New Books: Politics. Economics. I.

Globalists; The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian. Harvard University Press, 2018. Slobodian begins his story in the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the chaotic world the followed the Great War, out of which grew an aggressive globalization.

Anti-Pluralism; The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy by William Galston. Yale University Press, 2018. Immigration, the growing division between urban and rural prospects, and the declining prospects for a long-run prosperity have fueled the populist movement.

American Default; The Untold Story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the Battle over Gold by Sebastian Edwards. Princeton University Press, 2018. Edwards describes FDR’s rancorous clashes with conservative Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, a confrontation that threatened the future of the New Deal and lead to Roosevelt’s attempt to ‘pack the court’ in 1937.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff. Public Affairs, 2018. We are at the juncture in a confrontation between high tech companies and capitalist enterprises.

The Infinite Desire for Growth by Daniel Cohen & Mary Todd, trans. Princeton University Press, 2018. Our obsession with economic growth as a solution to all of our problems.

The World Inequality Report: 2018 by Thomas Piketty et al. Harvard University Press, paper 2018. Analysis that will be important to policy makers and scholars – if and when they choose to deal with the problem.

Class Matters; The Strange Career of an American Delusion by Steve Fraser. Yale University Press, 2018. Six signposts of American history, each in its own way suggesting just how much class maters.

Must We Defend Nazis? Why the First Amendment Should Not Protect Hate Speech and White Supremacy by Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic. New York University Press, 2018 paper. Gainesville has recently had that discussion.

Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? by Robert Kuttner, W.W. Norton, 2018. Can we roll back the clock and enjoy the prosperity of the post-World War II years?

Land of the Fee; Hidden Costs and the Decline of the American Middle Class by Devin Fergus. Oxford University Press, 2018. Fergus looks at the massive transfer of wealth from the many to the few: large banking corporations, airlines, corporate hotel chains, and other institutions of vast wealth.

New Books; Politics. Economics. 2.

God Save Texas; A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright. Knopf, 2018.  The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities.

Squeezed; The High Price of the American Family by Alissa Quart. Ecco Press, 2018. The economic prospects of middle-class Americans, who are finding family life too costly.

Is Entrepreneurship Dead? The Truth About Startups in America by Scott Shane. Yale University Press, 2018.  An evolving market is changing the nature of startups, American entrepreneurship is alive and doing well.

To End a Presidency; The Power of Impeachment by Laurence Tribe & Joshua Matz. How the power of impeachment should be exercised – sparingly, let us hope.

Fascisms; A Warning by Madeleine Albright. Harper, 2018. This former Secretary of State and UN ambassador offers her personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism.

China’s Great Wall of Debt; Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinse Miracle by Dinny McMahon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. China’s debt is hanging over international economics; it is to be feared and regretted.

Invisible Countries; Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood by Joshua Keating. Yale University Press, 2018. Before we begin to construct walls, perhaps we should question the validity of borders.

A Foreign Policy for the Left by Michael Walzer. Yale University Press, 2018. At least a beginning framework for a discussion of foreign policy by the Left.

The Divide; Global Inequality from Conquest to Free Markets by Jason Hickel. W.W.Noton, 2018. Our offering of global aid to developing countries as well as loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund has resulted in a control regime not too unlike the old days of European imperialism. 

New Books; American Studies. 1

Grocery; the Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Rutlman. Abrams, 2018 paper.  What has happened in the industry since the days of the neighborhood grocer.

Bringing the War Home; The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America by Kathleen Belew. Harvard University Press, 2018. The most recent strain of white supremacy goes back to the 1970s when veterans of the Vietnam War were responding to feelings of abandonment.

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945 to 1975 by Max Hastings. Harper, 2018. An analysis of the military strategies of both sides.

The Left Behind; Decline and Rage in Rural America by Robert Wuthnow. Princeton University Press, 2018.What is fueling rural America’s antagonism toward the federal government? A journey into our small towns, farmlands, and rural communities.

