Fw: Britain's theft of Venezuela's gold part of regime changs agenda (Green Left)

Chris Slee

Operation Peter Pan: how the US stole 14,000 children (Green Left)

Chris Slee

Charles Babbage on the division of labor

Jim Farmelant

H-Net Review [H-NewMexico]: Brückmann on Gonzales and Lamadrid, 'Nación Genízara: Ethnogenesis, Place, and Identity in New Mexico (Querencias Series)'

Andrew Stewart

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 26, 2020 at 6:32 PM
Subject: H-Net Review [H-NewMexico]: Brückmann on Gonzales and Lamadrid, 'Nación Genízara: Ethnogenesis, Place, and Identity in New Mexico (Querencias Series)'
To: <h-review@...>
Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp@...>

Moises Gonzales, Enrique R. Lamadrid, eds.  Nación Genízara:
Ethnogenesis, Place, and Identity in New Mexico (Querencias Series). 
Albuquerque  University of New Mexico Press, 2019.  xxviii + 359 pp. 
$65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8263-6107-3.

Reviewed by Rebecca Brückmann (Ruhr-Universität)
Published on H-NewMexico (July, 2020)
Commissioned by Tomas Jaehn

The Endurance of Memory: Genízaro Identity and Culture through the

On June 15, 2020, Rio Arriba county authorities removed the Juan de
Oñate statue in Alcalde, New Mexico. The statue of New Mexico's
first governor was taken down to prevent a potential toppling during
antiracist protests. Indeed, the conquistador's bronze rendition has
been attacked multiple times since its installation in 1991.
Mirroring Oñate's method of torture against indigenous male captives
in the 1598-99 Acoma War, the statue's right foot was cut off in
1998. As colonial governor, he enslaved Acoma Pueblo men and women
over the age of twelve for twenty years. Eight years after his first
arrival, Spanish colonial authorities banished him for life from New
Mexico. They considered the violence against indigenous communities
extreme, even by late sixteenth-century standards. Questions of New
Mexico's precolonial and colonial heritage, of ancestry and
belonging, and of racialization and transculturation are entwined
with the history of the state's settlement and its memorialization.
In recent years, the narrative of New Mexico's and the Southwest's
duality--combining a distinct Spanish heritage and a distinct Native
American heritage--has come under scrutiny.

In _Nación Genízara_, Moises Gonzales (associate professor in the
Community and Regional Planning Program) and Enrique R. Lamadrid
(professor emeritus of Spanish) from the University of New Mexico
assembled the works of eighteen "activist scholars" (p. 6) to bridge
this duality. The edited volume provides multi- and interdisciplinary
approaches to the history, memorialization, cultural practices, art,
language, socioeconomic status, and archaeology of Genízaros in New
Mexico and southern Colorado from the eighteenth century until the
present day. As such, the volume is the first collection that focuses
exclusively on excavating and explicating the history and identity of
a social group who made up a third of New Mexico's population by the
early nineteenth century. Genízaros' self-consciousness as a
sociocultural group, so the volume argues, persisted under Spanish,
Mexican, and US-American rule. _Nación Genízara_ developed out of
an advanced seminar in Santa Fe and community symposium in Abiquiú
in 2016. Its editors understand the book as "a new _resolana_, a
collective forum on the plaza" to debate and contest "hegemonic
Hispanophile or 'Spanish American' identity" through an examination
of Genízaros, whose history "blurs the line of distinction between
Native and Hispanic frameworks of race and cultural affiliation" (p.

The volume starts with a foreword by Estevan Rael-Gálvez, New
Mexico's former state historian who in 2007 authored the state
Senate's Memorial No. 59 in recognition of Genízaros. His opening
statement is followed by the editors' introduction of the
etymological origin of the term Genízaro and its people's early
history, and thirteen topical chapters. The epilogue draws out the
anthology's personal and political implications. The structure is
roughly chronological and topically organized in three parts. The
volume first offers historical, anthropological, sociological, and
archaeological approaches to Genízaro history and multidimensional,
hybrid identity, which analyze census data, colonial and territorial
papers (particularly petitions and land grants), maps, church
records, and other genealogical sources, including birth and marriage
records. The anthology's second part features cultural and
ethnographical studies, including examinations of religious practices
and folk rituals, such as the _Matachines_ dance, attire and cultural
practices, novels and poetry, and songs. Finally, there are
autobiographical and genealogical pieces, introduced as
"_testimonio_, the testimonial narrative of family and community
memoir" (p. 6). Overall, the volume serves as a compilation of
Genízaro history, identity, culture, and memorialization. _Nación
Genízara_ "recapitulates" (p. 6) the Genízaro scholarship from the
previous century, offering a number of reevaluations and additional
insights, and serves as an introduction to Genízaro history as well
as a contribution to ongoing debates on cultural identities in the

The book's first part introduces the reader to the emergence and
early history of the term and the formation and consolidation of a
Nación Genízara in New Mexico in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries. Derived from "yeniçeri," a fourteenth-century description
of captive children who later served as soldiers in the Ottoman
Empire (p. xvi), the term evolved to Janissaries and, finally, the
Hispanicized title Genízaros in the New World. Alongside the term
_criado_, the term served not only as an identifier for a caste of
enslaved indigenous people but developed into an "ethnonym" for a
"low-caste" group of mixed-race people, "the racially and culturally
hybrid" (p. 1). The term and the caste system were officially
abolished with Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, but the use
of the term persisted, often as a racialized slur that was supposed
to denote a combination of poverty and indigeneity. Gonzales and
Lamadrid argue in their introduction in reference to sociologist
Tomás Atencio's work that "a distinct 'genízaro consciousness'
emerged in the early 19th century as a political and cultural
identity" (p. 4), which directly counters earlier historiographical
claims that with the disappearance of the term Genízaro,
self-awareness had disappeared as well.

