Synopses & Reviews
The Kurds, who number some 28 million people in the Middle East, have no country they can call their own. Long ignored by the West, Kurds are now highly visible actors on the world's political stage. More than half live in Turkey, where the Kurdish struggle has gained new strength and attention since the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq.
Essential to understanding modern-day Kurds—and their continuing demands for an independent state—is understanding the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party. A guerilla force that was founded in 1978 by a small group of ex-Turkish university students, the PKK radicalized the Kurdish national movement in Turkey, becoming a tightly organized, well-armed fighting force of some 15,000, with a 50,000-member civilian militia in Turkey and tens of thousands of active backers in Europe. Under the leadership of Abdullah Ocalan, the war the PKK waged in Turkey through 1999 left nearly 40,000 people dead and drew in the neighboring states of Iran, Iraq, and Syria, all of whom sought to use the PKK for their own purposes. Since 2004, emboldened by the Iraqi Kurds, who now have established an autonomous Kurdish state in the northernmost reaches of Iraq, the PKK has again turned to violence to meet its objectives.
Blood and Belief combines reportage and scholarship to give the first in-depth account of the PKK. Aliza Marcus, one of the first Western reporters to meet with PKK rebels, wrote about their war for many years for a variety of prominent publications before being put on trial in Turkey for her reporting. Based on her interviews with PKK rebels and their supporters and opponents throughout the world—including the Palestinians who trained them, the intelligence services that tracked them, and the dissidents who tried to break them up—Marcus provides an in-depth account of this influential radical group.
"An insightful overview and synthesis of an important aspect of black women's history . . . A useful guide for exploring gender issues and black women's culture in myriad cities across the country."-Darlene Clark Hine,Michigan State University
“Blood and Belief offers unusual insight into the rebels' shadowy universe and, by extension, into Turkey's festering Kurdish problem. . . . [A] scholarly, gripping account.”
“Blood and Belief gives meaning and context to the grinding guerrilla war that claimed tens of thousands of lives.”
“Its an achievement of Blood and Belief that despite the bloodletting, Marcus still generates empathy—not for the murderous Ocalan, but for the desperate Kurds who joined the PKK revolution feeling they had nowhere else to turn.”
-The Washington Post Book World,
“;Marcus dispassionate recounting of events is impressive in its factual, documented style and avoidance of partisan shrillness.”
-The Bloomsberry Review,
“Marcus dispassionate recounting of events is impressive in its factual, documented style and avoidance of partisan shrillness. While never condoning any of the PKK's excesses, she points out its one achievement: to have put the Kurdish problem on the agenda in Turkey and in front of the world.”
During the Progressive Era, over 150 African American women's clubs flourished in Chicago. Through these clubs, women created a vibrant social world of their own, seeking to achieve social and political uplift by educating themselves and the members of their communities. In politics, they battled legal discrimination, advocated anti-lynching laws, and fought for suffrage. In the tradition of other mothering, in which the the community shares in the care and raising of all its children, the club women established kindergartens, youth clubs, and homes for the elderly.
In Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood, Anne Meis Knupfer documents how the club women created multiple allegiances through social and club networks and sheds light on the life experiences of African American women in urban centers throughout the country. Drawing upon the primary documents of African American newspapers, journals, and speeches of the time, this book chronicles and analyzes the complexity and richness of the African American club women's lives as they lifted while others climbed.
About the Author
Aliza Marcus is formerly an international correspondent for The Boston Globe and lives in Washington, D.C. She covered the PKK for more than eight years, first as a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor and later as a staff writer for Reuters, receiving a National Press Club Award for her reporting. She is also a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant for her work.
Table of Contents
African American club women's ideologies and discourses -- African American communities in Chicago -- The women's clubs and political reform -- Homes for dependent children, young working girls, and the elderly -- African American settlements -- Literary clubs -- Social clubs.