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An American Life
" The embodiment of the American hero, the man of action, the pathfinder, Daniel Boone represents the great adventure of his age—the westward movement of the American people. Daniel Boone: An American Life brings together over thirty years of research in an extraordinary biography of the quintessential pioneer. Based on primary sources, the book depicts Boone through the eyes of those who knew him and within the historical contexts of his eighty-six years. The story of Daniel Boone offers new insights into the turbulent birth and growth of the nation and demonstrates why the frontier forms such a significant part of the American experience.
The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky
" Among the darkest corners of Kentucky’s past are the grisly feuds that tore apart the hills of Eastern Kentucky from the late nineteenth century until well into the twentieth. Now, from the tangled threads of conflicting testimony, John Ed Pearce, Kentucky’s best known journalist, weaves engrossing accounts of six of the most notorior accounts to uncover what really happened and why. His story of those days of darkness brings to light new evidence, questions commonly held beliefs about the feuds, and us and long-running feuds—those in Breathitt, Clay Harlan, Perry, Pike, and Rowan counties. What caused the feuds that left Kentucky with its lingering reputation for violence? Who were the feudists, and what forces—social, political, financial—hurled them at each other? Did Big Jim Howard really kill Governor William Goebel? Did Joe Eversole die trying to protect small mountain landowners from ruthless Eastern mineral exploiters? Did the Hatfield-McCoy fight start over a hog? For years, Pearce has interviewed descendants of feuding families and examined skimpy court records and often fictional newspapeputs to rest some of the more popular legends.
The Antebellum Vision of a New South
In the decades preceding the Civil War, the South struggled against widespread negative characterizations of its economy and society as it worked to match the North's infrastructure and level of development. Recognizing the need for regional reform, James Dunwoody Brownson (J. D. B.) De Bow began to publish a monthly journal -- De Bow's Review -- to guide Southerners toward a stronger, more diversified future. His periodical soon became a primary reference for planters and entrepreneurs in the Old South, promoting urban development and industrialization and advocating investment in schools, libraries, and other cultural resources. Later, however, De Bow began to use his journal to manipulate his readers' political views. Through inflammatory articles, he defended proslavery ideology, encouraged Southern nationalism, and promoted anti-Union sentiment, eventually becoming one of the South's most notorious fire-eaters.
In De Bow's Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South, author John Kvach explores how the editor's antebellum economic and social policies influenced Southern readers and created the framework for a postwar New South movement. By recreating subscription lists and examining the lives and livelihoods of 1,500 Review readers, Kvach demonstrates how De Bow's Review influenced a generation and a half of Southerners. This approach allows modern readers to understand the historical context of De Bow's editorial legacy. Ultimately, De Bow and his antebellum subscribers altered the future of their region by creating the vision of a New South long before the Civil War.
Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878
No other region in America seems to be as burdened with stereotypes as Appalachia. Movies, television shows, books, and news media promote generalizations about the region, but what roles do viewers and readers play in perpetuating or challenging these stereotypes? Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878 explores the responses of readers to best-selling fiction set in Appalachia. Emily Satterwhite employs an innovative new strategy, examining fan mail and reviews to understand how readers imagine the region and what purposes these imagined geographies serve for them. As she traces the changing visions of Appalachia across the decades, from the Gilded Age (1865–1895) to the present, Satterwhite finds that every generation, regardless of its historical circumstances, has produced an American audience hungry for a romantic version of Appalachia. By mapping fans according to geographical location, Satterwhite demonstrates that mobile white readers in particular (including regional elites) have idealized Appalachia as rooted, static, and protected from commercial society. For many, the region fulfills a sense of identity and belonging. Satterwhite warns of unintended consequences, including the potential to romanticize whiteness, reinforce white nationalism, and endorse problematic images of so-called primitives the world over. Investigating texts such as John Fox Jr.’s Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908), Harriet Arnow’s The Dollmaker (1954), James Dickey’s Deliverance (1970), and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain (1997), Dear Appalachia moves beyond traditional studies of regional fiction to document the functions of these narratives in the lives of readers, revealing not only what people think about Appalachia, but why.
