscape.
This book, the most comprehensive on the subject to date, focuses on the question of how beliefs, institutions, personalities, and power interact to shape Alaska politics and public policy. Drawing on these interactions, the contributors explain how and why certain issues get dealt with successfully and others unsuccessfully, and why some issues are taken up quickly while others are not addressed at all. This comprehensive guide to the political climate of Alaska will be essential to anyone studying the politics of America’s largest—and in some ways most unusual—state.
Barrie Jean Borich The Ohio State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3552.O7529A66 2018 | Dewey Decimal 818.5403
From award-winning author Barrie Jean Borich comes Apocalypse, Darling, a narrative, lyric exploration of the clash between old and new. Set in the steel mill regions of Chicago and in Northwest Indiana, the story centers on Borich’s return to a decimated landscape for a misbegotten wedding in which her spouse’s father marries his high school sweetheart. The book is a lilting journey into an ill-fated moment, where families attempt to find communion in tense gathering spaces and across their most formative disappointments. Borich tells the story of the industrial heartland that produced the steel that made American cities, but also one of the most toxic environmental sites in the world.
As concise as a poem and as sweeping as an epic novel, Apocalypse, Darling explores the intersection of American traditional and self-invented social identities and the destruction and re-greening of industrial cityscapes. Borich asks: can toxic landscapes actually be remediated and can patriarchal fathers ever really be forgiven? In a political climate where Borich is forced to daily re-enter the toxic wastelands she thought she’d long left behind, Apocalypse, Darling is an urgent collision of broken spaces, dysfunctional affections, and the reach toward familial and environmental repair.
Jose Quiroga University of Minnesota Press, 2005 Library of Congress F1788.Q57 2005 | Dewey Decimal 972.91064
Four decades ago, the Cuban revolution captured the world’s attention and imagination. Its impact around the world was as much cultural as geopolitical. Within Cuba, the state developed a strictly defined national and collective memory that led directly from a colonial past to a utopian future, but this narrative came to a halt in the early 1990s. The collapse of Cuba’s sponsor, the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War preceded the so- called “Special Period in Times of Peace,” a euphemistic phrase that masked the genuine anxiety shared by leaders and people about the nation’s future.
In Cuban Palimpsests, José Quiroga explores the sites, both physical and imaginative, where memory bears upon Cuba’s collective history in ways that illuminate this extended moment of uncertainty. Crossing geographical, political, and cultural borders, Quiroga moves with ease between Cuba, Miami, and New York. He traces generational shifts within the exile community, contrasts Havana’s cultural richness with its economic impoverishment, follows the cloak-and-dagger narratives of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary spy fiction and film, and documents the world’s ongoing fascination with Cuban culture.
From the nostalgic photographs of Walker Evans to the iconic stature of Fidel Castro, from the literary expressions of despair to the beat of Cuban musical rhythms, from the haunting legacy of artist Ana Mendieta to the death of Celia Cruz and the reburial of Che Guevara, Cuban Palimpsests memorializes the ruins of Cuba’s past and offers a powerful meditation on its enigmatic place within the new world order.
José Quiroga is professor and department chair of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University. He is the author of Understanding Octavio Paz and Tropics of Desire: Interventions from Queer Latino America.
Mark L. Berrettini University of Illinois Press, 2011 Library of Congress PN1998.3.H3695B48 2011 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Since the late 1980s, Hal Hartley has challenged standards of realist narrative cinema with daring narrative constructions, character development, and the creation of an unconventional visual world. In this pioneering critical overview of his work and its cultural-historical context, Mark L. Berrettini discusses seven of Hartley's feature films, including The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Simple Men, Amateur, Henry Fool, Fay Grim, and The Book of Life.
Drawing on journalism, theories of representation, narrative and genre, and cinema history, Berrettini discusses the absurdist-comedic representation of serious themes in Hartley's films: impossible love, coincidence and human relations, extreme isolation, and the restrictions posed by gender norms. He looks at the films' consistently absurd tone and notes how these themes reappear within framing narratives that shift from the seemingly mundane in Hartley's earliest works to the vibrantly creative and fantastic in his later films. Employing close analysis and theories related to cinematic narrative and to realism, the book's critical appraisal of Hartley's films considers aspects of American independent cinema and postwar European cinema, antirealism, and minimalism. The volume concludes with a pair of in-depth interviews with the director from two distinct points in his career.