Recovering Inequality; Hurricane Katrina [New Orleans], the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and the Aftermath of Disaster by Steve Kroll-Smith. University of Texas Press, 2018 paper. Eighty percent of the built environment of both cities was destroyed; the poor, the elderly, and the medically infirm perished in disproportionate numbers. What can be learned from this comparison?

The Fall of Wisconsin; The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics by Dan Kaufman. W.W. Norton, 2018. Once hailed for its progress ideas and government, the cradle of the labor and environmental movements. In 2016 the state went for Donald Trump.

Start Here; A Road Map to Reducing Mass Incarceration by Greg Berman & Julian Adler. The New Press, 2018. What can be done now to reduce jail and prison populations? 

At the Boundaries of Homeownership; Credit, Discrimination, and the American State by Cloe Thurston. Cambridge University Presses, 2018 paper. Home-ownership is not necessarily a natural outcome of the democratic process.

Evicted; Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. Crown, 2018 paper. A tour of the poorest neighborhoods in Milwaukee where evictions are increasingly common.

Environmentalism of the Rich by Peter Dauvergne. MIT Press, 2018 paper. What it means for global sustainability when environmentalism is dominated by the concerns of the affluent. They’re telling us how to run our planet. 

Goddess of Anarchy; The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical by Jacqaueline Jones. Basic, 2018. This outspoken labor leader argued that the only way to reform capitalism was to uproot it. Daughter of a slave mother, yet she resisted narrowing her agitation to the African-American working poor.  

New Books; American Studies. 2.

West Like Lightening; The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express by Jim DeFelice. Wm. Morrow, 2018. A brief short-lived mail delivery service on the eve of the American Civil War connecting the Eastern USA with its Western territories.

More than True; The Wisdom of Fairy Tales by Robert Bly. Holt, 2018. An analysis of six fairy tales and the profundity they contain.

Atlas of a Lost World; Travels in the Ice Age America by Craig Childs. Pantheon, 2018. The arrival of the First People in North America, maybe twenty thousand years ago.

Empire of Guns; The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution by Priaya Satia. Penguin Press, 2018. Britain’s prosperous gun trade was at the heart of its industrial revolution.

Loaded; A Disarming History of the Second Amendment by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. City Lights, 2018 paper. Not so much the need of citizens to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. Rather the Amendment was meant to facilitate the genocide of Native Americans and the seizure of their land, but also to enhance the ability to deal with runaway slaves.

Behemoth; A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World. W.W. Norton, 2018. The rise of factories around the world and their effect on society.

Vanishing Frontiers; The Irresistible Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together by Andrew Selee. Public Affairs, 2018. There are many similarities between the two countries, their demographics, their economies, and their cultures.

The Age of Walls by Tim Marshall. Scribner, 23018.  Borders, walls, and boundaries that divide countries and their populations.

An American Language; The History of Spanish in the United States by Rosina Lozano. University of California Press, 2018 paper. The importance of Spanish in tying the newly acquired Southwest to the English speaking eastern seaboard. 

The Burning House; Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America by Anders Walker. Yale University Press, 2018. A reexamination of the Jim Crow South that managed to get in the way of both diversity and equality. 

America’s Jails; The Search for Human Dignity in an Age of Mass Incarceration by Derek Jeffreys. New York University Press, 2018 paper. The discussion is about the huge population incarcerated in jails – not prisons, which is another matter.

The Securitization of Society: Crime, Risk and Social Order by Marc Schuilenburg, et al. New York University Press, 2018 paper. Traditionally security has been supplied by state and local governments and their uniformed police forces. More recently security advisors have become more varied. Schools, for example.

The Second Coming of the KKK; The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition. Liveright, 2018.  Comparisons with present day fascism in Europe are easy enough to make. What are the differences?

New Books: Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Heavens Might Crack; The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr by Jason Sokol. Basic, 2018. The range of responses in this country and around the world to King’s assassination.

Killing King; Racial Terrorists, James Earl Ray, and the Plot to Assassinate Martin Luther King by Stuart & Larry Handcock. Counterpoint, 2018.The assassination was plotted by a network of racial terrorists who were subsequently linked to hundreds of other racist acts.

