History


The New PhD

Leonard Cassuto and Robert Weisbuch
For too many students, today's PhD is a bridge to nowhere. Imagine an entering cohort of eight doctoral students. By current statistics, four of the eight—50%!—will not complete the degree. Of the other four, two will never secure full-time academic positions. The remaining pair will find full-time teaching jobs, likely at teaching-intensive institutions. And maybe, just maybe, one of them will garner a position at a research university like the one where those...

Before the Raj

James Mulholland
Anglo-India's regional literature was both a practical and imaginative response to a pivotal period in the early colonialism of South Asia.

Mosquitoes of the World, Volumes 1 and 2

Richard C. Wilkerson, Yvonne-Marie Linton, and Daniel Strickman
Biting multiple times on two, three, or more different hosts, it is no surprise that some species of mosquitoes have co-evolved with pathogens. For humans and other animals, the result has been some of the most challenging diseases known. It has been said that Anopheles gambiae, as the primary transmitter of malaria parasites to humans, is the most dangerous animal in the world. Certainly malaria has killed more people than all the wars that ever took place.

The Fabric of Empire

Danielle C. Skeehan
"Textiles are the books that the colony was not able to burn."—Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez (AFEDES) A history of the book in the Americas, across deep time, would reveal the origins of a literary tradition woven rather than written. It is in what Danielle Skeehan calls material texts that a people's history and culture is preserved, in their embroidery, their needlework, and their woven cloth. In defining textiles as...

Control of the Laws in the Ancient Democracy at Athens

Edwin Carawan
The power of the court to overturn a law or decree—called judicial review—is a critical feature of modern democracies. Contemporary American judges, for example, determine what is consistent with the Constitution, though this practice is often criticized for giving unelected officials the power to strike down laws enacted by the people's representatives. This principle was actually developed more than two thousand years ago in the ancient democracy at Athens. In Control...

Riverblindness in Africa

Bruce Benton
foreword by James D. Wolfensohn
Riverblindness (onchocerciasis)—a pervasive neglected disease, transmitted by the blackfly, that causes horrific itching, disfigurement, and loss of vision—is also known as "lion's stare" in reference to the fixed, lifeless glare of the eyes blinded by the disease. The disease has destroyed countless lives for generations, particularly in Africa. Its effects are so devastating that the areas where it is most common (large expanses of land around...

Neighborhood of Fear

Kyle Riismandel
The explosive growth of American suburbs following World War II promised not only a new place to live but a new way of life, one away from the crime and crowds of the city. Yet, by the 1970s, the expected security of suburban life gave way to a sense of endangerment. Perceived, and sometimes material, threats from burglars, kidnappers, mallrats, toxic waste, and even the occult challenged assumptions about safe streets, pristine parks, and the sanctity of...

Death and Rebirth in a Southern City

Ryan K. Smith
Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy, holds one of the most dramatic landscapes of death in the nation. Its burial grounds show the sweep of Southern history on an epic scale, from the earliest English encounters with the Powhatan at the falls of the James River through slavery, the Civil War, and the long reckoning that followed. And while the region's deathways and burial practices have developed in surprising directions over these...

Grassroots Leviathan

Ariel Ron
The United States was an overwhelmingly rural society before the Civil War and for some time afterward. There were cities and factories, of course, especially in the northern seaboard states. In 1860, Manhattan's population was nearing a million. Brooklyn, which had been farmland at the time of the American Revolution, was itself home to 250,000. New England's mill towns were already well known, and Chicago's growth elicited awe. But these were...

Modernism after Postcolonialism

Mara de Gennaro
Existing studies of literary modernism generally read Anglophone Atlantic texts through the lens of critical theories emanating from Europe and North America. In Modernism after Postcolonialism, Mara de Gennaro undertakes a comparative Anglophone-Francophone study, invoking theoretical frameworks from Gayatri Spivak, Édouard Glissant, Françoise Vergès, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and others. Examining transnational poetics of...

The Amateur Hour

Jonathan Zimmerman
American college teaching is in crisis, or so we are told. But we've heard that complaint for the past 150 years, as critics have denounced the poor quality of instruction in undergraduate classrooms. Students daydream in gigantic lecture halls while a professor drones on, or they meet with a teaching assistant for an hour of aimless discussion. The modern university does not reward teaching, so faculty members at every level neglect it in favor of research and publication. ...

