Monday, May 23, 2022

"The Origins and Dynamics of Inequality"

New from Oxford University Press: The Origins and Dynamics of Inequality: Sex, Politics, and Ideology by Jon D. Wisman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Argues that the struggle over income, wealth, status and privilege-inequality-has been the principal, defining issue in human history and provides a novel framework for understanding inequality today

Whereas President Barack Obama declared inequality as the defining issue of our time, in The Origins and Dynamics of Inequality, Jon D. Wisman claims more: it is the defining issue of all human history. The struggle over inequality has been the underlying force driving human history's unfolding. Drawing on the dynamics of inequality, Wisman re-interprets economic history and society. Beyond according inequality the central role in history, this book is novel in two other respects: First, transcending the general failure of social scientists and historians to anchor their work in explicit theories of human behaviour, this book grounds the origins and dynamics of inequality in evolutionary psychology, or more specifically, Darwin's theory of sexual selection. Second, this book accords central importance to ideology in legitimating inequality, a role typically inadequately addressed by social scientists and historians. Because of the central role of inequality in history, inequality's explosion over the past forty years has not been an anomaly. It is a return to the political dynamics by which elites have, since the rise of the state, taken practically everything for themselves, leaving all others with little more than the means with which to survive. Due to elites' persuasive ideology, even after workers in advanced capitalist countries gained the franchise to become the overwhelming majority of voters, inequality continued to increase.

Sweeping and provocative, Jon D. Wisman presents a fresh perspective on why economic inequality exists and how its dynamics have shaped human history.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Deep Water"

New from Gallery/Scout Press: Deep Water by Emma Bamford.

About the book, from the publisher:

The dark side of paradise is exposed when a terrified couple reveals their daunting experience on a remote island to their rescuers—only to realize they’re still in the grips of the island’s secrets—in this intense and startling debut in the tradition of Into the Jungle and The Ruins.

When a Navy vessel comes across a yacht in distress in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, Captain Danial Tengku orders his ship to rush to its aid. On board the yacht is a British couple: a horribly injured man, Jake, and his traumatized wife, Virginie, who breathlessly confesses, “It’s all my fault. I killed them.”

Trembling with fear, she reveals their shocking story to Danial. Months earlier, the couple had spent all their savings on a yacht, full of excitement for exploring the high seas and exotic lands together. They start at the busy harbors of Malaysia and, through word of mouth, Jake and Virginie learn about a tiny, isolated island full of unspoiled beaches. When they arrive, they discover they are not the only visitors and quickly become entangled with a motley crew of expat sailors. Soon, Jake and Virginie’s adventurous dream turns into a terrifying nightmare.

Now, it’s up to Danial to determine just how much truth there is in Virginie’s alarming tale. But when his crew make a shocking discovery, he realizes that if he doesn’t act soon, they could all fall under the dark spell of the island.
Visit Emma Bamford's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 22, 2022

"The Condor Trials"

New from Yale University Press: The Condor Trials: Transnational Repression and Human Rights in South America by Francesca Lessa.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stories of transnational terror and justice illuminate the past and present of South America’s struggles for human rights

Through the voices of survivors and witnesses, human rights activists, judicial actors, journalists, and historians, Francesca Lessa unravels the secrets of transnational repression masterminded by South American dictators between 1969 and 1981. Under Operation Condor, their violent and oppressive regimes kidnapped, tortured, and murdered hundreds of exiles, or forcibly returned them to the countries from which they had fled. South America became a zone of terror for those who were targeted, and of impunity for those who perpetuated the violence. Lessa shows how networks of justice seekers gradually materialized and effectively transcended national borders to achieve justice for the victims of these horrors. Based on extensive fieldwork, archival research, trial ethnography, and over one-hundred interviews, The Condor Trials explores South America’s past and present and sheds light on ongoing struggles for justice as its societies come to terms with the unparalleled atrocities of their not-so-distant pasts.
Follow Francesca Lessa on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Murder on the Spanish Seas"

New from Polis Books: Murder on the Spanish Seas by Wendy Church.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jesse O'Hara is profane, introverted, and not frequently sober – and has just lost another job. “A million dollar brain and a ten-cent personality,” her last employer said. With nothing better to do, Jesse reluctantly accepts the gift of a luxury cruise around the Iberian Peninsula. She’s not sure she can drink enough to keep her boredom at bay, but that's the least of her problems. From the very first moment of the cruise, it's clear to Jesse that something is very wrong.

Aided by her near-photographic memory, Jesse investigates a series of strange incidents on the ship and uncovers what looks like a terrorist plot in the works. But with each new layer uncovered, her perception shifts and broadens-- and someone doesn’t want her poking around. For Jesse, bruised and concussed is preferable to tanned and relaxed, so she ignores the mounting danger even as she closes in on the villains, who have perfectly timed their grand finale...

Murder on the Spanish Seas is a riveting, whip-smart and smart-aleck debut thriller that will keep you on your toes just as frequently as it keeps you in stitches. A perfect read for fans of Ruth Ware and Janet Evanovich.
Visit Wendy Church's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Citizens of the World"

New from University of Pennsylvania Press: Citizens of the World: U.S. Women and Global Government by Megan Threlkeld.

About the book, from the publisher:

Between 1900 and 1950, many internationalist U.S. women referred to themselves as "citizens of the world." This book argues that the phrase was not simply a rhetorical flourish; it represented a demand to participate in shaping the global polity and an expression of women's obligation to work for peace and equality. The nine women profiled here invoked world citizenship as they promoted world government—a permanent machinery to end war, whether in the form of the League of Nations, the United Nations, or a full-fledged world federation.

These women agreed neither on the best form for such a government nor on the best means to achieve it, and they had different definitions of peace and different levels of commitment to genuine equality. But they all saw themselves as part of a global effort to end war that required their participation in the international body politic. Excluded from full national citizenship, they saw in the world polity opportunities for engagement and equality as well as for peace. Claiming world citizenship empowered them on the world stage. It gave them a language with which to advocate for international cooperation.

