What We're Reading

What We’re Reading, July 9th-15th

Here are a few interesting articles and pieces we found around the web this week. If you come across something that other intellectual historians might enjoy, please let us know in the comments section.


Helen Andrews, “The New Ruling Class” (The Hedgehog Review)

Adèle Cassigneul, « Le Paris des barricades » (La Vie des idées)

Eberhard Falcke, »Ein aufwühlendes Zeitzeugnis« (Deutschlandfunk)

Chris Gratien and Susanna Ferguson, “Marginalized Women in Khedival Egypt: An Interview with Liat Kozma” (Ottoman History Podcast)

Shira Kohn interviews Daniel Jutte on his new book The Age of Secrecy: Jews, Christians, and the Economy of Secrets, 1400-1800 (Yale University Press, 2016; New Books in History)

Mikey McGovern interviews Ronald R. Kline on his new book The Cybernetics Moment, Or Why We Call Our Age the Information Age (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2015; New Books in History)

Timothy Nunan, “The Afghan Story in the History of Indian Geopolitics” (The Wire)

Alessandro Pagnini, “La rivoluzione di Koyré” (Il Sole 24 Ore)

Benoît Peeters, « Redécouvrir Paul Valéry » (Les Lettres françaises)

Uwe Justus Wenzel, »Ein Katholik im reformierten Gotteshaus« (NZZ)

And finally, Michael Winock on « L’état du monde en 1936 » (lecture at the Forum des Images, Paris on May 19, 2016; via Daily Motion)


Adam Kotsko, Social Media as Liturgy (An und für sich)

Linda Colley, It is easy to despair of our leaders, but Brexit has exposed Britain’s rotten core (Guardian)

I wrote something on my personal blog about the uses of history for political ends.

Ariel Sabar, The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife (Atlantic)

Lisl Walsh, Giving it up in the Classroom: Feminist Classics and the Burden of Authority (Eidolon)

Rosemary Hill, Do put down that revolver: English Country Houses (LRB)

Can someone else please watch The Living and the Dead (BBC) so that I can talk about it with them?


Google Deletes Dennis Cooper’s Blog, Erasing Years of Artistic Output” (Art Forum)

Shannon Cain, “I Squatted James Baldwin’s House In Order to Save It” (LitHub)

Robinson Meyer, “The Library of Congress Gets a History-Making New Leader” (The Atlantic)

Saretta Morgan, “Visiting the Audre Lorde Archives in Berlin” (The Guardian)


Andrew Higgins, “Russia Looks to Populate Its Far East. Wimps Need Not Apply” (NYT)

Tim Parks, “Between the Guelphs and Ghibellines” (LRB)

Edward Short, “Heavens on Earth” (The Weekly Standard)


Emma Thatcher, Evicting the Feminist Library Reminds Women of What We Have to Lose (The Guardian)

Jerry Brown, A Stark Nuclear Warning (NYRB)

Stephen Tabor, Better than Bacon (Verso, the Huntington Library Blog)

George Saunders, Who Are All These Trump Supporters? (New Yorker)

Dustin Illingworth, An Incomplete Eloquence (LARB)

4 replies on “What We’re Reading, July 9th-15th”

Thanks all – some great material here.

Emily, I have watched the Living and the Dead and I want to talk about it! Actually, I have only watched the first 4 episodes so far, so perhaps the conversation should wait to avoid spoilers?

There are a couple of blogs from the historical advisers to the series that are worth reading: Suzanne Fagence Cooper

and Andreas Sommer

Oh wow, thanks for commenting! I am excited to read those posts. Yes, I think it helps to get to the end of the series – I am really interested in the ideas about parenthood, how it is gendered, and what makes a good or bad parent that strike me as the key themes of the series–and that really come to a head in the final episode. I’d also love to know more from literary experts about the Victorian fiction it’s in conversation with. It’s a truism that TV is the novel of our time, but this was the most novelistic-feeling TV series I’ve seen in a while.

Thanks – yes, I too would like to know more about the Victorian fiction: we need to persuade someone to write a blog about it! The parenthood theme is very strong and developing nicely, I will try to remember to get back to you once I have seen the rest.

I am particularly interested in the portrayal of rural folklore (which I think is rather masterful), and the elite/popular angles that we are offered on it. It rings true for me – but ‘its not my period’ so an expert opinion would be welcome. I also like the storytelling feel, and particularly the music and use of songs. Some of the most interesting TV for a while I would say.

Yes, I loved the music and other folkloric aspects. They should release an album! I’ll be curious to hear what you think once you’ve seen all the episodes.

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