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Acts of Hope
Creating Authority in Literature, Law, and Politics
James Boyd White
University of Chicago Press, 1994
To which institutions or social practices should we grant authority? When should we instead assert our own sense of what is right or good or necessary?

In this book, James Boyd White shows how texts by some of our most important thinkers and writers—including Plato, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Mandela, and Lincoln—answer these questions, not in the abstract, but in the way they wrestle with the claims of the world and self in particular historical and cultural contexts. As they define afresh the institutions or practices for which they claim (or resist) authority, they create authorities of their own, in the very modes of thought and expression they employ. They imagine their world anew and transform the languages that give it meaning.

In so doing, White maintains, these works teach us about how to read and judge claims of authority made by others upon us; how to decide to which institutions and practices we should grant authority; and how to create authorities of our own through our thoughts and arguments. Elegant and accessible, this book will appeal to anyone wanting to better understand one of the primary processes of our social and political lives.

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The Algerian Memoirs
Days of Hope and Combat
Henri Alleg
Seagull Books, 2011

The personal history of journalist Henri Alleg is tied inextricably to the history of the French-Algerian Conflict. Best known for his book The Question, a first-hand account of his torture by French troops during the Algerian war for independence, Alleg is famous both for having brought the issue of French torture to the public eye and for his passionate work as a writer, a newspaperman, and a communist activist.

Beginning with his arrival in Algiers in 1939, when he fell immediately in love with the vibrant city, to his departure in 1965, after Boumédienne seized power, this is a critical work of history made devastatingly personal. Algerian Memoirs recounts his experience under the Vichy regime and such watershed moments in colonial history as the infamous Battle of Algiers. In these pages, he relives the violence and the summary executions, the communist struggle, and his party’s strained relations with the National Liberation Front. And, of course, he revisits in stark detail his arrest and torture by the French, his years in prison, and eventual escape to Czechoslovakia.
In the telling of his own story, Alleg explores some of the key events in the history of Europe and North Africa and in the history of the radical press. This is an irreplaceable document of colonialism and its tragic aftermath.

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American Values, Religious Voices, Volume 2
Letters of Hope from People of Faith
Edited by Andrea Weiss and Lisa Weinberger
University of Cincinnati Press, 2022
Religious scholars and leaders engage in a nonpartisan letter-writing campaign following the 2021 Presidential inauguration.

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, biblical scholar Andrea L. Weiss and graphic designer Lisa M. Weinberger teamed up to create Values & Voices, a national nonpartisan campaign that used letters and social media to highlight core American values connected to our diverse religious traditions. The result was American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters, a collection of one hundred letters written by some of America's most accomplished and thoughtful scholars of religion interspersed with original artwork during the first one hundred days of the Trump presidency.

In 2021, Weiss and Weinberger invited religious scholars and leaders to address President Biden, Vice President Harris, and members of the 117th Congress in their national letter writing and social media campaign. During the first 100 days of the Biden administration, religious leaders from across the country and from a range of religious denominations once again sent one letter a day to elected leaders in Washington. These letters bring an array of religious texts and teachings to bear on our most pressing contemporary issues. Arranged chronologically, the 2021 edition features 59 returning letter writers and 42 new scholars, new artwork, original essays, and and a new section focused on putting the letters into practice by using them for teaching, preaching, meditative practice, civic activism, and more. An alternate table of contents arranged by core values that emerged in the letters over the 100 days allows for thematic reading.

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Architectures of Hope
Infrastructural Citizenship and Class Mobility in Brazil's Public Housing
Moisés Kopper
University of Michigan Press, 2022

Architectures of Hope examines how communal idealism, electoral politics, and low-income consumer markets made first-time homeownership a reality for millions of low-income Brazilians over the last ten years.

Drawing on a five-year-long ethnography among city planners, architects, street-level bureaucrats, politicians, market and bank representatives, community leaders, and past, present, and future beneficiaries, Moisés Kopper tells the story of how a group of grassroots housing activists rose from oblivion to build a model community. He explores the strategies set forth by housing activists as they waited and hoped for—and eventually secured—homeownership through Minha Casa Minha Vida’s public-private infrastructure. By showing how these efforts coalesced in Porto Alegre—Brazil’s once progressive hotspot—he interrogates the value systems and novel arrangements of power and market that underlie the country’s post-neoliberal project of modern and inclusive development.

By chronicling the making and remaking of material hope in the aftermath of Minha Casa Minha Vida, Architectures of Hope reopens the future as a powerful venue for ethnographic inquiry and urban development.


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Ariel Dorfman
An Aesthetics of Hope
Sophia A. McClennen
Duke University Press, 2010
Ariel Dorfman: An Aesthetics of Hope is a critical introduction to the life and work of the internationally renowned writer, activist, and intellectual Ariel Dorfman. It is the first book about the author in English and the first in any language to address the full range of his writing to date. Consistently challenging assumptions and refusing preconceived categories, Dorfman has published in every major literary genre (novel, short story, poetry, drama); adopted literary forms including the picaresque, epic, noir, and theater of the absurd; and produced a vast amount of cultural criticism. His works are read as part of the Latin American literary canon, as examples of human rights literature, as meditations on exile and displacement, and within the tradition of bilingual, cross-cultural, and ethnic writing. Yet, as Sophia A. McClennen shows, when Dorfman’s extensive writings are considered as an integrated whole, a cohesive aesthetic emerges, an “aesthetics of hope” that foregrounds the arts as vital to our understanding of the world and our struggles to change it.

To illuminate Dorfman’s thematic concerns, McClennen chronicles the writer’s life, including his experiences working with Salvador Allende and his exile from Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, and she provides a careful account of his literary and cultural influences. Tracing his literary career chronologically, McClennen interprets Dorfman’s less-known texts alongside his most well-known works, which include How to Read Donald Duck, the pioneering critique of Western ideology and media culture co-authored with Armand Mattelart, and the award-winning play Death and the Maiden. In addition, McClennen provides two valuable appendices: a chronology documenting important dates and events in Dorfman’s life, and a full bibliography of his work in English and in Spanish.


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Army of Hope, Army of Alienation
Culture and Contradiction in the American Army Communities of Cold War Germany
John P. Hawkins
University of Alabama Press, 2004
Seeks to penetrate the logic, social structure, and daily practice of life in American military communities in Germany

Army life has always been known as a life of sacrifice, challenge, and frustration, yet one filled also with deep satisfactions. This is so for the soldiers’ families as much as for the soldiers themselves. Over the years, military and civilian leaders of the US Army have tried to reduce the hardships of military life by creating an array of community services designed to provide social support for soldiers and families and help them live satisfying lives in military communities.
Unfortunately, this effort has not been particularly successful, and frustration, dissatisfaction, and alienation persist among soldiers and family member in the US Army communities in Germany. Discontent continues because the underlying sources of alienation in the Army and among its families are highly complex, poorly understood, and therefore hardly addressed by the Army’s quality-of-life programs that are intended to make solider and family life more bearable.
In Army of Hope, Army of Alienation: Culture and Contradiction in the American Army Communities of Cold War Germany, the author seeks to penetrate the logic, social structure, and daily practice of life in the American military communities that lay scattered along the frontier between East and West Germany during the final years of the Cold War. In coming to understand the life and though of these American soldiers and families, ordinary American citizens can learn much about their military forces and about their own society and culture. In addition, a greater understanding about how people work and live around an institution that is at once so important and yet tasked with a mission so different from that of ordinary pursuits can stimulate social scientists and concerned citizens to think differently about culture, society, and behavior in general.

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Beginning to See the Light
Sex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll
Ellen Willis
University of Minnesota Press, 2012

From the New Yorker’s inimitable first pop music critic comes this pioneering collection of essays by a conscientious writer whose political realm is both radical and rational, and whose prime preoccupations are with rock ’n’ roll, sexuality, and above all, freedom. Here Ellen Willis assuredly captures the thrill of music, the disdain of authoritarian culture, and the rebellious spirit of the ’60s and ’70s.


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The Beloved Border
Humanity and Hope in a Contested Land
Miriam Davidson
University of Arizona Press, 2021
Kids in cages, family separations, thousands dying in the desert. Police violence and corruption. Environmental devastation. These are just some of the dramatic stories recounted by veteran journalist Miriam Davidson in The Beloved Border. This groundbreaking work of original reporting also gives hope for the future, showing how border people are responding to the challenges with compassion and creativity.

The book draws on a variety of sources to explain how border issues intersect and how the current situation, while made worse under the Trump administration, is in fact the result of decades of prohibition, crackdowns, and wall building on the border. Davidson addresses subjects such as violence in Mexico, particularly against the press; cross-border gun smuggling and legal gun sales; the rise in migrant detentions, deportations, and deaths since the crackdown began; controversy over humanitarian aid in the desert; border patrol crimes and abuses; and the legal, ethical, and moral issues raised by increased police presence and militarization on the border. The book also looks at the environmental impact of wall building and construction of a planned copper mine near Tucson, especially on the jaguar and other endangered species.

Davidson shares the history of sanctuary and argues that this social movement and others that have originated on the border are vanguards of larger global movements against the mistreatment of migrant workers and refugees, police brutality, and other abuses of human and natural rights. She gives concrete examples of positive ways in which border people are promoting local culture and cross-border solidarity through health care, commerce, food, art, and music. While death and suffering continue to occur, The Beloved Border shows us how the U.S.-Mexico border could be, and in many ways already is, a model for peaceful coexistence worldwide.

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Bitters in the Honey
Tales of Hope and Disappointment across Divides of Race and Time
Beth Roy
University of Arkansas Press, 1999
he story of what happened at Little Rock's Central High School in September of 1957 is one with which most Americans are familiar. Indeed, the image of Central High's massive double staircase—and of nine black teenagers climbing that staircase, clutching their schoolbooks, surrounded by National Guardsmen with fixed bayonets—has become wedded in the American consciousness to the history of the civil-rights struggle in this country. The world saw the drama at Central High as a cautionary tale about power and race. Drawing on oral histories, Beth Roy tells the story of Central High from a fresh angle. Her interviews with white alumni of Central High investigate the reasons behind their resistance to desegregation. The alumni, now near retirement age, discuss their lives since Central High and their present insecurities and resentments. The stories tell of the shaping of white identities in the latter half of the twentieth century, of dissatisfaction, even anger, that still lingers after forty years. Our country has not moved beyond matters of race: we have not left intolerance behind. To do so, Roy believes, we must stop demonizing people whose actions, historical or current, we do not fully understand. This elegantly written treatment of the Central High crisis is unique among studies done to date. It will help readers to better comprehend the complexity of racism, not only as it was evidenced at Central High in 1957, but as it continues to impact our lives today.

