Why did the Chinese Communist Party state collapse so rapidly during the Cultural Revolution? Consulting over 2,000 local annals chronicling some 34,000 revolutionary episodes across China, Andrew Walder offers a new answer, showing how the army, brought in to quiet brewing rebellions, escalated the violence that took nearly 1.6 million lives.
During Stalin's Great Terror, more than a million Soviet citizens were arrested or killed for political crimes they did not commit. Who carried out these purges, and what motivated them? Alexander Vatlin opens up the world of the Soviet perpetrators using detailed evidence from one Moscow suburb. Spurred by ambition or fear, local secret police rushed to fulfill quotas for arresting "enemies of the people"—even when it meant fabricating evidence. Vatlin confronts head-on issues of historical agency and moral responsibility in Stalin-era crimes.
In Blood and Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, Jasmin Hristov examines the complexities, dynamics, and contradictions of present-day armed conflict in Colombia. She conducts an in-depth inquiry into the restructuring of the state’s coercive apparatus and the phenomenon of paramilitarism by looking at its military, political, and legal dimensions. Hristov demonstrates how various interrelated forms of violence by state forces, paramilitary groups, and organized crime are instrumental to the process of capital accumulation by the local elite as well as the exercise of political power by foreign enterprises. She addresses, as well, issues of forced displacement, proletarianization of peasants, concentration of landownership, growth in urban and rural poverty, and human rights violations in relation to the use of legal means and extralegal armed force by local dominant groups and foreign companies.
Hristov documents the penetration of major state institutions by right-wing armed groups and the persistence of human rights violations against social movements and sectors of the low-income population. Blood and Capital raises crucial questions about the promised dismantling of paramilitarism in Colombia and the validity of the so-called demobilization of paramilitary groups, both of which have been widely considered by North American and some European governments as proof of Colombian president Álvaro Uribe’s advances in the wars on terror and drugs.
Spanning nine time zones, the Russian Arctic was mostly unexplored before the twentieth century. Paul Josephson describes the massive effort under Stalin to assimilate the Arctic into the Soviet empire--effects still being felt today, as Putin redoubles efforts to secure the Arctic, which he sees as key to Russia's economic and military status.
"Katherine Eaton has compiled a collection of essays on the destruction of the arts in Russia in the 1930s. The essays provide information about what we know was lost, and speculation about what might have been lost, in the Stalinist Great Purge"
Historicizing Fear is a historical interrogation of the use of fear as a tool to vilify and persecute groups and individuals from a global perspective, offering an unflinching look at racism, fearful framing, oppression, and marginalization across human history.The book examines fear and Othering from a historical context, providing a better understanding of how power and oppression is used in the present day.
Contributors ground their work in the theory of Othering—the reductive action of labeling a person as someone who belongs to a subordinate social category defined as the Other—in relation to historical events, demonstrating that fear of the Other is universal, timeless, and interconnected. Chapters address the music of neo-Nazi white power groups, fear perpetuated through the social construct of black masculinity in a racially hegemonic society, the terror and racial cleansing in early twentieth-century Arkansas, the fear of drug-addicted Vietnam War veterans, the creation of fear by the Tang Dynasty, and more.
Timely, provocative, and rigorously researched, Historicizing Fear shows how the Othering of members of different ethnic groups has been used to propagate fear and social tension, justify state violence, and prevent groups or individuals from gaining equality. Broadening the context of how fear of the Other can be used as a propaganda tool, this book will be of interest to scholars and students of history, anthropology, political science, popular culture, critical race issues, social justice, and ethnic studies, as well as the general reader concerned with the fearful framing prevalent in politics.
Quaylan Allen, Melanie Armstrong, Brecht De Smet, Kirsten Dyck, Adam C. Fong, Jeff Johnson, Łukasz Kamieński, Guy Lancaster, Henry Santos Metcalf, Julie M. Powell, Jelle Versieren
As a member of Salvador Allende’s Personal Guards (GAP), Luz Arce worked with leaders of the Socialist Party during the Popular Unity Government from 1971 to1973. In the months following the coup, Arce served as a militant with others from the Left who opposed the military junta led by Augusto Pinochet, which controlled the country from 1973 to1990. Along with thousands of others in Chile, Arce was detained and tortured by Chile’s military intelligence service, the DINA, in their attempt to eliminate alternative voices and ideologies in the country. Arce’s testimonial offers the harrowing story of the abuse she suffered and witnessed as a survivor of detention camps, such as the infamous Villa Grimaldi.