Literary Identification from Charlotte Brontë to Tsitsi Dangarembga, by Laura Green, seeks to account for the persistent popularity of the novel of formation, from nineteenth-century English through contemporary Anglophone literature. Through her reading of novels, memoirs, and essays by nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century women writers, Green shows how this genre reproduces itself in the elaboration of bonds between and among readers, characters, and authors that she classifies collectively as “literary identification.” Particular literary identifications may be structured by historical and cultural change or difference, but literary identification continues to undergird the novel of formation in new and evolving contexts.
The two nineteenth-century English authors discussed in this book, Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot, established the conventions of the novel of female formation. Their twentieth-century English descendants, Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, and, Jeanette Winterson, challenge the dominance of heterosexuality in such narratives. In twentieth- and twenty-first-century narratives by Simone de Beauvoir, Jamaica Kincaid, and Tsitsi Dangarembga, the female subject is shaped not only by gender conventions but also by colonial and postcolonial conflict and national identity..
For many contemporary critics and theorists, identification is a middlebrow or feminized reading response or a structure that functions to reproduce the middle-class subjectivity and obscure social conflict. However, Green suggests that the range and variability of the literary identifications of authors, readers, and characters within these novels allows such identifications to function variably as well: in liberatory or life-enhancing ways as well as oppressive or reactionary ones.
A new voice reveals the unique character of the upper Midwest
In the spirit of other writers who share an affinity for the natural world---authors such as Robert Frost, Emerson, and Bill Bryson---Looking for Hickories is Tom Springer's ode to the people, natural beauty, and lore of the Midwest, a place where bustling communities neighbor a fragile mosaic of quiet woods, fertile meadows, and miles of farmland.
Touching and humorous by turns, Looking for Hickories captures the essence of the upper Midwest's character with subjects particular to the region yet often universal in theme, from barn building to land preservation to the neglected importance of various trees in the landscape.
Like Frost's best poems, Springer's essays often begin with delight and end in wisdom. They mingle a generosity of spirit and the childlike pleasure of discovery with a grown-up sense of a time and a place, if not lost, then in danger of disappearing altogether---things to treasure and preserve for today and tomorrow.
Just five years after a Soviet missile blew a civilian airliner out of the sky over the North Pacific, an Alaska Airlines jet braved Cold War tensions to fly into tomorrow. Crossing the Bering Strait between Alaska and the Russian Far East, the 1988 Friendship Flight reunited Native peoples of common languages and cultures for the first time in four decades. It and other dramatic efforts to thaw what was known as the Ice Curtain launched a thirty-year era of perilous, yet prolific, progress.
Melting the Ice Curtain tells the story of how inspiration, courage, and persistence by citizen-diplomats bridged a widening gap in superpower relations. David Ramseur was a first-hand witness to the danger and political intrigue, having flown on that first Friendship Flight, and having spent thirty years behind the scenes with some of Alaska’s highest officials. As Alaska celebrates the 150th anniversary of its purchase, and as diplomatic ties with Russia become perilous, Melting the Ice Curtain shows that history might hold the best lessons for restoring diplomacy between nuclear neighbors.
The Moon in Your Sky: An Immigrant’s Journey Home brings to life the remarkable story of Annah Emuge. Growing up in Uganda under the rule of Idi Amin, Annah and her peers faced hardships few of us can imagine, living with the constant threat of soldiers breaking into their homes, raiding and pillaging as they pleased.
Annah found strength in her relationship with her mother, Esther, and in her relationship with God. Esther encouraged Annah to educate herself and “go out into the world.” Annah’s faith led her to James, an evangelical preacher who became her husband. The two left Uganda for the United States when James received a scholarship to study at Ohio University, only to be stranded there with two small children when the Ugandan government collapsed. The loss of his dreams, along with the realities of American life for African immigrants, proved to be more than James could withstand, and he succumbed to alcoholism.
