World History Review Journal

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    [Book Review] Goods, Power, History: Latin America's Material Culture
    (2003-10) Pisani, Michael J.
    On one level Goods, Power, History: Latin America’s Material Culture is about the history of consumption of products in the Americas from pre-Columbian to modern times. The author, Arnold J. Bauer, professor of history at the University of California, Davis, states as much: “The present book emphasizes the core items of material life—food, clothing, shelter, and the organization of public space— in both their rudimentary and elaborate manifestations” (pp. xv-xvi). On a much more sophisticated and integrative level, this book is a tour de force or compendium of Dr. Bauer’s distinguished body of work concerning the asymmetrical relationship between people, things and power in Latin America.
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    [Book Review] December 8, 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor
    (2003-10) Davis, Sonny B.
    In this meticulously researched volume amateur historian William Bartsch explores the events leading up to and the actual destruction of the United States’ Far East Air Force in the Philippine Islands on December 8, 1941. Bartsch pulls together an impressive array of American and Japanese primary and secondary sources to argue that the Japanese success in destroying the American air forces in the Philippines in a single day was a greater strategic disaster than the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
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    [Book Review] The Human Tradition in Modern Brazil
    (2003-05) Davis, Sonny B.
    The Human Tradition in Modern Brazil is the seventh volume to appear as part of Scholarly Resources’ “The Human Tradition around the World Series” under the guidance of series editors William H. Beezley and Colin M. Maclachlan. In this volume, editor Peter M. Beattie has gathered fifteen essays by American and Brazilian scholars that traces the lives of non-elite figures in Brazilian history from independence to the twenty-first century under the new “cultural history” banner. By examining the lives of these individuals, claims Beattie, one can learn much of the evolution of Brazilian society and how those from non-elite backgrounds viewed the worlds in which they lived. Through studying the variety of factors that structured average Brazilians’ interpretation of national, local, and self identities over time, and their life actions, a picture of modern Brazil emerges that relies less on elite history and more on the history of the less privileged.
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    [Book Review] Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
    (2003-06) Burson, Jeffrey D.
    Jack Weatherford has crafted an elegant narrative of Genghis Khan and the Mongolian imperial age expertly synthesizing existing historiography on the Mongols, with a tour through the customs of the Mogul peoples with a cultural history of how Chinese, Middle Eastern, and European peoples rewrote the history of the Mongols as one of sheer barbarism. Throughout, Weatherford threads his expert knowledge of the cultural anthropology of tribal peoples into a broad historiographical context, and argues for the modernity, pluralism, and long-term contributions of Mongolian rule to the political, cultural and military development of Early Modern Europe, Islam, and China.
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    Marriage, Inheritance, and Family Discord: French Elite and the Transformation of the Polish Szlachta
    (2004-06) Blackburn, Christopher
    Several important themes permeate Monsieur Damon’s instructions to his aristocratic pupil. Most significant is not that Poland was a part of the general European Enlightenment, but that Polish enlightened thought resided primarily within “fashionable”elite circles and was ultimately based on the writings of the French philosophes. The wholesale acceptance of French culture brought a clear and conscious change to the szlachta’s traditionally Sarmatian character, while at the same time the szlachta family was unconsciously transformed by the more subtle Western notions of kinship and affective individualism, a process that culminated with the reign of the last enlightened despot—Napoleon Bonaparte.2 The mentalité of the Polish nobility was recast in the eighteenth century as its membership embraced selectively certain aspects of both the Enlightenment and ancien régime France. The piecemeal acceptance of these ideas by the traditionally Sarmatian nobility led to the evolution of an ideology resembling Enlightened Sarmatianism—one that embraced formal education, individualism, and Western appearance, which coexisted with agrarianism, anti-urbanism, and devotion to the Church.
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    [Book Review] Traitors: The Worst Acts of Treason in American History from Benedict Arnold to Robert Hanssen
    (2004-10) Pisani, Michael J.
    Popular history continues to intrigue the reading public and co-found academics. Yet, popular history can address serious intellectual questions but not in the turgid scholarly style that too often fails to attract any save those initiated in the mysteries of historical writing. In Traitors, Richard Sale examines the most infamous traitors in U.S. history from revolutionary America to the modern United States in order to answer the question of "what makes a traitor."
