The Man Who Stalked Einstein – Bruce J. Hillman.

BOOKS
HISTORY

1.
Birgit Ertl-Wagner
The Man Who Stalked Einstein: How Nazi Scientist Philipp Lenard Changed the Course of History

By the end of World War I, Albert Einstein had become the face of the new science of theoretical physics and had made some powerful enemies. One of those enemies, Nobel Prize winner Philipp Lenard, spent a career trying to discredit him. Their story of conflict, pitting Germany’s most widely celebrated Jew against the Nazi scientist who was to become Hitler’s chief advisor on physics, had an impact far exceeding what the scientific community felt at the time. Indeed, their mutual antagonism affected the direction of science long after 1933, when Einstein took flight to America and changed the history of two nations. The Man Who Stalked Einstein details the tense relationship between Einstein and Lenard, their ideas and actions, during the eventful period between World War I and World War II.

2.
Tani E. Barlow
The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism

The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism is a history of ideas about women in twentieth-century China. Tani E. Barlow tracks the categories that Chinese intellectuals have developed to think about women and connects these paradigms to transnational debates about eugenics, gender, sexuality, and the psyche. Contending that Chinese feminism has a basis in eugenicist thought, Barlow describes how the emergence of social science perspectives during the 1920s lent the liberation of Chinese women an urgency by suggesting that women should choose their own sexual partners; the health of the nation, it was argued, depended in part on the biological mechanisms of natural selection. Barlow demonstrates that feminism has been integral to thinking about the nation and development in China. At the same time, she shows that Chinese feminism both borrowed from and contributed to emerging feminist formations around the world. Bringing together social theory, psychoanalytic thought, the ethics of mass movements, literary criticism, and revolutionary political ideologies, Barlow reveals how Chinese feminist theory changed in response to the social upheavals of colonial modernity, revolution, modernization, and market socialism. She discusses prominent Chinese feminists, including the fiction writer Ding Ling, who was, for more than fifty years, a leading revolutionary; the early-twentieth-century theorist Gao Xian; the literary scholar Li Xiaojiang, a major proponent of women’s studies; and the contemporary film and cultural critic Dai Jinhua. Barlow’s exploration of Chinese feminism provides an in-depth examination of one of the most compelling and significant feminist movements in modern history.

3.
Francine Hirsch
Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union

When the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, they set themselves the task of building socialism in the vast landscape of the former Russian Empire, a territory populated by hundreds of different peoples belonging to a multitude of linguistic, religious, and ethnic groups. Before 1917, the Bolsheviks had called for the national self-determination of all peoples and had condemned all forms of colonization as exploitative. After attaining power, however, they began to express concern that it would not be possible for Soviet Russia to survive without the cotton of Turkestan and the oil of the Caucasus. In an effort to reconcile their anti-imperialist position with their desire to hold on to as much territory as possible, the Bolsheviks integrated the national idea into the administrative-territorial structure of the new Soviet state. In Empire of Nations, Francine Hirsch examines the ways in which former imperial ethnographers and local elites provided the Bolsheviks with ethnographic knowledge that shaped the very formation of the new Soviet Union.

The ethnographers – who drew inspiration from the Western European colonial context – produced all-union censuses, assisted government commissions charged with delimiting the USSR’s internal borders, led expeditions to study “the human being as a productive force,” and created ethnographic exhibits about the “Peoples of the USSR.” In the 1930s, they would lead the Soviet campaign against Nazi race theories. Hirsch illuminates the pervasive tension between the colonial-economic and ethnographic definitions of Soviet territory; this tension informed Soviet social, economic, and administrative structures. A major contribution to the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, Empire of Nations also offers new insights into the connection between ethnography and empire.

4.
Antony J. Hasler
Court Poetry in Late Medieval England and Scotland: Allegories of Authority (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature)

This book explores the anxious and unstable relationship between court poetry and various forms of authority, political and cultural, in England and Scotland at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Through poems by Skelton, Dunbar, Douglas, Hawes, Lyndsay and Barclay, it examines the paths by which court poetry and its narrators seek multiple forms of legitimation: from royal and institutional sources, but also in the media of script and print.

5.
Kenneth Borris
Same-Sex Desire in the English Renaissance: A Sourcebook of Texts, 1470-1650

The readings gathered here include many rare texts that have not been reprinted for centuries, excerpted from biblical commentary, legal writings, medical and scientific writings, popular encyclopedias, and literature, as well as continental vernacular and Latin sources never before available in English translation. The selections are assembled in ten chapters addressing particular discursive fields – Theology, Law, Medicine, Astrology, Physiognomics, Encyclopedias and Reference Works, Prodigious Monstrosities, Love and Friendship, the Sapphic Renaissance, and Erotica. Each chapter includes a substantial introduction summarizing its topic and its relation to early modern homoeroticism. The volume also poignantly addresses key issues in Renaissance thinking about sexual identity, and newly clarifies central problems and debates in the historiography of same-sex love.

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