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In a land, with no gravity, no time and nothing but beats, trance is born. It goes stronger and stronger every day. Beat, by beat, by beat... Let it take over you. Don't fight it, you stand no chance. Prepare your body, prepare your mind and prepare your soul because this is South American Trance Connexion.
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Shortly after its introduction, photography transformed the ways Americans made political arguments using visual images. In the mid-19th century, photographs became key tools in debates surrounding slavery. Yet, photographs were used in interesting and sometimes surprising ways by a range of actors. Matthew Fox-Amato, an Assistant Professor at the …
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Neema Avashia is the daughter of Indian immigrants and was born and raised in southern West Virginia. She has been an educator and activist in the Boston Public Schools since 2003 and was named a City of Boston Educator of the Year in 2013. Her first book, Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, was published by West Vir…
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In his book, Native Southerners: Indigenous History from Origins to Removal(University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), Dr. Gregory D. Smithers effectively articulates the complex history of Native Southerners. Smithers conveys the history of Native Southerners through numerous historical eras while properly reinterpreting popular misconceptions about the…
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The remarkable story of a couple who came together during the civil rights movement and made fighting for equality and civil and workers' rights their purpose for more than sixty years, overcoming adversity--with the strength of their love and commitment--to bring about meaningful change, When Velma Murphy was knocked unconscious by a brick thrown …
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In this New Books Network/Gotham Center for NYC History podcast, guest host Beth Harpaz, editor of the City University of New York website SUM, interviews Jeanne Theoharis, distinguished professor of political science at Brooklyn College. Their topic is a new book just out from NYU Press, co-edited by Theoharis, called The Strange Careers of the Ji…
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A controversial character largely known (as depicted in the movie Glory) as a Union colonel who led Black soldiers in the Civil War, James Montgomery (1814-71) waged a far more personal and radical war against slavery than popular history suggests. It is the true story of this militant abolitionist that Todd Mildfelt and David D. Schafer tell in Ab…
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An authoritative biography of the controversial Confederate general, who later embraced Reconstruction and became an outcast in the South. It was the most remarkable political about-face in American history. During the Civil War, General James Longstreet fought tenaciously for the Confederacy. He was alongside Lee at Gettysburg (and counseled him n…
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The civil rights movement is often defined narrowly, relegated to the 1950s and 1960s, and populated by such colossal figures as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Many forget that the movement was bigger than the figures on the frontline and that it grew from intellectual and historical efforts that continue today. In Path to Grace: Reimaginin…
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In Hard Luck and Heavy Rain: The Ecology of Stories in Southeast Texas (Duke UP, 2022) (Duke UP, 2023), Joseph C. Russo takes readers into the everyday lives of the rural residents of Southeast Texas. He encounters the region as a kind of world enveloped in on itself, existing under a pall of poverty, illness, and oil refinery smoke. His informants…
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Scott Gac's Born in Blood: Violence and the Making of America (Cambridge UP, 2023) investigates one of history's most violent undertakings: The United States of America. People the world over consider violence in the United States as measurably different than that which troubles the rest of the globe, citing reasons including gun culture, the Ameri…
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Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization and the Making of Veteran Identity (LSU Press, 2022) by Dr. Bradley R. Clampitt is a groundbreaking analysis of Confederate demobilisation. The book examines the state of mind of Confederate soldiers in the immediate aftermath of war. Having survived severe psychological as well as physical trauma, they now f…
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In the late 1970s, Hollywood producers took the published biography of Crystal Lee Sutton, a white southern textile worker, and transformed it into a blockbuster 1979 film, Norma Rae, featuring Sally Field in the title role. This fascinating book reveals how the film and the popular icon it created each worked to efface the labor history that forme…
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Kami Fletcher and Ashley Towle’s edited collection Grave History: Death, Race and Gender in Southern Cemeteries (University of Georgia Press, 2023), demonstrates how Jim Crow laws extended into the realms of the dead. Cemeteries throughout the Southern states either relegated Black funerals to the margins in existing cemeteries or excluded the comm…
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In 1912, at age 24, Georgia O’Keeffe boarded a train in Virginia and headed west, to the prairies of the Texas Panhandle, to take a position as art teacher for the newly organized Amarillo Public Schools. Subsequently she would join the faculty at what was then West Texas State Normal College (now West Texas A&M University). Already a thoroughly in…