Citizens of the World not only provides a more complete understanding of the kind of world these women envisioned and the ways in which they claimed membership in the global community. It also draws attention to the ways in which they were excluded from international institution-building and to the critiques many of them leveled at those institutions. Women's arguments for world government and their practices of world citizenship represented an alternative reaction to the crises of the first half of the twentieth century, one predicated on cooperation and equality rather than competition and force.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 21, 2022

"Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance"

New from Henry Holt and Co.: Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance: A Novel by Alison Espach.

About the book, from the publisher:

For much of her life, Sally Holt has been mystified by the things her older sister, Kathy, seems to have been born knowing. Kathy has answers for all of Sally’s questions about life, about love, and about Billy Barnes, a rising senior and local basketball star who mans the concession stand at the town pool. The girls have been fascinated by Billy ever since he jumped off the roof in elementary school, but Billy has never shown much interest in them until the summer before Sally begins eighth grade. By then, their mutual infatuation with Billy is one of the few things the increasingly different sisters have in common. Sally spends much of that summer at the pool, watching in confusion and excitement as her sister falls deeper in love with Billy—until a tragedy leaves Sally’s life forever intertwined with his.

Opening in the early nineties and charting almost two decades of shared history and missed connections, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance is both a breathtaking love story about two broken people who are unexplainably, inconveniently drawn to each other and a wryly astute coming-of-age tale brimming with unexpected moments of joy.
Visit Alison Espach's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sex Is as Sex Does"

New from NYU Press: Sex Is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity by Paisley Currah.

About the book, from the publisher:

What the evolving fight for transgender rights reveals about government power, regulations, and the law

Every government agency in the United States, from Homeland Security to Departments of Motor Vehicles, has the authority to make its own rules for sex classification. Many transgender people find themselves in the bizarre situation of having different sex classifications on different documents. Whether you can change your legal sex to “F” or “M” (or more recently “X”) depends on what state you live in, what jurisdiction you were born in, and what government agency you’re dealing with. In Sex Is as Sex Does, noted transgender advocate and scholar Paisley Currah explores this deeply flawed system, showing why it fails transgender and non-binary people.

Providing examples from different states, government agencies, and court cases, Currah explains how transgender people struggle to navigate this confusing and contradictory web of legal rules, definitions, and classifications. Unlike most gender scholars, who are concerned with what the concepts of sex and gender really mean, Currah is more interested in what the category of “sex” does for governments. What does “sex” do on our driver’s licenses, in how we play sports, in how we access health care, or in the bathroom we use? Why do prisons have very different rules than social service agencies? Why is there such resistance to people changing their sex designation? Or to dropping it from identity documents altogether?

In this thought-provoking and original volume, Sex Is as Sex Does reveals the hidden logics that have governed sex classification policies in the United States and shows what the regulation of transgender identity can tell us about society’s approach to sex and gender writ large.Ultimately, Currah demonstrates that, because the difficulties transgender people face are not just the result of transphobia but also stem from larger injustices, an identity-based transgender rights movement will not, by itself, be up to the task of resolving them.
Visit Paisley Currah's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Crazy To Leave You"

New from Lake Union: Crazy To Leave You: A Novel by Marilyn Simon Rothstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects comes a witty, bighearted novel about the happy accidents that lead to love and second chances.

Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar.

In the aftermath, her mother is an endless well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation: one is planted on Lauren’s couch while the other is too perfect.

Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on and plan her next step. She should know by now that nothing in life goes according to plan. What lies ahead is the road to self-acceptance and at long last feeling worthy. With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale―and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place.
Visit Marilyn Simon Rothstein's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 20, 2022

"A Spy in Plain Sight"

New from Pegasus Books: A Spy in Plain Sight: The Inside Story of the FBI and Robert Hanssen―America's Most Damaging Russian Spy by Lis Wiehl.

About the book, from the publisher:

A legal analyst for NPR, NBC, and CNN, delves into the facts surrounding what has been called the “worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history”: the case of Robert Hanssen—a Russian spy who was embedded in the FBI for two decades.

As a federal prosecutor and the daughter of an FBI agent, Wiehl has an inside perspective. She brings her experience and the ingrained lessons of her upraising to bear on her remarkable exploration of the case, interviewing numerous FBI and CIA agents both past and present as well as the individuals closest to Hanssen. She speaks with his brother-in-law, his oldest and best friend, and even his psychiatrist.

In all her conversations, Wiehl is trying to figure out how he did it—and at what cost. But she also pursues questions urgently relevant to our national security today. Could there be another spy in the system? Could the presence of a spy be an even greater threat now than ever before, with the greater prominence cyber security has taken in recent years? Wiehl explores the mechanisms and politics of our national security apparatus and how they make us vulnerable to precisely this kind of threat.

Wiehl grew up among the same people with whom Hanssen ingratiated himself, and she has spent her career trying to find the truth within fractious legal and political conflicts. A Spy in Plain Sight reflects on the deeply sown divisions and paranoias of our present day and provides an unparalleled view into the functioning of the FBI, and will stand alongside pillars of the genre like Killers of the Flower Moon, The Spy and the Traitor, and No Place to Hide.
Visit Lis Wiehl's website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: The Candidate.

The Page 69 Test: The Candidate.

The Page 99 Test: Hunting the Unabomber.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mother Country"

New from Graywolf Press: Mother Country: A Novel by Jacinda Townsend.

About the book, from the publisher:

Saddled with student loans, medical debt, and the sudden news of her infertility after a major car accident, Shannon, an African American woman, follows her boyfriend to Morocco in search of relief. There, in the cobblestoned medina of Marrakech, she finds a toddler in a pink jacket whose face mirrors her own. With the help of her boyfriend and a bribed official, Shannon makes the fateful decision to adopt and raise the girl in Louisville, Kentucky. But the girl already has a mother: Souria, an undocumented Mauritanian woman who was trafficked as a teen, and who managed to escape to Morocco to build another life.

