The Violent American Century

The Violent American Century Author John W. Dower
ISBN-10 9781608467266
Release 2017-03-20
Pages 150
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World War II marked the apogee of industrialized “total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering. The Violent “American Century” addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day. The military playbook now meshes brute force with a focus on non-state terrorism, counterinsurgency, clandestine operations, a vast web of overseas American military bases, and—most touted of all—a revolutionary new era of computerized “precision” warfare. By contrast to World War II, postwar death and destruction has been comparatively small. By any other measure, it has been appalling—and shows no sign of abating. The winner of numerous national prizes for his historical writings, including the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, Dower draws heavily on hard data and internal U.S. planning and pronouncements in this concise analysis of war and terror in our time. In doing so, he places U.S. policy and practice firmly within the broader context of global mayhem, havoc, and slaughter since World War II—always with bottom-line attentiveness to the human costs of this legacy of unceasing violence.



The Violent American Century

The Violent American Century Author John Dower
ISBN-10 1608467236
Release 2017-02-07
Pages 150
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World War II marked the apogee of industrialized "total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering. The Violent "American Century” addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945--beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day. The military playbook now meshes brute force with a focus on non-state terrorism, counterinsurgency, clandestine operations, a vast web of overseas American military bases, and--most touted of all--a revolutionary new era of computerized "precision” warfare. By contrast to World War II, postwar death and destruction has been comparatively small. By any other measure, it has been appalling--and shows no sign of abating. The winner of numerous national prizes for his historical writings, including the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, Dower draws heavily on hard data and internal U.S. planning and pronouncements in this concise analysis of war and terror in our time. In doing so, he places U.S. policy and practice firmly within the broader context of global mayhem, havoc, and slaughter since World War II--always with bottom-line attentiveness to the human costs of this legacy of unceasing violence.



The Violent Century

The Violent Century Author Lavie Tidhar
ISBN-10 9781444762914
Release 2013-10-24
Pages 352
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John le Carré meets Alan Moore's The Watchmen in this stunning novel by one of science fiction's most original voices. For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart. But there must always be an account... and the past has a habit of catching up to the present. Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism - a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields - to answer one last, impossible question: What makes a hero? 'Espionage inhabits a sort of parallel universe. Lavie Tidhar has taken this idea and run with it, creating a sophisticated, moving and gripping take on 20th century conflicts and our capacity for love and hate, honour and betrayal.' Daily Mail



Thundersticks

Thundersticks Author David J. Silverman
ISBN-10 9780674974746
Release 2016-10-10
Pages 360
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David Silverman argues against the notion that Indians prized flintlock muskets more for their pyrotechnics than for their efficiency as tools of war. Native peoples fully recognized the potential of firearms to assist them in their struggles against colonial forces, and mostly against one another, as arms races erupted across North America.



Scars of Independence

Scars of Independence Author Holger Hoock
ISBN-10 9780804137294
Release 2017-05-09
Pages 576
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A magisterial new work that rewrites the story of America's founding The American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire. It’s a stirring narrative, and one the founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock shows in this deeply researched and elegantly written account of America’s founding, the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war—one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand. In Scars of Independence, Hoock writes the violence back into the story of the Revolution. American Patriots persecuted and tortured Loyalists. British troops massacred enemy soldiers and raped colonial women. Prisoners were starved on disease-ridden ships and in subterranean cells. African-Americans fighting for or against independence suffered disproportionately, and Washington’s army waged a genocidal campaign against the Iroquois. In vivid, authoritative prose, Hoock’s new reckoning also examines the moral dilemmas posed by this all-pervasive violence, as the British found themselves torn between unlimited war and restraint toward fellow subjects, while the Patriots documented war crimes in an ingenious effort to unify the fledgling nation. For two centuries we have whitewashed this history of the Revolution. Scars of Independence forces a more honest appraisal, revealing the inherent tensions between moral purpose and violent tendencies in America’s past. In so doing, it offers a new origins story that is both relevant and necessary—an important reminder that forging a nation is rarely bloodless.



Overthrow

Overthrow Author Stephen Kinzer
ISBN-10 1429905379
Release 2007-02-06
Pages 400
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A fast-paced narrative history of the coups, revolutions, and invasions by which the United States has toppled fourteen foreign governments -- not always to its own benefit "Regime change" did not begin with the administration of George W. Bush, but has been an integral part of U.S. foreign policy for more than one hundred years. Starting with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and continuing through the Spanish-American War and the Cold War and into our own time, the United States has not hesitated to overthrow governments that stood in the way of its political and economic goals. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 is the latest, though perhaps not the last, example of the dangers inherent in these operations. In Overthrow, Stephen Kinzer tells the stories of the audacious politicians, spies, military commanders, and business executives who took it upon themselves to depose monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers. He also shows that the U.S. government has often pursued these operations without understanding the countries involved; as a result, many of them have had disastrous long-term consequences. In a compelling and provocative history that takes readers to fourteen countries, including Cuba, Iran, South Vietnam, Chile, and Iraq, Kinzer surveys modern American history from a new and often surprising perspective. "Detailed, passionate and convincing . . . [with] the pace and grip of a good thriller." -- Anatol Lieven, The New York Times Book Review



