New Books Network

Marshall Poe, “A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
It is not every historian who would offer readers an attempt to explain human nature. In A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Marshall Poe does just that. At the same time, Poe guides readers through the history... Read More
Ann M. Blair, “Too Much To Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age” (Yale University Press, 2010)
Chewing on raw turnips and sand, keeping both feet in a tub of cold water, reading with just one eye open (to give the other a chance to rest) and sleeping only every other night: no, I am not describing the typical life of a pre-tenure professor trying to get... Read More
Suman Seth, “Crafting the Quantum: Arnold Sommerfeld and the Practice of Theory, 1890-1926” (MIT Press, 2010)
Though Einstein, Planck, and Pauli have become household names in the history of science, the work of Arnold Sommerfeld has yet to reach the same level of wide recognition outside the field of theoretical physics and its history. In Crafting the Quantum: Arnold Sommerfeld and the Practice of Theory, 1890-1926... Read More
Erik Mueggler, “The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of West China and Tibet” (University of California Press, 2011)
First things first: this is an outstanding book. In the course of The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of West China and Tibet (University of California Press, 2011), Erik Mueggler weaves together the stories of two botanists traveling through western China and Tibet in a lyrically-written... Read More
Marta Hanson, “Speaking of Epidemics in Chinese Medicine: Disease and the Geographic Imagination in Late Imperial China” (Routledge, 2011)
Marta Hanson‘s book is a rich study of conceptions of space in medical thought and practice. Ranging from a deep history of the geographic imagination in China to an account of the SARS outbreak of the 21st century, Hanson’s book maps the transformations of medicine and healing in late imperial... Read More
Tong Lam, “A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation-State, 1900-1949” (University of California Press, 2011)
We tend to take for granted that we have bodies, that these bodies are knowable and measurable, and that we understand how to relate our own bodies to those of the people around us. To put it more simply: if I were to ask you how tall you were, how... Read More
Andrew F. Jones, “Developmental Fairytales: Evolutionary Thinking and Modern Chinese Culture” (Harvard UP, 2011)
Simply put: you should read Andrew F. Jones‘s new book, Developmental Fairytales: Evolutionary Thinking and Modern Chinese Culture (Harvard UP, 2011). It is both an immense pleasure to read, and a truly brilliant study of the ways that a discourse of development was taken up from evolutionary works of Lamarck,... Read More
Daqing Yang, “Technology of Empire: Telecommunications and Japanese Expansion in Asia, 1883-1945” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2010)
Daqing Yang‘s Technology of Empire: Telecommunications and Japanese Expansion in Asia, 1883-1945 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011) is a gift to both historians of East Asia and scholars of science and technology studies (STS). Yang’s book dissects the body of the Japanese empire from 1853-1945 to reveal its pulsing “nerve... Read More
Yi-Li Wu’s book, “Reproducing Women: Medicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Late Imperial China” (University of California Press, 2010)
In what must be one of the most well-organized and clearly-written books in the history of academic writing, Yi-Li Wu‘s book, Reproducing Women: Medicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Late Imperial China (University of California Press, 2010), introduces readers to a rich history of women’s medicine (fuke) in the context of late... Read More