492 episodes

Interviews with Historians about their New Books
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New Books in History Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.0 • 173 Ratings

Interviews with Historians about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

    Lisa Uperesa, "Gridiron Capital: How American Football Became a Samoan Game" (Duke UP, 2022)

    Lisa Uperesa, "Gridiron Capital: How American Football Became a Samoan Game" (Duke UP, 2022)

    Since the 1970s, a “Polynesian Pipeline” has brought football players from American Sāmoa to Hawaii and the mainland United States to play at the collegiate and professional levels. In Gridiron Capital: How American Football Became a Samoan Game (Duke University Press, 2022) Dr. Lisa Uperesa charts the cultural and social dynamics that have made football so central to Samoan communities. For Samoan athletes, football is not just an opportunity for upward mobility; it is a way to contribute to, support, and represent their family, village, and nation.
    Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, and media analysis, Dr. Uperesa shows how the Samoan ascendancy in football is underpinned by the legacies of US empire and a set of imperial formations that mark Indigenous Pacific peoples as racialized subjects of US economic aid and development. Samoan players succeed by becoming entrepreneurs: building and commodifying their bodies and brands to enhance their football stock and market value.
    Uperesa offers insights into the social and physical costs of pursuing a football career, the structures that compel Pacific Islander youth toward athletic labor, and the possibilities for safeguarding their health and wellbeing in the future.
    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, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Alastair Paton, "Of Marsupials and Men" (Black Inc, 2022)

    Alastair Paton, "Of Marsupials and Men" (Black Inc, 2022)

    Alistair Paton joins today, writer of Of Marsupials and Men (Black Inc, 2022), a book recounting the fascinating and often hilarious history of the men and women who dedicated their lives to understanding Australia’s native animals.
    To the first European colonists, Australian wildlife was bewildering. Marsupials and gum trees seemed strange and hostile; rabbits, sheep and oak trees were familiar and safe. A bustling animal trade soon developed in both directions: foxes, starlings and other reminders of ‘home’ were unleashed on the Australian landscape, while countless Australian animals found themselves in Europe as stuffed specimens or living curiosities in zoos and private collections.
    Into this picture stepped a remarkable band of enthusiastic amateurs who were determined to get to know the fauna of the new colony. Equal parts inspiring and outlandish, over the next 150 years they would advance scientific understanding and transform public attitudes to Australian wildlife. From the ‘snake men’ who fearlessly thrust their arms into hollow logs just to see what might happen, to the top-secret plan to smuggle a platypus to Winston Churchill at the height of World War II, these are their stories.
    Alistair Paton is the co-author of Discovering Grampians-Gariwerd and a regular contributor to travel and outdoors publications. He has worked at News Corp for twenty years and his current role is as digital editor in the national sport network. He is passionate about wild places and wild animals and lives in Melbourne with his wife Hanna and slightly domesticated terrier cross Lenny.
    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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    • 47 min
    Eva-Maria Muschik, "Building States: The United Nations, Development, and Decolonization, 1945–1965" (Columbia UP, 2022)

    Eva-Maria Muschik, "Building States: The United Nations, Development, and Decolonization, 1945–1965" (Columbia UP, 2022)

    Postwar multilateral cooperation is often viewed as an attempt to overcome the limitations of the nation-state system. However, in 1945, when the United Nations was founded, large parts of the world were still under imperial control. Building States investigates how the UN tried to manage the dissolution of European empires in the 1950s and 1960s—and helped transform the practice of international development and the meaning of state sovereignty in the process.
    In Building States: The United Nations, Development, and Decolonization, 1945–1965 (Columbia University Press, 2022) Dr. Eva-Maria Muschik argues that the UN played a key role in the global proliferation and reinvention of the nation-state in the postwar era, as newly independent states came to rely on international assistance. Drawing on previously untapped primary sources, she traces how UN personnel—usually in close consultation with Western officials—sought to manage decolonization peacefully through international development assistance.
    Examining initiatives in Libya, Somaliland, Bolivia, the Congo, and New York, Dr. Muschik shows how the UN pioneered a new understanding and practice of state building, presented as a technical challenge for international experts rather than a political process. UN officials increasingly took on public-policy functions, despite the organization’s mandate not to interfere in the domestic affairs of its member states. These initiatives, Dr. Muschik suggests, had lasting effects on international development practice, peacekeeping, and post-conflict territorial administration. Casting new light on how international organizations became major players in the governance of developing countries, Building States has significant implications for the histories of decolonization, the Cold War, and international development.
    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, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 54 min
    Paris Marx, "Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation" (Verso, 2022)

