Thurston ClarkeJFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President

November 22, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Biography] John F. Kennedy remains one of the most remembered and most enigmatic presidents in American history, perhaps precisely because, as Thurston Clarke writes in the preface of his new biography JFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President, he was “more than most presidents– more than [...]

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Peter SavodnikThe Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union

November 21, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] For many people, the most important questions about the Kennedy assassination are “Who killed Kennedy?” and, if Lee Harvey Oswald did, “Was Oswald part of a conspiracy?” This is strange, because we know the answers to both questions: Oswald killed Kennedy and he did so alone. These facts won’t keep [...]

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Mark R. CheathemAndrew Jackson, Southerner

November 16, 2013

What do most Americans know about Andrew Jackson, apart from that he’s on the $20 bill and that he apparently had great hair? Probably not much. Maybe that he was a two-term president who pioneered the aggressive use of the powers of that office, and that he steadfastly opposed the sectionalizing, states-rights tendencies of the [...]

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Ken MacLeishMaking War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community

November 13, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Anthropology]  Ken MacLeish offers an ethnographic look at daily lives and the true costs borne by soldiers, their families, and communities, in his new book Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community (Princeton University Press, 2013). His intimate exploration of military lives makes salient the numerous and often contradictory [...]

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Cindy I-Fen ChengCitizens of Asian America: Democracy and Race during the Cold War

November 11, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Cindy I-Fen Cheng is the author of Citizens of Asian America: Democracy and Race during the Cold War (NYU Press 2013). She is associate professor of history and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Cheng places the conflicted history of Asian Americans in the United States into the context of [...]

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Matthew L. BassoMeet Joe Copper: Masculinity and Race on Montana’s World War II Home Front

November 9, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] In the United States, World War II is now called “The Good War,” as opposed to bad ones, I suppose, like Vietnam. Moreover, the Americans who fought in World War II are now called “The Greatest Generation,” as opposed to lesser generations, I suppose. Now most of the Americans of “The [...]

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Arnie BernsteinSwastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund

October 31, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Occasionally you hear shrill news reports about American Nazis. Judging by the pictures of them, they are almost always skin-headed morons who can’t put two words together (other than “Sieg Heil” or some such). Often it’s not clear whether they are really Nazis or are just parodies of Nazis. [...]

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Jonathan D. WellsWomen Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South

October 23, 2013

It’s getting harder and harder to trailblaze in the field of American Studies. More and more, writers have to follow paths created by others, imposing new interpretations on old ones in never-ending cycles of revision. But Jonathan Daniel Wells did find something new: Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South (Cambridge UP, 2011; paperback, [...]

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Sharon Ann MurphyInvesting in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America

October 19, 2013

Life insurance! The very word sends shivers of excitement down the spine. OK, maybe not . . . but Sharon Murphy‘s book on the development of the life insurance industry in the United States from its infancy in the early republic through its breakthrough as a mass industry during the Civil War might make you [...]

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Marga VicedoThe Nature and Nurture of Love: From Imprinting to Attachment in Cold War America

October 19, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Between WWII and the 1970s, prominent researchers from various fields established and defended a view that emotions are integral to the self, and that a mother’s love determines an individual’s emotional development. In Marga Vicedo, The Nature and Nurture of Love: From Imprinting to Attachment in Cold War America  (University of [...]

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