Publications - Title


A Government Out of Sight

The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America
Brian Balogh
Professor of History, Department of History, University of Virginia
( Cambridge, March 2009 )

Brian Balogh argues that Americans have always turned to the national government but have done so in ways that did not involve growth of a centralized bureaucracy, at least until the mid-20th century.

A Nation of Outsiders

How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America
Grace Hale
Commonwealth Chair of American Studies
( Oxford, January 2011 )

A Preponderance of Power

National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War
Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History
( Stanford, July 1993 )

The most comprehensive history to date of the Truman administration's progressive embroilment in the Cold War.

A Revolution in Language

The Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France
Sophia Rosenfeld
( Stanford, 2001 )

A Revolution in Language shows not only that many key French revolutionary thinkers were unusually preoccupied by questions of language, but also that prevailing assumptions about words and other signs profoundly shaped revolutionaries to imagine and to institute an ideal polity between 1789 and the start of the new century. This book reveals the links between Enlightenment epistemology and the development of modern French political culture.

Age in America: The Colonial Era to the Present

Cori Field
Lecturer, Corcoran Department of History and Women, Gender, Sexuality Program
( NYU Press, May 2015 )

Age in America: The Colonial Era to the Present

Cori Field
Lecturer, Corcoran Department of History and Women, Gender, Sexuality Program
( NYU Press, May 2015 )

Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont in America

Their Friendship and Their Travels
Olivier Zunz
Commonwealth Professor
( University of Virginia, December 7, 2010 )

Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont in America reproduces the journey of these two friends in an authoritative and elegant volume. Zunz and Goldhammer present most of the surviving letters, notebooks, and other texts that Tocqueville and Beaumont wrote during their decisive American journey of 1831–32, as well as their reflections and correspondence on America following their return to France.

Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America: Volumes One and Two

Olivier Zunz
Commonwealth Professor
( Library of America, February 2012 )

Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War

Elizabeth Varon
Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History
( Oxford University Press, October 4, 2013 )


Baldwin Locomotive Works, 1831-1915

A Study in American Industrial Practice
John K. Brown
Associate Professor
( Johns Hopkins , August 2001 )

Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty

Gary W. Gallagher
John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War
( University of Georgia Press, May 1, 2013 )

Black Leaders on Leadership: Conversations with Julian Bond

Phyllis Leffler
( Palgrave Macmillan, December 2014 )

By Force and Fear: Taking and Breaking Monastic Vows in Early Modern Europe

Anne J. Schutte
Professor Emerita
( Cornell University Press, July, 2011 )

An unwilling, desperate nun trapped in the cloister, unable to gain release: such is the image that endures today of monastic life in early modern Europe. In By Force and Fear, Anne Jacobson Schutte demonstrates that this and other common stereotypes of involuntary consignment to religious houses-shaped by literary sources such as Manzoni's The Betrothed-are badly off the mark.


Dealing with Dictators

Dilemmas of US Diplomacy and Intelligence Analysis, 1945-1990
Philip Zelikow
White Burkett Miller Professor of History
( MIT, February 2007 )

Dismembering the Body Politic

Partisan Politics in England's Towns, 1650–1730
Paul D. Halliday
Department Chair
( Cambridge, July 1998 )

This is a major survey of how towns were governed in late Stuart and early Hanoverian England. England's civil wars in the 1640s broke apart a society that had been used to political consensus. Though all sought unity after the wars ended, a new kind of politics developed--one based on partisan division, arising first in urban communities, not at Parliament. This book explains how war unleashed a long cycle of purge and counter-purge and how society found the means to absorb divisive politics peacefully. Legal changes are explored with reference to the rarely-studied court records of King's Bench, to which local competitors turned for help in resolving their differences.


Empire of Honour

The Art of Government in the Roman World
J. E. Lendon
( Oxford, January, 2002 )

Jon Lendon offers a bold new analysis of how Roman government worked in the first four centuries AD. He contends that a despotism rooted in force and fear enjoyed widespread support among the ruling classes of the provinces on the basis of an aristocratic culture of honor shared by rulers and ruled.

