New Books Network

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, “Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston” (UNC Press, 2011)
How were black women manumitted in the Old South, and how did they live their lives in freedom before the Civil War? Historian, Amrita Chakrabarti Myers (Associate Professor in the Department of History at Indiana University in Bloomington) answers this complex question by explaining the precarious nature freedom for African... Read More
Mary Louise Roberts, “What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
Tracking soldiers from the villages and towns of Northern France, to the “Silver Foxhole” of Paris, to tribunals that convicted a disproportionate number of African-American soldiers of rape, Mary Louise Roberts‘ latest book reveals a side of the Liberation of 1944-45 that is typically obscured in histories of the D-Day... Read More
Helen Longino, “Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
What explains human behavior? It is standard to consider answers from the perspective of a dichotomy between nature and nurture, with most researchers today in agreement that it is both. For Helen Longino, Clarence Irving Lewis Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, the “both” answer misses the fact that the... Read More
Beth H. Piatote, “Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature” (Yale University Press, 2013)
The suspension of the so-called “Indian Wars” did not signal colonialism’s end, only a different battlefield. “The calvary man was supplanted–or, rather, supplemented–by the field matron, the Hotchkiss by the transit, and the prison by the school,” writes Beth H. Piatote. “A turn to the domestic front, even as the... Read More
Laina Dawes, “What are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal” (Bazillion Points, 2012)
Extreme metal, punk, and hardcore. Slayer. Sick of it All. Cro-Mags. Decapitated. Behemoth. Musically aggressive rock bands with growling vocals and lyrics about annihilation, death, and dismemberment. A genre of music that, even more than more mainstream music genres, seems to be the province of (straight) white males. But wait.... Read More
Barbara Engel, “Breaking the Ties that Bound: The Politics of Marital Strife in Late Imperial Russia” (Cornell UP, 2011)
Divorce was virtually impossible in Imperial Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church monopolized matrimony, and it rarely granted divorce except in extraordinary cases of adultery, abandonment, sexual impotence, or exile. Marriage as an unbreakable religious sacrament still held. Yet, by the end of the nineteenth century, Russian perceived a “crisis of... Read More
Melissa R. Klapper, “Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940” (NYU Press, 2013)
Many people have probably heard of Betty Friedan, Bela Abzug, Gloria Steinem, and Andrea Dworkin, all stars of Second Wave Feminism. They were also all Jewish (by heritage if not faith). As Melissa R. Klapper shows in her new book Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism,... Read More