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Subject: History

Dialoguing With Critical Race Theory: Constitutional and Christian Links

Mark Ellingsen, Interdenominational Theological Center

ISBN: 978-1-64889-896-9
Availability: Forthcoming
$54 £43 €50

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is certainly a hot topic. It is no longer just the legal theory it was originally designed to be, but has spread to other academic disciplines and has become an icon for determining which side you are on concerning racism. Most of the loudest voices, especially in the debate about CRT in our schools, seem not to have actually studied the theory. Dialoguing with Critical Race Theory is a book that remedies this problem, offering a summary of CRT’s actual analysis and prescriptions. Along the way, the book evaluates the standard critiques of the theory. This is a book to get Americans to stop all the shouting and really find out what CRT teaches. This is a book that might contribute to getting more civility into our public discourse. The next agenda addressed by this volume is to point out how the skepticism CRT articulates regarding white political activities allegedly on behalf of African Americans is in line with the suppositions of the U.S. Constitution. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, at least by implication, teach us that the white faction in American society will always seek its own advantage. Nobody is noting these overlaps between our system and CRT! With this point established, it is pointed out how such insights themselves are in line with Augustine and defenders of the Christian doctrine of sin. If you are Christian, knowing that you are a sinner, then all the white defensiveness over whether America is racist goes away. White (and Black) Christian parents ought to want their kids to learn in the schools about their complicity in racism! Our public debates will be quite different when links between CRT, the Christian faith, and our Constitutional system get taken seriously. It will be hard to deny this after reading Dialoguing with Critical Race Theory. With these relationships between CRT and our Constitutional system as well as with the Christian faith established, this short book closes by pointing out observations of Madison and Hamilton in The Federalist Papers, which not only converge with CRT’s analysis, but also offer some possible remedies to our structural racism. We’ll see that the Constitution is not “racially neutral,” that many of the Founders deemed the new government as structured in such a way as to terminate the slave trade, that “Black lives do matter” in accord with their “original intent.” Likewise, though it is often overlooked, at least some Founders (esp Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison) understood a good government as concerned to protect the poor. And in a similar fashion, links to Christian faith entail that racial differences are not ultimate, not a big deal genetically, since we are all one. To this commitment, the Biblical witness also reflects an emphasis on caring for the poor. This stress on seeking a unity which cuts across economic and ethnic lines entails both an affirmation of points made by CRT proponents, but also a critique of the theory’s separatist and subjectivist tendencies. These Christian insights are related to the latest findings drawn from the Theory of Evolution, whose leading proponents today point out that our cooperative propensities are what account for the success of the human race. Of course, something like that has been taught for nearly 2 millennia by the Christian faith. The Christian and Evolutionary belief that we can discern a common morality represents an amendment of CRT’s position, which might render it more effective in accomplishing its aims as it gains broader public support. The book closes with the question of whether CRT is not really as American and wholesome as the Constitution and Christian faith, a debate which can remove a lot of the nastiness among Americans that’s been rising to the surface and not allowed real debate.

Carmen Boullosa: In Between Brooklyn and Coyoacan

Edited by María del Mar López-Cabrales, Colorado State University and María Rosario Matz, University of Massachusetts Lowell

ISBN: 978-1-64889-907-2
Availability: Available 4 weeks
174pp. ¦ $82 £66 €77

Focusing on the works of Mexican writer Carmen Boullosa for the English reader, this volume provides access to a critical analysis of Boullosa’s writings. Her daily writing has produced an enormous and varied literary corpus that includes narrative, theater, and poetry, in addition to her work in television. This volume is divided into three different segments. The initial part is composed of six essays that analyze Boullosa’s narrative and theatrical works. In these essays contributors evaluate and analyze Boullosa’s literary production, covering many of her novels, including 'Antes' (1989), 'Llanto: novelas imposibles' (1992), 'La Milagrosa' (1993) 'Cielos de la Tierra' (1997), 'La otra mano de Lepanto' (2005), 'La novela perfecta' (2006), 'El complot de los Románticos' (2009), 'Cuando me volví mortal' (2010), 'Las paredes hablan' (2012), 'Texas' (2014), and 'El libro de Ana' (2019) as well as her 'Teatro herético' (1987). By analyzing her literary corpus, contributors explore how she reshapes historical narratives and offers thought-provoking commentaries on our modern society and its problems. Boullosa’s writings invite an in-depth analysis due to their rich complexity and explorations of various themes, therefore this volume presents how her work has a significant social impact, prompting discussions on the topics of gender, power, history, social inequality, and cultural diversity while encouraging critical thinking and empathy. These critical essays are followed by an interview with the author. We decided to also include the Spanish version of this interview for those able to read it. Boullosa’s essay, 'Épica mía/ Mi épica (My Epic)' concludes this volume. When reading this essay, we suggest to the reader to keep in mind how often her works provide a voice to characters for whom History refused to grant one. This volume will provide its reader with a key to discovering the many layers present in Boullosa’s writing.

