Journal of American History


“The Cause of Her Grief”: The Rape of a Slave in Early New England

In the essay that won the 2006 Louis Pelzer Award, Wendy Anne Warren tells the story of a rape—the rape of an enslaved African woman on an island in Boston Harbor in 1638. That assault, the outcome of an early attempt at breeding slaves in seventeenth-century Boston, calls our attention to the importance of African slavery and transatlantic connections to colonial New England. The fragmentary nature of the evidence raises larger questions concerning the nature of history itself. In seeking to re-create the life of an individual woman based on this singular incident, the author challenges the difference between fact and fiction, asking when speculation crosses the boundaries of scholarly history. (pp. 1031–49) Read online >

“A Rare Phenomenon of Philological Vegetation”: The Word “Contraband” and the Meanings of Emancipation in the United States

Image excerpted from The Old Contraband. Song and Chorus,words by John L. Zieber, music by Rudolph Wittig (Philadelphia, 1865).
Courtesy Brown University.

Many students of history are familiar with the story of how, at the beginning of the Civil War, Gen. Benjamin Butler of the Union army designated escaping slaves as “contraband of war.” But historians have not previously considered how and why the term “contraband” leapt instantly into popular culture and became a crucial part of Americans’ vocabulary of race and servitude during the war. Examining representations of contrabands in journalism, music, art, fiction, and other cultural forms, Kate Masur argues that northerners, black and white, used the term as a medium in which to express their views on the prospect of slave emancipation and on the character, needs, and desires of the nascent freedpeople. (pp. 1050–84) Read online >

The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti: A Global History

McGirr Article Image
Courtesy Boston Public Library.

Between 1921 and 1927, the U.S. trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti became a cause célèbre among international radicals, labor movement activists, and intellectuals as well as the popular masses. Lisa McGirr explores the dynamics of the worker-led and worldwide protests, both at the time of the trial and during the subsequent memorialization of the two Italian anarchists, to capture a unique moment of transnational solidarity. These social movements—prominent in the case yet often ignored in the scholarship—hold the potential to situate the United States globally. As this fresh perspective demonstrates, the case underscores the nation’s global connections as well as heightened international fears over the emerging power of the United States. (pp. 1085–1115) Read online >

Round Table

American Military History

  • “Mind and Matter—Cultural Analysis in American Military History: A Look at the State of the Field,”
    Wayne E. Lee (pp. 1116–42) Read online >
  • “Military History, Democracy, and the Role of the Academy,”
    Tami Davis Biddle (pp. 1143–45) Read online >
  • “Mind and Matter: The Practice of Military History with Reference to Britain and Southeast Asia,”
    Brian P. Farrell (pp. 1146–50) Read online >
  • “In Search of the American Way of War: The Need for a Wider National and International Context,”
    Marc Milner (pp. 1151–53) Read online >
  • “American Military History: The Need for Comparative Analysis,”
    Brian Holden Reid (pp. 1154–57) Read online >
  • “Teetering on the Brink of Respectability,”
    Ronald H. Spector (pp. 1158–60) Read online >
  • “A Final Word,”
    Wayne E. Lee (pp. 1161–62) Read online >

Textbooks & Teaching

Image from Unger's article
Courtesy William Lipsky.

To consult syllabi for courses described in this “Textbooks & Teaching” section, along with other supplementary material and the full text of the article, visit

  • “‘Pivoting the Center’: Diverse Surveys of American History,” by Gary J. Kornblith and Carol Lasser (pp. 1163–64) Read online >
  • “Recasting the Narrative of America: The Rewards and Challenges of Teaching American Indian History,” by Ned Blackhawk (pp. 1165–70) Read online >
  • “Black History Is American History: Teaching African American History in the Twenty-first Century,” by Allison Dorsey (pp. 1171–77) Read online >
  • “Exposing the Price of Ignorance: Teaching Asian American History in Michigan,” by Scott Kurashige (pp. 1178–85) Read online >
  • “Playing the Pivot: Teaching Latina/o History in Good Times and Bad,” by Pablo Mitchell (pp. 1186–91) Read online >
  • “Teaching ‘Straight’ Gay and Lesbian History,” by Nancy C. Unger (pp. 1192–99) Read online >

