Machiavelli offers many kinds of advice to the modern prince: manipulate fear, spread benefits among the population, seek broad counsel, and take strategic risks. He envisions a strong and wise leader who protects the interests and freedoms of his people. Machiavelli also hopes that the modern prince will employ ambitious, experienced, and intellectual advisers, like himself.
Contrasting visions of Reagan have been especially stark in the realm of foreign affairs. Advocates often argue that he launched a new arms race that undermined the Soviet Union. Critics remember a detached leader presiding over the shameful Iran-Contra scandal. Both depictions are problematic, as they accentuate different aspects of a complex, often inscrutable man.
Amy Chazkel’s Laws of Chance explores the rise of a cultural phenomenon that has engrossed the Brazilian imaginary since the turn of the twentieth century: the lottery game jogo do bicho. Its multifaceted analysis ties the “animal game” to the rise of urbanization, consumer capitalism, positivist criminology, and the cash economy in the First Republic (1889-1930).
An ardent feminist and leftist scholar, Mahmood assumed a certain degree of internalized subordination in women who find solace and meaning in deeply patriarchal traditions. Yet, over the course of two years listening to and learning from several religious revival groups run by da’iyat (female “callers”), she discovered an entirely different understanding of religious devotion.
While many in the US thought the world would end on November 6 when the guy they didn’t vote for won the Presidency, another whole section of the population is convinced that the apocalypse will come on December 21, 2012; the fast approaching winter solstice, in accordance with predictions made by ancient Mayans. A Reuter’s poll of 16,262 people in 20 countries conducted in May this year showed that “nearly fifteen per cent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and ten per cent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012.”
Focusing on seventeenth-century Taiwan, the island east of mainland China populated by aborigines who specialized in deer hunting, Tonio Andrade seeks to explore the theme of early modern colonization in a much larger context as part of his greater effort of analyzing global history.
Kelley was a late-nineteenth-century outlaw whose larger than life exploits have been the subject of many retellings in films and novels. The son of impoverished Irish convicts, Kelley has been embraced as a symbol of the harsh colonial regime; as someone whose violent life was a response to the official violence of the colonial government.
To what extent is national identity directed from the political center of a nation? Do individuals living on the periphery of nations have agency in defining their own national identities?
Gauri Viswanathan provides a fascinating account of the ideological motivations behind the introduction of English literary education in British India. She studies the shifts in the curriculum and relates such developments to debates over the objectives of English education both among the British administrators, as well as between missionaries and colonial officials.