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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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Domesticating the World

African Consumerism and the Genealogies of Globalization

Jeremy Prestholdt

This book boldly unsettles the idea of globalization as a recent phenomenon—and one driven solely by Western interests—by offering a compelling new perspective on global interconnectivity in the nineteenth century. Jeremy Prestholdt examines East African consumers' changing desires for material goods from around the world in an era of sweeping social and economic change. Exploring complex webs of local consumer demands that affected patterns of exchange and production as far away as India and the United States, the book challenges presumptions that Africa's global relationships have always been dictated by outsiders. Full of rich and often-surprising vignettes that outline forgotten trajectories of global trade and consumption, it powerfully demonstrates how contemporary globalization is foreshadowed in deep histories of intersecting and reciprocal relationships across vast distances.

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East Sails West

The Voyage of the Keying, 1846–1855

Stephen Davies

In December 1846, the Keying, a Chinese junk purchased by British investors, set sail from Hong Kong for London. Named after the Chinese Imperial Commissioner who had signed away Hong Kong to the British, manned by a Chinese and European crew, and carrying a traveling exhibition of Chinese items, the Keying had a troubled voyage. After quarrels on the way and a diversion to New York, culminating in a legal dispute over arrears of wages for Chinese members of the crew, it finally reached London in 1848, where it went on exhibition on the River Thames until 1853. It was then auc¬tioned off, towed to Liverpool, and finally broken up. In this account of the ship, the crew and the voyage, Stephen Davies tells a story of missed opportunities with an erratic course, overambitious aims, and achievements born of lucky breaks—a microcosm, in fact, of early Hong Kong and relations between China and the West.

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Empire in Waves

A Political History of Surfing

Scott Laderman

Surfing today evokes many things: thundering waves, warm beaches, bikinis and lifeguards, and carefree pleasure. But is the story of surfing really as simple as popular culture suggests? In this first international political history of the sport, Scott Laderman shows that while wave riding is indeed capable of stimulating tremendous pleasure, its globalization went hand in hand with the blood and repression of the long twentieth century.  

Emerging as an imperial instrument in post-annexation Hawaii, spawning a form of tourism that conquered the littoral Third World, tracing the struggle against South African apartheid, and employed as a diplomatic weapon in America's Cold War arsenal, the saga of modern surfing is only partially captured by Gidget, the Beach Boys, and the film Blue Crush. From nineteenth-century American empire-building in the Pacific to the low-wage labor of the surf industry today, Laderman argues that surfing in fact closely mirrored American foreign relations. Yet despite its less-than-golden past, the sport continues to captivate people worldwide.

Whether in El Salvador or Indonesia or points between, the modern history of this cherished pastime is hardly an uncomplicated story of beachside bliss. Sometimes messy, occasionally contentious, but never dull, surfing offers us a whole new way of viewing our globalized world.

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The Environment and World History

Edmund Burke III

Since around 1500 C.E., humans have shaped the global environment in ways that were previously unimaginable. Bringing together leading environmental historians and world historians, this book offers an overview of global environmental history throughout this remarkable 500-year period. In eleven essays, the contributors examine the connections between environmental change and other major topics of early modern and modern world history: population growth, commercialization, imperialism, industrialization, the fossil fuel revolution, and more. Rather than attributing environmental change largely to European science, technology, and capitalism, the essays illuminate a series of culturally distinctive, yet often parallel developments arising in many parts of the world, leading to intensified exploitation of land and water.

The wide range of regional studies—including some in Russia, China, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Southern Africa, and Western Europe—together with the book's broader thematic essays makes The Environment and World History ideal for courses that seek to incorporate the environment and environmental change more fully into a truly integrative understanding of world history.