Gonzales and Lamadrid remind the reader that the social group called
Genízaros was established through the abduction of children from
diverse indigenous communities, including the Apache, Navajo, Ute,
Kiowa, Comanche, and Pawnee, who were enslaved to serve in households
or as farmhands. Genízaros' indigenous kinship ties were severed,
they were Christianized, and they took on Spanish names. After the
New Laws of the Indies abolished indigenous enslavement, "the
doctrine of _guerra justa_ (just war) enabled the taking of
insurgents as captives" while describing them as "rescues" (p. 1). In
New Mexico, Rael-Gálvez argues in his foreword, "an entire parallel
vocabulary ... was used as a euphemism for slavery" which disguised
the plight of thousands of indigenous enslaved people in the
Southwest (pp. xvi-xvii).

Genízaros gained their freedom upon marriage or after fifteen years
of enslavement, and their children were freeborn. Cut off from their
indigenous kin, free Genízaros established their own communities,
and many became soldiers, scouts, and guides for expeditions.
Genízaro settlements often served as "buffer zones" between nomadic
tribes and Spanish settlements, and thus served "a strategic military
function for the province" (pp. 3-4). The first Genízaro land grant
was established in Belén in 1741, and a number of the volume's
authors stress that Genízaros' communal action evidenced in group
petitions for land show their self-conscious agency as a community.
Ethnogenesis, Charles M. Carillo states, is "a process by which a
social group comes to regard itself or be regarded as a distinct
people," and, referring to Marshall Sahlins, while this process is
"externally introduced," it can be "indigenously orchestrated" (p.

The examinations of seventeenth-century agricultural practices of
Tlaxcalans and other non-Pueblo natives near Santa Fe by Ladmadrid,
Tomás Martinez Saldaña, and José A. Rivera, the eighteenth-century
settlement of Belén and its connections to pueblos by Samuel E.
Sisneros, and Ramón A. Guiterrez's study of the Genízaro roots of
the nineteenth-century fraternal organizations Hermanos Penitentes
offer a long trajectory of transcultural space and identity
formations in the region. The crux of the matter often lies in the
fragmentary sources, however, which lead to a number of factual
repetitions throughout the volume because of the authors' inevitable
reliance on similar material and historical context. The volume also
treats some topics too briefly. For example, the experiences of
Genízaras are only introduced by Christina Durán and Virginia
Sànchez with essays on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Genízera
women in New Mexico and enslaved indigenous women in southern
Colorado. Indeed, there is a lot of speculation going on in some of
the essays. Moises Gonzales, in contrast, pieces together a
differentiated, riveting narrative of Genízaro communities in the
Sandía Mountains through an interdisciplinary approach and source

The volume's second part, which emphasizes cultural and folklore
approaches to historical and present-day Genízaro identity, is also
fruitful. Through visual sources of Miguel A. Gandert's photo essay,
Michael L. Trujillo's analysis of G. Benito Córdova's work, and Levi
Romero's examination of Nuevomexicano poetry and songs, the volume
connects its first part's historical, anthropological, and
sociopolitical approach to the immediacy of cultural practices and
experiences, including their present-day expressions in Genízaro
communities. The authors introduce the reader to artistic expressions
and long-practiced rituals, including the Matachines and the Comanche
dances that express the community's understanding of history,
identity, and spirituality.

The book's third part delivers testimonies in the form of an
(auto)biographical narrative by Susan M. Gandert as well as a report
of the use of genetic testing for genealogical research by Miguel A.
Tórrez, research technologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Laudably, Tórrez introduces both advantages and criticisms of DNA
"evidence" to reconstruct tribal affiliation and identity, and he
states that genetic testing should work in tandem with ethnography
and personal narratives to establish identities. At the same time,
the idea of "blood" and supposed "Native" looks, which occasionally
reverberates through the volume, is contestable. DNA testing does not
reveal "race" or ethnicity, because there are no biological markers
for either. Instead, it offers ideas about geographical ancestry;
other implications border on biological essentialism. There is also a
type of romanticization that crops up sporadically, as for example in
Levi Romero's description of "interrelationships that bore a new
Indo-Hispano mestizaje" and his assertion that "these two cultures
created a model of coexistence that can serve as an example for
cultures across the world today" (pp. 289, 292). Such statements
belie the descriptions of power relations, violence, and sexual
assault explicated in other essays in the volume. In his essay on
"Cultural Systems of Slavery in the Hispanic Southwest," William S.
Kiser astutely observes similarities and differences between forms of
slavery in the New World, but some passing remarks throughout the
volume seem to trivialize chattel slavery. In his foreword,
Rael-Gálvez states that "the story of enslaved and emancipated
Africans" had "largely defined nearly every aspect of our nation's
history, including the various racial constructions that render
nonwhites and nonblacks invisible to this day" (p. xvii). There is
something to be said about the historical and present-day impacts of
Black hypervisibility, the supposed dichotomy between Hispano and
indigenous heritages in New Mexico, and the narrative of separate
"triculturalism" of the Spanish, mestizo, and indigenous that
Genízaro identities contradict, and yet they perpetuate the assumed
division in another form. Only in Teresa Córdova's epilogue on the
political implications for organizing, the power of Atzlàn, and the
twentieth- and twenty-first-century Chicana/o movement are
Afro-Latinas/os mentioned (p. 341). Given the centrality of the
experience of enslavement, it seems curious that the enslavement of
Black people (and indigenous forms of the enslavement of Black
people) either remains a footnote or, with the exception of Kiser's
contribution, is used as a distancing tool. In addition, connecting
the volume's analyses with the history and identity formation of the
mixed-ancestry North Carolinian Lumbee tribe would have also been

Nonetheless, this volume is a valuable, multidimensional,
comprehensive, and yet accessible contribution to the history of
Genízaros in New Mexico. It offers a variety of perspectives and
differentiates the memorialization of New Mexico's heritage, bridging
the artificial divide between Hispanic and indigenous ancestry. Most
importantly, the volume clearly shows that prior claims that
Genízaro identity and culture were lost after 1821 are false and,
instead, documents a complicated, and vibrant ongoing history and an
active present-day community. _Nación Genízara_ portrays processes
of transculturation in colonial and territorial history and adds a
significant aspect to the historiography of different forms of
slavery in the "New World." Finally, the volume not only offers a
variety of multi- and interdisciplinary methods, it also provides
source excerpts, including maps, tables, and substantial lists of
people named Genízaros, which affords valuable insights and
information for students and researchers alike. _Nación Genízara_
tells a story of sociocultural resilience and, indeed, the "amazing
endurance of memory" (p. 338).

