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By Norman Mailer. 2023
Published on the centenary of Norman Mailer&’s birth, a timely and urgent call to preserve our democracy From his bestselling…first novel, The Naked and the Dead, to his last work, American democracy was a lifelong project for Norman Mailer. It was his grand theme. Nearly all of his books touched on the pros and cons, the strengths and weaknesses, the grace (to use his word) and fragility of the American experiment as well as the threats to it—from autocratic leaders and a complacent citizenry, from violent protest and radical conservative assaults on it, from &“soft fascism&” and the ills of racism and poverty. In the sharp and impassioned language of a political Cassandra and with the eye of a novelist and journalist, he explored the underlying psychological, social, and economic causes of the country&’s fragile polity and offered urgent prescriptions for its reinvigoration.A Mysterious Country is a carefully selected collection of Mailer&’s most incisive—and sometimes remarkably prophetic—commentary on American democracy and what must be done to safeguard it. The anthology draws on both published and unpublished sources, from Mailer&’s great works of narrative nonfiction and novels as well as essays, interviews, letters, speeches, and talk show appearances. It includes pungent remarks on every president from FDR through George W. Bush, as well as correspondence with several. Throughout, what shines through is Mailer&’s passion for our democratic project—as well as the freedom that comes with it—and a keen awareness of its potential for failure, its virtues, and what is required of us to keep it intact.
The Lower Mississippi Valley is more than just a distinct geographical region of the United States; it was central to…the outcome of the Civil War and the destruction of slavery in the American South. Beginning with Lincoln's 1860 presidential election and concluding with the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, Freedom's Crescent explores the four states of this region that seceded and joined the Confederacy: Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. By weaving into a coherent narrative the major military campaigns that enveloped the region, the daily disintegration of slavery in the countryside, and political developments across the four states and in Washington DC, John C. Rodrigue identifies the Lower Mississippi Valley as the epicenter of emancipation in the South. A sweeping examination of one of the war's most important theaters, this book highlights the integral role this region played in transforming United States history.
By Peter Charles Hoffer. 2023
A lively synthesis of early American history, now in its third edition.The Brave New World covers the entire span of…early American history, from 30,000 years before Europeans landed on North American shores to the Revolutionary War. With its exploration of the places and peoples of early America, this comprehensive new edition of a classic textbook brings together the most recent scholarship on the colonial and revolutionary eras, Native Americans, slavery and the slave trade, politics, war, and the daily lives of ordinary people.In this edition, Peter Charles Hoffer incorporates the wealth of innovative work on early American history, including fresh material on• environmental history• the Dutch and French Caribbean• Indigenous societies• consumer goods• mapping• captivity tales• settler imperialism• power—who has it, who wants it, how it is expressed, and how it is opposedEmphasizing how diverse and entangled the early American imperial world was, this edition also greatly expands the geographical scope of the book. An updated bibliographic essay offering short descriptions of relevant books, articles, collections, and anthologies rounds out the volume. Wide-ranging and inclusive, The Brave New World continues to provide students, instructors, and historians with an engaging and accessible history of early North America.
By Eboni K. Williams. 2023
Essence Magazine 2023 Must ReadJournalist, attorney, and star of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York reshapes the cultural landscape…of achievement by showing why Black unity is crucial to individual and collective success. Eboni K. Williams knew that an important part of her mission as a media personality would be to unabashedly place Blackness on a pedestal. Williams has long known that Blackness is a rich, expansive place that centers resilience, excellence, beauty, panache, and brilliance. But these notions of Blackness have long been distorted by American racism, where for generations Black folks have been expected to live a subordinate, second-class existence in the country they call home. &“No more!&” Williams says, proclaiming that the good news about being Black today is that our community has unprecedented access to an array of tools to honor our Blackness however we see fit, whenever we see fit, wherever we see fit. Bet on Black is thus a call to action for Black people all over the world to adopt a fresh, highly informed mindset that will change lives. She delves into some of the cornerstones of leading a first-class Black life, including: Don&’t Let Anyone Make You Their Black SidekickCarry Your Blackness Proudly Everywhere You GoSubvert Stereotypes and Do YouDisrupt Oppressive Power StructuresNo Need to Codeswitch, Show Up as You Beautifully AreGet Together - Black Community is Invincible When We Get Together She does this all while sharing intimate details of her own story, so that you will better get to know the Eboni that you&’ve seen on The View and The Real Housewives of New York and heard on her own podcast series Holding Court. Williams&’s writing is at turns entertaining, relatable, and incredibly inspiring; after finishing this book, you will be reawakened to own your worth and understand the value of celebrating Blackness—whether yours or others&’. As Williams said in her infamous tagline, &“I&’ve had to work twice as hard for half as much, but now I&’m coming for everything.&” And she won't be satisfied until her people have unfettered access to everything right alongside her. She boldly proclaims that Blackness is the single most misunderstood construct in America. And in Bet on Black, Williams invites you to join her on the quest to show the world what Blackness really is.
