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Society & Culture
History

New Books in History

Updated 7 days ago

Society & Culture
History
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Interviews with Historians about their New Books

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Interviews with Historians about their New Books

iTunes Ratings

111 Ratings
Average Ratings
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19
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11

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By Small joys - Jun 22 2017
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Have checked out books because of this

best history podcast!

By demonym - Feb 27 2015
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marshall poe is the god of history - all his interviews are superb - excellent listening!

iTunes Ratings

111 Ratings
Average Ratings
53
20
19
8
11

Useful

By Small joys - Jun 22 2017
Read more
Have checked out books because of this

best history podcast!

By demonym - Feb 27 2015
Read more
marshall poe is the god of history - all his interviews are superb - excellent listening!
Cover image of New Books in History

New Books in History

Latest release on Oct 22, 2020

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Interviews with Historians about their New Books

Rank #1: Peter Fritzsche, "Hitler's First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich" (Basic Books, 2020)

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We've grown to understand in the past few weeks how worlds can change in just a few days. Peter Fritzsche's new book Hitler's First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich (Basic Books, 2020) is an extraordinary examination of how, in just a few months, Germans got used to living around, among, and, mostly, in unity with, Nazis.

Fritzsche's argument is sophisticated and nuanced. But it's the details of everyday life he provides that make this book stand out. Fritzsche uses diaries, newspaper articles, letters and other sources to provide a journalistic (in the best sense of the world) sense of how people lived through and in a revolution. He highlights moments of collective experience--the anti-jewish boycott, national celebrations, elections. But he also tells us about an influenza outbreak that closed school in a small town shortly after Hitler became chancellor, reminding us that many live through moments of high drama in very ordinary ways.

Historians and genocide scholars routinely try to understand how societies grow to support authoritarian. oppressive or racist governments. Fritzsche's books is a significant contribution to this scholarship.

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Apr 06 2020

1hr 4mins

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Rank #2: Eric Lomazoff, "Reconstructing the National Bank Controversy: Politics and Law in the Early American Republic" (U Chicago Press, 2018)

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Eric Lomazoff has written a kind of detective novel about the national bank controversy during the early years of the new republic. Lomazoff poses, in the introduction, and at the start of each chapter, the general understanding that many scholars and citizens have about the bank controversy itself and the constitutional decision in McCulloch vs. Maryland. And Lomazoff notes that these contours are generally accurate but that they elide significant components of the controversy that is actually spread out over an extended period of time. Given this more extensive time frame, Reconstructing the National Bank Controversy: Politics and Law in the Early American Republic (University of Chicago Press, 2018) does exactly what the title promises, in compiling different aspects of our understanding of the controversy, and integrating key shifts in the political and economic landscape that also changed parts of the actual controversy itself. Lomazoff takes the reader through the general understanding of the National Bank controversy, untangling different threads of the argument and the changing political and economic dynamics in the United States. Because the bank controversy is often collapsed into the debate over either a strict or broad interpretation of the Necessary and Proper clause of the Constitution, many aspects of American political development are generally pushed into the background—these ignored or obscured aspects of the controversy are the focus of Reconstructing the National Bank Controversy: Politics and Law in the Early American Republic, and rightly so, since they trace a deeper and more complex understanding of changing monetary policy, banking regulation, and congressional and executive fiscal power in the new republic. This is an action-packed discussion of the general understanding of the early American Republic, and the real controversy around the establishment of the national bank.

Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as author of The Politics of Military Base Closings: Not in My District (Peter Lang Publishers, 2003).

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Feb 18 2020

44mins

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Rank #3: Donald L. Miller, "Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign that Broke the Confederacy" (Simon and Schuster, 2019)

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In Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign that Broke the Confederacy (Simon & Schuster, 2019), Donald L. Miller explains in great detail how Grant ultimately succeeded in taking the city and turning the tide of the war in favor of the Union. Miller begins his tale with events in Cairo and leads the reader through all the important events that lead to success at Vicksburg. He also discusses Grant’s background, personal characteristics, and the influential people surrounding General Grant during this crucial time.

Donald L. Miller is the John Henry MacCracken Emeritus Professor of History at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Miller’s work includes books on World War II, the war in the Pacific, America’s air war against Germany, studies of Chicago and Jazz Age Manhattan.

Jessica Moloughney is a graduate student in history and library science at Queens College in New York

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Feb 19 2020

1hr 28mins

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Rank #4: Sara Georgini, "Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family" (Oxford UP, 2019)

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Sara Georgini is a historian and series editor for The Papers of John Adams at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family (Oxford University Press, 2019) is a family biography that explores the Christian republicanism of John and Abigail Adams and how it shaped their view of the origins and destiny of the American nation under the guidance of divine providence. The book charts change in religious culture through the generations with profiles of John Quincy and Louisa Catherine Adams, the religious interiority of Charles Frances Adams, the cosmopolitan outlook of the skeptic Henry Adams and the religious renewal experienced by Brooks Adams. Each generation had to reevaluate the usefulness of Christian republicanism  from the new republic, antebellum reform, the Civil War and the emptied-out faith of the Gilded Age. Household Gods not only give us insight into a famous American family through their education, travels, religious inquiry and literary endeavors but also into the changing moods of the nation over the course of more than a century.

This episode of New Books in American Studies was produced in cooperation with the Society for U.S. Intellectual History.

Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology, (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current research project is an intellectual history of feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir and her reception in America.

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Sep 18 2019

54mins

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Rank #5: Slavery in World History

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Notwithstanding the fact that slavery is almost as old if not older than human civilization itself, involving almost every country and continent on the face of the planet, the vast majority of scholarly attention tends to be focused on the North American continent and for less than two-hundred years. In an endeavor to bring a wider and historically more accurate view of this utterly human institution, University of Exeter, Professor of History Jeremy Black discusses various aspects of the subject at length with Charles Coutinho of the Royal Historical Society in this new episode of 'Arguing History: Slavery in World History'.

Professor Jeremy Black MBE, Is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. A graduate of Queens College, Cambridge, he is the author of well over one-hundred books. In 2008 he was awarded the “Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Lifetime Achievement.”

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.

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Feb 14 2020

53mins

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Rank #6: Eileen Boris, "Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019" (Oxford UP, 2019)

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Founded in 1919 along with the League of Nations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) establishes labor standards and produces knowledge about the world of work, serving as a forum for nations, unions, and employer associations. Before WWII, it focused on enhancing conditions for male industrial workers in Western, often imperial, economies, while restricting the circumstances of women's labors. Over time, the ILO embraced non-discrimination and equal treatment. It now promotes fair globalization, standardized employment and decent work for women in the developing world. In Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019 (Oxford University Press, 2019), Eileen Boris illuminates the ILO's transformation in the context of the long fight for social justice.

