In response to concerns related to COVID-19, the Organization of American Historians has transitioned the OAH conference to a virtual format.
In lieu of our booth exhibit, please enjoy this Virtual Book Exhibit and receive a 30% discount and free shipping on the books listed below using the discount code S21XOAH-FM through May 13.
In the aftermath of World War II, American policymakers turned to the task of rebuilding Europe while keeping communism at bay. In Germany, formally divided since 1949,the United States prioritized the political, economic, and, eventually, military integration of the fledgling Federal Republic with the West. The extraordinary success story of forging this alliance has dominated our historical under-standing of the American-German relationship. Largely left out of the grand narrative of U.S.–German relations were most East Germans who found themselves caught under Soviet and then communist control by the post-1945 geo-political fallout of the war that Nazi Germany had launched. They were the ones who most dearly paid the price for the country's division. This book writes the East Germans—both leadership and general populace—back into that history as objects of American policy and as historical agents in their own right Based on recently declassified documents from American, Russian, and German archives, this book demonstrates that U.S. efforts from 1945 to 1953 went beyond building a prosperous democracy in western Germany and "containing" Soviet-Communist power to the east. Under the Truman and then the Eisenhower administrations, American policy also included efforts to undermine and "roll back" Soviet and German communist control in the eastern part of the country. This story sheds light on a dark-er side to the American Cold War in Germany: propaganda, covert operations, economic pressure, and psychological warfare. Christian F. Ostermann takes an international history approach, capturing Soviet and East German responses and actions, and drawing a rich and complex picture of the early East–West confrontation in the heart of Europe.
What would America's Constitutions have looked like if each generation wrote its own? "The earth belongs...to the living, the dead have neither powers nor rights over it." These famous words, written by Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, reflect Jefferson's lifelong belief that each generation ought to write its own Constitution. According to Jefferson each generation should take an active role in endorsing, renouncing, or changing the nation's fundamental law. Perhaps if he were alive today to witness our seething debates over the state of American politics, he would feel vindicated in this belief. Madison's response was that a Constitution must endure over many generations to gain the credibility needed to keep a nation strong and united. History tells us that Jefferson lost that debate. But what if he had prevailed? In A Constitution for the Living, Beau Breslin reimagines American history to answer that question. By tracing the story from the 1787 Constitutional Convention up to the present, Breslin presents an engaging and insightful narrative account of historical figures and how they might have shaped their particular generation's Constitution. Readers are invited to join the Founders in candlelit taverns where, over glasses of wine, they debated fundamental issues; to witness towering figures of American history, from Abraham Lincoln to Booker T. Washington, enact an alternate account through startling and revealing conversations; and to attend a Constitutional Convention taking place in the present day. These possibilities come to life in the book's prose, with sensitivity, verve, and compelling historical detail. This book is, above all, a call for a more engaged American public at a time when change seems close at hand, if we dare to imagine it.
The Color of Creatorship examines how copyright, trademark, and patent discourses work together to form American ideals around race, citizenship, and property. Working through key moments in intellectual property history since 1790, Anjali Vats reveals that even as they have seemingly evolved, American understandings of who is a creator and who is an infringer have remained remarkably racially conservative and consistent over time. Vats examines archival, legal, political, and popular culture texts to demonstrate how intellectual properties developed alongside definitions of the "good citizen," "bad citizen," and intellectual labor in racialized ways. Offering readers a theory of critical race intellectual property, Vats historicizes the figure of the citizen-creator, the white male maker who was incorporated into the national ideology as a key contributor to the nation's moral and economic development. She also traces the emergence of racial panics around infringement, arguing that the post-racial creator exists in opposition to the figure of the hyper-racial infringer, a national enemy who is the opposite of the hardworking, innovative American creator. The Color of Creatorship contributes to a rapidly-developing conversation in critical race intellectual property. Vats argues that once anti-racist activists grapple with the underlying racial structures of intellectual property law, they can better advocate for strategies that resist the underlying drivers of racially disparate copyright, patent, and trademark policy.
Séances, clairvoyance, and telepathy captivated public imagination in the United States from the 1850s well into the twentieth century. Though skeptics dismissed these experiences as delusions, a new kind of investigator emerged to seek the science behind such phenomena. With new technologies like the telegraph collapsing the boundaries of time and space, an explanation seemed within reach. As Americans took up psychical experiments in their homes, the boundaries of the mind began to waver. Common Phantoms brings these experiments back to life while modeling a new approach to the history of psychology and the mind sciences. Drawing on previously untapped archives of participant-reported data, Alicia Puglionesi recounts how an eclectic group of investigators tried to capture the most elusive dimensions of human consciousness. A vast though flawed experiment in democratic science, psychical research gave participants valuable tools with which to study their experiences on their own terms. Academic psychology would ultimately disown this effort as both a scientific failure and a remnant of magical thinking, but its challenge to the limits of science, the mind, and the soul still reverberates today.
A bracing corrective to the myths that have shaped economic, military, and diplomatic policy, dispelling our oil-soaked fantasies of dependence. There is a conventional wisdom about oil—that the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf is what guarantees access to this strategic resource; that the "special" relationship with Saudi Arabia is necessary to stabilize an otherwise volatile market; and that these assumptions in turn provide Washington enormous leverage over Europe and Asia. Except, the conventional wisdom is wrong. Robert Vitalis debunks the myths to reveal "oilcraft," a line of magical thinking closer to witchcraft than statecraft. Oil is a commodity like any other: bought, sold, and subject to market forces. Thus, the first goal of this book is to expose the suspect fears of oil scarcity and conflict. The second goal is to investigate the significant geopolitical impact of these false beliefs. In particular, Vitalis shows how we can reconsider the question of the U.S.–Saudi special relationship, which confuses and traps many into unnecessarily accepting what they imagine is a devil's bargain. The House of Saud does many things for U.S. investors, firms, and government agencies, but guaranteeing the flow of oil, making it cheap, or stabilizing the price isn't one of them. Freeing ourselves from the spell of oilcraft won't be easy—but the benefits make it essential.
