New Books Network

Mark Corner, “The European Union: An Introduction” (I. B. Tauris, 2014)
Some say it should be a loose collection of sovereign nation states; others say it should aspire to be a kind of super-nation state itself. Or is it, in truth, a messy but workable mixture of a number of extremes, ideals and concepts? These are the type of questions that... Read More
Willard Sunderland, “The Baron’s Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution” (Cornell UP, 2014)
The Russian Empire once extended from the Baltic Sea to the Sea of Japan and contained a myriad of different ethnicities and nationalities. Dr. Willard Sunderland‘s The Baron’s Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2014) is an engaging new take on the... Read More
Andrew Demshuk, “The Lost German East: Forced Migration and the Politics of Memory, 1945-1970” (Cambridge UP, 2012)
At the close of the Second World War, the Allies expelled several million Germans from the eastern portion of the former Reich. Thanks to the work of many historians, we know quite a bit about Allied planning for the expulsion, when and how it took place, and the multitude of... Read More
Edmund Levin, “A Child of Christian Blood: Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia” (Schocken, 2014)
There is a lot of nasty mythology about Jews, but surely the most heinous and ridiculous is the bizarre notion that “they” (as if Jews were all the same) have long been in the habit of murdering Christian children, draining them of blood, and mixing said blood into Passover matzo.... Read More
Sener Akturk, “Regimes of Ethnicity and Nationhood in Germany, Russia, and Turkey (Cambridge UP, 2012)
What processes must take place in order for countries to radically redefine who is a citizen? Why was Russia able to finally remove ethnicity from internal passports after failing to do so during seven decades of Soviet rule? What led German leaders to finally grant guest workers from Southern and... Read More
Mark Levene, “The Crisis of Genocide” (Oxford University Press, 2014)
I imagine one of the greatest compliments an author of an historical monograph can receive is to hear that his or her book changed the way a subject is taught. I will do just that after reading Mark Levene‘s new two volume work The Crisis of Genocide (2 Vols. Devastation:  The... Read More
Geoffrey Wawro, “A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire” (Basic Books, 2014)
When I was in graduate school, those of us who studied World War One commented regularly on the degree to which historians concentrated their attention on the Western front at the expense of the other aspects of the war. In the years since then (I won’t say how many), historians... Read More
Anne Gorsuch, “All This is Your World: Soviet Tourism at Home and Abroad After Stalin” (Oxford UP, 2011)
Thirty years after a trip to the GDR, Soviet cardiologist V.I. Metelitsa still remembered mistakenly trying to buy a dress for a ten-year-old daughter in a maternity shop: ‘In our country I couldn’t even imagine that such a specialized shop could exist’.” Well-stocked shops, attractive cafes, and medieval streets were... Read More
John Roth and Peter Hayes, “The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies” (Oxford UP, 2010)
We’ve talked before on the show about how hard it is to enter into the field of Holocaust Studies. Just six weeks ago, for instance, I talked with Dan Stone about his thoughtful work analyzing and critiquing the current state of our knowledge of the subject. This week is a... Read More