History


The Shell Builders

Colin Brooker
Beaufort, South Carolina, is well known for its historical architecture, but perhaps none is quite as remarkable as those edifices formed by tabby, sometimes called coastal concrete, comprising a mixture of lime, sand, water, and oyster shells. Tabby itself has a storied history stretching back to Iberian, Caribbean, Spanish American, and even African roots—brought to the United States by adventurers, merchants, military engineers, planters, and the...

Writing War and Reunion

Jeffery J. Rogers
William Gilmore Simms (1806–1870) was a novelist, poet, and essayist and was considered the South's premier literary figure at the height of his popularity. No less an authority than Edgar Allen Poe remarked of Simms that "he has surpassed, we think, any of his countrymen" as a novelist. Simms's literary achievements include more than twenty major novels, several volumes of poetry, and biographies of important...

Crossings and Encounters

Laura R. Prieto
For centuries the Atlantic world has been a site of encounter and exchange, a rich point of transit where one could remake one's identity or find it transformed. Through this interdisciplinary collection of essays, Laura R. Prieto and Stephen R. Berry offer vivid new accounts of how individuals remapped race, gender, and sexuality through their lived experience and in the cultural imagination. Crossings and Encounters is the first single volume to...

Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast

Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse
Inseparable from its communities, Northwest Coast art functions aesthetically and performatively beyond the scope of non-Indigenous scholarship, from demonstrating kinship connections to manifesting spiritual power. Contributors to this volume foreground Indigenous understandings in recognition of this rich context and its historical erasure within the discipline of art history. By centering voices that uphold Indigenous priorities, integrating the expertise of...

Shaker Fever

William D. Moore
Americans were enthralled by the Shakers in the years between 1925 and 1965. They bought Shaker furniture, saw Shaker worship services enacted on Broadway, sang Shaker songs, dressed in Shaker-inspired garb, collected Shaker artifacts, and restored Shaker villages. William D. Moore analyzes the activities of scholars, composers, collectors, folklorists, photographers, writers, choreographers, and museum staff who drove the national interest in this...

The Virtuous and Violent Women of Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts

Emily C.K. Romeo
Dismantling the image of the peaceful and serene colonial goodwife and countering the assumption that New England was inherently less violent than other regions of colonial America, Emily C. K. Romeo offers a revealing look at acts of violence by Anglo-American women in colonial Massachusetts, from the everyday to the extraordinary. Using Essex County as a case study, Romeo deftly utilizes seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sources to demonstrate that...

The Port of Missing Men

Aaron Goings
In the early twentieth century so many dead bodies surfaced in the rivers around Aberdeen, Washington, that they were nicknamed the "floater fleet." When Billy Gohl (1873–1927), a powerful union official, was arrested for murder, local newspapers were quick to suggest that he was responsible for many of those deaths, perhaps even dozens—thus launching the legend of the Ghoul of Grays Harbor. More than a true-crime tale, The Port of Missing Men sheds...

Stage Money, revised and updated edition

Tim Donahue
For decades roughly 80 percent of commercial Broadway productions have failed to recoup their original investments. In light of this shocking and harsh reality, how does the show go on? Tim Donahue and Jim Patterson answer this question and many others in this updated edition of their popular, straightforward guide to understanding professional theater finances and the economic realities of theater production. This revised edition of Stage Money not...

The Great Quake Debate

Susan Hough
In the first half of the twentieth century, when seismology was still in in its infancy, renowned geologist Bailey Willis faced off with fellow high-profile scientist Robert T. Hill in a debate with life-or-death consequences for the millions of people migrating west. Their conflict centered on a consequential question: Is southern California earthquake country? These entwined biographies of Hill and Willis offer a lively, accessible account of the ways...

A Fashionable Century

Rachel Silberstein
Clothing and accessories from nineteenth-century China reveal much about women's participation in the commercialization of textile handicrafts and the flourishing of urban popular culture. Focusing on women's work and fashion, A Fashionable Century presents an array of visually compelling clothing and accessories neglected by traditional histories of Chinese dress, examining these products' potential to illuminate issues of gender and identity. In the late...

