Starting at the turn of the century, most African American midwives in the South were gradually excluded from reproductive health care. Gertrude Fraser shows how physicians, public health personnel, and state legislators mounted a campaign ostensibly to improve maternal and infant health, especially in rural areas. They brought traditional midwives under the control of a supervisory body, and eventually eliminated them. In the writings and programs produced by these physicians and public health officials, Fraser finds a universe of ideas about race, gender, the relationship of medicine to society, and the status of the South in the national political and social economies.Fraser also studies this experience through dialogues of memory. She interviews members of a rural Virginia African American community that included not just retired midwives and their descendants, but anyone who lived through this transformation in medical care--especially the women who gave birth at home attended by a midwife. She compares these narrations to those in contemporary medical journals and public health materials, discovering contradictions and ambivalence: was the midwife a figure of shame or pride? How did one distance oneself from what was now considered "superstitious" or "backward" and at the same time acknowledge and show pride in the former unquestioned authority of these beliefs and practices?In an important contribution to African American studies and anthropology, African American Midwifery in the South brings new voices to the discourse on the hidden world of midwives and birthing.
In this entertaining and informative book, Walter Friedman chronicles the remarkable metamorphosis of the American salesman from itinerant amateur to trained expert. From the mid-nineteenth century to the eve of World War II, the development of sales management transformed an economy populated by peddlers and canvassers to one driven by professional salesmen and executives.From book agents flogging Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs to John H. Patterson's famous pyramid strategy at National Cash Register to the determined efforts by Ford and Chevrolet to craft surefire sales pitches for their dealers, selling evolved from an art to a science. "Salesmanship" as a term and a concept arose around the turn of the century, paralleling the new science of mass production. Managers assembled professional forces of neat responsible salesmen who were presented as hardworking pillars of society, no longer the butt of endless "traveling salesmen" jokes. People became prospects; their homes became territories. As an NCR representative said, the modern salesman "let the light of reason into dark places." The study of selling itself became an industry, producing academic disciplines devoted to marketing, consumer behavior, and industrial psychology. At Carnegie Mellon's Bureau of Salesmanship Research, Walter Dill Scott studied the characteristics of successful salesmen and ways to motivate consumers to buy.Full of engaging portraits and illuminating insights, Birth of a Salesman is a singular contribution that offers a clear understanding of the transformation of salesmanship in modern America.
In the light of the deepening crisis of capitalism and continued non-Western capitalist accumulation, Henry Heller re-examines the debates surrounding the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe and elsewhere.
Focusing on arguments about the origin, nature and sustainability of capitalism, Heller offers a new reading of the historical evidence and a critical interrogation of the transition debate. He advances the idea that capitalism must be understood as a political as well as an economic entity. This book breathes new life into the scholarship, taking issue with the excessively economistic approach of Robert Brenner, which has gained increasing support over the last ten years. It concludes that the future of capitalism is more threatened than ever before.
The new insights in this book make it essential reading for engaged students and scholars of political economy and history.
A revealing genealogy of image-recognition techniques and technologies
Today’s most advanced neural networks and sophisticated image-analysis methods come from 1950s and ’60s Cold War culture—and many biases and ways of understanding the world from that era persist along with them. Aerial surveillance and reconnaissance shaped all of the technologies that we now refer to as computer vision, including facial recognition. The Birth of Computer Vision uncovers these histories and finds connections between the algorithms, people, and politics at the core of automating perception today.
James E. Dobson reveals how new forms of computerized surveillance systems, high-tech policing, and automated decision-making systems have become entangled, functioning together as a new technological apparatus of social control. Tracing the development of a series of important computer-vision algorithms, he uncovers the ideas, worrisome military origins, and lingering goals reproduced within the code and the products based on it, examining how they became linked to one another and repurposed for domestic and commercial uses. Dobson includes analysis of the Shakey Project, which produced the first semi-autonomous robot, and the impact of student protest in the early 1970s at Stanford University, as well as recovering the computer vision–related aspects of Frank Rosenblatt’s Perceptron as the crucial link between machine learning and computer vision.