Political Fallout is the story of one of the first human-driven, truly global environmental crises—radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War—and the international response. Beginning in 1945, the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union detonated hundreds of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, scattering a massive amount of radioactivity across the globe. The scale of contamination was so vast, and radioactive decay so slow, that the cumulative effect on humans and the environment is still difficult to fully comprehend. The international debate over nuclear fallout turned global radioactive contamination into an environmental issue, eventually leading the nuclear superpowers to sign the landmark Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) in 1963. Bringing together environmental history and Cold War history, Toshihiro Higuchi argues that the PTBT, originally proposed as an arms control measure, transformed into a dual-purpose initiative to check the nuclear arms race and radioactive pollution simultaneously. Higuchi draws on sources in English, Russian, and Japanese, considering both the epistemic differences that emerged in different scientific communities in the 1950s and the way that public consciousness around the risks of radioactive fallout influenced policy in turn. Political Fallout addresses the implications of science and policymaking in the Anthropocene—an era in which humans are confronting environmental changes of their own making.
Few episodes in American history were more transformative than World War II, and in no region did it bring greater change than in the West. Having lifted the United States out of the Great Depression, World War II set in motion a massive westward population movement, ignited a quarter-century boom that redefined the West as the nation's most economically dynamic region, and triggered unprecedented public investment in manufacturing, education, scientific research, and infrastructure—an economic revolution that would lay the groundwork for prodigiously innovative high-tech centers in Silicon Valley, the Puget Sound area, and elsewhere. Amidst robust economic growth and widely shared prosperity in the post-war decades, Westerners made significant strides toward greater racial and gender equality, even as they struggled to manage the environmental consequences of their region's surging vitality. At the same time, wartime policies that facilitated the federal withdrawal of Western public lands and the occupation of Pacific islands for military use continued an ongoing project of U.S. expansionism at home and abroad. This volume explores the lasting consequences of a pivotal chapter in U.S. history, and offers new categories for understanding the post-war West. Contributors to this volume include Mark Brilliant, Geraldo L. Cadava, Matthew Dallek, Mary L. Dudziak, Jared Farmer, David M. Kennedy, Daniel J. Kevles, Rebecca Jo Plant, Gavin Wright, and Richard White.
The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery explores how antiblack racism lived on through the figure of the Chinese worker in US literature after emancipation. Drawing out the connections between this liminal figure and the formal aesthetics of blackface minstrelsy in literature of the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras, Caroline H. Yang reveals the ways antiblackness structured US cultural production during a crucial moment of reconstructing and re-narrating US empire after the Civil War. Examining texts by major American writers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Sui Sin Far, and Charles Chesnutt—Yang traces the intertwined histories of blackface minstrelsy and Chinese labor. Her bold rereading of these authors' contradictory positions on race and labor sees the figure of the Chinese worker as both hiding and making visible the legacy of slavery and antiblackness. Ultimately, The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery shows how the Chinese worker manifests the inextricable links between US literature, slavery, and empire, as well as the indispensable role of antiblackness as a cultural form in the United States.
Permanent Revolution concisely describes the development and workings of capitalism and its influence on the broader society. In the developed world—Europe, North America, and parts of East Asia—capitalism is ubiquitous, and as such, often taken for granted. Discussion usually focuses on specific aspects of the system that individuals appreciate or dislike, ignoring the larger picture. The notion of millennials denouncing capitalism on Facebook and Twitter—products of capitalist development—is a caricature that is eerily close to reality. In this book, Wyatt Wells examines the development of economic innovation, the role of financial markets, the business cycle, the ways markets operate, and the position of labor in capitalist economies, as well as the effects of capitalism on law, politics, religion, and even the arts. This discussion is grounded in history, though it does make use of economic theory. As a result, the book sometimes approaches topics from an unconventional direction. For instance, it notes that financial markets not only pool and allocate the resources of savers—the role ascribed to them in conventional economics textbooks—but they also discipline enterprises, punishing those unable to meet prescribed financial standards. Permanent Revolution ranges broadly, delving into how capitalism reshapes the broader society. The system creates wealth in new and, often, unexpected places, and it constantly moves people physically and socially. The result revolutionizes society. Traditional structures based on deference and long experience gradually collapse because they no longer correspond to social reality. Capitalist societies must devise ways to accommodate perpetual change in politics, religion, and society. Much of the diversity, liberty, and flexibility we associate with modern society are the product of capitalist development.
At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, where the victorious Allied powers met to reenvision the map of Europe in the aftermath of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson's influence on the remapping of borders was profound. But it was his impact on the modern political structuring of Eastern Europe that would be perhaps his most enduring international legacy: neither Czechoslovakia nor Yugoslavia exist today, but their geopolitical presence persisted across the twentieth century from the end of World War I to the end of the Cold War. They were created in large part thanks to Wilson's advocacy, and in particular, his Fourteen Points speech of January 1918, which hinged in large part on the concept of national self-determination. But despite his deep involvement in the region's geopolitical transformation, President Wilson never set eyes on Eastern Europe, and never traveled to a single one of the eastern lands whose political destiny he so decisively influenced. Eastern Europe, invented in the age of Enlightenment by the travelers and philosophies of Western Europe, was reinvented on the map of the early twentieth century with the crucial intervention of an American president who deeply invested his political and emotional energies in lands that he would never visit. This book traces how Wilson's emerging definition of national self-determination and his practical application of the principle changed over time as negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference unfolded. Larry Wolff exposes the contradictions between Wilson's principles and their implementation in the peace settlement for Eastern Europe, and sheds light on how his decisions were influenced by both personal relationships and his growing awareness of the history of the Ottoman and Habsburg empires.
