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The sub-branch of history that is known by the ambiguous (and frightening to undergraduates, cats, and many mainstream academics) name “historiography” seems to be undergoing a Renaissance at the moment.
About 40 years ago, the field of US intellectual history entered a period of self-doubt about the rigor of its methods, about the narrowness of its archive and its interests, even about the ontological gravity of the subjects it treated.
Paradigm shifts in historiography seem to come all at once rather than being spaced evenly along the disciplinary trajectory. The last such shift in writing about slavery and race (including civil rights) in the United States came between the late 1950s and the mid-1970s.
Gary Gerstle’s Liberty and Coercion is a tour de force account of American governance that manages to survey the chronological and geographical breadth of US history with a judicious depth of precise detail and example.
The Devils We Know: Us and Them in America’s Raucous Political Culture brings together a fine selection of James A. Morone’s essays combining the two areas to which he has devoted the last 25 years of his career: American political thought and American political development.
Scholars of contemporary religious history, of art history, and of the immigrant experience will find much to interest them in this fine volume from Samantha Baskind of Cleveland State University, Ohio.
The first thing to note about this book is that it is about the American far left’s (that is by what Norwood sees as the American far left after 1920) engagement with Antisemitism and it is not about, or at least not just about, Antisemitism by the American far left.
Eslanda Goode Robeson has lived under the shadow of her superstar singer, actor, and political pioneer husband, Paul Robeson for decades. However, Eslanda, known as Essie, was a dedicated activist intellectual, prolific writer, powerful orator, and world traveller.
Aaron Lecklider, who teaches American studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, proposes to stand the last century of American intellectual life on its head, or at least on its side.
Sasha and Emma is the story of one life-long relationship and the product of another. When the historian of Russian and American anarchism Paul Avrich died in 2006, he left behind a rich body of scholarly work (1) and an unfinished manuscript exploring ‘the passionate half-century friendship between legendary activist Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman’ (p.