Citation: Rebecca Brückmann. Review of Gonzales, Moises; Lamadrid,
Enrique R., eds., _Nación Genízara: Ethnogenesis, Place, and
Identity in New Mexico (Querencias Series)_. H-NewMexico, H-Net
Reviews. July, 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States

Best regards,

Andrew Stewart

"The two governing parties are presiding over a failed state" | International Socialism Project

Louis Proyect

The Green Party, at a virtual convention completed on July 11, nominated the ticket of Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker to run in the U.S. presidential election in November. To find out more about the candidates and their platform, visit their campaign website at Hawkins spoke with ISP’s Lance Selfa on July 3.

on needing a post moderated, features of

Les Schaffer

I've been manually removing the need for new subscribers to have their first post approved, for most of you as your subscription confirmations come in. its easy to do a batch at a time. occasionally i fall behind, and then some of you are being notified that your post needs approval. all this will disappear soon enough, hang in there. can be set up so every new subscriber needs to be moderated once and only once. its one of three choices for spam control and they make you choose one. this one seemed the simplest and the easiest to also work around. 

while i'm at it:

  • if you could do something with marxmail on the previous server its almost certain you can do it here and better. if you think a feature we once had is gone, ASK about it, and we will send instructions.
  • for example, as David Walters pointed out, you can compose emails to the group here on the web interface (where i am right now) and you can do all kinds of formatting and also include hyperlinks, etc. you can now add attachments easily.  Okay, okay, don't get carried away with it, but if it helps to make a point ... 
  • you can also set email delivery to None and read the list on the web interface. Just log in to, select Marxmail, and click on Messages.
  • you can choose plain text or HTML ( calls it rich text i think) for either digest or single email delivery. Click on the Subscription tab on the left and your delivery preferences/choices will be displayed. 
  • there are some new delivery choices we didn't have before and a couple of you are discovering them, for example, a daily summary delivered the next morning. 


Spontaneous Philosophy in Science and Activism - COSMONAUT

Louis Proyect

The Cosmonaut crew sits down to discuss Althusser’s Lectures on Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists. We historically situate the text and talk about Althusser’s conception of science and of philosophy, how they both relate to each other and what happens when one exploits the other and “common sense”, in the form of the dominant ideology, creeps in. This is followed by a discussion on actual examples of how philosophy and science interrelate, and what it means to defend a materialist line in philosophy. We discuss philosophical practice in politics and end by providing an extension of Althusser’s concept to include Spontaneous Philosophy of the Activist, or how “common sense” creeps in to activism, and we end up reproducing liberal concepts in our organizing.

Latest 100 messages archive

Louis Proyect

A subscriber reminded me that this had to reflect the new site, which I just did.

The Socialist Cinema of Ken Jacobs: An Interview with Ken Jacobs - Los Angeles Review of Books

Louis Proyect

H-Net Review [H-Judaic]: Zavadivker on Kopstein and Wittenberg, 'Intimate Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve of the Holocaust'

Andrew Stewart

Best regards,
Andrew Stewart 
- - -
Subscribe to the Washington Babylon newsletter via

Begin forwarded message:

From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review@...>
Date: July 27, 2020 at 6:59:31 AM EDT
To: h-review@...
Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp@...>
Subject: H-Net Review [H-Judaic]:  Zavadivker on Kopstein and  Wittenberg, 'Intimate Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve of the Holocaust'
Reply-To: h-review@...

Jeffrey S. Kopstein, Jason Wittenberg.  Intimate Violence:
Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve of the Holocaust.  Ithaca  Cornell
University Press, 2018.  Maps, graphs. 192 pp.  $29.95 (cloth), ISBN

Reviewed by Polly Zavadivker (University of Delaware)
Published on H-Judaic (July, 2020)
Commissioned by Barbara Krawcowicz

When it was published in 2001, Jan Gross's _Neighbors_ cast a glaring
spotlight on the town of Jedwabne, where on July 10, 1941, Polish
residents massacred several hundreds of their Jewish neighbors. The
book launched a flurry of scholarship and heated debates both in
Poland and abroad. And yet even before its appearance, it was widely
known that Poles and Ukrainians had carried out hundreds of other
anti-Jewish pogroms throughout eastern Poland at roughly the same

The political scientists Jeffrey Kopstein and Jason Wittenberg make
two major contributions in this concise volume: first, they are the
first English-speaking scholars to attempt to locate the Jedwabne
pogrom in its temporal and regional context. Their subject is the
wave of "intimate violence" from June to August 1941, when Polish and
Ukrainian residents killed their Jewish neighbors in the streets,
homes, and buildings of the towns they shared, using readily handy
kitchen and gardening tools as weapons. The book leaves no room for
doubt that what happened in Jedwabne happened in hundreds of other
places, or that the hundreds of Jewish victims there numbered among
tens of thousands elsewhere in eastern Poland.

Second, the book offers an initial attempt to not only describe what
happened during the pogroms but to explain why it happened. As
political scientists they attempt to model the process of ethnic
violence: they measure the relative significance of preexisting
conditions as well as immediate triggers and identify the factor that
they believe decisively predicted the outcome of pogroms. The study
is not without significant flaws, of which more below, but these two
contributions alone represent important strides for both the social
sciences and Holocaust studies.

In chapter 1 we are introduced to the study's key question,
theoretical framework, data, and findings. Pogroms occurred in some
227 cities throughout six voivodships (administrative regions) of
eastern Poland, over roughly six weeks from late June to early August
1941. That number seems enormous in absolute terms, but actually
represents only 9 percent of cities with sizeable Jewish communities
for the region as a whole. The overwhelming majority of places where
Jews lived alongside Poles and Ukrainians did not experience a
pogrom. Why did pogroms break out in those places where they did, and
not in others?