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Building Financial Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence
A Path to Hope and Freedom
Judy L. Postmus
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Each year, millions of women throughout the world experience violence and abuse at the hands of their intimate partner. Abusers coercively control them by using a variety of tactics ranging from physical or sexual violence to emotional or psychological abuse. An additional tactic often used includes financial abuse in which the abuser controls the money in the family, exploits the victim’s financial standing, and interrupts her efforts to be self-sufficient. The impact of financial abuse can leave women financially trapped in the relationship with limited financial management skills, knowledge, or self-confidence. Indeed, survivors often mention financial barriers as a top reason for keeping them trapped by the abuser in the relationship.
Curiously, little of the research on domestic violence has sought to either fully understand the impact of financial abuse or to determine which intervention strategies are most effective for the financial empowerment of survivors. Building Financial Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence aims to address this critical knowledge gap by providing those who work with survivors of domestic violence with practical knowledge on how to empower the financial well-being and stability of survivors. Specifically, every practitioner, human service provider, criminal justice practitioner, financial manager, and corporate supervisor should be screening the women they encounter for economic abuse, and when such abuse is found, they should work with the women toward developing financial safety plans and refer survivors to financial empowerment programs to assist survivors to become free from abuse.

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Children of Hope
The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa
Sandra Rowoldt Shell
Ohio University Press, 2018

In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell traces the lives of sixty-four Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late-nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy, and ultimately sent to Lovedale Institution, a Free Church of Scotland mission in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, for their safety. Because Scottish missionaries in Yemen interviewed each of the Oromo children shortly after their liberation, we have sixty-four structured life histories told by the children themselves.

In the historiography of slavery and the slave trade, first passage narratives are rare, groups of such narratives even more so. In this analytical group biography (or prosopography), Shell renders the experiences of the captives in detail and context that are all the more affecting for their dispassionate presentation. Comparing the children by gender, age, place of origin, method of capture, identity, and other characteristics, Shell enables new insights unlike anything in the existing literature for this region and period.

Children of Hope is supplemented by graphs, maps, and illustrations that carefully detail the demographic and geographic layers of the children’s origins and lives after capture. In this way, Shell honors the individual stories of each child while also placing them into invaluable and multifaceted contexts.


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China’s Crisis, China’s Hope
Binyan Liu
Harvard University Press, 1990
The principal force in awakening the people and setting them on the road to struggle, Liu Binyan argues, has been the repeated mistakes of the Chinese Communist Party and the outrageous bureaucratic corruption it has allowed to flourish. Even as he describes the runaway inflation that inflicts unfathomable hardship on all but the elite party officials, the increasing isolation and hypocrisy of the Communist leadership, or the political persecution of intellectuals and the press, Liu’s message is one of hope. This book—written in one man’s eloquent voice—is testimony to his belief that the need for democratic reform has taken root among the Chinese people and that they will ultimately take steps to transform their nation.

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Christ Our Hope
An Introduction to Eschatology
Paul O'Callaghan
Catholic University of America Press, 2011
Christ Our Hope is a masterful reflection on Christian eschatology, in a textbook of twelve accessible chapters.

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Climate Change, Radical Uncertainty and Hope
Theology and Economics in Conversation
Jan Jorrit Hasselaar
Amsterdam University Press, 2023
Views on climate change are often either pessimistic or optimistic. In this book Jan Jorrit Hasselaar discovers and explores a third way, one of hope. A debate within economics on risk and uncertainty brings him to theological questions and the concept of hope in the work of the late Jonathan Sacks—and to a renewed way of doing theology as an account of the good life. What follows is an equal conversation between theology and economics as has hardly been undertaken in recent times. It emerges that hope is not contrary to economic insights, but remarkably compatible with them. Communication between these fields of expertise can open the way for a courageous and creative embrace of radical uncertainty in climate change. A key notion here is that of a public Sabbath, or a ‘workplace of hope’—times and places set aside to cultivate inspiration and mutual trust among all parties involved, enabling them to take concrete steps forward.

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Communication Ethics and Tenacious Hope
Contemporary Implications of the Scottish Enlightenment
Ronald C. Arnett with Foreword by Thomas M. Lessl
Southern Illinois University Press, 2022
WINNER, 2022 National Communication Association Top Single-Author Book of the Year in the Communication Ethics Division!

Tenacious hope, the heart of a just and free society 
During the Enlightenment, Scottish intellectuals and administrators met the demands of profit and progress while shepherding concerns for self and other, individual and community, and family and work. Communication Ethics and Tenacious Hope captures the “unity of contraries,” offering the Scottish Enlightenment as an exemplar of tenacious hope countering the excesses of individualism. Ronald C. Arnett reveals two stories: the struggle between optimism and tenacious hope, and optimism’s ultimate triumph in the exclusion of difference and the reification of progress as an ultimate good. 
In chapters that detail the legacies of Lord Provost George Drummond, Adam Smith, David Hume, Thomas Reid, George Campbell, Adam Ferguson, and Sir Walter Scott, Arnett highlights the problematic nature of optimism and the ethical agency of tenacious hope. Arnett illustrates the creative union of education and administration, the ability to accept doubt within systems of knowledge and imagination, and an abiding connection to local soil. As principles of progress, free will, and capitalism swept Europe, proponents of optimism envisioned a world of consumerism and absolutes. In contrast, practitioners of tenacious hope embraced uncertainty and compassion as pragmatic necessities.
This work continues Arnett’s scholarship, articulating the vital importance of communication ethics. Those seeking to discern and support a temporal sense of the good in this historical moment will find in this timely work the means to pursue, hold, and nourish tenacious hope. This insightful theorization of the Scottish Enlightenment distills the substance of a just and free society for meeting dangerous and uncertain times. 

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Communication Ethics in Dark Times
Hannah Arendt's Rhetoric of Warning and Hope
Ronald C. Arnett
Southern Illinois University Press, 2013

Renowned in the disciplines of political theory and philosophy, Hannah Arendt’s searing critiques of modernity continue to resonate in other fields of thought decades after she wrote them. In Communication Ethics in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt’s Rhetoric of Warning and Hope, author Ronald C. Arnett offers a groundbreaking examination of fifteen of Arendt’s major scholarly works, considering the German writer’s contributions to the areas of rhetoric and communication ethics for the first time.  

Arnett focuses on Arendt’s use of the phrase “dark times” to describe the mistakes of modernity, defined by Arendt as the post-Enlightenment social conditions, discourses, and processes ruled by principles of efficiency, progress, and individual autonomy. These principles, Arendt argues, have led humanity down a path of folly, banality, and hubris. Throughout his interpretive evaluation, Arnett illuminates the implications of Arendt’s persistent metaphor of “dark times” and engages the question, How might communication ethics counter the tenets of dark times and their consequences? A compelling study of Hannah Arendt’s most noteworthy works and their connections to the fields of rhetoric and communication ethics, Communication Ethics in Dark Times provides an illuminating introduction for students and scholars of communication ethics and rhetoric, and a tool with which experts may discover new insights, connections, and applications to these fields.

Top Book Award for Philosophy of Communication Ethics by Communication Ethics Division of the National Communication Association, 2013


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Dedicated to the People of Darfur
Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope
Edited and with an Introduction by Luke Reynolds and Jennifer Reynolds
Rutgers University Press, 2009
Life's changes. They happen every day. Some large, some small. A few are very personal. Others impact the world. Dedicated to the People of Darfur: Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope includes original and inspiring essays that celebrate the glories gained from taking risks, breaking down barriers, and overcoming any obstacles.

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, a gallery of O.Henry award recipients, and many best-selling authors come together to share personal and compelling challenges and experiences. From contemplations on past drug use to reflections on gun control, social justice, passion and its sacrifices, and adventures such as skydiving, mountain climbing, and golfing, the topics vary greatly. This kaleidoscopic anthology is a commentary on the lives of prominent literary artists and ordinary citizens who have made simple, yet powerful choices that provoked change in one's self and for humanityùmuch the same way that Luke and Jennifer Reynolds do by building this invaluable collection for readers and the world of human rights.

Not too long ago, as struggling graduate students, Luke and Jennifer Reynolds conceived this uniquely themed volume as a way to raise funds to support ending the genocide in Darfur. Some people carry signs, others make speeches, many take action. What is most special about this book is that it extends beyond words and ideas, into a tangible effort to effect change. To this end, all royalties from the sales of Dedicated to the People of Darfur:Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope will benefit The Save Darfur Coalition, an organization that seeks to end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.


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Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights
(Neo)colonialism, Neoliberalism, Resistance and Hope
Edited by Nancy Nicol, Adrian Jjuuko, Richard Lusimbo, Nick Mulé, Susan Ursel, Amar Wahab, and Phyllis Waugh
University of London Press, 2018
Customers based in the US and Canada, please order from: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights: (Neo)colonialism, Neoliberalism, Resistance and Hope is an outcome of a five-year international collaboration among partners that share a common legacy of British colonial laws that criminalise same-sex intimacy and gender identity/expression. The project sought to facilitate learning from each other and to create outcomes that would advance knowledge and social justice. The project was unique, combining research and writing with participatory documentary filmmaking. This visionary politics infuses the pages of the anthology. The chapters are bursting with invaluable first hand insights from leading activists at the forefront of some of the most fiercely fought battlegrounds of contemporary sexual politics in India, the Caribbean and Africa. As well, authors from Canada, Botswana and Kenya examine key turning points in the advancement of SOGI issues at the United Nations, and provide critical insights on LGBT asylum in Canada. Authors also speak to a need to reorient and decolonise queer studies, and turn a critical gaze northwards from the Global South. It is a book for activists and academics in a range of disciplines from postcolonial and sexualities studies to filmmaking, as well as for policy-makers and practitioners committed to envisioning, and working for, a better future. Customers in the USA and Canada can purchase the book from here:

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Every Species of Hope
Georgics, Haiku, and Other Poems
Michael J. Rosen
The Ohio State University Press, 2017
In his first book of poetry in twenty years, Michael J. Rosen captures life in the foothills of the Appalachians. Every Species of Hope: Georgics, Haiku, and Other Poems uses a variety of poetic forms, as well as Rosen’s own pen-and-ink drawings, to give voice to the predicaments of living among other creatures who share a plot of land we think we claim as home. The poems are an attempt at homeostasis: that balancing act every creature works at every hour of every day—a way of living peacefully, expending the right energy in the most productive ways, avoiding or deflecting trouble, gravitating toward sources of fulfillment and contentment.
At the center of this book is a suite of poems inspired by Virgil’s Georgics, or “poems of pastoral instruction.” In Rosen’s case, he is more the student than the teacher. Likewise, five short sections of haiku continue his meditation on—or mediation of—art and nature. As he has written, “Haiku provides a brief and mirror-like calm in the choppy waters—in the undertow—of current events: a stillness in time where more than our singular lives can be reflected.”
Illustrated with two dozen pages from the author’s own journal, Every Species of Hope is the consummation of decades of observation, humility, and awe. 

