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The Abongo Abroad

Military-Sponsored Travel in Ghana, the United States, and the World, 1959-1992

John V. Clune

Blending African social history with US foreign relations, John V. Clune documents how ordinary people experienced a major aspect of Cold War diplomacy. The book describes how military-sponsored international travel, especially military training abroad and United Nations peacekeeping deployments in the Sinai and Lebanon, altered Ghanaian service members and their families during the three decades after independence in 1957. Military assistance to Ghana included sponsoring training and education in the United States, and American policymakers imagined that national modernization would result from the personal relationships Ghanaian service members and their families would forge. As an act of faith, American military assistance policy with Ghana remained remarkably consistent despite little evidence that military education and training in the United States produced any measurable results.

Merging newly discovered documents from Ghana's armed forces and declassified sources on American military assistance to Africa, this work argues that military-sponsored travel made individual Ghanaians' outlooks on the world more international, just as military assistance planners hoped they would, but the Ghanaian state struggled to turn that new identity into political or economic progress.

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Abortion Pills, Test Tube Babies, and Sex Toys

Emerging Sexual and Reproductive Technologies in the Middle East and North Africa

L. L. Wynn

From Viagra to in vitro fertilization, new technologies are rapidly changing the global face of reproductive health. They are far from neutral: religious, cultural, social, and legal contexts condition their global transfer. The way a society interprets and adopts (or rejects) a new technology reveals a great deal about the relationship between bodies and the body politic. Reproductive health technologies are often particularly controversial because of their potential to reconfigure kinship relationships, sexual mores, gender roles, and the way life is conceptualized. This collection of original ethnographic research spans the region from Morocco and Tunisia to Israel and Iran and covers a wide range of technologies, including emergency contraception, medication abortion, gamete donation, hymenoplasty, erectile dysfunction, and gender transformation.

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Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times

Bilingual Education and Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights

Lesley Bartlett and Ofelia Garcia

Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times documents the unusually successful efforts of one New York City high school to educate Dominican immigrant youth, at a time when Latino immigrants constitute a growing and vulnerable population in the nation’s secondary schools. Based on four and a half years of qualitative research, the book examines the schooling of teens in the Dominican Republic, the social and linguistic challenges the immigrant teens face in Washington Heights, and how Gregorio Luperón High School works with the community to respond to those challenges. The staff at Luperón see their students as emergent bilinguals and adhere to a culturally and linguistically additive approach. After offering a history of the school’s formation, the authors detail the ways in which federal No Child Left Behind policies, New York State accountability measures, and New York City’s educational reforms under Mayor Bloomberg have complicated the school’s efforts. The book then describes the dynamic bilingual pedagogical approach adopted within the school to help students develop academic Spanish and English. Focusing on the lives of twenty immigrant youth, Bartlett and García also show that, although the school achieves high completion rates, the graduating students nevertheless face difficult postsecondary educational and work environments that too often consign them to the ranks of the working poor.

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Aiding Students, Buying Students

Financial Aid in America

Rupert Wilkinson

From the first scholarship donated to Harvard in 1643 to today’s world of “enrollment management” and federal grants and loans, the author gives a lively social and economic history of the conflicting purposes of student aid and makes proposals for the future. His research for this book is based on archives and interviews at 131 public and private institutions across the United States. In the words of Joe Paul Case, Dean and Director of Financial Aid, Amherst College, “Wilkinson has mined the archives of dozens of institutions to create a mosaic that details the progress of student assistance from the 17th century to the present. He gives particular attention to the origins of need-based assistance, from the charitable benevolence of early colleges to the regulation-laden policies of the federal government. He gives due consideration to institutional motive—he challenges the egalitarian platitudes of affluent colleges and questions the countervailing market and economic forces that may imperil need-based aid at less competitive institutions. By drawing on scores of personal interviews and exchanges of correspondence with aid practitioners, Wilkinson fleshes out recent decades, helping the reader to understand new trends in the provision of aid.”

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Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Native Archive and the Circulation of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico

Amber Brian

Born between 1568 and 1580, Alva Ixtlilxochitl was a direct descendant of Ixtlilxochitl I and Ixtlilxochitl II, who had been rulers of Texcoco, one of the major city-states in pre-Conquest Mesoamerica. After a distinguished education and introduction into the life of the empire of New Spain in Mexico, Ixtlilxochitl was employed by the viceroy to write histories of the indigenous peoples in Mexico. Engaging with this history and delving deep into the resultant archives of this life's work, Amber Brian addresses the question of how knowledge and history came to be crafted in this era.

Brian takes the reader through not only the history of the archives itself, but explores how its inheritors played as crucial a role in shaping this indigenous history as the author. The archive helped inspire an emerging nationalism at a crucial juncture in Latin American history, as Creoles and indigenous peoples appropriated the history to give rise to a belief in Mexican exceptionalism. This belief, ultimately, shaped the modern state and impacted the course of history in the Americas. Without the work of Ixtlilxochitl, that history would look very different today.

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American Conservatism

Thinking It, Teaching It

Paul Lyons

This book offers a rare opportunity to read about how a scholar's teaching informs his research, in this case an examination of the nature of American conservatism. It is based on an interdisciplinary senior seminar Lyons taught in Spring 2006. His teaching log, including student comments from an electronic conferencing system, gives a vivid sense of the daily frustrations and triumphs. Lyons reflects on some of the most difficult issues in higher education today, such as how to handle racism and political passions in the classroom, as well as how a teacher presents his own political convictions.

