New Books Network

Peter Gordon and Juan José Morales, “Painter and Patron: The Maritime Silk Road in the Códice Casanatense” (Abbreviated Press, 2020)
Today I talked to Peter Gordon and Juan José Morales about their book Painter and Patron: The Maritime Silk Road in the Códice Casanatense (Abbreviated Press, 2020). The Códice Casanatense, or Codex Casanatense 1889 as it is formally known, is a 16th-century Indo-Portuguese collection of some 76 captioned watercolours now... Read More
J. E. Peterson, “The Emergence of the Gulf States: Studies in Modern History” (Bloomsbury, 2016)
The Emergence of the Gulf States: Studies in Modern History (Bloomsbury, 2016) offers an overview of the history of Saudi Arabia and the five Persian/Arabian Gulf states that emerged from British rule between 1961 and 1971–including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. The book synthesized the works... Read More
David Chai, “Zhuangzi and the Becoming of Nothingness” (SUNY Press, 2018)
Zhuangzi and the Becoming of Nothingness (SUNY Press, 2018) offers a radical rereading of the Daoist classic Zhuangzi by bringing to light the role of nothingness in grounding the cosmological and metaphysical aspects of its thought. Through a careful analysis of the text and its appended commentaries, David Chai reveals not only... Read More
Ned Bertz, “Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean: Transnational Histories of Race and Space in Tanzania” (U Hawaii Press, 2015)
The vibrant Swahili coast port city of Dar es Salaam—literally, the “Haven of Peace”—hosts a population reflecting a legacy of long relations with the Arabian Peninsula and a diaspora emanating in waves from the Indian subcontinent. By the 1960s, after decades of European imperial intrusions, Tanzanian nationalist forces had peacefully... Read More
R. Muirhead and N. L. Rosenblum, “A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy” (Princeton UP, 2019)
Conspiracy theories are as old as politics. But conspiracists today have introduced something new—conspiracy without theory. And the new conspiracism has moved from the fringes to the heart of government with the election of Donald Trump. In A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on... Read More
Nurfadzilah Yahaya, “Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia” (Cornell UP, 2020)
Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020) by Prof. Nurfadzilah Yahaya is a wide-ranging, geographically ambitious book that tells the story of the Arab diaspora within the context of British and Dutch colonialism, unpacking the community’s ambiguous embrace of European colonial authority in Southeast... Read More
Sujit Sivasundaram, “Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire” (William Collins, 2020)
In Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire (William Collins, 2020), Sujit Sivasundaram brings together far-flung archives across the world and the best new academic research. Too often, history is told from the northern hemisphere, with modernity, knowledge, selfhood and politics moving from Europe to influence... Read More
Zaina Arafat, “You Exist Too Much” (Catapult, 2020)
On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator... Read More
Jeremy M. Glick, “The Black Radical Tragic: Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution” (NYU Press, 2016)
What if the Haitian Revolution, perhaps the only “successful” Black revolution in history, weren’t over? On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (s/t) interviews Dr. Jeremy Matthew Glick (h/h) about how and why the Haitian Revolution, which was the only slave rebellion to achieve state sovereignty,... Read More
Beth Kurland, “Dancing on the Tightrope: Transcending the Habits of Your Mind and Awakening to Your Fullest Life” (Wellbridge Books, 2018)
If life can feel at times like a challenging tightrope walk, how do we face life’s difficulties yet remain resilient and open-hearted? Rather than seeking “perfect” balance, or tiptoeing on our journey, how do we learn to embrace life and “dance,” in order to live most fully? In Dancing on... Read More