New Books Network

Michael Gordin, “The Pseudoscience Wars:  Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
When I agreed to host New Books and Science Fiction and Fantasy there were a number of authors I hoped to interview, including Michael Gordin. This might come as a surprise to listeners, because Michael is neither a science-fiction nor a fantasy author. He is, rather, a prominent historian of... Read More
Ines Mergel, “Social Media in the Public Sector: A Guide to Participation, Collaboration and Transparency in the Networked World” (Jossey-Bass 2012)
Ines Mergel, assistant professor of public administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University, is the author of Social Media in the Public Sector: A Guide to Participation, Collaboration and Transparency in the Networked World (Jossey-Bass 2012). This... Read More
Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin, “El Iluminado: A Graphic Novel” (Basic Books, 2012)
Are you looking for a good Hanukkah gift? A good Christmas gift? Heck, any gift? Or maybe you just want to read a terrific book? Well I’ve got just the ticket: Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin‘s, El Iluminado: A Graphic Novel (Basic Books, 2012). Stavans and Scheinkin team up to... Read More
Jack W. Chen, “The Poetics of Sovereignty: On Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty” (Harvard Yenching Institute, 2010)
After coming to power in a series of violent and deceptive acts, including tricking his father into cuckolding the Emperor, Li Shimin went on to become a ruler whose reign as Emperor Taizong has been hailed as a model of good government throughout East Asia. Jack W. Chen‘s recent book... Read More
Janice Neri, “The Insect and the Image: Visualizing Nature in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700” (University of Minnesota Press, 2011)
Before the sixteenth century, bugs and other creepy-crawlies could be found in the margins of manuscripts.  Over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, insects crawled their way to the center of books, paintings, and other media of natural history illustration. Janice Neri‘s wonderful book charts this transformation in... Read More
Thomas David DuBois, “Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia” (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Do historians of East Asia sufficiently account for the role of religious communities in the construction of history? Of course, there are histories of the Taiping Rebellion, and groups like Soka Gakkai or Falungong. But have historians probed how these movements have shaped the history of China and Japan more... Read More
Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, “Crooked Paths to Allotment: The Fight over Federal Indian Policy after Civil War” (UNC Press, 2012)
Despite what you may have learned in undergraduate surveys or high school textbooks, the nineteenth century was not one long and inexorable march toward Indian dispossession — the real story is far more tragic. As historian Joseph Genetin-Pilawa masterfully relates in his new book Crooked Paths to Allotment: The Fight... Read More