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Agenda for Change
The Obama administration inherits a daunting set of domestic and international policy challenges. It would be tempting to put Latin America and the Caribbean on the back burner, for their nations pose no imminent security threat nor do they seem at first blush critical to the most pressing problems of U.S. foreign policy. The Obama Administration and the Americas, however, argues that the new administration should focus early and strategically on Latin America.
Our neighbors to the south impact daily on the lives of U.S. citizens, on issues such as energy, narcotics, immigration, trade, and jobs. And these are the countries most likely to partner with Washington on the basis of shared values, culture, and interests. Recognized experts from Latin America, the United States, and Europe suggest in this timely volume that the United States should seize an early opportunity to engage Latin America, recognizing the region's diversity but also its shared concerns and aspirations.
The consolidation of stable democracies and rule of law in Latin America has long been an expressed goal of both parties in Washington, but the backlash from Iraq, the global financial crisis, and other recent experiences may discourage the use of U.S. influence and assistance to nurture democratic governance. The authors emphasize case-by-case, sophisticated, and multilateral approaches to dealing with such hard cases as Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign
Timely, multidisciplinary analysis of Obama’s presidential campaign, its context, and its impact. November 4, 2008 ushered in a historic moment: Illinois Senator Barack Obama was elected the forty-fourth President of the United States of America. In The Obama Effect, editors Heather E. Harris, Kimberly R. Moffitt, and Catherine R. Squires bring together works that place Barack Obama’s candidacy and victory in the context of the American experience with race and the media. Following Obama’s victory, optimists claimed that the campaign signaled the arrival of an era of postracism and postfeminism in the United States. This collection of essays, all presented at a national conference to discuss the meaning and impact of the nomination of the first presidential candidate of African descent, remind the reader that reaching a point in U.S. history where a biracial man could be deemed “electable” is part of a still-ongoing struggle. It resists the temptation to dismiss the uncertainty, hope, and fear that characterized the events and discourse of the two-year primary and general election cycle and brings together multidisciplinary approaches to assessing “the Obama effect” on public discourse and participation. This volume provides readers with a means for recalling and mapping out the enduring issues that erupted during the campaign—issues that will continue to shape how our society views itself and President Obama in the coming years.
Toward a Multiracial Democracy
Barack Obama's campaign and electoral victory demonstrated the dynamic nature of American democracy. Beginning as a special issue of The Black Scholar, this probing collection illustrates the impact of "the Obama phenomenon" on the future of U.S. race relations through readings on Barack Obama's campaign as well as the idealism and pragmatism of the Obama administration. Some of the foremost scholars of African American politics and culture from an array of disciplines--including political science, theology, economics, history, journalism, sociology, cultural studies, and law--offer critical analyses of topics as diverse as Obama and the media, Obama's connection with the hip hop community, the public's perception of first lady Michelle Obama, voter behavior, and the history of racial issues in presidential campaigns since the 1960s._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Josephine A. V. Allen, Robert L. Allen, Herb Boyd, Donald R. Deskins Jr., Cheryl I. Harris, Charles P. Henry, Dwight N. Hopkins, John L. Jackson, Maulana Karenga, Robin D. G. Kelley, Martin Kilson, Clarence Lusane, Julianne Malveaux, Shaun Ossei-Owusu, Dianne M. Pinderhughes, Sherman C. Puckett, Scharn Robinson, Ula Y. Taylor, Alice Walker, Hanes Walton Jr., and Ronald Williams II.
A Preliminary Assessment
Lively and engaging essays covering President Obama’s domestic and foreign policy, governing style, and character.
Cultural and Biocultural Perspectives
Is Public Assistance the Problem?
Obesity costs our society billions of dollars a year in lost productivity and medical expenses, roughly half of which the federal government pays through Medicare and Medicaid. We know obesity plagues the poor more than the non-poor and poor women more than poor men. Poor women make up the majority of adult welfare recipients—coincidence or causal connection? This book investigates the controversial claim by welfare critics that public assistance programs like Food Stamps and the National School Lunch programs contribute to obesity among the poor. The author synthesizes empirical evidence from an array of disciplines—anthropology, economics, epidemiology, medicine, nutrition science, marketing, psychology, public health, sociology, and urban planning--to test this claim and to test whether other causal processes are at work. With a lucid presentation that makes it a model for applying research to questions of social policy, the book lays out the different hypotheses and the possible causal pathways within each. The four central chapters test whether “public assistance causes obesity,” “obesity causes public assistance,” “poverty causes both public assistance and obesity,” and “Factor X causes both.” The factors in the last category that may relate to both public assistance and obesity include stress, disability, and physical abuse.
