Journal of American History


Impossible Hermaphrodites: Intersex in America, 1620–1960

Image courtesy ProQuest Information and Learning Company. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission
Courtesy ProQuest Information and Learning Company.

Elizabeth Reis explores the changing definitions and perceptions of “hermaphrodites” (now called intersex) from the colonial period to the mid-twentieth century. Over the course of three centuries, most medical observers agreed that true hermaphrodites did not exist in the human species, and that patients with ambiguous reproductive organs were simply cases of “mistaken sex.” The stubborn reality of hermaphrodism, however, challenged the ideal polarity of two sexes and raised questions about what it meant to be male or female. Reis describes the changing ways Americans, particularly physicians, have understood and treated nonconforming bodies to uncover the hidden history of intersex and to explain how Americans naturalized the norms of sex and gender. (pp. 411–41) Read online >

Did Democracy Cause the Recession That Led to the Constitution?

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Revising questions that Charles Beard raised in 1913, Woody Holton offers a new economic interpretation of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. He connects debate about the Constitution with disputes about the political causes of the recession of the 1780s. One line of thought blamed the recession on an excess of democracy, manifested in state legislatures’ willingness to forgive debts and taxes. Such policies discouraged investment, proponents of limiting popular rule argued. Critics of this explanation excoriated the high state taxes intended to pay interest to owners of government bonds for discouraging economic effort by artisans and farmers. Holton uses this nearly forgotten labor-based analysis to challenge assumptions that the tumult of the 1780s shows the dangers of democracy. (pp. 442–69) Read online >

“The Bourgeoisie Will Fall and Fall Forever”: The New-York Tribune, the 1848 French Revolution, and American Social Democratic Discourse

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Adam-Max Tuchinsky surveys the antebellum history of Horace Greeley’s New-York Tribune to explore the social unease and contradictory impulses that gave rise to an American liberal tradition. The Tribune was both an organ for Republican champions of bourgeois property rights and America’s most influential reform newspaper. In its pages some writers formulated a social democratic ideology that showed a profound ambivalence toward the spread of market individualism and industrial capitalism. Tuchinsky uses the Tribune’s two-decade-long discussion of socialism, class, property, and the right to labor to illuminate the nature, origin, and complexity of Republican ideology on the eve of the Civil War. (pp. 470–97) Read online >

From Tuskegee to Togo: The Problem of Freedom in the Empire of Cotton

Courtesy Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Deutsches Ausland-Institut Collection.

Cotton was central to the economy, culture, and politics of the United States and the Western world throughout the long nineteenth century. Sven Beckert shows how cotton linked the United States to the world by telling an unlikely story that brings together cotton, civilization, and colonialism. In 1901, four cotton experts chosen by Booker T. Washington traveled from Tuskegee, Alabama, to the German colony of Togo, where German textile manufacturers and the colonial government wanted them to teach American agricultural techniques to local peasants. Detailing the tense relationship of German colonialists, African American cotton experts, and Ewe farmers, the article explores both changes in world cotton production after emancipation in the United States and the emergence of new ideas about Africa, Africans, and people of African heritage in a transnational space. (pp. 498–526) Read online >

Westbrook Pegler and the Anti-union Movement

Image courtesy Roy W. Howard Archive, School of Journalism, Indiana University.
Courtesy School of Journalism, Indiana University.

In the late 1930s, Westbrook Pegler, a controversial and popular columnist, dramatically unmasked the organized-crime ties of two top union leaders. He used those revelations to justify a campaign against union corruption, which he attributed to the Wagner Act. Pegler’s arguments led the Republican party to adopt opposition to union abuses as a central campaign theme and helped place anti-unionism at the center of the conservative response to the New Deal. David Witwer uses Pegler’s exposé of union corruption to offer a new perspective on modern American conservatism and to highlight the role of the news media in shifting the political landscape and shaping the public agenda. (pp. 527–52) Read online >


History in the Professional Schools

Perhaps more than any other academic field, history is practiced all across the campus. Nearly every college and university has a history department, but few of those departments contain all the historians in their institutions. The social sciences, the language departments, and the arts and humanities pay serious attention to history. Even professional schools, which are physically, bureaucratically, and intellectually far removed from colleges of arts and sciences, always pay some attention to history and often have a historian or two on their faculties. The experience of those historians, the scholars and teachers who practice history in professional schools, is the subject of this edition of “Interchange.” (pp. 553–76)