In rendering Souria’s separation from her family across vast stretches of desert and Shannon’s alienation from her mother under the same roof, Jacinda Townsend brilliantly stages cycles of intergenerational trauma and healing. Linked by the girl who has been a daughter to them both, these unforgettable protagonists move toward their inevitable reckoning. Mother Country is a bone-deep and unsparing portrayal of the ethical and emotional claims we make upon one another in the name of survival, in the name of love.
Visit Jacinda Townsend's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Red Leviathan"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling by Ryan Tucker Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

A revealing and authoritative history that shows how Soviet whalers secretly helped nearly destroy endangered whale populations, while also contributing to the scientific understanding necessary for these creatures’ salvation.

The Soviet Union killed over six hundred thousand whales in the twentieth century, many of them illegally and secretly. That catch helped bring many whale species to near extinction by the 1970s, and the impacts of this loss of life still ripple through today’s oceans. In this new account, based on formerly secret Soviet archives and interviews with ex-whalers, environmental historian Ryan Tucker Jones offers a complete history of the role the Soviet Union played in the whales’ destruction. As other countries—especially the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Norway—expanded their pursuit of whales to all corners of the globe, Stalin determined that the Soviet Union needed to join the hunt. What followed was a spectacularly prodigious, and often wasteful, destruction of humpback, fin, sei, right, and sperm whales in the Antarctic and the North Pacific, done in knowing violation of the International Whaling Commission’s rules. Cold War intrigue encouraged this destruction, but, as Jones shows, there is a more complex history behind this tragic Soviet experiment. Jones compellingly describes the ultimate scientific irony: today’s cetacean studies benefited from Soviet whaling, as Russian scientists on whaling vessels made key breakthroughs in understanding whale natural history and behavior. And in a final twist, Red Leviathan reveals how the Soviet public began turning against their own country’s whaling industry, working in parallel with Western environmental organizations like Greenpeace to help end industrial whaling—not long before the world’s whales might have disappeared altogether.
Follow Ryan Tucker Jones on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 19, 2022

"The Lava Witch"

New from Kensington Books: The Lava Witch by Debra Bokur.

About the book, from the publisher:

As Maui detective Kali Māhoe investigates a bizarre ritual murder near Hawaii’s Haleakala Volcano, the hard facts collide with local legends of spirit possession and sorcery in celebrated travel writer Debra Bokur’s third Dark Paradise Mystery…

In a remote, mountainous area of a Maui forest near Haleakala volcano, the naked body of a young woman is found hanging from a tree. The devil is in the details: the woman’s nostrils, mouth, and lungs are packed with lava sand. Her hands are bound in twine. Her feet are charred and blackened, suggesting a fire-walking ceremony. Detective Kali Māhoe’s suspicions are immediately aroused. It has all the signs of a ritual torture and murder.

But Kali’s investigation soon leads her down a winding trail of seemingly unconnected clues and diverging paths—from the hanging tree itself, a rare rainbow eucalyptus, to rumors of a witch haunting the high areas of the forest, to the legend of the ancient Hawaiian sorceress Pahulu, goddess of nightmares. Casting a shadow over it all—the possibility of a Sitting God, a spirit said to invade and possess the soul.

Aided by her uncle Police Captain Walter Alaka’i, Officer David Hara, and the victim’s brother, Kali embarks down the darkest road of all. One that is leading to the truth of the mountain’s deadly core and a dark side of the island for which even Kali is unprepared.
Visit Debra Bokur's website.

Q&A with Debra Bokur.

The Page 69 Test: The Fire Thief.

My Book, The Movie: The Fire Thief.

Writers Read: Debra Bokur.

My Book, The Movie: The Bone Field.

The Page 69 Test: The Bone Field.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dissenting Daughters"

New from Oxford University Press: Dissenting Daughters: Reformed Women in the Dutch Republic, 1572-1725 by Amanda C. Pipkin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dissenting Daughters reveals that devout women made vital contributions to the spread and practice of the Reformed faith in the Dutch Republic in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The six women at the heart of this study: Cornelia Teellinck, Susanna Teellinck, Anna Maria van Schurman, Sara Nevius, Cornelia Leydekker, and Henrica van Hoolwerff, were influential members of networks known for supporting a religious revival known as the Further Reformation. These women earned the support and appreciation of their religious leaders, friends, and relatives by seizing the tools offered by domestic religious study and worship and forming alliances with prominent ministers including Willem Teellinck, Gijsbertus Voetius, Wilhelmus à Brakel, and Melchior Leydekker as well as with other well-connected, well-educated women. They deployed their talents to bolster the Dutch Reformed Church from 1572, the first year its members could publicly organize, to the death of this book's last surviving subject Cornelia Leydekker in 1725. In return for their adoption of religious teachings that constricted them in many ways, they gained the authority to minister to their family members, their female friends, and a broader audience of men and women during domestic worship as well as through their written works. These "dissenting daughters" vehemently defended their faith - against Spanish and French Catholics, as well as their neighbors, politicians, and ministers within the Dutch Republic whom they judged to be lax and overly tolerant of sinful behavior, finding ways to flourish among the strictest orthodox believers within the Dutch Reformed Church.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Golden Season"

New from Graydon House Books: The Golden Season: A Novel by Madeline Kay Sneed.

About the book, from the publisher:

How do you love a place that doesn’t love you back?

Emmy Quinn is West Texas through and through: her roots run deep in the sleepy small town of Steinbeck, where God sees all and football is king. She loves her community, but she knows that when she comes out as a lesbian, she may not be able to call Steinbeck—which is steeped in the Southern Baptist tradition—home anymore.

After a disastrous conversation with her dad, Emmy meets Cameron, a charismatic, whip-smart grad student from Massachusetts who hates everything Texas. But Texas is in Emmy's blood. Can she build a future with a woman who can't accept the things that make Emmy who she is?

