New Books Network

Vera Tolz, “Russia’s Own Orient: The Politics of Identity and Oriental Studies in the late Imperial and Early Soviet Periods” (Oxford UP, 2011)
Everyone knows that the late nineteenth-century Russian Empire was the largest land based empire around, and that it was growing yet- at fifty-five square miles a day, no less. But how did Moscow and St. Petersberg go about making the bewildering array of peoples and ethnicities into subjects subject of... Read More
Robert Pasnau, “Metaphysical Themes: 1274-1671” (Oxford UP, 2011)
What was the scholastic metaphysical tradition of the later Middle Ages, and why did it come “crashing down as quickly and completely” as it did towards the end of the 17th Century? Why was the year 1347 a “milestone in the history of philosophy”? And why didn’t philosophy itself collapse... Read More
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
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
Dagmar Schaefer, “The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
In her elegant work of historical puppet theater The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China (University of Chicago Press, 2011), Dagmar Schaefer introduces us to the world of scholars and craftsmen in seventeenth-century China through the life and work of Song Yingxing (1587-1666?). A minor... Read More