The Seminarian; Martin Luther King, Jr. Comes of Age by Patrick Parr. Chicago Review Press, 2018. A young, rookie preacher and chain smoking pool player when he left Atlanta to attend a theological seminary with its all-white staff and student body.

Promised Land; Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice by Michael Honey. W.W. Norton, 2018. King’s commitment to the poor and working class and his call for non-violent resistance against economic injustices.

Redemption; Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last Thirty-One Hours by Joseph Rosenbloom. Beacon, 2018.  His futile efforts to revive the non-violent civil-rights movement.


New Books: American History.

Transatlantic Anti-fascisms; From the Spanish Civil War to the End of World War II by Michael Seidman. Cambridge University Press, 2018 paper. Anti-fascism was the most powerful ideology of the previous century. Seidman provides new interpretations of the Spanish Civil War, the French Popular Front, and the Second World War.

Five for Freedom; African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army by Chicago Review Press, 2018. Late in an October evening in 1859 John Brown led a band of raiders to Harpers Ferry. Brown hoped to start a slave rebellion. There were five African-Americans who participated.

Slavery’s Metropolis; Unfree Labor in New Orleans during the Age of Revolutions by Rashauna Johnson, Cambridge University Press, 2018 paper. Daily experiences of slavery in this American melting pot of culture became part of its global connections.

The Vietnam War Reexamined by Michael Kort. Cambridge University Press, 2018 paper. This new look at the War has spread around the various media.

Atlas of the Lost World; Travels in Ice Age America by Craig Childs. Pantheon, 2018. The arrival of the First People to North America twenty thousand years ago.

The Lost Education of Horace Tate; Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools by Vanessa Walker. New Press, 2018. The fight to integrate Southern schools before Brown v. Board of Education.

Without Precedent; Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times by Joel Richard Paul, Riverhead, 2018. The longest serving Chief Justice who whose decisions helped shape the institution of slavery in the American South.

The Bone and Sinew of the Land; America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa Cox. Public Affairs, 2018. The history of the thousands of black pioneers who escaped slavery and settled on the Western frontier.

An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz. Beacon Press, 2018. The contribution of Latinx and African Americans to the liberation movements both within the US and across the Western Hemisphere. Ortiz is a member of the faculty, U.F.

When Montezuma Met Cortés; The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History by Matthew Restall, Ecco Press, 2018. This account of the meeting of the Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortés, and the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, will disturb strongly-held views of that historical encounter.

The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee by John Reeves. Rowan & Littlefield, 2018. The legal case against the head of the Confederate army.

Turncoat; Benedict Arnold and the Crisis of American Liberty by Stephen Brumwell. Yale University Press, 2018. Why did the once-ardent hero of the American Revolution subsequently become its dishonored traitor?

The Doomsday Machine; Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg. Bloomsbury, 2018. So well planned. Why didn’t it happen? A false alarm, poof.

Son of Real Florida; Stories from My Life by Jeff Klinkenberg. University of Florida Press, 2018. The people and places that make his home-state unusual.

The Revolution That Failed; Reconstruction in Natchitoches [Louisiana] by Adam Fairclough. University of Florida Press, 2018.Post-Civil War Reconstruction did not achieve its goal, even during Reconstruction.

Making Oscar Wilde by Michèle Mendelssohn. Oxford University Press, 2018. Wilde’s self-mythologization and the rise of celebrity in post-Civil War America.

New Books: The World at War.

RAF; The Birth of the World’s First Air Force by Richard Overy. W.W. Norton 2018. Stalemate in the trenches on the Western Front. Airplanes were being used for reconnaissance of enemy positions, but then the Germans turned to bombing raids on Britain’s cities.

The Unknowns by Patrick O’Donnell.  Atlantic Monthly Press, 2018. The creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in 1921. 

