Canada and the United States
Claudrena Harold, The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918-1942. London: Routledge, 2007. ISBN: 9780415956192. List Price: £60.00.
The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South provides the first detailed examination of the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s rise, maturation, and eventual decline in the urban South between 1918 and 1942. It examines the ways in which Southern black workers fused locally-based traditions, ideologies, and strategies of resistance with the Pan-African agenda of the UNIA to create a dynamic and multifaceted movement. A testament to the multidimensionality of black political subjectivity, Southern Garveyites fashioned a politics reflective of their international, regional, and local attachments. Moving beyond the usual focus on New York and the charismatic personality of Marcus Garvey, this book situates black workers at the center of its analysis and aims to provide a much-needed grassroots perspective on the Garvey movement. More than simply providing a regional history of one of the most important Pan-African movements of the twentieth century, the Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South demonstrates the ways in which racial, class, and spatial dynamics resulted in complex, and at times, competing articulations of black nationalism.
Edward J. Blum, Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865-1898. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007. ISBN: 0807132489. List Price: $18.95 (Paper)
During Reconstruction, former abolitionists in the North had a golden opportunity to pursue true racial justice and permanent reform in America. But why, after the sacrifice made by thousands of Civil War patriots to arrive at this juncture, did the moment slip away, leaving many whites throughout the North and South more racist than before? Edward J. Blum takes a fresh look at this question in Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865-1898, where he focuses on the vital role that religion played in reunifying northern and southern whites into a racially segregated society. He tells the fascinating story of how northern Protestantism, once the catalyst for racial egalitarianism, promoted the image of a "white republic" that conflated whiteness, godliness, and nationalism. A blend of history and social science, Reforging the White Republic offers a surprising perspective on the forces of religion as well as nationalism and imperialism at a critical point in American history
Mary G. Rolinson, Grassroots Garveyism: The Universal Negro Improvement Association in the Rural South, 1920-1927. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780807830925. List Price: $59.95 (Cloth). ISBN: 9780807857953. List Price: $22.50 (Paper)
The black separatist movement led by Marcus Garvey has long been viewed as a phenomenon of African American organization in the urban North. But as Mary Rolinson demonstrates, the largest number of Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) divisions and Garvey’s most devoted and loyal followers were found in the southern Black Belt. Tracing the path of organizers from northern cities to Virginia, and then from the Upper to the Deep South, Rolinson remaps the movement to include this vital but overlooked region.
Rolinson shows how Garvey’s southern constituency sprang from cities, countryside churches, and sharecropper cabins. Southern Garveyites adopted pertinent elements of the movement's ideology and developed strategies for community self-defense and self-determination. These southern African Americans maintained a spiritual attachment to their African identities and developed a fiercely racial nationalism, building on the rhetoric and experiences of black organizers from the nineteenth-century South. Garveyism provided a common bond during the upheaval of the Great Migration, Rolinson contends, and even after the UNIA had all but disappeared in the South in the 1930s, the movement's tenets of race organization, unity, and pride continued to flourish in other forms of black protest for generations.
Anne Sarah Rubin, A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861-1868. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780807829288. List Price: $34.95 (Cloth). ISBN: 9780807855928. List Price: $19.95 (Paper)
Historians often assert that Confederate nationalism had its origins in pre-Civil War sectional conflict with the North, reached its apex at the start of the war, and then dropped off quickly after the end of hostilities. Anne Sarah Rubin argues instead that white Southerners did not actually begin to formulate a national identity until it became evident that the Confederacy was destined to fight a lengthy war against the Union. She also demonstrates that an attachment to a symbolic or sentimental Confederacy existed independent of the political Confederacy and was therefore able to persist well after the collapse of the Confederate state. White Southerners redefined symbols and figures of the failed state as emotional touchstones and political rallying points in the struggle to retain local (and racial) control, even as former Confederates took the loyalty oath and applied for pardons in droves.
Exploring the creation, maintenance, and transformation of Confederate identity during the tumultuous years of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Rubin sheds new light on the ways in which Confederates felt connected to their national creation and provides a provocative example of what happens when a nation disintegrates and leaves its people behind to forge a new identity.
Natasha Zaretsky, No Direction Home: The American Family and the Fear of National Decline, 1968-1980. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780807830949. List Price: $59.95 (Cloth). ISBN: 9780807857977. List Price: $22.50 (Paper)
Between 1968 and 1980, fears about family deterioration and national decline were ubiquitous in American political culture. In No Direction Home, Natasha Zaretsky shows that these perceptions of decline profoundly shaped one another.