But when faced with threats made to her family, including her young son, and with the possibility that she could be murdered as thousands of others had been, Arce began to collaborate with the Chilean military in their repression of national resistance groups and outlawed political parties. Her testimonial thus also offers a unique perspective from within the repressive structures as she tells of her work as a DINA agent whose identifications even lead to the capture of some of her former friends and compañeros.
During Chile’s return to democracy in the early 1990s, Arce experienced two fundamental changes in her life that led to the writing of her story. The first was a deep spiritual renewal through her contacts with the Catholic Church whose Vicariate of Solidarity had fought for human rights in the country during the dictatorship. The second was her decision to participate within the legal system to identify and bring to justice those members of the military who were responsible for the crimes committed from 1973 to1990. Luz Arce’s book invites readers to rethink the definition of testimonial narrative in Latin America through the unique perspective of a survivor-witness-confessor.
What does it mean to be instantly transformed into the most hated person in your community? After meeting Fidel Castro at a Havana reception in 1994, Cuban-born Magda Montiel Davis, founder of one of the largest immigration law firms in South Florida, soon found out. The reception—attended by hundreds of other Cuban émigrés—was videotaped for historical archives. In a seconds-long clip, Fidel pecks the traditional protocol kiss on Montiel Davis’s cheek as she thanks him for the social benefits conferred upon the Cuban people. The video, however, was mysteriously sold to U.S. reporters and aired incessantly throughout South Florida. Soon the encounter was an international cause célèbre.
Life as she knew it was over for Montiel Davis and her family, including a father who worked with the CIA to topple Fidel, a nohablo-inglés mother who lived with the family, her five children, and her Jewish Brooklyn-born attorney husband. Kissing Fidel shares the sometimes dismal, sometimes comical realities of an ordinary citizen being thrown into a world of death threats, mob attacks, and terrorism.
La Consentida explores Early Formative period transitions in residential mobility, subsistence, and social organization at the site of La Consentida in coastal Oaxaca, Mexico. Examining how this site transformed during one of the most fundamental moments of socioeconomic change in the ancient Americas, the book provides a new way of thinking about the social dynamics of Mesoamerican communities of the period.
Guy David Hepp summarizes the results of several seasons of fieldwork and laboratory analysis under the aegis of the La Consentida Archaeological Project, drawing on various forms of evidence—ground stone tools, earthen architecture, faunal remains, human dental pathologies, isotopic indicators, ceramics, and more— to reveal how transitions in settlement, subsistence, and social organization at La Consentida were intimately linked. While Mesoamerica is too diverse for research at a single site to lay to rest ongoing debates about the Early Formative period, evidence from La Consentida should inform those debates because of the site’s unique ecological setting, its relative lack of disturbance by later occupations, and because it represents the only well-documented Early Formative period village in a 300-mile stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast.
One of the only studies to closely document multiple lines of evidence of the transition toward a sedentary, agricultural society at an individual settlement in Mesoamerica, La Consentida is a key resource for understanding the transition to settled life and social complexity in Mesoamerican societies.
Love In A Time Of Hate
Hollander, Nancy Caro Rutgers University Press, 1997 Library of Congress RC451.4.P57H65 1997 | Dewey Decimal 616.8521
"First, we are going to kill all of the subversives; then their collaborators; then their sympathizers; then the indifferent; and finally, the timid". -- General Iberico Manuel Saint-Jean, governor of Buenos Aires province, 1977Nancy Caro Hollander profiles ten Argentine, Chilean, and Uruguayan psychologists and psychoanalysts who experienced firsthand, and later strove to comprehend, the crushing political and social oppression that occurred under the military dictatorships in these countries during the 1970s and 1980s.She recounts how psychoanalysts employed what she calls "liberation psychology" to understand the systematic exploitation suffered by the populace under fiercely repressive regimes and then to help themselves and others to confront and survive a culture of intimidation, coercion, and torture. As Hollander writes in the introduction, the men and women profiled "have striven to understand the interrelationship between alienated personal existence and social relations, between individual anomie and social oppression, and between individual mental health and collective empowerment".-- Introduction to liberation psychology, a new psychological methodology.-- Examination of psychological effects of state terror.
