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University of Nebraska Press
As William Nester asserts in The Age of Jackson, it takes quite a leader to personify an age. A political titan for thirty-three years (1815-1848), Andrew Jackson possessed character, beliefs, and acts that dominated American politics. Although Jackson returned to his Tennessee plantation in March 1837 after serving eight years as president, he continued to overshadow American politics. Two of his proteges, Martin "the Magician" van Buren and James "Young Hickory" Polk, followed him to the White House and pursued his agenda.
Jackson provoked firestorms of political passions throughout his era. Far more people loved than hated him, but the fervor was just as pitched either way. Although the passions have subsided, the debate lingers. Historians are split over Jackson's legacy. Some extol him as among America's greatest presidents, citing his championing of the common man, holding the country together during the nullification crisis, and eliminating the national debt. Others excoriate him as a mean-spirited despot who shredded the Constitution and damaged the nation's development by destroying the Second Bank of the United States, defying the Supreme Court, and grossly worsening political corruption through his spoils system. Still others condemn his forcibly expelling more than forty thousand Native Americans from their homes and along the Trail of Tears, which led far west of the Mississippi River, with thousands perishing along the way.
In his clear-eyed assessment of one of the most divisive leaders in American history, Nester provides new insight into the age-old debate about the very nature of power itself.
A Brief History of the American Experience
Global air mobility is an American invention. During the twentieth century, other nations developed capabilities to transport supplies and personnel by air to support deployed military forces. But only the United States mustered the resources and will to create a global transport force and aerial refueling aircraft capable of moving air and ground combat forces of all types to anywhere in the world and supporting them in continuous combat operations. Whether contemplating a bomber campaign or halting another surprise attack, American war planners have depended on transport and tanker aircraft to launch, reinforce, and sustain operations.
Air mobility has also changed the way the United States relates to the world. American leaders use air mobility to signal friends and enemies of their intent and ability to intervene, attack, or defend on short notice and powerfully. Stateside air wings and armored brigades on Sunday can be patrolling the air of any continent on Wednesday and taking up defensive positions on a friend's borders by Friday. This capability affects the diplomacy and the calculations of America and its friends and enemies alike. Moreover, such global mobility has made America the world's philanthropist. From their earliest days, American airlift forces have performed thousands of humanitarian missions, dropping hay to snow-bound cattle, taking stranded pilgrims to Mecca, and delivering food and medicine to tsunami stricken towns.
Air Mobility examines how air power elevated the American military's penchant for speed and ability to maneuver to an art unequalled by any other nation.
Is charitable giving more about satisfying the needs of the donor or those of the recipient? The answer, according to Friedman, is both, and Reinventing Philanthropy provides the essential tools for maximizing the impact of one's donations.
A History of Carrier Aviation and Its Influence on World Events, Volume I: 1909-1945
How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics
In these and many other instances, traditional ways of reshaping global politics have been superseded by the influence of new media—satellite television, the Internet, and other high-tech tools. What is involved is more than a refinement of established practices. We are seeing a comprehensive reconnecting of the global village and a reshaping of how the world works.
Al Jazeera is a paradigm of new media’s influence. Ten years ago, there was much talk about “the CNN effect,” the theory that news coverage—especially gripping visual storytelling—was influencing foreign policy throughout the world. Today, “the Al Jazeera effect” takes that a significant step further. The concept encompasses the use of new media as tools in every aspect of global affairs, ranging from democratization to terrorism, and including the concept of “virtual states.”
“The media” are no longer just the media. They have a larger popular base than ever before and, as a result, have unprecedented impact on international politics. The media can be tools of conflict and instruments of peace; they can make traditional borders irrelevant and unify peoples scattered across the globe. This phenomenon, the Al Jazeera effect, is reshaping the world.
Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin's "A Practical Course for Guerrilla War"
Fortunately Norman Cigar is fluent, and here he presents the first English translation of Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin’s “A Practical Course for Guerrilla War.” Saudi security forces killed Al-Muqrin, Al-Qa'ida’s leader in the Arabian Peninsula, in June 2004. Published posthumously, his Arabic-language manual provides a window into Al-Qaida’s strategic thinking and into how these terrorists operate. Accompanying the text’s translation is material on al-Muqrin’s life and Cigar’s cogent and detailed analysis of the key ideas in the jihadist’s doctrine and the results of Al-Qa'ida’s insurgency efforts on the Arabian Peninsula.
This important work provides a primary source for students in the professional military education system who want to read a variety of military thinkers and develop insights into all warfighting philosophies, especially those emanating from non-Western sources. Academics, think tank analysts, and government officials in the United States and abroad will also find the work relevant to their own work on Al-Qa'ida and insurgency theory. With a foreword by Julian Lewis, MP, the Shadow Defence Minister for Great Britain.
The Vision of a Native Filmmaker
Drawing on an analysis of issues surrounding the consumption of alcohol in a diverse range of source materials, including novels, newspapers, medical texts, and archival records, this lively and engaging interdisciplinary study explores sociocultural nation-building processes in Mexico between 1810 and 1910. Examining the historical importance of drinking as both an important feature of Mexican social life and a persistent source of concern for Mexican intellectuals and politicians, Deborah Toner’s Alcohol and Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century Mexico offers surprising insights into how the nation was constructed and deconstructed in the nineteenth century.
Although Mexican intellectuals did indeed condemn the physically and morally debilitating aspects of excessive alcohol consumption and worried that particularly Mexican drinks and drinking places were preventing Mexico’s progress as a nation, they also identified more culturally valuable aspects of Mexican drinking cultures that ought to be celebrated as part of an “authentic” Mexican national culture. The intertwined literary and historical analysis in this study illustrates how wide-ranging the connections were between ideas about drinking, poverty, crime, insanity, citizenship, patriotism, gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity in the nineteenth century, and the book makes timely and important contributions to the fields of Latin American literature, alcohol studies, and the social and cultural history of nation-building.
The Life behind the Baseball Legend
Invincible King of Macedonia
Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.), who reigned as king of Macedonia for only thirteen years, set a flame of conquest that introduced the dynamism of Hellenism to the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian worlds. Re-creating their ossified cultures, he established a standard of leadership and military conquest that the most successful of Roman emperors, medieval knights, and steppe barbarians would never truly match. Julius Caesar wept that he could not surpass Alexander, while Napoleon could only dream of such invincibility. Alexander had the great fortune to be born the able son of Philip II, one of the most talented men of war and politics produced by the Hellenic world, who created for Alexander the foundation of the Macedonian state and army that would be the tools of his future greatness. AlexanderÆs invincibility was the product of his profound genius - the perfection of body, boundless energy, imagination, daring, intellect, and vision in one man. He was a master tactician, strategist, logistician, diplomat, and statesman, with an ability to win the affection and quick obedience of others. Even his enemies fell victim to his valor and charm. His personal attributes and accomplishments were so far removed from those of ordinary men that he achieved almost superhuman status within his lifetime. Above all, he was the preeminent man of war. Even today, as the noise of battle rattles Kandahar, a city in Afghanistan that Alexander named for himself, war clings to his name.