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Contributors to this collection, edited by Claire Potter and Renee Romano, consider the wide range of challenges the practice of contemporary history poses. These essays address sources like television and video games, the ethics of writing about living subjects, questions of privacy and copyright law, and the possibilities that new technologies offer for writing history. Doing Recent History offers guidance and insight to any researcher considering tackling the not-so-distant past. Buy the Book
- Academic Cog
- Bully Bloggers
- Center of Gravitas (GayProf)
- Chapati Mystery
- Confessions of a Community College Dean
- Constitutionally Speaking
- Corey Robin
- Crooked Timber
- Dame Eleanor Hull
- Easily Distracted
- The Edge of the American West
- Ferule & Fescue
- Joe. My. God.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money
- Legal History Blog
- Madwoman With a Laptop
- New Deal 2.0
- New Kid on the Hallway
- Nursing Clio
- Pat Griffin's LGBT Sport Blog
- Reassigned Time 2.0
- Religion in American History
- University Diaries
- We Are Respectable Negroes
- American Historical Association Blog
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- Inside Higher Ed
- Juan Cole's Informed Comment
- Ms. Magazine
- National Public Radio
- New York Times
- States of Devotion
- Ta-Nehisi Coates/ The Atlantic
- The Book (The New Republic)
- The Book Bench
- The Daily Kos
- The Nation
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Claire Potter's is the first book to look at the structural, legal, and cultural aspects of J. Edgar Hoover's war on crime in the 1930s, a New Deal campaign which forged new links between citizenship, federal policing, and the ideal of centralized government.
War on Crime reminds us of how and why our worship of violent celebrity hero G-men and gangsters came about and how we now are reaping the results.Buy the Book
Category Archives: book reviews
July 20, 2010, 3:12 pm
Day 1, The Professor: A Conversation With Historiann About Terry Castle’s The Professor and Other Writings
Several weeks ago we at Tenured Radical received an email from Historiann, who was reading Terry Castle’s The Professor and Other Writings (HarperCollins, 2010.) She notified us that this book — a combination of memoir and cultural criticism — was right up our alley. Several days later, when this slim volume by a Stanford English professor I have long admired had arrived by three-day shipping (and all household activities had been put on hold indefinitely as we went on a binge of reading and downloading Art Pepper albums), Tenured Radical and Historiann agreed that a blog-to-blog conversation was in order.
July 17, 2010, 5:42 pm
I realize that I am a little late to the party here. But let me just say – whether you like Louis Menand or not, whether you think that folks who spend most of their lives in a very comfy chair at Harvard are better qualified to talk about education or not – people like Louis Menand matter and it is best to keep up with them. I guarantee you that you will be at a meeting with your president, provost or dean, and something is going to come out if his or her mouth at some point, and you are going to think: “Where the frack did that come from?” Your confusion will not be resolved either — unless you read this book.
June 10, 2010, 12:50 pm
April 24, 2010, 2:23 pm
Terrorists With Good Intentions: A Review of American Subversive by David Goodwillie (Scribner, 2010), 309 pp. $25.00
A combination thriller and meditation on the state of radical politics in the 21st century, David Goodwillie’s American Subversive, just out this week, begins inside the head of gossip blogger Aidan Cole who, inexplicably, is in hiding in a neglected vacation home. Why, we are not yet sure. But what we do know is that someone who has epitomized the often aimless spirit of the New Media is locked away, managed by “handlers.” He is subsisting on radio and day-old newspapers for information about the outside world and wondering whether “putting [his story] down on paper” will help him figure out how he has ended up in this place. But where is this place, you might ask? Is he in the witness protection program? And how is it that he has been thrown back on outmoded instruments like paper and pencil?
Why indeed? And do we care?
Ultimately, yes, we do. American Subversive is a fun read,…
March 28, 2010, 1:10 pm
The Only One Missing Is The Mad Hatter: Today’s front page story in the New York Times on Tea Party activists reveals what we already suspected: that many of its leading activists are comfortably unemployed. Many key players at the local level are older people of retirement age who are supporting themselves on Social Security and Medicare: one actually retired so that she could pursue her activism full-time. This is why they are able to dedicate themselves to running off at the drop of a hat to make signs or protest the extension of health care to younger people who have failed to exercise the responsibility to stay, or be, employed at the jobs that would give them access to affordable insurance. Because they have already paid into these big government entitlement programs, senior activists explain, “they are getting what they deserve.” Hoo-hah!
But it’s still big government, right?…
January 17, 2010, 2:56 pm
In an effort to post more consistently and also to celebrate the Lord’s Day in a traditionally Protestant way (what the Lord actually meant by “resting” was that he would get some work done on his Book), I am hereby inaugurating the Sunday Radical Roundup. Following a practice that is common in the blogosphere, but most expertly performed by Ralph Luker in his daily series of Notes at Cliopatria, every Sunday I will produce a series of short items, old and new, that I want to bring to the attention of my loyal readers.
Additions to the Tenured Radical sidebar links include The Book, a new book review blog that has been launched by The New Republic; The Book Bench, its predecessor at The New Yorker; and Constitutionally Speaking, a blog written by South African Constitutional scholar Pierre de Vos of the University of the Western Cape.
July 22, 2009, 5:35 pm
I don’t know whether I meant to bring two books about adultery on vacation but I did, and the contrast between Jed Mercurio’s American Adulterer and John Updike’s Couples provoked many thoughts about the shift in our sexual culture as seen through this knotty, diverse practice. One important similarity in the two books is what has not changed: adultery generates its own complex rules so that adulterers can evade and break other rules. In other words, the adulterer, although perhaps motivated by a desire to be free, is never truly free.
But the differences are also interesting, particularly since both novels describe the same historical moment, the early 1960s. While Updike’s adulterers operate as a community and literally as couples who protect each other, Mercurio’s adulterer in chief, JFK…
July 18, 2009, 3:28 pm
It is very rare that I finish a book with no real opinion about whether it was a good book or a bad book, but I think that this is a bad book, perhaps even a very bad book — unless, of course, you are on an airplane (check) and are not really in the mood to think much (check). My verdict is that if you don’t own a Kindle, wait for this one to be remaindered or at least come out in paperback. And I suppose whether you like American Adulterer may well depend on what you expect of historical novels in the first place. This one takes such obvious liberties with the actual history of the Kennedy administration that it isn’t clear whether, in its exhaustive attempts to explain how Jack Kennedy lived in his own ailing and hypersexual body, it adds anything to the vast amount of regurgitated information…
May 17, 2009, 11:54 am
“Clarence Walker Can’t Say Those Things, Can He?” A Review of Mongrel Nation: The America Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Any of us who know Clarence Walker personally are well aware that he can, and does, say those things. He is the Molly Ivins of the historical profession, a razor-witted, capaciously well-read scholar and critic of scholars, who is often seen at professional gatherings holding court in the hotel bar or leading a large group out to a fabulous restaurant. Because Clarence is my friend, I am immediately disqualifying myself as an impartial reviewer of his new book, Mongrel Nation: The America Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009.) But on the other hand, since he sent me a free copy and I enjoyed it so much, I have to express my gratitude somehow. So in an act of fandom, as well as friendship, I am going to try to persuade you to read this delightful book too.
Now, you may say to yourself, “I have read so much on this topic, …