New Books Network

Cathal J. Nolan, “The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost” (Oxford UP, 2019)
History has tended to measure war’s winners and losers in terms of its major engagements, battles in which the result was so clear-cut that they could be considered “decisive.” Marathon, Cannae, Tours, Agincourt, Austerlitz, Sedan, Stalingrad–all resonate in the literature of war and in our imaginations as tide-turning. But were... Read More
Megan Bryson, “Goddess on the Frontier: Religion, Ethnicity, and Gender in Southwest China” (Stanford UP, 2016)
Megan Bryson, Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, centers gender as an analytical framework in the study of Buddhism. The benefit of this approach is vividly demonstrated in Goddess on the Frontier: Religion, Ethnicity, and Gender in Southwest China (Stanford University Press, 2016), which uncovers the transformation of the goddess Baijie over... Read More
Cindy Yik-Yi Chu, “The Chinese Sisters of the Precious Blood and the Evolution of the Catholic Church” (Palgrave, 2016)
The history of Christianity in China has been dominated by accounts of men and of male institutions. In this important new work, Cindy Yik-Yi Chu, who is a professor of history at Hong Kong Baptist University, opens up an important new archive in Hong Kong to illuminate the complex and... Read More
Eric Huntington, “Creating the Universe: Depictions of the Cosmos in Himalayan Buddhism” (U Washington Press, 2018)
Eric Huntington’s Creating the Universe: Depictions of the Cosmos in Himalayan Buddhism (University of Washington Press, 2018) explores the various ways that Buddhists have imagined and represented the cosmos over the last nearly two thousand years of Buddhist history in Tibet, Nepal and India. It is a lushly illustrated volume,... Read More
Kerim Yasar, “Electrified Voices: How the Telephone, Phonograph, and Radio Shaped Modern Japan, 1868-1945” (Columbia UP, 2018)
Electrified Voices: How the Telephone, Phonograph, and Radio Shaped Modern Japan, 1868-1945 (Columbia UP, 2018) explores the soundscapes of modernity in Japan. In this book, Kerim Yasar argues that modern technologies of sound reproduction and transmission have had profound—and often underappreciated—social, economic, and political effects. Observing that the “materialities of... Read More
Maren A. Ehlers, “Give and Take: Poverty and the Status Order in Early Modern Japan” (Harvard U Asia Center, 2018)
Maren A. Ehlers’s Give and Take: Poverty and the Status Order in Early Modern Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2018) examines the ways in which ordinary subjects—including many so-called outcastes and other marginalized groups—participated in the administration and regulation of society in Tokugawa Japan. Within this context, the book focuses... Read More
Jinhua Dai (ed. Lisa Rofel), “After the Post-Cold War: The Future of Chinese History” (Duke UP, 2018)
Although not all that well known to English-speaking audiences, cultural critic and Peking University professor Jinhua Dai’s incisive commentaries and critiques of contemporary Chinese life have elevated her to something akin to ‘rock star’ status in China itself. As Lisa Rofel discusses in this podcast, and in her introduction to... Read More