Journal of American History


Rethinking the Transition to Capitalism in the Early American Northeast

Naomi R. Lamoreaux reopens the debate over the transition to capitalism in the northeastern United States. She argues that the kinds of evidence used by scholars to “prove” that late-eighteenth-century farmers were not capitalists can, ironically, yield the identical conclusion for merchants and manufacturers. To illuminate the transition to capitalism, she turns to recent advances in economic theory that move beyond reductive notions of economic rationality and profit maximization. In the early nineteenth century, farmers, merchants, and manufacturers all became increasingly embedded in a market economy. But unlike farmers, merchants and manufacturers adopted new economic practices, impelled not simply by a drive for profit maximization, but by new cultural imperatives. (pp. 437–61) Read online >

The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian’s Rural Enlightenment

In assessing the influence of the Enlightenment in the British American colonies, early American historians have tended to focus on urban elites. John Fea instead explores a parallel rural Enlightenment through a study of the short life of Philip Vickers Fithian, a diarist from southern New Jersey. The complex configuration of Fithian’s social world—full of British books and nearby friends—demands that we rethink the distinction between cosmopolitanism and localism on the eve of the American Revolution and consider how cosmopolitan aspirations could be reconciled with local attachments in a rural community. (pp. 462–90) Read online >

For suggestions on how to use Fea’s article in the United States history classroom, along with substantial selections from Fithian’s diary and letters, see our Read online >

Red Scare Politics and the Suppression of Popular Front Feminism: The Loyalty Investigation of Mary Dublin Keyserling

Mary Dublin Keyserling

Landon R. Y. Storrs argues that anticommunist investigations of women in government in the 1940s and 1950s curbed both feminism and the social democratic potential of the New Deal. Using newly accessible sources, Storrs reconstructs the loyalty investigation of the government economist Mary Dublin Keyserling and the Popular Front-era activism that triggered it. Keyserling was one of many prominent women in government who advocated left-feminist social policies until accusations of Communism truncated their careers and discredited their causes. The red scare thus not any stigmatized dissent but also directly stifled an influential variant of feminism. (pp. 491–524) Read online >

“Give Earth a Chance”: The Environmental Movement and the Sixties

As a period, the 1960s has become a cliché—a time of radical protest. To incorporate the environmental movement into the narrative of the sixties, Adam Rome argues for a more complex understanding of the decade. Prior to Earth Day in 1970, the environmental movement gained momentum as a result of public advocacy by liberal intellectuals and Democratic politicians and of grass-roots activism by middle-class women and antiestablishment youth. Environmental activism was not simply a form of radical protest but involved a variety of social groups and a variety of political methods. (pp. 525–54) Read online >

This article is referenced in the June 2009 installment of “Teaching the JAH and is available for download. (PDF).

Special Essay

What Is the History of the History of Books?

Joan Shelley Rubin shows how recent studies in the expanding field of the history of books have surpassed older scholarship by exploring how social, economic, and cultural factors converge to shape the creation and uses of print. Surveying efforts to document the production, dissemination, and reception of print and to examine the goals those processes served, her essay traces book historians’ contributions to an understanding of the place of written communication in the American past. Rubin argues that the greatest promise of the history of books is to help us question conceptual dichotomies—sacred versus secular, public versus private, traditional versus modern—on which scholars rely too comfortably. (pp. 555–75) Read online >

New Section


The Practice of History

With this issue, the JAH inaugurates “Interchange,” an annual section featuring edited conversations among historians. We invite readers to follow the give-and-take as nine senior historians consider recent changes in historical practice.

Participants: Drew Faust, Hendrik Hartog, David A. Hollinger, Akira Iriye, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Nell Irvin Painter, David Roediger, Mary Ryan, Alan Taylor (pp. 576–611) Read online >

Book Reviews

Sept. 2003, Vol. 90 No. 2

Alphabetical by the last name of the book's first author or editor.

