Elizabeth Horodowich, Jamie Bronstein and Kenneth Hammond, three history professors at New Mexico State University, have published books this year on a range of topics.
Horodowich, NMSU history professor and department head, is a historian of early modern Italy and global history and has published books in the past covering such topics. In her newest book, “Amerasia” Horodowich focuses on the historical, common thought that “America” and Asia were the same continent.
“I became interested in the idea of an imagined Amerasian continent when I was doing research for another book,” Horodowich said, “and I kept seeing the same pattern in the sources, which was European explorers and cartographers regularly “confused” the lands in the Western Atlantic with China and India.”
Starting in 1492, Horodowich’s book tells the story of how a mistaken idea became an understanding of global geography for hundreds of years.
“I concluded that these observers weren’t confused at all,” Horodowich continued, “but that instead, they had their different but logical way of seeing the world. My book demonstrates how historical actors understood the continents and global geography in ways that were radically different from the way we do today.”
“Amerasia” is coauthored by art historian Alexander Nagel and is published with Princeton University Press/Zone Books.
Bronstein, NMSU history professor, is a scholar of both British history and modern U.S. history. In “The Happiness of the British Working Class,” she addresses the lack of studies on the historical emotions of working people, especially during the period of industrial transformation.
“I have read more than 340 autobiographies of working-class Britons before 1870,” Bronstein said. “The sheer size of my dataset has given me great insight into what it felt like to be a person living through a time of massive economic transformation. Those stories animate my teaching as well.”
Published with Stanford University Press, her book looks closer at the gaps left by the lack of studies that bridge time and space within human emotion.
Hammond, NMSU history professor, published his new book “China’s Revolution and the Quest for a Socialist Future” with 1804 Books. It reflects his research and teaching, which focuses on early modern China, and gives a brief history of China from the early 19th century to the present day.
“Having lived and worked in China many times over the last 40 years,” Hammond said, “I have witnessed its emergence from a period of struggle and poverty and its phenomenal economic development. I have watched the lives of its people be transformed, with the dramatic extension of life expectancy, the elimination of absolute poverty, and the expansion of the social provision of housing, health care and education.”
Focusing on a period that has seen the country go from a prosperous, powerful and a leading economy, to a weakened state dominated by the forces of Western imperialism, Hammond shows how the country has re-emerged through a process of revolutionary transformation.
“China today is a technological powerhouse,” Hammond continued, “yet it remains little understood by most people in the West. My book is an effort to introduce China to Americans and other westerners and present it in its own terms.”
All three books are available to read now and can be purchased online: “Amerasia”; “The Happiness of the British Working Class”; “China’s Revolution and the Quest for a Socialist Future.”