Books for Spring 2015

On the schedule for the Spring 2015 semester are two sections of the U.S. survey (1865-present) and the Old South course. As usual, I've switched up the books. I also assign articles to supplement the book readings. History of the U.S. II Beth L. Bailey, From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America …

Books for Fall 2014 Courses

I 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 …

The Evolution of a Book, Pt. 15: Promoting Your Book

(Previous entries in this series: Pts. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14) In August, I wrote my last entry in this series on developing a marketing plan for your book. Having implemented many of those ideas, I wanted to give some insight into what has and hasn't worked for me so far. Once I had a pretty firm idea of …

Books for Spring 2014 Courses

It's that time again. Here are the books I plan to use in the Spring 2014 semester. Modern U.S. The past couple of years, I've tried to focus the readings in the U.S. survey courses on a specific theme. This semester, it's American culture and society. Glenn Altschuler, All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll …

The Evolution of a Book, Pt. 14: Developing a Marketing Plan

(Previous entries in this series: Pts. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.) I'll just warn you ahead of time: Of all the things that I don't know about writing a book, this topic is what I know least about. Earlier in this series, I discussed the author's questionnaire, which deals in part with marketing. I dispensed these wise words: …

Interview with Historian Gene Allen Smith

On Monday, I posted my review of Gene Smith's new book, The Slaves' Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812. Today, read an interview with Smith about his book and his future research plans. What led you to write The Slaves' Gamble? This book spawned from work with my major professor in graduate school …

The Evolution of a Book, Pt. 13: Indexing the Book

(Previous entries in this series: Pts. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.) It's appropriate that this entry is the thirteenth in the series. Academics generally hate compiling an index, even though it's one of the most important tools that they (at least historians) use when reading. There are software programs available that can create a book index for you. …

Andrew Jackson, Southerner: The Introduction

LSU Press has given me permission to post the introduction to Andrew Jackson, Southerner. The 1828 presidential election was one of the nastiest in United States political history. Andrew Jackson’s campaign accused the incumbent, John Quincy Adams, of being a pimp and spending the people’s money to fund gambling in the White House. Adams was …

The Evolution of a Book, Pt. 12: Working with Page Proofs

(Previous entries in this series: Pts. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.) Working with the page proofs of your book is a daunting task. As your publisher will tell you, the only possible changes are editorial, factual or typesetter errors. So, that sentence that doesn't quite read right? You're stuck with it. The additional research that came to light …

Thank You, Nashville

I want to thank the hit ABC show Nashville for using the cover of Andrew Jackson, Southerner as a prop in the mayor's office. It would be better if someone on the show were actually reading the book, but I'll take it. (Of course, that portrait just happens to be the same one I'm using for my …