History



An Ethnohistorian in Rupert's Land

Jennifer S. H. Brown
Oct 2018 - UBC Press
In 1670, the ancient homeland of the Cree and Ojibwe people of Hudson Bay became known to the English entrepreneurs of the Hudson's Bay Company as Rupert's Land, after the founder and absentee landlord, Prince Rupert. For four decades, Jennifer S. H. Brown has examined the complex relationships that developed among the newcomers and the Algonquian communities—who hosted and tolerated the fur traders—and later, the missionaries, anthropologists, and others who found...

Proving Ground

Edward Slavishak
The Appalachian Mountains attracted an endless stream of visitors in the twentieth century, each bearing visions of what they would encounter. Well before large numbers of tourists took to the mountains in the latter half of the century, however, networks of missionaries, sociologists, folklorists, doctors, artists, and conservationists made Appalachia their primary site for fieldwork. In Proving Ground, Edward Slavishak studies several of these interlopers to show that the...

Four Guardians

Jeffrey W. Donnithorne
When the US military confronts pressing security challenges, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps often react differently as they advise and execute civilian defense policies. Conventional wisdom holds that these dynamics tend to reflect a competition for prestige, influence, and dollars. Such interservice rivalries, however, are only a fraction of the real story. In Four Guardians, Jeffrey W. Donnithorne argues that the services act instead...

Word of Mouth

Chad Bennett
Can the art of gossip help us to better understand modern and contemporary poetry? Gossip’s ostensible frivolity may seem at odds with common conceptions of poetry as serious, solitary expression. But in Word of Mouth, Chad Bennett explores the dynamic relationship between gossip and American poetry, uncovering the unexpected ways that the history of the modern lyric intertwines with histories of sexuality in the twentieth century. Through nuanced readings of Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes,...

Lessons in Leadership

John R. Deane, Jr.
John R. Deane Jr. (1919–2013) was born with all the advantages a man needs to succeed in a career in the US Army, and he capitalized on his many opportunities in spectacular fashion. The son of one of George C. Marshall's closest assistants, Deane graduated from West Point with the first class of World War II and served in combat under the dynamic General Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr. After the war, he led a German espionage unit in operations against the...

Thunder in the Argonne

Douglas V. Mastriano
In July 1918, sensing that the German Army had lost crucial momentum, Supreme Allied Commander Ferdinand Foch saw an opportunity to end the First World War. In drafting his plans for a final grand offensive, he assigned the most difficult sector—the dense Argonne forest and the vast Meuse River valley—to the American Expeditionary Forces under General John J. Pershing. There, the Doughboys faced thickly defended German lines with terrain deemed impossible to...

Northern Italy in the Roman World

Carolynn E. Roncaglia
Carolynn E. Roncaglia's Northern Italy in the Roman World analyzes the effect of the Roman Empire on northern Italy, tracing the evolution of the region from the Bronze Age to the Gothic wars. A wealthy and strategically important region, northern Italy presents an interesting case study for examining the influence of the Roman state on the fluctuating geographic areas of Cisalpine Gaul that were under its control. Using an array of epigraphic,...

Building Washington

Robert J. Kapsch
In 1790, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson set out to build a new capital for the United States of America in just ten years. The area they selected on the banks of the Potomac River, a spot halfway between the northern and southern states, had few resources or inhabitants. Almost everything needed to build the federal city would have to be brought in, including materials, skilled workers, architects, and engineers. It was a daunting task,...

Romantic Shades and Shadows

Susan J. Wolfson
Reading is a weirdly phantasmic trade: animating words to revive absent voices, rehearing the past, fantasizing a future. In Romantic Shades and Shadows, Susan J. Wolfson explores spectral language, formations, and sensations, defining an apparitional poetics in the finely grained textures of writing and their effects on present reading. Framed by an introductory chapter on writing and apparition and an afterword on haunted reading, the book includes chapters of sustained, revelatory close attention...

Waterfront Manhattan

Kurt C. Schlichting
For hundreds of years, the shorefront of Manhattan Island served as the country’s center of trade, shipping, and commerce. With its maritime links across the oceans, along the Atlantic coast, and inland to the Midwest and New England, Manhattan became a global city and home to the world’s busiest port. It was a world of docks, ships, tugboats, and ferries, filled with cargo and freight, a place where millions of immigrants entered the Promised Land. In Waterfront...

Building Reuse

Kathryn Rogers Merlino
In Building Reuse: Sustainability, Preservation, and the Value of Design, Kathryn Rogers Merlino makes an impassioned case that truly sustainable design requires reusing and reimagining existing buildings. The construction and operation of buildings is responsible for 41 percent of all primary energy use and 48 percent of all carbon emissions. The impact of the demolition and removal of an older building can greatly diminish the advantages of adding green...

Sarah Gray Cary from Boston to Grenada

Susan Clair Imbarrato
The Cary family of Chelsea, Massachusetts, prospered as plantation owners and managers for nearly two decades in the West Indies before the Grenada slave revolts of 1795–1796 upended the sugar trade. Through turbulent and often distressing times, Sarah Gray Cary used her quick intelligence and astute judgment to help her family adapt to their shifting fortunes. From Samuel Cary’s departure from Boston to St. Kitts in 1764 to...

War Isn't the Only Hell

Keith Gandal
American World War I literature has long been interpreted as an alienated outcry against modern warfare and government propaganda. This prevailing reading ignores the US army’s unprecedented attempt during World War I to assign men—except, notoriously, African Americans—to positions and ranks based on merit. And it misses the fact that the culture granted masculinity only to combatants, while the noncombatant majority of doughboys experienced a different...

Bad Logic

Daniel Wright
"Reader, I married him," Jane Eyre famously says of her beloved Mr. Rochester near the end of Charlotte Brontë’s novel. But why does she do it, we might logically ask, after all he’s put her through? The Victorian realist novel privileges the marriage plot, in which love and desire are represented as formative social experiences. Yet how novelists depict their characters reasoning about that erotic desire—making something intelligible and ethically meaningful out of the aspect of...

A Paris Life, A Baltimore Treasure

Stanley Mazaroff
In 1857, George A. Lucas, a young Baltimorean who was fluent in French and enamored of French art, arrived in Paris. There, he established an extensive personal network of celebrated artists and art dealers, becoming the quintessential French connection for American collectors. The most remarkable thing about Lucas was not the art that he acquired for his clients (who included William and Henry Walters, the founders of the...

The Mentelles

Randolph Paul Runyon
Though they were not, as Charlotte claimed, refugees from the French Revolution, Augustus Waldemar and Charlotte Victoire Mentelle undoubtedly felt like exiles in their adopted hometown of Lexington, Kentucky—a settlement that was still a frontier town when they arrived in 1798. Through the years, the cultured Parisian couple often reinvented themselves out of necessity, but their most famous venture was Mentelle's for Young...

Rethinking the Civil War Era

Paul D. Escott
Arguably, no event since the American Revolution has had a greater impact on US history than the Civil War. This devastating and formative conflict occupies a permanent place in the nation's psyche and continues to shape race relations, economic development, and regional politics. Naturally, an event of such significance has attracted much attention from historians, and tens of thousands of books have been published on the subject. Despite this breadth of study, new...

The Secret History of RDX

Colin F. Baxter
During the early years of World War II, American ships crossing the Atlantic with oil and supplies were virtually defenseless against German U-boats. Bombs and torpedoes fitted with TNT barely made a dent in the tough steel plating that covered the hulls of Axis submarines and ships. Then, seemingly overnight, a top-secret, $100 million plant appeared near Kingsport, Tennessee, manufacturing a sugar-white substance called Research Department Explosive (code...