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Vanderbilt University Press

Website: http://www.vanderbiltuniversitypress.com/

Established in 1940, Vanderbilt University Press is the principal publishing arm of one of the nation's leading research universities. The Press's primary mission is to select, produce, market, and disseminate scholarly publications of outstanding quality and originality. In conjunction with the long-term development of its editorial program, the Press draws on and supports the intellectual activities of the University and its faculty. Although its main emphasis falls in the area of scholarly publishing, the Press also publishes books of substance and significance that are of interest to the general public, including regional books. In this regard, the Press also supports Vanderbilt's service and outreach to the larger local and national community.


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Vanderbilt University Press

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Excellence for All Cover

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Excellence for All

How a New Breed of Reformers Is Transforming America's Public Schools

Jack Schneider

By the early twenty-first century, a startling consensus had emerged about the overall aim of American school reform. In an era of political discord, and in a field historically known for contentiousness, the notion of promoting educational excellence for all students was a distinct point of bipartisan agreement. Shaped by a corps of entrepreneurial reformers intent on finding “what works” and taking it to scale, this hybrid vision won over the nation’s most ambitious and well-resourced policy leaders at foundations and nonprofits, in state and federal government, and in urban school districts from coast to coast. “Excellence for all” might, at first glance, appear to be nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. Who, after all, would oppose the idea of a great education for every student? Yet it is hardly a throwaway phrase. Rather, it represents a surprising fusion of educational policy approaches that had been in tense opposition throughout the twentieth century—those on the right favoring social efficiency, and those on the left supporting social justice. This book seeks to understand why the “excellence for all” vision took hold at the time it did, unpacks the particular beliefs and assumptions embedded in it, and details the often informal coalition building that produced this period of consensus. Examining the nation’s largest urban school districts (Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York), the author details three major reform efforts in chapters titled “The Right Space: The Small Schools Movement”; “The Right Teachers: Teach for America”; and “The Right Curriculum: Expanding Advanced Placement.”

Exile and Cultural Hegemony Cover

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Exile and Cultural Hegemony

Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939-1975

Sebastiaan Faber

After Francisco Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War, a great many of the country's intellectuals went into exile in Mexico. During the three and a half decades of Francoist dictatorship, these exiles held that the Republic, not Francoism, represented the authentic culture of Spain. In this environment, as Sebastiaan Faber argues in Exile and Cultural Hegemony, the Spaniards' conception of their role as intellectuals changed markedly over time. The first study of its kind to place the exiles' ideological evolution in a broad historical context, Exile and Cultural Hegemony takes into account developments in both Spanish and Mexican politics from the early 1930s through the 1970s. Faber pays particular attention to the intellectuals' persistent nationalism and misplaced illusions of pan-Hispanist grandeur, which included awkward and ironic overlaps with the rhetoric employed by their enemies on the Francoist right. This embrace of nationalism, together with the intellectuals' dependence on the increasingly authoritarian Mexican regime and the international climate of the Cold War, eventually caused them to abandon the Gramscian ideal of the intellectual as political activist in favor of a more liberal, apolitical stance preferred by, among others, the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. With its comprehensive approach to topics integral to Spanish culture, both students of and those with a general interest in twentieth-century Spanish literature, history, or culture will find Exile and Cultural Hegemonya fascinating and groundbreaking work.

Families at Work Cover

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Families at Work

Expanding the Bounds

Edited by Naomi Gerstel, Dan Clawson, and Robert Zussman

“Based heavily on ethnographic research, many of the chapters provide vivid portrayals of the lived experience of workers in . . . different contexts. On their own, many are exceptionally compelling narratives. As a whole, the collection is of a consistently high standard and relevance to the book’s objects, both of which are unusual in edited volumes of this kind. . . .For those jaded from having to read too many dense but dull reference books, the liveliness of the contributions in this collection will come as a welcome relief.” --Labour & Industry What is the relationship between work and family in a world where employment creates endless tensions for families and families create endless tensions for the workplace? This collection of reprinted and original articles broadens this discussion by addressing issues from the perspectives of often neglected populations: from white middle-class women with young children to people of color, to poor families, to the new sorts of families gays and lesbians are struggling to construct, to fathers, to older children. To discuss work and family is also to discuss gender. Ranging from California's Silicon Valley to a remote fishing village in the northeast, part one shows how new work arrangements have created new expectations for what it means to be a woman or a man, and how slow and uneven the pace of change can be. Nowhere are the tensions of work and family more potent than around childcare. Part two takes up these tensions, showing how various "solutions" to caring for children of all ages (whether infants or teenagers) create new problems. Parts three and four turn outward to show how the new relationships between families and work are changing the relationships between families and the communities in which they live and generating new social policy dilemmas.

