The fall of the Berlin Wall. The collapse of the Iron Curtain. The Orange Revolution. The Arab Spring.
The rush of events in recent decades seems to confirm that Alexis de Tocqueville was right: the future belongs to democracy. But take a closer look. The history of democracy since the 1830s, when Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America, reveals a far more complicated picture. And the future, author Chilton Williamson Jr. demonstrates, appears rather unpromising for democratic institutions around the world.
The fall of communism sparked the popular notion that the spread of democracy was inevitable. After Tocqueville challenges this sunny notion. Various aspects of twenty-first-century life that Tocqueville could scarcely have imagined—political, economic, social, religious, intellectual, technological, environmental—militate against democracy, both in developing societies and in the supposedly democratic West.
This piercing, elegantly written book raises crucial questions about the future of democracy, including:
•Just what is democracy? As Williamson shows, definitions and concepts have become so varied that the term is effectively meaningless.
•How does a system whose institutions and habits arose in small-scale societies adapt to a postmodern, globalized world?
•After two centuries of democratization, are Western countries really more free?
•How can democracy endure when people care more about procuring what they want than about securing liberty?
•How does a political system survive when it is beset by problems that cannot be solved by political means?
Two decades ago, Francis Fukuyama famously pronounced the “end of history.” History, it turns out, is still very much with us. Democracy (whatever it is) may not be in the decades and centuries to come.
Carol Sue Humphrey’s The American Revolution and the Pressargues that newspapers played an important role during America’s struggle for independence by keeping Americans engaged in the war even when the fighting occurred in distant locales. From the moment that the colonials received word of Britain’s new taxes in 1764 until reports of the peace treaty arrived in 1783, the press constituted the major source of information about events and developments in the conflict with the mother country. Both Benjamin Franklin, one of the Revolution’s greatest leaders, and Ambrose Serle, a Loyalist, described the press as an “engine” that should be used to advance the cause. The efforts of Patriot printers to keep readers informed about the war helped ensure ultimate success by boosting morale and rallying Americans to the cause until victory was achieved. As Humphrey illustrates, Revolutionary-era newspapers provided the political and ideological unity that helped Americans secure their independence and create a new nation.
Denounced by some as a dangerous cult and lauded by others as a miraculous faith community, the International Churches of Christ was a conservative evangelical Christian movement that grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s.
Among its followers, promises to heal family relationships were central to the group's appeal. Members credit the church for helping them develop so-called "awesome families"-successful marriages and satisfying relationships with children, family of origin, and new church "brothers and sisters." The church engaged an elaborate array of services, including round-the-clock counseling, childcare, and Christian dating networks-all of which were said to lead to fulfilling relationships and exciting sex lives. Before the unified movement's demise in 2003-2004, the lure of blissful family-life led more than 100,000 individuals worldwide to be baptized into the church.
In Awesome Families, Kathleen Jenkins draws on four years of ethnographic research to explain how and why so many individuals-primarily from middle- to upper-middle-class backgrounds-were attracted to this religious group that was founded on principles of enforced community, explicit authoritative relationships, and therapeutic ideals. Weaving classical and contemporary social theory, she argues that members were commonly attracted to the structure and practice of family relationships advocated by the church, especially in the context of contemporary society where gender roles and family responsibilities are often ambiguous.
Tracing the rise and fall of this fast-growing religious movement, this timely study adds to our understanding of modern society and offers insight to the difficulties that revivalist movements have in sustaining growth.
Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise
Gaylord Nelson; With Susan Campbell and Paul Wozniak; Foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; Preface by Tia Nelson University of Wisconsin Press, 2002 Library of Congress GE195.N45 2002 | Dewey Decimal 333.72
Gaylord Nelson’s legacy is known and respected throughout the world. He was a founding father of the modern environmental movement and creator of one of the most influential public awareness campaigns ever undertaken on behalf of global environmental stewardship: Earth Day.
Nelson died in 2005, but his message in this book is still timely and urgent, delivered with the same eloquence with which he articulated the nation’s environmental ills throughout the decades. He details the planet’s most critical concerns—from species and habitat losses to global climate change and population growth. In outlining strategies for planetary health, Nelson inspires citizens to reassert environmentalism as a national priority. Included in this reprint is a new preface by Gaylord Nelson’s daughter, Tia Nelson.
Engage the delightful and inspiring, sometimes rough and rocky road to inclusive and transformative Bible reading
This book offers the results of research within a new area of discipline—empirical hermeneutics in intercultural perspective. The book includes interpretations from the homeless in Amsterdam, to Indonesia, from African Xhosa readers to Norway, to Madagascar, American youths, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.
Interpretations from ordinary readers in more than twenty-five countries
Background introduction with history of the text
Discussion of intertextual connections with Greco-Roman authors
The remarkable development of the Catholic university in the United States has raised issues about its continued identity, its promise, and its academic constituents. Michael J. Buckley, SJ, explores these questions, especially as they have been experienced in Jesuit history and contemporary commitments.
The fundamental proposition that grounds the Catholic university, Buckley argues, is that the academic and the religious are intrinsically related. Academic inquiry encourages a process of questioning that leads naturally to issues of ultimate significance, while the experience of faith is towards the understanding of itself and of its relationship to every other dimension of human life. This mutual involvement requires a union between faith and culture that defines the purposes of Catholic higher education. In their earliest and normative documents, Jesuit universities have been encouraged to achieve this integration through the central role given to theology.
