NBN Book of the Day

Follow NBN Book of the Day
Share on
Copy link to clipboard

The "NBN Book of the Day" features the most timely and interesting author interviews from the New Books Network delivered to you every weekday. Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

Marshall Poe


    • Jan 8, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 1h AVG DURATION
    • 648 EPISODES


    More podcasts from Marshall Poe

    Search for episodes from NBN Book of the Day with a specific topic:

    Latest episodes from NBN Book of the Day

    Philippe-Richard Marius, "The Unexceptional Case of Haiti: Race and Class Privilege in Postcolonial Bourgeois Society" (UP of Mississippi, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2023 89:01


    In The Unexceptional Case of Haiti: Race and Class Privilege in Postcolonial Bourgeois Society (University Press of Mississippi, 2022), Philippe-Richard Marius recasts the world-historical significance of the Saint-Domingue Revolution to investigate the twinned significance of color/race and class in the reproduction of privilege and inequality in contemporary Haiti. Through his ethnography, class emerges as the principal site of social organization among Haitians, notwithstanding the country's global prominence as a “Black Republic.” It is class, and not color or race, that primarily produces distinctive Haitian socioeconomic formations. When Marius arrived in Port-au-Prince to begin fieldwork for this monograph, to him and to legions of people worldwide, Haiti was axiomatically the first Black Republic. Descendants of Africans did in fact create the Haitian nation-state on January 1, 1804, as the outcome of a slave uprising that defeated white supremacy in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. Haiti's Founding Founders, as colonial natives, were nonetheless to varying degrees Latinized subjects of the Atlantic. They envisioned freedom differently than the African-born former slaves, who sought to replicate African nonstate societies. Haiti's Founders indeed first defeated native Africans' armies before they defeated the French. Not surprisingly, problematic vestiges of colonialism carried over to the independent nation.  Marius interrogates Haitian Black nationalism without diminishing the colossal achievement of the enslaved people of Saint-Domingue in destroying slavery in the colony, then the Napoleonic army sent to restore it. Providing clarity on the uses of race, color, and nation in sociopolitical and economic organization in Haiti and other postcolonial bourgeois societies, Marius produces a provocative characterization of the Haitian nation-state that rejects the Black Republic paradigm. Philippe-Richard Marius is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Staten Island (CUNY). Marius has conducted extensive fieldwork in Haiti. He is writer, producer, and codirector of the film A City Called Heaven. Aleem Mahabir is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Albert Glinsky, "Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2023 71:25


    The Moog synthesizer ‘bent the course of music forever' Rolling Stone declared. Bob Moog, the man who did that bending, was a lovable geek with Einstein hair and pocket protectors. He walked into history in 1964 when his homemade contraption unexpectedly became a sensation---suddenly everyone wanted a Moog. The Beatles, The Doors, The Byrds, and Stevie Wonder discovered his synthesizer, and it came to be featured in seminal film scores including Apocalypse Now and A Clockwork Orange. The Moog's game-changing sounds saturated 60's counterculture and burst into the disco party in the 70's to set off the electronic dance music movement. Bob had singlehandedly founded the synth industry and become a star in the process. But he was also going broke. Imitators copied his technology, the musicians' union accused him of replacing live players, and Japanese competitors started overtaking his work. He struggled to hang on to his inventions, his business, and his very name. Bob's story upends our notions of success and wealth, showing that the two don't always go together. In Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution (Oxford UP, 2022), author Albert Glinsky draws on exclusive access to Bob Moog's personal archives and his probing interviews with Bob's family and a multitude of associates, for this first complete biography of the man and his work. Switched On takes the reader on a roller coaster ride at turns triumphant, heart-breaking, and frequently laugh out loud absurd---a nuanced trip through the public and private worlds of this legendary inventor who altered the course of music.” Nathan Smith is a PhD Student in Music Theory at Yale University. He can be reached at nathan.smith@yale.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Franziska Exeler, "Ghosts of War: Nazi Occupation and Its Aftermath in Soviet Belarus" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2023 91:40


    How do states and societies confront the legacies of war and occupation, and what do truth, guilt, and justice mean in that process?  In Ghosts of War: Nazi Occupation and Its Aftermath in Soviet Belarus (Cornell UP, 2022), Franziska Exeler examines people's wartime choices and their aftermath in Belarus, a war-ravaged Soviet republic that was under Nazi occupation during the Second World War. After the Red Army reestablished control over Belarus, one question shaped encounters between the returning Soviet authorities and those who had lived under Nazi rule, between soldiers and family members, reevacuees and colleagues, Holocaust survivors and their neighbors: What did you do during the war? Ghosts of War analyzes the prosecution and punishment of Soviet citizens accused of wartime collaboration with the Nazis and shows how individuals sought justice, revenge, or assistance from neighbors and courts. The book uncovers the many absences, silences, and conflicts that were never resolved, as well as the truths that could only be spoken in private, yet it also investigates the extent to which individuals accommodated, contested, and reshaped official Soviet war memory. The result is a gripping examination of how efforts at coming to terms with the past played out within, and at times through, a dictatorship. Jill Massino is a scholar of modern Eastern Europe with a focus on Romania, gender, and everyday life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Lorraine Daston Rules the World (EF, JP)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 45:34


    Lorraine Daston, Rules: A Short History of What We Live by (Princeton UP, 2022). Historian of science Lorraine Daston's wonderful new book, Rules: A Short History of What We Live by (Princeton UP, 2022). is just out. Daston's earlier pathbreaking works include Against Nature, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment and many co-authored books, including Objectivity (with Peter Galison) which introduced the idea of historically changeable "epistemic virtues." In this Recall this Book conversation, Daston--Raine to her friends--shows that rules are never as thin (as abstract and context-free) as they pretend to be. True, we love a rule that seems to brook no exceptions: by the Renaissance, even God is no longer allowed to make exceptions in the form of miracles. Yet throughout history, Raine shows, islands of standardized stability are less stable than they seem. What may feel like oppressively general norms and standards are actually highly protected ecotopes within which thin rules can arise. Look for instance at the history of sidewalks (Raine has)! Raine, Elizabeth and John dive into the details. Implicit and explicit rules are distinguished in the case of e.g. cookbooks and monasteries--and then the gray areas in-between are explored. When students unconsciously ape their teachers, that is a tricky form of emulation--is it even possible to "follow but not ape"? Perhaps genres do this work: The Aeneid is not the Iliad and yet older writers are somehow internalized in the later ones. Mentioned in the Episode Karl Polanyi, 1944) The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, on the embeddedness of markets in norms and rules. John Locke's Second Treatise on Government (1690) denounces the "arbitrary will of another," an early case of seeing will simply qua will is unacceptable. Arnold Davidson sees genre variation (like Milton learning from Homer) also happening in musical invention. Michael Tomasello works on children's rule-following and enforcement against violations, Johannes Huizinga's Homo Ludens (1938) with its notion of demarcated "sacred spaces of play" is a touchstone of rule-following Lorraine and John both adore. Recallable Books The Rule of Saint Benedict (516 onwards) Irma Rombauer, Joy of Cooking (1931 onwards) As Elizabeth says, it's from following the rules that joy emerges.... Walter Miller's Canticle for Liebowitz Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground (1864) an instance of the notion that one establishes free will by caprice or defiance against natural laws ("damnit, gentleman, sometimes 2+2=5 is a nice thing too!") Read the transcript here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Siv B. Lie, "Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 57:20


    Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France (U Chicago Press, 2021) shows how relationships between racial identities, jazz, and national belonging become entangled in France. Jazz manouche—a genre known best for its energetic, guitar-centric swing tunes—is among France's most celebrated musical practices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It centers on the recorded work of famed guitarist Django Reinhardt and is named for the ethnoracial subgroup of Romanies (also known, often pejoratively, as “Gypsies”) to which Reinhardt belonged. French Manouches are publicly lauded as bearers of this jazz tradition, and many take pleasure and pride in the practice while at the same time facing pervasive discrimination. Jazz manouche uncovers a contradiction at the heart of France's assimilationist republican ideals: the music is portrayed as quintessentially French even as Manouches themselves endure treatment as racial others. In Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France (U Chicago Press, 2021), Siv B. Lie explores how this music is used to construct divergent ethnoracial and national identities in a context where discussions of race are otherwise censured. Weaving together ethnographic and historical analysis, Lie shows that jazz manouche becomes a source of profound ambivalence as it generates ethnoracial difference and socioeconomic exclusion. As the first full-length ethnographic study of French jazz to be published in English, this book enriches anthropological, ethnomusicological, and historical scholarship on global jazz, race and ethnicity, and citizenship while showing how music can be an important but insufficient tool in struggles for racial and economic justice. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Why are Insects so Scary? On Insects in Films.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2023 42:47


    This episode from the Vault is a lecture by May Berenbaum about why insects are so scary. Professor Berenbaum is an American entomologist whose research focuses on the chemical interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants. She teaches entomology at the University of Illinois, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2014. She is also the organizer of the annual Insect Fear Film Festival. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Shakespeare's Life, World and Works 1: Why Read Shakespeare

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 2, 2023 12:31


    William Shakespeare, who lived in England from 1564 to 1616, is one of the world's most popular and most captivating authors. Even four hundred years after his death, his plays still attract audiences around the globe. Why is that? In this course, you'll learn who Shakespeare was, what kinds of plays he wrote, and what makes his body of work perhaps the greatest work of art ever created. In Episode One, Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford, tackles the question, Why read Shakespeare? You'll learn what makes Shakespeare newly relevant for each new generation of audiences and discover what is unique about Shakespeare's approach to writing--an approach that lets us not only watch but actually take part in his plays.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Josiah Ober, "The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason" (U California Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2023 65:35


    Tracing practical reason from its origins to its modern and contemporary permutations, the Greek discovery of practical reason, as the skilled performance of strategic thinking in public and private affairs, was an intellectual breakthrough that remains both a feature of and a bug in our modern world. Countering arguments that rational choice-making is a contingent product of modernity, The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason (U California Press, 2022) traces the long history of theorizing rationality back to ancient Greece. In this book, Josiah Ober explores how ancient Greek sophists, historians, and philosophers developed sophisticated and systematic ideas about practical reason. At the same time, they recognized its limits—that not every decision can be reduced to mechanistic calculations of optimal outcomes. Ober finds contemporary echoes of this tradition in the application of game theory to political science, economics, and business management. The Greeks and the Rational offers a striking revisionist history with widespread implications for the study of ancient Greek civilization, the history of thought, and human rationality itself. Javier Mejia is an economist teaching at Stanford University, whose work focuses on the intersection between social networks and economic history. His interests extend to topics on entrepreneurship and political economy with a geographical specialty in Latin America and the Middle East. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at New York University--Abu Dhabi and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux. He is a regular contributor to different news outlets. Currently, he is Forbes Magazine op-ed columnist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Martha C. Nussbaum, "Justice for Animals: Our Collective Responsibility" (Simon & Schuster, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2022 51:09


    A revolutionary new theory and call to action on animal rights, ethics, and law from the renowned philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum.  Animals are in trouble all over the world. Whether through the cruelties of the factory meat industry, poaching and game hunting, habitat destruction, or neglect of the companion animals that people purport to love, animals suffer injustice and horrors at our hands every day. The world needs an ethical awakening, a consciousness-raising movement of international proportions.  In Justice for Animals (Simon & Schuster, 2023), one of the world's most influential philosophers and humanists Martha C. Nussbaum provides a revolutionary approach to animal rights, ethics, and law. From dolphins to crows, elephants to octopuses, Nussbaum examines the entire animal kingdom, showcasing the lives of animals with wonder, awe, and compassion to understand how we can create a world in which human beings are truly friends of animals, not exploiters or users. All animals should have a shot at flourishing in their own way. Humans have a collective duty to face and solve animal harm. An urgent call to action and a manual for change, Nussbaum's groundbreaking theory directs politics and law to help us meet our ethical responsibilities as no book has done before. Martha C. Nussbaum is currently the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Department of Philosophy and the Law School. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Tommie Shelby, "The Idea of Prison Abolition" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2022 72:02


    By any reasonable metric, prisons as they exist in the United States and in many other countries are normatively unacceptable. What is the proper moral response to this? Can prisons and the practices surrounding incarceration feasibly be reformed, or should the entire enterprise be abolished? If the latter, then what? If the former, what are the necessary reforms? In The Idea of Prison Abolition (Princeton UP, 2022), Tommie Shelby undertakes a systematic and critical examination of the arguments in favor of prison abolition. Although he ultimately rejects abolitionism as a philosophical position, he builds from the abolitionist program's crucial insights a positive view of what it would take to create a prison and incarceration system that is consistent with justice. Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Abdul Alkalimat, "The Future of Black Studies" (Pluto Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2022 96:02