  • Aamodt, Righteous Armies, Holy Cause: Apocalyptic Imagery and the Civil War, by Curtis D. Johnson
  • Acker, Creating the American Junkie: Addiction Research in the Classic Era of Narcotic Control, by Jim Baumohl
  • Aldama and Quiñonez, eds., Decolonial Voices: Chicana and Chicano Cultural Studies in the 21st Century, by Richard A. Garcia
  • Amato, Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History, by Louise Appleton
  • Anderson and Fienberg, Who Counts? The Politics of Census-Taking in Contemporary America, by Philip VanderMeer
  • Blaetz, Visions of the Maid: Joan of Arc in American Film and Culture, by Shelley Armitage
  • Brands, The Strange Death of American Liberalism, by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
  • Brophy, Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation, by Dominic J. Capeci Jr.
  • Bryson, Socializing the Young: The Role of Foundations, 1923–1941, by Kathleen W. Jones
  • Bushman, In Old Virginia: Slavery, Farming, and Society in the Journal of John Walker, by Peter A. Coclanis
  • Butler, Two Paths to Equality: Alice Paul and Ethel M. Smith in the era Debate, 1921–1929, by Judith A. Baer
  • Byrd, The Challenges of Roger Williams: Religious Liberty, Violent Persecution, and the Bible, by Paul C. Gutjahr
  • Caro, Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, by H. W. Brands
  • Carretta and Gould, eds., Genius in Bondage: Literature of the Early Black Atlantic, by Simon P. Newman
  • Castronovo and Nelson, eds., Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics, by Pippa Holloway
  • Cayton, Ohio: The History of a People, by John L. Brooke
  • Choate, Disputed Ground: Farm Groups That Opposed the New Deal Agricultural Program, by John E. Miller
  • Coburn and Smith, Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836–1920, by Tracy Fessenden
  • Connelly, A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post–Cold War Era, by Annick Cizel
  • Curtis, Islam in Black America: Identity, Liberation, and Difference in African-American Islamic Thought, by J. M. Floyd-Thomas
  • Cyphers, The National Civic Federation and the Making of a New Liberalism, 1900–1915, by Edward A. Stettner
  • D’Este, Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life, by Philip Nash
  • de Jong, A Different Day: African American Struggles for Justice in Rural Louisiana, 1900–1970, by John C. Rodrigue
  • Dean, Imperial Brotherhood: Gender and the Making of Cold War Foreign Policy, by Allen Hunter
  • Dommen, The Indochinese Experience of the French and the Americans: Nationalism and Communism in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, by Edward Rice-Maximin
  • Dunn, Opening New Markets: The British Army and the Old Northwest, by Larry L. Nelson
  • Faue, Writing the Wrongs: Eva Valesh and the Rise of Labor Journalism, by Elizabeth Fones-Wolf
  • Feis, Grant’s Secret Service: The Intelligence War from Belmont to Appomattox, by Kevin Conley Ruffner
  • Field, Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Making of a Democratic Intellectual, by Albert J. von Frank
  • Finan, Alfred E. Smith: The Happy Warrior, by Allan J. Lichtman
  • Finley and DeBlack, eds., The Southern Elite and Social Change: Essays in Honor of Willard B. Gatewood Jr, by Jeffrey J. Crow
  • Fitzpatrick, Gerald W. Johnson: From Southern Liberal to National Conscience, by George B. Tindall
  • Forslund, Anna Chennault: Informal Diplomacy and Asian Relations, by Qiang Zhai
  • Fowler, Tribal Sovereignty and the Historical Imagination: Cheyenne-Arapaho Politics, by Paul C. Rosier
  • Francis, The Secret Treachery of Words: Feminism and Modernism in America, by Jeffrey P. Moran
  • Gabriel, Major General Richard Montgomery: The Making of an American Hero, by Reginald C. Stuart
  • Galambos and Abrahamson, Anytime, Anywhere: Entrepreneurship and the Creation of a Wireless World, by David Hochfelder
  • Gavin, Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker, by David Ake
  • Gerhard, Desiring Revolution: Second-Wave Feminism and the Rewriting of American Sexual Thought, 1920 to 1982, by Judith A. Allen
  • Giberti, Designing the Centennial: A History of the 1876 International Exhibition in Philadelphia, by Steven Conn
  • Godbeer, Sexual Revolution in Early America, by Daniel R. Mandell
  • Golden and Golden, Thomas Jefferson and the Rhetoric of Virtue, by Jean M. Yarbrough
  • Golin, The Newark Teacher Strikes: Hopes on the Line, by James W. Fraser
  • Gorman, Redefining Efficiency: Pollution Concerns, Regulatory Mechanisms, and Technological Change in the U.S. Petroleum Industry, by Brian C. Black
  • Gough, Fighting Sail on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay: The War of 1812 and Its Aftermath, by Kevin J. Crisman
  • Griffith, Serving History in a Changing World: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in the Twentieth Century, by Linda Shopes
  • Hall, Harvest Wobblies: The Industrial Workers of the World and Agricultural Laborers in the American West, 1905–1930, by David T. Brundage
  • Hattaway and Beringer, Jefferson Davis, Confederate President, by Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein
  • Heideking and Henretta, eds., Republicanism and Liberalism in America and the German States, 1750–1850, by David F. Ericson
  • Hellegers, We, the Japanese People: World War II and the Origins of the Japanese Constitution, vol. 1: Washington, vol. 2: Tokyo, by Timothy P. Maga
  • Hess, Lee’s Tar Heels: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade, by J. Tracy Power
