John Weber: Walls and Other Monuments to Failure

Today we welcome a guest post by John Weber, author of From South Texas to the Nation: The Exploitation of Mexican Labor in the Twentieth Century. In the early years of the twentieth century, newcomer farmers and migrant Mexicans forged a new world in South Texas. In just a decade, this vast region, previously considered… Continue Reading John Weber: Walls and Other Monuments to Failure

Rebecca de Schweinitz: Youth Activism, Yesterday and Today

Today we welcome a guest post from Rebecca de Schweinitz, author of If We Could Change the World: Young People and America’s Long Struggle for Racial Equality. Hers is the first book to connect young people and shifting ideas about children and youth with the black freedom struggle, and in it she explains how popular… Continue Reading Rebecca de Schweinitz: Youth Activism, Yesterday and Today

Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: The Republic’s Need for Civility

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Alice Elizabeth Malavasic, author of The F Street Mess:  How Southern Senators Rewrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Pushing back against the idea that the Slave Power conspiracy was merely an ideological construction, The F Street Mess argues that some southern politicians in the 1850s did indeed hold an… Continue Reading Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: The Republic’s Need for Civility

Adam I. P. Smith: The Conservatism of Revolution

Today we welcome a guest post from Adam I.P. Smith, author of The Stormy Present:  Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846–1865. In The Stormy Present, an engaging and nuanced political history of Northern communities in the Civil War era, Adam I. P. Smith offers a new interpretation of the familiar story… Continue Reading Adam I. P. Smith: The Conservatism of Revolution

Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: The Momentous Issue of Our National Soul

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Alice Elizabeth Malavasic, author of The F Street Mess:  How Southern Senators Rewrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Pushing back against the idea that the Slave Power conspiracy was merely an ideological construction, The F Street Mess argues that some southern politicians in the 1850s did indeed hold an… Continue Reading Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: The Momentous Issue of Our National Soul

Michael D. Robinson: Where Was the Political Middle Ground during the Secession Crisis?

Today, we welcome a guest post from Michael D. Robinson, author of A Union Indivisible:  Secession and the Politics of Slavery in the Border South. Many accounts of the secession crisis overlook the sharp political conflict that took place in the Border South states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri. In A Union Indivisible, Michael… Continue Reading Michael D. Robinson: Where Was the Political Middle Ground during the Secession Crisis?

Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: What’s in a Name?

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Alice Elizabeth Malavasic, author of The F Street Mess:  How Southern Senators Rewrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Pushing back against the idea that the Slave Power conspiracy was merely an ideological construction, The F Street Mess argues that some southern politicians in the 1850s did indeed hold an… Continue Reading Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: What’s in a Name?

Muriel R. Gillick, M.D.: Happy Birthday, Medicare

Today, we welcome a guest post from Dr. Muriel R. Gillick, author of Old and Sick in America:  The Journey through the Health Care System, on the founding of the national health insurance program we call Medicare. Since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, the American health care system has steadily grown in… Continue Reading Muriel R. Gillick, M.D.: Happy Birthday, Medicare

Stephanie Hinnershitz: Before Loving: How the Naim v. Naim Case Challenges Civil Rights Narratives

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Stephanie Hinnershitz, author of A Different Shade of Justice: Asian American Civil Rights in the South, on the global nature of struggles over civil rights. From the formation of Chinese and Japanese communities in the early twentieth century through Indian hotel owners’ battles against business discrimination in… Continue Reading Stephanie Hinnershitz: Before Loving: How the Naim v. Naim Case Challenges Civil Rights Narratives

John Hayes: On Class, Religion, and Politics

Today we welcome a guest post from John Hayes, author of Hard, Hard Religion:  Interracial Faith in the Poor South, on the history behind the increasing importance of class and religion on today’s American political landscape. In his captivating study of faith and class, John Hayes examines the ways folk religion in the early twentieth… Continue Reading John Hayes: On Class, Religion, and Politics

Chris Myers Asch & George Derek Musgrove: Chocolate City

Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove is the most up-to-date and comprehensive history of race and race-relations in the nation’s capital. Thoroughly researched yet very readable, Chocolate City focuses on African American history, but does not neglect Native American and white components of DC history. Continue Reading Chris Myers Asch & George Derek Musgrove: Chocolate City

