Abel, Elizabeth, Signs of the Times: The Visual Politics of Jim Crow (Berkeley & Los Angeles: U. of California Press, 2010) ( "WE CATER TO WHITE TRADE ONLY". Sign on a restaurant, Lancaster, Ohio, August 1938. "Why a book about segregation signs in the early years of America's first African American presidency? What is to be gained by looking back at these painful objects at the moment when they appear to have finally relinquished their grip? . . . " "I hope this book will provoke its readers less to draw comfort from the singular breakthroughs of electoral politics than to probe the continuities between the explicit racial laws and signs that traversed a surprisingly large swath of the nation for a surprisingly long time and the more insidious modes and sites of racialization that persist in the twenty-first century, the undeclared color line that continues to delimit neighborhoods, prisons, barracks, places or worship, and schools. What modalities of racism still fracture the social landscape after the dismantling of Jim Crow? Where would the racial signs of our times be situated, and what language would they use? " Id. at xvii. "Reading the signs of Jim Crow, I hope, will deepen our apprehension of their ramifications for the present. Conversely, and perhaps more counterintuitively, such a reading is designed to bring into view a distant glimmer of the postracial in the transactions that troubled even the heavily marked terrain of segregation. Jim Crow's baldly reductive, humiliatingly blunt, cruelly limited and limiting set of terms would seem a most unpromising turf on which to seek nuance or negotiability, but if we look beyond the cursory language of the signs to their discursive and material surround, and if we take into account the vantage points of viewers who recorded their perceptions in photographs that reworked the textual field, these bald directives begin to seem more complex and malleable tools of race making. 'All signs reveal us,' proclaimed Eudora Welty . . . . Welty's claim should not surprise us: the revelatory power routinely accorded language should pertain as well to signs whose limited verbal scope is offset by the heightened visibility, expressivity, and staying power that has rendered them objects of the photographic gaze. Reading Jim Crow signs through the lenses that preserved them for our scrutiny reveals an 'us' that exceeds the local field of their production." Id. at xvii-xix.).
Achcar, Gilbert, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, translated from the French by G. M. Goshgarian (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009) ("The basic condition for all communication is the ability to understand one's interlocutor: to put oneself, in other words, in his place or in her shoes--which further presupposes the intellectual discipline to step out of one's own temporarily in order to reflect. Nothing is more inimical to dialogue than the a priori assumption that the other's being and thinking are immutable. No dialogue is possible until one acknowledges that it is existence and experience, in both their individual and collective dimensions, and not atavism of one or another stripe, that shape consciousness, including the consciousness of others. Stereotyping the other always goes hand in hand with stereotyping the self. As a rule, is is caricature of the other and idealization of the self, and only rarely the opposite." Id. at 274. From the book's jacket cover: "There is no more inflammatory topic than the Arabs and the Holocaust--the phrase alone can occasion outrage. The terrain is dense with ugly claims and counterclaims: one side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others." "In this pathbreaking book, political scientist Gilbert Achcar explores these conflicting narratives and considers their role in today's Middle East dispute. He analyses the various Arab responses to Nazism, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the destruction of Palestine, and up to our own times, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses. Finally, he challenges distortions of the historical record, while making no concessions to anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial. Valid criticism of the other, Achcar insists, must go hand-in-hand with criticism of oneself." Also see, "People of the book: Jews and Islam," The Economist, August 14th 2010, at 68-69. "It is not clear whether the author [Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslims Land (see below)] was trying to avoid controversy or is just uninterested in anything but what Jews experienced. Either way, the extraordinary result is that not once does this book about Jews under Islam tackle the question of Muslim anti-Semitism head-on. (The phrase does not even appear in the index.)" "By contrast, Mr. Achcar's 'The Arabs and the Holocaust' looks at it in considerable detail. The book is a study of the evolving attitudes of four different political streams in the 20th-century Arab world: liberal Westernisers, Marxists, nationalists and pan-Islamists. The picture that emerges, especially in the years before the state of Israel, is a complex and nuanced one that rewards careful reading." Id. at 68.).
Arendt, Hannah, The Human Condition, 2d (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 1998) ("The discussion of the whole problem of technology, that is, of the transformation of life and world through the introduction of the machine, has been strangely led astray through in all-too-exclusive concentration upon the service or disservice the machines render to men. The assumption here is that every tool and implement is primarily designed to make human life easier and human labor less panful. Their instrumentality is understood exclusively in this anthropocentric sense. But the instrumentality of tools and implements is much more closely related to the object it is designed to produce, and their sheer 'human value' is restricted to the use the animal laborans makes of them. In other words homo faber, the toolmaker, invented tools and implements in order to erect a world, not--at least, not primarily--to help the human life process. The question therefore is not so much whether we are masters or the slaves of our machines, but whether machines still serve the world and its things, or if, on the contrary, they and the automatic motion of their processes have begun to rule and even destroy world ant things." Id. at 151.).