Participants: James L. Baughman, Catherine Brekus, Mary L. Dudziak, Nancy F. Koehn, Susan E. Lederer, and Jonathan Zimmerman Read online >

Book Reviews

Sept. 2005, Vol. 92 No. 2

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

  • Achenbach, The Grand Idea: George Washington’s Potomac and the Race to the West, by Bruce A. Ragsdale
  • Anderson and Hill, The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier, by Lynne Pierson Doti
  • Andrews, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: The Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Its Legacy, by Charles W. Eagles
  • Angevine, The Railroad and the State: War, Politics, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America, by Steven W. Usselman
  • Avila, Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles, by Scott Harvey Tang
  • Baritono, Frezza, Lorini, Vaudagna, and Vezzosi, eds., Public and Private in American History: State, Family, Subjectivity in the Twentieth Century, by Fabrizio Tonello
  • Beeman, The Varieties of Political Experience in Eighteenth-Century America, by Bruce C. Daniels
  • Bennett, Radical Pacifism: The War Resisters League and Gandhian Nonviolence in America, 1915–1963, by Jo Ann O. Robinson
  • Bennett, Union Jacks: Yankee Sailors in the Civil War, by Robert J. Schneller Jr.
  • Bensel, The American Ballot Box in the Mid-Nineteenth Century, by William G. Shade
  • Binkiewicz, Federalizing the Muse: United States Arts Policy and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1965–1980, by Alice Goldfarb Marquis
  • Blackwell, No Peace without Freedom: Race and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915–1975, by Jo Ann O. Robinson
  • Blanton, The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981, by Gareth Davies
  • Boyle, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, by Alfred L. Brophy
  • Breitman, Goda, Naftali, and Wolfe, U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Betty A. Dessants
  • Broyles, Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music, by Gavin James Campbell
  • Casdorph, Confederate General R. S. Ewell: Robert E. Lee’s Hesitant Commander, by Edward G. Longacre
  • Chalmers, Backfire: How the Ku Klux Klan Helped the Civil Rights Movement, by David Cunningham
  • Cherny, Issel, and Taylor, eds., American Labor and the Cold War: Grassroots Politics and Postwar Political Culture, by John Barnard
  • Citino, From Arab Nationalism to opec: Eisenhower, King Sa‘ud, and the Making of U.S.-Saudi Relations, by Irvine H. Anderson
  • Cohen and Zelnik, eds., The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s, by Terry H. Anderson
  • Cole, A Jackson Man: Amos Kendall and the Rise of American Democracy, by John M. Belohlavek
  • Conn, History’s Shadow: Native Americans and Historical Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century, by Scott L. Pratt
  • Cox, A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington’s Army, by William B. Skelton
  • Cutler, Labor’s Time: Shorter Hours, the uaw, and the Struggle for American Unionism, by Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt
  • Daily, Battle for the bia: G. E. E. Lindquist and the Missionary Crusade against John Collier, by Kenneth R. Philp
  • Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places, by Gretchen M. Bataille
  • Dennis, Luther P. Jackson and a Life for Civil Rights, by Charles Pete Banner-Haley
  • DeVault, United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism, by S. J. Kleinberg
  • Diner, The Jews of the United States, 1654 to 2000, by Jonathan D. Sarna
  • Duus, trans. by Duus, The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey without Borders, by Terry Smith
  • Earle, Jacksonian Antislavery & the Politics of Free Soil, 1824–1854, by Vernon L. Volpe
  • Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington, by Philander D. Chase
  • Ellis, Britain, America, and the Vietnam War, by Fredrik Logevall
  • Eltis, Lewis, and Sokoloff, eds., Slavery in the Development of the Americas, by Kenneth Morgan
  • Elvins, Sales & Celebrations: Retailing and Regional Identity in Western New York State, 1920–1940, by David Blanke
  • Fahs and Waugh, eds., The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture, by Jim Cullen
  • Ferren, Salt of the Earth, Conscience of the Court: The Story of Justice Wiley Rutledge, by Michael E. Parrish
