In Watering the Revolution Mikael D. Wolfe transforms our understanding of Mexican agrarian reform through an environmental and technological history of water management in the emblematic Laguna region. Drawing on extensive archival research in Mexico and the United States, Wolfe shows how during the long Mexican Revolution (1910-1940) engineers’ distribution of water paradoxically undermined land distribution. In so doing, he highlights the intrinsic tension engineers faced between the urgent need for water conservation and the imperative for development during the contentious modernization of the Laguna's existing flood irrigation method into one regulated by high dams, concrete-lined canals, and motorized groundwater pumps. This tension generally resolved in favor of development, which unintentionally diminished and contaminated the water supply while deepening existing rural social inequalities by dividing people into water haves and have-nots, regardless of their access to land. By uncovering the varied motivations behind the Mexican government’s decision to use invasive and damaging technologies despite knowing they were ecologically unsustainable, Wolfe tells a cautionary tale of the long-term consequences of short-sighted development policies.
This is a story of tides and coastlines, winds and waves, islands and beaches. It is also a retelling of indigenous creativity, agency, and resistance in the face of unprecedented globalization and violence. Waves Across the South shifts the narrative of the Age of Revolutions and the origins of the British Empire; it foregrounds a vast southern zone that ranges from the Arabian Sea and southwest Indian Ocean across to the Bay of Bengal, and onward to the South Pacific and the Tasman Sea. As the empires of the Dutch, French, and especially the British reached across these regions, they faced a surge of revolutionary sentiment. Long-standing venerable Eurasian empires, established patterns of trade and commerce, and indigenous practice also served as a context for this transformative era. In addition to bringing long-ignored people and events to the fore, Sujit Sivasundaram opens the door to new and necessary conversations about environmental history, the consequences of historical violence, the legacies of empire, the extraction of resources, and the indigenous futures that Western imperialism cut short. The result is nothing less than a bold new way of understanding our global past, one that also helps us think afresh about our shared future.
The Second Coming of Christ has been prophesied many times through the centuries but seldom by a figure so fascinating as Joanna Southcott (1750–1814), the domestic servant who at the age of forty-two declared that God had chosen her to announce His return. A Woman to Deliver Her People is the most comprehensive study of this remarkable woman and her movement yet written. Dramatic social and political changes of the late eighteenth century—among them the revolutions in America and France—had a profound effect on the attitudes of English men and women at all levels of society. With events so far outside the range of ordinary experience, both the educated and the uneducated turned to the prophetic books of the Bible, seeking solace and explanation. A number of prophets and prophetesses appeared, claiming to have a special understanding of the biblical texts and offering startling new revelations which had been disclosed to them by God. The greatest and most influential of these was Joanna Southcott, who attracted tens of thousands of followers from the West Country, London, the Midlands, and the industrial North. Her “spiritual communications” filled some sixty-five books and pamphlets from 1801 until her death. Most contemporary observers dismissed Southcott as a fanatic, and she was frequently the subject of caricature and ridicule. James Hopkins attempts to remedy this distortion by examining Southcott’s life and the millenarian movement she led within the context of the social, political, and economic crises of the period. By tracing the psychological and popular roots of Southcott’s piety, and casting her appeal against the backdrop of a revolutionary age, Hopkins not only vividly portrays the life of this fascinating woman but also offers a new perspective on the mentality of ordinary English men and women during the years of their transformation into a working class.
Challenging the claim that workers supported Stalin's revolution "from above" as well as the assumption that working-class opposition to a workers' state was impossible, Jeffrey Rossman shows how a crucial segment of the Soviet population opposed the authorities during the critical industrializing period of the First Five-Year Plan.
Written by some of our
nation's top historians, Working for Democracy is the first book to
examine the politics of American workers from the revolution to the present
in terms of broad struggles for power in society at large.
In more than a dozen chapters, the topics range from the committees of
artisan "republicans" at the time of the American Revolution to the League of
Revolutionary Black Workers. Whether the subject is the anti-slavery movement,
the New Deal coalition, the Wobblies, or women workers, Working For
Democracy is a testament to the struggles of workers everywhere in America.
The plebeians of Buenos Aires were crucial to the success of the revolutionary junta of May 1810, widely considered the start of the Argentine war of independence. Workshop of Revolution is a historical account of the economic and political forces that propelled the artisans, free laborers, and slaves of Buenos Aires into the struggle for independence. Drawing on extensive archival research in Argentina and Spain, Lyman L. Johnson portrays the daily lives of Buenos Aires plebeians in unprecedented detail. In so doing, he demonstrates that the world of Spanish colonial plebeians can be recovered in reliable and illuminating ways. Johnson analyzes the demographic and social contexts of plebeian political formation and action, considering race, ethnicity, and urban population growth, as well as the realms of work and leisure. During the two decades prior to 1810, Buenos Aires came to be thoroughly integrated into Atlantic commerce. Increased flows of immigrants from Spain and slaves from Africa and Brazil led to a decline in real wages and the collapse of traditional guilds. Laborers and artisans joined militias that defended the city against British invasions in 1806 and 1807, and they defeated a Spanish loyalist coup attempt in 1809. A gravely weakened Spanish colonial administration and a militarized urban population led inexorably to the events of 1810 and a political transformation of unforeseen scale and consequence.