• Medieval history
      March 2019

      Colonizing Christianity

      Greek and Latin Religious Identity in the Era of the Fourth Crusade

      by George E. Demacopoulos

      Colonizing Christianity employs postcolonial critique to analyze the transformations of Greek and Latin religious identity in the wake of the Fourth Crusade. Through close readings of texts from the period of Latin occupation, this book argues that the experience of colonization splintered the Greek community over how best to respond to the Latin other while illuminating the mechanisms by which Western Christians authorized and exploited the Christian East. The experience of colonial subjugation opened permanent fissures within the Orthodox community, which struggled to develop a consistent response to aggressive demands for submission to the Roman Church.

    • Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500
      October 2019

      Whose Middle Ages?

      Teachable Moments for an Ill-Used Past

      by Andrew Albin, Mary C. Erler, Thomas O'Donnell, Nicholas L. Paul, Nina Rowe, David Perry, Geraldine Heng, Sandy Bardsley, Fred Donner, Nicholas L. Paul, Cord Whitaker, Magda Teter, W. Ormrod, Katherine Wilson, Ryan Szpiech, William Diebold, Lauren Mancia, Stephennie Mulder, Sarah Guérin, Pamela Patton, Elizabeth Tyler, David Wacks, Marian Bleeke, Andrew Reeves, Will Cerbone, Maggie Williams, Helen Young, Adam Bishop, J. Patrick Hornbeck II

      Whose Middle Ages? is an ideal course reader, featuring scholarship on the Middle Ages and the misuses of medievalism from across fields and disciplines including history, literature, religion and theology, art history, critical race studies, labor and economic history, gender and sexuality, Crusades studies, migration studies, Islamic studies, and more

    • Asian history
      March 2020

      Uniquely Okinawan

      Determining Identity During the U.S. Wartime Occupation

      by Courtney A. Short

      Since 1945 and continuing for as far and one can foresee, the issue of U.S. forces struggling on battlegrounds with large, potentially hostile, culturally diverse populations will continue to resonate. The “lessons learned” from Okinawa will continue to provide guidance.

    • History of the Americas
      September 1999

      Sacred Debts

      State Civil War Claims and American Federalism

      by Kyle Sinisi

    • Social & cultural history
      October 2000

      Freedom's First Generation

      Black Hampton, Virginia, 1861-1890

      by Robert F. Engs

      In this age of affirmative action and increasing complexity in black-white relations, this pioneering study of Hampton, Virginia, tells the story of what race relations in postbellum America "might have been." Here, if only for a time, the promises of Emancipation and Reconstruction were fulfilled. Why was the American Dream realized by blacks in Hampton and not elsewhere? Engs follows a community of freedmen over a thirty-year period to answer this compelling question.

    • Education
      February 2001

      Medieval Education

      by Edited by Ronald B. Begley, and Joseph W. Koterski, S.J.

      This volume offers original studies on the subject of medieval education, not only in the formal academic sense typical of schools and universities but also in a broader cultural sense that includes law, liturgy, and the new religious orders of the high Middle Ages. Its essays explore the transmission of knowledge during the middle ages in various kinds of educational communities, including schools, scriptoria, universities, and workshops.

    • Biography: historical, political & military
      March 2001

      "First among Equals"

      Abraham Lincoln's Reputation During His Administration

      by Hans L. Trefousse

      One hundred and forty years after his assassination on April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln towers more than ever above the landscape of American politics. In myth and memory, he is always the Great Emancipator and savior of the Union, second in stature only to George Washington. But was Lincoln always so exalted? Was he, as some historians argue, a poor President, deeply disliked, whose legacy was ennobled only by John Wilkes Booth's bullet? In this fascinating book, a leading historian finally takes the full measure of Lincoln's reputation. Drawing on a remarkable range of primary documents - speeches, newspaper accounts and editorials, private letters, memoirs, and other sources - Hans L. Trefousse gives us the voices of Lincoln's own time. From North and South, at home and abroad, here are politicians and ordinary people, soldiers and statesmen, abolitionists and slaveholders alike, in a rich chorus of American opinion. The result is a masterly portrait of Lincoln the President in the eyes of his fellow Americans.

