New Books Network

Heather Prescott, “Student Bodies: The Influence of Student Health Services in American Society and Medicine” (University of Michigan Press, 2007)
When you were in college, did you visit the health center? I did, several times. Did you ever wonder why there was a student health center? I didn’t. It seemed like a part of the college scenery, something that had “always” been there. Far from it, as Heather Prescott shows... Read More
William Beezley, “Mexican National Identity: Memory, Innuendo and Popular Culture” (University of Arizona Press, 2008)
The question of how we come to understand who we are–nationality-wise–is a thorny one. In a widely-read book, Benedict Anderson said we got nationality, inter alia, by reading about it in books. William Beezley‘s got a different, though complementary, thesis regarding Mexicans of the 19th century: they were shown nationality... Read More
Christopher Capozzola, “Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of The Modern American Citizen” (Oxford UP, 2008)
I confess I sometimes wonder where we got in the habit of proclaiming, usually with some sort of righteous indignation, that we have the “right” to this or that as citizens. I know that the political theorists of the eighteenth century wrote a lot about “rights,” and that “rights” made... Read More
John Lukacs, “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Dire Warning” (Basic Books, 2008)
Much has been written about Winston Churchill recently. Some love him, some hate him. But few understand him, at least as well as John Lukacs. That’s hardly a surprise as Lukacs has been thinking and writing about Churchill for over fifty years. He’s written a wonderful book focusing on one... Read More
Timothy Snyder, “The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of A Habsburg Archduke” (Basic Books, 2008)
Tim Snyder has written a great book. It’s called The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of A Habsburg Archduke (Basic, 2008). Of course it’s thoroughly researched. Tim’s read all the literature and visited all the archives. Of course it’s historically revealing. Tim’s told a story that no one has told... Read More
James Zug, “The Guardian: The History of South Africa’s Extraordinary Anti-Apartheid Newspaper” (Michigan State UP, 2007)
Every so often I read a book that reminds me that things weren’t at all what they appear to have been in hindsight. James Zug‘s wonderfully written The Guardian: The History of South Africa’s Extraordinary Anti-Apartheid Newspaper (Michigan State UP, 2007) is one such book. For years I studied and... Read More
Walter Moss, “An Age of Progress? Clashing Twentieth Century Global Forces” (Anthem Press, 2008)
Today I’m very pleased to have Professor Walter Moss of Eastern Michigan University on the program. Walt and I have known each others for years, and I’ve long admired him. Walt is best known for his many works on Russian history, though his new book–the topic of our discussion today–is... Read More