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American History

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Cover of 'The Golden Dream'

The Golden Dream
Seekers of El Dorado
By Robert Silverberg

One of the most persistent legends in the annals of New World exploration is that of the Land of God. Its mythical site was located over vast areas of South American (and later, North America); it drove some men mad with greed and, often as not, to their deaths.In this amazing history of quest and adventure, Robert Silverberg traces the fate of Old World explorers lured westward by the myth of El Dorado.

Cover of 'Ghost Towns of the American West'

Ghost Towns of the American West
By Robert Silverberg

The story of the American mining frontier can be traced in the ghost towns — from the camps of California’s forty-niners to the twentieth-century ruins in the Nevada desert. They mark an epoch of high adventure, of quick wealth and quicker poverty, of gambling and gun-slinging and hell-raising.

Cover of 'The Art of Occupation'

The Art of Occupation
Crime and Governance in American-Controlled Germany, 1944–1949
By Thomas J. Kehoe

This important contribution to American and German social, military, and police histories, as well as historical criminology offers the first comprehensive exploration of criminality, policing, and both German and American fears around the realities of conquest and potential resistance amid the looming threat from communism in an emergent Cold War.

Cover of 'Home Front to Battlefront'

Home Front to Battlefront
An Ohio Teenager in World War II
By Frank Lavin
· Foreword by Henry Kissinger

Home Front to Battlefront contributes the rich details of one soldier’s experience to the broader literature on World War II, offering insight into the wartime career of a Jewish Ohioan in the military from enlistment to training through overseas deployment via personal letters, recollections, official military history, and more.

Cover of 'Peoples of the Inland Sea'

Peoples of the Inland Sea
Native Americans and Newcomers in the Great Lakes Region, 1600–1870
By David Andrew Nichols

David Andrew Nichols offers a fresh history of the Lakes peoples over nearly three centuries of rapid change. As the people themselves persisted, so did their customs, religions, and control over their destinies. Accessible and creative, this book is destined to become a classroom staple for Native American history.

Cover of 'Congress and the People’s Contest'

Congress and the People’s Contest
The Conduct of the Civil War
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

The American Civil War was the first military conflict in history to be fought with railroads moving troops and the telegraph connecting civilian leadership to commanders in the field. New developments arose at a moment’s notice. As a result, the young nation’s political structure and culture often struggled to keep up. When war began, Congress was not even in session.

Cover of 'From Disarmament to Rearmament'

From Disarmament to Rearmament
The Reversal of US Policy toward West Germany, 1946–1955
By Sheldon A. Goldberg
· Foreword by Ingo Trauschweizer

At the end of World War II, the Allies were unanimous in their determination to disarm the former aggressor Germany. As the Cold War intensified, however, the decision whether to reverse that policy and to rearm West Germany led to disagreements both within the US government and among members of the nascent NATO alliance.

Cover of 'In Essentials, Unity'

In Essentials, Unity
An Economic History of the Grange Movement
By Jenny Bourne
· Preface by Paul Finkelman

In In Essentials, Unity, Jenny Bourne presents a lively picture of a fraternal organization—the Patrons of Husbandry, or the Grange—devoted to improving the lot of small farmers but whose legacies extend far beyond agriculture, shaping the very notion of collective action and how it is deployed even today.

Cover of 'Home Front to Battlefront'

Home Front to Battlefront
An Ohio Teenager in World War II
By Frank Lavin
· Foreword by Henry Kissinger

Home Front to Battlefront contributes the rich details of one soldier’s experience to the broader literature on World War II, offering insight into the wartime career of a Jewish Ohioan in the military from enlistment to training through overseas deployment via personal letters, recollections, official military history, and more.

Cover of 'The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney'

The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney
The Politics and Jurisprudence of a Northern Democrat from the Age of Jackson to the Gilded Age
By David M. Gold

In The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney, David M. Gold works with the public record to reveal the contours of the life and work of one of Ohio’s most intriguing legal figures. The result is a new look at how Jacksonian principles crossed the divide of the Civil War and became part of the fabric of American law and at how radical antebellum Democrats transformed themselves into Gilded Age conservatives.

Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book in Midwestern History (Midwestern History Association), Honorable Mention
Cover of 'Driven toward Madness'

Driven toward Madness
The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
By Nikki M. Taylor

Margaret Garner was a runaway slave who, when confronted with capture, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Driven toward Madness probes slavery’s legacy of violence and trauma to capture her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy and resistance.

Cover of 'Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation'

Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

“When Lincoln took office, in March 1861, the national government had no power to touch slavery in the states where it existed. Lincoln understood this, and said as much in his first inaugural address, noting: ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.’”

Cover of 'Alexander Robey Shepherd'

Alexander Robey Shepherd
The Man Who Built the Nation’s Capital
By John P. Richardson
· Foreword by Tony Williams

With Alexander Robey Shepherd, John P. Richardson gives us the first full-length biography of his subject, who as Washington, D.C.’s, public works czar (1871–74) built the infrastructure of the nation’s capital in a few frenetic years after the Civil War. The story of Shepherd is also the story of his hometown after that cataclysm, which left the city with churned-up streets, stripped of its trees, and exhausted.An

Cover of 'Veteran Narratives and the Collective Memory of the Vietnam War'

Veteran Narratives and the Collective Memory of the Vietnam War
By John A. Wood

In the decades since the Vietnam War, veteran memoirs have influenced Americans’ understanding of the conflict. Yet few historians or literary scholars have scrutinized how the genre has shaped the nation’s collective memory of the war and its aftermath.

Cover of 'Keep On Fighting'

Keep On Fighting
The Life and Civil Rights Legacy of Marian A. Spencer
By Dorothy H. Christenson
· Introduction by Mary E. Frederickson

Dot Christenson records the life story of remarkable leader, Marian Alexander Spencer, who joined the NAACP at thirteen and grew up to achieve a number of civic leadership firsts and a legacy of lasting civil rights victories.