Motivated by the ongoing use of these major algorithms and methods, The Birth of Computer Vision chronicles the foundations of computer vision and artificial intelligence, its major transformations, and the questionable legacy of its origins.
Cover alt text: Two overlapping circles in cream and violet, with black background. Top is a printed circuit with camera eye; below a person at a 1977 computer.
A systematic attempt to understand the rabbinic world through its approach to confronting uncertainty
In the history of halakhah, the treatment of uncertainty became one of the most complex fields of intense study. In his latest book, Moshe Halbertal focuses on examining the point of origin of the study of uncertainty in early rabbinic literature, including the Mishnah, Tosefta, and halakhic midrashim. Halbertal explores instructions concerning how to behave in situations of uncertainty ranging from matters of ritual purity, to lineage and marriage, to monetary law, and to the laws of forbidden foods. This examination of the rules of uncertainty introduced in early rabbinic literature reveals that these rules were not aimed at avoiding but rather at dwelling in the midst of uncertainty, thus rejecting the sectarian isolationism that sought to minimize a community’s experience of and friction with uncertainty.
In this illuminating work, surveying 300 years and two nations, Sarah Gwyneth Ross demonstrates how the expanding ranks of learned women in the Renaissance era presented the first significant challenge to the traditional definition of “woman” in the West.An experiment in collective biography and intellectual history, The Birth of Feminism focuses on nineteen learned women from the middle ranks of society who rose to prominence in the world of Italian and English letters between 1400 and 1680. Drawing both on archival material—wills, letters, and manuscript compositions, some presented here for the first time—and on printed writings, Ross gives us an unprecedented sense of educated early modern women’s lives.Sponsored and often educated by their learned fathers and other male relatives within a model that Ross terms “the intellectual family,” female authors publicized their works within the safety of family networks. These women, including Christine de Pizan, Laura Cereta, Margaret More Roper, Lucrezia Marinella, and Bathsua Makin, did not argue for women’s political equality, but they represented and often advocated women’s intellectual equality. Ross demonstrates that because of their education, these women had a renaissance during the Renaissance, and that in so doing they laid the foundation for the emancipation of womankind.
In The Birth of Sense, Don Beith proposes a new concept of generative passivity, the idea that our organic, psychological, and social activities take time to develop into sense. More than being a limit, passivity marks out the way in which organisms, persons, and interbodily systems take time in order to manifest a coherent sense. Beith situates his argument within contemporary debates about evolution, developmental biology, scientific causal explanations, psychology, postmodernism, social constructivism, and critical race theory. Drawing on empirical studies and phenomenological reflections, Beith argues that in nature, novel meaning emerges prior to any type of constituting activity or deterministic plan.
The Birth of Sense is an original phenomenological investigation in the style of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and it demonstrates that the French philosopher’s works cohere around the notion that life is radically expressive. While Merleau-Ponty’s early works are widely interpreted as arguing for the primacy of human consciousness, Beith argues that a pivotal redefinition of passivity is already under way here, and extends throughout Merleau-Ponty’s corpus. This work introduces new concepts in contemporary philosophy to interrogate how organic development involves spontaneous expression, how personhood emerges from this bodily growth, and how our interpersonal human life remains rooted in, and often thwarted by, domains of bodily expressivity.
Opening a new area in Latin American studies, The Birth of the Penitentiary in Latin America showcases the most recent historical outlooks on prison reform and criminology in the Latin American context. The essays in this collection shed new light on the discourse and practice of prison reform, the interpretive shifts induced by the spread of criminological science, and the links between them and competing discourses about class, race, nation, and gender. The book shows how the seemingly clear redemptive purpose of the penitentiary project was eventually contradicted by conflicting views about imprisonment, the pervasiveness of traditional forms of repression and control, and resistance from the lower classes.
The essays are unified by their attempt to view the penitentiary (as well as the variety of representations conveyed by the different reform movements favoring its adoption) as an interpretive moment, revealing of the ideology, class fractures, and contradictory nature of modernity in Latin America. As such, the book should be of interest not only to scholars concerned with criminal justice history, but also to a wide range of readers interested in modernization, social identities, and the discursive articulation of social conflict. The collection also offers an up-to-date sampling of new historical approaches to the study of criminal justice history, illuminates crucial aspects of the Latin American modernization process, and contrasts the Latin American cases with the better known European and North American experiences with prison reform.