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Faith, Hope, and Jobs
Welfare-to-Work in Los Angeles
Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper
Georgetown University Press, 2006

A front-burner issue on the public policy agenda today is the increased use of partnerships between government and nongovernmental entities, including faith-based social service organizations. In the wake of President Bush's faith-based initiative, many are still wondering about the effectiveness of these faith-based organizations in providing services to those in need, and whether they provide better outcomes than more traditional government, secular nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. In Faith, Hope, and Jobs, Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper study the effectiveness of 17 different welfare-to-work programs in Los Angeles County—a county in which the U.S. government spends 14% of its entire welfare budget—and offer groundbreaking insight into understanding what works and what doesn't.

Monsma and Soper examine client assessment of the programs, their progress in developing attitudes and resources important for finding self-supporting employment, and their experience in finding actual employment. The study reveals that the clients of the more explicitly faith-based programs did best in gaining in social capital and were highly positive in evaluating the religious components of their programs. For-profit programs tended to do the best in terms of their clients finding employment. Overall, the religiously active respondents tended to experience better outcomes than those who were not religiously active but surprisingly, the religiously active and non-active tended to do equally well in faith-based programs.

Faith, Hope, and Jobs concludes with three sets of concrete recommendations for public policymakers, social service program managers, and researchers.


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From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi
Our Embassy Years during Genocide
By Ambassador Robert Krueger and Kathleen Tobin Krueger
University of Texas Press, 2007

In 1994, while nations everywhere stood idly by, 800,000 people were slaughtered in eight weeks in Rwanda. Arriving as U.S. Ambassador to neighboring Burundi a few weeks later, Bob Krueger began drawing international attention to the genocide also proceeding in Burundi, where he sought to minimize the killing and to preserve its fledgling democratic government from destruction by its own army. From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi is a compelling eyewitness account of both a horrific and persistent genocide and of the ongoing efforts of many courageous individuals to build a more just society.

Krueger and his wife Kathleen graphically document the slaughter occurring all around them, as well as their repeated efforts to get the U.S. government and the international community to take notice and take action. Bob Krueger reconstructs the events of the military coup that precipitated the Burundi genocide and describes his efforts to uncover the truth by digging up graves and interviewing survivors. In straightforward and powerful language, Kathleen Krueger recounts her family's experience living amid civil war, including when she faced down a dozen AK-47-wielding African soldiers to save the life of a household worker.

From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi shines a piercing light on a genocide that has gone largely unreported, and identifies those responsible for it. It also offers hope that as the truth emerges and the perpetrators are brought to account, the people of Burundi will at last achieve peace and reconciliation.


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Futures after Progress
Hope and Doubt in Late Industrial Baltimore
Chloe Ahmann
University of Chicago Press
A powerful ethnographic portrait of South Baltimore, a place haunted by toxic pasts in its pursuit of better futures.

Baltimore is a city where promises of progress have revealed themselves to carry lethal costs. In Futures after Progress, anthropologist Chloe Ahmann explores the rise and fall of industrial lifeways on Baltimore’s far southern edge and the uncertainties that linger in their wake. Focusing on the community of Curtis Bay—one of the most polluted places in the country—she also follows local efforts to realize a good future after industry, and the rifts competing visions opened between neighbors.

Examining tensions between White and Black residents, environmental activists and industrial enthusiasts, local elders and younger generations, Ahmann shows how this community has become a battleground where some lives are written off as the cost of doing business. But this is a story of hope, too. Rigorous and moving, Futures after Progress offers insight into the deep roots of our ecological predicament, giving us a glimpse into what lies ahead for a country beset by dreams deferred and a planet on the precipice of change.

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Gates of Healing
A Message of Comfort and Hope
Hirshel Jaffe
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Offering prayers, meditations and readings for the inspiration and comfort of those suffering in the hospital or at home. Gates of Healing also reaches out to the family and friends of the patient.  Its message comes from traditional and modern sources, combining the past and present to bring strength and support to those confronted with such devastating diseases as cancer and AIDS.

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Grace Notes for a Year
Stories of Hope, Humor and Hubris from the World of Classical Music
Norman Gilliland
University of Wisconsin Press, 2003

This irresistible collection of stories is perfect for anyone interested in a fresh perspective on what it means to be a human being who creates art. Grace Notes for a Year sheds light on the fragile and perilous process of inspiration, composition, and performance required to create classical music, whether the final product is a masterpiece or a mess. Each page of the book corresponds to a different day of the year and features a true story about a famous figure in musical history. These delightful anecdotes—inspirational, informative, and often hilarious—disprove the myth of the artist as untouchable. Instead, Norman Gilliland exposes in them human vulnerability we can all relate to. From Beethoven to Wagner, these artists suffered from poverty, spent lazy days in bed, had scandalous love affairs, and often failed in their creative endeavors as often as they succeeded.


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Harbingers of Hope
William E. Hull
University of Alabama Press, 2007
In a world filled with disappointments and frustrations, here is a book that points to sources of enduring hope. Centuries ago, harbingers were trailblazers who went ahead of an army or royal party to find secure places where the group could camp and to announce their impending arrival. Dr. Hull uses scripture as a guide to the future that God is preparing for those who want the divine promises to be fulfilled in their lives.

The journey to which this book beckons has five stages. At the outset we meet a restless God of surprises who is never satisfied with things as they are. This encounter discloses the necessity of making transforming changes in our lives if we are to keep pace with the divine dynamic. Our reorientation toward an attitude of expectancy is not an end itself but provides the impetus for a lifelong process of growth toward maturity. Because this quest takes place in a world resistant to changes that challenge the status quo, there will be opposition, setbacks, even defeats that God endures with us as the cost of building a new tomorrow. In that struggle our task is not to flee or to fight but to bear a winsome witness in the confidence that God’s purposes will finally prevail over the human predicament.

Just as the crowing cock is a harbinger of dawn and the robin on the lawn is a harbinger of spring, these 27 messages become harbingers of a steadfast hope, as they help us to anticipate the new future that God is seeking to create for his weary world and as they invite us to actualize that future in the here and now.

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Hardship and Hope
Missouri Women Writing about Their Lives, 1820-1920
Carla Waal and Barbara Oliver Korner, eds.
University of Missouri Press, 1997

Over the years Missouri women have endured many hardships: Civil War troops in their homes, the harshness of westward travel, the loneliness of the Gold Rush, and slavery. They have also greatly influenced the state's history. Marie Watkins Oliver made the state flag; Margaret Nelson Stephens was a gifted politician; Carry A. Nation fought for prohibition; and Mary Ezit Bulkley was active in the woman suffrage movement.

Hardship and Hope brings to life these and other known and unknown Missouri women through their own writings in journals, letters, diaries, and memoirs. Most of these pieces have never been published or have long been out of print. Carla Waal and Barbara Oliver Korner have skillfully crafted this anthology to represent myriad Missouri women. There are pieces representing the experiences of Jewish, Irish, and German immigrants, African Americans, well-educated women, and deeply religious women. Preceding each entry is a useful introduction that provides history and background on the woman and her work.

Readers will meet women like Phoebe Wilson Couzins, who was the first woman law graduate in Missouri. She went on to work with Susan B. Anthony for the suffrage movement but died in poverty, physically handicapped and emotionally unstable. Emma J. Ray was born a slave just before the Civil War. She and her husband did missionary work in jails and on the streets of Kansas City. Other women represented are Laura Ingalls Wilder, Kate Chopin, Fannie Hurst, and Henriette Geisberg Bruns.

Hardship and Hope began as a series of performances around the state of Missouri through which the book's editors demonstrated the roles women played in that state's past. Because of the enthusiastic response to their performances, Waal and Korner continued searching for documents by Missouri women and now share their discoveries in book form. Covering a little more than a century, from just before Missouri's admission to the Union in 1821 to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment that gave women the right to vote in 1920, the excerpts here both captivate and inform.

This anthology will appeal to those interested in women's studies, Missouri and midwestern history, and oral interpretation.


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Heredity and Hope
The Case for Genetic Screening
Ruth Schwartz Cowan
Harvard University Press, 2008

The secrets locked in our genes are being revealed, and we find ourselves both enthused and frightened about what that portends. We look forward to curing disease and alleviating suffering—for our children as well as for ourselves—but we also worry about delving too deeply into the double helix. Abuses perpetrated by eugenicists—from involuntary sterilization to murder—continue to taint our feelings about genetic screening.

Yet, as Ruth Schwartz Cowan reveals, modern genetic screening has been practiced since 1960, benefiting millions of women and children all over the world. She persuasively argues that new forms of screening—prenatal, newborn, and carrier testing—are both morally right and politically acceptable. Medical genetics, built on the desire of parents and physicians to reduce suffering and increase personal freedom, not on the desire to “improve the human race,” is in fact an entirely different enterprise from eugenics.

Cowan’s narrative moves from an account of the interwoven histories of genetics and eugenics in the first half of the twentieth century, to the development of new forms of genetic screening after mid-century. It includes illuminating chapters on the often misunderstood testing programs for sickle cell anemia, and on the world’s only mandated premarital screening programs, both of them on the island of Cyprus.

Neither minimizing the difficulty of the choices that modern genetics has created for us nor fearing them, Cowan bravely and compassionately argues that we can improve the quality of our own lives and the lives of our children by using the modern science and technology of genetic screening responsibly.


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History and Hope in the Heart of Dixie
Scholarship, Activism, and Wayne Flynt in the Modern South
Edited by Gordon E. Harvey, Richard D. Starnes and Glenn Feldman
University of Alabama Press, 2006
Social and political history of the modern South.
This collection of essays on the social and political history of the modern South consider the region’s poor, racial mores and race relations, economic opportunity, Protestant activism, political coalitions and interest groups, social justice, and progressive reform.
History and Hope in the Heart of Dixie illuminates the dual role of historian and public advocate in modern America. In a time when the nation’s eyes have been focused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita onto the vulnerability and dire condition of poor people in the South, the applicability of research, teaching, and activism for this voiceless element seems all the more relevant.
Responding to the example of Wayne Flynt, whose fierce devotion to his state of Alabama and its region has not blinded his recognition of the inequities and despair that define southern life for so many, the scholars assembled in this work present contributions to the themes Flynt so passionately explored in his own work. Two seasoned observers of southern history and culture—John Shelton Reed and Dan T. Carter—offer assessments of Flynt’s influence on the history profession as a whole and on the region of the South in particular.

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Homo Viator
Introduction to the Metaphysic of Hope
Gabriel Marcel
St. Augustine's Press, 2010

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Hope and Despair in the American City
Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh
Gerald Grant
Harvard University Press, 2011
In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5–4 verdict in Milliken v. Bradley, thereby blocking the state of Michigan from merging the Detroit public school system with those of the surrounding suburbs. This decision effectively walled off underprivileged students in many American cities, condemning them to a system of racial and class segregation and destroying their chances of obtaining a decent education.In Hope and Despair in the American City, Gerald Grant compares two cities—his hometown of Syracuse, New York, and Raleigh, North Carolina—in order to examine the consequences of the nation’s ongoing educational inequities. The school system in Syracuse is a slough of despair, the one in Raleigh a beacon of hope. Grant argues that the chief reason for Raleigh’s educational success is the integration by social class that occurred when the city voluntarily merged with the surrounding suburbs in 1976 to create the Wake County Public School System. By contrast, the primary cause of Syracuse’s decline has been the growing class and racial segregation of its metropolitan schools, which has left the city mired in poverty.Hope and Despair in the American City is a compelling study of urban social policy that combines field research and historical narrative in lucid and engaging prose. The result is an ambitious portrait—sometimes disturbing, often inspiring—of two cities that exemplify our nation’s greatest educational challenges, as well as a passionate exploration of the potential for school reform that exists for our urban schools today.

