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Par Benedikt Pontzen. 2021
Zongos, wards in West Africa populated by traders and migrants from the northern savannahs and the Sahel, are a common…sight in Ghana's Asante region where the people of these wards represent a dual-minority as both foreigners and Muslims in a largely Christian area, facing marginalisation as a result. Islam provides the people of the zongos with a common ground and shared values, becoming central to their identity and to their shared sense of community. This detailed account of Islamic lifeworlds highlights the irreducible diversity and complexity of 'everyday' lived religion among Muslims in a zongo community. Benedikt Pontzen traces the history of Muslim presence in the region and analyses three Islamic phenomena encountered in its zongos in detail: Islamic prayer practices, the authorisation of Islamic knowledge, and ardently contested divination and healing practices. Drawing on empirical and archival research, oral histories, and academic studies, he demonstrates how Islam is inextricably bound up with the diverse ways in which Muslims live it.
Par Emma Rothschild. 2021
An innovative history of deep social and economic changes in France, told through the story of a single extended family…across five generationsMarie Aymard was an illiterate widow who lived in the provincial town of Angoulême in southwestern France, a place where seemingly nothing ever happened. Yet, in 1764, she made her fleeting mark on the historical record through two documents: a power of attorney in connection with the property of her late husband, a carpenter on the island of Grenada, and a prenuptial contract for her daughter, signed by eighty-three people in Angoulême. Who was Marie Aymard? Who were all these people? And why were they together on a dark afternoon in December 1764? Beginning with these questions, An Infinite History offers a panoramic look at an extended family over five generations. Through ninety-eight connected stories about inquisitive, sociable individuals, ending with Marie Aymard’s great-great granddaughter in 1906, Emma Rothschild unfurls an innovative modern history of social and family networks, emigration, immobility, the French Revolution, and the transformation of nineteenth-century economic life.Rothschild spins a vast narrative resembling a period novel, one that looks at a large, obscure family, of whom almost no private letters survive, whose members traveled to Syria, Mexico, and Tahiti, and whose destinies were profoundly unequal, from a seamstress living in poverty in Paris to her third cousin, the cardinal of Algiers. Rothschild not only draws on discoveries in local archives but also uses new technologies, including the visualization of social networks, large-scale searches, and groundbreaking methods of genealogical research.An Infinite History demonstrates how the ordinary lives of one family over three centuries can constitute a remarkable record of deep social and economic changes.
Par Ann Blair, et al.. 2021
A landmark history that traces the creation, management, and sharing of information through six centuriesThanks to modern technological advances, we…now enjoy seemingly unlimited access to information. Yet how did information become so central to our everyday lives, and how did its processing and storage make our data-driven era possible? This volume is the first to consider these questions in comprehensive detail, tracing the global emergence of information practices, technologies, and more, from the premodern era to the present. With entries spanning archivists to algorithms and scribes to surveilling, this is the ultimate reference on how information has shaped and been shaped by societies.Written by an international team of experts, the book's inspired and original long- and short-form contributions reconstruct the rise of human approaches to creating, managing, and sharing facts and knowledge. Thirteen full-length chapters discuss the role of information in pivotal epochs and regions, with chief emphasis on Europe and North America, but also substantive treatment of other parts of the world as well as current global interconnections. More than 100 alphabetical entries follow, focusing on specific tools, methods, and concepts—from ancient coins to the office memo, and censorship to plagiarism. The result is a wide-ranging, deeply immersive collection that will appeal to anyone drawn to the story behind our modern mania for an informed existence.Tells the story of information’s rise from 1450 through to todayCovers a range of eras and regions, including the medieval Islamic world, late imperial East Asia, early modern and modern Europe, and modern North AmericaIncludes 100 concise articles on wide-ranging topics:Concepts: data, intellectual property, privacyFormats and genres: books, databases, maps, newspapers, scrolls and rolls, social mediaPeople: archivists, diplomats and spies, readers, secretaries, teachersPractices: censorship, forecasting, learning, political reporting, translatingProcesses: digitization, quantification, storage and searchSystems: bureaucracy, platforms, telecommunicationsTechnologies: cameras, computers, lithographyProvides an informative glossary, suggested further reading (a short bibliography accompanies each entry), and a detailed indexWritten by an international team of notable contributors, including Jeremy Adelman, Lorraine Daston, Devin Fitzgerald, John-Paul Ghobrial, Lisa Gitelman, Earle Havens, Randolph C. Head, Niv Horesh, Sarah Igo, Richard R. John, Lauren Kassell, Pamela Long, Erin McGuirl, David McKitterick, Elias Muhanna, Thomas S. Mullaney, Carla Nappi, Craig Robertson, Daniel Rosenberg, Neil Safier, Haun Saussy, Will Slauter, Jacob Soll, Heidi Tworek, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Alexandra Walsham, and many more.
