Bob H. Reinhardt: The Fascinating Puzzlement over Smallpox Eradication

Whenever I mention that I have written a book about the eradication of smallpox, people usually look at me with equal parts fascination—“wow, that’s a great story to tell!”—and puzzlement—“Wait a second…smallpox? Eradicated? Really?” I love seeing this reaction. After more than six years of working on the topic, I sometimes forget that that’s exactly where I started. My initial reaction of familiarity with smallpox quickly gave way to confusion about the disease’s past and present.

Patryk Babiracki: Showcasing Hard Power, Russia Reveals Her Longstanding Soft Spot

In recent months, Vladimir Putin has been playing hardball with the world. Yet Russia’s bullying and bravado can be seen as signs of a longstanding weakness.

Patryk Babiracki: Post-Soviet Ukraine: Not Unlike Postwar Poland. What Putin’s Russia (and the West) Can Learn from the Cold War

With oil prices falling, the ruble is tumbling down, and Russia’s immediate economic prospects are grim. But the Russian leaders’ political will to retain Ukraine is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The lands that became modern Ukraine had been part of Russian empire for three and a half centuries. Vladimir Putin has shown inexhaustible energy in obstructing Ukraine’s rapprochement with the West; Ukraine’s prospective successes in integrating with the EU (or, in a more adventurous scenario, with NATO) would be a heavy blow to Russia’s prestige and to Mr. Putin’s ego. Therefore on the long run, it seems unlikely that any person or institution can prevent the Russian president and his cronies from wresting Ukraine back firmly into the Russian orbit.

Cian T. McMahon: The Global Dimensions of Saint Patrick

But while Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations have often brought people together under the banner of “Irishness,” they have also served as bellwethers for deep-rooted concerns. After achieving political independence from Britain in the early 1920s, for example, the Irish government sought to consolidate their claims to respectability by prohibiting the sale of alcohol on the saint’s feast day. Throughout the twentieth century, Saint Patrick’s Day parades in Ireland were dour, formal affairs, often conducted through driving curtains of spring rain.

Alex Lubin: Malcolm X’s Afro-Arab Political Imaginary

Malcolm’s transition would include rejecting the homegrown and Ahmadiyya-based, heterodox Islam practiced by the Nation of Islam and embracing the intellectual, moral, and political currents of orthodox Sunni Islam, African decolonization, and Arab nationalism. In this way, Malcolm’s political and moral commitments combined sometimes-contradictory political ideologies, including those of Muslim Brothers, secular pan-Africanists, and Nasserist pan-Arabists.

University Press Week 2013: Blog Tour Day 5

University Press Week Blog Tour concludes today with posts on the theme of The Global Reach of University Presses. Today’s posts are from Princeton University Press, NYU Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, Columbia University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, Georgetown University Press, Yale University Press, and Indiana University Press.

Michael H. Hunt: Obama and the War on Terror: Toward Greater Realism

Reading the address delivered 23 May at the National Defense University surprised me not just because it went well beyond the drone issue to address the conduct of the war on terror. More than that, Obama took some significant steps toward dealing with the war in terms of classical realism.

Award-winning books from UNC Press (updated)

We are honored and delighted to share the news of some of our most recent award-winning books. Hope you’ll join us in congratulating these fine authors. And you may want to consider using some of these books in your classroom or kitchen. Click the cover images or book titles to go to the book page …

Continue reading ‘Award-winning books from UNC Press (updated)’ »

Michael H. Hunt: The New Foreign Policy Concensus: A Word of Caution

The new consensus has been confirmed since Obama’s victory. His inaugural address announced the end of a decade of war and the start of a process of national reinvention meant to address challenges on the home front. However sensible this new consensus may be, it suffers from a major flaw: its profound vulnerability.

Excerpt: Chinese Mexicans, by Julia María Schiavone Camacho

The complex ties Mexicans and Chinese formed in northern Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the integration of Chinese men into local communities led to racial and cultural fusion and over time to the formation of a new cultural identity—Chinese Mexican. Racially and culturally hybrid families straddled the boundaries of identity and nation. They made alternating claims on Chineseness and Mexicanness during their quest to belong somewhere, especially as social and political uproar erupted in Mexico, the United States, and China.

Steven I. Levine & Michael H. Hunt: Civilian Casualties: Tactical Regrets and Strategic Hypocrisy

The reality is that the large-scale targeted killing of civilians has been an integral part of America’s military strategy for well over a century.

Paul and Angela Knipple: We Are All Southerners Here

Everyone loves their mama and their grandmama, but we’ve always felt like mamas and grandmamas have a special place in the southern kitchen and the southern heart. That legacy of family as a source of strength is especially southern. We heard stories from so many people who have maintained a strong connection with their mothers and grandmothers despite being half a world away.

Andre M. Fleche: Why an International Perspective is Important in Understanding the Civil War

For too long, popular interpretations of the Civil War have portrayed foreign-born soldiers as hirelings and mercenaries, similar to the hated “Hessians” who had fought for the British during the American Revolution. It is high time to acknowledge that they had as many ideological reasons for fighting as their native-born counterparts.

Michael H. Hunt & Steven I. Levine: Power Pivot or Duffer’s Divot?: Obama’s Asia Policy

American leaders still crave international leadership. But the time for sweet dreams of a U.S. era in Asia is over.

Andre M. Fleche: The “Second American Revolution” in a Global Age

Many scholars have traced the parallels between the American Revolution and the Civil War. But in today’s global age, it is time we recognize that the first American Revolution was not the only revolution to influence America’s Civil War.

Excerpt: Arc of Empire, by Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine

The history of American empire building and warfare in one region speaks to the current imbroglio across the Middle East and Central Asia in a striking variety of ways. U.S. policymakers have ignored or have deliberately forgotten the lessons from the conflicts in eastern Asia.

Excerpt: How to Read the Qur’an, by Carl W. Ernst

A historical and literary approach at least offers the prospect of a fair-minded and reasonable approach to other people’s religions, which is why such a method seems both attractive and necessary today.

New ebook offers blueprint for building a globally competitive South

Gitterman and Coclanis argue that our leaders must find a way to forge a bipartisan, pro-growth economic agenda and, in order to implement it, embrace creative public-private partnerships of various kinds.

Essential tools for teaching international and global studies

An excellent introductory textbook for the study of globalization, plus links to online resources including instructor’s manual, supplementary online chapter, and an active blog.

Excerpt: In the Cause of Freedom, by Minkah Makalani

Early-twentieth-century black radicals were witness to a world that they believed teetered between revolution and repression, self-determination and ever-expanding empires. In the wake of a destructive world war that itself proved the catalyst for the movement of black laborers into cities and countries around the world, the growing crisis over the European colonial presence around the globe, and the rise of socialist and communist alternatives to Western democracy, black radicals sought alternative forms of political activism and began to forge links to other African diasporic radicals.