Atlantic Bonds: A Nineteenth-Century Odyssey from America to Africa (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)
A decade before the American Civil War, James Churchwill Vaughan (1828–1893) set out to fulfill his formerly enslaved father’s dying wish that he should leave America to start a new life in Africa. Tracing Vaughan’s journey from South Carolina to Liberia to several parts of Yorubaland (present-day southwestern Nigeria), Lisa Lindsay documents this “free” man’s struggle to find economic and political autonomy in an era when freedom was not clear and unhindered anywhere for people of African descent. In Atlantic Bonds, Lindsay tells a story of Vaughan’s survival, prosperity, and activism against a seemingly endless series of obstacles. By following Vaughan’s transatlantic journeys and comparing his experiences to those of his parents, contemporaries, and descendants in Nigeria and South Carolina, Lindsay reveals the expansive reach of slavery, the ambiguities of freedom, and the surprising ways that Africa, rather than America, offered new opportunities for people of African descent.
Walking Histories, 1800-1914 (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2016)
Few historians have written about walking, despite its obvious centrality to the human condition. Focusing on the period 1800-1914, Chad Bryant examines the practices and meanings of walking in the context of transformative modernity. It boldly suggests that once historians place walking at the heart of their analyses, exciting new perspectives on themes central to the ‘long nineteenth century’ emerge. Walking Histories, 1800-1914 adopts a global perspective, including contributions from specialists in the history and culture of Great Britain, North America, Australia, Russia, East-Central Europe, and South Asia. Critically engaging with recent research, the contributions within offer fresh insights for academic experts, while remaining accessible to student readers. This book will be essential reading for those interested in movement, travel, leisure, urban history, and environmental history.
The South in Color: Visual Journal (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)
Since the moment William Ferris’s parents gave their twelve-year-old son a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera for Christmas in 1954, Ferris passionately began to photograph his world. He has never stopped. The sixties and seventies were a particularly significant period for Ferris as he became a pathbreaking documentarian of the American South. This beautiful, provocative collection of 100 of Ferris’s photographs of the South, taken during this formative period, capture the power of his color photography. Color film, as Ferris points out in the book’s introduction, was not commonly used by documentarians during the latter half of the twentieth century, but Ferris found color to work in significant ways in the photographic journals he created of his world in all its permutations and surprises.
John Semonche‘s Pick Nick is a fascinating and intimate look at Galifianakis’ political career in the context of a changing South. From his origins at his father’s Durham, North Carolina restaurant through his stunning political successes to a final doomed battle for the Senate, Nick Galifianakis mastered the art of politics and showed what was possible – and what was not – in the American South in the 1960’s and 1970’s.