How Annah overcame the trials she endured in the land she had thought would hold only promise for her and her family is a riveting story of perseverance that will inspire any reader. Annah’s sorrows give depth to the great joys she experiences as she not only survives but triumphs, working to make both of her countries better places.
In Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty J. Kēhaulani Kauanui examines contradictions of indigeneity and self-determination in U.S. domestic policy and international law. She theorizes paradoxes in the laws themselves and in nationalist assertions of Hawaiian Kingdom restoration and demands for U.S. deoccupation, which echo colonialist models of governance. Kauanui argues that Hawaiian elites' approaches to reforming and regulating land, gender, and sexuality in the early nineteenth century that paved the way for sovereign recognition of the kingdom complicate contemporary nationalist activism today, which too often includes disavowing the indigeneity of the Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiian) people. Problematizing the ways the positing of the Hawaiian Kingdom's continued existence has been accompanied by a denial of U.S. settler colonialism, Kauanui considers possibilities for a decolonial approach to Hawaiian sovereignty that would address the privatization and capitalist development of land and the ongoing legacy of the imposition of heteropatriarchal modes of social relations.
This is a true story of the struggle, survival, and ultimate success of a large black family in south Alabama who, in the middle decades of the 20th century, lifted themselves out of poverty to achieve the American dream of property ownership. Descended from slaves and sharecroppers in the Black Belt region, this family of hard-working parents and their thirteen children is mentored by its matriarch, Moa, the author’s beloved great grandmother, who passes on to the family, along with other cultural wealth, her recipe for moonshine.
Without rancor or blame, and even with occasional humor, The Pecan Orchard offers a window into the inequities between blacks and whites in a small southern town still emerging from Jim Crow attitudes.
Told in clean, straightforward prose, the story radiates the suffocating midday heat of summertime cotton fields and the biting winter wind sifting through porous shanty walls. It conveys the implicit shame in “Colored Only” restrooms, drinking fountains, and eating areas; the beaming satisfaction of a job well done recognized by others; the “yessum” manners required of southern society; and the joyful moments, shared memories, and loving bonds that sustain—and even raise—a proud family.
When Raymond Goodwin started work at a Michigan sawmill in 1979, the glory days of lumbering were long gone. But the industry still had a faded glow that, for a while, held him there. In Sawdusted Goodwin wipes the dust off his memories of the rundown, nonunion mill where he toiled for twenty months as a two-time college dropout. Spare, evocative character sketches bring to life the personalities of his fellow millworkers—their raucous pranks, ribbing, complaints about wages and weather, macho posturing, failed romances, and fantasies of escape.
The result is a mostly funny, sometimes heartbreaking portrait of life in the lumbering industry a century after its heyday. Amidst the intermittent anger and resignation of poorly paid lumbermen in the Great Lakes hinterlands, Goodwin reveals moments of vulnerability, generosity, and pride in craftsmanship. It is a world familiar, in its basic outlines, to anyone who has ever done manual labor.
At the heart of the book is a coming-of-age story about Goodwin’s relationship with his older brother Randy—a heavy drinker, chain smoker, and expert sawyer. Gruff but kind, Randy tutors Raymond in the ways of the blue-collar world even as he struggles with the demons that mask his own melancholy.
A Michigan Notable Book, selected by the Library of Michigan
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association
Outstanding Book, selected by the American Association of School Libraries
Six Turkish Filmmakers
Laurence Raw University of Wisconsin Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1993.5.T8R39 2017 | Dewey Decimal 791.4309561
Examining the vanguard of New Turkish Cinema, Laurence Raw shows how these films reveal the effects of profound socioeconomic change on ordinary people in contemporary Turkey.
In analysis of and personal interviews with Dervis Zaim, Zeki Demirkubuz, Semih Kaplanoglu, Çagan Irmak, Tolga Örnek, and Palme d'Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Raw draws connections with Turkish theater, art, sculpture, literature, poetry, philosophy, and international cinema. A native of England and a twenty-five-year resident of Turkey, Raw interleaves his film discussion with thoughtful commentary on nationalism, gender, personal identity, and cultural pluralism.