Buckley explores two commitments that implicate contemporary Catholic universities in controversy: an insistence upon open, free discussion and academic pluralism—to the objections of some in the Church; and an education in the promotion of justice—to the objections of some in the academy.
Finally, to strengthen philosophical and theological studies, Buckley suggests both a "philosophical grammar" that would discover and study the assumptions and methods involved in the various forms of disciplined human inquiry and a set of "theological arts" founded upon the more general liberal arts.
Entering into the contemporary discussion about the Catholic university, this book offers inspiring and thought-provoking ideas for those engaged in Catholic higher education.
Within the past few decades, there has been great progress in deaf education in Latin America and growth in the empowerment of their Deaf communities. However, there is little awareness outside that region of these successes. For the first time, this book provides access, in English, to scholarly research in these areas. Written by Latin American Deaf and hearing contributors, Change and Promise provides a counter argument to external, deficit views of the Latin American Deaf community by sharing research and accounts of success in establishing and expanding bilingual deaf education, Deaf activism, Deaf culture, and wider access for deaf children and adults. Change and Promise describes the historical, cultural, and political contexts for providing bilingual deaf education in Latin America. Bilingual deaf education uses students’ sign language, while simultaneously giving them access to and teaching them the majority spoken/written language. This book describes current bilingual deaf education programs in the region that have increased society’s understandings of Deaf culture and sign languages. This cause, as well as others, have been championed by successful social movements including the push for official recognition of Libras, the sign language of Brazil. Change and Promise covers this expanding empowerment of Deaf communities as they fight for bilingual deaf education, sign language rights, and deaf civil rights.
Despite the vast political and cultural differences throughout Latin America, an epistemological shift has occurred regarding how Deaf people are treated and their stories narrated, from labeling “deaf as handicapped” to being recognized as a linguistic minority. This panoramic study of these challenges and triumphs will provide an invaluable resource for improving outcomes in deaf education and help to secure the rights of deaf children and adults in all societies.
Each day, headlines warn that baby bottles are leaching dangerous chemicals, nonstick pans are causing infertility, and plastic containers are making us fat. What if green chemistry could change all that? What if rather than toxics, our economy ran on harmless, environmentally-friendly materials?
Elizabeth Grossman, an acclaimed journalist who brought national attention to the contaminants hidden in computers and other high tech electronics, now tackles the hazards of ordinary consumer products. She shows that for the sake of convenience, efficiency, and short-term safety, we have created synthetic chemicals that fundamentally change, at a molecular level, the way our bodies work. The consequences range from diabetes to cancer, reproductive and neurological disorders.
Yet it’s hard to imagine life without the creature comforts current materials provide—and Grossman argues we do not have to. A scientific revolution is introducing products that are “benign by design,” developing manufacturing processes that consider health impacts at every stage, and is creating new compounds that mimic rather than disrupt natural systems. Through interviews with leading researchers, Grossman gives us a first look at this radical transformation.
Green chemistry is just getting underway, but it offers hope that we can indeed create products that benefit health, the environment, and industry.
In this up-to-date study of the Israeli economy, Assaf Razin and Efraim Sadka cover the entire economic history of the state, focusing on links between Israel's economic growth, its integration into world markets, its tax and welfare systems, and the political conflicts in the Middle East.
The authors present the first detailed economic analysis of the Palestinian uprising, showing how the unrest has led to a fall in Arab employment in Israel and serious economic loss to the occupied territories with some loss to Israel. They also examine how the uprising has affected Israel's financial standing internationally and the inflow of foreign aid.
Razin and Sadka see promise for Israel's economy in the waves of immigration from the former Soviet Union, despite the current difficulties in absorbing the immigrants; in the coexistence of a flourishing and highly competitive private sector with a relatively large public sector, which is undergoing privatization; and in a tax structure that encourages long-term saving and business growth. By examining the interplay between the exchange rate, interest rates, and monetary and anti-inflation policies, the authors investigate the possibilities for renewed growth and conclude that the future of Israel's economy crucially depends on serious efforts to secure peace in the Middle East.
Enemies of Promise
Cyril Connolly University of Chicago Press, 2008 Library of Congress PR471.C65 2008 | Dewey Decimal 820.900912
“Whom the gods wish to destroy,” writes Cyril Connolly, “they first call promising.” First published in 1938 and long out of print, Enemies of Promise, an “inquiry into the problem of how to write a book that lasts ten years,” tests the boundaries of criticism, journalism, and autobiography with the blistering prose that became Connolly’s trademark. Connolly here confronts the evils of domesticity, politics, drink, and advertising as well as novelists such as Joyce, Proust, Hemingway, and Faulkner in essays that remain fresh and penetrating to this day.
“A fine critic, compulsive traveler, and candid autobiographer. . . . [Connolly] lays down the law for all writers who wanted to count. . . . He had imagination and decisive images flashed with the speed of wit in his mind.”—V. S. Pritchett, New YorkReview of Books
“Anyone who writes, or wants to write, will find something on just about every single page that either endorses a long-held prejudice or outrages, and that makes it a pretty compelling read. . . . You end up muttering back at just about every ornately constructed pensée that Connolly utters, but that’s one of the joys of this book.”—Nick Hornby, The Believer
Using full-color visualizations of key concepts and data, Mara Prentiss interprets government reports, technology, and basic physical laws to advance a bold claim: wind and solar power alone could generate 100% of the U.S. average energy demand, without lifestyle sacrifices. And meeting the actual U.S. energy demand with renewables is within reach.