The Korean War lasted for three years, one month, and two days, but armistice talks occupied more than two of those years, as more than 14,000 Chinese prisoners of war refused to return to Communist China and demanded to go to Nationalist Taiwan, effectively hijacking the negotiations and thwarting the designs of world leaders at a pivotal moment in Cold War history. In The Hijacked War, David Cheng Chang vividly portrays the experiences of Chinese prisoners in the dark, cold, and damp tents of Koje and Cheju Islands in Korea and how their decisions derailed the high politics being conducted in the corridors of power in Washington, Moscow, and Beijing. Chang demonstrates how the Truman-Acheson administration's policies of voluntary repatriation and prisoner reindoctrination for psychological warfare purposes—the first overt and the second covert—had unintended consequences. The "success" of the reindoctrination program backfired when anti-Communist Chinese prisoners persuaded and coerced fellow POWs to renounce their homeland. Drawing on newly declassified archival materials from China, Taiwan, and the United States, and interviews with more than 80 surviving Chinese and North Korean prisoners of war, Chang depicts the struggle over prisoner repatriation that dominated the second half of the Korean War, from early 1952 to July 1953, in the prisoners' own words.
In the Cold War era, the confrontation between capitalism and communism played out not only in military, diplomatic, and political contexts, but also in the realm of culture—and perhaps nowhere more so than the cultural phenomenon of sports, where the symbolic capital of athletic endeavor held up a mirror to the global contest for the sympathies of citizens worldwide. The Whole World Was Watching examines Cold War rivalries through the lens of sporting activities and competitions across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the U.S. The essays in this volume consider sport as a vital sphere for understanding the complex geopolitics and cultural politics of the time, not just in terms of commerce and celebrity, but also with respect to shifting notions of race, class, and gender. Including contributions from an international lineup of historians, this volume suggests that the analysis of sport provides a valuable lens for understanding both how individuals experienced the Cold War in their daily lives, and how sports culture in turn influenced politics and diplomatic relations.
Born into a tenant farming family in North Carolina in 1946, Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice, and Mary Catherine were medical miracles. Annie Mae Fultz, a Black-Cherokee woman who lost her ability to hear and speak in childhood, became the mother of America's first surviving set of identical quadruplets. They were instant celebrities. Their White doctor named them after his own family members. He sold the rights to use the sisters for marketing purposes to the highest-bidding formula company. The girls lived in poverty, while Pet Milk's profits from a previously untapped market of Black families skyrocketed. Over half a century later, baby formula is a seventy-billion-dollar industry and Black mothers have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country. Since slavery, legal, political, and societal factors have routinely denied Black women the ability to choose how to feed their babies. In Skimmed, Andrea Freeman tells the riveting story of the Fultz quadruplets while uncovering how feeding America's youngest citizens is awash in social, legal, and cultural inequalities. This book highlights the making of a modern public health crisis, the four extraordinary girls whose stories encapsulate a nationwide injustice, and how we can fight for a healthier future.
Los Angeles is home to the largest population of people of Middle Eastern origin and descent in the United States. Since the late nineteenth century, Syrian and Lebanese migration, in particular, to Southern California has been intimately connected to and through Latin America. Arab Routes uncovers the stories of this Syrian American community, one both Arabized and Latinized, to reveal important cross-border and multiethnic solidarities in Syrian California. Sarah M. A. Gualtieri reconstructs the early Syrian connections through California, Texas, Mexico, and Lebanon. She reveals the Syrian interests in the defense of the Mexican American teens charged in the 1942 Sleepy Lagoon murder, in actor Danny Thomas's rise to prominence in LA's Syrian cultural festivals, and in more recent activities of the grandchildren of immigrants to reclaim a sense of Arabness. Gualtieri reinscribes Syrians into Southern California history through her examination of powerful images and texts, augmented with interviews with descendants of immigrants. Telling the story of how Syrians helped forge a global Los Angeles, Arab Routes counters a long-held stereotype of Arabs as outsiders and underscores their longstanding place in American culture and in interethnic coalitions, past and present.
Black Quotidian explores everyday lives of African Americans in the twentieth century. Drawing on an archive of digitized African-American newspapers, Matthew F. Delmont guides readers through a wealth of primary resources that reveal how the Black press popularized African-American history and valued the lives of both famous and ordinary Black people. Claiming the right of Black people to experience and enjoy the mundane aspects of daily life has taken on a renewed resonance in the era of Black Lives Matter, an era marked by quotidian violence, fear, and mourning. Framed by introductory chapters on the history of Black newspapers, a trove of short posts on individual newspaper stories brings the rich archive of African-American newspapers to life, giving readers access to a variety of media objects, including videos, photographs, and music. By presenting this layer as a blog with 365 daily entries, the author offers a critique of Black History Month as a limiting initiative and emphasizes the need to explore beyond the iconic figures and moments that have come to stand in for the complexity of African-American history. Themes highlighted include, among others, civil rights, arts, sports, politics, and women's lives. As a work of digital history, Black Quotidian models an innovative approach to research exploration and scholarly communication. As a teaching resource, it fosters self-driven exploration of primary resources within and beyond the curriculum.
The Arab-Israeli conflict constituted a serious problem for the American Left in the 1960s: pro-Palestinian activists hailed the Palestinian struggle against Israel as part of a fundamental restructuring of the global imperialist order, while pro-Israeli leftists held a less revolutionary worldview that understood Israel as a paragon of democratic socialist virtue. This intra-left debate was in part doctrinal, in part generational. But further woven into this split were sometimes agonizing questions of identity. Jews were disproportionately well-represented in the Movement, and their personal and communal lives could deeply affect their stances vis-à-vis the Middle East. The Movement and the Middle East offers the first assessment of the controversial and ultimately debilitating role of the Arab-Israeli conflict among left-wing activists during a turbulent period of American history. Michael R. Fischbach draws on a deep well of original sources—from personal interviews to declassified FBI and CIA documents—to present a story of the left-wing responses to the question of Palestine and Israel. He shows how, as the 1970s wore on, the cleavages emerging within the American Left widened, weakening the Movement and leaving a lasting impact that still affects progressive American politics today.