Loyalty and Liberty offers the first comprehensive account of the politics of countersubversion in the United States prior to the McCarthy era. Beginning with the loyalty politics of World War I, Alex Goodall traces the course of American countersubversion as it ebbed and flowed throughout the first half of the twentieth century, culminating in the rise of McCarthyism and the Cold War. This sweeping study explores how antisubversive fervor was dampened in the 1920s in response to the excesses of World War I, transformed by the politics of antifascism in the Depression era, and rekindled in opposition to Roosevelt's ambitious New Deal policies in the later 1930s and 1940s.
Identifying varied interest groups such as business tycoons, Christian denominations, and Southern Democrats, Goodall demonstrates how countersubversive politics was far from unified: groups often pursued clashing aims while struggling to balance the competing pulls of loyalty to the nation and liberty of thought, speech, and action. Meanwhile, the federal government pursued its own course, which alternately converged with and diverged from the paths followed by private organizations. By the end of World War II, alliances on the left and right had largely consolidated into the form they would keep during the Cold War. Anticommunists on the right worked to rein in the supposedly dictatorial ambitions of the Roosevelt administration, while New Deal liberals divided into several camps: the Popular Front, civil liberties activists, and embryonic Cold Warriors who struggled with how to respond to communist espionage in Washington and communist influence in politics more broadly.
Rigorous in its scholarship yet accessible to a wide audience, Goodall's masterful study shows how opposition to radicalism became a defining ideological question of American life.
During the past fifteen years, one of the most vexing issues facing fledgling transitional democracies around the world—from South Africa to Eastern Europe, from Cambodia to Bosnia—has been what to do about the still-toxic security apparatuses left over from the previous regime. In this now-classic and profoundly influential study, the New Yorker's Lawrence Weschler probes these dilemmas across two gripping narratives (set in Brazil and Uruguay, among the first places to face such concerns), true-life thrillers in which torture victims, faced with the paralysis of the new regime, themselves band together to settle accounts with their former tormentors.
"Disturbing and often enthralling."—New York Times Book Review
"Implausible, intricate and dazzling."—Times Literary Supplement
"As Weschler's interviewees told their tales, I paced agitatedly, choked back tears. . . . Weschler narrates these two episodes with skill and tact. . . . An inspiring book."—George Scialabba, Los Angeles Weekly
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Brazil’s dictatorship arrested, tortured, and interrogated many people it suspected of subversion; hundreds of those arrested were killed in prison. In May 1970, Marcos P. S. Arruda, a young political activist, was seized in São Paulo, imprisoned, and tortured. A Mother’s Cry is the harrowing story of Marcos’s incarceration and his family’s efforts to locate him and obtain his release. Marcos’s mother, Lina Penna Sattamini, was living in the United States and working for the U.S. State Department when her son was captured. After learning of his arrest, she and her family mobilized every resource and contact to discover where he was being held, and then they launched an equally intense effort to have him released. Marcos was freed from prison in 1971. Fearing that he would be arrested and tortured again, he left the country, beginning eight years of exile.
Lina Penna Sattamini describes her son’s tribulations through letters exchanged among family members, including Marcos, during the year that he was imprisoned. Her narrative is enhanced by Marcos’s account of his arrest, imprisonment, and torture. James N. Green’s introduction provides an overview of the political situation in Brazil, and Latin America more broadly, during that tumultuous era. In the 1990s, some Brazilians began to suggest that it would be best to forget the trauma of that era and move on. Lina Penna Sattamini wrote her memoir as a protest against historical amnesia. First published in Brazil in 2000, A Mother’s Cry is testimonial literature at its best. It conveys the experiences of a family united by love and determination during years of political repression.
