New Books Network

Thomas Dodman, “What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire, and the Time of a Deadly Emotion” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Feelings have a history and nostalgia has its own. In What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire, and the Time of a Deadly Emotion (University of Chicago Press, 2018) Thomas Dodman explores the history of nostalgia from the late seventeenth to the late nineteenth century. Beginning with the coining of the term... Read More
Anthony Kaldellis, “Romanland: Ethnicity and Empire in Byzantium” (Harvard UP, 2019)
Though commonly used today to identify a polity that lasted for over a millennium, the label “Byzantine empire” is an anachronism imposed by more recent generations. As Anthony Kaldellis explains in Romanland: Ethnicity and Empire in Byzantium (Harvard University Press, 2019), this has contributed to the denial of the ethnic... Read More
Francesca Trivellato, “The Promise and Peril of Credit” (Princeton UP, 2019)
In 1647, the French author Étienne Cleirac asserted in his book Les us, et coustumes de la mer that the credit instruments known as bills of exchange had been invented by Jews. In The Promise and Peril of Credit: What a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells Us about... Read More
John West, “Dryden and Enthusiasm: Literature, Religion and Politics in Restoration England” (Oxford UP, 2018)
John Dryden is often regarded as one of the most conservative writers in later seventeenth-century England, a time-serving “trimmer” who abandoned his early commitments to the English Republic to become the poet laureate and historiographer royal of Charles II’s new regime. But, as this important new book demonstrates, Dryden never... Read More
Robbie Richardson, “The Savage and Modern Self: North American Indians in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture” (U Toronto Press, 2018)
As they explored and struggled to establish settlements in what they called ‘new found lands’, the encounter with the peoples of those lands deeply affected how the British saw themselves. From the onset of colonisation, exotic visitors appeared in London. We recognise their names: Pocahontas, Manteo, Squanto. If you look... Read More
Demetra Kasimis, “The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Demetra Kasimis’s new book, The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2018) interrogates the role and unstable place of the metics (metoikoi) in Athenian society.  The book focuses on three different presentations and discussions of the metics, in Euripides’ Ion, in Plato’s Republic, and in Demosthenes’... Read More
Mimi Hanaoka, “Authority and Identity in Medieval Islamic Historiography: Persian Histories from the Periphery” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
How do peripheral places assert the centrality of their identity? Why are fanciful events, like dreams and myths, useful narrative elements for identity construction and arguments about authority, legitimacy, and rhetoric? In Authority and Identity in Medieval Islamic Historiography: Persian Histories from the Periphery (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Mimi Hanaoka,... Read More