Alan Verskin, "Diary of a Black Jewish Messiah: The Sixteenth-Century Journey of David Reubeni Through Africa, the Middle East, and Europe" (Stanford UP, 2023)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
1d ago
In 1524, a man named David Reubeni appeared in Venice, claiming to be the ambassador of a powerful Jewish kingdom deep in the heart of Arabia. In this era of fierce rivalry between great powers, voyages of fantastic discovery, and brutal conquest of new lands, people throughout the Mediterranean saw the signs of an impending apocalypse and envisioned a coming war that would end with a decisive Christian or Islamic victory. With his army of hardy desert warriors from lost Israelite tribes, Reubeni pledged to deliver the Jews to the Holy Land by force and restore their pride and autonomy. He wou ..read more
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M. M. Silver, "The History of Galilee, 1538-1949" (Lexington Books, 2022)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
3d ago
This study of Galilee in modern times reaches back to the region's Biblical roots and points to future challenges in the Arab-Jewish conflict, Israel's development, and inter-faith relations. M. M. Silver's The History of Galilee, 1538-1949 ( Lexington Books, 2022) covers an array of subjects, including Kabbalah, the rise of Palestinian nationalism, modern Christian approaches to Galilee's past and present, Zionist pioneering, the roots of the Arab-Jewish dispute, and the conflict's eruption in Galilee in 1948. The book shows how the modernization of Galilee intertwined wit ..read more
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Curtis Runstedler, "Alchemy and Exemplary Poetry in Middle English Literature" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
4d ago
Curtis Runstedler's book Alchemy and Exemplary Poetry in Middle English Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023) explores the different functions and metaphorical concepts of alchemy in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English poetry and bridges them together with the exempla tradition in late medieval English literature. Such poetic narratives function as exemplary models which directly address the ambiguity of medieval English alchemical practice. This book examines the foundation of this relationship between alchemical narrative and exemplum in the poetry of Gower and Ch ..read more
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Michael Lawrence Dickinson, "Almost Dead: Slavery and Social Rebirth in the Black Urban Atlantic, 1680-1807" (U Georgia Press, 2022)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
5d ago
Beginning in the late seventeenth century and concluding with the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, Almost Dead: Slavery and Social Rebirth in the Black Urban Atlantic, 1680-1807 (U Georgia Press, 2022) reveals how the thousands of captives who lived, bled, and resisted in the Black Urban Atlantic survived to form dynamic communities. Michael Lawrence Dickinson uses cities with close commercial ties to shed light on similarities, variations, and linkages between urban Atlantic slave communities in mainland America and the Caribbean.  The study adopts the perspectives of tho ..read more
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Nicole von Germeten, "The Enlightened Patrolman: Early Law Enforcement in Mexico City" (U Nebraska Press, 2022)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
5d ago
When late eighteenth-century New Spanish viceregal administrators installed public lamps in the streets of central Mexico City, they illuminated the bodies of Indigenous, Afro-descended, and plebeian Spanish urbanites. The urban patrolmen, known as guarda faroleros, or “lantern guards,” maintained the streetlamps and attempted to clear the streets of plebeian sexuality, embodiment, and sociability, all while enforcing late colonial racial policies amid frequent violent resistance from the populace. In The Enlightened Patrolman: Early Law Enforcement in Mexico City (University of ..read more
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War, Plague, and Confession in Fourteenth-Century Provence
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
5d ago
Nicole Archambeau, associate professor of history at Colorado State University, talks about her book, Souls under Siege: Stories of War, Plague, and Confession in Fourteenth-Century Provence (Cornell University Press), with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The book explores how the inhabitants of southern France made sense of the ravages of successive waves of plague, the depredations of mercenary warfare, and the violence of royal succession. Many people, Archambeau finds, understood both plague and war as the symptoms of spiritual sicknesses caused by excessive sin, and they sought cur ..read more
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Angela Vanhaelen, "The Moving Statues of Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam: Automata, Waxworks, Fountains, Labyrinths" (Penn State UP, 2022)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
5d ago
Angela Vanhaelen's The Moving Statues of Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam: Automata, Waxworks, Fountains, Labyrinths (Penn State University Press, 2022) opens a window onto a fascinating and understudied aspect of the visual, material, intellectual, and cultural history of seventeenth-century Amsterdam: the role played by its inns and taverns, specifically the doolhoven. Doolhoven were a type of labyrinth unique to early modern Amsterdam. Offering guest lodgings, these licensed public houses also housed remarkable displays of artwork in their gardens and galleri ..read more
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Mark A. Schneegurt, "Anthology of Religious Poetry from the Mexican Inquisition Trials of 16th-Century CryptoJews" (2020)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
5d ago
A century after being expelled from Portugal, cryptoJews in Mexico, false converts to Christianity, could not speak of their beliefs for fear of becoming embroiled in the imprisonment, torture, and death in flames that characterized the Inquisition. Without written texts, the Jewish liturgy lost, clans of cryptoJews created a unique body of religious poetry, connecting them to the Laws of Moses, seeking redemption from sin, or hoping for an escape from their embittered lives. The Carvajal clan was led by Luis el Mozo, an alumbrado, a mystic, and his Judaizing sisters. Once discovered to be sec ..read more
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Apocalypse Past, Present, and Future: Thinking about the End in History and Culture
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
5d ago
Historian John Jeffries Martin traces narratives of the Apocalypse over the last 500 years in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions in his new book, A Beautiful Ending. This discussion about the culture of Apocalypse follows (and is the second part of) an interview we began on the New Books in History Podcast which was a historical discussion. Professor Martin is an Early Modern Historian at Duke University. His earlier books include Venice’s Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City (1993), and Myths of Renaissance Individualism (2004). He is also editor of several books ..read more
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Elizabeth Kelly Gray, "Habit Forming: Drug Addiction in America, 1776-1914" (Oxford UP, 2023)
New Books in Early Modern History
by New Books Network
5d ago
Habitual drug use in the United States is at least as old as the nation itself. Elizabeth Kelly Gray's book Habit Forming: Drug Addiction in America, 1776-1914 (Oxford UP, 2023) traces the history of unregulated drug use and dependency before 1914, when the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act limited sales of opiates and cocaine under US law. Many Americans used opiates and other drugs medically and became addicted. Some tried ‘Hasheesh Candy’, injected morphine, or visited opium dens, but neither use nor addiction was linked to crime, due to the dearth of restrictive laws. After the Civi ..read more
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