Kevin QuashieThe Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture

February 17, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in African American Studies] Musician James Brown is famous for his civil rights slogan, “Say it loud; I’m Black and I’m proud,” illustrating the argument that Kevin Quashie makes in his new book The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2012)—that public expressiveness has become the dominant trope for thinking through [...]

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Ellen D. WuThe Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority

February 17, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Asian American Studies] Ellen D. Wu‘s The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority (Princeton University Press, 2014) charts the complex emergence of the model minority myth in fashioning Asian American stereotypes throughout the twentieth century. Wu investigates how inclusion of Asian Americans rather than exclusion can still [...]

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Matthew CecilHoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate: The Campaign to Control the Press and the Bureau’s Image

February 17, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Journalism] Matthew Cecil brought many questions into his latest historical work, Hoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate: The Campaign to Control the Press and the Bureau’s Image (University Press of Kansas, 2014). Questions included, “Why were some members of the press so willing to serve as J. Edgar Hoover’s pawns, even when it [...]

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Robert NeerNapalm: An American Biography

February 13, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Biography] Just as there is no one way to write a biography, nor should there be, so there is no rule dictating that biography must be about the life of a person. In recent years, the jettisoning of this tradition has led to a number of compelling explorations of the lives of [...]

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Aram GoudsouzianDown to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear

February 12, 2014

[Cross-post from New Books in History] When I was a kid in the 1970s, I really didn’t know anything about the “Civil Rights Movement.” I knew who Martin Luther King was, and that he had been assassinated by white racists (I knew quite a few of those). But to me all that was old history. The issue [...]

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Elaine KamarckHow Change Happens–or Doesn’t: The Politics of US Public Policy

February 10, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Elaine Kamarck is the author of How Change Happens–or Doesn’t: The Politics of US Public Policy (Lynne Rienner, 2013). Kamarck is a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard University Kennedy School after serving in the Clinton administration. She is also a senior fellow in the Governance Studies program at Brookings and [...]

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Michael O’BrienThe Letters of C. Vann Woodward

February 5, 2014

Few historians have influenced their field the way that C. Vann Woodward (1908-99) changed the writing of southern history. First at Johns Hopkins and then at Yale, Woodward’s books, reviews, and mentoring turned southern history into one of the most dynamic fields of historical scholarship. These letters, edited by Michael O’Brien of Jesus College, Cambridge [...]

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Adam HenigAlex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey

February 5, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in African American Studies] Alex Haley’s 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family still stands as a memorable epic journey into the history of African Americans during the enslavement period and after. The 1977 televised miniseries was a must-watch event of the day, and it remains an important production in television history. However, [...]

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Lauren CoodleyUpton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

February 1, 2014

Everybody knows the author of The Jungle was Upton Sinclair (or, if they’re a little confused, they might say Sinclair Lewis). As Lauren Coodley shows in her new biography Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual (University of Nebraska Press, 2013), there was a lot more to Upton Sinclair. For one thing, he was the author of [...]

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Thuy Linh TuThe Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion

February 1, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Asian American Studies] Thuy Linh Tu‘s The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion (Duke University Press, 2010) considers the recent rise of Asian Americans working in New York’s fashion industry, and explores how Asian-inspired fashions speak to American anxieties concerning the growing economic and cultural power of Asian nation-states. Rather [...]

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