New Books Network

Kerim Yasar, “Electrified Voices: How the Telephone, Phonograph, and Radio Shaped Modern Japan, 1868-1945” (Columbia UP, 2018)
Electrified Voices: How the Telephone, Phonograph, and Radio Shaped Modern Japan, 1868-1945 (Columbia UP, 2018) explores the soundscapes of modernity in Japan. In this book, Kerim Yasar argues that modern technologies of sound reproduction and transmission have had profound—and often underappreciated—social, economic, and political effects. Observing that the “materialities of... Read More
Gökçe Günel, “Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi” (Duke UP, 2019)
Whether in space colonies or through geo-engineering, the looming disaster of climate change inspires no shortage of techno-utopian visions of human survival. Most of such hypotheses remain science fiction, but in Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi (Duke University Press, 2019), Gökçe Günel... Read More
Martin Collins, “A Telephone for the World: Iridium, Motorola, and the Making of a Global Age” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2018)
It’s easy to take for granted that one can pick up a cell phone and call someone on the other side of the planet. But, until very recently, this had been a mere dream. Martin Collins’ A Telephone for the World: Iridium, Motorola, and the Making of a Global Age... 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
Matthew Hersch, “Inventing the American Astronaut” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
It seems logical that would NASA select military test pilots to be the first astronauts, right? They were used to risk. They were good with machines. They already explored extreme environments. But these skills were not unique to test pilots. There were also mountaineers, scuba divers, and explorers. They too... Read More
David Bissell, “Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities” (MIT Press, 2018)
What kind of time do we endure on our daily commutes? What kind of space do we occupy? What new sorts of urbanites do we thereby become? In Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities (MIT Press, 2018), geographer David Bissell contends that to commute is to enter a... Read More
Jennifer Thomson, “The Wild and the Toxic: American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health” (UNC Press, 2019)
The first wealth is health, according to Emerson. Among health’s riches is its political potential. Few know this better than environmentalists. In her debut book, The Wild and the Toxic: American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health (UNC Press, 2019), historian Jennifer Thomson revisits canonical figures and events from the... Read More