New Books Network

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David Edgerton, “Britain’s War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War” (Oxford UP, 2011)

My grandfather joined up when the Second World War broke out, but he was soon returned to civvy street as he was much more valuable employing his mechanic’s skills to fight the Nazis from a factory in Newcastle.


 2012-03-22  42m

Jan Plamper, “The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power” (Yale UP, 2012)

Jan Plamper begins in his book, The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (Yale University Press, 2012), with two illuminating anecdotes that demonstrate the power and scope of Stalin’s personality cult. The first comes from Sergei Kavtaradze,


 2012-03-22  58m

Makalani Bandele, “Hellfightin'” (Willow Books, 2012)

There is no better description of poet Makalani Bandele‘s debut book Hellfightin’ (Willow Books, 2012) than the one found on his comprehensive website: “Derived from the nickname the French Army gave the all-Black 369th Infantry Regiment in World War I...


 2012-03-19  54m

Leo Bersani and Adam Phillips, “Intimacies” (University of Chicago Press, 2008)

In Intimacies and in this interview, Leo Bersani asks “does knowledge of the Other create a foundation for intimacy?” Troubling certain psychoanalytic models that survey the analysand’s past, gathering information about the vicissitudes of childhood,


 2012-03-19  53m

Ellen Cushman, “The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance” (University of Oklahoma Press, 2011)

Somewhere in Oklahoma, a restless student with an iPhone set to silent is stealthily texting, much to the chagrin of their teacher. This is about as common a scene as you might expect to find in a modern classroom.


 2012-03-19  56m

Gideon Haigh, “Sphere of Influence: Writings on Cricket and Its Discontents” (Victory Books, 2010)

During his tenure as a university lecturer, the novelist (and former football goalkeeper) Vladimir Nabokov instructed his students that the reader of literature needed three things: imagination, memory, and a dictionary.


 2012-03-15  1h4m

Jeanne Fahnestock, “Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language in Persuasion” (Oxford UP, 2011)

A thing I enjoy about this job is being encouraged to read books that unexpectedly turn out to be profoundly relevant to my own interests. Jeanne Fahnestock‘s new book, Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language in Persuasion (Oxford University Press,


 2012-03-15  56m

Karen Stohr, “On Manners” (Routledge, 2011)

We rarely stop to notice that our everyday social interactions are governed by a highly complex system of rules. Though often only implicit, there are rules governing how to board an elevator, how close one may stand to another when in conversation,


 2012-03-15  1h5m

Jeffrey Mankoff, “Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011)

In this episode, I spoke with Jeffrey Mankoff, an adjunct fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, and a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York.


 2012-03-15  59m

William Kuhn, “Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books” (Anchor Books, 2011)

Nearly twenty years after the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, biographers are not only continuing to tell her story but finding provocative new ways to do so. In particular, a big bravo to William Kuhn for considering the former First Lady in a co...


 2012-03-15  47m