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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

at least irrelevant, if not a hindrance, to the US. Trump’s consistent disregard for multilateralism and his 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

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Best known for a trilogy of historical novels set in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa, Marilynne Robinson is a prolific essayist, teacher, and public speaker, routinely celebrated as a singular author of contemporary American fiction. This collection intervenes in the author’s growing critical reputation, pointing to new and exciting links between the author, the historical settings of her novels, and the contemporary themes of her fictional, educational, and theoretical work. Touching on ongoing debates in race, gender, and environmental politics, as well as education, democracy, and the state of critical theory, New Perspectives on Marilynne Robinson demonstrates the wider secular and popular impact of the author’s work, building on the largely theological focus of previous criticism to suggest new and innovative interpretations of her oeuvre.

The collection’s four sections are dedicated to: Robinson’s use of form and style; her exploration of the relationship between gender and the environment; her use of history and the intersection of race, rights, and religion in her work; and a discussion of Robinson and her contemporaries. As such, the collection argues for a reconsideration of Robinson within the field of American and English Studies, by bringing together 16 new, vibrant, and undoubtedly contemporary analyses of her work. Authors include: Bridget Bennett, Richard King, Sarah Churchwell, Jack Baker, Maria Elena Carpintero Torres-Quevedo, Daniel King, Anna Maguire Elliott, Makayla Steiner, Lucy Clarke, Christopher Lloyd, Tessa Roynon, Alexander Engebretson, Emily Hammerton-Barry, Steve Gronert Ellerhoff, Kathryn E. Engebretson, Paul Jenner, and Rachel Sykes."

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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
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Rachel Sykes, Jennifer Daly, and Anna Maguire Elliot

power and the governmental dumping of nuclear waste, issues of American democracy and the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, and the state of political thought in the contemporary United States. Read for the breadth and contemporaneity of her preoccupations, Robinson's writing reveals a profound and sustained engagement with present-day issues across a broad spectrum of social concerns and academic disciplines. She issues a challenge to readers to think more about what religious or rural writing might be with characteristic and measured

in Marilynne Robinson
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