The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) gave rise to the first permanent Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), with independent powers of investigation and prosecution. Elected in 2003 for a nine-year term as the ICC’s first Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo established policies and practices for when and how to investigate, when to pursue prosecution, and how to obtain the cooperation of sovereign nations. He laid a foundation for the OTP’s involvement with the United Nations Security Council, state parties, nongovernmental organizations, victims, the accused, witnesses, and the media.
This volume of essays presents the first sustained examination of this unique office and offers a rare look into international justice. The contributors, ranging from legal scholars to practitioners of international law, explore the spectrum of options available to the OTP, the particular choices Moreno Ocampo made, and issues ripe for consideration as his successor, Fatou B. Bensouda, assumes her duties. The beginning of Bensouda’s term thus offers the perfect opportunity to examine the first Prosecutor’s singular efforts to strengthen international justice, in all its facets.
The AIDS epidemic soured the memory of the sexual revolution and gay liberation of the 1970s, and prominent politicians, commentators, and academics instructed gay men to forget the sexual cultures of the 1970s in order to ensure a healthy future. But without memory there can be no future, argue Christopher Castiglia and Christopher Reed in this exploration of the struggle over gay memory that marked the decades following the onset of AIDS.
Challenging many of the assumptions behind first-wave queer theory, If Memory Serves offers a new perspective on the emergence of contemporary queer culture from the suppression and repression of gay memory. Drawing on a rich archive of videos, films, television shows, novels, monuments, paintings, and sculptures created in the wake of the epidemic, the authors reveal a resistance among critics to valuing—even recognizing—the inscription of gay memory in art, literature, popular culture, and the built environment. Castiglia and Reed explore such topics as the unacknowledged ways in which the popular sitcom Will and Grace circulated gay subcultural references to awaken a desire for belonging among young viewers; the post-traumatic (un)rememberings of queer theory; and the generation of “ideality politics” in the art of Félix González-Torres, the film Chuck & Buck, and the independent video Video Remains.
Inspired by Alasdair MacIntyre’s insight that “the possession of a historical identity and the possession of a social identity coincide,” Castiglia and Reed demonstrate that memory is crafted in response to inadequacies in the present—and therefore a constructive relation to the past is essential to the imagining of a new future.
One of the great challenges now facing education reformers in the United States is how to devise a consistent and intelligent framework for instruction that will work across the nation’s notoriously fragmented and politically conflicted school systems. Various programs have tried to do that, but only a few have succeeded. Improvement by Design looks at three different programs, seeking to understand why two of them—America’s Choice and Success for All—worked, and why the third—Accelerated Schools Project—did not.
The authors identify four critical puzzles that the successful programs were able to solve: design, implementation, improvement, and sustainability. Pinpointing the specific solutions that clearly improved instruction, they identify the key elements that all successful reform programs share. Offering urgently needed guidance for state and local school systems as they attempt to respond to future reform proposals, Improvement by Design gets America one step closer to truly successful education systems.
For many years Chicago’s looming large-scale housing projects defined the city, and their demolition and redevelopment—via the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation—has been perhaps the most startling change in the city’s urban landscape in the last twenty years. The Plan, which reflects a broader policy effort to remake public housing in cities across the country, seeks to deconcentrate poverty by transforming high-poverty public housing complexes into mixed-income developments and thereby integrating once-isolated public housing residents into the social and economic fabric of the city. But is the Plan an ambitious example of urban regeneration or a not-so-veiled effort at gentrification?
In the most thorough examination of mixed-income public housing redevelopment to date, Robert J. Chaskin and Mark L. Joseph draw on five years of field research, in-depth interviews, and volumes of data to demonstrate that while considerable progress has been made in transforming the complexes physically, the integrationist goals of the policy have not been met. They provide a highly textured investigation into what it takes to design, finance, build, and populate a mixed-income development, and they illuminate the many challenges and limitations of the policy as a solution to urban poverty. Timely and relevant, Chaskin and Joseph’s findings raise concerns about the increased privatization of housing for the poor while providing a wide range of recommendations for a better way forward.
James Milton Turner, Missouri's most prominent nineteenth-century African American political figure, possessed a deep faith in America. The Civil War, he believed, had purged the land of its sins and allowed the country to realize what had always been its promise: the creation of a social and political environment in which merit, not race, mattered.
Born a slave, Turner gained freedom when he was a child and received his education in clandestine St. Louis schools, later briefly attending Oberlin College. A self-taught lawyer, Turner earned a statewide reputation and wielded power far out of proportion to Missouri's relatively small black population.
After working nearly a decade in Liberia, Turner never regained the prominence he had enjoyed during Reconstruction.
The global order that has held sway in world political affairs for decades—dominated by the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union—is now in an uneasy period of instability and turmoil, driven as much by failures of governance as by the rise of smaller powers. Multipolarity explores both the causes of this decline in power—from Brexit and Trump to the rise of autocratic strongmen in Europe and Asia—along with a number of possibilities for a more decentralized world, among them a Russian pivot to the east and the rise of African influence worldwide. The authors examine the diffusion of power among newly emerging leaders on the world stage, offering a multitude of potential roadmaps for creating security and stability in a changing world.
