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Ailing, Aging, Addicted

Studies of Compromised Leadership

Bert E. Park

What role did drug abuse play in John F. Kennedy's White House, and how was it kept from the public? How did general anesthetics and aging affect the presidency of Ronald Reagan? Why did Winston Churchill become more egocentric, Woodrow Wilson more self- righteous, and Josef Stalin more paranoid as they aged -- and how did those qualities alter the course of history?

Was Napoleon poisoned with arsenic or did underlying disease account for his decline at the peak of his power? Does syphilis really explain Henry VIII's midlife transformation? Was there more than messianism brewing in the brains of some zealots of the past, among them Adolf Hitler, Joan of Arc, and John Brown? Most important of all, when does one man's illness cause millions to suffer, and when is it merely a footnote to history?

To answer such questions requires the clinical intuition of a practicing physician and the scholarly perspective of a trained historian. Bert Park, who qualifies on both counts, offers here fascinating second opinions, basing his retrospective diagnoses on a wide range of sources from medicine and history.

Few books so graphically portray the impact on history of physiologically compromised leadership, misdiagnosis, and inappropriate medical treatment. Park not only untangles medical mysteries from the past but also offers timely suggestions for dealing with such problems in the future. As a welcome sequel to his first work, The Impact of Illness on World Leaders, this book offers scholars, physicians, and general readers an entertaining, albeit sobering, analysis.

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Alcohol

A History

Rod Phillips

Whether as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a constant and often controversial role in social life. In his innovative book on the attitudes toward and consumption of alcohol, Phillips surveys a 9,000-year cultural and economic history, uncovering the tensions between alcoholic drinks as healthy staples of daily diets and as objects of social, political, and religious anxiety.

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America's Mission

The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy (Expanded Edition)

Tony Smith

America's Mission argues that the global strength and prestige of democracy today are due in large part to America's impact on international affairs. Tony Smith documents the extraordinary history of how American foreign policy has been used to try to promote democracy worldwide, an effort that enjoyed its greatest triumphs in the occupations of Japan and Germany but suffered huge setbacks in Latin America, Vietnam, and elsewhere. With new chapters and a new introduction and epilogue, this expanded edition also traces U.S. attempts to spread democracy more recently, under presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, and assesses America's role in the Arab Spring.

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American-Australian Relations

Werner Levi

American-Australian Relations was first published in 1947. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

This new study fills a wide gap in the story of American-Australian relations and is a timely addition to the literature in this field. There has been no comprehensive treatment of the topic before, and it will be of interest to those seeking information that the thorough documentation includes wide use of reports of the American consuls in Australia, and material from Australian parliamentary debates and Australian and American newspapers.

Australia has emerged from the war as an important world power that demands a prominent role in the south and southwest Pacific. At the same time the United States has become more and more deeply involved in Far Eastern affairs. The book gives the background of the development and shows the gradual enlargement of spheres of mutual interest between the two countries, both political and economic, from the end of the eighteenth century down to the problems presented by postwar developments in the Pacific.

Emphasis is placed on the economic and political ambitions of the two countries, and on their resulting agreements and disagreements both in their direct relations and in their relations with the whole Far Eastern region. Dr. Levi points out that the new importance of the Pacific resulting from World War II has proved to both nations their mutual dependence, but at the same time has increased their national interest in ever-widening and overlapping spheres in the Pacific area.

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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.  

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Area Studies in the Global Age

Community, Place, Identity

Edith W. Clowes and Shelly Jarrett Bromberg

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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.

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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.

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Broadcasting Freedom

The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

Arch Puddington

Among America's most unusual and successful weapons during the Cold War were Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. RFE-RL had its origins in a post-war America brimming with confidence and secure in its power. Unlike the Voice of America, which conveyed a distinctly American perspective on global events, RFE-RL served as surrogate home radio services and a vital alternative to the controlled, party-dominated domestic press in Eastern Europe. Over twenty stations featured programming tailored to individual countries. They reached millions of listeners ranging from industrial workers to dissident leaders such as Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel.

Broadcasting Freedom draws on rare archival material and offers a penetrating insider history of the radios that helped change the face of Europe. Arch Puddington reveals new information about the connections between RFE-RL and the CIA, which provided covert funding for the stations during the critical start-up years in the early 1950s. He relates in detail the efforts of Soviet and Eastern Bloc officials to thwart the stations; their tactics ranged from jamming attempts, assassinations of radio journalists, the infiltration of spies onto the radios' staffs, and the bombing of the radios' headquarters.

Puddington addresses the controversies that engulfed the stations throughout the Cold War, most notably RFE broadcasts during the Hungarian Revolution that were described as inflammatory and irresponsible. He shows how RFE prevented the Communist authorities from establishing a monopoly on the dissemination of information in Poland and describes the crucial roles played by the stations as the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union broke apart.

Broadcasting Freedom is also a portrait of the Cold War in America. Puddington offers insights into the strategic thinking of the RFE-RL leadership and those in the highest circles of American government, including CIA directors, secretaries of state, and even presidents.

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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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