Books of Note
University of Nevada Press
On October 20, 2011, the militant Basque nationalist group ETA laid down arms, citing "an historical opportunity to reach a just and democratic resolution" to their long fight. The University of Nevada Press has a long and distinguished series of scholarly work in Basque Studies—from the language and culture of teh region, to studies of the often violent political struggles with Spanish governments, such as Andre Lecours 2006 Basque Nationalism and the Spanish State.
Osman explores what has happened to the biggest Arab nation since President Nasser took control of the country in 1954. Once known for its religious pluralism and extraordinary cultural heritage, Egypt is now seen as an increasingly divided land, headed by the aging Mubarak's repressive regime. This timely work takes readers through the roots of today's political unrest.
Isherwood's 1964 novel is a frank and moving examination of a gay man in midlife. Minnesota has reissued the novel as a tie-in to fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut, opening this December. Starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, the film has already won critical acclaim. While mainstream attention is returning to Isherwood's fiction and life, the University of Minnesota Press has kept many of his best works in print.
Tired of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday creeping consumerism of the holidays? Waldfogel's stocking-sized treatise explains the poor economics of our less-informed, and less than satisfactory, gift purchasing habits. Not suggesting a complete break with tradition, Waldfogel offers viable alternatives. (And, of course, books are great gifts!)
The Red River is threatening to overwhelm the dikes of Fargo, as it did in Grand Forks in 1997. Journalist Shelby chronicles the disaster, which saw the evacuation of more than 50,000 residents and a series of devastating fires, as well as telling the story of how the city dealt with a lengthy relief and rebuilding process that changed its face. Learn more. Buy at Amazon.com
Edited by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram
In January 2009, the Obamas inaugurate a great historic shift in the United States as its first black First Family. This powerful treasury of messages to Michelle Obama from African American women shines a light on what her role means to many citizens: personally, symbolically, historically, and politically. Learn More
A provocative question to pose, even on John Milton's 400th birthday. Smith makes the case, however, illustrating how Milton engaged with the questions of science, religion, and politics of his own time and remained relevant for the American founders a century later, and can speak powerfully to Americans still today. Learn more
While the U.S. government debates whether to bail-out the big three automakers, you won't have any trouble finding detailed analysis of the costs of executive travel from Detroit to D.C. But what about deeper insight? These four books offer a more substantial picture of the wide-ranging issues underlying the auto industry.
Mass Motorization and Mass Transit: An American History and Policy Analysis
Based on extensive ethnographic research, Pelkmans' book illuminates the myriad ways residents of the Caucasus have rethought who they are since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The recent violent dispute between Russia and Georgia over border regions throws this work into high relief.
Jelle Zeilinga de Boer & Donald Theodore Sanders
This award-winning title traces how political and social institutions have been shaped by the human aftershocks of seismic calamities. Beginning with the history of the 1755 quake that destroyed Lisbon, the book follows through to explore the connections between revolutionary upheaval and quakes in the 1970s. Learn more
The Airbus scandal, or Mulroney-Schreiber affair that is once again roiling the Canadian political scene is the subject of Kaplan's explosive examination of the ethics of politicians, journalists, and business interests. Kaplan is considered one of the foremost authorities on the case and its convoluted history. Learn more
Skidmore's work is the first ethnography of fear in Burma (Myanmar) and provides a sobering look at the psychological strategies employed by the Burmese people in order to survive under a military dictatorship that seeks to invade and dominate every aspect of life. The term "karaoke fascism" describes the layers of conformity that Burmese people present to each other and, more important, to the military regime. Learn more
by Ann L. Burckhardt
AAUP is off to Minnesota for our 2007 Annual Meeting, June 14-17! For those who can't join us, or for those who want to take a little bit of the Twin Cities home with them, we point you to Burckhardt's celebration of the great Midwestern Hot Dish. Visit the MHS Press and the University of Minnesota Press for more fascinating books on Minnesota's history and culture. Learn More
John Robert Greene
In the first comprehensive study of one of our most popular yet most misunderstood presidents, Greene reached well beyond the image of Ford as "healer" of a war-torn and scandal-ridden nation to extend and revise our understanding of Ford's struggles to restore credibility to the presidency in the wake of Watergate and Vietnam. Learn More.
Respected journalist, and one of the few chroniclers of the atrocities in Chechnya, Anna Politkovskaya was murdered on October 7 in an apparent contract killing. She was reportedly finishing an article about the use of torture by members of the pro-Kremlin Chechen government for the Moscow paper Novaya gazeta. This collection of Politkovskaya's articles from Chechnya recounts the horrors of living in the midst of the war, examines how the war has affected Russian society, and takes a hard look at how people on both sides profit from it. Learn More
The murder of Anna Politkovskaya is both a personal tragedy and a vicious assault on human rights and freedom of expression. AAUP joins all those calling on the Russian authorities for a thorough investigation into who killed her, and who ordered the attack.