In one remarkable quarter-century, thirteen quarrelsome colonies were transformed into a nation. Edmund S. Morgan's classic account of the Revolutionary period shows how the challenge of British taxation started the Americans on a search for constitutional principles to protect their freedom and eventually led to the Revolution.
Morgan demonstrates that these principles were not abstract doctrines of political theory but grew instead out of the immediate needs and experiences of the colonists. They were held with passionate conviction, and incorporated, finally, into the constitutions of the new American states and of the United States.
Though the basic theme of the book and his assessment of what the Revolution achieved remain the same, Morgan has updated the revised edition of The Birth of the Republic (1977) to include some textual and stylistic changes as well as a substantial revision of the Bibliographic Note.
In The Birth of the Republic, 1763–89, Edmund S. Morgan shows how the challenge of British taxation started Americans on a search for constitutional principles to protect their freedom, and eventually led to the Revolution. By demonstrating that the founding fathers’ political philosophy was not grounded in theory, but rather grew out of their own immediate needs, Morgan paints a vivid portrait of how the founders’ own experiences shaped their passionate convictions, and these in turn were incorporated into the Constitution and other governmental documents. The Birth of the Republic is the classic account of the beginnings of the American government, and in this fourth edition the original text is supplemented with a new foreword by Joseph J. Ellis and a historiographic essay by Rosemarie Zagarri.
As indelible components of the history of the United States, race and racism have permeated nearly all aspects of life: cultural, economic, political, and social. In this first anthology on race in early cinema, fourteen scholars examine the origins, dynamics, and ramifications of racism and Eurocentrism and the resistance to both during the early years of American motion pictures. Any discussion of racial themes and practices in any arena inevitably begins with the definition of race. Is race an innate and biologically determined "essence" or is it a culturally constructed category? Is the question irrelevant? Perhaps race exists as an ever-changing historical and social formation that, regardless of any standard definition, involves exploitation, degradation, and struggle. In his introduction, Daniel Bernardi writes that "early cinema has been a clear partner in the hegemonic struggle over the meaning of race" and that it was steadfastly aligned with a Eurocentric world view at the expense of those who didn't count as white.
The contributors to this work tackle these problems and address such subjects as biological determinism, miscegenation, Manifest Destiny, assimilation, and nativism and their impact on early cinema. Analyses of The Birth of a Nation, Romona, Nanook of the North and Madame Butterfly and the directorial styles of D. W. Griffith, Oscar Micheaux, and Edwin Porter are included in the volume.
In 1831, Stevens T. Mason was named Secretary of the Michigan Territory at the tender age of 19, two years before he could even vote. The youngest presidential appointee in American history, Mason quickly stamped his persona on Michigan life in large letters. After championing the territory's successful push for statehood without congressional authorization, he would defend his new state's border in open defiance of the country's political elite and then orchestrate its expansion through the annexation of the Upper Peninsula---all before his official election as Michigan's first governor at age 24, the youngest chief executive in any state's history.
The Boy Governor tells the complete story of this dominant political figure in Michigan's early development. Capturing Mason's youthful idealism and visionary accomplishments, including his advocacy for a strong state university and legislating for the creation of the Soo Locks, this biography renders a vivid portrait of Michigan's first governor---his conflicts, his desires, and his sense of patriotism. This book will appeal to anyone with a love of American history and interest in the many, larger-than-life personalities that battled on the political stage during the Jacksonian era.
In 1893, the 27.5 million visitors to the Chicago World’s Fair feasted their eyes on the impressive architecture of the White City, lit at night by thousands of electric lights. In addition to marveling at the revolutionary exhibits, most visitors discovered something else: beyond the fair’s 633 acres lay a modern metropolis that rivaled the world’s greatest cities. The Columbian Exposition marked Chicago’s arrival on the world stage, but even without the splendor of the fair, 1893 would still have been Chicago’s greatest year.
