Melissa R. KlapperBallots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940

March 19, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Many people have probably heard of Betty Friedan, Bela Abzug, Gloria Steinem, and Andrea Dworkin, all stars of Second Wave Feminism. They were also all Jewish (by heritage if not faith). As Melissa R. Klapper shows in her new book Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940 (New York University Press, 2013), this was no [...]

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Elizabeth Cobbs HoffmanAmerican Umpire

March 12, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Big Ideas] Is there an “American Empire?” A lot of people on the Left say “yes.” Actually, a lot of people on the Right say “yes” too. But Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman says “no.” In her stimulating new treatment of the history of American foreign policy American Umpire (Harvard UP, 2013), Hoffman lays out the case [...]

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James Wellman, Jr.Rob Bell and A New American Christianity

March 7, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Religion] As one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” Rob Bell is a name that is now known well beyond the confines of his megachurch in Grandville, Michigan or within evangelical circles. Bell has been at the forefront of contemporary Christian movements in America and is situated [...]

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Daniel McCoolThe Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act

February 27, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Daniel McCool, professor of political science at the University of Utah, is the editor of The Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act (Indiana University Press, 2012). The VRA was one of the center pieces of the civil rights legislation passed in the 1960s. The Act aimed to address [...]

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John E. MurrayThe Charleston Orphan House: Children’s Lives in the First Public Orphanage in America

February 27, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] There were always and will always be orphans. The question is what to do with them. In his terrific new book The Charleston Orphan House: Children’s Lives in the First Public Orphanage in America (University of Chicago Press, 2013), economic historian John E. Murray tells us how one Southern American city did it [...]

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Linford FisherThe Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America

January 22, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Native American Studies] Just east of the Norwich-New London Turnpike in Uncasville, Connecticut, stands the Mohegan Congregational Church. By most accounts, it’s little different than the thousands of white-steepled structures dotting the New England landscape: the same high-backed wooden chairs, high ceilings, images of lordly white men. To the careful observer, there is [...]

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Eliga GouldAmong the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire

December 21, 2012

Many Americans tend to think of 1776 as the year when the United States began making history on its own terms. That is simply untrue. Building on recent scholarship that challenges this assumption is Eliga Gould’s Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire (Harvard University [...]

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Karen E. FieldsRacecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

November 11, 2012

[Cross-posted from New Books in Sociology] Racism is a process by which people are segregated and discriminated against based on their race, and race is defined as a set of physical characteristics which certain groups share. Or is it?  In Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life (Verso Books, 2012), Karen E. Fields and [...]

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Juliane HammerAmerican Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer

November 11, 2012

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In 2005, Amina Wadud led a mixed-gender congregation of Muslims in prayer. This event became the focal point of substantial media attention and highlighted some of the tensions within the Muslim community. However, this prayer gathering was the culmination of a series of events and embodied several ongoing intra-Muslim [...]

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John Lauritz LarsonThe Market Revolution: Liberty, Ambition and the Eclipse of the Common Good

October 28, 2012

It’s not often you come across a book of such versatility as John Lauritz Larson’s The Market Revolution: Liberty, Ambition and the Eclipse of the Common Good (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Larson meticulously examines the United States’ transition too its modern capitalistic state from its simple agrarian roots. Starting at the close of the War [...]

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