Atkinson, Rick, The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (The Liberation Trilogy, Volume Two (New York Henry Holt, 2007) ("For soldiers in twenty of more Allied divisions, war by the early spring of 1944 seemed ever more primeval. . . . Daily life in combat units resolved itself into noise, filth, isolation, confusion, fatigue, and mortality; everything else seemed extraneous. Soldiers distrusted the gung ho , the cocksure,and anyone less miserable than themselves. 'We learned to live as perhaps once we were long ago, as simply as animals without hope for ourselves or pity for another,' wrote John Muirhead, a B-17 crewman. The conceit of fate, destiny, and God comforted some, but believers and nonbelievers alike rubbed their crucifixes and lucky coins and St. Christopher medals with a suspicion, as Muirhead said, that 'one is never saved for long.' " "They saw things that seared them forever: butchered friends, sobbing children, butchered children, sobbing friends. 'Watched an amputation last night,' an ambulance driver wrote in his diary. 'A Tommy stretcher bearer had stood on a mine and he had to have both legs taken off. One above the knee and one below the knee.' It made soft men hard and hard men harder. A counterintelligence officer noted that combat veterans 'are sometimes possessed by a fury that makes them capable f anything . . . It is as if they are seized by a demon.' Soldier walking through a killing field sometimes stomped on the distended bellies of dead Germans to hear the flatulent noises of the corpses made. 'Slowly I am becoming insensitive to everything,; wrote one soldier in his diary. 'God in heaven, help me to keep my humanity.'" "Many considered humanity an impediment to survival. . ." Id. at 473-474. "The U. S. Army would convict 21,000 deserters during World War II, many of them in the Mediterranean. Clark condemned the surge of self-inflicted wounds in Fifth Army and the "totally inadequate" prison sentences of five to ten years foe soldiers convicted of desertion or going AWOL in the Mediterranean catalogued thirty-five reasons offered by the culprits, including 'My nerves gave way' and 'I was scared.' . . ." " 'Combat exhaustion,' a term coined in Tunisia to supplant the misnomer 'shell shock'; further eroded Allied fighting strength in Italy, as it did elsewhere: roughly one million U.S. soldiers would be hospitalized during the war for 'neuro-psychiatric' symptoms, and half a million would be discharged from the service for 'personality disturbances.' " Id. at 508.)
Bergreen, Laurence, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe (New York: William Morrow, 2003) ("This circumnavigation forever altered the Western world's idea about cosmology--the study of the universe and our place in it--as well as geography. It demonstrated, among other things, that the earth was round, that the Americas were not part of India but were actually a separate continent, and that oceans covered most of the earth's surface. The voyage conclusively demonstrated that the earth is, after all, one world. But it also demonstrated that it was a world of unceasing conflict, both natural and human. The cost of these discoveries in terms of loss of life and suffering was greater than anyone could have anticipated at the start of the expedition. They had survived an expedition to the ends of the earth, but more than that, they had endured a voyage into the darkest recesses of the human soul." Id at 2-3.).
Brinkmeyer, Robert H., Jr., The Fourth Ghost: White Southern Writers and European Fascism, 1930-1950 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State U. Press, 2009) (From the bookjacket: "In the 1949 classic Killers of the Dream, Lillian Smith described three racial 'ghosts' haunting the mind of the white South: the black woman with whom the white man often had sexual relations, the rejected child from a mixed-race coupling, and the black mammy whom the white southern child first loves but then must reject. In this groundbreaking work, Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., extends Smith's analysis by adding a fourth 'ghost' lurking in the psyche of the white South--the specter of European Fascism. He explores how southern writers of the 1930s and 1940s responded to Fascism, and most tellingly to the suggestion that the racial politics of Nazi Germany has a special, problematic relevance to the South and its segregated social system." In the Introduction sets out the "primary questions that the present book explores: amidst a cultural crisis rocking the foundations of southern identity and culture, when commentators inside and outside the South routinely equated southern culture with European Fascism, how did white southern writers of the 1930s and 1940s understand themselves and their culture? How did they represent the South, and particularly its system of racial segregation, in their work? How did the European crisis become integrated into their writing? And how did World War II and its aftermath affect their writing?" Id. at 22.).