Par Roy Richard Grinker. 2021
A compassionate and captivating examination of evolving attitudes toward mental illness throughout history and the fight to end the stigma.…For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. In Nobody’s Normal, anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma—from the eighteenth century, through America’s major wars, and into today’s high-tech economy. Nobody’s Normal argues that stigma is a social process that can be explained through cultural history, a process that began the moment we defined mental illness, that we learn from within our communities, and that we ultimately have the power to change. Though the legacies of shame and secrecy are still with us today, Grinker writes that we are at the cusp of ending the marginalization of the mentally ill. In the twenty-first century, mental illnesses are fast becoming a more accepted and visible part of human diversity. Grinker infuses the book with the personal history of his family’s four generations of involvement in psychiatry, including his grandfather’s analysis with Sigmund Freud, his own daughter’s experience with autism, and culminating in his research on neurodiversity. Drawing on cutting-edge science, historical archives, and cross-cultural research in Africa and Asia, Grinker takes readers on an international journey to discover the origins of, and variances in, our cultural response to neurodiversity. Urgent, eye-opening, and ultimately hopeful, Nobody’s Normal explains how we are transforming mental illness and offers a path to end the shadow of stigma.
The surprising story of Iran&’s transformation from America&’s ally in the Middle East into one of its staunchest adversaries Offering…a new view of one of America&’s most important, infamously strained, and widely misunderstood relationships of the postwar era, this book tells the history of America and Iran from the time the last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was placed on the throne in 1941 to the 1979 revolution that brought the present Islamist government to power. This revolution was not, as many believe, the popular overthrow of a powerful and ruthless puppet of the United States; rather, it followed decades of corrosion of Iran&’s political establishment by an autocratic ruler who demanded fealty but lacked the personal strength to make hard decisions and, ultimately, lost the support of every sector of Iranian society. Esteemed Middle East scholar Ray Takeyh provides new interpretations of many key events—including the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq and the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—significantly revising our understanding of America and Iran&’s complex and difficult history.
Par Edward Wilson-Lee, Jose Maria Perez Fernandez. 2021
The untold story of the greatest library of the Renaissance and its creator Hernando Colón This engaging book offers the…first comprehensive account of the extraordinary projects of Hernando Colón, son of Christopher Columbus, which culminated in the creation of the greatest library of the Renaissance, with ambitions to be universal––that is, to bring together copies of every book, on every subject and in every language. Pérez Fernández and Wilson‑Lee situate Hernando&’s projects within the rapidly changing landscape of early modern knowledge, providing a concise history of the collection of information and the origins of public libraries, examining the challenges he faced and the solutions he devised. The two authors combine &“meticulous research with deep and original thought,&” shedding light on the history of libraries and the organization of knowledge. The result is an essential reference text for scholars of the early modern period, and for anyone interested in the expansion and dissemination of information and knowledge.
Par Clyde Prestowitz. 2021
An authority on Asia and globalization identifies the challenges China&’s growing power poses and how it must be confronted"Timely and…thought-provoking, . . .refreshing. . . . Prestowitz provides an unsparing analysis of how Washington's elite fell into the grip of their China delusion."—James Kynge, Financial Times When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, most experts expected the WTO rules and procedures to liberalize China and make it &“a responsible stakeholder in the liberal world order.&” But the experts made the wrong bet. China today is liberalizing neither economically nor politically but, if anything, becoming more authoritarian and mercantilist. In this book, notably free of partisan posturing and inflammatory rhetoric, renowned globalization and Asia expert Clyde Prestowitz describes the key challenges posed by China and the strategies America and the Free World must adopt to meet them. He argues that these must be more sophisticated and more comprehensive than a narrowly targeted trade war. Rather, he urges strategies that the United States and its allies can use unilaterally without contravening international or domestic law.
