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First Founders

American Puritans and Puritanism in an Atlantic World

Francis J. Bremer

Francis J. Bremer has spent his entire career broadening our understanding of America’s colonial founders. Now, in this eminently readable collection of biographies, Bremer brings us a surprisingly varied and dynamic group of characters who continue to guide and influence America today. With its cast of magistrates, women, clergy, merchants, and Native Americans, First Founders underscores the breadth of early American experience and the profound transatlantic roots of our country’s forebears. Bremer succeeds in bringing little-known figures out of the shadows, while allowing us to appreciate better known figures in an entirely new light.

This is a truly fascinating look at the Puritans with keenly drawn portraits and the insight that only a lifetime of scholarship can achieve. It should become the standard introduction to the field. Written in the mold of Joseph Ellis’s Founding Brothers and Gordon Wood’s Revolutionary Characters, the book will appeal to general readers, students, and scholars alike.

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The First Primary

New Hampshire's Outsize Role in Presidential Nominations

David W. Moore

Since 1952, the primary election in a small, not very diverse New England state has had a disproportionate impact on the U.S. presidential nomination process and the ensuing general election. Although just a handful of delegates are at stake, the New Hampshire primary has become a massive media event and a reasonably reliable predictor of a campaign’s ultimate success or failure. In The First Primary, Moore and Smith offer a comprehensive history of the state’s primary, an analysis of its media coverage and impact, and a description of the New Hampshire electorate, along with a discussion of how that electorate reflects or diverges from national opinions on candidates and issues. A book for political scientists and political junkies, media and policy professionals, and all students of American government, The First Primary ably fills the gaps in our understanding of New Hampshire’s outsize role in the nomination process.

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Food, Farms, and Community

Exploring Food Systems

Lisa Chase

Throughout the United States, people are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from, how it is produced, and how its production affects individuals and their communities. The answers to these questions reveal a complex web of interactions. While large, distant farms and multinational companies dominate at national and global levels, innovative programs including farmers’ markets, farm-to-school initiatives, and agritourism are forging stronger connections between people and food at local and regional levels. At all levels of the food system, energy use, climate change, food safety, and the maintenance of farmland for the future are critical considerations. The need to understand food systems—what they are, who’s involved, and how they work (or don’t)—has never been greater.

Food, Farms, and Community: Exploring Food Systems takes an in-depth look at critical issues, successful programs, and challenges for improving food systems spanning a few miles to a few thousand miles. Case studies that delve into the values that drive farmers, food advocates, and food entrepreneurs are interwoven with analysis supported by the latest research. Examples of entrepreneurial farms and organizations working together to build sustainable food systems are relevant to the entire country—and reveal results that are about much more than fresh food.

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From Gift to Commodity

Capitalism and Sacrifice in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction

Fascinating analysis of the significance of the gift, and its increasingly complicated role in an emerging capitalist order, in nineteenth-century American fiction In this rich interdisciplinary study, Hildegard Hoeller argues that nineteenth-century American culture was driven by and deeply occupied with the tension between gift and market exchange. Rooting her analysis in the period’s fiction, she shows how American novelists from Hannah Foster to Frank Norris grappled with the role of the gift based on trust, social bonds, and faith in an increasingly capitalist culture based on self-interest, market transactions, and economic reason. Placing the notion of sacrifice at the center of her discussion, Hoeller taps into the poignant discourse of modes of exchange, revealing central tensions of American fiction and culture.

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The Genius of Place

The Geographic Imagination in the Early Republic

Christopher C. Apap

The Genius of Place examines how, after the War of 1812, concerns about the scale of the nation resulted in a fundamental reorientation of American identity away from the Atlantic or global ties that held sway in the early republic and toward more localized forms of identification. Instead of addressing the sweep of the nation, American authors, artists, geographers, and politicians shifted from the larger reach of the globe to the more manageable scope of the local and sectional. Paradoxically, that local representation became the primary mode through which early Americans construed their emerging national identity. This newfound cultural obsession with locality impacted the literary consolidation and representation of key American imagined places—New England, the plantation, the West—in the decades between 1816 and 1836.

Apap’s examination of the intersections between local and national representations and exploration of the myths of space and place that shaped U.S. identity through the nineteenth century will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary readership.

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Global Trade and Visual Arts in Federal New England

Patricia Johnston

A highly original and much-needed collection that explores the impact of Asian and Indian Ocean trade on the art and aesthetic sensibilities of New England port towns in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This diverse, interdisciplinary volume adds to our understanding of visual representations of economic and cultural changes in New England as the region emerged as a global trading center, entering the highly prized East Indies trades. Examining a wide variety of commodities and forms including ceramics, textiles, engravings, paintings, architecture, and gardens, the contributors highlight New Englanders’ imperial ambitions in a wider world.

