Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Books In History - quick glance over the backlog

The podcast New Books In History is my new favorite on the block. I have been listening to several episodes, nearly back to back and I do want to go on and hear more. So I am do not want to review them all, but pack them together. Especially now that Marshall Poe has fixed the feed and the whole backlog has become available. (feed)

Kristin Celello wrote a history of marriage counseling in the US. In the interview she gave to Marshall Poe we come to see the origins of marriage counseling: worried conservatives who couldn't stop divorce becoming legal and stepped in by trying to save marriages. One consequence of this was that marriage counseling is not an exclusively psycho-therapy field. Another thing that struck me is that the counseling predominantly speaks to women, as if, until today, it is mostly the task of the woman to maintain marriage. An old nineteenth century concept of woman being the responsible figure in the home...

Yuma Totani studies the Tokyo war crime trials after World War II. Poe asks her to compare with the Nuremberg trials and pays a lot of attention to the question how the trials were received in Japan and are still seen today. After Totani's first book on the subject, she feels there is more to be done and she explains how she is expanding on the first study.

Tony Michels is invited to speak about Jewish socialists in the US. His book on the subject is not new, but came out as a paperback. His tales show the intricacies of how Jews dealt with Judaism, with various other cultural influences and how they decided in terms of assimilation upon arrival in the US. It is my impression the flirt with socialism is a part of this struggle. In any way, with Michels you come to see this particular aspect in its many different colors.

More NBIH:
Jews in the Russian army,
Who will write our history?,
Sentiments in International Relations,
Ronald Reagan,
Prokofiev.
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