Department of History College of Arts and Sciences
Communication composite
Faculty Book Shelf

Book descriptions are from online reviews or publishers’ descriptions.

James M. Blythe, The Life and Works of Tolomeo Fiadoni (Ptolemy of Lucca) (Brepolis, 2009)

From the publisher’s description: Tolomeo Fiadoni (1236-1327) was one of the most remarkable of medieval writers. Living to almost one hundred years of age, Tolomeo bore witness to some of the most important events of the period. He studied and travelled with Thomas Aquinas and was elected Dominican prior in Lucca and Florence. He attended the saintly Pope Celestine V during Celestine’s doomed reign, lived at the papal court in Avignon, served in the households of two cardinals, and associated with the infamous Pope John XXII. At the age of eighty, Tolomeo was appointed bishop of Torcello in the Venetian Lagoon, where his superior, the Patriarch of Grado, subsequently excommunicated and jailed him.

Tolomeo is known today for his major contribution to republican political thought, most notably his continuation of Thomas Aquinas’s only political treatise. However, he also wrote treatises on imperial and ecclesiastical power, a commentary on the six days of creation, a massive Church history, and a European history from 1063 onward. Drawn from all known surviving sources, The Life and Works of Tolomeo Fiadoni is the first full-length study of Tolomeo’s life. It discusses each of his works, and addresses numerous problems of authorship and dating. Its companion volume, The Worldview and Thought of Tolomeo Fiadoni (Ptolemy of Lucca), provides an in-depth analysis of Tolomeo’s beliefs and thought.

James M. Blythe, The Worldview and Thought of Tolomeo Fiadoni (Ptolemy of Lucca) (Brepolis, 2009)

From the publisher’s description: Tolomeo Fiadoni (1236-1327) was one of the most important political theorists and historians of the Middle Ages. He was central to developing a theory for the practices of Northern Italian republicanism and was hostile to kingship, portraying it as despotic and inappropriate for virtuous and freedom-loving people. He was the first writer to compare Aristotle’s examples of Greek mixed constitutions — Sparta, Crete, and Carthage — with the Roman Republic, the ancient Hebrew polity, the Church, and medieval communes, yet he remained a staunch defender of the absolute secular and spiritual monarchy of the pope.

Blythe explores various tensions in Tolomeo’s work that are often overlooked in scholarly treatments of him, and which derive from cultural preconceptions and the diverse influences on him: Aristotle, Augustine, apologists for papal power, his life in the Dominican Order, his educational experience with Thomas Aquinas, and his social position as a member of Northern Italy’s ruling class. These factors exerted contradictory influences on Tolomeo and led him to a sometimes unsuccessful intellectual struggle for consistency. This book is the first full-length study of Tolomeo’s thought and it gives full consideration not only to the political writings for which he is most known, but also to his historical and exegetical works. It is the companion to The Life and Works of Tolomeo Fiadoni (Ptolemy of Lucca).

James M. Blythe, On the Government of Rulers (University of Pennsylvania, 1997)

On the Government of Rulers, a book that influenced much of the political thought of the later Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Early Modern period, is here translated into English in its entirety for the first time. Completing a work that has long been attributed to Thomas Aquinas, Ptolemy of Lucca finished On the Government of Rulersaround the year 1300. More than any other figure of his age, Ptolemy combined the principles of Northern Italian republicanism with Aristotelian theory. He was the first medieval political theorist to attack kingship as despotism. Ptolemy was the first to draw parallels between ancient Greek models of mixed constitution and the Roman Republic, biblical rule, the Church, and medieval government. Again anticipating the Humanists, he was the first to suggest that the perfect republic might be so harmonious that it would transcend the normal imperatives of decay and ultimate destruction. On the Government of Rulers is also unique among scholastic works for its wealth of vivid examples and anecdotes on topics ranging from the minting of money, to the procedure for taking secret ballots, to the hunting habits of the French and English kings. Fluidly translated and superbly annotated by James Blythe, this long-neglected book is now made accessible to specialist and non-specialist alike.

Beverly G. Bond, Janann Sherman, and Frances Breland, University of Memphis (Arcadia Publishing, 2012)

Beverly G. Bond, Janann Sherman, and Frances Breland, Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers. A Centennial History of The University of Memphis (The University of Memphis, 2011)

Beverly G. Bond (with Sarah Wilkerson Freeman), Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times, volume 1 (University of Georgia Press, 2009)

From the publisher’s description: Including suffragists, civil rights activists, and movers and shakers in politics and in the music industries of Nashville and Memphis, as well as many other notables, this collective portrait of Tennessee women offers new perspectives and insights into their dreams, their struggles, and their times. As rich, diverse, and wide-ranging as the topography of the state, this book will interest scholars, general readers, and students of southern history, women’s history, and Tennessee history.

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times shifts the historical lens from the more traditional view of men’s roles to place women and their experiences at center stage in the historical drama. The eighteen biographical essays, written by leading historians of women, illuminate the lives of familiar figures like reformer Frances Wright, blueswoman Alberta Hunter, and the Grand Ole Opry’s Minnie Pearl (Sarah Colley Cannon) and less-well-known characters like the Cherokee Beloved Woman Nan-ye-hi (Nancy Ward), antebellum free black woman Milly Swan Price, and environmentalist Doris Bradshaw.