  • Hinshaw, Steel and Steelworkers: Race and Class Struggle in Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh, by James P. Quigel Jr.
  • Hoig, Perilous Pursuit: The U.S. Cavalry and the Northern Cheyennes, by John H. Monnett
  • Hughes and Whitney, Jefferson Davis in Blue: The Life of Sherman’s Relentless Warrior, by Steven E. Woodworth
  • Inglis, People’s Witness: The Journalist in Modern Politics, by William S. Solomon
  • Irish, Joseph W. Byrns of Tennessee: A Political Biography, by Jack Irby Hayes Jr.
  • Jewett, Texas in the Confederacy: An Experiment in Nation Building, by Norman D. Brown
  • Johnson, Gender and Rhetorical Space in American Life, 1866–1910, by Carol Lasser
  • Jones, ed., Crossing Boundaries: The Exclusion and Inclusion of Minorities in Germany and the United States, by Joseph W. Bendersky
  • Kagan, ed., Spain in America: The Origins of Hispanism in the United States, by Jane M. Rausch
  • Kang, Compositional Subjects: Enfiguring Asian/American Women, by Sally A. Hastings
  • Kantor, Alfred H. Barr Jr. and the Intellectual Origins of the Museum of Modern Art, by Evelyn C. Hankins
  • Kaplan, Politics and the American Press: The Rise of Objectivity, 1865–1920, by Brooks D. Simpson
  • Katznelson and Shefter, eds., Shaped by War and Trade: International Influences on American Political Development, by Bruce Cumings
  • Keane, Fritz B. Burns and the Development of Los Angeles: The Biography of a Community Developer and Philanthropist, by Catherine Mulholland
  • Keller and Keller, Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America’s University, by Roger L. Geiger
  • Kennedy, Anglo-American Strategic Relations and the Far East, 1933–1939: Imperial Crossroads, by Frederick F. Travis
  • Kirk, Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940–1970, by Alex S. Lubin
  • Klein, Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929, by Pamela Walker Laird
  • Koehn, Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers’ Trust from Wedgwood to Dell, by Tracey Deutsch
  • Krabbendam, Roholl, and Vries, eds., The American Metropolis: Image and Inspiration, by Ross Miller
  • Kurashige, Japanese American Celebration and Conflict: A History of Ethnic Identity and Festival, 1934–1990, by Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain
  • Lankford, Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital, by William C. Davis
  • Lasser, Benjamin V. Cohen: Architect of the New Deal, by Jeanne Nienaber Clarke
  • Lee, The Bizarre Careers of John R. Brinkley, by Angus McLaren
  • Leidholdt, Editor for Justice: The Life of Louis I. Jaffé, by David B. Sachsman
  • Leiker, Racial Borders: Black Soldiers along the Rio Grande, by Marvin Fletcher
  • Lerner, The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy, by David M. Barrett
  • Linkon and Russo, Steeltown U.S.A.: Work and Memory in Youngstown, by James P. Quigel Jr.
  • Lustig, The Imperial Executive in America: Sir Edmund Andros, 1637–1714, by Evan Haefeli
  • McKoy, When Whites Riot: Writing Race and Violence in American and South African Cultures, by Dwight N. Hopkins
  • Mechling, On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth, by Thomas Winter
  • Meyerowitz, How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States, by Lisa Duggan
  • Milkis and Mileur, eds., The New Deal and the Triumph of Liberalism, by Theodore Rosenof
  • Miller, Lincoln’s Virtues: An Ethical Biography, by Kenneth J. Winkle
  • Minton, Departing from Deviance: A History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America, by K. A. Cuordileone
  • Mitchell, Take My Land, Take My Life: The Story of Congress’s Historic Settlement of Alaska Native Land Claims, 1960–1971, by Ken Coates
  • Miyazato, Nichibei Kankei to Okinawa, 1945–1972 (Japan-U.S. relations and Okinawa, 1945–1972), by Robert D. Eldridge
  • Montoya, Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict over Land in the American West, 1840–1900, by James F. Brooks
  • Morrison, The Solidarity of Kin: Ethnohistory, Religious Studies, and the Algonkian-French Religious Encounter, by William Newbigging
  • Nicolaides, My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920–1965, by Lisa McGirr
  • Nielsen, Un-American Womanhood: Antiradicalism, Antifeminism, and the First Red Scare, by Landon Storrs
  • Norwood, Strikebreaking & Intimidation: Mercenaries and Masculinity in Twentieth-Century America, by Ileen A. DeVault
  • Okun, Crime and the Nation: Prison Reform and Popular Fiction in Philadelphia, 1786–1800, by John K. Alexander
  • Ott, Serlin, and Mihm, eds., Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics, by Joel D. Howell
  • Parker, Herman Melville: A Biography. Vol. 2: 1851–1891, by David S. Reynolds
  • Parry-Giles, The Rhetorical Presidency, Propaganda, and the Cold War, 1945–1955, by Brett Gary
  • Pauw, “The Supreme Harmony of All”: The Trinitarian Theology of Jonathan Edwards, by W. Clark Gilpin
  • Pencak, Dennis, and Newman, eds., Riot and Revelry in Early America, by Terry Bouton
  • Pérez, Winds of Change: Hurricanes & the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Cuba, by Lillian Guerra
  • Power, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide, by Rafael Medoff
  • Pratt, Becker, and McClenahan, Voice of the Marketplace: A History of the National Petroleum Council, by David S. Painter
  • Pratt, Projecting Paranoia: Conspiratorial Visions in American Film, by Margaret Allison Graham
  • Pratt, Native Pragmatism: Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy, by Paul Jerome Croce