Empire of Law and Indian Justice in Colonial Mexico

Brian P. Owensby
( Stanford, May 2008 )

Empire's Law and Indian Justice in Colonial Mexico shows how Indian litigants and petitioners made sense of Spanish legal principles and processes when the dust of conquest had begun to settle after 1600. By juxtaposing hundreds of case records with written laws and treatises, Owensby reveals how Indians saw the law as a practical and moral resource that allowed them to gain a measure of control over their lives and to forge a relationship to a distant king. Several chapters elucidate central concepts of Indian claimants in their encounter with the law over the seventeenth century—royal protection, possession of property, liberty, notions of guilt, village autonomy and self-rule, and subjecthood. Owensby concludes that Indian engagement with Spanish law was the first early modern experiment in cosmopolitan legality, one that faced the problem of difference head on and sought to bridge the local and the international. In so doing, it enabled indigenous claimants to forge a colonial politics of justice that opened up space for a conversation between colonial rulers and ruled.

Environmental Sustainability in Transatlantic Perspective: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Manuela Achilles
Lecturer, Departments of History and German
( Palgrave Macmillan, September 2013 )


For the Soul of Mankind

The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History
( Hill & Wang, 2007 )

To the amazement of the public, pundits, and even the policymakers themselves, the ideological and political conflict that endangered the world for half a century came to an end in 1990. How did that happen? What had caused the cold war in the first place, and why did it last as long as it did? To answer these questions, Melvyn P. Leffler homes in on four crucial episodes when American and Soviet leaders considered modulating, avoiding, or ending hostilities and asks why they failed. He then illuminates how Reagan, Bush, and, above all, Gorbachev finally extricated themselves from the policies and mind-sets that had imprisoned their predecessors, and were able to reconfigure Soviet-American relations after decades of confrontation.

For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (Chinese translation)

Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History
( East China Normal University Press, February 1, 2012 )

Foundational Pasts: The Holocaust as Historical Understanding

Alon Confino
( Cambridge University Press, September, 2011 )

Alon Confino seeks to rethink dominant interpretations of the Holocaust by examining it as a problem in cultural history. As the main research interests of Holocaust scholars are frequently covered terrain - the anti-Semitic ideological campaign, the machinery of killing, the brutal massacres during the war - Confino's research goes in a new direction. He analyzes the culture and sensibilities that made it possible for the Nazis and other Germans to imagine the making of a world without Jews. Confino seeks these insights from the ways historians interpreted another short, violent, and foundational event in modern European history - the French Revolution. The comparison of the ways we understand the Holocaust with scholars' interpretations of the French Revolution allows Confino to question some of the basic assumptions of present-day historians concerning historical narration, explanation, and understanding.

Freedom Has a Face

Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson's Virginia
Kirt von Daacke
Associate Professor
( University of Virginia Press, October 23, 2012 )


Germany as a Culture of Remembrance

Promises and Limits of Writing History
Alon Confino
( University of North Carolina, September 2006 )

An acknowledged authority on German history and memory, Alon Confino presents in this volume an original critique of the relations between nationhood, memory, and history, applied to the specific case of Germany.


Habeas Corpus

From England to Empire
Paul D. Halliday
Department Chair
( Harvard, March 2010 )

We call habeas corpus the Great Writ of Liberty. But it was actually a writ of power. In a work based on an unprecedented study of thousands of cases across more than five hundred years, Paul Halliday provides a sweeping revisionist account of the world's most revered legal device.

Historical Knowledge, Historical Error

A Contemporary Guide to Practice
Allan Megill
( Chicago, February 2007 )

Megill discusses issues of narrative, objectivity, and memory. He attacks what he sees as irresponsible uses of evidence while accepting the art of speculation, which incomplete evidence forces upon historians.


