Hardback
September 10, 2003
9780801873539
English
344
25 halftones
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.35 Pounds (US)
1.35 Pounds (US)
$46.00 USD, £34.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
December 12, 2005
9780801883927
English
344
25 halftones
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.05 Pounds (US)
1.05 Pounds (US)
$29.00 USD, £21.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 12, 2010
9780801881367
English
344
25 halftones
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$29.00 USD, £21.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Sensory Worlds in Early America

Over the past half-century, historians have greatly enriched our understanding of America's past, broadening their fields of inquiry from such traditional topics as politics and war to include the agency of class, race, ethnicity, and gender and to focus on the lives of ordinary men and women. We now know that homes and workplaces form a part of our history as important as battlefields and the corridors of power. Only recently, however, have historians begun to examine the fundamentals of lived experience and how people perceive the world through the five senses.

In this ambitious work, Peter Charles Hoffer presents a "sensory history" of early North America, offering a bold new understanding of the role that sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch played in shaping the lives of Europeans, Indians, and Africans in the New World. Reconstructing the most ephemeral aspects of America's colonial past—the choking stench of black powder, the cacophony of unfamiliar languages, the taste of fresh water and new foods, the first sight of strange peoples and foreign landscapes, the rough texture of homespun, the clumsy weight of a hoe—Hoffer explores the impact of sensuous experiences on human thought and action. He traces the effect sensation and perception had on the cause and course of events conventionally attributed to deeper cultural and material circumstances.

Hoffer revisits select key events, encounters, and writings from America's colonial past to uncover the sensory elements in each and decipher the ways in which sensual data were mediated by prevailing and often conflicting cultural norms. Among the episodes he reexamines are the first meetings of Europeans and Native Americans; belief in and encounters with the supernatural; the experience of slavery and slave revolts; the physical and emotional fervor of the Great Awakening; and the feelings that prompted the Revolution. Imaginatively conceived, deeply informed, and elegantly written, Sensory Worlds of Early America convincingly establishes sensory experience as a legitimate object of historical inquiry and vividly brings America's colonial era to life.

About the Author

Peter Charles Hoffer, Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Georgia, has published many books, including Law and People in Colonial America, second edition, John Quincy Adams and the Gag Rule, 1835–1850, Prelude to Revolution: The Salem Gunpowder Raid of 1775, and The Devil's Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials, both published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Reviews

"Far ranging, imaginative . . . Sensory Worlds in Early America is a signal contribution to the emerging field of the history of the senses. It is a work of scholarship that takes risks with its sources and conclusions, asking readers to stretch their horizons to include new elements in the practice of twenty-first century cultural history. In that it succeeds admirably."—Richard Cullen Rath, William and Mary Quarterly

"Part of the contribution of Peter Charles Hoffer's elegantly written study is that it suggests what dedicated attention to the senses might achieve."—Mark M. Smith, American Historical Review

"Hoffer's thesis that history is part of a sensate process is remarkable, infectious, and written with verve."—Choice

"Sensory Worlds works best when Hoffer uses his evidence to carefully reconstruct the sensate experience in early America in order to bring new depth to familiar stories."—John Smolenski, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

"Reconstructing the sensory world of early Americans and what it meant to them is no easy task, yet Peter Charles Hoffer achieves just that. With a vivid, engaging prose style, he effectively recreates the visible, audible, and tangible reality of colonial America. This fresh and insightful work enlarges our understanding of the period and affirms the importance of sensation as a causative agent in history."—Richard Godbeer, author of Sexual Revolution in Early America

The Johns Hopkins University Press

9780801873539 : sensory-worlds-in-early-america-hoffer
Hardback
344 Pages
$46.00 USD
9780801881367 : sensory-worlds-in-early-america-hoffer
Electronic book text
344 Pages
$29.00 USD
9780801883927 : sensory-worlds-in-early-america-hoffer
Paperback / softback
344 Pages
$29.00 USD

Other Titles by Peter Charles Hoffer

Law and People in Colonial America, second edition

Peter Charles Hoffer
Nov 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$32.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$32.95 USD - Electronic book text

John Quincy Adams and the Gag Rule, 1835–1850

Peter Charles Hoffer
Nov 2017 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$17.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$17.95 USD - Electronic book text

When Benjamin Franklin Met the Reverend Whitefield

Peter Charles Hoffer
Oct 2013 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$59.00 USD - Hardback
$22.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$22.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in HISTORY / North America

Cherishing the Past, Envisioning the Future.

Olaf Kaltmeier
Feb 2021 - University of New Orleans Press
$27.50 USD - Paperback / softback

The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America, 1600–1870

Daniel R. Mandell
Apr 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

edited by Shane P. Mahoney and Valerius Geist
Sep 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$74.95 USD - Hardback
$74.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in History of the Americas

Inside the US Navy of 1812–1815

William S. Dudley
Apr 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

To Her Credit

Sara T. Damiano
Apr 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$55.95 USD - Hardback
$55.95 USD - Electronic book text

Engineering Rules

JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy
Mar 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback