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Chloe Northrop, Tarrant County College
248pp. ¦ $83 £64 €71
'The Hamilton Phenomenon' brings together a diverse group of scholars including university professors and librarians, educators at community colleges, Ph.D. candidates and independent scholars, in an exploration of the celebrated Broadway hit. When Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical sensation erupted onto Broadway in 2015, scholars were underprepared for the impact the theatrical experience would have. Miranda’s use of rap, hip-hop, jazz, and Broadway show tunes provides the basis for this whirlwind showcase of America’s past through a reinterpretation of eighteenth-century history. Bound together by their shared interest in 'Hamilton: an American Musical', the authors in this volume diverge from a common touchstone to uncover the unique moment presented by this phenomenon. The two parts of this book feature different emerging themes, ranging from the meaning of the musical on stage, to how the musical is impacting pedagogy and teaching in the 21st century. The first part places Hamilton in the history of theatrical performances of the American Revolution, compares it with other musicals, and fleshes out the significance of postcolonial studies within theatrical performances. Esteemed scholars and educators provide the basis for the second part with insights on the efficacy, benefits, and pitfalls of teaching using Hamilton. Although other scholarly works have debated the historical accuracy of Hamilton, 'The Hamilton Phenomenon' benefits from more distance from the release of the musical, as well as the dissemination of the hit through traveling productions and the summer 2020 release on Disney+. Through critically engaging with Hamilton these authors unfold new insights on early American history, pedagogy, costume, race in theatrical performances, and the role of theatre in crafting interest in history.
Reagan Fancher, University of North Texas
Availability: In stock
206pp. ¦ $59 £43 €49
Fought between 1979 and 1989, the Soviet-Afghan War provided vital combat experience for Osama bin Laden and his senior lieutenants in al-Qaeda, allowing them to hone their newly acquired skills in guerrilla warfare to later support Islamist insurgencies worldwide. Yet the ruthless al-Qaeda chief’s success depended on the Soviet leadership’s reluctant prolonging of its military occupation out of fear of leaving Afghanistan in hostile hands. As relative latecomers to the ferocious Afghan frontlines, the inexperienced Arab fighters benefitted militarily from the combat training unwittingly provided by their Soviet foes. After skillfully obtaining this command and battle experience by working within the wartime atmosphere, bin Laden channeled al-Qaeda’s efforts in a global jihadi campaign targeting a second superpower and its allies. While allegations of U.S. support for the Arab jihadis have contributed to a popular image of bin Laden and al-Qaeda as C.I.A. creations, the historical facts appear to demonstrate that the combat opportunities provided by the Soviet occupation forces played a far larger role in transforming them into seasoned guerrilla fighters. In contrast to the dozens of previous works on bin Laden and al-Qaeda, this book is the first to focus primarily on the Soviet-Afghan War’s impact on training the Arab fighters from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, in battle, and preparing them to export their guerrilla war to assist their comrades in their native countries. As a teaching tool that re-examines and clarifies the impact of bin Laden’s wartime actions, this book will be particularly useful to scholars of history and international relations seeking to acquire and spread new knowledge in the classroom and to better understand the origins of al-Qaeda’s deadly skills and martial resilience. It offers an opportunity for today’s decision-makers to learn from history and avoid creating new generations of bin Ladens.
Availability: In stock
396pp. ¦ $74 £54 €61
During the Second World War, approximately 25,000 Dutchmen served within the ranks of the military branch of the German SS: the Waffen-SS. They volunteered to fight to secure the victory of Nazi Germany. These Dutch volunteers fought mainly on the Eastern Front, and to a lesser extent, within their own national borders. After the war, the Allied victors regarded them as part of a criminal organization and jointly responsible for the atrocious transgressions of the Nazi regime. In the Netherlands, these men were reviled, branded as traitors and became pariahs in their own country. Those who had devoted themselves to the Nazi regime caused so much grief to the Netherlands that they had to be held accountable. Despite their military achievements, their reputation was damaged forever. The Netherlands supplied the largest contingent of SS soldiers from the occupied North-western European territories. Who were these people? What led them to enlist, and what were the consequences of their choice? An important part of this study involves the autobiographical texts of nineteen Dutch volunteers in the Waffen-SS. These ego-documents recount their own immediate experiences and are mainly fragments from diaries, but there are also letters, individual notes, and memoirs. The ego-documents are placed within the larger historical context to provide an answer to the question of whether these men were only ideologically motivated and unconditional Nazi sympathizers, and for this, their criminal records are also researched. Among other topics, the book discusses their choice to enlist, their experiences at the front, and their involvement in genocide, providing a new perspective on the Eastern Front.
Availability: In stock
148pp. ¦ $52 £42 €46
This anthology, 'History and Myth: Postcolonial Dimensions', seeks to interrogate and dismantle the colonially structured symmetrical interpretations of the histories and mythological narratives of the former European colonies through depolarization, pluriversality, and border thinking. Here, the concepts of history and myth have been addressed from different perspectives and spatiotemporal zones by scholars from different parts of the world, which add to the global value of the book. It has been argued in this volume that the understanding of postcolonial histories and myths in the contemporary era is highly influenced by the colonially fashioned binaries: valid/ invalid, civilized/barbaric, inclusive/exclusive, relevant/irrelevant, good/bad, etc., which continue to preserve the epistemic citadels of coloniality and selectively promote such historical and mythological narratives that celebrate the superiority of the Global North and the inferiority of the Global South. This book will be of particular interest to scholars, researchers, teachers, and those interested in understanding history, postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, cultural studies, literature, and sociology.
Availability: In stock
344pp. ¦ $71 £52 €59
'Topos in Utopia' examines early modern literary utopias' and intentional communities' social and cultural conception of space. Starting from Thomas More's seminal work, published in 1516, and covering a period of three centuries until the emergence of Enlightenment's euchronia, this work provides a thorough yet concise examination of the way space was imagined and utilised in the early modern visions of a better society. Dealing with an aspect usually ignored by the scholars of early modern utopianism, this book asks us to consider if utopias' imaginary lands are based not only on abstract ideas but also on concrete spaces. Shedding new light on a period where reformation zeal, humanism's optimism, colonialism's greed and a proto-scientific discourse were combined to produce a series of alternative social and political paradigms, this work transports us from the shores of America to the search for the Terra Australis Incognita and the desire to find a new and better world for us.