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New Books in American Studies

Marshall Poe

122
Followers
986
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New Books in American Studies

New Books in American Studies

Marshall Poe

122
Followers
986
Plays
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About Us

Interviews with Scholars of America about their New Books

Latest Episodes

LaDale Winling, "Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century" (U Penn Press, 2018)

Universities have become state-like entities, possessing their own hospitals, police forces, and real estate companies. To become such behemoths, higher education institutions relied on the state for resources and authority. Through government largesse and shrewd legal maneuvering, university administrators became powerful interests in urban planning during the twentieth century. LaDale Winling's Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press) casts higher education as the beneficiary and catalyst of the century's monumental state building projects--receiving millions in New Deal construction funds, even more from WWII-era military research, and directing the bulldozer's path during urban renewal schemes around the country. As state-funding for higher education decreased in the second half of the twentieth century and universities became more dependent on endowment investment and commercial research, their interests diverged even more sharply from the needs and desires of surrounding communities. Winling discusses challenges he faced while researching the book, obstacles to organizing against harmful higher education practices today, and his ongoing digital project on redlining called Mapping Inequality. LaDale C. Winling is Associate Professor of History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Patrick Reilly​ is a PhD student in US History at Vanderbilt University. He studies police, community organizations, and urban development. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

83 MIN20 h ago
Comments
LaDale Winling, "Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century" (U Penn Press, 2018)

Thomas Borstelmann, "Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners" (Columbia UP, 2020)

The American attitude towards outsiders has always been ambivalent. The United States, it is commonly said, is a nation of immigrants; today, it’s the most demographically diverse great power. But on the other side of that spectrum have been anxiety about and hatred for the foreign. And there’s no shortage of this: from the English-only movements of the 1980s and 90s to the continued power of America First. Thomas Borstelmann, E.N. and Katherine Thompson Professor of Modern World History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has tried to sort out that ambivalence in his thoughtful and thought-provoking new book Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners (Columbia University Press, 2020). The book entertains its readers with examples pulled from the unlikeliest of places (Chef Boyardee and Captain America make appearances). But it also provokes us to think about the US’ relationship with the foreign in a much more complicated way. Dexter Fergieis a PhD student of US and global history at Northwestern University. He is currently researching the 20th century geopolitical history of information and communications networks. He can be reached by email atdexter.fergie@u.northwestern.eduor on Twitter@DexterFergie. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

65 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Thomas Borstelmann, "Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners" (Columbia UP, 2020)

John C. McManus, "Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber, 2019)

For most Americans, the war the United States waged in the Pacific in the Second World War was one fought primarily by the Navy and the Marine Corps. As John C. McManus demonstrates in Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber), however, this obscures the considerable role played by the soldiers of the United States Army in the conflict throughout the region. Their presence there was one that predated the outbreak of hostilities, as the Army had stationed divisions and regiments throughout the Pacific and eastern Asia for decades. These men and women were among the first to confront the Japanese military onslaught, most notably in the Philippines where American forces waged a credible defense against the Japanese invasion of Luzon before they were ground down by disease and a lack of supplies. In the aftermath of this defeat, the Army mounted a series of campaigns across the breadth of the region. McManus describes these wide-ranging efforts, from...

72 MIN4 d ago
Comments
John C. McManus, "Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber, 2019)

Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re hearing an awful lot about the fraught relationship between science and media. In his book, News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), historian of science Joshua Nall shows us that a blurry boundary between science and journalism was a key feature—not a bug—of the emergence of modern astronomy. Focusing on objects and media, such as newspapers, encyclopedias, cigarette cards, and globes, Nall offers a history of how astronomers’ cultivation of a mass public shaped their discipline as it managed controversies over the possibility of canals on Mars, and even interplanetary communication. This book is strongly recommended for historians of science and communication, as well as those with an eye for material culture. Joshua Nall is curator of modern sciences at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at th...

64 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

J. Browning and T. Silver, "An Environmental History of the Civil War" (UNC Press, 2020)

This sweeping new history recognizes that the Civil War was not just a military conflict but also a moment of profound transformation in Americans' relationship to the natural world. To be sure, environmental factors such as topography and weather powerfully shaped the outcomes of battles and campaigns, and the war could not have been fought without the horses, cattle, and other animals that were essential to both armies. But in An Environmental History of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2020), Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver weave a far richer story, combining military and environmental history to forge a comprehensive new narrative of the war's significance and impact. As they reveal, the conflict created a new disease environment by fostering the spread of microbes among vulnerable soldiers, civilians, and animals; led to large-scale modifications of the landscape across several states; sparked new thinking about the human relationship to the natural world; ...