    The marginalisation of Black voices from the academy is a problem in the Western world. But Black Studies, where it exists, is a powerful, boundary-pushing discipline, grown out of struggle and community action. In The Future of Black Studies (Pluto Press, 2022), Abdul Alkalimat, one of the founders of Black Studies in the US, presents a reimagining of the future trends in the study of the Black experience. Taking Marxism and Black Experientialism, Afro-Futurist and Diaspora frameworks, he projects a radical future for the discipline at this time of social crisis. Choosing cornerstones of culture, such as the music of Sun Ra, the movie Black Panther and the writer Octavia Butler, he looks at the trajectory of Black liberation thought since slavery, including new research on the rise in the comparative study of Black people all over the world. Turning to look at how digital tools enhance the study of the discipline, this book is a powerful read that will inform and inspire students and activists. Amanda Joyce Hall is a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University in the Department of African American Studies. She's on Twitter @amandajoycehall. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Ed Cohen, "On Learning to Heal or, What Medicine Doesn't Know" (Duke UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 84:46


    At thirteen, Ed Cohen was diagnosed with Crohn's disease—a chronic, incurable condition that nearly killed him in his early twenties. At his diagnosis, his doctors told him that the best he could hope for would be periods of remission. Unfortunately, doctors never mentioned healing as a possibility.  In On Learning to Heal or, What Medicine Doesn't Know (Duke UP, 2022), Cohen draws on fifty years of living with Crohn's to consider how Western medicine's turn from an “art of healing” toward a “science of medicine” deeply affects both medical practitioners and their patients. He demonstrates that although medicine can now offer many seemingly miraculous therapies, medicine is not and has never been the only way to enhance healing. Exploring his own path to healing, he argues that learning to heal requires us to desire and value healing as a vital possibility. With this book, Cohen advocates reviving healing's role for all those whose lives are touched by illness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Luke Munn, "Automation Is a Myth" (Stanford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 66:30


    For some, automation will usher in a labor-free utopia; for others, it signals a disastrous age-to-come. Yet whether seen as dream or nightmare, automation, argues Munn, is ultimately a fable that rests on a set of triple fictions. There is the myth of full autonomy, claiming that machines will take over production and supplant humans. But far from being self-acting, technical solutions are piecemeal; their support and maintenance reveals the immense human labor behind "autonomous" processes. There is the myth of universal automation, with technologies framed as a desituated force sweeping the globe. But this fiction ignores the social, cultural, and geographical forces that shape technologies at a local level. And, there is the myth of automating everyone, the generic figure of "the human" at the heart of automation claims. But labor is socially stratified and so automation's fallout will be highly uneven, falling heavier on some (immigrants, people of color, women) than others.  In Automation Is a Myth (Stanford UP, 2022), Munn moves from machine minders in China to warehouse pickers in the United States to explore the ways that new technologies do (and don't) reconfigure labor. Combining this rich array of human stories with insights from media and cultural studies, Munn points to a more nuanced, localized, and racialized understanding of the "future of work." Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Mary M. Burke, "Race, Politics, and Irish America: A Gothic History" (Oxford UP, 2023)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2022 44:20


    In this interview, she discusses her book, Race, Politics, and Irish America: A Gothic History (Oxford UP, 2023), which inserts successive Irish-American identities--forcibly transported Irish, Scots-Irish, and post-Famine Irish--into American histories and representations of race. Figures from the Scots-Irish Andrew Jackson to the Caribbean-Irish Rihanna, as well as literature, film, caricature, and beauty discourse, convey how the Irish racially transformed multiple times: in the slave-holding Caribbean, on America's frontiers and antebellum plantations, and along its eastern seaboard. This cultural history of race and centuries of Irishness in the Americas examines the forcibly transported Irish, the eighteenth-century Presbyterian Ulster-Scots, and post-1845 Famine immigrants. Their racial transformations are indicated by the designations they acquired in the Americas: 'Redlegs,' 'Scots-Irish,' and 'black Irish.' In literature by Fitzgerald, O'Neill, Mitchell, Glasgow, and Yerby (an African-American author of Scots-Irish heritage), the Irish are both colluders and victims within America's racial structure. Depictions range from Irish encounters with Native and African Americans to competition within America's immigrant hierarchy between 'Saxon' Scots-Irish and 'Celtic' Irish Catholic. Irish-connected presidents feature, but attention to queer and multiracial authors, public women, beauty professionals, and performers complicates the 'Irish whitening' narrative. Thus, 'Irish Princess' Grace Kelly's globally-broadcast ascent to royalty paves the way for 'America's royals,' the Kennedys. The presidencies of the Scots-Irish Jackson and Catholic-Irish Kennedy signalled their respective cohorts' assimilation. Since Gothic literature particularly expresses the complicity that attaining power ('whiteness') entails, subgenres named 'Scots-Irish Gothic' and 'Kennedy Gothic' are identified: in Gothic by Brown, Poe, James, Faulkner, and Welty, the violence of the colonial Irish motherland is visited upon marginalized Americans, including, sometimes, other Irish groupings. History is Gothic in Irish-American narrative because the undead Irish past replays within America's contexts of race. Aidan Beatty is a historian at the Frederick Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Stuart Klawans, "Crooked, But Never Common: The Films of Preston Sturges" (Columbia UP, 2023)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 25, 2022 52:08


    In a burst of creativity unmatched in Hollywood history, Preston Sturges directed a string of all-time classic comedies from 1939 through 1948--The Great McGinty, The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek among them--all from screenplays he alone had written.  Stuart Klawans' Crooked, But Never Common: The Films of Preston Sturges (Columbia UP, 2023) pays close attention to Sturges' celebrated dialogue, but also to his films surprisingly intricate structures, marvelous use of a standard roster of character actors, and effective composition of shots. Klawans goes deeper than this, though, providing compelling readings of the underlying personal philosophy depicted in these films, which for all their seen-it-all cynicism nonetheless express firmly-held values, among them a fear for conformity and crowd-mentality, a dread of stasis, and a respect for intelligence, whether of a billionaire or of a Pullman porter. This is a book that will return you to these great films with new eyes. Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Kenneth B. Moss, "An Unchosen People: Jewish Political Reckoning in Interwar Poland" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2022 64:11