Kopstein and Wittenberg handily put aside previous explanations,
pointing first to what they think _did not_ cause the violence. Poles
were _not_ following German orders, as some argued, but rather, acted
with total agency. The timing was all-important: the Soviet
occupation of eastern Poland had already collapsed and German forces
had entered, but not yet established a state regime. The presence
alone of the SS provided an opportune moment for Poles to freely act
on their desires without fear of punishment or retribution. The
authors also address previously posited motives of revenge,
antisemitism, and greed. Yes, they argue, desire to avenge the Jews'
alleged collaboration with Soviet occupiers played some part in
fueling the violence and helped to "set the stage" for
neighbor-on-neighbor violence, but was not its driving cause (p. 42).
Similarly, Poles' greed for Jewish property, with theft widely
documented during and after the pogroms, should be read as a symptom
and not cause of the pogrom. Finally, they reject the "antisemitism
hypothesis," arguing that if timeless, or "ubiquitous hatred" for
Jews had existed among Poles from time immemorial, then one would
expect far more pogroms than actually occurred (p. 10).

Having cleared the way of what factors did _not_ cause the pogroms,
the authors explain: "Poles that turned against their Jewish
neighbors were motivated less by hatred, revenge, or avarice than by
a perception of a threat to their political dominance" (p. 58).
Wherever Poles felt that sense of threat, they "were more likely to
give into the temptation to commit violence, more tolerant of others
committing violence, and less likely to come to the aid of the
victims" (p. 71).

They draw here on "power threat theory," developed by the sociologist
Hubert M. Blalock to analyze the dynamics of race relations in
postbellum United States.[1] Blalock argued that wherever southern
whites perceived acute threat from blacks to their continued racial
dominance (the presence of large black populations combined with
strong influence of racially inclusive political parties), they
carried out "vigilante justice" with intent to preserve the racial
status quo: from supporting electoral disenfranchisement and Jim Crow
laws to the perpetration of widespread lynching, the counterpart of
which Kopstein and Wittenberg find in the pogroms.

Chapters 2 and 3 provide a historical and demographic overview of the
region. In order to measure the "perception of threat" to which Poles
reacted with violence in 1941, the authors attempt to quantify three
factors, all rooted in the prewar period: first, voting patterns,
records of which exist for parliamentary elections of 1922 and 1928.
In cities where pogroms took place, they found that Jews voted in
high numbers for Jewish nationalist parties, and specifically the
General Zionists, who as part of the Minorities Bloc issued
aggressive and unequivocal demands for Jewish political autonomy and
full equality. Conversely, in cities that saw violence, majorities of
Poles supported the right-wing nationalist party (the National
Democrats, or "Endecja"), which advocated a platform of fanatical
patriotism, religiosity, opposition to full equality for non-Polish
minorities; in a telling detail, we are told that some of its members
viewed the Zionist leader Yitzhak Grunbaum as "fundamentally
anti-Polish" in outlook (p. 63). Second, pogroms were likelier in
cities with large Jewish populations (Jews were 10 percent of the
total population in eastern Poland but about half of all urban
dwellers), suggesting that Poles turned on their neighbors in places
where they felt outnumbered. Finally, the authors factor in the
existence of Jewish Free Loan Societies in cities where pogroms
occurred, hypothesizing that Poles would have perceived credit aid to
Jewish businesses as posing an unfair, and hence threatening

Chapter 4, "Beyond Jedwabne," is the literal and conceptual center of
the book, where the statistical method is explained and applied to
local histories. With forceful clarity we see that in locations where
Zionists dominated Jewish politics and the Endejca had
majority-Polish support, violence erupted in 1941. In Radzilow, the
site of one of the most deadly and brutal pogroms in the region,
"virtually every eligible Jewish voter voted for Jewish parties in
1928 and 42 percent of the Polish electorate supported the Endecja in
the same election" (p. 78). Conversely in Bia_ł_ystok, there was no
pogrom, for despite a sizeable Jewish population and history of
Christian antisemitism, Jews had voted in large numbers for
minority-friendly Polish parties in 1928.

The most important point Kopstein and Wittenberg make in this central
chapter, I believe, is to suggest that political behavior spills over
into subjective experience. How one votes has consequences insofar as
it suggests a mentality and worldview, in this case regarding the
role of the state, economic redistribution, and the limits of
minority rights. They do not suggest that Polish pogrom perpetrators
had a "precise electoral calculation in mind," but rather that that
the social distance between Poles and Jews had grown so great over
the previous two decades that "even the bare minimum of solidarity
between the two communities was absent" (p. 78). While political
integration did not necessarily equate with the "thick solidarity of
a nation," it may have provided at the local level "just enough
communal cohesion, the bare minimum, to prevent the worst sort of
depredations when all other factors pointed in that direction" (p.
78). What the gradual process of political polarization produced,
most fatefully, in their view, was _indifference_ among a majority of
Poles toward the lives and fates of their Jewish neighbors once the
pogrom began. The survivor narratives they cite confirm this with
chilling effect.

Initially the authors' use of data struck me as implausible. Could an
ethnic group's voting patterns in 1928 really be used to predict
whether they would brutalize (or conversely, fall victim to) their
neighbors thirteen years later, under the "right" set of
circumstances? This is one question that animated a book forum
discussion among a group of historians and political scientists in
the _Journal of Genocide Research_ earlier this year.[2] In the
interest of drawing on that important exchange, I will transition
here from review to meta-review.

If a consensus might be gleaned from among the forum's scholars, it
is that the Kopstein and Wittenberg asked the right questions but
were unable to adequately answer them with the existing data. The
historian Kamil Kijek of the University of Wroclaw took the strongest
exception to their use of data. He found especially problematic the
authors' definition of antisemitism, which they understand as a
practice rooted in political behavior, ignoring the long history and
psycho-cultural dimensions of Polish-Jewish relations to which
historians more generally attend. Kijek was morally troubled, too, by
the argument that the Jews' turn to nationalism in the 20s and 30s
played a causative role in the violence they suffered in 1941. By
making this claim, "the authors attribute the main causes of violence
to the Jews themselves."[3] While I agree that the discussion of
antisemitism is thin in this study, the latter charge is not entirely
fair. The authors explicitly rebuke the notion that any blame for
political polarization lies with Jews; rather, they claim it
represents "the failure of the Polish state to integrate its Jewish
citizens" (p. 83).