Told against the backdrop of their times, these are the life stories of women who shaped Tennessee’s history from the eighteenth-century challenges of western expansion through the nineteenth- and twentieth-century struggles against racial and gender oppression to the twenty-first-century battles with community degradation. Taken as a whole, this collection of women’s stories illuminates previously unrevealed historical dimensions that give readers a greater understanding of Tennessee’s place within environmental and human rights movements and its role as a generator of phenomenal cultural life.

Beverly G. Bond and Janann Sherman, Beale Street (Arcadia Publishing, 2006)

From the publisher’s description: Once celebrated as “the Main Street of Negro America,” Beale Street has a long and ibrant history. In the early 20th century, the 15-block neighborhood supported a collection of hotels, pool halls, saloons, banks, barber shops, pharmacies, dry goods stores, theaters, gambling dens, jewelers, fraternal clubs, churches, entertainment agencies, beauty salons, pawn shops, blues halls, and juke joints. Above the street-level storefronts were offices of African American business and professional men: dentists, doctors, undertakers, photographers, teachers, realtors, and insurance brokers. By mid-century, following the social strife and urban renewal projects of the 1960s and 1970s, little remained of the original neighborhood. Those buildings spared by the bulldozers were boarded up and falling down. In the nick of time, in the 1980s, the city realized the area’s potential as a tourist attraction. New bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues opened along the remaining three-block strip, providing a mecca for those seeking to recapture the magic of Beale Street.

Beverly G. Bond and Janann Sherman, Memphis in Black and White (Arcadia Publishing, 2003)

Authors and University of Memphis history professors Beverly G. Bond and Janann Sherman offer an alluring look at the growth and transformation of Memphis from a rough, robust cotton town into a modern metropolis. The energy and drive of the people comes through in this engrossing chronicle as it weaves through the promise and prosperity of a complex river city.

With a reputation as wide open as the waters of the Mississippi flowing past its bustling downtown district, Memphis is a city of contrasts and contradictions. From the darkness of epidemics and racial tension to its beacons of music and entreprenurial success, Memphis is a reflection of the true American experience. For many years it was a community functioning almost as two separate societies, yet the ties between the two create one resolute and dynamic city as it begins this new century.

Walter R. Brown, The Stuart Legacy: English Art, 1603-1714 (Birmingham Museum of Art/University of Washington Press, 1991)

Margaret Caffrey (with Patricia Francis), To Cherish the Life of the World: Selected Letters of Margaret Mead (Basic Books, 2006)

From the publisher’s description: Often far from home and loved ones, famed anthropologist Margaret Mead was a prolific letterwriter, always honing her writing skills and her ideas. To Cherish the Life of the World presents, for the first time, her personal and professional correspondence, which spanned sixty years. These letters lend insights into Mead’s relationships with interconnected circles of family, friends, and colleagues, and reveal her thoughts on the nature of these relationships. In these letters — drawn primarily from her papers at the Library of Congress — Mead ruminates on family, friendships, sexuality, marriage, children, and career. In midlife, at a low point, she wrote to a friend, “What I seem to need most is close, aware human relationships, which somehow reinstate my sense of myself, as no longer living ’in the season of the narrow heart.” This collection is structured around these relationships, which were so integral to Mead’s perspective on life. With a foreword by her daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson, a renowned author and anthropologist in her own right, this volume of letters from Mead to those who shared her life and work offers new insight into a rich and deeply complex mind.

Margaret Caffrey, Ruth Benedict: Stranger in This Land (University of Texas, 1989)

Poet, anthropologist, feminist — Ruth Benedict was all these and much more. Born in the last years of the Victorian era, she came of age during the Progressive years and participated in inaugurating the modern era of American life. This book provides an intellectual and cultural history of the first half of the twentieth century through the life of an important and remarkable woman.

Charles W. Crawford, Roberta Church, and Ronald Walter, Nineteenth-Century Memphis Families of Color, 1850-1900 (Church-Walter, 1987)

Charles W. Crawford, Paul W. Coppock, and Helen M. Coppock, Paul R. Coppock’s Mid-South (West Tennessee Historical Society, 1985)

Charles W. Crawford, Catherine Pickle, and Denny Smith, Tennessee Land, History, and Government (Steck-Vaughan, 1984)

Charles W. Crawford, Governors of Tennessee, 1790-1835 (Memphis State University Press, 1979)

Charles W. Crawford, Yesterday’s Memphis (E. A. Seemann, 1976)

Maurice A. Crouse, The Public Treasury of Colonial South Carolina (Tricentennial Studies, Number 10) (University of South Carolina, 1977)

Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas, Con mirada de mujer (Editorial Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2000)

Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas, Un proyecto público: debates (Editorial Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1999)

Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas, Los hijos del pecado : ilegitimidad y vida familiar en la Santafé de Bogotá colonial (Editorial Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1997)

James E. Fickle, Green Gold: Alabama’s Forests and Forest Industries (University of Alabama Press, 2014)

Green Gold is a valuable work for the many people who have been involved in the forest products industry. As a compilation of the vast amount of information that is available not only from portions of narrowly focused historical works, but also from original sources available primarily in archival libraries and oral histories, it is much broader and more encompassing than previously written historical works on Alabama forests.

