New Books Network

Podcasts with Authors about their New Books

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Catherine Epstein, “Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Occupation of Western Poland” (Oxford UP, 2010)


The term “totalitarian” is useful as it well describes the aspirations of polities such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (at least under Stalin). Yet it can also be misleading, for it suggests that totalitarian ambitions were in fact achieved.


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 27 January 2011  1h1m
 
 

Joyce Salisbury, “The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages” (Routledge, 2011)


I have three cats. They have names (Fatty, Mini, and Koshka). They live in my house. I feed them, take them to the vet, and love them. When they die, I’ll be really sad. After having read Joyce Salisbury’s eye-opening The Beast Within: Animals in the M...


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 21 January 2011  59m
 
 

Nell Irvin Painter, “The History of White People” (Norton, 2010)


We in the West tend to classify people by the color of their skin, or what we casually call “race.” But, as Nell Irvin Painter shows in her fascinating new book The History of White People (Norton, 2010), it wasn’t always so. The Greeks didn’t do it,


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 14 January 2011  1h5m
 
 

Ian Sample, “Massive: The Missing Particle that Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science” (Basic Books, 2010)


You’ve probably read about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It’s the largest (17 miles around!), most expensive (9 billion dollars!) scientific instrument in history. What’s it do? It accelerates beams of tiny particles (protons) to nearly the speed of...


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 14 January 2011  1h3m
 
 

Ann Fabian, “The Skull Collectors: Race, Science and America’s Unburied Dead” (University of Chicago, 2010)


What should we study? The eighteenth-century luminary and poet Alexander Pope had this to say on the subject: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man ” (An Essay on Man, 1733). He was not alone in this opinion.


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 17 December 2010  1h0m
 
 

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