The Killing Season; The Autumn of 1914, Ypres, and the Afternoon that Cost Germany a War by Robert Cowley. Random House, 2018. The month-long battle of Ypres was a turning point in WWI and in the history of warfare.

The Race to Save the Romanovs; The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family by Helen Rappaport. St. Martin’s Press, 2018. This year is the hundredth anniversary of the execution of the Russian Imperial family despite the international plots to save them.

1917; War, Peace, and Revolution by David Stevenson. Oxford University Press, 2018. The nations of Europe were by the third year of the Great War desperately looking for a way to escape the “war trap.”

Cabinet’s Finest Hour; The Hidden Agenda of May 1940 by David Owen. Haus Publishing, 2018 paper. In May 1940 the British War Cabinet began a fateful debate, Should Britain fight on in the face of overwhelming odds or seek a negotiated peace with Germany? Eight months further into the war, that peaceful decision seemed to have been a mistake.

The Washington War; Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II by James Lacey. Bantam, 2018. The forceful personalities who counseled FDR during the war, leading to machinations and power plays – out of which victory emerged.

Life and Death in the Battle of Britain by Carl Warner, editor. Imperial War Museum, paper. Stories told by young British pilots to their Chaplain in the summer of 1940. What was their mindset as they took to the skies in their “finest hour”?

Joining Hitler’s Crusade; European Nations and the Invasion of the Soviet Union, 1941 by David Stahel, editor. Cambridge University Press, 2018 paper. What motives prompted other Axis and non-Axis powers to join Operation Barbarossa.

Rescue Board; The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe by Rebecca Erbelding. Doubleday 2018. FDR’s last ditch attempt to save the Jews in Nazi-Occupied Europe.

Blueprint for War; FDR and the Hundred Days That Mobilized America by Susan Dunn. Yale University Press, 2018. FDR used the days between December 1940 and March 1941to mobilize American industry and its citizens.

New Books. History. Other Places. 2.

In Search of the Phoenicians by Josephine Quinn. Princeton University Press, 2018. The Phoenician city states became a collective only in the recent centuries.

Escape from Vichy; The Refugee Exodus to the French Caribbean by Eric Jennings, Harvard University Press, 2018. In the early years of World War II, thousands of political refugees fled Vichy-France for the French speaking Caribbean enroot to safer shores. There as exiles and refugees they assembled a Francophone culture as exiles and refugees.

Empress; the Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan [1577 to 1645] by Ruby Lal. W.W. Norton, 2018. Daughter of a Persian noble, Nur Jahan became the favorite wife of the Emperor Jahangir and a partner in his reign.

 Why Turkey is Authoritarian; Right-Wing Rule from Atatürk to Erdogan by Halil Karaveli, Pluto Press, 2018 paper. On the verge of becoming a Westernized liberal democracy only to lose ground to authoritarianism

Almost Home; Maroons Between Slavery and Freedom in Jamaica, Nova Scotia, and Sierra Leone by Ruma Chopra. Yale University Press, 2018. A small community of ex-slaves that survived in the eighteenth-century Caribbean and Nova Scotia.

The King’s City; A History of London During the Restoration; The City That Transformed a Nation by Don Jordan. Pegasus, 2018. The glamorous seventeenth-century London.  

Trading in War; London’s Maritime World in the Age of Cook and Nelson by Margarette Lincoln. Yale University Press, 2018. London was, during the Revolutionary Wars, the commercial nexus of a global empire that supported its military presence in North America and Europ

London’s Triumph; Merchants, Adventures, and Money in Shakespeare’s City by Stephen Alfrord. Bloomsbury, 2014. The history of London’s financial institutions. 

Rise and Kill First; The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman. Random, 2012. A humane investigation of a bloody subject. 

Twilight of Empire; The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs by Greg King & Penny Wilson. St. Martin’s, 2018. 1889; Austria-Hungary. Did the crown prince of the Austrian empire commit suicide? What was the role of the seventeen-year-old girl whose body was found beside him in his bed. 