    • Regional & national history

      Artists' SoHo

      49 Episodes of Intimate History

      by Richard Kostelanetz

      During the 1960s and 1970s in New York City, young artists exploited an industrial wasteland to create spacious studios where they lived and worked, redefining the Manhattan area just south of Houston Street. Its use fueled not by city planning schemes but by word-of-mouth recommendations, the area soon grew to become a world-class center for artistic creation—indeed, the largest urban artists’ colony ever in America, let alone the world. Richard Kostelanetz’s Artists’ SoHo not only examines why the artists came and how they accomplished what they did but also delves into the lives and works of some of the most creative personalities who lived there during that period, including Nam June Paik, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Richard Foreman, Hannah Wilke, George Macuinas, and Alan Suicide. Gallerists followed the artists in fashioning themselves, their homes, their buildings, and even their streets into transiently prominent exhibition and performance spaces. SoHo pioneer Richard Kostelanetz’s extensively researched intimate history is framed within a personal memoir that unearths myriad perspectives: social and cultural history, the changing rules for residency and ownership, the ethos of the community, the physical layouts of the lofts, the types of art produced, venues that opened and closed, the daily rhythm, and the gradual invasion of “new people.” Artists’ SoHo also explores how and why this fertile bohemia couldn’t last forever. As wealthier people paid higher prices, galleries left, younger artists settled elsewhere, and the neighborhood became a “SoHo Mall” of trendy stores and restaurants. Compelling and often humorous, Artists’ SoHo provides an analysis of a remarkable neighborhood that transformed the art and culture of New York City over the past five decades.

    • Medieval history

      Ecclesiastical Knights

      The Military Orders in Castile, 1150-1330

      by Sam Zeno Conedera, S.J.

      “Warrior monks”—the misnomer for the Iberian military orders that emerged on the frontiers of Europe in the twelfth century—have long fascinated general readers and professional historians alike. Proposing “ecclesiastical knights” as a more accurate name and conceptual model—warriors animated by ideals and spiritual currents endorsed by the church hierarchy—author Sam Zeno Conedera presents a groundbreaking study of how these orders brought the seemingly incongruous combination of monastic devotion and the practice of warfare into a single way of life. Providing a detailed study of the military-religious vocation as it was lived out in the Orders of Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcantara in Leon-Castile during the first century, Ecclesiastical Knights provides a valuable window into medieval Iberia. Filling a gap in the historiography of the medieval military orders, Conedera defines, categorizes, and explains these orders, from their foundations until their spiritual decline in the early fourteenth century, arguing that that the best way to understand their spirituality is as a particular kind of consecrated knighthood. Because these Iberian military orders were belligerents in the Reconquest, Ecclesiastical Knights informs important discussions about the relations between Western Christianity and Islam in the Middle Ages. Conedera examines how the military orders fit into the religious landscape of medieval Europe through the prism of knighthood, and how their unique conceptual character informed the orders and spiritual self-perception. The religious observances of all three orders were remarkably alike, except that the Cistercian-affiliated orders were more demanding and their members could not marry. Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcantara shared the same essential mission and purpose: the defense and expansion of Christendom understood as an act of charity, expressed primarily through fighting and secondarily through the care of the sick and the ransoming of captives. Their prayers were simple and their penances were aimed at knightly vices and the preservation of military discipline. Above all, the orders valued obedience. They never drank from the deep wellsprings of monasticism, nor were they ever meant to. Offering an entirely fresh perspective on two difficult and closely related problems concerning the military orders—namely, definition and spirituality—author Sam Zeno Conedera illuminates the religious life of the orders, previously eclipsed by their military activities.