In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11

Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History
( Cornell University Press, June, 2011 )

In Uncertain Times considers how policymakers react to dramatic developments on the world stage. Few expected the Berlin Wall to come down in November 1989; no one anticipated the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September 2001. American foreign policy had to adjust quickly to an international arena that was completely transformed.Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro have assembled an illustrious roster of officials from the George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations - Robert B. Zoellick, Paul Wolfowitz, Eric S. Edelman, Walter B. Slocombe, and Philip Zelikow. These policymakers describe how they went about making strategy for a world fraught with possibility and peril.

Innovation as a social process

Elihu Thomson and the rise of General Electric, 1870-1900
W. Bernard Carlson
( Cambridge, 1991 )

Intimate Ironies

Modernity and the Making of Middle-Class Lives in Brazil
Brian P. Owensby
( Stanford, January 2001 )

"Intimate Ironies" represents a novel approach to the history of urban middle classes in the twentieth century. Most studies of the middle class have concentrated on culture or political behavior; rarely have the two been brought together. By linking everyday life and politics, the book reinvigorates the study of political history and class in modern Latin American societies, in the process complementing recent studies of organized labor and the industrial elites in LatinAmerica. And by telling an unorthodox story of the middle class, the author challenges the very possibility of a linear, progressive narrative of social development.


Jefferson's Empire

The Language of American Nationhood
Peter S. Onuf
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor, Emeritus
( Virginia, April 2000 )

Traces Jefferson's vision of the American future to its roots in his idealized notions of nationhood and empire. The author's unsettling recognition that Jefferson's famed egalitarianism was elaborated in an imperialist context yields original interpretations of our national identity and our ideas of race, of westward expansion and the Civil War, and of American global dominance in the 20th century.


Karl Marx: The Burden of Reason

(Why Marx Rejected Politics and the Market)
Allan Megill
( Rowman & Littlefield, January 2002 )

Why did Karl Marx want to exclude politics and the market from his vision of a future socialism? Allan Megill begins with this question. In answering it he forces the reader to rethink Marxs entire intellectual project. Karl Marx: The Burden of Reason has important implications for how we think about the usability of Marxs work today. It will be of interest both to those who wish to reflect on the fate of Marxism during the era of Soviet Communism and to those who wish to discern what is adequate and what requires replacement or supplementation in the work of a figure who in spite of everything remains one of the greatest philosophers and social scientists of the modern world.


La Philanthropie en Amérique

Olivier Zunz
Commonwealth Professor
( Fayard, September 13, 2012 )

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Civil Service

Middle-Class Workers in Victorian America
Cindy S. Aron
Professor Emerita
( Oxford, April 1987 )

Lee and His Army in Confederate History

Gary W. Gallagher
John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War
( University of North Carolina, September 2001 )

Using a host of contemporary sources, Gallagher demonstrates the remarkable faith that soldiers and citizens maintained in Robert E. Lee's leadership even after his army's fortunes had begun to erode. Gallagher also engages aspects of the Lee myth with an eye toward how admirers have insisted that their hero's faults as a general represented exaggerations of his personal virtues. Finally, Gallagher considers whether it is useful--or desirable--to separate legitimate Lost Cause arguments from the transparently false ones relating to slavery and secession.

Legitimacy and Law in the Roman World

Tabulae in Roman Belief and Practice
Elizabeth A. Meyer
( Cambridge, March 2004 )

Greeks wrote mostly on papyrus, but the Romans wrote solemn religious, public and legal documents on wooden tablets often coated with wax. This book investigates the historical significance of this resonant form of writing; its power to order the human realm and cosmos and to make documents efficacious; its role in court; the uneven spread - an aspect of Romanization - of this Roman form outside Italy, as provincials made different guesses as to what would please their Roman overlords; and its influence on the evolution of Roman law. An historical epoch of Roman legal transactions without writing is revealed as a juristic myth of origins. Roman legal documents on tablets are the ancestors of today’s dispositive legal documents - the document as the act itself. In a world where knowledge of the Roman law was scarce - and enforcers scarcer - the Roman law drew its authority from a wider world of belief.