James E. Fickle, Timber: A Photographic History of Mississippi Forestry (University Press of Mississippi, 2004)

This collection of black-and-white images conveys the story of human impact on Mississippi’s forests from the pioneer era to the present. Photographs gleaned from public and private archives tell a visual tale of the development of Mississippi’s forest industries. Historic locomotives course through the woods, oxen drag big timber over rutted terrain, and lookouts perch atop Forest Service towers eyeing the horizon for telltale signs of fire. Photos of life in a portable logging camp reveal early hospitals, lumber company stores, mobile homes, and the advancing technology of logging machinery. The hatchet and torch give way to the cross-cut saw, the steam-driven loaders, the gas chain saws, and eventually the bulldozer and the Buschcombine. Portraits of the major players in the industry’s investment and development provide a human face to the powerful history of Mississippi forestry. Timber includes images by such noteworthy photographers as Clifford H. Poland of Memphis and John N. Teunisson of New Orleans.

James E. Fickle, Mississippi Forests and Forestry (University Press of Mississippi, 2001)

Fickle offers an account of forestry practices in Mississippi from prehistoric times to the present. Stressing that sentimental descriptions of an unaltered virgin forest are false, he provides a history of human intervention in the forests of the region, then devotes several chapters to modern lumber practices from the bonanza-era onward. New “responsible” environmental practices are then discussed.

James E. Fickle, The New South and the “New Competition”: Trade Association Development in the Southern Pine Industry (University of Illinois Press, for the Forest History Society, 1980)

Aram Goudsouzian, Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014)

Aram Goudsouzian’s “Down to the Crossroads” provides a nuanced and engaging look at what was one of the last major marches of the civil-rights movement. . . . Mr. Goudsouzian’s narrative carefully shows how the media covered the march and what actually happened along its route. . . . As Mr. Goudsouzian makes clear, Meredith, a loner who marched to the beat of a different drum, doesn't fit the classic definition of a civil-rights icon. What the author makes even clearer is that Meredith’s march, one that many thought would not matter, deserves the close examination that this book gives it.

Aram Goudsouzian, King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution (University of California Press, 2010)

From the publisher’s description: Bill Russell was not the first African American to play professional basketball, but he was its first black superstar. From the moment he stepped onto the court of the Boston Garden in 1956, Russell began to transform the sport in a fundamental way, making him, more than any of his contemporaries, the Jackie Robinson of basketball. In King of the Court, Aram Goudsouzian provides a vivid and engrossing chronicle of the life and career of this brilliant champion and courageous racial pioneer. Russell’s leaping, wide-ranging defense altered the game’s texture. His teams provided models of racial integration in the 1950s and 1960s, and, in 1966, he became the first black coach of any major professional team sport. Yet, like no athlete before him, Russell challenged the politics of sport. Instead of displaying appreciative deference, he decried racist institutions, embraced his African roots, and challenged the nonviolent tenets of the civil rights movement. This beautifully written book — sophisticated, nuanced, and insightful — -reveals a singular individual who expressed the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. while echoing the warnings of Malcolm X.

Aram Goudsouzian, Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon (University of North Carolina, 2004)

In the first full biography of actor Sidney Poitier, Aram Goudsouzian analyzes the life and career of a Hollywood legend, from his childhood in the Bahamas to his 2002 Oscar for lifetime achievement. Poitier is a gifted actor, a great American success story, an intriguing personality, and a political symbol; his life and career illuminate America’s racial history.

In such films as Lilies of the Field, In the Heat of the Night, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Poitier’s middle-class, mannered, virtuous screen persona contradicted prevailing film stereotypes of blacks as half-wits, comic servants, or oversexed threats. His screen image and public support of nonviolent integration assuaged the fears of a broad political center, and by 1968, Poitier was voted America’s favorite movie star.

Through careful readings of every Poitier film, Goudsouzian shows that Poitier’s characters often made sacrifices for the good of whites and rarely displayed sexuality. As the only black leading man during the civil rights era, Poitier chose roles and public positions that negotiated the struggle for dignity. By 1970, times had changed and Poitier was the target of a backlash from film critics and black radicals, as the new heroes of “blaxploitation” movies reversed the Poitier model. Yet as this biography affirms, Poitier remains one of American popular culture’s foremost symbols of the possibilities for and limits of racial equality.

Aram Goudsouzian, The Hurricane of 1938 (Commonwealth Editions, 2004)

Forget the blizzard of 1978. New England’s storm of the century was the hurricane of 1938. Sometimes called the “Long Island Express” because it rolled through there on the first day of autumn, the hurricane tore northward straight through the heart of New England, wreaking death and destruction with virtually no warning. The storm registered peak sustained winds of 121 miles per hour, and one gust registered 186 at the Blue Hills Observatory outside Boston. Seawater killed plant life 20 miles inland, and ocean salt sprayed windows in Montpelier, Vermont. An estimated 275 million trees were uprooted or damaged. About 20,000 miles of power and telephone lines were knocked down. Along the shore, 7,000 cottages and 2,000 other houses were destroyed, and the human death toll was estimated at 680. More had died in previous U.S. storms, but given the concentration of population and development on Long Island and in New England, the hurricane of 1938 was the costliest natural disaster in American history to that time.

Joseph M. Hawes (with Elizabeth F. Shore), The Family in America: An Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2001)

A summary compendium surveying the role and dynamics of the family throughout the centuries of U.S. history. Minority families, health, sexuality, family theorists, religion, customs and rites of passage, holidays, legislation and court cases, the image of the family in popular culture: theses are just some of the vast array of topics covered.

