Journal of American History

Presidential Address

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Saxons

	Ralph Waldo Emerson. Engraved and published in 1878 by S. A. Schoff from an original drawing by Same W. Rowse.
Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-07398.

Ralph Waldo Emerson towers over the American Renaissance but seldom as the philosopher-king of American white-race theory. Though both white masculine gender panic and spread-eagle Anglo-Saxonism are traditionally situated at the turn of the twentieth century, Emerson laid out those ideas in the 1850s in an influential treatise and oft-repeated lectures. He portrayed the American as Saxon and separated the genealogy of the American Saxon from that of the Celt. In her presidential address to the 2008 Organization of American Historians convention, Nell Irvin Painter argues that Emerson elevated the Saxons and removed the Celts from the identity of the American, making it clear that “Saxon” (or, later, “Anglo-Saxon”) was not a synonym for white, even though the historiographical literature often makes that equation. (pp. 977–85) Read online >


“The Outskirts of Our Happiness”: Race and the Lure of Colonization in the Early Republic

In the first decades of the nineteenth century, powerful groups emerged in the United States to champion the removal of both Native Americans and free blacks. While historians usually see such groups as barometers of a rising racism in the United States, Nicholas Guyatt, instead argues that they paid lip service to universalism and race-neutral human potential by advocating colonization. Colonizationism appealed to white clergymen, philanthropists, and politicians by insisting that nonwhites could develop successful societies and perhaps even emulate the United States—if they moved outside the American republic. These parallel colonization projects suggest that the slippery logic of “separate but equal” has a longer history than has previously been imagined. (pp. 986–1011) Read online >

Relief from Relief: The Tampa Sewing-Room Strike of 1937 and the Right to Welfare

In Tampa, Florida, during the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (wpa) sewing rooms, including the one pictured here in 1935, constituted the largest work relief program for women. Sewing-room jobs were a lifeboat for many women, especially older ones, whom private employers shunned.
Courtesy State Archives of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida.

In 1937 women working for the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration in a Tampa, Florida, sewing room conducted an unusual strike. Elna C. Green investigates their sit-down strike, which tried to publicize the precarious status of many women on work relief. But efforts to provoke a general strike that would have forced the federal government to respond to the women’s plight failed. Green argues that the tactics of organized labor proved unsuited to the needs of welfare recipients; it would be another generation before a welfare rights movement would find its voice. (pp. 1012–37) Read online >

World History in a Nation-State: The Transnational Disposition in Historical Writing in the United States

The American historical profession has recently promoted an interest in world history while opening up a transnational perspective on the history of its own country. Post structuralism, postcolonial studies, and charges leveled at American historical writing— its perceived lack of synthesis—have destabilized the field. The removal of national history to the context of transnational relations may therefore seem an attempt at a new synthesis. But, Marcus Gräser argues in the essay that won the David Thelen Award for 2008, the origins of a transnational outlook in American historical writing go back further, to 1890–1920, when professional history took shape in the United States. At that time the embedding of the nation in the broader context of “civilization,” the development of particularist historical cultures within an immigration society, and the marginal institutional connection between private universities and a national government uninterested in academia laid the basis for a stable transnational disposition among American historians. (pp. 1038–54) Read online >

Round Table

The field of U.S. foreign relations history has not been unaffected by the recent trend toward globalization in the writing of U.S. history. Indeed, argues Thomas W. Zeiler, U.S. diplomatic historians have been drivers of the internationalization bandwagon. They have placed America in a global context, drawn on cultural history, and wielded ideology as an explanatory tool, while maintaining a focus on the traditional and distinctive base of diplomatic history: the state. As a result, the study of foreign relations has become a clearinghouse for the study of the United States in the global arena as well as of the influences of world developments at home. Following Zeiler’s article, Fredrik Logevall, Mario Del Pero, Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht, and Kristin Hoganson, all historians of foreign relations, offer perspectives on the state of the field.