Lens of War: Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War

Gary W. Gallagher
John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War
( University of Georgia Press, April 15, 2015 )


Making America Corporate, 1870-1920

Olivier Zunz
Commonwealth Professor
( Chicago, 1992 )

Making Indian Law

The Hualapai Land Case and the Birth of Ethnohistory
Christian W. McMillen
Associate Professor
( Yale, January 2007 )

The story of a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision in 1941 that changed the field of Indian law. Threatened by railroad claims to their lands, Arizona's Hualapai people engaged in a legal battle, emerged victorious, and along the way introduced revolutionary new ways of thinking about all native peoples, their property, and their past.

Making Whiteness

The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940
Grace Hale
Commonwealth Chair of American Studies
( Vintage, June 1999 )

In this brilliant and indispensable study of the making of segregationist culture, Grace Elizabeth Hale shows how what W. E. B. Du Bois called the "color line" came to define American identity itself: whiteness became the standard, desirable image of aspiring middle-class life while blackness was consigned to the margins, to the back of the bus, and became a marker, for a white majority, of social pathology. Nowhere was the identification of blackness with inferiority more obsessively enforced than in the South, where the law cast a blind eye on lynching as public entertainment and where white children were taught that Negroes "must be kept in their place." Drawing on a fascinating and often disturbing array of cultural artifacts and events, Making Whiteness shatters the habitual assumption that racism is an unfortunate fact of human nature, and points the way toward a truly egalitarian and integrated society.


Joseph F. Kett
James Madison Professor, Emeritus
( Cornell University Press, January 15, 2013 )

Metics and the Athenian phialai-Inscriptions

A Study in Athenian Epigraphy and Law
Elizabeth A. Meyer
( Franz Steiner Verlag, March 2010 )



Of Religion and Empire

Missions, Conversion, and Tolerance in Tsarist Russia
Robert P. Geraci
Associate Professor
( Cornell, 2001 )

This book is the first to investigate the role of religious conversion in the long history of Russian state building. The editors' introduction and conclusion place the twelve original essays in broad historical context and suggest patterns in Russian attitudes toward religion that range from attempts to forge a homogeneous identity to tolerance of complexity and diversity.

Our Guerrillas, Our Sidewalks

A Journey into the Violence of Colombia
Herbert Braun
Associate Professor
( Rowman and Littlefield, 2003 )

This remarkable book tells the story of one man's kidnapping in Colombia from the first-person perspectives of all those involved: the guerrillas, the victim, his wife, his friends, and his brother-in-law, Herbert Braun. In this second edition, the author has added a new chapter that recounts the endurance of Colombia and Colombians in the face of escalating kidnapping and violence, explores the current political situation in Colombia, and reevaluates his own complex response to the guerrillas.


Peaceful Kings

Peace, Power and the Early Medieval Political Imagination
Paul Kershaw
Associate Professor
( Oxford, March 2010 )

This is the first full scholarly exploration of the relationship between the idea of peace and rulership through Europe's formative centuries, setting the shifting terms of that relationship in their full historical, political and cultural context. In the process it offers new insights to the reception of late antique thought and imagery in the earlier Middle Ages, the range and distinctiveness of early medieval political thought, and the intellectual vitality of the period AD 500 to 900.

Philanthropy in America: A History

Olivier Zunz
Commonwealth Professor
( Princeton University Press, October, 2011 )

American philanthropy today expands knowledge, champions social movements, defines active citizenship, influences policymaking, and addresses humanitarian crises. How did philanthropy become such a powerful and integral force in American society? Philanthropy in America is the first book to explore in depth the twentieth-century growth of this unique phenomenon. Ranging from the influential large-scale foundations established by tycoons such as John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and the mass mobilization of small donors by the Red Cross and March of Dimes, to the recent social advocacy of individuals like Bill Gates and George Soros, respected historian Olivier Zunz chronicles the tight connections between private giving and public affairs, and shows how this union has enlarged democracy and shaped history.

Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina

S. Max Edelson
Associate Professor
( Harvard, 2006 )

This impressive scholarly debut deftly reinterprets one of America's oldest symbols--the southern slave plantation. S. Max Edelson examines the relationships between planters, slaves, and the natural world they colonized to create the Carolina Lowcountry.

Political Parties and American Political Development from the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln

Michael F. Holt
Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History, Emeritus
( LSU, 1992 )

The collection focuses on the mass political parties that emerged in the 1820s and their role in broader political developments from that decade to 1865. Holt includes essays on the Democratic, Antimasonic, Whig, and Know Nothing parties, as well as one on Abraham Lincoln's relationship with the congressional wing of the Republican party during the Civil War. Almost all essays touch on the broad question of the role of partisan politics in explaining the outbreak of the war.

Prophets of Extremity

Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida
Allan Megill
( University of California, May 1987 )

In this book, the author presents an interpretation of four thinkers: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. In an attempt to place these thinkers within the wider context of the crisis-oriented modernism and postmodernism that have been the source of much of what is most original and creative in twentieth-century art and thought.


Rites of Passage

Adolescence in America 1790 to the Present
Joseph F. Kett
James Madison Professor, Emeritus
( Basic Books, 1977 )


Social Death and Resurrection

Slavery and Emancipation in South Africa
John Edwin Mason
( Virginia, May, 2003 )

In Social Death and Resurrection Mason draws upon Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson’s theory that a slave’s social degradation rendered him socially dead. "Social death" defined slavery in the ideal, slavery as it would have been had the slaves played along. But in colonial South Africa slaves did not play along: they fought the lash and resisted domination, retaining a cultural and moral community of their own. Mason investigates the subsequent "resurrection" of slaves following their successful struggle to preserve family, faith, community ties, and human dignity, despite their class domination and racial subjugation by slaveowners.

Soldiers & Ghosts

A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity
J. E. Lendon
( Yale, August, 2006 )

Sparta, Macedonia, and Rome--how did these nations come to dominate the ancient world? Lendon shows readers that the most successful armies were those that made the most effective use of cultural tradition.


Talons And Teeth

County Clerks And Runners In The Qing Dynasty (law, Society, And Culture In China)
Bradly W. Reed
Associate Professor
( Stanford, 2000 )

Taming the Unknown: A History of Algebra from Antiquity to the Early Twentieth Century

Karen Parshall
Professor of History and Mathematics
( Princeton University Press, 2014 )

Technology in World History

W. Bernard Carlson
( Oxford, October 2005 )

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age

W. Bernard Carlson
( Princeton University Press, April 22, 2013 )

The 9/11 Commission Report

Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
Philip Zelikow
White Burkett Miller Professor of History
( Washington, DC: Government Printing Office and New York: W.W. Norton, 2004 )

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002, is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.

The 9/11 Commission Report: The Attack from Planning to Aftermath

Philip Zelikow
White Burkett Miller Professor of History
( W. W. Norton & Company, August 2011 )

Published for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, this new edition of the authorized report is limited to the Commission’s riveting account—which was a finalist for the National Book Award—of the attack and its background, examining both the attackers and the U.S. government, the emergency response, and the immediate aftermath. It includes new material from Philip Zelikow, the Commission’s executive director, on the Commission’s work, the fate of its recommendations, and the way this struggle has evolved right up to the present day.

The Anti-Rent Era in New York Law and Politics, 1839-1865

Charles W. McCurdy
Professor of History and Law
( UNC, January 2006 )

A chronicle of the largest tenant rebellion in US history, from its beginning in the rural villages of eastern New York in 1839 until its collapse in 1865. Charles McCurdy highlights the manifold ways in which law and politics shaped the pattern of anti-rent violence and the drive for land reform.