In his groundbreaking new study, Permissible Narratives: The Promise of Latino/a Literature, Christopher González examines the difficulties Latina/o writers face in writing beyond the narrow expectations of U.S. readership in the stories they tell. González argues that a constrained conception of the possibilities of storytelling by and about Latinos diminishes the development and progression of narrative form. Through an examination of Latina/o writers against the a priori mode of engaging with nonethnic literature in the United States, González explores the limitations and challenges Latina/o authors have confronted via the shaping power of their narratives to reach a sustainable audience.
Bringing together cultural critique, memory, narratology, cognition, and comprehension, González examines Latina/o authors—such as Oscar “Zeta” Acosta, Gloria Anzaldúa, Piri Thomas, Giannina Braschi, Gilbert Hernandez, Sandra Cisneros, and Junot Díaz—investigating how they successfully, and sometimes unsuccessfully, use the expansive canvas of narrative form to capture the imaginations of an open-minded readership. Permissible Narratives highlights both the inequitable accessibility of narrative devices and, crucially, the daring of Latina/o authors to nurture a readership to afford the same literary deference to them that is so often afforded to white, male, straight authors.
The first in-depth look at white people's activism in fighting racism during the past fifty years.
Not since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, when many white college students went south to fight against Jim Crow laws, has white antiracist activity held the public's attention. Yet there have always been white people involved in fighting racism. In this passionate work, Becky Thompson looks at white Americans who have struggled against racism, offering examples of both successes and failures, inspirations, practical philosophies, and a way ahead.
A Promise and a Way of Life weaves an account of the past half-century based on the life histories of thirty-nine people who have placed antiracist activism at the center of their lives. Through a rich and fascinating narrative that links individual experiences with social and political history, Thompson shows the ways, both public and personal, in which whites have opposed racism during several social movements: the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, multiracial feminism, the Central American peace movement, the struggle for antiracist education, and activism against the prison industry. Beginning with the diverse catalysts that started these activists on their journeys, this book demonstrates the contributions and limitations of white antiracism in key social justice movements.
Through these stories, crucial questions are raised: Does antiracist work require a repudiation of one's whiteness or can that identity be transformed through political commitment and alliances? What do white people need to do to undermine white privilege? What would it take to build a multiracial movement in which white people are responsible for creating antiracist alliances while not co-opting people of color?
Unique in its depth and thoroughness, A Promise and a Way of Life is essential for anyone currently fighting racism or wondering how to do so. Through its demonstration of the extraordinary personal and social transformations ordinary people can make, it provides a new paradigm for movement activity, one that will help to incite and guide future antiracist activism.
"Drawing on the stories of living people rather than on archives, Thompson finds the origins of white anti-racism not in the abolition movement of the early 1800s but in the civil rights movement of the 1950s South. For readers looking for an anti-racist interpretation of the feminist movement, the chapter on Multiracial Feminism is a must-read. By showing the various ways in which white people have become invested in anti-racist struggle, Thompson opens up a whole new world of ideas and practices located as 'white' but oriented toward social justice. For those of us stranded in the great white North, this book will be indispensable." Women's Review of Books
"Becky Thompson tells the life histories of 30 antiracist activists from the past half-century. An engaging, narrative style make this academic text accessible to the general reader." Reference and Research Book News
"Here is a fascinating collective portrait of an extraordinary group of white people who fought racism, often at great risk. Becky Thompson traces the background, the thinking, the actions of these people over a period of fifty years, as they participated in the most important social movements of our time. Her book is a valuable addition to the history of social movements in the 20th century." Howard Zinn
"A Promise and a Way of Life is a first: a detailed and highly engaging history of white people who have spent their lives fighting white supremacy, instead of embracing or ignoring it. Thompson provides dynamic new ways to understand the links among seemingly divergent movements such as Black Power and multiracial feminism. A Promise and a Way of Life is a groundbreaking, inspiring achievement." Barbara Smith, author of The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom
Becky Thompson is associate professor of sociology at Simmons College. She is the author of Mothering without a Compass (2000), A Hunger So Wide and So Deep (1994), and Beyond a Dream Deferred (1993).
The struggle for freedom in South Africa goes back a long way. In 1909, a remarkable interracial delegation of South Africans traveled to London to lobby for a non-racialized constitution and franchise for all. Among their allies was Mahatma Gandhi, who later encapsulated lessons from the experience in his most important book, Hind Swaraj. Though the mission failed, the London debates were critical to the formation of the African National Congress in 1912.
With impeccable storytelling and rich character depictions, Martin Plaut describes the early quest for black franchise and the seeds it planted for a new South Africa. While most people believe that black South Africans obtained the vote in 1994, men of all races voted in the Cape Colony for almost a century, sometimes deciding election outcomes. The London mission was part of a long history of nonwhite political agency.
Taking as its centerpiece the 1909 delegation, Promise and Despair covers the twelve years between the South African War and the First World War, during which the major forces that would shape twentieth-century South Africa were forged. Plaut reveals new details of the close collaboration between Gandhi and the ANC leadership during the Indian-South African community’s struggle for their rights, the influence of the American South on South African racial practices, and the workings of the Imperial system.
Contains fourteen essays that examine, through a public policy focus, the 1978 civil service reform and its aftermath. The essays view policy design, implementation, and evaluation, as well as the overall politics of administration and institutional change. An indispensible tool for students of public administration, bureaucratic politics, and personnel policy.