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Hope And Dignity
Older Black Women of the South
Emily Wilson
Temple University Press, 1992

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Hope And Dread In Montana Literature
Ken Egan
University of Nevada Press, 2003

This literary survey from a third-generation Montanan includes a thoughtful discussion on the now infamous events of the mid- to late-nineties. The rich literary tradition of Montana, contends author Ken Egan Jr., reflects a catastrophic vision of the West that shows the "horrors of domination" and "the foolish and destructive habits of the imperial heart." Since the 1860s, Montana’s writers have depicted struggles for survival in the state’s dramatic landscape, and for decency in a region characterized by the headlong exploitation of both natural and human resources.


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Hope and Fear
Modern Myths, Conspiracy Theories and Pseudo History
Ronald H. Fritze
Reaktion Books, 2022
A myth-busting journey through the twilight world of fringe ideas and alternative facts.
Is a secret and corrupt Illuminati conspiring to control world affairs and bring about a New World Order? Was Donald Trump a victim of massive voter fraud? Is Elizabeth II a shapeshifting reptilian alien? Who is doing all this plotting?
In Hope and Fear, Ronald H. Fritze explores the fringe ideas and conspiracy theories people have turned to in order to make sense of the world around them, from myths about the Knights Templar and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, to Nazis and the occult, the Protocols of Zion and UFOs. As Fritze reveals, when conspiracy theories, myths, and pseudo-history dominate a society’s thinking, facts, reality, and truth fall by the wayside.

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Hope and Folly
The United States and UNESCO, 1945-1985
William Preston Jr., Edward S. Herman, and Herbert I. SchillerIntroduction by Ellen Ray and William H. SchappSean MacBride
University of Minnesota Press, 1989

Hope and Folly was first published in 1989. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Created in a burst of idealism after World War II, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) existed for forty years in a state of troubled yet often successful collaboration with one of its founders and benefactors, the United States. In 1980, UNESCO adopted the report of a commission that surveyed and criticized the dominance, in world media, of the United States, Japan, and a handful of European countries. The report also provided the conceptual underpinnings for what was later called the New World Information and Communication Order, a general direction adopted by UNESCO to encourage increased Third World participation in world media. This direction - it never became an official program - ultimately led to the United States's withdrawal from UNESCO in 1984.

Hope and Folly is an interpretive chronicle of U.S./ UNESCO relations. Although the information debated has garnered wide attention in Europe and the Third World, there is no comparable study in the English language, and none that focuses specifically on the United States and the broad historical context of the debate. In the first three parts, William Preston covers the changing U.S./ UNESCO relationship from the early cold war years through the period of anti-UNESCO backlash, as well as the politics of the withdrawal. Edward Herman's section is an interpretive critique of American media coverage of the withdrawal, and Herbert Schiller's is a conceptual analysis of conflicts within the United States's information policies during its last years in UNESCO. The book's appendices include an analysis of Ed Bradley's notorious "60 Minutes" broadcast on UNESCO.


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Hope and Glory
Essays on the Legacy of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment
Martin H. Blatt
University of Massachusetts Press, 2009
The monument by Augustus Saint-Gaudens to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, located on Boston Common, stands at a symbolic crossroads of American history. A reminder of the nation's ongoing struggle over race, it captures the Civil War's higher purpose—the end of slavery—and memorializes those black soldiers and white officers who made common cause in the service of freedom. The monument and the saga of the 54 th Massachusetts remain powerful touchstones, inspiring enduring meditations such as Robert Lowell's poem "For the Union Dead" and the popular film Glory.

This volume brings together the best scholarship on the history of the 54th, the formation of collective memory and identity, and the ways Americans have responded to the story of the regiment and the Saint-Gaudens monument. Contributors use the historical record and popular remembrance of the 54 th as a lens for examining race and community in the United States. The essays range in time from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and encompass history, literature, art, music, and popular culture.

In addition to the editors and Colin Powell, who writes about the memory and example of the 54th in his own career, contributors include Stephen Belyea, David W. Blight, Thomas Cripps, Kathryn Greenthal, James Oliver Horton, Edwin S. Redkey, Marilyn Richardson, Kirk Savage, James Smethurst, Cathy Stanton, Helen Vendler, Denise Von Glahn, and Joan Waugh.

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Hope and Hard Truth
A Life in Texas Politics
Mary Beth Rogers
University of Texas Press, 2022

Mary Beth Rogers has led an eventful life rooted in the weeds of Texas politics, occasionally savoring a few victories—particularly the 1990 governor’s race when, as campaign manager for Ann Richards, she did the impossible and put a Democratic woman in office. She also learned to absorb her losses—after all, she was a liberal feminist in America’s most aggressively conservative state.

Rogers’s road to a political life was complex. Candidly and vulnerably, she shares both public and private memories of how she tried to maintain a rich family life with growing children and a husband with a debilitating illness. She goes on to provide an insider’s account of her experiences as Richards’s first chief of staff while weaving her way through the highs and lows of political intrigue and legislative maneuvering.

Reflecting on her family heritage and nascent spiritual quest, Rogers discovers a reality at once sobering and invigorating: nothing is ever completely lost or completely won. It is a constant struggle to create humane public policies built on a foundation of fairness and justice—particularly in her beloved Texas.


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Hope and Independence
Blacks' Response to Electoral and Party Politics
Patricia Gurin
Russell Sage Foundation, 1989
Over the past fifteen years, a New Black Politics has swept black candidates into office and registered black voters in numbers unimaginable since the days of Reconstruction. Based on interviews with a representative sample of nearly 1,000 voting-age black Americans, Hope and Independence explores blacks' attitudes toward electoral and party politics and toward Jesse Jackson's first presidential bid. Viewed in the light of black political history, the survey reveals enduring themes of hope (for eventual inclusion in traditional politics, despite repeated disappointments) and independence (a strategy of operating outside conventional political institutions in order to achieve incorporation). The authors describe a black electorate that is less alienated than many have suggested. Blacks are more politically engaged than whites with comparable levels of education. And despite growing economic inequality in the black community, the authors find no serious class-based political cleavage. Underlying the widespread support for Jackson among blacks, a distinction emerges between "common fate" solidarity, which is pro-black, committed to internal criticism of the Democratic party, and conscious of commonality with other disadvantaged groups, and "exclusivist" solidarity, which is pro-black but also hostile to whites and less empathetic to other minorities. This second, more divisive type of solidarity expresses itself in the desire for a separate black party or a vote black strategy—but its proponents constitute a small minority of the black electorate and show surprisingly hopeful attitudes toward the Democratic party. Hope and Independence will be welcomed by readers concerned with opinion research, the sociology of race, and the psychology of group consciousness. By probing the attitudes of individual blacks in the context of a watershed campaign, this book also makes a vital contribution to our grasp of current electoral politics.

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Hope and Scorn
Eggheads, Experts, and Elites in American Politics
Michael J. Brown
University of Chicago Press, 2020

Intellectuals “have been both rallying points and railed against in American politics, vessels of hope and targets of scorn,” writes Michael J. Brown as he invigorates a recurrent debate in American life: Are intellectual public figures essential voices of knowledge and wisdom, or out-of-touch elites? Hope and Scorn investigates the role of high-profile experts and thinkers in American life and their ever-fluctuating relationship with the political and public spheres.

From Eisenhower’s era to Obama’s, the intellectual’s role in modern democracy has been up for debate. What makes an intellectual, and who can claim that privileged title? What are intellectuals’ obligations to society, and how, if at all, are their contributions compatible with democracy? For some, intellectuals were models of civic engagement. For others, the rise of the intellectual signaled the fall of the citizen. Carrying us through six key moments in this debate, Brown expertly untangles the shifting anxieties and aspirations for democracy in America in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. Hope and Scorn begins with “egghead” politicians like Adlai Stevenson; profiles scholars like Richard Hofstadter and scholars-turned-politicians like H. Stuart Hughes; and ends with the rise of public intellectuals such as bell hooks and Cornel West. In clear and unburdened prose, Brown explicates issues of power, authority, political backlash, and more. Hope and Scorn is an essential guide to American concerns about intellectuals, their myriad shortcomings, and their formidable abilities.


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Hope, Hype and VoIP
Riding the Library Technology Cycle
Char American Library Association
American Library Association, 2010

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Hope in Hopeless Times
John Holloway
Pluto Press, 2022
In this final part of his ground-breaking trilogy, John Holloway expertly fuses anti-capitalism and anti-identitarianism, and brings hope into the critique of political economy and revolutionary theory, challenging us to find hope within ourselves and channel it into a dignified, revolutionary rage.

Hope lies in our richness, in the joy of our collective creativity. But that richness exists in the peculiar form of money. The fact that we relate to one another through money causes tremendous social pain and destruction and is dragging us through pandemics and war towards extinction.

Richness against money: this battle will decide the future of humanity. If we cannot emancipate richness from money-capital profit, there is probably no hope. Money seems invincible but the constant expansion of debt shows that its rule is fragile. The fictitious expansion of money through debt is driven by fear, fear of us, fear of the rabble. Money contains, but richness overflows.

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Hope is the Thing
Wisconsinites on Perseverance in a Pandemic
B. J. Hollars
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2021
In March 2020, as a pandemic began to ravage our world, writer and professor B. J. Hollars started a collaborative writing project to bridge the emotional challenges created by our physical distancing. Drawing upon Emily Dickinson’s famous poem “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” Hollars called on Wisconsinites to reflect on their own glimpses of hope in the era of COVID-19. The call resulted in an avalanche of submissions, each reflecting on hope’s ability to persist and flourish, even in the darkest times.

As the one hundred essays and poems gathered here demonstrate, hope comes in many forms: a dad dance, a birth plan, an unblemished banana, a visit from a neighborhood dog, the revival of an old tradition, empathy. The contributors are racially, geographically, and culturally diverse, representing a rough cross section of Wisconsin voices, from truck driver to poet laureate, from middle school student to octogenarian, from small business owner to seasoned writer. The result is a book-length exploration of the depth and range of hope experienced in times of crisis, as well as an important record of what Wisconsinites were facing and feeling through these historic times.

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Hope on Earth
A Conversation
Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Hope on Earth is the thought-provoking result of a lively and wide-ranging conversation between two of the world’s leading interdisciplinary environmental scientists: Paul R. Ehrlich, whose book The Population Bomb shook the world in 1968 (and continues to shake it), and Michael Charles Tobias, whose over 40 books and 150 films have been read and/or viewed throughout the world.  Hope on Earth offers a rare opportunity to listen in as these deeply knowledgeable and highly creative thinkers offer their takes on the most pressing environmental concerns of the moment.