  • “The Diplomatic History Bandwagon: A State of the Field,”
    by Thomas W. Zeiler (pp. 1053–73) Read online >
  • “Politics and Foreign Relations,”
    by Fredrik Logevall (pp. 1074–78) Read online >
  • “On the Limits of Thomas Zeiler’s Historiographical Triumphalism,”
    by Mario Del Pero (pp. 1079–82) Read online >
  • “What Bandwagon? Diplomatic History Today,”
    by Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht (pp. 1083–86) Read online >
  • “Hop off the Bandwagon! It’s a Mass Movement, Not a Parade,”
    by Kristin Hoganson (pp. 1087–91) Read online >

Textbooks & Teaching

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

Book Reviews

March 2009, Vol. 95 No. 4

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

  • Allen, The Olmsted National Historic Site and the Growth of Historic Landscape Preservation, by James Michael Lindgren
  • Bacon, Freedom’s Journal: The First African-American Newspaper, by John Ernest
  • Barber, A Hard Rain Fell: sds and Why It Failed, by Wesley Hogan
  • Barde, Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel Island, by Marie Rose Wong
  • Barkan, Diner, and Kraut, eds., From Arrival to Incorporation: Migrants to the U.S. in a Global Era, by Frederick M. Binder
  • Barnett, The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735, by Robbie Ethridge
  • Battista, The Revival of Labor Liberalism, by Stephen Amberg
  • Bensel, Passion and Preferences: William Jennings Bryan and the 1896 Democratic National Convention, by LeRoy Ashby
  • Bergland, Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science: An Astronomer among the American Romantics, by Marilyn Ogilvie
  • Berlant, The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture, by Leslie Ellen Petty
  • Billinger, Nazi pows in the Tar Heel State, by Günter J. Bischof
  • Black, ed., The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, vol. 1: The Human Rights Years, 1945–1948, by John Thomas McGuire
  • Blake, ed., The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State, by Kristin Hass
  • Blaszczyk, ed., Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers, by Nancy Page Fernandez
  • Boomhower, Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary, by Gregory W. Bush
  • Brands, From Berlin to Baghdad: America’s Search for Purpose in the Post–Cold War World, by J. Garry Clifford
  • Breines, The Trouble between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement, by Kristin Waters
  • Buckley, William Clark: Indian Diplomat, by Jeffrey Ostler
  • Burkhimer, Lincoln’s Christianity, by Mitchell Snay
  • Callahan, ed., New Territories, New Perspectives: The Religious Impact of the Louisiana Purchase, by Adrienne Caughfield
  • Calloway, White People, Indians, and Highlanders: Tribal Peoples and Colonial Encounters in Scotland and America, by John G. Reid
  • Capozzola, Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen, by Michael Neiberg
  • Capper and Giorcelli, eds., Margaret Fuller: Transatlantic Crossings in a Revolutionary Age, by Brigitte Bailey
  • Carp, Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution, by John K. Alexander
  • Chan and Hsu, eds., Chinese Americans and the Politics of Race and Culture, by Sue Fawn Chung
  • Chaney, Fugitive Vision: Slave Image and Black Identity in Antebellum Narrative, by Bridget T. Heneghan
  • Chomsky, Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class, by Altha Cravey
  • Cohen, Gilfoyle, and Horowitz, The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York, by Ronald J. Zboray
  • Connolly, Saving Sickly Children: The Tuberculosis Preventorium in American Life, 1909–1970, by Janice Brockley
  • Contosta, Rebel Giants: The Revolutionary Lives of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, by Bruce Kuklick
  • Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade, by Avital H. Bloch
  • Curtis, Colored Memories: A Biographer's Quest for the Elusive Lester A. Walton, by Jennifer Delton
  • Danbom, Going It Alone: Fargo Grapples with the Great Depression, by Neil M. Maher
  • Davis, The Methodist Unification: Christianity and the Politics of Race in the Jim Crow Era, by William Scott Poole
  • del Castillo, ed., World War II and Mexican American Civil Rights, by Steven Harmon Wilson