    • American Civil War

      Exploring Lincoln

      Great Historians Reappraise Our Greatest President

      by Edited by Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds, and Frank J. Williams

      March Ubiquitous and enigmatic, the historical Lincoln, the literary Lincoln, even the cinematic Lincoln have all proved both fascinating and irresistible. Though some 16,000 books have been written about him, there is always more to say, new aspects of his life to consider, new facets of his persona to explore. Enlightening and entertaining, Exploring Lincoln offers a selection of sixteen papers presented at the Lincoln Forum symposia over the past three years. Shining new light on particular aspects of Lincoln and his tragically abbreviated presidency, Exploring Lincoln presents a compelling snapshot of current Lincoln scholarship and a fascinating window into understanding America’s greatest president.

    • 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000

      The Historical Uncanny

      Disability, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Holocaust Memory

      by Susanne C. Knittel

      The Historical Uncanny explores how certain memories become inscribed into the heritage of a country or region while others are suppressed or forgotten. In response to the erasure of historical memories that discomfit a public’s self-understanding, this book proposes the historical uncanny as that which resists reification precisely because it cannot be assimilated to dominant discourses of commemoration. Focusing on the problems of representation and reception, the book explores memorials for two marginalized aspects of Holocaust: the Nazi euthanasia program directed against the mentally ill and disabled and the Fascist persecution of Slovenes, Croats, and Jews in and around Trieste. Reading these memorials together with literary and artistic texts, Knittel redefines “sites of memory” as assemblages of cultural artifacts and discourses that accumulate over time; they emerge as a physical and a cultural space that is continually redefined, rewritten, and re-presented. In bringing perspectives from disability studies and postcolonialism to the question of memory, Knittel unsettles our understanding of the Holocaust and its place in the culture of contemporary Europe.

    • Social & cultural history

      The Sons of Molly Maguire

      The Irish Roots of America's First Labor War

      by Mark Bulik

      Sensational tales of true-life crime, the devastation of the Irish potato famine, the upheaval of the Civil War, and the turbulent emergence of the American labor movement are connected in a captivating exploration of the roots of the Molly Maguires. A secret society of peasant assassins in Ireland that re-emerged in Pennsylvania’s hard-coal region, the Mollies organized strikes, murdered mine bosses, and fought the Civil War draft. Their shadowy twelve-year duel with all powerful coal companies marked the beginning of class warfare in America. But little has been written about the origins of this struggle and the folk culture that informed everything about the Mollies. A rare book about the birth of the secret society, The Sons of Molly Maguire delves into the lost world of peasant Ireland to uncover the astonishing links between the folk justice of the Mollies and the folk drama of the Mummers, who performed a holiday play that always ended in a mock killing. The link not only explains much about Ireland’s Molly Maguires—where the name came from, why the killers wore women’s clothing, why they struck around holidays—but also sheds new light on the Mollies’ re-emergence in Pennsylvania. The book follows the Irish to the anthracite region, which was transformed into another Ulster by ethnic, religious, political, and economic conflicts. It charts the rise there of an Irish secret society and a particularly political form of Mummery just before the Civil War, shows why Molly violence was resurrected amid wartime strikes and conscription, and explores how the cradle of the American Mollies became a bastion of later labor activism. Combining sweeping history with an intensely local focus, The Sons of Molly Maguire is the captivating story of when, where, how, and why the first of America’s labor wars began.

    • American Civil War
      April 2016

      Educational Reconstruction

      African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865–1890

      by Hilary Green

      Tracing the first two decades of state-funded African American schools, Educational Reconstruction addresses the ways in which black Richmonders, black Mobilians, and their white allies created, developed, and sustained a system of African American schools following the Civil War._x000B__x000B_Hilary Green proposes a new chronology in understanding postwar African American education, examining how urban African Americans demanded quality public schools from their new city and state partners. Revealing the significant gains made after the departure of the Freedmen’s Bureau, this study reevaluates African American higher education in terms of developing a cadre of public school educator-activists and highlights the centrality of urban African American protest in shaping educational decisions and policies in their respective cities and states.

