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American Studies

American Studies Book List

Cover of 'Enchanted Ground'

Enchanted Ground
The Spirit Room of Jonathan Koons
By Sharon Hatfield

In a fascinating work of religious history and cultural inquiry, Hatfield brings to life the true story of a nineteenth-century farmer-spiritualist, Jonathan Koons, whom thousands traveled to Ohio to see. As heirs to the second Great Awakening, he and his followers were part of a larger, uniquely American moment that still marks the culture today.

American History, Midwest · History of Religion · Popular Culture · Spiritualism · Ohio · Ohio and Regional · Creative Nonfiction · American Studies

Cover of 'Asylum on the Hill'

Asylum on the Hill
History of a Healing Landscape
By Katherine Ziff
· Foreword by Samuel T. Gladding
· Afterword by Joseph Shields and Shawna Bolin

Asylum on the Hill is the story of a great American experiment in psychiatry, a revolution in care for those with mental illness, as seen through the example of the Athens Lunatic Asylum. Katherine Ziff’s compelling presentation incorporates rare photos, letters, and records, offering readers a fascinating glimpse into psychiatric history.

American History, Midwest · Architecture · History of Psychiatry · Ohio · American Studies · Ohio and Regional · Athens, Ohio

Cover of 'Gone Dollywood'

Gone Dollywood
Dolly Parton’s Mountain Dream
By Graham Hoppe

Country music superstar Dolly Parton’s Dollywood is a 150-acre fantasyland that hosts three million people a year. What does it tell us about the modern South, and in turn what does that tell us about America as a whole? Hoppe blends tourism, public history, and personal reflection into an unforgettable interrogation of Southern American identity.

Popular Culture · Appalachian Studies · Appalachia · American Studies · Music

Cover of 'Obama and Kenya'

Obama and Kenya
Contested Histories and the Politics of Belonging
By Matthew Carotenuto and Katherine Luongo

Barack Obama’s political ascendancy has focused worldwide attention on Kenya. Carotenuto and Luongo argue that efforts to cast Obama as a “son of the soil” of the Lake Victoria basin invite insights into the politicized uses of Kenya’s past. Ideal for classroom use and directed at a general readership interested in global affairs, Obama and Kenya offers an important counterpoint to the many popular, but inaccurate texts about Kenya’s history and Obama’s place in it.

World History · International Studies · African Studies · American Studies · Kenya

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.

American History · Military History · Memoir · American Studies · Vietnam

Cover of 'A Stitch in Time'

A Stitch in Time
The Needlework of Aging Women in Antebellum America
By Aimee E. Newell

Drawing from 167 examples of decorative needlework — primarily samplers and quilts from 114 collections across the United States — made by individual women aged forty years and over between 1820 and 1860, this exquisitely illustrated book explores how women experienced social and cultural change in antebellum America.

Women’s History · Textile Arts · Art History · Women’s Studies · United States · American Studies

Cover of 'The Collected Letters of Henry Northrup Castle'

The Collected Letters of Henry Northrup Castle
By Henry Northrup Castle
· Edited by George Herbert Mead and Helen Castle Mead
· Introduction by Alfred L. Castle
· Foreword by Marvin Krislov

Castle’s correspondence with family members and with George Herbert Mead— one of America’s most influential philosophers and his best friend at Oberlin College—reveals many of the intellectual, economic, and cultural forces that shaped American thought.

Letters · Biography · American Studies · Ohio and Regional · Ohio · Midwest · United States · North America · Americas

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.

Diaries and Journals · Americas · North America · United States · Appalachia · Ohio and Regional · Appalachian Studies · History · American History · Food Studies · American Studies · Great Depression

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.

American History · History · American Studies · Legal and Constitutional History · Law · Illinois

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.

Ohio and Regional · American Studies · American History · History · Legal and Constitutional History · Law · Transportation History

Cover of 'Hatred at Home'

Hatred at Home
al-Qaida on Trial in the American Midwest
By Andrew Welsh-Huggins

One day in 2002, three friends — a Somali immigrant, a Pakistan–born U.S. citizen, and a hometown African American — met in a Columbus, Ohio coffee shop and vented over civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan. Their conversation triggered an investigation that would become one of the most unusual and far–reaching government probes into terrorism since the 9/11 attacks.

Terrorism · Law Enforcement · American Studies · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Ohio’s Kingmaker'

Ohio’s Kingmaker
Mark Hanna, Man and Myth
By William T. Horner

In this study of Mark Hanna’s career in presidential politics, William T. Horner demonstrates the flaws inherent in the ways the news media cover politics.

Politics · American History · American Studies · Media History · History · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Incidental Architect'

Incidental Architect
William Thornton and the Cultural Life of Early Washington, D.C., 1794–1828
By Gordon S. Brown

While the majority of scholarship on early Washington focuses on its political and physical development, in Incidental Architect Gordon S. Brown describes the intellectual and social scene of the 1790s and early 1800s through the lives of a prominent couple whose cultural aspirations served as both model and mirror for the city’s own. When William and Anna Maria Thornton arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1794, the new nation’s capital was little more than a raw village.

Biography, Artists and Architects · American History · 18th century · Architecture History · Art History · American Studies

Cover of 'Popular Eugenics'

Popular Eugenics
National Efficiency and American Mass Culture in the 1930s
Edited by Susan Currell and Christina Cogdell

The motto “Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution” was part of the logo of the Second International Congress of Eugenics, held in 1921. However, by the 1930s, the disturbing legacy of this motto had started to reveal itself in the construction of national identities in countries throughout the world. Popular Eugenics is a fascinating look at how such tendencies emerged within the rhetoric, ideology, and visual aesthetics of U.S.

American Studies · History · History of Science

Cover of 'Traveling Women'

Traveling Women
Narrative Visions of Early America
By Susan Clair Imbarrato

Women's travel narratives recording journeys north and south along the eastern seaboard and west onto the Ohio frontier enhance our historical understanding of early America. Drawing extensively from primary sources, Traveling Women documents women's roles in westward settlement and emphasizes travel as a culture-building event.

American Studies · History · 18th century · 19th century