New Books in History podcast

New Books in History

Marshall Poe

Interviews with Historians about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member!

500 Episodes

  • New Books in History podcast

    Nicholas Canny, "Imagining Ireland's Pasts: Early Modern Ireland Through the Centuries" (Oxford UP, 2021)


    Nicholas Canny is an Emeritus Professor at the National University of Ireland-Galway (NUIG). Since completing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania he has pursued an influential publishing career spanning the early 1970s until today. He is the author or editor of 11 books and has written over 70 published papers. He was founding Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUIG and served as Director there from 2000-2011 at National University of Ireland Galway. From 2008 to 2011 he was President of the Royal Irish Academy. He has served on the Scientific Council of the European Science Foundation and is a member of the American Philosophical Society. In this interview he discusses his new book Imagining Ireland's Pasts: Early Modern Ireland Through the Centuries (Oxford UP, 2021) through the Centuries which surveys the contradictory ways in which Ireland’s different religious, ethnic, and linguistic communities understood the violent events of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Imagining Ireland's Pasts describes how various authors addressed the history of early modern Ireland over four centuries and explains why they could not settle on an agreed narrative. It shows how conflicting interpretations broke frequently along denominational lines, but that authors were also influenced by ethnic, cultural, and political considerations, and by whether they were resident in Ireland or living in exile. The book details how authors extolled the merits of their progenitors, offered hope and guidance to the particular audience they addressed, and disputed opposing narratives. Prof. Canny shows how competing scholars, whether contributing to vernacular histories or empirical studies, became transfixed by the traumatic events of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as they sought to explain either how stability had finally been achieved, or how the descendants of those who had been wronged might secure redress. Aidan Beatty is a historian at the Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Traci Brynne Voyles, "The Settler Sea: California's Salton Sea and the Consequences of Colonialism" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)


    The Salton Sea is a kaleidoscope. To some people, it's a waste land, a place of death only suitable for a dumping ground. For others, it's a clarion call, a warning for what humanity faces in our anthropogenically climate changed future. For still others, it's simply home. In The Settler Sea: California's Salton Sea and the Consequences of Colonialism (U Nebraska Press, 2021) Dr. Traci Brynne Voyles, associate professor of women's and gender studies at the University of Oklahoma, argues that the this place has defied people's expectations and attempts at control for hundreds of years, and that the key to understanding the Salton Sea (and indeed, all environments) is to recognize that they never just mean one thing. Part environmental history, part work of environmental justice studies, The Settler Sea tackles topics as diverse as damming, geology, and the history of birding in southern California - it is a book as wide ranging and hard to pin down as contentious sea at its center. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl, "Quagmire in Civil War" (Cambridge UP, 2019)


    In Quagmire in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2020) Dr. Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl provides the first treatment of quagmire in civil war, moving beyond the notion that quagmire is intrinsic to certain countries or wars. In a rigorous but accessible analysis, he explains how quagmire can emerge from domestic-international interactions and strategic choices. To support the argument, Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl draws upon field research on Lebanon's sixteen-year civil war, structured comparisons with civil wars in Chad and Yemen, and rigorous statistical analyses of all civil wars worldwide fought between 1944 and 2006. Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl demonstrates that quagmire is made, not found. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts. Her qualitative work has examined the Angolan, Mozambican, and Lebanese civil wars, all of which fit Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl’s definitions of quagmire. Miranda Melcher (Ph.D., Defense Studies, Kings College, London) studies post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with deep analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Olga Rodríguez-Ulloa and Rodrigo Quijano, "Punk! Las Américas Edition" (Intellect, 2022)


    In PUNK! Las Americas Editions (Intellect Books, 2021), editors Olga Rodrguez-Ulloa, Rodrigo Quijano, and Shane Greene have compiled a collection of academic essays and punk paraphernalia (including interviews, zines, poetry, and visual segments) exploring punk life. Part of the Global Punk Series, the volume is a collective challenge to the global hegemonic vision of punk. The book interrogates the dominant vision of punk--particularly its white masculine protagonists and deep Anglocentrism--by analyzing punk as a critical lens into the disputed territories of "America," a term that hides the heterogeneous struggles, global histories, hopes, and despairs of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century experience. The book explores punk life through its multiple registers: vivid musical dialogues, excessive visual displays, and underground literary expression. Check out the Book Trailer on YouTube or Instagram.  Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Ginger Nolan, "Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Racial Science and Twentieth-Century Design" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)


