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A Tale of Two Colonies Cover

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A Tale of Two Colonies

What Really Happened in Virginia and Bermuda?

Virginia Bernhard

 
In 1609, two years after its English founding, colonists struggled to stay alive in a tiny fort at Jamestown.John Smith fought to keep order, battling both English and Indians. When he left, desperate colonists ate lizards, rats, and human flesh. Surviving accounts of the “Starving Time” differ, as do modern scholars’ theories.

 

Meanwhile, the Virginia-bound Sea Venture was shipwrecked on Bermuda, the dreaded, uninhabited “Isle of Devils.” The castaways’ journals describe the hurricane at sea as well as murders and mutinies on land. Their adventures are said to have inspired Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

 

A year later, in 1610, the Bermuda castaways sailed to Virginia in two small ships they had built. They arrived in Jamestown to find many people in the last stages of starvation; abandoning the colony seemed their only option. Then, in what many people thought was divine providence, three English ships sailed into Chesapeake Bay. Virginia was saved, but the colony’s troubles were far from over.

 

Despite glowing reports from Virginia Company officials, disease, inadequate food, and fear of Indians plagued the colony. The company poured thousands of pounds sterling and hundreds of new settlers into its venture but failed to make a profit, and many of the newcomers died. Bermuda—with plenty of food, no native population, and a balmy climate—looked much more promising, and in fact, it became England’s second New World colony in 1612.

 

In this fascinating tale of England’s first two New World colonies, Bernhard links Virginia and Bermuda in a series of unintended consequences resulting from natural disaster, ignorance of native cultures, diplomatic intrigue, and the fateful arrival of the first Africans in both colonies. Written for general as well as academic audiences, A Tale of Two Colonies examines the existing sources on the colonies, sets them in a transatlantic context, and weighs them against circumstantial evidence.

 

From diplomatic correspondence and maps in the Spanish archives to recent archaeological discoveries at Jamestown, Bernhard creates an intriguing history. To weave together the stories of the two colonies, which are fraught with missing pieces, she leaves nothing unexamined: letters written in code, adventurers’ narratives, lists of Africans in Bermuda, and the minutes of committees in London. Biographical details of mariners, diplomats, spies, Indians, Africans, and English colonists also enrich the narrative. While there are common stories about both colonies, Bernhard shakes myth free from truth and illuminates what is known—as well as what we may never know—about the first English colonies in the New World.

Three Ways to Be Alien Cover

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Three Ways to Be Alien

Travails and Encounters in the Early Modern World

Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Sanjay Subrahmanyam's Three Ways to Be Alien draws on the lives and writings of a trio of marginal and liminal figures cast adrift from their traditional moorings into an unknown world. The subjects include the aggrieved and lost Meale, a "Persian" prince of Bijapur (in central India, no less) held hostage by the Portuguese at Goa; English traveler and global schemer Anthony Sherley, whose writings reveal a surprisingly nimble understanding of realpolitik in the emerging world of the early seventeenth century; and Nicolo Manuzzi, an insightful Venetian chronicler of the Mughal Empire in the later seventeenth century who drifted between jobs with the Mughals and various foreign entrepots, observing all but remaining the eternal outsider. In telling the fascinating story of floating identities in a changing world, Subrahmanyam also succeeds in injecting humanity into global history and proves that biography still plays an important role in contemporary historiography.

To a Distant Day Cover

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To a Distant Day

The Rocket Pioneers

Chris Gainor

Although the dream of flying is as old as the human imagination, the notion of actually rocketing into space may have originated with Chinese experiments with gunpowder in the Middle Ages. Rockets as weapons and entertainment, whether sprung from science fiction or arising out of practical necessity, are within the compass of this engaging history of how human beings actually gained the ability to catapult themselves into space.
 
Chris Gainor's irresistible narrative introduces us to pioneers such as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, and Hermann Oberth, who pointed the way to the cosmos and created the earliest wave of international enthusiasm for space exploration. It shows us German engineer Wernher von Braun creating the V-2, the first large rocket, which opened the door to space but failed utterly as the “wonder weapon” it was meant to be. From there Gainor follows the space race to the Soviet Union and the United States and gives us a close look at the competitive hysteria that led to Sputnik, satellites, space probes, and—finally—human flight into space in 1961. As much a story of cultural ambition and personal destiny as of scientific progress and technological history, To a Distant Day offers a complete and thoroughly compelling account of humanity’s determined efforts—sometimes poignant, sometimes amazing, sometimes mad—to leave the earth behind.

