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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
The Chronicle Blog Network, a digital salon sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe. Content is not edited, solicited, or necessarily endorsed by The Chronicle. More on the Network...
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: books
September 3, 2012, 10:51 am
These are the legendary last words of Joe Hill — except that they weren’t his last words. According to Peter Carlson’s Roughneck: The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood (New York: W.W. Norton: 1983) this catchy phrase was rewritten from a telegram sent to Haywood in 1915 as Hill awaited execution on trumped up charges in a Utah jail. What Joe really wrote was:
“Goodbye, Bill, I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time mourning. Organize!”
But Joe Hill had many more last words. They included a subsequent telegram to Haywood which read:
“Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don’t want to be found dead in Utah.”
Utah is a beautiful state, with some beautiful people in it, but here we are almost a century later and I have got to agree. I don’t want to be found dead in Utah either. If you’ve got to bury me, bury me in a Blue state…
September 2, 2012, 2:51 pm
Perhaps because editors thought it would be appropriate to print a full obituary on Labor Day weekend, I only became aware today that historian, laborer, novelist and activist Alexander Saxton passed over on August 20. He was 93, and “died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound” because, as daughter Catherine Steele wrote, Saxton believed that “the terms of his life were his to decide.”
Read Paul Vitello’s story about Saxton here.
Like fellow historian David Montgomery, Saxton became a scholar when McCarthyism ended his career as a novelist and a labor organizer. He was one of the first historians to think seriously about how racial whiteness coalesced as an identity for European-descended working-class men in California; and how the demonization of immigrants from the Asian diaspora by nativist elites served the politics of capitalism in the Western United States.
I read Saxton’s
July 26, 2012, 3:44 pm
My recent post about icky academic theory-speak stirred the writing pot big time. It prompted a vigorous on-line debate about my unwillingness to name the author/book that triggered my eruption about the unreadability of some theory. My argument that many books would do a better job of illuminating the subject at hand if they were freed from jargon and grammatical circumlocution received less attention.
I am interested in this question because I write, but also because I edit academic book projects and try to take them from good to great, great to fabulous. I meet them at the proposal stage and live with them until they are handed off to the author’s best friend, the copyeditor.
July 20, 2012, 4:27 pm
In addition to novels, I always bring a stack of scholarly books on our annual summer vacation. I bring books in my field, books not in my field, books in fields I might be ready to explore, books I might like to teach and books that I read so that I will be a better blogger.
I also bring books on vacation that are too long, or too complex, for me to be able to read in a sustained way when life is full of distraction and interruption. Sustained reading means finishing a difficult or lengthy book in a reasonable number of sittings — between one and three, or few enough to allow me to hold the parts of the argument in my head as I move toward the end.
It is in this spirit that I reached for a recently published book of theory — in my field, I was thinking of teaching it — and was disappointed within the first ten pages. I’m not sure that it was fair for me to be disappointed,…
May 23, 2012, 4:38 pm
Today’s guest blogger is Margot D. Weiss, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT. She is the author of 2012 Lambda Award finalist Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality (Duke, 2011.)
Last month, Newsweek published a cover story by Katie Roiphe with the headline “The Fantasy Life of Working Women: Why Surrender is a Feminist Dream.” The story purports to account for the run-away success of domination/submission narratives, taking E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey as a case in point. James’s book – the first in a trilogy of erotic novels – is Twilight fan fiction turned New York Times bestseller with movie rights. Banned in several public libraries, it’s a tale of the “dark desires” sparked by the romance between college student Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey. The book is a…
May 2, 2012, 11:28 am
Thursday, May 3, 2012, 6:00 p.m.
The New School, 66 West 12th Street, room 510, NYC
Come one, come all, to meet Tenured Radical, with history friends David Rosner (Columbia), David Greenberg (Rutgers), and Gail Drakes (NYU) at the New School for Public Engagement tomorrow evening. Got a recent history manuscript you are shilling? Unfortunately, my co-editor Renee Romano will not be there, however Derek Krissoff, our editor from the University of Georgia Press, will be in the house.
March 19, 2012, 7:29 pm
Today my editor wrote to say that he was actually holding our new book in his hand! It was the hardback edition, which I think is worth your eyeteeth to own if you are not on a library acquisitions budget. Soon, however, the University of Georgia Press will be rolling out and shipping copies of Doing Recent History: On Privacy, Copyright, Video Games, Institutional Review Boards, Activist Scholarship, and History That Talks Back for the mean, lean paperback price of $22.95. Reserve yours by clicking the link above; by going to Powell’s (where you can see the whole table of contents and register to win free books by commenting on ours); or Amazon (where you save no money, get no table of contents, but may qualify for free shipping.)
Better yet, why don’t you mosey into your local independent and/or university bookstore and say, “YO! Where’s that book edited by Potter and Romano…
January 25, 2012, 4:52 pm
I know that, as a feminist, I am not supposed to like Caitlin Flanagan because she has made gender essentialism fashionable again. But honestly? I don’t think this makes her a bad person. She is an intellectual who has a keen eye for the role the gender binary plays in our culture, and then — her flaw is that sometimes she stops there when she should push a little harder. When she does go for the take down, she is ruthless in ways I appreciate and admire.
I first encountered Flanagan (before I knew I wasn’t supposed to like her) when she published “The Price of Paradise” in The New Yorker (January 3 2005). This is a priceless piece about the horrors of resort-style family vacations designed for couples who have little children. It’s an article that (more…)
November 15, 2011, 3:47 pm
Rejoining the Parts: A Conversation with Jane Lazarre About Race, Fiction, American History and Her New Novel, Inheritance
Jane Lazarre is a writer of fiction, memoir and poetry who has published many books, beginning with her memoir, The Mother Knot (1976; reissued in 1997 by Duke University Press) and most recently, Inheritance, A Novel (Hamilton Stone Editions, 2011). She has taught writing and literature at New York’s City College and at Yale University; and for many years directed and taught in the undergraduate writing program at Eugene Lang College at the New School.
Tenured Radical: The title of the book — Inheritance — asks the reader to think about what is passed down, generation to generation. But in the first chapter we are confronted with Sam’s frustration and anger that, as a young woman with a white and a black parent, she knows so little of her family history. We come to understand that our historical “inheritance” not only can’t be taken for granted and but also sometimes requires a…
October 26, 2010, 3:13 pm
|Cartoon by Walt Handelsman.|
Let’s hear it for the Virginia Department of Education, which approved a textbook called Our Virginia: Past and Present for fourth graders in its public schools. It features the information that, according to this story in USA Today “thousands of black troops fought for the Confederacy….author Joy Masoff told The Washington Post that she found the passage on the Internet.” In case your brain is busy stereotyping Masoff as a renegade Daughter of the Confederacy, she is from Westchester, NY, and is the author of numerous children’s books.
Masoff’s Wikipedia entry has one account of the three Internet sources Masoff used that it claims link back to this document generated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group which works hard to separate the rebellion from the stink of involuntary human servitude. One way to do that is to imply massive black support …