Steve Quinn has just been offered his dream job as head coach of the struggling high school football team, the Steinbeck 'Stangs. The board thinks he can win them a state championship for the first time—but they tell him he can’t accept the position if he's got any skeletons in his closet. Steve is still wrestling with Emmy's coming-out: he loves his daughter, but he’s a man of faith, raised in the Baptist community. How can God ask him to choose between his dreams and his own daughter?

This lush, gorgeously written debut is a love letter to the places we call home and asks how we grapple with a complicated love for people and places that might not love us back—at least, not for who we really are. The Golden Season is a powerful examination of faith, queerness and the deep-seated bonds of family, and heralds the arrival of a striking new voice in fiction.
Visit Madeline Kay Sneed's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

"Both Sides Now"

New from Texas A&M Press: Both Sides Now: Writing the Edges of the North American West by Sheila McManus.

About the book, from the publisher:

How do borderlands work? How do they maintain their distinctive features in the face of concerted efforts on the part of nation-states to make each of their borderlines into a harsh demarcation? According to most contemporary political discourse and popular perceptions, the two borders of the United States West have little in common but understanding their borderlands’ similarities can help us understand some of the most powerful forces shaping human history and the world around us; understanding their historiographies gives us insight into borderlands historians’ unique methodology.

Both Sides Now: Writing the Edges of the North American West brings together leading scholarship in a focused, synthetic survey of five themes in the history of the northern and southern borderlands: the borderlands as aboriginal homelands and the persistence of Indigenous territories and ways of being; imperial and national efforts to create binary notions of territory and identity; regulatory efforts aimed at stopping or limiting the movement of certain people across their borders; the weakening of those efforts by cross-border movement of capital, goods, and people, usually aided by state power, and the complex, binary-refusing identities that persist in borderlands communities.

Historian Sheila McManus uses these themes to highlight the commonalities between the two borderlands’ histories and provides an overview and a starting point for experts and newcomers in the field of North American borderlands history to address new questions. By conceptualizing both borders together and focusing particular attention on race and gender as well as empire and nation, Both Sides Now provides a unique methodology in North American scholarship that emphasizes the connections between these borderlands and others around the world.
Follow Sheila McManus on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Happy Happy Happy"

New from Lake Union: Happy Happy Happy by Nicola Masters.

About the book, from the publisher:

Everything’s just perfect in Charlie’s life. Apart from all the things that are wrong.

It’s been more than a decade since Charlie Trewin left her sleepy Cornish fishing village for the dazzling lights of London, vowing never to return. But when shocking news of her father’s death forces her back to Carncarrow, she’s confronted with everything she thought she’d left behind: the tragic loss of her mother, her father’s obsessive hoarding―and her own unresolved emotions about them both.

At first Carncarrow seems like the same stuck-in-the-past, dead-end village Charlie escaped years ago. Nothing like London, where she’s built a wonderful new life: solid job, loving fiancé, and endless, boundless happiness. But as she sorts through her father’s stockpiled mementoes, she begins to rediscover the place she once called home―and realises that her life in London may not be as happy, happy, happy as she keeps telling herself.

When her fiancé unexpectedly shows up in Carncarrow, her two complicated worlds collide. With the past and the present competing for her attention, can Charlie finally make her peace with her memories? And can she find a way to be truly happy on her own terms?
Visit Nicola Masters's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Future of Decline"

New from Stanford University Press: The Future of Decline: Anglo-American Culture at Its Limits by Jed Esty.

About the book, from the publisher:

As the US becomes a second-place nation, can it shed the superpower nostalgia that still haunts the UK?

The debate over the US's fading hegemony has raged and sputtered for 50 years, glutting the market with prophecies about American decline. Media experts ask how fast we will fall and how much we will lose, but generally ignore the fundamental question: What does decline mean? What is the significance, in experiential and everyday terms, in feelings and fantasies, of living in a country past its prime?

Drawing on the example of post-WWII Britain and looking ahead at 2020s America, Jed Esty suggests that becoming a second-place nation is neither disastrous, as alarmists claim, nor avoidable, as optimists insist. Contemporary declinism often masks white nostalgia and perpetuates a conservative longing for Cold War certainty. But the narcissistic lure of "lost greatness" appeals across the political spectrum. As Esty argues, it resonates so widely in mainstream media because Americans have lost access to a language of national purpose beyond global supremacy. It is time to shelve the shopworn fables of endless US dominance, to face the multipolar world of the future, and to tell new American stories. The Future of Decline is a guide to finding them.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

"Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold"

New from Little A: Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold: A Novel by Umar Turaki.

About the book, from the publisher:

An inexplicable sickness. A small town cut off from the world. An unexpected community of survivors forges a family out of the despair, struggling against things known and unknown for survival and hope.

A mysterious plague known as the Grey grips the small village of Pilam, which the world has quarantined without pity. Laying waste to Pilam’s residents, the sickness saps its victims of strength, drains the color from their eyes, and kills all promise. Only the young are immune. But beyond the barricades and walls of soldiers—the manifestation of a nation’s terror—there are rumors of a cure. Dunka, the eldest son of a family reeling from the Grey, takes on the daunting task of leaving Pilam to find that cure for his siblings and save them before it’s too late.

His brother and sisters, however, have plans of their own. Navigating the chaos of violence, hunger, and death, each of them tries to make sense of the bleak circumstances, forging new bonds with other juvenile survivors left to their own devices. Now an unlikely family of six, they choose their own perilous paths, at first separately and then together, coming to terms with the decisions they make and the ghosts they cannot leave behind.

