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NBN Book of the Day

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The "NBN Book of the Day" features the most timely and interesting author interviews from the New Books Network delivered to you every weekday.
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day Continue Reading >>
The "NBN Book of the Day" features the most timely and interesting author interviews from the New Books Network delivered to you every weekday.
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day << Show Less
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Kim Haines-Eitzen, "Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us" (Princeton UP, 2022) For the hermits and communal monks of antiquity, the desert was a place to flee the cacophony of ordinary life in order to hear and contemplate the voice of God. But these monks discovered something surprising in their harsh desert surroundings: far from empty and silent, the desert is richly reverberant. Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us (Princeton UP, 2022) shares the stories and sayings of these ancient spiritual seekers, tracing how the ambient sounds of wind, thunder, water, and animals shaped the emergence and development of early Christian monasticism.Kim Haines-Eitzen draws on ancient monastic texts from Egypt, Sinai, and Palestine to explore how noise offered desert monks an opportunity to cultivate inner quietude, and shows how the desert quests of ancient monastics offer profound lessons for us about what it means to search for silence. Drawing on her own experiences making field recordings in the deserts of North America and Israel, she reveals how mountains, canyons, caves, rocky escarpments, and lush oases are deeply resonant places. Haines-Eitzen discusses how the desert is a place of paradoxes, both silent and noisy, pulling us toward contemplative isolation yet giving rise to vibrant collectives of fellow seekers.Accompanied by Haines-Eitzen’s evocative audio recordings of desert environments, Sonorous Desert reveals how desert sounds taught ancient monks about solitude, silence, and the life of community, and how they can help us understand ourselves if we slow down and listen.You can listen to a series of recordings that go with each chapter of the book here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
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Kim Haines-Eitzen, "Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us" (Princeton UP, 2022) For the hermits and communal monks of antiquity, the desert was a place to flee the cacophony of ordinary life in order to hear and contemplate the voice of God. But these monks discovered something surprising in their harsh desert surroundings: far from empty and silent, the desert is richly reverberant. Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us (Princeton UP, 2022) shares the stories and sayings of these ancient spiritual seekers, tracing how the ambient sounds of wind, thunder, water, and animals shaped the emergence and development of early Christian monasticism.Kim Haines-Eitzen draws on ancient monastic texts from Egypt, Sinai, and Palestine to explore how noise offered desert monks an opportunity to cultivate inner quietude, and shows how the desert quests of ancient monastics offer profound lessons for us about what it means to search for silence. Drawing on her own experiences making field recordings in the deserts of North America and Israel, she reveals how mountains, canyons, caves, rocky escarpments, and lush oases are deeply resonant places. Haines-Eitzen discusses how the desert is a place of paradoxes, both silent and noisy, pulling us toward contemplative isolation yet giving rise to vibrant collectives of fellow seekers.Accompanied by Haines-Eitzen’s evocative audio recordings of desert environments, Sonorous Desert reveals how desert sounds taught ancient monks about solitude, silence, and the life of community, and how they can help us understand ourselves if we slow down and listen.You can listen to a series of recordings that go with each chapter of the book here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
John Callow, "The Last Witches of England: A Tragedy of Sorcery and Superstition" (Bloomsbury, 2021) On the morning of Thursday 29 June 1682, a magpie came rasping, rapping and tapping at the window of a prosperous Devon merchant. Frightened by its appearance, his servants and members of his family had, within a matter of hours, convinced themselves that the bird was an emissary of the devil sent by witches to destroy the fabric of their lives. As the result of these allegations, three women of Bideford came to be forever defined as witches. A Secretary of State brushed aside their case and condemned them to the gallows; to hang as the last group of women to be executed in England for the crime. Yet, the hatred of their neighbours endured. For Bideford, it was said, was a place of witches.Though 'pretty much worn away' the belief in witchcraft still lingered on for more than a century after their deaths. In turn, ignored, reviled, and extinguished but never more than half-forgotten, it seems that the memory of these three women - and of their deeds and sufferings, both real and imagined – was transformed from canker to regret, and from regret into celebration in our own age. Indeed, their example was cited during the final Parliamentary debates, in 1951, that saw the last of the witchcraft acts repealed, and their names were chanted, as both inspiration and incantation, by the women beyond the wire at Greenham Common.In The Last Witches of England: A Tragedy of Sorcery and Superstition (Bloomsbury, 2021), Dr. John Callow explores this remarkable reversal of fate, and the remarkable tale of the Bideford Witches.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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