Yet while they do not fault Jews for choosing nationalist politics in
interwar Poland, the authors do suggest in a concluding chapter that
minorities can do their part to avert "intimate violence" by
practicing political integration and communal cohesion--specifically
by tempering their demands of the state and working toward shared,
common interests with majority populations. As a counterpoint to this
suggestion, Evgeny Finkel suggests that the prospect of political
integration for Jews depended on geography. While in the northern
part of the region (e.g., Białystok province) Jews could "achieve a
degree of local acceptance by moderating their claims and supporting
the Polish state-building project," in the south, where the brutal
Radivilov pogrom occurred, and where Jews lived among Poles and
Ukrainians, Jews simply could not make friends without simultaneously
making enemies. Jewish support for either Poles or Ukrainians
"inevitably alienated the other; neutrality was seen by both as
treason," and thus, "Jewish communities were placed between the
Polish rock and the Ukrainian hard place and suffered as a

As a final and perhaps minor point I would add that the style and
tone of this book can be alienating at times. To cite just one
grievous example: early in the book the authors explain that they
chose to study the 1941 pogroms because they offered examples of true
unbridled popular violence, at a time when political conditions
allowed for Polish civilians to attack Jews in the absence of
restraint. These pogroms, they write, are thus "_ideal circumstances_
under which to examine the structural characteristics of localities
where pogroms occur" (p. 17, emphasis added). This begs to be
rephrased with attention to the insensitive choice of adjective.

It has been pointed out that Raul Hilberg, a pioneering Holocaust
researcher in the 1950s, was a political scientist; one could add
that his contemporary Hannah Arendt approached this history as a
political thinker. As it were, Kopstein and Wittenberg have helped to
launch a second and now burgeoning wave of social scientific studies
of the Holocaust. It is hoped that future scholars who build on their
pioneering work will more sensitively attend to the "thick" culture
and history of Slavic-Jewish relations, and without sacrificing
feeling for rigor.

Citation: Polly Zavadivker. Review of Kopstein, Jeffrey S.;
Wittenberg, Jason, _Intimate Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve
of the Holocaust_. H-Judaic, H-Net Reviews. July, 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States

H-Net Review [H-CivWar]: Kirk on Lowenthal, 'A Yankee Regiment in Confederate Louisiana: The 31st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Gulf South'

Andrew Stewart

Best regards,
Andrew Stewart 
- - -
Subscribe to the Washington Babylon newsletter via

Begin forwarded message:

From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review@...>
Date: July 27, 2020 at 11:47:27 AM EDT
To: h-review@...
Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp@...>
Subject: H-Net Review [H-CivWar]:  Kirk on Lowenthal, 'A Yankee Regiment in Confederate Louisiana: The 31st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Gulf South'
Reply-To: h-review@...

Larry Lowenthal.  A Yankee Regiment in Confederate Louisiana: The
31st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Gulf South.  Baton Rouge
Louisiana State University Press, 2019.  360 pp.  $48.00 (cloth),
ISBN 978-0-8071-7190-5.

Reviewed by Brianna Kirk (University of Virginia)
Published on H-CivWar (July, 2020)
Commissioned by G. David Schieffler

Larry Lowenthal's _A Yankee Regiment in Confederate Louisiana_ tells
the story of the 31st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, which served
most of the American Civil War in Louisiana and the Gulf region. The
regiment is credited as the first Union regiment to enter New Orleans
after its capture and the Confederate evacuation in 1862. It also
served in a variety of roles--as infantry, mounted infantry, and
cavalry--and fought guerrillas in the Louisiana bayous. Yet its
relatively unique story of dignified service never made it into the
pages of an official regimental history, as the men of the 31st never
succeeded in writing one. Despite their late start in beginning a
veterans' association, they diligently collected material, conducted
interviews, and amassed accounts to write a detailed account of their
service. But the old veterans, including the regimental historian,
began passing away before anything could be published.

Lowenthal, a former National Park Service historian, set out to
accomplish what the men of the 31st Massachusetts did not--to write
the history of the oft-forgotten Massachusetts regiment whose Civil
War service has typically evoked criticism. After the discovery of
unprocessed diaries, manuscripts, and personal reminiscences in the
Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History in 2013,
Lowenthal committed to writing a "modern Civil War regimental
history," one that would benefit from the abundance of modern
scholarship and interpretations.[1] Writing the regimental history
now, instead of in the late nineteenth century, would also likely
remove any personal bias that modern historians often find plague
Civil War regimental histories and allow him to take a more "balanced
perspective" on many issues that would have generated "political
controversies" among Civil War veterans (pp. xii-xiii).

Lowenthal's methodology and source base for this modern regimental
history are fascinating. He draws largely from these unpublished and
unprocessed manuscript collections, boxes of material which had been
collected by the regiment's designated historian, L. Frederick Rice.
Chronology drives Lowenthal's account of the 31st Massachusetts from
their inception in 1861 to their journey south to Louisiana to their
service in the Gulf. Broken down into chapters that cover several
months at a time, this narrative structure allows readers to immerse
themselves in the soldiers' lives and to experience the flow of their
service alongside the men. Beginning with Benjamin Butler's
recruitment of New Englanders to serve in the Union Army, Lowenthal
traces how controversy plagued the 31st Massachusetts from the start
and continued through its service in Louisiana. An ongoing feud
between Butler and Massachusetts governor John A. Andrew--prompted
initially by Butler's recruitment efforts and his insistence on
appointing officers to those regiments--was felt throughout the ranks
of the 31st well into the war, as the men began to question why they
had not seen any major combat by the end of 1862. Despite the honor
of being the first Union troops to set foot in New Orleans after the
Union gained possession of the city in 1862, the 31st Massachusetts
found their regiment split up and relegated to coastal defense at
Fort Pike, Fort Jackson, and defending the rail lines to Jackson,
Mississippi, at Kennerville (now Kenner).

