New Books Network

Lior Sternfeld, “Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran” (Stanford UP, 2019)
Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran (Stanford University Press, 2019) by Lior Sternfeld presents the first systematic study of the rich and variegated history of Jews in twentieth-century Iran. Lior begins his intervention by identifying a “lachrymose historical narrative” that has predominated modern Jewish history and framed... Read More
Christine D. Baker, “Medieval Islamic Sectarianism” (Amsterdam UP, 2019)
How do contemporary events shape the ways in which we read, understand, and interpret historical processes of identity formation? How can we resist framing conflicts of the past through frameworks of the present? What role does historical memory play in the forming and framing of group identity? In her book... Read More
Sebastian Prange, “Monsoon Islam: Trade and Faith on the Medieval Malabar Coast” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Monsoon Islam: Trade and Faith on the Medieval Malabar Coast (Cambridge University Press, 2019) by Sebastian Prange provides a fascinating window into the Muslim world of the medieval (12-16th century) Malabar Coast and the development of Islam that was defined by significant trade networks. Prange conceptualizes this particular development of... Read More
Roland Elliot Brown, “Godless Utopia: Soviet Anti-Religious Propaganda” (FUEL, 2019)
In the arc of Soviet history, few government programs were as tenacious as the anti-religious campaign, which systematically set out to debunk organized religion as “the opium of the people.” This political storm of heaven lasted from the earliest days of Bolshevik power up until the early eighties, when it... Read More
Simon Wolfgang Fuchs, “In a Pure Muslim Land: Shi’ism between Pakistan and the Middle East” (UNC Press, 2019)
Scholarly and public discourse on Islamic intellectual thought in the modern period tend to frame it narrowly through the concept of “influence” as it emanates from the Middle Eastern “center” to the non-Middle Eastern “peripheries” without paying sufficient attention to the ways in which these variegated “peripheries” retain the autonomy... Read More
Nosheen Ali, “Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
In her pioneering and politically urgent new book Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier (Cambridge UP, 2019), Nosheen Ali presents a lyrical and at many times haunting account of the aspirations, anxieties, and tragedies enfolding everyday life in the rarely studied Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan. How... Read More
Lian Xi, “Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao’s China” (Basic Books, 2018)
In 1960, a poet and journalist named Lin Zhao was arrested by the Communist Party of China and sent to prison for re-education. Years before, she had –at approximately the same time– converted to both Christianity and to Maoism. In prison she lost the second faith but clung to the... Read More