Hurst

  • Brazil has done much to shape football/soccer, but how has soccer shaped Brazil? Despite the political and social importance of the beautiful game to the country, the subject has hitherto received little attention. This book presents groundbreaking work by historians and researchers from Brazil, the United States, Britain and France, who examine the political significance, in the broadest sense, of the sport in which Brazil has long been a world leader. The authors consider questions such as the relationship between soccer, the workplace and working class culture; the formation of Brazilian national identity; race relations; political and social movements; and the impact of the sport on social mobility. Contributions to the book range in time from the late nineteenth century, when the British first introduced the sport to Brazil, to the present day, as the 'country of soccer' prepares itself to host the 2014 World Cup, painting a vivid picture of the many ways in which soccer exists and functions in Brazil, both on and off the pitch.

  • Syrian foreign policy, always opaque, has become an even greater puzzle during the Syrian revolt. Irrespective of the regime's international isolation in the wake of its violent response to domestic protest, it has paid lip-service to international peace plans while unperturbedly crushing the rebellion. The rare televised appearances of President Assad have shown a leader detached from reality. Has he-in his own words-'gone crazy'? In this book long- time Syria analyst and former diplomat Bente Scheller contends that Bashar Assad's deadly waiting game is following its own logic: whatever difficulties the Syrian regime has faced, its previous experience has been that it can simply sit out the current crisis.
    The difference this time is that Syria faces a double crisis-internal and external. While Hafez Assad, renowned as an astute politician, adapted to new challenges, his son, Bashar, seems to have no alternative plan of action.
    Scheller's timely book analyses Syrian foreign policy after the global upheavals of 1989, which was at the time a glorious new beginning for the regime. She shows how Bashar Assad, by ignoring change both inside Syria and in the region, has sacrificed his father's focus on national security in favour of a policy of regime survival and offers a candid analysis of the successes and shortcomings of Syrian foreign policy in recent years.

  • Most contemporary journalistic and scholarly accounts of the instability gripping Afghanistan and Pakistan have argued that violent Islamic extremism, including support for the Taliban and related groups, is either rooted in Pashtun history and culture, or finds willing hosts among their communities on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
    Abubakar Siddique sets out to demonstrate that the failure, or even unwillingness, of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to absorb the Pashtuns into their state structures and to incorporate them into the economic and political fabric is central to these dynamics, and a critical failure of nation- and state-building in both states.
    In his book he argues that religious extremism is the product of these critical failures and that responsibility for the situation lies to some degree with the elites of both countries. Partly an eye-witness account and partly meticulously researched scholarship, The Pashtun Question describes a people whose destiny will shape the future of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  • Stalin's American Spy tells the remarkable story of Noel Field, a Soviet agent in the US State Department in the mid-1930s. Lured to Prague in May 1949, he was kidnapped and handed over to the Hungarian secret police. Tortured by them and interrogated too by their Soviet superiors, Field's forced 'confessions' were manipulated by Stalin and his East European satraps to launch a devastating series of show-trials that led to the imprisonment and judicial murder of numerous Czechoslovak, German, Polish and Hungarian party members. Yet there were other events in his very strange career that could give rise to the suspicion that Field was an American spy who had infiltrated the Communist movement at the behest of Allen Dulles, the wartime OSS chief in Switzerland who later headed the CIA.

    Never tried, Field and his wife were imprisoned in Budapest until 1954, then granted political asylum in Hungary, where they lived out their sterile last years. This new biography takes a fresh look at Field's relationship with Dulles, and his role in the Alger Hiss affair. It sheds fresh light upon Soviet espionage in the United States and Field's relationship with Hede Massing, Ignace Reiss and Walter Krivitsky. It also reassesses how the increasingly anti-Semitic East European show-trials were staged and dissects the 'lessons" which Stalin sought to convey through them.