A timely analysis of the power and limits of political parties—and the lessons of the Civil War and the New Deal in the Age of Trump. American voters have long been familiar with the phenomenon of the presidential frontrunner. In 2008, it was Hillary Clinton. In 1844, it was Martin Van Buren. And in neither election did the prominent Democrat win the party's nomination. Insurgent candidates went on to win the nomination and the presidency, plunging the two-party system into disarray over the years that followed. In this book, Cedric de Leon analyzes two pivotal crises in the American two-party system: the first resulting in the demise of the Whig party and secession of eleven southern states in 1861, and the present crisis splintering the Democratic and Republican parties and leading to the election of Donald Trump. Recasting these stories through the actions of political parties, de Leon draws unsettling parallels in the political maneuvering that ultimately causes once-dominant political parties to lose the people's consent to rule. Crisis! takes us beyond the common explanations of social determinants to illuminate how political parties actively shape national stability and breakdown. The secession crisis and the election of Donald Trump suggest that politicians and voters abandon the political establishment not only because people are suffering, but also because the party system itself is unable to absorb an existential challenge to its power. Just as the U.S. Civil War meant the difference between the survival of a slaveholding republic and the birth of liberal democracy, what political elites and civil society organizations do today can mean the difference between fascism and democracy.
South Central Los Angeles is often characterized as an African American community beset by poverty and economic neglect. But this depiction obscures the significant Latina/o population that has called South Central home since the 1970s. More significantly, it conceals the efforts African American and Latina/o residents have made together in shaping their community. As residents have faced increasing challenges from diminished government social services, economic disinvestment, immigration enforcement, and police surveillance, they have come together in their struggle for belonging and justice. South Central Is Home investigates the development of relational community formation and highlights how communities of color like South Central experience racism and discrimination—and how in the best of situations, they are energized to improve their conditions together. Tracking the demographic shifts in South Central from 1945 to the present, Abigail Rosas shows how financial institutions, War on Poverty programs like Headstart for school children, and community health centers emerged as crucial sites where neighbors engaged one another over what was best for their community. Through this work, Rosas illuminates the promise of community building, offering findings indispensable to our understandings of race, community, and place in U.S. society.
What led a former United States Attorney General to become one of the world's most notorious defenders of the despised? Defending the Public's Enemy examines Clark's enigmatic life and career in a quest to answer this perplexing question. The culmination of ten years of research and interviews, Lonnie T. Brown, Jr. explores how Clark evolved from our government's chief lawyer to a strident advocate for some of America's most vilified enemies. Clark's early career was enmeshed with seminally important people and events of the 1960s: Martin Luther King, Jr., Watts Riots, Selma-to-Montgomery March, Black Panthers, Vietnam. As a government insider, he worked to secure the civil rights of black Americans, resisting persistent, racist calls for more law and order. However, upon entering the private sector, Clark seemingly changed, morphing into the government's adversary by aligning with a mystifying array of demonized clients—among them, alleged terrorists, reputed Nazi war criminals, and brutal dictators, including Saddam Hussein. Is Clark a man of character and integrity, committed to ensuring his government's adherence to the ideals of justice and fairness, or is he a professional antagonist, anti-American and reflexively contrarian to the core? The provocative life chronicled in Defending the Public's Enemy is emblematic of the contradictions at the heart of American political history, and society's ambivalent relationship with dissenters and outliers, as well as those who defend them.
The completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869 is usually told as a story of national triumph and a key moment for American Manifest Destiny. The Railroad made it possible to cross the country in a matter of days instead of months, paved the way for new settlers to come out west, and helped speed America's entry onto the world stage as a modern nation that spanned a full continent. It also created vast wealth for its four owners, including the fortune with which Leland Stanford would found Stanford University some two decades later. But while the Transcontinental has often been celebrated in national memory, little attention has been paid to the Chinese workers who made up 90 percent of the workforce on the Western portion of the line. The Railroad could not have been built without Chinese labor, but the lives of Chinese railroad workers themselves have been little understood and largely invisible. This landmark volume explores the experiences of Chinese railroad workers and their place in cultural memory. The Chinese and the Iron Road illuminates more fully than ever before the interconnected economies of China and the US, how immigration across the Pacific changed both nations, the dynamics of the racism the workers encountered, the conditions under which they labored, and their role in shaping both the history of the railroad and the development of the American West.
It is more than fifty years since Betty Friedan diagnosed malaise among suburban housewives and the National Organization of Women was founded. Across the decades, the feminist movement brought about significant progress on workplace discrimination, reproductive rights, and sexual assault. Yet, the proverbial million-dollar question remains: why is there still so much to be done? With this book, Lynn S. Chancer takes stock of the American feminist movement and engages with a new burst of feminist activism. She articulates four common causes—advancing political and economic equality, allowing intimate and sexual freedom, ending violence against women, and expanding the cultural representation of women—considering each in turn to assess what has been gained (or not). It is around these shared concerns, Chancer argues, that we can continue to build a vibrant and expansive feminist movement. After the Rise and Stall of American Feminism takes the long view of the successes and shortcomings of feminism(s). Chancer articulates a broad agenda developed through advancing intersectional concerns about class, race, and sexuality. She advocates ways to reduce the divisiveness that too frequently emphasizes points of disagreement over shared aims. And she offers a vision of individual and social life that does not separate the "personal" from the "political." Ultimately, this book is about not only redressing problems, but also reasserting a future for feminism and its enduring ability to change the world.
