Following the Ball: The Migration of African Soccer Players across the Portuguese Colonial Empire, 1949-1975
Todd ClevelandWith Following the Ball, Todd Cleveland incorporates labor, sport, diasporic, and imperial history to examine the extraordinary experiences of African football players from Portugal’s African colonies as they relocated to the metropole from 1949 until the conclusion of the colonial era in 1975. The backdrop was Portugal’s increasingly embattled Estado Novo regime, and its attendant use of the players as propaganda to communicate the supposed unity of the metropole and the colonies.
Cleveland zeroes in on the ways that players, such as the great Eusébio, creatively exploited opportunities generated by shifts in the political and occupational landscapes in the waning decades of Portugal’s empire. Drawing on interviews with the players themselves, he shows how they often assumed roles as social and cultural intermediaries and counters reductive histories that have depicted footballers as mere colonial pawns.
To reconstruct these players’ transnational histories, the narrative traces their lives from the informal soccer spaces in colonial Africa to the manicured pitches of Europe, while simultaneously focusing on their off-the-field challenges and successes. By examining this multi-continental space in a single analytical field, the book unearths structural and experiential consistencies and contrasts, and illuminates the components and processes of empire.
Death in the City: Suicide and the Social Imaginary in Modern Mexico
At the turn of the twentieth century, many observers considered suicide to be a worldwide social problem that had reached epidemic proportions. In Mexico City, violent deaths in public spaces were commonplace in a city undergoing rapid modernization. Crime rates mounted, corpses piled up in the morgue, and the media reported on sensational cases of murder and suicide. More troublesome still, a compelling death wish appeared to grip women and youth. Drawing on a range of sources from judicial records to the popular press, Death in the City investigates the cultural meanings of self-destruction in modern Mexico. Sloan examines responses to suicide and death and disproves the long-held belief that Mexicans possess a cavalier attitude toward suffering.
Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic
In Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic, Charles E. Muntz offers a fresh look at one of the most neglected historians of the ancient world, and recovers Diodorus’s originality and importance as a witness to a profoundly tumultuous period in antiquity. Muntz analyzes the first three books of Diodorus’s Bibliotheke, some of the most varied and eclectic material in his work, in which Diodorus reveals through the history, myths, and customs of the “barbarians” the secrets of successful states and rulers, and contributes to the debates surrounding the transition from Republic to Empire. Muntz establishes just how linked the “barbarians” of the Bibliotheke are to the actors of the crumbling Republic, and demonstrates that through the medium of the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Indians, and others Diodorus engages with the major issues and intellectual disputes of his time, including the origins of civilization, the propriety of ruler-cult, the benefits of monarchy, and the relationship between myth and history. Diodorus has many similarities with other authors writing on these topics, including Cicero, Lucretius, Varro, Sallust, and Livy but, as Muntz argues, engaging with such controversial issues, even indirectly, could be especially dangerous for a Greek provincial such as Diodorus. Indeed, for these reasons he may never have completed or fully published the Bibliotheke in his lifetime. Through his careful and precise investigations, Muntz demonstrates Diodorus’s historical context at its full size and scope.