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Christa Wirth

Memories of Belonging is a three-generation oral-history study of the offspring of southern Italians who migrated to Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1913.
Supplemented with the interviewees’ private documents and working from U.S. and Italian archives, Christa Wirth documents a century of transatlantic migration, assimilation, and later-generation self-identification. Her research reveals how memories of migration, everyday life, and ethnicity are passed down through the generations, altered, and contested while constituting family identities.

The fact that not all descendants of Italian migrants moved into the U.S. middle class, combined with their continued use of hyphenated identities, points to a history of lived ethnicity and societal exclusion. Moreover, this book demonstrates the extent of forgetting that is required in order to construct an ethnic identity.

Santa Bárbara’s Legacy

An Environmental History of Huancavelica, Peru

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Nicholas A. Robins

In Santa Bárbara’s Legacy: An Environmental History of Huancavelica, Peru, Nicholas A. Robins presents the first comprehensive environmental history of a mercury producing region in Latin America. Tracing the origins, rise and decline of the regional population and economy from pre-history to the present, Robins explores how people’s multifaceted, intimate and often toxic relationship with their environment has resulted in Huancavelica being among the most mercury-contaminated urban areas on earth. The narrative highlights issues of environmental justice and the toxic burdens that contemporary residents confront, especially many of those who live in adobe homes and are exposed to mercury, as well as lead and arsenic, on a daily basis. The work incorporates archival and printed primary sources as well as scientific research led by the author.

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Luiz Renato Martins

Edited by Juan Grigera

The present studies on Brazilian modern art seek to specify some of the dominant contradictions of capitalism’s combined but uneven development as these appear from the global ‘periphery’. The grand project of Brasília is the main theme of the first two chapters, which treat the ‘ideal city’ as a case study in the ways in which creative talent in Brazil has been made to serve in the reproduction of social iniquities whose origins can be traced back to the agrarian latifundia. Further chapters scrutinise the socio-historical basis of Brazilian art, and develop, against the grain of the most prominent art historical approaches to modern Brazilian culture, a critical approach to the distinctly Brazilian visual language of geometrical abstraction. The book contends that, from the fifties up to today, formalism in Brazil has expressed the hegemony of the market.

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Dan La Botz

This volume is a valuable re-assessment of the Nicaraguan Revolution by a Marxist historian of Latin American political history. It shows that the FSLN (‘the Sandinistas’), with politics principally shaped by Soviet and Cuban Communism, never had a commitment to genuine democracy either within the revolutionary movement or within society at large; that the FSLN’s lack of commitment to democracy was a key factor in the way that revolution was betrayed from the 1970s to the 1990s; and that the FSLN’s lack of rank-and-file democracy left all decision-making to the National Directorate and ultimately placed that power in the hands of Daniel Ortega. Pursuing his narrative into the present, La Botz shows that, once their would-be bureaucratic ruling class project was defeated, Ortega and the FSLN leadership turned to an alliance with the capitalist class.

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Edited by Mary Hilson, Silke Neunsinger and Greg Patmore

With contributions from over 30 scholars, A Global History of Consumer Co-operation surveys the origins and development of the consumer co-operative movement from the mid-nineteenth century until the present day. The contributions, covering the history of co-operation in different national contexts in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia, illustrate the wide variety of forms that consumer co-operatives have taken; the different political, economic and social contexts in which they have operated; the ideological influences on their development; and the reasons for their expansion and decline at different times. The book also explores the connections between co-operatives in different parts of the world, challenging assumptions that the story of global co-operation can be traced exclusively to the 1844 Rochdale Co-operative Society.

