Books for Spring 2017 Courses

Introduction to Documentary Editing Mary-Jo Kline and Susan Holbrook Perdue, A Guide to Documentary Editing, 3rd. ed.  (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008)--Available for free online at the link Ted Widmer, Martin Van Buren (Times Books, 2004) ISBN 978-0805069228 Old South Bruce Baker, What Reconstruction Meant: Historical Memory in the American South (Univ. of Virginia Press, 2009) …

What Defines the South?

Update: After I scheduled the post yesterday, Karen Cox (@SassyProf) and several others had a lively exchange on Twitter about the topic, especially the place of sweet tea and cornbread. You can find the exchanges in our Twitter streams. I'm teaching the Old South course this semester. This is my second time teaching the course, …

BrANCH 2012: Peter Parish Memorial Lecture: Second Slavery and the First (U.S.) Republic

Ed Baptist gave the Peter Parish Memorial Lecture on Friday evening. For someone who flew in shortly before his talk, I thought he did a great job. Baptist opened with a summary of Solomon Northup's life, ending with the observation that overlapping networks and competing claims saved Northup from murder and that financial networks enslaved …

The Evolution of a Book, Part 3: The Book Outline

(Part 1 and Part 2 of this series) My students will probably think I'm lying, but I actually didn't like or even follow outlines until I was in grad school. I thought they stifled my creativity and the organic development of my writing. In actuality, I set myself up for failure as a writer, something I learned the …

The Evolution of a Book, Part 2: The Book Proposal

(Part 1 of this series is here.) The book proposal that I sent to LSU Press in 2006 was modeled on one that I used for Old Hickory's Nephew [1]. I tweaked the focus of the Jackson proposal based on my experience with LSU Press and advice from the 1st edition of William Germano's book, Getting …

The Evolution of a Book, Part 1: Choosing a Topic

I'm currently finishing up a book manuscript for LSU Press tentatively entitled "Andrew Jackson, Southerner." As I'm completing the writing phase and enter the editing process, I wanted to look back and examine how the book developed. This post will be the first in a series that I'll write looking ahead to the book's publication.* …

SHA 2011: New Perspectives on the Jacksonian South

My colleague, Natalie Inman, likes to call obstacles "adventures." She would have enjoyed the "adventure" that was our panel this afternoon. The saga began when I tried to find the room our panel was scheduled for. Originally, we were in the Sheraton, but SHA representatives at the registration handed out room changes to the program. …

Exhibit A: Why Studying History Is Important

Ed. note: In yesterday's blog post, Michael Lynch has reaction to the online comments about my TSLA opinion piece. I usually ignore the anonymous online comments left on websites, but Monday's Tennessean opinion piece on slavery at The Hermitage offers an illustration of why reading and studying history is so important. Sample comments (as originally …

Review of Gene Dattel’s Cotton and Race in the Making of America

Gene Dattel's Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power (Ivan R. Dee, 2009) is a book for which I had been looking. While one can find plenty of studies of slavery and the Old South, book-length works focused on cotton's role, specifically its economic influence, in shaping the …

Review of Lacy K. Ford, Deliver Us from Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South

Lacy K. Ford's Deliver Us from Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South (Oxford Univ. Press, 2009) is a magnificent survey of the Jacksonian South's struggle to reconcile itself with slavery. Actually, according to Ford, it was the Jacksonian Souths' (Upper and Lower) struggle to reconcile themselves to slavery, as circumstances in the Early …