New Books Network

Stephen Legg, “Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities, and Interwar India” (Duke UP, 2014)
The spatial politics of brothels in late-British India are the subject of Stephen Legg‘s second book Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities, and Interwar India, published by Duke University Press in 2014. The book explores the complexities of the brothel at the urban, national and imperial scales as... Read More
Gregory Smits, “Seismic Japan” (University of Hawaii Press, 2013)
In two recent books, Gregory Smits offers a history of earthquakes and seismology in Japan that creates a wonderful dialogue between history and the sciences. Seismic Japan: The Long History and Continuing Legacy of the Ansei Edo Earthquake (University of Hawai’i Press, 2013) is a deeply contextualized study of the... Read More
Silver Donald Cameron, “The Living Beach: Life, Death and Politics where the Land Meets the Sea” (Red Deer Press, 2014)
The acclaimed Canadian author Silver Donald Cameron writes that the idea for his newly reissued book, The Living Beach: Life, Death and Politics where the Land Meets the Sea (Red Deer Press, 2014), occurred to him when he was interviewing a “lean, laconic, geologist,” named Bob Taylor who works at... Read More
Bradley Garrett, “Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City” (Verso, 2013)
More and more of the world is living in cities, yet we rarely stop to examine how our spaces are organised and controlled. In a remarkable new book, Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City (Verso, 2013), Bradley Garrett tells the story of his urban explorations that attempt to show the space... Read More
John R. Gillis, “The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
Americans are moving to the ocean. Every year, more and more Americans move to–or are born in– the coasts and fewer and fewer remain in–or are born in–the interior. The United States began as a coastal nation; it’s become one again. According to John R. Gillis‘s provocative new book The Human Shore:... Read More
Timothy J. Brook, “Mr. Selden’s Map of China: Decoding the Secrets of a Vanished Cartographer” (Bloomsbury, 2013)
The story opens with a closing and closes with an opening. The closing is the sale of the map of Martin Waldseemuller, “America’s birth certificate,” for $10 million to the Library of Congress. The opening is the illumination of a grave as you, the reader, turn on a light to... Read More
Giancarlo Casale, “The Ottoman Age of Exploration” (Oxford UP, 2010)
You’ve probably heard of the “Age of Exploration.” You know, Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Columbus, etc., etc. But actually that was the European Age of Exploration (and really it wasn’t even that, because the people who lived in what we now call “Europe” didn’t think of themselves as... Read More
Toby Lester, “The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America its Name” (Free Press, 2009)
Why the heck is “America” called “America” and not, say, “Columbia?” You’ll find the answer to that question and many more in Toby Lester‘s fascinating and terrifically readable new book The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the... Read More
Peter Mancall, “Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson” (Basic Books, 2009)
You’ve probably heard of the Hudson River, and you may have even heard of Hudson Bay. But have you ever heard of Henry Hudson? Well you should, and now thanks to Peter Mancall‘s page-turning Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson (Basic Books, 2009) you can. And very pleasurably... Read More
Colin Gordon, “Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008)
This week we have Professor Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa on the show talking about his new book Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). Professor Gordon is the author of two previous monographs, Dead on Arrival: The Politics... Read More