New Book Tuesday! What Would Nature Do?, Aging Behind Prison Walls, Critique on the Couch and More!

Our weekly list of new books is now available!


What Would Nature Do?

A Guide for Our Uncertain Times

Ruth DeFries

Ruth DeFries argues that a surprising set of time-tested strategies from the natural world can help humanity weather these crises. Through trial and error over the eons, life has evolved astonishing and counterintuitive tricks in order to survive. DeFries details how a handful of fundamental strategies—investments in diversity, redundancy over efficiency, self-correcting feedbacks, and decisions based on bottom-up knowledge—enable life to persist through unpredictable, sudden shocks.

Aging Behind Prison Walls

Studies in Trauma and Resilience

Tina Maschi and Keith Morgen

In Aging Behind Prison Walls, Tina Maschi and Keith Morgen offer a data-driven and compassionate analysis of the lives of incarcerated older people. They explore the transferable resiliencies and coping strategies used by incarcerated aging adults to make meaning of their lives before, during, and after imprisonment.


Critique on the Couch

Why Critical Theory Needs Psychoanalysis

Amy Allen

Countering the overly rationalist and progressivist interpretations of psychoanalysis put forward by contemporary critical theorists such as Jürgen Habermas and Axel Honneth, Amy Allen argues that the work of Melanie Klein offers an underutilized resource. She draws on Freud, Klein, and Lacan to develop a more realistic strand of psychoanalytic thinking that centers on notions of loss, negativity, ambivalence, and mourning.

Conflict Among Rebels

Why Insurgent Groups Fight Each Other

Costantino Pischedda

Examining the dynamics of civil wars in Iraq, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Syria, Pischedda argues that infighting is a calculated response by rebel groups to perceived opportunities and vulnerabilities. Conflicts break out between groups when one sees the potential to eliminate weaker rivals at a low cost or fears the deterioration of its power relative to a competitor and embarks on a desperate gamble.


Anti-Philosophy 3

Alain Badiou. Translated by Kenneth Reinhard and Susan Spitzer. Introduction by Kenneth Reinhard

Alain Badiou is arguably the most significant philosopher in Europe today. Badiou’s seminars, given annually on major conceptual and historical topics, constitute an enormously important part of his work. They served as laboratories for his thought and public illuminations of his complex ideas yet remain little known. This book, the transcript of Badiou’s year-long seminar on the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan, is the first volume of his seminars to be published in English, opening up a new and vital aspect of his thinking.

Kingly Splendor

Court Art and Materiality in Han China

Allison R. Miller

Allison R. Miller paints a new picture of elite art production by revealing the contributions of the kings to Western Han artistic culture. She demonstrates that the kings were not mere imitators of the imperial court but rather innovators, employing local materials and workshops and experimenting with new techniques to challenge the artistic hegemony of the imperial house.

Confucianism and Sacred Space

The Confucius Temple from Imperial China to Today

Chin-shing Huang. Translated by Jonathan Chin with Chin-shing Huang

This book brings together studies from Chin-shing Huang’s decades-long research into Confucius temples that individually and collectively consider Confucianism as religion. Huang uses the Confucius temple to explore Confucianism both as one of China’s “three religions” (with Buddhism and Daoism) and as a cultural phenomenon, from the early imperial era through the present day. 

New In Paper!

The Diagnostic System

Why the Classification of Psychiatric Disorders Is Necessary, Difficult, and Never Settled

Jason Schnittker

In The Diagnostic System, the sociologist Jason Schnittker looks at the multiple actors involved in crafting the DSM and the many interests that the manual hopes to serve. Is the DSM the best tool for defining mental illness? Can we insure against a misleading approach?

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