Both Ehrlich and Tobias argue that we are on the verge of environmental catastrophe, as the human population continues to grow without restraint and without significant attempts to deal with overconsumption and the vast depletion of resources and climate problems it creates. Though their views are sympathetic, they differ in their approach and in some key moral stances, giving rise to a heated and engaging dialogue that opens up dozens of new avenues of exploration.  They both believe that the impact of a human society on its environment is the direct result of its population size, and through their dialogue they break down the complex social problems that are wrapped up in this idea and attempts to overcome it, hitting firmly upon many controversial topics such as circumcision, religion, reproduction, abortion, animal rights, diet, and gun control.  For Ehrlich and Tobias, ethics involve not only how we treat other people directly, but how we treat them and other organisms indirectly through our effects on the environment.  University of California, Berkeley professor John Harte joins the duo for part of the conversation, and his substantial expertise on energy and climate change adds a crucial perspective to the discussion of the impact of population on global warming.

This engaging and timely book invites readers into an intimate conversation with some of the most eminent voices in science as they offer a powerful and approachable argument that the ethical and scientific issues involved in solving our environmental crisis are deeply intertwined, while offering us an optimistic way forward. Hope on Earth is indeed a conversation we should all be having.

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Hope, Trust, and Forgiveness
Essays in Finitude
John T. Lysaker
University of Chicago Press, 2023
A new ethics of human finitude developed through three experimental essays.
As ethical beings, we strive for lives that are meaningful and praiseworthy. But we are finite. We do not know, so we hope. We need, so we trust. We err, so we forgive. In this book, philosopher John T. Lysaker draws our attention to the ways in which these three capacities—hope, trust, and forgiveness—contend with human limits. Each experience is vital to human flourishing, yet each also poses significant personal and institutional challenges as well as opportunities for growth. Hope, Trust, and Forgiveness explores these challenges and opportunities and proposes ways to best meet them. In so doing, Lysaker experiments with the essay as a form and advances an improvisational perfectionism to deepen and expand our ethical horizons.

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Invoking Hope
Theory and Utopia in Dark Times
Phillip E. Wegner
University of Minnesota Press, 2020

An appeal for the importance of theory, utopia, and close consideration of our contemporary dark times

What does any particular theory allow us to do? What is the value of doing so? And who benefits? In Invoking Hope, Phillip E. Wegner argues for the undiminished importance of the practices of theory, utopia, and a deep and critical reading of our current situation of what Bertolt Brecht refers to as finsteren Zeiten, or dark times.

Invoking Hope was written in response to three events that occurred in 2016: the five hundredth anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia; the one hundredth anniversary of the founding text in theory, Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics; and the rise of the right-wing populism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump. Wegner offers original readings of major interventions in theory alongside dazzling utopian imaginaries developed from classical Greece to our global present—from Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Alain Badiou, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Sarah Ahmed, Susan Buck-Morss, and Jacques Lacan to such works as Plato’s Republic, W. E. B. Du Bois’s John Brown, Isak Dinesen’s “Babette’s Feast,” Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, and more. Wegner comments on an expansive array of modernist and contemporary literature, film, theory, and popular culture.

With Invoking Hope, Wegner provides an innovative lens for considering the rise of right-wing populism and the current crisis in democracy. He discusses challenges in the humanities and higher education and develops strategies of creative critical reading and hope against the grain of current trends in scholarship.


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James Baldwin's God
Sex, Hope, and Crisis in Black Holiness Culture
Clarence E. Hardy
University of Tennessee Press, 2009
James Baldwin’s relationship with black Christianity, and especially his rejection of it, exposes the anatomy of a religious heritage that has not been wrestled with sufficiently in black theological and religious studies. In James Baldwin’s God: Sex, Hope, and Crisis in Black Holiness Culture, Clarence hardy demonstrates that Baldwin is important not only for the ways he is connected to black religious culture, but also for the ways he chooses to disconnect himself from it. Despite Baldwin’s view that black religious expression harbors a sensibility that is often vengeful and that its actual content is composed of illusory promises and empty theatrics, he remains captive to its energies, rhythms, languages, and themes. Baldwin is forced, on occasion, to acknowledge that the religious fervor he saw as an adolescent was not simply an expression of repressed sexual tension but also a sign of the irrepressible vigor and dignified humanity of black life. Hardy’s reading of Baldwin’s texts, with its goal of understanding Baldwin’s attitude toward a religion that revolves around an uncaring God in the face of black suffering, provides provocative reading for scholars of religion, literature, and history.

The Author: Clarence Hardy is an assistant professor of religion at Dartmouth College. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Religion and Christianity and Crisis.

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Jewish Portraits, Indian Frames
Women's Narratives from a Diaspora of Hope
Jael Silliman
Seagull Books, 2001
Reveals the forgotten history of Baghdadi Jews’ journey into India through the stories of four generations of Jewish women.
An invaluable cultural document shaped from personal experience, Jewish Portraits, Indian Frames explores the fascinating social and cultural history of Baghdadi Jewish women in Calcutta, India. Through the lives of her foremothers over four generations, Jael Silliman discovers how they “dwelled in travelling” despite being widely dispersed across Asia, which created a moving geography of Baghdadi Jewish culture. She shows us how they negotiated multiple identities, including that of emergent Indian nationalism, and how they perceived and shaped their Jewishness and gender in response to changing cultural and political contexts. She also traces the trajectory of a Jewish presence in one of the most hospitable cities of the diaspora.
These rich family portraits convey a sense of the singular roles women played in building and sustaining a complex diaspora in what Silliman calls “Jewish Asia” over the past 150 years. Her sketches of the everyday lives of her foremothers—including the food they ate and the clothes they wore—bring to life a community and a culture, even as they disclose the unexpected and subtle complexities of the colonial encounter as experienced by Jewish women.
Now back in print and featuring a new preface by the author, Jewish Portraits, Indian Frames will be a vital resource for those interested in Jewish histories as well as women’s studies and will prove to be a fascinating narrative for a general readership as well.

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Land of Hope
Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration
James R. Grossman
University of Chicago Press, 1989
Grossman’s rich, detailed analysis of black migration to Chicago during World War I and its aftermath brilliantly captures the cultural meaning of the movement.

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Landscapes of Hope
Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago
Brian McCammack
Harvard University Press, 2017

Winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Award
Winner of the George Perkins Marsh Prize
Winner of the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize

“A major work of history that brings together African-American history and environmental studies in exciting ways.”
—Davarian L. Baldwin, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Between 1915 and 1940, hundreds of thousands of African Americans left the rural South to begin new lives in the urban North. In Chicago, the black population quintupled to more than 275,000. Most historians map the integration of southern and northern black culture by looking at labor, politics, and popular culture. An award-winning environmental historian, Brian McCammack charts a different course, considering instead how black Chicagoans forged material and imaginative connections to nature.

The first major history to frame the Great Migration as an environmental experience, Landscapes of Hope takes us to Chicago’s parks and beaches as well as to the youth camps, vacation resorts, farms, and forests of the rural Midwest. Situated at the intersection of race and place in American history, it traces the contours of a black environmental consciousness that runs throughout the African American experience.

“Uncovers the untold history of African Americans’ migration to Chicago as they constructed both material and immaterial connections to nature.”
—Teona Williams, Black Perspectives

“A beautifully written, smart, painstakingly researched account that adds nuance to the growing field of African American environmental history.”
—Colin Fisher, American Historical Review

“If in the South nature was associated with labor, for the inhabitants of the crowded tenements in Chicago, nature increasingly became a source of leisure.”
—Reinier de Graaf, New York Review of Books


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Lavender Fields
Black Women Experiencing Fear, Agency, and Hope in the Time of COVID-19
Edited by Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
University of Arizona Press, 2023
Lavender Fields uses autoethnography to explore how Black girls and women are living with and through COVID-19. It centers their pain, joys, and imaginations for a more just future as we confront all the inequalities that COVID-19 exposes.

Black women and girls in the United States are among the hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of illnesses, deaths, evictions, and increasing economic inequality. Riffing off Alice Walker’s telling of her search for Zora Neal Hurston, the authors of these essays and reflections offer raw tellings of Black girls’ and women’s experiences written in real time, as some of the contributors battled COVID-19 themselves.

The essays center Black girls and women and their testimonies in hopes of moving them from the margin to the center. With a diversity of voices and ages, this volume taps into the Black feminine interior, that place where Audre Lorde tells us that feelings lie, to access knowledge—generational, past, and contemporary—to explore how Black women navigate COVID-19. Using womanism and spirituality, among other modalities, the authors explore deep feelings, advancing Black feminist theorizing on Black feminist praxis and methodology.

In centering the stories of Black girls and women’s experiences with COVID-19, this work brings much-needed justice and equity to conversations about the pandemic. Just as Walker worked diligently to find Hurston, Lavender Fields attempts to “find” Black women amid all we are experiencing, ensuring visibility and attention.

Tamaya Bailey
reelaviolette botts-ward
Kyrah K. Brown
Brianna Y. Clark
Kenyatta Dawson
LeConté J. Dill
Maryam O. Funmilayo
Brandie Green
Courtney Jackson
Sara Jean-Francois
Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
Angela K. Lewis-Maddox
Annet Matebwe
Mbali Mazibuko
Radscheda Nobles
Nimot Ogunfemi
J. Mercy Okaalet
Chizoba Uzoamaka Okoroma
Peace Ossom-Williamson
Elizabeth Peart

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Lewis Nordan
Humor, Heartbreak, and Hope
Edited by Barbara A. Baker
University of Alabama Press, 2012
Lewis Nordan: Humor, Heartbreak, and Hope examines and celebrates the work of southern writer Lewis “Buddy” Nordan, whose stories reveal his own pain and humanity and in their honesty force us to recognize ourselves within them.

Written by scholars and fiction writers who represent a fascinating range of experience—from a Shakespearean scholar to English professors to a former student of Nordan’s—this is a rich array of essays, poems, and visual arts in tribute to this increasingly important writer. The collection deepens the base of scholarship on Nordan, and contextualizes his work in relation to other important southern writers such as William Faulkner and Eudora Welty.

Nordan was born and raised in Mississippi before moving to Alabama to pursue his Ph.D. at Auburn University. He taught for several years at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and retired from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a professor of English. Nordan has written four novels, three collections of short stories, and a memoir entitled Boy with Loaded Gun. His second novel, Wolf Whistle, won the Southern Book Award, and his subsequent novel, The Sharpshooter Blues, won the Notable Book Award from the American Library Association and the Fiction Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Nordan is renowned for his distinctive comic writing style, even while addressing more serious personal and cultural issues such as heartbreak, loss, violence, and racism. He transforms tragic characters and events into moments of artistic transcendence, illuminating what he calls the “history of all human beings.”

