Andrew Needham, “Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest” (Princeton UP, 2016)
Researching and writing about infrastructure is a tall task. Infrastructure’s vastness, complexity, and, if it’s functioning, invisibility can defy narratives. Andrew Needham, however, succeeds beautifully. His book, called Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest (Princeton… Read More
William E. Ellis, “Irvin S. Cobb: The Rise and Fall of an American Humorist” (UP of Kentucky, 2017)
Today Irvin S. Cobb is remembered primarily as an author of humorous tales about life in Kentucky. Yet as William E. Ellis describes in his book Irvin S. Cobb: The Rise and Fall of an American Humorist (University Press of… Read More
Odd Arne Westad, “The Cold War: A World History” (Basic Books, 2017)
There have been many histories and treatments of the Cold War, few however have the breath, range and definitiveness of Harvard Professor Odd Arne Westad’s new take on the subject: The Cold War: A World History (Basic Books, 2017).… Read More
Sandra Jean Graham, “Spirituals and the Birth of a Black Entertainment Industry” (U Illinois Press, 2018)
What happened in popular entertainment when African Americans could access the stage after the Civil War? In Spirituals and the Birth of a Black Entertainment Industry (University of Illinois Press, 2018), Sandra Graham tells the complex story of how folk… Read More
Melanie A. Kiechle, “Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America” (U Washington Press, 2017)
Melanie Kiechle‘s Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America (University of Washington Press, 2017) takes us into the cellars, rivers, gutters and similar smelly recesses of American cities in the 19th century. In the decades on either… Read More
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