The first major study of Karl Kautsky, considered the most influential Marxian theoretician in the world, from 1895 to 1914. Outside of Friedrich Engels, Kautsky did more to popularize Marism than any other person. An entire generation of Marxists, including Lenin and Trotsky, learned the doctrine in large part from Kautsky.
Ari Linden’s Karl Kraus and the Discourse of Modernity reconsiders the literary works of the Viennese satirist, journalist, and playwright Karl Kraus (1874–1936). Linden reads Kraus’s work both on its own terms and alongside philosophy and critical theory, yielding a portrait of Kraus as an irrepressible figure in the modernist tradition. In doing so, Linden draws a more robust image of German modernism itself.
Combining close readings with intellectual history, Linden shows how Kraus’s two major literary achievements (The Last Days of Mankind and The Third Walpurgis Night) and a lesser-known play (Cloudcuckooland) address the political catastrophes of the first third of Europe’s twentieth century—from World War I to the rise of fascism. Kraus’s central insight, Linden argues, is that the medial representations of such events have produced less an informed audience than one increasingly unmoved by mass violence. In the second part of the book, Linden explores this insight as he sees it inflected in Søren Kierkegaard, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor Adorno. This hidden dialogue, Linden argues, offers us a richer understanding of the often neglected relationship between satire and critical theory writ large.
Before World War I, the government reaction to labor dissent had been local, ad hoc, and quasi-military. Sheriffs, mayors, or governors would deputize strikebreakers or call out the state militia, usually at the bidding of employers. When the United States entered the conflict in 1917, government and industry feared that strikes would endanger war production; a more coordinated, national strategy would be necessary. To prevent stoppages, the Department of Justice embarked on a sweeping new effort—replacing gunmen with lawyers. The department systematically targeted the nation’s most radical and innovative union, the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies, resulting in the largest mass trial in U.S. history.
In the first legal history of this federal trial, Dean Strang shows how the case laid the groundwork for a fundamentally different strategy to stifle radical threats, and had a major role in shaping the modern Justice Department. As the trial unfolded, it became an exercise of raw force, raising serious questions about its legitimacy and revealing the fragility of a criminal justice system under great external pressure.
Informed by thousands of pages of newly released FBI files, The Kidnapping and Murder of Little Skeegie Cash tells the gripping story of the only crime investigated by J. Edgar Hoover himself, the sensational 1938 murder of a five-year-old boy from the Florida Everglades.
In his long and storied career, J. Edgar Hoover investigated only one case personally, the 1938 kidnapping and murder of five-year-old Floridian James “Skeegie” Cash. What prompted the director himself to fly from Washington, DC, to a rain-drenched hamlet on the edge of the Everglades? Congress had slashed FBI funding, forcing Hoover to lay off half his agents. The combative Hoover believed if he could bring Skeegie’s killer to justice, the halo of positive publicity would revive the fortunes of the embattled FBI.
In The Kidnapping and Murder of Little Skeegie Cash, Robert A. Waters and Zack C. Waters bring to life the drama of the abduction, the payment of a $10,000 ransom, the heartbreaking manhunt for Skeegie and his kidnapper, the arrest and confession of Franklin Pierce McCall, and the killer’s trial and execution. Hordes of reporters swarmed into the little village south of Miami, and for thirteen days until McCall confessed, the case dominated national headlines. The authors capture the drama and the detail as well as the desperate and sometimes extralegal lengths to which Hoover went to crack the case.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, the authors obtained more than four thousand pages of FBI files and court documents to reconstruct this important but forgotten case. The tragedy that played out in the swamps of Dade County constituted the backdrop for a political struggle that would involve J. Edgar Hoover, the United States Congress, and even president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Hoover and the president prevailed, and within two years the FBI grew from 680 employees to more than 14,000. No books and few articles have been published about this historic case.
Killing for Coal
Thomas G. Andrews Harvard University Press, 2002 Library of Congress HD5325.M63 1913C736 2008 | Dewey Decimal 331.892822334098
This book offers a bold and original perspective on the 1914 Ludlow Massacre and the “Great Coalfield War.” In a story of transformation, Andrews illuminates the causes and consequences of the militancy that erupted in colliers’ strikes over the course of nearly half a century.
“In the Norman Rockwell paintings of the 1940s and 1950s,” wrote Newt Gingrich, “there was a clear sense of what it meant to be an American.” Gingrich’s words underline what Mary Caputi sees as a desire of the neoconservative movement to set a foundation for modern America that ennobles the past.
