David Crowley and Susan Reid, “Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Block” (Northwestern UP, 2010)
We all know socialism failed in Eastern Europe and that failure reflected two great shortcomings: a lack of democracy and an economic system that consistently fell short in providing its ostensible benefactors, the workers, with consumer goods from housing to… Read More
Mary Louise Adams, “Artistic Impressions: Figure Skating, Masculinity, and the Limits of Sport” (University of Toronto Press, 2011)
On the Minnesota rinks where I spent many days of my childhood, the skates made the man–or the boy, to be more accurate. Hockey skates had a boot of tough leather and a reinforced toe to protect against sticks and… Read More
Jeff Sahadeo, “Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865-1903” (Indiana UP, 2010)
Konstantin von Kaufmann, Governor-General of Russian Turkestan from 1867 until his death in 1882, wanted to be buried in Tashkent if he died in office; so that, he said, ‘all may know that here is true Russian soil, where no… Read More
Robert F. Barsky and Noam Chomsky, “Zellig Harris: From American Linguistics to Socialist Zionism” (MIT Press, 2011)
Zellig Harris’s name is famous in linguistics primarily for his early work on transformational grammar and his influence on his most famous student, Noam Chomsky. However, much of his linguistic work has since fallen into comparative obscurity. Moreover, his political… Read More
Ann M. Blair, “Too Much To Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age” (Yale University Press, 2010)
Chewing on raw turnips and sand, keeping both feet in a tub of cold water, reading with just one eye open (to give the other a chance to rest) and sleeping only every other night: no, I am not describing… Read More
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