Throughout the 1970s, anxieties about the future of the nuclear family collided with anxieties about the direction of the United States in the wake of military defeat in Vietnam and in the midst of economic recession, Zaretsky explains. By exploring such themes as the controversy surrounding prisoners of war in Southeast Asia, the OPEC oil embargo of 1973-74, and debates about cultural narcissism, Zaretsky reveals that the 1970s marked a significant turning point in the history of American nationalism. After Vietnam, a wounded national identity--rooted in a collective sense of injury and fueled by images of family peril--exploded to the surface and helped set the stage for the Reagan Revolution. With an innovative analysis that integrates cultural, intellectual, and political history, No Direction Home explores the fears that not only shaped an earlier era but also have reverberated into our own time.
Cecil D. Aby, Comrades and Commissars: The Lincoln Battalion in the Spanish Civil War. State College: Penn State Press, 2007. ISBN-10: 0271029101. List Price: $39.95
In the summer of 1936, Generalissimo Francisco Franco led a group of right-wing nationalists in a military attack on the Republican government of Spain—the start of what would become the Spanish Civil War. Despite U.S. laws banning participation in foreign conflicts, American volunteers began pouring into Barcelona in January 1937. The most famous of these anti-Franco groups was the band of 2,800 American fighters who called themselves the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. In Comrades and Commissars, Cecil D. Eby pushes beyond the bias that has dominated study of the Lincoln Battalion and gets to the very heart of the American experience in Spain.
Controversy has plagued the Lincoln Battalion from the very start. Were these men selfless defenders of liberty or un-American Communists? Eby has long been regarded as one of the few balanced interpreters of their history. His 1969 book, Between the Bullet and the Lie, won accolades for its rigorous and fair treatment of the Battalion. Comrades and Commissars builds upon that earlier study, incorporating a wealth of information collected over intervening decades. New oral histories, previously untranslated memoirs, and newly declassified official documents all lend even greater authority and perspective to Eby's account. Most significant is Eby's use of Lincoln Battalion archives sequestered in a Moscow storeroom for sixty years. These papers draw renewed focus on some of the most provocative questions surrounding the Battalion, including the extent to which Americans were persecuted—and even executed—by the brigade commissariat.
The Americans who served in the Lincoln Battalion were neither mythic figures nor political abstractions. Poorly trained and equipped, they committed themselves to back-to- the-wall defense of the doomed Spanish Republic. In Comrades and Commissars, we at last have the authoritative account of their experiences.
Peter N. Carroll and James D. Fernandez, eds., Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War. New York: NYU Press, 2007. ISBN: 0814716814. List Price: $27.00
When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, loosely affiliated groups of writers, artists, and other politically aware individuals emerged in New York City to give voice to anti-fascist sentiment by supporting the Spanish Republic. Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War examines the participation of New Yorkers in the political struggles and armed conflict that many historians consider a critical precursor to World War II. Nearly half of the 2,800 Americans who volunteered to fight in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade against Generalissimo Francisco Franco came from the New York area. Fundraising, propaganda, and deployment for anti-fascists everywhere in America were orchestrated through New York City. At the same time, powerful voices in New York expressed sympathy for the pro-fascist side.
The fighting in Spain brought to the surface the complex ideological and ethnic identities always present in New York politics. Facing Fascism examines the full range of this experience, including that of the New Yorkers who supported Franco. It addresses the role of doctors, nurses, and social workers who left New York hospitals to provide assistance to the defenders of the Spanish Republic, as well as those who remained active on the home front. The book also describes the involvement of students in the war, the key role of writers and the media, and the contributions made by members of New York's art and theater communities.
Facing Fascism also serves as the catalog to an exhibition of the same name appearing at the Museum of the City of New York in the spring of 2007. The book and exhibition both make use of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives' extensive holdings, which range from historical documents to video recordings of oral histories. Numerous other libraries, archives, museums, and private collectors have also been consulted to make this the most complete exhibition of its kind ever mounted. The exhibition will also appear in Spain.
Christopher Collins, Homeland Mythology: Biblical Narratives in American Culture. State College: Penn State Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780271029931. List Price: $29.95
Since 9/11, America has presented itself to the world as a Christianist culture, no less antimodern and nostalgic for an idealized past than its Islamist foes. Their shared master-narrative might sound like this: Once upon a time, the values of the righteous community coincided with those of the state. Home and land were harmoniously united under God. But through intellectual pride (read: science) and disobedience (read: human rights), this God-blessed homeland was lost and now worth every drop of blood it takes, ours and others’, to recover.
