January 29th, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore the uses of new data and technologies in scholarship and politics, including an exemplar of the digital humanities, a call for data-driven expertise in approaches to mass incarceration, an interrogation of new metrics for planning post-growth futures, and an anthology of writings from a digital collective that demonstrates the power of social media for social justice.  Find the following titles and more at

America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present (Knopf Publishing Group)

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January 22nd, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore community responses to oppression: an analysis of "new ethnicities" and the solidarity they can facilitate; a look at Islamophobia in the US and how Muslim communities have responded; a history of the symbolic and material significance of Algerian wine production for anti-colonial struggle; and a conversation with three major thinkers on feminist ethics of nonviolence. Find the following titles and more at

The Blood of the Colony: Wine and the Rise and Fall of French Algeria (Harvard University Press)
Owen White

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Europeans had displaced Algerians from the colony’s best agricultural land and planted grape vines. Soon, wine was the primary export of...

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January 13th, 2021

 On our Front Table this week, explore the relation of ethics and actions, from St. Benedict's guide to living deliberately, to a history of postwar political thinkers grappling with the category of "evil," and a philosophical analysis of terror as politics without conscience. Find the following titles and more at

Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny ...

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January 6th, 2021

On our Front Table this week, consider the relationship between the divine and the human with a new analysis of the political lessons in Exodus, an exploration of the rich history of goddess worship in Hinduism, and a Prakrit romance featuring divinity, prophecy, and three young women's romantic woes. Find the following titles and more at

Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice (Haymarket Books)
Ed. by Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones

Black Lives Matter at School succinctly generalizes lessons from successful challenges to institutional racism that have been won through the Black Lives Matter at School movement. Contributors include Opal Tometi, who wrote a moving foreword, Bettina Love, who...

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December 22nd, 2020

David Lazar, author of Celeste Holm Syndrome: On Character Actors From Hollywood’s Golden Age (University of Nebraska Press) – longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay – talks about his latest book with A.S. Hamrah, film critic for The Baffler and author of The Earth Dies Streaming (n+1 Books). This conversation is an abridged transcript from an interview that originally occurred for the Skylight Books Podcast; the full interview can be heard ...

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December 21st, 2020


Presenting a curated list of Manga recommendations by University of Chicago history professor and science-fiction author, Ada Palmer.

Stand-alone single-volume manga:
  1. Maiden Railways by Asumiko Nakamaru
  2. ...
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November 30th, 2020

The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World tells the unlikely story of America’s international coming of age during an earlier time of global crisis. The book reveals that history through the tale of Wendell Willkie, the Indiana Republican who lost the 1940 election to Franklin...

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November 19th, 2020

On our Front Table this week, explore legal and rights-based approaches to contemporary dilemmas, from a redemption of the administrative state and a vindication of the rights of pregnant women, to a new declaration of the Rights of Nature. Browse anytime at


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November 12th, 2020

On our Front Table this week, consider globalization, its consequences and its limits: find a history of American isolationism, from George Washington to the present; an argument for globalization that takes on critiques from both the Left and Right; a new political interpretation of Werner Herzog's international films; an account and defense of liberal internationalism as a mode of safeguarding democracy; a peek into the increasingly global yet steadfastly closed off world of contemporary art; and more. Browse anytime at

Conditional Citizens (Pantheon Books)
Laila Lalami

What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize­­–finalist Laila Lalami recounts...

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November 10th, 2020

Our friends at AlLBERTINE are hosting their annual Albertine Prize. The Albertine Prize, presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, recognizes American readers’ favorite work of contemporary Francophone fiction that has been translated into English and published in the US within the preceding calendar year. Vote here for your favorite of the five finalists, and be entered to win a set of all five nominated titles in English!

The nominated...