New Books Network

Sarah Miller-Davenport, “Gateway State: Hawai’i and the Cultural Transformation of American Empire” (Princeton UP, 2019)
One of my talking points when hanging out with my fellow diplomatic historians is the painful absence of scholarship on Hawaii. Too many political histories treat Hawaii’s statehood as a kind of historical inevitability, an event that was bound to pass the moment the kingdom was annexed. As I would... Read More
Kris Lane, “Potosí: The Silver City That Changed the World” (U California Press, 2019)
In 1545, a native Andean prospector hit pay dirt on a desolate red mountain in highland Bolivia. There followed the world’s greatest silver bonanza, making the Cerro Rico or “Rich Hill” and the Imperial Villa of Potosí instant legends, famous from Istanbul to Beijing. The Cerro Rico alone provided over... Read More
Rosalyn LaPier, “Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet” (U Nebraska Press, 2017)
In Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), author Rosalyn LaPier, an associate professor in environmental studies at the University of Montana, complicates several narratives about Native people and the nonhuman world. Rather than “living in harmony with nature,” as stereotyped... Read More
Jacob Lee, “Masters of the Middle Waters: Indian Nations and Colonial Ambitions Along the Mississippi” (Harvard UP, 2019)
America’s waterways were once the superhighways of travel and communication. Coursing through a central line across the landscape, with tributaries connecting the South to the Great Plains and the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River meant wealth, knowledge, and power for those who could master it. In Masters of the Middle... Read More
E. MacDonald et al., “Time and a Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island” (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2016)
With its long and well-documented history, Prince Edward Island makes a compelling case study for thousands of years of human interaction with a specific ecosystem. The pastoral landscapes, red sandstone cliffs, and small fishing villages of Canada’s “garden province” are appealing because they appear timeless, but they are as culturally... Read More
Kristin L. Hoganson, “The Heartland: An American History” (Penguin, 2019)
The Great West. Middle America. Flyover Country. The expanse of plains, lakes, forests, and farms, between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains has carried many names. Beginning in the twentieth century, Americans began calling it The Heartland, a term that Dr. Kristin L. Hoganson argues carried a specific meaning that has... Read More
Chip Colwell, “Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Five decades ago, Native American leaders launched a crusade to force museums to return their sacred objects and allow them to rebury their kin. Today, hundreds of tribes use the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to help them recover their looted heritage from museums across the country. As... Read More