New Books Network

Charles Clotfelter, “Big-Time College Sports in American Universities” (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Corruption in big-time college sports recently claimed another victim: Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel. Once regarded as a paragon of integrity, Tressel is now seen as one more example of a coach who recruited star players and built a successful program with the benefit of illegal gifts from boosters.... Read More
Elizabeth Abel, “Signs of the Times: The Visual Politics of Jim Crow” (University of California Press, 2010)
I think this is really interesting. Among the thousands of iconic and easily recognizable photographs of segregated water fountains in the American South, you will almost never find one that features a black woman, a white woman or a white man drinking. They are nearly all of black men drinking.... Read More
Carrie Pitzulo, “Bachelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
Playboy is having (another) moment. Since its fiftieth birthday in 2003, the brand’s relevance has risen after a period of decline. The Girls Next Door, a reality television show about the goings-on at Hugh Hefner’s Los Angeles mansion, was a breakout hit starting in 2005, and it eventually spawned two... Read More
William Damon, “Failing Liberty 101: How We Are Leaving Young Americans Unprepared for Citizenship in a Free Society” (Hoover Institution, 2011)
In his new book, Failing Liberty 101: How We Are Leaving Young Americans Unprepared for Citizenship in a Free Society, (Hoover Institution Press, 2011) William Damon, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues that we are failing to prepare today’s young people to be responsible American citizens. Damon, who... Read More
Bradley Shreve, “Red Power Rising: The National Indian Youth Council and the Origins of Native Activism” (University of Oklahoma Press, 2011)
For most non-native Americans, the Red Power Movement of the 1960s and 70s appeared out of nowhere. Convinced of triumphalist myths of the disappearing (or disappeared) Indian, white America relegated native communities to the margins of society. Then, “like a hurricane” (in the words of Robert Warrior and Paul Chaat... Read More
Gavin Mortimer, “The Great Swim” (Walker Books, 2008)
I have the habit of reacting audibly when reading good works of non-fiction. Members of my household and strangers on airplanes have been startled by my hmms and huhs of surprise, my ews and ughs of disgust, and my wows of disbelief. I put my whole vocabulary of interjections to... Read More
Alan Nadel, “August Wilson: Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle” (University of Iowa Press, 2010)
Many scholars consider August Wilson to be the premier American playwright of the 20th Century. Alan Nadel is surely one of their number. In the early 1990s, he focused our attention on Wilson’s plays in the outstanding collection of essays May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama... Read More