New Books Network

Kara Ritzheimer, “‘Trash,’ Censorship, and National Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Germany” (Cambridge UP, 2016)
Convinced that sexual immorality and unstable gender norms were endangering national recovery after World War One, German lawmakers drafted a constitution in 1919 legalizing the censorship of movies and pulp fiction, and prioritizing social rights over individual rights. These provisions enabled legislations to adopt two national censorship laws intended to... Read More
Ben Merriman, “Conservative Innovators: How States Are Challenging Federal Power” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
Expansion of federal power has typically come with the consent of states, often eager to receive the funding tied to new policy priorities. Not so any more, as some states have famously rejected funding for Medicaid expansion. Was the case of Medicaid and Obamacare an aberration or part of a... Read More
Nara Milanich, “Paternity: The Elusive Quest for the Father” (Harvard UP, 2019)
Nara Milanich’s Paternity: The Elusive Quest for the Father (Harvard University Press, 2019) explains how fatherhood, long believed to be impossible to know with certainty, became a biological “fact” that could be ascertained with scientific testing. Though the advent of DNA testing might seem to make paternity less elusive, Milanich’s... Read More
Mark Galeotti, “The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia” (Yale UP, 2018)
The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia (Yale University Press, 2018) by Mark Galeotti is an engrossing read about a topic mainstream scholarship has largely ignored: Russia’s criminal underworld. With Galeotti as our guide, we delve into the colorful world of the vory v zakone or “thieves of the code,” with their... Read More
Ian Saxine, “Properties of Empire: Indians, Colonists, and Land Speculators on the New England Frontier” (NYU Press, 2019)
In Properties of Empire: Indians, Colonists, and Land Speculators on the New England Frontier (NYU Press, 2019), Ian Saxine, Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Bridgewater State University, shows the dynamic relationship between Native and English systems of property on the turbulent edge of Britain’s empire, and how so many colonists came... Read More
Demetra Kasimis, “The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Demetra Kasimis’s new book, The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2018) interrogates the role and unstable place of the metics (metoikoi) in Athenian society.  The book focuses on three different presentations and discussions of the metics, in Euripides’ Ion, in Plato’s Republic, and in Demosthenes’... Read More
Mary Kate McGowan, “Just Words: On Speech and Hidden Harm” (Oxford UP, 2019)
We’re all familiar with the ways in which speech can cause harm. For example, speech can incite wrongful acts. And I suppose we’re also familiar with contexts in which a person who occupies a position of authority can harm others simply by speaking – as when a boss announced and... Read More