New Books Network

David Brandenberger, “Stalin’s Master Narrative” (Yale UP, 2019)
In this interview, David Brandenberger discusses his new edited volume (created in concert with RGASPI archivist and Russian historian Mikhail Zelenov) Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of ‘The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course’ (Yale University Press, 2019). The Short Course was designed to be... Read More
James Gordon Finlayson, “The Habermas-Rawls Debate” (Columbia UP, 2019)
Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls are perhaps the two most renowned and influential figures in social and political philosophy of the second half of the twentieth century. In the 1990s, they had a famous exchange in the Journal of Philosophy. Quarreling over the merits of each other’s accounts of the... Read More
Kelsey Rubin-Detlev, “The Epistolary Art of Catherine the Great” (Liverpool UP, 2019)
The Epistolary Art of Catherine the Great (Liverpool University Press, 2019) is the first scholarly monograph devoted to the comprehensive analysis of the letters of Empress Catherine the Great of Russia (r. 1762-1796), as well as the first to examine the conventions of letter-writing by an 18th-century monarch after Louis... Read More
Richard J. Bernstein, “Why Read Hannah Arendt Now” (Polity, 2018)
Nobody should feel excited about the renewed relevance of Hannah Arendt’s work today. Her foresight about the fragility of democratic life is relevant for the worst possible reasons: populism, white supremacy, mass deception, the rise of fascism around the world, the coordinated assault on serious journalism, academia and any kind... Read More
Julian Havil, “Curves for the Mathematically Curious” (Princeton UP, 2019)
Today I talked to Julian Havil about his latest book Curves for the Mathematically Curious: An Anthology of the Unpredictable, Historical, Beautiful, and Romantic (Princeton University Press, 2019). You don’t have to be mathematically curious to appreciate Julian’s talent for weaving mathematics and history together – but mathematical curiosity and... Read More
What are Empires and Why do they Matter?
You hear a lot about “empires,” but what are they? Do they still exist? And why does it matter? Today I talked to Jeremy Black about empires, historical and present. Jeremy has thought deeply about empires, and written a lot about them. We discussed them from, if not every angle,... Read More
David Hayton, “Conservative Revolutionary: The Lives of Lewis Namier” (Manchester UP, 2019)
Acclaimed after the Second World War as England’s greatest historian, Sir Lewis Namier was an eastern European immigrant who came to idealise the English gentleman and enjoyed close friendship with leading figures of his day, including Winston Churchill. Today, Namier is associated with the belief that the thoughts and actions... Read More