Cohen, Harvey G., Duke Ellington's America (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2010).
Coles, Robert, Lives We Carry With Us: Profiles of Moral Courage edited by David D. Cooper (New York & London: The New Press, 2010) ("Who, knowing him as a child, a young man, even a young Lutheran pastor and theologian, would have predicted the course of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life, its terrible foreshortening? He died (on April 9, 1945) in a German prison, killed as a convicted traitor to his country. . . ." Id. at 161. 'Not that Bonhoeffer (or anyone else) knew how far in the direction of absolute evil the Nazis would take Germany and all of Europe. But he took a more accurate measure of those murderous thugs than others, and began to do so right away. He was . . . cut off speaking on the radio days after Hitler took office as he warned of the idolatry that would accompany the constant din of 'Fuhrer.' Day by day, month by month, the Nazis engineered their totalitarian hold on the nation, and with it the flagrant racialism of anti-Semitism--a terrible echo, alas, that hearkened back over the centuries to, among other, Luther himself. But now those distant denunciations and, more recently, the Wagnerian descents into a self-importance that was purchased at the expense of others became something quite else: a state-sponsored hate with a killing aim. While his fellow ministers flocked to the Fuhrer, Bonhoeffer and a relative handful of others became part of the 'Confessing Church': on their knees they begged God's forgiveness for what was being said and done in their native land, even as they knew they themselves were risking their own situations, if not their lives, by so doing. It was a time of great testing, a time when some fled, others submitted, still others began what would be the march of many millions to the concentration camps, the factories of murder that only an 'advanced' technology in a nation such as Germany could enable and sustain." Id. at 166-167. "The psychology of the martyr is the psychology of will, of a decision made and its consequences be damned. In this age [late 20th century, early 21st century] of determinisms, emotional and social and historical and economic, there is little room for will in the vocabulary we summon when we try to understand human affairs. . . ." Id. at 171. "To stand outside the gates of money and power and rank and approved success and applause, to be regarded as irregular or odd or 'sick' or, that final exile, as a traitor--such an outcome, in this era, carries its own special burdens and demands: the disapproval, if not derision, of colleagues, neighbors, the larger world of commentators who meticulously fall in line with reigning authority, but perhaps most devastating of all, the sense of oneself that is left in one's mind at the end of the day. What am I trying to do--and is this, after all, not only futile, but evidence that I have somehow gone astray? . . . " Id. at 172. Unfortunately we live in a time and place of group-think and conformity. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Whosoever would be a man, must be a nonconformist." Are we living in a post-man, post-woman society? Conformist all. What evils will we condone, if not actively engage, in our efforts of conformity?).
Enzensberger, Hans Magnus, The Silences of Hammerstein: A German Story translated from the German by Martin Chalmers (London, New York & Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2008, 2009) (From the bookjacket: "Enzenberger's latest book is a documentary, a collage of documents, narration, fictional interviews around the lives of the German general Kurt von Hammerstein and his wife and children. A member of an old military family, a brilliant staff officer, last commander of the German Army before Hitler seized power, Hammerstein was nevertheless an idiosyncratic character. Too old perhaps to be a resister--he died in 1943--he retained an independence of mind which marks him out from most of his army colleague. And the kind of obstinacy he exemplified was shared by his children--three of his daughters joined the Communist Party, two sons risked their lives in the July 1944 Plot against Hitler and were subsequently on the run till the end of the war. Hammerstein never criticized his children for their activities, and himself maintained contact with Communists and foresaw the disastrous end of Hitler's dictatorship." "A brilliant and unorthodox account of the military milieu whose acquiescence to Nazism consolidated Hitler's power and of the few who refused to be blinded when offered a share of the spoils." It is easy to be co-opted by those in power, after all, we all want to survive. It is equally understandable how and why those so co-opted rationalize their choice. In that light, then, we should honor those who are not co-opted, who are thus marginalized, and pay the price.).
Gilbert, Martin, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2010) (see comments on Achcar's book above).
Harris, Ruth, Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010) (see Leo Damrosch, "At War With Itself," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 7/25/2010).
Kolloen, Ingar Sletten, Knut Hamsun: Dreamer and Dissenter translated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin & Erik Skuggevik (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2005, 2009) ("Hamsun had never been a supporter of democracy. The writer craved a dictator. Power was not to be shared." Id. at 238.).