San Francisco has always had an affordable housing problem. Starting in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake and ending with the dot-com boom, Housing the City by the Bay considers the history of one proposed answer to the city's ongoing housing crisis: public housing. John Baranski follows the ebbs and flows of San Francisco's public housing program: the Progressive Era and New Deal reforms that led to the creation of the San Francisco Housing Authority in 1938, conflicts over urban renewal and desegregation, and the federal and local efforts to privatize government housing at the turn of the twenty-first century. This history of public housing sheds light on changing attitudes towards liberalism, the welfare state, and the economic and civil rights attached to citizenship. Baranski details the ways San Francisco residents turned to the public housing program to build class-based political movements in a multi-racial city and introduces us to the individuals—community activists, politicians, reformers, and city employees—who were continually forced to seek new strategies to achieve their aims as the winds of federal legislation shifted. Ultimately, Housing the City by the Bay advances the idea that public housing remains a vital part of the social and political landscape, intimately connected to the struggle for economic rights in urban America.
You can't copyright facts, but is news a category unto itself? Without legal protection for the "ownership" of news, what incentive does a news organization have to invest in producing quality journalism that serves the public good? This book explores the intertwined histories of journalism and copyright law in the United States and Great Britain, revealing how shifts in technology, government policy, and publishing strategy have shaped the media landscape. Publishers have long sought to treat news as exclusive to protect their investments against copying or "free riding." But over the centuries, arguments about the vital role of newspapers and the need for information to circulate have made it difficult to defend property rights in news. Beginning with the earliest printed news publications and ending with the Internet, Will Slauter traces these countervailing trends, offering a fresh perspective on debates about copyright and efforts to control the flow of news.
"I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."—Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself," Leaves of Grass The American Yawp is a free, online, collaboratively built American history textbook. Over 300 historians joined together to create the book they wanted for their own students—an accessible, synthetic narrative that reflects the best of recent historical scholarship and provides a jumping-off point for discussions in the U.S. history classroom and beyond. Long before Whitman and long after, Americans have sung something collectively amid the deafening roar of their many individual voices. The Yawp highlights the dynamism and conflict inherent in the history of the United States, while also looking for the common threads that help us make sense of the past. Without losing sight of politics and power, The American Yawp incorporates transnational perspectives, integrates diverse voices, recovers narratives of resistance, and explores the complex process of cultural creation. It looks for America in crowded slave cabins, bustling markets, congested tenements, and marbled halls. It navigates between maternity wards, prisons, streets, bars, and boardrooms. The fully peer-reviewed edition of The American Yawp will be available in two print volumes designed for the U.S. history survey. Volume I begins with the indigenous people who called the Americas home before chronicling the collision of Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.The American Yawp traces the development of colonial society in the context of the larger Atlantic World and investigates the origins and ruptures of slavery, the American Revolution, and the new nation's development and rebirth through the Civil War and Reconstruction. Rather than asserting a fixed narrative of American progress, The American Yawp gives students a starting point for asking their own questions about how the past informs the problems and opportunities that we confront today.
"I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."—Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself," Leaves of Grass The American Yawp is a free, online, collaboratively built American history textbook. Over 300 historians joined together to create the book they wanted for their own students—an accessible, synthetic narrative that reflects the best of recent historical scholarship and provides a jumping-off point for discussions in the U.S. history classroom and beyond. Long before Whitman and long after, Americans have sung something collectively amid the deafening roar of their many individual voices. The Yawp highlights the dynamism and conflict inherent in the history of the United States, while also looking for the common threads that help us make sense of the past. Without losing sight of politics and power, The American Yawp incorporates transnational perspectives, integrates diverse voices, recovers narratives of resistance, and explores the complex process of cultural creation. It looks for America in crowded slave cabins, bustling markets, congested tenements, and marbled halls. It navigates between maternity wards, prisons, streets, bars, and boardrooms. The fully peer-reviewed edition of The American Yawp will be available in two print volumes designed for the U.S. history survey. Volume II opens in the Gilded Age, before moving through the twentieth century as the country reckoned with economic crises, world wars, and social, cultural, and political upheaval at home. Bringing the narrative up to the present,The American Yawp enables students to ask their own questions about how the past informs the problems and opportunities we confront today.
The 1967 Arab–Israeli War rocketed the question of Israel and Palestine onto the front pages of American newspapers. Black Power activists saw Palestinians as a kindred people of color, waging the same struggle for freedom and justice as themselves. Soon concerns over the Arab–Israeli conflict spread across mainstream black politics and into the heart of the civil rights movement itself. Black Power and Palestine uncovers why so many African Americans—notably Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali, among others—came to support the Palestinians or felt the need to respond to those who did. Americans first heard pro-Palestinian sentiments in public through the black freedom struggle of the 1960s and 1970s. Michael R. Fischbach uncovers this hidden history of the Arab–Israeli conflict's role in African American activism and the ways that distant struggle shaped the domestic fight for racial equality. Black Power's transnational connections between African Americans and Palestinians deeply affected U.S. black politics, animating black visions of identity well into the late 1970s. Black Power and Palestine allows those black voices to be heard again today. In chronicling this story, Fischbach reveals much about how American peoples of color create political strategies, a sense of self, and a place within U.S. and global communities. The shadow cast by events of the 1960s and 1970s continues to affect the United States in deep, structural ways. This is the first book to explore how conflict in the Middle East shaped the American civil rights movement.
