Today's (5/24/2015) New Book Releases on History

book
Ancient Irrigation Systems of the Aral Sea Area: The History, Origin, and Development of Irrigated Agriculture (American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph) by B. V. Adrianov - 300 pages
Ancient Irrigation Systems in the Aral Sea Area, is the English translation of Boris Vasilevich Andrianov's work, Drevnie orositelnye sistemy priaralya , concerning the study of ancient irrigation systems and the settlement pattern in the historical region of Khorezm, south of the Aral Sea (Uzbekistan). This work holds a special place within the Soviet archaeological school because of the results obtained through a multidisciplinary approach combining aerial survey and fieldwork, surveys, and excavations. This translation has been enriched by the addition of introductions written by several eminent scholars from the region regarding the importance of the Khorezm Archaeological-Ethnographic Expedition and the figure of Boris V. Andrianov and his landmark study almost 50 years after the original publication.
book
The Politics of Loss and Trauma in Contemporary Israeli Cinema by Raz Yosef - 218 pages

The last decade has marked the growing visibility and worldwide interest in Israeli cinema. Films such as Walk on Water, Or, My Treasure, Beaufort and Waltz with Bashir have been commercially and critically successful both in Europe and the United States and have won a number of prestigious international awards. This book examines for the first time the new ideological and aesthetic trends in contemporary Israeli cinema. More specifically, it critically explores the complex and crucial role of Israeli cinema in remembering and restaging traumas and losses that were denied entry into the shared national past.

One of the most striking phenomena in contemporary Israeli cinema is the number and scope of films dealing with past traumatic events – events that were repressed or insufficiently mourned, such as the memory of the Holocaust, traumas from wars and terrorist attacks, and the losses entailed by the experience of immigration. Current Israeli cinema exposes and highlights a radical discontinuity between history and memory. Traumatic events from Israeli society’s past are represented as the private memory of distinct social groups – soldiers, immigrants, women, queers – and not as collective memory, as a lived and practiced tradition that conditions Israeli society. This detachment from national collective memory pulls the films into a world marked by a persistent blurring of the historical context and by private and subjective impressions – a timeless world of dreams, hallucinations and myths. These groups feel duty-bound to remember the past, recasting repressed memories through the cinema in order to return and to give meaning to their identity.