An almost endless list of achievements took place in Chicago in 1893. Chicago’s most important skyscraper was completed in 1893, and Frank Lloyd Wright opened his office in the same year. African American physician and Chicagoan Daniel Hale Williams performed one of the first known open-heart surgeries in 1893. Sears and Roebuck was incorporated, and William Wrigley invented Juicy Fruit gum that year. The Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Science and Industry all started in 1893. The Cubs’ new ballpark opened in this year, and an Austro-Hungarian immigrant began selling hot dogs outside the World’s Fair grounds. His wares became the famous “Chicago hot dog.”
“Cities are not buildings; cities are people,” writes author Joseph Gustaitis. Throughout the book, he brings forgotten pioneers back to the forefront of Chicago’s history, connecting these important people of 1893 with their effects on the city and its institutions today. The facts in this history of a year range from funny to astounding, showcasing innovators, civic leaders, VIPs, and power brokers who made 1893 Chicago about so much more than the fair.
A City Called Heaven celebrates a sound too mighty and too joyous for even church walls to hold.
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity describes the effect of gravitation on the shape of space and the flow of time. But for more than four decades after its publication, the theory remained largely a curiosity for scientists; however accurate it seemed, Einstein’s mathematical code—represented by six interlocking equations—was one of the most difficult to crack in all of science. That is, until a twenty-nine-year-old Cambridge graduate solved the great riddle in 1963. Roy Kerr’s solution emerged coincidentally with the discovery of black holes that same year and provided fertile testing ground—at long last—for general relativity. Today, scientists routinely cite the Kerr solution, but even among specialists, few know the story of how Kerr cracked Einstein’s code.
Fulvio Melia here offers an eyewitness account of the events leading up to Kerr’s great discovery. Cracking the Einstein Code vividly describes how luminaries such as Karl Schwarzschild, David Hilbert, and Emmy Noether set the stage for the Kerr solution; how Kerr came to make his breakthrough; and how scientists such as Roger Penrose, Kip Thorne, and Stephen Hawking used the accomplishment to refine and expand modern astronomy and physics. Today more than 300 million supermassive black holes are suspected of anchoring their host galaxies across the cosmos, and the Kerr solution is what astronomers and astrophysicists use to describe much of their behavior.
By unmasking the history behind the search for a real world solution to Einstein’s field equations, Melia offers a first-hand account of an important but untold story. Sometimes dramatic, often exhilarating, but always attuned to the human element, Cracking the Einstein Code is ultimately a showcase of how important science gets done.
California’s citrus industry owes a huge debt to the introduction of the navel orange tree—in fact, to two trees in particular, the parent trees of the vast groves of navel oranges that exist in California today. Those trees were planted by a woman named Eliza Lovell Tibbets.
Born in Cincinnati in1823, Eliza’s Swedenborgian faith informed her ideals. Surrounded by artists and free thinkers, her personal journey took her first to New York City, then south to create a better environment for newly freed slaves in racially divided Virginia, and onward to Washington, DC, where she campaigned for women’s rights. But it was in California where she left her true mark, launching an agricultural boom that changed the course of California’s history.
Eliza’s story of faith and idealism will appeal to anyone who is curious about US history, women’s rights, abolitionism, Spiritualism, and California’s early pioneer days. Follow Eliza through loves and fortunes lost and found until she finally finds her paradise in a little town called Riverside.
Todd Wolfson reveals how aspects of the mid-1990s Zapatistas movement--network organizational structure, participatory democratic governance, and the use of communication tools as a binding agent--became essential parts of Indymedia and other Cyber Left organizations. From there he uses oral interviews and other rich ethnographic data to chart the media-based think tanks and experiments that continued the Cyber Left's evolution through the Independent Media Center's birth around the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.
Melding virtual and traditional ethnographic practice to explore the Cyber Left's cultural logic, Wolfson maps the social, spatial and communicative structure of the Indymedia network and details its operations on the local, national and global level. He looks at the participatory democracy that governs global social movements and the ways democracy and decentralization have come into tension, and how "the switchboard of struggle" conducts stories from the hyper-local and disperses them worldwide. As he shows, understanding the intersection of Indymedia and the Global Social Justice Movement illuminates their foundational role in the Occupy struggle and other emergent movements that have re-energized radical politics.
