Analyzing White Trash in the Age of Trump

I recently breezed through Nancy Isenberg’s recent White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Viking Press), which is both imminently readable and immensely smart. It is also incredibly relevant. Her argument is simple: the image of a poor, lazy, and immobile class has long been a potent problem in American culture, a constant…

New Book Arrivals, July 2016

One of the best parts of returning from a trip is finding books that you had pre-ordered and promptly forgotten. Nancy Isenberg has become even more recently with her sharp (if somewhat overstated) critiques of the Hamilton musical, but she’s always been one of the wisest commentators on American political and social history; I’m quite…

A Review of Baker and Edelstein, eds., SCRIPTING REVOLUTIONS

Last week my review of Keith Michael Baker and Dan Edelstein, eds.,¬†Scripting Revolution: A Historical Approach to the Comparative Study of Revolutions (Stanford University Press, 2015) was published by H-Diplo. You can read the entire thing here. In general, I really liked the book and found it quite useful. (I’m a sucker for theoretically rich…

Frederick Douglass and the Long History of #BlackLivesMatter

We have witnessed two black men executed by white cops over the last two days. This of course isn’t new–the only novel elements are the cell phones that documented the circumstances and the social media that spread the details. They widen the field of knowledge and community of suffering that was previously relegated, by design,…

The Pennsylvania Evening Post Declares Two Independence Declarations, July 1776

This is one of my favorite images to share with students when discussing America’s founding. On July 2, 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post included notices for two declarations of freedom that had taken place in Philadelphia: the first was the Continental Congress declaring “the UNITED COLONIES FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES”; the second was a runaway…

Mormons and the Fourth of July

Happy Independence Day to everyone! I’m about to go celebrate by parasailing over the Maui coast, but I thought I’d link to a few things I’ve written on Mormonism and the Fourth of July: Over at Religion and Politics, I wrote about the fraught relationship between the LDS Church and the American government, as seen…