New Books Network

Carol Bundy, “The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64” (FSG, 2005)
[This interview is re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] At a time when the country’s attention is focused on the ever-expanding list of American war dead, Carol Bundy‘s biography of a Union officer who sacrifices his life in the Civil War is eerily apt. The Nature of Sacrifice. A... Read More
David J. Silbey, “A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902” (Hill and Wang, 2008)
The Spanish-American War was not only the beginning of a new imperial period for the United States, David Silbey observes in his book A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902 (Hill and Wang, 2008), it was also the point at which the Filipino people first began to... Read More
Christopher Ward, “Brezhnev’s Folly: The Building of BAM and Late Soviet Socialism” (Pittsburgh UP, 2009)
At the Seventeenth Komsomol Congress in 1974, Leonid Brezhnev announced the construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway, or BAM. This “Path to the Future” would prove to be the Soviet Union’s last flirt with socialist gigantism. The cost, poor planning, waste, and environmental damage associated with the construction BAM’s 2,687... Read More
Pamela Cobrin, “From Winning the Vote to Directing on Broadway: The Emergence of Women on the New York Stage” (Delaware, 2009)
Pamela Cobrin‘s book From Winning the Vote to Directing on Broadway: The Emergence of Women on the New York Stage, 1880-1927 (University of Delaware Press, 2009) investigates the suffragists and early feminists through the lens of performance. Broadly defining performance, she includes the amateur theatricals of Mary Shaw’s Gamut Club,... Read More
Dan Drezner, “Theories of International Politics and Zombies” (Princeton UP, 2011)
International theorists like to game out every possible scenario. What would happen if you applied their methodology to dealing with the fictional public policy challenge of a zombie infestation? In Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies (Princeton UP, 2011), he looks at each of the major international relations... Read More
Erik Jensen, “Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity” (Oxford UP, 2010)
Here’s a simple–or should we say simplistic?–line of political reasoning: communities are made of people; people can either be sick or healthy; communities, therefore, are sick or healthy depending on the sickness or health of their people. This logic is powerful. It explains success: “We lost the war because we,... Read More
Alex Vilenkin, “Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes” (Hill and Wang, 2006)
[This interview is re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] Want to know how the world is going to end? Just ask Russian cosmologist Alex Vilenkin. If it’s our own universe you’re talking about, well, it’s called the big crunch, and it’s going to be hot hot hot! But if... Read More