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Samuel Clemens was born in 1835 in Missouri. He spent his childhood by the Mississippi River in Hannibal, Missouri. He was a printer’s apprentice, then was a journeyman printer, then earned a pilot’s license on the Mississippi River. He went west to Nevada, avoiding the Civil War, then became a newspaper writer. In February 1863, he signed an article with the pen name “Mark Twain,” beginning the creation of his alter ego. His 1867 trip to Europe and the Holy Land led to his travel book The Innocents Abroad. Upon his return to America, he met Olivia Langdon in Elmira, New York, and they married in 1870. A son, Langdon, died in infancy, but Sam and Livy had three daughters: Susie, Clara, and Jean. Most summers were spent in Elmira, where Twain composed many of his most famous works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He turned his attention to business adventures, including starting his own publishing company, but also a series of investments, most of which ended in failure. In his last decade, he increasingly spoke out about politics. He died in 1910, his popularity assured by his works and his public persona.
Chapter 1 follows the movement of voluntary migrants from the Russian Empire to Canada to Paraguay between 1870 and 1926. It shows that members of this cohort underwent a contentious process of integrating state citizenship and Mennonite unity into their collective narratives or rejecting it in favor of local narratives that prized religious separation. The chapter makes three contentions: First, it shows that Canadian officials transitioned from identifying Mennonites as enterprising and valuable German-speaking settlers in the 1870s – when they were promoting a narrative of Canadian national expansion – to identifying them as insular and subversive German-speaking dissidents in the 1920s – when they were promoting a narrative of Canadian national cohesion. Second, it demonstrates how Canada’s Mennonites developed contrasting narratives about Canadian citizenship. Associative Mennonites believed that God willed them to carve out a place within Canada’s national narrative. Separatists believed that God willed Mennonites to accept perpetual migration as a necessary burden of faith. Third, it contends that separatist Mennonites harnessed modern transnational technologies – such as transportation, communication, and financial systems – to secure the transchronological goal of living as early-modern subjects. In other words, separatist Mennonites used the tools of nationalism and modernity in an attempt to flee from them.
Chapter 3 examines the colonies’ evolving group narratives through three lenses: their interpretations of the Gran Chaco, their actions during the Chaco War (1932–35), and their interactions with indigenous peoples after the war. The Menno colonists arrived in the Chaco with a stable and coherent group narrative. They drew on biblical stories with comic plot progressions to interpret their situation. A comedic plot takes the narrative shape of a U, wherein a period of hardship is followed by a happy resolution. They believed the toils of resettlement were essential tests of their faithfulness to scripture. By contrast, the Fernheim Colony was formed out of a group of disparate refugees and arrived with a tragic understanding of their group narrative. This type of story takes the shape of an inverted U, which rises to a point of crisis before plunging to catastrophe. Fernheim colonists therefore debated how they would give their tragic narrative a happy resolution – whether independently, collectively, or with the aid of outsiders (the Paraguayan government, indigenous people, or Mennonites abroad). This chapter argues that each colony’s collective narrative – as faithful nomads and as displaced victims – led them to make profoundly different choices and kept them separated throughout the 1930s.
Critics have long debated the origins and influences on what might be called the McCarthian universe of violence. This chapter argues for a rethinking of the place of American literary naturalism – particularly the works of Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Jack London, and Theodore Dreiser – as a key influence on McCarthy’s understanding of the omnipresence and inescapability of violence in human existence. Reading both McCarthy’s and the literary naturalists’ connections to the pessimistic philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer and the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin in the mid-nineteenth century, the chapter marks striking similarities between the judge’s philosophy in Blood Meridian of “before man was, war waited for him” and the naturalist philosophy (as perhaps most purely articulated in Dreiser’s The Financier) that “life was war.” Both McCarthy and the naturalists, then, display an acceptance of a world and universe in which morality and justice no longer held any sway, violence, degradation, corruption, and indifference are the only constants, and human beings are little more than flickering, momentary flashes, either subject to or reveling in these violent characteristics.