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Most scholars of popular music use songs, artists, and clubs as the key texts and sites in their exploration of the social, cultural, political, and economic effects of music. Laurent Dubois‘ new book looks at the history of an instrument, the banjo, to help us better understand American history and culture. Dubois also helps readers understand the…
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In Stories of Struggle: The Clash over Civil Rights in South Carolina (U South Carolina Press, 2020), longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson details the lynchings, beatings, bombings, cross burnings, death threats, arson, and venomous hatred that black South Carolinians endured―as well as the astonishing courage, devotion, dignity, and compassio…
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By 1935 William Faulkner was well established as an author of critically praised novels, yet the low volume of his sales forced him to seek work in Hollywood. As Carl Rollyson details in The Life of William Faulkner: This Alarming Paradox, 1935-1962 (University of Virginia Press, 2020), this led to an itinerant life divided between Mississippi and …
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Yael A. Sternhell's War on Record: The Archive and the Aftermath of the Civil War (Yale University Press, 2023) is a history of the United States' greatest archival project and how it has shaped what we know about the Civil War. The Civil War generated a vast archive of official records--documents that would shape the postwar era and determine what…
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Black vaudevillians and entertainers joked that T.O.B.A. stood for "tough on black artists." But the Theater Owner's Booking Association (T.O.B.A.) played a foundational role in the African American entertainment industry. T.O.B.A. Time: Black Vaudeville and the Theater Owners’ Booking Association in Jazz-Age America by Michelle R. Scott (Universit…
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Examining identity and nationalism in the Reconstruction-era South, Jack Noe’s Contesting Commemoration: The 1876 Centennial, Independence Day, and the Reconstruction-Era South (Louisiana State University Press, 2021) investigates debates concerning the One Hundredth Anniversary of American Independence. This commemoration, which came only seven ye…
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In the decades leading up to the Civil War, abolitionists crafted a variety of visual messages about the plight of enslaved people, portraying the violence, familial separation, and dehumanisation that they faced. In response, proslavery southerners attempted to counter these messages either through idealisation or outright erasure of enslaved life…
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American Visions: The United States, 1800-1860 (Norton, 2023) is a revealing history of the formative period when voices of dissent and innovation defied power and created visions of America still resonant today. With so many of our histories falling into dour critique or blatant celebration, here is a welcome departure: a book that offers hope as …
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The 19th-century Mexican-American borderlands were a complicated place. By the 1860s, Confederates, Americans, Mexicans, French, and various Native societies were all scheming and vying for control of the region bifurcated by the Rio Grande. In Illusions of Empire: The Civil War and Reconstruction in the U.S.- Mexico Borderlands (U Pennsylvania Pre…
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The presence of Latinx people in the American South has long confounded the region's persistent racial binaries. In Making the Latino South: A History of Racial Formation (UNC Press, 2023), Cecilia Márquez uses social and cultural history methods to assess the racial logics that have shaped the Latinx experience in the region since the middle of th…
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Immigrant laborers who came to the New South in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found themselves poised uncomfortably between white employers and the Black working class, a liminal and often precarious position. Campaigns to recruit immigrants primarily aimed to suppress Black agency and mobility. If that failed, both planters and…
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In the early United States, anthems, flags, holidays, monuments, and memorials were powerful symbols of an American identity that helped unify a divided people. A language of freedom played a similar role in shaping the new nation. The Declaration of Independence’s assertion “that all men are created equal,” Patrick Henry’s cry of “Give me liberty,…
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Ask anyone outside of Austin what they know about the city and chances are the first thing they'll mention is the music. While the Armadillo Era has been well-chronicled, there is no book about Austin music in the 90s. In their new book, A Curious Mix of People: The Underground Scene of '90s Austin (University of Texas Press, 2023), veterans of the…
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Five years after the Civil War, North Carolina Republican state senator John W. Stephens was found murdered inside the Caswell County Courthouse. Stephens fought for the rights of freedpeople, and his killing by the Ku Klux Klan ultimately led to insurrection, Governor William W. Holden's impeachment, and the early unwinding of Reconstruction in No…
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From the colonial through the antebellum era, enslaved women in the US used lethal force as the ultimate form of resistance. By amplifying their voices and experiences, Brooding over Bloody Revenge: Enslaved Women's Lethal Resistance (Cambridge UP, 2023) strongly challenges assumptions that enslaved women only participated in covert, non-violent fo…
