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American Relief Aid and the Spanish Civil War Cover

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American Relief Aid and the Spanish Civil War

Eric R. Smith

The Spanish Civil War created a conflict for Americans who preferred that the United States remain uninvolved in foreign affairs. Despite the country's isolationist tendencies, opposition to the rise of fascism across Europe convinced many Americans that they had to act in support of the Spanish Republic. While much has been written about the war itself and its international volunteers, little attention has been paid to those who coordinated these relief efforts at home. 

            American Relief Aid and the Spanish Civil War tells the story of the political campaigns to raise aid for the Spanish Republic as activists pushed the limits of isolationist thinking. Those concerned with Spain’s fate held a range of political convictions (including anarchists, socialists, liberals, and communists) with very different understandings of what fascism was. Yet they all agreed that fascism’s advance must be halted. With labor strikes, fund-raising parties, and ambulance tours, defenders of Spain in the United States sought to shift the political discussion away from isolation of Spain’s elected government and toward active assistance for the faltering Republic.

Examining the American political organizations affiliated with this relief effort and the political repression that resulted as many of Spain’s supporters faced the early incarnations of McCarthyism’s trials, Smith provides new understanding of American politics during the crucial years leading up to World War II. By also focusing on the impact the Spanish Civil War had on those of Spanish ethnicity in the United States, Smith shows how close to home the seemingly distant war really hit.  

Beyond the Persecuting Society Cover

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Beyond the Persecuting Society

Religious Toleration Before the Enlightenment

Edited by John Christian Laursen and Cary J. Nederman

There is a myth—easily shattered—that Western societies since the Enlightenment have been dedicated to the ideal of protecting the differences between individuals and groups, and another—too readily accepted—that before the rise of secularism in the modern period, intolerance and persecution held sway throughout Europe. In Beyond the Persecuting Society John Christian Laursen, Cary J. Nederman, and nine other scholars dismantle this second generalization.

If intolerance and religious persecution have been at the root of some of the greatest suffering in human history, it is nevertheless the case that toleration was practiced and theorized in medieval and early modern Europe on a scale few have realized: Christians and Jews, the English, French, Germans, Dutch, Swiss, Italians, and Spanish had their proponents of and experiments with tolerance well before John Locke penned his famous Letter Concerning Toleration. Moving from Abelard to Aphra Behn, from the apology for the gentiles of the fourteenth-century Talmudic scholar, Menahem ben Solomon Ha-MeIiri, to the rejection of intolerance in the "New Israel" of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Beyond the Persecuting Society offers a detailed and decisive correction to a vision of the past as any less complex in its embrace and abhorrence of diversity than the present.

Bound in Twine Cover

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Bound in Twine

The History and Ecology of the Henequen-Wheat Complex for Mexico and the American and Canadian Plain

By Sterling C. Evans

Before the invention of the combine, the binder was an essential harvesting implement that cut grain and bound the stalks in bundles tied with twine that could then be hand-gathered into shocks for threshing. Hundreds of thousands of farmers across the United States and Canada relied on binders and the twine required for the machine’s operation. Implement manufacturers discovered that the best binder twine was made from henequen and sisal—spiny, fibrous plants native to the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. The double dependency that subsequently developed between Mexico and the Great Plains of the United States and Canada affected the agriculture, ecology, and economy of all three nations in ways that have historically been little understood. These interlocking dependencies—identified by author Sterling Evans as the “henequen-wheat complex”—initiated or furthered major ecological, social, and political changes in each of these agricultural regions. Drawing on extensive archival work as well as the existing secondary literature, Evans has woven an intricate story that will change our understanding of the complex, transnational history of the North American continent.

Child Slaves in the Modern World Cover

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Child Slaves in the Modern World

Gwyn Campbell

 Child Slaves in the Modern World is the second of two volumes that examine the distinctive uses and experiences of children in slavery in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This collection of previously unpublished essays exposes the global victimization of child slaves from the period of abolition of legal slavery in the nineteenth century to the human rights era of the twentieth century. It contributes to the growing recognition that the stereotypical bonded male slave was in fact a rarity. Nine of the studies are historical, with five located in Africa and three covering Latin America from the British Caribbean to Chile. One study follows the children liberated in the famous Amistad incident (1843). The remaining essays cover contemporary forms of child slavery, from prostitution to labor to forced soldiering. Child Slaves in the Modern World adds historical depth to the current literature on contemporary slavery, emphasizing the distinctive vulnerabilities of children, or effective equivalents, that made them particularly valuable to those who could acquire and control them. The studies also make clear the complexities of attempting to legislate or decree regulations limiting practices that appear to have been—and continue to be —ubiquitous around the world. 