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A Map of Hope
Women's Writing on Human Rights—An International Literary Anthology
Agosín, Marjorie
Rutgers University Press, 1999

The first international anthology to explore women’s human rights from a literary perspective.

More than half a century after the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, women throughout the world still struggle for social and political justice. Many fight back with the only tools of resistance they possess—words. A Map of Hope presents a collection of 77 extraordinary literary works documenting the ways women writers have spoken out about human rights issues.

Writers young and old, known and unknown, explore the dimensions of terror, the unspeakable atrocities of war, and the possibilities of resistance and refusal against all odds. Their poems, essays, memoirs, and brief histories examine issues that affect the condition of women in war, prison camps, exile, and as victims of domestic and political violence.

A Map of Hope presents diverse women writers who have created a literature of global consciousness and justice. Their works give a face, an image, and a human dimension to the dehumanization of human rights violations. The collection allows readers to hear voices that have decided to make a difference. It goes beyond geography and ethnic groups; writers from around the globe are united by the universal dimensions of horror and deprivation, as well as the unique common struggle for justice and solidarity.


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A Map of Hope
Women's Writing on Human Rights—An International Literary Anthology
Agosín, Marjorie
Rutgers University Press, 1999

The first international anthology to explore women’s human rights from a literary perspective.

More than half a century after the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, women throughout the world still struggle for social and political justice. Many fight back with the only tools of resistance they possess—words. A Map of Hope presents a collection of 77 extraordinary literary works documenting the ways women writers have spoken out about human rights issues.

Writers young and old, known and unknown, explore the dimensions of terror, the unspeakable atrocities of war, and the possibilities of resistance and refusal against all odds. Their poems, essays, memoirs, and brief histories examine issues that affect the condition of women in war, prison camps, exile, and as victims of domestic and political violence.

A Map of Hope presents diverse women writers who have created a literature of global consciousness and justice. Their works give a face, an image, and a human dimension to the dehumanization of human rights violations. The collection allows readers to hear voices that have decided to make a difference. It goes beyond geography and ethnic groups; writers from around the globe are united by the universal dimensions of horror and deprivation, as well as the unique common struggle for justice and solidarity.


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Migration Miracle
Faith, Hope, and Meaning on the Undocumented Journey
Jacqueline Maria Hagan
Harvard University Press, 2012

Since the arrival of the Puritans, various religious groups, including Quakers, Jews, Catholics, and Protestant sects, have migrated to the United States. The role of religion in motivating their migration and shaping their settlement experiences has been well documented. What has not been recorded is the contemporary story of how migrants from Mexico and Central America rely on religion—their clergy, faith, cultural expressions, and everyday religious practices—to endure the undocumented journey.

At a time when anti-immigrant feeling is rising among the American public and when immigration is often cast in economic or deviant terms, Migration Miracle humanizes the controversy by exploring the harsh realities of the migrants’ desperate journeys. Drawing on over 300 interviews with men, women, and children, Jacqueline Hagan focuses on an unexplored dimension of the migration undertaking—the role of religion and faith in surviving the journey. Each year hundreds of thousands of migrants risk their lives to cross the border into the United States, yet until now, few scholars have sought migrants’ own accounts of their experiences.


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My Stone of Hope
From Haitian Slave Child to Abolitionist
By Jean-Robert Cadet
University of Texas Press, 2011

There are 27 million slaves living in the world today—more than at any time in history. Three hundred thousand of them are impoverished children in Haiti, who "stay with" families as unpaid and uneducated domestic workers, subject to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. This practice, known locally as restavek ("staying with"), is so widespread that one in ten Haitian children is caught up in this form of slavery.

Jean-Robert Cadet was a restavek in Haiti from the late 1950s until the early 1970s. He told the harrowing story of his youth in Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American—a landmark book that exposed ongoing child slavery in Haiti. Now in My Stone of Hope, Cadet continues his story from his early attempts to adjust to freedom in American society to his current life mission of eliminating child slavery through advocacy and education. As he recounts his own struggles to surmount the psychological wounds of slavery, Cadet puts a human face on the suffering that hundreds of thousands of Haitians still endure daily. He also builds a convincing case that child slavery is not just one among many problems that Haiti faces as the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation. Rather, he argues that the systematic abuse of so many of its children is Haiti's fundamental problem, because it creates damaged adults who seem incapable of governing the country justly or managing its economy productively.

For everyone concerned about the fate of Haiti, the welfare of children, and the freedom of people around the globe, My Stone of Hope sounds an irresistible call to action.


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The Nature of Hope
Grassroots Organizing, Environmental Justice, and Political Change
Char Miller
University Press of Colorado, 2018
The Nature of Hope focuses on the dynamics of environmental activism at the local level, examining the environmental and political cultures that emerge in the context of conflict. The book considers how ordinary people have coalesced to demand environmental justice and highlights the powerful role of intersectionality in shaping the on-the-ground dynamics of popular protest and social change.
Through lively and accessible storytelling, The Nature of Hope reveals unsung and unstinting efforts to protect the physical environment and human health in the face of continuing economic growth and development and the failure of state and federal governments to deal adequately with the resulting degradation of air, water, and soils. In an age of environmental crisis, apathy, and deep-seated cynicism, these efforts suggest the dynamic power of a “politics of hope” to offer compelling models of resistance, regeneration, and resilience. The contributors frame their chapters around the drive for greater democracy and improved human and ecological health and demonstrate that local activism is essential to the preservation of democracy and the protection of the environment. The book also brings to light new styles of leadership and new structures for activist organizations, complicating assumptions about the environmental movement in the United States that have focused on particular leaders, agencies, thematic orientations, and human perceptions of nature.
The critical implications that emerge from these stories about ecological activism are crucial to understanding the essential role that protecting the environment plays in sustaining the health of civil society. The Nature of Hope will be crucial reading for scholars interested in environmentalism and the mechanics of social movements and will engage historians, geographers, political scientists, grassroots activists, humanists, and social scientists alike.

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A Night in the Emperor's Garden
A True Story of Hope and Resilience in Afghanistan
Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan
Haus Publishing, 2015
In 2005, everything seemed possible in Afghanistan. The Taliban was gone. A new government had been elected. A cultural renaissance was energizing the country.

An actress visiting from Paris casually proposed to some Afghan actors in Kabul: Why not put on a play? The challenges were huge. It had been thirty years since men and women had appeared on stage together in Afghanistan. Was the country ready for it? Few Afghan actors had ever done theater. Did they even know how? They had performed only in films and television dramas.

Still, a company of actors gathered—among them a housewife, a policewoman, and a street kid turned film star. With no certainty of its outcome, they set out on a journey that would have life-changing consequences for all of them, and along the way lead to A Night in the Emperor’s Garden.

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The Old Regular Baptists Of Central Appa
Brothers And Sisters In Hope
Howard Dorgan
University of Tennessee Press, 1989

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Popular Resistance in Palestine
A History of Hope and Empowerment
Mazin B. Qumsiyeh
Pluto Press, 2011
The Western media paint Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation as exclusively violent: armed resistance, suicide bombings, and rocket attacks. In reality these methods are the exception to what is a peaceful and creative resistance movement. In this fascinating book, Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh synthesises data from hundreds of original sources to provide the most comprehensive study of civil resistance in Palestine.

The book contains hundreds of stories of the heroic and highly innovative methods of resistance employed by the Palestinians over more than 100 years. The author also analyses the successes, failures, missed opportunities and challenges facing ordinary Palestinians as they struggle for freedom against incredible odds. This is the only book to critically and comparatively study the uprisings of 1920-21, 1929, 1936-9, 1970s, 1987-1991 and 2000-2006.

The compelling human stories told in this book will inspire people of all faiths and political backgrounds to chart a better and more informed direction for a future of peace with justice.

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Portraits of Persistence
Inequality and Hope in Latin America
Javier Auyero
University of Texas Press, 2024

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Post-capitalist Futures
Political Economy Beyond Crisis and Hope
Adam Fishwick
Pluto Press, 2021
This book critically engages with the proliferation of literature on postcapitalism, which is rapidly becoming an urgent area of inquiry, both in academic scholarship and in public life. It collects the insights from scholars working across the field of Critical International Political Economy to interrogate how we might begin to envisage a political economy of postcapitalism. The authors foreground the agency of workers and other capitalist subjects, and their desire to engage in a range of radical experiments in decommodification and democratization both in the workplace and in their daily lives. It includes a broad range of ideas including the future of social reproduction, human capital circulation, political Islam, the political economy of exclusion and eco-communities. Rather than focusing on the ending of capitalism as an implosion of the value-money form, this book focuses on the dream of equal participation in the determination of people's shared collective destiny.

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Precarious Democracy
Ethnographies of Hope, Despair, and Resistance in Brazil
Benjamin Junge
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Brazil changed drastically in the 21st century’s second decade. In 2010, the country’s outgoing president Lula left office with almost 90% approval. As the presidency passed to his Workers' Party successor, Dilma Rousseff, many across the world hailed Brazil as a model of progressive governance in the Global South. Yet, by 2019, those progressive gains were being dismantled as the far right-wing politician Jair Bolsonaro assumed the presidency of a bitterly divided country. Digging beneath this pendulum swing of policy and politics, and drawing on rich ethnographic portraits, Precarious Democracy shows how these transformations were made and experienced by Brazilians far from the halls of power. Bringing together powerful and intimate stories and portraits from Brazil's megacities to rural Amazonia, this volume demonstrates the necessity of ethnography for understanding social and political change, and provides crucial insights on one of the most epochal periods of change in Brazilian history.

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Prisoners of Hope
The Silver Age of the Italian Jews, 1924–1974
H. Stuart Hughes
Harvard University Press
The eminent cultural historian H. Stuart Hughes examines the works of Italo Svevo, Alberto Moravia, Carlo Levi, Primo Levi, Natalia Ginzburg, and Giorgio Bassani—six Italian prose writers of Jewish or part-Jewish origin—and gracefully shows how these writers combine in various measures their ancestral Jewish heritage with recent experiences of antisemitic persecution.

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The Privatization of Hope
Ernst Bloch and the Future of Utopia, SIC 8
Peter Thompson and Slavoj Žižek, eds.
Duke University Press, 2013
The concept of hope is central to the work of the German philosopher Ernst Bloch (1885–1977), especially in his magnum opus, The Principle of Hope (1959). The "speculative materialism" that he first developed in the 1930s asserts a commitment to humanity's potential that continued through his later work. In The Privatization of Hope, leading thinkers in utopian studies explore the insights that Bloch's ideas provide in understanding the present. Mired in the excesses and disaffections of contemporary capitalist society, hope in the Blochian sense has become atomized, desocialized, and privatized. From myriad perspectives, the contributors clearly delineate the renewed value of Bloch's theories in this age of hopelessness. Bringing Bloch's "ontology of Not Yet Being" into conversation with twenty-first-century concerns, this collection is intended to help revive and revitalize philosophy's commitment to the generative force of hope.