    • Oral history

      Before the Fires

      An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s

      by Mark Naison, and Bob Gumbs

      People associate the South Bronx with gangs, violence, drugs, crime, burned-out buildings, and poverty. This is the message that has been driven into their heads over the years by the media. As Howard Cosell famously said during the 1977 World’s Series at Yankee Stadium, “There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.” In this new book, Naison and Gumbs provide a completely different picture of the South Bronx through interviews with residents who lived here from the 1930s to the 1960s._x000B__x000B_In the early 1930s, word began to spread among economically secure black families in Harlem that there were spacious apartments for rent in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Landlords in that community, desperate to fill their rent rolls and avoid foreclosure, began putting up signs in their windows and in advertisements in New York’s black newspapers that said, “We rent to select colored families,” by which they meant families with a securely employed wage earner and light complexions. Black families who fit these criteria began renting apartments by the score. Thus began a period of about twenty years during which the Bronx served as a_x000B_borough of hope and unlimited possibilities for upwardly mobile black families._x000B__x000B_Chronicling a time when African Americans were suspended between the best and worst possibilities of New York City, Before the Fires tells the personal stories of seventeen men and women who lived in the South Bronx before the social and economic decline of the area that began in the late 1960s. Located on a hill hovering over one of the borough’s largest industrial districts, Morrisania offered black migrants from Harlem, the South, and the Caribbean an opportunity to raise children in a neighborhood that had better schools, strong churches, better shopping, less crime, and clean air. This culturally rich neighborhood also boasted some of the most vibrant music venues in all of New York City, giving rise to such music titans as Lou Donaldson, Valerie Capers, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Palmieri, Donald Byrd, Elmo Hope, Henry “Red” Allen, Bobby Sanabria, Valerie Simpson, Maxine Sullivan, the Chantels, the Chords, and Jimmy Owens._x000B__x000B_Alternately analytical and poetic, but all rich in detail, these inspiring interviews describe growing up and living in vibrant black and multiracial Bronx communities whose contours have rarely graced the pages of histories of the Bronx or black New York City. Capturing the excitement of growing up in this stimulating and culturally diverse environment, Before the Fires is filled with the optimism of the period and the heartache of what was shattered in the urban crisis and the burning of the Bronx.

    • 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000
      September 2017

      A Worldly Affair

      New York, the United Nations, and the Story Behind Their Unlikely Bond

      by Hanlon, Pamela

      For more than seven decades, New York City and the United Nations have shared the island of Manhattan, living and working together in a bond that has been likened to a long marriage—both tempestuous and supportive, quarrelsome and committed. A Worldly Affair tells the story of this hot and cold romance, from the 1940s when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was doggedly determined to bring the new world body to New York, to the UN’s flat rejection of the city’s offer, then its abrupt change of course in the face of a Rockefeller gift, and on to some tense, troubling decades that followed. Racial prejudice and anti-Communist passions challenged the young international institution. Spies, scofflaw diplomats, provocative foreign visitors, and controversial UN-member policy positions tested New Yorkers’ patience. And all the while, the UN’s growth—from its original 51 member states to 193 by 2017—placed demands on the surrounding metropolis for everything from more office space, to more security, to better housing and schools for the international community’s children. As the city worked to accommodate the world body’s needs—often in the face of competition from other locales vying to host at least parts of the UN entity—New Yorkers at times grew to resent its encroachment on their neighborhoods, and at times even its very presence. It was a constituent sentiment that provoked more than one New York mayor to be less than hospitable in dealing with the city’s international guests. Yet, as the UN moves into its eighth decade in New York—with its headquarters complex freshly renovated and the city proudly proclaiming that the organization adds nearly $4 billion to the New York economy each year—it seems clear the decades-old marriage will last. Whatever the inevitable spats and clashes along the way, the worldly affair is here to stay.

