New Books Network

Podcasts with Authors about their New Books

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David Shearer, “Policing Stalin’s Socialism: Repression and Social Order in the Soviet Union, 1924-1953” (Yale UP, 2010)


The question as to why the leaders of the Soviet Union murdered hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens during the Great Purges is one of the most important of modern history, primarily because it shapes what we are likely to think about communism.


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 10 December 2010  1h6m
 
 

Thomas Weber, “Hitler’s First War: Adolf Hitler, the Men of the List Regiment, and the First World War” (Oxford UP, 2010)


Here’s something interesting. If you search Google Books for “Hitler,” you’ll get 3,090,000 results. What’s that mean? Well, it means that more scholarly attention has probably been paid to Hitler than any other figure in modern history. Napoleon,


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 03 December 2010  1h20m
 
 

Deborah Kaple, “Gulag Boss: A Soviet Memoir” (Oxford UP, 2010)


Here’s something remarkable: at some point in the future, something you believe to be just fine will be utterly disdained by the greater part of humanity. For instance, it is at least imaginable that one day everyone will believe that zoos were [NB] pr...


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 24 November 2010  1h0m
 
 

Kyra Hicks, “This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces” (Black Threads Press, 2009)


I’ll tell you something I’ve never really understood: the difference between “art” and “craft.” Yes, I get the sociological difference (“art” is made in New York and Paris; “craft” is made in Omaha and Wichita),


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 19 November 2010  59m
 
 

Joe Maiolo, “Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941” (Basic Books, 2010)


In Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941 (Basic Books, 2010), Joe Maiolo proposes (I want to write “demonstrates,” but please read the book and judge for yourself) two remarkably insightful theses.


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 12 November 2010  1h0m
 
 

David Farber, “The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism” (Princeton UP, 2010)


I think that many smart people, particularly on the Left, make a really ill-considered assumption, to wit, that “Republican” means “Conservative.” I don’t mean lower case “c” conservative, as in wanting to maintain the status quo.


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 05 November 2010  1h6m
 
 

Abbott Gleason, “A Liberal Education” (TidePool Press, 2010)


I fear that most people think that “history” is “the past” and that the one and the other live in books. But it just ain’t so. History is a story we tell about the past, or rather some small portion of it. The past itself is gone and cannot, outside...


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 28 October 2010  1h21m
 
 

James Fleming, “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control” (Columbia UP, 2010)


In the summer of 2008 the Chinese were worried about rain. They were set to host the Summer Olympics that year, and they wanted clear skies. Surely clear skies, they must have thought, would show the world that China had arrived.


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 20 October 2010  1h1m
 
 

Aram Goudsouzian, “King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution” (University of California, 2010)


I imagine the guys who first faced Bill Russell felt like I did when I had to guard Antoine Carr in high school. I “held” Carr to 32 points. But no dunks! Russell’s opponents in college and the NBA rarely fared any better.


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 12 October 2010  1h3m
 
 

David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, “Russian Orientalism” (Yale UP, 2010)


There’s a saying, sometimes attributed to Napoleon, “Scratch a Russian and you find a Tatar.” I’ve scratched a Russian (I won’t say anything more about that) and I can tell you that the saying is false: all I found was more Russian. It’s true,


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 08 October 2010  1h0m