CONTRIBUTORS: Michael Adas, William Beinart, Edmund Burke III, Mark Cioc, Kenneth Pomeranz, Mahesh Rangarajan, John F. Richards, Lise Sedrez, Douglas R. Weiner

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Essays from the Edge

Parerga and Paralipomena

Essays from the Edge brings together recent work from renowned intellectual historian and cultural critic, Martin Jay. These writings address a wide range of issues from the Frankfurt School and Western Marxism to scopic (visual) regimes and visual culture, from the intellectual migration from Germany to America to the discourse of experience, from violence in landscape architecture to political mendacity. In addition, the collection includes several methodological essays, which deal with important themes in the humanities today.

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Essays on Twentieth-Century History

In the sub-field of world history, there has been a surprising paucity of thinking and writing about how to approach and conceptualize the long twentieth century from the 1870s through the early 2000s. The historiographic essays collected in Essays on Twentieth Century History will go a long way to filling that lacuna.

 

Each contribution covers a key theme and one or more critical sub-fields in twentieth century global history. Chapters address migration patterns, the impact of world wars, transformations in gender and urbanization, as well as environmental transitions. All are written by leading historians in each of the sub-fields represented, and each is intended to provide an introduction to the literature, key themes, and debates that have proliferated around the more recent historical experience of humanity.

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Explorer

The Life of Richard E. Byrd

LISLE A. ROSE

“Danger was all that thrilled him,” Dick Byrd’s mother once remarked, and from his first pioneering aviation adventures in Greenland in 1925, through his daring flights to the top and bottom of the world and across the Atlantic, Richard E. Byrd dominated the American consciousness during the tumultuous decades between the world wars. He was revered more than Charles Lindbergh, deliberately exploiting the public’s hunger for vicarious adventure. Yet some suspected him of being a poseur, and a handful reviled him as a charlatan who claimed great deeds he never really accomplished.

Then he overreached himself, foolishly choosing to endure a blizzard-lashed six-month polar night alone at an advance weather observation post more than one hundred long miles down a massive Antarctic ice shelf. His ordeal proved soul-shattering, his rescue one of the great epics of polar history. As his star began to wane, enemies grew bolder, and he struggled to maintain his popularity and political influence, while polar exploration became progressively bureaucratized and militarized. Yet he chose to return again and again to the beautiful, hateful, haunted secret land at the bottom of the earth, claiming, not without justification, that he was “Mayor of this place.”

Lisle A. Rose has delved into Byrd’s recently available papers together with those of his supporters and detractors to present the first complete, balanced biography of one of recent history’s most dynamic figures. Explorer covers the breadth of Byrd’s astonishing life, from the early days of naval aviation through his years of political activism to his final efforts to dominate Washington’s growing interest in Antarctica.   Rose recounts with particular care Byrd’s two privately mounted South Polar expeditions, bringing to bear new research that adds considerable depth to what we already know. He offers views of Byrd’s adventures that challenge earlier criticism of him—including the controversy over his claim to being the first to have flown over the North Pole in 1926—and shows that the critics’ arguments do not always mesh with historical evidence.

Throughout this compelling narrative, Rose offers a balanced view of an ambitious individual who was willing to exaggerate but always adhered to his principles—a man with a vision of himself and the world that inspired others, who cultivated the rich and famous, and who used his notoriety to espouse causes such as world peace. Explorer paints a vivid picture of a brilliant but flawed egoist, offering the definitive biography of the man and armchair adventure of the highest order.

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Figure Skating in the Formative Years

Singles, Pairs, and the Expanding Role of Women

James R. Hines

Once a winter pastime for socializing and courtship, skating evolved into the wildly popular competitive sport of figure skating, one of the few athletic arenas where female athletes hold a public profile--and earning power--equal to that of men. Renowned sports historian James R. Hines chronicles figure skating's rise from its earliest days through its head-turning debut at the 1908 Olympics and its breakthrough as entertainment in the 1930s. Hines credits figure skating's explosive expansion to an ever-increasing number of women who had become proficient skaters and wanted to compete, not just in singles but with partners as well. Matters reached a turning point when British skater Madge Syers entered the otherwise-male 1902 World Championship held in London and finished second. Called skating's first feminist, Syers led a wave of women who made significant contributions to figure skating and helped turn it into today's star-making showcase at every Olympic Winter Games.

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