The story of the African American contributions to the symphonic jazz vogue of the 1920s through the 1940s.
During the early decades of the twentieth century symphonic jazz involved an expansive family of music that emulated, paralleled, and intersected the jazz tradition. Though now largely forgotten, symphonic jazz was both a popular music---arranging tradition and a repertory of hybrid concert works, both of which reveled in the mildly irreverent interbreeding of white and black and high and low music. While the roots of symphonic jazz can be traced to certain black ragtime orchestras of the teens, the idiom came to maturation in the music of 1920s white dance bands.
Through a close examination of the music of Duke Ellington and James P. Johnson, Ellington Uptown uncovers compositions that have usually fallen in the cracks between concert music, jazz, and popular music. It also places the concert works of these two iconic figures in context through an investigation both of related compositions by black and white peers and of symphonic jazz---style arrangements from a diverse number of early sound films, Broadway musicals, Harlem nightclub floor shows, and select interwar radio programs.
Both Ellington and Johnson were part of a close-knit community of several generations of Harlem musicians. Older figures like Will Marion Cook, Will Vodery, W. C. Handy, and James Reese Europe were the generation of black musicians that initially broke New York entertainment's racial barriers in the first two decades of the century. By the 1920s, Cook, Vodery, and Handy had become mentors to Harlem's younger musicians. This generational connection is a key for understanding Johnson’s and Ellington's ambitions to use the success of Harlem's white-oriented entertainment trade as a springboard for establishing a black concert music tradition based on Harlem jazz and popular music.
John Howland is Assistant Professor of Music at Rutgers University and the cofounder and current editor-in-chief of the journal Jazz Perspectives. This work has been supported through several prestigious awards, including the Lloyd Hibberd Publication Endowment Fund of the American Musicological Society.
Long before scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland cloned Dolly the sheep in 1996, American embryologist and aspiring cancer researcher Robert Briggs successfully developed the technique of nuclear transplantation using frogs in 1952. Although the history of cloning is often associated with contemporary ethical controversies, Forgotten Clones revisits the influential work of scientists like Briggs, Thomas King, and Marie DiBerardino, before the possibility of human cloning and its ethical implications first registered as a concern in public consciousness, and when many thought the very idea of cloning was experimentally impossible. By focusing instead on new laboratory techniques and practices and their place in Anglo-American science and society in the mid-twentieth century, Nathan Crowe demonstrates how embryos constructed in the lab were only later reconstructed as ethical problems in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of what was then referred to as the Biological Revolution. His book illuminates the importance of the early history of cloning for the biosciences and their institutional, disciplinary, and intellectual contexts, as well as providing new insights into the changing cultural perceptions of the biological sciences after Second World War.
Victor Fuchs, author of Who Shall Live?, cuts through the hand wringing and the “pop” panaceas for America's current social crises in a brilliant analysis of the way we live. The facts are familiar. A doubled rate of divorce. A birth rate cut nearly in half while the percentage of illegitimate births nearly tripled. The young face dismal job prospects, and many of the old are totally dependent on the federal government.Fuchs's economic approach shows us that the societal upheaval of American life is not created by fiat but rather emerges as millions of men and women make seemingly small choices that are constrained by their circumstances: “Should I go back to school?” “How many children should we have?” “When should I retire?” In a masterly synthesis, he shows the interrelatedness of our choices regarding family, work, health, and education throughout the life cycle. He uses the latest facts of American life to explore three major themes—the fading family, the impact of simple demographics on individual destiny, and the effect of weighing present and future costs and benefits on individual choice.Fuchs concludes by offering innovative solutions to many contemporary problems: social security, health insurance, child care, youth unemployment, and illegitimate births. Moving beyond the outworn orthodoxies of liberalism and conservatism, he offers a clearer view of our circumstances so that readers from all walks of life can make better private choices, and contribute to more effective public policies.