  • Dichtl, Frontiers of Faith: Bringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic, by James M. Bergquist
  • Dickerson, Dark Victorians, by Eve Allegra Raimon
  • Dunbar, A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City, by Janet L. Coryell
  • Durham, A Southern Moderate in Radical Times: Henry Washington Hilliard, 1808–1892, by Michael W. Fitzgerald
  • Earle, The Return of the Native: Indians and Myth-Making in Spanish America, 1810–1930, by Susan E. Ramírez
  • Ellenberg, Mule South to Tractor South: Mules, Machines, and the Transformation of the Cotton South, by Joseph P. Reidy
  • Esperdy, Modernizing Main Street: Architecture and Consumer Culture in the New Deal, by Robert D. Leighninger Jr.
  • Espiritu, Five Faces of Exile: The Nation and Filipino American Intellectuals, by Roland L. Guyotte
  • Eustace, Passion Is the Gale: Emotion, Power, and the Coming of the American Revolution, by Liam Riordan
  • Evans, The Burden of Black Religion, by Lewis V. Baldwin
  • Farmer, On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape, by Richard V. Francaviglia
  • Fay, Theaters of Occupation: Hollywood and the Reeducation of Postwar Germany, by John Trumpbour
  • Fea, The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America, by J. Rixey Ruffin
  • Filreis, Counter-revolution of the Word: The Conservative Attack on Modern Poetry, 1945–1960, by Joan Shelley Rubin
  • Flint, No Settlement, No Conquest: A History of the Coronado Entrada, by Dennis Reinhartz
  • Ford, The Great War and America: Civil-Military Relations during World War I, by William James Breen
  • Fredrickson, Big Enough to Be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race, by Randall M. Miller
  • Frey, Dekolonisierung in Südostasien: Die Vereinigten Staaten und die Auflösung der europäischen Kolonialreiche (Decolonization in Southeast Asia: The United States and the dissolution of the European colonial empires), by Helge Pharo
  • Frymer, Black and Blue: African Americans, the Labor Movement, and the Decline of the Democratic Party, by Peter F. Lau
  • Gienow-Hecht, ed., Decentering America, by Walter L. Hixson
  • Glasrud and Pitre, eds., Black Women in Texas History, by Elizabeth York Enstam
  • Glatthaar, General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse, by Edward G. Longacre
  • Go, American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite Political Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico during U.S. Colonialism, by Frederick F. Travis
  • Gould, Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics, by Ballard Campbell
  • Grant, Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey, by Mary G. Rolinson
  • Greene, Stricken Field: The Little Bighorn since 1876, by John M. Coward
  • Greiner, Krieg ohne fronten: Die usa in Vietnam (War without a front: The usa in Vietnam), by Klaus Larres
  • Grenier, The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710–1760, by Robert M. Bliss
  • Gross, Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher, by John Pettegrew
  • Habal, San Francisco’s International Hotel: Mobilizing the Filipino American Community in the Anti-eviction Movement, by John M. Liu
  • Hamblin, Poison in the Well: Radioactive Waste in the Oceans at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by Martin V. Melosi
  • Hammond, Slavery, Freedom, and Expansion in the Early American West, by James Simeone
  • Hastings, Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944–45, by Richard H. Minear
  • Hawley, Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness, by Lawrence J. Oliver
  • Haydu, Citizen Employers: Business Communities and Labor in Cincinnati and San Francisco, 1870–1916, by Robert Bussel
  • Hegarty, Victory Girls, Khaki-Wackies, and Patriotutes: The Regulation of Female Sexuality during World War II, by M. Michaela Hampf
  • Hersch, Subversive Sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans, by Burton W. Peretti
  • Heywood and Thornton, Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, 1585–1660, by Robert E. Desrochers Jr.
  • Hoff, A Faustian Foreign Policy from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush: Dreams of Perfectibility, by Manfred Berg
  • Hoffnung-Garskof, A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950, by Marc Simon Rodriguez