  • Proctor, Bathed in Blood: Hunting and Mastery in the Old South, by Jennifer R. Green
  • Rafuse, A Single Grand Victory: The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas, by Earl J. Hess
  • Raven, London Booksellers and American Customers: Transatlantic Literary Community and the Charleston Library Society, 1748–1811, by Francis J. Bremer
  • Register, The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements, by Lewis A. Erenberg
  • Reid, Contested Empire: Peter Skene Ogden and the Snake River Expeditions, by Barton H. Barbour
  • Richards, Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle, by Thomas J. Humphrey
  • Rimmerman, From Identity to Politics: The Lesbian and Gay Movements in the United States, by Dean J. Kotlowski
  • Rosenbloom, Looking for Work, Searching for Workers: American Labor Markets during Industrialization, by Steve Holmes Babson
  • Rosenthal, Spinster Tales and Womanly Possibilities, by Jacqueline K. Dirks
  • Schier and Russett, eds., Catholic Women’s Colleges in America, by Carol K. Coburn
  • Schmidt, Umble, and Reschly, eds., Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History, by Steven M. Nolt
  • Schneider, “We Return Fighting”: The Civil Rights Movement in the Jazz Age, by Ralph E. Luker
  • Schulte, Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the American West, by J. Brooks Flippen
  • Schumacher, Kalter Krieg und Propaganda: Die usa, der Kampf um die Weltmeinung, und die ideelle Westbindung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1945–1955 (The Cold War and propaganda: The usa, the struggle over world opinion, and the idealistic Western orientation of West Germany, 1945–1955), by Günter J. Bischof
  • Schuyler, A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1940–1980, by David R. Contosta
  • Schwieder, Growing Up with the Town: Family & Community on the Great Plains, by Linda Pickle
  • Shapiro, Atomic Bomb Cinema: The Apocalyptic Imagination on Film, by Andrew D. Grossman
  • Sherman, A Communist Front at Mid-Century: The American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born, 1933–1959, by John Earl Haynes
  • Shoemaker, ed., Clearing a Path: Theorizing the Past in Native American Studies, by Michael D. Green
  • Simpson, An Absent Presence: Japanese Americans in Postwar American Culture, 1945–1960, by Scott Kurashige
  • Singer, Broken Trusts: The Texas Attorney General versus the Oil Industry, 1889–1909, by Diana Davids Hinton
  • Slaton, Reinforced Concrete and the Modernization of American Building, 1900–1930, by Dennis P. Doordan
  • Spack, America’s Second Tongue: American Indian Education and the Ownership of English, 1860–1900, by Wilbert H. Ahern
  • St. Clair and Gugin, Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson of Kentucky: A Political Biography, by William D. Pederson
  • Starr, ed., Articulating America: Fashioning a National Political Culture in Early America: Essays in Honor of J. R. Pole, by Robert E. Shalhope
  • Steinberg, Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in American History, by Linda Nash
  • Stentiford, The American Home Guard: The State Militia in the Twentieth Century, by James T. Currie
  • Stern and Markel, eds., Formative Years: Children’s Health in the United States, 1880–2000, by Susan L. Smith
  • Stoll, Larding the Lean Earth: Soil and Society in Nineteenth-Century America, by Brian Donahue
  • Streeby, American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture, by Amy S. Greenberg
  • Sturgeon, The Politics of Western Water: The Congressional Career of Wayne Aspinall, by J. Brooks Flippen
  • Sturtz, Within Her Power: Propertied Women in Colonial Virginia, by Catherine Kerrison
  • Talbott and Chanda, eds., The Age of Terror: America and the World after September 11, by Brigitte L. Nacos
  • Tannenbaum, The Healer’s Calling: Women and Medicine in Early New England, by Theresa Kaminski
  • Theoharis, Chasing Spies: How the fbi Failed in Counterintelligence but Promoted the Politics of McCarthyism in the Cold War Years, by Michal R. Belknap
  • Theophano, Eat My Words: Reading Women’s Lives through the Cookbooks They Wrote, by Gayle R. Davis
  • Thurman, “O Sisters Ain’t You Happy?”: Gender, Family, and Community among the Harvard and Shirley Shakers, 1781–1918, by Priscilla J. Brewer
  • Tichenor, Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control in America, by Michael Jones-Correa
  • Topp, Those without a Country: The Political Culture of Italian American Syndicalists, by Francis Shor
  • Usselman, Regulating Railroad Innovation: Business, Technology, and Politics in America, 1840–1920, by William R. Childs
  • VanBurkleo, Hall, and Kaczorowski, eds., Constitutionalism and American Culture: Writing the New Constitutional History, by Stuart Banner
  • Wald, Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left, by Chip Rhodes
  • Wallace, Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideality in African American Men’s Literature and Culture, 1775–1995, by Clarence E. Walker
  • Ware and Back, Out of Whiteness: Color, Politics, and Culture, by Matthew Pratt Guterl
  • Wells, The Devil & Doctor Dwight: Satire & Theology in the Early American Republic, by Catherine O’Donnell
  • Wiecek, The Lost World of Classical Legal Thought: Law and Ideology in America, 1886–1937, by William P. LaPiana
  • Wilson, Confederate Industry: Manufacturers and Quartermasters in the Civil War, by Bess Beatty
  • Winter, Making Men, Making Class: The ymca and Workingmen, 1877–1920, by Bruce Dorsey

