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Southern White Women in the Memphis Civil Rights Movement
"You must be from the North," was a common, derogatory reaction to the activities of white women throughout the South, well-meaning wives and mothers who joined together to improve schools or local sanitation but found their efforts decried as more troublesome civil rights agitation. You Must Be from the North: Southern White Women in the Memphis Civil Rights Movement focuses on a generation of white women in Memphis, Tennessee, born between the two World Wars and typically omitted from the history of the civil rights movement. The women for the most part did not jeopardize their lives by participating alongside black activists in sit-ins and freedom rides. Instead, they began their journey into civil rights activism as a result of their commitment to traditional female roles through such organizations as the Junior League. What originated as a way to do charitable work, however, evolved into more substantive political action.While involvement with groups devoted to feeding schoolchildren and expanding Bible study sessions seemed benign, these white women's growing awareness of racial disparities in Memphis and elsewhere caused them to question the South's hierarchies in ways many of their peers did not. Ultimately, they found themselves challenging segregation more directly, found themselves ostracized as a result, and discovered they were often distrusted by a justifiably suspicious black community. Their newly discovered commitment to civil rights contributed to the success of the city's sanitation workers' strike of 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death during the strike resonated so deeply that for many of these women it became a defining moment. In the long term, these women proved to be a persistent and progressive influence upon the attitudes of the white population of Memphis, and particularly on the city's elite.
Poetry, Philosophy, and the Birth of Sense
Some poems can change our lives; they lead us to look at the world through new eyes. In this book, inspired by Martin Heidegger--who found in poetry the most fundamental insights into the human condition--John Lysaker develops a concept of ur-poetry to explore philosophically how poetic language creates fresh meaning in our world and transforms the way in which we choose to live in it. Not limited to a single poem or collection of poems, ur-poetry arises when, in the interaction of an author's principal tropes, the origin of poetry is exposed as a process whereby words with inherited meaning take on a new poetic life that draws our attention to the "birth of sense"--the manner in which the manifold realities that surround us are revealed. And it is precisely through an experience of the birth of sense that we are able to understand and dwell differently among these realities. To demonstrate ur-poetry in action, the book frequently refers to such poets as Akhmatova, Ammons, Celan, Mandelstam, and Stevens, but it focuses on the work of Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Simic. By addressing the nature of human existence, the origins of sense, and the signi¹cance of history in and for human action, Lysaker argues that Simic's writing exempli¹es the import that poetry can have for how we understand and live our lives.
Holocaust Memory in American Passover Ritual
Passover is among the most widely observed holidays for American Jews. During this festival of redemption, Jewish families retell the biblical story of Exodus using a ritual book known as a haggadah, often weaving modern tales of oppression through the biblical narrative. References to the Holocaust are some of the most common additions to contemporary haggadot. However, the parallel between ancient and modern oppression, which seems obvious to some, raises troubling questions for many others. Is it possible to find any redemptive meaning in the Nazi genocide? Are we adding value to this unforgivable moment in history?
Liora Gubkin critiques commemorations that violate memory by erasing the value of everyday life that was lost and collapse the diversity of responses both during the Shoah and afterward. She recounts oral testimonies from Holocaust survivors, cites references to the holiday in popular American culture, and analyzes examples of actual haggadot. Ultimately, Gubkin concludes that it is possible and important to make a space for Holocaust commemoration, all the time recognizing that haggadot must be constantly revisited and “performed.”
Jewish Identity in Postmodern American Culture
The past few decades have seen a remarkable surge in Jewish influences on American culture. Entertainers and artists such as Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Allegra Goodman, and Tony Kushner have heralded new waves of television, film, literature, and theater; a major klezmer revival is under way; bagels are now as commonplace as pizza; and kabbalah has become as cool as crystals. Does this broad range of cultural expression accurately reflect what it means to be Jewish in America today?
Bringing together fourteen new essays by leading scholars, You Should See Yourself examines the fluctuating representations of Jewishness in a variety of areas of popular culture and high art, including literature, the media, film, theater, music, dance, painting, photography, and comedy. Contributors explore the evolution that has taken place within these cultural forms and how we can best explain these changes. Are variations in our understanding of Jewishness the result of general phenomena such as multiculturalism, politics, and postmodernism, or are they the product of more specifically Jewish concerns such as the intermarriage/continuity crisis, religious renewal, and relations between the United States and Israel?
Accessible to students and general readers alike, this volume takes an important step toward advancing the discussion of Jewish cultural influences in this country.