Corey Robin, "The Enigma of Clarence Thomas" (Metropolitan Books, 2019) Most people can tell you two things about Clarence Thomas: Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment, and he almost never speaks from the bench. Here are some things they don't know: Until Thomas went to law school, he was a black nationalist. In college he memorized the speeches of Malcolm X. He believes white people are incurably racist. In The Enigma of Clarence Thomas (Metropolitan Books, 2019), Corey Robin--one of the foremost analysts of the right--delves deeply into both Thomas's biography and his jurisprudence, masterfully reading his Supreme Court opinions against the backdrop of his autobiographical and political writings and speeches. The hidden source of Thomas's conservative views, Robin argues, is a profound skepticism that racism can be overcome. Thomas is convinced that any government action on behalf of African-Americans will be tainted by this racism, and that the most African-Americans can hope for is that white people will get out of their way. There's a reason, Robin concludes, why liberals often complain that Thomas doesn't speak but seldom pay attention when he does. Were they to listen, they'd hear a racial pessimism that sounds shockingly similar to their own. Cutting across the ideological spectrum, this unacknowledged consensus about the impossibility of progress is key to understanding today's political stalemate.Corey Robin is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
Charlie Jeffries, "Teenage Dreams: Girlhood Sexualities in the U.S. Culture Wars" (Rutgers UP, 2022) Utilizing a breadth of archival sources from activists, artists, and policymakers, Charlie Jeffries' Teenage Dreams: Girlhood Sexualities in the U.S. Culture Wars (Rutgers UP, 2022) examines the race- and class-inflected battles over adolescent women’s sexual and reproductive lives in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century United States. Charlie Jeffries finds that most adults in this period hesitated to advocate for adolescent sexual and reproductive rights, revealing a new culture war altogether--one between adults of various political stripes in the cultural mainstream who prioritized the desire to delay girlhood sexual experience at all costs, and adults who remained culturally underground in their support for teenagers’ access to frank sexual information, and who would dare to advocate for this in public. The book tells the story of how the latter group of adults fought alongside teenagers themselves, who constituted a large and increasingly visible part of this activism. The history of the debates over teenage sexual behavior reveals unexpected alliances in American political battles, and sheds new light on the resurgence of the right in the US in recent years.Rebekah Buchanan is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
Timothy Bewes, "Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age" (Columbia UP, 2022) What is the purpose of a novel? What purpose or logic do literary critics assign to a novel? How has the novel changed? What does that mean for its readers and literary criticism in the contemporary era? What does novel share with cinema and what does that mean for contemporary thought?Timothy Bewes provides brilliant insights on these questions in his book, Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age (Columbia UP, 2022).Everywhere today, we are urged to “connect.” Literary critics celebrate a new "honesty" in contemporary fiction or call for a return to "realism." Yet such rhetoric is strikingly reminiscent of earlier theorizations. Two of the most famous injunctions of twentieth-century writing - E. M. Forster's “Only connect . . .” and Fredric Jameson’s “Always historicize!” - helped establish connection as the purpose of the novel and its reconstruction as the task of criticism. But what if connection was not the novel’s modus operandi but the defining aesthetic ideology of our era-and its most monetizable commodity? What kind of thought is left for the novel when all ideas are acceptable as long as they can be fitted to a consumer profile?This book develops a new theory of the novel for the twenty-first century. In the works of writers such as J. M. Coetzee, Rachel Cusk, James Kelman, W. G. Sebald, and Zadie Smith, Timothy Bewes identifies a mode of thought that he calls "free indirect," in which the novel's refusal of prevailing ideologies can be found. It is not situated in a character or a narrator and does not take a subjective or perceptual form. Far from heralding the arrival of a new literary genre, this development represents the rediscovery of a quality that has been largely ignored by theorists: thought at the limits of form. Free Indirect contends that this self-awakening of contemporary fiction represents the most promising solution to the problem of thought today.Iqra Shagufta Cheema is writer, researcher, and chronic procrastinator. When she does write, she writes in the areas of postmodernist postcolonial literatures, transnational feminisms, gender and sexuality studies, and film studies. Check out her latest book chapter Queer Love: He is also Made in Heaven. She can be reached via email at IqraSCheema@gmail.com or Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
Daniel Laurison, "Producing Politics: Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us" (Beacon Press, 2022) Who runs American politics? In Producing Politics: Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us (Beacon Press, 2022), Daniel Laurison, an associate professor of sociology at Swarthmore College, explores the hidden world of campaign professionals to offer a new sociological perspective on how contemporary politics works. The book explores how ‘politicos’ get their jobs, how they judge work and worth, and the importance of their actions to political campaigns, showing the inequalities at the heart of the profession. Alongside new theorisations of campaigning and of politics itself, the book offers essential reading across social sciences and arts and humanities, as well as to anyone interested in politics today.Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