Book Reviews

March 2007, Vol. 93 No. 4

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

  • Abel, Americanizing the Movies and “Movie-Mad” Audiences, 1910–1914, by Lisa Gitelman
  • Adas, Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America’s Civilizing Mission, by Wesley T. Wooley
  • Aldrich, Death Rode the Rails: American Railroad Accidents and Safety, 1828–1965, by James L. Hunt
  • Alexander, Ethnic Pride, American Patriotism: Slovaks and Other New Immigrants in the Interwar Era, by David J. Goldberg
  • Allen, Origins of the Dred Scott Case: Jacksonian Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court, 1837–1857, by Howard Schweber
  • Ambrose and Martin, eds., The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Elusive Founding Father, by Andrew Shankman
  • Anderson, Benson, and Flanagan, eds., Self-Determination: The Other Path for Native Americans, by David R. M. Beck
  • Anderson, Conjure in African American Society, by Ina Fandrich
  • Asato, Teaching Mikadoism: The Attack of Japanese Language Schools in Hawaii, California, and Washington, 1919–1927, by Franklin Ng
  • Auerbach, Explorers in Eden: Pueblo Indians and the Promised Land, by Carter Jones Meyer
  • Barnes, Journey of Hope: The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1800s, by Andrew F. Clark
  • Barr, Unconquered: The Iroquois League at War in Colonial America, by Thomas S. Abler
  • Bartholomew-Feis, The oss and Ho Chi Minh: Unexpected Allies in the War against Japan, by Mark Philip Bradley
  • Baum, The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race: A Political History of Racial Identity, by Colin Fisher
  • Behrends, von Klimó, and Poutrus, eds., Antiamerikanismus im 20. Jahrhundert: Studien zu Ost- und Westeuropa (Anti-Americanism in the twentieth century: Studies on eastern and western Europe), by Andreas W. Daum
  • Bernardi, La riforma agraria in Italia e gli Stati Uniti: Guerra fredda, Piano Marshall, e interventi per il Mezzogiorno negli anni del centrismo degasperiano (Agrarian reform in Italy and the United States: The Cold War, the Marshall Plan, and actions for southern Italy in the years of De Gasperi centrism), by Roy Palmer Domenico
  • Blake, How New York Became American, 1890–1924, by Clifton Hood
  • Boswell and McArthur, eds., Women Shaping the South: Creating and Confronting Change, by Beverly G. Bond
  • Bremer and Botelho, eds., The World of John Winthrop: Essays on England and New England, 1588–1649, by Thomas W. Jodziewicz
  • Brown, Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism, by Dee E. Andrews
  • Bryant, The Bystander: John F. Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality, by Kenneth O’Reilly
  • Burnstein, Next to Godliness: Confronting Dirt and Despair in Progressive Era New York City, by James Connolly
  • Buszek, Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture, by Leigh Ann Wheeler
  • Chaplin, The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius, by Ralph Frasca
  • Clement, Love for Sale: Courting, Treating, and Prostitution in New York City, 1900–1945, by Brian Donovan
  • Coble, Cleaning Up: The Transformation of Domestic Service in Twentieth Century New York, by Diane C. Vecchio
  • Connelly, John M. Schofield and the Politics of Generalship, by Joseph G. Dawson III
  • Conser, A Coat of Many Colors: Religion and Society along the Cape Fear River of North Carolina, by Paul Harvey
  • Crapol, John Tyler: The Accidental President, by John M. Belohlavek
  • Crooks, Jacksonville: The Consolidation Story, from Civil Rights to the Jaguars, by Edward F. Haas
  • Currie, The Constitution in Congress: Descent into the Maelstrom, 1829–1861, by Peter B. Knupfer
  • Dal Lago, Agrarian Elites: American Slaveholders and Southern Italian Landowners, 1815–1861, by Susanna Delfino
  • Davies, Catharine Macaulay and Mercy Otis Warren: The Revolutionary Atlantic and the Politics of Gender, by Rosemarie Zagarri
  • De Genova, ed., Racial Transformations: Latinos and Asians Remaking the United States, by Michael Omi
  • Dean, An Opportunity Lost: The Truman Administration and the Farm Policy Debate, by Marc Weidenmier
  • Downey, Planting a Capitalist South: Masters, Merchants, and Manufacturers in the Southern Interior, 1790–1860, by A. Glenn Crothers
  • Drowne, Spirits of Defiance: National Prohibition and Jazz Age Literature, 1920–1933, by Kirk Curnutt
  • Einhorn, American Taxation, American Slavery, by Stanley L. Engerman
  • Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492–1830, by Richard R. Johnson
  • Escott, Military Necessity: Civil-Military Relations in the Confederacy, by Gordon McKinney
  • España-Maram, Creating Masculinity in Los Angeles’s Little Manila: Working-Class Filipinos and Popular Culture, 1920s–1950s, by Barbara M. Posadas
  • Finger, Doctor Franklin’s Medicine, by Rebecca J. Tannenbaum
  • Fitzgerald, Habits of Compassion: Irish Catholic Nuns and the Origins of New York’s Welfare System, 1830–1920, by Sioban Nelson
  • Foster, We Know Who We Are: Métis Identity in a Montana Community, by Mark Edwin Miller
  • Fox-Genovese and Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview, by John Patrick Daly
  • Franch, Robber Baron: The Life of Charles Tyson Yerkes, by Maury Klein
  • Frisken, Victoria Woodhull’s Sexual Revolution: Political Theater and the Popular Press in Nineteenth-Century America, by John C. Spurlock
  • Frost, Never One Nation: Freaks, Savages, and Whiteness in U.S. Popular Culture, 1850–1877, by Benjamin Reiss