Family Secrets Cover

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Family Secrets

Risking Reproduction in Central Mozambique

Rachel R. Chapman

Behind a thatched hut, a birthing woman bleeds to death only minutes from "life-saving" maternity care. Chapman begins with the deceptively simple question, "Why don’t women in Mozambique use existing prenatal and maternity services?" then widens her analysis to include a whole universe of cultural, political, and economic forces. Fusing cultural anthropology with political economy, Chapman vividly demonstrates how neoliberalism and the increasing importance of the market have led to changing sexual and reproductive strategies for women. Pregnant herself during her research, Chapman interviewed 83 women during pregnancy and postpartum. She discovered that the social relations surrounding traditional Shona practices, Christian faith healing, and Western biomedical treatments are as important to women’s choices as the efficacy of the therapies.

Fateful Shapes of Human Freedom Cover

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Fateful Shapes of Human Freedom

John William Miller and the Crises of Modernity

Vincent Colapietro

Colapietro writes a new and important chapter in American thought by recovering Miller's neglected insights into the interplay between fate and freedom in human history. We are met with the paradox that the forms in which freedom expresses itself, while subject to fate, are not overcome by it, but remain genuine fruits of human purpose. Miller emerges as a worthy follower of Royce and Hocking."--John E. Smith, Yale University "Colapietro argues that Miller successfully overcomes the dilemmas of recent historicism, but especially of nihilism and dogmatism. 'Learned' in the best sense of the word, he finds that Miller's ignored work is topical and important, and allows an engagement with, for example, not only Heidegger and Sartre, but with Foucault and Derrida. The comparisons are always provocative. Highly recommended."--Peter Manicas, University of Hawaii "This is an important book. John William Miller's ideas are profoundly relevant to understanding and dealing with a range of contemporary problems--whether they relate to the nature of historical understanding, to the conduct of life, or to the history of philosophy itself--and deserve the systematic presentation and interpretation that Colapietro offers here."--Robert H. Elias, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University John William Miller's radical revision of the idealistic tradition anticipated some of the most important developments in contemporary thought, developments often associated with thinkers like Heidegger, Benjamin, Foucault, Derrida, and Rorty. In this study, Vincent Colapietro situates Miller's powerful but neglected corpus not only in reference to Continental European philosophy but also to paradigmatic figures in American culture like Lincoln, Emerson, Thoreau, and James. The book is not simply a study of a particular philosopher or a single philosophical movement (American idealism). It is rather a philosophical confrontation with a cluster of issues in contemporary life. These issues revolve around such topics as the grounds and nature of authority, the scope and forms of agency, and the fateful significance of historical place. These issues become especially acute given Colapietro's insistence that the only warrant for our practices is to be found in these historically evolved and evolving practices themselves.

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Fatherhood Arrested

Parenting from Within the Juvenile Justice System

Anne M. Nurse

Crime and young fatherhood have generally been viewed as separate social problems. Increasingly, researchers are finding that these problems are closely related and highly concentrated in low-income communities. Fatherhood Arrested is an in-depth study of these issues and the difficulties of parenting while in prison and on parole.  By taking us inside the prison system, Nurse shows how its structure actively shapes an inmate's relationship with his children. For example, visitation is sometimes restricted to blood relatives and wives. Because relationships between unmarried men and the mothers of their children are often strained, some mothers are unwilling to allow their children to go to the prison with the inmate's family. Or the father may be allowed to receive visits from only one "girlfriend," which forces a man with multiple relationships, or with children by different women, to make impossible choices. Special attention is paid to the gendered nature of prison, its patriarchal and punitive structure, and its high-stress environment. The book then follows newly paroled men as they are released and return to their children.  The author spent four years doing research at the California Youth Authority, during which time she surveyed 258 paroled fathers. The group included young white, black, and Latino men, ages sixteen to twenty-five. She conducted in-depth interviews with men selected from this group, participated in forty parenting class sessions, and observed visiting hours at three different institutions. The data provide fascinating information about the characteristics of the men, their attitudes toward fatherhood, and the ways they are involved with their children. The diversity of the fathers allows for an analysis of racial and ethnic variation in their attitudes and involvement. The study concludes with a series of policy suggestions, especially important in light of the large number of fathers now living under the care and control of the juvenile justice system. "Fatherhood Arrested provides a timely, thoughtful analysis of a pressing social problem-how the justice system thwarts the relationship between young fathers and their children. Nurse's study illuminates the mechanisms by which models of individual account-ability work in contradictory ways with regard to parental responsibility and criminal justice to damage familial bonds, and proposes concrete, rational suggestions for social change. Her careful integration of survey and qualitative research provides a model for blending methodologies. The result is a well-written, engaging work that offers a compelling picture of the human side of incarcerated young men. This book deserves a wide readership." --Jody Miller, author of One of the Guys: Girls, Gangs, and Gender

The Federalist Society Cover

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The Federalist Society

How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals

Michael Avery

Over the last thirty years, the Federal Society for Law and Public Policy Studies has grown from a small group of disaffected conservative law students into an organization with extraordinary influence over American law and politics. Although the organization is unknown to the average citizen, this group of intellectuals has managed to monopolize the selection of federal judges, take over the Department of Justice, and control legal policy in the White House.

