New Books Network

A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 4: Women’s Coats and Beach Cabanas
In this episode, we examine the rivalry/friendship between Eisler and the great scholar of Jewish mysticism Gershom Scholem and reassess Eisler’s infamous meeting with Scholem and Walter Benjamin in Paris in 1926. We try to unravel the mystery of why Eisler was disavowed by his government after he was appointed... Read More
A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 3: Eisler vs. the Flat Earth
In this episode, we talk with Michael Gubser about the pioneering art historian Alois Riegl, one of Eisler’s teachers in Vienna and a major influence on his thought. Then we look at Eisler’s first work on the history of religions, World Mantle and Heavenly Canopy, a massive two-volume study of... Read More
A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 2: Value Theory
In this episode (# 2), we discuss Eisler’s early years as a member of the Jewish bourgeoisie in turn-of-the-century Vienna with historian Steven Beller. We also hear from the closest living relative of Robert Eisler, his grand-nephew Richard Regen. Philosopher Tom Hurka provides some background for understanding the arguments Eisler... Read More
A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 1: Man into Wolf
In this episode, we discuss how I discovered Robert Eisler’s Man into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism, and Lycanthropy and unpack the book’s argument that modern humans are descended from primates who imitated the hunting practices and pack hierarchies of wolves during the scarcity of the ice age. We... Read More