  • Fine, The Story of Reo Joe: Work, Kin, and Community in Autotown, U.S.A, by David Gartman
  • Fischer, Washington’s Crossing, by Timothy J. Shannon
  • Foner and Fredrickson, eds., Not Just Black and White: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States, by Thomas A. Guglielmo
  • Friend and Glover, eds., Southern Manhood: Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South, by Cara Anzilotti
  • Gershenhorn, Melville J. Herskovits and the Racial Politics of Knowledge, by Jane I. Guyer
  • Glass, Authors Inc.: Literary Celebrity in the Modern United States, 1880–1980, by Ronald Weber
  • Grandin, The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War, by Alan McPherson
  • Grant, “Follow the Flag”: A History of the Wabash Railroad Company, by Maury Klein
  • Greene, A Singing Ambivalence: American Immigrants between Old World and New, 1830–1930, by Alan M. Kraut
  • Gudis, Buyways: Billboards, Automobiles, and the American Landscape, by Carol Ahlgren
  • Hahn, The Invention of the Creek Nation, 1670–1763, by Robbie Ethridge
  • Hayashi, Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment, by Arthur A. Hansen
  • Heffernan, Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business, 1953–1968, by David Sanjek
  • Hing, Defining America through Immigration Policy, by Daniel J. Tichenor
  • Hitchcock, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life, vol. 1: The Odyssey of the Religion Clauses, by Shawn Francis Peters
  • Hitchcock, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life, vol. 2: From “Higher Law” to “Sectarian Scruples”, by Shawn Francis Peters
  • Hoffert, Jane Grey Swisshelm: An Unconventional Life, 1815–1884, by Martha Solomon Watson
  • Hughes, with Moretti and Browne, Brigadier General Tyree H. Bell, C.S.A.: Forrest’s Fighting Lieutenant, by James A. Ramage
  • Humphrey, Land and Liberty: Hudson Valley Riots in the Age of Revolution, by David Sloan
  • Hyde, ed., A Fierce and Fractious Frontier: The Curious Development of Louisiana’s Florida Parishes, 1699–2000, by Edward F. Haas
  • Isenberg, Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It, by James Borchert
  • Jackson, Singing in My Soul: Black Gospel Music in a Secular Age, by Suzanne E. Smith
  • Jansen, Individuelle Bewährung im Krieg: Amerikaner in Europa, 1914–1917 (Individual volunteers in the war: Americans in Europe, 1914–1917), by M. B. B. Biskupski
  • Janssens and Kroes, eds., Post–Cold War Europe, Post–Cold War America, by Roberto Rabel
  • Joyner, From Pity to Pride: Growing Up Deaf in the Old South, by Robert M. Buchanan
  • Kaufmann, The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America, by Allison Varzally
  • Kaye, The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity, by Amy Bass
  • Kelley, The Foundations of Texan Philanthropy, by Elizabeth Hayes Turner
  • Ketcham, The Idea of Democracy in the Modern Era, by John G. Gunnell
  • Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, by Mary Frances Berry
  • Klein, A Population History of the United States, by Richard H. Steckel
  • Laliotou, Transatlantic Subjects: Acts of Migration and Cultures of Transnationalism between Greece and America, by Dan Georgakas
  • Landers, The Weekly War: Newsmagazines and Vietnam, by Edward P. Morgan
  • Lange, Smile When You Call Me a Hillbilly: Country Music’s Struggle for Respectability, 1939–1954, by Kristine M. McCusker
  • Lewis, The White South and the Red Menace: Segregationists, Anticommunism, and Massive Resistance, 1945–1965, by Gerald Horne
  • Lewis, ed., Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe, by David R. Contosta
  • Longley, Senator Albert Gore Sr.: Tennessee Maverick, by Randy Sanders
  • Lumsden, Inez: The Life and Times of Inez Milholland, by Elizabeth York Enstam
  • Lynn-Sherow, Red Earth: Race and Agriculture in Oklahoma Territory, by William L. Hewitt
  • Martinez, Life and Death in Civil War Prisons: The Parallel Torments of Corporal John Wesley Minnich, C.S.A., and Sergeant Warren Lee Goss, U.S.A., by Michael P. Gray
  • Mason, From Buildings and Loans to Bail-Outs: A History of the American Savings and Loan Industry, 1831–1995, by Joseph A. Pratt
  • Matthews, Forgotten Founder: The Life and Times of Charles Pinckney, by Archie Vernon Huff Jr.
  • McKinney, Zeb Vance: North Carolina’s Civil War Governor and Gilded Age Political Leader, by William L. Barney