David A. Weintraub
Astronomers have answered that in the negative this August, reclassifying Pluto as a "dwarf planet." Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto's status in the solar system has been questioned. Weintraub tells the story of how the meaning of "planet" has changed from antiquity to the present day—as the number of possible planets has ranged widely over the centuries, from five to seventeen. Learn More.
A heat wave is pressing across North America, straining power grids and municipal services. In 1995 a heat wave in which the heat index reached 126 degrees resulted in 700 deaths in Chicago. Sociologist Klinenberg examines the social, political, and institutional organs of the city that made this urban disaster so much worse than it ought to have been. Learn more
The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the war-crimes trial procedures that the Bush administration planned for Guantanamo Bay prisoners, declaring that they violated U.S. law, including the Uniform Military Code of Justice and the Geneva Convention. Fisher offers a detailed and comprehensive look at extra-legal military courts that tempt the abuse of power, taking in the sweep of American history from colonial times to today’s headlines. Learn more
The World Cup, a truly global sporting competition, is now being held in Germany. Sports historian Murray portrays how the game—soccer, football, futbol—has risen to popularity the world over. Learn More
The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906: How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself
Philip L. Fradkin
On April 18, 1906, San Francisco and the surrounding area was shocked awake by a violent tectonic disturbance along the San Andreas fault. Fradkin's comprehensive account of the urban disaster that ensued is composed of the many stories of those who lived through it.
edited by Begoña Aretxaga, Dennis Dworkin, Joseba Gabilondo, Joseba Zulaika
From the Center for Basque studies comes this collection of essays examines the dynamics of identity politics and violence and the global rhetoric of international terrorism that has come to dominate the political discourse. On March 22, the militant Basque separatist group ETA announced a permanent ceasefire.
Yale University and the American Philosophical Society
January 17, 2005, marks Benjamin Franklin's tercentenary. This magisterial edition of Franklin's papers was started in 1954. In 2004, the 37th volume—of a projected 47—was published. The series is currently edited by Ellen Cohn. Learn more
by Xing Lu
The death of Yao Wenyuan, last surviving member of the "Gang of Four" architects of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), was announced on January 6. Xing Lu explores the persuasive effects of political language and symbolic practices during what is now known as the "ten years of chaos." Learn more
Stacey Knobler, et al., eds
This report summarizes a workshop sponsored by the Forum on Microbial Threats, Board on Global Health, and outlines much of the current situation, including the H5N1 avian virus and the worlds' needs for preparedness should an influenza pandemic arise again. Learn more
Joseph E. Slater
Essential background history on the fight in Wisconsin over public workers' rights. Slater reviews the long struggle for organization and labor protections in the public sector, including AFSCME's original 1959 victory in the Badger state.
Just in time for World Cup 2010, Alegi explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms. Styles of play and rituals of spectatorship distinct from that of European football have emerged. South Africa's World Cup tournament will bring these further onto the world stage (or, rather, playing field).
S. Ann Dunham
Duke University Press has published the work that President Obama's mother was not able to revise from dissertation form before her early death. The work reflects Dunham's more than 10 years of research among rural Javanese metalworkers and her commitment to helping small-scale village industries survive. The American Anthropological Association dedicated a session to the book's idea at their December 2009 conference.
Blackburn, along with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak, was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase." Brady's accessible and compelling story of Blackburn's research and life is a timely introduction to one of our foremost scientists.
John S. Whitehead
Fifty years ago, on August 21, Hawaii became the 50th state in the union. Whitehead tells the story of the politics and strategy that brought both Alaska and Hawaii, two key territories in both WWII and the burgeoning Cold War, to statehood.
For many more books about Hawaii's history, ecology, and culture, visit the University of Hawaii Press.
Edited by Beverly Jarrett
John Hope Franklin, 1915-2009, was a founding scholar of African-American studies. His 1947 work From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans is still considered a core work in the discipline, and he served as an inspiration and mentor to many colleagues and students. Much of his scholarly work was published by university presses, including Harvard, Chicago, LSU, Duke, Oxford, and Missouri. Duke University Press publishes a series with the John Hope Franklin Center. Read more about John Hope Franklin.