  • Horne, The Deepest South: The United States, Brazil, and the African Slave Trade, by David Richardson
  • Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848, by John Lauritz Larson
  • Hurt, The Great Plains during World War II, by Virgil W. Dean
  • Irons, The Origins of Proslavery Christianity: White and Black Evangelicals in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia, by John Patrick Daly
  • Ishii, Bad Fruits of the Civilized Tree: Alcohol and the Sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation, by William Unrau
  • Jacobs, The Decline of Sentiment: American Film in the 1920s, by Jonathan Auerbach
  • Joseph and Spenser, eds., In from the Cold: Latin America’s New Encounter with the Cold War, by Matthew A. Redinger
  • Kahlenberg, Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy, by Carlos Kevin Blanton
  • Kayikçi and Dönmez, eds., Yeni Imparatorluk çagi (The new era of empire), by Pinar Bilgin
  • King, The Execution of Willie Francis: Race, Murder, and the Search for Justice in the American South, by Amy Louise Wood
  • Kroes, Photographic Memories: Private Pictures, Public Images, and American History, by Robert Hariman
  • Lehman, The Colored Cartoon: Black Representation in American Animated Short Films, 1907–1954, by Donald Crafton
  • Levine and Otter, eds., Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville: Essays in Relation, by Judith Irwin-Mulcahy
  • Levine, School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program, by Lawrence J. McAndrews
  • Makdisi, Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East, by Lamin Sanneh
  • Mandell, Tribe, Race, History: Native Americans in Southern New England, 1780–1880, by Thomas D. Hall
  • Mao, Fateful Beauty: Aesthetic Environments, Juvenile Development, and Literature, 1860–1960, by Kirk Curnutt
  • Martin, Buying into the World of Goods: Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia, by Rowena Olegario
  • Martini, Invisible Enemies: The American War on Vietnam, 1975–2000, by David Milne
  • Masten, Art Work: Women Artists and Democracy in Mid-Nineteenth-Century New York, by Beverly Gordon
  • McCray, Keep Watching the Skies! The Story of Operation Moonwatch and the Dawn of the Space Age, by Roger D. Launius
  • McCusker, Lonesome Cowgirls and Honky-Tonk Angels: The Women of Barn Dance Radio, by Susan C. Cook
  • McGinty, Lincoln and the Court, by Richard F. Hamm
  • McLennan, The Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776–1941, by Scott Christianson
  • McNally, When Frankie Went to Hollywood: Frank Sinatra and American Male Identity, by Robert Saxe
  • Megraw, Confronting Modernity: Art and Society in Louisiana, by Jeffrey L. Meikle
  • Michael, Willis Carto and the American Far Right, by Jason Sokol
  • Miller, The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade, by Alison Games
  • Mitchell, Raising Freedom’s Child: Black Children and Visions of the Future after Slavery, by Jennifer Ritterhouse
  • Montrie, Making a Living: Work and Environment in the United States, by Colin Fisher
  • Morgan, The Lure of Images: A History of Religion and Visual Media in America, by Mary Beth Swetnam Mathews
  • Murray, Historical Memories of the Japanese American Internment and the Struggle for Redress, by John N. Tsuchida
  • O’Toole, The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America, by Arnold J. Sparr
  • Orosco, Cesar Chavez and the Common Sense of Nonviolence, by Richard A. Garcia
  • Packer, Mobility without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship, by Kathleen Franz
  • Pastorello, A Power among Them: Bessie Abramowitz Hillman and the Making of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, by Maurine W. Greenwald
  • Pauly, Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America, by Tamara Plakins Thornton
  • Pearlman, Truman and MacArthur: Policy, Politics, and the Hunger for Honor and Renown, by Gary Warren Reichard
  • Pope, Nuclear Implosions: The Rise and Fall of the Washington Public Power Supply System, by John Wills
  • Ramsey, The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South, by Christina Snyder
  • Ramsey, Reading, Writing, and Segregation: A Century of Black Women Teachers in Nashville, by Cynthia Griggs Fleming
  • Rand, Kiowa Humanity and the Invasion of the State, by William C. Meadows