    • American Civil War
      January 2018

      Antebellum Posthuman

      Race and Materiality in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

      by Ellis, Cristin

      From the eighteenth-century abolitionist motto “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” to the Civil Rights-era declaration “I AM a Man,” antiracism has engaged in a struggle for the recognition of black humanity. It has done so, however, even as the very definition of the human has been called into question by the biological sciences. While this conflict between liberal humanism and biological materialism animates debates in posthumanism and critical race studies today, Antebellum Posthuman argues that it first emerged as a key question in the antebellum era. In a moment in which the authority of science was increasingly invoked to defend slavery and other racist policies, abolitionist arguments underwent a profound shift, producing a new, materialist strain of antislavery. Engaging the works of Douglass, Thoreau, and Whitman, and Dickinson, Cristin Ellis identifies and traces the emergence of an antislavery materialism in mid-nineteenth century American literature, placing race at the center of the history of posthumanist thought. Turning to contemporary debates now unfolding between posthumanist and critical race theorists, Ellis demonstrates how this antebellum posthumanism highlights the difficulty of reconciling materialist ontologies of the human with the project of social justice.

    • American Civil War
      June 2018

      Contested Loyalty

      Debates over Patriotism in the Civil War North

      by Sandow, Robert

      Embroiled in the Civil War, northerners wrote and spoke with frequency about the subject of loyalty. The word was common in newspaper articles, political pamphlets, and speeches, appeared on flags, broadsides, and prints, was written into diaries and letters and the stationary they appeared on, and even found its way into sermons. Its ubiquity suggests that loyalty was an important concept…but what did it mean to those who used it? Contested Loyalty examines the significance of loyalty across fault lines of gender, social class, and education, race and ethnicity, and political or religious affiliation. These differing vantage points reveal the complicated ways in which loyalties were defined, prioritized, acted upon, and related. While most of the scholarly work on Civil War Era nationalism has focused on southern identity and Confederate nationhood, the essays in Contested Loyalty examine the variable, fluid constructions of these concepts in the north. Essays explore the limitations and incomplete nature of national loyalty and how disparate groups struggled to control its meaning. The authors move beyond the narrow partisan debate over Democratic dissent to examine other challenges to and competing interpretations of national loyalty. Today’s leading and emerging scholars examine loyalty through: the frame of politics at the state and national level; the viewpoints of college educated men as well as the women they courted; the attitudes of northern Protestant churches on issues of patriotism and loyalty; working class men and women in military industries; how employers could use the language of loyalty to take away the rights of workers; and the meaning of loyalty in contexts of race and ethnicity. The Union cause was a powerful ideology committing millions of citizens, in the ranks and at home, to a long and bloody war. But loyalty to the Union cause imperfectly explains how citizens reacted to the traumas of war or the ways in which conflicting loyalties played out in everyday life. The essays in this collection point us down the path of greater understanding.

