NBN Book of the Day
Literary Studies November 9, 2020

That Middle World

Race, Performance, and the Politics of Passing

Julia S. Charles

Hosted by James West
In this chronologically and thematically ambitious study of racial passing literature, Julia Charles highlights how mixed-race subjects invent cultural spaces for themselves—a place she terms that middle world. Charles, an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Auburn University, focuses on the construction and performance of racial identity in works by writers from the antebellum period through Reconstruction, connecting these passing or crossing narratives to more contemporary examples of …
African American Studies November 5, 2020

Black Freedom in the Age of Slavery

Race, Status, and Identity in the Urban Americas

John Garrison Marks

Hosted by Adam McNeil
Prior to the abolition of slavery, thousands of African-descended people in the Americas lived in freedom. Their efforts to navigate daily life and negotiate the boundaries of racial difference challenged …
Education November 5, 2020

Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines

Jamie Merisotis

Hosted by Dan Hill
Are robots going to be our overlords? In Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines (RosettaBooks, 2020), Jamie Merisotis says they don't have to be. We can make them …
World Affairs November 3, 2020

The Myth of the Nuclear Revolution

Power Politics in the Atomic Age

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press

Hosted by John Sakellariadis
In The Myth of the Nuclear Revolution: Power Politics in the Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2020), Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press tackle the central puzzle of the …
American Studies November 2, 2020

Hate in the Homeland

The New Global Far Right

Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Hosted by Kirk Meighoo
A startling look at the unexpected places where violent hate groups recruit young people. Hate crimes. Misinformation and conspiracy theories. Foiled white-supremacist plots. The signs of growing far-right extremism are …
American Studies October 30, 2020

American Secession

The Looming Threat of a National Break-Up

F. H. Buckley

Hosted by Crawford Gribben
Francis Buckley, who is Foundation Professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, has written a fast-moving and provocative new book about the opportunities and possibilities of a …
American Studies October 29, 2020

Bleeding Out

The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence--and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets

Thomas Abt

Hosted by Dan Hill
How do we promote peace in the streets? In his new book Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence--and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets (Basic …
American Studies October 28, 2020

Democracy Without Journalism?

Confronting the Misinformation Society

Victor Pickard

Hosted by Bruce Wark
"Few freedoms in the United States are as cherished as freedom of the press." So begins Chapter One of Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society (Oxford University Press, 2020) …
Gender Studies October 27, 2020

Gender and Our Brains

How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

Gina Rippon

Hosted by Christina Gessler
For decades if not centuries, science has backed up society’s simple dictum that men and women are hardwired differently, that the world is divided by two different kinds of brains—male …
Literary Studies October 26, 2020

Sex, Love, and Letters

Writing Simone de Beauvoir

Judith G. Coffin

Hosted by Julia Gossard
When Judith G. Coffin discovered a virtually unexplored treasure trove of letters to Simone de Beauvoir from Beauvoir's international readers, it inspired Coffin to explore the intimate bond between the …
Literary Studies October 23, 2020

Getting it Published

A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books (3rd Edition)

William Germano

Hosted by Daniel Shea
When I put down Getting it Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books (University of Chicago Press, 2016), I looked up and began to wonder …
Van Leer Institute Series on Ideas with Renee Garfinkel October 22, 2020


How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

Robert Plomin

Hosted by Renee Garfinkel
Have you ever felt, “Oh my God, I’m turning into my mother (or father)!” ? Robert Plomin explains why that happens in Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are …
World Affairs October 21, 2020

The New Twenty Years' Crisis

A Critique of International Relations, 1999-2019

Philip Cunliffe

Hosted by Mark Klobas
At the end of the 20th century, the liberal international order appeared unassailable after its triumph over the authoritarian challenges of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Twenty years later, however …
American Studies October 20, 2020

A Foreign Policy for the Left

Michael Walzer

Hosted by Keith Krueger
In my old age, I try to argue more quietly, though I still believe that sharp disagreement is a sign of political seriousness. What engaged citizens think and say matters …
European Studies October 19, 2020

Heidegger’s Fascist Affinities

A Politics of Silence

Adam Knowles

Hosted by Stephen Dozeman
The German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s influence over the last several decades of philosophy is undeniable, but his place in the canon has been called into question in recent years in …
Popular Culture October 16, 2020

Teen Spirit

How Adolescence Transformed the Adult World

Paul Howe

Hosted by Michelle Newhart
Paul Howe's book Teen Spirit: How Adolescence Transformed the Adult World (Cornell UP, 2020) is a “big idea” book. It proposes that some of the woes of contemporary life can …
African American Studies October 15, 2020

Why are Blacks Democrats?

An Interview with Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird

Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird

Hosted by Marshall Poe
Black Americans are by far the most unified racial group in American electoral politics, with 80 to 90 percent identifying as Democrats—a surprising figure given that nearly a third now …
American Studies October 14, 2020

Merge Left

Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America

Ian Haney López

Hosted by Lee Pierce
Greedy elites are purposefully stoking racial division and laughing all the way to the bank. That is the bottom line of Ian Haney López’s Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class …
Music October 13, 2020

Memoir of a Roadie

Axl said I made a great Cup of Tea…Scott Weiland liked The Carpenters…and Ozzy Drinks Rosé

Joel Miller

Hosted by Rebekah Buchanan
In his new book, Memoir of a Roadie: Axl said I made a great Cup of Tea…Scott Weiland liked The Carpenters…and Ozzy Drinks Rosé (2020) Joel Miller recounts his time …
History October 12, 2020

Strange Blood

The Rise and Fall of Lamb Blood Transfusion in 19th-Century Medicine and Beyond

Boel Berner

Hosted by Claire Clark
In the mid-1870s, the experimental therapy of lamb blood transfusion spread like an epidemic across Europe and the USA. Doctors tried it as a cure for tuberculosis, pellagra and anemia …