Contributors: Carolyn Ban; John Halligan; Kirke Harper; Mark Huddleston; J. Edward Kellough; Larry M. Lane; Chester A. Newland; James L. Perry; Beryl A. Radin; Robert Vaughn; and the editors.
Promise and Peril
Christopher McKnight Nichols Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress E744.N497 2011 | Dewey Decimal 327.73
Spreading democracy abroad or protecting business at home: this book offers a new look at the history of the contest between isolationalism and internationalism that is as current as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and as old as America itself, with profiles of the people, policies, and events that shaped the debate.
The Promise of Failure is part memoir of the writing life, part advice book, and part craft book; sometimes funny, sometimes wrenching, but always honest. McNally uses his own life as a blueprint for the writer’s daily struggles as well as the existential ones, tackling subjects such as when to quit and when to keep going, how to deal with depression, what risking something of yourself means, and ways to reenergize your writing through reinvention.
What McNally illuminates is how rejection, in its best light, is another element of craft, a necessary stage to move the writer from one project to the next, and that it’s best to see rejection and failure on a life-long continuum so that you can see the interconnectedness between failure and success, rather than focusing on failure as a measure of self-worth. As brutally candid as McNally can sometimes be, The Promise of Failure is ultimately an inspiring book—never in a Pollyannaish self-help way. McNally approaches the reader as a sympathetic companion with cautionary tales to tell. Written by an author who has as many unpublished books under his belt as published ones, The Promise of Failure is as much for the newcomer as it is for the established writer.
Politics today is dominated by business news and the stock market. But those in support of green politics ask whether human profit should continue to be the bottom line of political deliberations or if it is time for the interests of the natural world to combine with or even displace the interests of business. In The Promise of Green Politics Douglas Torgerson offers a survey of different schools of ecological thought, discusses their implications for the larger political sphere, and advances a three-dimensional concept of politics that emphasizes ethics and discourse as well as strategy. Arguing that the environmental movement has the potential to contribute to contemporary developments in political theory and social action by changing discursive practices both at the grassroots level and along the corridors of power, Torgerson draws on the theories of Hannah Arendt and others to advocate a performative type of political debate that values multiple opinions and is not always oriented toward reaching a single conclusion. Torgerson argues that in a world stuck in administrative and scientific gridlock, the theatrical, comic aspects of green politics are as important as other, more goal-oriented, aspects. Gestures of the carnivalesque—such as protestors sleeping in hammocks slung from trees targeted for destruction or funeral processions held for dying rivers—could be the key to the creation of what Torgerson refers to as a “green public sphere,” one that promises a reconfiguration of the relationship between human creativity and the natural world. While offering a number of concrete policy suggestions, his focus remains on the complexity and heterogeneity of green thinking and on the transformative promise implicit in green politics. In creating new ways to speak about the environment, Torgerson argues, the green movement offers a creative way to reconsider many larger issues of political theory and action. The Promise of Green Politics will serve as a gateway to new thinking about green politics and the emerging possibilities of a diverse and vital green public sphere. As such, it will be valued by those interested in environmental and public policy, political theory, social activism, and the future of political action.
The Promise of Happiness is a provocative cultural critique of the imperative to be happy. It asks what follows when we make our desires and even our own happiness conditional on the happiness of others: “I just want you to be happy”; “I’m happy if you’re happy.” Combining philosophy and feminist cultural studies, Sara Ahmed reveals the affective and moral work performed by the “happiness duty,” the expectation that we will be made happy by taking part in that which is deemed good, and that by being happy ourselves, we will make others happy. Ahmed maintains that happiness is a promise that directs us toward certain life choices and away from others. Happiness is promised to those willing to live their lives in the right way.
Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including Mrs. Dalloway, The Well of Loneliness, Bend It Like Beckham, and Children of Men, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who challenge and are challenged by the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant. Through her readings she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy.
The Promise of Infrastructure
Nikhal Anand, Akhil Gupta, and Hannah Appel, editors Duke University Press, 2018 Library of Congress HC79.C3P78 2018
From U.S.-Mexico border walls to Flint's poisoned pipes, there is a new urgency to the politics of infrastructure. Roads, electricity lines, water pipes, and oil installations promise to distribute the resources necessary for everyday life. Yet an attention to their ongoing processes also reveals how infrastructures are made with fragile and often violent relations among people, materials, and institutions. While infrastructures promise modernity and development, their breakdowns and absences reveal the underbelly of progress, liberal equality, and economic growth. This tension, between aspiration and failure, makes infrastructure a productive location for social theory. Contributing to the everyday lives of infrastructure across four continents, some of the leading anthropologists of infrastructure demonstrate in The Promise of Infrastructure how these more-than-human assemblages made over more-than-human lifetimes offer new opportunities to theorize time, politics, and promise in the contemporary moment.
A School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar
Contributors. Nikhil Anand, Hannah Appel, Geoffrey C. Bowker, Dominic Boyer, Akhil Gupta, Penny Harvey, Brian Larkin, Christina Schwenkel, Antina von Schnitzler
The Promise of Memory
Lorna Martens Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PN56.M44M37 2011 | Dewey Decimal 809.93353
We once believed in the power of Proust’s madeleine and Wordsworth’s boyhood memories—before literary culture began to defer to Freud’s questioning of adult memories of childhood. In this first sustained look at childhood memories as depicted in literature, Lorna Martens reveals how much we may have lost by turning our attention the other way.
