Courage: The Politics of Life and Limb is a compelling and highly original study of the paradox of courage. Richard Avramenko contends that courage is not simply one virtue among many; rather, it is the primary means for humans to raise themselves out of their individualistic, isolated, and materialistic existence. As such, courage is an absolute and permanent good for collective human life. Specifically, Avramenko argues that when we risk "life and limb" for one another we reveal a fundamental care that binds our community together. Paradoxically, the same courage that brings humans together also drives us apart because courage is traditionally understood as manly, by definition, exclusionary, inegalitarian, and violent. Avramenko explores the efforts of political thinkers throughout history—such as Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and Tocqueville—to reformulate courage so as to hold fast to all that is good about it while jettisoning that which is problematic. In addition to martial courage, the book looks at political courage, moral courage, and economic courage. Courage: The Politics of Life and Limb makes a vital contribution to the discipline of political science. Clearly and engagingly written, the book will be of particular interest to students and scholars of political theory, ethics, and gender studies. Avramenko is assistant professor in the Political Science and the Integrated Liberal Studies Program at UW-Madison.
DEROS Vietnam presents a unique, fictional montage of the war, and postwar, experiences of Vietnam support troops. Loosely-based on Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, DEROS Vietnam (the acronym stands for Date Eligible for Return from Over Seas) is a riveting collection of 16 short stories and 16 “interlinears” about the GIs who battled boredom, racial tensions, the military brass, drugs, alcohol . . . and occasionally the enemy.
From cooks and correspondents to clerks and comptrollers, DEROS Vietnam distills the essence of life for soldiers in the "rear" during the war, and, later, back home in a divided America. Vietnam veteran Doug Bradley, a former Army journalist who served in the “air-conditioned jungle” at U. S. Army Headquarters near Saigon in 1970-71, tells these compelling stories with wit, intensity, and empathy. In doing so, he provides a gateway to a Vietnam experience that has thus far been ignored and whose reverberations still echo across America. Bradley is a distinguished lecturer in the ILS Program
Aristophanic Comedy and the Challenge of Democratic Citizenship finds in Aristophanes' comedies a complex comic disposition necessary for meeting the fundamental challenge of ordinary citizenship. That challenge, Zumbrunnen argues, emerges from the tension between two democratic impulses: a rebellious impulse that resists all attempts to impose any form of institutionalized rule; and an impulse toward collective action taken through institutions of popular rule. Democracy demands that ordinary citizens negotiate the tension between these often conflicting impulses. Aristophanes' comedies rest upon and seek to instill in spectators a complex comic disposition that holds a simple celebration of rebellion in tension with an appreciation for the organized collective action necessary to bring about real change. Zumbrunnen is associate professor of Political Science and Integrated Liberal Studies at UW-Madison.