I think I’ve identified most of the books I’ll be assigning for my Spring 2012 courses. I may amend this list a bit, but here’s what I have so far.

History of the U.S. II

Robert H. Abzug, America Views the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1999) ISBN 978-0-312-13393-1

I’ve had success with Abzug’s book in the past. It offers a nice way to get at WWII, the Holocaust, the U.S. homefront, immigration, and the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

Charles W. Calhoun, Minority Victory: Gilded Age Politics and the Front Porch Campaign of 1888 (University Press of Kansas, 2008). ISBN 978-0-7006-1596-4

I’ve never read this particular volume in the American Presidential Elections Series, but I’ve liked several of the other contributions to the series. I always struggle with how to present Gilded Age politics in an interesting manner, so I’m hoping this volume gives me success.

Frank Lambert, The Battle of Ole Miss: Civil Rights vs. States’ Rights (Oxford University Press, 2010) ISBN 978-0-19-538041-5

Lambert was a student at Ole Miss during the Meredith enrollment furor, so he possesses an interesting perspective as an observer and an historian.

Jacksonian Democracy

John F. Marszalek, The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson’s White House (LSU Press, 2000) ISBN 978-0807126349

As I noted before, I didn’t do this book justice the first time I used it in a course, so I have a different strategy this time.

James Roger Sharp, Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance (University Press of Kansas, 2010). ISBN 978-0-7006-1742-5

Part of the University Press of Kansas series noted above, I’m looking forward to getting students’ reaction to this book on the first contested presidential election.

Harry L. Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America (Macmillan, 2006) ISBN 978-0-8090-6547-9

The best book on Jacksonian politics. Period.

Conspiracy Theories

Donald T. Critchlow, John Korasick, and Matthew C. Sherman, eds., Political Conspiracies in America: A Reader (Indiana University Press, 2008) ISBN 978-0-253-21964-0

I’ve used David Brion Davis’ reader,  The Fear of Conspiracy: Images of Un-American Subversion from the Revolution to the Present, before, but this reader is more up-to-date.

Robert Alan Goldberg, Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America (Yale University Press, 2001) ISBN 978-0-3000-9000-0

I considered using Kathryn Olmsted’s Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 or David Aaronovitch’s Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, but I feel more comfortable using Goldberg’s book given the structure of the course.

I’ll be adding articles to the Jacksonian and Conspiracy courses as well.

2 thoughts on “Books for Spring 2012 Courses

  1. FWIW, Gordon Wood’s newish book The Idea of America includes a very nice essay “Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style: Causality and Deceit in the Eighteenth Century”.

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