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Objects of War

The Material Culture of Conflict and Displacement

edited by Leora Auslander and Tara Zahra

Historians have become increasingly interested in material culture as both a category of analysis and as a teaching tool. And yet the profession tends to be suspicious of things; words are its stock-in-trade. What new insights can historians gain about the past by thinking about things? A central object (and consequence) of modern warfare is the radical destruction and transformation of the material world. And yet we know little about the role of material culture in the history of war and forced displacement: objects carried in flight; objects stolen on battlefields; objects expropriated, reappropriated, and remembered.

Objects of War illuminates the ways in which people have used things to grapple with the social, cultural, and psychological upheavals wrought by war and forced displacement. Chapters consider theft and pillaging as strategies of conquest; soldiers' relationships with their weapons; and the use of clothing and domestic goods by prisoners of war, extermination camp inmates, freed people, and refugees to make claims and to create a kind of normalcy.

While studies of migration and material culture have proliferated in recent years, as have histories of the Napoleonic, colonial, World Wars, and postcolonial wars, few have focused on the movement of people and things in times of war across two centuries. This focus, in combination with a broad temporal canvas, serves historians and others well as they seek to push beyond the written word.

Contributors:
Noah Benninga, Sandra H. Dudley, Bonnie Effros, Cathleen M. Giustino, Alice Goff, Gerdien Jonker, Aubrey Pomerance, Iris Rachamimov, Brandon M. Schechter, Jeffrey Wallen, and Sarah Jones Weicksel

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The Obligation of Empire

United States' Grand Strategy for a New Century

edited by James J. Hentz

Some of the nation's most respected scholars of international affairs examine the debates over U.S. grand strategy in light of U.S. security policies and interests in tactical regions around the world. The contributors begin by describing the four grand strategies currently competing for dominance of U.S. foreign policy: neo-isolationism argues that the United States should not become involved in conflicts outside specifically defined national interests selective engagement proposes that the United States, despite its position as the world's only remaining superpower, should limit its involvement in foreign affairs cooperative security advocates that the United States is not and should not act as an imperial country primacy asserts that the United States is an empire and therefore it should conduct an expansive foreign policy. Focusing on regions that present new challenges to U.S. grand strategy, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, the contributors offer the most current examinations of U.S. policies and assess the effectiveness of competing strategies in each region. The Obligation of Empire offers an innovative set of foreign policy initiatives that explore the tensions between global agendas and regionalist approaches.

Contributors: Andrew J. Bacevich, Doug Bandow, Dale Davis, Thomas Donnelly, James J. Hentz, Clifford Kiracofe, Charles Kupchan, Jeffrey Stark, S. Frederick Starr, and Brantley Womack. James J. Hentz, associate professor of international studies at the Virginia Military Institute, is the coeditor of New and Critical Security and Regionalism: Beyond the Nation State.

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Obligations in Roman Law

Past, Present, and Future

Edited by Thomas A. J. McGinn

Long a major element of classical studies, the examination of the laws of the ancient Romans has gained momentum in recent years as interdisciplinary work in legal studies has spread. Two resulting issues have arisen, on one hand concerning Roman laws a

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Obliged to Help

Adolphine Fletcher Terry and the Progressive South

Author Stephanie Bayless examines why this Southern aristocratic matron, the daughter of a Confederate soldier, tirelessly devoted herself to improving the lives of others and, in so doing, became a model for activism across the South. It is the first work of its kind to consider Terry's lifelong commitment to social causes and is written for both traditional scholars and all those interested in history, civil rights, and the ability of women to create change within the gender limits of the time. Adolphine Fletcher Terry died in Little Rock, Arkansas, in July of 1976, at the age of ninety-three. Her life was a monument to progress in the South, particularly in her native state of Arkansas, a place she once described as "holy ground."

