Journal of American History


Editor's Choice

What Twenty-First-Century Historians Have Said about the Causes of Disunion: A Civil War Sesquicentennial Review of the Recent Literature

The scholarly consensus on slavery’s centrality to the causes of disunion has not mooted debates in the field, which continued to diversify during the first decade of the twenty–first century. Michael E. Woods clarifies existing and potential debates by evaluating three trends in the recent literature: the impulse to transcend spatial and temporal boundaries in the study of American sectionalism; attention to northern sectionalism and southern proslavery American nationalism; and a resurgent awareness of the salience of class and class conflict, particularly related to northern critiques of the “slave power,” in the escalation of sectional tension. Beneath a veneer of consensus lies considerable interpretive disagreement that should inform scholarly and public debate of the Civil War’s origins.

“Apostles of Fascism,” “Communist Clergy,” and the UAW: Political Ideology and Working-Class Religion in Detroit, 1919–1945

Matthew Pehl adds to a small but growing historiography that links the concerns of the “new labor history” with recent, innovative approaches to the study of religion. Focusing on Detroit, he argues that the cultural politics of World War II were fundamentally shaped by ideas about working–class religion. Religious activists on the left aspired to craft a religious identity that supported industrial unionism and social democracy, but they also feared that religion could be harnessed to support fascism. Ministers on the right, meanwhile, appealed to workers with a very different religious identity and warned that “corrupted” leftist religion would lead to communism.

pp. 440–465 Read online >

Closing Doors: Hollywood, Affirmative Action, and the Revitalization of Conservative Racial Politics

While the racial themes of Hollywood films have been well documented by scholars, struggles to break down racial barriers in the film labor market are underdocumented. Although self–identifying as liberal, late 1960s Hollywood was in fact resistant to employing and promoting minorities, leading the Justice Department to take the extraordinary step of preparing lawsuits under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act against practically the entire industry. Eithne Quinn examines Hollywood’s racial politics during these pivotal early years of affirmative action, looking at black and federal activism as well as the responses of studio management and craft unions. She uncovers Hollywood’s role in anti–affirmative action lobbying and in the formulation and propagation of emergent “color–blind” neoconservative discourses that forwarded laissez–faire approaches to achieving racial equality.

pp. 466–491 Read online >

Jewish Urban Politics in the City and Beyond

Little should be written about postwar American cities without considering the conditions for and consequences of white flight. But what if some of the white people who left cities after World War II believed they could leave the city and still remain invested in it? Lila Corwin Berman explains that this was the case for Jews living in Detroit, who left the city rapidly yet created a new remote politics of urban investment. Contradictions, arising from Jews’ warring desires to take advantage of the privileges afforded to white suburbanites and to remain embedded in urban life, coursed through their new politics of remote urbanism. Berman concludes that urbanism, more so than whiteness or liberalism, defined the contours of postwar Jewish life and, even, of postwar Jewish white flight.

pp. 492–519 Read online >


The War of 1812

Rachel Hope Cleves, Nicole Eustace, Paul Gilje, Matthew Rainbow Hale, Cecilia Morgan, Jason M. Opal, Lawrence A. Peskin, and Alan Taylor (pp. 520–555) Read online >