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    Europeans in Neo-European Worlds: The Americas in World History
    (2004-10) Garner, Lydia
    In studies of World history the experience of the first colonial powers in the Americas (Spain, Portugal, England, and France) and the processes of creating neo-European worlds in the new environment is a topic that has received little attention. Matters related to race, religion, culture, language, and, since of the middle of the last century of economic progress, have divided the historiography of the Americas along the lines of Anglo-Saxon vs. Iberian civilizations to the point where the integration of the Americas into World history seems destined to follow the same lines. But in the broader perspective of World history, the Americas of the early centuries can also be analyzed as the repository of Western Civilization as expressed by its constituent parts, the Anglo-Saxon and the Iberian. When transplanted to the environment of the Americas those parts had to undergo processes of adaptation to create a neo-European world, a process that extended into the post-colonial period. European institutions adapted to function in the context of local socio/economic and historical realities, and in the process they created apparently similar European institutions that in reality became different from those in the mother countries, and thus were neo-European. To explore their experience in the Americas is essential for the integration of the history of the Americas into World history for comparative studies with the European experience in other regions of the world and for the introduction of a new perspective on the history of the Americas. The process of adaptation of laws and institutions is one among many that illustrate this adaptation.
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    Cyclical and Technological Unemployment in Germany’s Ruhr Coal Industry, 1918 - 1935
    (2004-06) Shearer, J. Ronald
    Historians as well as contemporary observers have agreed that crushing unemployment was one of the most severe problems that Germany’s Weimar Republic confronted. Not only did Germany suffer deeply from unemployment as Europe crumbled into the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Germany also experienced persistently high unemployment rates even in the later 1920s when its economy appeared to enjoy a much delayed phase of recovery and expansion after World War I. Average unemployment remained at a stubborn 10% of the labor force even for the “golden” years from 1924 to 1929. But the unemployment in the Weimar years was not just a national economic problem, as serious as that might have been. Scholars have analyzed catastrophic political consequences emanating from the economic dislocation and unemployment of Weimar’s later years. In an important study, Detlev Peukert has propounded an interpretive history of the Weimar Republic that singles out economic disaster as the crucial social crisis precipitating political catastrophe. Weimar, in his view, previewed the classic contradictions of economic and political modernity. Analysts of urban conflict and political radicalization, particularly Eve Rosenhaft, also closely link political disintegration in the early 1930s to ruinous unemployment. Clearly Germany’s persistent joblessness was critical to the social and political crisis of the latter part of the troubled Republic. In addition, unemployment hit some sectors much harder than others. In 1930, approximately 80% of Germany’s jobless belonged to the blue collar sectors of industrial production, mining, and manufacturing. In the depth of the Depression in 1932, the largest masses of the out-of-work were found in Germany’s traditional industrial regions: the Ruhr’s Rhineland and Westphalian provinces, Berlin, and the state of Saxony. The industrial origins of severe unemployment have thus drawn significant attention. Debate has persisted about the causes of unemployment, especially in these traditional industrial sectors.
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    World History Review: Table of Contents [Fall 2004]
    The World History Review is an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year in Fall, Spring, and Summer. This document includes the table of contents and contributors.
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    American Studies of Wang Jingwei: Defining Nationalism
    (2004-10) Chen, Jian-Yue
    Wang Jingwei, “veteran revolutionary leader, [and] champion of republicanism, democracy, and national independence,” has remained one of the most controversial figures in the history of republican China because he ended up as the head of the Chinese collaborationist government during World War II.1 Ever since both the Communist and Nationalist governments have condemned Wang as a national traitor (hanjian) as both claim to solely represent the nation. Chinese scholars who have written along the “party lines” have downplayed, if not totally omitted or twisted, Wang’s earlier contributions to modern China.2 Little wonder that Wang has been among the very few Guomindang leaders “still hovering in historical obscurity.”
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    He Must be Depised: Hostility to Ministers in Early Modern Cambridgeshire
    (2003-10) Pisani, Jana
    In The Country Parson (1632) poet and minister George Herbert discussed the relationship between the Anglican clergyman and his parishioners. In Chapter XXVIII, entitled “The Parson in Contempt,”Herbert wrote that all ministers realize “the generall ignominy which is cast upon the profession,� and that this profession ensures that “he must be despised.” He went on to say that such hatred of the ministry had always “been the portion of God his master and of God’s Saints his Brethren, and this is foretold that it shall be so still until things be no more.” Herbert recommended that in order to reach his parishioners spiritually, however, such hostility must be overcome by using “a courteous carriage and winning behaviour,� as well as firm discipline.