For Americans, the prime source for this once-and-future-kingdom myth is the Bible, with its many narratives of blessings gained, lost, and regained: the garden of Eden, the covenant with Abraham, the bondage in Egypt, the exodus under Moses, the glory of David and Solomon’s realm, the coming of the promised Messiah, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, his apocalyptic return at the end of history, and his establishment of the earthly kingdom of God. As Homeland Mythology shows, these biblical narratives have, over time, inspired a multitude of nationalist narratives, myths ingeniously spun out to justify a number of decidedly unchristian policies and institutions—from Indian genocide, the slave trade, and the exploitation of immigrant workers to Manifest Destiny, imperial expansionism, and, most recently, preemptive war.
On March 25, 2001, in a rare moment of public candor, George W. Bush shared a bit of his political wisdom: “You can fool some of the people all of the time—and those are the ones you have to concentrate on.” The cynical use of religion to cloak criminal behavior is always worth exposing, but why our leaders lie to us is no longer a mystery. What does remain mysterious is why so many of us are disposed to believe their lies. The unexamined issue that this book addresses is, therefore, not the mendacity of the few, but the credulity of the many.
Zoë Druick, Projecting Canada: Government Policy and Documentary Film in the National Film Board. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780773531857. List Price: (CA) $80.00 (Cloth). ISBN: 9780773532595. List Price: (CA) $27.95 (Paper)
The National Film Board of Canada, now in its seventh decade, is internationally acclaimed as a beacon of non-commercial filmmaking. In Projecting Canada Zoë Druick shows that the NFB, born out of a nation-building project, continues to be inextricably involved in the crises of nation, technology, and social scientific knowledge that shape the Canadian cultural landscape.
Based on newly uncovered archival information and a close reading of numerous NFB films, Projecting Canada explores the NFB's involvement with British Empire communication theory and American social science. Using a critical cultural policy studies framework, Druick develops the concept of "government realism" to describe films featuring ordinary people as representative of segments of the population. She demonstrates the close connection between NFB production policies and shifting techniques developed in relation to the evolution of social science from the 1940s to the present and argues that government policy has been the overriding factor in determining the ideology of NFB films. Projecting Canada offers a compelling new perspective on both the development of the documentary form and the role of cultural policy in creating essential spaces for aesthetic production.
Christian W. McMillen, Making Indian Law: The Hualapai Land Case and the Birth of Ethnohistory. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780300114607. List Price: $38.00
In 1941, after decades of struggling to hold on to the remainder of their aboriginal home, the Hualapai Indians finally took their case to the Supreme Court—and won. The Hualapai case was the culminating event in a legal and intellectual revolution that transformed Indian law and ushered in a new way of writing Indian history that provided legal grounds for native land claims. But Making Indian Law is about more than a legal decision. It’s the story of Hualapai activists, and eventually sympathetic lawyers, who challenged both the Santa Fe Railroad and the U.S. government to a courtroom showdown over the meaning of Indian property rights—and the Indian past.
At the heart of the Hualapai campaign to save the reservation was documenting the history of Hualapai land use. Making Indian Law showcases the central role that the Hualapai and their lawyers played in formulating new understandings of native people, their property, and their past. To this day, the impact of the Hualapai decision is felt wherever and whenever indigenous land claims are litigated throughout the world.
Liam Riordan, Many Identities, One Nation: The Revolution and Its Legacy in the Mid-Atlantic. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780812240016. List Price: $49.95 (Cloth)
The richly diverse population of the mid-Atlantic region distinguished it from the homogeneity of Puritan New England and the stark differences of the plantation South that still dominate our understanding of early America. In Many Identities, One Nation, Liam Riordan explores how the American Revolution politicized religious, racial, and ethnic identities among the diverse inhabitants of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Attending to individual experiences through a close comparative analysis, Riordan explains the transformation from British subjects to U.S. citizens in a region that included Quakers, African Americans, and Pennsylvania Germans.
In the face of a gradually emerging sense of nationalism, varied forms of personal and group identities took on heightened public significance in the Revolutionary Delaware Valley. While Quakers in Burlington, New Jersey, remained suspect after the war because of their pacifism, newly freed slaves in New Castle, Delaware, demanded full inclusion, and bilingual Pennsylvania Germans in Easton, Pennsylvania, successfully struggled to create a central place for themselves in the new nation. By placing the public contest over the proper expression of group distinctiveness in the context of local life, Riordan offers a new understanding of how cultural identity structured the early Jacksonian society of the 1820s as a culmination of the American Revolution in this region.
Nationalism Project Home * About The Nationalism Project * What is Nationalism?
Bibliography of Journal Articles * Book Reviews and Abstracts * New Books
Nationalism Links * Subject Bibliographies * H-Nationalism
Conferences/Calls for Papers * Search
Nationalism Project Blog
Eric G.E. Zuelow
Copyright © 1999-2010 by Eric G.E. Zuelow