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books



  • Black Soldiers and the Civil War

    by Aston Gonzalez

    Deborah Willis's book "The Black Civil War Soldier" utilizes visual imagery other historians have often passed over to describe how Black soldiers understood military service in relation to their hopes for future economic, political, and familial security. 



  • Can Joe Biden Replicate FDR’s Success in Rebuilding the Democrats’ Coalition?

    Eric Rauchway's latest book on the FDR era shows that the New Deal was a complex undertaking, administered often through local channels, which meant it sometimes enabled democracy and sometimes suppressed it. The Biden administration can win allegiance from voters by expanding the safety net and strategic spending, but it won't be simple. 



  • Paleo Con

    by Daniel Immerwahr

    Why do the lifestyles of paleolithic hunter-gatherers repeatedly pop up as foils for western capitalist modernity? 



  • Lindsay Chervinsky's Five Best Books on Presidential Cabinets

    The author of an acclaimed book about George Washington's creation of the cabinet recommends five books about presidential cabinets, including those of Lincoln, Eisenhower and JFK, the unofficial team of African American advisors to FDR, and the consequential relationship between George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. 



  • The Spy Who Came in from the Carrel

    Two new books by Kathy Peiss and Richard Ovenden deal with the question of acquiring or destroying knowledege as an act of war, including the work of archivists in the OSS's "Chairborne Division" and the forced labor of Jewish scholars to identify major works of Judaica for Nazi Germany to purge. 


  • The Same Mistakes Twice? Teaching Dr. Seuss

    by Walter Kamphoefner

    Step back from the current media controversy and consider how Theodor Geisel's cartooning illustrate the contradictory nature of America's posture toward foreign and domestic racism in the World War II era, a pivotal moment for the nation that must be understood in all its complication. 



  • Dr. Philip Nel on the Legacy of Dr. Seuss

    "A lot of people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that an artist and a writer can be both a genius and a racist, can do brilliant work and be profoundly damaging. Those are not mutually exclusive categories."



  • How Dr. Seuss Responded to Critics Who Called Out His Racism

    by Rebecca Onion

    If anyone wants to examine the particulars of Dr. Seuss Enterprises' decision to discontinue the publication of six of the late author's books before jumping in to culture war combat, writer Rebecca Onion's interview with children's literature scholar Philip Nel is a good place to start. 



  • Searching for Our Urban Future in the Ruins of the Past

    Annalee Newitz's book on lost cities debunks the idea of sudden, catastrophic collapse. But the death of cities does show that humanity is vulnerable to change that makes centuries-old ways of life untenable. 



  • Some Dr. Seuss Books with Racist Imagery will Go out of Print

    The decision, which was made by Dr. Seuss Enterprises and is neither an instance of "cancellation" nor a fatal blow to the revenue generated by the late author's works, reflects growing awareness of the impact on children of ethnic stereotypes. 



  • What Counts, These Days, In Baseball?

    by David Henkin

    A cultural historian considers recent baseball controversies in light of new books on the sport, and concludes that ideas of fair competition have much more to do with our social context than fans acknowledge. 



  • The Arch of Injustice

    Historian Steven Hahn reviews Walter Johnson's "The Broken Heart of America," finding that Johnson makes a compelling case that St. Louis is the archetypal American city but is less effective at showing concepts like white supremacy and racial capitalism as dynamic historical processes. 



  • John C. Calhoun: Protector of Minorities?

    by Andrew Delbanco

    Robert Elder's biography of Calhoun examines the racist and pro-slavery thought of the legislator and his political afterlife.