Saturday, December 5, 2009

Poles Jews and the Politics of Nationality or The End of Alliances

Poles, Jews, and the Politics of Nationality: The Bund and the Polish Socialist Party in Late Tsarist Russia, 1892-1914

Author: Joshua D Zimmerman

The Jewish experience on Polish lands is often viewed backwards through the lens of the Holocaust and the ethnic rivalries that escalated in the period between the two world wars. Critical to the history of Polish-Jewish relations, however, is the period prior to World War I when the emergence of mass electoral politics in Czarist Russia led to the consolidation of modern political parties. Using sources published in Polish, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian, Joshua D. Zimmerman has compiled a full-length English-language study of the relations between the two dominant progressive movements in Russian Poland. He examines the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), which sought social emancipation and equal civil rights for minority nationalities, including Jews, under a democratic Polish republic, and the Jewish Labor Bund, which declared that Jews were a nation distinct from Poles and Russians and advocated cultural autonomy. By 1905, the PPS abandoned its call for Jewish assimilation, and recognized Jews as a separate nationality. Zimmerman demonstrates persuasively that Polish history in Czarist Russia cannot be fully understood without studying the Jewish influence and that Jewish history was equally infused with the Polish influence.

Table of Contents:
Maps, Tables, Figures, and Illustrations
Note on Transliterations, Dates, and Terms
1Industrialization and the Rise of the Polish Socialist Party in Tsarist Russia, 1892-979
2The First Sproutings of the Jewish Socialist Movement, 1890-9536
3Into the Polish Heartland: The Spread of the Jewish Movement to Warsaw, 1895-9769
4Organizational Breakthrough: The Formation of the Jewish Labor Bund, 1897-9883
5Ideological Transformation: The Turn to a National Program, 1899-1901106
6Polish Socialism Responds: The First Years of the PPS Yiddish Press, 1898-1902126
7Toward a Recognition of Jewish Nationality: The PPS and Its Jewish Section, 1902-4165
8The 1905 Revolution in Russia and the Transformation of PPS-Bund Relations191
9From Politics to the New Yiddish Culture: The Bund in the Period of Revolutionary Defeat, 1907-11227
10The PPS and the Jewish Question on the Eve of the First World War255

Interesting book: Appetites or Yoga for Living

The End of Alliances

Author: Rajan Menon

Why should the United States cling to military alliances established during the Cold War when the circumstances are now fundamentally different? In The End of Alliances, Rajan Menon argues that our alliances in Europe and Asia have become irrelevant to the challenges we face today. The United States must be actively involved beyond its borders, but by relying on coalitions whose membership varies depending on the issue at hand. While a strategy that ceases to rely on alliances will mark a dramatic shift in American foreign policy, he reminds us that states routinely reassess and reorient their strategies. The United States, which studiously avoided alliances for much of its history only to embrace them during the Cold War, is no exception. The End of Alliances predicts that the coming change in American strategy will force our traditional allies to rethink their choices and create new patterns in world politics. The controversial argument advanced by Menon will provoke debate among foreign policy specialists and the general public.

The New York Times - Mick Sussman

…Menon is a level-headed analyst, and though his prescription for an updated grand strategy is tentative, his diagnosis of the ills besetting the current one is persuasive.

Foreign Affairs

Alliances have been the cornerstone of U.S. foreign relationssince the 1940s. Even now, they remain the foundation for global security cooperation. But in this provocative book, Menon asserts that such formal military ties are destined to fade away. It is not a return to isolationism that will drive the dissolution of alliances but rather a slow -- and, to Menon's mind, welcome -- strategic reorientation of the United States' global position, with more informal and shifting alignments of states. Menon's thesis is based partly on his reading of the past: the United States has always been ambivalent about security commitments and maintaining a long-term overseas military presence, a national orientation only temporarily overcome by the Cold War. The new security environment, Menon goes on to argue, marked by the rise of terrorism and the absence of threatening great powers, makes alliances dispensable. Moreover, Washington's European and Asian allies are now economically revived and able to provide for their own security. In the end, Menon offers a clear picture of the global shifts that have thrown the role of alliances into question, but his argument that the costs of alliances are rising relative to their benefits is less convincing. Nor does he explore the role of the U.S. alliance system in facilitating cooperation among the advanced democracies. Today's alliances may have outlived their historical causes, but their usefulness remains.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jeffersons Empire or Encyclopedia of the Palestinians

Jefferson's Empire: The Language of American Nationhood

Author: Peter S Onuf

Peter S. Onuf's book traces Jefferson's vision of the American future to its roots in his idealized notions of nationhood and empire. Onuf's recognition that Jefferson's famed egalitarianism was elaborated in an imperialist context yields original interpretations of our national identity and our ideas of race, of westward expansion and the Civil War, and of American global dominance in the twentieth century." "In Onuf's view, Jefferson's quest to define a new American identity also shaped his ambivalent conceptions of slavery and Native American rights." "Jefferson's ideas about race reveal the limitations of his conception of American nationhood. Yet, as Onuf strikingly documents, Jefferson's vision of a republican empire - a regime of peace, prosperity, and union without coercion - continues to define and expand the boundaries of American national identity.

