New Books Network

Monica Black, “Death in Berlin: From Weimar to Divided Germany” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
Over 2.5 million Germans died as a result of World War I, or about 4% of the German population at the time. Somewhere between 7 and 9 million Germans died as a result of World War II, or between 8% to 11% of the German population at the time.* It’s... Read More
Anna Krylova, “Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
We’re all familiar with the film cliche of the little band of soldiers who in ordinary life never would have had met, but who learn to appreciate each other in the battles of World War II. All white, of course: African Americans would have to wait till the integration of... Read More
Robert K. Fitts, “Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan” (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)
There are three Americans in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. One is Horace Wilson, the professor of English who brought his students outside for a game in 1872, thus introducing baseball to Japan. Another is Wally Yonamine, the Hawaii-born Nisei who played professional baseball in Japan in the 1950s... Read More
Jen Huntley, “The Making of Yosemite: James Mason Hutchings and the Origins of America’s Most Popular National Park” (UP of Kansas, 2011)
I used to hike in and around Yosemite National Park. To me (and I imagine thousands of other visitors), Yosemite was the embodiment of “nature,” something grand, pristine, and, well “natural.” Of course there is a sense in which that is true: Yosemite was not made by the hand of... Read More
Matthew Delmont, “The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia” (University of California Press, 2011)
Matthew Delmont‘s The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia (University of California Press, 2012) weaves a fascinating narrative in which the content of a popular television show is only one element of its phenomenal impact. Nor is American... Read More
Karen Petrone, “The Great War in Russian Memory” (Indiana UP, 2012)
Historical studies on the European memory of World War I are, to put it mildly, voluminous. There are too many monographs to count on a myriad of subjects addressing the acts of remembrance and commemoration of the so-called war to end all wars. But when it comes to Russia, from... Read More
Peter Robb, “Richard Blechynden’s Calcutta Diaries, 1791-1822” (Oxford UP, 2011)
Richard Blechynden came to Calcutta in 1782 as a twenty two year old, and stayed there for the rest of his life, working as a surveyor and architect. From 1791 he maintained daily diaries, and it is these that Peter Robb has so magnificently re-worked as Richard Blechynden’s Calcutta Diaries,... Read More