New Books Network

Stephen Ellis, “Season of Rains: Africa in the world” (Hurst, 2011 )
Globalisation has not passed Africa by. The recent boom in commodity prices has had a direct impact on African markets, as has the inescapable presence of new global powers like China on the continent. The massive amount of under-utilised agricultural land in Africa has also drawn buyers from the United... Read More
Howard Spodek, “Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth Century India” (Indiana University Press, 2011)
As Ahmedabad, the chief city of Gujarat state in Western India, puts itself up as a contender for World Heritage status, Howard Spodek’s lovely book, Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth Century India (Indiana University Press, 2011), can only give a boost to its campaign. This book is a discrete, yet... Read More
Louis Siegelbaum, “Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile” (Cornell UP, 2008)
A recent editorial in the Moscow Times declared that in Moscow “the car is king.” Indeed, one word Muscovites constantly mutter is probka (traffic jam). The boom in car ownership is transforming Russian life itself, and for some not necessarily for the better. “The joy of personal mobility — that... Read More
Frank Dobson, Jr., “Rendered Invisible: Stories of Blacks and Whites, Love and Death” (Plain View Press, 2010)
Frank Dobson, Jr.‘s Rendered Invisible: Stories of Blacks and Whites, Love and Death (Plain View Press, 2010) is a single-authored collection of fiction. It includes the opening, gripping novella “Rendered Invisible,” which gives the book its title. That’s followed by five notable short stories: “Black Messiahs Die,” about a black... Read More
Anthony Penna, “The Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
One of the most disturbing insights made by practitioners of “Big History” is that the distinction between geologic time and human time has collapsed in our era. The forces that drove geologic time–plate tectonics, the orientation of the Earth’s axis relative to the sun, volcanic activity–were distinct from the forces... Read More
Dov Zakheim, “A Vulcan’s Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan” (Brookings Institution Press, 2011)
In his new book, A Vulcan’s Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (Brookings Institution Press, 2011) Dov Zakheim, former chief financial officer for the U.S. Department of Defense, describes his time as a Vulcan, one of the elite group of eight foreign policy experts who advised... Read More
Deborah Whaley, “Disciplining Women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Counterpublics, and the Cultural Politics of Black Sororities” (SUNY, 2010)
Deborah Whaley’s new book Disciplining Women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Counterpublics, and the Cultural Politics of Black Sororities (SUNY Press, 2010) may be the first full-length study of a Black Greek-Letter Organization (BGLO) written by a non-BGLO member. But that’s not the only reason to read her book. Whaley takes... Read More