Faustian Bargain: The Soviet-German Partnership and the Origins of the Second World War, Ian Ona Johnson (Oxford University Press). With the Versailles treaty that ended World War I, Germany promised to limit its army to 100,000 men and not to purchase or produce tanks, aircraft or poison gas supplies — but Russia secretly offered the defeated Germans an out. The first tentative connections between the two enemy nations happened in 1919, when the war was barely over and long before Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, writes Johnson, the P.J. Moran Family Assistant Professor of Military History. Johnson crafts an engrossing history of the little-known partnership that ended with Hitler’s betrayal of Joseph Stalin, Germany’s 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union and the horrors of World War II.
Gift to the Church and World: Fifty Years of Joseph Ratzinger’s Introduction to Christianity, edited by John C. Cavadini and Donald Wallenfang (Pickwick Publications). Scholars from around the world gathered at Notre Dame in 2018 for a conference reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Ratzinger — later Pope Benedict XVI. The conference resulted in this book of essays edited by Cavadini, a Notre Dame professor of theology, and Wallenfang, a professor of theology and philosophy at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and authored by noted scholars reflecting on Ratzinger’s lasting influence on Christian theology. The volume provides an overview of and context for the pope emeritus’ contributions to modern Christianity.
Ireland and America: Empire, Revolution, and Sovereignty, edited by Patrick Griffin ’87 and Francis D. Cogliano (University of Virginia Press). Examining 18th-century America through an Irish lens, these essays by scholars of American and Atlantic history reconsider the experiences of Ireland and the emerging United States in their relationships with the British empire. Edited by Griffin, the Madden-Hennebry Family Professor of History and director of the University’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, and Cogliano, a professor of American history at the University of Edinburgh, the collection clarifies the important roles the Irish would play at home and in America as the new nation began building an empire of its own. “For better and for worse,” they write, “Ireland and America were places shaped by revolution and empire, just as both nations would shape empire and revolution.”
Media Crossroads: Intersections of Space and Identity in Screen Cultures, edited by Paula J. Massood, Angel Daniel Matos ’14M.A., ’16Ph.D. and Pamela Robertson Wojcik (Duke University Press). From the TV series Portlandia to Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda video game series, media scholars examine numerous representations of space and place and how they intersect with sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, class and ability. Co-edited by Wojcik, professor and chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the essays in Media Crossroads explore the overlaying of these categories in everything from film to virtual reality to selfie photography. “Much of the work on space and media can be more aptly described as cinema and the city,” the editors write. “And yet there is an ever-growing body of work that looks to how different media screen different spaces.”
Global 1968: Cultural Revolutions in Europe and Latin America, A. James McAdams and Anthony P. Monta (University of Notre Dame Press). In these essays, historians, filmmakers, literary scholars and others explore the events and impact of the tumultuous year 1968 and its aftermath in Europe and Latin America. The contributors examine societal conflict, student and worker protests, reaction to Vatican II and new forms of artistic expression. Edited by McAdams, the William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs at Notre Dame, and Monta, dean of the college and professor of English at Holy Cross College, Global 1968 considers the short- and long-term cultural and political consequences of that memorable year.