Among the fiercest opponents of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was journalist James "Jimmie" Matsumoto Omura. In his sharp-penned columns, Omura fearlessly called out leaders in the Nikkei community for what he saw as their complicity with the U.S. government's unjust and unconstitutional policies—particularly the federal decision to draft imprisoned Nisei into the military without first restoring their lost citizenship rights. In 1944, Omura was pushed out of his editorship of the Japanese American newspaper Rocky Shimpo, indicted, arrested, jailed, and forced to stand trial for unlawful conspiracy to counsel, aid, and abet violations of the military draft. He was among the first Nikkei to seek governmental redress and reparations for wartime violations of civil liberties and human rights. In this memoir, which he began writing towards the end of his life, Omura provides a vivid account of his early years: his boyhood on Bainbridge Island; summers spent working in the salmon canneries of Alaska; riding the rails in search of work during the Great Depression; honing his skills as a journalist in Los Angeles and San Francisco. By the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Omura had already developed a reputation as one of the Japanese American Citizens League's most adamant critics, and when the JACL leadership acquiesced to the mass incarceration of American-born Japanese, he refused to remain silent, at great personal and professional cost. Shunned by the Nikkei community and excluded from the standard narrative of Japanese American wartime incarceration until later in life, Omura seeks in this memoir to correct the "cockeyed history to which Japanese America has been exposed." Edited and with an introduction by historian Arthur A. Hansen, and with contributions from Asian American activists and writers Frank Chin, Yosh Kuromiya, and Frank Abe, Nisei Naysayer provides an essential, firsthand account of Japanese American wartime resistance.
For 300 years, Franciscans were at the forefront of the spread of Catholicism in the New World. In the late seventeenth century, Franciscans developed a far-reaching, systematic missionary program in Spain and the Americas. After founding the first college of propaganda fide in the Mexican city of Querétaro, the Franciscan Order established six additional colleges in New Spain, ten in South America, and twelve in Spain. From these colleges Franciscans proselytized Indians in frontier territories as well as Catholics in rural and urban areas in eighteenth-century Spain and Spanish America. To Sin No More is the first book to study these colleges, their missionaries, and their multifaceted, sweeping missionary programs. By focusing on the recruitment of non-Catholics to Catholicism as well as the deepening of religious fervor among Catholics, David Rex Galindo shows how the Franciscan colleges expanded and shaped popular Catholicism in the eighteenth-century Spanish Atlantic world. This book explores the motivations driving Franciscan friars, their lives inside the colleges, their training, and their ministry among Catholics, an often-overlooked duty that paralleled missionary deployments. Rex Galindo argues that Franciscan missionaries aimed to reform or "reawaken" Catholic parishioners just as much as they sought to convert non-Christian Indians.
A transpacific history of clashing imperial ambitions, Contraceptive Diplomacy turns to the history of the birth control movement in the United States and Japan to interpret the struggle for hegemony in the Pacific through the lens of transnational feminism. As the birth control movement spread beyond national and racial borders, it shed its radical bearings and was pressed into the service of larger ideological debates around fertility rates and overpopulation, global competitiveness, and eugenics. By the time of the Cold War, a transnational coalition for women's sexual liberation had been handed over to imperial machinations, enabling state-sponsored population control projects that effectively disempowered women and deprived them of reproductive freedom. In this book, Aiko Takeuchi-Demirci follows the relationship between two iconic birth control activists, Margaret Sanger in the United States and Ishimoto Shizue in Japan, as well as other intellectuals and policymakers in both countries who supported their campaigns, to make sense of the complex transnational exchanges occurring around contraception. The birth control movement facilitated U.S. expansionism, exceptionalism, and anti-communist policy and was welcomed in Japan as a hallmark of modernity. By telling the story of reproductive politics in a transnational context, Takeuchi-Demirci draws connections between birth control activism and the history of eugenics, racism, and imperialism.
For scholars, pundits, the public, and presidents themselves, presidential approval is an evergreen subject. Its actual impact, however, is often unclear: all too frequently approval is reported in a vacuum, dissociated from the American state writ large. Presidential Leverage reaffirms the importance of this contested metric. By situating approval within the context of public trust in government, Daniel E. Ponder reveals how approval shapes presidential strategies for governing, providing a useful measure of the president's place in the political system. The leverage that presidents derive from public opinion exercises considerable influence on their incentives and opportunities for action. Though it is more tenuous and fragile than the authority they derive from the Constitution or the law, it makes certain kinds of executive action more attractive at a given time. Using a quantitative index of presidential leverage, Ponder examines this contextualized approval from John F. Kennedy's administration through Barack Obama's, showing how it has shaped presidential capacity and autonomy, agenda setting, landmark legislation, and unilateral action. His analysis sheds light not only on the complexities of presidential power, but also on a broad swath of national politics and the American state.
Over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Mexican American and African American cultural productions have seen a proliferation of upward mobility narratives: plotlines that describe desires for financial solvency, middle-class status, and social incorporation. Yet the terms "middle class" and "upward mobility"—often associated with assimilation, selling out, or political conservatism—can hold negative connotations in literary and cultural studies. Surveying literature, film, and television from the 1940s to the 2000s, Elda María Román brings forth these narratives, untangling how they present the intertwined effects of capitalism and white supremacy. Race and Upward Mobility examines how class and ethnicity serve as forms of currency in American literature, affording people of color material and symbolic wages as they traverse class divisions. Identifying four recurring character types—status seekers, conflicted artists, mediators, and gatekeepers—that appear across genres, Román traces how each models a distinct strategy for negotiating race and class. Her comparative analysis sheds light on the overlaps and misalignments, the shared narrative strategies, and the historical trajectories of Mexican American and African American texts, bringing both groups' works into sharper relief. Her study advances both a new approach to ethnic literary studies and a more nuanced understanding of the class-based complexities of racial identity.
