New Books Network

Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, “The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany” (University of California Press, 2010)
This past summer Germany hosted the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The 32 matches drew more than 800,000 fans, while the total number of foreign tourists visiting Germany increased by nine per cent over the previous summer. The German government’s commissioner for tourism proudly declared that the success of the... Read More
Ron Christie, “Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur” (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010)
In his new bookActing White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), former White House aide Ron Christie recounts the history of the pejorative term “acting white.” He traces its lineage from the present day through the Black Power movement back to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, unraveling... Read More
Tom Perrotta on Flannery O’Connor
[Re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] Tom Perrotta, the esteemed author of Little Children, Election, The Abstinence Teacher and the recently published novel The Leftovers (St. Martin’s Press, September 2011) speaks with ThoughtCast about a writer who fascinates, irritates and inspires him: Flannery O’Connor.  His relationship with her borders on kinship, and he admires and admonishes her as... Read More
John Grenier, “The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760” (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008)
For many readers, colonial history begins and ends with the original 13 American colonies. This perception overlooks the other British colonies throughout the New World, each of which created their own unique challenges for their imperial master. Historian John Grenier considers one of these “other” colonies in his book The... Read More
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
Despite the fact that many American Muslim families have lived in the United States for generations they are often thought of as foreigners. I have witnessed on several occasions someone asking an African American Muslim when they converted to Islam or what drew them to the religion. Or asking Muslims... Read More
Bryan J. Cuevas, “Travels in the Netherworld: Buddhist Popular Narratives of Death and the Afterlife in Tibet” (Oxford UP, 2008)
Today on “New Books in Buddhist Studies” we’ll be going to hell and back with Bryan Cuevas in a discussion of his new book Travels in the Netherworld: Buddhist Popular Narratives of Death and the Afterlife in Tibet(Oxford University Press, 2008). Common in Tibetan Buddhism is the story of the... Read More
Steven Barnes, “Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society” (Princeton UP, 2011)
Most Westerners know about the Gulag (aka “Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies”) thanks to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s eloquent, heart-wrenching Gulag Archipelago. Since the publication of that book in 1973 (and largely thanks to it), the Gulag has come to symbolize the horrors of Stalinism. Made up of a... Read More