  • The media reporting of the Ethiopian Famine in 1984-5 was an iconic news event. It is widely believed to have had an unprecedented impact, challenging perceptions of Africa and mobilising public opinion and philanthropic action in a dramatic new way. The contemporary international configuration of aid, media pressure, and official policy is still directly affected and sometimes distorted by what was--as this narrative shows--also an inaccurate and misleading story. In popular memory, the reporting of Ethiopia and the resulting humanitarian intervention were a great success. Yet alternative interpretations give a radically different picture of misleading journalism and an aid effort which did more harm than good.
    Using privileged access to BBC and Government archives, Reporting Disasters examines and reveals the internal factors which drove BBC news and offers a rare case study of how the media can affect public opinion and policymaking. It constructs the process that accounts for the immensity of the news event, following the response at the heart of government to the pressure of public opinion. And it shows that while the reporting and the altruistic festival that it produced triggered remarkable and identifiable changes, the on-going impact was not what the conventional account claims it to have been.

  • What happened after Africa's biggest country split in two? When South Sudan ran up its flag in July 2011, two new nations came into being. In South Sudan a former rebel movement faces colossal challenges in building a new country. At independence it was one of the least developed places on earth, after decades of conflict and neglect. The '"rump state'", Sudan, has been debilitated by devastating civil wars, including in Darfur, and lost a significant part of its territory, and most of its oil wealth, after the divorce from the South. In the years after separation, the two Sudans dealt with crippling economic challenges, struggled with new and old rebellions, and fought each other along their disputed border.
    Benefiting from unsurpassed access to the politicians, rebels, thinkers and events that are shaping the Sudans, Copnall draws a compelling portrait of two misunderstood countries. A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts argues that Sudan and South Sudan remain deeply interdependent, despite their separation. It also diagnoses the political failings that threaten the future of both countries. The author puts the turmoil of the years after separation into a broader context, reflecting the voices, hopes and experiences of Sudanese and South Sudanese from all walks of life.

  • The First World War in the Middle East is an accessibly written military and social history of the clash of world empires in the Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, Mesopotamia, Persia and the Caucasus. Coates Ulrichsen demonstrates how wartime exigencies shaped the parameters of the modern Middle East, and describes and assesses the major campaigns against the Ottoman Empire and Germany involving British and imperial troops from the French and Russian Empires, as well as their Arab and Armenian allies.
    Also documented are the enormous logistical demands placed on host societies by the Great Powers' conduct of industrialised warfare in hostile terrain. The resulting deepening of imperial penetration, and the extension of state controls across a heterogeneous sprawl of territories, generated a powerful backlash both during and immediately after the war, which played a pivotal role in shaping national identities as the Ottoman Empire was dismembered.
    This is a multidimensional account of the many seemingly discrete yet interlinked campaigns that resulted in one to one and a half million casualties. It details not just their military outcome but relates them to intelligence-gathering, industrial organisation, authoritarianism and the political economy of empires at war.

  • The First World War in the Middle East is an accessibly written military and social history of the clash of world empires in the Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, Mesopotamia, Persia and the Caucasus. Coates Ulrichsen demonstrates how wartime exigencies shaped the parameters of the modern Middle East, and describes and assesses the major campaigns against the Ottoman Empire and Germany involving British and imperial troops from the French and Russian Empires, as well as their Arab and Armenian allies.
    Also documented are the enormous logistical demands placed on host societies by the Great Powers' conduct of industrialised warfare in hostile terrain. The resulting deepening of imperial penetration, and the extension of state controls across a heterogeneous sprawl of territories, generated a powerful backlash both during and immediately after the war, which played a pivotal role in shaping national identities as the Ottoman Empire was dismembered.
    This is a multidimensional account of the many seemingly discrete yet interlinked campaigns that resulted in one to one and a half million casualties. It details not just their military outcome but relates them to intelligence-gathering, industrial organisation, authoritarianism and the political economy of empires at war.