This is the first English translation of Olga Adamova-Sliozberg’s mesmerizing My Journey , which was not officially published in Russia until 2002. It is among the best known of Gulag memoirs and was one of the first to become widely available in underground samizdat circulation. Alexander Solzhenitsyn relied heavily upon it when writing Gulag Archipelago, and it remains the best account of the daily life of women in the Soviet prison camps.
Arrested along with her husband (who, she would much later learn, was shot the next day) in the great purges of the thirties, Adamova-Sliozberg decided to record her Gulag experiences a year after her arrest, and she “wrote them down in her head” (paper and pencils were not available to prisoners) every night for years. When she returned to Moscow after the war in 1946, she composed the memoir on paper for the first time and then buried it in the garden of the family dacha. After her re-arrest and seven more years of banishment to Kazakhstan, she returned to the dacha to dig up the buried memoir, but could not find it. She sat down and wrote it all over again.
In her later years she also added a collection of stories about her family. Concluding on a hopeful note—Adamova-Sliozberg’s record is cleared, she re-marries a fellow former-prisoner, and she is reunited with her children—this story is a stunning account of perseverance in the face of injustice and unimaginable hardship. This vital primary source continues to fascinate anyone interesting in the tumultuous history of Russia and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century.
On European Ground
Alan Cohen University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress D424.C58 2001 | Dewey Decimal 940
A profound visual meditation on the trauma that scars twentieth-century Europe, Alan Cohen's On European Ground considers the battlefields of World War I, the Nazi death camps, and the Berlin Wall, and records the distance between what we remember about these places and what we can still observe in them today. By walking these sites and photographing the very ground in which their history has dissolved, Cohen opens a space for reflection on their complex gravity and legacy.
Cohen's images achieve a solemn beauty even as they engage history at its most topical. Pictures of trenches and bunkers at the battlefields of Somme and Verdun explore the tension between the violence of the past and the inscrutability of its remnants. Photographs from the grounds of Dachau and Auschwitz solicit a provocative dialogue between the ordinariness of these sites today and their haunting memory. They teach us, as the New Art Examiner notes, "that the living perceptual connection to the Holocaust is vanishing." Images of the Berlin Wall show only the footprint of the barricade that once separated two hostile ideologies. They record the physical erosion and looming disappearance of the Wall while capturing its reappearance as a memorialized abstraction.
Accompanying the photographs in On European Ground are essays by Sander Gilman and Jonathan Bordo, as well as an interview with Cohen by critic Roberta Smith of the New York Times. The essays present both an introduction to and aesthetic analysis of Cohen's work, while the interview discusses the intractable problems of history and memory that his photographs so uniquely capture.
Beginning with the bloody communist purges of the Jiangxi era of the late 1920s and early 1930s and moving forward to the wild excesses of the Cultural Revolution, Policing Chinese Politics explores the question of revolutionary violence and the political passion that propels it. “Who are our enemies, who are our friends, that is a question germane to the revolution,” wrote Mao Zedong in 1926. Michael Dutton shows just how powerful this one line was to become. It would establish the binary division of life in revolutionary China and lead to both passionate commitment and revolutionary excess. The political history of revolutionary China, he argues, is largely framed by the attempts of Mao and the Party to harness these passions.
The economic reform period that followed Mao Zedong’s rule contained a hint as to how the magic spell of political faith and commitment could be broken, but the cost of such disenchantment was considerable. This detailed, empirical tale of Chinese socialist policing is, therefore, more than simply a police story. It is a parable that offers a cogent analysis of Chinese politics generally while radically redrafting our understanding of what politics is all about. Breaking away from the traditional elite modes of political analysis that focus on personalities, factions, and betrayals, and from “rational” accounts of politics and government, Dutton provides a highly original understanding of the far-reaching consequences of acts of faith and commitment in the realm of politics.
Robert Justin Goldstein's Political Repression in Modern America provides the only comprehensive narrative account ever published of significant civil liberties violations concerning political dissidents since the rise of the post-Civil War modern American industrial state. A history of the dark side of the "land of the free," Goldstein's book covers both famous and little-known examples of governmental repression, including reactions to the early labor movement, the Haymarket affair, "little red scares" in 1908, 1935, and 1938-41, the repression of opposition to World War I, the 1919 "great red scare," the McCarthy period, and post-World War II abuses of the intelligence agencies.