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    [Book Review] Minor Omissions: Children in Latin American History and Society
    (2003-10) Bradford, Anita
    Minor Omissions: Children in Latin American History and Society is an initial, though somewhat piecemeal, attempt to address five centuries of silence about the region’s children. Editor Tobias Hecht has compiled a collection of articles by scholars of history, anthropology, religion and art, as well as diary entries and short fiction, all of which seek to locate children within the larger context of Latin America’s past and present.
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    HIV/AIDS, the Government, and Minorities in the United States, 1981-2001
    (2004-03) Yarborough, Melody
    The first known cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the United States occurred in 1981. Young Caucasian males in the United States were dying of a rare form of cancer usually found only in older Jewish men of Mediterranean descent. Something was attacking and destroying the immune system to such an extent that it was possible for young men to contract this cancer. In 1984, three years after the first reports of the new disease, researchers discovered the virus that caused the disease and named it the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-l). By 1998, some 270,000 Americans had lost their lives to AIDS. Starting in the late 1980s, however, progression of the disease through the population shifted and changed. What was once primarily a disease of young, white, gay males, became a heterosexual disease that is decreasing among Caucasians but exploding among minority populations. This explosion occurred (and continues to do so) in spite of huge federal, state, and local educational campaigns and massive amounts of money and programming that targeted these population groups.
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    World History Review: Table of Contents [Spring 2004]
    The World History Review is an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year in Fall, Spring, and Summer. This document includes the table of contents, contributors, and note from the editor.
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    Private and Public, Personal and Political: Exploring German Expellee Memory Tourism
    (2003-10) Melendy, Brenda
    Thomas Wolfe’s sentiment that “you can’t go home again”is commonplace, but for ethnic Germans expelled from eastern Europe after World War II this aphorism assumed a tangible truth. The 1945 Potsdam Agreements envisioned a European peace ensured by the concentration of all ethnic Germans in a truncated Germany. But, with the East-West divide of the Cold War expelled Germans found themselves cut off from former homes now under communist rule. Treaties could not mandate emotions, however. Over time expellees successfully integrated into the fabric of West German life but for most there always remained the emotional pull to return home to the Heimat. Folks yearned to see their village square, to hike or ski in the local mountains, to attend their parish church, and to visit their family graves.
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    José de Escandón: The Classical Creation of a Conquistador
    (2003-10) Cardenas, Mario A.
    Spain’s final thorough colonization in North America occurred on the northern fringes of its empire. The man who carried out this great effort was José de Escandón, Spain’s last conquistador in New Spain. Escandón not only pacified the Sierra Gorda in north-central Mexico, he explored, conquered, and colonized the area of northeast Mexico and South Texas known as the Seno Mexicano. His life reflected the ideal career path of an 18th century peninsular in the New World. Building upon family connections, Escandón embarked on a military life that lead to prosperous careers in commerce, the colonial bureaucracy, and colonization. He successfully carried out military and colonization campaigns where others failed, employing the dual principles of generosity and iron-willed discipline. The pacification of the Sierra Gorda and the colonization of the vast Seno Mexicano were great feats, yet history books typically mention José de Escandón and his accomplishments only in passing. The impression is that Escandón appeared from nowhere and was almost irrelevant. In reality, his efforts began a process that has resulted in the creation of what has become one of the most dynamic regions in Texas. Here is a man whose previous efforts in royal service and for personal gain positioned him to conquer South Texas and northern Mexico on behalf of his Crown, Church and fellow Spaniards. In the end, Escandón’s personal and public success did not make him immune from a fate that befell many of the conquistadors who preceded him; the trinity he served faithfully turned against him.
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    Mortality Crises in the Jesuit Missions of Paraguay, 1730-1740
    (2004-03) Jackson, Robert
    Scholars of the European-Native interface in the Americas after 1492 generally stress demographic change among the indigenous populations of the Americas as one of the more important consequences of sustained contact between the Old and New Worlds. However, many discussions of the process of demographic change during the first centuries after 1492 do not benefit from detailed sources that enable a detailed analysis of mortality crises that decimated native populations. A mortality crisis is generally defined as x3 normal mortality, and the general assumption is that recurring mortality crises decimated the native populations, causing drastic population declines.
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    World History Review: Table of Contents [Fall 2003]
    The World History Review is an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year in Fall, Spring, and Summer. This document includes the table of contents and contributors.