Rebels, Scholars, Explorers

Annalisa Berta and Susan Turner
For centuries, women have played key roles in defining and developing the field of vertebrate paleontology. Yet very little is known about these important paleontologists, and the true impacts of their contributions have remained obscure. In Rebels, Scholars, Explorers, Annalisa Berta and Susan Turner celebrate the history of women "bone hunters," delving into their fascinating lives and work. At the same time, they explore how the discipline has shaped...

Swansea Copper

Chris Evans and Louise Miskell
Eighteenth-century Swansea, Wales, was to copper what nineteenth-century Manchester was to cotton or twentieth-century Detroit to the automobile. Beginning around 1700, Swansea became the place where a revolutionary new method of smelting copper, later christened the Welsh Process, flourished. Using mineral coal as a source of energy, Swansea's smelters were able to produce copper in volumes that were quite unthinkable in the old, established smelting centers of central Europe and...

The Tsar, The Empire, and The Nation

Darius Staliūnas
This book of essays addresses the challenge of modern nationalism to the tsarist Russian Empire. This challenge first took place on the empire's western periphery, comprised of the twelve provinces extending from Ukrainian lands in the south to the Baltic provinces in the north, as well as to the Kingdom of Poland. At issue is whether the late Russian Empire entered World War I as a multiethnic state with many of its...

Foundations for Advancing Animal Ecology

Michael L. Morrison, Leonard A. Brennan, Bruce G. Marcot, William M. Block, and Kevin S. McKelvey
How can we maximize the probability that a species of wild animal will persist into the future? This audacious book proposes that advancing animal ecology—and conservation itself—demands that we re-envision our basic understanding of how animals interact with their environments and with each other. Synthesizing where we are and where we need to go with our studies of animals and their environs,...

From Captives to Consuls

Brett Goodin
From 1784 to 1815, hundreds of American sailors were held as "white slaves" in the North African Barbary States. In From Captives to Consuls, Brett Goodin vividly traces the lives of three of these men—Richard O'Brien, James Cathcart, and James Riley—from the Atlantic coast during the American Revolution to North Africa, from Philadelphia to the Louisiana Territories, and finally to the western frontier. This...

Mapping an Atlantic World, circa 1500

Alida C. Metcalf
Beginning around 1500, in the decades following Columbus's voyages, the Atlantic Ocean moved from the periphery to the center on European world maps. This brief but highly significant moment in early modern European history marks not only a paradigm shift in how the world was mapped but also the opening of what historians call the Atlantic World. But how did sixteenth-century chartmakers and mapmakers begin to conceptualize—and present to the public—an interconnected Atlantic World that...

No Kids Allowed

Michelle Ann Abate
What do Adam Mansbach's Go the F**k to Sleep and Barbara Park's MA! There's Nothing to Do Here! A Word from your Baby-in-Waiting have in common? Both are large-format picture books that you might find in the children's section of your local bookstore. However, their subject matter is decidedly intended for parents rather than children. In No Kids Allowed, Michelle Ann Abate examines a constellation of such books which she argues form a paradoxical new genre: children's literature...

Technology and the Environment in History

Sara B. Pritchard and Carl A. Zimring
Today's scientists, policymakers, and citizens are all confronted by numerous dilemmas at the nexus of technology and the environment. Every day seems to bring new worries about the dangers posed by carcinogens, "superbugs," energy crises, invasive species, genetically modified organisms, groundwater contamination, failing infrastructure, and other troubling issues. In this compelling book, Sara B. Pritchard and Carl A. Zimring adopt an analytical approach to...

Faces of Civil War Nurses

Ronald S. Coddington
During the American Civil War, women on both sides of the conflict, radiating patriotic fervor equal to their male counterparts, contributed to the war effort in countless ways: forming charitable societies, becoming nurses, or even marching off to war as vivandières, unofficial attachés to the regiments. In Faces of Civil War Nurses, Ronald S. Coddington turns his attention to the experiences of 77 women of all ages and walks of life who provided care during the war as nurses, aid workers, and...