100 episodes

Interviews with Historians about their New Books

New Books in History New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.9 • 138 Ratings

Interviews with Historians about their New Books

    Meredith Lake, "The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History" (NewSouth, 2020)

    Meredith Lake, "The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History" (NewSouth, 2020)

    The bible and Australian society! Meredith Lake's published a new 2020 edition of The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History (NewSouth Books, 2020). It's history and sociology and reflections on religion's role on the 'Great Southern Land'. Meredith Lake gets under the skin of a text that’s been read, wrestled with, preached and tattooed, and believed to be everything from a resented imposition to the very Word of God.
    The Bible in Australia explores how in the hands of Bible-bashers, immigrants, suffragists, evangelists, unionists, writers, artists and Indigenous Australians, the Bible has played a contested but defining role in this country.
    Meredith Lake is an historian, broadcaster and award-winning writer interested in how Australians understand the big questions of faith and meaning. She currently hosts Soul Search on ABC Radio National - a weekly show about the lived experience of religion and spirituality. She has also guest presented ABC TV's Compass.
    Bede Haines is a solicitor, specialising in litigation and a partner at Holding Redlich, an Australian commercial law firm. He lives in Sydney, Australia. Known to read books, ride bikes and eat cereal (often). bede.haines@holdingredlich.com.
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Andrew Grant Wood, "The Business of Leisure: Tourism History in Latin America and the Caribbean" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)

    Andrew Grant Wood, "The Business of Leisure: Tourism History in Latin America and the Caribbean" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)

    Professor Andrew Grant Wood’s new edited volume, The Business of Leisure: Tourism History in Latin America and the Caribbean (University of Nebraska Press, 2021), explores the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of tourism in the region and its relationship to nationalism, imperialism, development, and many other themes. The volume also provides a new way of understanding the relationship between the United States and Latin America during the twentieth century, showing how Latin American and US elites used tourism to create lucrative business deals, shape domestic and international politics, and bolster exceptionalist national histories. On this episode of the podcast, I talk with Wood about the book, along with Anadelia Romo and Elizabeth Manley, two contributors to the volume.
    Steven P. Rodriguez is a PhD candidate in history at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the history of Latin American student migration to the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. You can reach him at steven.p.rodriguez@vanderbilt.edu and follow his twitter at @SPatrickRod.
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    P. Chachavalpongpun, "Coup, King, Crisis: A Critical Interregnum in Thailand" (Yale SEA Studies, 2020)

    P. Chachavalpongpun, "Coup, King, Crisis: A Critical Interregnum in Thailand" (Yale SEA Studies, 2020)

    There are many Orientalist stereotypes about Thailand. Known as the “Land of Smiles” to foreign tourists, they often comment on the calm and pleasant demeanor of a people seemingly averse to conflict. However, these are superficial remarks coming from observers who fail to understand the country’s language, culture, and deep social, cultural, and political tensions. Since the bloodless end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, there have been a dozen successful coups, a few more unsuccessful efforts, and the spilling of blood in several massacres. From the Cold War to well into the 21st century, Thailand has wavered between democracy and military rule, with the Chakri Dynasty’s kings ruling over the political pendulum. Pavin Chachavalpongpun’s edited volume Coup King Crisis: A Critical Interregnum in Thailand out in 2021 with Yale University Southeast Asia Studies is a collection of essays on the 2014 coup. The authors explore the complex relationship between the monarchy, the military, and democracy. The volume does an excellent job of giving larger context to Thai politics.
    Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a native of Bangkok, studied at Chulalongkorn University before earning his doctorate at SOAS. Before becoming an academic and an activist, he served as a diplomat in the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 13 years. He is currently an Associate Professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies, where he edits the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asian Studies. Pavin Chachavalpongpun is arguably the most internationally prominent Thai dissident, penning critiques of the Thai junta for the world’s leading newspapers. He is the author or editor of a number of books on Thai politics.
    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.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Michael D. Bailey, "Origins of the Witches' Sabbath" (Penn State UP, 2021)

    Michael D. Bailey, "Origins of the Witches' Sabbath" (Penn State UP, 2021)

    Eminent medievalist Michael D. Bailey, Professor of History at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, talks about his upcoming book, Origin of the Witches’ Sabbath. The book contains nimble and enjoyable translations of five medieval treatises as well as the two witchcraft trials, as well as a critical introduction.
    While the perception of magic as harmful is age-old, the notion of witches gathering together in large numbers, overtly worshiping demons, and receiving instruction in how to work harmful magic as part of a conspiratorial plot against Christian society was an innovation of the early fifteenth century. The sources collected in this book reveal this concept in its formative stages.
    The idea that witches were members of organized heretical sects or part of a vast diabolical conspiracy crystalized most clearly in a handful of texts written in the 1430s and clustered geographically around the arc of the western Alps. Michael D. Bailey presents accessible English translations of the five oldest surviving texts describing the witches’ sabbath and of two witch trials from the period. These sources, some of which were previously unavailable in English or available only in incomplete or out-of-date translations, show how perceptions of witchcraft shifted from a general belief in harmful magic practiced by individuals to a conspiratorial and organized threat that led to the witch hunts that shook northern Europe and went on to influence conceptions of diabolical witchcraft for centuries to come.
    Origins of the Witches’ Sabbath makes freshly available a profoundly important group of texts that are key to understanding the cultural context of this dark chapter in Europe’s history. It will be especially valuable to those studying the history of witchcraft, medieval and early modern legal history, religion and theology, magic, and esotericism.
    Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.
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    • 49 min
    Andrea Bohlman, "Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Andrea Bohlman, "Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland (Oxford University Press, 2020) by Andrea Bohlman is a study of the music of dissent and protest during the Solidarity Movement in 1980s Poland. This book is not simply a re-telling of significant events in the fight against state socialism or an examination of important political anthems (although she does this as well). Instead, she grounds her study in the media networks and material culture by which music circulated throughout Poland and internationally. Through close readings of clandestine and state-sponsored recordings augmented by archival research and interviews with participants, Bohlman analyzes the hymns, art and popular music that made up the repertory of the Solidarity Movement. She argues that sound both unified and splintered the Polish opposition. She considers how different kinds of music contributed to the civil resilience of a country suffering under martial law, while at the same time narrating the Solidarity Movement and amplifying the political messages of its leaders.
    Kristen M. Turner is a lecturer in the music and honors departments at North Carolina State University. Her research centers on race and class in American popular entertainment at the turn of the twentieth century.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    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

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
138 Ratings

138 Ratings

Nick Naque ,

Get better interviewers

The books and authors covered in the podcast are ver interesting. But the people conducting the interviews are adequate at best and not infrequently embarrassing.

jrm36 ,

Great job by Jana Byers on Sex and Gender book

I always appreciate the work that the interviewers put into this, knowing that they’re not professionals and they’re not paid, and I don’t expect a professional level of polish. Some of them however are unusually good, confident, engaged interviewers, like this one.

Poochman! ,

SOUND QUALITY IS HORRIFIC

Trying to listen to Alan Taylor's Thomas Jefferson’s Education which sounded fascinating but gave up given the astoundingly poor audio quality. It's 2020. There's absolutely no reason New Books in History can't make the effort to ensure its podcasts are listenable. Such a waste of a great opportunity.

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