New Books Network

Ethan Segal, “Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011)
What did money mean to the people of medieval Japan? In Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011), Ethan Segal takes readers through a fascinating exploration of the politics, society, and culture of pre-1600 Japan. One of the wonderful things about... Read More
David Wolman, “The End Of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers, and the Coming Cashless Society” (Da Capo Press, 2012)
Many of us in the western world don’t rely on bills and coins as much as we used to, yet the idea of cash money is still an ever-present constant in our minds. How often have you stopped to consider the idea of what “money” actually is on a larger... Read More
Barry Kernfeld, “Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution Since 1929” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
Have you ever illegally downloaded a song from the internet? How about illicitly burned copies of a CD? Made a “party tape?” Bought a bootleg album? You may have done these things, but have you purchased a bootlegged song-sheet? In Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution Since 1929 (University of... Read More
Helen Tilley, “Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950” (University of Chicago, 2011)
Helen Tilley‘s new book Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950 (University of Chicago Press, 2011) uncovers the surprising relationships that developed between science and empire as Britain attempted to fulfill its imperial projects in Africa. Focused primarily on Britain’s colonial dependencies, Tilley... Read More
Simon Johnson, “13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown” (Pantheon, 2010)
Re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] Simon Johnson, the Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, is an outspoken critic of the US government response to the financial crisis. Now he takes on the “too big to fail” banks... 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
Louis Hyman, “Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink” (Princeton UP, 2011)
I remember clearly the day I was offered my first credit card. It was in Berkeley, CA in 1985. I was walking on Sproul Plaza and I saw a booth manned by two students. They were giving out all kinds of swag, so I walked over to see what was... Read More