New Books Network

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... Read More
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... Read More
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... Read More
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... Read More
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... Read More
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... Read More
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... Read More
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),... Read More
Caridad Svich, “Mitchell and Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Routledge, 2019)
Mitchell and Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Routledge, 2019) is Caridad Svich’s love letter to the 1998 musical that introduced the world to its favorite East German ex-pat genderqueer rock star, Hedwig. A tribute both to the New York that spawned the musical and the glam rock that inspired... Read More