New Books Network

David J. Silbey, “A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902” (Hill and Wang, 2008)
The Spanish-American War was not only the beginning of a new imperial period for the United States, David Silbey observes in his book A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902 (Hill and Wang, 2008), it was also the point at which the Filipino people first began to... Read More
Christopher Ward, “Brezhnev’s Folly: The Building of BAM and Late Soviet Socialism” (Pittsburgh UP, 2009)
At the Seventeenth Komsomol Congress in 1974, Leonid Brezhnev announced the construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway, or BAM. This “Path to the Future” would prove to be the Soviet Union’s last flirt with socialist gigantism. The cost, poor planning, waste, and environmental damage associated with the construction BAM’s 2,687... Read More
Dan Drezner, “Theories of International Politics and Zombies” (Princeton UP, 2011)
International theorists like to game out every possible scenario. What would happen if you applied their methodology to dealing with the fictional public policy challenge of a zombie infestation? In Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies (Princeton UP, 2011), he looks at each of the major international relations... Read More
Erik Jensen, “Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity” (Oxford UP, 2010)
Here’s a simple–or should we say simplistic?–line of political reasoning: communities are made of people; people can either be sick or healthy; communities, therefore, are sick or healthy depending on the sickness or health of their people. This logic is powerful. It explains success: “We lost the war because we,... Read More
Daniel Sidorick, “Condensed Capitalism: Campbell Soup and the Pursuit of Cheap Production in the Twentieth Century” (Cornell UP, 2009)
When I was in college I had a summer job once working in an aircraft factory. My task was to count screws. Nope, I’m not kidding. I put together parts-kits that were then taken to another station “down the line” for assembly. It wasn’t much fun, and it taught me... Read More
Thomas Bruscino, “A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along” (University of Tennessee Press, 2010)
Prior to 1945, the United States was still largely a collection of different ethnic and racial communities, living alongside each other in neighborhoods, villages, and towns. There was only a faint “American identity.” In his new book A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get... Read More
Teresa Gowan, “Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders-Homeless in San Francisco” (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
Why do people become homeless? Is it because some people have made bad decisions in their lives or can’t hold onto a stable job? Or is homelessness the result of a depilating mental illness or chemical addiction? From a different perspective, perhaps homelessness is less an “individual issue” but more... Read More