What People Are Saying

In this lively and engaging collection of essays that will stimulate scholars and general leaders alike, Peter Onuf succeeds admirably in taking a fresh look at a subject of vital concern in both Jefferson's world and our own. (Drew McCoy, Clark University)

Drew McCoy
In this lively and engaging collection of essays that will stimulate scholars and general leaders alike, Peter Onuf succeeds admirably in taking a fresh look at a subject of vital concern in both Jefferson's world and our own. (Drew McCoy, Clark University)

Pauline Maier
This thought—provoking study of Jefferson's vision for the American nation is an important contribution to contemporary historical scholarship. It forces readers to ask whether in multiracial, cosmopolitan America, tolerant of cultural differences and at home with partisan conflict, can in any sense be called 'Jeffersonian.'
—(Pauline Maier, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Joyce Appleby
Peter Onuf has written a fine study of Jefferson's political thought approached as a coherent body of principles and affirmations formed during the critical years between his entering the lists as a polemicist for the patriot cause and his move to form an opposition to the Federalist policies in Washington's administration twenty years later. Jefferson's Empire is tightly argued, forcefully written, and intellectually challenging.
—(Joyce Appleby, University of California, Los Angeles)

Lance Banning
Jefferson's Empire is brilliant work by the historian best qualified to give us a new and thorough analysis of Jefferson's concepts of empire, nation, and union. It offers both a fresh angle of vision on Jefferson himself and a superb contribution to the renewed understanding of the importance of Federalism to the founding generation.
—(Lance Banning, University of Kentucky)

New interesting textbook: Keep Your Kids Safe on the Internet or The Dream of Eternal Life

Encyclopedia of the Palestinians

Author: Philip Mattar

The Palestinian people and their region are continually in the news and at the forefront of international diplomacy. Yet much about their history remains obscure.

The Encyclopedia of the Palestinians objectively details the historical and political factors behind such controversial topics as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Coverage concentrates primarily on the modern era—from the beginning of the late Ottoman period to the present. The ancient and medieval history of the region is also explored.

Led by Philip Mattar, Ph.D. andexecutive director of the Institute for Palestinian Studies, a distinguished group of 50 scholars and regional experts has contributed more than 350 alphabetically arranged articles to create this book.

These fully crossreferenced entries cover:

"National Bloc Party," "Palestinian National Charter," "Palestinian National Council," "Reform Party," "United Nations and the Palestinians," "Liberal Party," "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine"

Library Journal

The Palestine conflict has been at the core of the Arab-Israeli dispute for over half a century. There are numerous fine books on various aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Palestinian issues have received extensive media coverage throughout the world. Yet misperceptions about the Palestinian people and their history abound in both popular and, to some extent, scholarly circles in the West. The editor, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian American, is the executive director of the American branch of the Institute for Palestine Studies and deputy director of the Journal of Palestine Studies. In this solid reference work, the editor and approximately 50 other scholars have put together extremely useful entries on all aspects of historical and contemporary issues affecting the Palestinian people. The topics covered include politics, culture, society, history, economics, and geography. Also included are significant events and biographies of important individuals whose lives have shaped the contours of modern Palestinian history. This encyclopedia will remain a definitive work on Palestine for years to come. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.--Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Journal Library

In this solid reference work the editor and 50 other scholars have put together extremely useful entries on all aspects of historical and contemporary issues affecting the Palestinian people. . . . this encyclopedia will remain a definitive work on Palestine for years to come. Highly recommended. (May 1, 2000)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Securing Americas Future or The Priestly Tribe

Securing America's Future: A Bold Plan to Preserve and Expand Social Security

Author: Max J Skidmor

About the Author:
Max J. Skidmore is Thomas Jefferson Fellow and the Curators' Professor or Political Science at the University of Missouri at Kansas City

Table of Contents:
Foreword   George McGovern     vii
Introduction     1
The Forgotten Piece of National Security: Franklin D. Roosevelt's Economic Bill of Rights     5
Misinformation about Social Security: It Ain't What People Don't Know ...     15
The Gospel of Wealth: Amid Acres of Diamonds     39
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Plan and Its Enemies Emerge     49
From Miss Fuller's First Check     61
Frightening Facts or Persistent Politics?     77
A New Plan that Truly Would Improve Social Security     93
The Enemies Regroup: Rallying 'Round Reagan     101
Presidential Attitudes toward Social Security: "Only Desperate Men with Their Backs to the Wall"     127
The Special Problem of Health Care: The Fortunes to Be Made     151
Some Final Words to Sum It All Up     163
Text of Recording of "Operaton Coffeecup"     169
Internet Nonsense about Social Security     177
Social Security and Ponzi Schemes     185
Bibliography     189
Index     197
About the Author     205

Interesting textbook: Astrological Gastronomy or Opaa Greek Cooking Detroit Style

