The height of summer is the perfect time to find a new book to read. Below, you can find one as you browse through Penn Press’s new releases in fields like American history, political theory, legal studies, economics, urban policy, and many more!
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“Benjamin Talton’s compelling new book focuses our attention on a forgotten, heroic American: Representative Mickey Leland. Talton deftly shows how Leland brought the sensibilities and concerns of the 1960s African American freedom movements to the politics of the 1980s. In doing so, Leland played a key role in crafting American humanitarianism, in rethinking U.S. policy toward Africa, and in bringing a powerful African American perspective to U.S. politics. By placing Leland at the center of a number of vital policy issues, Talton helps us better understand American politics and foreign policy in the 1980s.”—Carl Bon Tempo, University at Albany
When Congressman Mickey Leland died in 1989, he was a forty-four-year-old, charismatic, black, radical American. In This Land of Plenty presents Leland as the personification of international radicalism and examines African Americans’ successes and failures in radically influencing U.S. foreign policy toward Global South countries.
328 pages | 6 x 9 | 8 illus.
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Selected as one of the “Best Books from 2018 for Every Kind of Reader” by BuzzFeed News
Selected as one of the best history books of 2018 by Smithsonian Magazine.
“Blain illuminates an oft-ignored period of black nationalist and internationalist activism in the U.S.: the Great Depression, World War II, and early Cold War. Her engrossing study shows that much of this activism was led by African-American and Afro-Caribbean women. . . . Adding essential chapters to the story of this movement, Blain expands current understanding of the central roles played by female activists at home and overseas.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Set the World on Fire highlights the black nationalist women who fought for national and transnational black liberation from the early to mid-twentieth century.
264 pages | 6 x 9 | 15 illus.
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“I’ve been writing for several years that there was a very good book to be written about Dick Allen and why he isn’t in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now that book has been written. God Almighty Hisself: The Life and Legacy of Dick Allen by Mitchell J. Nathanson, a law professor at Villanova University, is, in my opinion, one of the half-dozen or so best baseball books published so far this century.”—Allen Barra in Truthdig
Mitchell Nathanson presents Dick Allen’s life against the backdrop of organized baseball’s continuing desegregation process. Drawing out the larger generational and business shifts in the game, he shows how Allen’s career exposed not only the racial double standard that had become entrenched in the wake of the game’s integration a generation earlier but also the forces that were bent on preserving the status quo.
408 pages | 6 x 9 | 26 illus.
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“From its inception, the United States has been both a settler republic and a continental empire, and this intriguing combination provides the departure point of Bethel Saler’s ambitious, careful, and nuanced book. The Settlers’ Empire moves seamlessly between culture and politics to reveal a complicated world of Anglo American settlers, Indian peoples, French habitants, and Christian missionaries.”—Richard White, Stanford University
The Settlers’ Empire examines the peculiar status of the young United States as a postcolonial republic with its own domestic empire by looking at where these dual political responsibilities inevitably collided—in the federal project of early state formation and its joint colonial rules over Euroamericans and diverse Indian nations.
392 pages | 6 x 9 | 12 illus.
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“Contested Bodies will be useful in graduate and undergraduate courses on slavery, women’s history, diaspora studies, and the history of medicine. It is a must-read for those who want to know more about the intersection of gender and slavery.”—Journal of American History
Contested Bodies explores how the end of the transatlantic trade impacted Jamaican slaves and their children. Examining the struggles for control over biological reproduction, Turner shows how central childbearing was to the organization of plantation work, the care of slaves, and the development of their culture.
328 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus.
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Making Meaningful Lives: Tales from an Aging Japan
“Making Meaningful Lives is engrossing, beautifully written, and well-researched. It demonstrates compellingly that a book centered on aging and older persons can illuminate much broader processes.”—Sarah Lamb, Brandeis University
Based on ethnographic fieldwork at two community centers in Osaka, Japan, Making Meaningful Lives provides an intimate anthropological account of the existential concerns of elderly Japanese women and men.
216 pages | 6 x 9 | 6 illus.
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Fighting for Dignity: Migrant Lives at Israel’s Margins
“Sarah Willen’s absorbing ethnography of Israeli criminalization and expulsion of migrants is disquieting and haunting by turns. Her essential and provocative treatment of how existential abjection leads to social mobilization bears lessons for observers of similar phenomena elsewhere in the world.”—Samuel Moyn, author of Christian Human Rights
Fighting for Dignity explores the impact of a mass deportation campaign on African and Asian migrant workers in Tel Aviv and their Israeli-born children. In this vivid ethnography, Sarah Willen shows how undocumented migrants struggle to craft meaningful, flourishing lives despite the exclusion and vulnerability they endure.
344 pages | 6 x 9 | 18 illus.
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The Future of Risk Management
Highlighting past research, recent discoveries, and open questions, The Future of Risk Management provides scholars, businesses, civil servants, and the concerned public tools for making more informed decisions and developing long-term strategies for reducing future losses from potentially catastrophic events.
416 pages | 6 x 9 | 28 illus.
