New Books Network

Merry White, “Coffee Life in Japan” (University of California Press, 2012)
Merry (Corky) White‘s new book Coffee Life in Japan (University of California Press, 2012) opens with a memory of stripping naked and being painted blue in an underground coffeehouse, and closes with a guide to some of the author’s favorite cafes in Japan. This framing alone is worth the price... Read More
Nancy Hargrove, “T.S. Eliot’s Parisian Year” (University of Florida Press, 2010)
When it comes to writers and artists, biography plays a provocative role–yielding insight into both artistic influences and origins. This is especially true with the modernists, in particular T.S. Eliot. After graduating from Harvard University in 1910, the young Eliot spent a year in Paris, a year that had a... Read More
Pieter Judson, “Guardians of the Nation: Activists on the Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria” (Harvard UP, 2006)
What if much of what we think we know about nationalism and the spread of the national identity over the course of the nineteenth century were wrong? This view is so widely accepted and ingrained in how we talk about the relationship between modernization and national identity that a different... Read More
Alexander Maxwell, “Choosing Slovakia: Slavic Hungary, the Czechoslovak Language, and Accidental Nationalism” (Tauris Academic Studies, 2009)
On 1 January 1993 Slovakia became an independent nation. According to conventional Slovak nationalist history that event was the culmination of a roughly thousand year struggle. Alexander Maxwell argues quite differently in his book Choosing Slovakia: Slavic Hungary, the Czechoslovak Language, and Accidental Nationalism (Tauris Academic Studies, 2009). Although focused... Read More
Bob Riesman, “I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
Big Bill Broonzy was a master storyteller. From his name, he was born Lee Conly Bradley, to his age, he typically added a decade, to the facts of his growing up in the pre-civil rights segregated South (not that he didn’t, he simply embellished a lot) Bill could spin a... Read More
Allen Fromherz, “Qatar: A Modern History” (Georgetown UP, 2012)
In his new book Qatar: A Modern History (Georgetown University Press, 2012), Dr. Allen Fromherz, a professor at Georgia State University, analyzes the cultural and political forces that have shaped Qatar’s history. Going beyond the common focus on Qatar’s oil economy, Dr. Fromherz discusses Qatar’s formation as an independent state,... Read More
Donna Landry, “Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture” (John Hopkins UP, 2009)
This is a book about horses. Donna Landry‘s Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture (The John Hopkins University Press, 2009) is all about how horses were a means of cultural exchange between the Orient and England. More than just exchange- there was theft and diplomacy as well. Over... Read More