Par Evert Sprinchorn. 2020
A major biography of one of the most important figures in modern drama, evoked through a biographical reading of his…plays Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen achieved unparalleled success in his lifetime and remains one of the most important figures in modern drama. The culmination of a lifetime of scholarship, Evert Sprinchorn&’s biography constructs Ibsen&’s life through a biographical reading of his plays with provocative and insightful analyses of his works, placing them and their author within the social, political, and intellectual foment of nineteenth-century Europe. This thought-provoking book will captivate anyone interested in the history of drama and the foundations of modernism.
Par Jonathan Petropoulos. 2021
A charged biography of a notorious Nazi art plunderer and his career in the postwar art world "[Petropoulos] brings Lohse…into sharper focus, as a personality and axis point from which to explore a network of art dealers, collectors and museum curators connected to Nazi looting. . . . What emerges from Petropoulos&’s research is a portrait of a charismatic and nefarious figure who tainted everyone he touched."—Nina Siegal, New York Times&“With meticulous precision Jonathan uncovers the inner workings of the Nazi looting machine, exposing a network that lasted well into the 1960s. Indeed Göring&’s Man still casts a long shadow.&”—Simon Goodman, author of The Orpheus Clock Bruno Lohse (1911–2007) was one of the most notorious art plunderers in history. Appointed by Hermann Göring to Hitler&’s art looting agency in Paris, he went on to help supervise the systematic theft and distribution of more than thirty thousand artworks, taken largely from French Jews, and to assist Göring in amassing an enormous private art collection. By the 1950s Lohse was officially denazified but was back in the art dealing world, offering masterpieces of dubious origin to American museums. After his death, dozens of paintings by Renoir, Monet, and Pissarro, among others, were found in his Zurich bank vault and adorning the walls of his Munich home. Jonathan Petropoulos spent nearly a decade interviewing Lohse and continues to serve as an expert witness for Holocaust restitution cases. Here he tells the story of Lohse&’s life, offering a critical examination of the postwar art world.
A deeply-reported examination of why "doing what you love" is a recipe for exploitation, creating a new tyranny of work…in which we cheerily acquiesce to doing jobs that take over our lives.You're told that if you "do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." Whether it's working for "exposure" and "experience," or enduring poor treatment in the name of "being part of the family," all employees are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of being able to do what we love.In Work Won't Love You Back, Sarah Jaffe, a preeminent voice on labor, inequality, and social movements, examines this "labor of love" myth -- the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore should be done out of passion instead of pay. Told through the lives and experiences of workers in various industries -- from the unpaid intern, to the overworked teacher, to the nonprofit worker and even the professional athlete -- Jaffe reveals how all of us have been tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work. As Jaffe argues, understanding the trap of the labor of love will empower us to work less and demand what our work is worth. And once freed from those binds, we can finally figure out what actually gives us joy, pleasure, and satisfaction.
Par J. T. Way. 2021
In Agrotropolis, historian J. T. Way traces the developments of Guatemalan urbanization and youth culture since 1983. In case studies…that bring together political economy, popular music, and everyday life, Way explores the rise of urban space in towns seen as quintessentially "rural" and showcases grassroots cultural assertiveness. In a post-revolutionary era, young people coming of age on the globally inflected city street used popular culture as one means of creating a new national imaginary that rejects Guatemala's racially coded system of castes. Drawing on local sources, deep ethnographies, and the digital archive, Agrotropolis places working-class Maya and mestizo hometowns and creativity at the center of planetary urban history.
