Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Book Roundup

H-Net adds some interesting reviews this week, including one of David V. Holtby's Forty-Seventh Star: New Mexico's Struggle for Statehood (University of Oklahoma Press), another of Daniel F. Harrington's Berlin on the Brink: The Blockade, the Airlift, and the Early Cold War (University Press of Kentucky), and a third of G. Alan Tarr's Without Fear or Favor: Judicial Independence and Judicial Accountability in the States (Stanford University Press).

Also on H-Net, Judy Wu reviews Donna R. Gabaccia's Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective (Princeton University Press):
"Donna R. Gabaccia offers a bold new interpretation that brings diplomatic history into conversation with U.S. immigration history. While the former has traditionally focused on the actions of elite state actors, the latter has tended to offer social histories of immigrants, their families, and communities. Gabaccia examines instead the “intersection of transnational linkages created ‘from below’ by immigrants,” or what she describes as “immigrant foreign relations,” with “American international or foreign policies, created ‘from above’ by the federal government.” The result is a sweeping rereading of American history that emphasizes the need to understand immigration and the United States in global perspectives. As Gabaccia states, “Immigrants, much like diplomats and State Department officials in Washington, are deeply concerned with the world beyond U.S. borders”" 
Readers can also find an excerpt from Lawrence Freedman's Strategy: A History (Oxford) on Salon this week. Here's a snippet from the piece, titled "Reagan’s Southern strategy gave rise to the Tea Party":
"Reagan concluded his acceptance speech in 1980 with a moment that was apparently spontaneous although actually carefully prepared. He had been wondering, he said, whether to include some thoughts as an addition to the distributed version of his speech. “Can we doubt,” he then asked, “that only a divine Providence placed this land, this island of freedom, here as a refuge for all those people in the world who yearn to breathe freely.” Carefully he turned his presidential campaign into a religious crusade. He asked for a moment of silent prayer and concluded with what became his customary “God bless America.” As David Domke and  Kevin Coe show in “The God Strategy,” a new religious politics was born. This ploy elicited a positive reaction among two-thirds of Americans. Reagan knew before he stood up that if he could send the right message he would get the support of an increasingly powerful evangelical bloc."
Over at HNN there is more on the executive branch in a review of Richard Moe's Roosevelt's Second Act (Oxford).

Finally, just in case you didn't get enough JFK last week, here's another piece in the New Republic about the out of print The Search for JFK (Putnam) by Joan Blair and Clay Blair, Jr.