Communist Pigs

Thomas Fleischman
The pig played a fundamental role in the German Democratic Republic's attempts to create and sustain a modern, industrial food system built on communist principles. By the mid-1980s, East Germany produced more pork per capita than West Germany and the UK, while also suffering myriad unintended consequences of this centrally planned practice: manure pollution, animal disease, and rolling food shortages. The pig is an incredibly adaptive animal, and historian...

Anticipating Future Environments

Shana Lee Hirsch
Drought. Wildfire. Extreme flooding. How does climate change affect the daily work of scientists? Ecological restoration is often premised on the idea of returning a region to an earlier, healthier state. Yet the effects of climate change undercut that premise and challenge the ways scientists can work, destabilizing the idea of "normalcy" and revealing the politics that shape what scientists can do. How can the practice of...

Fir and Empire

Ian M. Miller
The disappearance of China's naturally occurring forests is one of the most significant environmental shifts in the country's history, one often blamed on imperial demand for lumber. China's early modern forest history is typically viewed as a centuries-long process of environmental decline, culminating in a nineteenth-century social and ecological crisis. Pushing back against this narrative of deforestation, Ian Miller charts the rise of timber plantations between...

Museum Diplomacy

Richard J. W. Harker
The Museums Connect program stands at the intersection of transnational public history and international diplomacy. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the American Alliance of Museums, this program partners U.S. museums and non-U.S. museums in projects designed to foster community collaboration and engagement. Museum Diplomacy focuses on three Museums Connect projects arranged between the United States and South Africa,...

The River That Made Seattle

BJ Cummings
With bountiful salmon and fertile plains, the Duwamish River has drawn people to its shores over the centuries for trading, transport, and sustenance. Chief Se'alth and his allies fished and lived in villages here and white settlers established their first settlements nearby. Industrialists later straightened the river's natural turns and built factories on its banks, floating in raw materials and shipping out airplane parts, cement, and steel. Unfortunately, the...

Shifting Livelihoods

Daniel Tubb
People employ various methods to extract gold in the rainforests of the Chocó, in northwest Colombia: Rural Afro-Colombian artisanal miners work hillsides with hand tools or dredge mud from river bottoms. Migrant miners level the landscape with excavators, then trap gold with mercury. Canadian mining companies prospect for open-pit mega-mines. Drug traffickers launder cocaine profits by smuggling gold into Colombia and claiming it came from fictitious...

Making Kantha, Making Home

Pika Ghosh
In Bengal, mothers swaddle their infants and cover their beds in colorful textiles that are passed down through generations. They create these kantha from layers of soft, recycled fabric strengthened with running stitches and use them as shawls, covers, and seating mats. Making Kantha, Making Home explores the social worlds shaped by the Bengali kantha that survive from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the first study of colonial-period women's embroidery...

Rescued from Oblivion

Alea Henle
In 1791, a group of elite Bostonian men established the first historical society in the nation. Within sixty years, the number of local history organizations had increased exponentially, with states and territories from Maine to Louisiana and Georgia to Minnesota boasting collections of their own. With in-depth research and an expansive scope, Rescued from Oblivion offers a vital account of the formation of historical culture and consciousness in the early United...

Patriots in Exile

James Waring McCrady
In the months following the May 1780 capture of Charleston, South Carolina, by combined British and loyalist forces, British soldiers arrested sixty-three paroled American prisoners and transported them to the borderland town of St. Augustine, East Florida—territory under British control since the French and Indian War. In Patriots in Exile, James Waring McCrady and C. L. Bragg chronicle the banishment of these elite southerners, the...

Seeds of Control

David Fedman
Japanese colonial rule in Korea (1905–1945) ushered in natural resource management programs that profoundly altered access to and ownership of the peninsula's extensive mountains and forests. Under the banner of "forest love," the colonial government set out to restructure the rhythms and routines of agrarian life, targeting everything from home heating to food preparation. Timber industrialists, meanwhile, channeled Korea's forest resources into supply chains that grew in...