One of the most unique aspects of the 31st Massachusetts Regiment was
the variety of service they saw. Throughout the Civil War, these men
took on the role of infantry, mounted infantry, and cavalry. They
found themselves on guard duty, took part in siege warfare, and
fought guerrillas. The pace at which Lowenthal tells the 31st
Massachusetts's story accelerates as he begins describing their
involvement in the lead-up and attack on Port Hudson, Louisiana, and
continues with his account of their participation in the Red River
Campaign in early to mid-1864. In both of these instances,
Lowenthal's reliance on these newly acquired diaries and personal
papers increases, providing more rounded accounts of the soldiers'
experiences that texturize the reader's understanding of these
moments. It is in these chapters that Lowenthal provides a much
richer analysis of what the men of the 31st wrote and why. Examples
of their personal views on race, emancipation, African American
soldiers, and occupation come through, although including more
accounts would have reinforced that analysis more. Even more so, it
becomes evident that this regiment in particular recognized--perhaps
because of their limited exposure to combat or because of their
somewhat jaded view of their service--that their involvement in the
Gulf region was "little more than a distraction" to the overall war
effort compared to the campaigns in the East, and that the war "would
be decided far to the east of the Mississippi" (p. 187).

Writing a "modern regimental history" is a notable task, especially
when relying heavily on unpublished material gathered by the
regiment's members themselves. Lowenthal does leave some to be
desired, especially connections to current scholarship. For example,
his discussion of soldier opinions and views on race in the chapter
covering the first half of 1863 offers a great opportunity to connect
the soldiers' words to recent works on Union soldiers and their
changing attitudes toward emancipation, or how conceptions of their
masculinity shifted with experiencing no major combat compared to
their counterparts in the East.[2] Though there are hints of these
throughout, more explicit connections to larger trends currently seen
in the field of Civil War history are needed. Lowenthal does a nice
job of integrating the soldiers' own words into a seamless
descriptive narrative, but at many places--especially in the chapters
on Port Hudson and the Red River campaign--allowing the soldiers to
speak for themselves even more would have been a bonus.

Lastly, a final chapter taking the regiment from wartime service into
the Reconstruction and Gilded Age years--the prime time for
regimental histories--would have provided a fitting end to
Lowenthal's story, and the absence of such a chapter leaves readers
curious about what happened after the war's conclusion. When did
Rice, the regiment's historian, acquire the majority of accounts on
which Lowenthal's story is based? What was the process like for
Lowenthal as he wrote this, and what different shape does he think
the history would have taken had Rice accomplished his task? A
reflective end to this creative and interesting project would have
been welcomed.

Lowenthal breathes life into the men of the 31st Massachusetts
Volunteer Infantry and provides a captivating account of a regiment
that did not claim many crowning achievements like other
Massachusetts regiments did. But the disappointments and neglect felt
in their own time does not mean they should continue to be forgotten
today, as their service, experiences, and opinions of the Civil War
world in which they lived lend important insight into soldier
experiences that historians now and in the future will continue to
investigate. _A Yankee Regiment in Confederate Louisiana_ succeeds in
revealing ways modern historians can still benefit from Civil War
regimental histories, even from a distance of over one hundred and
fifty years later.


[1]. To explore these collections, see the website created by
Lowenthal and others to highlight their source base:

[2]. For more on Union soldiers' motivation, see Bell Irvin Wiley,
_The Life of Billy Yank_ (Indianapolis, IN: Charter Books, 1952);
Gary W. Gallagher, _The Union War__ _(Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 2011);_ _James McPherson_, __For Cause and
Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War__ _(Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1997);_ _Peter S. Carmichael, _The War for the
Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War
Armies _(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018); and
Chandra Manning_, What this Cruel War was Over: Soldiers, Slavery,
and the Civil War_ (New York: Knopf, 2007). For more on gender and
masculinity in the Union Army, see Lorien Foote, _The Gentlemen and
the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army_ (New
York: New York University Press, 2010).

Citation: Brianna Kirk. Review of Lowenthal, Larry, _A Yankee
Regiment in Confederate Louisiana: The 31st Massachusetts Volunteer
Infantry in the Gulf South_. H-CivWar, H-Net Reviews. July, 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States

A Brief History of Dangerous Others | by Richard Kreitner and Rick Perlstein | The New York Review of Books

Louis Proyect

Why do those in positions of authority blame disorder on outside agitators? Consider a useful case study from 1741, in New York City, a town of about ten thousand residents, at least two thousand of whom were enslaved Africans. A greater number of fires than usual were breaking out, including one that destroyed the governor’s mansion. A rumor spread that a black man had been heard to cackle, “Fire, Fire, Scorch, Scorch, A LITTLE, Damn it, BY-AND-BY,” beside some hot coals secreted beneath a haystack. Three days later, the City Council announced the existence of a “villainous Confederacy of latent Enemies amongst us,” enacting a wicked plot “to burn the King’s House and this Town, and to kill and destroy the Inhabitants.” A witch hunt ensued. Both the nature of the alleged crime and the number of alleged conspirators waxed daily until it became, according to the Crown’s indictment of the alleged ringleader, a “Negro Plot to burn the City of New York.” This supposed ringleader, however, was a white Englishman.

Selecting delivery options for

Les Schaffer

Several people have asked me how to change delivery options for the new version of marxmail list.

attached is a photo (yes, we allow attachments now) showing what to click on (Subscription) and what the options are and their description. Full featured means HTML style text with formatting.

the two new features here (besides rich formatting) are a daily summary of postings, and special notices only (marked as such by the Moderators).  as before you can choose to receive no email and read the messages on the web interface. 


Call: “Engels@200: Friedrich Engels in the Age of Digital Capitalism” tripleC special issue edited by Christian Fuchs

Christian Fuchs

Call for Abstracts/Papers:
tripleC special issue:
“Engels@200: Friedrich Engels in the Age of Digital Capitalism”
Edited by Christian Fuchs
Deadline for abstract submission: August 7, 2020

November 28, 2020, marks the 200th birthday of Friedrich Engels. The journal tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critque ( celebrates Engels’ birthday with a special issue, in which critical theorists reflect on the relevance of Engels’ works for the analysis of digital and communicative capitalism.

