What I love about Jill Lepore’s These Truths? Her argument that nations are built on both ideals and ugly contradictions – and that historians have an obligation to both: read it here. Read other commentaries by David Hollinger and Malinda Maynor Lowery: tomorrow, Lepore responds.
Public Seminar had the privilege of printing an excerpt of historian Kim Phillips-Fein’s recent book, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and The Rise of Austerity Politics. Originally published in 2017 by Metropolitan Books, it is now available in paperback from Picador. The book tells a complex story of an iconic moment in the so-called “urban crisis” of the 1970s, in … More When New York City Almost Failed
If, at some point, a new diagnosis is announced that describes people who can’t stop purchasing and reading books about the 2016 presidential campaign, I could be one of the first to sign up for treatment. I imagine that while wellness professionals will recommend some combination of meditation and exercise, psychologists will have a behavior … More A Historian Obsessed With the Present
This post was originally published at Public Seminar on February 7, 2018 When people ask me what I am teaching this semester, I bury the lede. I first describe my exciting, five-section strong introduction to Internet studies. Then there is the big reveal: “I am also teaching a core course in our history graduate program,” … More Why We Return to Certain Books Like Clockwork
It’s a year after the American Election Day that shook the world, and a new book that seeks to explain the disaster of Donald Trump’s victory drops every few weeks. We political historians are scrambling to keep up. Last month, Hillary Clinton’s What Happened? hit the stands. How does it feel to be a smart and seasoned … More What Happens Now?
Don’t worry: I’m not going to blog the whole book. If I did I would never finish it. Or at least, I wouldn’t be able to finish it and also finish season 6 of Game of Thrones. On the other hand, as academic bloggers know, the discipline of blogging is good for keeping our minds … More Why Blog A Book? An Invitation to Play
Juliet Jacques, Trans: A Memoir Verso, 288pp, £16.99, ISBN 9781781681644 ‘I decided my name should be Juliet when I was ten,’ Juliet Jacques confessed in her inaugural blog post for the Guardian that inspired Trans: A Memoir. She then ‘swiftly buried’ this thought, one that lurked in the back of her mind and returned forcefully … More Review of Juliet Jacques, “Trans: A Memoir” in review 31
This essay is adapted from a talk I was invited to give at the Wesleyan University Library on the occasion of historian William Manchester’s archive becoming officially open to the public. On June 1, 2004, when William Manchester died, I went to a shelf in my home where I keep some books from my late father’s … More William Manchester and the Art of Popular History