Umar Turaki’s gripping novel is a story of survival, love, and the human spirit’s tenacious capacity for wonder.
Visit Umar Turaki's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"American Song and Struggle from Columbus to World War 2"

Coming July 31 from Cambridge University Press: American Song and Struggle from Columbus to World War 2: A Cultural History by Will Kaufman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Long before anyone ever heard of 'protest music', people in America were singing about their struggles. They sang for justice and fairness, food and shelter, and equality and freedom; they sang to be acknowledged. Sometimes they also sang to oppress. This book uncovers the history of these people and their songs, from the moment Columbus made fateful landfall to the start of the Second World War, when 'protest music' emerged as an identifiable brand. Cutting across musical genres, Will Kaufman recovers the passionate voices of America itself. We encounter songs of the mainland and the conquered territories of Hawai'i, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines; we hear Indigenous songs, immigrant songs and Klan songs, minstrel songs and symphonies, songs of the heard and the unheard, songs of the celebrated and the anonymous, of the righteous and the despicable. This magisterial book shows that all these songs are woven into the very fabric of American history.
Visit Will Kaufman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Planes"

New from Knopf: Planes: A Novel by Peter C. Baker.

About the book, from the publisher:

For years, Amira—a recent convert to Islam living in Rome—has gone to work, said her prayers, and struggled to piece together her husband’s redacted letters from the Moroccan black site where he is imprisoned. She moves as inconspicuously as possible through her modest life, doing her best to avoid the whispered curiosity of her community.

Meanwhile, Mel—once an activist—is trying to get the suburban conservatives of her small North Carolina town to support her school board initiatives, and struggles to fill her empty nest. It’s a steady, settled life, except perhaps for the affair she can’t admit she’s having.

As these narratives unfurl thousands of miles apart, they begin to resonate like the two sides of a tuning fork. And when Mel learns that a local charter airline serves as a front for the CIA’s extraordinary renditions—including that of Amira’s husband—both women face wrenching questions that will shape the rest of their lives.

Written with piercing insight and artistry, Planes is a singular, assured, and indelible first novel that announces a major new voice.
Visit Peter C. Baker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 16, 2022

"The California Days of Ralph Waldo Emerson"

New from the University of Massachusetts Press: The California Days of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Brian C. Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the spring of 1871, Ralph Waldo Emerson boarded a train in Concord, Massachusetts, bound for a month-and-a-half-long tour of California—an interlude that became one of the highlights of his life. On their journey across the American West, he and his companions would take in breathtaking vistas in the Rockies and along the Pacific Coast, speak with a young John Muir in the Yosemite Valley, stop off in Salt Lake City for a meeting with Brigham Young, and encounter a diversity of communities and cultures that would challenge their Yankee prejudices.

Based on original research employing newly discovered documents, The California Days of Ralph Waldo Emerson maps the public story of this group’s travels onto the private story of Emerson’s final years, as aphasia set in and increasingly robbed him of his words. Engaging and compelling, this travelogue makes it clear that Emerson was still capable of wonder, surprise, and friendship, debunking the presumed darkness of his last decade.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Peacekeeper"

New from 47North: The Peacekeeper: A Novel (The Good Lands) by B.L. Blanchard.

About the book, from the publisher:

Against the backdrop of a never-colonized North America, a broken Ojibwe detective embarks on an emotional and twisting journey toward solving two murders, rediscovering family, and finding himself.

North America was never colonized. The United States and Canada don’t exist. The Great Lakes are surrounded by an independent Ojibwe nation. And in the village of Baawitigong, a Peacekeeper confronts his devastating past.

Twenty years ago to the day, Chibenashi’s mother was murdered and his father confessed. Ever since, caring for his still-traumatized younger sister has been Chibenashi’s privilege and penance. Now, on the same night of the Manoomin harvest, another woman is slain. His mother’s best friend. This leads to a seemingly impossible connection that takes Chibenashi far from the only world he’s ever known.

The major city of Shikaakwa is home to the victim’s cruelly estranged family―and to two people Chibenashi never wanted to see again: his imprisoned father and the lover who broke his heart. As the questions mount, the answers will change his and his sister’s lives forever. Because Chibenashi is about to discover that everything about their lives has been a lie.
Visit B.L. Blanchard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dickens and Democracy in the Age of Paper"

New from Oxford University Press: Dickens and Democracy in the Age of Paper: Representing the People by Carolyn Vellenga Berman.

About the book, from the publisher:

This book examines Charles Dickens's fiction alongside publications emanating from Parliament. It argues that Dickens and Parliament were engaged in competitive efforts to represent the People at a crucial moment in the history of representative democracy--when the British government was under enormous political pressure to expand the franchise beyond a narrow band of male landowners. Contending that fiction and the literature of Parliament interacted at a host of levels--jostling one another in the same bookshops--it reads Dickens's novels in tandem with blue books, the practice texts of shorthand manuals, and Dickens's journalism. It shows how his fiction mocks parliamentary form (as in Pickwick Papers), canvasses the history of parliamentary representation (as in Bleak House), and depicts the relation of the People to the state as well as commerce (as in Little Dorrit). It thus rethinks the history of the Victorian novel by examining its rivalry with Parliament in the expanding world of print publication.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 15, 2022

"The Favor"

New from Minotaur Books: The Favor: A Novel by Nora Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Leaving would be dangerous. Staying could be worse.

Leah and McKenna have never met, though they have parallel lives.

They don’t—ever—find themselves in the same train carriage or meet accidentally at the gym or the coffee shop.

They don’t—ever—discuss their problems and find common ground.

They don’t—ever—acknowledge to each other that although their lives have all the trappings of success, wealth and happiness, they are, in fact, trapped.

Leah understands that what’s inside a home can be far more dangerous than what’s outside. So when she notices someone else who may be starting down the same path she’s on, she pays attention. She watches over McKenna from afar. Until one night she sees more than she bargained for. Leah knows she can’t save herself, but perhaps she can save McKenna.

Leah and McKenna have never met. But they will.
Visit Nora Murphy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Wonder: Childhood and the Lifelong Love of Science"

New from The MIT Press: Wonder: Childhood and the Lifelong Love of Science by Frank C. Keil.

About the book, from the publisher:

How we can all be lifelong wonderers: restoring the sense of joy in discovery we felt as children.

