Daily Archives: December 4, 2019

The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Environmental Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century (World Social Change): Robert B. Marks

This clearly written and engrossing book presents a global narrative of the origins of the modern world from 1400 to the present. Unlike most studies, which assume that the “rise of the West” is the story of the coming of the modern world, this history, drawing upon new scholarship on Asia, Africa, and the New World and upon the maturing field of environmental history, constructs a story in which those parts of the world play major roles, including their impacts on the environment. Robert B. Marks defines the modern world as one marked by industry, the nation state, interstate warfare, a large and growing gap between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the world, increasing inequality within the wealthiest industrialized countries, and an escape from the environmental constraints of the “biological old regime.” He explains its origins by emphasizing contingencies (such as the conquest of the New World); the broad comparability of the most advanced regions in China, India, and Europe; the reasons why England was able to escape from common ecological constraints facing all of those regions by the eighteenth century; a conjuncture of human and natural forces that solidified a gap between the industrialized and non-industrialized parts of the world; the mounting environmental crisis that defines the modern world; and the ways in which the forces of globalization stress the economic and political underpinnings of the modern world.

Now in a new edition that brings the saga of the modern world to the present in an environmental context, the book considers how and why the United States emerged as a world power in the twentieth century and became the sole superpower by the twenty-first century, and why the changed relationship of humans to the environmental likely will be the hallmark of the modern era—the Anthopocene. Once again arguing that the US rise to global hegemon was contingent, not inevitable, Marks also points to the resurgence of Asia and the vastly changed relationship of humans to the environment that may in the long run overshadow any political and economic milestones of the past hundred years.

How Did Trump Get To The Brink Of Impeachment? The Ukraine Bribery Plot Explained | MSNBC

MSNBC Dec 2, 2019

As House Democrats ramp up impeachment probe, and gather evidence and testimony from key witnesses, MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent breaks down the full timeline of the Ukraine bribery plot. In this special report, Ari details the key dates from Congress approving the military aid, to the phone call with the Ukrainian president, to the filing of the whistleblower complaint and where the probe is headed next. Aired on 12/02/19.

Jamie Clarke on the first ever UK General Election debate focused on climate change

Climate OutreachDec 4, 2019

Climate Outreach Executive Director Jamie Clarke reflects on the first UK leaders’ election debate focused on climate change, which took place on 28th November 2019, for the CAST Centre.

New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan: Jill Lepore

In New York Burning,Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events of 1741, when ten fires blazed across Manhattan and panicked whites suspecting it to be the work a slave uprising went on a rampage. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.

Even back in the seventeenth century, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale in 1995. Her first book, “The Name of War,” won the Bancroft Prize; her 2005 book, “New York Burning,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2008 she published “Blindspot,” a mock eighteenth-century novel, jointly written with Jane Kamensky. Lepore’s most recent book, “The Whites of Their Eyes,” is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Root and Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 1613-1863: Graham Russell Gao Hodges

In this remarkable book, Graham Hodges presents a comprehensive history of African Americans in New York City and its rural environs from the arrival of the first African–a sailor marooned on Manhattan Island in 1613–to the bloody Draft Riots of 1863. Throughout, he explores the intertwined themes of freedom and servitude, city and countryside, and work, religion, and resistance that shaped black life in the region through two and a half centuries.

Hodges chronicles the lives of the first free black settlers in the Dutch-ruled city, the gradual slide into enslavement after the British takeover, the fierce era of slavery, and the painfully slow process of emancipation. He pays particular attention to the black religious experience in all its complexity and to the vibrant slave culture that was shaped on the streets and in the taverns. Together, Hodges shows, these two potent forces helped fuel the long and arduous pilgrimage to liberty.

New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth: Alan J. Singer

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Blending historical narrative with ideas for engaging young people as historians and thinkers, Alan J. Singer introduces readers to the truth about the history of slavery in New York State, and, by extension, about race in American society. Singer’s perspective as a historian and a former secondary school social studies teacher offers a wealth of new information about the past and introduces people and events that have been erased from history.

New York, both the city and the state, were centers of the abolitionist struggle to finally end human bondage; however, at the same time, enslaved Africans built the infrastructure of the colonial city. The author shows teachers how to develop ways to teach about this very difficult topic. He shows them how to deal with racial preconceptions and tensions in the classroom and calls upon teachers and students to become historical activists, conduct research, write reports, and present their findings to the public.

Slavery in New York: Ira Berlin, Leslie M. Harris

The recent discovery of the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan reminded Americans that slavery in the United States was not merely a phenomenon of the antebellum South. In fact, for most of its history, New York was a slave city.

Edited by Ira Berlin, the Bancroft Prize–winning author of Many Thousands Gone, and Leslie Harris, Slavery in New York brings together twelve new contributions by leading historians of slavery and African American life in New York. Published to accompany a major exhibit at the New York Historical Society, the book demonstrates how slavery shaped the day-to-day experience of New Yorkers, black and white, and how, as a way of doing business, it propelled New York to become the commercial and financial power it is today.

Powerfully illustrated with images from the New York Historical Society exhibit, Slavery and the Making of New York will be the definitive account of New York’s slave past.