Classes and Syllabi, Spring 2018

Things have been quiet around here as the last few weeks have been a blur. But now that the semester has commenced I hope to return to a more standard schedule, including my Wednesday book reviews. I’m excited for the Spring semester to finally start, although it was postponed again this week as a surprise…

Things I wrote in 2017

Continuing a tradition from last year, this is my attempt to categorize everything I wrote in the last twelve months. It’s been a good year! Articles: “The Bonds of Union: Benjamin Rush, Noah Webster, and Defining the Nation in the Early Republic,” Early American Studies 15:2 (Spring 2017): 382-408. “The Angel of Nullification: Imagining Disunion…

Review: Moss and Baden, BIBLE NATION

Within a few minutes’ walk from the United States Capital in Washington DC, a visitor might stumble upon an impressive eight-story structure dedicated to “reacquaint[ing] the world with the book that helped make it.” The Museum of the Bible opened just last month after several years of anticipation. In some ways, it is similar to…

Review: Jonathan Israel, THE EXPANDING BLAZE

About eighteen months ago I queried at The Junto, “What Happened to the ‘Democratic’ in the ‘Age of Democratic Revolutions’?” The post was prompted by the last decade’s work that seemed to emphasize the conservative twist of the revolutionary movements that marked the last few decades of the eighteenth century. Most of this new work,…

Your Holiday Sale for Academic Books Guide

In a couple weeks I’ll post my favorite year-in-review lists—on early American history at Junto, and Mormon history at Juvenile Instructor—but today I thought I’d highlight some great sales going on with academic presses. Who could down a holiday discount? (A big shout-out to William Black, who listed a lot of the press sales on…

D. Michael Quinn, Mormon Capitalism, and New Mormon History

Few figures have been as paramount to the cultural history of Mormon scholarship as D. Michael Quinn. To some, he is an icon who fought for a more professional history and honest approach to the past; to others, he is a critic who fudges facts in order to present a polemical front. To everyone, his…

Publisher News for the Nauvoo Book

So, while I’m still two months away from American Nationalisms finally hitting the shelves, I’ve been working away on my second book. It’s tentatively titled Democracy’s Discontents: A Story of Politics, Polygamy, and Power in Mormon Nauvoo, and it is a microhistory of the Mormon city-state that was settled on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River…

Review: Tom Cutterham, GENTLEMEN REVOLUTIONARIES

The American Revolution was founded upon elite gentlemen willing to stake their reputation on a political gamble. That’s what Tom Cutterham argues in his new book, Gentlemen Revolutionaries: Power and Justice in the New American Republic (Princeton UP, 2017), anyway. The British Empire featured countless men who were eager to climb the ranks of nobility–class…

Gendered Power in Nauvoo…Presented in Nauvoo!

Today I’m catching a plane to St. Louis, followed by driving a rental car up to Nauvoo. I’m excited. Well, I’m always excited to visit Nauvoo, but I’m especially excited to head up there this weekend to present a paper in the annual John Whitmer Historical Association conference. JWHA is a fun organization dedicated to…