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
Seth Bernard, “Building Mid-Republican Rome: Labor, Architecture, and the Urban Economy” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Building Mid-Republican Rome: Labor, Architecture, and the Urban Economy (Oxford University Press, 2018), offers a holistic treatment of the development of the Mid-Republican city from 396 to 168 BCE. As Romans established imperial control over Italy and beyond, the city itself radically transformed from an ambitious central Italian settlement into the capital... Read More
Suk-Young Kim, “K-Pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance” (Stanford UP, 2018)
Given its expanding multimedia presence in Asia and around the world for many years now, K-pop is a phenomenon that is hard to ignore. This “animal that thrives on excess,” as Suk-Young Kim puts it (p. 6) is more than just music, however, as it offers us a way of... Read More
Pat Garofalo, “The Billionaire Boondoggle: How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs” (Thomas Dunne, 2019)
Politicians love to woo entertainment corporations to their states and cities through subsidies and tax cities. But Pat Garofalo argues that such incentives waste taxpayer money in The Billionaire Boondoggle: How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs (Thomas Dunne Books, 2019). Garofalo details how filmmakers, gambling... Read More
Ian Johnson, “The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao” (Pantheon, 2017)
Ian Johnson’s new book, The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao (Pantheon, 2017),  was called “a masterpiece of observation and empathy” by The New York Review of Books, and The Economist, who included the book on its Best of 2017 list, said the book, “Shows how a... Read More