New Books

His Hiding Place Is Darkness: A Hindu-Catholic Theopoetics of Divine Absence

By Francis X. Clooney, S.J.

Image of Book CoverFrancis Clooney’s latest work of comparative theology seeks a way beyond today’s religious and interreligious uncertainty by pairing a fresh reading of the absence of the beloved in the biblical Song of Songs with a pioneering study of the same theme in the Holy Word of Mouth (ninth century CE), a classic of Hindu mystical poetry rarely studied in the West. (Stanford University Press, 2013)

Francis X. Clooney, S.J. is the Parkman Professor of Divinity, professor of comparative theology, and director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School.

Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power

Edited by Ian Jared Miller, Julia Adeney Thomas, and Brett L. Walker.

Image of Book CoverJapan at Nature’s Edge is a timely collection of essays that explores the relationship between Japan’s history, culture, and physical environment. It greatly expands the focus of previous work on Japanese modernization by examining Japan’s role in global environmental transformation and how Japanese ideas have shaped bodies and landscapes over the centuries. (University of Hawai’i Press, 2013)

Ian Jared Miller is a professor of history at Harvard University. Julia Adeney Thomas is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame. Brett L. Walker is a regents professor in the Department of History and Philosophy at Montana State University.

Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History

By Miriam Kingsberg

Image of Book CoverThis trailblazing study examines the history of narcotics in Japan to explain the development of global criteria for political legitimacy in nations and empires in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (University of California Press, 2013)

Miriam Kingsberg is an assistant professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was a Harvard Academy Scholar from 2010–2012.

The Nature of the Beasts: Empire and Exhibition at the Tokyo Imperial Zoo

By Ian Jared Miller

Image of Book CoverIn this eye-opening study of Japan’s first modern zoo—Tokyo’s Ueno Imperial Zoological Gardens, opened in 1882—Ian Jared Miller offers a refreshingly unconventional narrative of Japan’s rapid modernization and changing relationship with the natural world. As the first zoological garden in the world not built under the sway of a Western imperial regime, the Ueno Zoo served not only as a staple attraction in the nation’s capital—an institutional marker of national accomplishment—but also as a site for the propagation of a new “natural” order that was scientifically verifiable and evolutionarily foreordained. (University of California Press, 2013)

Ian Jared Miller is a professor of history at Harvard University.

Religious Bodies Politic: Rituals of Sovereignty in Buryat Buddhism

By Anya Bernstein

Image of Book CoverReligious Bodies Politic examines the complex relationship between transnational religion and politics through the lens of one cosmopolitan community in Siberia: Buryats, who live in a semiautonomous republic in Russia with a large Buddhist population. Looking at religious transformation among Buryats across changing political economies, Anya Bernstein argues that under conditions of rapid social change—such as those that accompanied the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, and the fall of the Soviet Union—Buryats have used Buddhist “body politics” to articulate their relationship not only with the Russian state, but also with the larger Buddhist world. (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

Anya Bernstein is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University.

Women in War: The Micro-Processes of Mobilization in El Salvador

By Jocelyn Viterna

Image of Book CoverFrom 230 in-depth interviews with men and women guerrillas, guerrilla supporters, and non-participants in El Salvador, Jocelyn Viterna investigates why some women were able to channel their wartime actions into postwar gains, and how those patterns differ from the benefits that accrued to men. Through this analysis, Viterna develops a new model for investigating the causes, patterns, and consequences of individual-level variations in activism. (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Jocelyn Viterna is an associate professor of sociology at Harvard University. She was a Harvard Academy Scholar from 2006–2007 and 2009–2010.

30-Second Ancient Egypt: The 50 Most Important Achievements of a Timeless Civilization Each Explained in Half a Minute

By Peter Der Manuelian

Image of Book Cover30-Second Ancient Egypt presents a unique insight into one of the most brilliant and beguiling civilizations, where technological innovations and architectural wonders emerge among mysterious gods and burial rites. Each entry is summarized in just thirty seconds using nothing more than two pages, 300 words, and a single picture. From royal dynasties and Tutankhamun’s tomb, to hieroglyphs and mummification, interspersed with biographies of Egypt’s most intriguing rulers, this is the quickest path to understanding the fifty key ideas and innovations that developed and defined one of the world’s great civilizations. (Ivy Press, 2014)

Peter Der Manuelian is the Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology at Harvard Divinity School.