 

Toward Stonewall Cover

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Toward Stonewall

Homosexuality and Society in the Modern Western World

Nicholas C. Edsall

As recently as the 1970s, gay and lesbian history was a relatively unexplored field for serious scholars. The past quarter century, however, has seen enormous growth in gay and lesbian studies. The literature is now voluminous; it is also widely scattered and not always easily accessible. In Toward Stonewall, Nicholas Edsall provides a much-needed synthesis, drawing upon both scholarly and popular writings to chart the development of homosexual subcultures in the modern era and the uneasy place they have occupied in Western society.

Edsall's survey begins three hundred years ago in northwestern Europe, when homosexual subcultures recognizably similar to those of our own era began to emerge, and it follows their surprisingly diverse paths through the Enlightenment to the early nineteenth century. The book then turns to the Victorian era, tracing the development of articulate and self-aware homosexual subcultures. With a greater sense of identity and organization came new forms of resistance: this was the age that saw the persecution of Oscar Wilde, among others, as well as the medical establishment's labeling of homosexuality as a sign of degeneracy.

The book's final section locates the foundations of present-day gay sub-cultures in a succession of twentieth-century scenes and events -- in pre-Nazi Germany, in the lesbian world of interwar Paris, in the law reforms of 1960s England -- culminating in the emergence of popular movements in the postwar United States.

Rather than examining these groups in isolation, the book considers them in their social contexts and as comparable to other subordinate groups and minority movements. In the process, Toward Stonewall illuminates not only the subcultures that are its primary subject but the larger societies from which they emerged.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade Cover

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The Transatlantic Slave Trade

A History, Revised Edition

James A. Rawley

The transatlantic slave trade played a major role in the development of the modern world. It both gave birth to and resulted from the shift from feudalism into the European Commercial Revolution. James A. Rawley fills a scholarly gap in the historical discussion of the slave trade from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century by providing one volume covering the economics, demography, epidemiology, and politics of the trade.
 
This revised edition of Rawley’s classic, produced with the assistance of Stephen D. Behrendt, includes emended text to reflect the major changes in historiography; current slave trade data tables and accompanying text; updated notes; and the addition of a select bibliography.

Translation, Resistance, Activism Cover

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Translation, Resistance, Activism

edited by Maria Tymoczko

More than merely linguistic transposition, translation is a vector of power, resistance, rebellion, and even revolution. Exploring these facets of the ideology of translation, the contributors to this volume focus on the agency of translators and their activism. Spanning two centuries and reaching across the globe, the essays examine the varied activist strategies of key translators and translation movements. From silence to radical manipulation of texts, translation strategies are instrumental in significant historical interventions and cultural change. Translation plays a pivotal role in ideological dialogue and struggle, including resistance to oppression and cultural straitjackets of all types, from sexual puritanism to military dictatorships. Situated in their own space, time, history, and political contexts, translators promote ideological agendas by creating new cultural narratives, pragmatically adjusting tactics so as to maximize the social and political impact. The essays in this volume explore ways to read translations as records of cultural contestation and ideological struggle; as means of fighting censorship, physical coercion, cultural repression, and political dominance; and as texts that foster a wide variety of goals from cultural nationalism to armed confrontation. Translations are set in relief as central cultural documents rather than derivative, peripheral, or marginalized productions. They are seen as forms of ethical, political, and ideological activity rather than as mere communicative transactions or creative literary exercises. The contributors demonstrate that engaged and activist translations are performative acts within broader political and ideological contexts. The essays detail the initiative, resourcefulness, and courage of individual translators, whose willingness to put themselves on the line for social change can sometimes move the world. In addition to Maria Tymoczko, contributors include Pua‘ala‘okalani D. Aiu, Brian James Baer, Mona Baker, Paul F. Bandia, Georges L. Bastin, Nitsa Ben-Ari, Ángela Campo, Antonia Carcelen-Estrada, Álvaro Echeverri, Denise Merkle, John Milton, and Else R.P. Vieira.