Chapter 6 shows how the Fernheim Colony’s collective narrative reached a point of crisis in 1944 as colonists transitioned from thinking that they should remain in Paraguay, as per the wishes of the MCC, to thinking that they should relocate to Nazi–controlled Eastern Europe. The latter, of course, was not to happen. Yet the stress, rupture, and violence caused by the quick reversal of the colony’s collective narrative – from an anticipated comic outcome to a tragic one – was quickly forgotten as Fernheimers devised a new narrative of continuity after the war. Aiding the creation of a new, centripetal Fernheim narrative, the MCC redoubled its efforts to draw the colonists into its narrative of global Mennonite unity. It dispatched volunteers to improve the colony’s healthcare and infrastructure and monitor colonists – attitudes about Nazism on behalf of the US government, which the MCC fully cooperated with during the war years. Meanwhile, the Menno Colony carried on as it had before the war. It remained free of ideological strife and had zero interest in relocating to Europe. Combined with Chapter 5, Chapter 6 indicates that Latin America ’ German–speaking communities exhibited a wide range of attitudes toward the Nazi state, from political indifference to overwrought anticipation.
Especially in his later years, Twain became an outspoken critic of American nationalism and American and European colonialism. The Spanish-American War and atrocities in the Philippines led him to begin making public comments about imperialism. He was a member of the leading anti-imperialism society, and polemics like King Leopold’s Soliloquy were widely distributed and read. Twain’s increasingly bitter and satiric comments about imperialism lost him some readers but gained him the respect of many around the world.
This chapter traces the expansion of Baltimore’s sex trade during the Civil War and the reactions of civilian and military authorities to its growth. Baltimore was an occupied city and staging ground for Union troops for much of the war, and the presence of thousands of soldiers in and around the city swelled the demand for commercial sex. As the economic hardships that accompanied war drove more women into sex work, Baltimore’s prostitution trade expanded far beyond its antebellum scale. Prostitution drew the attention of military and civil authorities, who were fearful of the potential the brothels had to undermine military discipline, civilian relations, and the health of soldiers. Baltimore’s brothel keepers managed to keep Union officials at bay by cooperating with their efforts to round up errant troops and providing valuable intelligence gathered from their clients, and many managed to make small fortunes by catering to soldiers. However, the attention the war brought to the violence, disorderliness, and disease-spreading potential of the sex trade would have profound long-term consequences for Baltimore’s sex workers and their enterprises.
In a verse reflecting the (colonial) attitudes of his time, Kipling once wrote, ‘Oh, East is East, and West is West; and never the twain shall meet’.Although written in 1889, the underlying sentiment might equally describe the bipolar geopolitics prevalent at the height of the Cold War. Indeed, by the time of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 to suppress intended liberal reforms, to many, the ideological chasm between the Eastern and Western blocs appeared insurmountable. Notwithstanding these divisions, key political leaders (particularly in Europe, the United States and the Soviet Union) sought strategies to promote greater stability and predictability in international affairs. To this end, they pursued more cooperative East–West relations, recognising that collaboration on environmental issues might help to defuse Cold War tensions. The apparently non-political nature, and seeming objectivity, of environmental issues contributed to their becoming, by 1975, a central pillar of détente between the East and the West.
In his 1995 treatise Fairness in International Law and Institutions, Thomas Franck described what he called the ‘reality-altering’ potential of the UN Charter’s system of collective security in these words.
On 1 May 1990, during the 18th Special Session on international economic cooperation, the General Assembly passed a resolution supporting a ‘Declaration on International Economic Co-operation, in Particular the Revitalization of Economic Growth in Development of the Developing Countries’. The overarching framework of the Declaration is the ‘strong commitment to a global consensus to promote urgently international economic co-operation for sustained growth of the world economy’ and the revitalisation of economic growth in developing countries after the 1980s, ‘a decade lost to development’. The Declaration was the product of a ‘long and arduous negotiations’ and ‘protracted … discussions’ which, after its adoption, was celebrated as a ‘pioneering landmark in the annals of international economic co-operation’. In retrospect though, it has been all but forgotten.
This chapter is concerned with tracing the history of the drafting of the 1976 Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD). In seeking to understand how and why ENMOD came about, the chapter locates its emergence in the extant superpower rivalry between the USSR and USA around the time of the war in Indochina. Its provisions, it is argued, reflect the complex roles of those powers within the Cold War – as scientific innovators, military superpowers, ideological adversaries and hesitant bilateralists – and survives as a quintessential juridical exemplar of Cold War thought and practice.
