David S. Brown: America’s Sunbelt Politics: The Story of Three Centuries

Historians and social scientists such as Richard Hofstadter and Daniel Bell first began to use the term “Radical Right” in the 1950s as something of a reaction to McCarthyism. A decade later, with the unexpected presidential candidacy of the Republican Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater accompanied by the growth in wealth, population, and thus political power of many southern states, the term “Sunbelt Right” came into vogue. Continue Reading David S. Brown: America’s Sunbelt Politics: The Story of Three Centuries

Nora E. Jaffary: Ancient Abortifacients in Modern Mexico

One of the things that surprised me the most was that throughout the colonial period and up until as late as the 1860s, neither community members nor judicial authorities in Mexico seemed particularly troubled that women were procuring abortions. Continue Reading Nora E. Jaffary: Ancient Abortifacients in Modern Mexico

D. H. Dilbeck: What is a Just War? How the Union’s “Lieber Code” Answered a Perennial Question

Lieber was a Berlin-born jurist and scholar who taught in South Carolina from 1835-1856, but was professor of history and political economy at Columbia College in New York City at the outbreak of the Civil War. Almost as soon as the war began, Lieber (who wrote widely on the laws of war in the antebellum era) saw the need for something like the code he eventually drafted. The traditional just-war framework distinguishes between jus in bello, just conduct in war and jus ad bellum, legitimate reasons for engaging in war. Continue Reading D. H. Dilbeck: What is a Just War? How the Union’s “Lieber Code” Answered a Perennial Question

Emily Suzanne Clark: I Don’t Believe in No Ghosts: America and Spirits

Whether or not you reading this post believe in them, ghosts fascinate Americans. A century and a half before the popularity of ghost-hunter shows on the SyFy Network and NBC’s award-winning show “Medium,” belief in spirit communication was serious and widespread in the United States. Spiritualism swept across the United States in the mid-nineteenth century and remained popular into the twentieth century. Put simply, a Spiritualist is one who believes that communication with the spirits of the dead is not only possible but also desirable. Popularized by the Fox Sisters and their “Rochester rappings,” Spiritualism interested Americans young and old, white and black, male and female, rich and poor. Much of this appeal came from Spiritualism’s ability to bridge the world of the living and the world of the dead. Continue Reading Emily Suzanne Clark: I Don’t Believe in No Ghosts: America and Spirits

Video: Randy Johnson talks Grandfather Mountain on Bookwatch

Randy Johnson, author of Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon, gives an interview on NC Bookwatch. Continue Reading Video: Randy Johnson talks Grandfather Mountain on Bookwatch

Excerpt: Bonds of Union, by Bridget Ford

For the urban Ohio River valley, the richest source of evidence about African Americans’ personal service work derives from Eliza Potter’s singular autobiography, A Hairdresser’s Experience in High Life, published in Cincinnati in 1859. Born in New York, Potter moved to Cincinnati as a young woman in 1834. She worked as a child’s nurse in several wealthy white households and accompanied one family to Paris in 1841. After a dispute over wages, Potter left the family to learn the art of hairdressing. Returning to the United States after traveling and working in both France and England, she built a successful career dressing wealthy clients whom she dubbed “our aristocracy.” Continue Reading Excerpt: Bonds of Union, by Bridget Ford

Excerpt: Not Straight, Not White, by Kevin J. Mumford

Published in the New Yorker, the long piece meditated on American racism, seeing white prejudice as arising from the reality that the “white man’s masculinity depends on a denial of the masculinity of the blacks” and that therefore the nation subjected the “Negro” to many “horrors.” After reading the essay, Kennedy had reportedly contacted Baldwin and sought the meeting because he wished to hear “fresh” ideas on “coping with civil rights problems.” If he had invited only the older and more moderate celebrities, such as Lena Horne or Harry Belafonte, it seems unlikely that the meeting would have ended as it did, in frank disagreement and an acrimonious exit. But the presence of Jerome Smith, a participant in the southern Freedom Rides that continued to press for the desegregation of buses and stations, had raised the stakes. Continue Reading Excerpt: Not Straight, Not White, by Kevin J. Mumford

Excerpt: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare, by Sean M. Kelley

It is hard to know exactly how many of the Hare captives lived in clusters that permitted them contact with their countrymen and countrywomen. To start, we do know that forty-four of the fifty-six were purchased along with at least one other Hare captive, while eleven were purchased singly, but even being purchased together did not necessarily mean the captives would stay together. Africans throughout the Americas placed a special importance on the shipmate relationship. Shipmates treated one another as kin, and recognition of the bond might continue into subsequent generations. However, being purchased in company with another Hare captive did not guarantee an enduring, close shipmate relationship. Continue Reading Excerpt: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare, by Sean M. Kelley