Joseph M. Hawes (with Elizabeth I. Nybakken), Family and Society in American History (University of Illinois Press, 2001)

Joseph M. Hawes (with N. Ray Hiner), Children Between the Wars: American Childhood, 1920-1940 (Twayne Publishers, 1997)

This volume examines the issues of the 1920s and 1930s that changed American childhood, such as the rise of the peer group, the emergence of child experts and the child guidance movement, and recognition of female adolescence, as well as major social developments that had an impact on children and youths.

Joseph M. Hawes (with N. Ray Hiner), Children in Historical and Comparative Perspective (Greenwood Press, 1995)

This unique handbook presents the work of many of the world’s foremost authorities on children in a reference guide that affirms the importance of the role children play in the story of civilization. The contributors represent many nations as well as a variety of disciplines. The result is a volume beginning with an historical overview of children in pre-modern times and continuing with studies of modern childhood in countries throughout the world. Broad in its scope, this volume highlights the uniqueness of each historical and cultural influence and demonstrates how the study of childhood crosses all boundaries.

Joseph M. Hawes (with Elizabeth I. Nybakken), American Families (Greenwood Press, 1991)

This excellent guide to the history of the American family is composed of 11 chapters written by recognized authorities in the field. The first two chapters deal with the relative recency of the history of the family as a scholarly discipline and the various methodologies for study. The next five chapters divide the subject into chronological periods, from preindustrial times to the post-WW II era. The final four chapters address the special topics of women and the family, African-American families, Native American families, and immigrant working-class families. Each chapter consists of a scholarly bibliographic essay that develops the topic and is supported by a lengthy list of references from both books and articles. More than 1,000 entries are included in the selected bibliography at the end of the book. A comprehensive index by subject and author’s name is also included. Recent reference works on the family have addressed sociological, psychological, or even criminological aspects; this work on the history of the family is unique and very well done. The readable essays and extensive bibliography put this title on a high priority purchase list for most four-year academic libraries.

Joseph M. Hawes, The Children’s Rights Movement: A History of Advocacy and Protection (Social Movements Past and Present) (Twayne, 1991)

Hawes is coauthor, with N. Ray Hiner, of American Childhood: A Research Guide and Historical Handbook (Greenwood, 1985), a reference guide to literature on the history of American childhood. Here, he presents a succinct overview of the “many disparate social actions” that might pass as a children’s rights “movement.” Hawes begins his narrative with the “stubborn child” law (1641); he continues through (among other significant happenings) the founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (1875), the creation of the U.S. Children’s Bureau (1912), the establishment of the Children’s Defense League (1973), and the ACLU’s stance on behalf of child welfare victims in 1990. Hawes includes a chronology of significant events and an excellent eight-page bibliographic essay. This would be a good addition to academic and general collections.

Joseph M. Hawes (with N. Ray Hiner), American Childhood: A Research Guide and Historical Handbook (Greenwood Press, 1985)

With the publication of this book, the history of American childhood has come of age. The 14 original articles, written by scholars actively working in this field, cover most aspects of the topic, ranging in time from the 17th century to the current “age of narcissism.” Each contribution presents a full review both of substantive history and of evolving scholarship. Very full footnotes and often massive bibliographies are appended to chapters, thus making this collection at the same time the best overview of the history of American childhood and a major research tool. At the end of the volume are a short chronology and a list of child-helping agencies (organized by state), as well as a unified 22-page bibliography and a 50-page index. All libraries supporting work on the history of American families, women, and children should acquire this book, and active scholars in these fields will probably want their own copies.

Joseph M. Hawes (with N. Ray Hiner), Growing up in America: Children in Historical Perspective (University of Illinois Press, 1985)

The editors have selected some of the most interesting and important articles of the last ten years concerning the his tory of childhood, a field which recent ly has received attention with the rise of social, family, and psychohistory. After a concise introduction to the changing scholarship about children in a his torical perspective, the editors present illustrative articles, arranged into sections on colonial, 19th- and 20th-century, and minority children, and followed by short bibliographies. This well-done compilation collects in one place al ready printed articles for the scholar and will serve as a text in various upper-division college courses.

Abraham D. Kriegel, Holland House Diaries, 1831-40: The Diary of Henry R. V. Fox, Third Lord Holland, with Extracts from the Diary of Dr. John Allen (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977)

Dennis Laumann, Colonial Africa, 1884-1994 (New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2012)

From the publisher's description: Colonial Africa, 1884-1994 presents a balanced, accessible, and comprehensive overview of how Africans experienced European colonial rule. This brief and affordable text is organized in a "layered" approach that gives students a deeper insight into the ways in which Africans experienced colonialism and looks at how they understood the world in which they lived during this period. The book provides both a continental overview and specific regional examples, exploring the period in a thematic and chronological way. Each chapter ends with a short list of works cited and suggestions for further reading. Colonial Africa, 1884-1994, concludes with contemplations on the legacy of colonialism by Africans themselves, ranging from Nigerian musician Fela to the Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Muta Maathai.

