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...

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,...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

The Chesapeake in Focus

Tom Pelton
When Captain John Smith arrived in Virginia in 1607, he discovered a paradise in the Chesapeake Bay. In the centuries that followed, the Bay changed vastly—and not for the better. European landowners and enslaved Africans slashed, burned, and cleared the surrounding forests to grow tobacco. Watermen overfished oysters, shad, and sturgeon, decimating these crucial species. Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond used its rivers as urban sewers. By the 1960s, the Chesapeake was dying. A...

The Problem with Pilots

Timothy P. Schultz
As aircraft flew higher, faster, and farther in the early days of flight, pilots were exposed as vulnerable, inefficient, and dangerous. They asphyxiated or got the bends at high altitudes; they fainted during high-G maneuvers; they spiraled to the ground after encountering clouds or fog. Their capacity to commit fatal errors seemed boundless. The Problem with Pilots tells the story of how, in the years between the world wars,...

A Telephone for the World

Martin Collins
In June 1990, Motorola publicly announced an ambitious business venture called Iridium. The project’s signature feature was a constellation of 77 satellites in low-Earth orbit which served as the equivalent of cellular towers, connecting to mobile customers below using wireless hand-held phones. As one of the founding engineers noted, the constellation "bathed the planet in radiation," enabling a completely global communications system. Focusing on the...

Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Volume 47

edited by Eve Tavor Bannet and Roxann Wheeler
Focused on conventions of technology, labor, and tolerance on the one hand, and on artistic intentionality on the other hand, these essays also address the implications of this past in our own research today. The first section, "Representing Humans and Technology," opens with the late Srinivas Aravamudan’s presidential address, "From Enlightenment to Anthropocene." This is followed by a panel of essays on labor and industry, which includes Valentina Tikoff on...

The Class of '74

John A. Lawrence
In November 1974, following the historic Watergate scandal, Americans went to the polls determined to cleanse American politics. Instead of producing the Republican majority foreshadowed by Richard Nixon’s 1972 landslide, dozens of GOP legislators were swept out of the House, replaced by 72 reforming Democratic freshmen. In The Class of '74, John A. Lawrence examines how these newly elected representatives bucked the status quo in Washington, helping to...