433 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Eastern Europe about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

New Books in Eastern European Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Interviews with Scholars of Eastern Europe about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Samuel J. Spinner, "Jewish Primitivism" (Stanford UP, 2021)

    Samuel J. Spinner, "Jewish Primitivism" (Stanford UP, 2021)

    Around the beginning of the twentieth century, Jewish writers and artists across Europe began depicting fellow Jews as savages or "primitive" tribesmen. Primitivism—the European appreciation of and fascination with so-called "primitive," non-Western peoples who were also subjugated and denigrated—was a powerful artistic critique of the modern world and was adopted by Jewish writers and artists to explore the urgent questions surrounding their own identity and status in Europe as insiders and outsiders. Jewish primitivism found expression in a variety of forms in Yiddish, Hebrew, and German literature, photography, and graphic art, including in the work of figures such as Franz Kafka, Y.L. Peretz, S. An-sky, Uri Zvi Greenberg, Else Lasker-Schüler, and Moï Ver.
    In Jewish Primitivism (Stanford UP, 2021), Samuel J. Spinner argues that these and other Jewish modernists developed a distinct primitivist aesthetic that, by locating the savage present within Europe, challenged the idea of the threatening savage other from outside Europe on which much primitivism relied: in Jewish primitivism, the savage is already there. This book offers a new assessment of modern Jewish art and literature and shows how Jewish primitivism troubles the boundary between observer and observed, cultured and "primitive," colonizer and colonized.
    Paul Lerner is Professor of History at the University of Southern California where he directs the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies. He can be reached at plerner@usc.edu and @PFLerner.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Nicholas Jubber, "The Fairy Tellers: A Journey into the Secret History of Fairy Tales" (John Murray, 2022)

    Nicholas Jubber, "The Fairy Tellers: A Journey into the Secret History of Fairy Tales" (John Murray, 2022)

    In The Fairy Tellers: A Journey into the Secret History of Fairy Tales (John Murray, 2022), Nick Jubber unearths the lives of the dreamers who made our most beloved fairy tales: inventors, thieves, rebels and forgotten geniuses who gave us classic tales such as 'Cinderella', 'Hansel and Gretel', 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Baba Yaga'. From the Middle Ages to the birth of modern children's literature, they include a German apothecary's daughter, a Syrian youth running away from a career in the souk and a Russian dissident embroiled in a plot to kill the tsar. Following these and other unlikely protagonists, the book travels from the steaming cities of Italy and the Levant, under the dark branches of the Black Forest, deep into the tundra of Siberia and across the snowy fells of Lapland.
    “This is how the history of fairy tales operates: stories splintering along zigzagging pathways, carrying long-sounding echoes that turn down narrative alleyways suggested elsewhere or replicate each other with astonishing exactitude.”
    In the process, Jubber discovers fresh perspectives on some of our most frequently told stories. Filled with adventure, tragedy and real-world magic, this bewitching book uncovers the stranger lives behind the strangest of tales.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, focusing on qualitative analyses of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. However, she is also a life-long lover of fairy tales & fantasy; her father continues to be surprised that her PhD did not once mention dragons, elves, or castles.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    • 54 min
    Judith McCormack, "The Singing Forest" (Biblioasis, 2021)

    Judith McCormack, "The Singing Forest" (Biblioasis, 2021)

    Two children stumble upon a mass grave in the forest outside of Minsk in Belarus where the NKVD, Stalin’s secret police, buried tens of thousands of innocent victims of torture. The Singing Forest, by Judith McCormack (Biblioasis 2021) weaves the story of a low-rung enforcer of that torture in pre-WWII Belarus and a modern-day Canadian lawyer on the team prosecuting long-forgotten crimes. Stefan Drozd’s life from earliest childhood lacked anything resembling kindness, nurturing, or morality. He has no understanding of human interaction, never had a friend, and did whatever he had to do to survive, even when that required torturing, murder, or lying to get into Canada after the war. Years later, Drozd is in his nineties and doesn't understand why anyone is making a fuss about something that happened so long ago. Leah Jarvis, a somewhat timid and confused young lawyer from an eccentric family, is helping prosecute him for war crimes. Leah knows that Drozd is guilty, but she needs hard evidence. While working on this case, she grapples with her own history – the death of her mother, the disappearance of her father, and her erratic upbringing by three uncles. Leah questions her Jewish heritage and wonders how a person becomes evil, how power is wielded by those who have it, and how justice is served. This is a beautifully written, lyrical novel about truth, heritage, and memory.
    Judith McCormack was born outside Chicago and grew up in Toronto, with brief stints in Montreal and Vancouver. Her first short story was nominated for the Journey Prize, and the next three were selected for the Coming Attractions Anthology. Her collection of stories, The Rule of Last Clear Chance, was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Award and was named one of the best books of the year by The Globe and Mail. Her work has been published in the Harvard Review, Descant and The Fiddlehead, and one of her stories has been turned into a short film by her twin sister, Naomi McCormack, an award-winning filmmaker. Her most recent short story in the Harvard Review was recorded as a spoken word version by The Drum and has been anthologized in 14: Best Canadian Short Stories. Backspring, her first novel, was shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award in 2016. McCormack has several law degrees, which have mostly served to convince her that law is a branch of fiction, and she tries to point out as often as possible that Honoré de Balzac, Henry James, Paul Cézanne, Cole Porter and Geraldo Rivera were lawyers. She is a recipient of the Guthrie Award for outstanding public service and contributions to access to justice, and the Law Society Medal for outstanding service in the highest ideals of the profession.
    G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series and a prolific baker of healthful breads and pastries. Please contact her through her website (GPGottlieb.com).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    • 25 min
    Katja Hoyer, "Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire" (Pegasus Books, 2021)

