(Springer International Publishing, 2017)
Melissa Bullard’s book shows how modern Brooklyn’s proud urban identity as an arts-friendly community originated in the mid nineteenth century. Before and after the Civil War, Brooklyn’s elite, many engaged in Atlantic trade, established more than a dozen cultural societies, including the Philharmonic Society, Academy of Music, and Art Association. The associative ethos behind Brooklyn’s fine arts flowering built upon commercial networks that joined commerce, culture, and community. This innovative, carefully researched and documented history employs the concept of parallel Renaissances. It shows influences from Renaissance Italy and Liverpool, then connected to New York through regular packet service like the Black Ball Line that ferried people, ideas, and cargo across the Atlantic. Civil War disrupted Brooklyn’s Renaissance. The city directed energies towards war relief efforts and the women’s Sanitary Fair. The Gilded Age saw Brooklyn’s Renaissance energies diluted by financial and political corruption, planning the Brooklyn Bridge and consolidation with New York City in 1898.
(Harvard University Press, 2017)
When President Barack Obama visited Cairo in 2009 to deliver an 9780674050372-lgaddress to Muslims worldwide, he followed in the footsteps of countless politicians who have taken the existence of a unified global Muslim community for granted. But as Cemil Aydin explains in this provocative history, it is a misconception to think that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a single religio-political entity. How did this belief arise, and why is it so widespread? The Idea of the Muslim World searches for the intellectual origins of a mistaken notion and explains its enduring allure for non-Muslims and Muslims alike.
(Simson & Schuster Press, 2017)
In The Land of Enterprise, Benjamin Waterhouse charts the development of American business from the colonial period to the present. It explores the nation’s evolving economic, social, and political landscape by examining how different types of enterprising activities rose and fell, how new labor and production technologies supplanted old ones—and at what costs—and how Americans of all stripes responded to the tumultuous world of business. In particular, historian Benjamin Waterhouse highlights the changes in business practices, the development of different industries and sectors, and the complex relationship between business and national politics.
The “Truth” Behind Our Ancestors
Lisa A. Lindsay wrote a guest post in the UNC Press Blog about her recently published book, Atlantic Bonds: A Nineteenth-Century Odyssey from America to Africa. 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. Lindsay explores the human tendency to shape our ancestors into who we need them to be. To read the post, click here.