The Priestly Tribe: The Supreme Court's Image in the American Mind

Author: Barbara A A Perry

Perry illuminates the Supreme Court's unique advantages in sustaining a noble public image by its stewardship of the revered Constitution, its constant embrace of the rule of law, the justices' life tenure, its symbols of impartiality and integrity, and a resolute determination to keep its distance from the media. She argues that the Court has bolstered these advantages to avoid traps that have marred Congressional and presidential images, and she demonstrates how the Court has escaped the worst of media coverage.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All American Monster or Your Fathers Voice

All-American Monster: The Unauthorized Biography of Timothy McVeigh

Author: Brandon M Stickney

At 9:02 A.M. on April 19, 1995, the serenity of America's heartland was destroyed when a massive explosion leveled one side of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and the reality of terrorism shocked the nation. Damage from the blast covered many city blocks; 168 men, women, and children were killed; and an estimated 500 were injured. On April 21, Timothy McVeigh was formally charged as a suspect in the bombing. More than a year after the bombings, as the wheels of justice grind slowly toward a trial, the nation, in its shock and horror, still asks: Who is Timothy McVeigh? Why would anyone commit such a horrible act? What turned a seemingly ordinary small-town boy - a decorated former soldier and war hero - into an alleged mass murderer and the most hated man in America? Journalist Brandon M. Stickney answers many of the compelling questions surrounding McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, and puts this critical information into the broader perspective of McVeigh's childhood, his educational and military service, and his efforts to find meaning and purpose in life. In this thoroughly researched and sensitively written biography, the author, a reporter and native of the western New York area where McVeigh was born and raised, draws on his own personal experience, available documents, and numerous interviews with McVeigh's family, friends, and associates to offer intimate details of McVeigh's life - factors that contributed to his startling transformation from all-American boy to "All-American Monster."

Journal of Psychohistory

The raging part of McVeigh often made him seem like two people, similar to people who have multiple personality disorders...

Publishers Weekly

A reporter for the Lockport, N.Y., Union-Sun and Journal, Stickney is well suited to write a biography of accused Oklahoma City bombing suspect and Lockport native McVeigh, since he is a lifelong resident of the area. He utilizes that advantage in this admirable search for the influences that shaped the personality of his subject. Stickney reveals a young man of average abilities and no particular distinction except for a fascination with guns and comic books, distraught by the divorce of his parents and the exposure of widespread corruption among government officials in his home county. McVeigh served in the Army and participated in Desert Storm but failed to stay the course in training for the Special Forces. After leaving the service, he was drawn into the orbit of the radical right. It is clear that Stickney considers McVeigh and his friend Terry Nichols guilty of the bombing, but he admirably retains his focus on the formative factors in his subject's development. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)


Stickney, a reporter, answers many of the questions surrounding McVeigh and the Oklahoma bombing and puts this information into the broader perspective of McVeigh's childhood, education, and military service. Utilizing little-known information and an exclusive interview with McVeigh's younger sister, Stickney speculates about McVeigh's thoughts, feelings, and motivations in connection with the bombing. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Book review: Learning in Real Time or Exploiting Software

Your Father's Voice: Letters for Emmy about Life with Jerem...and without Him after 9/11

Author: Lyz Glick

On September 11, 2001, Jeremy Glick boarded United Flight 93 only because a fire at Newark Airport had prevented him from flying out the day before. That morning, he called his wife, Lyz, to tell her the plane had been hijacked and that he and a group of others were going to storm the cockpit, an effort that doomed Glick and his fellow passengers, yet doubtless saved lives on the ground and instantly became known worldwide as a heroic moment of resistance. But Lyz wanted the couple’s daughter, Emmy, only three months old when the plane crashed, to learn much more of her father’s story than just the ending.
Your Father’s Voice  narrates Lyz’s struggle to come to grips with her husband’s death in a series of letters from Lyz to Emmy that give a wrenching but clear-eyed account of Lyz’s first years without Jeremy.
Through it all, Lyz pragmatically details the challenges of a single parent raising a daughter in the aftermath of horrific tragedy, and urges Emmy to listen for what Lyz can still hear when the wind is right: her father’s voice.

Publishers Weekly

This unflinching and emotionally powerful portrayal of Jeremy Glick's life and role as one of the passengers on United's flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa., on 9/11, takes the form of a series of letters to the Glicks' daughter, who was three months old when Jeremy died. Out of her grief, Lyz has produced this beautiful book memorializing her husband, who became a media hero for his role in the probable attack on the hijackers. She relates their precious last words when he called from the plane and describes the ways Jeremy's unique background prepared him well for that day's terrible challenges. Jeremy was a huge and powerful man (a judo champion, too), and a tender, caring father who deeply loved his high school sweetheart and their tiny daughter. With this book, Lyz Glick gives their daughter (and readers) an honest look at the daily trials she continues to face: unwelcome media attention, repeated political tributes and group meetings with the coroner. Lyz's epistolary account will comfort others dealing with loss; by book's end, it's clear she's begun the daunting task of moving on, but never forgetting. Photos. (Sept.) Forecast: Glick's book is bound to receive media attention, as its publication date coincides with the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.