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Faith in Bikinis, Politics and Leisure in the Coastal South Since the Civil War. Anthony J. Stanonis, University of Georgia Press, 2014. While traditional industries like textile or lumber mills have received a majority of the scholarly attention devoted to southern economic development, Faith in Bikinis presents an untold story of the New South, one that explores how tourism played a central role in revitalizing the southern economy and transforming southern culture after the Civil War. Along the coast of the American South, a culture emerged that negotiated the more rigid religious, social, and racial practices of the inland cotton country and the more indulgent consumerism of vacationers, many from the North, who sought greater freedom to enjoy sex, gambling, alcohol, and other pleasures. On the shoreline, the Sunbelt South—the modern South—first emerged. This book examines those tensions and how coastal southerners managed to placate both. White supremacy was supported, but the resorts’ dependence on positive publicity gave African Americans leverage to pursue racial equality, including access to beaches often restored through the expenditure of federal tax dollars. Displays of women clad in scanty swimwear served to market resorts via pamphlets, newspaper promotions, and film. Yet such marketing of sexuality was couched in the form of carefully managed beauty contests and the language of Christian wholesomeness widely celebrated by resort boosters. Prohibition laws were openly flaunted in Galveston, Biloxi, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, and elsewhere. Yet revenue from sales taxes made states reluctant to rein in resort activities. This revenue bridged the divide between the coastal resorts and agricultural interests, creating a space for the New South to come into being. “Faith in Bikinis is a fascinating—and untold—history that has been carefully and eloquently told by an accomplished scholar.”
The Constitution, an Introduction. Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen. Basic Books, 2015. The Constitution: An Introduction is the definitive modern primer on the US Constitution. Michael Stokes Paulsen, one of the nation’s most provocative and accomplished scholars of the Constitution, and his son Luke Paulsen, a gifted young writer and lay scholar, have combined to write a lively introduction to the supreme law of the United States, covering the Constitution’s history and meaning in clear, accessible terms. This vital document, along with its history of political and judicial interpretation, governs our individual lives and the life of our nation. A lucid and engaging guide, The Constitution: An Introduction provides readers with the tools to think critically and independently about constitutional issues—a skill that is ever more essential to the continued flourishing of American democracy. “The Constitution: An Introduction is packed both with essential information and discerning analysis. More than that, it reads like a novel-adventure story. It will make a great text in any number of classes.”
U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001-2009. David W. Kummer. U.S. Marines, 2014. This book is described as a general overview and provisional reference to the Corps’ participation in Operation Enduring Freedom from 2001 to 2009, “until new scholarship and archival materials become available.” However, it is a wonderful documentation of the Corps, including ample photographs and historical information. The “Selected Sources and Annotated Bibliography” is more than 20 pages long. Beautiful and informative!
The United States Marine Corps in the World War. Major Edwin N. McClellan. U.S. Marine Corps, 2014. This is an updated and revised edition of the 1968 and 1920 editions in the U.S. Marines in World War I Centennial Commemorative Series. This new edition provides an updated account of casualty numbers.
The CEO as Urban Statesman. Harnessing the Power of CEOs to Make Cities Thrive. Sam A Williams. Mercer University Press, 2014. In The CEO as Urban Statesman, Williams uses case studies to argue that business leaders can and should contribute to their communities by using their business skills to solve public policy problems--and he tells them how to do it. After some introductory chapters, the author takes the reader through five case studies, exploring each case in detail. The book concludes with best practices and cautionary tales.
Empire of Cotton, a Global History. Sven Beclert. Knopf, 2015. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist. Empire of Cotton is a winner of the Bancroft Prize and a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges, research for the long term. Deborah C Hayes, Susan L. Stout, Ralph H. Crawford and Anne P. Hoover. Springer, 2014. USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) are scientific treasures, providing secure, protected research sites where complex and diverse ecological processes are studied over the long term. This book offers several examples of the dynamic interactions among questions of public concern or policy, EFR research, and natural resource management practices and policies. Often, trends observed – or expected -- in the early years of a research program are contradicted or confounded as the research record extends over decades. The EFRs are among the few areas in the US where such long-term research has been carried out by teams of scientists. Changes in society’s needs and values can also redirect research programs. Each chapter of this book reflects the interplay between the ecological results that emerge from a long-term research project and the social forces that influence questions asked and resources invested in ecological research. While these stories include summaries and syntheses of traditional research results, they offer a distinctly new perspective, a larger and more complete picture than that provided by a more typical 5-year study. They also provide examples of long-term research on EFRs that have provided answers for questions not even imagined at the time the study was installed.