The Assassination of Gaitán

Public Life and Urban Violence in Colombia
Herbert Braun
Associate Professor
( Wisconsin, March 1986 )

Drawn in part from personal interviews with participants and witnesses, Herbert Braun's analysis of the riot's roots, its patterns and consequences, provides a dramatic account of this historic turning point and an illuminating look at the making of modern Colombia.

The Cambridge History of the Cold War

Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History
( Cambridge, March 2010 )

The Changing Face of Inequality

Urbanization, Industrial Development, and Immigrants in Detroit, 1880-1920
Olivier Zunz
Commonwealth Professor
( Chicago, 1983 )

Originally published in 1983, The Changing Face of Inequality is the first systematic social history of a major American city undergoing industrialization. Zunz examines Detroit's evolution between 1880 and 1920 and discovers the ways in which ethnic and class relations profoundly altered its urban scene. Stunning in scope, this work makes a major contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century cities.

The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Thomas Klubock
( Duke University Press, 2013 )

The Early Medieval Inscriptions of Brittany / Les inscriptions de la Bretagne du Haut Moyen Âge

Paul Kershaw
Associate Professor
( Celtic Studies Publications, 2000 )

A groundbreaking work embodying the work of a team of researchers on a body of evidence of top relevance to Celtic studies, Early Christianity in Western Europe, and post-Roman western Europe. A unique piece of primary research, presenting records of a poorly understood, but pivotal period in the Celtic West, texts that are otherwise little known. The book's core is a full catalogue of inscriptions on stone in Brittany and the Channel Islands datable to c. CE 300 to 1200. Full bilingual English and French in parallel columns. Full discussions of language, letter forms, and historical implications of the stones and inscribed texts.

Numerous high-quality black and white photographs, drawings, and maps.

The Elusive Quest

America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919-1933
Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History
( North Carolina, April, 1979 )

The End Of French Predominance In Europe

The Financial Crisis Of 1924 And The Adoption Of The Dawes Plan
Stephen A. Schuker
William W. Corcoran Professor
( UNC, December 1976 )

The Human Rights Revolution: An International History

William Hitchcock
Professor of History
( Oxford University Press, USA , January, 2012 )

The contributors to this volume look at the wave of human rights legislation emerging out of World War II, including the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the Nuremberg trial, and the Geneva Conventions, and the expansion of human rights activity in the 1970s and beyond, including the anti-torture campaigns of Amnesty International, human rights politics in Indonesia and East Timor, the emergence of a human rights agenda among international scientists, and the global campaign female genital mutilation. The book concludes with a look at the UN Declaration at its 60th anniversary. Bringing together renowned senior scholars with a new generation of international historians, these essays set an ambitious agenda for the history of human rights.

The Lost Promise of Civil Rights

Risa Goluboff
Professor of Law, Professor of History
( Harvard, May 2007 )

In this groundbreaking book, Risa L. Goluboff offers a provocative new account of the history of American civil rights law.

The Most Musical Nation

Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire
James Loeffler
Associate Professor
( Yale University Press, Jun 14, 2010 )

Drawing on a mass of unpublished writings and archival sources from prerevolutionary Russian conservatories, this book offers an insightful account of the Jewish search for a modern identity in Russia through music, rather than politics or religion.

The Nation as a Local Metaphor

Württemberg, Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871-1918
Alon Confino
( University of California Press, October 1997 )

All nations make themselves up as they go along, but not all make themselves up in the same way.

The Papers of James Madison, Presidential Series, Volume 7

J.C.A. Stagg
( University of Virginia Press, March, 2012 )

The Papers of James Madison project, housed at the University of Virginia, was established in 1956 to publish annotated volumes of the correspondence and writings of James Madison, the Virginia statesman most often remembered for his public service as "Father of the Constitution" and as fourth president of the United States.