Par Robert D. Kaplan. 2021
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography comes a sweeping yet intimate story of the most influential humanitarian you&’ve never heard…of—Bob Gersony, who spent four decades in crisis zones around the world.&“This graceful study of a courageous and humble man reminds us that history can be made, and lives can be saved, by diplomats who know how to reconcile the good with the possible.&”—Timothy Snyder, author of The Road to Unfreedom and On Tyranny In his long career as an acclaimed journalist covering the &“hot&” moments of the Cold War and its aftermath, bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan often found himself crossing paths with Bob Gersony, a consultant for the U.S. State Department whose quiet dedication and consequential work made a deep impression on Kaplan.Gersony, a high school dropout later awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, conducted on-the-ground research for the U.S. government in virtually every war and natural-disaster zone in the world. In Thailand, Central and South America, Sudan, Chad, Mozambique, Rwanda, Gaza, Bosnia, North Korea, Iraq, and beyond, Gersony never flinched from entering dangerous areas that diplomats could not reach, sometimes risking his own life. Gersony&’s behind-the scenes fact-finding, which included interviews with hundreds of refugees and displaced persons from each war zone and natural-disaster area, often challenged the assumptions and received wisdom of the powers that be, on both the left and the right. In nearly every case, his advice and recommendations made American policy at once smarter and more humane—often dramatically so.In Gersony, Kaplan saw a powerful example of how American diplomacy should be conducted. In a work that exhibits Kaplan&’s signature talent for combining travel and geography with sharp political analysis, The Good American tells Gersony&’s powerful life story. Set during the State Department&’s golden age, this is a story about the loneliness, sweat, and tears and the genuine courage that characterized Gersony&’s work in far-flung places. It is also a celebration of ground-level reporting: a page-turning demonstration, by one of our finest geopolitical thinkers, of how getting an up-close, worm&’s-eye view of crises and applying sound reason can elicit world-changing results.
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw many ambitious European rulers develop permanent armies and navies. War and the State in…Early Modern Europe examines this military change as a central part of the political, social and economic transformation of early modern Europe.This important study exposes the economic structures necessary for supporting permanent military organisations across Europe. Large armed forces could not develop successfully without various interest groups who needed protection and were willing to pay for it. Arguing that early fiscal-military states were in fact protection-selling enterprises, the author focuses on:* Spain, the Dutch Republic and Sweden* the role of local elites* the political and organisational aspects of this new military development
Par Niall Ferguson. 2011
Western civilization's rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries. All over…the world, more and more people study at Western-style universities, work for Western-style companies, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and play Western sports. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed like miserable backwaters, ravaged by incessant war and pestilence. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic. These were the 'killer applications' that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest; opening global trade routes, exploiting new scientific knowledge, evolving representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the industrial revolution, and hugely increasing human productivity. Civilization shows exactly how a dozen Western empires came to control three-fifths of mankind and four-fifths of the world economy.Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered because the Rest have finally downloaded the six killer apps the West once monopolized - while the West has literally lost faith in itself.Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside the clashes of civilizations, Civilization recasts world history with verve and wit. Boldly argued but also teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.
Par Alicia Malone. 2018
Women in Film and Their Struggle Against Bias"After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did…it backwards and in high heels" - Ann RichardsWomen in film since the beginning: Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman; as was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, the inventor of the boom microphone and the first person to be credited with the title Film Editor. Throughout the entire history of Hollywood women have been revolutionizing, innovating, and shaping how we make movies. Yet their stories are rarely shared.The first women directors: This is what film reporter Alicia Malone wants to change. Backwards and in Heelstells the history of women in film in a different way, with stories about incredible ladies who made their mark throughout each era of Hollywood. From the first women directors, to the iconic movie stars, and present day activists. Each of these stories are inspiring accomplishments of women, and they also highlight the specific obstacles women have had to face. Backwards and in Heels combines research and exclusive interviews with influential women and men working in Hollywood today, such as Geena Davis, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, Paul Feig and many more, as well as film professors, historians and experts.Time to level the playing field: Think of Backwards and in Heels as a guidebook, your entry into the complex world of women in film. Join Alicia Malone as she champions Hollywood women of the past and present, and looks to the future with the hopes of leveling out the playing field.
