1,000 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Intellectual History about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

New Books in Intellectual History New Books Network

    • Society & Culture

Interviews with Scholars of Intellectual History about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

    Phillip Lopate, "The Golden Age of the American Essay: 1945-1970" (Anchor Books, 2021)

    Phillip Lopate, "The Golden Age of the American Essay: 1945-1970" (Anchor Books, 2021)

    The three decades that followed World War II were an exceptionally fertile period for American essays. The explosion of journals and magazines, the rise of public intellectuals, and breakthroughs in the arts inspired a flowering of literary culture. At the same time, the many problems that confronted mid-century America--racism, sexism, nuclear threat, war, poverty, and environmental degradation among them--proved fruitful topics for America's best minds. In The Golden Age of the American Essay: 1945–1970 (Anchor Books, 2021), Phillip Lopate assembles a dazzling array of famous writers, critics, sociologists, theologians, historians, activists, theorists, humorists, poets, and novelists. Here are writers like James Agee, E. B. White, A. J. Liebling, and Mary McCarthy, adroitly pivoting from the comic indignities of daily life to world peace, boxing, and restaurants in Paris. Here is Norman Mailer on Jackie Kennedy and Vladimir Nabokov on Lolita. Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," alongside Richard Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" and Flannery O'Connor's "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction." Here are Gore Vidal, Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, John Updike, Joan Didion, and many more, in a treasury of brilliant writing that has stood the test of time.
    Zach McCulley (@zamccull) is a historian of religion and literary cultures in early modern England and PhD candidate in History at Queen's University Belfast.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

    • 26 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.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

    • 51 min
    Ralph Keyes, "The Hidden History of Coined Words" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Ralph Keyes, "The Hidden History of Coined Words" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Successful word-coinages--those that stay in currency for a good long time--tend to conceal their beginnings. We take them at face value and rarely when and where they were first minted. Engaging, illuminating, and authoritative, Ralph Keyes's The Hidden History of Coined Words (Oxford University Press, 2021) explores the etymological underworld of terms and expressions and uncovers plenty of hidden gems.
    He also finds some fascinating patterns, such as that successful neologisms are as likely to be created by chance as by design. A remarkable number of new words were coined whimsically, originally intended to troll or taunt. Knickers, for example, resulted from a hoax; big bang from an insult. Casual wisecracking produced software, crowdsource, and blog. More than a few resulted from happy accidents, such as typos, mistranslations, and mishearing (bigly and buttonhole), or from being taken entirely out of context (robotics). Neologizers (a Thomas Jefferson coinage) include not just scholars and writers but cartoonists, columnists, children's book authors. Wimp originated with a book series, as did goop, and nerd from a book by Dr. Seuss. Coinages are often contested, controversy swirling around such terms as gonzo, mojo, and booty call. Keyes considers all contenders, while also leading us through the fray between new word partisans, and those who resist them strenuously. He concludes with advice about how to make your own successful coinage.
    The Hidden History of Coined Words will appeal not just to word mavens but history buffs, trivia contesters, and anyone who loves the immersive power of language.
    Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

    • 55 min
    Michael Wheeler, "The Athenaeum: More Than Just Another London Club" (Yale UP, 2020)

    Michael Wheeler, "The Athenaeum: More Than Just Another London Club" (Yale UP, 2020)

    When it was founded in 1824, the Athenæum broke the mold. Unlike in other preeminent clubs, its members were chosen on the basis of their achievements rather than on their background or political affiliation. Public rather than private life dominated the agenda. 
    The club, with its tradition of hospitality to conflicting views, has attracted leading scientists, writers, artists, and intellectuals throughout its history, including Charles Darwin and Matthew Arnold, Edward Burne-Jones and Yehudi Menuhin, Winston Churchill, Lord Halifax and Kim Philby among others. 
    Professor Michael Wheeler’s book: The Athenaeum: More Than Just Another London Club (Yale University Press, 2020), this book is not presented in the traditional, insular style of club histories, but brings attention to the influence of Athenians on the scientific, creative, and official life of the nation. 
    From the unwitting recruitment of a Cold War spy to the welcome admittance of women, this lively and original account explores the corridors and characters of the club; its wider political, intellectual, and cultural influence; and its recent reinvention. 
    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/intellectual-history

    • 53 min
    Morten T. Korsgaard, "Bearing with Strangers: Arendt, Education and the Politics of Inclusion" (Routledge, 2018)

    Morten T. Korsgaard, "Bearing with Strangers: Arendt, Education and the Politics of Inclusion" (Routledge, 2018)

    Bearing with Strangers: Arendt, Education and the Politics of Inclusion (Routledge, 2018) looks at inclusion in education in a new way. By introducing the notion of the instrumental fallacy, it shows how this is not only an inherent feature of inclusive education policies, but also omnipresent in modern educational policy. It engages with schooling through an Arendtian framework, namely as a practice with the aim of mediating between generations. It outlines a didactic and pedagogical theory that presents inclusion not as an aim for education, but as a constitutive feature of the activity of schooling. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, the book offers a novel and critical perspective on inclusive education, as well as a contribution to a growing literature re-engaging didactic and pedagogical conceptions of teaching and the role of the teacher. Schooling is understood as a process of opening the world to the young and of opening the world to the renewal that the new generations offer. The activity of schooling offers the possibility of becoming attentive towards what is common while learning to bear with that which is strange and those who are strangers. The book points to valuable metaphors and ideas - referred to in the book as 'pearls' - that speak to the heart of what schooling and teaching concerns, such as exemplarity, judgement, and enlarged thought.
    Kai Wortman is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, University of Tübingen, interested in philosophy of education.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ian Whicher, "The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga" (SUNY Press, 1998)

    Ian Whicher, "The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga" (SUNY Press, 1998)

    Join Raj Balkaran as he discusses yoga philosophy with Ian Whicher. We begin with a discussion on how he began his journey towards yoga philosophy before probing his assertion that the Yoga-Sūtras do not advocate abandonment of the world, but rather support a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification.
    The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga (SUNY Press, 1998) centers on the thought of Patanjali, the great exponent of the authoritative and Classical Yoga school of Hinduism and the reputed author of the Yoga-Sutras. In this textual, historical, and interpretive study, Whicher offers a plausible and innovative reading of the "intention" of the Yoga-Sutras, namely that Yoga does not advocate the abandonment or condemnation of the world, but rather supports a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification. Challenging and correcting misperceptions about Yoga drawn by traditional and modern interpretations of the Yoga-Sutras, the author argues for a fresh vision of the spiritual potential present in this seminal text, thereby contributing to our understanding of the meaning and practical relevance of Yoga and its reception today.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

    • 48 min

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by New Books Network