The Presidential Series, covering the years 1809 to early 1817, centers largely on Madison's record as commander-in-chief during the War of 1812, the first full-scale conflict to be waged under the U.S. Constitution of 1787. Madison's correspondence as president deals with a particularly wide range of concerns—national politics, international diplomacy and war, Indian affairs, the construction of the nation's capital, even petitions from ordinary citizens for charity and mercy—to which Madison responded.

The Political Crisis of the 1850's

Michael F. Holt
Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History, Emeritus
( Norton, September 1978 )

The Problem of Slavery as History: A Global Approach

Joseph C. Miller
T. Cary Johnson, Jr. Professor, Emeritus
( Yale University Press, 2012 )

Why did slavery—an accepted evil for thousands of years—suddenly become regarded during the eighteenth century as an abomination so compelling that Western governments took up the cause of abolition in ways that transformed the modern world? Joseph C. Miller turns this classic question on its head by rethinking the very nature of slavery, arguing that it must be viewed generally as a process rather than as an institution. Tracing the global history of slaving over thousands of years, Miller reveals the shortcomings of Western narratives that define slavery by the same structures and power relations regardless of places and times, concluding instead that slaving is a process which can be understood fully only as imbedded in changing circumstances.

The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration

Claudrena N. Harold
Associate Professor
( University of Virginia Press, November 2013 )

The Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties

From Self-Improvement to Adult Education in America, 1750-1990
Joseph F. Kett
James Madison Professor, Emeritus
( Stanford, 1996 )

The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War
Michael F. Holt
Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History, Emeritus
( Oxford, February 2003 )

In the years preceding the Civil War, The American Whig Party was involved at every level of American politics and controlled the White House for twelve of the twenty-two years it existed.The only comprehensive history of the Whigs ever written, this work is a panoramic account of the tumultuous Antebellum period, a time when a flurry of parties struggled to control the national agenda as the U.S. inched towards secession. 

The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918–1942

Claudrena N. Harold
Associate Professor
( Routledge, January 2009 )

The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South provides the first detailed examination of the Universal Negro Improvement Association's rise, maturation, and eventual decline in the urban South between 1918 and 1942. It examines the ways in which Southern black workers fused locally-based traditions, ideologies, and strategies of resistance with the Pan-African agenda of the UNIA to create a dynamic and multifaceted movement.

The Specter of Communism

The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953
Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of History
( Hill & Wang, October 1994 )

The Specter of Communism is a concise history of the origins of the Cold War and the evolution of U.S.-Soviet relations, from the Bolshevik revolution to the death of Stalin. Using not only American documents but also those from newly opened archives in Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, Leffler shows how the ideological animosity that existed from Lenin's seizure of power onward turned into dangerous confrontation. By focusing on American political culture and American anxieties about the Soviet political and economic threat, Leffler suggests new ways of understanding the global struggle staged by the two great powers of the postwar era.

The Struggle for Equal Adulthood: Gender, Race, Age, and the Fight for Citizenship in Antebellum America

Cori Field
Lecturer, Corcoran Department of History and Women, Gender, Sexuality Program
( University of North Carolina Press, September 2014 )

The Union War

Gary W. Gallagher
John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War
( Harvard University Press, April 2011 )

In a searing analysis of the Civil War North as revealed in contemporary letters, diaries, and documents, Gallagher demonstrates that what motivated the North to go to war and persist in an increasingly bloody effort was primarily preservation of the Union. Devotion to the Union bonded nineteenth-century Americans in the North and West against a slaveholding aristocracy in the South and a Europe that seemed destined for oligarchy. Northerners believed they were fighting to save the republic, and with it the world’s best hope for democracy.

The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent

J.C.A. Stagg
( Cambridge University Press, March, 2012 )

This book is a narrative history of the many dimensions of the War of 1812 - social, diplomatic, military, and political - which places the war's origins and conduct in transatlantic perspective. The events of 1812-1815 were shaped by the larger crisis of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. In synthesizing and reinterpreting scholarship on the war, Professor J. C. A. Stagg focuses on the war as a continental event, highlighting its centrality to Canadian nationalism and state development. The book introduces the war to students and general readers, concluding that it resulted in many ways from an emerging nation-state trying to contend with the effects of rival European nationalisms, both in Europe itself and in the Atlantic world.