    The early 1930s constituted an ambiguous moment for the roughly three million Jews that resided in the Polish Republic. On the one hand, as recent scholars have emphasized, Polish Jews found numerous opportunities to partake in flourishing cultural and political projects that spanned the ideological spectrum from Zionism to Yiddishism to Polish integrationism to various brands of socialism. In addition, Josef Pilsudski's government – while by no means an ally to Polish Jewry – was the lesser of two evils compared to the explicitly anti-Semitic Endecja regime that ruled the country by the end of the decade. At the same time, however, trouble lurked around every corner. Polish Jews found their earning opportunities deeply limited, due to both economic depression and a widespread social prejudice that blocked them from getting jobs. Even more concerning, the rise of fascist politics – in Poland and abroad – made clear the fledgling state's weaknesses, and cast a shadow of doubt over any sense that acceptance would prevail over national hatred. Polish Jews now grappled with the possibility that Jewish life in Eastern Europe might not be feasible going forward. What was to be done amidst these precarious circumstances? How was one to plan for the future, both as an individual and as a member of a minority community? How was one to handle the anxiety of unclear and multifarious dangers? In his new volume An Unchosen People: Jewish Political Reckoning in Interwar Poland (Harvard UP, 2021), Kenneth Moss has resurrected the mentalité of those that struggled daily with these questions, illustrating what it meant for Polish Jews to grope for meaning in the face of constant uncertainty and real dread. To accomplish this task, Moss has assembled and examined an astounding breadth of documents produced by people from throughout Polish Jewish society. Readers will find analyses of Polish Jewish intellectual luminaries like Max Weinreich, Jacob Lestschinsky and Chaim Grade, each of whom allowed recent events to influence and mutate their understandings of Jewish life and community. Moss also shines a light on more common Jews that no less vociferously sought to forge practical and pragmatic solutions to their increasingly dire situations. The result is a monograph dedicated to the daily experience of minority life in the modern world; a world permeated by a sense of unease at what tomorrow might bring.  James Benjamin Nadelis a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Christopher M. Palmer, "Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health" (Benbella Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 56:05


    Christopher M. Palmer's book Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health (Benbella Books, 2022) will forever change the way we understand and treat mental health. If you or someone you love is affected by mental illness, it might change your life. We are in the midst of a global mental health crisis, and mental illnesses are on the rise. But what causes mental illness? And why are mental health problems so hard to treat? Drawing on decades of research, Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Chris Palmer outlines a revolutionary new understanding that for the first time unites our existing knowledge about mental illness within a single framework: Mental disorders are metabolic disorders of the brain.  Brain Energy explains this new understanding of mental illness in detail, from symptoms and risk factors to what is happening in brain cells. Palmer also sheds light on the new treatment pathways this theory opens up—which apply to all mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, alcoholism, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, autism, and even schizophrenia. Brain Energy pairs cutting-edge science with practical advice and strategies to help people reclaim their mental health. This groundbreaking book reveals: Why classifying mental disorders as “separate” conditions is misleading The clear connections between mental illness and disorders linked to metabolism, including diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, pain disorders, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy The link between metabolism and every factor known to play a role in mental health, including genetics, inflammation, hormones, neurotransmitters, sleep, stress, and trauma The evidence that current mental health treatments, including both medications and therapies, likely work by affecting metabolism New treatments available today that readers can use to promote long-term healing Palmer puts together the pieces of the mental illness puzzle to provide answers and offer hope. Brain Energy will transform the field of mental health, and the lives of countless people around the world. Sine Yaganoglu trained as a neuroscientist and bioengineer (PhD, ETH Zurich). She currently works in innovation management and diagnostics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Geert Lovink, "Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism" (Pluto Press, 2019)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 60:15


    Why is the internet making us so unhappy? Why is it in capital's interests to cultivate populations that are depressed and desperate rather than driven by the same irrational exuberance that moves money? Sadness is now a design problem. The highs and lows of melancholy are coded into social media platforms. After all the clicking, browsing, swiping and liking, all we are left with is the flat and empty aftermath of time lost to the app. Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism (Pluto Press, 2019) by Geert Lovink offers a critical analysis of the controversies which drive our online media behaviours. Lovink calls for us to embrace the engineered intimacy of social media, messenger apps and selfies because boredom is the first stage of overcoming ‘platform nihilism'. Geert Lovink speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about the frustrations of studying the internet as it evolves from networks to platforms, the politically-contingent notions of online 'communities', and cycles of ideological production and capture. Geert Lovink is a media theorist and internet critic who has chronicled the development of internet and network cultures as they came of age alongside him. He is the author of Zero Comments, Networks Without a Cause, Social Media Abyss, and most recently Struck on the Platform. He is the founder of the Institute of Network Cultures. Pierre d'Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Heather Ford, "Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age" (MIT Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 59:12


    A close reading of Wikipedia's article on the Egyptian Revolution reveals the complexity inherent in establishing the facts of events as they occur and are relayed to audiences near and far. Wikipedia bills itself as an encyclopedia built on neutrality, authority, and crowd-sourced consensus. Platforms like Google and digital assistants like Siri distribute Wikipedia's facts widely, further burnishing its veneer of impartiality. But as Heather Ford demonstrates in Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age (MIT Press, 2022), the facts that appear on Wikipedia are often the result of protracted power struggles over how data are created and used, how history is written and by whom, and the very definition of facts in a digital age. In Writing the Revolution, Ford looks critically at how the Wikipedia article about the 2011 Egyptian Revolution evolved over the course of a decade, both shaping and being shaped by the Revolution as it happened. When data are published in real time, they are subject to an intense battle over their meaning across multiple fronts. Ford answers key questions about how Wikipedia's so-called consensus is arrived at; who has the power to write dominant histories and which knowledges are actively rejected; how these battles play out across the chains of circulation in which data travel; and whether history is now written by algorithms. Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology and a volunteer at Interference Archive. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Tom McLeish, "The Poetry and Music of Science: Comparing Creativity in Science and Art" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2022 35:27


    What human qualities are needed to make scientific discoveries, and which to make great art? Many would point to 'imagination' and 'creativity' in the second case but not the first. Tom McLeish's The Poetry and Music of Science: Comparing Creativity in Science and Art (Oxford UP, 2021) challenges the assumption that doing science is in any sense less creative than art, music or fictional writing and poetry, and treads a historical and contemporary path through common territories of the creative process. The methodological process called the 'scientific method' tells us how to test ideas when we have had them, but not how to arrive at hypotheses in the first place. Hearing the stories that scientists and artists tell about their projects reveals commonalities: the desire for a goal, the experience of frustration and failure, the incubation of the problem, moments of sudden insight, and the experience of the beautiful or sublime. Selected themes weave the practice of science and art together: visual thinking and metaphor, the transcendence of music and mathematics, the contemporary rise of the English novel and experimental science, and the role of aesthetics and desire in the creative process. Artists and scientists make salient comparisons: Defoe and Boyle; Emmerson and Humboldt, Monet and Einstein, Schumann and Hadamard. The book draws on medieval philosophy at many points as the product of the last age that spent time in inner contemplation of the mystery of how something is mentally brought out from nothing. Taking the phenomenon of the rainbow as an example, the principles of creativity within constraint point to the scientific imagination as a parallel of poetry. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    James D. Stein, "Seduced by Mathematics: The Enduring Fascination of Mathematics" (World Scientific, 2022) Math

