Book Review: Making Schools American: Nationalism and the Origin of Modern Educational Politics

Ewert not only depicts the origins and aims of the public school system as a tool for national unity in the United States, but he also successfully foregrounds how the inherent struggle for a definition of America and Americanness in a country marked by racial and ideological tensions shaped the educational system and continues to do so. As such, Ewert’s book is a useful source when reading and researching about the history of the American school system as well as the nature of the forces at work in the national and local societies that shaped it. Continue reading

Book Review: City of Newsmen: Public Lies and Professional Secrets in Cold War Washington

Kathryn McGarr describes this period as a turning point where reporters became increasingly furious with the government withholding information and started to voice their opposition in print rather than in private. McGarr makes a vital contribution to understanding the relationship and conflict between the government and the press. Her work is part of a new look at foreign affairs which argue that it is now the time for historians to investigate early Cold War journalism and not to merely characterise it when the press simply believed everything the government told them Continue reading

Eyes on Events: ‘At the Junction: The Local, Regional, and National in US History’ For the last episode of ‘Eyes on Events’ for the 2022-2023 academic year, we were delighted to sit down with Professor Bruce Schulman to discuss the Rothermere American Institute’s event ‘At the Junction: The Local, Regional, and National in US History’, held on May 18th and 19th 2023. Professor… Continue reading

Book Review: Antagonistic Cooperation: Jazz, Collage, Fiction, and the Shaping of African American Culture by Robert G. O’Meally

Robert O’Meally clearly takes joy in his writing. His choice of material stays safely within the canon, and though this makes for a more conservative study that is largely restricted to the male and heteronormative, situating widely admired artists in a thoroughly interdisciplinary context is important for engendering a shift in how the arts are studied. Antagonistic Cooperation certainly is a twenty-first-century commentary on the arts – in the best way. Continue reading

European Career Stories | Suzanne Enzerink | //   Interested in researching American Studies abroad? In this episode of USSO’s Career Stories, we heard about the fascinating research career of Dr Suzanne Enzerink, a Dutch researcher in American Studies who completed her PhD at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and worked in the U.S., Lebanon, and… Continue reading

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 8C-The Clinging of Lot 49: Perspectives on Pynchon’s Persistence

Reviewed by: Valentina López Liendo Chaired by Dr James Baxter, a postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin, the panel ‘The Clinging of Lot 49: Perspectives on Pynchon’s Persistance’ explored the many ways in which Pynchon’s now hyper-canonical novel of 1966 resonates with contemporary American culture. The Crying of Lot 49… Continue reading

Book Review: On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe

According to reviewer, Olga Akroyd, On Savage Shores was highly respectful and she was impressed of the surgically precise manner in which Pennock dismantles both negative and positive stereotyping associated with the notion of Indigeneity. For a scholar seeking to look beyond the recognisable myths encircling the actual facts, this book is invaluable, as we must move our imaginations from the images shaped by predominantly European minds to truly comprehend the era and ‘a world where “other” peoples were starting to become visible.’ Continue reading

Book Review: The American Presidency: An Institutional Approach to Executive Politics 

Howell runs against the popular and influential narrative of the personal presidency, identifying the growing gap between pundits who favour the idea and academics who are more interested in the formal and bureaucratic role of the president. Indeed, Howell’s approach offers a deeper understanding to how and why presidents behave the way they do, whether they embody the idea of the institutional presidency such as Woodrow Wilson or defy as in the case of Donald Trump. The result is a detailed and comprehensive textbook that shines a much-needed light on the executive office of the President of the United States, representing the latest scholarship surrounding the American Presidency. Continue reading

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 7C – Making Sense of the South 

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 7C – Making Sense of the South  Of all the regions in the United States, perhaps none has captured the critical imagination as lastingly and powerfully as the American South. This came through at BAAS 2023, with three different sessions addressing the region at this year’s… Continue reading