Stories abound of immigrant Jews on the outside looking in, clambering up the ladder of social mobility, successfully assimilating and integrating into their new worlds. But this book is not about the success stories. It's a paean to the bunglers, the blockheads, and the just plain weird—Jews who were flung from small, impoverished eastern European towns into the urban shtetls of New York and Warsaw, where, as they say in Yiddish, their bread landed butter side down in the dirt. These marginal Jews may have found their way into the history books far less frequently than their more socially upstanding neighbors, but there's one place you can find them in force: in the Yiddish newspapers that had their heyday from the 1880s to the 1930s. Disaster, misery, and misfortune: you will find no better chronicle of the daily ignominies of urban Jewish life than in the pages of the Yiddish press. An underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, Bad Rabbi exposes the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With true stories plucked from the pages of the Yiddish papers, Eddy Portnoy introduces us to the drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers, poets, and beauty queens whose misadventures were immortalized in print. There's the Polish rabbi blackmailed by an American widow, mass brawls at weddings and funerals, a psychic who specialized in locating missing husbands, and violent gangs of Jewish mothers on the prowl—in short, not quite the Jews you'd expect. One part Isaac Bashevis Singer, one part Jerry Springer, this irreverent, unvarnished, and frequently hilarious compendium of stories provides a window into an unknown Yiddish world that was.
Birthright citizenship has a deep and contentious history in the United States, one often hard to square in a country that prides itself on being "a nation of immigrants." Even as the question of citizenship for children of immigrants was seemingly settled by the Fourteenth Amendment, vitriolic debate has continued for well over a century, especially in relation to U.S. race relations. Most recently, a provocative and decidedly more offensive term than birthright citizenship has emerged: "anchor babies." With this book, Leo R. Chavez explores the question of birthright citizenship, and of citizenship in the United States writ broadly, as he counters the often hyperbolic claims surrounding these so-called anchor babies. Chavez considers how the term is used as a political dog whistle, how changes in the legal definition of citizenship have affected the children of immigrants over time, and, ultimately, how U.S.-born citizens still experience trauma if they live in families with undocumented immigrants. By examining this pejorative term in its political, historical, and social contexts, Chavez calls upon us to exorcise it from public discourse and work toward building a more inclusive nation.
Federal entitlement programs are strewn throughout the pages of U.S. history, springing from the noble purpose of assisting people who are destitute through no fault of their own. Yet as federal entitlement programs have grown, so too have their inefficiency and their cost. Neither tax revenues nor revenues generated by the national economy have been able to keep pace with their rising growth, bringing the national debt to a record peacetime level. The High Cost of Good Intentions is the first comprehensive history of these federal entitlement programs. Combining economics, history, political science, and law, John F. Cogan reveals how the creation of entitlements brings forth a steady march of liberalizing forces that cause entitlement programs to expand. This process—as visible in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as in the present day—is repeated until benefits are extended to nearly all who could be considered eligible, and in turn establishes a new base for future expansions. His work provides a unifying explanation for the evolutionary path that nearly all federal entitlement programs have followed over the past two hundred years, tracing both their shared past and the financial risks they pose for future generations.
Voting rights are a perennial topic in American politics. Recent elections and the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down key enforcement provisions in the Voting Rights Act (VRA), have only placed further emphasis on the debate over voter disenfranchaisement. Over the past five decades, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have consistently voted to expand the protections offered to vulnerable voters by the Voting Rights Act. And yet, the administration of the VRA has become more fragmented and judicial interpretation of its terms has become much less generous. Why have Republicans consistently adopted administrative and judicial decisions that undermine legislation they repeatedly endorse? Ballot Blocked shows how the divergent trajectories of legislation, administration, and judicial interpretation in voting rights policymaking derive largely from efforts by conservative politicians to narrow the scope of federal enforcement while at the same time preserving their public reputations as supporters of racial equality and minority voting rights. Jesse H. Rhodes argues that conservatives adopt a paradoxical strategy in which they acquiesce to expansive voting rights protections in Congress (where decisions are visible and easily traceable) while simultaneously narrowing the scope of federal enforcement via administrative and judicial maneuvers (which are less visible and harder to trace). Over time, the repeated execution of this strategy has enabled a conservative Supreme Court to exercise preponderant influence over the scope of federal enforcement.
In the natural course of events, humans fall sick and die. The history of medicine bristles with attempts to find new and miraculous remedies, to work with and against nature to restore humans to health and well-being. In this book, Londa Schiebinger examines medicine and human experimentation in the Atlantic World, exploring the circulation of people, disease, plants, and knowledge between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. She traces the development of a colonial medical complex from the 1760s, when a robust experimental culture emerged in the British and French West Indies, to the early 1800s, when debates raged about banning the slave trade and, eventually, slavery itself. Massive mortality among enslaved Africans and European planters, soldiers, and sailors fueled the search for new healing techniques. Amerindian, African, and European knowledges competed to cure diseases emerging from the collision of peoples on newly established, often poorly supplied, plantations. But not all knowledge was equal. Highlighting the violence and fear endemic to colonial struggles, Schiebinger explores aspects of African medicine that were not put to the test, such as Obeah and vodou. This book analyzes how and why specific knowledges were blocked, discredited, or held secret.
Hmong American immigrants first came to the United States as refugees of the Vietnam War. Forty years on, they have made a notable impact in American political life. They have voter participation rates higher than most other Asian American ethnic groups, and they have won seats in local and state legislative bodies. Yet the average level of education among Hmong Americans still lags behind that of the general U.S. population and high rates of poverty persist in their community, highlighting a curious disparity across the typical benchmarks of immigrant incorporation. Carolyn Wong analyzes how the Hmong came to pursue politics as a key path to advancement and inclusion in the United States. Drawing on interviews with community leaders, refugees, and the second-generation children of immigrants, Wong shows that intergenerational mechanisms of social voting underlie the political participation of Hmong Americans. Younger Hmong Americans engage older community residents in grassroots elections and conversation about public affairs. And in turn, within families and communities, elders often transmit stories that draw connections between ancient Hmong aspirations for freedom and contemporary American egalitarian projects.
