Monthly Archives: August 2007

Review: United States Army, Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq

August 7, 2007
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Review: United States Army, Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq

An interesting piece on the United States Army’s recently re-released Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq during World War II appeared last Tuesday in the “No Comment” section of Harper’s magazine. Pointing out the urgent relevancy of this small handbook more than sixty years after it was originally issued to American servicemen during WWII Harper’s contributor Scott Horton writes: Those despairing of American policymakers’ mistakes in Iraq (of which there are now so many it’s hard to keep count) may find some solace in this amazing little booklet just out from the University of Chicago Press. It’s 44 pages long, just enough for a commuter’s bus or train ride home, but it’s a treasure chest of information. And the bottom line for the piece couldn’t be clearer: we didn’t used to be so stupid.… Offering such practical advice as “American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis like American soldiers or not,” and “manners are important” this new edition of Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq should indeed be essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of Iraq and the fate of the American soldiers serving there. Update: The Chicago Tribune also released . . .

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The South Side as Sociological Specimen

August 6, 2007
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The South Side as Sociological Specimen

In a recent article for the Chicago Tribune staff reporter Ron Grossman delivers a fascinating account of the long legacy of sociological study that has used Chicago’s South Side as its laboratory. Grossman begins his article by mentioning one of the latest additions to this legacy, Mary Pattillo’s Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City. Her book, like those of the many other sociologists who have chosen to study the South Side’s unique black urban communities, focuses on the sharp divides in race, class, and culture that can be found in the area’s neighborhoods. But it also explores a growing phenomena in Chicago’s South Side communities, the black urban middle class. Examining the social impact of the gentrification of neighborhoods that have for years been home to some of the city’s poorest residents, Pattillo’s book continues to break new ground in one of the most often studied urban neighborhoods in America. You can read Grossman’s article online at the Tribune website, or navigate to the press’s site to find out more about Pattillo’s fascinating new book, as well as read an excerpt. . . .

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