Sunday, April 25, 2010

Terrorism, War, The Publisher, and more in the book pages

In the Name of God and Country: Reconsidering Terrorism in American History by Michael Fellman is reviewed in The New Republic by Michael Kazin. Kazin writes that the book
surveys only the fifty or so years that began with John Brown’s raids in Kansas and Harpers Ferry in the 1850s and ended with the U.S. Army’s defeat of the Philippine independence movement at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Still, the collective bloodshed during that period surpassed that of any similar span in American history: 600,000 combined deaths in the Civil War, followed by hundreds of murders committed by the Ku Klux Klan and other white vigilantes during Reconstruction, multiple assaults by police and state militias to squelch labor uprisings, the military’s crushing of resistance by Indian tribes on the Great Plains, and then the brutal war across the Pacific to secure America’s first overseas colony. Fellman’s grisly narrative, stuffed with self-justifying statements by the perpetrators, certainly establishes a record of inhumanity that most celebrators of American liberty and progress minimize or ignore.

But was all or even most of this violence “terrorism”?
Kazin doesn't think so. Continue reading here.

THE WAR LOVERS: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898, by Evan Thomas, and THE IMPERIAL CRUISE: A Secret History of Empire and War, by James Bradley are reviewed today in the New York Times.

The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century, by Alan Brinkley is taken up in the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Finally, a book on archival research hoarding: STUFF: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee, is reviewed in the New York Times.