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American History

American History Book List

Cover of 'Home Front to Battlefront'

Home Front to Battlefront
An Ohio Teenager in World War II
By Frank Lavin
· Foreword by Henry Kissinger

Home Front to Battlefront contributes the rich details of one soldier’s experience to the broader literature on World War II, offering insight into the wartime career of a Jewish Ohioan in the military from enlistment to training through overseas deployment via personal letters, recollections, official military history, and more.

Cover of 'Peoples of the Inland Sea'

Peoples of the Inland Sea
Native Americans and Newcomers in the Great Lakes Region, 1600–1870
By David Andrew Nichols

David Andrew Nichols offers a fresh history of the Lakes peoples over nearly three centuries of rapid change. As the people themselves persisted, so did their customs, religions, and control over their destinies. Accessible and creative, this book is destined to become a classroom staple for Native American history.

Cover of 'Congress and the People’s Contest'

Congress and the People’s Contest
The Conduct of the Civil War
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

The American Civil War was the first military conflict in history to be fought with railroads moving troops and the telegraph connecting civilian leadership to commanders in the field. New developments arose at a moment’s notice. As a result, the young nation’s political structure and culture often struggled to keep up. When war began, Congress was not even in session.

Cover of 'From Disarmament to Rearmament'

From Disarmament to Rearmament
The Reversal of US Policy toward West Germany, 1946–1955
By Sheldon A. Goldberg
· Foreword by Ingo Trauschweizer

At the end of World War II, the Allies were unanimous in their determination to disarm the former aggressor Germany. As the Cold War intensified, however, the decision whether to reverse that policy and to rearm West Germany led to disagreements both within the U.S. government and among members of the nascent NATO alliance.

Cover of 'In Essentials, Unity'

In Essentials, Unity
An Economic History of the Grange Movement
By Jenny Bourne
· Preface by Paul Finkelman

The Patrons of Husbandry—or the Grange—is the longest-lived US agricultural society and, since its founding shortly after the Civil War, has had immeasurable influence on social change as enacted by ordinary Americans. The Grange sought to relieve the struggles of small farmers by encouraging collaboration. Pathbreaking for its inclusion of women, the Grange is also well known for its association with Gilded Age laws aimed at curbing the monopoly power of railroads.

Cover of 'The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney'

The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney
The Politics and Jurisprudence of a Northern Democrat from the Age of Jackson to the Gilded Age
By David M. Gold

In The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney, David M. Gold works with the public record to reveal the contours of the life and work of one of Ohio’s most intriguing legal figures. The result is a new look at how Jacksonian principles crossed the divide of the Civil War and became part of the fabric of American law and at how radical antebellum Democrats transformed themselves into Gilded Age conservatives.

Cover of 'Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation'

Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

“When Lincoln took office, in March 1861, the national government had no power to touch slavery in the states where it existed. Lincoln understood this, and said as much in his first inaugural address, noting: ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.’”

Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book in Midwestern History (Midwestern History Association), Honorable Mention
Cover of 'Driven toward Madness'

Driven toward Madness
The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
By Nikki M. Taylor

Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment.

Cover of 'Alexander Robey Shepherd'

Alexander Robey Shepherd
The Man Who Built the Nation’s Capital
By John P. Richardson
· Foreword by Tony Williams

With Alexander Robey Shepherd, John P. Richardson gives us the first full-length biography of his subject, who as Washington, D.C.’s, public works czar (1871–74) built the infrastructure of the nation’s capital in a few frenetic years after the Civil War. The story of Shepherd is also the story of his hometown after that cataclysm, which left the city with churned-up streets, stripped of its trees, and exhausted.

Cover of 'Veteran Narratives and the Collective Memory of the Vietnam War'

Veteran Narratives and the Collective Memory of the Vietnam War
By John A. Wood

In the decades since the Vietnam War, veteran memoirs have influenced Americans’ understanding of the conflict. Yet few historians or literary scholars have scrutinized how the genre has shaped the nation’s collective memory of the war and its aftermath.

Cover of 'Keep On Fighting'

Keep On Fighting
The Life and Civil Rights Legacy of Marian A. Spencer
By Dorothy H. Christenson
· Introduction by Mary E. Frederickson

Dot Christenson records the life story of remarkable leader, Marian Alexander Spencer, who joined the NAACP at thirteen and grew up to achieve a number of civic leadership firsts and a legacy of lasting civil rights victories.

Cover of 'Civil War Chicago'

Civil War Chicago
Eyewitness to History
Edited by Theodore J. Karamanski and Eileen M. McMahon

The American Civil War was a crucial event in the development of Chicago as the metropolis of the heartland. Not only did Chicagoans play an important role in the politics of the conflict, encouraging emancipation and promoting a “hard war” policy against Southern civilians, but they supported the troops materially through production of military supplies and foodstuffs as well as morally and spiritually through patriotic publications and songs.

Civil War Books and Authors Best Biography of 2014
Cover of 'Citizen-General'

Citizen-General
Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era
By Eugene D. Schmiel

The wrenching events of the Civil War transformed not only the United States but also the men unexpectedly called on to lead their fellow citizens in this first modern example of total war. Jacob Dolson Cox, a former divinity student with no formal military training, was among those who rose to the challenge. In a conflict in which “political generals” often proved less than competent, Cox, the consummate citizen general, emerged as one of the best commanders in the Union army.

Choice 2005 Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'Music Hall and Modernity'

Music Hall and Modernity
The Late-Victorian Discovery of Popular Culture
By Barry J. Faulk

The late-Victorian discovery of the music hall by English intellectuals marks a crucial moment in the history of popular culture. Music Hall and Modernity demonstrates how such pioneering cultural critics as Arthur Symons and Elizabeth Robins Pennell used the music hall to secure and promote their professional identity as guardians of taste and national welfare. These social arbiters were, at the same time, devotees of the spontaneous culture of “the people.”

Cover of 'Protecting the Empire’s Frontier'

Protecting the Empire’s Frontier
Officers of the 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot during Its North American Service, 1767–1776
By Steven M. Baule

Protecting the Empire’s Frontier tells stories of the roughly eighty officers who served in the 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot, which served British interests in America during the crucial period from 1767 through 1776.