19 May 2010

Anthropology and Empire: Recommended Books

Updated: 22 May 2010, 08 October 2010, 20 October 2010, 08 August 2011, 27 October 2011, 07 December 2012

The broad study of militarism, and specifically militarization, empire, "terrorism," counterinsurgency, U.S. bases, and the blowback of imperial expansion, are areas of study gaining significant new ground in anthropology. Here AJP presents an extensive list of recommended items, focusing on books alone. We have also archived each item in our online Library. We hope that this listing--to be updated as time passes--will prove useful to you for your own reading, or for drafting new course syllabi. They are presented below in alphabetical order, by title.

American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain
By Roberto J. González
Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2009
Politicians, pundits, and Pentagon officials are singing the praises of a kinder, gentler American counterinsurgency. Some claim that counterinsurgency is so sophisticated and effective that it is the “graduate level of war.” Private military contracting firms have jumped on the bandwagon, and many have begun employing anthropologists, political scientists, psychologists, and sociologists to help meet the Department of Defense’s new demand. The $60 million Human Terrain System (HTS), an intelligence gathering program that embeds social scientists with combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan, dramatically illustrates the approach. But when the military, transnational corporations, and the human sciences become obsessed with controlling the “human terrain”—the civilian populations of Iraq and Afghanistan—what are the consequences? In this timely pamphlet, Roberto González offers a searing critique of HTS, showing how the history of anthropology can be used to illuminate the problems of turning “culture” into a military tool.

Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency
Edited by John D. Kelly, Beatrice Jauregui, Sean T. Mitchell, Jeremy Walton
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010

Recent global events have placed new stress on the relationship among anthropology, governance, and war as, facing prolonged insurgency, segments of the U.S. military have taken a new interest in the discipline. Inspired by these issues, the essays in Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency consider how anthropologists can, should, and do respond to military overtures, and they articulate anthropological perspectives on global war and power relations. This book investigates the shifting boundaries between military and civil state violence; perceptions and effects of American power around the globe; the history of counterinsurgency doctrine and practice; and debates over culture, knowledge, and conscience in counterinsurgency. These wide-ranging essays shed new light on the fraught world of Pax American and on the ethical and political dilemmas faced by anthropologists and military personnel alike when attempting to understanding and intervention in our world.

Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War
By David H. Price
Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008
By the time the United States officially entered World War II, more than half of American anthropologists were using their professional knowledge and skills to advance the war effort. The range of their war-related work was extraordinary. They helped gather military intelligence, pinpointed possible social weaknesses in enemy nations, and contributed to the Army's regional Pocket Guide booklets. They worked for dozens of government agencies, including the Office of Strategic Services and the Office of War Information. At a moment when social scientists are once again being asked to assist in military and intelligence work, David H. Price examines anthropologists' little-known contributions to the Second World War. Anthropological Intelligence is based on interviews with anthropologists as well as extensive archival research involving many Freedom of Information Act requests. Price looks at the role played by the two primary U.S. anthropological organizations, the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology (which was formed in 1941), in facilitating the application of anthropological methods to the problems of war. He chronicles specific projects undertaken on behalf of government agencies, including an analysis of the social effects of postwar migration, the planning of massive refugee relocation schemes, and the study of Japanese social structures to help tailor American propaganda efforts. Price discusses anthropologists' work in internment camps, their collection of intelligence in Central and South America for the FBI's Special Intelligence Service, and their help forming foreign language programs to assist soldiers and intelligence agents. Evaluating the ethical implications of anthropological contributions to World War II, Price suggests that by the time the Cold War began, the profession had set a dangerous precedent regarding what it would be willing to do on behalf of the U.S. government.