Lyons begins with the premise that most universities have been negligent in helping undergraduates understand a movement that has shaped the political landscape for half a century. In addition, in a series of essays that frame the teaching log, he makes the case that conservatives have too often failed to adhere to basic, Burkean principles, and that the best of conservatism has often appeared as a form of liberalism from thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Reinhold Niebuhr, and George Kennan. The essays also cover the history of conservatism, conservative use of the city-on-a-hill metaphor, and an examination of how the promise of Camelot sophistication was subverted by a resurgence of right-wing populism.

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Andrew Jackson Donelson

Jacksonian and Unionist

R. Douglas Spence

This richly detailed biography of Andrew Jackson Donelson (1799-1871) sheds new light on the political and personal life of this nephew and namesake of Andrew Jackson. A scion of a pioneering Tennessee family, Donelson was a valued assistant and trusted confidant of the man who defined the Age of Jackson. One of those central but background figures of history, Donelson had a knack for being where important events were happening and knew many of the great figures of the age. As his uncle's secretary, he weathered Old Hickory's tumultuous presidency, including the notorious "Petticoat War."

Building his own political career, he served as US chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas, where he struggled against an enigmatic President Sam Houston, British and French intrigues, and the threat of war by Mexico, to achieve annexation. As minister to Prussia, Donelson enjoyed a ringside seat to the revolutions of 1848 and the first attempts at German unification. A firm Unionist in the mold of his uncle, Donelson denounced the secessionists at the Nashville Convention of 1850. He attempted as editor of the Washington Union to reunite the Democratic party, and, when he failed, he was nominated as Millard Fillmore's vice-presidential running mate on the Know Nothing party ticket in 1856. He lived to see the Civil War wreck the Union he loved, devastate his farms, and take the lives of two of his sons.

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Anonymous in Their Own Names

Doris E. Fleischman, Ruth Hale, and Jane Grant

Susan Henry

Anonymous in Their Own Names recounts the lives of three women who, while working as their husbands' uncredited professional partners, had a profound and enduring impact on the media in the first half of the twentieth century. With her husband, Edward L. Bernays, Doris E. Fleischman helped found and form the field of public relations. Ruth Hale helped her husband, Heywood Broun, become one of the most popular and influential newspaper columnists of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1925 Jane Grant and her husband, Harold Ross, started the New Yorker magazine.


Yet these women's achievements have been invisible to countless authors who have written about their husbands. This invisibility is especially ironic given that all three were feminists who kept their birth names when they married as a sign of their equality with their husbands, then battled the government and societal norms to retain their names. Hale and Grant so believed in this cause that in 1921 they founded the Lucy Stone League to help other women keep their names, and Grant and Fleischman revived the league in 1950. This was the same year Grant and her second husband, William Harris, founded White Flower Farm, pioneering at that time and today one of the country's most celebrated commercial nurseries.


Despite strikingly different personalities, the three women were friends and lived in overlapping, immensely stimulating New York City circles. Susan Henry explores their pivotal roles in their husbands' extraordinary success and much more, including their problematic marriages and their strategies for overcoming barriers that thwarted many of their contemporaries.

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Another Mother

Co-Parenting with the Foster Care System

Sarah Gerstenzang

One night after midnight social workers brought a baby girl to the author's home, and her life as a foster mother began. A social worker herself, Gerstenzang discovered that raising Cecilia, deespite all the personal joys, would be a complex and frustrating process of "co-parenting" with the foster care system in New York City. Foster parents are in great demand, but they are not necessarily treated well. We follow the author through the home visits, the Early Intervention evaluation, the WIC program that (with much bureaucratic hassle) provides free formula and cereal, and the mandatory parenting training sessions. She comments, "When Michael and I became foster parents, we learned how stigmatizing, demoralizing, and just plain inconvenient and time-consuming being part of the 'unentitled' population can be. With the exception of Early Intervention, we often felt that the programs were more concerned with regulating our behavior than with providing services."

Regular meetings with the birth family were also part of the process. Not only were they awkward for all concerned, but each visit involved a commute of several hours. One social worker admitted that she preferred a foster parent who didn't work because that person could more easily comply with the time-consuming regulations. Sarah and her husband Michael also agonize over complying with special regulations about hiring babysitters or traveling ("anytime we left New York State we needed to ask the agency's permission, which in turn had to get the signed consent from the birth mother").

Central to Another Mother is the issue of transracial placement. Sarah remembers, "That first day the contrast between my pale skin and Cecilia's brown skin seemed glaring. Not only did I feel that I had someone else's child, I felt that I had a child from another culture. Would I owe someone an explanation?" (Gerstenzang is recalling the 1972 opposition of the National Association of Black Social Workers.) Her account is full of anecdotes and reflections about race: acceptance and prejudice from others; the feelings of her two children about having a sibling of a different race; and culture keeping, beginning with skin and hair care.

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Anthropology at the Front Lines of Gender-Based Violence

Edited by Jennifer R. Wies and Hillary J. Haldane

Anthropology at the Front Lines of Gender-Based Violence is a broad and accessible volume, with a truly global approach to understanding the lives of front-line workers in women's shelters, anti-violence organizations, and outreach groups. Often written from a first-person perspective, these essays examine government workers, volunteers, and nongovernmental organization employees to present a vital picture of practical approaches to combating gender-based violence.

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