Boris analyzes three ways in which the ILO has classified the division of labor: between women and men from 1919 to 1958; between women in the global south and the west from 1955 to 1996; and between the earning and care needs of all workers from 1990s to today. Before 1945, the ILO focused on distinguishing feminized labor from male workers, whom the organization prioritized. But when the world needed more women workers, the ILO (a UN agency after WWII) highlighted the global differences in women's work, began to combat sexism in the workplace, and declared care work essential to women's labor participation. Today, the ILO enters its second century with a mission to protect the interests of all workers in the face of increasingly globalized supply chains, the digitization of homework, and cross-border labor trafficking.

Eileen Boris is the Hull Professor and Chair of the Department of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she directs the Center for Research on Women and Social Justice.

Beth A. English is director of the Liechtenstein Institute’s Project on Gender in the Global Community at Princeton University. She also is a past president of the Southern Labor History Association.

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Nov 01 2019

44mins

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Rank #7: Jasper Heinzen, "Making Prussians, Raising Germans: A Cultural History of Prussian State-Building after Civil War, 1866-1935" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

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How does civil war shape state building and national identity over the long term? What do the underlying conflicts between Hanoverians and the Prussian state reveal about the course of German history from 1866 up to the rise of Hitler? In his new book Making Prussians, Raising Germans: A Cultural History of Prussian State-Building after Civil War, 1866-1935(Cambridge University Press, 2017), Jasper Heinzen analyzes these questions over the long durée with transnational points of comparison. By examining key areas of patriotic activity, Jasper unearths long-term trends in emerging nations forged through civil war. Indeed, Heinzen reveals how political violence was either contained or expressed through centre-periphery interactions with implications for the rise of Nazism.

Jasper Heinzen is a Lecturer in Modern History at University of York where he specialises in the history of modern European nationalism, the Napoleonic Wars, and prisoners of war. His research on these topics has been supported by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council and the European Commission’s Marie Curie Actions among others. Before coming to York in September 2014, he taught as an Intra-European Fellow at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Since publishing Making Prussians, Raising Germans in 2017, his research has focused on concepts of honour among European prisoners of war.

Ryan Stackhouse is a historian of Europe specializing in modern Germany and political policing under dictatorship. His book exploring Gestapo enforcement practices toward different social groups is nearing completion under the working title A Discriminating Terror. He also cohosts the Third Reich History Podcast and can be reached at john.ryan.stackhouse@gmail.com or @Staxomatix.

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Sep 19 2019

1hr 20mins

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Rank #8: The Origins of World War One

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Who or what originated and/or caused the Great War from breaking out in July 1914? Was it Serbia with its expansionist and aggressive designs on Austria-Hungary? Was it Austria-Hungary itself, unnecessarily plunging itself and the rest of Europe in a futile effort to keep together its tottering Monarchy? Was it Tsarist Russia? Attempting to both expand its influence in the Balkans at the expense of both Austria and Germany and at the very same time, seeking to bolster its own tottering monarchy by showing its aggrieved public that Mother Russia was backing the cause of its down-trodden, Slavic brothers. Was it Kaiserreich Germany? Aiming in the famous thesis of 20th-century German historian Fritz Fischer, to launch a Great War to establish itself as the hegemonic power on the European continent? A war which its military leaders stated repeatedly, Germany could only win if war occurred in the next few years. Was it France? Aiming in conjunction with its Russian ally to start a war with the aim of regaining the two lost provinces of Alsace-Lorraine. Was it Liberal England? Hoping for the final success of the policy of ‘encirclement’ of Germany, commenced by Edward VII?

The origins of the Great War is one of the most fascinating and enthralling subjects in modern History. Which oceans of ink, almost (but not quite) matching the oceans of blood spilled during the war itself, have been devoted to the subject. From the immediate outbreak of the war to the centenary anniversary in 2014, master historians have researched and written on it. Now to bring the topic to the audience of New Books Network, are Jeremy Black, Emeritus Professor of History at Exeter University, without a doubt, the most prolific historian writing in the Anglophone world and Charles Coutinho of the Royal Historical Society. Please listen to this most interesting of podcast.

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.

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Mar 12 2020

1hr 7mins

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Rank #9: Matthew Lockwood, "To Begin The World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe" (Yale UP, 2019)

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Growing up as an American, you’re bound to be all-but-suffused with triumphalist histories of the American Revolution. Those histories might have a tough of the Hegelian to them, asserting that the Revolutionary War was part of the inevitable development of freedom worldwide. More academic histories have focused more critically on the war itself and what it meant for American society, such as the fact that a war allegedly fought for freedom also involved the ongoing oppression of slaves. The war’s global dimensions have similarly been discussed, dating back at this point to Samuel Flagg Bemis’ The Diplomacy of the American Revolution.

Matthew Lockwood’s To Begin The World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe (Yale University Press, 2019) pushes this analysis farther, looking at the global consequences of the American Revolution. Lockwood shows that the war, whatever its debatable effects for the residents of the thirteen colonies, unleashed a whole host of catastrophes for people elsewhere. Those living under British rule found their relationship with their government dramatically revised. British distraction allowed some European powers to undertake conquests of their own, while the United Kingdom in turn sought new commercial opportunities. Meanwhile, the effects of the war spilled into India and South America, setting off a new wave of global unrest.

Zeb Larson is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a PhD in History. His research deals with the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to zeb.larson@gmail.com.

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Dec 20 2019

1hr 6mins

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Rank #10: Binyamin Appelbaum, "The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society" (Little Brown, 2019)

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Think economics is the "dismal science" with abstract formulas that have no impact on life as it is actually lived? Think again.  In The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society (Little Brown, 2019), Binyamin Appelbaum--former correspondent and now an editorial board member of the New York Times--brings to life how academic economists rose "from the basement" of banks and universities in the post-war period to have a direct impact on almost every aspect of our lives. The end of the draft, unemployment levels, inflation, deregulation, air transport, phone service, patent law, monopolies and anti-trust activity, even the value of human lives--all of these have been directly affected by the activity of economists who emerged on the scene after World War II. Appelbaum traces the transition from the first school of these economists--the Keynesians who advocated a bigger role for government in addressing economic and social problems--to the second school, the Chicago "market" crowd that held sway from the 1970s until the financial crisis or 2008-9. The latter school held that the market had the answer to problems in the economy and society and that government should stay out of the way. Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself on, you will want to be familiar with the lives and ideas of the individuals who have had such an impact on your life.

Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors. You can follow him on Twitter @Back2BizBook or at http://www.strategicdividendinvestor.com.

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Oct 22 2019

40mins

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Rank #11: SherAli Tareen, "Defending Muhammad in Modernity" (U Notre Dame Press, 2020)

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In his new book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020), SherAli Tareen, an associate professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College, takes us into the fascinating world of the ‘ulama (theologians) of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century South Asian Islam. Situated historically within the transitional and transformative period of the end of the Mughal era and the beginning of British colonialism, the book focuses on the native discourses, internal debates, and the ensuing logics utilized by Muslim theologians, such as Shah Muhammad Ismail and Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvi.