Book Reviews

Sept. 2012, Vol. 99 No. 2

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

  • Acuña, The Making of Chicana/o Studies: In the Trenches of Academe, by Cynthia E. Orozco
  • Armfield, Eugene Kinckle Jones: The National Urban League and Black Social Work, 1910–1940, by Nancy Weiss Malkiel
  • Armstrong, Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching, by Michael J. Pfeifer
  • Auslander, The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding an American Family, by Loren Schweninger
  • Baker, Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915–1930, by Eckard Toy Jr.
  • Baker, Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion, by Jimmy Wilkinson Meyer
  • Banner, American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own, by Stephen Mihm
  • Bardacke, Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers, by Mario T. García
  • Barker, Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity, by Mark Edwin Miller
  • Barnes, Love’s Whipping Boy: Violence and Sentimentality in the American Imagination, by Laura L. Mielke
  • Bates, The Reagan Rhetoric: History and Memory in 1980s America, by Donald T. Critchlow
  • Beckel, Radical Reform: Interracial Politics in Post–emancipation North Carolina, by Kent Redding
  • Bernath, Confederate Minds: The Struggle for Intellectual Independence in the Civil War South, by Wayne K. Durrill
  • Bernstein, Bridges of Reform: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Twentieth–Century Los Angeles, by Laura Pulido
  • Berry, ed., Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War’s Ragged Edges, by Barbara A. Gannon
  • Black, Fighting for America: The Struggle for Mastery in North America, 1519–1871, by Guy Chet
  • Blackburn, The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation, and Human Rights, by Joseph P. Reidy
  • Blumberg, Repressive Jurisprudence in the Early American Republic: The First Amendment and the Legacy of English Law, by Michael Kent Curtis
  • Borick, Relieve Us of This Burthen: American Prisoners of War in the Revolutionary South, 1780–1782, by Paul J. Springer
  • Bowen, Spain and the American Civil War, by Howard Jones
  • Bowen, The Roots of Modern Conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party, by Kevin Smant
  • Boyd, Georgia Democrats, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Shaping of the New South, by Jason Morgan Ward
  • Bradburn and Coombs, eds., Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion, by L. Scott Philyaw
  • Bronstein, Battling Pornography: The American Feminist Anti–pornography Movement, 1976–1986, by Carrie Pitzulo
  • Buckner and Caster, eds., Fathers, Preachers, Rebels, Men: Black Masculinity in U.S. History and Literature, 1820–1945, by Lydia J. Plath
  • Burkholder, Color in the Classroom: How American Schools Taught Race, 1900–1954, by Raymond Wolters
  • Bush, Who Gets a Childhood? Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth–Century Texas, by Andrew J. Diamond
  • Carretta, Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage, by John Ernest
  • Cassidy, A Short History of Physics in the American Century, by Robert P. Crease
  • Christopher, A Merciless Place: The Fate of Britain’s Convicts after the American Revolution, by Frank Cogliano
  • Chung, In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West, by Huping Ling
  • Clark, Red Pepper and Gorgeous George: Claude Pepper’s Epic Defeat in the 1950 Democratic Party, by Alex Lichtenstein
  • Clemens and Guthrie, eds., Politics and Partnerships: The Role of Voluntary Associations in America’s Political Past and Present, by Andrew Morris
  • Danielson, After Freedom Summer: How Race Realigned Mississippi Politics, 1965–1986, by Joe Street
  • Davis, “We Will Be Satisfied with Nothing Less”: The African American Struggle for Equal Rights in the North during Reconstruction, by Thomas J. Davis
  • Del Mar, The American Family: From Obligation to Freedom, by Joseph M. Hawes
  • Doenecke, Nothing Less than War: A New History of America’s Entry into World War I, by Stephen A. Schuker
  • Drucker, A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America, by Ethan Blue
  • Elfenbein, Hollowak, and Nix, eds., Baltimore ’68: Riots and Rebirth in an American City, by Jane Berger
  • Ellis and Ginsburg, eds., Cabin, Quarter, Plantation: Architecture and Landscapes of North American Slavery, by Damian Alan Pargas
  • Engelhardt, A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food, by Katherine Parkin
  • Ernest, A Nation within a Nation: Organizing African-American Communities before the Civil War, by Dylan C. Penningroth
  • Fahs, Out on Assignment: Newspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space, by Linda J. Lumsden
  • Falck, Weeds: An Environmental History of Metropolitan America, by Joanna Dyl
  • Feldman, ed., Painting Dixie Red: When, Where, Why, and How the South Became Republican, by Steven P. Miller
  • Field, A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth, by Ronald Edsforth
  • Fousekis, Demanding Child Care: Women’s Activism and the Politics of Welfare, 1940–1971, by Felicia Kornbluh
  • Frantz, The Door of Hope: Republican Presidents and the First Southern Strategy, 1877– 1933, by Daniel Klinghard
  • Frehner, Finding Oil: The Nature of Petroleum Geology, 1859–1920, by Joseph A. Pratt
  • Gates, Black in Latin America, by Micol Seigel
  • Garrigus and Morris, eds., Assumed Identities: The Meanings of Race in the Atlantic World, by Demetrius L. Eudell
  • Gerber, A Distinct Judicial Power: The Origins of an Independent Judiciary, 1606–1787, by Walter F. Pratt Jr.