Today the Society claims that 45,000 conservative lawyers and law students are involved in its activities. Four Supreme Court Justices--Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito--are current or former members. Every single federal judge appointed in the two Bush presidencies was either a Society member or approved by members. During the Bush years, young Federalist Society lawyers dominated the legal staffs of the Justice Department and other important government agencies.

The Society has lawyer chapters in every major city in the United States and student chapters in every accredited law school. Its membership includes economic conservatives, social conservatives, Christian conservatives, and libertarians, who differ with each other on significant issues, but who cooperate in advancing a broad conservative agenda.

How did this happen? How did this group of conservatives succeed in moving their theories into the mainstream of legal thought?

What is the range of positions of those associated with the Federalist Society in areas of legal and political controversy? The authors survey these stances in separate chapters on

regulation of business and private property;
race and gender discrimination and affirmative action;
personal sexual autonomy, including abortion and gay rights; and
American exceptionalism and international law.

Felon for Peace Cover

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Felon for Peace

The Memoir of a Vietnam-Era Draft Resister

Jerry Elmer

When Jerry Elmer turned eighteen at the height of the Vietnam War, he publicly refused to register for the draft, a felony then and now. Later he burglarized the offices of fourteen draft boards in three cities, destroying the files of men eligible to be drafted. After working almost twenty years in the peace movement, he attended law school, where he was the only convicted felon in Harvard’s class of 1990. This book is a blend of personal memoir, contemporary history, and astute political analysis. Elmer draws on a variety of sources, including never-before-released FBI files, and argues passionately for the practice of nonviolence. He describes the range of actions he took—from draft card burning to organizing draft board raids with Father Phil Berrigan; from vigils on the Capitol steps inside “tiger cages” used to torture Vietnamese political prisoners to jail time for protesting nuclear power plants; from a tour of the killing fields of Cambodia to meetings with Corazon Aquino in the Philippines. A Vietnamese-language edition of FELON FOR PEACE will be published later this year.

Fighting for Their Lives Cover

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Fighting for Their Lives

Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys

Susannah Sheffer

How do attorneys who represent clients facing the death penalty cope with the stress and trauma of their work? Through conversations with twenty of the most experienced and dedicated post-conviction capital defenders in the United States, Fighting for Their Lives explores this emotional territory for the first time. What it is like for these capital defenders in their last visits or phone calls with clients who are about to be taken to the execution chamber? Or the next mornings, in their lives with their families, in their dreams and flashbacks and moments alone in the car? What is it like to do this work year after year? (These attorneys had, on average, spent nineteen years doing capital defense.)


Through vivid interviews amplified by the author's responses and commentary, these attorneys reveal aspects of their internal experience that they have never talked about until now. How do capital defenders manage the weight of the responsibility they carry? To what extent do they experience symptoms of trauma in the aftermath of losing a client to execution or as a result of the cumulative effects of engaging in capital defense work? What motivates them, and what do they draw upon, in order to keep engaging in such emotionally demanding work? Have they considered practicing other types of law? What can we learn from capital defenders not only about the deep and long-term effects of the death penalty but also about broader human questions of hope, effectiveness, success, failure, strength, fragility, and perseverance?

First Do No Harm Cover

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First Do No Harm

Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia

David N. Gibbs

In First Do No Harm, David Gibbs raises basic questions about the humanitarian interventions that have played a key role in U.S. foreign policy for the past twenty years. Using a wide range of sources, including government documents, transcripts of international war crimes trials, and memoirs, Gibbs shows how these interventions often heightened violence and increased human suffering. The book focuses on the 1991—99 breakup of Yugoslavia, which helped forge the idea that the United States and its allies could stage humanitarian interventions that would end ethnic strife. It is widely believed that NATO bombing campaigns in Bosnia and Kosovo played a vital role in stopping Serb-directed aggression, and thus resolving the conflict. Gibbs challenges this view, offering an extended critique of Samantha Power’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide. He shows that intervention contributed to the initial breakup of Yugoslavia, and then helped spread the violence and destruction. Gibbs also explains how the motives for U.S. intervention were rooted in its struggle for continued hegemony in Europe. First Do No Harm argues for a new, noninterventionist model for U.S. foreign policy, one that deploys nonmilitary methods for addressing ethnic violence.

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