The book is divided into three sections and consists of twelve chapters. Throughout the study, Tareen thickly describes the internal debates surrounding issues of political theology (especially divine sovereignty), normativity and law (issues of bid‘a), and ritual practice (particularly of the mawlid (celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)) as a means to disrupt debates surrounding religious boundary making. Tareen’s close reading of texts in Arabic, Urdu, and Persian unsettles the post-colonial program of the modern secular state, not for the sake of arguing for “native agency” under colonial rule, but rather as a means to amplify how Muslim theologians did not bend to colonial secular norms that they were embedded within. The study models how a focused and nuanced analysis of intra-Muslim debates, such as the one between the Barelvi-Deobandi scholars opens up invigorating possibilities for questions and problem spaces that transcend reductive binaries of law/mysticism, puritan/populist, and reformist/traditionalist. The book is a tremendous contribution to the fields of South Asia and Islamic studies, while its theorizing on the twin forces of religion and secularism also adds greatly to conversations in the study of religion and politics. Tareen also includes a very useful appendix with discussion questions and pedagogical suggestions for how to use sections of the book in various undergraduate and graduate courses.

Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca

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Feb 28 2020

1hr 8mins

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Rank #12: Alex Hidalgo, "Trail of Footprints: A History of Indigenous Maps from Viceregal Mexico" (U Texas Press, 2019)

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There is far more to a map than meets the eye. Such is the case in historian Alex Hidalgo’s Trail of Footprints: A History of Indigenous Maps from Viceregal Mexico (University of Texas Press, 2019), which focuses on the complex lives of dozens of Oaxacan maps created by Indigenous mapmakers. Tracing the legal, social, cultural, and political history of these maps, Hidalgo sheds new light on the purpose, production, and preservation of maps as well as the lives of Indigenous peoples and Spaniards alike involved in their production. The result is a vivid re-orientation of Oaxacan history that speaks to the historical power of collaboration, adaptation, and cartography.

Trail of Footprints provides a deep dive into the production and use of maps, focusing specifically on the roles of patrons, painters, and notaries as well as the complex material dimension of mapmaking. Hidalgo lends equal attention to both the broader historical context of mapmaking and the smallest details of each cartographic creation, emphasizing how maps both recorded and created spatial relationships. In tracing the long lives of these maps, Hidalgo demonstrates, among other important interventions, the potency of Indigenous skills, ideas, and ways of knowing in creating and charting Oaxacan history.

 Annabel LaBrecque is a PhD student in the Department of History at UC Berkeley. You can find her on Twitter @labrcq.

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Mar 04 2020

49mins

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Rank #13: Sher Banu Khan, "Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641-1699" (Cornell UP, 2018)

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In her book, Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641-1699 (Cornell University Press, 2018), Sher Banu Khan provides a rare and empirically rich view of queenship in early modern maritime Southeast Asia. Four women ruled the Muslim realm of Aceh in succession during the second half of the seventeenth century. Their reign – with the acquiescence of the religious elite in the kingdom - was remarkable in a society where women were not seen as natural rulers, and where in more recent history, public leadership by women was discouraged. Writing against extant historiography that depicts this era as a period of decline, Khan argues instead that the queens of Aceh enabled diplomatic and trading networks to prosper and asserted Acehnese sovereignty in encounters with European powers.

In our conversation, we discuss the challenges in multi-lingual archival work, how studying queens can help us to reframe the idea of decline, the gendering of authority and leadership as well as the place of female authority in the Muslim world.

Sher Banu Khan is an associate professor of Malay Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Faizah Zakaria is an Assistant Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University. She is completing her first monograph on dialectical relationships between landscape and religious conversions in maritime Southeast Asia. You can find her website here or on Twitter @laurelinarien

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Feb 28 2020

43mins

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Rank #14: The Treaty of Versailles One Hundred Years On

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The Versailles Treaty of 1919, celebrates its one-hundred anniversary this year. And, yet unlike the more recent centenaries, such as that of the outbreak of the Great War or the Russian Revolution, the Versailles Treaty, notwithstanding its importance as perhaps the most important of the twentieth-century, has not seen the same level of interest? Is this relatively indifference due to the fact that it is still regarded by some (in the words of John Maynard Keynes) as a 'Carthaginian Peace', which lead inevitably to the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of the Second World War? To discuss this and other aspects of the Treaty, in the podcast channel, 'Arguing History', are Professor of History at the University of Exeter, Jeremy Black and Dr. Charles Coutinho, of the Royal Historical Society.

Professor Jeremy Black MBE, Is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. A graduate of Queens College, Cambridge, he is the author of well over one-hundred books. In 2008 he was awarded the “Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Lifetime Achievement".

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century

European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.

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Dec 27 2019

39mins

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Rank #15: Stuart Schrader, "​Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing​" (U California Press, 2019)

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Following World War II, in the midst of global decolonization and intensifying freedom struggles within its borders, the United States developed a worldwide police assistance program that aimed to crush left radicalism and extend its racial imperium. Although policing had long been part of the US colonial project, this new roving cadre of advisors funded, supplied, and trained foreign counterinsurgency forces on an unprecedented scale, developing a global cop-consciousness that spanned from Los Angeles to Saigon. In ​Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing​ (University of California Press, 2019), Stuart Schrader makes the compelling case that the growth of carceral state is just one front of a “discretionary empire” that persists today.

Badges Without Borders​ traces the tangled routes of police bureaucrats as they brought their munitions, methods, and money to precincts at home and abroad, and obviates the divide between “foreign” and “domestic” policy. Ultimately, Schrader suggests that US global power has relied on police reform to endlessly reproduce an ideology of “security.”

Patrick Reilly​ is a PhD student in US History at Vanderbilt University. He studies police, community organizations, and urban development.

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Nov 05 2019

1hr 14mins

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Rank #16: Raj Patel, "A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things" (U California Press, 2017)

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Award winning activist and researcher Raj Patel has teamed up with innovative environmental historian and historical geographer Jason W. Moore to produce an accessible book which provides historical explanations for the world ecological crises and the global crisis in capitalism. Using the framework of "cheapness," A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet (University of California Press, 2017) takes the reader through the long history of the search for lower production costs, extending from European colonial conquests in the fifteenth century up to present agroindustrial systems. This quest for cheapness originated with European colonists' desire to separate Society—themselves—from Nature—everything else. All forms of "Nature" were categorized by colonist and capitalists so that they could be efficiently used for production. Human beings were often included in this contrived category of Nature. Colonized people, the indigenous, women, and brown people were considered akin to non-human nature. In the process of employing cheapness as a "strategy" across space and time, colonial and capitalist powers have devastated land, destroyed indigenous populations, and exploited workers. Resistance to cheapness is described in the book too, but in Moore and Patel's depiction of the modern world, this resistance seems insignificant compared to the power and momentum of the cheapness strategy. The refusal to pay the true costs of production eventually led to crises because nature was cheap, but never free; debts mounted. “The modern world happened” according to Patel and Moore, “because externalities struck back” (21). Global warming is the best example of these debts but the book exposes many others.