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 86:38


    Seduction is not just an end result, but a process -- and in mathematics, both the end results and the process by which those end results are achieved are often charming and elegant.This helps to explain why so many people -- not just those for whom math plays a key role in their day-to-day lives -- have found mathematics so seductive. Math is unique among all subjects in that it contains end results of amazing insight and power, and lines of reasoning that are clever, charming, and elegant. James D. Stein's Seduced by Mathematics: The Enduring Fascination of Mathematics (World Scientific, 2022) is a collection of those results and lines of reasoning that make us say, 'OMG, that's just amazing, ' -- because that's what mathematics is to those who love it. In addition, some of the stories about mathematical discoveries and the people who discovered them are every bit as fascinating as the discoveries themselves. Seduced by Mathematics contains material capable of being appreciated by students in elementary school -- as well as some material that will probably be new to even the more mathematically sophisticated. Most of the book can be easily understood by those whose only math courses are algebra and geometry, and who may have missed the magic, enchantment, and wonder that is the special province of mathematics. James D. Stein is a professor emeritus of mathematics at Cal State Long Beach. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Ben Pitcher, "Back to the Stone Age: Race and Prehistory in Contemporary Culture" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2022 49:08


    What does Prehistory mean to us now? In Back to the Stone Age: Race and Prehistory in Contemporary Culture (McGill-Queen's UP, 2022), Ben Pitcher, a Reader in Sociology at the University of Westminster, uses cultural studies to explore both the human past and our contemporary life. The book examines how ideas of the prehistoric speak to contemporary anxieties, political projects, and even diets and food choices. Moreover, many of these versions of the past are the basis for regressive political projects that use Prehistory as part of racist and sexist agendas, agendas that need to be resisted and countered with the ideas discussed in the analysis. Engaging with a huge range of cultural and social theory, as well as examples from museums and heritage sites, archaeology, and even scientific hoaxes, the book is essential reading across the arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as for anyone interested in understanding the society today. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Danielle Keats Citron, "The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age" (Norton, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2022 36:09


    The boundary that once protected our intimate lives from outside interests is an artefact of the 20th century. In the 21st, we have embraced a vast array of technology that enables constant access and surveillance of the most private aspects of our lives. From non-consensual pornography, to online extortion, to the sale of our data for profit, we are vulnerable to abuse. As Citron reveals, wherever we live, laws have failed miserably to keep up with corporate or individual violators, letting our privacy wash out with the technological tide. And the erosion of intimate privacy in particular, Citron argues, holds immense toxic power to transform our lives and our societies for the worse (and already has). With vivid examples drawn from interviews with victims, activists and lawmakers from around the world, The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age (Norton, 2022) reveals the threat we face and argues urgently and forcefully for a reassessment of privacy as a human right. And, as a legal scholar and expert, Danielle Citron is the perfect person to show us the way to a happier, better protected future. Jake Chanenson is a computer science Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago. Broadly, Jake is interested in topics relating to HCI, privacy, and tech policy. Previously, Jake has done some research in mixed reality, human-robot interaction, and AI ethics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, "Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 58:29


    Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism (Princeton UP, 2022) explores why dictatorships born of social revolution—such as those in China, Cuba, Iran, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam—are extraordinarily durable, even in the face of economic crisis, large-scale policy failure, mass discontent, and intense external pressure. Few other modern autocracies have survived in the face of such extreme challenges. Drawing on comparative historical analysis, Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way argue that radical efforts to transform the social and geopolitical order trigger intense counterrevolutionary conflict, which initially threatens regime survival, but ultimately fosters the unity and state-building that supports authoritarianism. Steven Levitsky is the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government at Harvard University. Lucan Way is a professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, where he co-directs the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine. The previous book by both authors is Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Sally Sharif is Simons Foundation Canada Post-Doctoral Fellow at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University. Her most recent paper is “Can the Rebel Body Function without its Visible Heads? The Role of Mid-Level Commanders in Peacebuilding.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Samuel J. Redman, "Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums" (Harvard UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 47:16


    In Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums (Harvard University Press, 2022 for paperback edition), Samuel J. Redman, Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, uncovers the equally fascinating and disturbing history behind the vast collections of human remains assembled by medical and natural history museums since the mid-nineteenth-century across the United States. The book shows how, in the aftermaths of the Civil War, human remains, and especially those of Indigenous people, were seen as valuable specimens for the advancement of medicine, before turning into crucial pieces of evidence for scientific racism, and eventually serving as material for the study and exhibition of human prehistory. Bone Rooms charts the trouble waters of the birth and evolution of bone rooms and offers a most timely historical account, as debates around the restitution of human remains and cultural artifacts held in museums have been gaining momentum in the recent years. Behind this important past lies the profound question of how to ensure that the quest for scientific knowledge does not, even if inadvertently, erase the humanity or cultural value of what have been seen as specimens only. As Redman advocates, “Museums can serve as key spaces to attempt to come to terms with the colonial legacy attached to archaeology and anthropology, through partially redressing past wrongs while continuing the search for new knowledge.” Victor Monnin, Ph.D. is an historian of science specialized in the history of Earth sciences. He is also teaching French language and literature to undergraduates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    William Inboden, "The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the World on the Brink" (Dutton, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2022 68:34


    With decades of hindsight, the peaceful end of the Cold War seems a foregone conclusion. But in the early 1980s, most experts believed the Soviet Union was strong, stable, and would last into the next century. Ronald Reagan entered the White House with no certainty of what would happen next, only an overriding faith in democracy and an abiding belief that Soviet communism—and the threat of nuclear war—must end. William Inboden's The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the World on the Brink (Dutton, 2022) reveals how Reagan's White House waged the Cold War while managing multiple crises around the globe. From the emergence of global terrorism, wars in the Middle East, the rise of Japan, and the awakening of China to proxy conflicts in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, Reagan's team oversaw the worldwide expansion of democracy, globalization, free trade, and the information revolution. Yet no issue was greater than the Cold War standoff with the Soviet Union. As president, Reagan remade the four-decades-old policy of containment and challenged the Soviets in an arms race and ideological contest that pushed them toward economic and political collapse, all while extending an olive branch of diplomacy as he sought a peaceful end to the conflict. Reagan's revolving team included Secretaries of State Al Haig and George Shultz; Secretaries of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci; National Security Advisors Bill Clark, John Poindexter, and Bud McFarlane; Chief of Staff James Baker; CIA Director Bill Casey; and United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Talented and devoted to their president, they were often at odds with one another as rivalries and backstabbing led to missteps and crises. But over the course of the presidency, Reagan and his team still developed the strategies that brought about the Cold War's peaceful conclusion and remade the world. Based on thousands of pages of newly-declassified documents and interviews with senior Reagan officials, The Peacemaker brims with fresh insights into one of America's most consequential presidents. Along the way, it shows how the pivotal decade of the 1980s shaped the world today. Grant Golub is an Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD candidate in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the politics of American grand strategy during World War II. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Michelle R. Boyd, "Becoming the Writer You Already Are" (Sage, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2022 49:34