  • In the wake of 9/11 and the 'War on Terror', transnational Muslim NGOs have too often been perceived as illegitimate fronts for global militant networks such as al-Qaeda or as backers of national political parties and resistance groups in Palestine, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Yet clearly there is more to transnational Muslim NGOs. Most are legitimate providers of aid to the world's poor, although their assistance may sometimes differ substantially from that of secular NGOs in the West.
    Seeking to broaden our understanding of these organisations, Marie Juul Petersen explores how Muslim NGOs conceptualise their provision of aid and the role Islam plays in this. Her book not only offers insights into a new kind of NGO in the global field of aid provision; it also contributes more broadly to understanding 'public Islam' as something more and other than political Islam.
    The book is based on empirical case studies of four of the biggest transnational Muslim NGOs, and draws on extensive research in Britain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Bangladesh, and more than 100 interviews with those involved in such organisations.

  • The Saudi royal family has survived the events of the Arab Spring intact and unscathed. Any major upheavals were ostensibly averted with the help of oil revenues, while the Kingdom's influential clerics conveniently declared all forms of protest to be against Islam. Saudi dollars bent events to the Kingdom's will in the Arab world-particularly in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, but also in Egypt and Lebanon, Saudi cash has had a profound impact.
    Does this mean that all is well in Saudi Arabia itself, which has an extremely youthful population ruled by a gerontocracy? Problems endemic in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria-youth unemployment, corruption and repression-are also evident in the Kingdom and while young Saudis may not yet be taking to the streets, on Twitter and Facebook their discontent is manifest.
    Saudi Arabia remains the dominant player in the Gulf, and the fall of the House of Saud would have explosive repercussions on the GCC while the knock-on effect worldwide would be immeasurable. Saudi Arabia is the only oil exporter capable of acting as a 'swing producer', a fact of which this book reminds us. Aarts and Roelants have drawn a compelling picture of a Middle East power which, while not presently endangered, may soon deviate from the trajectory established by the House of Saud.

  • Between 1983 and 2009 Sri Lanka was host to a bitter civil war fought between the Government and the Tamil Tigers, which sought the creation of an independent Tamil state. In May 2009 came the war's violent end with the crushing defeat of the Tamil Tigers at the hands of the Sri Lanka Army. But prior to this grim finale, for some time there had been hope for a peaceful end to the conflict. Beginning with a ceasefire agreement in early 2002, for almost five years a series of peace talks between the two sides took place in locations ranging from Thailand and Japan to Norway, Germany and Switzerland.
    To End a Civil War tells the story of trying to bring peace to Sri Lanka. In particular it tells the story of how a faraway European nation--Norway--came to play a central role in efforts to end the conflict, and what its small, dedicated team of mediators did in their untiring efforts to reach what ultimately proved the elusive goal of a negotiated peace.
    In doing so it fills a critical gap in our understanding of the Sri Lankan conflict. But it also illuminates in detail a much wider problem: the intense fragility that surrounds peace processes and the extraordinary lengths to which their proponents often stretch in order to secure their progress.

  • In 1846, the British created the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) - popularly called "Kashmir" - and then quickly sold this prized region to the wily and powerful Raja, Gulab Singh. Intriguingly, had they retained it, the India-Pakistan dispute over possession of the state may never have arisen, but Britain's concerns lay elsewhere -- expansionist Russia, beguiling Tibet and unstable China "circling" J&K -- and their agents played the 'Great Game' in Afghanistan and 'Turkistan'.
    Snedden contextualizes the geo-strategic and historical circumstances surrounding the British decision to relinquish prestigious 'Kashmir', and explains how they and four Dogra maharajas consolidated and controlled J&K subsequently. He details what comprised this diverse princely state with distant borders and disunified peoples and explains the Maharaja of J&K's controversial accession to India on 26 October 1947 - and its unintended consequences.
    Snedden weaves a compelling narrative that frames the Kashmir dispute, explains why it continues, and assesses what it means politically and administratively for the divided peoples of J&K and their undecided futures.