59 MIN4 d ago
Comments
J. Browning and T. Silver, "An Environmental History of the Civil War" (UNC Press, 2020)

Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, claimed to have translated ancient scriptures. He dictated an American Bible from metal plates reportedly buried by ancient Jews in a nearby hill, and produced an Egyptian "Book of Abraham" derived from funerary papyri he extracted from a collection of mummies he bought from a traveling showman. In addition, he rewrote sections of the King James Version as a "New Translation" of the Bible. Smith and his followers used the term translation to describe the genesis of these English scriptures, which remain canonical for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether one believes him or not, the discussion has focused on whether Smith's English texts represent literal translations of extant source documents. On closer inspection, though, Smith's translations are far more metaphysical than linguistic. In Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism (Oxford UP, 2020), Samuel Morris Brown argues that these translations exp...

56 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Alex Sayf Cummings, "Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy" (Columbia UP, 2020)

Beginning in the 1950s, a group of academics, businesspeople, and politicians set out on an ambitious project to remake North Carolina’s low-wage economy. They pitched the universities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill as the kernel of a tech hub, Research Triangle Park, which would lure a new class of highly educated workers. In the process, they created a blueprint for what would become known as the knowledge economy: a future built on intellectual labor and the production of intellectual property. In Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy (Columbia UP, 2020),Alex Sayf Cummings reveals the significance of Research Triangle Park to the emergence of the high-tech economy in a postindustrial United States. She analyzes the use of ideas of culture and creativity to fuel economic development, how workers experienced life in the Triangle, and the role of the federal government in bringing the modern technology industry into being. As Raleigh, Durham, an...

38 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Alex Sayf Cummings, "Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy" (Columbia UP, 2020)

Thomas Richards Jr., "Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2020)

In Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), Thomas Richards Jr., a history teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, argues that the map of North America was not preordained. Richards uses the Republic of Texas, the 1830s Patriot War, the Mormon exodus, and several other examples from the American West argue that during the 1830s and 1840s, people across North America saw the continent as a place where the flaws of the United States could be remedied by the creation of alternative republics. This is a book about the importance of contingency in understanding the past, and about recognizing that even the outcomes that seemed likely in hindsight often were unlikely in the moment. In the prolonged period of crisis that coincided with the presidencies of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, Americans looked West and imagined a vast continent of republics, or as Richards calls them, a “kaleidoscopic” map of different “f...

64 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Thomas Richards Jr., "Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2020)

Anne Lindsay, "Reconsidering Interpretation of Heritage Sites: America in the Eighteenth Century" (Routledge, 2020)

2020 had been an intense year for Americans reflecting on their nation’s history. From attacks on statues to public debates about the 1619 Project to the release of Hamilton on a streaming service, Americans have been taking a hard look at how the history of the founding of the United States is memorialized. Anne Lindsay’s Reconsidering Interpretation of Heritage Sites: America in the Eighteenth Century (Routledge, 2020) explores a number of tourist attractions that play a crucial role in teaching Americans about their past. This thoughtful and critical book notes the ways in which enslaved Blacks, women, Native Americans, and working people are often neglected by plantation tours, historic houses, and other popular cultural attractions such as Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg. She argues that in addition to including these silenced voices, such sites should also engage environmental history and colonial America’s global context. Based on a decade of research a...

67 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Anne Lindsay, "Reconsidering Interpretation of Heritage Sites: America in the Eighteenth Century" (Routledge, 2020)

Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)

A few short years ago, Michael Rectenwald was a Marxist professor at NYU, pursuing his career and contemplating becoming a Trotskyist, when the political climate on campus - victimology, cancel-culture, no-platforming, and political correctness run-amok - began to bother him. He responded by creating a Twitter handle, @AntiPCNYUProf (now @TheAntiPCProf), and began bashing campus excesses with humor and biting satire. Predictably, he was soon discovered and pushed out of his job. Rectenwald struck back by publishing Springtime for Snowflakes, a memoir of his experiences in academia, which included criticism and analyses of the leftism now dominating campus culture. He followed that book with Google Archipelago, which delves into the seeming enigma of why big business embraces far-left politics - hint: self-interest is involved - and the rapid growth of consumer/citizen surveillance. The foundation for a robust leftist totalitarianism is being carefully laid. With this new volume, Rec...