Advancing Electoral Integrity

Edited by Pippa Norris, Richard W. Frank, and Ferran Martinez i Coma

Image of Book CoverRecent decades have seen growing concern over problems of electoral integrity. The most overt malpractices used by rulers include imprisoning dissidents, harassing adversaries, coercing voters, vote-rigging counts, and even blatant disregard for the popular vote. This volume collects essays from international experts who evaluate the robustness, conceptual validity, and reliability of the growing body of evidence. The essays compare alternative approaches and apply these methods to evaluate the quality of elections in several areas, including in the United States, Sub- Saharan Africa, and Latin America. (Oxford University Press, 2014)

Pippa Norris is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard Kennedy School and ARC Laureate Fellow and professor of government and international relations at the University of Sydney. Richard W. Frank is a research fellow and project manager at the University of Sydney. Ferran Martinez i Coma is a research associate at the Electoral Integrity Project at the University of Sydney.

Can China Lead?: Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth

By F. Warren McFarlan, William C. Kirby, and Regina Abrami

Image of Book CoverBased on a new and popular course taught by the authors at Harvard Business School, this book draws on more than thirty Harvard Business School case studies on Chinese and foreign companies doing business in the region, including Sealed Air, China Merchants Bank, China Mobile, Wanxiang Group, Microsoft, UFIDA, and others. Can China Lead? asserts that China is at an inflection point that cannot be ignored. An understanding of the forces that continue to shape its business landscape is crucial to establishing—and maintaining—a successful enterprise in China. (Harvard Business Press Books, 2014)

F. Warren McFarlan is a Baker Foundation Professor and the Albert H. Gordon Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School. William C. Kirby is the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration and the T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard Business School. Regina Abrami is a senior lecturer of political science, senior fellow at the Management Department at Wharton School of Business, and director of the Global Program at the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt

By Tarek Masoud

Image of Book CoverTracing the performance of Islamists and their rivals in Egyptian elections over the course of almost forty years, this book not only explains why Islamists win elections, but also illuminates the possibilities for the emergence in Egypt of the kind of political pluralism that is at the heart of what we expect from democracy. (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Tarek Masoud is an associate professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

Empires at War: 1911–1923

Edited by Robert Gerwarth and Erez Manela

Image of Book CoverEmpires at War, 1911–1923 offers a new perspective on the history of the Great War, looking at the war beyond the generally accepted 1914–1918 timeline, and as a global war between empires, rather than a European war between nation-states. (Oxford University Press, 2014)

Robert Gerwarth is a professor of modern history and director of the Centre for War Studies at University College Dublin. Erez Manela is a professor of history at Harvard University.

Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization

By Neil J. Brenner

Image of Book CoverDrawing together classic and contemporary texts on the “urbanization question,” this book explores various theoretical, epistemological, methodological and political implications of Lefebvre’s hypothesis. It assembles a series of analytical and cartographic interventions that supersede inherited spatial ontologies (urban/rural, town/country, city/non-city, society/ nature) in order to investigate the uneven implosions and explosions of capitalist urbanization across places, regions, territories, continents, and oceans up to the planetary scale. (Jovis, 2014)

Neil J. Brenner is a professor of urban theory and director of the Urban Theory Lab at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Leviathan 2.0: Inventing Modern Statehood

By Charles S. Maier

Image of Book CoverThomas Hobbes laid the theoretical groundwork of the nation-state in Leviathan, his tough-minded treatise of 1651. Leviathan 2.0 updates this classic account to explain how modern statehood took shape between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, before it unraveled into the political uncertainty that persists today. (Belknap Press, 2014)

Charles S. Maier is the Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History at Harvard University.

Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People

Edited by David Armitage and Alison Bashford

Image of Book CoverThe first comprehensive account to place the Pacific Islands, the Pacific Rim, and the Pacific Ocean into the perspective of world history. A distinguished international team of historians provides a multidimensional account of the Pacific, its inhabitants, and the lands within and around it over 50,000 years, with special attention to the peoples of Oceania. It provides chronological coverage along with analyses of themes such as the environment, migration, and the economy; religion, law, and science; race, gender, and politics. (Palgrave Macmillian Press, 2014)

David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History and chair of the Department of History at Harvard University. Alison Bashford is a professor of modern history at the University of Sydney.

Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala

By Kirsten Weld

Image of Book CoverIn Paper Cadavers, an inside account of the astonishing discovery and rescue of Guatemala’s secret police archives, Kirsten Weld probes the politics of memory, the wages of the Cold War, and the stakes of historical knowledge production. After Guatemala’s bloody thirty-six years of civil war (1960–1996), silence and impunity reigned. Weld explores Guatemala’s struggles to manage this avalanche of evidence of past war crimes, providing a firsthand look at how postwar justice activists worked to reconfigure terror archives into implements of social change. (Duke University Press, 2014)

Kirsten Weld is an assistant professor of history at Harvard University.