Stories Of Altered Lives
The surprising and unpredictable story of the personal and social after-effects of rapid and dramatic weight loss. Using in-depth, first person accounts of 33 men and women who underwent weight-loss surgery, this book elaborates on the complexities of finally getting what you wished for – the good, the bad, and the totally unexpected.
• Suddenly being treated well by previously dismissive strangers is embraced by some, yet it angers others who question a kindness reserved only for the non-obese.
• Attention from the opposite sex is both flattering and scary, as many have little experience dealing with such advances.
• Marriages and relationships are rocked for better and for worse, as jealousy, insecurity and shifting roles jolt previously stable dynamics.
• All the changes provoke a re-evaluation of who one is and what one values.
This is the story of how dramatic weight loss can result in personal growth, with all of its attendant joys and painful challenges. We live in a culture fascinated by physical make-overs, but no one talks about their psychological consequences. Losing a lot of weight is perhaps the most extreme make-over of all. It leaves people emotionally changed. These changes are the heart of our book. The fascinating narratives contain important lessons for individuals considering or having had the surgery and for those who try to help them. The material will be of personal significance to the lay-person but it is also a guide for health providers in the design of pre- and post-operative support interventions. At a more basic level, it is simply a story of how finally getting what you’ve always wished for can be much more complicated affair than you ever imagined.
Le sel offert au miel
We henceforth would open our eyes, as obscene dancers of moving kidneys, as songs burning with sexual aches, alarm bells in the stomach of emptiness, today constitute our revolution. For Ada Bessomo, Obili, a residential area in Yaounde, capital of Cameroon, is the epitome of bitterness itself. How does one, in such a context, reconcile self esteem, a recollection of better days and love for a country that flexes its muscles against your breath, almost as if to test your patience, to suffocate its very future?
<p class="red">What obituaries tell us about our culture, past and present
"Within the short period of a year she was a bride, a beloved wife and companion, a mother, a corpse," reported The National Intelligencer on the death of Elizabeth Buchanan in 1838.
Such obituaries fascinate us. Few of us realize that, when examined historically, they can reveal not only information about the departed but also much about American culture and about who and what we value. They also offer hints about the way Americans view death.
This book also will fascinate, for it surveys more than 8,000 newspaper obituaries from 1818 to 1930 to show what they reveal about our culture. It shows how, in memorializing individual citizens, obituaries make a public expression of our values. Far from being staid or morbid, these death notices offer a lively look at a changing America. Indeed, obits are little windows through which to view America's cultural history.
In the nineteenth century, they spoke of a person's character, in the twentieth of a person's work and wealth. In the days when women were valued mainly in their relationships with men, their obituaries were about the men in their lives. Then, as now, important friendships make a difference, for sometimes a death has been deemed newsworthy only because of whom the deceased knew.
In 1838 when a 50-year-old Virginian named William P. Custis died "after a long and wasting illness," readers of The Daily National Intelligencer learned about his generous hospitality, his sterling business principles, and his kindness as a neighbor and husband. Custis's obituary not only recorded the fact of his death but also celebrated his virtues.
The newspaper obituary has a commemorative role. It distills the essence of a citizen's life, and it reflects what society values and wants to remember about the deceased. Throughout our history, these published accounts have revealed changing values. They provide a link between public remembrances of individuals and the collective memory of a great American past. In obits of yesteryear men were brave, gallant, vigilant, bold, honest, and dutiful. Women were patient, resigned, obedient, affectionate, amiable, pious, gentle, virtuous, tender, and useful.
Mining newspapers of New York City, New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago, and San Francisco, along with two early national papers, Niles' Weekly Register and The National Intelligencer, Janice Hume has produced a portrait of America, an entertaining history, and a revealing look at the things Americans have valued.
Janice Hume is an assistant professor at the A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University.