Scott P. Marler, The Merchants’ Capital: New Orleans and the Political Economy of the Nineteenth-Century South (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013)

From the publisher’s description: As cotton production shifted toward the southwestern states during the first half of the nineteenth century, New Orleans became increasingly important to the South's plantation economy. Handling the city’s wide-ranging commerce was a globally oriented business community that represented a qualitatively unique form of wealth accumulation — merchant capital — that was based on the extraction of profit from exchange processes. However, like the slave-based mode of production with which they were allied, New Orleans merchants faced growing pressures during the antebellum era. Their complacent failure to improve the port’s infrastructure or invest in manufacturing left them vulnerable to competition from the fast-developing industrial economy of the North, weaknesses that were fatally exposed during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Changes to regional and national economic structures after the Union victory prevented New Orleans from recovering its commercial dominance, and the former first-rank American city quickly devolved into a notorious site of political corruption and endemic poverty.

Susan Eva O’Donovan (with Steven Hahn, Steven F. Miller, John C. Rodrigue, and Leslie S. Rowland), Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1868, ser. 3, vol. 1, Land and Labor, 1865 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008)

From the publisher’s description: Land and Labor, 1865 examines the transition from slavery to free labor during the tumultuous first months after the Civil War. Letters and testimony by the participants — former slaves, former slaveholders, Freedmen’s Bureau agents, and others — reveal the connection between developments in workplaces across the South and an intensifying political contest over the meaning of freedom and the terms of national reunification. Essays by the editors place the documents in interpretive context and illuminate the major themes.

In the tense and often violent aftermath of emancipation, former slaves seeking to ground their liberty in economic independence came into conflict with former owners determined to keep them dependent and subordinate. Overseeing that conflict were northern officials with their own notions of freedom, labor, and social order. This volume of Freedom depicts the dramatic events that ensued — the eradication of bondage and the contest over restoring land to ex-Confederates; the introduction of labor contracts and the day-to-day struggles that engulfed the region's plantations, farms, and other workplaces; the achievements of those freed people who attained a measure of independence; and rumors of a year-end insurrection in which ex-slaves would seize the land they had been denied and exact revenge for past oppression.

Susan Eva O'Donovan (with René Hayden, Anthony E. Kaye, Kate Masur, Steven F. Miller, Leslie S. Rowland, and Stephen A. West), Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1868, ser. 3, vol. 2, Land and Labor, 1866-1867 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013)

From the publisher’s description: Land and Labor, 1866-1867 examines the remaking of the South’s labor system in the tumultuous aftermath of emancipation. Using documents selected from the National Archives, this volume of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation depicts the struggle of unenfranchised and impoverished ex-slaves to control their own labor, establish their families as viable economic units, and secure independent possession of land. Among the topics addressed are the dispossession of settlers in the Sherman reserve, the reordering of labor on plantation and farm, nonagricultural labor, new relations of credit and debt, long-distance labor migration, and the efforts of former slaves to rent, purchase, and homestead land. The documents — many of them in the freedpeople’s own words — speak eloquently for themselves, while the editors’ interpretive essays provide context and illuminate major themes.

Susan Eva O’Donovan, Becoming Free in the Cotton South (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007)

[This book won the James A. Rawley Prize in 2008. The prize is awarded annually by the Organization of American Historians to a book dealing with the history of race relations in the United States. In 2009 it won the Award for Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of an Archive given by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board.]

The seismic shifts set in motion by the emancipation reached into every corner of the American South. In exploring one small corner, Becoming Free reveals how the earthquake that accompanied freedom’s arrival shifted gender relations in the household, field, and hustings and in the process changed much more. Susan O’Donovan’s small story is a big story, an original one, and an important one. — Ira Berlin, author of Many Thousands Gone and Generations of Captivity

Susan O’Donovan details the major changes for the slave and free black population of Southwest Georgia in the years of settlement, of the Civil War, and of the economic and political adaptations to emancipation. Of particular importance are the different impacts these changes had upon black men and black women, and upon the relations between belief and behavior in slavery and then in freedom. — Stanley L. Engerman, University of Rochester.

With meticulous and probing scholarship, O’Donovan’s work acutely demonstrates the tragic continuities between slavery and freedom in the American South. Her analysis of the intersection of ethno-racial, economic and gender domination immediately after slavery illuminates a crucial period in African American history and radically alters conventional scholarly interpretations of the development of the black family. This exquisitely accomplished and engagingly written work is surely one of the most important studies in African American and Southern histories to appear in years. — Orlando Patterson, author of Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries

Suzanne Onstine, The Role of the Chantress in Ancient Egypt (British Archaeological Reports, 2005)

From the publisher’s description: The author’s aim is to present a study which determines the role of a chantress in ancient Egypt. Although both men and women were known to hold the title, it is the women that form the focus of this study. The number of people that held the title of chantress, and a previous lack of research means a relatively large proportion of the population of the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate period have been neglected, owing to the lesser status of the position compared to more high-ranking, and thus well-researched titles. This study offers an impression of the chantress as a more diverse title than has previously been imagined, taking into account and defining the differences between musical and linguistic roles.