By Benjamin L. Carp. 2023
Who set the mysterious fire that burned down much of New York City shortly after the British took the city…during the Revolutionary War? New York City, the strategic center of the Revolutionary War, was the most important place in North America in 1776. That summer, an unruly rebel army under George Washington repeatedly threatened to burn the city rather than let the British take it. Shortly after the Crown’s forces took New York City, much of it mysteriously burned to the ground. This is the first book to fully explore the Great Fire of 1776 and why its origins remained a mystery even after the British investigated it in 1776 and 1783. Uncovering stories of espionage, terror, and radicalism, Benjamin L. Carp paints a vivid picture of the chaos, passions, and unresolved tragedies that define a historical moment we usually associate with “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.&rdquo
By Samuel Woolley. 2023
An in-depth exploration of social media and emergent technology that details the inner workings of modern propaganda Until recently, propaganda…was a top-down, elite-only system of communication control used largely by state actors. Samuel Woolley argues that social media has democratized today’s propaganda, allowing nearly anyone to launch a fairly sophisticated, computationally enhanced influence campaign. Woolley shows how social media, with its anonymity and capacity for automation, allows a wide variety of groups to build the illusion of popularity through computational tools (such as bots) and human-driven efforts (such as sockpuppets—real people assuming false identities online—and partisan influencers). They use these technologies and strategies to create a bandwagon effect by bringing the content into parallel discussions with other legitimate users, or to mold discontent for political purposes. Drawing on eight years of original international ethnographic research among the people who build, combat, and experience these propaganda campaigns, Woolley presents an extensive view of the evolution of computational propaganda, offers a glimpse into the future, and suggests pragmatic responses for policy makers, academics, technologists, and others.
By Paul W. Kahn. 2023
One of America’s most distinguished political theorists examines what happens when national politics enters a small New England town After…the election of 2016 and, even more urgently, after the election of 2020, many citizens looked at the economic and cultural divisions that were causing deep disruptions in American politics and asked, “What is happening to us?” Paul W. Kahn explores these fundamental changes as they show themselves in a small New England town—his home of twenty-five years, Killingworth, Connecticut. His inquiry grounds a democratic theory that puts volunteering, not voting, at its center. Absent active participation, citizens lose the capacity for judgment that comes from working with others to solve real problems. Volunteering, however, is under existential threat today. Changes in civil society, commerce, employment, and public opinion formation have isolated families from each other and from their communities. Even middle-class families live under financial stress, uncertain of their children’s future, and without the support of civil society. Local media has disappeared. Residents do not have the time, information, or interest to volunteer. Under these conditions, national polarization enters local politics, which becomes yet another site for national conflict. To save our democracy, Kahn concludes, we need to find ways of matching opportunities for participation to the ways we live our lives today.
The Silver Women: How Black Women’s Labor Made the Panama Canal (Politics and Culture in Modern America)
By Joan Flores-Villalobos. 2023
The construction of the Panama Canal is typically viewed as a marvel of American ingenuity. What is less visible, and…less understood, is the project’s dependence on the labor of Black migrant women. The Silver Women shifts the focus of this monumental endeavor to the West Indian women who travelled to Panama, inviting readers to place women’s intimate lives, choices, grief, and ambition at the center of the economic and geopolitical transformation created by the construction of the Panama Canal and U.S. imperial expansion.Joan Flores-Villalobos argues that Black West Indian women made the canal construction possible by providing the indispensable everyday labor of social reproduction. West Indian women built a provisioning economy that fed, housed, and cared for the segregated Black West Indian labor force, in effect subsidizing the construction effort and the racial calculus that separated pay in silver for Black workers and gold for white Americans. But while also subject to racial discrimination and segregation, West Indian women mostly worked outside the umbrella of U.S. canal authorities. They did not hold contracts, had little access to official services and wages, and received pay in both silver and gold. From this position, they found ways to skirt, and at times subvert, the legal, moral, and economic parameters imperial authorities sought to impose on the migrant workforce. West Indian women developed important strategies of claims-making, kinship, community building, and market adaptation that helped them navigate the contradictions and violence of U.S. empire. In the meantime, these strategies of social reproduction nurtured further West Indian migrations, linking Panama to places like Harlem and Santiago de Cuba.The Silver Women is thus a history of Black women’s labor of social reproduction as integral to U.S. imperial infrastructure, the global Caribbean diaspora, and women’s own survival.