Hawa Allan, "Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship" (Norton, 2022) The little-known and under-studied 1807 Insurrection Act was passed to give the president the ability to deploy federal military forces to fend off lawlessness and rebellion, but it soon became much more than the sum of its parts. Its power is integrally linked to the perceived threat of black American equity in what lawyer and critic Hawa Allan demonstrates is a dangerous paradox. While the Act was initially used to repress rebellion against slavery, during Reconstruction it was invoked by President Grant to quell white-supremacist uprisings in the South. During the civil rights movement, it enabled the protection of black students who attended previously segregated educational institutions. Most recently, the Insurrection Act has been the vehicle for presidents to call upon federal troops to suppress so-called “race riots” like those in Los Angeles in 1992, and for them to threaten to do so in other cases of racial justice activism. Yet when the US Capitol was stormed in January 2021, the impulse to restore law and order and counter insurrectionary threats to the republic lay dormant.Allan’s distinctly literary voice underscores her paradigm-shifting reflections on the presence of fear and silence in history and their shadowy impact on the law. Throughout, she draws revealing insight from her own experiences as one of the only black girls in her leafy Long Island suburb, as a black lawyer at a predominantly white firm during a visit from presidential candidate Barack Obama, and as a thinker about the use and misuse of appeals to law and order.Elegant and profound, deeply researched and intensely felt, Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship (Norton, 2022) is necessary reading in our reckoning with structural racism, government power, and protest in the United States.Brittney Edmonds is an Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison. I specialize in 20th and 21st century African American Literature and Culture with a special interest in Black Humor Studies. Read more about my work at brittneymichelleedmonds.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
Michael John Witgen, "Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America" (UNC Press, 2021) Against long odds, the Anishinaabeg resisted removal, retaining much of their land in the Old Northwest—what’s now Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Their success rested partly on their roles as sellers of natural resources and buyers of trade goods, which made them key players in the political economy of plunder that drove white settlement and US development in the region. But, as Michael Witgen demonstrates in Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America (Omohundro Institute/UNC Press, 2021), the credit for Native persistence rested with the Anishinaabeg themselves. Outnumbering white settlers well into the nineteenth century, they leveraged their political savvy to advance a dual citizenship that enabled mixed-race tribal members to lay claim to a place in US civil society. Telling the stories of mixed-race traders and missionaries, tribal leaders and territorial governors, Witgen challenges our assumptions about the inevitability of US expansion.John Cable is assistant professor of history at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. He earned the Ph.D. in history at Florida State University in 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
Alexandra Lohse, "Prevail until the Bitter End: Germans in the Waning Years of World War II" (Cornell UP, 2021) In Prevail until the Bitter End: Germans in the Waning Years of World War II (Cornell UP, 2021), Alexandra Lohse explores the gossip and innuendo, the dissonant reactions and perceptions of Germans to the violent dissolution of the Third Reich. Mobilized for total war, soldiers and citizens alike experienced an unprecedented convergence of military, economic, social, and political crises. But even in retreat, the militarized national community unleashed ferocious energies, staving off defeat for over two years and continuing a systematic murder campaign against European Jews and others. Was its faith in the Führer never shaken by the prospect of ultimate defeat?Lohse uncovers how Germans experienced life and death, investigates how mounting emergency conditions affected their understanding of the nature and purpose of the conflagration, and shows how these factors influenced the people's relationship with the Nazi regime. She draws on Nazi morale and censorship reports, features citizens' private letters and diaries, and incorporates a large body of Allied intelligence, including several thousand transcripts of surreptitiously recorded conversations among German prisoners of war in Western Allied captivity.Lohse's historical reconstruction helps us understand how ordinary Germans interpreted their experiences as both the victims and perpetrators of extreme violence. We are immersively drawn into their desolate landscape: walking through bombed-out streets, scrounging for food, burning furniture, listening furtively to Allied broadcasts, unsure where the truth lies. Prevail until the Bitter End is about the stories that Germans told themselves to make sense of this world in crisis.Lea H. Greenberg is a scholar of German and Yiddish literature and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Knox College. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/book-of-the-day
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