Par Heather Dune Macadam. 2020
A Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee An Amazon Best of the Year SelectionThe untold story of some of WW2&’s most hidden…figures and the heartbreaking tragedy that unites them all. Readers of Born Survivors and A Train Near Magdeburg will devour the tragic tale of the first 999 women in Auschwitz concentration camp. This is the hauntingly resonant true story that everyone should know. On March 25, 1942, nearly a thousand young, unmarried Jewish women boarded a train in Poprad, Slovakia. Filled with a sense of adventure and national pride, they left their parents&’ homes wearing their best clothes and confidently waving good-bye. Believing they were going to work in a factory for a few months, they were eager to report for government service. Instead, the young women—many of them teenagers—were sent to Auschwitz. Their government paid 500 Reich Marks (about $200) apiece for the Nazis to take them as slave labor. Of those 999 innocent deportees, only a few would survive. The facts of the first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz are little known, yet profoundly relevant today. These were not resistance fighters or prisoners of war. There were no men among them. Sent to almost certain death, the young women were powerless and insignificant not only because they were Jewish—but also because they were female. Now acclaimed author Heather Dune Macadam reveals their poignant stories, drawing on extensive interviews with survivors, and consulting with historians, witnesses, and relatives of those first deportees to create an important addition to Holocaust literature and women&’s history. Includes a foreword by Caroline Moorehead, NYT bestselling author of A Train in Winter! &“A fresh, remarkable story of Auschwitz on the 75th anniversary of its liberation. An uplifting story of the herculean strength of young girls in a staggeringly harrowing situation.&” —Kirkus &“Intimate, harrowing… This careful, sympathetic history illuminates an incomprehensible human tragedy.&” —Publishers Weekly
Par Richard J. Miller. 2015
"Morphine," writes Richard J. Miller, "is the most significant chemical substance mankind has ever encountered." So ancient that remains of…poppies have been found in Neolithic tombs, it is the most effective drug ever discovered for treating pain. "Whatever advances are made in medicine," Miller adds, "nothing could really be more important than that." And yet, when it comes to mind-altering substances, morphine is only a cc or two in a vast river that flows through human civilization, ranging LSD to a morning cup of tea. In DRUGGED, Miller takes readers on an eye-opening tour of psychotropic drugs, describing the various kinds, how they were discovered and developed, and how they have played multiple roles in virtually every culture. The vast scope of chemicals that cross the blood-brain barrier boggle the very brain they reach: cannabis and cocaine, antipsychotics and antidepressants, alcohol, amphetamines, and Ecstasy-and much more. Literate and wide-ranging, Miller weaves together science and history, telling the story of the undercover theft of 20,000 tea plants from China by a British spy, for example, the European discovery of coffee and chocolate, and how James Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous man of letters, first isolated the alkaloid we now know as caffeine. Miller explains what scientists know-and don't-about the impact of each drug on the brain, down to the details of neurotransmitters and their receptors. He clarifies the differences between morphine and heroin, mescaline and LSD, and other similar substances. Drugged brims with surprises, revealing the fact that antidepressant drugs evolved from the rocket fuel that shot V2 rockets into London during World War II, highlighting the role of hallucinogens in the history of religion, and asking whether Prozac can help depressed cats. Entertaining and authoritative, Drugged is a truly fascinating book.
Par Deirdre Mask. 2020
An extraordinary debut in the tradition of classic works from authors such as Mark Kurlansky, Mary Roach, and Rose George.An…exuberant and insightful work of popular history of how streets got their names, houses their numbers, and what it reveals about class, race, power, and identity.When most people think about street addresses, if they think of them at all, it is in their capacity to ensure that the postman can deliver mail or a traveler won’t get lost. But street addresses were not invented to help you find your way; they were created to find you. In many parts of the world, your address can reveal your race and class. In this wide-ranging and remarkable book, Deirdre Mask looks at the fate of streets named after Martin Luther King Jr., the wayfinding means of ancient Romans, and how Nazis haunt the streets of modern Germany. The flipside of having an address is not having one, and we also see what that means for millions of people today, including those who live in the slums of Kolkata and on the streets of London. Filled with fascinating people and histories, The Address Book illuminates the complex and sometimes hidden stories behind street names and their power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn’t—and why.
The Living Inca Town presents a rich case study of tourism in Ollantaytambo, a rapidly developing destination in the southern…Peruvian Andes and the starting point for many popular treks to Machu Picchu. Tourism is generally welcomed in Ollantaytambo, as it provides a steady stream of work for local businesses, particularly those run by women. However, the obvious material inequalities between locals and tourists affect many interactions and have contributed to conflict and aggression throughout the tourist zones. Based on a number of research visits over the course of fifteen years, The Living Inca Town examines the experiences and interactions of locals, visitors, and tourism brokers. The book makes room for unique perspectives and uses innovative visual methods, including photovoice images and pen and ink drawings, to represent different viewpoints of day-to-day tourist encounters. The Living Inca Town vividly illustrates how tourism can perpetuate gendered and global inequalities, while also exploring new avenues to challenge and renegotiate these roles.
Par Becky Cooper. 2020
Forty years after the fact, Becky Cooper, a curious Harvard undergrad, first heard whispers of a murdered student, one bludgeoned…to death by a professor to cover up an affair. Though that motive proved false, the story that unfolded, one that Cooper followed for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims