976 episodes

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

    David Hosaflook (trans.), "The Siege of Shkodra: Albania's Courageous Stand Against Ottoman Conquest, 1478" (2017)

    David Hosaflook (trans.), "The Siege of Shkodra: Albania's Courageous Stand Against Ottoman Conquest, 1478" (2017)

    Mehmet the Conqueror shook Europe to its foundations when he captured Constantinople in 1453 and, over the next decades, the Ottoman sultan continued his westward advance through the Balkans and the Mediterranean. But one Albanian fortress became an “unexpected bone in Mehmed’s throat” (xviii). David Hosaflook’s The Siege of Shkodra is the first English rendition of Marin Barleti’s 1504 eye-witness account of that standoff that includes the Christian victory in 1474 and subsequent defeat in 1479. The year after that, the Turks were in Italy (Otranto, 1480), though they would not keep it their foothold. This volume includes Barleti’s compelling story, essays that place it in historical and cultural context, and a number of Ottoman sources that corroborate or contrast with the Christian version. Barleti is also important today as “the first Albanian author” and thus an important national figure in the last century since the end of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War.
    In the discussion today, Professor Hosaflook explains the siege, its political and strategic importance, and the Albanian position between the Ottoman Empire, Venice, and the Christian West. He talks about Early Modern Mediterranean slavery, religion, and diplomacy. In addition, he discusses the military lessons we find in this primary source, and his own exploration of castle ruins. He also reflects on his scholarship and three decades of living in a rapidly-changing Albania.
    David Hosaflook is a professor of European History, Intercultural Studies, Philosophy of Religion, and Christianity. He’s also the cofounder and executive director of the Institute of Albanian and Protestant Studies. In 2019, he became laureate of the (first annual) ‘22nd of November Prize’ from the Republic of North Macedonia.
    Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel.
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    • 59 min
    Dana Mills, "Rosa Luxemburg" (Reaktion Books, 2020)

    Dana Mills, "Rosa Luxemburg" (Reaktion Books, 2020)

    Political Theorist and activist Dana Mill’s latest new book, Rosa Luxemburg (Reaktion Books, 2020), is part of an extensive series of books published by Reaktion Books, Ltd, which focuses both on the ideas or creations and the lives of many leading cultural figures of the modern period. These volumes are not long, but they are thorough, and they help the reader to understand the historical context in which these thinkers, artists, writers, etc. lived, created, and worked. Mill’s contribution to this series centers on the turbulent life of Rosa Luxemburg, who lived, worked, studied, and advocated in Europe in the late 1800s and into the 1900s. Mills provides a biographical guide to Luxemburg as we learn about her young life growing up in Poland and her move to Zurich to pursue a PhD in Economics. Luxemburg becomes involved in politics in the late 1880s and 1890s, and she is also developing her thinking about economics, politics, exploitation, and nationalism during this same period. As Mills makes clear, Luxemburg quite enjoyed the experience of thinking and engaging ideas, taking on the dialectical arguments that were very much the mode and method of learning and teaching, particularly among those focusing on economics and Marxism. Luxemburg transferred this method of learning and teaching to her own work as a teacher, a very talented teacher in the trade union schools.
    Rosa Luxemburg was imprisoned for long stretches of her life—and, as a result of these experiences, she learned quite a lot about what incarceration does to a person, how this form of constraint impacts the individual psyche. This also contributed to her continued thinking about what freedom and equality actually mean to people, how these concepts are dimensions of justice, and how justice may be achieved in a colonial, imperial world marked by nationalism and material inequality. Mills’ biographical analysis incorporates Luxemburg’s murder, which, as Mills notes, is indeed tragic, but does not make Rosa Luxemburg into a tragic figure. Luxemburg was very much the author of her own life story, but she anticipated her murder, which was committed by right-wing fascists who would ultimately become members of the Nazi Party under Hitler. Dana Mills brings Rosa Luxemburg to life, exploring her revolutionary thinking and writing, all while helping the reader get to know Red Rosa, who always took brisk walks, loved reading Goethe’s Faust, regularly corresponded with V.I. Lenin, and continually worked towards an open and just future.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj.
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    • 51 min
    Bruce Berglund, "The Fastest Game in the World: Hockey and the Globalization of Sports" (U California Press, 2020)

    Bruce Berglund, "The Fastest Game in the World: Hockey and the Globalization of Sports" (U California Press, 2020)

    Today we are joined by Bruce Berglund, author of The Fastest Game in the World: Hockey and the Globalization of Sports (University of California Press, 2020). In this sweeping look at hockey, Bruce Berglund examines how a niche sport became a global favorite. Hockey has crossed cultures from North America to Europe and Asia, and has been a political flashpoint several times, most notably during the Summit Series of 1972 and the “Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Berglund’s research combs the archives of Central and Eastern Europe, and he gives a thorough overview of hockey from its beginnings in the nineteenth century. The impact of players like Wayne Gretzky, the influence of youth leagues and the emergence of women in the sport are areas that Berglund explores. Berglund weaves his research with his own personal experiences with hockey to create a compelling narrative. An “anxious child of the Cold War,” Berglund examines the rise of the Soviet hockey team — the Red Machine — and how it took over the international game. Berglund also explores the beginnings of hockey, which descended from a game called bandy. He demonstrates that hockey, while a passion for fans in Canada, has spread worldwide. The Stanley Cup, long a Canadian point of pride, now resides in Tampa, Florida, showing how even in warm-weather climates, hockey has made inroads.
    Bob D’Angelo earned his master’s degree in history from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and spent more than three decades as a sportswriter and sports copy editor, including 28 years on the sports copy desk at The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. He can be reached at bdangelo57@gmail.com. For more information, visit Bob D’Angelo’s Books and Blogs.
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    • 1 hr 20 min
    Jeremy Black, "A Brief History of Britain 1851-2021: From World Power to ?" (Robinson, 2021)

    Jeremy Black, "A Brief History of Britain 1851-2021: From World Power to ?" (Robinson, 2021)

    Jeremy Black, one of the most prolific and punchy of historians of modern Britain, has written a new account of a period on which he has previously published. A Brief History of Britain 1851-2021: From World Power to ? (Robinson, 2021) traces an arc of decline and opportunity, from the confidence that was reflected in the Crystal Palace’s Great Exhibition of 1851 to the uncertainty about national purpose or international significance that was reflected in the construction of the Millennium Dome. Balancing hard and soft power with the homogenisation and diversification of lived experience, while thinking about politics, culture, demographics, and the impact of conflict, Black asks some far-reaching questions about the kind of country that Britain has become.
    Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 42 min
    Matthew Frear, "Belarus under Lukashenka: Adaptive Authoritarianism" (Routledge, 2020)

    Matthew Frear, "Belarus under Lukashenka: Adaptive Authoritarianism" (Routledge, 2020)

    Often called “Europe’s last dictator”, Alexander Lukashenka has ruled Belarus – a land-locked European country of close to 10 million people bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland and two Baltic states - since 1994.
    For more than a quarter-century, his regime has consistently rigged votes but blatant election fraud in 2020 triggered rolling protests that spread beyond the usual suspects and beyond Minsk and appear, for the first time, to threaten Lukashenka's hold on power.
    Will he survive? Who is this former border guard and collective-farm manager, and how did he hang on to power while the likes of Slobodan Milošević and Viktor Yanukovych fell? Using the framework of “adaptive authoritarianism”, Belarus under Lukashenka: Adaptive Authoritarianism (Routledge, 2020) explains how and hints at what may happen next.
    Matthew Frear is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of History at Leiden University. He researches Russian and Eurasian politics, and comparative authoritarianism with a special focus on Belarus. He holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham and previously taught there and at Aston University before joining Leiden in 2013.
    *The author's own book recommendation is In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century by Geert Mak, translated by Sam Garrett (Vintage, 2008).
    Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.
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    • 42 min
    Stefano Marcuzzi, "Britain and Italy in the Era of the First World War: Defending and Forging Empires" (Cambridge UP, 2020).

    Stefano Marcuzzi, "Britain and Italy in the Era of the First World War: Defending and Forging Empires" (Cambridge UP, 2020).

    This is a reassessment of British and Italian grand strategies during the First World War. Dr. Stefano Marcuzzi, Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, tries to shed new light on a hitherto overlooked but central aspect of Britain and Italy's war experiences: the uneasy and only partial overlap between Britain's strategy for imperial defense and Italy's ambition for imperial expansion in his book: Britain and Italy in the Era of the First World War: Defending and Forging Empires (Cambridge University Press, 2020). 
    Taking Anglo-Italian bilateral relations as a special lens through which to understand the workings of the Entente in World War I, Dr. Marcuzzi reveals how the ups-and-downs of that relationship influenced and shaped to a limited degree Allied grand strategy. Dr. Marcuzzi considers three main issues – war aims, war strategy and peace-making – and examines how, under the pressure of divergent interests and wartime events, the Anglo-Italian 'traditional friendship' turned increasingly into competition by the end of the war, casting a shadow on Anglo-Italian relations both at the Peace Conference and in the interwar period. 
    While not everyone will be convinced by some of his arguments and propositions (such as the partial rehabilitation of such rightly discredited figures as Salandra and Sonnino), that does not take away from the great effort that Dr. Marcuzzi has made.
    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.
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    • 1 hr 1 min

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