Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Book Roundup

There are quite a few reviews to mention in my first week as an associate blogger (thanks to LHB for having me on board).

Beverly Gage reviews Lisa McGirr's The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State for The Nation:
McGirr shifts our attention from gangsters and flappers to policemen and agency chiefs in order to explain the critical role of Prohibition in the creation of the modern American state. Histories of temperance often stop in 1919, with the unlikely passage of the 18th Amendment. McGirr picks up where those stories leave off, exploring the daunting political problems and personal casualties that came with trying to enforce this strange new law.
In the New York Times, Eric Foner reviews Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation by Nicholas Guyatt.

This week's Washington Post features a review of Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf's "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs".  Also in the Washington Post is a review of Nicholas Duneier's Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, The History of an Idea.

New Books includes an interview with Frank P. Barajas about his book Curious Unions: Mexican American Workers and Resistance in Oxnard, California, 1898-1961.

The New Yorker features a timely reflection on Adam Cohen's Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck.

The Los Angeles Review of Books includes a review of Dirty Words and Filthy Pictures: Film and the First Amendment by Jeremy Geltzer.  Also in the LARB is a review of Gillian Thomas' Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work.

Dissent includes a multi-book review that features Mary Ziegler's After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate and Johanna Schoen's Abortion after Roe: Abortion after Legalization.
In this context, it might seem difficult to add any new information or analyses to the debate. But both Ziegler’s and Schoen’s books do. Ziegler shows the contingencies, shifts, and cross-cutting arguments in the strategies of both sides. Schoen offers a feminist medical history that leads to provocative criticisms of the mainstream “pro-choice” discourse.