Ways of Forgetting Ways of Remembering

Ways of Forgetting  Ways of Remembering Author John Dower
ISBN-10 9781595588111
Release 2012-05-01
Pages 304
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Ways of Forgetting looks at the key moments in the relationship between two national powers focusing on Japanese perceptions of the United States: how the Japanese saw Hiroshima, the American occupation, and the changes in their own lives. We also catch a glimpse of Japanese attitudes toward their own war crimes. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower offers blistering comments on Bush’s attempts to justify the invasion of Iraq by citing Dower’s own work on the U.S. occupation of Japan. The book is a fascinating and probing look at the ways in which we remember the tangled history between the United States and Japan and how it is still invoked today.



Hanging Bridge

Hanging Bridge Author Jason Morgan Ward
ISBN-10 9780199376568
Release 2016-05
Pages 336
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Even at the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, when the clarion call for equality and justice echoed around the country, few volunteers ventured into Clarke County, Mississippi. Fewer still remained. Located just south of Neshoba County, where three civil rights workers had been murdered during 1964's Freedom Summer, Clarke lay squarely in what many considered Mississippi's, and thus America's, meanest corner. Local African Americans knew why the movement failed there. Some spoke of a bottomless hole in the snaking Chickasawhay River in the town of Shubuta, where white vigilantes had for decades dumped the bodies of murdered African Americans. Others more spoke of a "hanging bridge" that spanned that same muddy creek. Spanning three generations, Hanging Bridge reveals what happened in Clarke County in 1919 and 1942, when two horrific lynchings took place: the first, of four young people, including a pregnant woman; the second, of two teenaged boys accused of harassing a white girl.Jason Ward's painstaking and haunting reconstruction of these events traces a legacy of violence that reflects the American experience of race, from the depths of Jim Crow through to the growing power of the NAACP and national awareness of what was taking places even in the country's bleakest racial landscapes. Connecting the lynchings to each other and then to the civil rights struggles in the 1960s, when the threat of violence hung heavy over Clarke County, Ward creates a narrative that links living memory and verifiable fact, illuminating one of the darkest places in American history and revealing the resiliency of the human spirit.



The Great Leveler

The Great Leveler Author Walter Scheidel
ISBN-10 9781400884605
Release 2017-01-09
Pages 528
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Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world. Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock, and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality. The "Four Horsemen" of leveling—mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues—have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future. An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent—and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.



War Before Civilization

War Before Civilization Author Lawrence H. Keeley
ISBN-10 0199761531
Release 1997-12-18
Pages 272
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The myth of the peace-loving "noble savage" is persistent and pernicious. Indeed, for the last fifty years, most popular and scholarly works have agreed that prehistoric warfare was rare, harmless, unimportant, and, like smallpox, a disease of civilized societies alone. Prehistoric warfare, according to this view, was little more than a ritualized game, where casualties were limited and the effects of aggression relatively mild. Lawrence Keeley's groundbreaking War Before Civilization offers a devastating rebuttal to such comfortable myths and debunks the notion that warfare was introduced to primitive societies through contact with civilization (an idea he denounces as "the pacification of the past"). Building on much fascinating archeological and historical research and offering an astute comparison of warfare in civilized and prehistoric societies, from modern European states to the Plains Indians of North America, War Before Civilization convincingly demonstrates that prehistoric warfare was in fact more deadly, more frequent, and more ruthless than modern war. To support this point, Keeley provides a wide-ranging look at warfare and brutality in the prehistoric world. He reveals, for instance, that prehistorical tactics favoring raids and ambushes, as opposed to formal battles, often yielded a high death-rate; that adult males falling into the hands of their enemies were almost universally killed; and that surprise raids seldom spared even women and children. Keeley cites evidence of ancient massacres in many areas of the world, including the discovery in South Dakota of a prehistoric mass grave containing the remains of over 500 scalped and mutilated men, women, and children (a slaughter that took place a century and a half before the arrival of Columbus). In addition, Keeley surveys the prevalence of looting, destruction, and trophy-taking in all kinds of warfare and again finds little moral distinction between ancient warriors and civilized armies. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, he examines the evidence of cannibalism among some preliterate peoples. Keeley is a seasoned writer and his book is packed with vivid, eye-opening details (for instance, that the homicide rate of prehistoric Illinois villagers may have exceeded that of the modern United States by some 70 times). But he also goes beyond grisly facts to address the larger moral and philosophical issues raised by his work. What are the causes of war? Are human beings inherently violent? How can we ensure peace in our own time? Challenging some of our most dearly held beliefs, Keeley's conclusions are bound to stir controversy.