    Attempting to derive aesthetic systems from natural structures of human cognition, designers looked toward the “savage mind”—a way of thinking they associated with a racialized subaltern. In Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Racial Science and Twentieth-Century Design (U Minnesota Press, 2021), Ginger Nolan uncovers an enduring relationship between “the savage” and the development of technology and its wide-ranging impact on society, including in the fields of architecture and urbanism, the industrial arts, and digital design. Nolan focuses on the relationship between the applied arts and the structuralist social sciences, proposing that the late-nineteenth-century rise of Freudian psychology, ethnology, and structuralist linguistics offered innovations and new opportunities in studying human cognition. She looks at institutions ranging from the Public Industrial Arts School of Philadelphia and the Weimar Bauhaus to the MIT Media Lab and the Centre Mondial Informatique, revealing a persistent theme of twentieth-century design: to supplant language with more subliminal, aesthetic modes of communication, thereby inculcating a deep intimacy between human habit and new technologies of production, communication, and consumption. This book’s ultimate critique is of the development of the ergonomics of the spirit—the design of the human cognitive apparatus in relation to new aesthetic technologies. Nolan sees these ergonomics as a means of depoliticizing societies through aesthetic technologies intended to seamlessly integrate humans into the programs of capitalist modernity. Revising key modernist design narratives, Savage Mind to Savage Machine provides a deep historical foundation for understanding our contemporary world. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he hosts the New Books Network – Architecture podcast, is an NCARB Licensing Advisor and helps coach candidates taking the Architectural Registration Exam. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Glenn Cronin, "Disenchanted Wanderer: The Apocalyptic Vision of Konstantin Leontiev" (Northern Illinois UP, 2021)


    Although largely unknown in the West, the Russian novelist and political essayist Konstantin Nikolaevich Leontiev (1831-1891) has left a strong legacy in his homeland. He has often been compared to Friedrich Nietzsche, yet his writings predate those of his German counterpart by several decades. Also, unlike his German counterpart came to embrace a very ascetic form of Orthodox Christian faith. For decades he bravely clashed with many of the greatest minds of 19th century Russia on subjects ranging from ethics, art, geopolitics, Russia's place in the world, the historical cycles of civilizations, and especially religious faith. Glenn Cronin's Disenchanted Wanderer: The Apocalyptic Vision of Konstantin Leontiev (Northern Illinois University Press, 2021) is the first major English-language study in over fifty years on this enigmatic figure of Russian intellectual history. Glenn Cronin is a contributing author to Ideology in Russian Literature and holds a PhD in Russian studies from the University of London. Stephen Satkiewicz is independent scholar whose research areas are related to Civilizational Analysis, Big History, Historical Sociology, War studies, as well as Russian and East European history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    James Koranyi, "Migrating Memories: Romanian Germans in Modern Europe" (Cambridge UP, 2021)


    Romanian Germans, mainly from the Banat and Transylvania, have occupied a place at the very heart of major events in Europe in the twentieth century yet their history is largely unknown. This east-central European minority negotiated their standing in a difficult new European order after 1918, changing from uneasy supporters of Romania, to zealous Nazis, tepid Communists, and conciliatory Europeans.  Migrating Memories: Romanian Germans in Modern Europe (Cambridge UP, 2022) is the first comprehensive study in English of Romanian Germans and follows their stories as they move across borders and between regimes, revealing a very European experience of migration, minorities, and memories in modern Europe. After 1945, Romanian Germans struggled to make sense of their lives during the Cold War at a time when the community began to fracture and fragment. In this interview, James Koranyi talks about how although the revolutions of 1989 seemed to mark the end of the German community in Romania, but instead Romanian Germans repositioned themselves as transnational European bridge-builders, staking out new claims in a fast-changing world. Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, and the Principal Investigator of an AHRC-funded project on European Fascist Movements. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Sanjukta Sunderason, "Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India's Long Decolonization" (Stanford UP, 2020)