From an early age, children pepper adults with questions that ask why and how: Why do balloons float? How do plants grow from seeds? Why do birds have feathers? Young children have a powerful drive to learn about their world, wanting to know not just what something is but also how it got to be that way and how it works. Most adults, on the other hand, have little curiosity about whys and hows; we might unlock a door, for example, or boil an egg, with no idea of what happens to make such a thing possible. How can grown-ups recapture a child's sense of wonder at the world? In this book, Frank Keil describes the cognitive dispositions that set children on their paths of discovery and explains how we can all become lifelong wonderers. Keil describes recent research on children's minds that reveals an extraordinary set of emerging abilities that underpin their joy of discovery—their need to learn not just the facts but the underlying causal patterns at the very heart of science. This glorious sense of wonder, however, is stifled, beginning in elementary school. Later, with little interest in causal mechanisms, and motivated by intellectual blind spots, as adults we become vulnerable to misinformation and manipulation—ready to believe things that aren't true. Of course, the polymaths among us have retained their sense of wonder, and Keil explains the habits of mind and ways of wondering that allow them—and can enable us—to experience the joy of asking why and how.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Walk the Vanished Earth"

New from Viking: Walk the Vanished Earth: A Novel by Erin Swan.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of Station Eleven, Severance and The Dog Stars, a beautifully written and emotionally stirring dystopian novel about how our dreams of the future may shift as our environment changes rapidly, even as the earth continues to spin.

The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains; pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion, she lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past. The year is 2027 and, after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. The year is 2073, and Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet—Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water. Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to–if only she understood what a mother is. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet.

A sweeping family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet’s imminent collapse.

This is a story about the end of the world—but it is also about the beginning of something entirely new. Thoughtful, warm, and wildly prescient, this work of bright imagination promises that, no matter what the future looks like, there is always room for hope.
Visit Erin Swan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 14, 2022

"Demonic Bodies and the Dark Ecologies of Early Christian Culture"

New from Oxford University Press: Demonic Bodies and the Dark Ecologies of Early Christian Culture by Travis W. Proctor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Drawing insights from gender studies and the environmental humanities, Demonic Bodies and the Dark Ecologies of Early Christian Culture analyzes how ancient Christians constructed the Christian body through its relations to demonic adversaries. Through case studies of New Testament texts, Gnostic treatises, and early Christian church fathers (e.g., Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian of Carthage), Travis W. Proctor notes that early followers of Jesus construed the demonic body in diverse and sometimes contradictory ways, as both embodied and bodiless, “fattened” and ethereal, heavenly and earthbound.

Across this diversity of portrayals, however, demons consistently functioned as personifications of “deviant” bodily practices such as “magical” rituals, immoral sexual acts, gluttony, and pagan religious practices. This demonization served an exclusionary function whereby Christian writers marginalized fringe Christian groups by linking their ritual activities to demonic modes of (dis)embodiment. The tandem construction of demonic and human corporeality demonstrates how Christian authors constructed the bodies that inhabited their cosmos--human, demon, and otherwise--as part of overlapping networks or “ecosystems” of humanity and nonhumanity. Through this approach, Proctor provides not only a more accurate representation of the bodies of ancient Christians, but also new resources for reimagining the enlivened ecosystems that surround and intersect with our modern ideas of “self.”
--Marshal Zeringue

"How to Be Eaten"

New from Little, Brown: How to Be Eaten: A Novel by Maria Adelmann.

About the book, from the publisher:

This darkly funny and provocative novel reimagines classic fairy tale characters as modern women in a support group for trauma.

In present-day New York City, five women meet in a basement support group to process their traumas. Bernice grapples with the fallout of dating a psychopathic, blue-bearded billionaire. Ruby, once devoured by a wolf, now wears him as a coat. Gretel questions her memory of being held captive in a house made of candy. Ashlee, the winner of a Bachelor-esque dating show, wonders if she really got her promised fairy tale ending. And Raina's love story will shock them all.

Though the women start out wary of one another, judging each other’s stories, gradually they begin to realize that they may have more in common than they supposed... What really brought them here? What secrets will they reveal? And is it too late for them to rescue each other?

Dark, edgy, and wickedly funny, this debut for readers of Carmen Maria Machado, Kristen Arnett, and Kelly Link takes our coziest, most beloved childhood stories, exposes them as anti-feminist nightmares, and transforms them into a new kind of myth for grown-up women.
Visit Maria Adelmann's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Queer Carnival"

New from NYU Press: Queer Carnival: Festivals and Mardi Gras in the South by Amy L. Stone.

About the book, from the publisher:

The importance of citywide festivals like Mardi Gras and Fiesta for the LGBTQ community

Festivals like Mardi Gras and Fiesta have come to be annual events in which entire cities participate, and LGBTQ people are a visible part of these celebrations. In other words, the party is on, the party is queer, and everyone is invited. In Queer Carnival, Amy Stone takes us inside these colorful, eye-catching, and often raucous events, highlighting their importance to queer life in America’s urban South and Southwest.

Drawing on five years of research, and over a hundred days at LGBTQ events in cities such as San Antonio, Santa Fe, Baton Rouge, and Mobile, Stone gives readers a front-row seat to festivals, carnivals, and Mardi Gras celebrations, vividly bringing these queer cultural spaces and the people that create and participate in them to life. Stone shows how these events serve a larger fundamental purpose, helping LGBTQ people to cultivate a sense of belonging in cities that may be otherwise hostile.

Queer Carnival provides an important new perspective on queer life in the South and Southwest, showing us the ways that LGBTQ communities not only survive, but thrive, even in the most unexpected places.
Follow Amy Stone on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 13, 2022

"Dr. B."

New from Harper: Dr. B.: A Novel by Daniel Birnbaum, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner.

About the book, from the publisher:

The former director of the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm makes his literary debut with this dramatic and riveting novel of book publishing, émigrés, spies, and diplomats in World War II Sweden based on his grandfather’s life.

In 1933, after Hitler and the Nazi Party consolidated power in Germany, Immanuel Birnbaum, a German Jewish journalist based in Warsaw, is forbidden from writing for newspapers in his homeland. Six years later, just months before the German invasion of Poland that ignites World War II, Immanuel escapes to Sweden with his wife and two young sons.

