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Nick WildingGalileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge

March 15, 2015

Nick Wilding’s new book is brilliant, thoughtful, and an absolute pleasure to read. Galileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and The Politics of Knowledge (University of Chicago Press, 2014) takes an unusual approach to understanding Galileo and his context by focusing its narrative on his closest friend, student, and patron, the Venetian Gianfrancesco Sagredo. Though most readers […]

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Brian VickThe Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon

March 14, 2015

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who knows anything about European history–and European diplomatic history in particular–who doesn’t know a little something about the Congress of Vienna. That “little something” is probably that the Congress fostered a post-war (Napoleonic War, that is) settlement called the “Concert of Europe” that lasted, roughly, until the outbreak of […]

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Colonel Ty SeiduleThe West Point History of the Civil War

March 13, 2015

We’re very fortunate to be joined by the editor of The West Point History of the Civil War (Simon and Schuster, 2014), the Head of the History Department at the United States Military Academy, Colonel Ty Seidule. Unlike most surveys, the new West Point History of the Civil War draws upon some of the best talent […]

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Edmund RussellEvolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth

March 11, 2015

Evolution is among the most powerful ideas in the natural sciences. Indeed, the evolutionary theorist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously said nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Yet despite its central place in the life sciences, relatively few geographers employ evolutionary theory in their work. In his new book Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology […]

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Kaeten MistryThe United States, Italy, and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare

March 11, 2015

In the annals of cold war history Italy is rarely seen as a crucial locale.  In his stimulating new book, The United States, Italy, and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Kaeten Mistry reveals how events in Italy proved surprisingly crucial in defining a conflict that dominated much of […]

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Hasia DinerRoads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way

March 10, 2015

The period from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries witnessed a mass migration which carried millions of Jews from central and eastern Europe, north Africa, and the Ottoman Empire to new lands. Hasia Diner’s new book, Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way […]

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Justin MartinRebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America’s First Bohemians

March 10, 2015

Biography is, both etymologically and in its conventional forms, the writing of a life. But what is the role of place within that? And how do the stories of lives- some of them well known, others less so- realign when we see them through the lens of a particular place? That’s Justin Martin‘s way in […]

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Sophia Rose Arjana, “Muslims in the Western Imagination” (Oxford UP, 2015)

March 10, 2015

In Muslims in the Western Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2015), Sophia Rose Arjana explores a variety of creative productions—including art, literature, film—in order to tell a story not about how Muslims construct their own identities but rather about how Western thinkers have constructed ideas about Muslims and monsters. To what extent are these imaginary constructs […]

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Udi GreenbergThe Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundation of the Cold War

March 9, 2015

American policymakers and scholars alike have looked to the rapid transformation of Germany, specifically West Germany, from a defeated Nazi state into a thriving democracy as one of the most successful postwar reconstructions of the twentieth century. Scholars have variously credited an influential U.S. occupation or Germans’ own revulsion at their Nazi past as the […]

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Tracy LeavelleThe Catholic Calumet: Colonial Conversions in French and Indian North America

March 9, 2015

Studies of Christian missions can easily fall into two different traps: either one-sidedly presenting the missionaries as heroes saving benighted savages or portraying them as villains carrying out cultural imperialism. At the same time, these vastly different perspectives are based on the same error of minimizing native agency. In The Catholic Calumet: Colonial Conversions in […]

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