Ethnicity, Facticity, and Genre
By affirming the relativity of the American historical imagination, political theorist Michael J. Shapiro offers a powerful polemic against ethnocentric interpretations of American culture and politics. Deforming American Political Thought analyzes issues that range from the nature of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an egalitarian nation to the persistence of racial inequality. Shapiro offers a multifaceted argument that transcends the myopic scope of traditional political discourse. Deforming American Political Thought illustrates the various ways in which history, architecture, film, music, literature, and art provide approaches to the comprehension of diverse facets of American political thought from the founding to the present. Using these seemingly disparate disciplines as a framework, Shapiro paints a picture of American political philosophy that is as distinctive as it enlightening. Shapiro explores the historically vital role of dissenting points of view in American politics and asserts its continuing importance in today’s political landscape. Exploring such diverse works as slave narratives, contemporary films, genre fiction, and blues and jazz music, Shapiro reveals that there have always been dissenting voices casting doubt on the moral purpose and exceptionalism of the American mind. An unprecedented inquiry into American politics, Deforming American Political Thought will surely serve to reinvigorate discussions about the essence of American political thought.
A Wilson Carey McWilliams Reader
In 1973, Wilson Carey McWilliams (1933–2005) published The Idea of Fraternity in America, a groundbreaking book that argued for an alternative to America’s dominant philosophy of liberalism. This alternative tradition emphasized that community and fraternal bonds were as vital to the process of maintaining political liberty as was individual liberty. McWilliams expanded on this idea throughout his prolific career as a teacher, writer, and activist, promoting a unique definition of American democracy. In The Democratic Soul: A Wilson Carey McWilliams Reader, editors Patrick J. Deneen and Susan J. McWilliams, daughter of the famed intellectual, have assembled key essays, articles, reviews, and lectures that trace McWilliams’s evolution as a scholar and explain his often controversial views on education, religion, and literature. The book also showcases his thoughts and opinions on prominent twentieth-century figures such as George Orwell and Leo Strauss. The first comprehensive volume of Wilson Carey McWilliams’ collected writings, The Democratic Soul will be welcomed by scholars of political science and American political thought as a long-overdue contribution to the field.
" In 1941 Berek Jakubowicz (now Benjamin Jacobs) was deported from his Polish village and remained a prisoner of the Reich until the final days of the war. His possession of a few dental tools and rudimentary skills saved his life. Jacobs helped assemble V1 and V2 rockets in Buchenwald and Dora-Mittelbau; spent a year and a half in Auschwitz, where he was forced to remove gold teeth from corpses; and survived the RAF attack on three ocean liners turned prison camps in the Bay of Lubeck. This is his story.
Judith Brockenbrough McGuire's Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War is among the first of such works published after the Civil War. Although it is one of the most-quoted memoirs by a Confederate woman, James I. Robertson's edition is the first to present vital details not given in the original text. His meticulous annotations furnish references for poems and quotations, supply the names of individuals whom McGuire identifies by their initials alone, and provide an in-depth account of McGuire's extraordinary life.
Throughout the war years, McGuire made poignant entries in her diary. She wrote incisive commentaries on society, ruminated on past glories, and detailed her hardships. Her entries are a highly personal, highly revealing mixture of family activities; military reports and rumors; conditions behind the battle lines; and her observations on life, faith, and the future. In providing illuminating background and references that significantly enhance the text, Robertson's edition adds considerably to our understanding of this important work.
In the second half of the twentieth century, American conservatism emerged from the shadow of New Deal liberalism and developed into a movement exerting considerable influence on the formulation and execution of public policy in the United States. During that period, the political philosophers who provided the intellectual foundations for the American conservative movement were John H. Hallowell, Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, John Courtney Murray, Friedrich Hayek, and Willmoore Kendall. By offering a comprehensive analysis of their thoughts and beliefs, The Dilemmas of American Conservatism both illuminates the American conservative imagination and reveals its most serious contradictions. The contributing authors question whether a core set of conservative principles can be determined based on the frequently diverging perspectives of these key philosophers.