Health and Freedom in the Balance: Exploring the Tensions among Public Health, Individual Liberty, and Governmental Authority
edited by M. Girard Dorsey and Rosemary M. Caron
Public Health in the 21st Century Nova Science Publishers, Inc. (July 2017)
The clash between individual liberties and the protection of the greater population is an ongoing conflict between core principles held dear by Americans for centuries. One of the nexus points occurs in the application of public health measures by governmental authorities to defeat deadly germs, perhaps on an epidemic scale, in ways that can erode individual decisions about healthcare, privacy, bodily integrity and personal liberty in the name of the greater good of community health. People may approve and appreciate protective measures enacted by the government when influenza breaks out or when there is a food recall, but may also feel wary simultaneously. How has this conflict played out throughout history and how has this clash progressed today? What benefits do individuals reap and what costs do they pay for the application of public health? Almost every individual will find himself or herself engaged with public health measures of some kind on an individual, familial or community level, so we should all be aware of the issues involved.
Because of these parallels between historical and current exercises of public health, the authors wrote this textbook, which was inspired by a renowned lecture series created by Saul O. Sidore. The Sidore lecture series was established in 1965 in memory of Saul O. Sidore of Manchester, New Hampshire, and it is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at the University of New Hampshire. Mr. Sidore was a humanitarian, a businessman, and president of the Brookshire Mills and Pandora Industries in Manchester. He was a progressive employer and the lecture series named in his honor addresses critical issues in politics, society and culture.
The theme for the 2013-2014 lecture series was Your Liberty or Your Health: Exploring the Tensions among Public Health, Individual Liberty and Governmental Authority. As editors of this textbook – a collection of case studies and class exercises – the authors believe that this topic and structure will be of academic interest to those in justice studies, history and health and human services, just to name a few of the programs in an academic community. The universal applicability of the issues discussed herein will make this text relevant to those outside of these programs and communities as well. Finally, this book will encourage conversations across campuses and organizations and between groups that do not always have an opportunity to interact, enabling future readers to engage in debates about the tensions between individual rights, governmental authority and public health needs.
Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America
by Josh Lauer
Columbia Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism Columbia University Press (July 25, 2017)
The first consumer credit bureaus appeared in the 1870s and quickly amassed huge archives of deeply personal information. Today, the three leading credit bureaus are among the most powerful institutions in modern life — yet we know almost nothing about them. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are multi-billion-dollar corporations that track our movements, spending behavior, and financial status. This data is used to predict our riskiness as borrowers and to judge our trustworthiness and value in a broad array of contexts, from insurance and marketing to employment and housing.
In "Creditworthy," the first comprehensive history of this crucial American institution, Josh Lauer explores the evolution of credit reporting from its nineteenth-century origins to the rise of the modern consumer data industry. By revealing the sophistication of early credit reporting networks, "Creditworthy" highlights the leading role that commercial surveillance has played — ahead of state surveillance systems — in monitoring the economic lives of Americans. Lauer charts how credit reporting grew from an industry that relied on personal knowledge of consumers to one that employs sophisticated algorithms to determine a person's trustworthiness. Ultimately, Lauer argues that by converting individual reputations into brief written reports — and, later, credit ratings and credit scores—credit bureaus did something more profound: they invented the modern concept of financial identity. "Creditworthy" reminds us that creditworthiness is never just about economic "facts." It is fundamentally concerned with — and determines — our social standing as an honest, reliable, profit-generating person.
Carl Wilhelm Frölich’s "On Man and his Circumstances:" A Translation of "Über den Menschen und seine Verhältnisse"
translated, with introduction, by Edward T. Larkin
Peter Lang (May 29, 2017)
This book includes both the original German version and, for the first time, an English translation of Carl Wilhelm Frölich’s important essay of 1792, which Georg Foster praised as "one of the rarest creations of our time, the work of a young, right-thinking and sensitive man." Published anonymously, Frölich’s treatise consists of ten Platonic-like dialogues between Erast and Philemon, the central interlocutor, and four interspersed reflections. In response to Erast’s opening question – "What! I should not educate my children for the state? Does a teacher have a higher, nobler purpose?" – Frölich/Philemon addresses the major concerns of the late eighteenth century from the vantage point of materialist ethics: the path toward happiness, natural and conventional feelings, truth and propriety, human freedom, active and passive education, nature and morality, virtue and justice, legislation and social behavior, reason and religion, and the requirements of a good teacher. Underlying all of these concerns is Frölich’s belief that social circumstances significantly determine individual happiness. If humanity is to become happier, these circumstances must be changed via pupil-oriented education and opposition to private property with its dehumanizing profit system. Frölich represents a unique voice in the conversation on human perfectibility in eighteenth-century German intellectual history.
Minimum Contract Justice: A Capabilities Perspective on Sweatshops and Consumer Contracts
by Lyn K. L. Tjon Soei Len
Hart Publishing (May 4, 2017)
The collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh (2013) is one of many cases to invoke critical scrutiny and moral outrage regarding the conditions under which consumer goods sold on our markets are produced elsewhere. In spite of abiding moral concerns, these goods remain popular and consumers continue to buy them. Such transactions for goods made under deplorable production conditions are usually presumed to count as 'normal' market transactions, ie transactions that are recognized as valid consumer-contracts under the rules of contract law.
"Minimum Contract Justice" challenges this presumption of normality. It explores the question of how theories of justice bear on such consumer contracts; how should a society treat a transaction for a good made under deplorable conditions elsewhere? This Book defends the position that a society that strives to be minimally just should not lend its power to enforce, support, or encourage transactions that are incompatible with the ability of others elsewhere to live decent human lives. As such, the book introduces a new perspective on the legal debate concerning deplorable production conditions that has settled around ideas of corporate responsibility, and the pursuit of international labour rights.
War Culture Series Rutgers University Press (March 1, 2017)
Whether presented as exotic fantasy, a strategic location during World War II, or a site combining postwar leisure with military culture, Hawaii and the South Pacific figure prominently in the U.S. national imagination. "Hollywood's Hawaii" is the first full-length study of the film industry's intense engagement with the Pacific region from 1898 to the present.
Delia Malia Caparoso Konzett highlights films that mirror the cultural and political climate of the country over more than a century — from the era of U.S. imperialism on through Jim Crow racial segregation, the attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII, the civil rights movement, the contemporary articulation of consumer and leisure culture, as well as the buildup of the modern military industrial complex. Focusing on important cultural questions pertaining to race, nationhood and war, Konzett offers a unique view of Hollywood film history produced about the national periphery for mainland U.S. audiences. "Hollywood's Hawaii" presents a history of cinema that examines Hawaii and the Pacific and its representations in film in the context of colonialism, war, Orientalism, occupation, military buildup and entertainment.