Book Reviews

In this section you can read reviews of academic books covering the USA, and its continental neighbours, Canada and Mexico. Each weekend we publish two reviews, aiming to cover a wide range of books on all aspects of public policy and politics.

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    Book Review: This is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot by Alicia Yin Cheng

Book Review: This is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot by Alicia Yin Cheng

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In This is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot, Alicia Yin Cheng provides a concise yet detailed look at the history of the printed electoral ballot in the United States, locating the printed ballot in the development of voting and enfranchisement and offering dozens of visual examples of past electoral ballots drawn from across US history. This […]

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    Book Review: They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

Book Review: They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

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In They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers challenges the idea that white women were passive bystanders to the slave economy in the US, instead demonstrating their active participation in its structures of brutality and exploitation. Compellingly written and centring the testimonies of formerly enslaved people, this award-winning book is an important […]

Book Review: Quagmire in Civil War by Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl

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Contrary to popular belief, quagmires in civil war are made, not found. This is the argument of Quagmire in Civil War, Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl’s new account of the phenomenon of quagmire in civil wars that outlines how particular interactions and strategic choices can lead to this political trap. This is an essential theoretical study of international-domestic strategic interactions and their consequences for […]

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    Book Review: Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man by Joshua Bennett

Book Review: Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man by Joshua Bennett

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In Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man, Joshua Bennett explores how African American writers have forged a tradition that works through the figure of the non-human animal in order to assert and enact radical challenges to oppressive structures, contesting the violence of anthropocentrism and antiblackness and providing tools for conceiving of interspecies relationships anew. Carefully constructed with […]

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    Book Review: Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (10th Anniversary Edition) by José Esteban Muñoz

Book Review: Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (10th Anniversary Edition) by José Esteban Muñoz

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José Esteban Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity breathed new life into North American queer studies when first published in 2009, rejecting the stagnant present in arguing for queerness as a future-oriented, profoundly utopian mode of being and doing in the world. More than ten years on from its original publication, this influential book remains […]

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    Book Review: Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy by Nadia Urbinati

Book Review: Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy by Nadia Urbinati

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In Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy, Nadia Urbinati examines populism as a form – and deformation – of representative democracy. This is a rich work, brimming with ideas about the nature of representative government, how we conceive of it and how populism interacts with these, writes Ben Margulies, and is recommended to university students and scholars seeking to learn […]

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    Book Review: Karl Marx’s Life, Ideas, and Influences: A Critical Examination on the Bicentenary edited by Shaibal Gupta, Marcello Musto and Babak Amini

Book Review: Karl Marx’s Life, Ideas, and Influences: A Critical Examination on the Bicentenary edited by Shaibal Gupta, Marcello Musto and Babak Amini

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In Karl Marx’s Life, Ideas, and Influences, editors Shaibal Gupta, Marcello Musto and Babak Amini bring together contributors to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth and to discuss the relevance of his theoretical and political legacy today. The book offers an open-minded, informative and thought-provoking collection of contributions that inspires in-depth discussions not only of past Marxian and Marxist legacies, but […]

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    Book Review: Legal Protection for Traditional Knowledge: Towards A New Law for Indigenous Intellectual Property by Anindya Bhukta

Book Review: Legal Protection for Traditional Knowledge: Towards A New Law for Indigenous Intellectual Property by Anindya Bhukta

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In Legal Protection for Traditional Knowledge: Towards A New Law for Indigenous Intellectual Property, Anindya Bhukta underscores the value of traditional knowledge and argues that legal systems need to ensure better protection of this knowledge, with a particular focus on India. This book is an ideal primer for readers looking to find out more about the laws concerning traditional […]

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    Book Review: Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies by Jonathan Hopkin

Book Review: Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies by Jonathan Hopkin

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In Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies, Jonathan Hopkin studies the political counter-movements that have arisen on the Left and the Right since the 2008 financial crisis, positioning these as forms of ‘anti-system politics’ that are a response to the failures of neoliberal orthodoxy. Scott Timcke finds this book one of the most compelling reads […]

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    Book Review: Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media by Justin Gest

Book Review: Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media by Justin Gest

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In Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media, Justin Gest offers a guide for researchers who want to improve their ability to make a policy impact with their research, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of different media for communicating research ideas and their implications. This book is likely to be useful for researchers across the career spectrum, from PhD […]

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