The following index maps scholarly commentary on the international law aspects of the armed conflict(s) between Israel and Gaza since Israel withdrew from the territory. Sources in the map include commentary published in English language law blogs and newspapers, and free content from OUP’s online services other free repositories.

michaelaross:

Allegations of Voodoo and human sacrifice in the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case (Mobile Register 1870)
During the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case of 1870, the rumor circulated that Voodoo practitioners had abducted Mollie Digby for use as a ceremonial human sacrifice.  The rumor tapped into white New Orleanians’ longstanding fear of Voodoo priests and priestesses. Before the Civil War, government officials worried that Voodoo leaders such as Marie Laveau and her daughter Marie the Second could incite slave revolts. Their presence destabilized the racial status quo that had bolstered slave society.
After Appomattox, Voodoo men and women took advantage of freedom that came with Reconstruction to practice their religion openly. Although Voodoo practitioners considered themselves to be Catholics, many frightened white residents saw the postwar Voodoo renaissance as yet another example of impending social chaos. White reactionaries, vowing to fight the “Africanization” of the city, used sensationalized accounts of Voodoo rituals to malign black culture and to portray black people as unfit to vote or govern. White editors demanded that Voodoo priests and priestesses “be closely observed by the police to prevent the intolerable excesses to which their ignorance and fanaticism lead.” For many of the city’s white residents, the Digby rumors confirmed those fears. During Reconstruction, one commentator warned, black people had “passed so much out of, and beyond the influence of white civilization” that “Voudouism” was flourishing. “It is horrible to think,” he added, “that the little child of Mr. Digby has been sacrificed to this savage superstition.”
As the hysteria grew, one editor after another demanded that what became known as “The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case” be solved.

Michael A. Ross is author of The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era.

michaelaross:

Allegations of Voodoo and human sacrifice in the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case (Mobile Register 1870)

During the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case of 1870, the rumor circulated that Voodoo practitioners had abducted Mollie Digby for use as a ceremonial human sacrifice.  The rumor tapped into white New Orleanians’ longstanding fear of Voodoo priests and priestesses. Before the Civil War, government officials worried that Voodoo leaders such as Marie Laveau and her daughter Marie the Second could incite slave revolts. Their presence destabilized the racial status quo that had bolstered slave society.

After Appomattox, Voodoo men and women took advantage of freedom that came with Reconstruction to practice their religion openly. Although Voodoo practitioners considered themselves to be Catholics, many frightened white residents saw the postwar Voodoo renaissance as yet another example of impending social chaos. White reactionaries, vowing to fight the “Africanization” of the city, used sensationalized accounts of Voodoo rituals to malign black culture and to portray black people as unfit to vote or govern. White editors demanded that Voodoo priests and priestesses “be closely observed by the police to prevent the intolerable excesses to which their ignorance and fanaticism lead.” For many of the city’s white residents, the Digby rumors confirmed those fears. During Reconstruction, one commentator warned, black people had “passed so much out of, and beyond the influence of white civilization” that “Voudouism” was flourishing. “It is horrible to think,” he added, “that the little child of Mr. Digby has been sacrificed to this savage superstition.”

As the hysteria grew, one editor after another demanded that what became known as “The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case” be solved.

Michael A. Ross is author of The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era.

New Books in New York. What does a book against the city think of the big city? And is there really anything that hasn’t been said before?

GIF and photos by Sara Levine for Oxford University Press.

Word of the day: epyllion

"The American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald would call the war on the western front ‘a love battle—there was a century of middle-class love spent here. All my beautiful lovely safe world blew itself up here with a great gust of high-explosive love.’ Fitzgerald’s ‘lovely safe world’ was one of empire, imperial ideas, and imperial dreams. It was a world of confidence, of religion, and of history. It was a world of connections. History was a synonym for progress."

Sir Hew Strachan, author of The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War, on memory and the Great War.


A much thornier question concerns the history of Engl. stun. Old English had the verb stunian “crash, resound, roar; impinge; dash.” It looks like a perfect etymon of stun. Skeat thought so at the beginning of his etymological career and never changed his opinion. He compared stunian with a group of words meaning “to groan”: Icelandic stynja, Dutch stenen, German stöhnen, and their cognates elsewhere. Those are almost certainly related to thunder. Apparently, the congeners of tonare did not always denote a great amount of din.

Anatoly Liberman examines the etymology of ‘stun’ as illustrated by Thor, god of thunder, summoning his energy to grasp s mobile. 
GIF via thor-lover-of-poppingtarts
A much thornier question concerns the history of Engl. stun. Old English had the verb stunian “crash, resound, roar; impinge; dash.” It looks like a perfect etymon of stun. Skeat thought so at the beginning of his etymological career and never changed his opinion. He compared stunian with a group of words meaning “to groan”: Icelandic stynja, Dutch stenen, German stöhnen, and their cognates elsewhere. Those are almost certainly related to thunder. Apparently, the congeners of tonare did not always denote a great amount of din.

Anatoly Liberman examines the etymology of ‘stun’ as illustrated by Thor, god of thunder, summoning his energy to grasp s mobile

GIF via thor-lover-of-poppingtarts

Planning on going on holiday to Turkey this year? How much do you know about the country situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia?
Image: Kabak beach, Turkey, by Rumpletux. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Planning on going on holiday to Turkey this year? How much do you know about the country situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia?

Image: Kabak beach, Turkey, by Rumpletux. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Very Short Fact: On this day in 1940, after three months of the Battle Of Britain in the skies over the South Coast, Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, makes the fourth of his famous wartime speeches in which he said: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Churchill embodied a traditional sense of patriotic unity as no one else amongst his contemporaries could ever do. War gave his career a new impetus and relevance. His inspiring oratory over the radio and in the Commons conjured up new reserves of national will-power in this ‘finest hour’ for his country. 

[p. 47, Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction, by Kenneth O. Morgan]
Like the Very Short Introductions on Facebook for more from the series.
Image: Winston Churchill, from the Imperial War Museums Archive. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Very Short Fact: On this day in 1940, after three months of the Battle Of Britain in the skies over the South Coast, Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, makes the fourth of his famous wartime speeches in which he said: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Churchill embodied a traditional sense of patriotic unity as no one else amongst his contemporaries could ever do. War gave his career a new impetus and relevance. His inspiring oratory over the radio and in the Commons conjured up new reserves of national will-power in this ‘finest hour’ for his country. 

[p. 47, Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction, by Kenneth O. Morgan]

Like the Very Short Introductions on Facebook for more from the series.

Image: Winston Churchill, from the Imperial War Museums Archive. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The 150th anniversary of the periodic table

image

Over the years, many scientists contributed to the creation of our contemporary periodic table of elements. On 20 August 1864, John Reina Newlands published one such contribution — a way to organize elements with similar chemical properties as you move from left to right across the periodic table. These days periodic tables present groups of similar elements in vertical columns but that’s just a cosmetic difference. In honor of Newlands’ discovery, we have compiled a list of books on the periodic table.

Image: Chemistry by macaroni1945. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.