Books for Spring 2016

Conspiracy Theories Michael Barkun, A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Univ. of California Press, 2013) ISBN 9780520276826 D.J. Mulloy, The World of the John Birch Society: Conspiracy, Conservatism, and the Cold War (Vanderbilt Univ. Press, 2014) ISBN 9780826519818 Kathryn Olmsted, Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2011) …

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Introducing The Papers of Martin Van Buren Project

I am pleased to announce that James Bradley and I are co-editing a new scholarly edition of The Papers of Martin Van Buren (PMVB). This project has been in the works for almost a year, but I think we've moved far enough from the idea stage to the actual project itself that making a formal …

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In Memoriam: Donald B. Cole

Earlier this week, in the course of contacting historians about a new project, I learned that Donald B. Cole passed away last year. Unlike the death of Robert Remini, which garnered significant attention in the profession and the mainstream media, Don's death passed largely unnoticed by the profession. That is unfortunate, because Don's scholarship was …

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Rearing Martin Van Buren

There's no polite way to say it: Someone has a tattoo of Martin Van Buren on what appears to be his/her buttocks. I don't know who, and I don't know why. But here it is, and you have Gretchen Adams to thank (or blame) for bringing this picture to my attention. I've crudely edited the …

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What Do Sarah Palin and William Henry Harrison Have in Common?

Nick Jans' recent editorial piece on Sarah Palin struck me as humorous. Jans criticized Palin's "glaring, city-slicker klutziness" as she attempts to portray herself as a woman of the Alaskan land on her reality TV show. I haven't watched Palin's show, but what he describes doesn't surprise me, given the genre and the participant. What struck me most in Jans editorial are two …

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OK, O.K., or Okay?

Is "OK" properly written as initials or as a word? What does it mean? You've probably heard at some point that the word "okay" is derived from the initials "O.K.," which can be traced back to Martin Van Buren's nickname, "Old Kinderhook." (Kinderhook was Van Buren's birthplace in New York, as well as where he …

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