Starting with Goodbye begins with loss and ends with love, as a midlife daughter rediscovers her enigmatic father after his death. Lisa has little time for grief, but when her dead dad drops in for “conversations,” his absent presence invites Lisa to examine why the parent she had turned away from in life now holds her spellbound.
Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing he financed (filled with horses, lavish vacations, bulging closets), and the emotional distance that grew when he retired to Las Vegas and she remained in New Jersey where she and her husband earn moderate incomes. She also confronts death rituals, navigates new family dynamics, while living both in memory and the unfolding moment.
In this brutally honest yet compelling portrayal and tribute, Lisa searches for meaning, reconciling the Italian-American father—self-made textile manufacturer who liked newspapers, smoking, Las Vegas craps tables, and solitude—with the complex man she discovers influenced everything, from career choice to spouse.
By forging a new father-daughter “relationship,” grief is transformed to hopeful life-affirming redemption. In poignant, often lyrical prose, this powerful, honest book proves that when we dare to love the parent who challenged us most, it’s never too late.
Though the world was stunned by the horrific massacres of Tutsi by the Hutu majority in Rwanda beginning in April 1994, there has been little coverage of the reprisals that occurred after the Tutsi gained political power. During this time hundreds of thousands of Hutu were systematically hunted and killed. Surviving the Slaughter: The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire is the eyewitness account of Marie Béatrice Umutesi. She tells of life in the refugee camps in Zaire and her flight across 2000 kilometers on foot. During this forced march, far from the world’s cameras, many Hutu refugees were trampled and murdered. Others died from hunger, exhaustion, and sickness, or simply vanished, ignored by the international community and betrayed by humanitarian organizations. Amidst this brutality, day-to-day suffering, and desperate survival, Umutesi managed to organize the camps to improve the quality of life for women and children.
In this first-hand account of inexplicable brutality, day-to-day suffering, and survival, Marie Béatrice Umutesi sheds light on a backlash of violence that targeted the Hutu refugees of Rwanda after the victory of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in 1994. Umutesi’s documentation of the flight and terror of these years provides the world a veritable account of a history that is still widely unknown. After translations from its original French into three other languages, this important book is available in English for the first time. It is more than a testimony to the lives and humanity lost; it is a call for those politicians, military personnel, and humanitarian organizations responsible for the atrocious crimes—and the devastating silence—to be held accountable.
“Umutesi’s tale, told with honesty and eloquence, is a tribute to the human spirit, a searing indictment of the agents who perpetrated these horrors, and a reproach to those who turned away.”—Catharine Newbury, African Studies Review
“Restores a human dimension that has been lacking in the history of the genocide and massacres in Rwanda.”—Danielle de Lame, African Studies Review
“A vivid account of the grueling nightmare experienced by tens of thousands of Rwandan civilians whom the world had deliberately forsaken. . . . An outstanding call for justice.”—Aloys Habimama, African Studies Review
“A towering work. . . . An epic for our times, a tale to ponder for the lessons it conveys, testimony so powerful and moving that it reaches an unintended literary greatness.”—Jan Vansina, African Studies Review
“Of all the current books and films ten years after the Rwandan genocide, none is more effective than Surviving the Slaughter . . . . This book carries one along, often as if running with the refugees.”—Anne Serafin, Multicultural Review
The Trail North is the story of a young man who comes into his own during a summer on the Pacific Coast Trail. With only his horse for company, Hawk Greenway tasted the freedom and wildness of the high mountains, weathered the loneliness of solitary campfires, and witnessed important changes within and around him. This straight-talking record of a teenager's growth and adventure is a valuable example for young people everywhere, and a rich experience for readers of all ages.
In Unsustainable Empire Dean Itsuji Saranillio offers a bold challenge to conventional understandings of Hawai‘i’s admission as a U.S. state. Hawai‘i statehood is popularly remembered as a civil rights victory against racist claims that Hawai‘i was undeserving of statehood because it was a largely non-white territory. Yet Native Hawaiian opposition to statehood has been all but forgotten. Saranillio tracks these disparate stories by marshaling a variety of unexpected genres and archives: exhibits at world's fairs, political cartoons, propaganda films, a multimillion-dollar hoax on Hawai‘i’s tourism industry, water struggles, and stories of hauntings, among others. Saranillio shows that statehood was neither the expansion of U.S. democracy nor a strong nation swallowing a weak and feeble island nation, but the result of a U.S. nation whose economy was unsustainable without enacting a more aggressive policy of imperialism. With clarity and persuasive force about historically and ethically complex issues, Unsustainable Empire provides a more complicated understanding of Hawai‘i’s admission as the fiftieth state and why Native Hawaiian place-based alternatives to U.S. empire are urgently needed.
