I picked up Sam Haynes‘ new book, Unfinished Revolution: The Early American Republic in a British World, at last fall’s Southern. His short biography of James K. Polk is a great introduction to Young Hickory, one that I’ve used previously in upper-division courses.
Unfinished Revolution examines Americans’ relationship with Great Britain during the antebellum period. Not surprisingly, that relationship was filled with suspicion and not a little animosity. White southerners particularly spun conspiracy theories about Britain’s alleged determination to foist abolitionism on the United States. While I was particularly interested in Haynes’ take on politics, specifically Texas annexation, he also looks a culture, including literature and theater. It’s a good book that forces readers to consider the nineteenth-century United States within a trans-Atlantic context.
Scheduling note: In anticipation of completing several projects this summer, I’ll be posting once a week for the forseeable future.