    Becoming the Writer You Already Are (Sage, 2022) helps scholars uncover their unique writing process and design a writing practice that fits how they work. Author Michelle R. Boyd introduces the Writing Metaphor as a reflective tool that can help you understand and overcome your writing fears: going from "stuck" to "unstuck" by drawing on skills you already have at your fingertips. She also offers an experimental approach to trying out any new writing strategy, so you can easily fill out the parts of your writing process that need developing. The book is ideal for dissertation writing seminars, graduate students struggling with the transition from coursework to dissertation work, scholars who are supporting or participating in writing groups, and marginalized scholars whose writing struggles have prompted them to internalize the bias that others have about their ability to do exemplary research. Michelle R. Boyd is the founder of the InkWell Academic Writing Retreats. Armanc Yildiz is a doctoral candidate in Social Anthropology with a secondary field in Studies in Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University. He is also the founder of Academics Write, where he supports scholars in their writing projects as a writing coach and developmental editor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Jason Ananda Josephson Storm, "Metamodernism: The Future of Theory" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 12, 2022 60:03


    For decades, scholars have been calling into question the universality of disciplinary objects and categories. The coherence of defined autonomous categories—such as religion, science, and art—has collapsed under the weight of postmodern critiques, calling into question the possibility of progress and even the value of knowledge. Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm aims to radicalize and move beyond these deconstructive projects to offer a path forward for the humanities and social sciences using a new model for theory he calls metamodernism. Metamodernism: The Future of Theory (U Chicago Press, 2021) works through the postmodern critiques and uncovers the mechanisms that produce and maintain concepts and social categories. In so doing, Storm provides a new, radical account of society's ever-changing nature—what he calls a “Process Social Ontology”—and its materialization in temporary zones of stability or “social kinds.” Storm then formulates a fresh approach to philosophy of language by looking beyond the typical theorizing that focuses solely on human language production, showing us instead how our own sign-making is actually on a continuum with animal and plant communication. Storm also considers fundamental issues of the relationship between knowledge and value, promoting a turn toward humble, emancipatory knowledge that recognizes the existence of multiple modes of the real. Metamodernism is a revolutionary manifesto for research in the human sciences that offers a new way through postmodern skepticism to envision a more inclusive future of theory in which new forms of both progress and knowledge can be realized. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Leigh T. I. Penman, "The Lost History of Cosmopolitanism: The Early Modern Origins of the Intellectual Ideal" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 11, 2022 91:53


    The Lost History of Cosmopolitanism: The Early Modern Origins of the Intellectual Ideal (Bloomsbury, 2020) challenges our most basic assumptions about the history of an ideal at the heart of modernity. Beginning in antiquity and continuing through to today, Leigh T.I. Penman examines how European thinkers have understood words like 'kosmopolites', 'cosmopolite', 'cosmopolitan' and its cognates. The debates over their meanings show that there has never been a single, stable cosmopolitan concept, but rather a range of concepts-sacred and secular, inclusive and exclusive-all described with the cosmopolitan vocabulary. While most scholarly attention in the history of cosmopolitanism has focussed on Greek and Roman antiquity or the Enlightenments of the 18th century, this book shows that the crucial period in the evolution of modern cosmopolitanism was early modernity. Between 1500 and 1800 philosophers, theologians, cartographers, jurists, politicians, alchemists and heretics all used this vocabulary, shedding ancient associations, and adding new ones at will. The chaos of discourses prompted thinkers to reflect on the nature of the cosmopolitan ideal, and to conceive of an abstract 'cosmopolitanism' for the first time. This meticulously researched book provides the first intellectual history of an overlooked period in the evolution of a core ideal. As such, The Lost History of Cosmopolitanism is an essential work for anyone seeking a contextualised understanding of cosmopolitanism today. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Daniel Immerwahr, "The Galactic Vietnam: Technology, Modernization, and Empire in George Lucas's Star Wars" (2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2022 65:33


    In this episode I got to chat about two of my favorite things: the history of imperialism and Star Wars with Daniel Immerwahr, Professor of History at Northwestern University. Our conversation focused on his recent article “The Galactic Vietnam: Technology, Modernization, and Empire in George Lucas's Star Wars,” in Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations: New Histories, edited by David Milne and Christopher Nichols (Columbia University Press, 2022). In the piece her uses the film and the figure of George Lucas to explore various aspects of the United States in the Cold War. Were Ewoks the Viet Cong? Was the Death Star a B-52? Was Alderaan Hanoi? Listen and find out. Daniel Immerwahr earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 2011 after undergraduate studies at both Columbia and Cambridge. His previous work includes Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development (Harvard, 2015) and the award winning and best-selling How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019), which has been translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Korean, and Chinese so far. Dr. Immerwahr's writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, the Washington Post, The New Republic, The Nation, Dissent, Jacobin, Slate, and elsewhere. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he's not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Julia Ticona, "Left to Our Own Devices: Coping with Insecure Work in a Digital Age" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 52:32


    Hello, world! This is the Global Media & Communication podcast series. In this episode, our host Florence Madenga discusses the book Left to Our Own Devices Coping with Insecure Work in a Digital Age (2022) by Dr. Julia Ticona. You'll hear about: Dr. Ticona's intellectual trajectory and how her first monograph has been transformed from a dissertation project into a book What audience the book is intended for and what critical scholarship means for the author The design of the research project and the processes and ethics of conducting research about the gig economy How the ongoing pandemic has changed or altered the way Dr. Ticona thinks about this book The core arguments and take-away points from the book around keywords such as “digital inequality,” “precarity,” “platform economy,” and “digital hustle” The global implications of a study on low-wage gig economy workers in the American labor market The question of agency in workers' everyday life and how people survive in the global platform economy The gendered nature of labor in the gig economy and what Dr. Ticona calls “tethered care work” How we can better understand the complexity of our mediated worlds and precarious work beyond the tech companies and digital platforms About the book Over the past three decades, digital technologies like smartphones and laptops have transformed the way we work in the US. At the same time, workers at both ends of the income ladder have experienced rising levels of job insecurity and anxiety about their economic futures. In Left to Our Own Devices, Julia Ticona explores the ways that workers use their digital technologies to navigate insecure and flexible labor markets. Through 100 interviews with high and low-wage precarious workers across the US, she explores the surprisingly similar "digital hustles" they use to find work and maintain a sense of dignity and identity. Ticona then reveals how the digital hustle ultimately reproduces inequalities between workers at either end of polarized labor markets. A moving and accessible look at the intimate consequences of contemporary capitalism, Left to Our Own Devices will be of interest to sociologists, communication and media studies scholars, as well as a general audience of readers interested in digital technologies, inequality, and the future of work in the US. You can find this book on the Oxford University Press website. Author: Julia Ticona is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Host: Florence Madenga is a doctoral fellow at CARGC at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Editor & Producer: Jing Wang is Senior Research Manager at CARGC at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Our podcast is part of the multimodal project powered by the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. At CARGC, we produce and promote critical, interdisciplinary, and multimodal research on global media and communication. We aim to bridge academic scholarship and public life, bringing the very best scholarship to bear on enduring global questions and pressing contemporary issues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Timothy Shenk, "Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy" (FSG, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2022 66:14


