As the crackdown continues, our correspondents discuss Syria's protest movement, the army's role and what outsiders can do to help
New Books In History
Robert Thurston, “Lynching: American Mob Murder in Global Perspective”
It takes a brave historian to take on the orthodoxy regarding the rise and fall of lynching in the United States. That orthodoxy holds that lynching in the South was a ‘system of social control’ in which whites used organized terror to oppress blacks. You can find this thesis in numerous monographs, textbooks, and in [...]
BBC History magazine
BBC History Magazine - 5th August 2011
Marc Morris describes England’s conquest of Wales, Dan Snow previews his new TV series and Anna Whitelock continues our Tudor series with a discussion of Mary I. To find out more, visit www.historyextra.com
New Books in Military History
Michael Neiberg, “Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I”
As we close in on the centennial of the First World War, no doubt there will be a flood of new interpretations and “hidden histories” of the conflict. Many books will certainly promise much, but in the end deliver little. Fortunately this is not the case with Michael Neiberg’s latest book Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I (Harvard University Press, 2011).
New Books in Law
Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola, “Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling”
One hallmark of important art, in any medium, is a thoughtful relation with artistic precursors. Every artist reckons with heroes and rivals, influences and nemeses, and the old work becomes a part of the new. In Adam Bradley’s seminal monograph on hip-hop lyrics, Book of Rhymes, legendary MC Mos Def describes his desire to participate in posterity: “I wanted it to be something that was durable. You can listen to all these Jimi records and Miles records and Curtis Mayfield records; I wanted to be able to add something to that conversation.”
New Books in Public Policy
Siva Vaidhyanathan, “The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry)”
In his new book The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) (University of California Press, 2011), Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, takes a close look at the powerful influence Google has on our society. He believes that by valuing popularity over accuracy, Google dictates what information is most useful to users, thereby changing societal perceptions of what information is relevant. In our interview, we talked about how Vaidyanathan’s American Studies training informed his analysis of Google, the problem of Google’s use in authoritarian countries, and how Google emerged out of nowhere to defeat all other search competitors. Read all about it, and more, in Vaidhyanathan’s illuminating new book.