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Obliterations

written by Jessica Piazza

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Oblivio Gate

Sean Nevin

 

Suffused with lyrical grace and the language of loss, Sean Nevin's Oblivio Gate explores the mental and emotional struggles of Solomon, a veteran battling the onslaught of Alzheimer's disease. Set against Solomon's memories of the Korean War, Nevin's poems draw us into an intimate view of a man's confusion as everything he knows slowly unravels around him, leaving him abandoned in the suddenly unfamiliar landscape of his own mind. Readers experience first- hand Solomon's dismay as he watches himself inexorably slip away from reality, fighting to hold on to the shreds of his identity. Intertwined with his perspective are the voices of loved ones and caregivers who can only watch helplessly as Solomon is ravaged by the illness. Also central to the collection are the figures of Aurora and Tithonus, the famously doomed couple of mythology whose own happiness was destroyed by the inevitability of age and the betrayal of the body. But if this evocative portrait of Alzheimer's disease is tragic, it is also at moments inspiring.

Oblivio Gate reveals not only what is lost, but also what is found, what is pure, and even what is funny in our fleeting lives. Ultimately, Sean Nevin crafts an unforgettable collection of contemporary poetry that yields heartbreaking insight into memory, the mind, and an affliction that has left millions lost and looking for themselves.

 

 

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Oblomov and his Creator

Milton Ehre

Goncharov's novels have been popular in Russia since their publication, and Oblomov, the central character of his most famous novel, has become the prototype of a fat and lazy man. Milton Ehre offers new interpretations of the complex personality of Goncharov and shows how in many ways Oblomov was a self-portrait of his creator. The introductory chapter neither idealizes Goncharov nor glosses over his weaknesses but shows a sensitive understanding of this major nineteenth-century Russian writer.

The author goes beyond the standard critical clichés about Goncharov to a contemporary reading of his entire artistic production. Proceeding from the assumption that meanings in art are intimately related to forms, he discusses Goncharov's works with close attention to style, structure, and distinctions of genre, to arrive at an understanding of Goncharov's themes and his view of experience. Milton Ehre's extensive knowledge of the Russian literature on Goncharov and his own literary sensitivity combine to provide a new understanding of Goncharov and his novels.

Originally published in 1974.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Obscenity and the Limits of Liberalism

Edited by Loren Glass and Charles Francis Williams

Over the course of the nineteenth century in both Europe and the United States, the state usurped the traditional authority of the church in regulating sexual expression and behavior. In the same century philosophers of classical liberalism identified that state function as a threat to individual liberty. Since then, liberalism has provided the framework for debates over obscenity around the globe. But liberalism has recently been under siege, on the one side from postmodern thinkers skeptical about its andro- and ethnocentric assumptions, and on the other side from religious thinkers doubtful of the moral integrity of the Enlightenment project writ large.The principal challenge for those who conduct academic work in this realm is to formulate new models of research and analysis appropriate to understanding and evaluating speech in the present-day public sphere. Toward those ends, Obscenity and the Limits of Liberalism contains a selection of essays and interventions by prominent authors and artists in a variety of disciplines and media. These writings, taken as a whole, put recent developments into historical and global contexts and chart possible futures for a debate that promises to persist well into the new millennium.

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Obscenity Rules

Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle over Sexual Expression

By Whitney Strub

For some, he was “America’s leading smut king,” hauled into court repeatedly over thirty years for peddling obscene publications through the mail. But when Samuel Roth appealed a 1956 conviction, he forced the Supreme Court to finally come to grips with a problem that had plagued both American society and constitutional law for longer than he had been in business. For while the facts of Roth v. United States were unexceptional, its constitutional issues would define the relationship of obscenity to the First Amendment.

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The Observable Characteristics of Organisms

Stories

In Ryan MacDonald’s stories, most no more than a page in length, we are given glimpses of a father and daughter at the zoo; an isolated man lamenting the absence of TV in his life; two young men atop a fridge at a party, drinking wine. These are stories of marriage and family, of the oddities of the natural world, of college parties, of web-cams and media obsession.
 
As MacDonald says, “I think what I’m after in the stories as well as in the video work is finding an experiential moment, nothing really stable, something pleasantly unstable, or uncomfortable . . . purposefully pleasant uncomfortable instability with moments of tenderness and definitely humor. Certainly nothing concrete, unless it needs that. A certain fear of and respect for banality. I’m after a good time, which can often turn into a really bad time, but either way, one we’ll remember forever.”
 
Despite the range of circumstances they reveal, these stories are unified by a brightness of vision, deft observation, and consistently sharp, funny, and unbridled language.

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