Hoover; An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte. Knopf, 2017. Began life as an orphan, built a fortune, became a great humanitarian, and then president. Some would claim that Hebert Hoover fathered New Deal liberalism.
Revolutions in the Atlantic World; A Comparative History by Wim Klooster. New York University Press, 2017 paper. Looking at the French, Haitian, American, and Spanish-American revolutions as a single phenomenon; all were civil rather than class warfare, all inspired by the French Enlightenment.
Supreme Injustice; Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court by Paul Finkelman. Harvard University Press, 2017. Three Supreme Court justices – John Marshall, Roger Taney, and Joseph Story – took positions that weakened the case for emancipation and embedded racism even deeper into the American civil culture.
The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City; Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World’s Fair by Margaret Creighton. W.W.Norton, 2017 paper. President William McKinley’s assassination. Geronimo was part of the spectacle. The star of the Midway (the smallest woman in the world) was either kidnapped or vamoosed.
President McKinley; Architect of the American Century by Robert Merry. Simon & Schuster, 2017. McKinley (1897 to 1901) fades when compared to his successor, Theodore Roosevelt, but he established the US as an imperial power, developed the doctrine of “fair trade” and forced the “open door” on a reluctant China.
Accidental President; Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World by A. J. Baime. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. The sudden death of F.D.R. and Truman’s insecurities.
Sorrow of the Earth; Buffalo Bill, Sitting Bull, and the Tragedy of Show Business by Eric Vuillard & Ann Jefferson. Pushkin Press, 2017. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and the fate of those Native American participants who were absorbed into his entertainment machine.
Blood Brothers; The Story of the Strange Friendship between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill by Deanne Stillman. Simon & Schuster, 2017. The unlikely friendship between Buffalo Bill Cody and Sitting Bull!
The Second Coming of the KKK; The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition by Linda Gordon. W.W. Norton, 2017. A focus on immigrants and Roman Catholics, and anyone who was not considered sufficiently Christian.