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Articles Tagged: book reviews

How best to understand America’s competing national myths?

As someone engaged in crafting a rebooted national narrative for the United States I was excited to see that Richard Slotkin had a book coming out on our country’s competing… Read more »

The early 20th century Appalachian migration to Great Lakes cities created big tensions, but did it help bring down the New Deal coalition?

Readers of American Nations know the U.S. is an awkward federation of regional cultures which don’t see eye to eye. So it’s not surprising that when a huge number of… Read more »

U.S. nationhood was created nearly from scratch in the 19th century. Was Daniel Webster responsible?

The early United States, scholars have noted, was a country in search of nationhood. Created as an ad hoc military alliance of disparate colonies to fight off a shared political… Read more »

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 »