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Children in Slavery through the Ages

Gwyn Campell

Significant numbers of the people enslaved throughout world history have been children. The vast literature on slavery has grown to include most of the history of this ubiquitous practice, but nearly all of it concentrates on the adult males whose strong bodies and laboring capacities preoccupied the masters of the modern Americas. Children in Slavery through the Ages examines the children among the enslaved across a significant range of earlier times and other places; its companion volume will examine the children enslaved in recent American contexts and in the contemporary/modern world.

This is the first collection to focus on children in slavery. These leading scholars bring our thinking about slaving and slavery to new levels of comprehensiveness and complexity. They further provide substantial historical depth to the abuse of children for sexual and labor purposes that has become a significant humanitarian concern of governments and private organizations around the world in recent decades.

The collected essays in Children in Slavery through the Ages fundamentally reconstruct our understanding of enslavement by exploring the often-ignored role of children in slavery and rejecting the tendency to narrowly equate slavery with the forced labor of adult males. The volume’s historical angle highlights many implications of child slavery by examining the variety of children’s roles—as manual laborers and domestic servants to court entertainers and eunuchs—and the worldwide regions in which the child slave trade existed.

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The Copernican Question

Prognostication, Skepticism, and Celestial Order

Robert Westman

In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus publicly defended his hypothesis that the earth is a planet and the sun a body resting near the center of a finite universe. But why did Copernicus make this bold proposal? And why did it matter? The Copernican Question reframes this pivotal moment in the history of science, centering the story on a conflict over the credibility of astrology that erupted in Italy just as Copernicus arrived in 1496. Copernicus engendered enormous resistance when he sought to protect astrology by reconstituting its astronomical foundations. Robert S. Westman shows that efforts to answer the astrological skeptics became a crucial unifying theme of the early modern scientific movement. His interpretation of this "long sixteenth century," from the 1490s to the 1610s, offers a new framework for understanding the great transformations in natural philosophy in the century that followed.

The Crucible Cover

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The Crucible

An Autobiography by Colonel Yay, Filipina American Guerrilla

Yay Panlilio and Edited and with an Introduction by Denise Cruz

In this 1950 memoir, The Crucible: An Autobiography by Colonel Yay, Filipina American Guerrilla, Panlilio narrates her experience as a journalist, triple agent, leader in the Philippine resistance against the Japanese, and lover of the guerrilla general Marcos V. Augustin, from the war-torn streets of Japanese-occupied Manila, to battlegrounds in the countryside, and the rural farmlands of central California. Denise Cruz's introduction imparts key biographical, historical, and cultural contexts.

Cultivating the Colonies Cover

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Cultivating the Colonies

Colonial States and their Environmental Legacies

Christina Folke Ax

 The essays collected in Cultivating the Colonies demonstrate how the relationship between colonial power and nature reveals the nature of power. Each essay explores how colonial governments translated ideas about the management of exotic nature and foreign people into practice, and how they literally “got their hands dirty” in the business of empire. 

 The eleven essays include studies of animal husbandry in the Philippines, farming in Indochina, and indigenous medicine in India. They are global in scope, ranging from the Russian North to Mozambique, examining the consequences of colonialism on nature, including its impact on animals, fisheries, farmlands, medical practices, and even the diets of indigenous people. 

 Cultivating the Colonies establishes beyond all possible doubt the importance of the environment as a locus for studying the power of the colonial state.

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Dangerous Trade

Histories of Industrial Hazard across a Globalizing World

Christopher Sellers

From anthrax to asbestos to pesticides, industrial toxins and pollutants have troubled the world for the past century and longer. Environmental hazards from industry remain one of the world's foremost killers.Dangerous Trade establishes historical groundwork for a better understanding of how and why these hazards continue to threaten our shrinking world.

In this timely collection, an international group of scholars casts a rigorous eye towards efforts to combat these ailments. Dangerous Trade contains a wide range of case studies that illuminate transnational movements of risk—from the colonial plantations of Indonesia to compensation laws in late 19th century Britain, and from the occupational medicine clinics of 1960s New York City to the burning of electronic waste in early twenty-first century Uruguay.

The essays in Dangerous Trade provide an unprecedented broad perspective of the dangers stirred up by industrial activity across the globe, as well as the voices rasied to remedy them.

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Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Peter Stearns

Contemporary world history has highlighted militarization in many ways, from the global Cold War and numerous regional conflicts to the general assumption that nationhood implies a significant and growing military. Yet the twentieth century also offers notable examples of large-scale demilitarization, both imposed and voluntary. Demilitarization in the Contemporary World fills a key gap in current historical understanding by examining demilitarization programs in Germany, Japan, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. Contributors investigate factors such as military defeat, border security risks, economic pressures, and the development of strong peace cultures among citizenry. Exemplifying the political difficulties of demilitarization in both its failures and successes, Demilitarization in the Contemporary World provides a possible roadmap for future policies and practices.

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