To engage as broad of an audience as possible, the book is structured in a simple way making it useful for researchers, a general audience, and as a teaching text. The introduction begins with the example of the chicken nugget, the production of which exemplifies all seven "cheap things." The chapter then gives an outline of the argument. After the introduction, the reader is walked through relatively self-contained chapters on each of the seven cheap things: cheap nature, cheap money, cheap work, cheap care, cheap food, cheap energy, and cheap lives. Any chapter can be read in isolation as an example of how the concept of cheapness works in different ecological and economic realms but together they give the reader an understanding of the encompassing and destructive power of "cheapness." As Patel explains in the interview, the book was designed to engage an "intersectional" activist audience. Those interested in indigenous rights, class, race, and ecological issues will all find something interesting, and likely infuriating, in this book.

Readers might be disappointed by the brevity of the conclusion however, which attempts to offer some solutions to current global crises. Here Patel and Moore lay out the basic structure for a "reparations ecology" that calls for profound changes, not simply in world economic and political relations, but in humans' attitude towards nature, both human and non-human forms. Hopefully Patel and Moore will elaborate further on the important concept of reparations ecology in their future works. In the meantime, anyone interested in the origins of the most pressing problems facing humanity today must give Patel and Moore's thesis serious consideration.

Jason L. Newton is a visiting assistant professor of history at Cornell University. His book manuscript, Cutover Capitalism: The Industrialization of the Northern Forest, 1850-1950, is a history of the changing types of labor performed by people, trees, and the landscape in the American Northeast as that area industrialized. He has also published on nature, race, and immigration. He teaches classes on labor and the environment.

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Jan 07 2020

47mins

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Rank #17: Maddalena Marinari, "Unwanted: Italian and Jewish Mobilization against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882–1965" (UNC Press, 2020)

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In the late nineteenth century, Italians and Eastern European Jews joined millions of migrants around the globe who left their countries to take advantage of the demand for unskilled labor in rapidly industrializing nations, including the United States. Many Americans of northern and western European ancestry regarded these newcomers as biologically and culturally inferior--unassimilable--and by 1924, the United States had instituted national origins quotas to curtail immigration from southern and eastern Europe.

In her new book Unwanted: Italian and Jewish Mobilization against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882–1965 (UNC Press, 2020), Maddalena Marinari examines how, from 1882 to 1965, Italian and Jewish reformers profoundly influenced the country’s immigration policy as they mobilized against the immigration laws that marked them as undesirable.

Strategic alliances among restrictionist legislators in Congress, a climate of anti-immigrant hysteria, and a fickle executive branch often left these immigrants with few options except to negotiate and accept political compromises. As they tested the limits of citizenship and citizen activism, however, the actors at the heart of Marinari’s story shaped the terms of debate around immigration in the United States in ways we still reckon with today.

This episode is part of a series featuring legal history works from UNC Press. Support for the production of this series was provided by the Versatile Humanists at Duke program.

Maddalena Marinari is Assistant Professor in History; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; and Peace Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College. She has published extensively on immigration restriction and immigrant mobilization.

Siobhan M. M. Barco, J.D. explores U.S. legal history at Duke University.

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Apr 14 2020

37mins

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Rank #18: Tobias Boes, "Thomas Mann's War: Literature, Politics, and the World Republic of Letters" (Cornell UP, 2019)

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In Thomas Mann's War: Literature, Politics, and the World Republic of Letters (Cornell University Press, 2019), Tobias Boes traces how the acclaimed and bestselling author became one of America's most prominent anti-fascists and the spokesperson for a German cultural ideal that Nazism had perverted.

Thomas Mann, winner of the 1929 Nobel Prize in literature and author of such world-renowned novels as Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain, began his self-imposed exile in the United States in 1938, having fled his native Germany in the wake of Nazi persecution and public burnings of his books. Mann embraced his role as a public intellectual, deftly using his literary reputation and his connections in an increasingly global publishing industry to refute Nazi propaganda. As Boes shows, Mann undertook successful lecture tours of the country and penned widely-read articles that alerted US audiences and readers to the dangers of complacency in the face of Nazism's existential threat. Spanning four decades, from the eve of World War I, when Mann was first translated into English, to 1952, the year in which he left an America increasingly disfigured by McCarthyism, Boes establishes Mann as a significant figure in the wartime global republic of letters.

Ryan Tripp is part-time and full-time adjunct history faculty for Los Medanos Community College as well as the College of Online and Continuing Education at Southern New Hampshire University.

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Jan 14 2020

1hr 29mins

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Rank #19: Lori Gemeiner-Bihler, "Cities of Refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935-1945" (SUNY Press, 2019)

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In the years following Hitler’s rise to power, German Jews faced increasingly restrictive antisemitic laws, and many responded by fleeing to more tolerant countries. Cities of Refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935-1945 (SUNY Press, 2019), compares the experiences of Jewish refugees who immigrated to London and New York City by analyzing letters, diaries, newspapers, organizational documents, and oral histories. Lori Gemeiner-Bihler examines institutions, neighborhoods, employment, language use, name changes, dress, family dynamics, and domestic life in these two cities to determine why immigrants in London adopted local customs more quickly than those in New York City, yet identified less as British than their counterparts in the United States did as American. By highlighting a disparity between integration and identity formation, Gemeiner-Bihler challenges traditional theories of assimilation and provides a new framework for the study of refugees and migration.

Lori Gemeiner-Bihler is Associate Professor of History at Framingham State University.

Robin Buller is a Doctoral Candidate in History at UNC Chapel Hill.

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Jan 16 2020

1hr 6mins

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Rank #20: Ezequiel Mercau, "The Falklands War: An Imperial History" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

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The Falklands War was in many ways the defining event in the premiership of Margaret Thatcher. In many ways it was also the last roar of the British Lion. An event shrouded in both nostalgia and patriotism, at the time and subsequently.

In his book, The Falklands War: An Imperial History (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Ezequiel Mercau a post-doctoral fellow of University College Dublin, revisits a decades-old debate about whether the Falklands dispute was (and remains) a last-ditch effort to hold on to the vestiges of Britain’s imperial & imperialist past. Taking Britain's painful process of de-colonisation as his starting point, he shows how the powerful Falklands lobby helped revive the idea of a 'British world', transforming a minor squabble into a full-blown war. Boasting original perspectives on the Falklanders, the Four Nations and the Anglo-Argentines, and based on a wealth of unseen material, he endeavors to shed new light on the British world, Thatcher's Britain, devolution, immigration and political culture – arguing that neither the dispute, the war, nor its aftermath can be divorced from the ongoing legacies of empire. Not everyone will agree with some of the novel and theoretical aspects of Ezequiel Mercau’s treatment, but all will agree that it is a most unusual and interesting treatment of the subject.

