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This week, Modya and David discuss the Torah portion of Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) in light of the character trait of anavah (humility). Their wide-ranging discussion covers such topics as what humility is and isn't; the perils of both arrogance and low self-esteem; the Mishkan, and how it represents the space we must maintain for the Divine; and…
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In An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy (Yale University Press, 2023), Dr. Christian R. Burset presents a compelling reexamination of how Britain used law to shape its empire. For many years, Britain tried to impose its own laws on the peoples it conquered, and English common law usually followed the Union Jack. But the com…
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A cylinder of baked graphite and clay in a wood case, the pencil creates as it is being destroyed. To love a pencil is to use it, to sharpen it, and to essentially destroy it. Pencils were used to sketch civilization's greatest works of art. Pencils were there marking the choices in the earliest democratic elections. Even when used haphazardly to m…
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Going for Broke, edited by Alissa Quart, Executive Director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and David Wallis, former Managing Director of EHRP, gives voice to a range of gifted writers for whom "economic precarity" is more than just another assignment. All illustrate what the late Barbara Ehrenreich, who conceived of EHRP, once describe…
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In his debut essay collection, My Life of Crime (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2022), Tyler C. Gore brings readers on an awkward visit to a nude beach. A bike-pedaling angel careening through rush-hour traffic. The mystery of a sandwich found in a bathroom stall. A lyric, rainy-day ramble through the East Village. With the personal essays (and three othe…
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Bankers brought the global economic system to its knees in 2007 and nearly did the same in 2020. Both times, the US government bailed out the banks and left them in control. How can we end this cycle of trillion-dollar bailouts and make finance work for the rest of us? Busting the Bankers' Club confronts the powerful people and institutions that be…
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Dave McCormick *96 has enjoyed incredible success in a wide variety of arenas: after graduating from West Point, where he competed as a varsity wrestler, he served in the Gulf War before going on to earn his PhD here at Princeton in International Relations in 1996. He went on to prominent positions in both the private and public sectors, most notab…
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In Immeasurable Weather: Meteorological Data and Settler Colonialism from 1820 to Hurricane Sandy (Duke UP, 2023), Sara J. Grossman explores how environmental data collection has been central to the larger project of settler colonialism in the United States. She draws on an extensive archive of historical and meteorological data spanning two centur…
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In December 1937, the Chinese capital, Nanjing, falls and the Japanese army unleash an orgy of torture, murder, and rape. Over the course of six weeks, hundreds of thousands of civilians and prisoners of war are killed. At the very onset of the atrocities, the Danish supervisor at a cement plant just outside the city, 26-year-old Bernhard Arp Sindb…
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What can airports, busses, and submarine internet cables tell us about the local and national politics in the Philippines? And how do they position the country within the broader regional and global geopolitical struggles over economic development and political influence? Listen to John Sidel as he talks to Petra Alderman about the political econom…
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At the moment when Voyager 1 is launched into space carrying its famous golden record, a baby of unusual perception is born to a single mother in Philadelphia. Adina Giorno is tiny and jaundiced, but she reaches for warmth and light. As a child, she recognizes that she is different: She possesses knowledge of a faraway planet. The arrival of a fax …
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In this highly original book Land Expropriation in Ancient Rome and Contemporary Zimbabwe: Veterans, Masculinity and War (Bloomsbury, 2022), Dr. Obert Bernard Mlambo offers a comparative and critical examination of the relationship between military veterans and land expropriation in the client-army of the first-century BC Roman Republic and veteran…
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In the first half of the twentieth century, Jewish immigrants and refugees sought to rebuild their lives in Chile. Despite their personal histories of marginalization in Europe, many of these people or their descendants did not take a stand against the 1973 military coup, nor the political persecution that followed. Chilean Jews' collective failure…
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Race and Gender in the Western Music History Survey: A Teacher’s Guide provides concrete information and approaches that will help instructors include women and people of color in the typical music history survey course and the foundational music theory classes. This book provides a reconceptualization of the principles that shape the decisions ins…