The connection between people and companion animals has received considerable attention from scholars. In her original and provocative ethnography Livestock/Deadstock, sociologist Rhoda Wilkie asks, how do the men and women who work on farms, in livestock auction markets, and slaughterhouses, interact with—or disengage from—the animals they encounter in their jobs?
Wilkie provides a nuanced appreciation of how those men and women who breed, rear, show, fatten, market, medically treat, and slaughter livestock, make sense of their interactions with the animals that constitute the focus of their work lives. Using a sociologically informed perspective, Wilkie explores their attitudes and behaviors to explain how agricultural workers think, feel, and relate to food animals.
Livestock/Deadstock looks at both people and animals in the division of labor and shows how commercial and hobby productive contexts provide male and female handlers with varying opportunities to bond with and/or distance themselves from livestock. Exploring the experiences of stockpeople, hobby farmers, auction workers, vets and slaughterers, she offers timely insight into the multifaceted, gendered, and contradictory nature of human roles in food animal production.
Drawing on more than thirty years of scholarship, Tim Brooks identifies key black recording artists and profiles forty audio pioneers. Brooks assesses the careers and recordings of George W. Johnson, Bert Williams, George Walker, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, W. C. Handy, James Reese Europe, Wilbur Sweatman, Harry T. Burleigh, Roland Hayes, Booker T. Washington, and boxing champion Jack Johnson, plus a host of lesser-known voices. Many of these pioneers struggled to be heard in an era of rampant discrimination. Their stories detail the forces––black and white––that gradually allowed African Americans to enter the mainstream entertainment industry.
Lost Sounds includes Brooks's selected discography of CD reissues and an appendix by Dick Spottswood describing early recordings by black artists in the Caribbean and South America.
The harsh Armistice terms of 1918, the short-lived Weimar Republic, Hindenburg's senile vacillations, and behind-the-scene power plays form the backbone of this excellent study covering German history during the first three-and-a-half decades of the century.
Weaving together the international and the domestic in creative new ways, The Malthusian Moment charts the explosion of Malthusian thinking in the United States from World War I to Earth Day 1970, then traces the just-as-surprising decline in concern beginning in the mid-1970s. In addition to offering an unconventional look at World War II and the Cold War through a balanced study of the environmental movement’s most contentious theory, the book sheds new light on some of the big stories of postwar American life: the rise of consumption, the growth of the federal government, urban and suburban problems, the civil rights and women’s movements, the role of scientists in a democracy, new attitudes about sex and sexuality, and the emergence of the “New Right.”
“The Meddlers is an eye-opening, essential new history that places our international financial institutions in the transition from a world defined by empire to one of nation states enmeshed in the world economy.”—Adam Tooze, Columbia UniversityA pioneering history traces the origins of global economic governance—and the political conflicts it generates—to the aftermath of World War I.International economic institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank exert incredible influence over the domestic policies of many states. These institutions date from the end of World War II and amassed power during the neoliberal era of the late twentieth century. But as Jamie Martin shows, if we want to understand their deeper origins and the ideas and dynamics that shaped their controversial powers, we must turn back to the explosive political struggles that attended the birth of global economic governance in the early twentieth century.The Meddlers tells the story of the first international institutions to govern the world economy, including the League of Nations and Bank for International Settlements, created after World War I. These institutions endowed civil servants, bankers, and colonial authorities from Europe and the United States with extraordinary powers: to enforce austerity, coordinate the policies of independent central banks, oversee development programs, and regulate commodity prices. In a highly unequal world, they faced a new political challenge: was it possible to reach into sovereign states and empires to intervene in domestic economic policies without generating a backlash?Martin follows the intense political conflicts provoked by the earliest international efforts to govern capitalism—from Weimar Germany to the Balkans, Nationalist China to colonial Malaya, and the Chilean desert to Wall Street. The Meddlers shows how the fraught problems of sovereignty and democracy posed by institutions like the IMF are not unique to late twentieth-century globalization, but instead first emerged during an earlier period of imperial competition, world war, and economic crisis.