Wellington; Waterloo and the Fortunes of Peace, 1814-1852 by Roy Muir. Yale University Press, 2018 paper. His long career, first his military exploits and the defeat of Napoleon. Then as a civilian and eventually Prime Minister.

Broken Lives; How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century by Konrad Jarausch. Princeton University Press, 2018. Stories of ordinary Germans who lived through the Holocaust, the Second World War, the partition of the country after the war, and the Cold War that followed.  

Berlin 1936; Sixteen Days in August by Oliver Hilmes & Jefferson Chase. Other Press, 2018. A complicated Olympia, with a new dictator attempting to make a grand gesture to an attentive world.

New Books: History. Other Places. 1.

The Square and the Tower; Networks and Power, from Freemasons to Facebook by Niall Ferguson. Penguin Press, 2018. The rise of networks, banking empires, Wikipedia, and many more.

Charlemagne; Father of a Continent by Alessandro Barbero and Allan Cameron, trans. University of California Press, 2018 paper. Charlemagne—reigned from AD 768 to AD 814. At the time if his death, his empire stretched across Europe to include Bavaria, Saxony, parts of Spain, and Italy

Rome and the Making of a World State, 150 BC to 20 AD by Josiah Osgood. Cambridge University Press, 2018 paper. In these years, the Romans developed a coherent vision of empire; Rome became a cultural and intellectual center that eclipsed other Mediterranean cities.

The Fate of Rome; Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper. Princeton University Press, 2018 A fate decided by the Little Ice Age, plus volcanos and solar cycles, bacteria and viruses

The Darkening Age; The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey. Harcourt, 2018. The Greco-Roman culture of the Eastern Mediterranean was crushed, its contributors slaughtered.

Never Remember; Searching for Stalin’s Gulags in Putin’s Russia by Masha Gessen & Misha Friedman. Columbia Global Reports, 2018.The now empty spaces were once three different gulags where from the 1930s to the 1950s millions of Soviet citizens were murdered.

Russia Reconsidered by Matthew Crosston. Brown Books, 2018. An examination of Russia’s policies and politics as determined by current political and media narratives.

The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks. Knopf, 2018. Essays, including one in which he looks carefully at our perceptions of time and duration. 

Mapping Shakespeare; An Exploration of Shakespeare’s Worlds through Maps by Jeremy Black. Conway Maritime, 2018.

The Family Medici; The Hidden History of the Medici Dynasty by Mary Hollingsworth. Pegauus, 2018. Moving beyond their banking origins, the Medici waged war on Italy’s burgeoning republicanism.

In Search of Israel; The History of an Idea by Michael Brenner. Princeton University Press, 2018. A complex topic – the history of modern Zionism from the late nineteenth-century to the World Wars.

Gaza; An Inquest into Its Maryrdom by Norm Finkelstein. University of California Press, 2018. He compares the Israeli treatment of Gaza to our removal of Native Americans, west to Oklahoma.

Growing Up with the Country; Family, Race, and Nation After the Civil War by Kendra Field. Yale University Press, 2018. The author’s ancestors, like so many other freedmen, moved West, first to Oklahoma and then further West.

New Books: Memoirs. Biographies.

The Moralist; Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole. Simon & Schuster, 2018. Wilson and his lasting impact on the American mind.

 Paul Simon; The Life by Robert Hilburn. Simon & Schuster, 2018. Singer-songwriter Paul Simon and his professional and personal successes and failures.

Neruda; The Poet’s Calling by Mark Eisner. Ecco Press, 2018. One of the most influential literary figures in Latin American history.

 The Promise and the Dream; The Interrupted Lives of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Margolick. National Geographic, 2018. The complex relationship between the two men who were assassinated within sixty-two days of each other in 1968.

 Breaking Babe Ruth; Baseball’s Campaign Against Its Biggest Star by Edmond Wehrle. University of Missouri Press, 2018. On the one hand Ruth had saved the game from its tainted era; on the other hand the savior was too often infantile.

 Jackie Robinson; An Integrated Life by J. Christopher Schutz. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018 The Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson, and his impact on the civil rights movement following the Second World War.