    These days it seems that nobody is satisfied with American democracy. Critics across the ideological spectrum warn that the country is heading toward catastrophe but also complain that nothing seems to change. At the same time, many have begun to wonder if the gulf between elites and ordinary people has turned democracy itself into a myth. The urge to defend the country's foundations and to dismantle them coexist―often within the same people. How did we get here? Why does it feel like the country is both grinding to a halt and falling to pieces? In Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy (FSG, 2022), the historian Timothy Shenk offers an eye-opening new biography of the American political tradition. In a history that runs from the drafting of the Constitution to the storming of the Capitol, Shenk offers sharp pen portraits of signal characters from James Madison and Charles Sumner to Phyllis Schlafly and Barack Obama. The result is an entertaining and provocative reassessment of the people who built the electoral coalitions that defined American democracy―and a guide for a time when figures ranging from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to MAGA-minded nationalists seek to turn radical dreams into political realities. In an era when it seems democracy is caught in perpetual crisis, Realigners looks at earlier moments when popular majorities transformed American life. We've had those moments before. And if there's an escape from the doom loop that American politics has become, it's because we might have one again. Sean T. Byrnes is a writer, teacher, and historian who lives in middle Tennessee. He is the author of Disunited Nations: US Foreign Policy, Anti-Americanism, and the Rise of the New Right, from LSU Press. Tweet at him @ByrnesSean. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Ted Conover, "Cheap Land Colorado: Off-Gridders at America's Edge" (Knopf, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2022 53:47


    Today I talked to Ted Conover, author of Cheap Land Colorado: Off-Gridders at America's Edge (Knopf, 2022) In May 2017, Conover went to Colorado to explore firsthand a rural way of life that is about living cheaply, on your own land—and keeping clear of the mainstream. The failed subdivisions of the enormous San Luis Valley make this possible. Five-acre lots on the high prairie can be had for five thousand dollars, sometimes less. Conover volunteered for a local group trying to prevent homelessness during the bitter winters. He encountered an unexpected diversity: veterans with PTSD, families homeschooling, addicts young and old, gay people, people of color, lovers of guns and marijuana, people with social anxiety—most of them spurning charity and aiming, and sometimes failing, to be self-sufficient. And more than a few predicting they'll be the last ones standing when society collapses. Conover bought his own five acres and immersed himself for parts of four years in the often contentious culture of the far margins. He found many who dislike the government but depend on its subsidies; who love their space but nevertheless find themselves in each other's business; who are generous but wary of thieves; who endure squalor but appreciate beauty. In their struggles to survive and get along, they tell us about an America riven by difference where the edges speak more and more loudly to the mainstream. Ted Conover is the author of several books, including Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and National Geographic. He is a professor at, and the former director of, New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O'Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics, found at https://fifteenminutefilm.podb... and on Twitter @15MinFilm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Margret Grebowicz, "Rescue Me: On Dogs and Their Humans" (U Minnesota Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2022 41:18


    Margret Grebowicz's Rescue Me: On Dogs and Their Humans (U Minnesota Press, 2022) is a little book about the oldest relationship we humans have cultivated with another large animal—in something like the original interspecies space, as old or older than any other practice that might be called human. But it's also about the role of this relationship in the attrition of life—especially social life—in late capitalism. As we become more and more obsessed with imagining ourselves as benevolent rescuers of dogs, it is increasingly clear that it is dogs who are rescuing us. But from what? And toward what? Exploring adoption, work, food, and training, this book considers the social as fundamentally more-than-human and argues that the future belongs to dogs—and the humans they are pulling along. Jimena Ledgard is a journalist, writer and researcher from Lima, Peru. You can find her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jimedylan or send her an email at jimena.ledgard (at) gmail.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Nicholas Morton, "The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East" (Basic Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 41:17


    For centuries, the Crusades have been central to the story of the medieval Near East, but these religious wars are only part of the region's complex history. As Nicholas Morton reveals in The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East (Basic Books, 2022), during the same era the Near East was utterly remade by another series of wars: the Mongol invasions. In a single generation, the Mongols conquered vast swaths of the Near East and upended the region's geopolitics. Amid the chaos of the Mongol onslaught, long-standing powers such as the Byzantines, the Seljuk Turks, and the crusaders struggled to survive, while new players such as the Ottomans arose to fight back. The Mongol conquests forever transformed the region, while forging closer ties among societies spread across Eurasia. The Mongol Storm is the definitive history of the Mongol assault on the Near East and its enduring global consequences. Maggie Freeman is a PhD student in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, "Indentured Students: How Government-Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022 64:49


    It didn't always take thirty years to pay off the cost of a bachelor's degree.  In Indentured Students: How Government-Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt (Harvard UP, 2021), Elizabeth Tandy Shermer untangles the history that brought us here and discovers that the story of skyrocketing college debt is not merely one of good intentions gone wrong. In fact, the federal student loan program was never supposed to make college affordable. The earliest federal proposals for college affordability sought to replace tuition with taxpayer funding of institutions. But Southern whites feared that lower costs would undermine segregation, Catholic colleges objected to state support of secular institutions, professors worried that federal dollars would come with regulations hindering academic freedom, and elite-university presidents recoiled at the idea of mass higher education. Cold War congressional fights eventually made access more important than affordability. Rather than freeing colleges from their dependence on tuition, the government created a loan instrument that made college accessible in the short term but even costlier in the long term by charging an interest penalty only to needy students. In the mid-1960s, as bankers wavered over the prospect of uncollected debt, Congress backstopped the loans, provoking runaway inflation in college tuition and resulting in immense lender profits. Today 45 million Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in college debt, with the burdens falling disproportionately on borrowers of color, particularly women. Reformers, meanwhile, have been frustrated by colleges and lenders too rich and powerful to contain. Indentured Students makes clear that these are not unforeseen consequences. The federal student loan system is working as designed. Elizabeth Tandy Shermer has written about labor, politics, and education for the Washington Post, HuffPost, and Dissent. Author of Sunbelt Capitalism: Phoenix and the Transformation of American Politics, she is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. Tom Discenna is Professor of Communication at Oakland University whose work examines issues of academic labor and communicative labor more broadly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Andrew Spria, "Foreshadowed: Malevich's "Black Square" and Its Precursors" (Reaktion Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2022 60:42


