Saturday 7 November 2015

Make Mine an Indie: Hurst Publishers

This month I'm tying in my Make Mine an Indie features on independent publishers with an amazing event that's going on in the blogging world: Nonfiction November. I kicked off last week featuring Icon Books and this week I'm back with another nonfiction publisher! Also just in case you've not seen the Nonfiction November greatness, you can check out all of the week one posts here and catch up with my year in nonfiction and a few of my nonfiction favourites.

Hurst was founded in in 1969 by Christopher Hurst with the aim of publishing books that were scrupulously edited and produced and about subjects close to his heart. Today Hurst publishes around 80 titles per year, with their strengths being African Studies, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, South Asian Studies and War and International Relations.

All of these are things that I don't feel I know enough about, so I was excited to dig through their catalogues. As always, here are a few titles I'm excited about

Icons of Dissent: The Global Resonance of Che, Marley, Tupac and Bin Laden by Jeremy Presholdt
From the Hurst website:

The global icon is an omnipresent but poorly understood element of mass culture. This book asks why audiences around the world have embraced a small number of iconic figures and what this tells us about cross-border, trans-cultural relations since the Cold War. Prestholdt addresses these questions by examining one type of figure: the ‘anti-system’ icon. These popular icons are symbols of alienation and aspiration that can be integrated into diverse political and consumer cultures.
To illustrate these points the book examines four of the most evocative and controversial figures of the past fifty years: Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur and Osama bin Laden. Each has embodied a convergence of dissent, cultural politics and consumerism, yet the popularity of each reveals the dissonance between shared, global references and locally contingent traditions. By examining four very different figures, Icons of Dissent offers new insights into transnational symbolic idioms, the mutability of common references and the commodification of political sentiment in the contemporary world.
The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar's Hidden Genocide by Azeem Ibrahim
From the Hurst website:
The Rohingyas are a Muslim group who live in Rakhine state (formerly Arakan state) in western Myanmar (Burma), a majority Buddhist country. According to the United Nations, they are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. They suffer routine discrimination at the hands of neighbouring Buddhist Rakhine groups, but international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have also accused Myanmar’s authorities of being complicit in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims. The Rohingyas face regular violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, extortion, and other abuses, a situation that has been particularly acute since 2012 in the wake of a serious wave of sectarian violence. Islam is practised by around 4 per cent of the population of Myanmar, and most Muslims also identify as Rohingya. Yet the authorities refuse to recognise them as one of the 135 ethnic groups or ‘national races’ making up Myanmar’s population. On this basis, Rohingya individuals are denied citizenship rights in the country of their birth, and face severe limitations on many aspects of an ordinary life, such as marriage or movement around the country.
Fortress Europe: Inside the War Against Immigration by Matthew Carr
From the Hurst website

When the Berlin Wall crumbled in 1989, a euphoric continent hailed the advent of a new ‘borderless’ Europe in which such barriers would become obsolete. More than twenty-five years later, in the midst of the continent’s worst refugee crisis since World War II, European governments have enacted the most sustained and far-reaching border enforcement programme in history. Detention and deportation, physical and bureaucratic barriers, naval patrols and satellite technologies: all these have been part of Europe’s undeclared ‘war’ against undocumented immigration.
These efforts have generated a tragic confrontation between some of the richest countries in the world and a stateless population from the poorest. The human consequences of that confrontation have become impossible to ignore, as migrants drown in unprecedented numbers in the Mediterranean or find themselves trapped in chokepoints like Calais, Hungary and Greece. As Europe’s leaders argue among themselves, the continent’s ‘hard borders’ are breaking down and it is increasingly unclear what will replace them.
Fortress Europe, published here in a revised and updated edition, is an urgent investigation into Europe’s militarised borders. In a series of searing dispatches, Carr speaks to border officers and police, officials, migrants, asylum-seekers and activists from across the continent in a unique and ground-breaking critique of an epic political, institutional and humanitarian failure that now threatens the future of the European Union itself.

As always there are a lot more titles I could have put here, but these look the most immediately interesting to me! If you want to browse for yourself you can find their catalogue at the Hurst website, or follow them on twitter or facebook.

Catch up with the rest of the Make Mine an Indie series here.

1 comment:

  1. I love this series, Bex! It's great that you're putting independent publishers front and center! And all three of these look so very informative and educational! Each is certainly pertinent!