Anthropologists in the Public Sphere: Speaking Out on War, Peace, and American Power
Edited by Roberto J. González
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2004
Anthropologists have a long tradition of prescient diagnoses of world events. Possessing a knowledge of culture, society, and history not always shared by the media's talking heads, anthropologists have played a crucial role in educating the general reader on the public debates from World War I to the second Gulf War. This anthology collects over fifty commentaries by noted anthropologists such as Margaret Mead, Franz Boas, and Marshall Sahlins who seek to understand and explain the profound repercussions of U.S. involvement in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Frequently drawing on their own fieldwork, the anthropologists go beyond the headlines to draw connections between indigenous cultures, corporate globalization, and contemporary political and economic crises. Venues range from the op-ed pages of internationally renowned newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post to magazine articles and television interviews. Special sections entitled "Prelude to September 11" and "Anthropological Interpretations of September 11" include articles that provided many Americans with their first substantial introduction to the history of Islam, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Each article includes a brief introduction contextualizing the commentary.

An Anthropology of War: Views from the Frontline
Edited by Alisse Waterston
New York: Berghahn Books, 2009
As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, power, lethal force, and injustice continue to explode violently into war, and the prospects for lasting peace look even bleaker. The horrors of modern warfare - the death, dehumanization, and destruction of social and material infrastructures - have done little to bring an end to armed conflict. In this volume, leading chroniclers of war provide thoughtful and powerful essays that reflect on their ethnographic work at the frontlines. The contributors recount not only what they have seen and heard in war zones but also what is being read, studied, analyzed and remembered in such diverse locations as Colombia and Guatemala, Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti. In detailed reports from the field, they reflect on the important issue of “accountability” and offer explanations to discern causes, patterns, and practices of war. Through this unique lens, the contributors provide the insight and analysis needed for a deeper understanding of one of the greatest issues of our times.

The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle against U.S. Military Posts
Edited by Catherine Lutz
New York: New York University Press, 2009
A quarter of a million U.S. troops are massed in over seven hundred major official overseas airbases around the world. In the past decade, the Pentagon has formulated and enacted a plan to realign, or reconfigure, its bases in keeping with new doctrines of pre-emption and intensified concern with strategic resource control, all with seemingly little concern for the surrounding geography and its inhabitants. The contributors in The Bases of Empire trace the political, environmental, and economic impact of these bases on their surrounding communities across the globe, including Latin America, Europe, and Asia, where opposition to the United States’ presence has been longstanding and widespread, and is growing rapidly. Through sharp analysis and critique, The Bases of Empire illuminates the vigorous campaigns to hold the United States accountable for the damage its bases cause in allied countries as well as in war zones, and offers ways to reorient security policies in other, more humane, and truly secure directions.

Breaking Ranks: Iraq Veterans Speak Out Against the War
Edited by Matthew Gutmann and Catherine Lutz
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010
Breaking Ranks brings a new and deeply personal perspective to the war in Iraq by looking into the lives of six veterans who turned against the war they helped to fight. Based on extensive interviews with each of the six, the book relates why they enlisted, their experiences in training and in early missions, their tours of combat, and what has happened to them since returning home. The compelling stories of this diverse cross section of the military recount how each journey to Iraq began with the sincere desire to do good. Matthew Gutmann and Catherine Anne Lutz show how each individual's experiences led to new moral and political understandings and ultimately to opposing the war.

Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions
Edited by Didier Fassin and Mariella Pandolfi
Boston: Zone Books, 2010
From natural disaster areas to zones of conflict around the world, a new logic of intervention has emerged. This new post-Cold War international order combines military action and humanitarian aid, conflates moral imperatives and political arguments, and confuses the concepts of legitimacy and legality. The mandate to protect human lives, however and wherever endangered, has thus promoted a new form of military and humanitarian government that operates in a temporality of urgency, moving from one crisis to the next, applying the same battery of technical expertise — from army logistics to epidemiological management to the latest administrative tools for forging “good governance.” In the name of the right to intervene, this new strategy challenges national sovereignties and deploys economic powers. Not only does it take charge of people’s lives, it also reduces their histories and expectations to bare lives to be rescued. Drawing on the critical insights of anthropologists, legal scholars, political scientists, and practitioners from the field, Contemporary States of Emergency first examines the historical antecedents as well as the moral, juridical, ideological, and economic conditions that have made military and humanitarian interventions possible today. It then addresses the practical process of intervention in global situations on five continents, illustrating the diversity as well as the parallels between contemporary forms of military and humanitarian interventions. Finally, it investigates the ethical and political consequences of the generalization of states of emergency and the humanitarian government that they entail. The authors thus seek to understand a critical question that confronts the world today: How and why have military and humanitarian interventions transformed the international order such that what was once a logic of exception has now become the rule of contemporary global politics?