  • Giesen, Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth, and Power in the American South, by George B. Ellenberg
  • Gleason, Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature, by Helen Bradley Foster
  • Gore, Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War, by Carole Boyce Davies
  • Harmer, Allende’s Chile and the Inter–American Cold War, by Bradley Lynn Coleman
  • Harrison–Kahan, The White Negress: Literature, Minstrelsy, and the Black–Jewish Imaginary, by Jacob S. Dorman
  • Hatton, The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America, by Daniel Sidorick
  • Haynes, Unfinished Revolution: The Early American Republic in a British World, by Eliga H. Gould
  • Hendershot, What’s Fair on the Air? Cold War Right–Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest, by Nicole Hemmer
  • Hodos, Second Cities: Globalization and Local Politics in Manchester and Philadelphia, by Lisa Keller
  • Hofstra, ed., Ulster to America: The Scots–Irish Migration Experience, 1680–1830, by Barry A. Vann
  • Hoopes, Corporate Dreams: Big Business in American Democracy from the Great Depression to the Great Recession, by Kim McQuaid
  • Horne, Mau Mau in Harlem? The U.S. and the Liberation of Kenya, by Juan M. Floyd–Thomas
  • Howard, God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide, by Benjamin L. Hartley
  • Hughes, Genentech: The Beginnings of Biotech, by Philip Mirowski
  • Huntley, The Making of Yosemite: James Mason Hutchings and the Origin of America’s Most Popular National Park, by John Wills
  • Jardim, The Mauthausen Trial: American Military Justice in Germany, by Michael Scott Bryant
  • Jarrett, Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature, by Aldon Nielsen
  • Johnson, ed., The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism, and the Remaking of New Orleans, by J. Mark Souther
  • Jones, African American Civil Rights: Early Activism and the Niagara Movement, by Kevern Verney
  • Jordan, FDR, Dewey, and the Election of 1944, by Richard Polenberg
  • Kabaservice, Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party, by Michael Bowen
  • Katz, All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism, by Mary McCune
  • Kernfeld, Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution since 1929, by Alex Sayf Cummings
  • Kinkela, DDT and the American Century: Global Health, Environmental Politics, and the Pesticide That Changed the World, by Amy Hay
  • Klemek, The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal: Postwar Urbanism from New York to Berlin, by Steven High
  • Kretchik, U.S. Army Doctrine: From the American Revolution to the War on Terror, by Edgar F. Raines Jr.
  • Kramer, Nationalism in Europe and America: Politics, Cultures, and Identities since 1775, by Philip Abbott
  • Lacorne, trans. by Holoch, Religion in America: A Political History, by Eldon J. Eisenach
  • Latham, The Right Kind of Revolution: Modernization, Development, and U.S. Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present, by W. Michael Weis
  • Lawrence, Lessons from an Indian Day School: Negotiating Colonization in Northern New Mexico, 1902–1907, by Michael C. Coleman
  • Lawrence, One Family under God: Love, Belonging, and Authority in Early Transatlantic Methodism, by E. Brooks Holifield
  • Lehman, Those Girls: Single Women in Sixties and Seventies Popular Culture, by Judy Kutulas
  • Leiker and Powers, The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory, by Christina Gish Hill
  • Leonard, Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky, by Robert C. Kenzer
  • Lieberman and Lang, eds., Anticommunism and the African American Freedom Movement: “Another Side of the Story,” by Clarence Taylor
  • Lipsitz, How Racism Takes Place, by Leland Saito
  • Lukens, A Quiet Victory for Latino Rights: FDR and the Controversy over “Whiteness,” by Kevin R. Johnson
  • Lurie, William Howard Taft: The Travails of a Progressive Conservative, by Walter Nugent
  • Marshall, The City on the Hill from Below: The Crisis of Prophetic Black Politics, by Kevin Mattson
  • Mason, The Republican Party and American Politics from Hoover to Reagan, by Gregory L. Schneider
  • Marten, Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America, by Jeffrey W. McClurken
  • McAllister, Whiting Up: Whiteface Minstrels and Stage Europeans in African American Performance, by William J. Mahar
  • McCartin, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike That Changed America, by Nigel Bowles
  • McClenahan and Becker, Eisenhower and the Cold War Economy, by Iwan Morgan
  • McCook, The Borders of Integration: Polish Migrants in Germany and the United States, 1870–1924, by William J. Galush
  • McGuire and Dittmer, eds., Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement, by John A. Kirk
  • McKanan, Prophetic Encounters: Religion and the American Radical Tradition, by Robert H. Craig
  • McMahon, Nixon’s Court: His Challenge to Judicial Liberalism and Its Political Consequences, by L. A. Scot Powe Jr.
  • Minchin and Salmond, After the Dream: Black and White Southerners since 1965, by Gregg L. Michel
  • Moody, Demon of the Lost Cause: Sherman and Civil War History, by Jacqueline Glass Campbell
  • Muravchik, American Protestantism in the Age of Psychology, by A. Gregory Schneider
  • Nelson, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination, by Paul Alkebulan
  • Oshatz, Slavery and Sin: The Fight against Slavery and the Rise of Liberal Protestantism, by Randolph Scully
  • Peel, Miss Cutler and the Case of the Resurrected Horse: Social Work and the Story of Poverty in America, Australia, and Britain, by Daniel Levine
