New Books Network

Podcasts with Authors about their New Books

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Toby Lester, “The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America its Name” (Free Press, 2009)


Why the heck is “America” called “America” and not, say, “Columbia?” You’ll find the answer to that question and many more in Toby Lester‘s fascinating and terrifically readable new book The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth,


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 2010-01-07  1h16m
 
 

Stephen Kotkin, “Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment” (Modern Library, 2009)


Why did communism collapse so rapidly in Eastern Europe in 1989? The answer commonly given at the time was that something called “civil society,” having grown mighty in the 1980s, overthrew it. I’ve always been more than a little uncomfortable with bot...


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 2009-12-31  1h3m
 
 

Harvey Schwartz, “Solidarity Stories: An Oral History of the ILWU” (University of Washington Press, 2009)


One of my favorite bumper stickers reads “Unions: the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend.” Indeed they did. Organized labor has had a rocky history in the U.S. It’s been hounded for leaning left, associating with mobsters, and being corrupt.


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 2009-12-17  1h7m
 
 

Sarah Ross, “The Birth of Feminism: Woman as Intellect in Renaissance Italy and England” (Harvard UP, 2009)


I’ll be honest: I have a Ph.D. in early modern European history from a big university you’ve probably heard of and I couldn’t name a single female writer of the Renaissance before I read Sarah Ross’s new book The Birth of Feminism.


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 2009-12-11  1h4m
 
 

Michaela Hoenicke, “Know Your Enemy: American Debate on Nazism, 1933-1945” (Cambridge UP, 2009)


To Americans, Hitler et al. were a confusing bunch. The National Socialists were Germans, and Germans had a reputation for refinement, industry, and order. After all, many Americans were of German descent, and they surely thought of themselves as refin...


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 2009-11-29  1h15m
 
 

Rebecca Manley, “To the Tashkent Station: Evacuation and Survival in the Soviet Union at War” (Cornell UP, 2009)


By the time the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Bolshevik Party had already amassed a considerable amount of expertise in moving masses of people around. Large population transfers (to put it mildly) were part and parcel of buildin...


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 2009-11-20  1h7m
 
 

Padraic Kenney, “1989: Democratic Revolutions at the Cold War’s End” (Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2009)


There are certain dates that every European historian knows. Among them are 1348 (The Black Death), 1517 (The Reformation), 1648 (The Peace of Westphalia), 1789 (The French Revolution), 1848 (The Revolutions of 1848),


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 2009-11-06  1h0m
 
 

Stevan Allen, “Roaming Ghostland: The Final Days of East Germany” (Xlibris, 2010)


We like to think of countries as permanent fixtures. They aren’t. They come and go. In 1989, a place called the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or East Germany, was going. It was never really an “ordinary” place.


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 2009-10-30  1h8m
 
 

Sally G. McMillen, “Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement” (Oxford, 2008)


Think of this. From the origins of civilization roughly 5000 years ago to around 1900 AD, the condition of women did not fundamentally change. They weren’t “second class citizens.” Rather, they weren’t citizens at all.


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 2009-10-23  1h1m
 
 

Steve Gillon, “The Kennedy Assassination: 24 Hours After” (Basic Books, 2009)


You could fill a large library with books about JFK’s assassination. We’ve even touched on the subject here. The topic of the transfer of power from JFK to LBJ, however, has been neglected. I was under the impression that after JFK was pronounced dead,...


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 2009-10-15  1h7m