The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual; or, Notes on Demilitarizing American Society
By The Network of Concerned Anthropologists
Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2009
At a moment when the U.S. military decided it needed cultural expertise as much as smart bombs to prevail in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon’s Counterinsurgency Field Manual offered a blueprint for mobilizing anthropologists for war. The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual critiques that strategy and offers a blueprint for resistance. Written by the founders of the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, the Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual explores the ethical and intellectual conflicts of the Pentagon’s Human Terrain System; argues that there are flaws in the Counterinsurgency Field Manual (ranging from plagiarism to a misunderstanding of anthropology); probes the increasing militarization of academic knowledge since World War II; identifies the next frontiers for the Pentagon’s culture warriors; and suggests strategies for resisting the deformation and exploitation of anthropological knowledge by the military. This is compulsory reading for anyone concerned that the human sciences are losing their way in an age of empire.

Dangerous Liaisons: Anthropologists and the National Security State
Edited by Laura A. McNamara and Robert A. Rubinstein
Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 2011
Dangerous Liaisons is a book about intersections. It is a product of two year’s worth of discussion among a group of ethnographers from four different countries studying war, violence, the military, and the state. Throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century, anthropologists have watched with both interest and concern as government agencies—particularly those with military and intelligence functions—have sought their professional assistance in understanding terrorists’ motivations, stabilizing nascent wartime governments, and countering insurgencies.

The Dark Sahara: America's War on Terror in Africa
By Jeremy Keenan
London: Pluto Press, 2009
The U.S. is keen to build a substantial military presence in Africa, citing the need to combat the growth of Al-Qaeda in Somalia, Algeria and other countries on the continent. This book reveals the secret U.S. agenda behind the 'war on terror' in Africa and the shocking methods used to perpetuate the myth that the region is a hot-bed of Islamic terrorism. Africa expert Jeremy Keenan points to overwhelming evidence suggesting that, from 2003, the Bush administration and Algerian government were responsible for hostage takings blamed on Islamic militants. This created a permissive public attitude, allowing the U.S. to establish military bases in the region and pursue multiple imperial objectives in the name of security. The shocking revelations in this book, seriously undermine the mainstream view of Africa as a legitimate 'second front' in the 'war on terror.'

The Dying Sahara: US Imperialism and Terror in Africa
By Jeremy Keenan
London: Pluto Press, forthcoming 2010-2011
In The Dark Sahara (Pluto Press, 2009), Jeremy Keenan exposed the collusion between the US and Algeria in fabricating 'false flag' terrorism to justify the launch of a new 'Saharan front' in Washington's War on Terror. In this new book, he reveals how the Pentagon's designation of the region as a 'Terror Zone' has destroyed the lives and livelihoods of thousands of innocent people. Beginning in 2004, with what local people called the US 'invasion' of the Sahel, The Dying Sahara shows how repressive, authoritarian regimes, cashing in on US terrorism 'rents', provoked Tuareg rebellions in both Niger and Mali. Multinationals expropriated Tuareg lands for uranium and puppeteers in Washington and Algiers pulled the strings of a new, narco-trafficking Al Qaeda.Keenan's chillingly detailed research shows that the US and its new combatant African command (AFRICOM), far from bringing security, peace and development, have created a self-fulfilling prophecy of terror and instability in a region the size of western Europe.

