The American Way of Bombing Reviewed in H-Diplo

Mark J. Conversino reviews The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones, edited by Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue in the August 2015 edition of H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews. Here’s an excerpt:

The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, From Flying Fortresses to Drones, edited by Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue, brings together an array of historians, practitioners, and legal experts from both the military and civilian worlds. Overall, the volume is balanced and the authors engage with logic and consistency. This collection is a vital resource for military professionals, policymakers, and scholars alike. Unfortunately, the challenges of norm-setting in aerial warfare chronicled here are far from over and likely to become even more contentious in light of ongoing military and counterterrorist operations across the globe and in the face of rapid technological change.”—Mark J. Conversino, H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews

Peyton Place/Unbuttoning America Bundle on Sale Now!

smart&sexyThrough special arrangement with University Press of New England, Cornell University Press is pleased to offer a specially priced bundle of the Northeastern University Press Hardscrabble Books paperback edition of Peyton Place by Grace Metalious and the cloth edition of the new Cornell University Press book Unbuttoning America: A Biography of “Peyton Place” by Ardis Cameron. When purchased separately, Peyton Place and Unbuttoning America retail for $44.90. This limited-edition bundle may be purchased now for $29.95.

Contemporary readers of Peyton Place will be captivated by its vivid characters, earthy prose, and shocking incidents. Through her riveting, uninhibited narrative, Grace Metalious skillfully exposes the intricate social anatomy of a small community, examining the lives of its people—their passions and vices, their ambitions and defeats, their passivity or violence, their secret hopes and kindnesses, their cohesiveness and rigidity, their struggles, and often their courage. Ardis Cameron wrote the insightful introduction to the Hardscrabble Books edition of Peyton Place. In that introduction, she thoroughly examines the novel’s treatment of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and power, and considers the book’s influential place in American and New England literary history.

In Unbuttoning America, Cameron builds on the themes of her introduction to the novel. She mines extensive interviews, fan letters, and archival materials including contemporary cartoons and cover images from film posters and foreign editions to tell how the story of a patricide in a small New England village circulated over time and became a cultural phenomenon. She argues that Peyton Place, with its frank discussions of poverty, sexuality, class and ethnic discrimination, and small-town hypocrisy, was more than a tawdry potboiler. Metalious’s depiction of how her three central female characters come to terms with their identity as women and sexual beings anticipated second-wave feminism. More broadly, Cameron asserts, the novel was also part of a larger postwar struggle over belonging and recognition. Fictionalizing contemporary realities, Metalious pushed to the surface the hidden talk and secret rebellions of a generation no longer willing to ignore the disparities and domestic constraints of Cold War America.

Crossing Broadway in the New York Times

The July 10, 2015, edition of the New York Times features a review by Sam Roberts of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City by Robert W. Snyder: Sam Roberts on Books About the New York Public Library, Washington Heights, and the City’s First Black Police Officer. Here’s an excerpt:

“In Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City (Cornell University Press), Robert W. Snyder eloquently traces the demographic metamorphosis of Upper Manhattan and invokes what the sociologist Robert J. Sampson calls “collective efficacy” to explain the community’s uplifting but bittersweet comeback. Addressing the mixed blessing of gentrification, Professor Snyder, who teaches journalism and American studies at Rutgers, writes, ‘The people who saved Washington Heights in the days of crime and crack deserve more for their pains than a stiff rent increase.'”