  • Funigiello, Chronic Politics: Health Care Security from fdr to George W. Bush, by Thomas R. Oliver
  • Furstenberg, In the Name of the Father: Washington’s Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation, by John Howe
  • Gallagher, ed., The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, by Kent Masterson Brown
  • Gardner, Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States, by Barbara Clow
  • Gems, The Athletic Crusade: Sport and American Cultural Imperialism, by Richard C. Crepeau
  • Gerber, The Irony of State Intervention: American Industrial Relations Policy in Comparative Perspective, 1914–1939, by Janet Irons
  • Gillespie and Hall, eds., Thomas Dixon Jr. and the Birth of Modern America, by Daniel Bernardi
  • Godden and Crawford, eds., Reading Southern Poverty between the Wars, 1918–1939, by Elna C. Green
  • Greenberg, Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century, by Dominic J. Capeci Jr.
  • Greenwald, The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace, and Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York, by John F. McClymer
  • Greiner, Müller, and Walter, eds., Heiße Kriege im Kalten Krieg (Hot wars in the Cold War), by David S. Painter
  • Hall, Women on the Civil War Battlefront, by Shirley Anne Leckie
  • Henriques, Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington, by Todd Estes
  • Henthorn, From Submarines to Suburbs: Selling a Better America, 1939–1959, by Gary S. Cross
  • Hodgson, Woodrow Wilson’s Right Hand: The Life of Colonel Edward M. House, by Lloyd E. Ambrosius
  • Hogue, Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles and the Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction, by John M. Sacher
  • Hollinger, ed., The Humanities and the Dynamics of Inclusion since World War II, by Marcia G. Synnott
  • Horton, Race and the Making of American Liberalism, by Kenneth R. Janken
  • Hostetter, Movement Matters: American Antiapartheid Activism and the Rise of Multicultural Politics, by Francis Njubi Nesbitt
  • Hünemörder, The Society of the Cincinnati: Conspiracy and Distrust in Early America, by Kevin M. Gannon
  • Hunt, David Dellinger: The Life and Times of a Nonviolent Revolutionary, by Edward P. Morgan
  • Jensen, Calling This Place Home: Women on the Wisconsin Frontier, 1850–1925, by Linda Pickle
  • Johnston, ed., Seeing High & Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture, by Nell Irvin Painter
  • Joseph, ed., The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights–Black Power Era, by Simon Hall
  • Kenslea, The Sedgwicks in Love: Courtship, Engagement, and Marriage in the Early Republic, by C. Dallett Hemphill
  • Khan, The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790–1920, by Peter Temin
  • Kirschke, Gouverneur Morris: Author, Statesman, and Man of the World, by Andrew S. Trees
  • Klimasmith, At Home in the City: Urban Domesticity in American Literature and Culture, 1850–1930, by Carrie Tirado Bramen
  • Knudson, Jefferson and the Press: Crucible of Liberty, by Jeffery A. Smith
  • Kropp, California Vieja: Culture and Memory in a Modern American Place, by Matthew Bokovoy
  • Krugler, This Is Only a Test: How Washington, D.C., Prepared for Nuclear War, by Shane J. Maddock
  • Kruse and Sugrue, eds., The New Suburban History, by Nicholas Dagen Bloom
  • Labunski, James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, by Kevin R. C. Gutzman
  • LaFantasie, Gettysburg Requiem: The Life and Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates, by Jeffery S. Prushankin
  • Lau, Democracy Rising: South Carolina and the Fight for Black Equality since 1865, by Charles J. Holden
  • Leidenberger, Chicago’s Progressive Alliance: Labor and the Bid for Public Streetcars, by Susan Eleanor Hirsch
  • Levinson and Sparrow, eds., The Louisiana Purchase and American Expansion, 1803–1898, by Patrick G. Williams
  • Lichtenstein, ed., American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century, by Kenneth Fones-Wolf
  • Lim, A Feeling of Belonging: Asian American Women’s Public Culture, 1930–1960, by Lili M. Kim
  • Lookingbill, War Dance at Fort Marion: Plains Indian War Prisoners, by Wilbert H. Ahern
  • Louter, Windshield Wilderness: Cars, Roads, and Nature in Washington’s National Parks, by Dave A. Clary
  • Mack and Lesesne, eds., Francis Lieber and the Culture of the Mind, by Dan R. Frost
  • Mackowski, Testing the Limits: Aviation Medicine and the Origins of Manned Space Flight, by Tom D. Crouch
  • MacLean, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace, by Anthony S. Chen
  • Matson, ed., The Economy of Early America: Historical Perspectives and New Directions, by Kenneth Morgan
  • McAndrews, The Era of Education: The Presidents and the Schools, 1965–2001, by Adam R. Nelson
  • McCarthy and Stauffer, eds., Prophets of Protest: Reconsidering the History of American Abolitionism, by Stanley Harrold
  • McGuinn, No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2005, by Adam R. Nelson
  • McKnight, Contested Borderlands: The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia, by Kent Masterson Brown
  • McMillan, Ernest W. McFarland: Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Governor, and Chief Justice of the State of Arizona, by Ronald L. Feinman
  • Meeker, Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Community, 1940s–1970s, by Karen Christel Krahulik
  • Megginson, African American Life in South Carolina’s Upper Piedmont, 1780–1900, by Edmund L. Drago