By Margot Canaday. 2023
A masterful history of the LGBT workforce in AmericaWorkplaces have traditionally been viewed as “straight spaces” in which queer people…passed. As a result, historians have directed limited attention to the experiences of queer people on the job. Queer Career rectifies this, offering an expansive historical look at sexual minorities in the modern American workforce. Arguing that queer workers were more visible than hidden and, against the backdrop of state aggression, vulnerable to employer exploitation, Margot Canaday positions employment and fear of job loss as central to gay life in postwar America.Rather than finding that many midcentury employers tried to root out gay employees, Canaday sees an early version of “don’t ask / don’t tell”: in all kinds of work, as long as queer workers were discreet, they were valued for the lower wages they could be paid, their contingency, their perceived lack of familial ties, and the ease with which they could be pulled in and pushed out of the labor market. Across the socioeconomic spectrum, they were harbingers of post-Fordist employment regimes we now associate with precarity. While progress was not linear, by century’s end some gay workers rejected their former discretion, and some employers eventually offered them protection unattained through law. Pushed by activists at the corporate grass roots, business emerged at the forefront of employment rights for sexual minorities. It did so, at least in part, in response to the way that queer workers aligned with, and even prefigured, the labor system of late capitalism.Queer Career shows how LGBT history helps us understand the recent history of capitalism and labor and rewrites our understanding of the queer past.
By Caleb Smith. 2023
How nineteenth-century “disciplines of attention” anticipated the contemporary concern with mindfulness and being “spiritual but not religious”Today, we’re driven to…distraction, our attention overwhelmed by the many demands upon it—most of which emanate from our beeping and blinking digital devices. This may seem like a decidedly twenty-first-century problem, but, as Caleb Smith shows in this elegantly written, meditative work, distraction was also a serious concern in American culture two centuries ago. In Thoreau’s Axe, Smith explores the strange, beautiful archives of the nineteenth-century attention revival—from a Protestant minister’s warning against frivolous thoughts to Thoreau’s reflections on wakefulness at Walden Pond. Smith examines how Americans came to embrace attention, mindfulness, and other ways of being “spiritual but not religious,” and how older Christian ideas about temptation and spiritual devotion endure in our modern ideas about distraction and attention.Smith explains that nineteenth-century worries over attention developed in response to what were seen as the damaging mental effects of new technologies and economic systems. A “wandering mind,” once diagnosed, was in need of therapy or rehabilitation. Modeling his text after nineteenth-century books of devotion, Smith offers close readings of twenty-eight short passages about attention. Considering social reformers who designed moral training for the masses, religious leaders who organized Christian revivals, and spiritual seekers like Thoreau who experimented with regimens of simplified living and transcendental mysticism, Smith shows how disciplines of attention became the spiritual exercises of a distracted age.
Join award-winning broadcaster Alvin Hall on a journey through America’s haunted racial past, with the legendary Green Book as your…guide.For countless Americans, the open road has long been a place where dangers lurk. In the era of Jim Crow, Black travelers encountered locked doors, hostile police, and potentially violent encounters almost everywhere, in both the South and the North. From 1936 to 1967, millions relied on The Negro Motorist Green Book, the definitive guide to businesses where they could safely rest, eat, or sleep. Most Americans only know of the guide from the 2018 Green Book movie or the 2020 Lovecraft Country TV show. Alvin Hall set out to revisit the world of the Green Book to instruct us all on the real history of the guide that saved many lives. With his friend Janée Woods Weber, he drove from New York to Detroit to New Orleans, visiting motels, restaurants, shops, and stores where Black Americans once found a friendly welcome. They explored historical and cultural landmarks, from the theatres and clubs where stars like Duke Ellington and Lena Horne performed to the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Along the way, they gathered memories from some of the last living witnesses for whom the Green Book meant survival—remarkable people who not only endured but rose above the hate, building vibrant Black communities against incredible odds.Driving the Green Book is a vital work of national history as well as a hopeful chronicle of Black resilience and resistance.The book contains 25 outstanding black and white photos and ephemera.
By Heather Andrea Williams. 2014
Europeans, Africans, and American Indians practiced slavery long before the first purchase of a captive African by a white land-owner…in the American colonies; that, however, is the image of slavery most prevalent in the minds of Americans today. This Very Short Introduction begins with the Portuguese capture of Africans in the 1400s and traces the development of American slavery until its abolition following the Civil War. Historian Heather Andrea Williams draws upon the rich recent scholarship of numerous highly-regarded academics as well as an analysis of primary documents to explore the history of slavery and its effects on the American colonies and later the United States of America.