This chapter is concerned with exploring the mutually constitutive character of the international law of nuclear weapons, and the Cold War and post–Cold War environs in which that law was to be developed. In one direction it is argued that a consensual treaty-based system of law-making prevailed during the Cold War, which shifted to a system of Security Council legislation in the post-Cold War era, and that this reflected a parallel shift from a multipolar to a unipolar geopolitics. In another direction, however, it is also argued that the international law of nuclear weaponry also contributed to the production of its own political environs by both legitimating the possession of nuclear weaponry and controlling its spread.
This essay analyzes the way that Edith Wharton’s writing frames the ethical and ontological relationship between human and nonhuman animals. Disputing a philosophical tradition that defines the difference between humans and animals on the basis of a capacity for language, Wharton – a committed animal lover – ambivalently suggests a less stark species boundary. The “humanimality” rendered in her work depicts human characters who are rendered animal through pain, through extreme experience, and through speechlessness. These representations are most manifest in Wharton’s wartime texts, Summer, Ethan Frome, and Fighting France. Wharton proposes that the appropriate posture toward both human and nonhuman animals is a pity based on the recognition of shared vulnerability to suffering. Yet her writing also frequently frames human–animal boundary-crossing as a mode of gothic excess, suggesting a pervasive anxiety about the very humanimaity that forms the basis of her compassionate ethics.
This chapter argues that the case for just redistributive wars is ambiguous. It looks through the standard sufficient conditions for just war theory: there is reason to believe that the severity of global poverty is sufficient to be a just cause for war given its comparison with crimes against humanity and interpreting the definition of aggression; the question of legitimate authority is murkier, there is an acceptance that unjust state have the right to self-defence against aggressors, but the likelihood of unjust states waging a war in this context seems unrealistic; the question of last resort is difficult to assess but there is at least a case to make that in the face of intransigent non-compliance all reasonable choices are exhausted; reasonable probability of success is difficult to assess because reasonability is contingent and there are numerous examples of intuitively just wars being fought with long odds; finally, proportionality seems hard to discount even if the burdens are high, because the status quo is so onerous. The case for just war seems vaguely plausible, until it collides with reality where the asymmetry of power between affluent and poor states makes defeat inevitable for the latter.
I argue that the (often idiosyncratic) interventions of Pakistan’s diplomats and international lawyers in Kashmir, Jammu and Pashtunistan, as well as in Bandung and Havana, form a distinct legal and political trajectory, which is at odds with the arbitrary, yet ubiquitous, conceptual delineations between ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ wars. Far from being peripheral to global Cold War developments, Pakistan’s internal and international relations and troubles provide a rich source of strategies and ideas about the state, law and society in the Third World. They are, however, also a testament to the centrality of class struggle in a post-colony – a struggle, exemplified in the events of 1951, that no lawfare could bring to an end.
Since 1945, the United States has played a significant role in the development and promotion of international human rights law while simultaneously distancing itself from the instruments and institutions that implement this body of law. The US often claims that it does not need to bind itself to international human rights treaties because its legal system is superior to that of other nations and provides its population more protection than international law – an attitude known as ‘American exceptionalism’. Out of the nine core human rights treaties negotiated in the last several decades under the auspices of the United Nations, the United States is a party to only three: the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (‘CERD’); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘ICCPR’); and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (‘CAT’).
In the early years of the Cold War, important debates took place on the nature and scope of both slavery and forced labour. The adoption of the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery in 1956 and the vote on the Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labour in 1957 were preceded by long and heated discussions within key international bodies such as the United Nations Social and Economic Council (‘ECOSOC’) and the International Labour Organization (‘ILO’). Yet, conventional legal histories tend to minimise these debates on the ground that they relate to the ‘political context’ of the Cold War. What is more, they tend to present the adoption of the two conventions as building blocks of the abolitionary project pursued by modern international law. My aim in this chapter is to destabilise such linear narratives. Focusing on the issue of forced labour, I will make five points.
In 1963, the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities published a study that found that more people were ‘effectively confined behind their national boundaries today than in previous periods of history’.The study, written by Filipino Judge José D. Inglés in his capacity as Special Rapporteur, represented the first attempt within UN institutions to examine the emerging right under international law of individuals to leave any country including their own, and to systematically document how various states were recognising – or failing to recognise – this right in their domestic laws and regulations.