New Books Network

Podcasts with Authors about their New Books

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Adrian Goldsworthy, “How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower” (Yale UP, 2009)


It’s the classic historical question: Why did the Roman Empire fall? There are doubtless lots of reasons. One historian has noted 210 of them. No wonder Gibbon said that we should stop “inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed,


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 2009-05-02  1h7m
 
 

Godfrey Hodgson, “The Myth of American Exceptionalism” (Yale UP, 2009)


How different is the United States from other nations? American leaders and common folk have often said it’s very different. The Founding Fathers said it, Abraham Lincoln said it, Woodrow Wilson said it, Franklin Roosevelt said it,


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 2009-04-24  1h9m
 
 

Joel Lewis, “Youth Against Fascism: Young Communists in Britain and the United States, 1919-1939” (VDM, 2007)


Most people know what “appeasement” is. You know, the Spanish Civil War, the Nazi Anschluss with Austria, the Sudeten Crisis, Neville Chamberlain, “Peace in Our Time.” The Western democracies went (as Margaret Thatcher might have said) all “wobbly” on ...


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 2009-04-16  1h5m
 
 

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