Longerich, Peter, Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews (Oxford & New York: Oxford U. Press, 2010) ("Finally the police apparatus took systematic action against the so-called 'Rhineland Bastards', those young people who were the product of relations between German women and colonial soldiers from the time of the French occupation of the Rhineland. As early as 1935 the Specialist Advisory Board for Population and Race Policy agreed to 'solve' this 'bastard question' by means of sterilization, although they were initially unable to reach agreement upon the procedure. Early in 1937 the decision was redrafted so that Afro-Germans were to be compulsorily sterilized outside the existing legal procedure, a relevant 'special instruction' from Hitler seems to have been produced. Accordingly, in the spring of 1937 a special commission was set up which, over the coming months and with the assistance of three sub-commissions, performed the sterilization of some 600-800 young people." Id. at 93. From the book's jacket: "Long recognized as the standard account of the Holocaust, this monumental work is now available in English for the first time." "Peter Longerich uses an unrivaled range of sources to show the steps taken by the Nazis that would ultimately lead to the Final Solution. He argues that anti-Semitism was not a mere by-product of Nazi political mobilization or an attempt to deflect the attention of the masses. Rather, from 1933 onwards, anti-Jewish policy was a central tenet of the Nazi movement's attempt to implement, disseminate, and secure National Socialist rule. At the same time, by following the decision-making process throughout the period of Nazi rule, the book shows how Nazi anti-Semitic policies continued to evolve right to the end of the war, and how these various decisions affected the lives of hundreds, thousands, and ultimately millions of people.").
Pennybackeer, Susan D., From Scottsboro to Munich: Race and Political Culture in 1930s Britain (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2009) ("A skeletal railroad crossing at Paint Rock, Alabama, in the mountainous terrain near Scottsboro is the unlikely starting point for a journey into the political culture of imperial Britain in the 1930s--a journey that continues across the English Channel to the plains north of the Bavarian Alps and Munich. The metropolitan British and German rail centers dwarfed the sparse Alabama settlement that was too small to have a courthouse; those picked up in Paint Rock on suspicion of foul play had to be carried in flatbed trucks to the county seat. How did 'race' figure in the 1930s? This history of the decade is comprised of unanticipated travel, unjust trials, and tangled and raged networks of people living in dark times. The nine your defendants in the Scottsboro rape case were arrested in March of 1931, and Munich was the scene of the conference in September 1938, at which representatives of the British and French governments, with fascist Italy's assistance, attempted to appease Adolf Hitler's drive for war, sacrificing peoples and lands in the balance. The path of many of those who responded to these events crossed in Britain, where London served as an unofficial center of colonial and antifascist exile. The imperial capital on its rain-swept islands--between the European continent, the ports of the Caribbean, and the North American seaboard--remained the seat of a parliamentary democracy that continued to allow entry to some people in flight. Britain was the final and first stop for many coming and going across oceans and seas, This story unfolds in the interconnections of activists lives, and is about the ideas and purposes to which those lives were dedicated." Id. at 1. "Each chapter that follows pursues a figure who appeared in the international Scottsboro campaign--Ada Wright, George Padmore, Shapurji Saklatvala, Willi Munzenberg, and Lady [Kathleen Manning] Simon. . . . Knowledge of the lives and perceptions of these actors contributes to a new understanding of what transatlantic and imperial racial politics looked like to the man and woman of conscience and even to the more casual observer in the thirties. These individuals acted as lighting rods for antiracism in an era whose written history often does not admit them as full players or acknowledge their mutual connections. Their awkward presences upset historical convention and pose some little-asked questions of the decade that spanned the distance between the outbreak of the Scottsboro case ad the disruption and sacrifice of lives that lay in the aftermath of the Munich agreements, London sat uncomfortably poised between Jim Crow and the Third Reich. What did it mean to be an antiracist at this time? What did it mean to oppose empire or fascism, or both, on ground of racial inhumanity and racial injustice, or to articulate a vision of an interracial world culture?" Id. at 4-5.).