  • Rasmussen, On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine, by David T. Courtwright
  • Robertson, Christian Sisterhood, Race Relations, and the ywca, 1906–46, by Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn
  • Robinson, Show Us How You Do It: Marshall Keeble and the Rise of Black Churches of Christ in the United States, 1914–1968, by James Findlay
  • Root, All Honor to Jefferson? The Virginia Slavery Debates and the Positive Good Thesis, by Phillip Hamilton
  • Ruotsila, The Origins of Christian Anti-Internationalism: Conservative Evangelicals and the League of Nations, by Justus D. Doenecke
  • Rust, Prodigal Daughters: Susanna Rowson’s Early American Women, by Tamara Harvey
  • Ryan, Mysteries of Sex: Tracing Women and Men through American History, by Susan E. Klepp
  • Scharnhorst, Kate Field: The Many Lives of a Nineteenth-Century American Journalist, by Maurine H. Beasley
  • Schwain, Signs of Grace: Religion and American Art in the Gilded Age, by David Bjelajac
  • Sernett, Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History, by William G. Shade
  • Shorter and Healy, Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness, by Andrew T. Scull
  • Smith, Sensing the Past: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching in History, by David Chidester
  • Stokes, D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation: A History of “The Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time”, by Charles Musser
  • Stowell, ed., The Great Strikes of 1877, by Eric Arnesen
  • Street, The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement, by Michael Ezra
  • Stromquist, ed., Labor’s Cold War: Local Politics in a Global Context, by Terry H. Anderson
  • Tamura, ed., The History of Discrimination in U.S. Education: Marginality, Agency, and Power, by Marcia G. Synnott
  • Tennenhouse, The Importance of Feeling English: American Literature and the British Diaspora, 1750–1850, by Bryan Waterman
  • Teuton, Red Land, Red Power: Grounding Knowledge in the American Indian Novel, by Michael A. Elliott
  • Tórrez, Myth of the Hanging Tree: Stories of Crime and Punishment in Territorial New Mexico, by Ken Gonzales-Day
  • Toulouse, The Captive’s Position: Female Narrative, Male Identity, and Royal Authority in Colonial New England, by Lisa Logan
  • Treviño and Francaviglia, eds., Catholicism in the American West: A Rosary of Hidden Voices, by Robert Carriker
  • Tsesis, We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law, by Raymond Wolters
  • Tucker, Woodrow Wilson and the Great War: Reconsidering America’s Neutrality, 1914–1917, by Kendrick A. Clements
  • Vann, In Search of Ulster-Scots Land: The Birth and Geotheological Imagings of a Transatlantic People, 1603–1703, by Ben Marsh
  • Varzally, Making a Non-White America: Californians Coloring outside Ethnic Lines, 1925–1955, by Phoebe S. Kropp
  • Warner-Lewis, Archibald Monteath: Igbo, Jamaican, Moravian, by G. Ugo Nwokeji
  • Watson, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind, by Michael M. Topp
  • Weinberg, Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller, by David Nasaw
  • Welky, Everything Was Better in America: Print Culture in the Great Depression, by Erin A. Smith
  • Winkler, Nexus: Strategic Communications and American Security in World War I, by Christopher H. Sterling
  • Woodworth, Decision in the Heartland: The Civil War in the West, by Terrence J. Winschel
  • Yang, California Polyphony: Ethnic Voices, Musical Crossroads, by Peter La Chapelle

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Editor’s Annual Report, 2007–2008

Letters to the Editor


Recent Scholarship

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Contents of Volume 95

Index to Volume 95

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cover image

On the cover:

Mabel Hagan, leader of the 1937 sit-down strike in a Works Progress Administration—sponsored sewing room in Tampa, Florida, stands inside the room the strikers occupied. Hagan and her fellow strikers, in protesting the layoff of eighty-eight women receiving work relief there, claimed a right to public assistance. Courtesy Tampa Tribune. See Elna C. Green, “Relief from Relief: The Tampa Sewing-Room Strike of 1937 and the Right to Welfare,” p. 1012.

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