Last Updated January 12, 2017
Three TUP titles reviewed in the January 2017 issue of Contemporary Sociology:
• The review of Savage Portrayals, by Natalie Byfield, read, "Byfield's Savage Portrayals is a timely, revelatory, and remarkable book. The notorious 1989 Central Park jogger case serves as a case study of the social production of journalism and the book's skeletal armature. Its flesh and blood are the powerful micro- and macro-level forces that circulate to reinforce social inequality and status hierarchies at the intersection of race, class, and gender in American society.... a unique achievement.... Savage Portrayals is an excellent supplemental text for courses related to media sociology, critical race and gender studies, urban sociology, stratification, or qualitative methods."
• The review of Just Queer Folks, by Colin Johnson, read, "Colin R. Johnson offers a much-needed corrective to the urban-centered nature of research on queer life.... Just Queer Folks is a beautifully written romp through early twentieth-century rural America. It upends many assumptions undergirding knowledge about American gender and sexuality, including the 'great gay migration' narrative. While the end product of this discursive transformation was a heteronormative narrative of gender and sexuality, the establishment of such a narrative was by no means a smooth or uncontested process. By detailing this process, Just Queer Folks joins a movement to fill a gap in gender and sexuality studies, a field that neglects the rural."
• The review of The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences by Michael Brown, read, "I was...impressed by his erudition.... Brown advocates the unification of different disciplines within the humanities and social sciences; furthermore, he intimates that different disciplines have more in common than practitioners are aware. An adventitious packaging of these discrete arguments enables Brown to suggest how unification can be achieved.... [His] arguments are given wide scope, using a large range of disparate sources."
Allan Johnson's memoir, Not from Here, was reviewed on the website, Friends Journal on January 1. The review read, "In this very moving narrative, Johnson explores what it means to be a descendant of those early pioneers who took land from the indigenous people who had been living there for generations.... Johnson takes the box containing his father's ashes on a road trip where he meets family members for the first time, learning more about his family's past than he ever learned from his father... It's a spiritual look at our connections to our pasts, and our responsibilities to future generations."
Last Updated January 5, 2017
The December 2016 issue of American Literature published a combined review of Asian American literature titles, featuring Unquiet Tropes by Elda Tsou and Racial Feelings by Jeffrey Santa Ana:
• The review of Unquiet Tropes read, "Elda Tsou's examination of 'figurative activity' contributes to current disciplinary debates on the shaping of the aesthetic and the political in Asian American literature by considering classical rhetorical tropes in five field-shaping texts.... Unquiet Tropes offers a finely nuanced reading of how these aberrant discrepancies might self- consciously both register and unsettle the containments of race and form."
• The review of Racial Feelings read, "Jeffrey Santa Ana's Racial Feelings investigates the broader intersections of property, affective suasion, and Asian American racialization.... [It] is an ambitious cultural studies project. Santa Ana connects a rich body of work in the field of economics and racial form—Colleen Lye is indispensable here—with theorists of affect and emotion... In a salient account of how the everyday production of feelings might integrate these processes, the oscillations of Asian America between model minority and yellow peril as an economic relation propel Santa Ana's dual concerns.... Santa Ana elucidates how artists both accommodate and resist such contradictory processes of containment.... Santa Ana draws on popular culture to excavate the materialization of sensory perception into sensible racial forms and their mass circulation, purposely deploying affect and emotion interchangeably throughout this study."
Chilean New Song, by J. Patrice McSherry, was reviewed in the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, Vol. 22, Issue 3, 2016. The review read, "Combining a study of Chile's political history with the analysis of songs' lyrics and oral history from some key figures in the Nueva Canción Chilena (Chilean New Song, CHNS) movement, McSherry rescues a very important part of Chilean and Latin American history.... The book is very well written and researched. The generations that grew up during this time will experience a nostalgic trip reviving the powerful lyrics discussed throughout the chapters. The newer generations, on the other hand, will find in this book a valuable tool to appreciate the political and historical context in which these artists and their cultural production came to exist."
Last Updated December 21, 2016
City in a Park, by Jim McClelland and Lynn Miller, was reviewed in the Philadelphia Inquirer on December 15. The review read, "Fairmount Park was on its way to becoming, at nearly 11,000 acres, one of the largest urban park systems in the world. It's quite a story, one still ongoing, and it's all here, accompanied by 150 really great photos. Now you can know all about those statues you maybe only drive by. This should be on every coffee table in Philly."
Boathouse Row, by Dotty Brown, was reviewed in the December 18 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The review read, "Generously illustrated and produced... Boathouse Row might have been a daunting undertaking... but Brown's enthusiasm and personal knowledge of rowing grace every page, not to mention her deep interest in all the ways that chance decisions, discoveries, and characters are the stuff of which history is made.... The Row is still very much with us. And now it has Brown's history to further burnish its many charms."
Illness or Deviance?, by Jennifer Murphy, was reviewed on the website, metapsychology online on December 13. The review read, "It is rare that addiction literature is able to present detailed personal narratives within an informative and critical perspective that leave the reader feeling they have gained clear insight into a particular situation. Illness or Deviance? presents just such an account, engaging with the interaction between drug addiction and the American penal system.... The book provides a good overview of the nuances within the contemporary addiction discourse and the limits of the disease model. It also engages with challenging questions about basic social interactions and how labels powerfully affect our understanding of identity."