  • Menard, Sweet Negotiations: Sugar, Slavery, and Plantation Agriculture in Early Barbados, by Trevor Burnard
  • Middleton, From Privileges to Rights: Work and Politics in Colonial New York City, by Cathy Matson
  • Molina, Fit to Be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879–1939, by Alan M. Kraut
  • Montgomery, The Politics of Education in the New South: Women and Reform in Georgia, 1890–1930, by Jennifer Trost
  • Moos, Outside America: Race, Ethnicity, and the Role of the American West in National Belonging, by Brian W. Dippie
  • Mulcahy, Hurricanes and Society in the British Greater Caribbean, 1624–1783, by Bradford J. Wood
  • Nation, At Home in the Hoosier Hills: Agriculture, Politics, and Religion in Southern Indiana, 1810–1870, by Susan Sessions Rugh
  • Nordstrom, Danger on the Doorstep: Anti-Catholicism and American Print Culture in the Progressive Era, by Samuel J. Thomas
  • Oberly, A Nation of Statesmen: The Political Culture of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans, 1815–1972, by Stephen Warren
  • Olwell and Tully, eds., Cultures and Identities in Colonial British America, by John Wood Sweet
  • Otto, The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley, by Mark Meuwese
  • Parkin, Food Is Love: Food Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America, by Carolyn L. Kitch
  • Phipps, Genteel Rebel: The Life of Mary Greenhow Lee, by Amy Murrell Taylor
  • Pulido, Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles, by Raphael Sonenshein
  • Pybus, Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty, by Sean R. Busick
  • Rabe, U.S. Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story, by Winston James
  • Rauchway, Blessed among Nations: How the World Made America, by John M. Dobson
  • Redinger, American Catholics and the Mexican Revolution, 1924–1936, by John A. Britton
  • Riney-Kehrberg, Childhood on the Farm: Work, Play, and Coming of Age in the Midwest, by Linda Pickle
  • Ritterhouse, Growing Up Jim Crow: How Black and White Southern Children Learned Race, by John A. Kirk
  • Robins, Native Insurgencies and the Genocidal Impulse in the Americas, by Gary Clayton Anderson
  • Rosenthal, Nicholas Miraculous: The Amazing Career of the Redoubtable Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, by Eugene M. Tobin
  • Rubin, South Carolina Scalawags, by William Scott Poole
  • Samuels, Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War, by Bruce A. Ronda
  • Schrag, The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro, by Sy Adler
  • Schwartz, Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South, by James O. Breeden
  • Shamir, Inexpressible Privacy: The Interior Life of Antebellum American Literature, by Debby Applegate
  • Shenk, “Work or Fight!”: Race, Gender, and the Draft in World War One, by Jeanette Keith
  • Sinyai, Schools of Democracy: A Political History of the American Labor Movement, by Martin Halpern
  • Smith, Green Republican: John Saylor and the Preservation of America’s Wilderness, by J. Brooks Flippen
  • Smith, How Race Is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses, by Jennifer Ritterhouse
  • Soodalter, Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader, by Steven Deyle
  • Spalding, The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism, by Arnold A. Offner
  • Stearns, ed., American Behavioral History: An Introduction, by E. Doyle McCarthy
  • Stoler, ed., Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History, by Jon Smith
  • Stout, Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War, by Randall M. Miller
  • Striner, Father Abraham: Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery, by Michael P. Johnson
  • Summers, Consuming Nature: Environmentalism in the Fox River Valley, 1850–1950, by Kendrick A. Clements
  • Taylor, The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution, by Peter C. Mancall
  • Thiesen, Industrializing American Shipbuilding: The Transformation of Ship Design and Construction, 1820–1920, by Richard M. Candee
  • Toplin, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11: How One Film Divided a Nation, by Mary E. Stuckey
  • Trafzer, Keller, and Sisquoc, eds., Boarding School Blues: Revisiting American Indian Educational Experiences, by Michael C. Coleman
  • Tuchman, Science Has No Sex: The Life of Marie Zakrzewska, M.D., by Stephanie P. Browner
  • Tucker, Ott, and Buckler, eds., The Scrapbook in American Life, by Gayle R. Davis
  • Tudda, The Truth Is Our Weapon: The Rhetorical Diplomacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles, by Martin Medhurst
  • Walker and Sharpless, eds., Work, Family, and Faith: Rural Southern Women in the Twentieth Century, by Sue Headlee
  • Warner, When the Girls Came Out to Play: The Birth of American Sportswear, by Gerald R. Gems
  • Warren, Women, Money, and the Law: Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Gender, and the Courts, by Richard H. Chused
  • Wehrle, Between a River and a Mountain: The afl-cio and the Vietnam War, by Kevin Boyle
  • Wertheim, Vaudeville Wars: How the Keith-Albee and Orpheum Circuits Controlled the Big-Time and Its Performers, by M. Alison Kibler
  • Williams-Forson, Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power, by Rebecca Sharpless
  • Wilson, The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861–1865, by Lenette S. Taylor
  • Zolberg, A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America, by Elliott R. Barkan