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: Islam, the USA, and the Global War Against Terror
By Mahmood Mamdani
New York: Pantheon, 2005
In this brilliant look at the rise of political Islam, the distinguished political scientist and anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani brings his expertise and insight to bear on a question many Americans have been asking since 9/11: how did this happen? Good Muslim, Bad Muslim is a provocative and important book that will profoundly change our understanding both of Islamist politics and the way America is perceived in the world today.

Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century
By Catherine A. Lutz
Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2001
A look at Fayetteville, North Carolina, home to Fort Bragg, that poses the question,'Are we all military dependents?' Fayetteville has earned the nicknames of Fatalville and Fayettenam. Unusual and not-sounusual features of the town include gross income inequalities, an extraordinarily high incidence of venereal disease, miles and miles of strip malls, and a history of racial violence. Through interviews with residents and historical research, Catherine Lutz immerses herself in the life of the town to discover how it has supported the military for over a century. From secret training operations that use civilians as mock enemies and allies to the satellite economy of the town, Lutz's history of Fayetteville reveals the burdens that military preparedness creates for all of us.

Imperial Formations
Edited by Ann Laura Stoler, Carole McGranahan, Peter C. Perdue
Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2007
The contributors to this volume critique and abandon the limiting assumption that the European colonialism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries can be taken as the representative form of imperialism. Recasting the study of imperial governance, forms of sovereignty, and the imperial state, the authors pay close attention to non-European empires and the active trade in ideas, practices, and technologies among empires, as well as between metropolitan regions and far-flung colonies. The Ottoman, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese empires provide provocative case studies that challenge the temporal and conceptual framework within which colonial studies usually operates. Was the Soviet Union an empire or a nation-state? What of Tibet, only recently colonized but long engaged with several imperial powers? Imperial Formations alters our understanding of past empires the better to understand the way that complex history shapes the politics of the present imperial juncture.

The Insecure American: How We Got Here and What We Should Do About It
Edited by Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009
Americans are feeling insecure. They are retreating to gated communities in record numbers, fearing for their jobs and their 401(k)s, nervous about their health insurance and their debt levels, worrying about terrorist attacks and immigrants. In this innovative volume, editors Hugh Gusterson and Catherine Besteman gather essays from nineteen leading ethnographers to create a unique portrait of an anxious country and to furnish valuable insights into the nation's possible future. With an incisive foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, the contributors draw on their deep knowledge of different facets of American life to map the impact of the new economy, the "war on terror," the "war on drugs," racial resentments, a fraying safety net, undocumented immigration, a health care system in crisis, and much more. In laying out a range of views on the forces that unsettle us, The Insecure American demonstrates the singular power of an anthropological perspective for grasping the impact of corporate profit on democratic life, charting the links between policy and vulnerability, and envisioning alternatives to life as an insecure American.

Iraq at a Distance: What Anthropologists Can Teach Us About the War
Edited by Antonius C.G.M. Robben
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010
The Iraq War has cost innumerable lives, caused vast material destruction, and inflicted suffering on millions of people. Iraq at a Distance: What Anthropology Can Teach Us About the War focuses on the plight of the Iraqi people, caught since 2003 in the carnage between U.S. and British troops on one side and, on the other, Iraqi insurgents, militias, and foreign al Qaeda operatives. The volume is a bold attempt by six distinguished anthropologists to study a war zone too dangerous for fieldwork. They break new ground by using their ethnographic imagination as a research tool to analyze the Iraq War through insightful comparisons with previous and current armed conflicts in Cambodia, Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and Argentina. This innovative approach extends the book's relevance beyond a critical understanding of the devastating war in Iraq. More and more parts of the world of long-standing ethnographic interest are becoming off-limits to researchers because of the war on terror. This book serves as a model for the study of other inaccessible regions, and it shows that the impossibility of conducting ethnographic fieldwork does not condemn anthropologists to silence. Essays analyze the good-versus-evil framework of the war on terror, the deterioration of women's rights in Iraq under fundamentalist coercion, the ethnic-religious partitioning of Baghdad through the building of security walls, the excessive use of force against Iraqi civilians by U.S. counterinsurgency units, and the loss of popular support for U.S. and British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan after the brutal regimes of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein had been toppled.

Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia
By David Vine
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF]
The American military base on the island of Diego Garcia is one of the most strategically important and secretive U.S. military installations outside the United States. Located near the remote center of the Indian Ocean and accessible only by military transport, the base was a little-known launch pad for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and may house a top-secret CIA prison where terror suspects are interrogated and tortured. But Diego Garcia harbors another dirty secret, one that has been kept from most of the world--until now. Island of Shame is the first major book to reveal the shocking truth of how the United States conspired with Britain to forcibly expel Diego Garcia's indigenous people--the Chagossians--and deport them to slums in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where most live in dire poverty to this day. Drawing on interviews with Washington insiders, military strategists, and exiled islanders, as well as hundreds of declassified documents, David Vine exposes the secret history of Diego Garcia. He chronicles the Chagossians' dramatic, unfolding story as they struggle to survive in exile and fight to return to their homeland. Tracing U.S. foreign policy from the Cold War to the war on terror, Vine shows how the United States has forged a new and pervasive kind of empire that is quietly dominating the planet with hundreds of overseas military bases. Island of Shame is an unforgettable exposé of the human costs of empire and a must-read for anyone concerned about U.S. foreign policy and its consequences.The author will donate all royalties from the sale of this book to the Chagossians.

The New Imperialism, Volume I: Militarism, Humanism, and Occupation
Edited by Maximilian C. Forte
Montreal, QC: Alert Press, 2010.
Describing and theorizing “the new imperialism” in international relations, this volume presents anthropological and sociological viewpoints on the topics of militarism and militarization; humanitarian interventionism; the responsibility to protect; Canada’s role in the occupation of Afghanistan, and the establishment of what is effectively a protectorate in Haiti; the role of NGOs in the formation and management of a new global imperium; and, soft power. Specific case studies are also devoted to the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System; the U.S. Army’s Africa Command (AFRICOM); torture and international law; Coca Cola in Colombia; the NATO war in Kosovo; cultural militarization and “militainment;” and, the rising militarism in Canadian public discourse.The geographic scope of the volume includes Algeria, Afghanistan, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iran, Kosovo, Kuwait, and the United States.

The New Imperialism, Volume II: Interventionism, Information Warfare, and the Military-Academic Complex
Edited by Maximilian C. Forte
Montreal, QC: Alert Press, 2011.
This volume focuses on humanitarian interventionism, invasion, occupation, information warfare, propaganda operations, and the military-academic complex. The case studies range from Canadian universities, to WikiLeaks, Iraq, Iran, and Libya. We examine topics such as the role of myth in justifying NATO's war against Libya; the attack on civilian infrastructure in Iraq; WikiLeaks and what it tells us about torture in Iraq; relations between the U.S. and Iran, and the role of propaganda; the depth of militarization of university research in Canada; the successes of WikiLeaks in making an impact on world affairs; and the (im)possibility of "humanitarian intervention" under imperialist conditions. Contributors include Laura Beach, Sabrina Guerrieri, Jessica Cobran, Natalie Jansezia, Corey Seaton, MacLean Hawley, and the volume editor, Maximilian Forte. The volume emerged from the second seminar in the New Imperialism series at Concordia University.

