Amrita Chakrabarti MyersForging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston

May 31, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in African American Studies] How were black women manumitted in the Old South, and how did they live their lives in freedom before the Civil War?  Historian, Amrita Chakrabarti Myers (Associate Professor in the Department of History at Indiana University in Bloomington) answers this complex question by explaining the precarious nature freedom for [...]

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Raymond J. HaberskiGod and War: American Civil Religion Since 1945

May 28, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Politics] Americans are simultaneously one of the most religious people on earth and prone to conflict and war. Ray Haberski is interested in how this paradox has shaped the nation’s civil religion. His book, God and War: American Civil Religion Since 1945 (Rutgers University Press, 2012), examines how three contemporary wars have shaped Americans understanding [...]

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Marcus RedikerThe Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom

May 24, 2013

If the moniker of the slave ship Amistad brings to mind images of Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, and Morgan Freeman you are likely not alone. The monumental success of Steven Spielberg’s cinematic depiction of this antebellum event swept the nation when it hit theaters in 1997. However, the event itself––the insurrection onboard the slaving vessel––made [...]

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Daniel Stedman JonesMasters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics

May 20, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Daniel Stedman Jones is the author of Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton University Press, 2012). The book tells a portion of the intellectual history of neoliberalism through a focus on the period of the 1950s through the 1980s. Stedman Jones tracks the development of [...]

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Stevie ChickSpray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag

May 17, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Pop Music] Scholars commonly trace the rise of the punk rock movement of the mid-1970s to two cities and two bands, New York’s Ramones and London’s The Sex Pistols. In Spray Paint the Walls: The Black Flag Story (Omnibus, 2010), however, journalist Stevie Chick convincingly argues that Black Flag, and Los Angeles, the city that that [...]

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Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. VernickReducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis

May 15, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Public Policy] We’ve all heard the saying that when arguing we should ‘disagree without being disagreeable’ but, when it comes to guns, we often find ourselves disagreeing without actually disagreeing. Most Americans believe in some kinds of gun control. Most Americans recognize the ‘right to bear arms’. Most agree that expanded background [...]

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Henry WiencekMaster of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves

May 15, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in African American Studies] The Louisiana Purchase was a perfect illustration of the challenges, yet seemingly boundless opportunities that slavery presented statesmen like Thomas Jefferson. Napoleon Bonaparte had been dealt a significant military defeat at the hands of a slave revolt in Haiti, forcing him to reconsider his interests in the Americas [...]

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Beth H. PiatoteDomestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature

May 14, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Native American Studies] The suspension of the so-called “Indian Wars” did not signal colonialism’s end, only a different battlefield. “The calvary man was supplanted–or, rather, supplemented–by the field matron, the Hotchkiss by the transit, and the prison by the school,” writes Beth H. Piatote. “A turn to the domestic front, even as [...]

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Joseph NovemberBiomedical Computing: Digitizing Life in the United States

May 14, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] There are pigeons, cats, and Martians here.  There are CT scanners, dentures, computers large enough to fill rooms, war games, and neural networks. In Biomedical Computing: Digitizing Life in the United States (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), Joe November mobilizes this ecology of instruments and objects, people and programs, in a story [...]

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Steven HillEurope’s Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age

May 10, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Politics] What can the United States learn from Europe? One good answer, says Steven Hill, is social capitalism, a form of economic management that is responsive to markets and productive of broadly-shared prosperity. First known for his work on electoral reform in the United States, Hill began travelling through Europe in the [...]

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