Violence Over the Land

Violence Over the Land Author Ned Blackhawk
ISBN-10 0674022904
Release 2006
Pages 372
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"Blackhawk, a Western Shoshone himself, does not portray the natives as victims. Instead, he demonstrates that their perseverance and ability to adapt to changing conditions over the last two centuries allowed them to help shape the world around them ... This is one of the finest studies available on native peoples of the ggreat basin region." John Burch, Library Journal, from the bookjacket.



The Saltwater Frontier

The Saltwater Frontier Author Andrew Lipman
ISBN-10 9780300216691
Release 2015-11-03
Pages 360
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Andrew Lipman’s eye-opening first book is the previously untold story of how the ocean became a “frontier” between colonists and Indians. When the English and Dutch empires both tried to claim the same patch of coast between the Hudson River and Cape Cod, the sea itself became the arena of contact and conflict. During the violent European invasions, the region’s Algonquian-speaking Natives were navigators, boatbuilders, fishermen, pirates, and merchants who became active players in the emergence of the Atlantic World. Drawing from a wide range of English, Dutch, and archeological sources, Lipman uncovers a new geography of Native America that incorporates seawater as well as soil. Looking past Europeans’ arbitrary land boundaries, he reveals unseen links between local episodes and global events on distant shores. Lipman’s book “successfully redirects the way we look at a familiar history” (Neal Salisbury, Smith College). Extensively researched and elegantly written, this latest addition to Yale’s seventeenth-century American history list brings the early years of New England and New York vividly to life.



Eternity Street Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles

Eternity Street  Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles Author John Mack Faragher
ISBN-10 9780393242423
Release 2016-01-11
Pages 592
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“John Mack Faragher is one fine writer, bringing early L.A. to life as the setting for all manner of horrific killings and gruesome justice. Eternity Street will keep you up at night ruminating on the roots of American violence.”—Richard Wightman Fox, University of Southern California, author of Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History Eternity Street tells the story of a violent place in a violent time: the rise of Los Angeles from its origins as a small Mexican pueblo. In a masterful narrative, John Mack Faragher relates a dramatic history of conquest and ethnic suppression, of collective disorder and interpersonal conflict. Eternity Street recounts the struggle to achieve justice amid the turmoil of a loosely governed frontier, and it delivers a piercing look at the birth of this quintessentially American city. In the 1850s, the City of Angels was infamous as one of the most murderous societies in America. Saloons teemed with rowdy crowds of Indians and Californios, Mexicans and Americans. Men ambled down dusty streets, armed with Colt revolvers and Bowie knives. A closer look reveals characters acting in unexpected ways: a newspaper editor advocating lynch law in the name of racial justice; hundreds of Latinos massing to attack the county jail, determined to lynch a hooligan from Texas. Murder and mayhem in Edenic southern California. "There is no brighter sun…no country where nature is more lavish of her exuberant fullness," an Angeleno wrote in 1853. "And yet, with all our natural beauties and advantages, there is no country where human life is of so little account. Men hack one another to pieces with pistols and other cutlery as if God's image were of no more worth than the life of one of the two or three thousand ownerless dogs that prowl about our streets and make night hideous." This is L.A. noir in the act of becoming.



Lynching and Spectacle

Lynching and Spectacle Author Amy Louise Wood
ISBN-10 0807878111
Release 2011-02-01
Pages 368
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Lynch mobs in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America exacted horrifying public torture and mutilation on their victims. In Lynching and Spectacle, Amy Wood explains what it meant for white Americans to perform and witness these sadistic spectacles and how lynching played a role in establishing and affirming white supremacy. Lynching, Wood argues, overlapped with a variety of cultural practices and performances, both traditional and modern, including public executions, religious rituals, photography, and cinema, all which encouraged the horrific violence and gave it social acceptability. However, she also shows how the national dissemination of lynching images ultimately fueled the momentum of the antilynching movement and the decline of the practice. Using a wide range of sources, including photos, newspaper reports, pro- and antilynching pamphlets, early films, and local city and church records, Wood reconfigures our understanding of lynching's relationship to modern life. Wood expounds on the critical role lynching spectacles played in establishing and affirming white supremacy at the turn of the century, particularly in towns and cities experiencing great social instability and change. She also shows how the national dissemination of lynching images fueled the momentum of the antilynching movement and ultimately led to the decline of lynching. By examining lynching spectacles alongside both traditional and modern practices and within both local and national contexts, Wood reconfigures our understanding of lynching's relationship to modern life.



