Credit: http://jhupress.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/adamshell-contrast.jpgI was going to write a blog post about a dream I had last night (in which Jonathan Rees revealed that he was part of a superhero tandem intent on fighting corruption within the history profession), but instead I decided to write about my fall semester book choices.

Early U.S.

I’ve abandoned my idea of trying to structure readings around themes in the U.S. survey courses, I reverted to picking readings that address different parts of the course.

Alex Beam, American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church (PublicAffairs, 2014) ISBN 9781610393133

This book seemed like a good option to explore the social aspects of the Jacksonian period.

Shearer Davis Bowman, At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2010) ISBN 9780807833926

I wanted to use a different book that addressed the Civil War period, and this one appealed to me.

James D. Rice, Tales from a Revolution: Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013) ISBN 9780195386943

Bacon’s Rebellion has fascinated me for a long time, but I’ve never read a book on it.

Civil War

Michael C.C. Adams, Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2014) ISBN 9781421412214

I vacillated between this book and Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering.

Herman Hattaway and Richard Beringer, Jefferson Davis, Confederate President (Univ. Press of Kansas, 2003) ISBN 9780700612932

I have wanted to assign this book in past semesters, but other books were a better fit. Not this semester, though.

Caroline Janney, Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2013) ISBN 9781469607061

Janney spoke on our campus several years ago when she was working on this book, and I have been looking forward to it ever since.

Rachel Shelden, Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2013) ISBN 9781469610856

I think students will like the approach Shelden takes to antebellum politics.

 

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