63 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)

Latest Episodes

LaDale Winling, "Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century" (U Penn Press, 2018)

Universities have become state-like entities, possessing their own hospitals, police forces, and real estate companies. To become such behemoths, higher education institutions relied on the state for resources and authority. Through government largesse and shrewd legal maneuvering, university administrators became powerful interests in urban planning during the twentieth century. LaDale Winling's Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press) casts higher education as the beneficiary and catalyst of the century's monumental state building projects--receiving millions in New Deal construction funds, even more from WWII-era military research, and directing the bulldozer's path during urban renewal schemes around the country. As state-funding for higher education decreased in the second half of the twentieth century and universities became more dependent on endowment investment and commercial research, their interests diverged even more sharply from the needs and desires of surrounding communities. Winling discusses challenges he faced while researching the book, obstacles to organizing against harmful higher education practices today, and his ongoing digital project on redlining called Mapping Inequality. LaDale C. Winling is Associate Professor of History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Patrick Reilly​ is a PhD student in US History at Vanderbilt University. He studies police, community organizations, and urban development. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

83 MIN20 h ago
Comments
LaDale Winling, "Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century" (U Penn Press, 2018)

Thomas Borstelmann, "Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners" (Columbia UP, 2020)

The American attitude towards outsiders has always been ambivalent. The United States, it is commonly said, is a nation of immigrants; today, it’s the most demographically diverse great power. But on the other side of that spectrum have been anxiety about and hatred for the foreign. And there’s no shortage of this: from the English-only movements of the 1980s and 90s to the continued power of America First. Thomas Borstelmann, E.N. and Katherine Thompson Professor of Modern World History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has tried to sort out that ambivalence in his thoughtful and thought-provoking new book Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners (Columbia University Press, 2020). The book entertains its readers with examples pulled from the unlikeliest of places (Chef Boyardee and Captain America make appearances). But it also provokes us to think about the US’ relationship with the foreign in a much more complicated way. Dexter Fergieis a PhD student of US and global history at Northwestern University. He is currently researching the 20th century geopolitical history of information and communications networks. He can be reached by email atdexter.fergie@u.northwestern.eduor on Twitter@DexterFergie. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

65 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Thomas Borstelmann, "Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners" (Columbia UP, 2020)

John C. McManus, "Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber, 2019)

For most Americans, the war the United States waged in the Pacific in the Second World War was one fought primarily by the Navy and the Marine Corps. As John C. McManus demonstrates in Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber), however, this obscures the considerable role played by the soldiers of the United States Army in the conflict throughout the region. Their presence there was one that predated the outbreak of hostilities, as the Army had stationed divisions and regiments throughout the Pacific and eastern Asia for decades. These men and women were among the first to confront the Japanese military onslaught, most notably in the Philippines where American forces waged a credible defense against the Japanese invasion of Luzon before they were ground down by disease and a lack of supplies. In the aftermath of this defeat, the Army mounted a series of campaigns across the breadth of the region. McManus describes these wide-ranging efforts, from...

72 MIN4 d ago
Comments
John C. McManus, "Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 (Dutton Caliber, 2019)

Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re hearing an awful lot about the fraught relationship between science and media. In his book, News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), historian of science Joshua Nall shows us that a blurry boundary between science and journalism was a key feature—not a bug—of the emergence of modern astronomy. Focusing on objects and media, such as newspapers, encyclopedias, cigarette cards, and globes, Nall offers a history of how astronomers’ cultivation of a mass public shaped their discipline as it managed controversies over the possibility of canals on Mars, and even interplanetary communication. This book is strongly recommended for historians of science and communication, as well as those with an eye for material culture. Joshua Nall is curator of modern sciences at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at th...

64 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

J. Browning and T. Silver, "An Environmental History of the Civil War" (UNC Press, 2020)

This sweeping new history recognizes that the Civil War was not just a military conflict but also a moment of profound transformation in Americans' relationship to the natural world. To be sure, environmental factors such as topography and weather powerfully shaped the outcomes of battles and campaigns, and the war could not have been fought without the horses, cattle, and other animals that were essential to both armies. But in An Environmental History of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2020), Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver weave a far richer story, combining military and environmental history to forge a comprehensive new narrative of the war's significance and impact. As they reveal, the conflict created a new disease environment by fostering the spread of microbes among vulnerable soldiers, civilians, and animals; led to large-scale modifications of the landscape across several states; sparked new thinking about the human relationship to the natural world; ...

