Laura Isabel SernaMaking Cinelandia: American Films and Mexican Film Culture Before the Golden Age

August 17, 2015

During the early decades of the 20th century the nation of Mexico entered the modern era through a series of social, political, and economic transformations spurred by the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. At the same time, American film companies increasingly sought opportunities to expand their market share by exporting films to exhibitionists in Mexico and Latin […]

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Roxanne Dunbar-OrtizAn Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

August 17, 2015

When Howard Zinn published A People's History of the United States in 1980, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was thrilled. "I used it as a text immediately," she remembers. Comrades in the movement anti-war movement, Zinn and Dunbar-Ortiz shared a belief that a radically different kind of history, freed from patriotic bluster, was desperately needed. But Dunbar-Ortiz was […]

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Leah Wright RigueurThe Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power

August 16, 2015

Leah Wright Rigueur is an assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her book The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power (Princeton University Press, 2015) examines how the Grand Old Party of Lincoln lost its position as the home of the African American vote. […]

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Brian P. MurphyBuilding the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic

August 16, 2015

Brian P. Murphy is the author of Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic (Penn Press, 2015). Murphy is Associate Professor of History at Baruch College, City University of New York. While the Broadway musical, Hamilton, delights the Big Apple this summer, Brian Murphy tells a different story of the same period. […]

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Gyanendra PandeyA History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States

August 14, 2015

A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2013) is the latest book by Gyanendra Pandey. The book analyses prejudice and democracy through a comparison of African Americans and Indian Dalits. Pandey's method of exploring these disparate populations and enormously complex themes, is to focus on […]

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Joyce SalisburyRome’s Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire

August 14, 2015

Before I read this excellent book, I had no idea that Rome–that is, the Roman Empire–ever had an empress. But, as Joyce E. Salisbury tells us in Rome's Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), it did. And she was a very good one. Galla Placidia ruled in tough […]

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Andrew G. WalderChina Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed

August 14, 2015

"With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that 1949 was actually the beginning, not the end, of the Chinese revolution." Building from this premise, Andrew G. Walder's new book looks at the ways that China was transformed in the 1950s in order to understand why and how Mao's decisions and initiatives – among those of […]

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D. D. GuttenplanThe Nation: A Biography

August 13, 2015

The Nation magazine turned 150 this year, a striking achievement for a publication that is firmly on the left of the political spectrum. It was founded in 1865 just months after the Civil War ended and Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. To celebrate a century and a half in print, the magazine has published a book […]

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Paul BjerkBuilding a Peaceful Nation: Julius Nyerere and the Establishment of Sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960-1964

August 11, 2015

Let's begin with what Paul Bjerk's new book isn't: a biography or evaluation of Julius Nyerere. Instead, according to a letter that Bjerk sent me in advance of our interview, Building a Peaceful Nation: Julius Nyerere and the Establishment of Sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960-1964 (University of Rochester Press, 2015), "focuses on sovereignty and discursive agency as main […]

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Parks M. CobleChina’s War Reporters: The Legacy of Resistance against Japan

August 10, 2015

Parks M. Coble's new book is a wonderful study of memory, war, and history that takes the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 and its aftermath as its focus. China's War Reporters: The Legacy of Resistance against Japan (Harvard University Press, 2015) is organized in two major parts. The first part (Ch. 1-5) look closely at writing done […]

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