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Mar 25 2020

1hr

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Frank Jacob, "Japanese War Crimes during World War II: Atrocity and the Psychology of Collective Violence" (Praeger, 2018)

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When you mention Japanese War crimes in World War Two, you’ll often get different responses from different generations. The oldest among us will talk about the Bataan Death March. Younger people, coming of age in the 1990s, will mention the Rape of Nanking or the comfort women forced into service by the Japanese army. Occasionally, someone will mention biological warfare.

Frank Jacob has offered a valuable service by surveying Japanese mistreatment of civilians and soldiers comprehensively. His book, Japanese War Crimes during World War II: Atrocity and the Psychology of Collective Violence (Praeger, 2018), is short and doesn’t treat any event or issue in depth. But he offers a lucid and thorough evaluation of the literature and nuggets of additional insight. And he frames it with a thoughtful attempt to explain the conduct about which he is writing.

If you’re looking for a deep dive into a particular topic, you’re not the audience Jacob had in mind. But this is a good place to come to grips with the broad picture of Japanese misconduct during the war.

Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press.

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Oct 22 2020

1hr 5mins

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Noel Malcolm, "Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750" (Oxford UP, 2019)

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Sir Noel Malcolm’s captivating new book, Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750 (Oxford University Press, 2019), tells the story of Western European fascination with the Ottoman empire and Islam between the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the latter half of the 18th century. This beautifully argued, erudite monograph traces a textured encounter between two civilizational complexes and exposes the dynamic role that the Ottomans played in intra-European political and cultural struggles. Useful Enemies contends that ideas about the Ottomans were active ingredients in European thought, and were used to “shake things up, to provoke, to shame, to galvanise.” Discussions of Islam and the Ottoman empire were thus bound up with mainstream thinking in the West on a wide range of important topics - power, religion, society, and war. These Eastern enemies were not just there to be denounced. They were there to be made use of, in arguments which significantly contributed to the development of Western political thought.

Sir Noel Malcolm is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford. His main research interests are in British and European early modern history. Sir Noel is one of the foremost scholars of Thomas Hobbes. His other interests concern Western knowledge of the Ottoman empire and Balkan history.

Vladislav Lilić is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the place and persistence of quasi-sovereignty in late Ottoman and post-Ottoman Southeastern Europe. Vladislav’s other fields of interest include the socio-legal history of empire, global history of statehood, and the history of international thought. You can reach him at vladislav.lilic@vanderbilt.edu.

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Oct 22 2020

1hr 3mins

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Scott Laderman, "The 'Silent Majority' Speech: Richard Nixon, the Vietnam War, and the Origins of the New Right" (Routledge, 2019)

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On November 3, 1969 Richard M. Nixon addressed the nation in what would come to be known as “The Silent Majority Speech”. In 32 minutes, the president promoted his plan for a “Vietnamization” of the war and called upon “the great silent majority of my fellow Americans” to support his plan “to end the war in a way that we could win the peace”. Arguing against the immediate cessation of hostilities, Nixon warned of a Communist bloodbath should American troops leave too quickly. Hypocritically, he spoke of peace as he made plans for a massive expansion of the murderous American air campaigns, which would include the criminal bombardment of neutral Cambodia.

While he asked for unity, the term “silent majority” stood in sharp contrast to Nixon calling anti-war activists on campus “bums” and the range of racist terms he used for African Americans, Jews, and the LatinX community. In The 'Silent Majority' Speech: Richard Nixon, the Vietnam War, and the Origins of the New Right (Routledge, 2019), Scott Laderman argues that this speech was part of Nixon’s rhetorical strategy of using divisive “dog whistle” terms such as “law and order” to cover up his racist appeals to the white working class. According to Laderman the speech was a historical turning point in American political history, opening the way for the Lee Atwaters and Donald Trumps to come. While he shows how this foreign policy speech can work as a prism to understand the later years of the American War in Vietnam, aka the Second Indochina War, Laderman further demonstrate that this speech was an important moment in American domestic politics as it signaled the creation of the New Right.

Scott Laderman is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota, Duluth – home of the best surfing in the upper Midwest.

Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not quietly reading or happily talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.

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Oct 22 2020

1hr 9mins

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Teren Sevea, "Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

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In Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya (Cambridge University Press), Teren Sevea reveals the economic, environmental and religious significance of Islamic miracle workers (pawangs) in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Malay world.

Through close textual analysis of hitherto overlooked manuscripts and personal interaction with modern pawangs readers are introduced to a universe of miracle workers that existed both in the past and in the present, uncovering connections between miracles and material life. Sevea demonstrates how societies in which the production and extraction of natural resources, as well as the uses of technology, were intertwined with the knowledge of charismatic religious figures, and locates the role of the pawangs in the spiritual economy of the Indian Ocean world, across maritime connections and Sufi networks, and on the frontier of the British Empire.

Teren Sevea is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in South and Southeast Asia, and received his PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining Harvard Divinity School, he served as Assistant Professor of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kelvin Ng hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit.

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Oct 22 2020

1hr 20mins

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Michael E. McCullough, "The Kindness of Strangers: How a Selfish Ape Invented a New Moral Code" (Basic Books, 2020)

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Why Give a Damn About Strangers? In his book The Kindness of Strangers: How a Selfish Ape Invented a New Moral Code (Basic Books, 2020), Michael E. McCullough explains.

McCullough is a professor of psychology at the University of California San Diego, where he directs the Evolution and Human Behavior laboratory. Long interested in prosocial behavior and morality, he’s conducted research on forgiveness, revenge, gratitude, empathy, altruism, and religion. His other books include Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct. This episode covers four evolved human instincts related to empathy; why “natural selection is a penny-pincher; and seven hinges of history that explain the historical progression of empathy—culminating in today’s Age of Impact.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.

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Oct 22 2020

35mins

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Rachel Manekin, "The Rebellion of the Daughters: Jewish Women Runaways in Habsburg Galicia" (Princeton UP, 2020)

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In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, over three hundred young Jewish women from Orthodox, mostly Hasidic, homes in Western Galicia (now Poland) fled their communities and sought refuge in a Kraków convent, where many converted to Catholicism.

Relying on a wealth of archival documents, including court testimonies, letters, diaries, and press reports, in The Rebellion of the Daughters: Jewish Women Runaways in Habsburg Galicia (Princeton University Press, 2020), Rachel Manekin reconstructs the stories of three Jewish women runaways and reveals their struggles and innermost convictions. Unlike Orthodox Jewish boys, who attended "cheders," traditional schools where only Jewish subjects were taught, Orthodox Jewish girls were sent to Polish primary schools. When the time came for them to marry, many young women rebelled against the marriages arranged by their parents, with some wishing to pursue secondary and university education. After World War I, the crisis of the rebellious daughters in Kraków spurred the introduction of formal religious education for young Orthodox Jewish women in Poland, which later developed into a worldwide educational movement. Manekin chronicles the belated Orthodox response and argues that these educational innovations not only kept Orthodox Jewish women within the fold but also foreclosed their opportunities for higher education.