    When Kasimir's Malevich's Black Square was produced in 1915, no one had ever seen anything like it before. And yet it does have precedents. In fact, over the previous five hundred years, several painters, writers, philosophers, scientists, and censors alighted on the form of the black square or rectangle, as if for the first time. Foreshadowed: Malevich's "Black Square" and Its Precursors (Reaktion Books, 2022) explores the resonances between Malevich's Black Square and its precursors, revealing layers of meaning that are often overlooked but which are as relevant today as ever. In this interview, Allison Leigh explores these ideas with Andrew Spria. Their conversation ranges from how Andrew chose the overall structure for the book and his process of researching it, to why Malevich's canvas should be seen as one of the most interesting and beautiful paintings ever made. Allison Leigh is Associate Professor of Art History and the SLEMCO/LEQSF Regents Endowed Professor in Art & Architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research explores masculinity in European and Russian art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Gregory Shushan, "The Next World: Extraordinary Experiences of the Afterlife" (White Crow Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2022 50:12


    In The Next World: Extraordinary Experiences of the Afterlife (White Crow Books, 2022), historian of religions Gregory Shushan explores the relationships between extraordinary experiences and beliefs in life after death. He first shows how throughout history and around the world, near-death experiences have influenced ideas about the afterlife. Shushan also takes a deep dive into the problem of similarities and differences between NDE accounts. Not only do they vary widely, but so does a culture's way of responding to them and integrating them into their belief systems. In this book, Shushan also compares NDEs with accounts of shamanic spirit journeys to afterlife realms, intermission states between reincarnations from people who remember past lives, and descriptions of otherworlds by souls of the dead communicating through mediums. Accounts of all these phenomena bear striking similarities to NDEs, though they also have significant differences. Examining them each in relation to the other results in a kind of reciprocal illumination in which each type of extraordinary experience sheds light on the other. Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on ‘Anthropology of Religion' at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Jonathan R. Hunt, "The Nuclear Club: How America and the World Policed the Atom from Hiroshima to Vietnam" (Stanford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 78:58


    The Nuclear Club: How America and the World Policed the Atom from Hiroshima to Vietnam (Stanford UP, 2022) reveals how a coalition of powerful and developing states embraced global governance in hopes of a bright and peaceful tomorrow. While fears of nuclear war were ever-present, it was the perceived threat to their preeminence that drove Washington, Moscow, and London to throw their weight behind the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) banishing nuclear testing underground, the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco banning atomic armaments from Latin America, and the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) forbidding more countries from joining the most exclusive club on Earth. International society, the Cold War, and the imperial U.S. presidency were reformed from 1945 to 1970, when a global nuclear order was inaugurated, averting conflict in the industrial North and yielding what George Orwell styled a "peace that is no peace" everywhere else. Today the nuclear order legitimizes foreign intervention worldwide, empowering the nuclear club and, above all, the United States, to push sanctions and even preventive war against atomic outlaws, all in humanity's name. Grant Golub is an Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD candidate in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the politics of American grand strategy during World War II. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    The Future of Xi and China: A Discussion with Sue Lin Wong

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 49:53


    What will a Chinese-dominated world look like? And since Xi Jin Ping will probably rule China for life, what does he want to do; what does he believe in and what does he mean for China and the world? Sue Lin Wong has made an excellent podcast series on him called "The Prince: Searching for Xi Jinping" and discussed the Chinese leader with Owen Bennett-Jones. Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Agathe Demarais, "Backfire: How Sanctions Reshape the World Against U.S. Interests" (Columbia UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 67:28


    Sanctions have become the go-to foreign policy tool for the United States. Coercive economic measures such as trade tariffs, financial penalties, and export controls affect large numbers of companies and states across the globe. Some of these penalties target nonstate actors, such as Colombian drug cartels and Islamist terror groups; others apply to entire countries, including North Korea, Iran, and Russia. U.S. policy makers see sanctions as a low-cost tactic, but in reality these measures often fail to achieve their intended goals--and their potent side effects can even harm American interests.  Backfire: How Sanctions Reshape the World Against U.S. Interests (Columbia UP, 2022) explores the surprising ways sanctions affect multinational companies, governments, and ultimately millions of people around the world. Drawing on interviews with experts, policy makers, and people in sanctioned countries, Agathe Demarais examines the unintended consequences of the use of sanctions as a diplomatic weapon. The proliferation of sanctions spurs efforts to evade them, as states and firms seek ways to circumvent U.S. penalties. This is only part of the story. Sanctions also reshape relations between countries, pushing governments that are at odds with the U.S. closer to each other--or, increasingly, to Russia and China.  Full of counterintuitive insights spanning a wide range of topics, from commodities markets in Russia to Iran's COVID response and China's cryptocurrency ambitions, Backfire reveals how sanctions are transforming geopolitics and the global economy--as well as diminishing U.S. influence. This insider's account is an eye-opening, accessible, and timely book that sheds light on the future of sanctions in an increasingly multipolar world. Mathias Fuelling is a doctoral candidate in History at Temple University, working on a political history of Czechoslovakia in the immediate post-WWII years. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bucephalus424 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Darra Goldstein, "The Kingdom of Rye: A Brief History of Russian Food" (U California Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 77:29


    The Kingdom of Rye: A Brief History of Russian Food (U California Press, 2022) unearths the foods and flavors of the Russian land. Preeminent food studies scholar Darra Goldstein offers readers a concise, engaging, and gorgeously crafted story of Russian cuisine and culture. This story demonstrates how national identity is revealed through food—and how people know who they are by what they eat together. The Kingdom of Rye examines the Russians' ingenuity in overcoming hunger, a difficult climate, and a history of political hardship while deciphering Russia's social structures from within. This is a domestic history of Russian food that serves up a deeper history, demonstrating that the wooden spoon is mightier than the scepter. Darra Goldstein is the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita, at Williams College and founding editor of Gastronomica: A Journal of Food and Culture, named Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She is author of six award-winning cookbooks, including Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore, and Fire + Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, which was nominated for a James Beard, IACP, and The Art of Eating awards. Darra also serves as a series editor of California Studies in Food and Culture and has written for Gourmet, Saveur, Bon Appetit, and The New York Times. Follow Darra on Instagram. Yelizaveta Raykhlina is a historian of Russia and Eurasia and holds a PhD from Georgetown University. She is a faculty member at New York University. To learn more, visit her website or follow her on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day

    Claim NBN Book of the Day

    In order to claim this podcast we'll send an email to with a verification link. Simply click the link and you will be able to edit tags, request a refresh, and other features to take control of your podcast page!

    Claim Cancel