Red Flags; Why Xi’s China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus. Yale University Press. China has become a large and confident power both at home and abroad; but there are serious challenges to the economic well-being of its citizens. It is faced with an aging population and a not always popular authoritarianism.
Scots and Catalans; Union and Disunion by John Elliott. Yale University Press. It has been assumed that the European Union would become a solution to Europe’s regionalism. But that doesn’t seem to be the
Tsushima 1905; Death of a Russian Fleet Union by Mark Lardas &Peter Dennis. Osprey, paper. The naval campaign of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 -1905, focusing on this decisive battle’ defeat for the Russian navy, and a victory for Japanese Imperialists.
Iran Rising; The Survival and Future of the Islamic Republic by Amin Saikal. Princeton University Press. On the fortieth anniversary of the 1978-1979 uprising and the overthrow of the Shah.
The Land of a Thousand Gods; A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World by Christian Marek. Princeton University Press, paper. Asia Minor from prehistory to the Roman Imperial Period: it’s shifting orientation between East and West.
The Wake of the Whale; Hunter Societies in the Caribbean and North Atlantic by Russell Fielding. Harvard University Press. Despite environmental restraints, artisanal whaling remains a cultural practice tied to the rhythms of nature.
Weimar Germany; Promise and Tragedy by Eric Weitz. Princeton University Press, paper. Germans rose from the turbulence and defeat of the Great War and their revolution to forge new democratic institutions and make Berlin a world capital of the avant-garde.
The Book Smugglers; Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis by David Fishman. University Press of New England, paper. Partisans and scholars from Vilna who buried books, saving them first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets.
You’ve Got to Tell Them; A French Girl’s Experience of Auschwitz and After by Ida Grinspan, et al. LSU Press. Winter of 1944, French police arrested Ida Grinspan, a young Jewish girl hiding in Nazi occupied Paris. .She spent the next year and a half in Auschwitz. And survived.
Unfinished Empire; The Global Expansion of Britain by John Darwin. Bloomsbury, paper. A new history of Britain’s empire and how it came to rise and fall.
The Balfour Declaration; Empire, the Mandate, and Resistance in Palestine by Bernard Regan. The imperial deal that transformed the Middle East and sealed the fate of Palestine. Sadly to no avail Palestinians are dying on the streets and in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
The Watchers; A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I by Stephen Alford. Bloomsbury, paper. Elizabeth I’s secret service and the war against the enemies of her realm; a portrait of a “national security state.”