How chartered company-states spearheaded European expansion and helped create the world’s first genuinely global orderFrom Spanish conquistadors to British colonialists, the prevailing story of European empire-building has focused on the rival ambitions of competing states. But as Outsourcing Empire shows, from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, company-states—not sovereign states—drove European expansion, building the world’s first genuinely international system. Company-states were hybrid ventures: pioneering multinational trading firms run for profit, with founding charters that granted them sovereign powers of war, peace, and rule. Those like the English and Dutch East India Companies carved out corporate empires in Asia, while other company-states pushed forward European expansion through North America, Africa, and the South Pacific. In this comparative exploration, Andrew Phillips and J. C. Sharman explain the rise and fall of company-states, why some succeeded while others failed, and their role as vanguards of capitalism and imperialism.In dealing with alien civilizations to the East and West, Europeans relied primarily on company-states to mediate geographic and cultural distances in trade and diplomacy. Emerging as improvised solutions to bridge the gap between European rulers’ expansive geopolitical ambitions and their scarce means, company-states succeeded best where they could balance the twin imperatives of power and profit. Yet as European states strengthened from the late eighteenth century onward, and a sense of separate public and private spheres grew, the company-states lost their usefulness and legitimacy.Bringing a fresh understanding to the ways cross-cultural relations were handled across the oceans, Outsourcing Empire examines the significance of company-states as key progenitors of the globalized world.
For the past thirty years, David Mamet has been a controversial and defining force in theater and film, championing the most cherished liberal values along the way. In some of the great movies and plays of our time, his characters have explored the ethics of the business world, embodied the struggles of the oppressed, and faced the flaws of the capitalist system.But in recent years Mamet has had a change of heart. He realized that the so-called mainstream media outlets he relied on were irredeemably biased, peddling a hypocritical and deeply flawed worldview. In 2008 he wrote a hugely controversial op-ed for the Village Voice, "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal,'" in which he methodically eviscerated liberal beliefs. Now he goes much deeper, employing his trademark intellectual force and vigor to take on all the key political and cultural issues of our times, from religion to political correctness to global warming.Mamet pulls no punches in his art or in his politics. And as a former liberal who woke up, he will win over an entirely new audience of others who have grown irate over America's current direction.
The iconic humorist offers his take on the stranger-than-fiction (and stranger-than-fact) 2016 presidential election and its equally unbelievable aftermath. The 2016 election cycle was so absurd that celebrated political satirist, journalist, and die-hard Republican P. J. O’Rourke endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. As P. J. put it, “America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692. So why not put Hillary on the dunking stool?” In How the Hell Did This Happen?, P. J. brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some seriously risky business. Starting in June 2015, he asks, “Who are these jacklegs, high-binders, wire-pullers, mountebanks, swellheads, buncombe spigots, four-flushers and animated spittoons offering themselves as worthy of America’s highest office?” and surveys the full cast of presidential candidates including everyone you’ve already forgotten and everyone you wish you could forget. P. J. offers a brief history of how our insane process for picking who will run for president evolved, from the very first nominating convention (thanks, Anti-Masonic Party) through the reforms of the Progressive era (because there’s nothing that can’t be worsened by reform) to the present. He takes us through the debates and key primaries and analyzes everything from the campaign platforms (or lack thereof) to presidential style (“Trump’s appearance—indeed, Trump’s existence—is a little guy’s idea of living large. A private plane! A swell joint in Florida! Gold-plated toilet handles!”). And he rises from the depths of despair to come up with a better way to choose a president. Following his come-to-Satan moment with Hillary and the Beginning of End Times in November, P. J. reckons with a new age: “America is experiencing a change in the nature of leadership. We’re getting rid of our leaders. And we’re starting at the top.” “Where are we going? Where have we been? P. J. O’Rourke casts his gimlet gaze on the circus of clowns-people foisted on us by the 2016 election—and demands to know How the Hell Did This Happen?” —Vanity Fair
Dispatches from a workers’ revolt by the Memoirs of a Revolutionary author, “one of the most compelling of twentieth-century ethical and literary heroes” (Susan Sontag, winner of the National Book Award). Following in the wake of the carnage reaped across Europe by World War I, German workers undertook a struggle that would prove decisive in determining the course of the entire twentieth century. In 1923, the fledgling Comintern (The Communist International) dispatched Victor Serge, with his peerless journalistic skills, to Berlin to expedite the German Revolution and write these moving reports from the battlefront. Praise for Victor Serge “He was an eyewitness of events of world historical importance, of great hope and even greater tragedy. His political recollections are very important, because they reflect so well the mood of this lost generation . . . His articles and books speak for themselves, and we would be poorer without them.” —Partisan Review “I know of no other writer with whom Serge can be very usefully compared. The essence of the man and his books is to be found in his attitude to the truth.” —John Berger, Booker Prize–winning author “The novels, poems, memoirs and other writings of Victor Serge are among the finest works of literature inspired by the October Revolution that brought the working class to power in Russia in 1917 . . . His articles—like the work of John Reed, his American friend—let us follow revolutionary events as they unfold, as seen through the eyes of an exceptionally alert journalist.” —Scott McLemee, writer of the weekly “Intellectual Affairs” column for Inside Higher Ed
The Best of Thom Hartmann Program features excerpts from some of Thom's classic Air America shows, including conversations with bestselling authors from across the political spectrum.Volume 2: Our Living History (90 minutes) – Thom brings his deep grounding in American history to bear on current events. He explores ripped-from-the-headlines topics like the right-wing war on the middle class, the dangers of privatizing the military and the healthcare, the threat of theocracy, the legacy of the American labor movement, and what those Republican tax cuts really mean. In this volume Thom talks to Chris Hedges (author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning), Kevin Phillips, and Paul Krugman.
“Jones, a trailblazing African American judge, delivers an urgently needed perspective on American history . . . [A] passionate and informative account” (Booklist, starred review). Answering the Call is an extraordinary eyewitness account from an unsung hero of the battle for racial equality in America—a battle that, far from ending with the great victories of the civil rights era, saw some of its signal achievements in the desegregation fights of the 1970s and its most notable setbacks in the affirmative action debates that continue into the present in Ferguson, Baltimore, and beyond. Judge Nathaniel R. Jones’s groundbreaking career was forged in the 1960s: As the first African American assistant US attorney in Ohio; as assistant general counsel of the Kerner Commission; and, beginning in 1969, as general counsel of the NAACP. In that latter role, Jones coordinated attacks against Northern school segregation—a vital, divisive, and poorly understood chapter in the movement for equality—twice arguing in the pivotal US Supreme Court case Bradley v. Milliken, which addressed school desegregation in Detroit. He also led the national response to the attacks against affirmative action, spearheading and arguing many of the signal legal cases of that effort. Answering the Call is “a stunning, inside story of the contemporary struggle for civil rights . . . Essential reading for understanding where we are today—underscoring just how much work is left to be done” (Vernon E. Jordan Jr., civil rights activist). “A forthright testimony by a witness to history.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A powerful model of how to understand the complex array of issues that will shape the political economy of population in the future.”—American Historical Review From the founders’ fears that crowded cities would produce corruption, luxury, and vice to the zero population growth movement of the late 1960s to today’s widespread fears of an aging crisis as the Baby Boomers retire, the American population debate has always concerned much more than racial composition or resource exhaustion, the aspects of the debate usually emphasized by historians. In The State and the Stork, Derek Hoff draws on his extraordinary knowledge of the intersections between population and economic debates throughout American history to explain the many surprising ways that population anxieties have provoked unexpected policies and political developments—including the recent conservative revival. At once a fascinating history and a revelatory look at the deep origins of a crucial national conversation, The State and the Stork could not be timelier. “Hoff has done a real service by bringing to the foreground the economic dimension of U.S. debates over population size and growth, a topic that has been relegated to the shadows for too long.”—Population and Development Review “After decades of failed efforts by the scientific community to alert the public to the environmental dangers of population growth and overpopulation, a first-rate historian has finally detailed both the arguments and their policy implications . . . Everyone interested in population should read The State and the Stork. This is an incredibly timely book.”—Paul R. Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb
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