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Article Topic: book reviews

Should we replace the U.S. National Anthem?

Over the July 4th weekend the Washington Post published my review of musicologist Mark Clague’s new book, O Say Can You Hear?: A Cultural Biography of The Star Spangled Banner, a book… Read more »

Reviewing David Hackett Fisher’s Albion’s Seed sequel in Washington Monthly

More than thirty years ago, Brandeis historian David Hackett Fischer resuscitated the effort to develop a historical narrative of the United States with a book called Albion’s Seed, a sweeping… Read more »

Reviewing Yascha Mounk’s “Great Experiment” in Washington Monthly

The world’s ongoing slide into authoritarianism has generated a frantic effort among political scientists, historians, and national security experts to identify the causes and possible solutions. University of Chicago law… Read more »

Reviewing Matthew Pearl’s “Taking of Jemima Boone” in Washington Monthly

“The frontier” has played a huge role in the American imagination, a place where civilization and savagery supposedly met and the former — with allegedly heroic intent and deeds —… Read more »

Reviewing Alex von Tunzelmann’s “Fallen Idols” in the Washington Post

In Sunday’s Washington Post I reviewed Alex von Tunzelmann’s new book, Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues that Made History. It’s extremely topical, providing historical and comparative context for thinking about the evaluation and potential… Read more »

Reviewing Alan Taylor’s “American Republics” in the Washington Post

In Sunday’s Washington Post I reviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor’s new book, American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850. I’ve been reading Taylor, who was born and… Read more »

Reviewing Eric Posner’s “The Demagogue’s Playbook” in the Washington Post

                       In today’s Sunday Washington Post, I review University of Chicago Law School professor Eric Posner’s new book on demagogues… Read more »

Maine Sunday Telegram reviews UNION

Thanks to Thomas Urquhart for his review of my new book, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood, which recognizes the book’s position in an informal… Read more »

Reviewing Keane’s “New Despotism” in Washington Monthly

Liberal democracies are under siege worldwide and a range of thinkers have been probing the reasons why. John Keane, a professor of politics at the University of Sydney, has a… Read more »

David Blight reviews UNION in the Washington Post

If I were to have created a wish list of eminent people who might be assigned to review my new book, David W. Blight, dean of Frederick Douglass biographers and… Read more »