New Books Network

Erik Jensen, “Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity” (Oxford UP, 2010)
Here’s a simple–or should we say simplistic?–line of political reasoning: communities are made of people; people can either be sick or healthy; communities, therefore, are sick or healthy depending on the sickness or health of their people. This logic is powerful. It explains success: “We lost the war because we,... Read More
Alex Vilenkin, “Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes” (Hill and Wang, 2006)
[This interview is re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] Want to know how the world is going to end? Just ask Russian cosmologist Alex Vilenkin. If it’s our own universe you’re talking about, well, it’s called the big crunch, and it’s going to be hot hot hot! But if... Read More
Daniel Sidorick, “Condensed Capitalism: Campbell Soup and the Pursuit of Cheap Production in the Twentieth Century” (Cornell UP, 2009)
When I was in college I had a summer job once working in an aircraft factory. My task was to count screws. Nope, I’m not kidding. I put together parts-kits that were then taken to another station “down the line” for assembly. It wasn’t much fun, and it taught me... Read More
Paul Offit, “Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All” (Basic Books, 2011)
If a parent decides not to vaccinate their children, is that an individual choice, or is it a serious threat to the public health? In Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2011), Dr. Paul Offit discusses the very real threats to the public health created... Read More
Thomas Bruscino, “A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along” (University of Tennessee Press, 2010)
Prior to 1945, the United States was still largely a collection of different ethnic and racial communities, living alongside each other in neighborhoods, villages, and towns. There was only a faint “American identity.” In his new book A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get... Read More
Teresa Gowan, “Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders-Homeless in San Francisco” (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
Why do people become homeless? Is it because some people have made bad decisions in their lives or can’t hold onto a stable job? Or is homelessness the result of a depilating mental illness or chemical addiction? From a different perspective, perhaps homelessness is less an “individual issue” but more... Read More
Thomas de Waal, “The Caucasus: An Introduction” (Oxford UP, 2010)
On August 8, 2008 many Americans learned that Russia had gone to war with a mysterious country called Georgia over an even stranger territory called South Ossetia. Both Georgia and South Ossetia were located not on the southeastern seaboard of the United States, but in a mountainous region south of... Read More