On Suicide Bombing
By Talal Asad
New York: Columbia University Press, 2007
Like many people in America and around the world, Talal Asad experienced the events of September 11, 2001, largely through the media and the emotional response of others. For many non-Muslims, "the suicide bomber" quickly became the icon of "an Islamic culture of death"—a conceptual leap that struck Asad as problematic. Is there a "religiously-motivated terrorism?" If so, how does it differ from other cruelties? What makes its motivation "religious"? Where does it stand in relation to other forms of collective violence? Drawing on his extensive scholarship in the study of secular and religious traditions as well as his understanding of social, political, and anthropological theory and research, Asad questions Western assumptions regarding death and killing. He scrutinizes the idea of a "clash of civilizations," the claim that "Islamic jihadism" is the essence of modern terror, and the arguments put forward by liberals to justify war in our time. He critically engages with a range of explanations of suicide terrorism, exploring many writers' preoccupation with the motives of perpetrators. In conclusion, Asad examines our emotional response to suicide (including suicide terrorism) and the horror it invokes. On Suicide Bombing is an original and provocative analysis critiquing the work of intellectuals from both the left and the right. Though fighting evil is an old concept, it has found new and disturbing expressions in our contemporary "war on terror." For Asad, it is critical that we remain aware of the forces shaping the discourse surrounding this mode of violence, and by questioning our assumptions about morally good and morally evil ways of killing, he illuminates the fragile contradictions that are a part of our modern subjectivity.

People of the Bomb: Portraits of America’s Nuclear Complex
By Hugh Gusterson
Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2004
We have had the bomb on our minds since 1945. It was first our weaponry and then our diplomacy, and now it’s our economy. How can we suppose that something so monstrously powerful would not, after forty years, compose our identity? —E. L. Doctorow. This book tells the story of how—like it or not, know it or not—we have become “the people of the bomb.” Integrating fifteen years of field research at weapons laboratories across the United States with discussion of popular movies, political speeches, media coverage of war, and the arcane literature of defense intellectuals, Hugh Gusterson shows how the military-industrial complex has built consent for its programs and, in the process, taken the public “nuclear.” People of the Bomb mixes empathic and vivid portraits of individual weapons scientists with hard-hitting scrutiny of defense intellectuals’ inability to foresee the end of the cold war, government rhetoric on missile defense, official double standards about nuclear proliferation, and pork barrel politics in the nuclear weapons complex. Overall, the book assembles a disturbing picture of the ways in which the military-industrial complex has transformed our public culture and personal psychology in the half century since we entered the nuclear age.

Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror
By Mahmood Mamdani
New York: Pantheon, 2009
From the author of Good Muslim, Bad Muslim comes an important book, unlike any other, that looks at the crisis in Darfur within the context of the history of Sudan and examines the world’s response to that crisis. In Saviors and Survivors, Mahmood Mamdani explains how the conflict in Darfur began as a civil war (1987—89) between nomadic and peasant tribes over fertile land in the south, triggered by a severe drought that had expanded the Sahara Desert by more than sixty miles in forty years; how British colonial officials had artificially tribalized Darfur, dividing its population into “native” and “settler” tribes and creating homelands for the former at the expense of the latter; how the war intensified in the 1990s when the Sudanese government tried unsuccessfully to address the problem by creating homelands for tribes without any. The involvement of opposition parties gave rise in 2003 to two rebel movements, leading to a brutal insurgency and a horrific counterinsurgency–but not to genocide, as the West has declared. Mamdani also explains how the Cold War exacerbated the twenty-year civil war in neighboring Chad, creating a confrontation between Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi (with Soviet support) and the Reagan administration (allied with France and Israel) that spilled over into Darfur and militarized the fighting. By 2003, the war involved national, regional, and global forces, including the powerful Western lobby, who now saw it as part of the War on Terror and called for a military invasion dressed up as “humanitarian intervention.” Incisive and authoritative, Saviors and Survivors will radically alter our understanding of the crisis in Darfur.

State, Sovereignty, War: Civil Violence in Emerging Global Realities
Edited by Bruce Kapferer
Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2004
The very institution of the state is widely conceived of as inseparable from war. If it constitutes peace within the borders or order of its sovereignty, this very peace may be the condition for its potential for war with those other states and social formation outside it. This volume represents different analytical standpoints and positions within global processes, inviting further discussion on contemporary realities and the development of new formations of war and violence.

Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists
By David H. Price
Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004
A vital reminder of the importance of academic freedom, Threatening Anthropology offers a meticulously detailed account of how U.S. Cold War surveillance damaged the field of anthropology. David H. Price reveals how dozens of activist anthropologists were publicly and privately persecuted during the Red Scares of the 1940s and 1950s. He shows that it was not Communist Party membership or Marxist beliefs that attracted the most intense scrutiny from the fbi and congressional committees but rather social activism, particularly for racial justice. Demonstrating that the FBI's focus on anthropologists lessened as activist work and Marxist analysis in the field tapered off, Price argues that the impact of McCarthyism on anthropology extended far beyond the lives of those who lost their jobs. Its messages of fear and censorship had a pervasive chilling effect on anthropological investigation. As critiques that might attract government attention were abandoned, scholarship was curtailed. Price draws on extensive archival research including correspondence, oral histories, published sources, court hearings, and more than 30,000 pages of FBI and government memorandums released to him under the Freedom of Information Act. He describes government monitoring of activism and leftist thought on college campuses, the surveillance of specific anthropologists, and the disturbing failure of the academic community—including the American Anthropological Association—to challenge the witch hunts. Today the “war on terror” is invoked to license the government’s renewed monitoring of academic work, and it is increasingly difficult for researchers to access government documents, as Price reveals in the appendix describing his wrangling with Freedom of Information Act requests. A disquieting chronicle of censorship and its consequences in the past, Threatening Anthropology is an impassioned cautionary tale for the present.

The World Trade Center and Global Crisis: Critical Perspectives
Edited by Bruce Kapferer
Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2004
Numerous humanly caused destructions of just the last hundred years dwarf the World Trade Center disaster, and the attention still addressed to it may over the next few years appear disproportionate. But the significance of events is always determined by the social, political, and cultural forces that are articulated through a particular event. The attack of 9/11 was an event waiting to happen, and when it did occur the even itself became a catalyst and impetus for the changing and redirection of global realities. This volume offers provocative assessments of the reaction to the event from a variety of perspectives that will no doubt stimulate the debate on the meaning and consequences of 9/11.

Weaponizing Anthropology
By David H. Price
Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2011
In the years since September 11, 2001, David Price has been at the forefront of public debates over the ethical and political issues raised by using anthropology for America's terror wars. Weaponizing Anthropology details the rapid militarization of anthropology and incursions by the CIA and other intelligence agencies onto American university campuses. Price combines his expert knowledge of the history of anthropologists' collaborations with military and intelligence agencies with an activist stance opposing current efforts to weaponize anthropology in global counterinsurgency campaigns. With the rapid growth of American military operations relying on cultural knowledge as a strategic tool for conquest and control, disciplinary loyalties aligning anthropologists with the peoples they study are strained in new ways as military sponsors seek to transform research subjects into targets and collaborators. Weaponizing Anthropology political and ethical critiques of a new generation of counterinsurgency programs like Human Terrain Systems, and a broad range of new academic funding programs like the Minerva Consortium, the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program, and the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence, that now bring the CIA and Pentagon onto university campuses. Weaponizing Anthropology a concise and profound critique of the rapid transformation of American social science into an appendage of the National Security State.

Why America’s Top Pundits Are Wrong: Anthropologists Talk Back
Edited by Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005
In this fresh, literate, and biting critique of current thinking on some of today's most important and controversial topics, leading anthropologists take on some of America's top pundits. This absorbing collection of essays subjects such popular commentators as Thomas Friedman, Samuel Huntington, Robert Kaplan, and Dinesh D'Souza to cold, hard scrutiny and finds that their writing is often misleadingly simplistic, culturally ill-informed, and politically dangerous. Mixing critical reflection with insights from their own fieldwork, twelve distinguished anthropologists respond by offering fresh perspectives on globalization, ethnic violence, social justice, and the biological roots of behavior. They take on such topics as the collapse of Yugoslavia, the consumer practices of the American poor, American foreign policy in the Balkans, and contemporary debates over race, welfare, and violence against women. In the clear, vigorous prose of the pundits themselves, these contributors reveal the hollowness of what often passes as prevailing wisdom and passionately demonstrate the need for a humanistically complex and democratic understanding of the contemporary world.
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