Boston’s Massacre by Eric Hinderaker. Harvard University Press, 2017. British troops fired into a crowd of people gathered at the city’s Custom House, killing five people. Hinderaker submits the episode to twenty-first century journalistic scrutiny.
Unshackling America; How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution by Willard Randall. St. Martin’s Press, 2017. We take the accepted dates for the beginning and end of wars as gospel, without really thinking through the proximity of the two wars and why some issues were left unresolved in 1782.
Great Crossings; Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson by Christina Snyder. Oxford University Press, 2017. Indians, white settlers and slaves troop across the American stage during the Jacksonian era.
The Best Land Under Heaven; The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest destiny by Michael Wallis. W.W. Norton, 2017. In 1846 band of pioneers, of different ages, wealth, and education head west in pursuit of the American Dream until things went wrong.
Grunt; The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach. W.W. Norton, 2017 paper. The science behind a soldier’s persistent adversaries – panic, exhaustion, heat, and noise.
A Curse Upon the Nation; Race, Freedom and Extermination in America and the Atlantic World by Kay Lewi. University of Georgia Press, 2017 paper. How the specter of a race war has justified violence, molded collective memory, and permeated the rhetoric of slavery and emancipation.
President McKinley by Robert Merry. Simon & Schuster, 2017. Assassinated in the early weeks of his second term in office, McKinley could not compare to the martyred Abraham Lincoln. Nor was he as good an American imperialist as the man who succeeded him, Theodore Roosevelt. There is no McKinley to keep Roosevelt and Lincoln company on Mt. Rushmore.
Stitches in Time; Family and Slavery in Mercantile America by Rachel May. Pegasus, 2017. When we think of slavery, we think of the cotton economy and the American South. But there were various forms of servitude in such places as Manhattan and Providence, Rhode Island. May has reflected on a deposit of letters and other family papers discovered along with a partially finished quilt.
West Like Lightening; The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express by Jim DeFelice. William Morrow, 2017. This enterprise began in the spring of 1860, a series of relay writers on horseback that raced the 1,500 miles of uninhabited desert and mountain to the West Coast.
The Immortal Irishman; The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017 paper. Thomas Francis Meagher participated in the revolutionary activity of the 1840s. He then went on to command a brigade of Irishmen in the Civil War.
Lincoln’s Pathfinder; John C. Frémont and the Violent Election of 1856 by John Bickness. Chicago Review Press, 2017. Frémont was the first Presidential candidate of the new Republican Party, Lincoln’s predecessor. For the first time women and African Americans became actively engaged in the contest.
Cattle Kingdom; The Hidden History of the Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. Some exciting shootouts in frontier boom towns, but for most of the time they followed dusty cattle drives