In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between…Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.S. C. Gwynne's Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun. The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne's exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads--a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being. Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the "White Squaw" who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend. S. C. Gwynne's account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.
By S. C. Gwynne. 2014
From the author of the prizewinning New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon comes a thrilling account of…how Civil War general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson became a great and tragic American hero.Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon, even Robert E. Lee, he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country's greatest military figures. His brilliance at the art of war tied Abraham Lincoln and the Union high command in knots and threatened the ultimate success of the Union armies. Jackson's strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future. In April 1862 Jackson was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. By June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. He had, moreover, given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked--hope--and struck fear into the hearts of the Union. Rebel Yell is written with the swiftly vivid narrative that is Gwynne's hallmark and is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict between historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson's private life, including the loss of his young beloved first wife and his regimented personal habits. It traces Jackson's brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.
By Thomas J. Baker. 2022
An FBI veteran explains how the Mueller–Comey cabal turned the FBI from a &“swear to tell the truth&” law-enforcement agency…to a politicized intelligence organization.Americans have lost faith in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an institution they once regarded as the world&’s greatest law-enforcement agency. Thomas Baker spent many years with the FBI and is deeply troubled by this loss of faith. Specific lapses have come to light and each is thoroughly discussed in this book: Why did they happen? What changed? The answer begins days after the 9/11 attacks when the FBI underwent a significant change in culture. To understand how far the Bureau has fallen, this book shows the crucial role played by the FBI and its agents in past decades. It was quite often, as the reader will see from these firsthand experiences, a fun-filled adventure with exciting skyjackings, kidnappings, and bank robberies. At the same time, the reader will see the reverence the Bureau had for the Constitution and the concern agents held for the rights of each American. This book is not mere memoir—it is history. From the shooting of President Reagan and the death of Princess Diana to the TWA 800 crash and even getting marching orders from St. Mother Teresa, Baker&’s story shows how the FBI has played a pivotal role in our country&’s history.
By Robert L. Tonsetic. 2011
<p>A detailed chronicle—including eyewitness accounts—of the year American Patriots turned the tables on the British in the US War of…Independence.<p> <p>In 1781, the future of America hung by a thread. British troops occupied key coastal cities, from New York to Savannah. After several harsh winters, the American army was fast approaching the breaking point. Mutinies began to emerge in George Washington’s ranks, and it was only the arrival of French troops that provided a ray of hope for the American cause.<p> <p>1781 was a year of battles, from the Patriot victory in the Battle of Cowpens, to Gen. Nathaniel Greene’s impressive Southern campaign. In the Siege of Yorktown, the French fleet, the British fleet, Greene, Washington, and the French army under Rochambeau all converged in a fateful battle that would end with Cornwallis’s surrender on October 19.<p> <p>In this book, Robert Tonsetic provides a detailed analysis of the key battles and campaigns of 1781, supported by numerous eyewitness accounts, from privates to generals in the American, French, and British armies. He also describes the diplomatic efforts underway in Europe during 1781, as well as the Continental Congress’s actions to resolve the immense financial, supply, and personnel problems involved in maintaining an effective fighting army in the field.<p>
By Roy F. Guste Jr.. 1994
Introducing the best of Louisiana cookery from restaurateur and French-trained chef Roy F. Guste, Jr. In The 100 Greatest New…Orleans Creole Recipes, Guste presents a selection of choice recipes ranging from “Haute Creole” entrées like daube glacée to hearty red beans and rice. For generations, these dishes have graced the tables of famous dining establishments and family kitchen tables alike, proving that they have universal appeal and popularity. Chef Guste has simplified the steps of some his grander recipes, testing each one using only four saucepans, a skillet, and the bare minimum of utensils. The key to producing authentic Creole food, as he emphasizes, is the simplicity of the process and the freshness of ingredients. Follow these recipes and you can create the true flavor of Louisiana. Accompanying these recipes are beautiful period illustrations, as well as reminiscences and anecdotes of the recipes’ origins that only a few other true Louisianians would know. With gumbos, bisques, blackened dishes, appetizers, drinks, and desserts, this book makes Creole dining elegant and effortless.
By Jude W. Theriot. 2006
Cajun chef Jude Theriot has compiled what he considers the core recipes of Cajun cuisine. From boiled crawfish, crabmeat au…gratin, and shrimp gumbo to chicken 'touff'e, Chef Theriot has distilled the essence of Cajun cooking with his signature easy-to-follow, hearty recipes.
By Peter Collier. 1976
By Frederick Merk. 1978
A massive study of the American people from pre-Columbian times to the present. This work, which grew out of Professor…Merk's celebrated course at Harvard, emphasizes the many problems that have resulted from the swift, unplanned exploitation of the continent