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New & Noteworthy: History Books Hot off the Press

Every month Falvey Memorial Library acquires new history books based on faculty recommendations and curriculum needs. Some of the new titles featured in this post have been hand-picked by the Department of History. Take a quick look and maybe one of them will inspire you to read outside your area of expertise. Use the New Items search feature of the library’s catalog to browse the complete list of new history books.

hunsKim, Hyun Jin. The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
“This book argues that the steppes of Inner Asia were far from ‘backward’ and that the image of the primitive Huns is vastly misleading. They already possessed a highly sophisticated political culture while still in Inner Asia and, far from being passive recipients of advanced culture from the West, they passed on important elements of Central Eurasian culture to early medieval Europe, which they helped create.”  From the publisher’s web site.
Available online via Cambridge University Press.

thirdRabinbach, Anson, and Sander L Gilman. The Third Reich Sourcebook. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.
The impressive selection of documents in English translation in this hefty volume (923 pages) covers all aspects of life in Nazi Germany. Its companion volume, The Weimar Republic Sourcebook is likewise available at Falvey. Both titles are part of the Weimar and Now series published by the University of California Press.

suezLaron, Guy. Origins of the Suez Crisis: Postwar Development Diplomacy and the Struggle Over Third World Industrialization, 1945-1956. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2013.
Origins of the Suez Crisis describes the long run-up to the 1956 Suez Crisis and the crisis itself by focusing on politics, economics, and foreign policy decisions in Egypt, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Based on Arabic source material, as well as multilingual documents from Israeli, Soviet, Czech, American, Indian, and British archives, this is the first historical narrative to discuss the interaction among all of the players involved-rather than simply British and U.S. perspectives.”  From the publisher’s web site.

ruleMcMahon, Keith. Women Shall Not Rule: Imperial Wives and Concubines in China From Han to Liao. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.
“Keith McMahon, a leading expert on the history of gender in China, draws upon decades of research to describe the values and ideals of imperial polygamy and the ways in which it worked and did not work in real life. His rich sources are both historical and fictional, including poetic accounts and sensational stories told in pornographic detail. Displaying rare historical breadth, his lively and fascinating study will be invaluable as a comprehensive and authoritative resource for all readers interested in the domestic life of royal palaces across the world.”  From the publisher’s web site.

frenchParker, Lindsay A. H. Writing the Revolution: A French Woman’s History in Letters. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Writing the Revolution is a microhistory of a middle-class Parisian woman, Rosalie Jullien, whose nearly 1,000 familiar letters have never before been studied. […] Her correspondence allows readers to enter her private world and see the intellectual, emotional, and familial life of a revolutionary in all of its complexity.”  From the publisher’s web site.
Jullien’s letters were published in Paris in 1881 under the title Journal d’une Bourgeoise Pendant la Revolution. An English translation of her letters appeared in the same year under the title The Great French Revolution, 1785-1793. Both books are available as free PDF files on Google Books.

chicagoDurica, Paul, and Bill Savage. Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2013.
Originally published in 1892 for visitors of the 1893 World’s fair. This “unofficial guide to the world beyond the fair [describes] pleasures [that] range from the respectable (theater, architecture, parks, churches and synagogues) to the illicit – drink, gambling, and sex.” From the publisher’s web site.
A digitized version of one of the 1892 copies is freely available from Hathi Trust.

vsiLast but not least, here is a selection of recent additions to the Very Short Introductions series by Oxford University Press: The British Empire, Diaspora, Colonial America, and The Silk Road. I invite you to consult the catalog for a list of titles available at the Library. This series lives up to its promise with concise and up-to-date introductions for the neophyte.

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Last Modified: October 1, 2013