New Books Network

Jeffrey T. Zalar, “Reading and Rebellion in Catholic Germany, 1770-1914” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Popular conceptions of Catholic censorship, symbolized above all by the Index of Forbidden Books, figure prominently in secular definitions of freedom. To be intellectually free is to enjoy access to knowledge unimpeded by any religious authority. But how would the history of freedom change if these conceptions were false? In... Read More
Kara Ritzheimer, “‘Trash,’ Censorship, and National Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Germany” (Cambridge UP, 2016)
Convinced that sexual immorality and unstable gender norms were endangering national recovery after World War One, German lawmakers drafted a constitution in 1919 legalizing the censorship of movies and pulp fiction, and prioritizing social rights over individual rights. These provisions enabled legislations to adopt two national censorship laws intended to... Read More
Heidi Tworek, “News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945” (Harvard UP, 2019)
In our current moment marred by media monopolies and disinformation campaigns, it is easy to get caught up in the dizzying temporality of the news cycle and think these are new phenomena. Heidi Tworek’s impressive new book, News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945 (Harvard University Press, 2019),... Read More
E. Douglas Bomberger, “Making Music American: 1917 and the Transformation of Culture” (Oxford UP, 2018)
There has been a recent trend in books that explore one year in detail: 1914, 1927, and 1968 have all received this treatment. E. Douglas Bomberger’s new book Making Music American: 1917 and the Transformation of Culture from Oxford University Press (2018) is new twist on this phenomenon. Rather than... Read More
Heike Bauer, “The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture” (Temple UP, 2017)
Influential sexologist and activist Magnus Hirschfeld founded Berlin’s Institute of Sexual Sciences in 1919 as a home and workplace to study homosexual rights activism and support transgender people. It was destroyed by the Nazis in 1933. This episode in history prompted Heike Bauer to ask, “Is violence an intrinsic part... Read More
Stephen Fritz, “The First Soldier: Hitler as a Military Leader” (Yale UP, 2018)
In his new book, The First Soldier: Hitler as a Military Leader (Yale University Press, 2018), Stephen Fritz professor of history at East Tennessee State University reexamines Hitler as a military commander and strategist. That Hitler saw World War II as the only way to retrieve Germany’s fortunes and build... Read More
Clayton Whisnant, “Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A History, 1880-1945” (Harrington Park Press, 2016)
Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed key developments in LGBT history, including the growth of the world’s first homosexual organizations and gay and lesbian magazines, as well as an influential community of German sexologists and psychoanalysts. In his new book, Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A... Read More