100 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Europe about their New Books

New Books in European Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture

Interviews with Scholars of Europe about their New Books

    Emma Griffin, "Bread Winner: An Intimate History of the Victorian Economy" (Yale UP, 2020)

    Emma Griffin, "Bread Winner: An Intimate History of the Victorian Economy" (Yale UP, 2020)

    Emma Griffin's Bread Winner: An Intimate History of the Victorian Economy (Yale UP, 2020) offers a refreshingly different take on the age of national prosperity in Britain from the 19th to early 20th centuries. Drawing from a collection of autobiographical accounts from largely-working class families, Griffin captures the forgotten stories of ordinary families who struggled to manage financially amidst the growing prosperity of the Victorian era. Her book touches on a range of important social, economic and gender issues that are equally relevant today as they were in their time.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Sara J. Brenneis and Gina Herrmann, "Spain, the Second World War, and the Holocaust: History and Representation" (U Toronto Press, 2020)

    Sara J. Brenneis and Gina Herrmann, "Spain, the Second World War, and the Holocaust: History and Representation" (U Toronto Press, 2020)

    Spain has for too long been considered peripheral to the human catastrophes of World War II and the Holocaust. This volume is the first broadly interdisciplinary, scholarly collection to situate Spain in a position of influence in the history and culture of the Second World War. Featuring essays by international experts in the fields of history, literary studies, cultural studies, political science, sociology, and film studies, this book clarifies historical issues within Spain while also demonstrating the impact of Spain's involvement in the Second World War on historical memory of the Holocaust. Many of the contributors have done extensive archival research, bringing new information and perspectives to the table, and in many cases the essays published here analyze primary and secondary material previously unavailable in English. 
    In Spain, World War Two and the Holocaust: History and Representation (University of Toronto Press, 2020), Brenneis and Hermann have performed a valuable service for scholars of the Holocaust, its memory, and of World War Two generally. In particular, their ability to nuance traditional emphases on Spain's (and Spaniard's) role as a rescuer of Jews is important and timely. The book will be required reading for graduate students and others for the foreseeable future.
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    David Nasaw, "The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War" (Penguin, 2020)

    David Nasaw, "The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War" (Penguin, 2020)

    In May 1945, German forces surrendered to the Allied powers, putting an end to World War II in Europe. But the aftershocks of global military conflict did not cease with the German capitulation. Millions of lost and homeless concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave laborers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators in flight from the Red Army overwhelmed Germany, a nation in ruins. British and American soldiers gathered the malnourished and desperate refugees and attempted to repatriate them. But after exhaustive efforts, there remained more than a million displaced persons left behind in Germany: Jews, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. The Last Million would spend the next three to five years in displaced persons camps, temporary homelands in exile, divided by nationality, with their own police forces, churches and synagogues, schools, newspapers, theaters, and infirmaries.
    The international community could not agree on the fate of the Last Million, and after a year of debate and inaction, the International Refugee Organization was created to resettle them in lands suffering from postwar labor shortages. But no nations were willing to accept the 200,000 to 250,000 Jewish men, women, and children who remained trapped in Germany. In 1948, the United States, among the last countries to accept refugees for resettlement, finally passed a displaced persons bill. With Cold War fears supplanting memories of World War II atrocities, the bill granted the vast majority of visas to those who were reliably anti-Communist, including thousands of former Nazi collaborators and war criminals, while severely limiting the entry of Jews, who were suspected of being Communist sympathizers or agents because they had been recent residents of Soviet-dominated Poland. Only after the controversial partition of Palestine and Israel's declaration of independence were the remaining Jewish survivors able to leave their displaced persons camps in Germany.
    A masterwork from acclaimed historian David Nasaw, The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War (Penguin, 2020) tells the gripping yet until now largely hidden story of postwar displacement and statelessness. By 1952, the Last Million were scattered around the world. As they crossed from their broken past into an unknowable future, they carried with them their wounds, their fears, their hope, and their secrets. Here for the first time, Nasaw illuminates their incredible history and, with profound contemporary resonance, shows us that it is our history as well.
    Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at VanLeerIdeas@gmail.com.
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    • 57 min
    L. Ferlier and B. Miyamoto, "Forms, Formats and the Circulation of Knowledge: British Printscape’s Innovations, 1688-1832" (Brill, 2020)

    L. Ferlier and B. Miyamoto, "Forms, Formats and the Circulation of Knowledge: British Printscape’s Innovations, 1688-1832" (Brill, 2020)

    Forms, Formats and the Circulation of Knowledge: British Printscape’s Innovations, 1688-1832 (Brill, 2020) explores the printscape – the mental mapping of knowledge in all its printed shapes – to chart the British networks of publishers, printers, copyright-holders, readers and authors. This transdisciplinary volume skilfully recovers innovations and practices in the book trade between 1688 and 1832. It investigates how print circulated information in a multitude of sizes and media, through an evolving framework of transactions. The authority of print is demonstrated by studies of prospectuses, blank forms, periodicals, pamphlets, globes, games and ephemera, uniquely gathered in eleven essays engaging in legal, economic, literary, and historical methodologies. The tight focus on material format reappraises a disorderly market accommodating a widening audience consumption.
    Louisiane Ferlier, Ph.D. (2012, Université Paris Diderot), is the Digital Resources Manager at Centre for the History of Science at the Royal Society. She has published articles on John Wallis, the Bodleian Library and cross-Atlantic circulation of books.
    Bénédicte Miyamoto, Ph.D. (2011, Université Paris Diderot), is Associate Professor of British History at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. She has published on eighteenth-century drawing manuals, sales catalogues and art markets.
    Alexandra Ortolja-Baird is Lecturer in Early Modern European History at King’s College London. She tweets at @timetravelallie.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    F. B. Chang and S. T. Rucker-Chang, "Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    F. B. Chang and S. T. Rucker-Chang, "Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    F. B. Chang and S. T. Rucker-Chang's Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison (Cambridge UP, 2020) tackles the movements for - and expressions of - equality for Roma in Central and Southeast Europe and African Americans from two complementary perspectives: law and cultural studies. Interdisciplinary in approach, the book engages with comparative law, European studies, cultural studies, and critical race theory. Its central contribution is to compare the experiences of Roma and African Americans regarding racialization, marginalization, and mobilization for equality. Deploying a novel approach, the book challenges conventional notions of civil rights and paradigms in Romani studies.
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    • 55 min
    Daniel Todman, "Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Daniel Todman, "Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    The second of Daniel Todman's two sweeping volumes on Great Britain and World War II, Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947 (Oxford UP, 2020), begins with the event Winston Churchill called the "worst disaster" in British military history: the Fall of Singapore in February 1942 to the Japanese. As in the first volume of Todman's epic account of British involvement in World War II ("Total history at its best," according to Jay Winter), he highlights the inter-connectedness of the British experience in this moment and others, focusing on its inhabitants, its defenders, and its wartime leadership. Todman explores the plight of families doomed to spend the war struggling with bombing, rationing, exhausting work and, above all, the absence of their loved ones and the uncertainty of their return. It also documents the full impact of the entrance into the war by the United States, and its ascendant stewardship of the war.
    Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947 is a triumph of narrative and research. Todman explains complex issues of strategy and economics clearly while never losing sight of the human consequences--at home and abroad--of the way that Britain fought its war. It is the definitive account of a drama which reshaped Great Britain and the world.
    Bob Wintermute is professor of history at Queens College, CUNY.
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    • 51 min

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