New Books Network

James Carter, “Champions Day: The End of Old Shanghai” (Norton, 2020)
Shanghai’s status as a bustling, international place both now and in the past hardly needs much introduction, although the centrality of horse racing to the earlier incarnation of the city’s cosmopolitanism is less known. Taking activities at the erstwhile Shanghai Race Club as a lens through which to examine life... Read More
Brian R. Dott, “The Chile Pepper in China: A Cultural Biography” (Columbia UP, 2020)
In China, chiles are everywhere. From dried peppers hanging from eaves to Mao’s boast that revolution would be impossible without chiles, Chinese culture and the chile pepper have been intertwined for centuries. Yet, this was not always the case. In The Chile Pepper in China: A Cultural Biography (Columbia University... Read More
Zuraidah Ibrahim, “Rebel City: Hong Kong’s Year of Water and Fire” (World Scientific, 2020)
In June of 2019, a proposed amendment to Hong Kong’s Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, sparked widespread protests across the region. Protestors saw in the bill a threat to the judicial independence that Hong Kong has enjoyed since its return to China from the United Kingdom in 1997. The Special Administrative Region... Read More
Brian Eyler, “Last Days of the Mighty Mekong” (Zed Book, 2019)
The Mekong River is one of the world’s great rivers. From its source in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau it snakes down through southern China and then borders or runs through all the countries of mainland Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam. Almost 70 million people depend either directly or... Read More
Ann-elise Lewallen, “The Fabric of Indigeneity: Ainu Identity, Gender, and Settler Colonialism in Japan” (U New Mexico Press, 2016)
The Fabric of Indigeneity: Ainu Identity, Gender, and Settler Colonialism in Japan (University of New Mexico Press) is a recent addition to the growing scholarship on Ainu identity and settler colonialism in Japan. Combining ethnographic fieldwork in contemporary Ainu communities and organizations with museum and archival research, Dr. Lewallen shows... Read More
Sean Roberts, “The War on the Uyghurs: China’s Internal Campaign against a Muslim Minority” (Princeton UP, 2020)
In today’s new episode, we speak with Sean Roberts about his brand new book The War on the Uyghurs: China’s Internal Campaign against a Muslim Minority (Princeton University Press, 2020). Roberts is the Director of the International Development Studies program at George Washington University. He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology... Read More
Steven Heine, “Readings of Dōgen’s ‘Treasury of the True Dharma Eye'”(Columbia UP, 2020)
The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shōbōgenzō) is the masterwork of Dōgen (1200–1253), founder of the Sōtō Zen Buddhist sect in Kamakura-era Japan. It is one of the most important Zen Buddhist collections, composed during a period of remarkable religious diversity and experimentation. The text is complex and compelling, famed for... Read More
Sören Urbansky, “Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border” (Princeton UP, 2020)
The fact that the vast border between China and Russia is often overlooked goes hand-in-hand with a lack of understanding of the ordinary citizens in these much-discussed places, who often lose out to larger-than-life figures like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. A book that combines a look at the history... Read More
Harriet Evans, “Beijing from Below: Stories of Marginal Lives in the Capital’s Center” (Duke UP, 2020)
Between the early 1950s and the accelerated demolition and construction of Beijing’s “old city” in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, the residents of Dashalar—one of the capital city’s poorest neighborhoods and only a stone’s throw from Tian’anmen Square—lived in dilapidated conditions without sanitation. Few had stable employment. Today, most of... Read More
Mary Augusta Brazelton, “Mass Vaccination: Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China” (Cornell UP, 2019)
While the eradication of smallpox has long been documented, not many know the Chinese roots of this historic achievement. In this revelatory study, Mass Vaccination. Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China (Cornell University Press), Mary Augusta Brazelton examines the PRC’s public health campaigns of the 1950s to explain... Read More