  • McMillin, The Final Victims: Foreign Slave Trade to North America, 1783–1810, by Thomas N. Ingersoll
  • McTavish, Pain and Profits: The History of the Headache and Its Remedies in America, by Nancy D. Campbell
  • Moses, Creative Conflict in African American Thought: Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummell, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey, by Jonathan M. Hansen
  • Mullis, Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas, by Nicole Etcheson
  • Nesbitt, Race for Sanctions: African Americans against Apartheid, 1946–1994, by Robert Vinson
  • Neville, Twentieth-Century Cause Célèbre: Sacco, Vanzetti, and the Press, 1920–1927, by Robert Hariman
  • Nord, Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America, by Meredith L. McGill
  • O’Donnell, Ohio’s First Peoples, by Stephen Warren
  • O’Toole, ed., Habits of Devotion: Catholic Religious Practice in Twentieth-Century America, by James P. McCartin
  • Ochiai, Harvesting Freedom: African American Agrarianism in Civil War Era South Carolina, by Robert Tracy McKenzie
  • Olson, Benjamin Franklin’s Vision of American Community: A Study in Rhetorical Iconology, by David T. Morgan
  • Ostler, The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee, by John W. Bailey
  • Otterness, Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York, by A. G. Roeber
  • Pace, Halls of Honor: College Men in the Old South, by Jennifer R. Green
  • Pencak and Richter, eds., Friends and Enemies in Penn’s Woods: Indians, Colonists, and the Racial Construction of Pennsylvania, by Jon Parmenter
  • Penney and Livingston, A Very Dangerous Woman: Martha Wright and Women’s Rights, by Sylvia D. Hoffert
  • Pfeifer, Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874–1947, by Walter T. Howard
  • Pfister, Individuality Incorporated: Indians and the Multicultural Modern, by Joy Porter
  • Pieroth, Seattle’s Women Teachers of the Interwar Years: Shapers of a Livable City, by John L. Rury
  • Pike, New Age and Neopagan Religions in America, by Philip Jenkins
  • Piker, Okfuskee: A Creek Indian Town in Colonial America, by William L. Ramsey
  • Pope, Fish into Wine: The Newfoundland Plantation in the Seventeenth Century, by Geoffrey Plank
  • Price, Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the fbi’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists, by Nils Gilman
  • Rediker, Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age, by James Pritchard
  • Rhodes, John James Audubon: The Making of an American, by Ron C. Tyler
  • Rollings, Unaffected by the Gospel: Osage Resistance to the Christian Invasion (1673–1906); a Cultural Victory, by W. David Baird
  • San Miguel, Contested Policy: The Rise and Fall of Federal Bilingual Education in the United States, 1960–2001, by Gareth Davies
  • Savage, jfk, lbj, and the Democratic Party, by James R. Sweeney
  • Schackel, ed., Western Women’s Lives: Continuity and Change in the Twentieth Century, by Cherisse R. Jones
  • Schofield, The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1773 to 1804, by Margaret C. Jacob
  • Schultz, Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America, by LeeAnn Whites
  • Schwartz, ed., Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450–1680, by Selwyn H. H. Carrington
  • Schweber, The Creation of American Common Law, 1850–1880: Technology, Politics, and the Construction of Citizenship, by William G. Thomas III
  • Shaffer, After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans, by William Seraile
  • Shortridge, Cities on the Plains: The Evolution of Urban Kansas, by Timothy R. Mahoney
  • Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism, by Mansel G. Blackford
  • Siminoff, Crossing the Sound: The Rise of Atlantic American Communities in Seventeenth-Century Eastern Long Island, by Jessica Kross
  • Simon, Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, by Martin Paulsson
  • Simpson, Selling the City: Gender, Class, and the California Growth Machine, 1880–1940, by Maureen A. Flanagan
  • Slezkine, The Jewish Century, by Marc Dollinger
  • Slide, American Racist: The Life and Films of Thomas Dixon, by Daniel Bernardi
  • Smith, Visions of Belonging: Family Stories, Popular Culture, and Postwar Democracy, 1940–1960, by Joseph M. Hawes