The special issue’s contributions shall provide perspectives that address the question: How do Friedrich Engels’ works matter for the critical analysis of digital and communicative capitalism?

Contributions focus on single or several of Friedrich Engels’ works.

Example questions that can, based on Engels, be treated in contributions include but are not limited to:
- How do the digital conditions of the working class look like today?
- What are digital working class struggles and how do they operate?
- What is the role of reproductive labour, including digital housework and digital housewifisation, in digital capitalism?
- What are Engels’ contributions to a Marxist-humanist critique of digital capitalism?
- What is digital scientific socialism?
- How can we make sense of digital utopias today?

The contributions in this special issue will shed light on the relevance of Engels today for the critique of the political economy of communication and digital media, critical digital research, and critical media and communication studies.


Deadline for abstract submission: August 7, 2020
250 words, per e-mail to christian.fuchs@..., please include a submission/article title, your name and contact, a 100-word short bio, and an abstract of 250 words and send the submission in a Word- or text-file.

Acceptance decisions: until August 31, 2020

Submission of full reflection articles (maximum of 8,000 words, including all references, footnotes and tables): October 12, 2020

Online publication of the special issue: November 28, 2020 (= Friedrich Engels’ 200th birthday).

Recommended Readings:
Engels’ original works plus:
Paul Blackledge. 2019. Friedrich Engels and Modern Social and Political Theory. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Gustav Mayer. 1935. Friedrich Engels. A Biography. London: Chapman & Hall.
Janet Sayers, Mary Evans and Nanneke Redclift, eds. 1987. Engels Revisited. New Feminist Essays, eds. 37-56. London: Tavistock.
Christopher J. Arthur, ed. 1996. Engels Today. A Centenary Appreciation. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Prof. Christian Fuchs
Co-Editor of tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique

A Tram Runs Through the City (Leningrad, 1973)

Thomas Campbell

A Tram Runs Through the City (1973, Lyudmila Stanukinas, dir.) is a lyrical portrait of Leningrad and its people as glimpsed on and from a tram driven by Lyudmila Grigorovich. Long considered a classic and beloved by Leningraders (and Petersburgers), this is the first English translation of the film's voiceover narrative, presented here along with the film itself.

Re: Selecting delivery options for


Les, I sent an email in response to a previous request to do so. Do I have to do anything else? (I am a technological moron, and need pretty clear instructions, which of course may already have been given and I failed to notice them.) Thanks for any help you can give me, Wythe

On July 27, 2020 at 4:46 PM Les Schaffer <les.schaffer@...> wrote:

Several people have asked me how to change delivery options for the new version of marxmail list.

attached is a photo (yes, we allow attachments now) showing what to click on (Subscription) and what the options are and their description. Full featured means HTML style text with formatting.

the two new features here (besides rich formatting) are a daily summary of postings, and special notices only (marked as such by the Moderators).  as before you can choose to receive no email and read the messages on the web interface. 



Re: Selecting delivery options for

Les Schaffer


your reply/response was enough to be signed up as a subscriber. my post here was to advise people if they want to change from getting each mail to the list delivered individually to them (you are signed up by default for that) or you want some form of digest, or you dont want to receive email and instead read and post on the web, etc. 

i am not averse to changing your settings for you, but if you can log onto the site and click on the Subscription tab (on far left side), you can do all this yourself. Seet the attached screenshot in my previous message.

and here is the link where you should be able to log on, just click it ...


Re: Selecting delivery options for

Les Schaffer

And, if you click on "Your Subscription"  at the bottom of the email it will take you right to the subscription settings (you may have to log on first).

Dismantling DiAngelo's 'White Fragility' — racial equality or racial exorcism? | Zoltan Zigedy | The Morning Star

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo

Dismantling DiAngelo's 'White Fragility' — racial equality or racial exorcism?

ZOLTAN ZIGEDY destroys the arguments of the race-oil salesmen peddling expensive white-centric etiquette and manners training instead of asking us to confront real, material racial inequality: pay, housing, gentrification and injustice

There is little or no mention of the material condition of black people, little or no mention of the substance of African-American oppression in Robin DiAngelo's approach

MY local PBS radio station reserves an early hour on Sunday for On Being, a saccharine-sweet mixture of pop-philosophy, psychobabble and pseudo-religiosity hosted by Krista Tippett.

Tippett drips with overly earnest sincerity as she probes guests with questions posed as profound and with deep existential import. While serious thinkers occasionally rotate through her show, more than a few of her guests are con artists, conjurers or charlatans.

Inevitably, in this time of long-overdue mass resistance to racial violence, Tippett would discover and promote the “work” of Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility, a New York Times best seller and a book enjoying widespread influence and popularity as an anti-racist guide to book clubbers, NGOs, foundations and corporations.

A curious feature of the On Being interview of DiAngelo and Resmaa Menakem, a Minnesota-based therapist and coach and author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialised Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, is the absence of any reference to the core, structural elements of US racism.

There is much discussion of racially sensitive etiquette and manners, of conflicted identities, of “interpretations, perceptions, emotions, language,” of discomforting conversations and of racial repair — “And the framework that is causing white fragility is a refusal to repair, a refusal to see or feel…”

But there is little or no mention of the material condition of black people, little or no mention of the substance of African-American oppression and little or no discussion of the prerequisites for achieving genuine racial equality.

DiAngelo shows no interest in exposing the material elements of the racial divide. Instead, she trades in perceptions and feelings between the races. There is, for example, no exposure of the ethnic cleansing (gentrification) that today plagues every US city and dislocates hundreds of thousands of African Americans from segregated cities to equally segregated neighbourhoods in de-industrialised suburbs.

Like the indigenous American peoples, African Americans are relocated from poverty-laced, low-income, segregated “reservations” to another poverty-laced, segregated “reservation” in abandoned, formerly white enclaves. The old, former “reservations” are now available at low purchase prices and minimal property taxes to a privileged urban gentry.