American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric
New in paperback As we ask anew in these troubled times what it means to be an American, You, the People provides perspective by casting its eye over the answers given by past U.S. presidents in their addresses to the public. Who is an American, and who is not? And yet, as Vanessa Beasley demonstrates in this eloquent exploration of a century of presidential speeches, the questions are not new. Since the Founders first identified the nation as “we, the people,” the faces and accents of U.S. citizens have changed dramatically due to immigration and other constitutive changes. U.S. presidents have often spoken as if there were one monolithic American people. Here Beasley traces rhetorical constructions of American national identity in presidents’ inaugural addresses and state of the union messages from 1885 through 2000. She argues convincingly that while the demographics of the voting citizenry changed rapidly during this period, presidential definitions of American national identity did not. Chief executives have consistently employed a rhetoric of American nationalism that is simultaneously inclusive and exclusive; Beasley examines both the genius and the limitations of this language.
Land, Labor, and the Republican Community
The National Reform Association (NRA) was an antebellum land reform movement inspired by the shared dream of a future shaped by egalitarian homesteads. Mark A. Lause's Young America argues that it was these working people's interest in equitable access to the country's most obvious asset--land--that led them to advocate a federal homestead act granting land to the landless, state legislation to prohibit the foreclosure of family farms, and antimonopolistic limitations on land ownership._x000B_Rooting the movement in contemporary economic structures and social ideology, Young America examines this urban and working-class "agrarianism," demonstrating how the political preoccupations of this movement transformed socialism by drawing its adherents from communitarian preoccupations into political action. The alliance of the NRA's land reformers and radical abolitionists led unprecedented numbers to petition Congress and established the foundations of what became the new Republican Party, promising "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men." _x000B__x000B_
With more than half its population under twenty years old, Iran is one of the world's most youthful nations. The Iranian state characterizes its youth population in two ways: as a homogeneous mass, "an army of twenty millions" devoted to the Revolution, and as alienated, inauthentic, Westernized consumers who constitute a threat to the society. Much of the focus of the Islamic regime has been on ways to protect Iranian young people from moral hazards and to prevent them from providing a gateway for cultural invasion from the West. Iranian authorities express their anxieties through campaigns that target the young generation and its lifestyle and have led to the criminalization of many of the behaviors that make up youth culture.
In this ethnography of contemporary youth culture in Iran's capital, Shahram Khosravi examines how young Tehranis struggle for identity in the battle over the right to self-expression. Khosravi looks closely at the strictures confronting Iranian youth and the ways transnational cultural influences penetrate and flourish. Focusing on gathering places such as shopping centers and coffee shops, Khosravi examines the practices of everyday life through which young Tehranis demonstrate defiance against the official culture and parental dominance. In addition to being sites of opposition, Khosravi argues, these alternative spaces serve as creative centers for expression and, above all, imagination. His analysis reveals the transformative power these spaces have and how they enable young Iranians to develop their own culture as well as individual and generational identities. The text is enriched by examples from literature and cinema and by livid reports from the author's fieldwork.
On January 2, 1932, near Springfield, Missouri, ten poorly armed law enforcement officers set out to arrest two local farm boys for auto theft. A few minutes later, six of the officers lay dead and three were wounded, setting a record that stands to this day for the greatest number of police officers killed in one incident in the history of the United States. This is the story of how it happened and of the unlikely people whose lives were forever changed.
The two killers, Jennings and Harry Young, were from a peaceful, tiny community named Brookline in central Greene County, Missouri. The "massacre" itself took place at the quiet orderly farm home of the J. D. Young family. Paul and Mary Barrett trace the personalities of those involved in the incident, describe the events of the fateful day, and examine the aftermath of the killings, detailing what was called "the greatest man hunt in the history of Texas," which culminated in the brothers' deaths in Houston.
Diary of Claude August Crommelin
Not long after the end of the American Civil War, a wealthy young Dutchman by the name of Claude August Crommelin embarked on a tour of the young country, visiting New England, the Middle Atlantic States, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the war-ravaged South. His family connections allowed him to meet important people, and his interests in industry, politics, and public institutions led him to observe what others might not have noticed. His meticulously kept journal reveals an inquisitive traveler with a keen eye for detail and a genial writing style. Available in English for the first time, Crommelin's book provides an illuminating outsider's account of the United States at a pivotal point in its history.
Rumor of the Hidden King
"... a major contribution to Heidegger scholarship..." -- Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences
"Van Buren's portrayal of these formative years is striking and vital to all future Heidegger scholarship." -- Christian Century
"Van Buren presents a clear and cogent argument for the theory that Martin Heidegger's mature thought, epitomized in Being and Time, actually was a return to his youthful theory and concerns.... Van Buren's ability to present a rounded discussion while using Heidegger's own technical vocabulary is highly commendable." -- Library Journal
"... here at last is a work on the philosopher that is of fundamental philosophical-historical import. Van Buren's book is both interesting and well written... " -- Choice
"... a readable, interesting, and first-rate book." -- John D. Caputo
A startling new reading of Martin Heidegger's early thought leading up to Being and Time (1927) and its subsequent development in his later writings.