  • Smith, Keeping the Republic: Ideology and Early American Diplomacy, by Ronald L. Hatzenbuehler
  • Smith, Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture, by Amy Louise Wood
  • Starnes, ed., Southern Journeys: Tourism, History, and Culture in the Modern South, by James Kessenides
  • Starr, Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990–2003, by Andrew Rolle
  • Thelin, A History of American Higher Education, by John M. Heffron
  • Tinkler, James Hamilton of South Carolina, by Daniel W. Crofts
  • Tomblin, With Utmost Spirit: Allied Naval Operations in the Mediterranean, 1942–1945, by Jeffrey G. Barlow
  • Troesken, Water, Race, and Disease, by Susan L. Smith
  • Turk, Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women’s Fraternities, 1870–1920, by Karen J. Blair
  • Ulrich, ed., Yards and Gates: Gender in Harvard and Radcliffe History, by Linda Eisenmann
  • Upchurch, Legislating Racism: The Billion Dollar Congress and the Birth of Jim Crow, by Robert M. Goldman
  • Vogel, ReWriting White: Race, Class, and Cultural Capital in Nineteenth-Century America, by Bridget T. Heneghan
  • Wallner, Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son, by Larry Gara
  • Ward, Radio and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the South, by Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff
  • Watkins, Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy, by Andrew S. Trees
  • Weil, trans. by Gladding, A History of New York, by Eric Homberger
  • Weiner, Black Trials: Citizenship from the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste, by Mark V. Tushnet
  • Weissman, Fantasies of Witnessing: Postwar Efforts to Experience the Holocaust, by Michael E. Staub
  • Wells, The Origins of the Southern Middle Class, 1800–1861, by Kirsten E. Wood
  • Wilkins, The History of Foreign Investment in the United States, 1914–1945, by William M. McClenahan Jr.
  • Willbanks, Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War, by Marc Jason Gilbert
  • Williams, The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women’s Struggles against Urban Inequality, by John F. Bauman
  • Wolters, Du Bois and His Rivals, by Sarah E. Gardner
  • Wong, Sweet Cakes, Long Journey: The Chinatowns of Portland, Oregon, by Alfred Yee
  • Wood, This Remote Part of the World: Regional Formation in Lower Cape Fear, North Carolina, 1725–1775, by Donna J. Spindel
  • Woods, The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era, by Patrick W. Carey
  • Woodworth-Ney, Mapping Identity: The Creation of the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation, 1805–1902, by Rodney Frey
  • Young, Catarino Garza’s Revolution on the Texas-Mexico Border, by W. Dirk Raat
  • Zeman and Amundson, eds., Atomic Culture: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, by Jerome F. Shapiro
  • Zukin, Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture, by Kathleen G. Donohue

Web site Reviews

Web site reviews are available without a subscription.

  • Digital Early American Imprints: Series I. Evans (1639–1800), by Richard Cullen Rath (p. 707) Read online >
  • Divining America: Religion and the National Culture, by James T. Fisher (p. 708) Read online >
  • Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704, by Richard Rabinowitz (p. 709) Read online >
  • Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923–1959, by Zachary M. Schrag (p. 710) Read online >
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, by Michael O’Malley (p. 711) Read online >

Editor’s Annual Report, 2004–2005


Recent Scholarship

Browse “Recent Scholarship,” Read online >

Sept. 2005 JAH cover

On the cover:

In a popular pamphlet about the autopsy performed on his body on June 5, 1838, words and images portrayed the “hermaphroditic” James Carey as monstrous but human. Drawings of hermaphrodites typically highlighted the genitals, without depicting the entire person. The depiction of Carey was unusual, combining the older sense of hermaphrodites as beings outside the natural order with a newer, would-be scientific approach to their condition. Image from James Akin, Facts connected with the Life of James Carey . . . , 1839. Courtesy American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. See Elizabeth Reis, “Impossible Hermaphrodites: Intersex in America, 1620–1960,” p. 411.

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