New Books Network

Bianca Premo, “The Enlightenment on Trial: Ordinary Litigants and Colonialism in the Spanish Empire” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Bianca Premo’s award-winning book The Enlightenment on Trial: Ordinary Litigants and Colonialism in the Spanish Empire, published by Oxford University Press in 2017, makes a powerful yet seemingly simple claim: during the eighteenth century, illiterate ordinary litigants in colonial Spanish America created enlightened ideas and practices by suing their social... 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
Davide Crippa, “The Impossibility of Squaring the Circle in the 17th Century” (Birkhäuser, 2019)
From 1667 to 1676, a pivotal controversy played out among several mathematical luminaries of the time, partly in the proceedings of the Royal Society but partly in private correspondence. The controversy concerned whether an infamous problem of Ancient Greek geometry, the quadrature of the central conic sections (better known as... Read More
Jesse Cromwell, “The Smugglers’ World: Illicit Trade and Atlantic Communities in Eighteenth-Century Venezuela” (UNC Press, 2018)
Chocolate – nothing is more irresistible for a decadent treat or a rich drink to warm you on a cold winter’s evening.  In eighteenth-century Venezuela, cacao became a life source for the colony. Neglected by the Spanish fleet system, Venezuelan colonists struggled to obtain European foods and goods. But, they... Read More
Mark Braude, “The Invisible Emperor: Napoleon on Elba from Empire to Exile” (Penguin Press, 2018)
I must’ve been a kid when I first heard the palindrome “Able I was ere I saw Elba”. Napoleon didn’t mean a lot to me at the time. “Elba” meant even less. Decades later, I had learned a little more about Napoleon and his time there, but not that all... Read More
Geoffrey Parker, “Emperor: A New Life of Charles V” (Yale UP, 2019)
From his accession to the Spanish throne in 1516 until his abdication in 1556, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V dominated Europe in a way that no ruler had since Charlemagne. In Emperor: A New Life of Charles V (Yale University Press, 2019), Geoffrey Parker draws upon an enormous array... Read More
Susan Jaques, “The Caesar of Paris: Napoleon Bonaparte, Rome, and the Artistic Obsession That Shaped An Empire” (Pegasus Books, 2018)
In her book, The Caesar of Paris:  Napoleon Bonaparte, Rome, and the Artistic Obsession That Shaped An Empire (Pegasus Books, 2018), Susan Jaques offers up a richly detailed and researched account of Napoleon’s fascination with ancient Rome, and how this obsession shaped not only France in the early part of... Read More