Exploring the estrangement of young Jewish women from traditional Judaism in Habsburg Galicia at the turn of the twentieth century, The Rebellion of the Daughters brings to light a forgotten yet significant episode in Eastern European history.

Rachel Manekin is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland. Her area of specialization is the social, political, and cultural history of Galician Jewry. She is also the author of The Jews of Galicia and the Austrian Constitution: The Beginning of Modern Jewish Politics (Jerusalem: Shazar Institute, 2015).

Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com

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Oct 21 2020

53mins

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D. Bilak and T. Nummedal, "Furnace and Fugue. A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s 'Atalanta fugiens' (1618)" (U Virginia Press, 2020)

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In 1618, on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War, the German alchemist and physician Michael Maier published Atalanta fugiens, an intriguing and complex musical alchemical emblem book designed to engage the ear, eye, and intellect. The book unfolds as a series of fifty emblems, each of which contains an accompanying "fugue" music scored for three voices. Historians of alchemy have long understood this virtuoso work as an ambitious demonstration of the art’s literary potential and of the possibilities of the early modern printed book.

Atalanta fugiens lends itself unusually well to today’s digital tools. Re-rendering Maier’s multimedia alchemical project as an enhanced online publication, Furnace and Fugue allows contemporary readers to hear, see, manipulate, and investigate Atalanta fugiens in ways that Maier perhaps imagined but that were impossible to fully realize before now. An interactive, layered digital edition provides accessibility and flexibility, presenting all the elements of the original book along with significant enhancements that allow for deep engagement by specialists and nonspecialists alike.

Three short introductory essays invite readers to get acquainted with early modern alchemy, and Michael Maier. Eight extended interpretive essays explore Atalanta fugiens and its place in the history of music, science, print, and visual culture in early modern Europe. These interdisciplinary essays also include interactive features that clarify and/or advance the authors’ arguments while positioning Furnace and Fugue as an original, uniquely engaging contribution to our understanding of early modern culture.

Drs. Bilak and Nummedal are the editors of this innovative digital edition of a seventeenth-century alchemical text that combines text, image, and music. Furnace & Fugue was developed by Brown University’s Mellon-supported Digital Publications Initiative, and published by the University of Virginia Press (2020) as an open-access edition.

Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Social Science Research Institute at Brown University.

Dr. Bilak is an academic and a goldsmith. She is the Creative Director of 12 Keys Consultancy & Design, LLC, and an Independent Scholar. She is an historian of early modern science Donna's research extends to the cross-cultural examination of jewellery, artisanal technologies, and meaning-making with materials. Dr. Nummedal is Professor of History and of Italian Studies at Brown University. She is the author of Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2007), Anna Zieglerin and the Lion’s Blood: Alchemy and End Times in Reformation Germany (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). With Janice Neri and John V. Calhoun, she published John Abbot and William Swainson: Art, Science, and Commerce in Nineteenth-Century Natural History.

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Oct 21 2020

58mins

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Philip Cunliffe, "The New Twenty Years' Crisis: A Critique of International Relations, 1999-2019" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

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At the end of the 20th century, the liberal international order appeared unassailable after its triumph over the authoritarian challenges of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Twenty years later, however, the assumptions underlying the system appear discredited as international relations devolve into confrontation and conflict. In The New Twenty Years' Crisis: A Critique of International Relations, 1999-2019 (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020), Philip Cunliffe considers the factors in this decline and the question of what lies ahead. As Cunliffe details, the explanation lies within the liberal international order itself, particularly in the utopian thinking that ignores key factors in international affairs. Cunliffe identifies similarly flawed concepts within international relations theory, which grounded itself on assumptions that led to idealistic thinking over the growing evidence of contemporary events. These dual crises, Cunliffe concludes, demand a reconsideration based on the realities of the modern international order rather than the discredited ideas that seemed unquestionable two decades ago.

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Oct 21 2020

44mins

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Dan Royles, "To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle Against HIV/AIDS" (UNC Press, 2020)

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In the decades since it was identified in 1981, HIV/AIDS has devastated African American communities. Members of those communities mobilized to fight the epidemic and its consequences from the beginning of the AIDS activist movement. They struggled not only to overcome the stigma and denial surrounding a "white gay disease" in Black America, but also to bring resources to struggling communities that were often dismissed as too "hard to reach." To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle Against HIV/AIDS (UNC Press, 2020) offers the first history of African American AIDS activism in all of its depth and breadth. Dan Royles introduces a diverse constellation of activists, including medical professionals, Black gay intellectuals, church pastors, Nation of Islam leaders, recovering drug users, and Black feminists who pursued a wide array of grassroots approaches to slow the epidemic's spread and address its impacts. Through interlinked stories from Philadelphia and Atlanta to South Africa and back again, Royles documents the diverse, creative, and global work of African American activists in the decades-long battle against HIV/AIDS.

Dan Royles is an assistant professor of history at Florida International University.

Claire Clark is a medical educator, historian of medicine, and associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

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Oct 21 2020

1hr 12mins

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Chinua Thelwell, "Exporting Jim Crow: Blackface Minstrelsy in South Africa and Beyond" (U Massachusetts Press, 2020)

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Exporting Jim Crow: Blackface Minstrelsy in South Africa and Beyond (U Massachusetts Press, 2020) by Dr. Chinua Thelwell is a rich, well-researched, and sobering investigation of blackface minstrelsy as the “visual bedrock of a transcolonial cultural imaginary.” In tracing minstrel globalization across the Anglo-colonial and British imperial worlds beginning in the 1800s, Thelwell explores the ways that blackface minstrelsy helped to construct and maintain notions of exclusionary citizenship in racial states throughout the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Ocean worlds.

Thelwell shows that the South African Cape Colony became the minstrel nexus of these globalizing performance circuits. Putting this history in conversation with ongoing white settler colonialism and attendant plunder, annexation, and resource extraction, Thelwell argues that minstrel performances discursively strengthened the economic, social, and political cornerstones of the South African racial state, a state that ultimately developed into an apartheid state in the twentieth century. Through archival research and close readings of cultural artifacts, Thelwell shows that minstrel performances reflected gendered and racialized white fantasies of idealized Black laborers in events that normalized practices of racially exclusionary citizenship and reinforced labor exploitation. Exporting Jim Crow also significantly investigates subversive forms of Black resistance to these anti-black racial projects. For example, Thelwell interrogates how African American minstrels and Cape Coloureds attempted to change the terms of minstrel performance by creating shows that celebrated their own cultures and broadcasted images of equal citizenship. An important and critical study, Exporting Jim Crow enriches scholarship on blackface minstrelsy, South Africa, empire and colonialism, racial capitalism, and performance studies.