Contributors are: Amélie Artis, Nikola Balnave, Patrizia Battilani, Johann Brazda, Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens, María Eugenia Castelao Caruana, Kay-Wah Chan, Bernard Degen, Danièle Demoustier, Espen Ekberg, Dulce Freire, Katarina Friberg, Mary Hilson, Mary Ip, Florian Jagschitz, Pernilla Jonsson, Kim Hyung-mi, Akira Kurimoto, Simon Lambersens, Catherine C LeGrand, Ian MacPherson, Francisco José Medina-Albaladejo, Alain Mélo, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Silke Neunsinger, Greg Patmore, Joana Dias Pereira, Michael Prinz, Siegfried Rom, Robert Schediwy, Corrado Secchi, Geert Van Goethem, Griselda Verbeke, Rachael Vorberg-Rugh, Mirta Vuotto, Anthony Webster and John Wilson.

God, Guns, Gold and Glory

American Character and its Discontents

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Lauren Langman and George Lundskow

America, beginning as a small group of devout Puritan settlers, ultimately became the richest, most powerful Empire in the history of the world, but having reached that point, is now in a process of implosion and decay. This book, inspired by Frankfurt School Critical Theory, especially Erich Fromm, offers a unique historical, cultural and characterological analysis of American national character and its underlying psychodynamics. Specifically, this analysis looks at the persistence of Puritan religion, as well as the extolling of male toughness and America's unbridled pursuit of wealth. Finally, its self image of divinely blessed exceptionalism has fostered vast costs in lives and wealth. But these qualities of its national character are now fostering both a decline of its power and a transformation of its underlying social character. This suggests that the result will be a changing social character that enables a more democratic, tolerant and inclusive society, one that will enable socialism, genuine, participatory democracy and a humanist framework of meaning. This book is relevant to understanding America’s past, present and future.

Plebeian Power

Collective Action and Indigenous, Working-Class and Popular Identities in Bolivia

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Álvaro García Linera

In addition to his role as Evo Morales’s vice-president, Álvaro García Linera is one of Bolivia’s foremost intellectuals. With a theoretical trajectory beginning in efforts to combine Marxism and Indianism, then developed in reaction to the neoliberal turn of the 1980s and in contact with the mass social movements of recent years, García Linera's Plebeian Power can be read as both an evolving analysis of Bolivian reality through periods of great social change, and as an intellectual biography of the author himself. Informed by such thinkers as Marx, Bourdieu and René Zavaleta, García Linera reflects on the nature of the state, class and indigenous identity and their relevance to social struggles in Bolivia.

English translation of La potencia plebeya: Acción colectiva e identidades indígenas, obreras y populares en Bolivia published by Siglo del Hombre Editores and CLASCO in 2007.

Revolutionary Teamsters

The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934

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Bryan D. Palmer

Minneapolis in the early 1930s was anything but a union stronghold. An employers' association known as the Citizens' Alliance kept labour organisations in check, at the same time as it cultivated opposition to radicalism in all forms. This all changed in 1934. The year saw three strikes, violent picket-line confrontations, and tens of thousands of workers protesting in the streets.

Bryan D. Palmer tells the riveting story of how a handful of revolutionary Trotskyists, working in the largely non-union trucking sector, led the drive to organise the unorganised, to build one large industrial union. What emerges is a compelling narrative of class struggle, a reminder of what can be accomplished, even in the worst of circumstances, with a principled and far-seeing leadership.

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Eugene Gogol

Utopia and the Dialectic in Latin American Liberation begins by examining the concept of utopia in Latin American thought, particularly its roots within indigenous emancipatory practice, and suggests that within this concept of utopia can be found a resonance with the dialectic of negativity that Hegel developed under the impact of the French Revolution, further developed by such thinker-activists as Marx, Lenin and Raya Dunayevskaya. From this theoretical-philosophical plane, the study moves to the liberation practices of social movements in recent Latin American history. Movements such as the Zapatistas in Mexico, Indigenous feminism throughout the Americas, and Indigenous struggles in Bolivia and Colombia, are among those taken up--most often in the words of the participants. The study concludes by discussing a dialectic of philosophy and organization in the context of Latin American liberation.