Enhanced with a new introduction and an updated bibliography, Political Repression in Modern America remains an essential record of the relentless intolerance that suppresses radical dissent in the United States.
In 1922, voters in the newly created Republic of Poland democratically elected their first president, Gabriel Narutowicz. Because his supporters included a Jewish political party, an opposing faction of antisemites demanded his resignation. Within hours, bloody riots erupted in Warsaw, and within a week the president was assassinated. In the wake of these events, the radical right asserted that only "ethnic Poles" should rule the country, while the left silently capitulated to this demand.
As Paul Brykczynski tells this gripping story, he explores the complex role of antisemitism, nationalism, and violence in Polish politics between the two World Wars. Though focusing on Poland, the book sheds light on the rise of the antisemitic right in Europe and beyond, and on the impact of violence on political culture and discourse.
In 1932 security forces in El Salvador murdered 25,000 peasants and workers. Between 1978 and 1991 the Salvadoran government killed an additional 50,000 civilians. Death squads maimed and tortured their victims, who included labor organizers, priests, and teachers. By the later months of 1980, government forces were slaughtering 1,000 civilians a month. Most of those killed were poor or worked with the poor. In per capita terms Salvadoran state terror was among the worst in the hemisphere.
States have killed more people than have rebellions, but we know very little about what factors influence this genocide. Why do states kill? In this provocative and chilling book, William Stanley demonstrates that the Salvadoran military state was essentially a protection racket. It offered protection to the elites from civilian uprising and in return received a concession to govern. This protection took the form of wide-scale murder. As Stanley puts it, "State violence was a currency of relations between state and non-state elites."
There are valuable lessons in this book for all those concerned with state-sponsored terror. It indicts the United States for having strengthened the might of the Salvadoran military. It challenges conventional wisdom about governments and repression and shows state-sponsored violence as much more than just a response to opposition.
Revolution on My Mind is a stunning revelation of the inner world of Stalin's Russia, showing us the minds and hearts of Soviet citizens who recorded their lives in diaries during an extraordinary period of revolutionary fervor and state terror. Jochen Hellbeck brings us face to face with gripping and unforgettably poignant life stories. This book brilliantly explores the forging of the revolutionary self in a study that speaks to the evolution of the individual in mass movements of our own time.
Salt in the Sand is a compelling historical ethnography of the interplay between memory and state violence in the formation of the Chilean nation-state. The historian and anthropologist Lessie Jo Frazier focuses on northern Chile, which figures prominently in the nation’s history as a site of military glory during the period of national conquest, of labor strikes and massacres in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, and of state detention and violence during World War II and the Cold War. It was also the site of a mass-grave excavation that galvanized the national human rights movement in 1990, during Chile’s transition from dictatorship to democracy. Frazier analyzes the creation of official and alternative memories of specific instances of state violence in northern Chile from 1890 to the present, tracing how the form and content of those memories changed over time. In so doing, she shows how memory works to create political subjectivities mobilized for specific political projects within what she argues is the always-ongoing process of nation-state formation. Frazier’s broad historical perspective on political culture challenges the conventional periodization of modern Chilean history, particularly the idea that the 1973 military coup marked a radical break with the past.
Analyzing multiple memories of state violence, Frazier innovatively shapes social and cultural theory to interpret a range of sources, including local and national government archives, personal papers, popular literature and music, interviews, architectural and ceremonial commemorations, and her ethnographic observations of civic associations, women's and environmental groups, and human rights organizations. A masterful integration of extensive empirical research with sophisticated theoretical analysis, Salt in the Sand is a significant contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship on human rights, democratization, state formation, and national trauma and reconciliation.
