Adam R. Shapiro, “Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Anti-Evolution Movement in American Schools” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
During the 1924-25 school year, John Scopes was filling in for the regular biology teacher at Rhea County Central High School in Dayton, Tennessee. The final exam was coming up, and he assigned reading from George W. Hunter’s 1914 textbook A Civic Biology to prepare students for the test. What... Read More
John P. DiMoia, “Reconstructing Bodies: Biomedicine, Health, and Nation-Building in South Korea Since 1945” (Stanford UP, 2013)
For a patient choosing among available forms of healing in the medical marketplace of mid-20th century South Korea, the process was akin to shopping. In Reconstructing Bodies: Biomedicine, Health, and Nation-Building in South Korea Since 1945 (Stanford University Press, 2013), John DiMoia explores emergence of that marketplace in the context... Read More
W. Caleb McDaniel, “The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform” (LSU Press, 2013)
How could members of a movement committed to cosmopolitanism accommodate nationalism? How could men and women committed to non-resistance reconcile themselves to politics when the authority of even democratic polities depended ultimately upon the threat of force? How could activists committed to equality — the essence of democracy — deny... Read More
Sarah Churchwell, “Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of the Great Gatsby” (Virago, 2013)
One phenomenon of movies made of classic novels is that the movie often says a lot more about the time of its making than about the time of the novel. And so Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is more a depiction of a 2012 idea of the 1920s than a... Read More
Tevi Troy, “What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted” (Regency, 2013)
Presidents, you know, are people too. They read the newspaper (including the sports page and the funnies), settle in with books (yes, beach reading too), watch movies and TV (after all, they have a private theatre in the White House), and listen to music (“President Obama, what’s on your iPod?”).... Read More
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