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Oct 20 2020

1hr 17mins

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Martyn Rady, "The Habsburgs: To Rule the World" (Basic Books, 2020)

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In The Habsburgs: To Rule the World (Basic Books, 2020), Martyn Rady, Masaryk Professor of Central European History at University College London, tells the epic story of a dynasty and the world it built -- and then lost -- over nearly a millennium. From modest origins in what is to-day southern Germany and Switzerland, the Habsburgs gained control first of Austria in the 12th century and then the Holy Roman Empire in the fifteenth century. Then, in just a few decades, their possessions rapidly expanded to take in a large part of Europe, stretching from Hungary to Spain, and parts of the New World and the Far East. The Habsburgs continued to dominate Central Europe through the First World War.

Historians often depict the Habsburgs as leaders of a ramshackle empire. But in this wide-ranging view of their past, Professor Rady reveals Habsburg’s enduring power, driven by the belief that they were destined to rule the world as defenders of the Roman Catholic Church, guarantors of peace, and patrons of learning. The Habsburgs is a highly interesting and readable history of a remarkable dynasty that forever changed Europe and the world. A perfect book for the lay educated reader who has heard of the dynasty but wants to know more.

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.

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Oct 20 2020

1hr

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James Simpson, "Permanent Revolution: The Reformation and the Illiberal Roots of Liberalism" (Harvard UP, 2019)

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The Protestant Reformation looms large in our cultural imagination. In the standard telling, it’s the moment the world went modern. Casting off the shackles and superstitions of medieval Catholicism, reformers translated the Bible into the vernacular and democratized religion. In this story, it’s no wonder that Protestantism should give birth to liberalism.

But this story is wrong, or so argues James Simpson in Permanent Revolution: The Reformation and the Illiberal Roots of Liberalism (Harvard University Press, 2019). In Simpson’s account, liberalism did not flow neatly from Protestant triumph. Liberalism and Protestantism are indeed intertwined, but in a much more violent, anguished way than we’re familiar with. The logic of revolution meant that Protestants increasingly turned against themselves and their own traditions. It was from the embers of this self-destructive conflagration that liberalism actually took shape. Vaulting lyrically from Shakespeare to Milton, from hypocrisy to magic, biblical literalism, and liberty, Simpson challenges the stories we tell ourselves. The result is a much more dynamic narrative of a world, like our own, in a state of flux.

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Oct 20 2020

1hr 29mins

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Alexey Golubev, "The Things of Life: Materiality in Late Soviet Russia" (Cornell UP, 2020)

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The Things of Life: Materiality in Late Soviet Russia (Cornell UP, 2020) is a social and cultural history of material objects and spaces during the late socialist era. It traces the biographies of Soviet things, examining how the material world of the late Soviet period influenced Soviet people's gender roles, habitual choices, social trajectories, and imaginary aspirations. Instead of seeing political structures and discursive frameworks as the only mechanisms for shaping Soviet citizens, Alexey Golubev explores how Soviet people used objects and spaces to substantiate their individual and collective selves. In doing so, Golubev rediscovers what helped Soviet citizens make sense of their selves and the world around them, ranging from space rockets and model aircraft to heritage buildings, and from home gyms to the hallways and basements of post-Stalinist housing. Through these various materialist fascinations, The Things of Life considers the ways in which many Soviet people subverted the efforts of the Communist regime to transform them into a rationally organized, disciplined, and easily controllable community.

Golubev argues that late Soviet materiality had an immense impact on the organization of the Soviet historical and spatial imagination. His approach also makes clear the ways in which the Soviet self was an integral part of the global experience of modernity rather than simply an outcome of Communist propaganda. Through its focus on materiality and personhood, The Things of Life expands our understanding of what made Soviet people and society "Soviet."

Alexey Golubev is a scholar of Russian history with a focus on social and cultural history of the twentieth century. He has a Cand.Sc. (kandidatskaya) degree from the Petrozavodsk University (2006) and a Ph.D. degree from the University of British Columbia (2016). Since 2017 he has worked as an Assistant Professor at the Department of History, University of Houston.

Steven Seegel is Professor of History at University of Northern Colorado.

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Oct 20 2020

59mins

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K. Grenier and A. Mushal, "Cultures of Memory in the Nineteenth Century: Consuming Commemoration" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

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Cultures of Memory in the Nineteenth Century: Consuming Commemoration (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) explores commemorative practices as they developed in the nineteenth century. The editors of the volume, Katherine Grenier and Amanda Mushal, and its contributors invite the readers to consider memorial practices as insights into the culture of both the public and the private. Through a number of investigations that range from the explorations of music to the study of photographs, the volume emphasizes the interplay of the individual and the society on a larger scale. On the one hand, commemorative practices zero in on the individual: remembering loved ones; honoring friends and acquaintances; celebrating the accomplishments of others, as well as forgetting some events while selecting others to construct family and community stories. On the other hand, however, memorial practices almost always surpass the realm of the private. The volume demonstrates how individual instances of commemorative practices contribute to the formation of the public/national/international paradigms of collective and cultural memory. Moreover, Cultures of Memory in the Nineteenth Century: Consuming Commemoration demonstrates the continuity of commemorative practices which were to some extent incepted and developed in the nineteenth century: in spite of the new technologies which this way or another shape the way we remember and forget, the commemorative consumption of the present day reflects the rudiments of the previous centuries. This memorial continuity is an essential factor in how to manage the inherent discontinuity of remembering and forgetting.

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Oct 19 2020

50mins

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Stefan Bauer, "The Invention of Papal History: Onofrio Panvinio between Renaissance and Catholic Reform" (Oxford UP, 2020)

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Stefan Bauer has written an outstanding study of one of the most important Catholic historians in early modern Europe. Bauer, who has just taken up a new position teaching history at Warwick University, UK, has spent much of the last decade working on the life and work of Onofrio Panvinio. The result, The Invention of Papal History: Onofrio Panvinio between Renaissance and Catholic Reform (Oxford UP, 2020), updates our knowledge of Panvinio’s biography and interprets his work in both Catholic reformation and counter-reformation contexts. This exceptional new book promises to do much to shape future work on history writing in early modern Europe. Tune into today’s episode to find out more.

Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests focus on the history of puritanism and evangelicalism, and he is the author most recently of Survival and Resistance in evangelical America: Christian Reconstruction in the Pacific Northwest (Oxford UP, 2021).

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Oct 19 2020

32mins

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Barbara Keys, "The Ideal of Global Sport: From Peace to Human Rights" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2019)

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Today we are joined by Barbara Keys, Professor of US and International History at Durham University, and author and editor of The Ideal of Global Sport: From Peace to Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). In our conversation, we discussed the origins of Olympism’s moral claims, the nexus between sport and human rights, and why it can be hard to understand the human costs of contemporary mega-events.

In The Ideal of Global Sport, Keys joins nine scholars in a critical examination of what she calls the “liturgy” of Olympism: namely that international sports “promote peace;” “teach fair play and mutual understanding;” “combat racial, ethnic gender, religious, and national discrimination;” “fight poverty;” “protect the environment;” and promote human rights.” A series of thematic articles, each chapter touches on one or more of the above themes. The authors come from a wide range of disciplines, including history, political science, and anthropology. Their different theoretical perspectives allow them to raise a host of questions about Olympism’s most grandiose claims.

