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The Secular Religion of Franklin Merrell-Wolff

An Intellectual History of Anti-Intellectualism in Modern America

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Dave Vliegenthart

In The Secular Religion of Franklin Merrell-Wolff: An Intellectual History of Anti-intellectualism in Modern America, Dave Vliegenthart offers an account of the life and teachings of the modern American mystic Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887–1985), who combined secular and religious sources from eastern and western traditions in order to elaborate and legitimate his metaphysical claim to the realization of a transcendental reality beyond reason.



Using Merrell-Wolff as a typical example of a modern western guru, Vliegenthart investigates the larger sociological and historical context of the ongoing grand narrative that asserts a widespread anti-intellectualism in modern American culture, exploring developments in religious, philosophical, and psychological discourses in North America from 1800 until the present.

Beyond Racism and Poverty

The Truck System on Louisiana Plantations and Dutch Peateries, 1865-1920

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Karin Lurvink

The truck system was a global phenomenon in the period 1865-1920, where workers were paid through the company store. In Beyond Racism and Poverty Karin Lurvink looks at how this system functioned on plantations in Louisiana in comparison with peateries in the Netherlands. In the United States, the system is often viewed as a 'second slavery' and strongly associated with racism. In the Netherlands, however, not racism but poverty has been seen as the main reason for its continued existence.

By using a variety of historical sources and by analyzing the perspectives of both employers and workers, Lurvink provides new insights into how the truck system worked and can be explained. She reveals how the system was not only coercive but had advantages for the workers as well, which should not be overlooked.

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Edited by Heather Graham and Lauren G. Kilroy-Ewbank

Visualizing Sensuous Suffering and Affective Pain in Early Modern Europe and the Spanish Americas is a trans-cultural collection of studies on visual treatments of the phenomena of suffering and pain in early modern culture. Ranging geographically from Italy, Spain, and the Low Countries to Chile, Mexico, and the Philippines and chronologically from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries, these studies variously consider pain and suffering as somatic, emotional, and psychological experiences.

From examination of bodies shown victimized by brutal public torture to the sublimation of physical suffering conveyed through the incised lines of Counter-Reformation engravings, the authors consider depictions of pain and suffering as conduits to the divine or as guides to social behaviour; indeed, often the two functions overlap.

Before the Public Library

Reading, Community and Identity in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850

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Edited by Mark Towsey and Kyle B. Roberts

Before the Public Library explores the emergence of community-based lending libraries in the Atlantic World before the advent of the Public Library movement in the mid-nineteenth century. Essays by eighteen scholars from a range of disciplines seek to place, for the first time, community libraries within an Atlantic context over a two-century period. Taking a comparative approach, this volume shows that community libraries played an important – and largely unrecognized – role in shaping Atlantic social networks, political and religious movements, scientific and geographic knowledge, and economic enterprise. Libraries had a distinct role to play in shaping modern identities through the acquisition and circulation of specific kinds of texts, the fostering of sociability, and the building of community-based institutions.

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David Gleicher

Beyond Marx and Other Entries is a truly original book by David Gleicher, author of The Rescue of the Third Class on the Titanic: A Revisionist History (Liverpool University Press, 2006). It explores deep areas of semiotics, joined with economics, anthropology, sociology, history and philosophy and political science, even Franz Kafka's literary works. These are communicated by entries, based primarily on Gleicher’s actual blog Looking through the crack from 2013 to 2017. No other book quite compares to it, but one might equate it to impressionist art, or the 'the one and the many'. Each entry is independent; nothing in one makes even an allusion to another. Readers, however, cannot help but to make connections themselves and develop their own understandings of dystopian possibilities.

Ornamental Nationalism

Archaeology and Antiquities in Mexico, 1876-1911

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Seonaid Valiant

In Ornamental Nationalism: Archaeology and Antiquities in Mexico, 1876-1911, Seonaid Valiant examines the Porfirian government’s reworking of indigenous, particularly Aztec, images to create national symbols. She focuses in particular on the career of Mexico's first national archaeologist, Inspector General Leopoldo Batres. He was a controversial figure who was accused of selling artifacts and damaging sites through professional incompetence by his enemies, but who also played a crucial role in establishing Mexican control over the nation's archaeological heritage.
Exploring debates between Batres and his rivals such as the anthropologists Zelia Nuttall and Marshall Saville, Valiant reveals how Porfirian politicians reinscribed the political meaning of artifacts while social scientists, both domestic and international, struggled to establish standards for Mexican archaeology that would undermine such endeavors.