Sarah Potter, Everyone Else: Adoption and the Politics of Domestic Diversity in Postwar America (University of Georgia Press, 2014)

From the publisher’s description: Everybody Else provides a comparative analysis of diverse postwar families and examines the lives and case records of men and women who applied to adopt or provide pre-adoptive foster care in the 1940s and 1950s. It considers an array of individuals—both black and white, middle and working class—who found themselves on the margins of a social world that privileged family membership. These couples wanted adoptive and foster children in order to achieve a sense of personal mission and meaning, as well as a deeper feeling of belonging to their communities. But their quest for parenthood also highlighted the many inequities of that era. These individuals’ experiences seeking children reveal that the baby boom family was about much more than “togetherness” or a quiet house in the suburbs; it also shaped people’s ideas about the promises and perils of getting ahead in postwar America.

Janann Sherman, Beverly G. Bond, and Frances Breland, University of Memphis (Arcadia Publishing, 2012)

See above, under the heading of Beverly G. Bond, Janann Sherman, and Frances Breland, University of Memphis (Arcadia Publishing, 2012)

Janann Sherman, Walking on Air: The Aerial Adventures of Phoebe Omlie (University Press of Mississippi, 2011)

From the publisher’s description: Aviation pioneer Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie (1902-1975) was once one of the most famous women in America. In the 1930s, her words and photographs were splashed across the front pages of newspapers across the nation. The press labeled her “second only to Amelia Earhart among America’s women pilots,” and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt named her among the “eleven women whose achievements make it safe to say that the world is progressing.”

Omlie began her career in the early 1920s when aviation was unregulated and open to those daring enough to take it on, male or female. She earned the first commercial pilot's license issued to a woman and became a successful air racer. During the New Deal, she became the first woman to hold an executive position in federal aeronautics.

In Walking on Air, author Janann Sherman presents a thorough and entertaining biography of Omlie. In 1920, the Des Moines, Iowa, native bought herself a Curtiss JN-4D airplane and began learning how to fly and perform stunts with her future husband, pilot Vernon Omlie. She danced the Charleston on the top wing, hung by her teeth below the plane, and performed parachute jumps in the Phoebe Fairgrave Flying Circus.

Using interviews, contemporary newspaper articles, archived radio transcripts, and other archival materials, Sherman creates a complex portrait of a daring aviator struggling for recognition in the early days of flight and a detailed examination of how American flying changed over the twentieth century.

Janann Sherman, Beverly G. Bond, and Frances Breland, Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers. A Centennial History of The University of Memphis (The University of Memphis, 2011)

See above, under the heading of Beverly G. Bond, Janann Sherman, and Frances Breland, Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers. A Centennial History of The University of Memphis (The University of Memphis, 2011)

Janann Sherman and Beverly G. Bond, Beale Street (Arcadia Publishing, 2006)

See above, under the heading of Beverly G. Bond and Janann Sherman, Beale Street (Arcadia Publishing, 2006)

Janann Sherman and Beverly G. Bond, Memphis in Black and White (Arcadia Publishing, 2003)

See above, under the heading of Beverly G. Bond and Janann Sherman, Memphis in Black and White (Arcadia Publishing, 2003)

Janann Sherman, Interviews with Betty Friedan (University Press of Mississippi, 2002)

Through these interviews Betty Friedan speaks fervently and combatively for herself and the momentous causes she has fought for. In 1963 Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique was published, and since that time this writer, teacher, public intellectual, and passionate advocate of social and economic justice in America has remained in the public spotlight. Transforming her into the mother of modern feminism, her landmark book challenged the prevailing gender ideology in the country and ultimately led to one of the most profound movements for social change in American history. In these interviews her arguments about equity and fairness — as well as the striking consistency of her views about men, women, and the American family — provide a rich resource for scholarly research. The interview genre captures Friedan’s immediacy, her passion, her wit, her candor, and her contradictions. In showing her political and philosophical development, they reveal her to be one of the twentieth century?s most significant thinkers.

Janann Sherman, No Place for a Woman: A Life Of Senator Margaret Chase Smith (Rutgers University Press, 1999)

Margaret Chase Smith served thirty-three years in the U.S. Congress (1940 to 1973). Her congressional tenure spanned the administrations of six presidents and three major wars, and marked significant changes in the roles of women in all aspects of American life. For most of her twenty-four years as a senator Smith served as the only woman. She was the first woman to seek the nomination of a major political party for the presidency of the United States. By the time she left office, Senator Smith was the most powerful woman in American politics. From her positions on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee, she exercised considerable influence over a broad range of military, foreign, and domestic policies. Yet, Smith did not view herself as a feminist; in fact, she disparaged feminism. For her, success required a special combination of hard work, masked ambition, and proper womanly behavior. No Place for a Woman is the first biography to analyze Smith’s life and times by using politics and gender as the lens through which we can understand her impact on American politics and American women. Sherman’s research is based upon more than one hundred hours of personal interviews with Senator Smith, and extensive research in many primary documents, including those from the holdings of the Margaret Chase Smith Library.

No Place for a Woman is a first-class work of American history, taking the reader from rural Maine communities of the early twentieth century to the U.S. halls of power.

Janann Sherman (with Carol Yellin), The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage (Iris Press, 1998)

The Perfect 36 is perfect.One of the outstanding accomplishments of the volume is that, in addition to the voluminous record it presents of the suffrage movement and its historic antecedents, it also includes fair and reasonably complete accounts of the arguments made by the opponents of suffrage. Yellin and Sherman bring to life the struggle of suffragists to earn women the right to vote which culminated with the final vote needed for ratification in the Tennessee legislature.The Perfect 36 gives voice to those who were for and against the right of women to vote with a richly illustrated volume. The authors provide a great deal of writings of those who were involved in this important movement along with pictures and cartoons to give a vivid sense of what it was like to win enfranchisement.

