Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

Here's another roundup gathered while on the archive trail, this time from sunny St. Paul and the Minnesota History Center.

From The New York Times is a review of Konrad H. Jarausch's Out of Ashes: A New History Europe in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press).

We Believe The Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s (PublicAffairs) by Richard Beck is reviewed in The Washington Post.
"Beck makes the case that the sexual abuse trials of the 1980s yoked numerous undercurrents in American society: fear of crime; the decline of respect for traditional authority; homophobia (being gay helped send some day-care workers to prison); the conservative backlash against feminism, which had encouraged women to work outside the home (with its resultant need for day care); and the reality that the patriarchal nuclear family had not just changed, it had become “incoherent.”"
Over at New Books, Mia Bay, who co-edited Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women along with Farah Griffin, Martha Jones and Barbara Savage (UNC Press), is interviewed.

David George Surdham also discusses his book, The Big Leagues Go to Washington: Congress and Sports Antitrust, 1951-1989 (University of Illinois Press).
"Just back from the Major League Baseball All-Star break, Surdham has written a book for sports lovers. Why do major league sports receive such preferential treatment from Congress? And what does this have to do with labor and economic development policy? Surdham examines Congressional hearings held over decades to figure out how Washington's role in professional sports has changed over since the 1950s."
In the third interview from New Books, William Leogrande and Peter Kornbluh discuss their new book, Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana (UNC Press).

Lastly, after you've read Karen Tani's review of Laura Edwards's A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights you can listen to Edwards discuss the book. The abstract says it covers the following topics:
"–The way, in the lead up to the Civil War, all arguments came back to the Constitution.
–How wartime policies in both the Confederacy and the states that remained in the Union fundamentally remade the –legal authority of the nation.
–Why the Confederacy's legal order was at odds with its stated governing principles.
–Popular conceptions of Reconstruction-era legal change."
Terry Alford's Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth (Oxford University Press) is reviewed by the Los Angeles Review of Books. 
"It is in this section of the book that Alford’s subject nearly attains the dimensions of the great tragic figure he perceived himself to be. Then, in the closing passages, the author maps his swift and pitiful decline. As the hobbled, desperate Booth flees his pursuers through rural Virginia after the assassination, he reads newspaper dispatches from the capital and is stunned to discover that his crime has been met with heartbreak and contempt, and that even supporters of the Confederacy had described him as a dastardly coward. “Our country owed all of her troubles to him,” he writes in his journal, “and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment. I can never regret it.”"
H-Net adds a review of Adam Wesley Dean's An Agrarian Republic: Farming, Antislavery Politics, and Nature Parks in the Civil War Era (UNC Press).
"Adam Wesley Dean's An Agrarian Republic: Farming, Antislavery Politics, and Nature Parks in the Civil War Era returns readers to the "fundamentally agrarian" character of antebellum and wartime Republican political ideology. Building on the work of historians like Foner, William Gienapp, and Mark Lause, Dean analyzes the rhetoric of key Republican figures in order to reconstruct the system of "beliefs, fears, values, and commitments" that comprised the party's predominant ideology, and that subsequently "spurred action" (p. 4)."
 The New Rambler takes a look at Jon Elster's Securities Against Misrule: Juries, Assemblies, Elections (Cambridge University Press).