Translated by Cameron Watson and William A. Douglass. Foreword by William A. Douglass. The Basque people have preserved their ethnic identity and sense of themselves as a separate community despite centuries of repression, diaspora, and economic and social upheaval—one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of the phenomenon we call nationalism. In The Social Roots of Basque Nationalism, sociologist Alfonso Pérez-Agote addresses the social mechanisms that Basques employed to sustain their ethnic identity under the Franco Regime and demonstrates how persecution actually encouraged the extension of Basque nationalist consciousness. He also reveals how state political pressure radicalized one element of the Basque-nationalist movement, resulting in the formation of ETA, an armed terrorist wing that itself became a mechanism for extending nationalist consciousness. Finally, he examines the subsequent changes in Basque nationalism following Franco’s death and the extension of democracy in Spain, which resulted in the institutionalization of the movement into an autonomous political power. This work is based in part on interviews and polls with informants in the Basque Country and abroad, eliciting such data as the role that family, education, social contacts, and religious environment play in the evolution of political attitudes; the place of violence in the Basque world view and contemporary political culture; regional variations in Basque nationalism; and the factors that contributed to the resilience of Basque nationalism in adapting to new historical conditions. The result is a sophisticated discussion of the various ways in which Basque social reality is constituted and how this reality helps to create political culture. Because Pérez-Agote situates his discussion within the broader frameworks of ethnic identity, group dynamics, and the nature of nationalism, the book makes a significant contribution not only to our understanding of the Basques but to the broader study of the evolution of nationalism and the nation-state, political violence, and the complicated transition of any society from dictatorship to democracy.
A timely exploration of the nature of memory and its political uses.
Hearing the news from South America at the turn of the millennium can be like traveling in time: here are the trials of Pinochet, the searches for "the disappeared" in Argentina, the investigation of the death of former president Goulart in Brazil, the Peace Commission in Uruguay, the Archive of Terror in Paraguay, a Truth Commission in Peru. As societies struggle to come to terms with the past and with the vexing questions posed by ineradicable memories, this wise book offers guidance.
Combining a concrete sense of present urgency and a theoretical understanding of social, political, and historical realities, State Repression and the Labors of Memory fashions tools for thinking about and analyzing the presences, silences, and meanings of the past. With unflappable good judgment and fairness, Elizabeth Jelin clarifies the often muddled debates about the nature of memory, the politics of struggles over memories of historical injustice, the relation of historiography to memory, the issue of truth in testimony and traumatic remembrance, the role of women in Latin American attempts to cope with the legacies of military dictatorships, and problems of second-generation memory and its transmission and appropriation.
Jelin's work engages European and North American theory in its exploration of the various ways in which conflicts over memory shape individual and collective identities, as well as social and political cleavages. In doing so, her book exposes the enduring consequences of repression for social processes in Latin America, and at the same time enriches our general understanding of the fundamentally conflicted and contingent nature of memory.
Elizabeth Jelin is professor at the University of Buenos Aires and research director at the Institute of Social and Economic Development.
$17.95 paper ISBN 0-8166-4284-2
From 1964 until 1985, Brazil was ruled by a military regime that sanctioned the systematic use of torture in dealing with its political opponents. The catalog of what went on during that grim period was originally published in Portuguese as Brasil: Nunca Mais (Brazil: Never Again) in 1985. The volume was based on the official documentation kept by the very military that perpetrated the horrific acts. These extensive documents include military court proceedings of actual trials, secretly photocopied by lawyers associated with the Catholic Church and analyzed by a team of researchers. Their daring project—known as BNM for Brasil: Nunca Mais—compiled more than 2,700 pages of testimony by political prisoners documenting close to three hundred forms of torture. The BNM project proves conclusively that torture was an essential part of the military justice system and that judicial authorities were clearly aware of the use of torture to extract confessions. Still, it took more than a decade after the publication of Brasil: Nunca Mais for the armed forces to admit publicly that such torture had ever taken place. Torture in Brazil, the English version of the book re-edited here, serves as a timely reminder of the role of Brazil’s military in past repression.
Traveling on One Leg
Herta Muller Northwestern University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PT2673.U29234R4513 1998 | Dewey Decimal 833.914
Winner, 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature
Irene is a fragile woman born to a German family in Romania, who has recently emigrated from her native country to West Germany. Politically and socially isolated, Irene moves within the orbit of three troubled men, while simultaneously embarking on an inner exploration of exile, homeland, and identity.