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Cold War Kitchen: Americanization, Technology and European Users / eds. Ruth Oldenziel, Karin Zachmann
How many of us would happily make do without a fully equipped modern kitchen – even if it sometimes beats like a transplanted artificial heart at the centre of an artisan cottage stripped back to its original organic floorboards and fireplace?
At the height of summer in August 1996, The New Republic featured a front cover that depicted a young African American woman smoking a cigarette while feeding her baby. The words ‘Day of Reckoning’ were emblazoned in bold letters across the image, and the exhortation by the editors to ‘Sign the Welfare Bill Now’ was prominently placed underneath the photograph.
Sarah Pearsall has found her sea legs in her analysis of Atlantic families who were launched alone and adrift ‘into the ocean of the world’ (p. 47). Family members in Britain, the Caribbean, and the American colonies were divided by the Atlantic in a period of revolution and war (1760–1815).
The struggle to understand the meaning of the American Civil War continues, and doubtless it will become more contentious as its 150th anniversary approaches. The triumphal, celebratory and exclusively white centenary ceremonies of 1961 and beyond have been replaced by a much more sombre, mournful, if not mawkish tone.
The Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776–1941 / Rebecca M. McLennan
This is an ambitious and weighty study of prisons, prison labour and penology from the early Republican period through the Depression years which McLennan argues has been characterised by ‘a long continuum of episodic instability, conflict, and political crisis’ (p. 2).
In March 2008, candidate Barack Obama made a speech in Philadelphia articulating his own views on race in the politics of the presidential campaign.
Now that the dust has settled on the presidential race, it’s easier to assess Simon Schama’s ambitious project of last autumn: The American Future: A History. The book (and the accompanying television series) departs from his previous work in several ways.
The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War / Edward Bartlett Rugemer
On the occasion of his famous address commemorating the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies, delivered in Concord on August 1, 1844, Ralph Waldo Emerson highlighted America’s avoidance of slavery’s implications.
Georgine Clarsen has produced a fascinating account of women motorists in the first three decades of the automobile age. Her crisp and elegant prose takes the reader on a speedy trip over a wide range of terrain, indicating the importance of the car in the cultural politics of the early 20th century.
Hunting and Fishing in the New South: Black Labor and White Leisure after the Civil War / Scott E. Giltner
In Hunting and Fishing in the New South: Black Labor and White Leisure after the Civil War, Scott Giltner delivers an intriguing and thoughtful survey of sporting cultures and racial identity in the postbellum South. The study, which, as the author notes, evolved from ‘masters proposal to dissertation to book’ (p.