Dead Pledges is the first book to explore the ways that U.S. culture—from novels and poems to photojournalism and horror movies—has responded to the collapse of the financialized consumer credit economy in 2008. Connecting debt theory to questions of cultural form, this book argues that artists, filmmakers, and writers have re-imagined what it means to owe and to own in a period when debt is what makes our economic lives possible. Encompassing both popular entertainment and avant-garde art, the post-crisis productions examined here help to map the landscape of contemporary debt: from foreclosure to credit scoring, student debt to securitized risk, microeconomic theory to anti-eviction activism. A searing critique of the ideology of debt, Dead Pledges dismantles the discourse of moral obligation so often invoked to make us repay. Debt is no longer a source of economic credibility, it contends, but a system of dispossession that threatens the basic fabric of social life.
The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration reexamines the history of imprisonment of U.S. and Canadian citizens of Japanese descent during World War II. Karen M. Inouye explores how historical events can linger in individual and collective memory and then crystallize in powerful moments of political engagement. Drawing on interviews and untapped archival materials—regarding politicians Norman Mineta and Warren Furutani, sociologist Tamotsu Shibutani, and Canadian activists Art Miki and Mary Kitagawa, among others—Inouye considers the experiences of former wartime prisoners and their on-going involvement in large-scale educational and legislative efforts. While many consider wartime imprisonment an isolated historical moment, Inouye shows how imprisonment and the suspension of rights have continued to impact political discourse and public policies in both the United States and Canada long after their supposed political and legal reversal. In particular, she attends to how activist groups can use the persistence of memory to engage empathetically with people across often profound cultural and political divides. This book addresses the mechanisms by which injustice can transform both its victims and its perpetrators, detailing the dangers of suspending rights during times of crisis as well as the opportunities for more empathetic agency.
Every year, a staggering five million visitors flock to the Grand Canyon to view its sweeping vistas. One of the most remarkable wonders of the natural world, the Grand Canyon has become a symbol of the American West—its Indian heritage, its pioneer spirit, its sublime beauty. It is one of the most photographed landmarks in America, and one of its earliest photographers was Henry G. Peabody. In 1879, Peabody, a member of both the Chicago Electrical Society and the Chicago Photographic Society, was the first to use electricity to project lantern slides, becoming a father of the modern slideshow. Recognizing an opportunity to promote migration and tourism, western railroads and postcard companies hired Peabody to document the natural beauty of the American frontier. Awed by its exotic landscape, Peabody turned his collection of photographs into an audio-visual slideshow that enabled thousands of people from Boston to Chicago and beyond to experience a mode of vicarious travel through electricity, sound, and photography. Peabody's original slideshow was possible only through advances in 19th-century technology, so it is a particularly fitting subject for this groundbreaking 21st-century digital-born, interactive scholarly publication. Originating from the Spatial History Project within the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford, Nicholas Bauch's Enchanting the Desert is a careful examination of Henry Peabody's early-twentieth-century slideshow of the Grand Canyon. By placing this study within the spatial framework of the Canyon itself, and embellishing Peabody's slideshow with rich overlays created through GIS mapping and virtual recreations of the canyon topography, Bauch has created a digital prototype for studying historical and cultural geography. Enchanting the Desert also includes 80 essays on human geographical aspects of the Canyon, ranging from Native American habitation and names, through the physical hurdles overcome by Peabody as he created the slideshow, to the consequences of the image choices Peabody made on future access and tourism within the canyon. The result of deep archival research in the Huntington Library, employing the traditional tools of the historian and geographer, Bauch raises and answers questions only a born-digital project could make possible, and reveals a previously hidden geography of a landmark that has come to define the American West.
In the mid-1970s, the Cold War had frozen into a nuclear stalemate in Europe and retreated from the headlines in Asia. As Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter fought for the presidency in late 1976, the superpower struggle overseas seemed to take a backseat to more contentious domestic issues of race relations and rising unemployment. There was one continent, however, where the Cold War was on the point of flaring hot: Africa. Jimmy Carter in Africa opens just after Henry Kissinger's failed 1975 plot in Angola, as Carter launches his presidential campaign. The Civil Rights Act was only a decade old, and issues of racial justice remained contentious. Racism at home undermined Americans' efforts to "win hearts and minds" abroad and provided potent propaganda to the Kremlin. As President Carter confronted Africa, the essence of American foreign policy—stopping Soviet expansion—slammed up against the most explosive and raw aspect of American domestic politics—racism. Drawing on candid interviews with Carter, as well as key U.S. and foreign diplomats, and on a dazzling array of international archival sources, Nancy Mitchell offers a timely reevaluation of the Carter administration and of the man himself. In the face of two major tests, in Rhodesia and the Horn of Africa, Carter grappled with questions of Cold War competition, domestic politics, personal loyalty, and decision-making style. Mitchell reveals an administration not beset by weakness and indecision, as is too commonly assumed, but rather constrained by Cold War dynamics and by the president's own temperament as he wrestled with a divided public and his own human failings. Jimmy Carter in Africa presents a stark portrait of how deeply Cold War politics and racial justice were intertwined.
Marigold presents the first rigorously documented, in-depth story of one of the Vietnam War's last great mysteries: the secret peace initiative, codenamed "Marigold," that sought to end the war in 1966. The initiative failed, the war dragged on for another seven years, and this episode sank into history as an unresolved controversy. Antiwar critics claimed President Johnson had bungled (or, worse, deliberately sabotaged) a breakthrough by bombing Hanoi on the eve of a planned secret U.S.-North Vietnamese encounter in Poland. Yet, LBJ and top aides angrily insisted that Poland never had authority to arrange direct talks and Hanoi was not ready to negotiate. This book uses new evidence from long hidden communist sources to show that, in fact, Poland was authorized by Hanoi to open direct contacts and that Hanoi had committed to entering talks with Washington. It reveals LBJ's personal role in bombing Hanoi as he utterly disregarded the pleas of both the Polish and his own senior advisors. The historical implications of missing this opportunity are immense: Marigold might have ended the war years earlier, saving thousands of lives, and dramatically changed U.S. political history.