This book will appeal to a broad audience of historians and students of American visual art, as well as scholars and students of fine and decorative arts.

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Granny D’s American Century

Doris Haddock & Dennis Michael Burke

The life of Doris Haddock, known to millions as “Granny D,” from her young adulthood in Boston during the Great Depression to her last decade as a galvanizing figure of populist politics With her walk across America at the age of 90, New Hampshire native Doris Haddock entered the national consciousness as “Granny D,” a candid and feisty champion of commonsense populist politics. Four years later she ran for the U.S. Senate against the usual entrenched big-party interests—and lost. In the meantime, she became a cause célèbre, and an example of the kind of politics that puts people first. Granny D’s American Century is the story of Doris Haddock both before and after these events: as a young woman whose bedrock New England values were tested during the Great Depression, and as a no-nonsense nonagenarian putting those values to work in the causes of voters’ rights, women’s rights, and campaign finance reform. Written in a clear, unsparing prose, Granny D’s American Century is a warm reflection on a life well lived, and a clear and spirited call for virtue in American civic life.

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The Greening of Faith

God, the Environment, and the Good Life

John E. Carroll

The recent release of Pope Francis’s much-discussed encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, has reinforced environmental issues as also moral and spiritual issues. This anthology, twenty years ahead of the encyclical but very much in line with its agenda, offers essays by fifteen philosophers, theologians, and environmentalists who argue for a response to ecology that recognizes the tools of science but includes a more spiritual approach—one with a more humanistic, holistic view based on inherent reverence toward the natural world. Writers whose orientations range from Buddhism to evangelical Christianity to Catholicism to Native American beliefs explore ways to achieve this paradigm shift and suggest that “the environment is not only a spiritual issue, but the spiritual issue of our time.”

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Herman Melville

Modernity and the Material Text

Katie McGettigan

In this imaginative book, Katie McGettigan argues that Melville’s novels and poetry demonstrate a sustained engagement with the physical, social, and economic materiality of industrial and commercial forms of print. Further, she shows that this “aesthetics of the material text,” central both to Melville’s stylistic signature and to his innovations in form, allows Melville to explore the production of selfhood, test the limits of narrative authenticity, and question the nature of artistic originality.

Combining archival research in print and publishing history with close reading, McGettigan situates Melville’s works alongside advertising materials, magazine articles, trade manuals, and British and American commentary on the literary industry to demonstrate how Melville’s literary practice relies on and aestheticizes the specific conditions of literary production in which he worked. For Melville, the book is a physical object produced by particular technological processes, as well as an entity that manifests social and economic values. His characters carry books, write on them, and even sleep on them; they also imagine, observe, and participate in the buying and selling of books. Melville employs the book’s print, paper, and binding—and its market circulations—to construct literary figures, to shape textual form, and to create irony and ambiguity.

Exploring the printed book in Melville’s writings brings neglected sections of his poetry and prose to the fore and invites new readings of familiar passages and images. These readings encourage a reassessment of Melville’s career as shaped by his creative engagements with print, rather than his failures in the literary marketplace. McGettigan demonstrates that a sustained and deliberate imaginative dialogue with the material text is at the core of Melville’s expressive practice and that, for Melville, the printed book served as a site for imagining the problems and possibilities of modernity.

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I, Lobster

A Crustacean Odyssey

Nancy Frazier

A consideration of the lobster in history, myth, art, literature, and cuisine Consider the lobster. An improbable icon, Mesozoic revenant, surrealist fetish, nightmare ornament, and gastronomic adventure, it has fascinated people throughout history. It may be an exaggeration to say that lobsters are a cultural obsession—but only slightly. I, Lobster dissects the place of the lobster in human affairs, through history, science, myth, art, literature, music, movies, and, of course, cuisine. Though not generally beautiful to human eyes, lobsters star in some of the most gorgeous works of art in the world, the still-lifes painted in the Low Countries during the seventeenth century. And while many of us would question their sex appeal, lobsters carried an erotic charge for artists of the twentieth century who, inspired by Freud, found many opportunities to think of them in that way. Nancy Frazier explores diverse facets of our fascination with the lobster, whether in art, myth, or science. She describes how the lobster lives in its natural surroundings: its food, sex life, social life, predators, and general behavior. But I, Lobster goes beyond what we think about and do to the lobster, to explore how lobsters speak to us as signs, symbols, metaphors, code words, myth, lore, and fantasy. With recipes drawn from such notable lobster connoisseurs as M. F. K. Fisher, Alice B. Toklas, and Craig Claiborne, I, Lobster is a quirky, charming, and weirdly fascinating compendium of lobster lore.

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