Contributors. Roland Boer, Frances Daly, Henk de Berg, Vincent Geoghegan, Wayne Hudson, Ruth Levitas, David Miller, Catherine Moir, Caitríona Ní Dhúill, Welf Schröter, Johan Siebers, Peter Thompson, Francesca Vidal, Rainer Ernst Zimmermann, Slavoj Žižek

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The Real American Dream
A Meditation on Hope
Andrew Delbanco
Harvard University Press, 1999

Since we discovered that, in Tocqueville’s words, “the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the heart,” how have we Americans made do? In The Real American Dream one of the nation’s premier literary scholars searches out the symbols and stories by which Americans have reached for something beyond worldly desire. A spiritual history ranging from the first English settlements to the present day, the book is also a lively, deeply learned meditation on hope.

Andrew Delbanco tells of the stringent God of Protestant Christianity, who exerted immense force over the language, institutions, and customs of the culture for nearly 200 years. He describes the falling away of this God and the rise of the idea of a sacred nation-state. And, finally, he speaks of our own moment, when symbols of nationalism are in decline, leaving us with nothing to satisfy the longing for transcendence once sustained by God and nation.

From the Christian story that expressed the earliest Puritan yearnings to New Age spirituality, apocalyptic environmentalism, and the multicultural search for ancestral roots that divert our own, The Real American Dream evokes the tidal rhythm of American history. It shows how Americans have organized their days and ordered their lives—and ultimately created a culture—to make sense of the pain, desire, pleasure, and fear that are the stuff of human experience. In a time of cultural crisis, when the old stories seem to be faltering, this book offers a lesson in the painstaking remaking of the American dream.


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Religion Without Redemption
Social Contradictions and Awakened Dreams in Latin America
Luis Martinez Andrade
Pluto Press, 2015
The world’s eyes are on Latin America as a place of radical political inspiration, offering alternatives to the neoliberal model. Religion Without Redemption examines the history of religious and political ideas in Latin America, in order to show how and why the continent’s politics and economics work as they do.
            Martínez Andrade focuses on the central role of religion in the region and how it influences people’s interaction with changes in modern economics. Capitalism in Latin America, Martínez Andrade argues, has taken on religious characteristics, with places of worship—shopping malls and department stores—as well as its own prophets. This form of cultural religion is often contradictory in surprising ways: not only does it legitimate oppression, it can also be a powerful source of rebellion, unveiling a subversive side to the status quo. Religion Without Redemption advances the ideas of liberation theory, and challenges the provincialism to which many Latin American thinkers are usually consigned.

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Ripples of Hope
How Ordinary People Resist Repression Without Violence
Robert M. Press
Amsterdam University Press, 2014
In Ripples of Hope, Robert M. Press tells the stories of mothers, students, teachers, journalists, attorneys, and manyothers who courageously stood up for freedom and human rights against repressive rulers “ and who helped bring about change through primarily nonviolent means. Global in application and focusing on Kenya, Liberia and Sierra Leone, this tribute to the strength of the human spirit also breaks new ground in social movement theories, showing how people on their own or in small groups can make a difference.

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River of Hope
Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands
Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez
Duke University Press, 2012
In River of Hope, Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez examines state formation, cultural change, and the construction of identity in the lower Rio Grande region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He chronicles a history of violence resulting from multiple conquests, of resistance and accommodation to state power, and of changing ethnic and political identities. The redrawing of borders neither began nor ended the region's long history of unequal power relations. Nor did it lead residents to adopt singular colonial or national identities. Instead, their regionalism, transnational cultural practices, and kinship ties subverted state attempts to control and divide the population.

Diverse influences transformed the borderlands as Spain, Mexico, and the United States competed for control of the region. Indian slaves joined Spanish society; Mexicans allied with Indians to defend river communities; Anglo Americans and Mexicans intermarried and collaborated; and women sued to confront spousal abuse and to secure divorces. Drawn into multiple conflicts along the border, Mexican nationals and Mexican Texans (tejanos) took advantage of their transnational social relations and ambiguous citizenship to escape criminal prosecution, secure political refuge, and obtain economic opportunities. To confront the racialization of their cultural practices and their increasing criminalization, tejanos claimed citizenship rights within the United States and, in the process, created a new identity.

Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.


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Running After Paradise
Hope, Survival, and Activism in Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Colleen M. Scanlan Lyons
University of Arizona Press, 2022
Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is a paradise to many. In Southern Bahia, surfers, billionaires, travelers, and hippies mingle with environmentalists, family farmers, quilombolas (descendants of formerly enslaved people), and nativos, or “locals.” Each of these groups has connections to the unique environment, culture, and character of this region as their home, their source of a livelihood, or perhaps their vacation escape. And while sometimes these connections converge—other times they clash.

The pressures on this tropical forest are palpable. So are people’s responses to these pressures. What was once the state’s economic mainstay, cacao production, is only now beginning to make a comeback after a disease decimated the crops of large and small farmers alike. Tourism, another economic hope, is susceptible to economic crises and pandemics. And the threat of a massive state-led infrastructure project involving mining, a railroad, and an international port has loomed over the region for well over a decade.

Southern Bahia is at a crossroads: develop a sustainable, forest-based economy or run the risk of losing the identity and soul of this place forevermore. Through the lives of environmentalists, farmers, quilombolas, and nativos—people who are in and of this place—this book brings alive the people who are grappling with this dilemma.

Anthropologist Colleen M. Scanlan Lyons brings the eye of a storyteller to present this complex struggle, weaving in her own challenges of balancing family and fieldwork alongside the stories of the people who live in this dynamic region. Intertwined tales, friendships, and hope emerge as people both struggle to sustain their lives in a biodiversity hotspot and strive to create their paradise.

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The Saving Line
Benjamin, Adorno, and the Caesuras of Hope
Márton Dornbach
Northwestern University Press, 2021

Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno both turned to canonical literary narratives to determine why the Enlightenment project was derailed and how this failure might be remedied. The resultant works, Benjamin’s major essay on Goethe’s Elective Affinities and Adorno’s meditation on the Odyssey in Dialectic of Enlightenment, are centrally concerned with the very act of narration. Márton Dornbach’s groundbreaking book reconstructs a hitherto unnoticed, wide-ranging dialogue between these foundational texts of the Frankfurt School.

At the heart of Dornbach’s argument is a critical model that Benjamin built around the concept of caesura, a model Adorno subsequently reworked. Countering an obscurantism that would become complicit in the rise of fascism, the two theorists aligned moments of arrest in narratives mired in unreason. Although this model responded to a specific historical emergency, it can be adapted to identify utopian impulses in a variety of works.

The Saving Line throws fresh light on the intellectual exchange and disagreements between Benjamin and Adorno, the problematic conjunction of secular reason and negative theology in their thinking, and their appropriations of ancient and modern legacies. It will interest scholars of philosophy and literature, critical theory, German Jewish thought, classical reception studies, and narratology.


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Scepticism and Hope in Twentieth Century Fantasy Literature
Kath Filmer
University of Wisconsin Press, 1992
Religious discourse has become alien to the secular and skeptical western societies of the twentieth century. There is real discomfort when religious discourse appears either in the popular press or in society. But even in a secular society, there is still a psychological need (one might even use the stronger word will), if not to believe, then at least to hope. Dr. Filmer states this need is met in the literature of fantasy.

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Seamus Heaney and the Emblems of Hope
Karen Marguerite Moloney
University of Missouri Press, 2007

A rich body of mythology and literature has grown around the Celtic ritual known as the Feis of Tara or “marriage of sovereignty”—ancient ceremonies in which the future king pledges to care for the land and serve the goddess of sovereignty. Seamus Heaney, whose writing has attracted the overwhelming share of critical attention directed toward contemporary Irish poetry, has engaged this symbolic tradition in some of his most significant—and controversial—work.

Seamus Heaney and the Emblems of Hope explores Heaney’s use of the family of sovereignty motifs and redresses the imbalance of criticism that has overemphasized the theme of sacrifice to the detriment of more optimistic symbols. Moreover, Moloney reviews the development of the marriage motif in Irish poetry from the ninth to the twenty-first centuries with a focus on Heaney’s adaptations from The Frenzy of Sweeney and The Midnight Court and on the work of such poets as Kinsella, Montague, Boland, and Ní Dhomhnaill. Karen Marguerite Moloney examines the central role that Heaney assigns the Feis of Tara in his response to the crisis of Ulster and to the general spiritual bankruptcy of our times, showing in his verse how the relationship of the male lover to the goddess—particularly in her more repugnant guises—serves as prototype for the humility and deference needed to repair the effects of English colonization of Ireland and, by extension, centuries of worldwide patriarchal abuse.

Through close, sustained readings of poems previously overlooked or misinterpreted, such as “Ocean’s Love to Ireland,” “Come to the Bower,” and “Bone Dreams”—poems that Irish feminist critics have deemed flawed and distressingly sexist—Moloney refutes views that have long stood unchallenged. She also considers the direction of Heaney’s more recent poems, which continue to resonate to the twin demands of conscience and artistic integrity.

An impeccably researched and immensely readable work, Seamus Heaney and the Emblems of Hope reveals that Heaney’s poetry offers a reverence for archetypal femininity and Dionysian energy that can counter the sterility and violence of postcolonial Irish life. Moloney shows us that, in the tradition of poets who preceded him, Heaney turns to the marriage of sovereignty to encode a message for our times—and to offer up emblems of hope on behalf of us all.


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Searching for America's Heart
RFK and the Renewal of Hope
Peter Edelman
Georgetown University Press

The New York Times Book Review said that Peter Edelman adheres "to a high-minded worldview"—and he does not hesitate to emphasize that in the Preface to this new paperback edition of Searching for America's Heart by declaring, "I have one voice, but for my part, I will continue to speak what I believe to be the truth."

The truth is—from the time Edelman was a close aide to RFK, to when he resigned from the Clinton Administration in protest over the latter's welfare bill (which ended a sixty year federal commitment to poor children)—poverty continues to be a source of shame to the richest nation on earth. Fueled by a vision of economic justice he shared with Robert Kennedy, related here, he advocates an active federal government in correcting inequities in American life. Based partly on initiatives begun by Kennedy, he advocates government support for school reform and more community-based economic development initiatives.

Peter Edelman is one of those rare beings in public and political life: a man not only with a conscience, but also with a vision, and the eloquence to speak out for the poor—and the children in poverty—among us.


