New Books Network

Podcasts with Authors about their New Books

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Fred Spier, “Big History and the Future of Humanity” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)


My son Isaiah likes to play the “why” game. Isaiah: “Why is my ice cream gone?” Me: “Because you ate it.” Isaiah: “Why did I eat it?” Me: “Because you need food.” Isaiah: “Why do I need food?” And so on. Isaiah naturally wants to know why things are th...


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 01 October 2010  1h1m
 
 

Norman Naimark, “Stalin’s Genocides” (Princeton UP, 2010)


Absolutely no one doubts that Stalin murdered millions of people in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. His ruthless campaign of “dekulakization,” his pitiless deportation of “unreliable” ethnic groups, his senseless starvation of Ukrainian peasants,


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 24 September 2010  1h12m
 
 

Thomas Kessner, “The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation” (Oxford UP, 2010)


Try to imagine having never seen an airplane. It’s hard. Aircraft are an ordinary part of our daily experience. Just look up and you’ll probably see one, or at least its vapor trails. Go to your local airport and you can fly in one pretty inexpensively...


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 15 September 2010  1h5m
 
 

Kip Kosek, “Acts of Conscience: Christian Nonviolence and Modern American Democracy” (Columbia UP, 2010)


There’s a quip that goes “Christianity is probably a great religion. Someone should really try it.” The implication, of course, is that most people who call themselves Christians aren’t very Christian at all. And, in truth,


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 10 September 2010  1h5m
 
 

Elaine Tyler May, “America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation” (Basic Books, 2010)


Don’t you find it a bit curious that there are literally thousands of pills that we in the developed world take on a daily basis, but only one of them is called “the Pill?” Actually, you probably don’t find it curious,


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 04 September 2010  56m
 
 

Valerie Hebert, “Hitler’s Generals on Trial: The Last War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg” (University Press of Kansas, 2010)


Clausewitz famously said war was the “continuation of politics by other means.” Had he been unfortunate enough to witness the way the Wehrmacht fought on the Eastern Front in World War II, he might well have said war (or at least that war) was the “con...


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 27 August 2010  1h4m
 
 

Amanda Podany, “Brotherhood of Kings: How International Relations Shaped the Ancient Near East” (Oxford UP, 2010)


I have a (much beloved) colleague who calls all history about things before AD 1900 “that old stuff.” Of course she means it as a gentle jab at those of us who study said “old stuff.” Gentle, but in some ways telling.


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 19 August 2010  1h2m
 
 

Jeffrey H. Jackson, “Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910” (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2010)


In the late 19th century, French sociologist Emile Durkheim warned the world about spreading “normlessness” (anomie). He claimed that modern society, and particularly life in concentrated urban-industrial areas like Paris,


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 13 August 2010  1h1m
 
 

Gary Bruce, “The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi” (Oxford UP, 2010)


I have a good friend who grew up in East Germany in the bad old days. The East German authorities suspected that her family would try to immigrate to the West (which they did), so they naturally told the Stasi–the East German secret service–to watch th...


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 29 July 2010  1h8m
 
 

Todd Moye, “Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II” (Oxford UP, 2010)


In the 1940s, the United States military performed an “experiment,” the substance of which was the formation of an all-black aviation unit known to history as the “Tuskegee Airmen.” In light of the honorable service record of countless African American...


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 23 July 2010  1h2m