  • In 1977, Johnson's best selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? offered a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than two decades of the ANC in government, he believes the question must be posed again. "The big question about ANC rule," Johnson writes, "is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both."

  • When we think of Ethiopia we tend to think in cliches: Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the Falasha Jews, the epic reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, the Communist Revolution, famine and civil war. Among the countries of Africa it has a high profile yet is poorly known. How- ever all cliches contain within them a kernel of truth, and occlude much more. Today's Ethiopia (and its painfully liberated sister state of Eritrea) are largely obscured by these mythical views and a secondary literature that is partial or propagandist. Moreover there have been few attempts to offer readers a comprehensive overview of the country's recent history, politics and culture that goes beyond the usual guidebook fare. Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia seeks to do just that, presenting a measured, detailed and systematic analysis of the main features of this unique country, now building on the foundations of a magical and tumultuous past as it struggles to emerge in the modern world on its own terms.

  • Wahhabism is an Islamic reform movement found mainly in Saudi Arabia. Closely linked to the Saudi monarchy, it enforces a strict code of morality and conduct monitored by mutawa (religious police), and governs every facet of Saudi life according to its own strict interpretation of Shariah, including gender segregation. Wahhabism also prohibits the practice of any other faith (even other forms of Islam) in Saudi Arabia, which is also the only country that forbids women from driving.
    But what exactly is Wahhabism? This question had long occupied Valentine, so he lived in the Kingdom for three years, familiarizing himself with its distinct interpretation of Islam. His book defines Wahhabism and Wahhabi beliefs and considers the life and teaching of Muham-mad ibn Abd'al Wahhab and the later expansion of his sect. Also discussed are the rejection of later developments in Islam such as bid'ah; harmful innovations, among them celebrating the prophet's birthday and visiting the tombs of saints; the destruction of holy sites due to the fear of idolatry; Wahhabi law, which imposes the death sentence for crimes as archaic as witch- craft and sorcery, and the connection of Wahhabism with militant Islam globally.
    Drawing on interviews with Saudis from all walks of life, including members of the feared mutawa, this book appraises of one of the most significant movements in contemporary Islam.

  • Genoa has an incredible story to tell. It rose from an obscurity imposed by its harsh geography to become a merchant-pirate superpower that helped create the medieval world. It fought bitter battles with its great rival Venice and imprisoned Marco Polo, as the feuding city-states connected Europe to the glories of the East. It introduced the Black Death to Europe, led the fight against the Barbary Corsairs, bankrolled Imperial Spain, and gave the world Christopher Columbus and a host of fearless explorers. Genoa and Liguria provided the brains and the heroism behind the Risorgimento, and was the last place emigrants saw before building new lives across the Atlantic. It played host to writers and Grand Tourists, gave football to the Italians, and helped build modern Italy. Today, along with the glorious Riviera coast of Liguria, Genoa provides some of the finest places on earth to sip wine, eat pesto and enjoy spectacular views. This book brings the past to life and paints a portrait of a modern port city and region that is only now coming to terms with a past that is as bloody, fascinating and influential as any in Europe.

  • Why Spy? is the result of Brian Stewart's seventy years of working in, and studying the uses and abuses of, intelligence in the real world. Few books currently available to those involved either as professionals or students in this area have been written by someone like the present author, who has practical experience both of field work and of the intelligence bureaucracy at home and abroad. It relates successes and failures via case studies, and draws conclusions that should be pondered by all those concerned with the limitations and usefulness of the intelligence product, as well as with how to avoid the tendency to abuse or ignore it when its conclusions do not fit with preconceived ideas. It reminds the reader of the multiplicity of methods and organisations and the wide range of talents making up the intelligence world. The co-author, scholar Samantha Newbery, examines such current issues as the growth of intelligence studies in universities, and the general emphasis throughout the volume is on the necessity of embracing a range of sources, including police, political, military and overt, to ensure that secret intelligence is placed in as wide a context as possible when decisions are made.