    In Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India's Long Decolonization (Stanford UP, 2020), Sanjukta Sunderason explores art's entanglements with histories of war, famine, mass politics and displacements that marked late-colonial and postcolonial India. Introducing "partisan aesthetics" as a conceptual grid, the book identifies ways in which art became political through interactions with left-wing activism during the 1940s, and the afterlives of such interactions in post-independence India. Using an archive of artists and artist collectives working in Calcutta from these decades, she argues that artists became political not only as reporters, organizers and cadre of India's Communist Party, or socialist fellow travelers, but through shifting modes of political participations and dissociations. Unmooring questions of Indian modernism from its hitherto dominant harnesses to national or global affiliations, Sunderason activates, instead, distinctly locational histories that refract transnational currents. Holiday Powers is Assistant Professor of Art History at VCUarts Qatar. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art in Africa and the Arab world, postcolonial theory, and gender studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Marion Thompson, "The Marion Thompson Wright Reader" (Rutgers UP, 2021)


    The Marion Thompson Wright Reader, edited by Graham Russell Gao Hodges, the George Dorland Langdon, Jr. Professor of History and Africana and Latin American Studies at Colgate University, and the author of Black New Jersey: 1664 to the Present Day (Rutgers University Press, 2019), is the first book-length text on Marion Thompson Wright—the first African American woman to earn a PhD in history from a U.S. college or university. This Reader includes a seventy plus page biographical essay on Wright, a reviews and notes section, essays and Wright’s The Education of Negroes in New Jersey first published by Columbia University Press in 1941. Hodges utilizes a set of letters written by Wright to friends and family members as well as never published before images of Dr. Wright with family members; including photos of her children. There exists no more comprehensive a text on Wright in terms of the bibliographic sketch contained in this book and coupled with the writings of one of the foremost historians of the early twentieth century: Marion Thompson Wright. Wright was a prolific writer and scholar. Her dissertation advisor was famed historian Merle Curti with whom she kept up a life-long correspondence. She published widely in the Journal of Negro Education and the Journal of Negro History (now the Journal of African American History) as evidenced with some of the essays in this Reader and was respected as a leading scholar of the history of African Americans and segregation in the public school system—the subject of her dissertation at Columbia. In his autobiographical sketch of Wright, Hodges does not shy away from the more personal aspects of her life including the fact that she lost custody of her children to her first husband after she chose to pursue her academic career and the fact that she suffered from depression, and eventually ended her own life. This book is a powerful and necessary text in the field of Black women’s intellectual history given Wright’s monumental impact on social work, historical studies, education and higher education counseling. Hettie V. Williams Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of African American history in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University where she teaches courses in African American history and U.S. history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
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    Rebekah Lee, "Health, Healing and Illness in African History" (Bloomsbury, 2021)


    In Health, Healing and Illness in African History (Bloomsbury, 2021), Rebekah Lee makes an overall assessment of the history and historiography and health, healing and illness in the African context. This unique text is divided in two parts. In the first half of the book, Lee presents a chronological survey and analysis of the ideas and literature that multiple disciplines have produced while studying the experience of health and illness, as well as medical and healing practices in Africa. This part of the book guides readers through seminal questions about African agency and sources that are central to our understanding of the historiography of Africa in general, and to the study of healing and illness in particular.  By starting her narrative in the precolonial past, Lee is not only trying to highlight the value of the research that has been done in this area, but also provide the reader with a wider intellectual and chronological context that can reframe our reading of the literature that exists for the colonial and postcolonial periods. In the second part of the book, Lee examines four case studies each focused on a particular health problem: HIV/Aids, mental illness, malaria and sleeping sickness, and occupational lung disease. In each of these individual studies, Lee offers both a historiographical review and a critical assessment of the ideas and questions that have shaped our views of these issues. She also offers examples of primary sources that illustrate the complex ways in which scholars, from many different disciplinary backgrounds, have used them to draw conclusions about how Africans have experienced health and illness, and engaged with a wide range of healing practices over time. Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia is an associate professor of history at Montclair State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

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