Edward E. Baptist

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[Cross-posted from New Books in American Studies] An unflinching examination of the trauma, violence, opportunism, and vision that combined to create the empire for slavery that was the Old South, Ed Baptist‘s new book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books, 2014) challenges popular conceptions of that region that imagine it as a land of proud men, genteel ladies, and an antiquated, inefficient system of labor. The slavery that Baptist uncovers is dynamic, relentless, brutal, and extremely profitable. Surviving it, he shows, was an impressive accomplishment all its own. And its role in driving the development of American capitalism in the formative years of the republic raises troubling questions about the legacy of slavery in contemporary times.

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Gabriel SolisThelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall

September 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Jazz] On November 29, 1957, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holliday, Zoot Sims, Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, and a multi-talented young R&B player who played jazz that night, Ray Charles, and others played a benefit concert for the Morningside Recreation Center at Carnegie Hall.  Almost a half a century later, these recordings, intended to [...]

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Bruce AckermanWe the People: Volume 3: The Civil Rights Revolution

August 2, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Law] Bruce Ackerman is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. His book, We the People, Volume 3: The Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard UP, 2013) fills out the constitutional history of America’s “Second Reconstruction” period and makes a powerful argument that traditional understandings of the constitutional canon must be expanded to accurately [...]

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Toby GreenThe Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589

July 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Slavery was pervasive in the Ancient World: you can find it in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In Late Antiquity , however, slavery went into decline. It survived and even flourished in the Byzantine Empire and Muslim lands, yet it all but disappeared in Medieval Western and Central Europe. Then, [...]

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Lorena TurnerThe Michael Jacksons

July 23, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Pop Music] During his lifetime, Michael Jackson became a global icon.  Michael Jackson was beloved by millions; his journey began as he became  a boy star with The Jackson Five and it culminated with his being crowned the King of Pop, While some of the controversy of his later years along [...]

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Abigail PerkissMaking Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia

July 16, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Sitting in my home office this morning, I’ve periodically looked up from my computer screen and out the window to see who the dog is barking at. Sometimes it’s a young mother pushing a stroller, sometimes an older man walking his dogs, occasionally a young woman jogging. Regardless of [...]

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Robert E. Gutsche Jr.A Transplanted Chicago: Race, Place and the Press in Iowa City

July 1, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Journalism] The city of Iowa City’s website promotes its “small-town hospitality” and its focus on “culture.” But a closer look at Iowa City, home to 70,000 and the University of Iowa, reveals a community trying to redefine itself as urban African-Americans relocate to the area. This is the focus of Robert E. [...]

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Ian Haney LopezDog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

June 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Ian Haney Lopez is the author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class (Oxford UP 2014). He is the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and on the Executive Committee of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for [...]

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Luke E. HarlowReligion, Race and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830-1880

June 26, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Luke E. Harlow, Religion, Race and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830-1880 (Cambridge University Press, 2014) examines the role of religion, and more specifically, conservative evangelical Protestant theology, in the struggle over slavery and abolition in a crucial period of American history. The book makes an impressive case that we cannot really [...]

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David WilliamsI Freed Myself: African American Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era

June 5, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Lincoln was very clear–at least in public–that the Civil War was not fought over slavery: it was, he said, for the preservation of the Union first and foremost. So it’s not surprising that when the conflict started he had no firm plan to emancipate the slaves in the borderland or Southern [...]

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