  • In early 2011 an elderly Alawite shaykh lamented the long history of oppression and aggression against his people. Against such collective memories the Syrian uprising was viewed by many Alawites, and observers, as a revanchist Sunni Muslim movement and the gravest threat yet to the unorthodox Shi'a sub-sect. This explained why the Alawites largely remained loyal to the Ba'athist regime of Bashar al-Asad.
    But was Alawite history really a constant tale of oppression and was the Syrian uprising of 2011 really an existential threat to the Alawites? This book surveys Alawite history from the sect's inception in Abbasid Iraq up to the start of the uprising in 2011. The book shows how Alawite identity and political behaviour have been shaped by a cycle of insecurity that has prevented the group from achieving either genuine social integration or long term security. Rather than being the gravest threat yet to the sect, the Syrian uprising, in the context of the Arab Spring, was quite possibly a historic opportunity for the Alawites to finally break free from their cycle of fear.

  • Northern and central Nigeria are engulfed in a violent insurgency campaign waged by Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda'awati w'al Jihad, a.k.a. 'Boko Haram', and more recently, its splinter group 'Ansaru'. From its inception an inward-looking, almost parochial, movement, Boko Haram, and even more so Ansaru, have now showed clear signs of regionalization, expanding their operations across West Africa and forging links with al-Qaeda affiliated groups. Boko Haram's stated aim is to Islamize Africa's most populous country but, like earlier Nigerian Islamist groups, of which there is a long tradition in the Sahel, the discontent prompting young Nigerians and other young West African Muslims to join the insurgency is rooted in more than just religious orthodoxy and cannot be disentangled from their economic, social and political marginalization.
    In spite of talks about dialogue and amnesty for those prepared to renounce violence, the Federal Government's response has been a militarized one, resulting in the largest deployment of the Nigerian armed forces since the end of the Civil War. But what is the real magnitude of the threat? What can foreign partners do to support Abuja? How effective is the current government's strategy in tackling the insurgency? And, more importantly, are the root causes of the insurgency being addressed and the foundations for a durable peace being established?

  • Anglais Latvia: A Short History

    Mara Kalnins

    • Hurst
    • 1 Mars 2015

    The history of the Latvian people begins some four and a half millennia ago with the arrival of the proto-Baltic Indo-Europeans to northern Europe. One branch of these migrants coalesced into a community which evolved a distinctive and remarkably robust culture and language, and which eventually developed into a loose federation of tribal kingdoms that stretched from the shores of the Baltic sea to the upper Dniepr river. But these small independent kingdoms were unable to resist the later invasion of the Teutonic Knights in 1201, an invasion that initiated nearly eight hundred years of helotry for the Latvians in their own domains.
    In the centuries of domination by successive European powers that followed, the inhabitants nonetheless preserved a powerful sense of identity, fostered by their ancient language, oral literature, songs and customs. These in turn informed and gave impetus to the rise of national consciousness in the nineteenth century and the political activities of the twentieth which brought the modern nation-state of Latvia into being. This book traces the genesis and growth of that nation, its endurance over centuries of conquest and oppression, the process by which it achieved its independence, and its status as a member of the European community in the twenty-first century.

  • Who does not know the phrase "Have some madeira, m'dear"? Madeira is one of the world's greatest wines, with a fascinating history few others can equal. Capable of evolution over decades and with seemingly indefinite longevity, precious centenarian bottles are sought by wine connoisseurs world wide, but to the ordinary wine lover more commercial wines offer a wide range of delicious and varied drinking. Once dismissed as a cooking wine, discriminating drinkers enjoy it on its own and, increasingly, as an accompaniment to food. Over a million tourists visit this small island every year, and expanding export markets indicate that the recent revival of interest in madeira continues to gain strength.
    This book, originally published in 1998, was short-listed for the Andre Simon Award and quickly established itself as a wine classic. Alexander Liddell, recognised as the leading authority on madeira, has known the island and its wine for over forty years, and this completely revised new edition brings matters up to date.