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“Connecting a trajectory of aesthetic thought that began in the eighteenth century with a vision of a radically different future, The Moment of Rupture shows how the complex and multifaceted conception of the ‘instant’ in Weimar culture was central to the political philosophy that sought to transcend Germany’s first republic. Humberto Beck persuasively argues that Ernst Jünger, Ernst Bloch, and Walter Benjamin are, from very different angles, reflecting on a particular and peculiar sense of time and crisis in their works.”—Carl Caldwell, Rice University
In The Moment of Rupture, Humberto Beck argues that during the years of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the rise of fascism in Germany, the notion of the instant migrated from philosophy and aesthetics into politics and became a conceptual framework for the interpretation of collective historical experience that, in turn, transformed the subjective perception of time.
232 pages | 6 x 9
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Race, Nation, History: Anglo-German Thought in the Victorian Era
“Oded Y. Steinberg’s original and painstaking examination of the views of Anglo-German historians makes an important contribution to our understanding of the debates regarding the link between history, nation, and race. His insights into the relationships, influences, and characteristics of this community of ‘Teutonic’ historians are remarkable.”—Athena S. Leoussi, University of Reading
Oded Y. Steinberg argues that historical periodization converged with racial, national, and religious themes to inform the historical perception of influential English and German scholars during the second half of the nineteenth century.
296 pages | 6 x 9
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MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE STUDIES
“G. Geltner’s Roads to Health transforms our understanding of urban life in later medieval Italy, and the premodern world more broadly, not simply by recovering the activities of officials in charge of urban infrastructure and the courts that adjudicated their work but also by pushing the chronology of these ‘healthscaping’ efforts into the period before the arrival of the Black Death. Geltner’s book is as important for historians of medicine and urban life as it is for historians of public health. A singular achievement.”—Monica Green, Arizona State University
Reconstructing the mandates and activities of urban “healthscapers” between roughly 1250 and 1500, Roads to Health contends that preventive healthcare emerged from a steady concern for populations’ wellbeing. It challenges the view of the Black Death, let alone the Industrial Revolution, as a unique trigger in public health history.
320 pages | 6 x 9 | 20 illus.
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“Inventing the Berbers is an essential contribution to the history of the Maghrib, not only in the Middle Ages, but in our own time as well. It will, no doubt, be controversial, for it touches on issues of colonial historiography and ethnic definition that remain politically sensitive, especially in Algeria and Morocco. But Ramzi Rouighi’s arguments are firmly grounded in the sources—and are overwhelmingly convincing.”—Dominique Valérian, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Inventing the Berbers examines the emergence of the Berbers as a distinct category in early Arabic texts and probes the ways in which later Arabic sources, shaped by contemporary events, imagined the Berbers as a people and the Maghrib as their home.
312 pages | 6 x 9 | 4 illus.
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POLITICAL SCIENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
“Few transformations in recent U.S. politics are as important as the rise of the Christian right within the GOP. Marty Cohen provides a real inside sense for how changes in recruitment have affected congressional politics.”—Eric Schickler, University of California, Berkeley
Moral Victories tells the story of the growing importance of moral issues in U.S. House elections. Christian conservative activists worked to nominate friendly candidates and get them elected. The result was a Republican House delegation that cared as much about abortion and gay rights as it did smaller government and lower taxes.
264 pages | 6 x 9 | 39 illus.
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“Law Without Future is a superb book making a brilliant and original argument: that American jurisprudence has entered a time when, increasingly, decisions are made without reference to past (that is, precedent) or future (that is, the application of the law). Jack Jackson is an excellent legal scholar, political theorist, and writer, and he proves himself a devastating critic of Bush v. Gore and other legal cases and laws.”—James Martel, San Francisco State University
Drawing upon legal scholarship and critical theory, Jack Jackson explores an ascendant radical and illiberal power on the American Right and considers how it has undermined the very idea of constitutional government.
200 pages | 6 x 9
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“Finally giving the topic of noncitizens’ voting rights the empirical attention it deserves, Citizenship Beyond Nationality provides an immense service to everyone who studies democratic theory, migration, voting, and legislative party politics. Luicy Pedroza’s findings are carefully drawn and surprising. They will require that we revise many of our assumptions about how different regimes approach noncitizen enfranchisement.”—Elizabeth F. Cohen, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
Citizenship Beyond Nationality argues that the success and type of denizen enfranchisement reforms rely on how the matter is debated by key political actors and demonstrates that these deliberations have the potential to redefine democratic citizenship not only as a status but as a matter of politics and policy.
384 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus.
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Iconic Planned Communities and the Challenge of Change
Iconic Planned Communities and the Challenge of Change shows how the resilience of iconic planned communities, from New Lanark to Seaside, depends upon diverse approaches to sustaining their visionary spirit and features while adapting them to the needs of later generations.
544 pages | 7 x 10 | 22 color, 133 b/w illus.
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“In its originality as a thesis, in its elegance of phrasing and conception, and in the erudition it embodies, Schmidt’s work serves as a profound investigation of its subject matter. . . . Anyone who wants to understand how our early modern forebears saw the world may expect to find pleasure and instruction herein.”—Times Higher Education Supplement
Lavishly illustrated and impressively interdisciplinary, Inventing Exoticism narrates a vital chapter in the history of European exoticism and Europe’s perception of its place in the world. It traces the production and consumption of early modern exotic imagery to elucidate processes of cultural mediation in an earlier age of empire.
448 pages | 7 x 10 | 24 color, 179 b/w illus.
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