59 MIN4 d ago
Comments
J. Browning and T. Silver, "An Environmental History of the Civil War" (UNC Press, 2020)

Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, claimed to have translated ancient scriptures. He dictated an American Bible from metal plates reportedly buried by ancient Jews in a nearby hill, and produced an Egyptian "Book of Abraham" derived from funerary papyri he extracted from a collection of mummies he bought from a traveling showman. In addition, he rewrote sections of the King James Version as a "New Translation" of the Bible. Smith and his followers used the term translation to describe the genesis of these English scriptures, which remain canonical for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether one believes him or not, the discussion has focused on whether Smith's English texts represent literal translations of extant source documents. On closer inspection, though, Smith's translations are far more metaphysical than linguistic. In Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism (Oxford UP, 2020), Samuel Morris Brown argues that these translations exp...

56 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Alex Sayf Cummings, "Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy" (Columbia UP, 2020)

Beginning in the 1950s, a group of academics, businesspeople, and politicians set out on an ambitious project to remake North Carolina’s low-wage economy. They pitched the universities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill as the kernel of a tech hub, Research Triangle Park, which would lure a new class of highly educated workers. In the process, they created a blueprint for what would become known as the knowledge economy: a future built on intellectual labor and the production of intellectual property. In Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy (Columbia UP, 2020),Alex Sayf Cummings reveals the significance of Research Triangle Park to the emergence of the high-tech economy in a postindustrial United States. She analyzes the use of ideas of culture and creativity to fuel economic development, how workers experienced life in the Triangle, and the role of the federal government in bringing the modern technology industry into being. As Raleigh, Durham, an...

38 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Alex Sayf Cummings, "Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy" (Columbia UP, 2020)

Thomas Richards Jr., "Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2020)

In Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), Thomas Richards Jr., a history teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, argues that the map of North America was not preordained. Richards uses the Republic of Texas, the 1830s Patriot War, the Mormon exodus, and several other examples from the American West argue that during the 1830s and 1840s, people across North America saw the continent as a place where the flaws of the United States could be remedied by the creation of alternative republics. This is a book about the importance of contingency in understanding the past, and about recognizing that even the outcomes that seemed likely in hindsight often were unlikely in the moment. In the prolonged period of crisis that coincided with the presidencies of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, Americans looked West and imagined a vast continent of republics, or as Richards calls them, a “kaleidoscopic” map of different “f...

64 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Thomas Richards Jr., "Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2020)

Anne Lindsay, "Reconsidering Interpretation of Heritage Sites: America in the Eighteenth Century" (Routledge, 2020)

2020 had been an intense year for Americans reflecting on their nation’s history. From attacks on statues to public debates about the 1619 Project to the release of Hamilton on a streaming service, Americans have been taking a hard look at how the history of the founding of the United States is memorialized. Anne Lindsay’s Reconsidering Interpretation of Heritage Sites: America in the Eighteenth Century (Routledge, 2020) explores a number of tourist attractions that play a crucial role in teaching Americans about their past. This thoughtful and critical book notes the ways in which enslaved Blacks, women, Native Americans, and working people are often neglected by plantation tours, historic houses, and other popular cultural attractions such as Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg. She argues that in addition to including these silenced voices, such sites should also engage environmental history and colonial America’s global context. Based on a decade of research a...

67 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Anne Lindsay, "Reconsidering Interpretation of Heritage Sites: America in the Eighteenth Century" (Routledge, 2020)

Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)

A few short years ago, Michael Rectenwald was a Marxist professor at NYU, pursuing his career and contemplating becoming a Trotskyist, when the political climate on campus - victimology, cancel-culture, no-platforming, and political correctness run-amok - began to bother him. He responded by creating a Twitter handle, @AntiPCNYUProf (now @TheAntiPCProf), and began bashing campus excesses with humor and biting satire. Predictably, he was soon discovered and pushed out of his job. Rectenwald struck back by publishing Springtime for Snowflakes, a memoir of his experiences in academia, which included criticism and analyses of the leftism now dominating campus culture. He followed that book with Google Archipelago, which delves into the seeming enigma of why big business embraces far-left politics - hint: self-interest is involved - and the rapid growth of consumer/citizen surveillance. The foundation for a robust leftist totalitarianism is being carefully laid. With this new volume, Rec...

63 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)
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