Video: Learn Southern Cooking with Jennifer Brulé

In this video, chef and food writer Jenny Brulé introduces her new cookbook and how to cook “the Brulé way” by trying multiple twists on classic southern recipes. Continue Reading Video: Learn Southern Cooking with Jennifer Brulé

Recipe: Bourbon Benedict

Today’s recipe is from Kathleen Purvis’s Bourbon. Kathleen Purvis is the food editor of the Charlotte Observer, a well-known food writer, and a long-time member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. After Pecans, this is her second book. Her recipe is great for those mornings when you feel like making something a little more special than your run-of-the-mill bacon and eggs. Continue Reading Recipe: Bourbon Benedict

Emily Suzanne Clark: 150 Years After the Mechanics’ Institute Riot

Thus on July 30 as a group of supporters paraded towards the Mechanics’ Institute with drum and fife, they were followed by a white mob. That mob was then joined by local police and members of the fire department who helped storm the Mechanics’ Institute and allowed the mob access to the convention-goers, most of whom were unarmed. By the end of the day over forty black Republicans lay dead, along with three white Republican allies and one white rioter. Many of the slain African American men were Union veterans. The violence spread beyond the Mechanics’ Institute as blacks across the city were attacked and their property vandalized. According to the U.S. House Select Committee on the riot, “Scores of colored citizens bear frightful scars more numerous than many soldiers of a dozen well-fought fields can show.” Continue Reading Emily Suzanne Clark: 150 Years After the Mechanics’ Institute Riot

Video: Randy Johnson on the best ways to explore Grandfather Mountain

Randy Johnson, author of Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon, suggests the best ways to explore the mountain in this interview with Carolina Today. Continue Reading Video: Randy Johnson on the best ways to explore Grandfather Mountain

Recipe: Caroline and David’s Peach Frozen Yogurt

Today’s recipe is from Kelly Alexander’s Peaches. Alexander’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, and O: The Oprah Magazine. She is co-author of the New York Times best-selling barbecue cookbook Smokin’ with Myron Mixon. She lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. Her peach frozen yogurt is everything you ever loved about summer in one delicious dish! Continue Reading Recipe: Caroline and David’s Peach Frozen Yogurt

Excerpt: Us Versus Them, by Douglas Little

Although the source of the 9/11 attacks was quite novel and although both the scale and the location of the harm “they” inflicted on “us” were unprecedented, the notion of a virtuous America endangered by wicked and violent enemies was not new at all. Indeed, from the moment that John Winthrop and the Puritans dropped anchor in Massachusetts Bay in 1630 and vowed to build a “City Upon a Hill,” Americans have tended to view the world in terms of “us versus them.” Continue Reading Excerpt: Us Versus Them, by Douglas Little

Recipe: Pink-Eyed Peas, Corn, Tomato, and Bacon Salad

oday’s recipe is from Sandra A. Gutierrez’s Beans and Field Peas. Gutierrez is the author of Latin American Street Food and The New Southern–Latino Table. A well-known culinary instructor, she lives in Cary, North Carolina. Her recipe today is full of summer (and southern) goodness. What’s not to love about a salad with corn, tomato, and bacon? Continue Reading Recipe: Pink-Eyed Peas, Corn, Tomato, and Bacon Salad

Lessons from the Sand: A Budding Naturalist Explores

Recently, my parents and I went to the Outer Banks for the weekend. Unfortunately, the red flags were out so my mom wouldn’t let me go into the water. Fortunately, we had a copy of LESSONS FROM THE SAND with us, and we made our own fun out of the water. Continue Reading Lessons from the Sand: A Budding Naturalist Explores

Recipe: Crispy Crumbed Baked Tomatoes with Pecans & Parmesan

Today’s recipe is from Miriam Rubin’s Tomatoes. Rubin, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, was the first woman to work in the kitchen of the Four Seasons Restaurant. Author of Grains, she writes the food and gardening column “Miriam’s Garden” for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She lives in New Freeport, Pennsylvania. Baked tomatoes are tasty all on their own, but add parmesan and pecans and they’ll be even more mouth-watering! Continue Reading Recipe: Crispy Crumbed Baked Tomatoes with Pecans & Parmesan