New Books: June & July 2020
New & Upcoming Books by Our Faculty:
From Francis Bacon to Barack Obama, thinkers and political leaders have denounced humanists as obsessively bookish and allergic to labor. In this celebration of bookmaking in all its messy and intricate detail, renowned historian Anthony Grafton invites us to see the scholars of early modern Europe as diligent workers. Meticulously illuminating the physical and mental labors that fostered the golden age of the book—the compiling of notebooks, copying and correction of texts and proofs, preparation of copy—he shows us how the exertions of scholars shaped influential books, treatises, and forgeries. Read more.
Historians have long been engaged in telling the story of the struggle for the vote. In the wake of recent contested elections, the suppression of the vote has returned to the headlines, as awareness of the deep structural barriers to the ballot, particularly for poor, black, and Latino voters, has called attention to the historical roots of issues related to voting access. Read more.
When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, President Obama observed that Trump “is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party.” In Burning Down the House, historian Julian Zelizer pinpoints the moment when our country was set on a path toward an era of bitterly partisan and ruthless politics, an era that was ignited by Newt Gingrich and his allies. Read more.
Historiography and Identity II: Post-Roman Multiplicity and New Political Identities
Edited by Gerda Heydemann and Helmut Reimitz (July 20)
This second volume of the series studies the social function of historiography in the Justinianic age and the post-Roman kingdoms of the West. The papers explore how writers in Constantinople and in the various kingdoms from Italy to Britain adopted late antique historiographical traditions and adapted them in response to the new needs and challenges created by the transformation of the political and social order. What was the significance of their choices between different models (or their creation of new ones) for their 'vision of community'? The volume provides a representative analysis of the historiographical resources of ethnic, political, and religious identifications created in the various Western kingdoms. In doing so, it seeks to understand the extant works as part of a once much wider and more polyphonic historiographical debate. Read more.
An immersive examination of why the age of democratic revolutions was also a time of hero worship and strongmen
In Men on Horseback, the Princeton University historian David A. Bell offers a dramatic new interpretation of modern politics, arguing that the history of democracy is inextricable from the history of charisma, its shadow self. Read more.