Library Journal and the American Scholar on Union, my forthcoming book

Amazingly, the calendar says its just nine days until my new book, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood, goes in sale. Book tour, as conventionally understood, has been largely cancelled by the ongoing pandemic, though there will be several virtual events and maybe even a couple of socially distanced outdoor in person ones. But there are some more early reviews.

Library Journal — the trade publication of American libraries founded by Melil Dewey of Dewey decimal system fame — gave Union a starred review, my first from them since my first book, Ocean’s End, twenty years ago. Reviewer Michael Farrell writes: “Woodard is a gifted historiographer, and this excellent work will be appreciated by anyone interested in American history and how it came to be written.” The review is currently not paywalled and found here.

In The American Scholar — the magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa Society — Jill Levoy of the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy wrote the first feature length review of the book, and it’s one that’s made my publisher very happy. “Beginning with the simplicity of fable, Union quickly builds into a surprisingly complex work of intellectual history,” Levoy writes. “Woodard… shows just how powerful a form popular nonfiction can be in the hands of a disciplined writer who won’t tolerate generality or abstraction. Union moves quickly, skipping from one anecdote to the next. The lens is narrow. Physical detail is prominent. The writing is relentlessly accessible.” Unfortunately, it’s currently paywalled, unless you subscribe.

Union is available at socially distanced bookstores everywhere June 16.