New Books Network

Noah Feldman, “Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices” (Twelve, 2010)
Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the country “bold, persistent experimentation” to address the Great Depression – but for quite a while his ideas were a little too bold for the justices of the Supreme Court, who struck down many New Deal laws as unconstitutional. FDR had his day: over the years... Read More
Claudia Verhoeven, “The Odd Man Karakozov: Imperial Russia, Modernity, and the Birth of Terrorism (Cornell UP, 2009)
Scan the historical literature of the Russian revolutionary movement and you’ll find that Dmitrii Vladimirovich Karakozov occupies no more than a footnote. After all, Karakozov was no great theorist. He led no political organization. He hardly fit the image of the iron willed, revolutionary aesthetic who preached the maxim ‘The... Read More
Gregory J. W. Urwin, “Victory in Defeat: The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity” (Naval Institute Press, 2010)
Gregory J. W. Urwin’s Victory in Defeat: The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity (Naval Institute Press, 2010) tells the story of the Americans captured on Wake Island in December 1945. The Wake Island garrison’s defeat of the initial Japanese landing attempt was one of the few bright spots for Americans... Read More
Hendrika Freud, “Electra vs Oedipus: The Drama of the Mother-Daughter Relationship” (Routledge, 2010)
Who doesn’t want to know what women want, right? Well, in this interview with Hendrika Freud, we begin to get the idea that women often prefer not to know. As I sit in my private practice, many of my female patients put on a good smoke and mirror show, cloaking... Read More
J. Arch Getty, “Ezhov: The Rise of Stalin’s Iron Fist” (Yale UP, 2008)
When you think of the Great Terror, Stalin immediately comes to mind, and rightly so.But what of Nikolai Ezhov, the man who as head of the NKVD prosecuted Stalin reign of terror? We’ve learned a lot about Ezhov’s involvement in the Terror since the opening of Soviet archives in 1991.... Read More
J. E. Lendon, “Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins” (Basic, 2010)
Reading J. E. Lendon’s writerly Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins (Basic Books, 2010) took me back to the eventful days of my youth at Price Elementary School, or rather to the large yardon which we had recess. We called it a “playground.” But we did not play on... Read More
Virginia Scharff, “The Women Jefferson Loved” (HarperCollins, 2010)
Most Americans could tell you who George Washington’s wife was. (Martha, right?) Most Americans probably couldn’t tell you who Thomas Jefferson’s wife was. (It was also Martha, but a different one of course). They might be able to tell you, however, who Thomas Jefferson’s alleged concubine was, as she has... Read More