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The Journal of Interdisciplinary History Audio Articles



The Recognition of War Refugees: Lapland, Love, and Care

The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2022) 53 (1): 89–115.
Outi Autti and Saara Intonen

According to Honneth, the mutual recognition essential for individual autonomy and a just society divides into three forms—love in primary relationships, rights in legal relationships, and solidarity in the community of value. Such recognition has three corresponding forms of disrespect—abuse, exclusion, and denigration, all of which can raise struggles for recognition. An analysis of empirical data—in this case, oral-history reports from Finnish evacuees to Sweden during the Lapland War (1944–1945)—within this framework of recognition reveals detailed information about the refugees’ wartime experiences, particularly those that they deemed significant enough to be remembered decades after the event.

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Networking in the Republic of Letters: Magliabechi and the Dutch Republic

The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2022) 53 (1): 117–141.
Ingeborg van Vugt

The brokers who forge networks have exclusive access to diverse and innovative information. Hence, many histories of the Republic of Letters (1500–1800) stress the importance of brokers for the circulation and development of new ideas. But most such studies fail to note that network brokerage in the Republic of Letters was a dynamic, continually evolving process. Early modern brokers, like the Florentine librarian Antonio Magliabechi (1633–1714), could not have maintained their positions of power in densely connected networks without the ability to safeguard confidences and secrets. Qualitative analysis of archival sources, combined with the quantitative methods of network analysis, uncovers the circumstances in which Magliabechi constructed his network, providing a glimpse into his struggles to make it secure and to solidify it with valuable bridge relations.

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On Writing the History of Human Infectious Disease

The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2022) 53 (2): 319–327.
James L. A. Webb, Jr.

Until recently, no historian had taken up the challenge of synthesizing the burgeoning literature on the genomics of pathogenic agents, situating the major human infectious diseases in the context of human history and attempting to evaluate their impacts. For this reason, the publication of Harper’s accomplished survey of the effects of infectious diseases on human history, Plagues Upon the Earth, is timely, needed, and most welcome.

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Power, Ideology, and Economics during the Cold War

The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2022) 53 (2): 329–336.
Volker R. Berghahn

Ostermann’s Between Containment and Rollback is much more than a monograph; it is his long-awaited, comprehensive analysis of both U.S. and Soviet policies between 1945 and 1953. Drawing on available primary materials from American and former East German archives, as well as secondary literature in English, German, and Russian, the book focuses not only on American and Soviet decision makers; it also takes into account the British, French, and West Germans. It tells the story of the enormous costs of Soviet-American rollback policies during the early years of the Cold War.

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Droughts, Famines, and Chronicles: The 1780s Global Climatic Anomalies in Highland Ethiopia

The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2023) 53 (3): 387–405.
Philip Gooding

Climatological data suggest that the key driver of drought in Highland Ethiopia, and in the wider Indian Ocean World, during the early 1780s was an El Niño Southern Oscillation anomaly. Ethiopia during this period—an early decade in the zemene mesafint (1769–1855)—endured considerable political instability. The lack of documentary evidence and an over-reliance on the Ethiopian Royal Chronicles has led historians to view reports of “famine” during the early zemene mesafint as indicative of severe environmental stress. A more critical reading of the Chronicles, by contrast, suggests that integrating its reports of warfare with the climatological record presents a more accurate chronology of drought severity and possible occurrences of famine.

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“The Best Country in the World”: The Surprising Social Mobility of New York’s Irish-Famine Immigrants

The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2023) 53 (3): 407–438.
Tyler Anbinder, Cormac Ó Gráda, and Simone A. Wegge

Historians generally portray the Irish immigrants who came to the United States, fleeing the Great Famine of the mid-nineteenth century, as hopelessly mired in poverty and hardship due to discrimination, a lack of occupational training, and oversaturated job markets in the East Coast cities where most of them settled. Although the digitization of census data and other records now enables the tracking of nineteenth-century Americans far more accurately than in the past, scholars have not utilized such data to determine whether the Famine Irish were, in fact, trapped on the bottom rungs of the American socioeconomic ladder. The use of a longitudinal database of Famine immigrants who initially settled in New York and Brooklyn indicates that the Famine Irish had far more occupational mobility than previously recognized. Only 25 percent of men ended their working careers in low-wage, unskilled labor; 44 percent ended up in white-collar occupations of one kind or another—primarily running saloons, groceries, and other small businesses.

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