New Books Network

Shayne Legassie, “The Medieval Invention of Travel” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Shayne Legassie talks about medieval travel, especially long distance travel, and the way it was feared, praised, and sometimes treated with suspicion. He also talks about the role the Middle Ages played in creating modern conceptions of travel and travel writing. Legassie is an associate professor of English and Comparative... Read More
Amy Olberding, “The Wrong of Rudeness: Learning Modern Civility from Ancient Chinese Philosophy” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Amy Olberding’s The Wrong of Rudeness: Learning Modern Civility from Ancient Chinese Philosophy (Oxford UP, 2019) is a joy to read, both entertaining and rich in ideas. The Wrong of Rudeness asks a key question for our times: how do we interact with each other, especially in politically contentious situations?... Read More
Jenny Huangfu Day, “Qing Travelers to the Far West: Diplomacy and the Information Order in Late Imperial China” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Historians in the English-speaking world have long studied how European and American travelers and diplomats conceptualized China, but, especially in recent years, few scholars have attempted to thoroughly understand the reverse—how Qing envoys conceptualized the West. This is the starting point for Dr. Jenny Huangfu Day (Associate Professor of History... Read More
Frank Dikötter, “Mao’s Great Famine” (Bloomsbury, 2011)
In the years he ruled the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong presided over the greatest mass murder in human history, both in his elimination of millions of perceived political enemies and also in the starving of tens of millions in callously engineered mass famine. Professor Frank Dikötter estimates that... Read More
Levi McLaughlin, “Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan” (U Hawaii Press, 2018)
Being Japan’s largest and most influential new religious organization, Soka Gakkai (Society for the Creation of Value) and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) claims to have 12 million members in 192 countries around the world. Founded in the 1930s by a group of teachers focused on educational reform, Soka Gakkai has... Read More
Max Ward, “Thought Crime: Ideology and State Power in Interwar Japan” (Duke UP, 2019)
Max Ward’s Thought Crime: Ideology and State Power in Interwar Japan (Duke University Press, 2019) analyzes the trajectory and transformations of the implementation of Japan’s 1925 Peace Preservation Law from its conception until the early years of the 1940s. The law, which began as a state effort to tamp down... Read More
Berthe Jansen, “The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet” (U California Press, 2018)
The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet (University of California Press, 2018) discusses the position of the monasteries in pre-1950s Tibetan Buddhist societies and how that position was informed by the far-reaching relationship of monastic Buddhism with Tibetan society, economy, law, and culture. Berthe Jansen‘s study of monastic... Read More