Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Three recommendations on New Books In History

An excellent podcast of which I try not to miss a single installment is New Books In History. With the amount of podcasts on my playlist, I continuously lag behind on this podcast. Here I will recommend three of the not so recent episodes that are all worth a listen.

The most commendable is Mashall Poe's interview with Matthew Algeo who wrote about Harry Truman's road trip. After Truman left the White House and became a regular citizen again (that was still more or less possible at the time) he took one summer off to make a road trip through the US. Algeo discloses the way the former president had to make ends meet, how the trip was conceived and in how far it could be carried out incognito. Aside from being very entertaining, this podcast gives a great insight in the culture of the early 1950's.

A more specific episode is the one with William Beezley about the Mexican Revolution. Beezley carefully paints out how modern Mexico came into being. The revolution, as it turns out, is more of a process over several decades rather than a sudden shift in a single date.

Joel Lewis wrote a book Youth Against Fascism: Young Communists in Britain and the United States, 1919-1939. This looks like a rather marginal subject, but it is very interesting and also connects quite well with a number of other issues in NBIH. Simply put, communists were the first to recognize the threat of fascism and probably this was so because the fascists saw the communists as the prime targets for their aggression.

More NBIH:
American Exceptionalism,
The Great War in short,
How Rome Fell,
Glancing over the backlog,
Jews in the Russian army.