    Paris Marx, "Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation" (Verso, 2022)

    In Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation (Verso, 2022), Paris Marx identifies two convergent forces in the 20th century: the growth of the climate killing automobile industry and the rise of Silicon Valley with its California Ideology (a hypocritical self-rationalization). Their narrative shows how these two forces merged in the early 21st century with less-than-ideal, even deadly, results. Marx challenges many of the tech industry’s myths, misrepresentations, and lies and offers some suggestions for how we can build a better world. While Road to Nowhere is a book about our current crisis it situates our this mess in its historical context. Marx illustrates how many of the most problematic aspects of automobility are the consequences of specific policy decisions, often made in the interest of capital and not the social good. Marx is not shy about naming names, specifically calling out Elon Musk and Über.
    Paris Marx is Canadian tech critic and host of the award-winning Tech Won’t Save Us podcast. Their work has been published in Business Insider, NBC News, CBC News, Jacobin, and Tribune. And just this week, they published a piece in Time Magazine on Elon Musk. Paris earned a Master’s degree in urban geography from McGill University, researching Silicon Valley’s efforts to transform how we move.
    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 38 min
    Julia Walker, "Berlin Contemporary: Architecture and Politics After 1990" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Julia Walker, "Berlin Contemporary: Architecture and Politics After 1990" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    For years following reunification, Berlin was the largest construction site in Europe, with striking new architecture proliferating throughout the city in the 1990s and early 2000s. Among the most visible and the most contested of the new projects were those designed for the national government and its related functions.
    Julia Walker's Berlin Contemporary: Architecture and Politics After 1990 (Bloomsbury, 2021) explores these buildings and plans, tracing their antecedents while also situating their iconic forms and influential designers within the spectacular world of global contemporary architecture. Close studies of these sites, including the Reichstag, the Chancellery, and the reconstruction of the Berlin Stadtschloss (now known as the Humboldt Forum), demonstrate the complexity of Berlin's political and architectural “rebuilding”-and reveal the intricate historical negotiations that architecture was summoned to perform.
    Lea Greenberg is a scholar of German studies with a particular focus on German Jewish and Yiddish literature and culture; critical gender studies; multilingualism; and literature of the post-Yugoslav diaspora.
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    • 59 min
    Tom Zoellner, "Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Tom Zoellner, "Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    For five horrific weeks after Christmas in 1831, Jamaica was convulsed by an uprising of its enslaved people. What started as a peaceful labor strike quickly turned into a full-blown revolt, leaving hundreds of plantation houses in smoking ruins. By the time British troops had put down the rebels, more than a thousand Jamaicans lay dead from summary executions and extrajudicial murder.
    While the rebels lost their military gamble, their sacrifice accelerated the larger struggle for freedom in the British Atlantic. The daring and suffering of the Jamaicans galvanized public opinion throughout the empire, triggering a decisive turn against slavery. For centuries bondage had fed Britain’s appetite for sugar. Within two years of the Christmas rebellion, slavery was formally abolished.
    Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire (Harvard University Press, 2020) is a dramatic day-by-day account of this transformative uprising. A skillful storyteller, Tom Zoellner goes back to the primary sources to tell the intimate story of the men and women who rose up and tasted liberty for a few brief weeks. He provides the first full portrait of the rebellion’s enigmatic leader, Samuel Sharpe, and gives us a poignant glimpse of the struggles and dreams of the many Jamaicans who died for liberty.
    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, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
173 Ratings

173 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.

t78tt.r ,

Unqualified interviewers with agendas

Many of the Law, History & other podcasts I remember being staffed with PhDs and/or experts in their fields. Then I ran into Hope J. Leman's interviews. A 'grants researcher' (?) with no background in history or law she has an agenda skwered hard to the right against 'wokeness' (whatever that is) & engages in aggressive social media against 'leftists'. Fine, but as a lawyer & a holder of an MA in History I can't imagine why the NB Networks utilizes people with these or any sort of outspoken political agenda. It's troubling esp but more so when they have little no expertise in the reviewed fields. No thanks.

Zendude2664 ,

Going Downhill

Can’t develop a format to train the interviewer, which is not surprising since the boss conducts some seriously unprofessional and rambling interviews.

See the “Joseph Smith” giggle fest as an example.

Clearly the whole idea is to just flood the market with content.

Writers and publishers be aware how this makes your hard work appear.

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