Arwin Smallwood, Bertie County, NC (Arcadia Publishing, 2002)

Arwin Smallwood, The Map Workbook for African-American History (McGraw Hill, 2002)

The Map Workbook for African-American History consists of approximately 25 maps that trace the African experience throughout the world and in America. Accompanied by map exercises and thought questions, each map is designed to strengthen students’ knowledge of geography, as well as their critical-thinking skills. The maps focus on a wide range of topics, covering African-American social, political, cultural, and economic history. This workbook provides a useful pedagogical tool for courses in African-American history where instructors would like to stress the important relationship between history and geography.

Arwin Smallwood, Blacks at Bradley, 1897-2000 (Arcadia Publishing, 2001)

Arwin Smallwood, The Atlas of African-American History and Politics (McGraw Hill, 1997)

The Atlas of African-American History and Politics consists of more than 150 originally produced maps which trace the African experience throughout the world and in America. The volume traces the complete history of African-Americans and their lives, employing artfully-conceived maps, and enhanced by sharply-written historic narratives, graphically reinforcing the facts. This work is appropriate for courses in African-American history and American history where instructors would like to integrate African-American history into their curricula.

Stephen Stein, From Torpedoes to Aviation: Washington Irving Chambers and Technological Innovation in the New Navy, 1876-1913 (University of Alabama Press, 2007)

Daniel Unowsky (with Laurence Cole), The Limits of Loyalty: Imperial Symbolism, Popular Allegiances and State Patriotism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy (Berghahn Books, 2007)

This edited collection is volume 9 in the series Austrian and Habsburg Studies.

From the publisher’s description: The overwhelming majority of historical work on the late Habsburg Monarchy has focused primarily on national movements and ethnic conflicts, with the result that too little attention has been devoted to the state and ruling dynasty. This volume is the first of its kind to concentrate on attempts by the imperial government to generate a dynastic-oriented state patriotism in the multinational Habsburg Monarchy. It examines those forces in state and society which tended toward the promotion of state unity and loyalty towards the ruling house. These essays, all original contributions and written by an international group of historians, provide a critical examination of the phenomenon of “dynastic patriotism” and offer a richly nuanced treatment of the multinational empire in its final phase.

Daniel Unowsky, The Pomp and Politics of Patriotism: Imperial Celebrations in Habsburg Austria (1848-1916) (Purdue University Press, 2005)

From the publisher’s description: This book examines the promotion and reception of the image of Franz Joseph (Habsburg emperor from 1848-1916) as a symbol of common identity in the Austrian half of the Habsburg Monarchy (Cisleithania). In the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century the promotion of the cult of the emperor encouraged a Cisleithania-wide culture of imperial celebration.

Robert A. Yelle, Semiotics of Religion: Signs of the Sacred in History (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013)

From the publisher’s description: Following the heyday of Lévi-Straussian structuralism in the 1970s-80s, little attention has been paid by scholars of religion to semiotics.Semiotics of Religionreassesses key semiotic theories in the light of religious data. Yelle examines the semiotics of religion from structural and historical perspectives, drawing on Peircean linguistic anthropology, Jakobsonian poetics, comparative religion and several theological traditions. This book pays particular attention to the transformation of religious symbolism under modernization and the rise of a culture of the printed book. Among the topics addressed are:

- ritual repetition and the poetics of ritual performance
- magic and the belief in a natural (iconic) language
- Protestant literalism and iconoclasm
- disenchantment and secularization
- holiness, arbitrariness, and agency

Building from the legacy of structuralism while interrogating several key doctrines of that movement, Semiotics of Religion both introduces the field to a new generation and charts a course for future research.

Robert A. Yelle, The Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012)

From the publisher’s description:  The Language of Disenchantment explores the ways in which Protestant ideas concerning language influenced British colonial attitudes toward and proposals to reform Hinduism. Protestant literalism, mediated by the textual economy of the printed book, inspired colonial critiques of Indian mythological, ritual, linguistic, and legal traditions. Central to these developments was the transportation of the Christian opposition of monotheism and polytheism or idolatry into the domain of language. Polemics against verbal idolatry that had been applied previously to Catholic and sectarian practices in Britain—including the elevation of a scriptural canon over heathenish custom, the attack on the personifications of mythological language, and the critique of “vain repetitions” in prayers and magic spells—were applied by colonialists to Indian linguistic practices. In order to remedy these diseases of language, the British attempted to standardize and codify Indian traditions as a step toward both Anglicization and Christianization. The colonial understanding of a perfect language as the fulfillment of the monotheistic ideal echoed earlier Christian myths according to which the Gospel had replaced the obscure discourses of pagan oracles and Jewish ritual. By uncovering the historical roots of the British re-ordering of South Asian discourses, Yelle’s work challenges representations of colonialism, and the modernity that it ushered in, as simply rational or secular.

Robert A. Yelle, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, After Secular Law (Stanford University Press, 2011)

From the publisher’s description: Many today place great hope in law as a vehicle for the transformation of society and accept that law is autonomous, universal, and above all, secular. Yet recent scholarship has called into question the simplistic narrative of a separation between law and religion and blurred the boundaries between these two categories, enabling new accounts of their relation that do not necessarily either collapse them together or return law to a religious foundation.