Tosaka Jun: A Critical Reader

Robert Stolz
Assistant Professor
( Cornell University East Asia Program (University of Hawaii Press), June 30, 2014 )

Transformative Journeys

Travel and Culture in Song China
Cong Ellen Zhang
Associate Professor
( University of Hawaii, October, 2010 )

Transformative Journeys sheds new light on the nature of Chinese literati, their dominance of culture and society, and China’s social and cultural integration. Those interested in premodern China and travel literature will find a wealth of material previously unavailable to Western readers.


Wars within a War

Controversy and Conflict over the American Civil War
Gary W. Gallagher
John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War
( University of North Carolina, June 2009 )

The twelve essays in Wars within a War explore the internal stresses that posed serious challenges to the viability of the opposing sides in the Civil War as well as some of the ways in which wartime disputes and cultural fissures carried over into the postwar years and beyond.

Way of Death

Merchant Capitalism And The Angolan Slave Trade, 1730-1830
Joseph C. Miller
T. Cary Johnson, Jr. Professor, Emeritus
( Wisconsin, 1988 )

With extraordinary skill, Joseph C. Miller explores the complex relationships among the separate economies of Africa, Europe, and the South Atlantic that collectively supported the slave trade. He places the grim history of the trade itself within the context of the rise of merchant capitalism in the eighteenth century. Throughout, Miller illuminates the experiences of the slaves themselves, reconstructing what can be known of their sufferings at the hands of their buyers and sellers. A landmark study in the history of the Atlantic slave trade.

Why the American Century?

Olivier Zunz
Commonwealth Professor
( Chicago, 1999 )

Reinterpreting our country's rise to world power, Olivier Zunz shows how American elites appropriated the twentieth century. Policymakers, corporate managers, engineers, scientists, and social scientists promoted a social contract of abundance and a controversial theory of pluralism. Their efforts created a model of middle class behavior for America and for the rest of the world.

Window on the East

National and Imperial Identities in Late Tsarist Russia
Robert P. Geraci
Associate Professor
( Cornell, September 2001 )

Robert Geraci presents an exceptionally original account of both the politics and the lived experience of diversity in a society whose ethnic complexity has long been downplayed. For centuries, Russians have defined their country as both a multinational empire and a homogeneous nation-state in the making, and have alternately embraced and repudiated the East or Asia as fundamental to Russia’s identity.

Witchcraft, Madness, Society, and Religion in Early Modern Germany: A Ship of Fools

H. C. Erik Midelfort
Julian Bishko Professor of History, Emeritus
( Ashgate Pub Co., June 28, 2013 )

Worker Resistance under Stalin

Class and Revolution on the Shop Floor
Jeffrey Rossman
Associate Professor
( Stanford, July 2001 )

Challenging the claim that workers supported Stalin's revolution "from above" as well as the assumption that working-class opposition to a workers' state was impossible, Jeffrey Rossman shows how a crucial segment of the Soviet population opposed the authorities during the critical industrializing period of the First Five-Year Plan.

Working At Play

A History of Vacations in the United States
Cindy S. Aron
Professor Emerita
( Oxford, May 2001 )

Most Americans take taking a vacation for granted, but in this fascinating study Aron shows that the idea of taking time away from work for leisure is a relatively recent development. She traces the growth of vacationing as a family and a social ritual. Beginning from when vacations were the privilege of the early nineteenth-century elite, she chronicles how vacations became a middle-class custom. Because one of Aron's interests is in how vacation resorts themselves became agents of change, she limits her survey to vacations taken within the U.S. and concludes it at the beginning of World War II. She also suggests that vacations stirred "cultural anxieties," that many "struggled with the notion of taking time off from work." Aron shows how many vacations were devoted to intellectual, religious, and therapeutic activities.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

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