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Eve Benhamou's book Contemporary Disney Animation: Genre, Gender and Hollywood (Edinburgh UP, 2022) is the first in-depth study of Disney’s latest animated output from the perspective of genre theory. Analysing a decade in Disney’s history (2008-2018), Benhamou examines the multifaceted interactions between animated films, Disney properties such as…
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Mary Woodard Lasker had a singular goal: saving lives by increasing medical research. Together with her husband, advertising genius Albert, they created the Lasker Foundation, bestowing the Lasker Awards. Known as the "American Nobels," these became the most prestigious research awards in America. The Laskers' next step was transforming the sleepy …
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In this episode of International Horizons, RBI director John Torpey interviews Daniel Ziblatt, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University and co-author (with Steven Levitsky) of the bestsellers How Democracies Die (Crown, 2019) and The Tyranny of the Minority (Crown, 2023). Ziblatt emphasizes the crucial role played by conse…
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Today, being authentic has become an aspiration and an imperative. The notion of authenticity shapes the consumption habits of individuals in the most diverse contexts such as food and drinks, clothing, music, tourism and the digital sphere, even leading to the resurgence of apparently obsolescent modes of production such as craft. It also signific…
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In his splendid new book, Teaching Humanity: An Alternative Introduction to Islam (Palgrave MacMillan, 2023), Vernon Schubel makes a compelling case for taking seriously the foundational importance of humanity and moral pedagogy to the venture of Islam, especially in relation to introductory books on this topic. Through a finely layered yet always …
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Through a creative focus on skin, in Experiments in Skin: Race and Beauty in the Shadows of Vietnam (Duke UP, 2021), Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu examines the ongoing influence of the Vietnam War on contemporary ideas about race and beauty. Framing skin as the site around which these ideas have been formed, Tu foregrounds the histories of militarism in the …
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Sir Stanley Wells is one of the world's greatest authorities on William Shakespeare. Here he brings a lifetime of learning and reflection to bear on some of the most tantalising questions about the poet and dramatist that there are. How did he think, feel, and work? What were his relationships like? What did he believe about death? What made him la…
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Today’s guest is Charles B. Jones, Associate Professor and Director of the Religion and Culture graduate program in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. He will be speaking with us about his new book Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: Understanding a Tradition of Practice, just published in the Pure Land Budd…
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Peter Harmsen's book Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze (Casemate, 2015) describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China …
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On the podcast today, I am joined by Mai Corlin, who is researcher at the department of cross-cultural and regional studies in the University of Copenhagen. Mai will be talking about her new book, The Bishan Commune and the Practice of Socially Engaged Art in Rural China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) Mai’s book examines the new rural reconstruction mo…
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In The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany (Cambridge UP, 2020), Ned Richardson-Little exposes the forgotten history of human rights in the German Democratic Republic, placing the history of the Cold War, Eastern European dissidents and the revolutions of 1989 in a new light. By demonstrating how e…
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It’s easy for some people to laugh at Conan the Barbarian, John Milius’s 1982 film about Robert E. Howard’s most famous creation: it seems like the cinematic equivalent of middle-schoolers playing Dungeons and Dragons. But this is an honest (as in “unpretentious”) film with ideas: the pagan existentialism of Thulsa Doom, the theology of Subatai, an…
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What if HIV started spreading in the early 1500s rather than the late 1900s? Without modern medicine, anybody who catches HIV is going to die. In Wages of Sin (Caezik SF & Fantasy, 2024), by Dr. Harry Turtledove, a patriarchal society reacts to this devastating disease in the only way it knows how: it sequesters women as much as possible, limiting …
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In Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism (Melville House, 2023), Yanis Varoufakis argues that capitalism is dead and a new economic era has begun. Insane sums of money that were supposed to re-float our economies in the wake of the financial crisis and the pandemic have ended up supercharging big tech's hold over every aspect of the economy. Capi…
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