As new ideas arose during the Enlightenment, many political thinkers published their own versions of popular early modern "absolutist" texts and transformed them into manuals of political resistance. As a result, these works never achieved a fixed and stable edition. Publishing The Prince illustrates how Abraham-Nicolas Amelot de La Houssaye created the most popular late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century version of Machiavelli's masterpiece. In the process of translating, Amelot also transformed the work, altering its form and meaning, and his ideas spread through later editions.
Revising the orthodox schema of the public sphere in which political authority shifted away from the crown with the rise of bourgeois civil society in the eighteenth century, Soll uses the example of Amelot to show for the first time how the public sphere in fact grew out of the learned and even royal libraries of erudite scholars and the bookshops of subversive, not-so-polite publicists of the republic of letters.
Jacob Soll is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.
Cover art courtesy of Annenberg Rare Book Room and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania
Jacket Design: Stephanie Milanowski
"Jacob Soll traces the origins of Enlightenment criticism to the practices of learned humanists and hard-pressed literary entrepreneurs. This learned and lively book is also a tour de force of historical research and interpretation."
---Anthony Grafton, author of Cardano's Cosmos and Bring Out Your Dead
"Brilliant. How the printed page changed political philosophy into investigative reporting, and reason of state into the unmasking of power."
---J. G. A. Pocock, author of The Machiavellian Moment
"Soll's path-breaking study is a 'must read' for all those interested in the history of political thought and early modern intellectual history."
---Barbara Shapiro, University of California Berkeley
"Soll has done [Amelot] and his context justice, writing as he does with a clear, singular, and welcome voice."
---Margaret C. Jacobs, American Historical Review
Surveying the range of Sun Ra’s extraordinary creativity, this book explores how the father of Afrofuturism brought “space music” to a planet in need of transformation, supporting the aspirations of black people in an inhospitable white world.
Sun Ra said he came from Saturn. Known on earth for his inventive music and extravagant stage shows, he pioneered free-form improvisation in an ensemble setting with the devoted band he called the “Arkestra.” Sun Ra took jazz from the inner city to outer space, infusing traditional swing with far-out harmonies, rhythms, and sounds. Described as the father of Afrofuturism, Sun Ra created “space music” as a means of building a better future for American blacks here on earth.
A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism offers a spirited introduction to the life and work of this legendary but underappreciated musician, composer, and poet. Paul Youngquist explores and assesses Sun Ra’s wide-ranging creative output—music, public preaching, graphic design, film and stage performance, and poetry—and connects his diverse undertakings to the culture and politics of his times, including the space race, the rise of technocracy, the civil rights movement, and even space-age bachelor-pad music. By thoroughly examining the astro-black mythology that Sun Ra espoused, Youngquist masterfully demonstrates that he offered both a holistic response to a planet desperately in need of new visions and vibrations and a new kind of political activism that used popular culture to advance social change. In a nation obsessed with space and confused about race, Sun Ra aimed not just at assimilation for the socially disfranchised but even more at a wholesale transformation of American society and a more creative, egalitarian world.
Tracing the western from its hazy silent-picture origins in the 1890s to the advent of talking pictures in the 1920s, Smith examines the ways in which silent westerns contributed to the overall development of the film industry.
Focusing on such early important production companies as Selig Polyscope, New York Motion Picture, and Essanay, Smith revises current thinking about the birth of Hollywood and the establishment of Los Angeles as the nexus of filmmaking in the United States. Smith also reveals the role silent westerns played in the creation of the white male screen hero that dominated American popular culture in the twentieth century.
Illustrated with dozens of historic photos and movie stills, this engaging and substantive story will appeal to scholars interested in Western history, film history, and film studies as well as general readers hoping to learn more about this little-known chapter in popular filmmaking.
Honorable Mention, Ramirez Family Award for Most Significant Scholarly Book, Texas Institute of Letters, 2019
Jim Wright made his mark on virtually every major public policy issue in the later twentieth century—energy, education, taxes, transportation, environmental protection, civil rights, criminal justice, and foreign relations, among them. He played a significant role in peace initiatives in Central America and in the Camp David Accords, and he was the first American politician to speak live on Soviet television. A Democrat representing Texas’s twelfth district (Fort Worth), Wright served in the US House of Representatives from the Eisenhower administration to the presidency of George H. W. Bush, including twelve years (1977–1989) as majority leader and speaker. His long congressional ascension and sudden fall in a highly partisan ethics scandal spearheaded by Newt Gingrich mirrored the evolution of Congress as an institution.
