New Books Network

Thomas Aiello, “The Grapevine of the Black South” (U Georgia Press, 2018)
In the summer of 1928, William Alexander Scott began a small four-page weekly with the help of his brother Cornelius. By 1932 the Atlanta World had become a daily paper and the basis of Scott’s vision for a massive Southern newspaper chain – the Southern Newspaper Syndicate, later renamed as the Scott... Read More
Scott Heerman, “The Alchemy of Slavery: Human Bondage and Emancipation in the Illinois Country” (U Pennsylvania, 2018)
Scott Heerman is the author of The Alchemy of Slavery: Human Bondage and Emancipation in the Illinois Country, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2018. The Alchemy of Slavery examines how slavery and emancipation developed in the Illinois Country from the 18th century through the 19th century. Drawing... Read More
Michael F. Conlin, “The Constitutional Origins of the American Civil War” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
In an incisive analysis of over two dozen clauses as well as several ‘unwritten’ rules and practices, The Constitutional Origins of the American Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2019) shows how the Constitution aggravated the sectional conflict over slavery to the point of civil war. Going beyond the fugitive slave... Read More
Mark Burford, “Mahalia Jackson and the Black Gospel Field” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Mahalia Jackson, the great mid-twentieth century gospel singer, thought of herself as an embodiment of the history of African Americans in the United States. She understood that her family’s background, as they moved from enslavement in Louisiana to farming in the same rural area to New Orleans at the beginning... Read More
Chelene Knight, “Dear Current Occupant” (Book*hug, 2018)
Today, I’m talking with Chelene Knight. She’s written a new memoir called Dear Current Occupant (Book*hug, 2018). And as her title suggests, it’s a letter of sorts, one written to those people who might now be occupying one of many places she and her family lived back when she was... Read More
William Sturkey, “Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White” (Harvard UP, 2019)
If you really want to understand Jim Crow—what it was and how African Americans rose up to defeat it—you should start by visiting Mobile Street in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the heart of the historic black downtown. There you can see remnants of the shops and churches where, amid the violence and... Read More
Harriet Washington, “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind” (Little, Brown Spark, 2019)
Environmental racism is visible not only as cancer clusters or the location of grocery stores. It is responsible for the reported gap in IQ scores between white Americans and Black, Latinx, and Native Americans. So argues science writer Harriet Washington in A Terrible to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault... Read More