This work gives special attention to the secularism of law, exploring how law became secular, the phenomenology of the legal secular, and the challenges that lingering religious formations and other aspects of globalization pose for modern law's self-understanding. Bringing together scholars with a variety of perspectives and orientations, it provides a deeper understanding of the interconnections between law and religion and the unexpected histories and anthropologies of legal secularism in a globalizing modernity.

Andrei A. Znamenski, Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia (Quest Books, 2011)

From the publisher’s description: Many know of Shambhala, the Tibetan Buddhist legendary land of spiritual bliss popularized by the film, Shangri-La. But few may know of the role Shambhala played in Russian geopolitics in the early twentieth century. Perhaps the only one on the subject, Andrei Znamenski’s book presents a wholly different glimpse of early Soviet history both erudite and fascinating. Using archival sources and memoirs, he explores how spiritual adventurers, revolutionaries, and nationalists West and East exploited Shambhala to promote their fanatical schemes, focusing on the Bolshevik attempt to use Mongol-Tibetan prophecies to railroad Communism into inner Asia. We meet such characters as Gleb Bokii, the Bolshevik secret police commissar who tried to use Buddhist techniques to conjure the ideal human; and Nicholas Roerich, the Russian painter who, driven by his otherworldly Master and blackmailed by the Bolshevik secret police, posed as a reincarnation of the Dalai Lama to unleash religious war in Tibet. We also learn of clandestine activities of the Bolsheviks from the Mongol-Tibetan Section of the Communist International who took over Mongolia and then, dressed as lama pilgrims, tried to set Tibet ablaze; and of their opponent, Ja-Lama, an “avenging lama” fond of spilling blood during his tantra rituals.

Andrei A. Znamenski, The Beauty of the Primitive: Shamanism and Western Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2007)

Andrei Znamenski, well known as a critical scholar of shamanism in various contexts, has written an extremely readable, erudite, and nuanced analysis of contemporary forms of shamanism. Znamenski bases his analysis on an impressive acquaintance with ethnographic and anthropological literature from the eighteenth century onward, an intensive reading of contemporary western shamanic literature, and his own research-including not only fieldwork in traditional shamanic contexts but also interviews with western shamanic practitioners. The Beauty of the Primitive will rank among the most important publications in shamanism research for years to come.

Andrei A. Znamenski, Shamanism: Critical Concepts in Sociology (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2004)

From the publisher’s description: Mircea Eliade descibed shamanism as the primal religion of humanity, the ‘archaic technique of ecstasy’. The books of best-selling author Carlos Castaneda made it part of popular culture. Since the 1960s shamanism has continued to attract the attention of scholars, artists, writers and the general public. The most intriguing aspect of this religion is the ability of shamans to enter into contact with spirits on behalf of their communities. The first eighteenth-century explorers of Siberia dubbed shamanism a blatant fraud. Later, academic observers stamped it as ‘neurotic delusion’. In the 1960s shamans were recast as ‘wounded healers’, who sacrifice their lives for the spiritual well being of their communities. Many current writers and scholars treat shamanism as ancient wisdom that has much to teach us about true spirituality.

This anthology tells the story of shamanism in Eurasia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. It brings together for the first time fifty-six articles and book excerpts by anthropologists, psychologists, religious scholars and historians, illustrating the variety of views on this subject.

Andrei A. Znamenski, Shamanism in Siberia: Russian Records of Indigenous Spirituality (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003)

Znamenski set out to provide for readers of English a wealth of sources that will be utterly new even to most experts in the field. He recognises the value of all of his chosen texts, whatever their viewpoints, and demonstrates it to others. His introduction is the best concise summary yet made of the history of research into Siberian shamanism, from the earliest times to the present, and outstandingly valuable in its range and perception.

Andrei A. Znamenski, Through Orthodox Eyes Russian Missionary Narratives of Travels to the Dena’ina and Ahtna, 1850s-1930s (University of Alaska Press, 2003)

From the publisher’s description: Through Orthodox Eyes brings into English an important collection of translations of Russian missionary records that shed new light on the spread of Orthodox Christianity among the Athabaskan-speaking peoples of the Cook Inlet, Iliamna, Lake Clark, Stony River, and Copper River areas. These records provide unique insights into Russian perceptions of native societies in Alaska, and include new ethnographic information on Athabaskan seasonal hunting and fishing cycles, settlement patters, migration, demography, shamanism, marriage practices, relationships between Natives and miners, and alcohol abuse.

Andrei Znamenski offers a new and substantive interpretive chapter that places events into historical perspective. He describes nineteenth-century Athabaskan society and its interactions with Russians and Americans, looks into the biographies and intellectual backgrounds of Orthodox missionaries and native lay leaders, examines the texts of missionary journals, and shows how the Athabaskans turned Russian Orthodoxy into their native church.

Andrei A. Znamenski, Shamanism and Christianity: Native Encounters with Russian Orthodox Missions in Siberia and Alaska, 1820-1917 (Greenwood Press, 1999)

Znamenski’s strength is the rich detail of his historical profiles. He has yielded the gold of missionary and indigenous voices, bringing shamans, native and mixed blood priests, teachers, and translators to life. This book is an excellent contribution to the history and historiography of Siberia and Alaska.


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