Peter Thorsheim is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Inventing Pollution

Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800

By Peter Thorsheim

Britain's supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain's cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke.


Crazy Quilts
A Beginner’s Guide
This definitive, meticulously illustrated how-to book is far more expansive than previous guides. Pillsbury—a master of the form—shows us why crazy quilting belongs firmly in the category of fine art and serves as an inspiring primer for beginners.


Winold Reiss and the Cincinnati Union Terminal
Fanfare for the Common Man
After designing and installing the massive murals for the Cincinnati Union Terminal in the 1930s, German immigrant artist Winold Reiss fell into relative obscurity, despite the vibrancy and boldness of his meticulous mosaic works.


Viet Nam
Tradition and Change
An accessible and erudite primer on Vietnamese history and culture from one of Việt Nam’s finest minds.


Obama and Kenya
Contested Histories and the Politics of Belonging
Barack Obama’s political ascendancy has focused worldwide attention on Kenya. Carotenuto and Luongo argue that efforts to cast Obama as a “son of the soil” of the Lake Victoria basin invite insights into the politicized uses of Kenya’s past.


Subversive Lives
A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years
From the 1960s to the 1990s, seven members of the Quimpo family dedicated themselves to the anti-Marcos resistance in the Philippines, sometimes at profound personal cost.