New Books Network

Michael Kevaak, “Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking” (Princeton UP, 2011)
In the course of his concise and clearly written new book Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking (Princeton University Press, 2011), Michael Keevak investigates the emergence of a “yellow” and “Mongolian” East Asian identity in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe. Becoming Yellow incorporates a wide range of sources in... Read More
Daniel Treisman, “The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev” (Free Press, 2011)
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, journalists, academics, and policymakers have sought to make sense of post-Soviet Russia. Is Russia an emerging or retrograde democracy? A free-market or crony capitalism? Adopting Western values or forever steeped in Asiatic mores? Is Russia in transition, and if so, transition to what?... Read More
Todd Denault, “The Greatest Game: The Montreal Canadiens, the Red Army, and the Night that Saved Hockey” (McClelland & Stewart, 2010)
When sports fans list the greatest games, they talk about close contests, outstanding performances, and dramatic finishes. Think of game six of the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and the Reds, or Boston College’s 47-45 win over the University of Miami in 1984, capped by Doug Flutie’s miraculous... Read More
Robert Parthesius, “Dutch Ships in Tropical Waters: The Development of the Dutch East India Company Shipping Network in Asia 1595-1660” (Amsterdam UP, 2010)
The Dutch broke the Portuguese commercial and colonizing monopoly in the East in 1595; the seal might have been said to have been set on this triumph when they took over the port of Melaka in 1641, effectively replacing the Portuguese as the masters of maritime Asia. The famed ‘Dutch... Read More
Katharine E. McGregor, “History in Uniform: Military Ideology and the Construction of Indonesia’s Past” (NUS Press, 2007)
Nugroho Notosusanto (1930-1985) never pursued a military career; but all the same he did his bit for the Indonesian armed forces. He was co-opted into the Armed Forces History Centre as a young academic, and dedicated the greater part of his life to writing official histories of post-colonial Indonesia in... Read More
Don Van Natta, Jr., “Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias” (Little, Brown, and Company, 2011)
My older daughter is twelve years old. Like many girls her age, she has spent countless hours on the soccer field. She has played volleyball and run cross-country at her school. She was the catcher for her Little League baseball team. Now she is taking up fencing. My daughter is... Read More
Christopher Krebs, “A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich” (Norton, 2011)
Being a historian is a bit of a slog: years in graduate school, more years in dusty libraries and archives, and even more years teaching students who sometimes don’t seem interested in learning what you have to teach. But the job does have its pleasures, and one of the greatest–and... Read More
Christopher DeRosa, “Political Indoctrination in the U.S. Army from World War II to the Vietnam War”  (University of Nebraska Press, 2006)
One of the greatest challenges American military leaders have faced since the American Revolution has been to motivate citizens to forego their own sense of private identity in favor of the collective identity needed to wage war effectively. This problem became more acute in the twentieth century, when mass conscript... Read More
Lori Meeks, “Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic Orders in Premodern Japan” (University of Hawaii Press, 2010)
Scholars have long been fascinated by the Kamakura era (1185-1333) of Japanese history, a period that saw the emergence of many distinctively Japanese forms of Buddhism. And while a lot of this attention overshadows other equally important periods of Japanese Buddhist history, there is still much to be learned. Take... Read More