REVIEW: Steve Pincus, The Heart of the Declaration

This is a small book with a big argument. Steve Pincus, a noted expert on seventeenth century British history, claims in his new book, The Heart of the Declaration: The Founders’ Case for an Activist Government (Yale UP), that scholars have fundamentally misunderstood America’s founding document. Rather than a call for limited government, the Declaration…

Origins and Purpose of The Junto: Roundtable Remarks from USIH2016

[This past week I had the privilege of participating on a panel about academic blogging at the United States Intellectual History conference. It was a fabulous conversation, and a phenomenal conference overall. A few people asked for me to post my remarks, which I thought was appropriate given it was about blogging. So here are…

The Peculiar Mormon Vote

The Mormon Moment refuses to die. This morning we woke to news that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are currently polled to split the Utah Vote at 26% each. This comes in the wake of the LDS-owned newspaper Deseret News printing a nearly-unprecedented op-ed calling for Trump to resign in light of recently released audio of him bragging…

Teaching Sylvester Johnson’s AFRICAN AMERICAN RELIGIONS, 1500-2000

The best part of teaching a graduate course is the excuse to read books you should have already read but never got around to. When Sylvester Johnson’s African American Religions, 1500-2000: Colonialism, Democracy, and Freedom (Cambridge UP, 2015) appeared last year I remember leafing through it, engaging the sections I needed for a chapter I was working…

The American Fear of “Church Broke” Mormons

This past Sunday, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered for the final day of the 186th Semiannual General Conference, news spread of controversial leaked videos. Ryan McKnight, who claims to have received the videos from an unnamed source, uploaded more than a dozen recordings to youtube, which quickly received…