Living as a refugee in Stockholm, Immanuel continues to write, contributing articles to a liberal Swiss newspaper in Basel under the name Dr. B. He also begins working as an editor for the legendary German publisher S. Fischer Verlag. Gottfried Bermann Fischer had established an office in Stockholm to evade German censorship, publishing celebrated German writers such as Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig.

Immanuel also becomes entangled with British intelligence agents who produce and distribute anti-Nazi propaganda in Stockholm. On orders from Winston Churchill, the Allied spies plan several acts of sabotage. But when the Swedish postal service picks up a letter written in invisible ink, the plotters are exposed. The letter, long a mystery in military history accounts, was in fact written by Dr. B. But why would a Jew living in exile and targeted for death by the Nazis have wanted to tip them off?

Daniel Birnbaum’s novel will intrigue readers with its fascinating portrayal of the astonishing connections and often mysterious players illuminated by his grandfather’s remarkable wartime life.
--Marshal Zeringue

"25 Million Sparks"

New from Cambridge University Press: 25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs by Andrew Leon Hanna.

About the book, from the publisher:

25 Million Sparks takes readers inside the Za'atari refugee camp to follow the stories of three courageous Syrian women entrepreneurs: Yasmina, a wedding shop and salon owner creating moments of celebration; Malak, a young artist infusing color and beauty throughout the camp; and Asma, a social entrepreneur leading a storytelling initiative to enrich children's lives. Anchored by these three inspiring stories, as well as accompanying artwork and poetry by Malak and Asma, the narrative expands beyond Za'atari to explore the broader refugee entrepreneurship phenomenon in more than twenty camps and cities across the globe. What emerges is a tale of power, determination, and dignity – of igniting the brightest sparks of joy, even when the rest of the world sees only the darkness. A significant portion of the author's proceeds from this book is being contributed to support refugee entrepreneurs in Za'atari and around the world.
Visit Andrew Leon Hanna's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Fragrance of Death"

Coming August 2 from Severn House: The Fragrance of Death by Leslie Karst.

About the book, from the publisher:

Restaurateur Sally Solari has a nose for trouble, but when her sense of smell goes missing, it’s not just her career on the line ... it’s her life.

Restaurateur Sally Solari is a champion, both in the kitchen and on the case, but after getting mixed up in one too many murders, she’s noticed her nonna’s friends have now taken to crossing themselves when they see her in the street. Adding to her woes, a sinus infection has knocked out her sense of smell, making cooking on the hot line difficult, indeed. Nevertheless, Sally is determined to stay out of trouble and focus on her work.

But then her old acquaintance Neil Lerici is murdered at the annual Santa Cruz Artichoke Cook-Off, and her powers of investigation are called into action once more. Could Neil have been killed by the local restaurant owner who took his winning spot at the competition? Or maybe by one of his siblings, who were desperate to sell the family farm to a real estate developer?

Sally plunges headfirst into the case, risking alienating everyone she knows – including the dapper Detective Vargas, who finds her sleuthing both infuriating and endearing. And soon it’s not only her restaurant and tentative new relationship that are on the line – it’s her life...
Visit Leslie Karst’s website.

Coffee with a Canine: Leslie Karst & Ziggy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 12, 2022

"The Kingdom of Rye"

New from the University of California Press: The Kingdom of Rye: A Brief History of Russian Food by Darra Goldstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Celebrated food scholar Darra Goldstein takes readers on a vivid tour of history and culture through Russian cuisine.

The Kingdom of Rye unearths the foods and flavors of the Russian land. Preeminent food studies scholar Darra Goldstein offers readers a concise, engaging, and gorgeously crafted story of Russian cuisine and culture. This story demonstrates how national identity is revealed through food—and how people know who they are by what they eat together. The Kingdom of Rye examines the Russians' ingenuity in overcoming hunger, a difficult climate, and a history of political hardship while deciphering Russia's social structures from within. This is a domestic history of Russian food that serves up a deeper history, demonstrating that the wooden spoon is mightier than the scepter.
Visit Darra Goldstein's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"City of Orange"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: City of Orange by David Yoon.

About the book, from the publisher:

He used to live in a place called California, but how did he wind up here with a head wound and a bottle of pills in his pocket?

He navigates his surroundings, one rough shape at a time. Here lies a pipe, there a reed that could be carved into a weapon, beyond a city he once lived in.

He could swear his daughter’s name began with a J, but what was it, exactly?

Then he encounters an old man, a crow, and a boy—and realizes that nothing is what he thought it was, neither the present nor the past.

He can’t even recall the features of his own face, and wonders: who am I?

Harrowing and haunting but also humorous in the face of the unfathomable, David Yoon’s City of Orange is a novel about reassembling the things that make us who we are, and finding the way home again.
Visit David Yoon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Apocalypse without God"

New from Cambridge University Press: Apocalypse without God: Apocalyptic Thought, Ideal Politics, and the Limits of Utopian Hope by Ben Jones.

About the book, from the author:

Apocalypse, it seems, is everywhere. Preachers with vast followings proclaim the world's end. Apocalyptic fears grip even the nonreligious amid climate change, pandemics, and threats of nuclear war. As these ideas pervade popular discourse, grasping their logic remains elusive. Ben Jones argues that we can gain insight into apocalyptic thought through secular thinkers. He starts with a puzzle: Why would secular thinkers draw on Christian apocalyptic beliefs – often dismissed as bizarre – to interpret politics? The apocalyptic tradition proves appealing in part because it theorizes a relation between crisis and utopia. Apocalyptic thought points to crisis as the vehicle to bring the previously impossible within reach, offering resources for navigating challenges in ideal theory, which involves imagining the best, most just society. By examining apocalyptic thought's appeal and risks, this study arrives at new insights on the limits of utopian hope.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

"All the Things We Don't Talk About"

New from Grand Central Publishing: All the Things We Don't Talk About by Amy Feltman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Morgan Flowers just wants to hide. Raised by their neurodivergent father, Morgan has grown up haunted by the absence of their mysterious mother Zoe, especially now, as they navigate their gender identity and the turmoil of first love. Their father Julian has raised Morgan with care, but he can’t quite fill the gap left by the dazzling and destructive Zoe, who fled to Europe on Morgan’s first birthday. And when Zoe is dumped by her girlfriend Brigid, she suddenly comes crashing back into Morgan and Julian’s lives, poised to disrupt the fragile peace they have so carefully cultivated.