Political conflicts are not simply manufactured from thin air, Russell Muirhead argues. They originate in authentic disagreements over what constitutes the common welfare. The remedy is not for parties to just get along but to bring a skeptical sensibility to their own convictions and learn to disagree as partisans and govern through compromise.
For much of our century, pragmatism has enjoyed a charmed life, holding the dominant point of view in American politics, law, education, and social thought in general. After suffering a brief eclipse in the post-World War II period, pragmatism has experienced a revival, especially in literary theory and such areas as poststructuralism and deconstruction. In this critique of pragmatism and neopragmatism, one of our leading intellectual historians traces the attempts of thinkers from William James to Richard Rorty to find a response to the crisis of modernism. John Patrick Diggins analyzes the limitations of pragmatism from a historical perspective and dares to ask whether America's one original contribution to the world of philosophy has actually fulfilled its promise.
"Diggins, an eminent historian of American intellectual life, has written a timely and impressive book charting the rich history of American pragmatism and placing William James, Charles Peirce, John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, Sidney Hook, and Richard Rorty in their times and in the light of contemporary concerns. The book also draws on an alternative set of American thinkers to explore the blind spots in the pragmatic temper."—William Connolly, New York Times Book Review
"An extraordinarily ambitious work of both analysis and synthesis. . . . Diggins's book is rewarding in its thoughtfulness and its nuanced presentation of ideas."—Daniel J. Silver, Commentary
"Diggins's superbly informed book comprises a comprehensive history of American pragmatic thought. . . . It contains expert descriptions of James, John Dewey and Charles Sanders Peirce, the first generation of American pragmatists. . . . Diggins is just as good on the revival of pragmatism that's taken place over the last 20 years in America. . . . [A] richly intelligent book."—Mark Edmundson, Washington Post Book World
A pioneering anthropologist, social theorist, railroad lawyer, and advocate for Native Americans, Lewis Henry Morgan was the only American to be cited by Darwin, Marx, and Freud. By many accounts, he was the most influential American social scientist of the nineteenth century. Morgan traced humanity’s progress from life among a primary group to one in an increasingly impersonal civilization—from primitive cave to civilized parlor—and along the way explained the meaning of modernity and the meaning of America. For Morgan, they were one and the same.
Daniel Noah Moses has written the most complete biography of this prominent intellectual to date, tracing his career and documenting in detail his worldwide influence. Although Morgan is best known among anthropologists, Moses reveals to a wider readership his life and accomplishments as an important American thinker who considered the United States the embodiment of the Enlightenment and a model for the world.
Moses presents Morgan’s life in great detail, with facts that will surprise even those who think they know him. From his early work with the Iroquois to his defense of American capitalism to his strange posthumous career among international communists and American leftists, Moses weaves together the diverse strands that made up the rich tapestry of this singular life. He locates Morgan’s American voice within a tradition of transatlantic social theory dedicated to understanding the spirit that motivates modern societies. In showing how Morgan reflected the interplay between Christian, classical, and liberal traditions, Moses delves into the role of such concepts as “savagery,” “barbarism,” the “primitive,” “progress,” and “civilization” in nineteenth-century social theory and in the broader American culture. And he tells how even today Morgan’s influence is felt among environmentalists, anarchists, feminists, and other social visionaries.
Morgan explained how humans evolved beyond nature to both the splendor and squalor of the Industrial Age and offered an unprecedented analysis of the interplay between family, property relations, the state, and the human mind. The Promise of Progress will spark the imagination of anyone who worries that progress has outstripped the human capacity to live together, allowing readers to better understand the relationship between the American emphasis on consumption, the buried riches of the American dream, and the possibilities for our future.
No single work is more responsible for the heightened interest in argumentation and informal reasoning—and their relation to ethics and jurisprudence in the late twentieth century—than Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s monumental study of argumentation, La Nouvelle Rhétorique: Traité de l'Argumentation. Published in 1958 and translated into English as The New Rhetoric in 1969, this influential volume returned the study of reason to classical concepts of rhetoric. In The Promise of Reason: Studies in The New Rhetoric, leading scholars of rhetoric Barbara Warnick, Jeanne Fahnestock, Alan G. Gross, Ray D. Dearin, and James Crosswhite are joined by prominent and emerging European and American scholars from different disciplines to demonstrate the broad scope and continued relevance of The New Rhetoric more than fifty years after its initial publication.
Divided into four sections—Conceptual Understandings of The New Rhetoric, Extensions of The New Rhetoric, The Ethical Turn in Perelman and The New Rhetoric, and Uses of The New Rhetoric—this insightful volume covers a wide variety of topics. It includes general assessments of The New Rhetoric and its central concepts, as well as applications of those concepts to innovative areas in which argumentation is being studied, such as scientific reasoning, visual media, and literary texts. Additional essays compare Perelman’s ideas with those of other significant thinkers like Kenneth Burke and Richard McKeon, explore his career as a philosopher and activist, and shed new light on Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s collaboration. Two contributions present new scholarship based on recent access to letters, interviews, and archival materials housed in the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Among the volume’s unique gifts is a personal memoir from Perelman’s daughter, Noémi Perelman Mattis, published here for the first time.
The Promise of Reason, expertly compiled and edited by John T. Gage, is the first to investigate the pedagogical implications of Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s groundbreaking work and will lead the way to the next generation of argumentation studies.