DiAngelo shows no interest in this development. Nor does she explore the “white privilege,” the profiteering, or the elite complicity that drives it.

Neither does DiAngelo take note of the persistent wealth and income gap between whites and blacks in the US. Consistently, since 1968, whites accumulate on average 10 times the wealth of their African American counterparts.

This means, of course, that every generation of blacks cannot give the next generation an economic head start, which serves as a multiplier of African American disadvantage. Yet this in-your-face racism apparently escapes DiAngelo.

The wealth gap condemns and forces more and more blacks into often substandard residence in low-income areas that become literal Bantustans, results of the formal (Jim Crow) and informal apartheid policies imposed by the US ruling class since the Civil War. Like South Africa’s former apartheid regime, it is these segregated areas that are maintained decisively by the brutality of police.

These areas, euphemistically referred to by white elites as “the black community” instead of the old pejorative “ghetto,” exist as food deserts, lacking the selection and quality of their white counterparts, but, often, at higher prices. Schools serving blacks are notoriously inferior.

The 1974 Milliken vs Bradley Supreme Court decision institutionalised urban school segregation, legitimising and encouraging white flight to the suburbs and exurbs. There is no mention of this structural racism of education, healthcare, human services or its effects on infant mortality, health outcomes and life expectancy, in the On Being interview.

Nor does DiAngelo decry the criminalisation and mass incarceration that has become a feature of African-American oppression or any of the other features eviscerating the material quality of black life.

Hers is the anti-racism that ignores actual racism.

Commodifying Anti-Racism

Everything can become a commodity in the capitalist mode of production. From ideas to the water that we drink, capitalism strives to incorporate them into the vast commercial marketplace.

Commodification creeps into every aspect of human experience, as an answer to every whim. So it should not be surprising that even ideas like anti-racism should be appropriated, commodified and sold in the marketplace.

In the sixties, anti-racist organisations like the Black Panther Party were laudably able to utilise the white liberal guilt of celebrities and elites to raise funds for socially useful projects like day care, breakfast programmes, tutoring and so on.

But since that time, others have exploited liberal guilt and the perceived need of institutions to appear racially sensitive to establish a veritable diversity industry. Diversity training, the broad field DiAngelo’s product falls into, has a long history, but one of questionable results.

While it may prove lucrative to consultants, lecturers, academics and business types, it has done little, in fact, to desegregate institutions — corporations, foundations or NGOs. In fact, some studies suggest that some institutions have become less diverse after exposure to diversity training.

DiAngelo’s fast-growing speaking and consulting business places her squarely in this tradition. It is strange — to say the least — that this enterprise has encouraged the media to place an academic white woman with no engagement with the long-standing mass anti-racist movement into the role of a leader of anti-racism.

Promoted by the national media, she is an “explainer” of racism in the same way that JD Vance and his book, Hillbilly Elegy, were an “explainer” of the midwestern white working class. In both cases, someone who has “escaped,” who is enlightened, will show the way to understanding for east and west coast urban and suburban elites. Both have profitably opened a book of enlightenment for those uninitiated.

For DiAngelo, the product that she is peddling is “allyship,” a condition won through a rigorous ritual of self-examination and atonement. Supposedly, when white people pass through this ritual, they can then accompany African Americans in the anti-racist struggle.

But not everyone can be your guide: “And it takes years of experience and study and struggle and mistake-making and trust-building to hold a group around race and really hold that group and push them and help them go where they need to go, in ways that are constructive. It takes a lot of experience.” Better call Robin DiAngelo.

It is profoundly revealing that DiAngelo’s anti-racism is not about black people and their condition, but about white people and their condition, their conversations, their attitudes, their feelings, their willingness to confess:

“And even the confession can be problematic. It can range from just a form of masochism to a form of, ‘Well, I feel bad enough that you can see that I’m actually good.’ And so that also becomes performative...”

DiAngelo’s anti-racism is rigidly individualistic, a kind of mentored self-help in becoming a better ally accepted by black people — not a fighter along with black people against the forces of oppression, not a warrior against the wealth and power of those intent upon keeping the black working-class poor and powerless. This is anti-racism without equality at its core.

In its essence, it fails because it rejects the idea of class. It fails to distinguish between the social discomforts of the upper-middle classes — both white and black — and the plight of the African-American working class.

Only a few years have passed since the Obama presidency brought a smug assurance that we were now in a post-racial era because a black elite had grabbed the brass ring.

The smartphone camera-exposed orgy of police violence largely against poor and working-class African Americans challenges that notion. But the DiAngelos and their media promoters give us new hope: we can return to post-racialism if we just get our heads straight!

Meanwhile, the edifice of racism remains intact. Black workers work for lower wages, pay more for the same services, get fewer of the available services, remain segregated and die sooner. The developers, landlords, petty capitalists and CEOs continue to super-exploit African American workers.

The ultimate answer to racism does not lie in exorcism, symbolic gestures, sensibilities or feelings. If racial injustice is not merely about feelings, then certainly anti-racism is not only about attitudes, either.

The genuine anti-racist warriors — black and white — are crafting answers that enrich and empower Black people. They are attacking the wealthy and powerful who benefit from racial oppression. They are holding the oppressive institutions, their leaders and their beneficiaries accountable for the material consequences of racist practices. They centre anti-racism around winning equality. DiAngelo’s exorcisms touch none of this.

Re: Selecting delivery options for


Thanks, Les, I am happy with the settings I currently have, the same ones I had previously. Wythe

On July 27, 2020 at 5:47 PM Les Schaffer <les.schaffer@...> wrote:


your reply/response was enough to be signed up as a subscriber. my post here was to advise people if they want to change from getting each mail to the list delivered individually to them (you are signed up by default for that) or you want some form of digest, or you dont want to receive email and instead read and post on the web, etc. 

i am not averse to changing your settings for you, but if you can log onto the site and click on the Subscription tab (on far left side), you can do all this yourself. Seet the attached screenshot in my previous message.

and here is the link where you should be able to log on, just click it ...