The University Record, September 14, 1992


Editor’s Note: The following books have been published by the U-M Press.

Colonialism and Culture edited by Nicholas B. Dirks, professor of history and anthropology.

This is the latest volume in the Comparative Studies in Society and History Book Series. The articles in this volume explore the multifaceted nature of colonialism and its cultural manifestations, and address the unspoken values, hidden assumptions, and buried connections out of which states are made and power is simultaneously exercised and thwarted. In addition to the new and important perspectives on colonialism that this volume provides, the complex character of colonial history also is discussed.

The Albigensian Crusades by the late Joseph R. Strayer, professor emeritus of history, Princeton University. New introduction and updated bibliography by Carol Lansing, professor of history, University of Florida.

This is the latest volume in the Ann Arbor Paperback series. In his study of these bloody wars, Strayer, a great political and institutional historian, recounts the political circumstances that surrounded the Crusades, narrates the story of the Crusades themselves, and suggests some of the long-term implications of the imposition of French royal control in the south. Strayer effectively places the Crusades at the center of the political transformations of the 13th century.

Ideology by Mike Cormack, lecturer in film and media studies, University of Stirling, Great Britain.

This timely study answers the need for a concise book that both surveys ideology and provides tools for analyzing a range of cultural phenomena. Cormack concentrates on defining ideology and related ideas, and then outlines a general method for the ideological analysis of text, context and audience. This method can be used to elucidate the ideological content of any medium or cultural product. His insightful analyses provoke a lively awareness of how cultural meanings are constructed in our every day lives. “I know of no other book that covers the breadth of the material that this book covers, and in as usable a form...”—Andrea Press, The University of Michigan.

Uncertain Perceptions: U.S. Cold War Crisis Decision Making by Robert B. McCalla, assistant professor of political science, University of Wisconsin.

McCalla examines the role of misperceptions in decision making by U.S. officials during five Cold War crises. McCalla shows that the crisis dynamic is sensitive to misperception and that the most important influence on misperceptions is the flexibility of a decision-maker’s world view. In contrast with previous studies, McCalla’s work provides evidence that decision-makers are not necessarily firmly wedded to their views.

The Art of Persuasion: Political Propaganda from Aeneas to Brutus by Jane DeRose Evans, lecturer in art history, Temple University.

Evans explores the use of images in the political and social contests for power in Republican Rome. She convincingly argues that the images with which Romans adorned the buildings they sponsored, the types they struck on their coins, and the works of art they commissioned began to contain self-promoting references considerably earlier than scholars have generally thought. Through individual studies of famous legends the author reveals that men were increasingly interested in tracing their descent from divinities, in claiming the noble characteristics of their putative ancestors, and in seeking other ways to improve their social standing and political opportunities.