Why has religion persisted across the course of human history? Secularists have predicted the end of faith for a long time, but religions continue to attract followers. Meanwhile, scholars of religion have expanded their field to such an extent that we lack a basic framework for making sense of the chaos of religious phenomena. To remedy this state of affairs, Martin Riesebrodt here undertakes a task that is at once simple and monumental: to define, understand, and explain religion as a universal concept.
Instead of propounding abstract theories, Riesebrodt concentrates on the concrete realities of worship, examining religious holidays, conversion stories, prophetic visions, and life-cycle events. In analyzing these practices, his scope is appropriately broad, taking into consideration traditions in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Daoism, and Shinto. Ultimately, Riesebrodt argues, all religions promise to avert misfortune, help their followers manage crises, and bring both temporary blessings and eternal salvation. And, as The Promise of Salvation makes clear through abundant empirical evidence, religion will not disappear as long as these promises continue to help people cope with life.
In The Promise of the Foreign, Vicente L. Rafael argues that translation was key to the emergence of Filipino nationalism in the nineteenth century. Acts of translation entailed technics from which issued the promise of nationhood. Such a promise consisted of revising the heterogeneous and violent origins of the nation by mediating one’s encounter with things foreign while preserving their strangeness. Rafael examines the workings of the foreign in the Filipinos’ fascination with Castilian, the language of the Spanish colonizers. In Castilian, Filipino nationalists saw the possibility of arriving at a lingua franca with which to overcome linguistic, regional, and class differences. Yet they were also keenly aware of the social limits and political hazards of this linguistic fantasy.
Through close readings of nationalist newspapers and novels, the vernacular theater, and accounts of the 1896 anticolonial revolution, Rafael traces the deep ambivalence with which elite nationalists and lower-class Filipinos alike regarded Castilian. The widespread belief in the potency of Castilian meant that colonial subjects came in contact with a recurring foreignness within their own language and society. Rafael shows how they sought to tap into this uncanny power, seeing in it both the promise of nationhood and a menace to its realization. Tracing the genesis of this promise and the ramifications of its betrayal, Rafael sheds light on the paradox of nationhood arising from the possibilities and risks of translation. By repeatedly opening borders to the arrival of something other and new, translation compels the nation to host foreign presences to which it invariably finds itself held hostage. While this condition is perhaps common to other nations, Rafael shows how its unfolding in the Philippine colony would come to be claimed by Filipinos, as would the names of the dead and their ghostly emanations.
Reclaiming Class offers essays written by women who changed their lives through the pathway of higher education. Collected, they offer a powerful testimony of the importance of higher learning, as well as a critique of the programs designed to alleviate poverty and educational disparity. The contributors explore the ideologies of welfare and American meritocracy that promise hope and autonomy on the one hand, while also perpetuating economic obstacles and indebtedness on the other. Divided into the three sections, Reclaiming Class assesses the psychological, familial, and economic intersections of poverty and the educational process. In the first section, women who left poverty through higher education recall their negotiating the paths of college life to show how their experiences reveal the hidden paradoxes of education. Section two presents first person narratives of students whose lives are shaped by their roles as poor mothers, guardian siblings, and daughters, as well as the ways that race interacts with their poverty. Chapters exploring financial aid and welfare policy, battery and abuse, and the social constructions of the poor woman finish the book. Offering a comprehensive picture of how poor women access all levels of private and public institutions to achieve against great odds, Reclaiming Class shows the workings of higher learning from the vantage point of those most subject to the vicissitudes of policy and reform agendas.
Red, White, and Blues, a new anthology from the award-winning editors of Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America and Vespers: Contemporary American Poems of Religion and Spirituality, offers a chorus of contemporary American poets on the idea of liberty, democracy, patriotism, and the American Dream;a twenty-first-century "Song of Myself” for the entire country.
The poems in Red, White, and Blues reflect our collective memory—from icons of pop culture to national disasters and times of unrest. Yet they are not simply reflections of the headline news or political diatribes of the day; instead, they provide roadmaps of American history—roadmaps of where we’ve been, who we are, and where we’re going as a nation.
Poets as diverse as Martín Espada and Paisley Rekdal, J. P. Dancing Bear and Vivian Shipley seek to answer questions that resonate within the heart of our national identity—what does it mean to be an American? What is the American Dream? How does one define patriotism? Regardless of ethnicity, gender, or class, each poet’s answer to such questions proves that our experiences unite us more than they divide us.
Red, White, and Blues is an ambitious collection of the finest contemporary poetry on the subject of America and the indefatigable spirit of its citizens. Its poems don’t pull punches, nor do they celebrate without cause. They show spirit and excitement, outrage and joy, solemnity and ambiguity—all reflections of our wonderfully diverse nation.
In addition to the explicit goal of advancing mutual economic interests, regional economic organizations (REOs) are intended to foster regional cohesion and peace. Drawing on a data set detailing the institutional features of 25 REOs established during the 1980s and 1990s, complemented by a case study of ASEAN, Yoram Z. Haftel investigates the factors that affect REOs' ability to mitigate interstate military conflict. He finds fewer interstate conflicts among REO members who have developed high levels of economic integration and who cultivate regular interaction among member-states' representatives. Haftel concludes that, with an appropriate institutional design and fully implemented agreements, an REO can indeed play a role in mitigating interstate conflict and make a meaningful contribution to regional peace.