Web site Reviews

Web site reviews are available without a subscription.

  • Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project, by Mary Beth Norton (p. 747) Read online >
  • Images of Native Americans, by Elizabeth Hutchinson (p. 748) Read online >
  • Across the Generations: Exploring U.S. History through Family Papers, by Amy Murrell (p. 749) Read online >
  • Thomas A. Edison Papers, by David A. Kirsch (p. 749) Read online >
  • The History of Jim Crow; and Remembering Jim Crow, by Joseph Crespino (pp. 750–1) Read online >
  • Philip Morris USA, Inc. Advertising Archive, by Pamela Walker Laird (p. 747) Read online >

Editor’s Annual Report, 2002–2003

Letters to the Editor


Recent Scholarship

“Recent Scholarship” is available online, Read online >

thumbnail of cover

On the cover:

Esther Peterson and Mary Dublin Keyserling at the end of Keyserling’s tenure as head of the U.S. Women’s Bureau, January 1969. Both women were accused of disloyalty during the second red scare but later were able to return to government service. Courtesy Tom Dublin. See Landon R. Y. Storrs, “Red Scare Politics and the Suppression of Popular Front Feminism: The Loyalty Investigation of Mary Dublin Keyserling,” p. 491.

Recent Issues

Icon Downarrow Full Text

The full text of the Journal of American History (1914–current) is available online to members of the OAH and to institutions that subscribe to the print versions of the journal. Electronic access is provided by Oxford University Press.

Icon Downarrow Subscribe to the JAH

A subscription to the JAH is one of the many benefits available to members of the Organization of American Historians (oah). To join the oah and receive the JAH, complete and submit a membership application at the oah Web site.

Icon Downarrow Purchase a Single Issue

Selected current and back issues of the JAH are available both as single issues and for large quantities, at volume pricing. For more information, please visit Oxford University Press