Web site Reviews

Web site reviews are available without a subscription.

  • Women Working, 1800–1930, by Janice L. Reiff (pp. 1334–35) Read online >
  • The Crisis of the Union: An Electronic Archive about the Causes, Conduct, and Consequences of the US Civil War, by Aaron Sheehan-Dean (pp. 1335–36) Read online >
  • Illinois during the Gilded Age, by Richard S. Schneirov (pp. 1336–37) Read online >
  • Unified Vision: The Architecture and Design of the Prairie School, by John F. Quinan (p. 1337) Read online >
  • Poetic Waves: Angel Island, by Erika Lee (p. 1338) Read online >
  • CongressLink, by Raymond W. Smock (pp. 1338–39) Read online >

Letters to the Editor


Recent Scholarship

Browse “Recent Scholarship” listing >

Recent Scholarship is available as a searchable database, Recent Scholarship Online >

cover image

On the cover:

In the series of three paintings that begins with this image, Thomas Waterman Wood represented an escaping slave’s transformation from “contraband” into soldier and veteran. Thomas Waterman Wood, The Contraband. Oil on canvas, 1865. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Charles Stewart Smith, 1884 (84.12a). Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. See Kate Masur, “‘A Rare Phenomenon of Philological Vegetation’: The Word ‘Contraband’ and the Meanings of Emancipation in the United States,” p. 1050.

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