  • The Apostates is the first major study of apostasy from Islam in the western secular context. Drawing on life-history interviews with ex-Muslims from the UK and Canada, Simon Cottee explores how and with what consequences Muslims leave Islam and become irreligious. Apostasy in Islam is a deeply controversial issue and features prominently in current debates over the expansion of Islam in the West and what this means. Yet it remains poorly understood, in large part because it has become so politicized-with protagonists on either side of the debate selectively invoking Islamic theology to make claims about the 'true' face of Islam. The Apostates charts a different course by examining the social situation and experiences of ex-Muslims. Cottee suggests that Islamic apostasy in the West is best understood not as a legal or political problem, but as a moral issue within Muslim families and communities. Outside of Muslim-majority societies, ex-Muslims are not living in fear for their lives. But they face and must manage the stigma attached to leaving the faith from among their own families and the wider Muslim community.

  • As Mohammed Siddique Khan led his group of fellow-believers into London on the morning of July 7, 2005 it is unlikely that they were thinking much beyond the immediate impact of their actions. Driven by anger at the West's treatment of Muslims worldwide, ideas fed to them by foreign extremists, and a sense of extreme rejection of the society in which they were born, they sought to reshape the world in an image they thought would be pleasing to God. But while they felt they were on a holy mission -- as enunciated in Khan's chilling video message, We Love Death As You Love Life-- a far more earthly arc of history underlay their actions.
    This book offers an insight into the motivations behind Khan and his group, as well as the hundreds of young British Muslims who have been drawn by jihadist ideas to fight on battlefields at home and abroad. Starting with the arrival of immigrant communities to the UK and the establishment of diasporas with strong ethnic connections to the Middle East and South Asia, to the arrival of jihadist warriors fresh from the anti-Soviet war Afghanistan, this book looks at the history that came before Mohammed Siddique Khan and places his action within its larger context. This book provides the first comprehensive history of jihadist ideas and violence in the United Kingdom.

  • Oh, Men, with Sisters dear!
    Oh, Men, with Mothers and Wives!
    It is not linen you're wearing out,
    But human creatures' lives!
    Stitch - stitch - stitch,
    In poverty, hunger and dirt,
    Sewing at once, with a double thread,
    A Shroud as well as a Shirt.
    -from "The Song of the Shirt" by Thomas Hood (1843)
    In April 2013 Rana Plaza, an unremarkable eight-story commercial block in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, collapsed, killing 1,129 people and injuring over 2,000. Most of them were low paid textile workers who had been ordered to return to their cramped workshops the day after ominous cracks were discovered in the building's concrete structure.
    Rana Plaza's destruction revealed a stark tragedy in the making: of men (in fact mostly women and children) toiling in fragile, flammable buildings who provide the world with limitless cheap garments - through Walmart, Benetton and Gap - and bring in 70% of Bangladesh's foreign exchange.
    In elegiac prose, Jeremy Seabrook investigates the disproportionate sacrifices demanded by the manufacture of such throwaway items as baseball caps and sweatshirts. He also traces the intertwined histories of workers in what is now Bangladesh, and Lancashire. Two hundred years ago the former were dispossessed of ancient skills and their counterparts in Lancashire forced into labour settlements; in a ghostly replay of traffic in the other direction, the decline of Britain's textile industry coincided with Bangladesh becoming one of the world's major clothing exporters. The two examples offer mirror images of impoverishment and affluence. With capital becoming more protean than ever, it won't be long before global business, in its nomadic cultivation of profit, relocates mass textile manufacture to an even cheaper source of labour than Bangladesh, with all too predictable consequences for those involved.

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