The Violence of Organized Forgetting

The Violence of Organized Forgetting Author Henry Giroux
ISBN-10 9780872866201
Release 2014-07-21
Pages 280
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"Giroux refuses to give in or give up. The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a clarion call to imagine a different America--just, fair, and caring--and then to struggle for it."--Bill Moyers "Henry Giroux has accomplished an exciting, brilliant intellectual dissection of America's somnambulent voyage into anti-democratic political depravity. His analysis of the plight of America's youth is particularly heartbreaking. If we have a shred of moral fibre left in our beings, Henry Giroux sounds the trumpet to awaken it to action to restore to the nation a civic soul."--Dennis J. Kucinich, former US Congressman and Presidential candidate "Giroux lays out a blistering critique of an America governed by the tenets of a market economy. . . . He cites French philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman's concept of the 'disimagination machine' to describe a culture and pedagogical philosophy that short-circuits citizens' ability to think critically, leaving the generation now reaching adulthood unprepared for an 'inhospitable' world. Picking apart the current malaise of 21st-century digital disorder, Giroux describes a world in which citizenship is replaced by consumerism and the functions of engaged governance are explicitly beholden to corporations."--Publishers Weekly In a series of essays that explore the intersections of politics, popular culture, and new forms of social control in American society, Henry A. Giroux explores how state and corporate interests have coalesced to restrict civil rights, privatize what's left of public institutions, and diminish our collective capacity to participate as engaged citizens of a democracy. From the normalization of mass surveillance, lockdown drills, and a state of constant war, to corporate bailouts paired with public austerity programs that further impoverish struggling families and communities, Giroux looks to flashpoints in current events to reveal how the forces of government and business are at work to generate a culture of mass forgetfulness, obedience and conformity. In The Violence of Organized Forgetting, Giroux deconstructs the stories created to control us while championing the indomitable power of education, democracy, and hope. Henry A. Giroux is a world-renowned educator, author and public intellectual. He currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. The Toronto Star has named Henry Giroux “one of the twelve Canadians changing the way we think." More Praise for Henry A. Giroux's The Violence of Organized Forgetting: "I can think of no book in the last ten years as essential as this. I can think of no other writer who has so clinically dissected the crisis of modern life and so courageously offered a possibility for real material change."--John Steppling, playwright, and author of The Shaper, Dogmouth, and Sea of Cortez "A timely study if there ever was one, The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a milestone in the struggle to repossess the common sense expropriated by the American power elite to be redeployed in its plot to foil the popular resistance against rising social injustice and decay of political democracy."--Zygmunt Bauman, author of Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All? among other works Prophetic and eloquent, Giroux gives us, in this hard-hitting and compelling book, the dark scenario of Western crisis where ignorance has become a virtue and wealth and power the means of ruthless abuse of workers, of the minorities and of immigrants. However, he remains optimistic in his affirmation of radical humanity, determined as he is to relate himself to a fair and caring world unblemished by anti-democratic political depravity."--Shelley Walia, Frontline



The New American Militarism

The New American Militarism Author Andrew J. Bacevich
ISBN-10 9780199323838
Release 2013-03-22
Pages 304
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In this provocative book, Andrew Bacevich warns of a dangerous dual obsession that has taken hold of Americans, both conservatives and liberals alike. It is a marriage of militarism and utopian ideology, of unprecedented military might wed to a blind faith in the universality of American values. This mindset, Bacevich warns, invites endless war and the ever-deepening militarization of U.S. policy. It promises not to perfect but to pervert American ideals and to accelerate the hollowing out of American democracy. In The New American Militarism, Bacevich examines the origins and implications of this misguided enterprise. He shows how American militarism emerged as a reaction to the Vietnam War, when various groups in American society -soldiers, politicians on the make, intellectuals, strategists, Christian evangelicals, even purveyors of pop culture-came to see the revival of military power and the celebration of military values as the antidote to all the ills besetting the country as a consequence of Vietnam and the 1960s. The upshot, acutely evident in the aftermath of 9/11, has been a revival of vast ambitions, this time coupled with a pronounced affinity for the sword. Bacevich urges Americans to restore a sense of realism and a sense of proportion to U.S. policy. He proposes, in short, to bring American purposes and American methods-especially with regard to the role of the military-back into harmony with the nation's founding ideals. For this edition, Bacevich has written a new Afterword in which he considers how American militarism has changed in the past five years. He explores in particular how this ideology has functioned under Barack Obama, who ran for president on a campaign based on hope for change and for a new beginning. Despite such rhetoric, Bacevich powerfully suggests, the attitudes and arrangements giving rise to the new American militarism remain intact and inviolable as ever.



The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Better Angels of Our Nature Author Steven Pinker
ISBN-10 9781101544648
Release 2011-10-04
Pages 832
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“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read." —Bill Gates (May, 2017) Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year The author of The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence. Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened? This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the esesnce of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.