Whisk of the Red Broom: Stalin & Ukraine, 1928-1933

M. Andrew Holowchak

April 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-860-0
Availability: In stock
262pp. ¦ $72 £58 €67

Once Joseph Stalin took the lead of the Soviet Bolshevists after the death of Vladimir Lenin, he quickly turned away from Lenin’s New Economic Policy, with its many concessions to capitalism, to a policy of one-country socialism, driven by his first Five Year Plan (1928) and a plan that other Bolsheviks like Lenin and Trotsky thought impossible. That shift, radical, forced Stalin to “urbanize” the USSR’s vast rural areas—that is, to impose a factory-like model on the Soviet countryside to maximize its efficiency. That required collectivizing the numerous Soviet farms—making large farms of the numerous small farms. Ukraine was to be the model republic due to its vastness and black, fertile lands. Not only were the republics to be collectivized, they were also to be Russified for the sake of model efficiency and centralization of control. And so, while Stalin, early in his political life, preached respect for the cultural diversity of its many republics and the right of secession of any republic, the need to collectivize the Soviet farms for the sake of one-country socialism demanded compliance. Ukrainian peasant-farmers were non-compliant, for they readily saw that the State was asking them for everything and giving back nothing but the pledge of efficient farms to benefit the State, and non-compliance forced Stalin’s authoritarian hand. He imposed laws that brutally punished non-compliant peasants, called “kulaks.” The plan was dekulakization. The intransigents were dispossessed of their property, alienated from other villagers, exiled, and exterminated. The result in Ukraine was the gross inefficiency of both collective and individual farms. That led to intolerance of Ukrainian culture and theft of Ukrainian grain, and even all other findable foodstuffs, to punish Ukrainians. The end was a great famine in 1932 and 1933 in which some four million Ukrainians died. Did Stalin believe that he could urbanize the Soviet countryside? Did Stalin think that socialism could take root in the backwater Soviet Union without the aid of Western succor? Did Stalin hate Ukrainians because many pressed for a cultural identity separate from that of Russia? Had Stalin’s plan of dekulakization from the beginning been a policy of political genocide? Those are some of the many questions I aim to answer in this book. I focus much on Stalin’s writings in the efforts to ascertain his mindset as a dictator.

Attired: Perspectives on Historical Costume

Edited by Damayanthie Eluwawalage, Delaware State University

March 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-852-5
Availability: In stock
146pp. ¦ $77 £61 €72

This publication explores the integrative narratives of historical costume in the novel universal perspective of literature, leisure, ornamentation, customs/traditions, and theoretical contexts. The adaptation, mutation, and transformation of attire are the result of complex interactions between many factors, such as economic conditions, political conditions, social conditions, psychological conditions, and technology. The meanings encoded in the costume are one of the noticeable hallmarks of any society. This proposed book investigates multidisciplinary topics, for instance, embellishments such as needlework and embroidery; the historical concept of fight, physical encounter, combat, or bout and its connection with related-attire; the contribution of dress to the narrative process of Virgil’s 'Aeneid'; and the theory and philosophy of fashion.

The Disease of Liberty

Thomas Jefferson, History, & Liberty: A Philosophical Analysis

M. Andrew Holowchak

February 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-819-8
Availability: In stock
224pp. ¦ $77 £62 €72

Liberty for Jefferson was 'the' driving force of human history and a realizable state of the human organism and of a society of men. Study of history and anthropology showed that humans were moving from the barbaric independence suffered in primal hordes, which lived inefficiently on lands, to a more economical, human-friendly use of land in social settings, demanding laws for order. Those laws, historically, favored the powerful few to the detriment of the hoi polloi. As a pupil of the Enlightenment, Jefferson argued that all humans were by nature equal, and thus, deserving of as much civic liberty as a reason-oriented and sciences-loving society, a Jeffersonian republic, could guarantee them. This book, philosophical, explains how such a society was possible, given Jefferson’s conception of the nature of man, and how the realization of one such society could lead, through contagion, to a global community of such societies. There are a large number of books that cover Jefferson’s political ideology (e.g., Gordon Wood’s 'Empire of Liberty' and Adrienne Koch’s 'The Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson')—too many to limn—but none that gets at the philosophical implications of TJ’s views on liberty. This book, examining TJ as a natural scientist and philosophy, examines and situates him in the manner of other great political ideologists of his day—e.g., Hume and Kant.