New Books Network

Podcasts with Authors about their New Books

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Tony Michels, “Fire in their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York” (Harvard UP, 2005)


I always assumed that the Jews who emigrated from Eastern Europe to New York and created the massive Jewish American labor movement brought their leftist politics with them from the Old Country. But now I know different thanks to Tony Michels’ terrific...


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 2009-04-10  1h3m
 
 

Yuma Totani, “The Tokyo War Crimes Trials: The Pursuit of Justice in the Wake of World War II” (Harvard UP, 2008)


Most everyone has heard of the Nuremberg Trials. Popular books have been written about them. Hollywood made movies about them. Some of us can even name a few of the convicted (Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, etc.).


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 2009-04-04  1h4m
 
 

Kristin Celello, “Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the 20th-Century U.S.” (University of North Carolina Press, 2009)


When did Americans begin to think of marriage as “work,” as in, “If you want your marriage to succeed, you have to work at it.” Kristin Celello answers this question (and a lot of others) in her timely and relevant new book Making Marriage Work.


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 2009-03-27  1h2m
 
 

James Mann, “The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War” (Viking, 2009)


Ronald Reagan was a odd fellow. Nobody seems to know what to make of him. He started as a Democrat and then became a Republican. Then he broke ranks with his party by running for president against a sitting Republican. As a leader,


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 2009-03-20  57m
 
 

Robert Hendershot, “Family Spats: Perception, Illusion and Sentimentality in the Anglo-American Special Relationship” (VDM, 2009)


Gordon Brown, the British PM, came calling to Washington recently. He jumped the pond, of course, to have a chat with his new counterpart, President Barack Obama. They had a lot to talk about, what with the world economy melting down,


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 2009-03-13  1h4m
 
 

Gregory Cochran, “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution” (Basic, 2009)


First, the conventional wisdom. Because Homo sapiens are a young species and haven’t had time to genetically differentiate, we modern humans are all basically genetically identical. Because Homo sapiens figured out ways to use culture to overcome natur...


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 2009-03-06  1h9m
 
 

Kees Boterbloem, “The Fiction and Reality of Jan Struys: A Seventeenth-Century Dutch Globetrotter” (Palgrave-McMillan, 2008)


When we speak of the “Age of Discovery,” we usually mean the later fifteenth and sixteenth century. You know, Columbus, Magellan and all that. But the “Age of Discovery” continued well into the seventeenth century as Europeans continued to travel the g...


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 2009-02-27  1h14m
 
 

Simon Morrison, “The People’s Artist: Prokofiev’s Soviet Years” (Oxford UP, 2009)


In the Soviet Union, artists lived lives that were at once charmed and cursed. Though relatively poor, the USSR poured resources into the arts. The Party created a large, well-funded cultural elite of which only two things were expected. First,


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 2009-02-20  1h4m
 
 

Carl Bon Tempo, “Americans at the Gates: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War” (Princeton UP, 2008)


My Midwestern high school was pretty typical. There were freaks, geeks, jocks, drama-types. Some were white. And some were black. All were recognizably “American.” The only unusual thing about Wichita Southeast was the presence of a reasonably large nu...


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 2009-02-13  1h3m
 
 

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, “Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917” (Cambridge UP, 2008)


Every Jew knows the story. The evil tsarist authorities ride into the Shtetl. They demand a levy of young men for the army. Mothers’ weep. Fathers’ sigh. The community mourns the loss of its young. It’s a good story, and some of it’s even true.


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 2009-02-07  1h17m