In the late sixties, as the world was waking to a need for Earth Day, a pioneering group founded a small non-profit research and education organization they called the New Alchemy Institute. Their aim was to explore the ways a safer and more sustainable world could be created. In the ensuing years, along with scientists, agriculturists, and a host of enthusiastic amateurs and friends, they set out to discover new ways that basic human needs--in the form of food, shelter, and energy--could be met. A Safe and Sustainable World is the story of that journey, as it was and as it continues to be.
The dynamics and the resilience of the living world were the Institute's model and the inspiration for their research. Central to their efforts then and now is, along with science, a spiritual quest for a more harmonious human role in our planet's future. The results of this work have now entered mainstream science through the emerging discipline of ecological design.
Nancy Jack Todd not only relates a fascinating journey from lofty ideals through the hard realities encountered in learning how to actually grow food, harness the energy of the sun and wind, and design green architecture. She also introduces us to some of the heroes and mentors who played a vital role in those efforts as well, from Buckminster Fuller to Margaret Mead. The early work of the Institute culminated in the design and building of two bioshelters--large greenhouse-like independent structures called Arks, that provided the setting for much of the research to follow.
Successfully proving through the Institute's designs and investigations that basic land sustainability is achievable, John Todd and the author founded a second non-profit research group, Ocean Arks International. Here they applied the New Alchemy's natural systems thinking to restoring polluted waters with the invention and implementation of biologically based living technologies called Ecomachines and Pond and Lake Restorers. A Safe and Sustainable World demonstrates what has and can be done--it also looks to what must be done to integrate human ingenuity and the four billion or so years of evolutionary intelligence of the natural world into healthy, decentralized, locally dreams hard won--and hope.
For decades, conservation and research initiatives in tropical forests have focused almost exclusively on old-growth forests because scientists believed that these “pristine” ecosystems housed superior levels of biodiversity. With Second Growth, Robin L. Chazdon reveals those assumptions to be largely false, bringing to the fore the previously overlooked counterpart to old-growth forest: second growth.
Even as human activities result in extensive fragmentation and deforestation, tropical forests demonstrate a great capacity for natural and human-aided regeneration. Although these damaged landscapes can take centuries to regain the characteristics of old growth, Chazdon shows here that regenerating—or second-growth—forests are vital, dynamic reservoirs of biodiversity and environmental services. What is more, they always have been.
With chapters on the roles these forests play in carbon and nutrient cycling, sustaining biodiversity, providing timber and non-timber products, and integrated agriculture, Second Growth not only offers a thorough and wide-ranging overview of successional and restoration pathways, but also underscores the need to conserve, and further study, regenerating tropical forests in an attempt to inspire a new age of local and global stewardship.
Today, when many parents seem reluctant to have their children vaccinated, even with long proven medications, the Salk vaccine trial, which enrolled millions of healthy children to test an unproven medical intervention, seems nothing short of astonishing. In Selling Science, medical historian Stephen E. Mawdsley recounts the untold story of the first large clinical trial to control polio using healthy children—55,000 healthy children—revealing how this long-forgotten incident cleared the path for Salk’s later trial.
Mawdsley describes how, in the early 1950s, Dr. William Hammon and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis launched a pioneering medical experiment on a previously untried scale. Conducted on over 55,000 healthy children in Texas, Utah, Iowa, and Nebraska, this landmark study assessed the safety and effectiveness of a blood component, gamma globulin, to prevent paralytic polio. The value of the proposed experiment was questioned by many prominent health professionals as it harbored potential health risks, but as Mawdsley points out, compromise and coercion moved it forward. And though the trial returned dubious results, it was presented to the public as a triumph and used to justify a federally sanctioned mass immunization study on thousands of families between 1953 and 1954. Indeed, the concept, conduct, and outcome of the GG study were sold to health professionals, medical researchers, and the public at each stage. At a time when most Americans trusted scientists, their mutual encounter under the auspices of conquering disease was shaped by politics, marketing, and at times, deception.
Drawing on oral history interviews, medical journals, newspapers, meeting minutes, and private institutional records, Selling Science sheds light on the ethics of scientific conduct, and on the power of marketing to shape public opinion about medical experimentation.
Troubling the Family argues that the emergence of multiracialism during the 1990s was determined by underlying and unacknowledged gender norms. Opening with a germinal moment for multiracialism—the seemingly massive and instantaneous popular appearance of Tiger Woods in 1997—Habiba Ibrahim examines how the shifting status of racial hero for both black and multiracial communities makes sense only by means of an account of masculinity.
Ibrahim looks across historical events and memoirs—beginning with the Loving v. Virginia case in 1967 when miscegenation laws were struck down—to reveal that gender was the starting point of an analytics that made categorical multiracialism, and multiracial politics, possible. Producing a genealogy of multiracialism’s gendered basis allows Ibrahim to focus on a range of stakeholders whose interests often ran against the grain of what the multiracial movement of the 1990s often privileged: the sanctity of the heteronormative family, the labor of child rearing, and more precise forms of racial tabulation—all of which, when taken together, could form the basis for creating so-called neutral personhood.
Ibrahim concludes with a consideration of Barack Obama as a representation of the resurrection of the assurance that multiracialism extended into the 2000s: a version of personhood with no memory of its own gendered legacy, and with no self-account of how it became so masculine that it can at once fill the position of political leader and the promise of the end of politics.