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Transnational South America: 

Experiences, Ideas, and Identities, 1860s-1900s


Ori Preuss


New York : Routledge, 2016.


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At the crossroad of intellectual, diplomatic, and cultural history, this book examines the growing transnational fows of people, information, and ideas between South American cities—mainly the port-capitals of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro—during the period of their modernization. The book reconstructs this largely overlooked trend toward connectedness both as an objective process and as an assemblage of visions and policies concen-trating on diverse transnational practices such as translation, travel, public visits and conferences, the print press, cultural diplomacy, intertextuality, and institutional and personal contacts. Inspired by the entangled history approach and the spatial turn in the humanities, the book highlights the importance of cross-border exchanges within the South American conti-nent. It thus offers a correction to two major traditions in the historiog-raphy of ideas and identities in modern Latin America: the predominance of the nation-state as the main unit of analysis, and the concentration on relationships with Europe and the United States as the main axis of cultural exchange. Modernization, it is argued, brought segments of South Amer-ica’s capital cities not only close to Paris, London, and New York, as is commonly claimed, but also to one another both physically and mentally, creating and recreating spaces, ways of thinking, and cultural-political proj-ects at the national and regional levels.

Spanish–Israeli Relations, 1956–1992:
Ghosts of the Past and Contemporary Challenges in the Middle East


Guy Setton


Brighton ; Chicago : Sussex Academic Press, 2016.​

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Despite a common heritage dating back centuries and mutual national interests, such as their joint fear of Soviet influence across the Mediterranean, it took 38 years after the establishment of the State of Israel (1948) and a decade after Franco’s death (1975) for relations to be established between Jerusalem and Madrid (1986). The absence of ties between both countries prior to 1986 was an anomaly that requires explanation. There was no apparent reason why both countries should not have established full diplomatic ties prior. Indeed, during the first years of Israeli statehood until 1952, Spain sought unsuccessfully to establish official ties with Israel as a means to overcome international isolation. But adhering to a moral foreign policy standard, Israel refused formal ties with the former Axis supporter. By 1953, however, Israel began adopting a more pragmatic view.

Five centuries after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain bilateral ties were formalized after Spain’s successful transition from Franco’s dictatorship to democracy and Madrid’s ascension to the EEC in 1986. Once in the Community, Madrid had to align its foreign policy with Brussels which necessitated diplomatic relations with Israel. Without this systematic pressure on Madrid, the anomaly of Israeli–Spanish relations would have likely continued. Post 1986 the ties between the two countries were overshadowed by strong international political forces – the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Israeli–Palestinian struggle – which delayed bilateral progress. Explaining the impact of these forces is key to understanding the relationship. Although many positive milestones have been reached there are substantive issues of concern for both sides, and a feeling that much work remains if the relationship, and indeed friendship, is to become worthy and rewarding. 


Mazal tov, amigos! : Jews and popular music in the Americas


Amalia Ran and Moshe Morad (Eds.)


Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2016.

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Mazal Tov, Amigos! Jews and Popular Music in the Americas seeks to explore the sphere of Jews and Jewishness in the popular music arena in the Americas. It offers a wide-ranging review of new and old trends from an interdisciplinary standpoint, including history, musicology, ethnomusicology, ethnic studies, cultural studies, and even Queer studies. The contribution of Jews to the development of the music industry in the United States, Argentina, or Brazil cannot be measured on a single scale. Hence, these essays seek to explore the sphere of Jews and popular music in the Americas and their multiple significances, celebrating the contribution of Jewish musicians and Jewishness to the development of new musical genres and ideas.

Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Contributors
Introduction, Amalia Ran & Moshe Morad
1. Is "White Christmas" a Piece of Jewish Music?, Ellen Koskoff
2. The Musical Worlds of Jewish Buenos Aires, 1910-1940, Pablo Palomino
3. Tristes Alegrías: The Jewish Presence in Argentina’s Popular Music Arena, Amalia Ran
4. Jacob de Bandolim: A Jewish(-)Brazilian Composer, Thomas George Caracas García
5. Walls of Sound: Lieber and Stoller, Phil Spector, the Black-Jewish Alliance, and the “Enlarging” of America, Ari Katorza
6. Singing from Difference: Jewish Singers-Songwriters in the 1960s and 1970s, Jon Stratton
7. ¡Toca maravilloso! Larry Harlow and the Jewish Connection to Latin Music, Benjamin Lapidus
8. Roberto Juan Rodriguez’ “Timba Talmud”: Diasporic Cuban-Jewish Musical Convergences in New York, Nili Belkind
9. Yiddish Song in Twenty-First Century America: Paths to Creativity, Abigail Wood
10. Fight for Your Right to Partycipate: Jewish American Rappers, Uri Dorchin
11. Gypsy, Cumbia, Cuarteto, Surf, Blah Blah Blah: DJ Simja Dujov and Jewish Musical Eclecticism in Argentina, Lilian M. Wohl
12. Queer Jewish Divas: Jewishness and Queerness in the Life and Performance of Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, and Olga Guillot, Moshe Morad
13. Third Diaspora Soundscapes: Music of the Jews of Islam in the Americas, Edwin Seroussi
Closing Notes: The Soundstage of Jewish Life, North and South, Judah M. Cohen


Argentinian Telenovelas: Southern Sagas Rewrite Social and Political Reality


Gabriela Jonas Aharoni


Brighton ; Chicago : Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

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This work explores the way in which telenovelas (TV serial dramas) give voice to contemporary and historical Argentinian social and political issues. Telenovelas have multiple layers of socio-cultural message – local as well as global – and are invariably laden with appealing drama and emotion, and sometimes comedy. The discussion focuses on how telenovelas reflect society’s perception of, and adjustment toward, issues of globalization. They are a means of portraying how individuals and families rationalize and incorporate rapid social and economic changes. The book explores how telenovelas might offer a subversive interpretation of reality; or provide a channel of dialogue with the government’s political aims. The author challenges the assumption that they are merely a reflection of historical, political and social circumstance.

One of the many telenovela examples addressed in this book is whether the serial Padre Coraje constructs a parallel between the current Kirchner government and that of Juan Perón, fifty years earlier. The serial explores the two leaders’ relationship with the Church and implicitly presents President Kirchner as Peron’s successor. 

Explaining telenovelas as cultural texts (they are not soap operas) provides the primary basis for this study, backed by Argentinian newspaper articles and secondary sources on Latin American history, culture and economy, as well as TV and cinema studies. The result is a more profound and nuanced interpretation than hitherto of Argentinian telenovelas. Analysis enables identification of the links between the serials’ storylines and contemporary political and social events. These popular culture texts bring new meaning to the Argentinian historical narrative, and for TV viewers puts the processes and effects of economic and social globalization on a local multi-cultural level perspective.


Revolutionary ideology and political destiny in Mexico, 1928-1934 :

Lázaro Cárdenas and Adalberto Tejeda.


Eitan Ginzberg


Brighton ; Chicago : Sussex Academic Press, 2015.


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Lázaro Cárdenas and Adalberto Tejeda, veterans of the Revolution and prominent governors of Michoacán and Veracruz from 1928 to 1932, strived to make Mexico a modern and just state on the basis of the revolutionary Constitution. Three key obstacles confronted them: the conservative approach of the political Center; the political weakness of their own power base; and the great opposing power of the farmers and their supporting elements, especially the Church and the army.

This book discusses the different avenues to reform these leaders took and their short- and long-term implications. Cárdenas sought to strengthen his position through the ruling party (PNR), while reinforcing local agrarian forces and opening channels of direct empathetic communication with the Church and the army. Tejeda attempted to strengthen his position in the federative arena, bypassing the political Center via the National Peasant League (LNC – Liga Nacional Campesina), whose establishment he was deeply involved in, making a sweeping radical reform while attacking uncompromisingly all the traditional elements of Veracruzan society.

Both political projects had unprecedented success but totally different implications. The Cardenista power base led its author to the next Presidency, during which he implemented a remarkable agrarian project. Tejeda’s power base, however, led to the utter annihilation of his political power structure and many of his agrarian achievements, as well as to his failure in the struggle for presidency. From that point of view, only a heavy bureaucratic, center-based reform initiative could succeed, while a local, radical, adventurous transformation was doomed to failure. The fate of the two governors corresponded to the fate of national revolutionary reformism and thus to the destiny of Mexico. 


Madrid's Forgotten Avant-Garde: Between Essentialism and Modernity


Silvina Schammah Gesser

Brighton ; Chicago : Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

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Madrid’s Forgotten Avant-Garde explores the role played by artists and intellectuals who constructed and disseminated various competing images of national identity which polarized Spanish society prior to the Civil War. The convergence of modern and essentialist discourses and practices, especially in literature and poetry, in what is conventionally called in Spanish letters ‘The Generation of ’27’, created fissures between competing views of aesthetics and ideology that cut across political affiliation.

Silvina Schammah exposes the paradoxes facing Madrid’s cultural vanguards, as they were torn by their ambition for universality, cosmopolitanism and transcendence on the one hand and by the centripetal forces of nationalistic ideologies on the other. Taking upon themselves roles to become the disseminators and populizers of radical positions and world-views first elaborated and conducted by the young urban intelligentsia, their proposed aim of incorporating diverse identities embedded in different cultural constructions and discourse was to have very real and tragic consequences as political and intellectual lines polarized in the years prior to the Spanish Civil War.


Los muchachos peronistas judíos:
Los argentinos judíos y el apoyo al Justicialismo


Raanan Rein


Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 2015.

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¿Perón nazi? ¿Antisemita? ¿Los argentinos judíos, antiperonistas? La respuesta de Raanan Rein a esas preguntas es contundente: nada de eso. Ni un líder contrario a los judíos, ni una colectividad judeoargentina opositora a su gobierno. Basado en una minuciosa indagación historiográfica que exhumó documentación inédita en archivos y repositorios de varios países, Rein prueba que ningún presidente antes de Perón fue tan claro en su rechazo a la discriminación contra los judíos. Al mismo tiempo da cuenta de la división dentro de la colectividad judeoargentina frente al peronismo y demuestra que fue no muy diferente de la que vivió la sociedad argentina toda. Por primera vez se analizan en profundidad el rol de la Organización Israelita Argentina (OIA) -sección judía del Partido Peronista- y los apoyos que destacados judíos como César Tiempo, Jaime Yankelevich, José Ber Gelbard, Ángel Perelman y Ángel Yampolsky brindaron al Justicialismo. Riguroso en su investigación y amable en su escritura, este libro derriba el mito de un Perón fascista y rescata del olvido el activo apoyo brindado por muchos judíos al primer peronismo.



Introducción. La deconstrucción de un mito.
1. La otra Tierra Prometida: la inmigración judía en la Argentina.
2. Los orígenes de la mácula fascista: la neutralidad argentina en la Segunda Guerra Mundial y la entrada de nazis en la posguerra.
3. La OIA: sección judía del Partido Peronista.
4. El peronismo frente al nuevo Estado judío.
5. Apoyo de los intelectuales y de los medios: los casos de César Tiempo y Jaime Yankelevich.
6. Apoyo sindical y empresarial: de Angel Perelman a José Ber Gelbard.
7. El justicialismo visto por los israelíes, 1946-1976.

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