Browse all Reviews
From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism / Amanda B. Moniz
For many of us, the ongoing carnage in Syria is a self-evident humanitarian crisis. We do not need to be convinced that the children drowning at sea, the women and men, young and old, begging for entry into any country that will accept them are worthy of our help.
Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine turned Patients into Consumers / Nancy Tomes
From a comparative perspective the health system of the United States has a history that is both representative and idiosyncratic.
War on Leakers: National Security and American Democracy, from Eugene V. Debs to Edward Snowden / Lloyd C. Gardner
Despite the back cover declaring Lloyd Gardner’s The War on Leakers ‘the essential backstory to understand the Snowden case, NSA eavesdropping, and the future of privacy’, and its subtitle promising a study ‘from Eugene V. Debs to Edward Snowden,’ it would be inaccurate to describe this book as a historical work.
Reconstruction’s Ragged Edge: The Politics of Postwar Life in the Southern Mountains / Steven E. Nash
Reconstruction, we are told, has moved on.
Sean Wilentz has become our generation’s foremost historian as public intellectual, positioning himself as a blend of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Richard Hofstadter, the historical giants of the mid-20th-century era of consensus. Wilentz, however, lives in what another thoughtful historian, Daniel T. Rodgers, has called an ‘age of fracture’.
Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union / Daniel Crofts
I recall the moment when I first encountered the existence of the so-called Corwin amendment of 1861. It happened by chance in an undergraduate political science class on constitutional law. The textbook contained a brief synopsis of the rediscovery and revival of the 27th amendment, ratified in 1992 some two centuries after its congressional adoption.
This timely biography depicts a persistent moderate who deplored North-South sectional polarization and feared that jousting between anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces endangered the Union. Edward Everett worked instead to keep the divisive slavery issue out of national politics.
The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil war and the Remaking of the American Middle Border / Christopher Phillips
In 1850 Abraham Lincoln’s most celebrated rival, Stephen Douglas of Illinois, delivered an impassioned speech in the United States Senate.
Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence / eds. Chad Williams, Kidada E. Williams, Keisha N. Blain
Just after eight o’clock in the evening on 17 June 2015, 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, carrying a semiautomatic handgun. He sat with 12 parishioners and their pastor, South Carolina state senator Rev. Clementa Pinkney, for about an hour, as they prayed and read from the Bible.
Benjamin Franklin in London is a narrative biography of the American ‘founding father’ Benjamin Franklin. As the title suggests, the book substantively concentrates on Franklin in London between 1757 and 1775. During this time, Franklin was an agent advocating colonial interests in Parliament.