New Books Network

Jeremy Dauber, “The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem” (Schocken, 2013)
The first comprehensive biography of famed Yiddish novelist, story writer and playwright Sholem Aleichem, Jeremy Dauber‘s welcome new book The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem: The Remarkable Life and Afterlife of the Man Who Created Tevye (Schocken, 2013) offers readers an encounter with the great Yiddish author himself. Dauber writes in the rhythm... Read More
Robert Gellately, “Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War” (Knopf, 2013)
It takes two to tango, right? Indeed it does. But it’s also true that someone has got to ask someone else to dance before any tangoing is done. Beginning in the 1960s, the American intellectual elite argued–and seemed to really believe–that the United States either started the Cold War full... Read More
Dan Stone, “Histories of the Holocaust” (Oxford UP, 2010)
I don’t think it’s possible anymore for someone, even an academic with a specialty in the field, let alone an interested amateur, to read even a fraction of the literature written about the Holocaust. If you do a search for the word “Holocaust” on Amazon (as I just did), you... Read More
Luuk van Middelaar, “The Passage to Europe: How a Continent Became a Union” (Yale UP, 2013)
At the end of the 20th century, it looked like history was being made. After a century that had seen Europe dissolve into an orgy of bloody conflict not once but twice, the continent seemed to have changed its ways. It had spent the second half of the century building... Read More
Christopher Browning, “Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave Labor Camp” (W. W. Norton, 2010)
Christopher Browning is one of the giants in the field of Holocaust Studies. He has contributed vitally to at least two of the basic debates in the field: the intentionalist/functionalist discussion about when, why and how the Germans decided to annihilate the Jews of Europe, and the question of why... Read More
Paul Mojzes, “Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the 20th Century” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011)
I was a graduate student in the 1990s when Yugoslavia dissolved into violence. Beginning a dissertation on Habsburg history, I probably knew more about the region than most people in the US about the region. Yet I was just as surprised as anyone else at the scale of the hatred... Read More
Mary Heimann, “Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed” (Yale UP, 2009)
Americans love Prague. They visit and have even moved there in considerable numbers. They like the place for a lot of reasons. One is that Prague is a very beautiful city. But another is that the Czech Republic has a widespread reputation in the U.S. (and more generally, I think)... Read More
Eric Lohr, “Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union” (Harvard UP, 2012)
Russians have a reputation for xenophobia, that is, it’s said they don’t much like foreigners. According to Eric Lohr‘s new book, Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 2012), this reputation is at once deserved and undeserved. It’s true that at various moments in Russian history, foreigners... Read More
R. M. Douglas, “Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War” (Yale UP, 2012)
I imagine everyone who listens to this podcast knows about the Nazi effort to remake Central and Eastern Europe by expelling and murdering massive numbers of Slavs, Jews, and Gypsies. The results, of course, were catastrophic. Fewer listeners are probably well informed about the Allied effort after the War to... Read More