Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Book Roundup

Given the heterodox news this week, it is perhaps appropriate that this week's roundup is both eclectic and extensive.

For starters, The Times Literary Supplement has issued a review essay featuring recent scholarship relevant to Britain's relationship with Europe.  Also directly relevant to the brexit is The New Statesman's review of Brendan Simms' Britain's Europe: A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation.

Several outlets have published reviews of Nancy Isenberg's White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.  In his New York Times review, Tom Sugrue lauds aspects of the book while simultaneously arguing that Isenberg "falls prey to one of the most common and pernicious
fallacies in American popular discourse about class" insofar as she treats "America’s landless farmers and precarious workers [as] by default white."  White Trash is also reviewed at Slate and the Washington Post (both of which commend Isenberg's provocative research but ambivalent treatment of race).

This week's Washington Post has a review of Carol Anderson's White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide and also a review of Michael Graetz and Linda Greenhouse's The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right.  In the latter review it is argued that "Graetz and Greenhouse contend that the dominant assessment of the Burger years severely understates the legal transformation that occurred during this period. “The Burger Court dramatically diminished the scope and impact of the Warren Court precedents: they survived, but only their façade was left standing,” the authors conclude.'"

The New York Times has also published several other pertinent reviews this week.  Graetz and Greenhouse's The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right is reviewed.  Also in the NYT is a review of Carol Anderson's White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.  The NYT also carries a review of William N. Goetzmann's Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible.  Lastly, the NYT has a review of Calvin Trillen's
Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America.

In The Nation is a review of David Price's Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology.  Price's work traces the twentieth-century history of  entanglement between anthropology and the security state.   His work is described as provocatively suggesting that "one of the first things the Martian [anthropologists] would notice would be the Americans’ consistent aversion to any reminder of their work’s enmeshment in larger political developments. It drives Price crazy that his own tribe—the tribe of tribe studiers—could be so myopic about itself."

NPR's Fresh Air has an engaging interview with Wendy Warren in which her work on African-American and indigenous slavery in colonial New England is discussed.  The work is: New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America.

At the New Books Network are several interviews of possible interest.  Thomas Knock is interviewed in relation to his The Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern.  Kenyon Zimmer is interviewed about his Immigrants against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America.  Anthea Kraut speaks to the New Books Network about Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance.  Finally, there is an intriguing interview with Edlie Wong about her Racial Reconstruction: Black Inclusion, Chinese Exclusion, and the Fictions of Citizenship.

In The New Statesman is a review of Shiraz Maher's Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea, an intellectual exploration of Salafism's historical roots.

The Guardian carries a review of Frank Trentman's wide-ranging Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First.  

The Oxonian Review includes a review of Lawrence Brockliss' The University of Oxford: A New History.