New Books in American Studies

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Interviews with Scholars of America about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies read less
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Stephen J. Silvia, "The UAW's Southern Gamble: Organizing Workers at Foreign-Owned Vehicle Plants" (IRL Press, 2023)
Yesterday
Stephen J. Silvia, "The UAW's Southern Gamble: Organizing Workers at Foreign-Owned Vehicle Plants" (IRL Press, 2023)
The UAW's Southern Gamble: Organizing Workers at Foreign-Owned Vehicle Plants (IRL Press, 2023) is the first in-depth assessment of the United Auto Workers' efforts to organize foreign vehicle plants (Daimler-Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Volkswagen) in the American South since 1989, an era when union membership declined precipitously. Stephen J. Silvia chronicles transnational union cooperation between the UAW and its counterparts in Brazil, France, Germany, and Japan and documents the development of employer strategies that have proven increasingly effective at thwarting unionization. Silvia shows that when organizing, unions must now fight on three fronts: at the worksite; in the corporate boardroom; and in the political realm. The UAW's Southern Gamble makes clear that the UAW's failed campaigns in the South can teach hard-won lessons about challenging the structural and legal roadblocks to union participation and effectively organizing workers within and beyond the auto industry. Stephen J. Silvia is a Professor at American University's School of International Service, where he teaches international economics, international trade relations, and comparative politics. He is the author of Holding the Shop Together. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Tom Mueller, "How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine" (Norton, 2023)
Yesterday
Tom Mueller, "How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine" (Norton, 2023)
Dialysis is a medical miracle, a treatment that allows people with kidney failure to live when otherwise they would die. It also provides a captive customer for the dialysis industry, which values the steady revenues that come from critically required long-term care that is guaranteed by the government.  Tom Mueller's six year deep dive into the dialysis industry has yielded his latest book, How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death, and Dollars in American Medicine (W. W. Norton, 2023). It's both an historical account of this lifesaving treatment and an indictment of the industry that is dominated by two for-profit companies that control ~80% of the market.   There is a precarious balance between ethical care for patients and the prioritization of profits for the providers, a tension that has led to ethical, political, and legal debates about the rationing and exploitation of life-saving care and quality of life.  Dialysis services are desperately needed by patients who require the dangerous, uncomfortable, and exhausting treatments multiple times per week, and pay for it through complex insurance procedures. Tom Mueller’s book includes a vivid account of CEOs who lead their companies with messianic zeal to drive revenues continually up while simultaneously reducing the cost of care. He introduces us to the doctors charged with reducing those costs even at the expense of high-quality care and negative health outcomes. And we meet the patients themselves, who have little choice but to put their lives and well-being at the mercy of this system. How did a lifesaving medical breakthrough become a for-profit enterprise that threatens many of the people it’s meant to save? And who are the brave people -patients, doctors, and employees of the system who are willing to tell their stories despite tremendous pressure to remain silent? And why do we as Americans accept worse outcomes at higher costs than the rest of the world? Tom Mueller's highly readable yet devastating book illustrates the dialysis industry as a microcosm of American medicine.  Mueller challenges us to find a solution for dialysis, an approach that could also provide the opportunity to begin fixing our country’s dysfunctional healthcare system and a fighting chance at restoring human health outcomes, rather than the extraction of profits, as its true purpose. To contact Tom Mueller, visit www.tommueller.co Suggested reading:  The Body's Keepers by Paul L. Kimmel, M.D. The Occasional Human Sacrifice: Medical Experimentation and the Price of Saying No by Carl Elliott Also mentioned:  How to Get Away with Merger by Thomas G. Wollman (NBER working paper, 2020) "How Acquisitions Affect Firm Behavior and Performance" by Eliason, Heebsh et al. (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2020) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
M. Ramirez and D. Peterson, "Ignored Racism: White Animus Toward Latinos (Cambridge UP, 2020)
2d ago
M. Ramirez and D. Peterson, "Ignored Racism: White Animus Toward Latinos (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Although Latinos are now the largest non-majority group in the United States, existing research on white attitudes toward Latinos has focused almost exclusively on attitudes toward immigration. Ignored Racism: White Animus Toward Latinos (Cambridge University Press) changes that. It argues that such accounts fundamentally underestimate the political power of whites' animus toward Latinos and thus miss how conflict extends well beyond immigration to issues such as voting rights, criminal punishment, policing, and which candidates to support. Providing historical and cultural context and drawing on rich survey and experimental evidence, Mark Ramirez and David Peterson show that Latino racism-ethnicism (LRE) is a coherent belief system about Latinos that is conceptually and empirically distinct from other forms of out-group hostility, and from partisanship and ideology. Moreover, animus toward Latinos has become a powerful force in contemporary American politics, shaping white public opinion in elections and across a number of important issue areas - and resulting in policies that harm Latinos disproportionately. Mark D. Ramirez is Associate Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. David A. M. Peterson is Professor and Whitaker-Lindgren Faculty Fellow in Political Science at Iowa State University. David-James Gonzales (DJ) is Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is a historian of migration, urbanization, and social movements in the U.S., and specializes in Latina/o/x politics and social movements. Follow him on Twitter @djgonzoPhD. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Vanessa Walker, "Principles in Power: Latin America and the Politics of U.S. Human Rights Diplomacy" (Cornell UP, 2020)
3d ago
Vanessa Walker, "Principles in Power: Latin America and the Politics of U.S. Human Rights Diplomacy" (Cornell UP, 2020)
Vanessa Walker's Principles in Power: Latin America and the Politics of U. S. Human Rights Diplomacy (Cornell University Press, 2020) explores the relationship between policy makers and nongovernment advocates in Latin America and the United States government in order to explain the rise of anti-interventionist human rights policies uniquely critical of U.S. power during the Cold War. Walker shows that the new human rights policies of the 1970s were based on a complex dynamic of domestic and foreign considerations that was rife with tensions between the seats of power in the United States and Latin America, and the growing activist movement that sought to reform them. By addressing the development of U.S. diplomacy and politics alongside that of activist networks, especially in Chile and Argentina, Walker shows that Latin America was central to the policy assumptions that shaped the Carter administration's foreign policy agenda. The coup that ousted the socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, sparked new human rights advocacy as a direct result of U.S. policies that supported authoritarian regimes in the name of Cold War security interests. From 1973 onward, the attention of Washington and capitals around the globe turned to Latin America as the testing ground for the viability of a new paradigm for U.S. power. This approach, oriented around human rights, required collaboration among activists and state officials in places as diverse as Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Washington, DC. Principles in Power tells the complicated story of the potentials and limits of partnership between government and nongovernment actors. Analyzing how different groups deployed human rights language to reform domestic and international power, Walker explores the multiple and often conflicting purposes of U.S. human rights policy. Jo Butterfield is the Advisor for the Human Rights Certificate offered by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights and is an Adjunct Asst. Professor with the UI Department of History. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Larry Roeder and Barry Harrelson, "Dirt Don't Burn: A Black Community's Struggle for Educational Equality Under Segregation" (Georgetown UP, 2023)
3d ago
Larry Roeder and Barry Harrelson, "Dirt Don't Burn: A Black Community's Struggle for Educational Equality Under Segregation" (Georgetown UP, 2023)
The system of educational apartheid that existed in the United States until the Brown v. Board of Education decision and its aftermath has affected every aspect of life for Black Americans. Larry Roeder and Barry Harrelson's book Dirt Don't Burn: A Black Community's Struggle for Educational Equality Under Segregation (Georgetown UP, 2023) is the riveting narrative of an extraordinary community that overcame the cultural and legal hurdles of systematic racism. Dirt Don't Burn describes how Loudoun County, Virginia, which once denied educational opportunity to Black Americans, gradually increased the equality of education for all children in the area. The book includes powerful stories of the largely unknown individuals and organizations that brought change to enduring habits of exclusion and prejudice toward African Americans. Dirt Don't Burn sheds new light on the history of segregation and inequity in American history. It provides new historical details and insights into African American experiences based on original research through thousands of previously lost records, archival NAACP files, and records of educational philanthropies. This book will appeal to readers interested in American history, African American history, and regional history, as well as educational policy and social justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Alan Jenkins and Gan Golan, "1/6, The Graphic Novel: What if the Attack on the U.S. Capitol had Succeeded?" (Sun Print Solutions, 2023)
4d ago
Alan Jenkins and Gan Golan, "1/6, The Graphic Novel: What if the Attack on the U.S. Capitol had Succeeded?" (Sun Print Solutions, 2023)
What if the January 6, 2021 Insurrection had been successful? A tale of what was, what could have been, and what still could be? 1/6: The Graphic Novel (Sun Print Solutions, 2023) chillingly illustrates how close we came to authoritarian rule in America and the threats to our democracy that we still face. In the tradition of speculative fiction from George Orwell’s 1984 to Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale to the Twilight Zone, it explores themes of autocracy, scapegoating, strategic disinformation, and more, all told through a compelling, character-driven story. Drawing on real-life events, 1/6 travels the road that led from back-room meetings, white supremacist rallies, and the Four Seasons Landscaping parking lot to a violent attack on the Capitol that left several Americans dead and shook our nation to its core. It then imagines a world in which the events of that day turned out very differently. 1/6 is for lovers of graphic novels, lovers of speculative fiction, lovers of politics, and lovers of our democracy. It’s a story that demands our attention and calls on us to take action…while we still can. Issue #1 of the 4-Issue Series is available on Amazon, Issuu, and in a print edition. Kishauna Soljour is an Assistant Professor of Public Humanities at San Diego State University. Her most recent writing appears in the edited collection: From Rights to Lives: The Evolution of the Black Freedom Struggle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Pamela Prickett and Stefan Timmermans, "The Unclaimed: Abandonment and Hope in the City of Angels" (Crown, 2024)
4d ago
Pamela Prickett and Stefan Timmermans, "The Unclaimed: Abandonment and Hope in the City of Angels" (Crown, 2024)
For centuries, people who died destitute or alone were buried in potters’ fields—a Dickensian end that even the most hard-pressed families tried to avoid. Today, more and more relatives are abandoning their dead, leaving it to local governments to dispose of the bodies. Up to 150,000 Americans now go unclaimed each year. Who are they? Why are they being forgotten? And what is the meaning of life if your death doesn’t matter to others. The Unclaimed: Abandonment and Hope in the City of Angels (Crown, 2024) is an extraordinary work of narrative nonfiction that took Pamela J. Prickett and Stefan Timmermans eight years in the making to uncover this hidden social world. They follow four individuals in Los Angeles, tracing the twisting, poignant paths that put each at risk of going unclaimed, and introducing us to the scene investigators, notification officers, and crematorium workers who care for them when no one else will. The Unclaimed lays bare the difficult truth that anyone can be abandoned. It forces us to confront a variety of social ills, from the fracturing of families and the loneliness of cities to the toll of rising inequality. But it is also filled with unexpected moments of tenderness. In Boyle Heights, a Mexican American neighborhood not far from the glitter of Hollywood, hundreds of strangers come together each year to mourn the deaths of people they never knew. These ceremonies, springing up across the country, reaffirm our shared humanity and help mend our frayed social fabric. Beautifully crafted and profoundly empathetic, The Unclaimed urges us to expand our circle of caring—in death and in life. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is a Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is the author of The Social Construction of a Cultural Spectacle: Floatzilla (Lexington Books, 2023) and Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River (Lexington Books, 2022). His general area of study is in the areas of social construction of experience, identity, and place. He is currently conducting research for his next project that looks at nightlife and the emotional labor that is performed by employees of bars and nightclubs. To learn more about Michael O. Johnston you can go to his website, Google Scholar, Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at johnstonmo@wmpenn.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Marc C. Johnson, "Mansfield and Dirksen: Bipartisan Giants of the Senate" (U Oklahoma Press, 2023)
4d ago
Marc C. Johnson, "Mansfield and Dirksen: Bipartisan Giants of the Senate" (U Oklahoma Press, 2023)
The U.S. Senate is so sharply polarized along partisan and ideological lines today that it's easy to believe it was always this way. But in the turbulent 1960s, even as battles over civil rights and the war in Vietnam dominated American politics, bipartisanship often prevailed. One key reason: two remarkable leaders who remain giants of the Senate--Republican leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois and Democratic leader Mike Mansfield of Montana, the longest-serving majority leader in Senate history, so revered for his integrity, fairness, and modesty that the late Washington Post reporter David Broder called him "the greatest American I ever met." The political and personal relationship of these party leaders, extraordinary by today's standards, is the lens through which Marc C. Johnson examines in Mansfield and Dirksen: Bipartisan Giants of the Senate (U Oklahoma Press, 2023). Working together, with the Democrat often ceding public leadership to his Republican counterpart, Mansfield and Dirksen passed landmark civil rights and voting rights legislation, created Medicare, and helped bring about a foundational nuclear arms limitation treaty. The two leaders could not have been more different in personality and style: Mansfield, a laconic, soft-spoken, almost shy college history professor, and Dirksen, an aspiring actor known for his flamboyance and sense of humor, dubbed the "Wizard of Ooze" by reporters. Drawing on extensive Senate archives, Johnson explores the congressional careers of these iconic leaders, their intimate relationships with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and their own close professional friendship based on respect, candor, and mutual affection. A study of politics but also an analysis of different approaches to leadership, this is a portrait of a U.S. Senate that no longer exists--one in which two leaders, while exercising partisan political responsibilities, could still come together to pass groundbreaking legislation--and a reminder of what is possible. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Jesse McCarthy, "The Blue Period: Black Writing in the Early Cold War" (U Chicago Press, 2024)
4d ago
Jesse McCarthy, "The Blue Period: Black Writing in the Early Cold War" (U Chicago Press, 2024)
‘The result is that, at the present time, the world is at an impasse.’ In 1956, Aimé Césaire pronounced the world to be at an impasse while renouncing his allegiance to the French Communist Party. In Jesse McCarthy’s The Blue Period: Black Writing in the Early Cold War (U Chicago Press, 2024), this foreclosure of ideological avenues, this loss of belief in the prevailing modes of political praxis restricts and overdetermines the scope of writing and possibilities of culture during the Cold War. Although this story of Cold War disillusionment may sound familiar to readers of Mark Grief’s The Age of the Crisis of Man (2015) and Amanda Anderson’s Bleak Liberalism (2016), McCarthy argues that black writers such as Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Édouard Glissant, Paule Marshall, and Gwendolyn Brooks variously dissented from these delimitations in the name of alternate, unappeasable, quiet and disquieting bids for freedom. Across detailed chapters spanning from 1945 to 1965, the year in which Malcom X was assassinated and Amiri Baraka founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre School by Amiri Baraka, McCarthy unfurls these writers’ efforts to work through negative experiences—alienation, dehiscence, dissolution, disaffiliation, disidentification—in order to, in Baldwin’s words, find ‘the power that will free us from ourselves.’ Jesse McCarthy is an essayist, novelist, editor at Point Magazine, and an assistant professor in English and African-American Studies at Harvard University. Damian Maher is a fellow by examination at All Souls College, University of Oxford. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton, "The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison" (Routledge, 2023)
6d ago
Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton, "The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison" (Routledge, 2023)
For 40 years, this classic text has taken the issue of economic inequality seriously and asked: Why are our prisons filled with the poor? Why aren't the tools of the criminal justice system being used to protect Americans from predatory business practices and to punish well-off people who cause widespread harm?  This new edition continues to engage readers in important exercises of critical thinking: Why has the U.S. relied so heavily on tough crime policies despite evidence of their limited effectiveness, and how much of the decline in crime rates can be attributed to them? Why does the U.S. have such a high crime rate compared to other developed nations, and what could we do about it? Are the morally blameworthy harms of the rich and poor equally translated into criminal laws that protect the public from harms on the streets and harms from the suites? How much class bias is present in the criminal justice system-both when the rich and poor engage in the same act, and when the rich use their leadership of corporations to perpetrate mass victimization?  The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison (Routledge, 2023) shows readers that much of what goes on in the criminal justice system violates citizens' sense of basic fairness. It presents extensive evidence from mainstream data that the criminal justice system does not function in the way it says it does nor in the way that readers believe it should. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Cathy Stanton, "Food Margins: Lessons from an Unlikely Grocer" (U Massachusetts Press, 2024)
1w ago
Cathy Stanton, "Food Margins: Lessons from an Unlikely Grocer" (U Massachusetts Press, 2024)
An anthropologist walks into a grocery store—no that’s not the start of a joke, that’s the true story of how Cathy Stanton came to be involved with Quabbin Harvest, a food co-op in the former mill town of Orange, Massachusetts.  Part memoir and part history, Stanton’s new book Food Margins: Lessons from an Unlikely Grocer (University of Massachusetts Press, 2024) traces the struggles of one small store in one small town and uncovers the long arc of the modern industrial food system coming into being. In that system, corporate giants offer the kind of abundance, affordability, and convenience that make it all but impossible for small-scale ventures to survive, as Stanton discovered when she joined local efforts to save the nascent food co-op. Drawing on her own deep knowledge of how the plantation, the factory, and the supermarket are politically, ecologically, and economically entangled, she comes to a new understanding of why it’s so hard to effect real change in how we get our food. On the margins of the dominant system, she learns that it’s possible to keep an alternative alive by making a fierce commitment to community and stepping outside her own comfort zone as a white middle-class shopper—a core demographic of today’s locavore movement. In Orange, one of the poorest towns in one of the wealthiest U.S. states, Stanton also tracks the story of American industrial growth, abandonment, and the divisive politics of the present day. Her co-op started out in the former Minute Tapioca factory complex, now a business incubator in one of countless communities trying to anchor capital more permanently. The parallel story of the iconic Minute Tapioca brand shows the rise of mass-produced commodity foods and their role in creating a system with troubling disparities in who is able to afford fresh and healthy food.Food Margins is a complex and compelling story of a de-industrialized, rural community that is imagining and creating a viable alternative to the mainstream in a time of increasingly urgent need to build a more socially and ecologically just food system. Stanton’s new book can help to fuel those conversations and actions with an insider view of the task at hand and an anthropologist’s sense of how it intersects wider struggles for equity and sustainability. Cathy Stanton teaches Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Tufts University and lives in north-central Massachusetts, where she has been involved in local food projects for many years. She has written widely about sites of commemoration and heritage tourism, including at industrial and agricultural history sites. Website. Brian Hamilton is chair of the Department of History and Social Science at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Danielle R. Olden, "Racial Uncertainties: Mexican Americans, School Desegregation, and the Making of Race in Post–Civil Rights America" (U California Press, 2022)
May 22 2024
Danielle R. Olden, "Racial Uncertainties: Mexican Americans, School Desegregation, and the Making of Race in Post–Civil Rights America" (U California Press, 2022)
Mexican Americans have often fit uncertainly into the white/non-white binary that has goverens much of American history. After Colorado, and much of the rest of the American West, became American claimed territory after the Mexican-Americna War in 1848, thousands of formerly Mexican citizens became American citizens. Flash foward a century to post-war Denver. In the spring of 1969, Mexican American students staged a walk out in protest of poor quality education, racist teachers, and school segregation - they were met by police in riot gear, to beat and arrested dozens of peaceful protestors. Denver thus became ground zero for debates over race in the American West, a city as important to conceptions of whiteness, "minority" status, and colorblindness as any place in the South. In the award winning book, Racial Uncertainties: Mexican Americans, School Desegregation, and the Making of Race in Post-Civil Rights America (U California Press, 2022), University of Utah historian Danielle Olden tracks the history of Chicano, Latinx, and Mexican American identities through Denver's history, focusing on the lead up to the 1973 Supreme Court case, Keyes v. Denver School District No. 1. Olden tracks the remarkable and complicated story of that city's Chicano, Black, and white communities through the halting process of school desegregation, and in doing so provides an explemary lesson in the social mutability of the concept of race. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Laura Helton, "Scattered and Fugitive Things: How Black Collectors Created Archives and Remade History" (Columbia UP, 2024)
May 22 2024
Laura Helton, "Scattered and Fugitive Things: How Black Collectors Created Archives and Remade History" (Columbia UP, 2024)
During the first half of the twentieth century, a group of collectors and creators dedicated themselves to documenting the history of African American life. At a time when dominant institutions cast doubt on the value or even the idea of Black history, these bibliophiles, scrapbookers, and librarians created an enduring set of African diasporic archives. In building these institutions and amassing abundant archival material, they also reshaped Black public culture, animating inquiry into the nature and meaning of Black history. In Scattered and Fugitive Things: How Black Collectors Created Archives and Remade History (Columbia UP, 2024), Laura E. Helton tells the stories of these Black collectors, traveling from the parlors of the urban north to HBCU reading rooms and branch libraries in the Jim Crow south. Helton chronicles the work of six key figures: bibliophile Arturo Schomburg, scrapbook maker Alexander Gumby, librarians Virginia Lee and Vivian Harsh, curator Dorothy Porter, and historian L. D. Reddick. Drawing on overlooked sources such as book lists and card catalogs, she reveals the risks collectors took to create Black archives. This book also explores the social life of collecting, highlighting the communities that used these collections from the South Side of Chicago to Roanoke, Virginia. In each case, Helton argues, archiving was alive in the present, a site of intellectual experiment, creative abundance, and political possibility. Offering new ways to understand Black intellectual and literary history, Scattered and Fugitive Things reveals Black collecting as a radical critical tradition that reimagines past, present, and future. Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology. Jen edits for Partnership Journal and organizes with the TPS Collective. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Omar Valerio-Jiménez, "Remembering Conquest: Mexican Americans, Memory, and Citizenship" (UNC Press, 2024)
May 22 2024
Omar Valerio-Jiménez, "Remembering Conquest: Mexican Americans, Memory, and Citizenship" (UNC Press, 2024)
Omar Valerio-Jiménez's book Remembering Conquest: Mexican Americans, Memory, and Citizenship (UNC Press, 2024) analyzes the ways collective memories of the US-Mexico War have shaped Mexican Americans' civil rights struggles over several generations. As the first Latinx people incorporated into the nation, Mexican Americans were offered US citizenship by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war. Because the 1790 Naturalization Act declared whites solely eligible for citizenship, the treaty pronounced Mexican Americans to be legally white. While their incorporation as citizens appeared as progress towards racial justice and the electorate's diversification, their second-class citizenship demonstrated a retrenchment in racial progress. Over several generations, civil rights activists summoned conquest memories to link Mexican Americans' poverty, electoral disenfranchisement, low educational attainment, and health disparities to structural and institutional inequalities resulting from racial retrenchments. Activists also recalled the treaty's citizenship guarantees to push for property rights, protection from vigilante attacks, and educational reform. Omar Valerio-Jiménez addresses the politics of memory by exploring how succeeding generations reinforced or modified earlier memories of conquest according to their contemporary social and political contexts. The book also examines collective memories in the US and Mexico to illustrate transnational influences on Mexican Americans and to demonstrate how community and national memories can be used strategically to advance political agendas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Alex Beringer, "Lost Literacies: Experiments in the Nineteenth-Century US Comic Strip" (Ohio State UP, 2024)
May 22 2024
Alex Beringer, "Lost Literacies: Experiments in the Nineteenth-Century US Comic Strip" (Ohio State UP, 2024)
Lost Literacies: Experiments in the Nineteenth-Century US Comic Strip (Ohio State UP, 2024) is the first full-length study of US comic strips from the period prior to the rise of Sunday newspaper comics. Where current histories assume that nineteenth-century US comics consisted solely of single-panel political cartoons or simple “proto-comics,” Lost Literacies introduces readers to an ambitious group of artists and editors who were intent on experimenting with the storytelling possibilities of the sequential strip, resulting in playful comics whose existence upends prevailing narratives about the evolution of comic strips. Over the course of the nineteenth century, figures such as artist Frank Bellew and editor T. W. Strong introduced sequential comic strips into humor magazines and precursors to graphic novels known as “graphic albums.” These early works reached audiences in the tens of thousands. Their influences ranged from Walt Whitman’s poetry to Mark Twain’s travel writings to the bawdy stage comedies of the Bowery Theatre. Most importantly, they featured new approaches to graphic storytelling that went far beyond the speech bubbles and panel grids familiar to us today. As readers of Lost Literacies will see, these little-known early US comic strips rival even the most innovative modern comics for their diversity and ambition. Alex Beringer is a professor of English at the University of Montevallo. His research and teaching focuses on nineteenth century American literature, visual culture, and comics. He received his Ph.D. in English in 2011 from the University of Michigan and has held fellowships with the American Antiquarian Society, University of Cambridge and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His work has appeared in American Literature, Arizona Quarterly, PopMatters.com, and elsewhere. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies
Mark Moyar, "Triumph Regained: The Vietnam War, 1965-1968" (Encounter, 2023)
May 22 2024
Mark Moyar, "Triumph Regained: The Vietnam War, 1965-1968" (Encounter, 2023)
Triumph Regained: The Vietnam War, 1965-1968 (Encounter, 2023) is the long-awaited sequel to the immensely influential Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965. Like its predecessor, this book overturns the conventional wisdom using a treasure trove of new sources, many of them from the North Vietnamese side. Rejecting the standard depiction of U.S. military intervention as a hopeless folly, it shows America's war to have been a strategic necessity that could have ended victoriously had President Lyndon Johnson heeded the advice of his generals. In light of Johnson's refusal to use American ground forces beyond South Vietnam, General William Westmoreland employed the best military strategy available. Once the White House loosened the restraints on Operation Rolling Thunder, American bombing inflicted far greater damage on the North Vietnamese supply system than has been previously understood, and it nearly compelled North Vietnam to capitulate.  The book demonstrates that American military operations enabled the South Vietnamese government to recover from the massive instability that followed the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem. American culture sustained public support for the war through the end of 1968, giving South Vietnam realistic hopes for long-term survival. America's defense of South Vietnam averted the imminent fall of key Asian nations to Communism and sowed strife inside the Communist camp, to the long-term detriment of America's great-power rivals, China and the Soviet Union. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies