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"Radical Sensations is superb scholarship in every way. It engages many emerging currents in contemporary scholarship but has the field of transnational radicalism between 1886 and 1927 all to itself. Among its many contributions, a singularly important one is Shelley Streeby's explanation of why culture counts and how history happens. Part of politics is the production and management of affect. Streeby shows how sentiment and sensation became the lingua franca of American politics in the nineteenth century, with mixed results for radical social movements. The very discourses of sentiment and sensationalism that enabled some radical critiques to gain traction with the masses hobbled others by letting sympathy substitute for social justice."—George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place
"This is a brilliantly conceived book, filled with novel insights into the ways that new media and visual technologies intersected with and enabled what Shelley Streeby aptly terms 'the proliferation of rival world visions and internationalisms’ of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth. Radical Sensations is the book that I have been waiting to teach in courses on U.S. history or transnational methodology."—Penny M. Von Eschen, author of Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937–1957
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The significant anarchist, black, and socialist world-movements that emerged in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth adapted discourses of sentiment and sensation and used the era's new forms of visual culture to move people to participate in projects of social, political, and economic transformation. Drawing attention to the vast archive of images and texts created by radicals prior to the 1930s, Shelley Streeby analyzes representations of violence and of abuses of state power in response to the Haymarket police riot, of the trial and execution of the Chicago anarchists, and of the mistreatment and imprisonment of Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón and other members of the Partido Liberal Mexicano. She considers radicals' reactions to and depictions of U.S. imperialism, state violence against the Yaqui Indians in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, the failure of the United States to enact laws against lynching, and the harsh repression of radicals that accelerated after the United States entered the First World War. By focusing on the adaptation and critique of sentiment, sensation, and visual culture by radical world-movements in the period between the Haymarket riots of 1886 and the deportation of Marcus Garvey in 1927, Streeby sheds new light on the ways that these movements reached across national boundaries, criticized state power, and envisioned alternative worlds.