These scholars do more than simply test the so-called “moral” defenses of sport. They also try to understand why “so many people make (such moral claims) and why so may people believe them…. The claims are important far beyond the question of their veracity: they constitute a system of meaning and a way of imagining the international. As a set of beliefs, the shape behaviour and practice.”

The Ideal of Global Sport is divided into two parts. Part 1 examines the core Olympic ideals of friendship, anti-discrimination, democratization, and peace. Simon Creak, Joon Seok Hong, and Roland Burke find very little evidence for strong links between any of these official Olympic values and instead point to the way that these ideals have been mobilized to serve particular political agendas. Robert Skinner’s chapter on anti-Apartheid sport posits that sport played a role in a much larger anti-discrimination movement.

In a provocative second half, scholars address the intersection between sport and human rights. Jules Boykoff illustrates the human cost of mega-events. Susan Brownell investigates different metrics for understanding the “human rights impact” of sport. In her own chapter, Keys paints a picture of sports and human rights organizations working with and against each other for mutual and opposite goals. Sporting group wanted to reframe human rights away from enumerated ideals and towards more marketable language, but other organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are also increasingly interested in partnering with FIFA and the IOC.

Each one of these essays in this volume offers enticing insights into the ways that power and human rights intersect in the sports sphere and scholars interested in those themes are strongly encouraged to read this book.

Keith Rathbone is a lecturer at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He researches twentieth-century French social and cultural history. His manuscript, entitled Sport and physical culture in Occupied France: Authoritarianism, agency, and everyday life, examines physical education and sports in order to better understand civic life under the dual authoritarian systems of the German Occupation and the Vichy Regime. It will come out with Manchester University Press in 2021. If you have a title to suggest for this podcast, please contact him at keith.rathbone@mq.edu.au.

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Oct 16 2020

52mins

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A. Wylegala and M. Glowacka-Grajper, "The Burden of the Past: History, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine" (Indiana UP, 2020)

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In a century marked by totalitarian regimes, genocide, mass migrations, and shifting borders, the concept of memory in Eastern Europe is often synonymous with notions of trauma. In Ukraine, memory mechanisms were disrupted by political systems seeking to repress and control the past in order to form new national identities supportive of their own agendas. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, memory in Ukraine was released, creating alternate visions of the past, new national heroes, and new victims. This release of memories led to new conflicts and "memory wars."

How does the past exist in contemporary Ukraine? The works collected in The Burden of the Past: History, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine (Indiana UP, 2020), edited by Anna Wylegała and Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper, focus on commemorative practices, the politics of history, and the way memory influences Ukrainian politics, identity, and culture. The works explore contemporary memory culture in Ukraine and the ways in which it is being researched and understood. Drawing on work from historians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and political scientists, the collection represents a truly interdisciplinary approach. Taken together, the groundbreaking scholarship collected in The Burden of the Past provides insight into how memories can be warped and abused, and how this abuse can have lasting effects on a country seeking to create a hopeful future.

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Oct 16 2020

1hr 3mins

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Alexandra J. Finley, "An Intimate Economy: Enslaved Women, Work, and America’s Domestic Slave Trade" (UNC Press, 2020)

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Alexandra J. Finley is the author of An Intimate Economy: Enslaved Women, Work, and America’s Domestic Slave Trade, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2020. An Intimate Economy examines the history of American slavery and capitalism by foregrounding women’s labor in the Antebellum slave trade. Finley explores a variety of topics included, domestic, reproductive, and sexual labor enslaved and free Black women performed at various points in the slave trade. This work adds to our knowledge on how central women were to the extension and growth of the domestic slave trade throughout the Antebellum period.

Alexandra J. Finley is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburg.

Derek Litvak is a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Maryland.

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Oct 16 2020

45mins

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Jeffrey Alan Erbig Jr., "Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met: Border Making in 18th-Century South America" (UNC Press, 2020)

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In his new book, Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met: Border Making in Eighteenth-Century South America (UNC Press, 2020), Dr. Jeffrey Erbig charts the interplay between imperial and indigenous spatial imaginaries and shows the critical role that indigenous actors played in imperial border-making between the Spanish and the Portuguese in the Río de la Plata region during the mid-to-late eighteenth century. Dr. Erbig demonstrates how this process does not fit neatly into concepts of resistance or accommodation, as Hispano-Portuguese border-drawing from 1750 to the end of the century was in-part necessitated by indigenous actions, shaped by indigenous actors, and even reinforced the authority and autonomy of certain native polities. Far from peripheral players on an inevitable path to destruction as they are mostly remembered today, native peoples were essential to determining the early-modern history of the Río de la Plata. Centering the actions of indigenous agents and incorporating archival material from seven countries along with digital mapping techniques, Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met will prove to be an enduring contribution to the historiography of indigenous studies, the Río de la Plata region, cartography, and borderlands topics.

Dr. Jeffrey Erbig is an Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Grant Kleiser is a Ph.D. candidate in the Columbia University History Department. His dissertation researches the development of the free-port system in the eighteenth-century Caribbean, investigating the rationale for such moves towards “free trade” and the impact these policies had on subsequent philosophers, policy-makers, and revolutionaries in the Atlantic world.

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Oct 16 2020

1hr 11mins

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Paul Howe, "Teen Spirit: How Adolescence Transformed the Adult World" (Cornell UP, 2020)

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Paul Howe's book Teen Spirit: How Adolescence Transformed the Adult World (Cornell UP, 2020) offers a novel and provocative perspective on how we came to be living in an age of political immaturity and social turmoil. Award-winning author, Paul Howe, argues it's because a teenage mentality has slowly gripped the adult world.

Howe contends that many features of how we live today--some regrettable, others beneficial--can be traced to the emergence of a more defined adolescent stage of life in the early twentieth century, when young people started spending their formative, developmental years with peers, particularly in formal school settings. He shows how adolescent qualities have slowly seeped upwards, where they have gradually reshaped the norms and habits of adulthood. The effects over the long haul, Howe contends, have been profound, in both the private realm and in the public arena of political, economic, and social interaction. Our teenage traits remain part of us as we move into adulthood. We now need instruction manuals for adulting

Teen Spirit challenges our assumptions about the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood. Yet despite a cultural system that seems to be built on the ethos of Generation Me, it's not all bad. In fact, there is an equally impressive rise in creativity, diversity, and tolerance within society: all traits stemming from core components of the adolescent character. Howe's bold and suggestive approach to analyzing the teen in all of us helps make sense of the impulsivity driving society and to think anew about civic re-engagement.

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Oct 16 2020

1hr 13mins

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By Small joys - Jun 22 2017
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Have checked out books because of this

best history podcast!

By demonym - Feb 27 2015
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marshall poe is the god of history - all his interviews are superb - excellent listening!