Through it all, Julian and Brigid have become unlikely pen-pals and friends, united by the knowledge of what it’s like to love and lose Zoe; they both know that she hasn’t changed. Despite the red flags, Morgan is swiftly drawn into Zoe’s glittering orbit and into a series of harmful missteps, and Brigid may be the only link that can pull them back from the edge. A story of betrayal and trauma alongside queer love and resilience, ALL THE THINGS WE DON’T TALK ABOUT is a celebration of and a reckoning with the power and unintentional pain of a thoroughly modern family.
Visit Amy Feltman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Public Faces, Secret Lives"

New from New York University Press: Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement by Wendy L. Rouse.

About the book, from the publisher:

Restores queer suffragists to their rightful place in the history of the struggle for women’s right to vote

The women’s suffrage movement, much like many other civil rights movements, has an important and often unrecognized queer history. In Public Faces, Secret Lives Wendy L. Rouse reveals that, contrary to popular belief, the suffrage movement included a variety of individuals who represented a range of genders and sexualities. However, owing to the constant pressure to present a “respectable” public image, suffrage leaders publicly conformed to gendered views of ideal womanhood in order to make women’s suffrage more palatable to the public.

Rouse argues that queer suffragists did take meaningful action to assert their identities and legacies by challenging traditional concepts of domesticity, family, space, and death in both subtly subversive and radically transformative ways. Queer suffragists also built lasting alliances and developed innovative strategies in order to protect their most intimate relationships, ones that were ultimately crucial to the success of the suffrage movement. Public Faces, Secret Lives is the first work to truly recenter queer figures in the women’s suffrage movement, highlighting their immense contributions as well as their numerous sacrifices.
Visit Wendy Rouse's website.

The Page 99 Test: Her Own Hero.

My Book, The Movie: Her Own Hero.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Primal Animals"

New from Wednesday Books: Primal Animals: A Novel by Julia Lynn Rubin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Protect the girls.

Arlee Gold has always lived in the shadow of her successful mom; even after everything Arlee’s been through, her mother still expects nothing but the best. In an effort to get her daughter back on track after a less-than-stellar few school years, she’s enrolled Arlee as a legacy at Camp Rockaway, an elite college prep summer camp deep in the North Carolina wilderness. On her own for the first time and buzzing with anxiety, Arlee is intimidated by the camp’s shiny exterior, suffocated by the relentless, thick summer heat…and tormented by the ceaseless stream of crawling, slimy, flapping bugs that seem to come straight from her nightmares.

In the midst of her brewing dread, Arlee is relieved to find a queer sanctuary in her bunkmates, and is especially drawn to Winnie, the enigmatic girl who sleeps in the bunk above her. Except Arlee starts to notice whispers in her wake, and how so many others recoil from her as if she were as creepy as the insects that terrify her. Struggling in her prep classes and feeling increasingly paranoid, Arlee can no longer suppress her panicked “glitches.” Winnie, too, seems to become wary, and Arlee’s worst fear is confirmed: even here, in the place her mother promised was “going to change everything,” she’s been found out as a freak.

Just as she’s facing a summer completely alone, another rising junior slips her a mysterious invitation, and Arlee finds herself caught up in a secret society that expects its sisterhood to protect each other from any and all who would harm them—by any means necessary. Here, finally, Arlee feels like a part of something bigger, something that matters. Guided by their cunning leader, Lisha, a rising senior with a smile sharp enough to cut bone, the sisterhood will stand against any threat, unquestioningly. But when Winnie is put in grave danger, Arlee is forced to confront just how far her sisters will go, and whether they truly protect the girls.
Visit Julia Lynn Rubin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

"That Damned Fence"

New from Oxford University Press: That Damned Fence: The Literature of the Japanese American Prison Camps by Heather Hathaway.

About the book, from the publisher:

Until the late twentieth century, relatively few Americans knew that the United States government forcibly detained nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. At war's end, the nation, including many of those who were confined to the ten Relocation Centers--which President Roosevelt initially referred to as "concentration camps"--wished to wipe this national tragedy from memory.

That Damned Fence, titled after a poem written by a Japanese American held at the Minidoka camp in Idaho, draws on the creative work of the internees themselves to cast new light on this historical injustice. While in captivity, detainees produced moving poetry and fiction, compelling investigative journalism, and lasting work of arts to make sense of their hardships and to leave a record of their emotional and psychological suffering.

Heather Hathaway explores the experiences of inmates in five camps--Topaz in Utah; Granada/Amache in Colorado; Rohwer and Jerome in Arkansas; and Tule Lake in northern California--each with their own literary magazines, such as TREK, All Aboard, Pulse, The Pen, Magnet, and The Tulean Dispatch. Conditions in the camps varied dramatically, as did their environments, ranging from sweltering swamplands and sun-blasted desert to frigid mountain terrain. So too did the inhabitants of each camp, with some dominated by farmers from California's Central Valley and others filled with professionals from the San Francisco Bay area. This disparity extended to the attitudes of camp administrators; some deemed the plan a mistake from the outset while others believed their captives to be a significant threat to national security.

That Damned Fence reveals the anger and humor, and the deep despair and steadfast resilience with which Japanese Americans faced their wartime incarceration. By emphasizing the inner lives of the unjustly accused and the myriad ways in which they portrayed their captivity, Heather Hathaway gives voice to Americans imprisoned by their own country for their country of origin or appearance.
--Marshal Zeringue