The Typhoon of War Cover

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The Typhoon of War

Micronesian Experiences of the Pacific War

Lin Poyer, Suzanne Falgout, & Laurence Marshall Carucci

World War II was a watershed event for the people of the former Japanese colonies of Micronesia. The Japanese military build-up, the conflict itself, and the American occupation and control of the conquered islands brought rapid and dramatic changes to Micronesian life. Whether they spent the war in caves and bomb shelters, in sweet potato fields under armed Japanese guard, or in their own homes, Micronesians who survived those years recognize that their peoples underwent a major historical transformation. Like a typhoon, the war swept away a former life. The Typhoon of War combines archival research and oral history culled from more than three hundred Micronesian survivors to offer a comparative history of the war in Micronesia. It is the first book to develop Islander perspectives on a topic still dominated by military histories that all but ignore the effects of wartime operations on indigenous populations. The authors explore the significant cultural meanings of the war for Island peoples, for the events of the war are the foundation on which Micronesians have constructed their modern view of themselves, their societies, and the wider world. Their recollections of those tumultuous years contain a wealth of detail about wartime activities, local conditions, and social change, making this an invaluable reference for anyone interested in twentieth-century Micronesia. Photographs, maps, and a detailed chronology will help readers situate Micronesian experiences within the broader context of the Pacific War.

U.S.- China Educational Exchange Cover

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U.S.- China Educational Exchange

State, Society, and Intercultural Relations, 1905-1950

Hongshan Li

U.S.-China relations became increasingly important and complex in the twentieth century. While economic, political, and military interactions all grew over time, the most dramatic expansion took place in educational exchange, turning it into the strongest tie between the two nations. By the end of the 1940s, tens of thousands of Chinese and American students and scholars had crisscrossed the Pacific, leaving indelible marks on both societies. Although all exchange programs were terminated during the Cold War, the two nations reemerged as top partners within a decade after the reestablishment of diplomatic relations. Approaching U.S.-China relations from a unique and usually overlooked perspective, Hongshan Li reveals that both the drastic expansion and complete termination of educational ties between the two nations in the first half of the twentieth century were largely the results of direct and deep intervention from the American and Chinese governments. Benefiting from government support and collaboration, educational exchange succeeded in diffusing knowledge and improving mutual understanding between the two peoples across the divide of civilizations. However, the visible hand of government also proved to be most destructive to the development of healthy intercultural relations when educational interactions were treated merely as an instrument for crisis management.

Victorious Insurgencies Cover

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Victorious Insurgencies

Four Rebellions that Shaped Our World

Anthony Joes

Insurgencies, especially in the form of guerrilla warfare, continue to erupt across many parts of the globe. Most of these rebellions fail, but Four Rebellions that Shaped Our World analyzes four twentieth-century conflicts in which the success of the insurgents permanently altered the global political arena: the Maoists in China against Chiang Kai-shek and the Japanese in the 1930s and 1940s; the Viet Minh in French Indochina from 1945 to 1954; Castro’s followers against Batista in Cuba from 1956 to 1959; and the mujahideen in Soviet Afghanistan from 1980 to 1989. Anthony James Joes illuminates patterns of failed counterinsurgencies that include serious but avoidable political and military blunders and makes clear the critical and often decisive influence of the international setting. Offering provocative insights and timeless lessons applicable to contemporary conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this authoritative and comprehensive book will be of great interest to policy-makers and concerned citizens alike.

What Time and Sadness Spared Cover

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What Time and Sadness Spared

Mother and Son Confront the Holocaust

Doron S. Ben-Atar

Roma Ben-Atar resisted until late in life the urging of her family to share the memories of her Nazi-era experiences. The Holocaust exerted a dark pressure on all of their lives but was never openly discussed. It was only when her granddaughter insisted on hearing the whole truth, with a directness partly generational, that Mrs. Ben-Atar agreed to tell her story.

What Time and Sadness Spared is a journey of both loss and endurance, moving with shocking speed from a carefree adolescence in upper-middle-class Warsaw to the horrors of the Final Solution. The young girl sees her neighborhood transformed into a ghetto populated by skeletal figures both alive and dead. Unbelievably, things only grow worse as this ruin gives way to the death factories of Majdanek and Auschwitz and the death marches of 1945. Life in the camps changes her in less than a day, as if "the person in my body was a stranger I had never met." Her only consolation is to lie on her wooden bunk, no mattress, and speak to the soul of her mother, who, like virtually her entire family, had already been swept away. Roma must summon astonishing powers of adaptation simply to survive, bringing her finally through the wreckage of postwar Europe and to an entirely new life in Israel.

In this unique family collaboration Roma Ben-Atar's son Doron, a historian who brings with him fluency in psychoanalysis, contributes through his commentary an awareness of the difficulties presented by historical narrative and memory. A visitor to the much-changed sites in which his mother grew up and was interned by the Nazis, he also voices the perspective of the survivors' children and their ambivalence over being "protected" from this past. As the generation that endured the camps passes from this world, What Time and Sadness Spared illustrates with particular urgency the historical responsibilities of the survivors' descendants, who must become the new vessels for a story that will not remain alive on its own but demands our courage and curiosity.

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