New Books Network

Christopher Childers, “The Webster-Hayne Debate: Defining Nationhood in the Early American Republic” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2018)
No, not the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Perhaps even more important than that Illinois contest of 1858 was the Webster-Hayne debate of 1830. Confused? Drawing a blank? Not really your fault. Would you be even more surprised to hear that these were debates held not out in front of voters, but in... Read More
Niall Geraghty, “The Polyphonic Machine: Capitalism, Political Violence, and Resistance in Contemporary Argentine Literature” (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)
What options for resistance are left to the author of fiction in a nation structured by totalizing political and economic violence? This is the question at the heart of Niall Geraghty’s eloquent and engaging book, The Polyphonic Machine: Capitalism, Political Violence, and Resistance in Contemporary Argentine Literature (University of Pittsburgh... Read More
Ryan Hanley, “Beyond Slavery and Abolition: Black British Writing, c. 1770 -1830” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
To our eyes, eighteenth-century Britain can look like a world of opposites. On one hand everything was new: political parties and a ‘prime’ minister emerged in parliament; their sometime unruly debates were recorded by an expanding political press, whose products were read and debated in London’s many coffee houses. The... Read More
Erika Dyck, “Psychedelic Prophets: The Letters of Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond” (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2018)
Today I talked with historian Erika Dyck about Aldous Huxley, Humphry Osmond and their correspondence over a ten year period. Psychedelic Prophets: The Letters of Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018) is a collection of letters which were carefully curated by Erika and Cynthia Carson Bisbee, Paul... Read More
James Miller, “Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World” (FSG, 2018)
In his book Can Democracy Work? A Short History of a Radical Idea from Ancient Athens to Our World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018), James Miller encapsulates 2500 years of democracy history into about 250 pages — making the case that “people power” will always need to be at the heart... Read More
Heike Bauer, “The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture” (Temple UP, 2017)
Influential sexologist and activist Magnus Hirschfeld founded Berlin’s Institute of Sexual Sciences in 1919 as a home and workplace to study homosexual rights activism and support transgender people. It was destroyed by the Nazis in 1933. This episode in history prompted Heike Bauer to ask, “Is violence an intrinsic part... Read More
Guy Beiner, “Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Guy Beiner, who is professor of modern history at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, has written one of the longest and certainly one of the most extraordinary recent contributions to the historiography of Ireland and of memory studies. His new book, Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of... Read More