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Seeds of Resistance, Seeds of Hope
Place and Agency in the Conservation of Biodiversity
Edited by Virginia D. Nazarea, Robert E. Rhoades, and Jenna E. Andrews-Swann
University of Arizona Press, 2013
Food is more than simple sustenance. It feeds our minds as well as our bodies. It nurtures us emotionally as well as physically. It holds memories. In fact, one of the surprising consequences of globalization and urbanization is the expanding web of emotional attachments to farmland, to food growers, and to place. And there is growing affection, too, for home gardening and its “grow your own food” ethos. Without denying the gravity of the problems of feeding the earth’s population while conserving its natural resources, Seeds of Resistance, Seeds of Hope reminds us that there are many positive movements and developments that demonstrate the power of opposition and optimism.
This broad collection brings to the table a bag full of tools from anthropology, sociology, genetics, plant breeding, education, advocacy, and social activism. By design, multiple voices are included. They cross or straddle disciplinary, generational, national, and political borders. Contributors demonstrate the importance of cultural memory in the persistence of traditional or heirloom crops, as well as the agency exhibited by displaced and persecuted peoples in place-making and reconstructing nostalgic landscapes (including gardens from their homelands). Contributions explore local initiatives to save native and older seeds, the use of modern technologies to conserve heirloom plants, the bioconservation efforts of indigenous people, and how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been successfully combated. Together they explore the conservation of biodiversity at different scales, from different perspectives, and with different theoretical and methodological approaches. Collectively, they demonstrate that there is reason for hope.

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The Small-Town Midwest
Resilience and Hope in the Twenty-First Century
Julianne Couch
University of Iowa Press, 2016
Most people in the United States live in urban areas; still, there are nearly fifty million people living in small towns of just a few thousand people or less. Some towns are within a short drive of a metropolitan area where people can work, shop, or go to school; some are an hour or more from any sort of urban hub. In this book, Julianne Couch sets out to illuminate the lives and hopes of these small-town residents.

The people featured live—by choice or circumstances—in one of nine small communities in five states in the Midwest and Great Plains: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Daily they witness people moving out, heading to more urban areas, small businesses closing down, connected infrastructure drying up, entrepreneurs becoming discouraged, and more people thinking about leaving. This is the story we hear in the news, the story told by abandoned farms, consolidated schools, and boarded-up Main Streets.

But it’s not the whole story. As Couch found in her travels throughout the Midwest, many people long to return to these towns, places where they may have deep family roots or where they can enjoy short commutes, familiar neighbors, and proximity to rural and wild places. And many of the residents of small midwestern towns are not just accepting the trend toward urbanization with a sigh. They are betting that the tide of rural population loss can’t go out forever, and they’re backing those bets with creatively repurposed schools, entrepreneurial innovation, and community commitment. From Bellevue, Iowa, to Centennial, Wyoming, the region’s small-town residents remain both hopeful and resilient. 

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Sustainable Utopias
The Art and Politics of Hope in Germany
Jennifer L. Allen
Harvard University Press, 2022

To reclaim a sense of hope for the future, German activists in the late twentieth century engaged ordinary citizens in innovative projects that resisted alienation and disenfranchisement.

By most accounts, the twentieth century was not kind to utopian thought. The violence of two world wars, Cold War anxieties, and a widespread sense of crisis after the 1973 global oil shock appeared to doom dreams of a better world. The eventual victory of capitalism and, seemingly, liberal democracy relieved some fears but exchanged them for complacency and cynicism.

Not, however, in West Germany. Jennifer Allen showcases grassroots activism of the 1980s and 1990s that envisioned a radically different society based on community-centered politics—a society in which the democratization of culture and power ameliorated alienation and resisted the impotence of end-of-history narratives. Berlin’s History Workshop liberated research from university confines by providing opportunities for ordinary people to write and debate the story of the nation. The Green Party made the politics of direct democracy central to its program. Artists changed the way people viewed and acted in public spaces by installing objects in unexpected environments, including the Stolpersteine: paving stones, embedded in residential sidewalks, bearing the names of Nazi victims. These activists went beyond just trafficking in ideas. They forged new infrastructures, spaces, and behaviors that gave everyday people real agency in their communities. Undergirding this activism was the environmentalist concept of sustainability, which demanded that any alternative to existing society be both enduring and adaptable.

A rigorous but inspiring tale of hope in action, Sustainable Utopias makes the case that it is still worth believing in human creativity and the labor of citizenship.


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Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love
A Summa of the Summa on the Theological Virtues
Christopher Kaczor
Catholic University of America Press, 2020
Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love is designed to make as easy as possible a first reading of key passages from the Summa theologiae. This book contains selections from the Summa that are most influential, most important, or likely to be most interesting to the contemporary reader. The text of the Summa itself is edited and arranged for beginners. Each article begins with Thomas’s answers to the question at hand and then goes to the first objection, followed by the reply to the first objection, the second objection and its reply, and so on. This arrangement provides a greater accessibility and ease in following the argument. Below the text, copious footnotes illuminate the text as a professor in the classroom might. Some notes provide historical background to figures that Thomas presupposes his reader will know such as Gratian, Dionysius, and Lombard. Other notes offer doctrinal summaries of other parts of the Summa that illuminate what Thomas says about faith, hope, or love. Thomas had an enormous influence on theologians, Church councils, and popes after his time, so some footnotes examine this influence. Thomas drew heavily on sources of wisdom before him, so other footnotes summarize the teachings of earlier authors, such as Aristotle and Augustine. This book also contains introductory essays on the Summa, on faith, on hope, and on love, which provide an overview to situate the reader and place treatment of the theological virtues in its larger context of the Summa. For those who have never read Thomas Aquinas on faith, hope, and love (and for those who teach them), this book provides ready access to the wisdom of the Angelic doctor.

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Unguessed Kinships
Naturalism and the Geography of Hope in Cormac McCarthy
Steven Frye
University of Alabama Press, 2023

The values of literary naturalism at play in one of America’s most visionary novelists

It took six novels and nearly thirty years for Cormac McCarthy to find commercial success with the National Book Award–winning All the Pretty Horses, followed by major prizes, more best sellers, and Hollywood adaptations of his work. Those successes, though, have obscured McCarthy’s commitment to an older form of literary expression: naturalism.

It is hardly a secret that McCarthy’s work tends to darker themes: violence, brutality, the cruel indifference of nature, themes which would not be out of place in the writing of Jack London or Stephen Crane. But literary naturalism is more than the oversimplified Darwinism that many think of. Nature may be red in tooth and claw, and humans are part of nature, but the humanity depicted in naturalist literature is capable of love, selflessness, and spirituality, as well.

In Unguessed Kinships, Steven Frye illuminates all these dimensions of McCarthy’s work. In his novels and plays, McCarthy engages both explicitly and obliquely with the project of manifest destiny, in the western drama Blood Meridian, the Tennessee Valley Authority-era Tennessee novels, and the atomic frontier of Alamogordo in Cities of the Plain. McCarthy’s concerns are deeply religious and philosophical, drawing on ancient Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, and Nietzsche, among other sources. Frye argues for McCarthy not merely as a naturalist writer but as a naturalist in the most expansive sense. Unguessed Kinships includes biographical and historical context in each chapter, widening the appeal of the text to not just naturalists or McCarthy scholars but anyone studying the literature of the South or the West.


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The Voices of Hope
Poems, Stories, and Drawings by the Children of La Esperanza, Guatemala
Edited and Translated by Carolyn Alessio. Foreword by Luis Alberto Urrea
Southern Illinois University Press, 2003

Collected and translated by Carolyn Alessio, this bilingual anthology of poems, stories, memories, and philosophies was written and illustrated by the children of La Esperanza, Guatemala. Drawing upon the fortitude of their mothers, who began hand-sewing crafts to sell in the United States in order to survive the hardships of this war-torn impoverished country, Alessio’s students, aged four to sixteen, reveal amazing survival skills, fertile imaginations, and dreams of attaining better lives. The resulting work is a collection of poems and drawings that are terse, funny, sometimes sad, but always humanly, gloriously alive.

As Alessio explains, “At first, I thought I might be imagining the echoes of magical realism, but as I continued to read the students’ writing and study their drawings, I found similar themes. Witches killed children who didn’t respect the spirits; women abused by their husbands sought refuge in trees with magical doors. People who didn’t have money or jobs lived on the road and in forests, where they alternately fought and partied with the animals.”  

The volume features a foreword from Luis Alberto Urrea,author of Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border and By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border.


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Reviving Social Hope
Ronald Aronson
University of Chicago Press, 2017
The election of Donald Trump has exposed American society’s profound crisis of hope. By 2016 a generation of shrinking employment, rising inequality, the attack on public education, and the shredding of the social safety net, had set the stage for stunning insurgencies at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Against this dire background, Ronald Aronson offers an answer. He argues for a unique conception of social hope, one with the power for understanding and acting upon the present situation. Hope, he argues, is far more than a mood or feeling—it is the very basis of social will and political action. It is this kind of hope that Aronson sees brewing in the supporters of Bernie Sanders, who advocated the tough-minded and inspired disposition to act collectively to make the world more equal, more democratic, more peaceful, and more just.  And it was directly contrasted by Trump’s supporters who showed a cynical and nostalgic faith in an authoritarian strongman replete with bigotry and misogyny. 
Beneath today’s crisis Aronson examines our heartbreaking story: a century of catastrophic violence and the bewildering ambiguity of progress—all of which have contributed to the evaporation of social hope. As he shows, we are now in a time when hope is increasingly privatized, when—despite all the ways we are connected to each other—we are desperately alone, struggling to weather the maelstrom around us, demoralized by the cynicism that permeates our culture and politics, and burdened with finding personal solutions to social problems.
Yet, Aronson argues, even at a time when false hopes are rife, social hope still persists. Carefully exploring what we mean when we say we “hope” and teasing hope apart from its dangerously misconstrued sibling, “progress,” he locates seeds of real change. He argues that always underlying our experience—even if we completely ignore it—is the fact of our social belonging, and that this can be reactivated into a powerful collective force, an active we. He looks to various political movements, from the massive collective force of environmentalists to the movements around Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, as powerful examples of socially energized, politically determined, and actionably engaged forms of hope. Even in this age of Donald Trump, the result is an illuminating and inspiring call that anyone can clearly hear: we can still create a better future for everyone, but only if we resist false hopes and act together.

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Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town
Water of Hope, Water of Sorrow
By Christine Eber
University of Texas Press, 1995

Healing roles and rituals involving alcohol are a major source of power and identity for women and men in Highland Chiapas, Mexico, where abstention from alcohol can bring a loss of meaningful roles and of a sense of community. Yet, as in other parts of the world, alcohol use sometimes leads to abuse, whose effects must then be combated by individuals and the community.

In this pioneering ethnography, Christine Eber looks at women and drinking in the community of San Pedro Chenalhó to address the issues of women’s identities, roles, relationships, and sources of power. She explores various personal and social strategies women use to avoid problem drinking, including conversion to Protestant religions, membership in cooperatives or Catholic Action, and modification of ritual forms with substitute beverages.

The book’s women-centered perspective reveals important data on women and drinking not reported in earlier ethnographies of Highland Chiapas communities. Eber’s reflexive approach, blending the women’s stories, analyses, songs, and prayers with her own and other ethnographers’ views, shows how Western, individualistic approaches to the problems of alcohol abuse are inadequate for understanding women’s experiences with problem and ritual drinking in a non-Western culture.

In a new epilogue, Christine Eber describes how events of the last decade, including the Zapatista uprising, have strengthened women's resolve to gain greater control over their lives by controlling the effects of alcohol in the community.


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