New Books: April & May 2020
New & Upcoming Books by Our Faculty:
Know Your Remedies presents a panoramic inquiry into China’s early modern cultural transformation through the lens of pharmacy. In the history of science and civilization in China, pharmacy—as a commercial enterprise and as a branch of classical medicine—resists easy characterization. While China’s long tradition of documenting the natural world through state-commissioned pharmacopeias, known as bencao, dwindled after the sixteenth century, the ubiquitous presence of Chinese pharmacy shops around the world today testifies to the vitality of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Rejecting narratives of intellectual stagnation or an unchanging folk culture, He Bian argues that pharmacy’s history in early modern China can best be understood as a dynamic interplay between elite and popular culture. Read more.
Safari Nation opens new lines of inquiry in the study of national parks in Africa and the rest of the world. The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most iconic nature reserve, renowned for its rich flora and fauna. According to author Jacob Dlamini, there is another side to the park, a social history neglected by scholars and popular writers alike in which blacks (meaning Africans, Coloureds, and Indians) occupy center stage. Safari Nation details the ways in which black people devoted energies to conservation and to the park over the course of the twentieth century—engagement that transcends the stock (black) figure of the laborer and the poacher. Read more.
Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life and The Paranoid Style in American Politics are two essential works that lay bare the worrying trends of irrationalism, demagoguery, destructive populism, and conspiratorial thinking that have long influenced American politics and culture. Whether underground or–as in our present moment–out in the open, these currents of resentment, suspicion, and conspiratorial delusion received their authoritative treatment from Hofstadter, among the greatest of twentieth-century American historians, at a time when many public intellectuals and scholars did not take them seriously enough. These two masterworks are joined here by Sean Wilentz’s selection of Hofstadter’s most trenchant uncollected writings of the postwar period: discussions of the Constitution’s framers, the personality and legacy of FDR, higher education and its discontents, the relationship of fundamentalism to right-wing politics, and the advent of the modern conservative movement. Read more.
From the 1960s until the early 1990s, the South African security police and counterinsurgency units collected over 7,000 photographs of apartheid’s enemies. The political rogue’s gallery was known as the “terrorist album,” copies of which were distributed covertly to police stations throughout the country. Many who appeared in the album were targeted for surveillance. Sometimes the security police tried to turn them; sometimes the goal was elimination. Read more.