Substance, symbols, and hope
Author: Andra Gillespie

The election of Barack Obama was a milestone in US history with tremendous symbolic importance for the black community. But was this symbolism backed up by substance? Did ordinary black people really benefit under the first black president?

This is the question that Andra Gillespie sets out to answer in Race and the Obama Administration. Using a variety of methodological techniques—from content analysis of executive orders to comparisons of key indicators, such as homeownership and employment rates under Clinton, Bush, and Obama— the book charts the progress of black causes and provides valuable perspective on the limitations of presidential power in addressing issues of racial inequality. Gillespie uses public opinion data to investigate the purported disconnect between Obama’s performance and his consistently high ratings among black voters, asking how far the symbolic power of the first black family in the White House was able to compensate for the compromises of political office.

Scholarly but accessible, Race and the Obama Administration will be of interest to students and lecturers in US politics and race studies, as well as to general readers who want to better understand the situation of the black community in the US today and the prospects for its improvement.

Rape and Marriage in Go Tell It on the Mountain
Porter Nenon

To consider how James Baldwin resisted racialized notions of sexuality in his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, I employ a number of black feminist critics—including Saidiya Hartman, Patricia Williams, Hortense Spillers, and Patricia Hill Collins—to analyze three under-studied minor characters: Deborah, Esther, and Richard. Those three characters are best understood as figures of heterosexual nonconformity who articulate sophisticated and important critiques of rape and marriage in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Baldwin thus wrote subversive theories of race and sexuality into the margins of the novel, making its style inextricable from its politics. Baldwin’s use of marginal voices was a deft and intentional artistic choice that was emancipatory for his characters and that remains enduringly relevant to American sexual politics. In this particularly polarizing transition from the Obama era to the Donald J. Trump presidency, I revisit Baldwin’s ability to subtly translate political ideas across fault lines like race, nationality, and sex.

James Baldwin Review
From 9/11 to Donald Trump
Author: Jack Holland

American television was about to be revolutionised by the advent of video on demand in 2007, when Netflix, having delivered over one billion DVDs, introduced streaming. This book explores the role that fictional television has played in the world politics of the US in the twenty-first century. It focuses on the second golden age of television, which has coincided with the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump. The book is structured in three parts. Part I considers what is at stake in rethinking the act of watching television as a political and academic enterprise. Part II considers fictional television shows dealing explicitly with the subject matter of formal politics. It explores discourses of realpolitik in House of Cards and Game of Thrones, arguing that the shows reinforce dominant assumptions that power and strategy inevitably trump ethical considerations. It also analyses constructions of counterterrorism in Homeland, The West Wing, and 24, exploring the ways in which dominant narratives have been contested and reinforced since the onset of the War on Terror. Part III considers television shows dealing only implicitly with political themes, exploring three shows that make profound interventions into the political underpinnings of American life: The Wire, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Finally, the book explores the legacies of The Sopranos and Mad Men, as well as the theme of resistance in The Handmaid's Tale.

Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

authoritarian posturing towards allies and enemies alike now confirm the trend away from liberal internationalism that, despite cosmopolitan rhetoric, was already evident under the presidency of Barack Obama. This trend is not simply part of the secular fluctuation in American foreign policy between idealism and realism: its end is a rupture with the American exceptionalism essential to both traditions. The National Security Strategy of 2017 proposes that ‘the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Abstract only
The diversity revolution
Tom Clark, Robert D. Putnam and Edward Fieldhouse

9780719082788_C01.qxd 2/10/10 14:20 Page 1 1 Introduction: the diversity revolution I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one. (Senator Barack Obama

in The age of Obama
Public opinion and black attitudes toward the Obama presidency
Andra Gillespie

, entitled, “How’s He Doing?” In that sketch, Washington and black male cast members Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharaoh portray pundits on a black-​themed television show talking about President Obama’s performance and whether they, as black Americans, would continue to support him: Host (Kenan Thompson):  OK, welcome to “How’s He Doing,” the show where the black voter takes a frank, honest look at President Obama and asks “How’s he doing?” It’s Sunday at 6 AM. Well, we’re closing in on a year since Barack Obama’s re-​election and it’s been a difficult month for the President

in Race and the Obama Administration
Artistic performances and commencement speeches from presidential couples
Andra Gillespie

this has given black artists a strong platform to showcase their talent – stronger, even, than in the 1980s, when black artists were already well represented among the performers invited to participate in In Performance. Because Barack Obama’s predecessors had already scaled up their inclusion of black artists in cultural programming on PBS, there was very little that he could do to surpass the level of black symbolic representation in the case study that I have presented here. He does deserve credit, though, for being more attentive to featuring Latino/​a artists

in Race and the Obama Administration
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Making a success of the revolution
Tom Clark, Robert D. Putnam and Edward Fieldhouse

) as likely to be in a ‘salariat’ profession than white men with similar qualifications • black Americans die, on average, five years younger than whites • nearly half (48 per cent) of all African Americans are consigned to ghettoised black majority neighbourhoods – despite the fact that most would prefer to live in an integrated community The arrival of Barack Obama will not reverse these hard realities any time soon. Similar indicators show that British Muslims, particularly those with roots in Bangladesh or Pakistan, also face particular problems. While not quite

in The age of Obama
Abstract only
Andra Gillespie

The Journal of Visual Culture, University of Chicago Professor (and Obama neighbor) W.J.T. Mitchell pondered the aesthetics of electing the first black president. He came to the conclusion that Barack Obama represented the hopes and dreams of those who voted for him, which put the new president in an interesting position. He writes, “When we analyze the effect of Obama as a ‘cultural icon,’ then, enumerating the innumerable commodifications of his image, it is important to recognize the extent to which his image is, before any positive content of, say, visible

in Race and the Obama Administration
Abstract only
Robin Wilson

On his first full day in office as US President in January 2009, Barack Obama appointed the chair of the talks leading to the 1998 Belfast agreement, 1 George Mitchell, as his Middle East envoy. Anticipating the decision, the Washington Post reported that the former Senate majority leader was ‘highly regarded as a negotiator for his work in the successful Northern Ireland peace process’. 2

in The Northern Ireland experience of conflict and agreement