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American History

American History Book List

Cover of 'Way’s Steam Towboat Directory'

Way’s Steam Towboat Directory
By Frederick Way Jr. and Joseph W. Rutter

After the initial release in 1983 of Way’s Packet Directory, 1848–1983, the demand was enormous for a similar treatment of the steam towboats that once populated the Mississippi River System. Captain Frederick Way, Jr.,

Cover of 'America’s Romance with the English Garden'

America’s Romance with the English Garden
By Thomas J. Mickey

America’s Romance with the English Garden is the story of the beginnings of the modern garden industry, which seduced the masses with its images and fixed the English garden in the mind of the American consumer; the story of tastemakers and homemakers, of savvy businessmen and a growing American middle class eager to buy their products.

2013 John Lyman Book Award, Honorable Mention · Editor Geoffrey Rossano is the winner of the 2013 Arthur Radford Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation History and Literature.
Cover of 'Hero of the Angry Sky'

Hero of the Angry Sky
The World War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls, America’s First Naval Ace
By David S. Ingalls
· Edited by Geoffrey L. Rossano
· Foreword by William F. Trimble

Draws on the unpublished diaries, correspondence, informal memoir, and other personal documents of the U.S. Navy’s only flying “ace” of World War I to tell his unique story.

Cover of 'The Untried Life'

The Untried Life
The Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War
By James T. Fritsch

Told in unflinching detail, this is the story of the Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, also known as the Giddings Regiment or the Abolition Regiment, after its founder, radical abolitionist Congressman J. R. Giddings. The men who enlisted in the Twenty- Ninth OVI were, according to its lore, handpicked to ensure each was as pure in his antislavery beliefs as its founder.

Cover of 'Prosperity Far Distant'

Prosperity Far Distant
The Journal of an American Farmer, 1933–1934
By Charles M. Wiltse
· Edited by Michael J. Birkner

Fresh from receiving a doctorate from Cornell University in 1933, but unable to find work, Charles M. Wiltse joined his parents on the small farm they had recently purchased in southern Ohio. There, the Wiltses scratched out a living selling eggs, corn, and other farm goods at prices that were barely enough to keep the farm intact. In wry and often affecting prose, Wiltse recorded a year in the life of this quintessentially American place during the Great Depression.

Winner of the 2012 Missouri History Book Award
Cover of 'Degrees of Allegiance'

Degrees of Allegiance
Harassment and Loyalty in Missouri's German-American Community during World War I
By Petra DeWitt

Historians have long argued that the Great War eradicated German culture from American soil. Degrees of Allegiance examines the experiences of German-Americans living in Missouri during the First World War, evaluating the personal relationships at the local level that shaped their lives and the way that they were affected by national war effort guidelines.

2013 Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society.
Cover of 'The Jury in Lincoln’s America'

The Jury in Lincoln’s America
By Stacy Pratt McDermott

In the antebellum Midwest, Americans looked to the law, and specifically to the jury, to navigate the uncertain terrain of a rapidly changing society. During this formative era of American law, the jury served as the most visible connector between law and society. Through an analysis of the composition of grand and trial juries and an examination of their courtroom experiences, Stacy Pratt McDermott demonstrates how central the law was for people who lived in Abraham Lincoln’s America.

Cover of 'Ohio Canal Era'

Ohio Canal Era
A Case Study of Government and the Economy, 1820–1861
By Harry N. Scheiber
· Foreword by Lawrence M. Friedman

Explores how Ohio — as a “public enterprise state,” creating state agencies and mobilizing public resources for transport innovation and control — led in the process of economic change before the Civil War.

Cover of 'Congress and the Crisis of the 1850s'

Congress and the Crisis of the 1850s
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

During the long decade from 1848 to 1861 America was like a train speeding down the track, without an engineer or brakes. The new territories acquired from Mexico had vastly increased the size of the nation, but debate over their status—and more importantly the status of slavery within them—paralyzed the nation. Southerners gained access to the territories and a draconian fugitive slave law in the Compromise of 1850, but this only exacerbated sectional tensions.

Cover of 'In the Shadow of Freedom'

In the Shadow of Freedom
The Politics of Slavery in the National Capital
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

Few images of early America were more striking, and jarring, than that of slaves in the capital city of the world’s most important free republic. Black slaves served and sustained the legislators, bureaucrats, jurists, cabinet officials, military leaders, and even the presidents who lived and worked there.

Cover of 'Kansas’s War'

Kansas’s War
The Civil War in Documents
Edited by Pearl T. Ponce

When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Kansas was in a unique position. Although it had been a state for mere weeks, its residents were already intimately acquainted with civil strife. Since its organization as a territory in 1854, Kansas had been the focus of a national debate over the place of slavery in the Republic. By 1856, the ideological conflict developed into actual violence, earning the territory the sobriquet “Bleeding Kansas.”

Cover of 'The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV
Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1951–1954
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Volume IV of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. covers 1951, the year America entered the Korean War, through 1954, when the NAACP won its Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional. The decision enabled Mitchell to implement the legislative program that President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights outlined in its landmark 1947 report, To Secure These Rights.

Cover of 'The Dred Scott Case'

The Dred Scott Case
Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law
Edited by David Thomas Konig, Paul Finkelman, and Christopher Alan Bracey

In 1846 two slaves, Dred and Harriet Scott, filed petitions for their freedom in the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. As the first true civil rights case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Dred Scott v. Sandford raised issues that have not been fully resolved despite three amendments to the Constitution and more than a century and a half of litigation.

Cover of 'Do They Miss Me at Home?'

Do They Miss Me at Home?
The Civil War Letters of William McKnight, Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry
Edited by Donald C. Maness and H. Jason Combs

William McKnight was a member of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry from September 1862 until his death in June of 1864. During his time of service, McKnight penned dozens of emotion-filled letters, primarily to his wife, Samaria, revealing the struggles of an entire family both before and during the war.

Cover of 'The  Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Vol III'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Vol III
NAACP Labor Secretary and Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1946–1950
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Born in Baltimore in 1911, Clarence Mitchell Jr. led the struggle for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Volumes I (1942–1943) and II (1944–1946) of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.,