New Books Network

Thomas Dodman, “What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire, and the Time of a Deadly Emotion” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Feelings have a history and nostalgia has its own. In What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire, and the Time of a Deadly Emotion (University of Chicago Press, 2018) Thomas Dodman explores the history of nostalgia from the late seventeenth to the late nineteenth century. Beginning with the coining of the term... Read More
Marixa Lasso, “Erased: The Untold Story of the Panama Canal” (Harvard UP, 2019)
Many of our presumptions about the Panama Canal Zone are wrong; it was not carved out of uninhabited jungle, the creation of Lake Gatún did not flood towns and force them to move, people living in the zone prior to the construction of the canal were not out of step... Read More
Harold J. Cook, “The Young Descartes: Nobility, Rumor, and War” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Harold J. Cook talks about the travels and trials of the young Descartes, a man who spent as much time traveling and fighting as he did studying philosophy. Cook is John F. Nickoll Professor of History at Brown University. He is the author of The Young Descartes: Nobility, Rumor, and... Read More
René Weis, “The Real Traviata: The Song of Marie Duplessis” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Though she died in 1847 at a young age, Marie Duplessis inspired one of the greatest operas ever composed. In The Real Traviata: The Song of Marie Duplessis (Oxford University Press, 2015), René Weis recounts the life of the remarkable woman who overcame poverty and abuse to become the toast... Read More
Kathleen Keller, “Colonial Suspects: Suspicion, Imperial Rule, and Colonial Society in Interwar French West Africa” (U Nebraska Press, 2018)
Kathleen Keller’s new book, Colonial Suspects: Suspicion, Imperial Rule, and Colonial Society in Interwar French West Africa (University of Nebraska Press, 2018) is teeming with mysterious persons, foreigners, misfits, and the surveillance of numerous figures who appeared to threaten the stability of empire. In this detailed and compelling study of... Read More
Stéphane Henaut and Jeni Mitchell, “A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment” (The New Press, 2018)
From the cassoulet that won a war to the crêpe that doomed Napoleon, from the rebellions sparked by bread and salt to the new cuisines forged by empire, the history of France is intimately entwined with its gastronomic pursuits. A witty exploration of the facts and legends surrounding some of... Read More
Andrew Sobanet, “Generation Stalin:  French Writers, the Fatherland, and the Cult of Personality” (Indiana UP, 2018)
In his 1924 biography of Mahatma Gandhi, writer Romain Rolland embraced the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence and decried the “dictators of Moscow” and the “idolatrous ideology of the Revolution.”  Seven years later, in a startling reversal, Rolland expressed his support for the USSR and confidence in Soviet leaders:  “The builders... Read More