Empire of the Senses

Sensory Practices of Colonialism in Early America

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Edited by Daniela Hacke and Paul Musselwhite

Empire of the Senses brings together pathbreaking scholarship on the role the five senses played in early America. With perspectives from across the hemisphere, exploring individual senses and multi-sensory frameworks, the volume explores how sensory perception helped frame cultural encounters, colonial knowledge, and political relationships. From early French interpretations of intercultural touch, to English plans to restructure the scent of Jamaica, these essays elucidate different ways the expansion of rival European empires across the Americas involved a vast interconnected range of sensory experiences and practices. Empire of the Senses offers a new comparative perspective on the way European imperialism was constructed, operated, implemented and, sometimes, counteracted by rich and complex new sensory frameworks in the diverse contexts of early America.

This book has been listed on the Books of Note section on the website of Sensory Studies, which is dedicated to highlighting the top books in sensory studies: www.sensorystudies.org/books-of-note

"Another Jerusalem"

Political Legitimacy and Courtly Government in the Kingdom of New Spain (1535 - 1568)

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José-Juan López-Portillo

In ‘Another Jerusalem’: Political Legitimacy and Courtly Government in the Kingdom of New Spain (1535-1568) José-Juan López-Portillo offers a new approach to understanding why the most densely populated and culturally sophisticated regions of Mesoamerica accepted the authority of Spanish viceroys. By focusing on the routines and practices of quotidian political life in New Spain, and the ideological affinities that bound indigenous and non-indigenous political communities to the viceregal regime, López Portillo discloses the formation of new loyalties, interests and identities particular to New Spain. Rather than the traditional view of European colonial domination over a demoralized indigenous population, New Spain now appears as Mexico City’s sub-empire: an aggregate of the Habsburg ‘composite monarchy’.

"Embellished with wonderful illustrations, this work draws upon extensive secondary and primary sources. Scholars studying Spain's America will find it a thoughtful addition to historical literature on 16th-century New Spain."
M. A. Burkholder, University of Missouri - St. Louis, CHOICE, July 2018 Vol. 55 No. 11

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Edited by Francisco Bethencourt

This book addresses different dimensions of cosmopolitanism in the Portuguese-speaking world which have caused much debate, such as migration and globalisation. The volume includes contributions from leading specialists in History, Musicology, Literary Studies, Anthropology and Political Sciences. It focuses on specific processes in Brazil, Portugal, West Africa, Angola, and other parts of the world, from the sixteenth century to the present. Central topics are intercontinental trading elites, the cultural impact of forced and voluntary migration, the republic of letters, the possibilities created by freemasonry and liberalism, the adaptation of the Azorean Holy Ghost Feast to the United States, international links of conservative politicians, the international projection of the new Angolan elite, architecture and urban planning.

Contributors are: Vanda Anastácio, Cátia Antunes, Paulo Arruda, Francisco Bethencourt, Toby Green, Philip J. Havik, David R. M. Irving, João Leal, Giovanni Leoni, Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, António Costa Pinto, and Phillip Rothwell.

Greeks, Romans, and Pilgrims

Classical Receptions in Early New England

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David A. Lupher

In Greeks, Romans, and Pilgrims David Lupher examines the availability, circulation, and uses of Greek and Roman culture in the earliest period of the British settlement of New England. This book offers the first systematic correction to the dominant assumption that the Separatist settlers of Plymouth Plantation (the so-called “Pilgrims”) were hostile or indifferent to “humane learning”— a belief dating back to their cordial enemy, the May-pole reveler Thomas Morton of Ma-re Mount, whose own eccentric classical negotiations receive a chapter in this book. While there have been numerous studies of the uses of classical culture during the Revolutionary period of colonial North America, the first decades of settlement in New England have been neglected. Utilizing both familiar texts such as William Bradford’s Of Plimmoth Plantation and overlooked archival sources, Greeks, Romans, and Pilgrims signals the end of that neglect.