Book Review: A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society, and the Revolution of American Conservatism.

Miller makes two vital contributions to the field of post-war American conservatism. He demonstrates the merit of using biography to explore the origins and circulation of ideas and shows the need to take fringe elements of the right more seriously. Consequently, A Conspiratorial Life is essential reading for those seeking to enrich their knowledge of the traction of conspiracy theories contemporary political life in the United States and beyond. Continue reading

Book Review: Ecology of Dakota Landscapes: Past, Present, and Future by W. Carter Johnson and Dennis H. Knight  

Ecology of Dakota Landscape has beautifully blended the ecological attributes of landscapes of the Dakota region of the United States, its geological and ecological developments in recent centuries and the present environment, and prospective approaches to climate change. What is more, the book defines the changes in the region’s climate change and ecosystem, thus identifying the reasons and options for protecting it. Continue reading

Eyes on Event: Bridging the Resource Gap This week, USSO’s Eyes on Events continued our new series on Teaching and American Studies with a review of the BAAS initiative Bridging the Resource Gap. Bridging the Resource Gap aims to create resources for 16-to-19-year-olds interested in American Studies, including resources discussing the careers open to American Studies… Continue reading

Book Hour with Dr. Kevin Waite, the author of West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire

  The next U.S. Studies Online Book Hour will take place 17th March 2023, at 4pm GMT with Dr. Kevin Waite, who will talk with us about his first – and award-winning – book, West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire (The University of North Carolina Press,… Continue reading

Of the History of Pennsylvania, Part. 1: Pennsylvania Past

This article is part of the USSO special series Resilience/Renewal: Shifting Landscapes in American Studies Whatever discoveries are made in the future that complicate what we know of human antiquity, the “New World” will always be new. No anthropoid species existed in the Americas before Homo sapiens. No land mass… Continue reading

‘Malign Living Structures’: Functions of the Survey Image in “Soil Erosion – A National Menace” (1934)

This article is part of the USSO special series Resilience/Renewal: Shifting Landscapes in American Studies The land survey photograph, as represented by the first two pictures here, is a category of image that circulated widely in scientific journals and official publications during the 1930s. Severe droughts and dust storms between… Continue reading

Book Hour with Dr. Catherine V. Bateson, the author of Irish-American Civil War Songs: Identity, Loyalty, and Nationhood.

Dr. Bateson’s research explores how the Irish-born and Irish-descended soldiers and sailors were involved in every major engagement of the American Civil War. Throughout the conflict, they shared their wartime experiences through songs and song lyrics, leaving behind a vast trove of ballads in songbooks, letters, newspaper publications, wartime diaries, and other accounts. Dr. Bateson investigates the Irish American song lyrics within the context of broader wartime experiences and how these songs and lyrics offer an under-appreciated source of contemporary feelings and opinions about the war. Dr. Bateson will also talk to our postgraduate and ECA audience about her experience in turning her research into a monograph. Continue reading

Book Review: Why White Liberals Fail: Race And Southern Politics From Fdr To Trump By Anthony J. Badger

Why White Liberals Fail is a thought-provoking addition to a field that neglects the role white liberals played in the South’s political transformation. What is more, Badger’s research as an opening gambit – a thesis that he hopes will spark renewed interest in white southern liberalism. The relative brevity of the book (around 200 pages) and the wide, expansive chronology leaves ample scope for more focused studies by a new crop of southern historians. Continue reading

Book review: Contesting Commemoration: The 1876 Centennial, Independence Day, and the Reconstruction-Era South.

   Louisiana State University Press, 2021. $45.00   How does a nation celebrate itself when it is in many ways still at war with itself? Jack Noe tackles this question in his engaging study of nationalism and identity in the post-Civil War South through the lens of Independence Day celebrations… Continue reading

Book Review: The End of Ambition: The United States and the Third World in the Vietnam Era by Mark Atwood Lawrence

If there was anything that most historians had firmly placed on the list of Richard M. Nixon’s accomplishments – good or bad – it was that his presidency engineered a rightward shift in US foreign policy. Yet, according to Mark Atwood Lawrence’s important new study, The End of Ambition: The United States and the Third World in the Vietnam Era, even this too must be stripped from the 37th president’s beleaguered historical legacy. An analysis of US policy towards the ‘Global South’ during the 1960s, Lawrence’s book argues that the key transitions away from the ‘ambitious’ policies of the John F. Kennedy years were made not by Nixon but Lyndon Johnson. Under the pressure of the Vietnam War, political change at home, and increasing anti-Americanism abroad, Johnson abandoned his predecessor’s interest in transformative global change to focus on stability and lower costs, even if that meant embracing pro-US strongmen. Nixon’s subsequent ‘doctrine’ to this effect merely codified in rhetoric what was already the case in practice. Continue reading