Speaker Jim Wright traces the congressman’s long life and career in a highly readable narrative grounded in extensive interviews with Wright and access to his personal diaries. A skilled connector who bridged the conservative and liberal wings of the Democratic party while forging alliances with Republicans to pass legislation, Wright ultimately fell victim to a new era of political infighting, as well as to his own hubris and mistakes. J. Brooks Flippen shows how Wright’s career shaped the political culture of Congress, from its internal rules and power structure to its growing partisanship, even as those new dynamics eventually contributed to his political demise. To understand Jim Wright in all his complexity is to understand the story of modern American politics.
Soussloff combines a historically grounded examination of art and art historical thinking in Vienna with subsequent theories of portraiture and a careful historiography of philosophical and psychoanalytic approaches to human consciousness from Hegel to Sartre and from Freud to Lacan. She chronicles the emergence of a social theory of art among the art historians of the Vienna School, demonstrates how the Expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka depicted the Jewish subject, and explores the development of pictorialist photography. Reflecting on the implications of the visualized, modern subject for textual and linguistic analyses of subjectivity, Soussloff concludes that the Viennese art historians, photographers, and painters will henceforth have to be recognized as precursors to such better-known theorists of the subject as Sartre, Foucault, and Lacan.
Subversive Sounds probes New Orleans’s history, uncovering a web of racial interconnections and animosities that was instrumental to the creation of a vital American art form—jazz. Drawing on oral histories, police reports, newspaper accounts, and vintage recordings, Charles Hersch brings to vivid life the neighborhoods and nightspots where jazz was born.
This volume shows how musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Nick La Rocca, and Louis Armstrong negotiated New Orleans’s complex racial rules to pursue their craft and how, in order to widen their audiences, they became fluent in a variety of musical traditions from diverse ethnic sources. These encounters with other music and races subverted their own racial identities and changed the way they played—a musical miscegenation that, in the shadow of Jim Crow, undermined the pursuit of racial purity and indelibly transformed American culture.
“More than timely . . . Hersch orchestrates voices of musicians on both sides of the racial divide in underscoring how porous the music made the boundaries of race and class.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
A compelling merger of biography and sports history, Surf and Rescue brings to light the forgotten figure whose novel way of seeing the beach sparked the imaginations of people around the world.
A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year“Even in these dismal times genuinely important books do occasionally make their appearance…You really ought to read it…A tour de force…While Wertheim is not the first to expose isolationism as a carefully constructed myth, he does so with devastating effect.”—Andrew J. Bacevich, The NationFor most of its history, the United States avoided making political and military commitments that would entangle it in power politics. Then, suddenly, it conceived a new role for itself as an armed superpower—and never looked back. In Tomorrow, the World, Stephen Wertheim traces America’s transformation to World War II, right before the attack on Pearl Harbor.As late as 1940, the small coterie formulating U.S. foreign policy wanted British preeminence to continue. Axis conquests swept away their assumptions, leading them to conclude that America should extend its form of law and order across the globe, and back it at gunpoint. No one really favored “isolationism”—a term introduced by advocates of armed supremacy to burnish their cause. We live, Wertheim warns, in the world these men created. A sophisticated and impassioned account that questions the wisdom of U.S. supremacy, Tomorrow, the World reveals the intellectual path that brought us to today’s endless wars.“Its implications are invigorating…Wertheim opens space for Americans to reexamine their own history and ask themselves whether primacy has ever really met their interests.”—New Republic“For almost 80 years now, historians and diplomats have sought not only to describe America’s swift advance to global primacy but also to explain it…Any writer wanting to make a novel contribution either has to have evidence for a new interpretation, or at least be making an older argument in some improved and eye-catching way. Tomorrow, the World does both.”—Paul Kennedy, Wall Street Journal
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