Analyzing these competing uses of the past, A Kinder, Gentler America reveals how longing for the era of “the greatest generation” actually exposes a disillusionment with the present. Caputi draws on the theoretical frameworks of Julia Kristeva and Walter Benjamin to look at how the decade has been portrayed in movies such as Pleasantville and Far from Heaven and delves further to investigate our disenchantment’s lost origins in early modernity through a reading of the poetry of Baudelaire. What emerges is a stark contrast between the depictions of a melancholic present and a cheerful, shiny past. In the right’s invocation of the mythical 1950s and the left’s criticism of the same, Caputi recognizes a common unfulfilled desire, and proposes that by understanding this loss both sides can begin to accept that American identity, despite chaos and confusion, lies in the here and now.
Mary Caputi is professor of political science at California State University, Long Beach, and is author of Voluptuous Yearnings: A Feminist Theory of the Obscene.
For more than sixty years, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans personified the romantic, mythic West that America cherished well into the modern age. Blazing a trail through every branch of the entertainment industry—radio, film, recordings, television, and even comic books—the couple capitalized on their attractive personas and appealed to the nation's belief in family values, an independent spirit, community. King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West presents these two celebrities in the most comprehensive and inclusive account to date. Part narrative, part reference, this impeccably researched, highly accessible survey spans the entire scope of Rogers's and Evans's careers, illuminating and celebrating their place in twentieth-century American popular culture. Following the pair through each stage of their professional and personal trajectories, author Raymond E. White explores the unique alchemy of the singing cowboy and his free-spirited yet feminine partner. In a dual biography, he shows how Rogers and Evans carefully husbanded their public image and—of particular note—incorporated their Christian faith into their performances. And in a series of exhaustive appendixes, he documents their contributions to each medium they worked in. Testifying to both the breadth and the longevity of their careers, the book includes radio logs, discographies, filmographies, and comicographies that will delight historians and collectors alike. With its engaging tone and meticulous research, King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West is bound to become the definitive source on the lives of these two great American icons.
An essential critical history of German studies as an academic discipline.
German studies has confronted many crises, as well as severe criticism and self-criticism, and yet it has managed to maintain its disciplinary system through every upheaval--the revolution of 1848, the establishment of the Second Reich in 1871, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi Third Reich, the Second World War and the reconstruction era, the creation and reunification of the two German states. Pier Carlo Bontempelli focuses on this continuity, dating back to the early nineteenth century, when the "founding fathers" of Germanistik secured its status by grounding it in a set of fixed principles, revived by each successive generation of scholars in order to legitimize their position of power--and to ensure their capacity for cultural reproduction.
Using the works of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, Bontempelli investigates the institution and principles of German studies and critically reconstructs its history. Mindful of the mechanisms of choice and domination operating at every turn in this history, his book exposes the repressed social and political history of German studies.
Pier Carlo Bontempelli is an associate professor of German studies at University of Cassino, Italy.
Gabriele Poole teaches English language at University of Cassino, Italy.
Originating in 1891 in the port city of Surabaya, the Komedie Stamboel, or Istanbul-style theater, toured colonial Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia by rail and steamship. The company performed musical versions of the Arabian Nights, European fairy tales and operas such as Sleeping Beauty and Aida, as well as Indian and Persian romances, Southeast Asian chronicles, true crime stories, and political allegories. The actors were primarily Eurasians, the original backers were Chinese, and audiences were made up of all races and classes. The Komedie Stamboel explores how this new hybrid theater pointed toward possibilities for the transformation of self in a colonial society and sparked debates on moral behavior and mixed-race politics.
While audiences marveled at spectacles involving white-skinned actors, there were also racial frictions between actors and financiers, sexual scandals, fights among actors and patrons, bankruptcies, imprisonments, and a murder.
Matthew Isaac Cohen's evocative social history situates the Komedie Stamboel in the culture of empire and in late nineteenth-century itinerant entertainment. He shows how the theater was used as a symbol of cross-ethnic integration in postcolonial Indonesia and as an emblem of Eurasian cultural accomplishment by Indische Nederlanders. A pioneering study of nineteenth-century Southeast Asian popular culture, The Komedie Stamboel gives a new picture of the region's arts and culture and explores the interplay of currents in global culture, theatrical innovation, and movement in colonial Indonesia.ABOUT THE AUTHOR---Matthew Isaac Cohen is senior lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway University of London. His articles on Southeast Asian performance have appeared in New Theatre Quarterly, Asian Theatre Journal, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, and Archipel. As a practicing shadow puppeteer, he has performed in the United States, Europe, and Asia.