Emily Herring Wilson: The Three Graces of Val-Kill

The Three Graces of Val-Kill changes the way we think about Eleanor Roosevelt. Emily Wilson examines what she calls the most formative period in Roosevelt’s life, from 1922 to 1936, when she cultivated an intimate friendship with Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, who helped her build a cottage on the Val-Kill Creek in Hyde Park on the Roosevelt family land. Continue Reading Emily Herring Wilson: The Three Graces of Val-Kill

Sarah S. Elkind: Energy Corporations in Schools: Then and Now

Today, fossil fuel companies have engaged in a similar propaganda war—funding questionable research, donating questionable curriculum to hard-pressed schools, and touting their contributions to the public welfare in advertising campaigns—for similar self-interested reasons. Recent reports out of Oklahoma exposed the oil and gas industry’s science curriculum and the incentives like fully-funded field trips and free supplies and lab equipment. This echoes a similar story about coal-funded classroom materials published and later withdrawn by Scholastic, Inc., in 2009. Continue Reading Sarah S. Elkind: Energy Corporations in Schools: Then and Now

The History of Juneteenth: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Juneteenth is a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, given by President Abraham Lincoln, that declared freedom for all slaves in states still in rebellion. Continue Reading The History of Juneteenth: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Brian Tochterman: Mailer for Mayor of the 51st State

Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin are part of a sometimes roving band of supporting characters that populate The Dying City. Mailer plays the role of the contrarian provocateur who challenges the dying city narrative, whether it’s holding up the risky brotherhood of New York City’s various youth gangs as an antidote to the “national disease” of boredom within the pages of Dissent or publishing a large format book on the cultural significance of the 1970s’ most otherwise reviled contemporary art form, spray-paint writing. Breslin, the longtime voice of New York within the pages of various dailies, is perhaps most famously known outside of the city as the epistolary confidant of David Berkowitz, a.k.a. Son of Sam, who addressed a cryptic letter to Breslin, then at the Daily News, during his 1977 killing spree. He also co-authored The Lonely Crimes, “or the crimes you don’t hear about,” series from October 1965 that is examined in my book. Continue Reading Brian Tochterman: Mailer for Mayor of the 51st State

Julie M. Weise: African Americans and Immigrants’ Rights in the Trump Era

Back in 2008 when Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton vied for the Democratic nomination, the “Will Latinos support a black candidate?” narrative dominated the news cycle. “Many Latinos are not ready for a person of color,” said a young Latina in a typical quote featured by the New York Times. “I don’t think many Latinos will vote for Obama.” Academic social science from new Latino settlement areas in the U.S. South seemingly confirmed the narrative: “Latino Immigrants come to the U.S. with negative stereotypes of black Americans,” declared a Duke research team after conducting a survey in Durham, N.C., in 2003. Yet though Clinton did dominate among Latinos in the 2008 primary, they rallied to Obama’s side once he clinched the nomination, delivering the country’s first black president a historically large margin of Latino votes that November. Continue Reading Julie M. Weise: African Americans and Immigrants’ Rights in the Trump Era

Off the Page: Roundtable 1: Immigration

UNC Press is proud to host this first in a series of week-long virtual roundtables, featuring Press authors drawing on their work to address issues of contemporary concern. This week we share five short essays by leading scholars of immigration, including Elliott Young, Deirdre M. Moloney, Mireya Loza, Julie M. Weise, and Erika Lee. Continue Reading Off the Page: Roundtable 1: Immigration

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

Gregg A. Brazinsky: Sino-American Competition Past and Present

Trump’s campaign rhetoric and willingness to aggravate the thorny Taiwan issue have raised hackles in Beijing. Part of the reason for this is that China’s view of itself and its role in the international community differs starkly from Washington’s. Continue Reading Gregg A. Brazinsky: Sino-American Competition Past and Present

David S. Brown: Jimmy Carter and the Origins of an Era of Democratic Party Dominance

Carter had no deep loyalties to the New Deal. He ran for his party’s nomination as an outsider to the Washington establishment but also eschewed the radical race politics practiced by southern Dixiecrats who, as recently as 1968, had championed the third-party presidential candidacy of George Wallace. He resisted ideological labels and told reporters that he was a liberal on some issues (civil rights, the environment) and conservative on others (fiscal policy). While in the presidency he sought to reduce government expenditures, balance budgets, and refused to push for a new New Deal. Anticipating a key theme of Ronald Reagan’s successful 1980 presidential bid, Carter, in his 1978 State of the Union Address, insisted, “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Continue Reading David S. Brown: Jimmy Carter and the Origins of an Era of Democratic Party Dominance