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ISSN 1749-8155

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Review Date: 
27 Jan 2017

This timely biography depicts a persistent moderate who deplored North-South sectional polarization and feared that jousting between anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces endangered the Union. Edward Everett worked instead to keep the divisive slavery issue out of national politics.

Review Date: 
19 Jan 2017

In 1850 Abraham Lincoln’s most celebrated rival, Stephen Douglas of Illinois, delivered an impassioned speech in the United States Senate.

Review Date: 
12 Jan 2017

In 1985, Deborah Gray White wrote A’rn’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South, arguably one of the most important works in American social history. White related a simple story – the routine of enslaved black women’s lives, and the dangers and opportunities found in that mundanity.

Review Date: 
1 Dec 2016

Just after eight o’clock in the evening on 17 June 2015, 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, carrying a semiautomatic handgun. He sat with 12 parishioners and their pastor, South Carolina state senator Rev. Clementa Pinkney, for about an hour, as they prayed and read from the Bible.

Review Date: 
24 Nov 2016

Benjamin Franklin in London is a narrative biography of the American ‘founding father’ Benjamin Franklin. As the title suggests, the book substantively concentrates on Franklin in London between 1757 and 1775. During this time, Franklin was an agent advocating colonial interests in Parliament.

Review Date: 
24 Nov 2016

In 1775, Samuel Johnson had already identified the central paradox of United States history. He notoriously challenged British readers to explain why ‘we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes’. Generations of historians have tried to answer that question. How could a movement espousing belief in liberty include so many slaveholders?

Of all the Federal Arts Projects set up as part of the New Deal, the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) was, in the words of one contemporary, the ‘ugly duckling’ (p. 35).

Review Date: 
10 Nov 2016

Jane Lead and the Philadelphian Society are not particularly well known figures to most scholars of late 17th- and early 18th-century religion. Born in 1624, Lead experienced a spiritual awakening aged 16. On Christmas Day 1640, while her family danced and celebrated, she was overwhelmed with a ‘beam of Godly light’ and a gentle inner voice offering spiritual guidance.

Review Date: 
10 Nov 2016

In the late 1960s, argues Matthew Wilhelm Kapell in Exploring the Next Frontier, ‘Americanist scholars’ (p. 6) intentionally abandoned the project of analyzing American myth. He identifies three reasons why they did so.

Review Date: 
3 Nov 2016

Hard Choices details Hillary Rodham Clinton’s four years as Secretary of State, from 2009 to 2013.

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