David E. Kyvig
December 5, 2008, marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition. On this day in 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment which had outlawed alcohol. Kyvig's comprehensive study of the 14-year reaction against prohibition examines constitutional development and illuminates continuing public policy issues of alcohol and drug control. Learn More
In this fascinating history of Wall Street, Fraser considers the uncomfortable intersections of wealth and greed, democracy and power in America. From the first panic of 1792 to the bubbles and scandals of recent years, Wall Street explores the deep cultural, moral, and political ambivalence with which the nation has viewed its financial center.
With the plethora of holiday book-buying guides and end-of-year recommendations, it may seem as though there is no trouble in the world of book review and criticism. Pool, a reviewer and review editor herself, looks at the state of reviewing all year round, in print and online, and comes to a different conclusion.
Edited by Mark Falkoff
Since 2002, at least 775 men have been held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. detention center, many with no charges ever levied against them. Compiled by pro bono attorneys working with detainees, and with each line reviewed by the Pentagon, these poems tell some of the men's experiences there in their own voices. Learn more
In this comprehensive and fascinating history of the evolution of free speech in America, historian and free-speech activist Finan takes us from the nineteenth-century anti-smut campaigns of the YMCA to the twenty-first century fight to retain essential liberties after the shock of September 11. Learn more
Herbert J. Ellison
Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) became the first elected president of Russia in 1991. Ellison's balanced and insightful analysis establishes Yeltsin as the principal leader and defender of Russia's democratic revolution. Learn more
Oren M. Levin-Waldman
The U.S. Congress plans to vote in January on a raise in the federal minimum wage—the first in ten years. The proposal in the House is to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, from its current $5.15. Levin-Waldman's work traces the historical evolution of minimum-wage policy and how models are used (and misused) by different interests to achieve their particular aims. Learn More.
Augusto Pinochet, former military dictator of Chile under whose rule thousands were tortured, killed, and disappeared, died on December 10 at age 91. The 1998 arrest of Pinochet in London and subsequent extradition proceedings sent an electrifying wave through the international community. Roht-Arriaza discusses the difficulties in bringing violators of human rights to justice at home, and considers the role of transnational prosecutions and investigations. Learn More.
A central caricature of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie, Borat, is Westerners'— specifically, Americans'— ignorance of the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan. Current scholarship on the country is available, however, one of the most recent works being Nathan's examination of the Kazakh economy. Within an historical overview, the book provides a close examination of the major industries of post-Soviet Kazakhstan. Truly, a book for understanding! Learn More
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Americans can buy any number of consumer items recast in pink and promising some donation to breast cancer cure research—but not necessarily preventive research. King investigates the effects of this market-driven philanthropy and challenges the commercialization of the breast cancer movement. Learn more
On September 19, a coup ousted Thailand's prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. The military leaders who led the coup tied yellow ribbons to the tanks surrounding Bangkok's government district, signifying loyalty to the country's almost universally popular king. The coup leaders say they will appoint a new PM in two weeks, denying that they wish to retain power. Learn More.
Having held power for nearly 50 years since leading the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro handed over control of the country to his brother Raul late July 31. Announced as a temporary measure while Castro reportedly undergoes surgery, the international community—and particularly Cuban exiles—are wondering if this marks the beginning of the end of the dictator's long reign. Learn More.
Shaul Mishal & Avraham Sela
Two Israeli scholars examine Hamas as a social and political movement which provides extensive community services and responds constantly to political realities through bargaining and power brokering.
Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, died on March 11 of heart failure in his cell at the Hague. At the time of his death he was on trial at the Hague for war crimes.
Janann Sherman, editor
Betty Friedan, a central figure in contemporary feminism, died on February 4, 2006. Friedan's 1963 book The Feminine Mystique was one of the most influential books of the 20th century. In her life of political activism, she was a co-founder of both NOW (1966) and NARAL (1969). Learn more
John P. Murtha
Congressman Murtha has served the United States in politics and as a Marine for more than 30 years. Not just an account of his own life, but also of the history he has witnessed first hand. The 2004 paperback includes an epilogue that addresses the current war in Iraq. Learn more
Lee Epstein and Jeffrey A. Segal
Though it is often assumed that political clashes over nominees are a new phenomenon, the appointment of justices and judges has always been a highly contentious process—one largely driven by ideological and partisan concerns. Learn more
Karen J. Greenberg and
This book documents the memos and reports that paved the way for the U.S. government to justify coercive interrogation and torture illegal under international law. Learn more
Craig E. Colten
Colten inserts a critical environmental perspective to the history of urban areas, and provides a much-needed look into the making of the Crescent City.
Tekeste Negash and
The last conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea came to an end in late 2000. Recent days have seen tensions mount once again, as the nations move troops closer to their shared border. This work provides historical and political context for the discord between these two nations.