    Katja Hoyer, "Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire" (Pegasus Books, 2021)

    Before 1871, Germany was not yet nation but simply an idea.
    Its founder, Otto von Bismarck, had a formidable task at hand. How would he bring thirty-nine individual states under the yoke of a single Kaiser? How would he convince proud Prussians, Bavarians, and Rhinelanders to become Germans? Once united, could the young European nation wield enough power to rival the empires of Britain and France--all without destroying itself in the process?
    In Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire (Pegasus Books, 2021), Katja Hoyer tells the story of the German Empire from its violent beginnings to its calamitous defeat in the First World War.
    This often startling narrative is a dramatic tale of national self-discovery, social upheaval, and realpolitik that ended, as it started, in blood and iron.
    Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Richard Bellamy et al., "Flexible Europe: Differentiated Integration, Democracy, and Domination" (Bristol UP, 2022)

    Richard Bellamy et al., "Flexible Europe: Differentiated Integration, Democracy, and Domination" (Bristol UP, 2022)

    The past decade has been pivotal in the development of the European Union.
    The single currency has been tested to the limits by successive crises in the financial system, public-debt sustainability and public health. A migration crisis stress-tested the EU's free-travel area and its under-developed refugee and asylum policies. The Hungarian and Polish governments are backsliding on the union's foundational commitments to democracy and rule of law and, for the first time in the Communities' six-decade history, a full member state has left altogether.
    The weaknesses of the EU’s part-federal, part-intergovernmental design have been exposed but so has its resilience through flexibility. Flexible Europe: Differentiated Integration, Fairness, and Democracy (Bristol University Press, 2022) explores this design and its "demoicratic" (not democratic) nature. Differentiated integration, the co-writers conclude, is “not only functionally necessary but also normatively desirable given the ineliminable diversity and pluralism of any union as large as the EU”.
    Richard Bellamy is professor of political science at University College London and founder of its European Institute. Sandra Kröger is associate professor of political science at the University of Exeter and Director of its Centre for European Studies. Marta Lorimer is a fellow in European Politics at the London School of Economics’ European Institute.
    *The authors' own book recommendations are: Worldmaking after Empire by Adom Getachew (Princeton University Press, 2020), Europa by Tim Parks (Vintage, 1998), The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (Profile Books, 2019), Where You Come From by Saša Stanišić (Jonathan Cape, 2021 - translated by Damion Searls), The Struggle for EU Legitimacy by Claudia Sternberg (Palgrave Macmillan; 2013), and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (first published in 1949 - latest English version from Penguin Modern Classics, 2021 translated by Tim Parks).
    Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors (a division of Energy Aspects).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    • 51 min
    Glenn Cronin, "Disenchanted Wanderer: The Apocalyptic Vision of Konstantin Leontiev" (Northern Illinois UP, 2021)

    Glenn Cronin, "Disenchanted Wanderer: The Apocalyptic Vision of Konstantin Leontiev" (Northern Illinois UP, 2021)

    Although largely unknown in the West, the Russian novelist and political essayist Konstantin Nikolaevich Leontiev (1831-1891) has left a strong legacy in his homeland. He has often been compared to Friedrich Nietzsche, yet his writings predate those of his German counterpart by several decades. Also, unlike his German counterpart came to embrace a very ascetic form of Orthodox Christian faith. For decades he bravely clashed with many of the greatest minds of 19th century Russia on subjects ranging from ethics, art, geopolitics, Russia's place in the world, the historical cycles of civilizations, and especially religious faith. Glenn Cronin's Disenchanted Wanderer: The Apocalyptic Vision of Konstantin Leontiev (Northern Illinois University Press, 2021) is the first major English-language study in over fifty years on this enigmatic figure of Russian intellectual history.
    Glenn Cronin is a contributing author to Ideology in Russian Literature and holds a PhD in Russian studies from the University of London.
    Stephen Satkiewicz is independent scholar whose research areas are related to Civilizational Analysis, Big History, Historical Sociology, War studies, as well as Russian and East European history.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Pushkin Industries
Slate Podcasts
iHeartPodcasts
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
Apple TV+ / AT WILL MEDIA
CBC Podcasts

You Might Also Like

Mark Galeotti
BBC Radio 4
Marshall Poe
BBC Radio 4
The Lawfare Institute
Immediate Media

More by New Books Network

Marshall Poe
Marshall Poe
Marshall Poe
Marshall Poe
Marshall Poe
Marshall Poe