    • 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000
      November 2017

      Fighting Authoritarianism

      American Youth Activism in the 1930s

      by Haas, Britt

      During the Great Depression, young radicals centered in New York City developed a vision of and for America, molded by their understanding of recent historical events, in particular the Great War and the global economic collapse, as well as by the events unfolding both at home and abroad. They worked to make their vision of a free, equal, democratic society based on peaceful coexistence a reality. Their attempts were ultimately unsuccessful but their voices were heard on a number of important issues, including free speech, racial justice, and peace. A major contribution to the historiography of the era of the Great Depression, Fighting Authoritarianism provides a new and important examination of U.S. youth activism of the 1930s, including the limits of the New Deal and how youth activists continually pushed FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, and other New Dealers to do more to address economic distress, more inclusionary politics, and social inequality. In this study, author Britt Haas questions the interventionist versus isolationist paradigm in that young people sought to focus on both domestic and international affairs. Haas also explores the era not as a precursor to WWII, but as a moment of hope when the prospect of institutionalizing progress in freedom, equality, and democracy seemed possible. Fighting Authoritarianism corrects misconceptions about these young activists’ vision for their country, heavily influenced by the American Dream they had been brought up to revere: they wanted a truly free, truly democratic, and truly equal society. That meant embracing radical ideologies, especially socialism and communism, which were widely discussed, debated, and promoted on New York City college campuses. They believed that in embracing these ideologies, they were not turning their backs on American values. Instead, they believed that such ideologies were the only way to make America live up to its promises. This study also outlines the careers of Molly Yard, Joseph Lash, and James Wechsler, how they retracted (and for Yard and Lash, reclaimed) their radical past, and how New York continued to hold a prominent platform in their careers. Lash and Wechsler both worked for the New York Post, the latter as editor until 1980. Examining the Depression decade from the perspective of young activists highlights the promise of America as young people understood it: a historic moment when anything seemed possible.

    • 21st century history: from c 2000 -
      September 2018

      New York After 9/11

      by Opotow, Susan

      An estimated 2 billion people around the world watched the catastrophic destruction of the World Trade Center. The enormity of the moment was immediately understood and quickly took on global proportions. What has been less obvious is the effect on the locus of the attacks, New York City, not as a seat of political or economic power, but as a community; not in the days and weeks afterward, but over months and years. New York after 9/11 offers insightful and critical observations about the processes set in motion by September 11, 2001 in New York, and holds important lessons for the future. This interdisciplinary collection brings together experts from diverse fields to discuss the long-term recovery of New York City after 9/11. Susan Opotow and Zachary Baron Shemtob invited experts in architecture and design, medicine, health, community advocacy, psychology, public safety, human rights, law, and mental health to look back on the aftereffects of that tragic day in key spheres of life in New York City. With a focus on the themes of space and memory, public health and public safety, trauma and conflict, and politics and social change, this comprehensive account of how 9/11 changed New York sets out to answer three questions: What were the key conflicts that erupted in New York City in 9/11’s wake? What clashing interests were involved and how did they change over time? And what was the role of these conflicts in the transition from trauma to recovery for New York City as a whole? Contributors discuss a variety of issues that emerged in this tragedy’s wake, some immediately and others in the years that followed, including: PTSD among first responders; conflicts and design challenges of rebuilding the World Trade Center site, the memorial, and the museum; surveillance of Muslim communities; power struggles among public safety agencies; the development of technologies for faster building evacuations; and the emergence of chronic illnesses and fatalities among first responders and people who lived, worked, and attended school in the vicinity of the 9/11 site. A chapter on two Ground Zeros –in Hiroshima and New York – compares and historicizes the challenges of memorialization and recovery. Each chapter offers a nuanced, vivid, and behind-the-scenes account of issues as they unfolded over time and across various contexts, dispelling simplistic narratives of this extended and complicated period. Illuminating a city’s multifaceted response in the wake of a catastrophic and traumatic attack, New York after 9/11 illustrates recovery as a process that is complex, multivalent, and ongoing.

    • History: specific events & topics
      November 2018

      Only in New York

      An Exploration of the World's Most Fascinating, Frustrating, and Irrepressible City

      by Roberts, Sam

      No one denies that New York City is unique—but what makes it sui generis? Sam Roberts, a longtime city reporter, has puzzled over this in print and in his popular New York Times podcasts for years. In Only in New York, updated with new tales and fascinating glimpses into uniquely NYC life, he writes about what makes this city tick and why things are the way they are in the greatest of all metropolises on earth. The more than 75 essays in this book cover a variety of topics, including: -How do New Yorkers react during disasters? -Maritime history (the Hudson River) -Crowds, space, and population growth -1908: a year in History history -Jewish Daily Forward -What happens when a neighborhood loses its tony ZIP code? A winning and informative gift book for every fan of “the city,” Only in New York is elegantly written and solidly reported.

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