Recent publications

August 2017
Marci Shore

  What is worth dying for? While the world watched the uprising on the Maidan as an episode in geopolitics, those in Ukraine during the extraordinary winter of 2013–14 lived the revolution as an existential transformation: the blurring of night and day, the loss of a sense of time, the sudden...
September 2018
Joanne Freeman

  In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often...
October 2016
Abbas Amanat

  This book is a collection of Persian documents about the Babis (and later, the Baha’is) of Iran. It consists mostly of rare official correspondence covering the period between 1852 and 1872, when the remnant of the leadership of the nascent Babi community resided in exile in the Ottoman Empire,...
November 2017
David Blight

  This collection of eleven original essays interrogates the concept of freedom and recenters our understanding of the process of emancipation. Who defined freedom, and what did freedom mean to nineteenth-century African Americans, both during and after slavery? Did freedom just mean the absence of...
October 2018
David Blight

  As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the...
March 2017
Ben Kiernan

  For many Westerners, the name Vietnam evokes images of a bloody televised American war that generated a firestorm of protest and brought conflict into their living rooms. In his sweeping account, Ben Kiernan broadens this vision by narrating the rich history of the peoples who have inhabited the...
October 2017
John Merriman

  For six terrifying months in 1911-1912, the citizens of Paris were gripped by a violent crime streak. A group of bandits went on a rampage throughout the city and its suburbs, robbing banks and wealthy Parisians, killing anyone who got in their way, and always managing to stay one step ahead of...
February 2018
David Engerman

  Debates over foreign aid can seem strangely innocent of history. Economists argue about effectiveness and measurement—how to make aid work. Meanwhile, critics in donor countries bemoan what they see as money wasted on corrupt tycoons or unworthy recipients. What most ignore is the essentially...
March 2017
Alan Mikhail

  Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, had a dream in which a tree sprouted from his navel. As the tree grew, its shade covered the earth; as Osman’s empire grew, it, too, covered the earth. This is the most widely accepted foundation myth of the longest-lasting empire in the history of Islam...
October 2017
Maria Jordan

  In the xvi and xvii centuries, the Golden Age of Spanish Culture, dreams played an important role in thought and practice. Physicians and theologians debated their origins and meanings, poets, authors, politicians, peasants, and prophets were  guided by them, or used them to convince others. This...