Alan L. MCPHERSON Harvard University Press, 2003 Library of Congress F1418.M373 2003 | Dewey Decimal 327.7308
In 1958, angry Venezuelans attacked Vice President Richard Nixon in Caracas, opening a turbulent decade in Latin American-U.S. relations. In Yankee No! Alan McPherson sheds much-needed light on the controversial and pressing problem of anti-U.S. sentiment in the world.
Examining the roots of anti-Americanism in Latin America, McPherson focuses on three major crises: the Cuban Revolution, the 1964 Panama riots, and U.S. intervention in the Dominican Republic. Deftly combining cultural and political analysis, he demonstrates the shifting and complex nature of anti-Americanism in each country and the love-hate ambivalence of most Latin Americans toward the United States. When rising panic over "Yankee hating" led Washington to try to contain foreign hostility, the government displayed a surprisingly coherent and consistent response, maintaining an ideological self-confidence that has outlasted a Latin American diplomacy torn between resentment and admiration of the United States.
However, McPherson warns, U.S. leaders run a great risk if they continue to ignore the deeper causes of anti-Americanism. Written with dramatic flair, Yankee No! is a timely, compelling, and carefully researched contribution to international history.
Table of Contents:
Introduction Anti-Americanism as Historical Problem
1. The Road to Caracas Or, Richard Nixon Must Get Stoned 2. Cuba, 1959 Revolutionary Anti-Americanism and U.S. Panic 3. Panama, 1964 Conservative Anti-Americanism and U.S. Pragmatism 4. Dominican Republic, 1965 Episodic Anti-Americanism and U.S. Containment
Epilogue Toward Global Anti-Americanism
Abbreviations Notes Selected Sources Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: McPherson examines the years from 1958 to 1966, when anti-Americanism was a prominent theme in inter-American diplomacy, to deliver a helpful reminder that anti-Americanism is not a new phenomenon nor a product only of the Middle East--and that it has been confronted quite effectively in the past, at least when its sources were sought out and taken seriously. He provides several vivid case studies, starting with the attacks on Vice President Richard Nixon in Caracas and continuing on to Cuba, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Together, these examples show the variability and ambivalence of anti-Americanism; they also emphasize the importance of U.S. policies that respond to its challenges rather than dismissing it as a cynical invention of alienated elites...This well-written and balanced book should be required reading in the White House, in Langley, and around Foggy Bottom. --Foreign Affairs
Alan McPherson has not only made a valuable contribution to the literature on U.S.-Latin American relations but, more importantly, he has provided a superb analysis of anti-Americanism by identifying its variability, its ambivalence, and the U.S. resilience in confronting the challenge during the critical years framed in this book. In his sophistication and in his writing he demonstrates all the attributes of a seasoned historian. --Lester D. Langley, author of The Americas in the Modern Age
McPherson expertly extends the field of U.S. foreign relations into social and cultural history. In his analysis of U.S. relations with Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Panama, he deftly avoids the trap of writing international history solely with the 'view from Washington' perspective. I unequivocally recommend it. --Stephen Rabe, author of Eisenhower and Latin America
This timely, deeply researched, analytically rigorous, and handsomely written study probes the many anti-Americanisms that have bedeviled U.S. relations with Latin America. Why do they hate us?' is an urgent question today. McPherson impressively demonstrates that it has profound historical roots that can inform caring policymakers eager to prevent global violence. --Thomas G. Paterson, author of Contesting Castro
McPherson opens a revealing window on the heretofore elusive phenomenon of anti-Americanism. In so doing he takes his place in the front ranks of younger scholars writing about U.S. foreign relations. --William Walker, Florida International University