Todorov, Tzvetan, The Fear of Barbarians: Beyond the Clash of Civilizations, translated from the French by Andrew Brown (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2010) ("The third group of countries is distinguished by the place occupied in them by the feeling of fear. These are countries that make up the West and that have dominated the world for several centuries. . . . Western, and in particular European, countries fear the economic power of the 'countries of appetite', their ability to produce goods more cheaply and thus make a clean sweep of the markets--in short, they are afraid of being dominated economically. And they fear the physically threats that might come from the 'countries of resentment', the terrorist attacks and explosions of violence--and, in addition, the measures of retaliation these countries might be capable of when it comes to energy supplies, since the biggest oil reserves are found in these countries." Id. at 5. "Fear becomes a danger for those who experience it, and this is why it must not be allowed to play the role of dominant passion. It is even the main justification for behavior often described as 'inhuman'. The fear of death that menaces me or, even worse, menaces those who are dear to me, makes me capable of killing, mutilating and torturing. . . . When you ask South African policemen and soldiers why, under apartheid, they killed or inflicted unspeakable suffering, they reply: to protect ourselves from the menace to our community posed by the blacks (and the Communists). 'We did not enjoy doing this, we did not want to do this, but we had to stop them from killing innocent women and children.' But once you have agreed to kill, you also consent to the next steps: you torture (to obtain information about 'terrorists'), you mutilate bodies (to disguise murders as attempted muggings or accidental explosions): all means are good when victory is the aim--and fear needs to be eliminated." "The fear of barbarians is what risks making us barbarians. And we will commit a worse evil than that which we initially feared. History teaches us this lesson: the cure can be worse than the disease. Totalitarian regimes presented themselves as a means for curing bourgeois society of its failings; they created a more dangerous world than the one they were fighting against. . . . " Id. at 6-7. "Being closed in on oneself is the complete opposite of being open to others. Thinking that yours is the only properly human group, refusing to acknowledge anything outside your own existence, offering nothing to others and deliberately remaining shut away within your original milieu is a sign of barbarism; recognizing the plurality of groups, of human societies and cultures, and putting yourself on an equal footing with others is part of civilization. This progressive extension is not be be confused with xenophilia, or a systematic preference for strangers; not with some vague cult of 'difference' as such--it simply indicates the greater or lessor ability to recognize our common humanity." Id. at 22-23.).
White, Shane, Stephen Garton, Stephen Robertson & Graham White, Playing the Numbers: Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: Harvard U. Press, 2010) ("For all its glaring inefficiencies and shortcomings as a way of financing black business, the activities of the numbers bankers performed an essential capital-raising role in the effectively, if not legally, segregated world of northern cities. They did something that no one else had the slightest interest in doing. According to a historian of black business, 'Access to black policy dollars provided black communities with a privately funded, informal cash subsidy, which was used as venture capital in the promotion and support of black business.' Indeed, 'without these funds the picture of black business in the first half of the twentieth century would be been more dismal than the historical record shows.' " Id. at 215-216 (citing Juliet E. K. Walker, The History of Black Business in America (New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1998), 238.).
Young, Julian, Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography *(Cambridge: U. of Cambridge Press, 2010).
Zimmerman, Andrew, Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2010) ("In January 1901 four African American men from Tuskegee Institute, the Alabama teacher-training school founded by Booker T. Washington, arrived in the German colony of Togo, West Africa, to help transform the territory into a source of cotton for the European spinning industry. Alabama in Africa reconstructs this expedition and its global consequences from the perspective of its American, African, and German participants. It explores the transnational economic, political, and ideological networks that connected Booker T. Washington's American South, the kaiser's Germany, and the colonial West Africa. The global collapse of unfree labor--both Atlantic slavery and European serfdom--profoundly affected each of these regions in the nineteenth century. The Atlantic transition to free labor unleashed new political and economic energies among former bondspeople, energies that employers and states endeavored to redirect for their own profit and power. " "Alabama in Africa reveals how early, tentative efforts by Booker T. Washington to transform the place of blacks in the American South gave way to his better-known 'accommodationism' as a result of his work with German imperialism in Africa. The pioneering interest of German colonial personnel in Tuskegee Institute, in turn helped make the American South of segregation and sharecropping a model for the supposedly humanitarian internationalism of the League of Nation. The model of the American South and individual African Americans, including Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, also influenced the history of free labor inside the borders of Germany, shaping the development of the social sciences and the state social policies for which Germany has been so admired, as well as the treatment of Poles for which it has been so reviled. Alabama in Africa rejects empire-centered approaches to colonialism that regard Africans as raw clay for colonial sculpting, demonstrating rather that the history of Togolese self-fashioning in the aftermath of of Atlantic slavery structured and resisted the various attempts by missionaries, colonial states, and Tuskegee Institute to create an Africa after their own desires. . . . It suggests, finally, that racism and imperialism, as well as struggles of class, culture, gender and sexuality are as relevant as ever to understanding the essentially modern human drama, the struggle for political and economic freedom in a divided world." Id. at ix-x.).