  • Pomakoy, Helping Humanity: American Policy and Genocide Rescue, by Richard Breitman
  • Prescott, The Morning After: A History of Emergency Contraception in the United States, by Robyn L. Rosen
  • Quigley, Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 1848–1865, by George C. Rable
  • Rasor and Bond, eds., From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia, by Joan R. Gundersen
  • Razlogova, The Listener’s Voice: Early Radio and the American Public, by Richard Butsch
  • Robin, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, by Ronald Lora
  • Ross, Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics, by Stephen Vaughn
  • Salomon, Pío Pico: The Last Governor of Mexican California, by Robert M. Senkewicz
  • Saugera, trans. by Velguth, Reborn in America: French Exiles and Refugees in the United States and the Vine and Olive Adventure, 1818–1865, by John T. McGrath
  • Scarborough, The Allstons of Chicora Wood: Wealth, Honor, and Gentility in the South Carolina Lowcountry, by Darcy R. Fryer
  • Schäfer, Countercultural Conservatives: American Evangelicalism from the Postwar Revival to the New Christian Right, by Barry Hankins
  • Schermerhorn, Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South, by Max Grivno
  • Schmidt, Heaven’s Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman, by Patricia Cline Cohen
  • Schuster, Neurasthenic Nation: America’s Search for Health, Happiness, and Comfort, 1869–1920, by Edward Shorter
  • Selva, Integrazione internazionale e sviluppo interno: Stati Uniti e Italia nei programmi di riarmo del blocco atlantico, 1945–1955 (International economic integration and home growth: The United States and Italy in the Western bloc rearmament programs, 1945–1955), by Carlo Spagnolo
  • Shearer, Daily Demonstrators: The Civil Rights Movement in Mennonite Homes and Sanctuaries, by Rebecca Barrett-Fox
  • Sismondo, America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies, and Grog Shops, by Michelle Lee McClellan
  • Smith, The Enemy Within: Fears of Corruption in the Civil War North, by Russell McClintock
  • Snyder, Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network, by Alex J. Bellamy
  • Sparrow, Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government, by Meredith H. Lair
  • Stanwood, The Empire Reformed: English America in the Age of the Glorious Revolution, by John D. Krugler
  • Staub, Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948–1980, by E. Fuller Torrey
  • Stein, Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe, by Paul R. Abramson
  • Strauss, Setting the Table for Julia Child: Gourmet Dining in America, 1934–1961, by Lori Rotskoff
  • Stremlau, Sustaining the Cherokee Family: Kinship and the Allotment of an Indigenous Nation, by Julie L. Reed
  • Stuntz, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice, by Elizabeth Dale
  • Tasker, Soldiers’ Stories: Military Women in Cinema and Television since World War II, by Elaine Roth
  • Tirman, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars, by Sahr Conway–Lanz
  • Tiro, The People of the Standing Stone: The Oneida Nation from the Revolution through the Era of Removal, by David Norton
  • Titus, Brown’s Battleground: Students, Segregationists, and the Struggle for Justice in Prince Edward County, Virginia, by J. Douglas Smith
  • Tullos, Alabama Getaway: The Political Imaginary and the Heart of Dixie, by Clarence L. Mohr
  • Wake, Private Practices: Harry Stack Sullivan, the Science of Homosexuality, and American Liberalism, by Miriam Reumann
  • Ward, Defending White Democracy: The Making of a Segregationist Movement and the Remaking of Racial Politics, 1936–1965, by Stephen A. Berrey
  • Weimer, Martyrs’ Mirror: Persecution and Holiness in Early New England, by Michael P. Winship
  • White, Will Rogers: A Political Life, by Peter M. Robinson
  • Wiegand, Main Street Public Library: Community Places and Reading Spaces in the Rural Heartland, 1876–1956, by Donald G. Davis Jr.
  • Wilhelm, The Independent Orders of B’nai B’rith and True Sisters: Pioneers of a New Jewish Identity, 1843–1914, by Daniel Soyer
  • Willis, Southern Prohibition: Race, Reform, and Public Life in Middle Florida, 1821–1920, by Bruce E. Stewart
  • Yablon, Untimely Ruins: An Archaeology of American Urban Modernity, 1819–1919, by Bryan Waterman
  • Yates and Hunter, eds., Thrift and Thriving in America: Capitalism and Moral Order from the Puritans to the Present, by David Blanke
  • Yee, An Immigrant Neighborhood: Interethnic and Interracial Encounters in New York before 1930, by Nancy Foner
  • Young, Nash, and Raphael, eds., Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation, by Robert G. Parkinson
  • Zavodnyik, The Rise of the Federal Colossus: The Growth of Federal Power from Lincoln to FDR, by Jason Scott Smith
  • Zierler, The Invention of Ecocide: Agent Orange, Vietnam, and the Scientists Who Changed the Way We Think about the Environment, by Gerard J. Fitzgerald

Web site Reviews

Editor’s Annual Report, 2011–2012

Letters to the Editor


Recent Scholarship

View “Recent Scholarship” listing online >

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

cover image

On the cover:

Protestors took part in an interracial march in Detroit during the 1940s to express their belief that Gerald L. K. Smith could be linked to European fascism. (See See Matthew Pehl, “‘Apostles of Fascism,’ ‘Communist Clergy,’ and the UAW: Political Ideology and Working–Class Religion in Detroit, 1919–1945,” p. 440.)
Courtesy Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.

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