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Debates over the undocumented migration of Latin Americans invariably focus on the southern US border, but most migrants never cross that arbitrary line. Instead, many travel, via water, among the Caribbean islands. The first study to examine literary and artistic representations of undocumented migration within the Hispanophone Caribbean, Crossing…
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Coined in the middle of the nineteenth century, the term "voodoo" has been deployed largely by people in the U.S. to refer to spiritual practices--real or imagined--among people of African descent. "Voodoo" is one way that white people have invoked their anxieties and stereotypes about Black people--to call them uncivilised, superstitious, hypersex…
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An evocative and epic story, Nick Tabor's Africatown: America's Last Slave Ship and the Community It Created (St. Martin's Press, 2023) charts the fraught history of America from those who were brought here as slaves but nevertheless established a home for themselves and their descendants, a community which often thrived despite persistent racism a…
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The inspiring true story of an enslaved woman who liberated an infamous slave jail and transformed it into one of the nation’s first HBCUs. In The Devil's Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South's Most Notorious Slave Jail (Seal Press, 2022), New York Times bestselling author Kristen Green draws on years of research to tell…
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Historian Alejandra Dubcovsky tells a story of war, slavery, loss, remembrance, and the women whose resilience and resistance transformed the colonial South. In exploring their lives she rewrites early American history, challenging the established male-centered narrative. In Talking Back: Native Women and the Making of the Early South (Yale UP, 202…
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Since its founding in 1801, African Americans have played an integral, if too often overlooked, role in the history of the University of South Carolina. Robert Greene and Tyler D. Parry's edited volume Invisible No More: The African American Experience at the University of South Carolina (U South Carolina Press, 2021) seeks to recover that historic…
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In The Vice President's Black Wife: The Untold Life of Julia Chinn (UNC Press, 2023), award-winning historian Amrita Chakrabarti Myers has recovered the riveting, troubling, and complicated story of Julia Ann Chinn (ca. 1796–1833), the enslaved wife of Richard Mentor Johnson, owner of Blue Spring Farm, veteran of the War of 1812, and US vice presid…
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The Story of the B-52s: Neon Side of Town (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023) is the first critical history of one of the most legendary and influential bands in American popular music. Locating The B-52s in the intellectual climate of their hometown of Athens, GA and following the band from New York's downtown scene in the early 1980s to their upcoming far…
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In their remarkable new book Slavery, Capitalism, and the Industrial Revolution (Polity, 2023), Professor Maxine Berg and Professor Pat Hudson “follow the money” to document in revealing detail the role of slavery in the making of Britain’s industrial revolution. Slavery was not just a source of wealth for a narrow circle of slave owners who built …
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Drawing on letters, personal testimony, works of art, novels, and historic Black newspapers, this book is an interdisciplinary exploration of Black women’s contributions to the intellectual life of nineteenth-century America. Rebecca J Fraser's book Black Female Intellectuals in 19th Century America: Born to Bloom Unseen? (Routledge, 2022) reconcep…
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A prize-winning scholar draws on astonishing new research to demonstrate how Black people used the law to their advantage long before the Civil Rights Movement. The familiar story of civil rights goes like this: once, America’s legal system shut Black people out and refused to recognize their rights, their basic human dignity, or even their very li…
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Do individuals have the right to “keep and bear” arms? Do “the people” have any collective rights to public safety? Now that the United States Supreme Court requires each side to argue based on the “history” and “tradition” of 1791 and 1868, what do scholars tell us about legal practices and public understanding in those times? Dr. Laura F. Edwards…
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For anyone who's ever picked an apple fresh from the tree or enjoyed a glass of cider, writer and orchardist Diane Flynt offers a new history of the apple and how it changed the South and the nation. Showing how southerners cultivated over 2,000 apple varieties from Virginia to Mississippi, Flynt shares surprising stories of a fruit that was centra…
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At the end of the day, I have faith in the wisdom of democracy: the idea that good political solutions only arise from widely dispersed discussion, debate and decision among the broadest group of those affected. This book is intended, then, not as a finalized blueprint or technical report delivered from on high but as a conversation opener for demo…
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In recent years, food writers and historians have begun to retell the story of southern food. Heirloom ingredients and traditional recipes have been rediscovered, the foundational role that African Americans played in the evolution of southern cuisine is coming to be recognized, and writers are finally clearing away the cobwebs of romantic myth tha…
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Bookshop.org is an online book retailer that donates more than 80% of its profits to independent bookstores. Launched in 2020, Bookshop.org has already raised more than $27,000,000. In this interview, Andy Hunter, founder and CEO discusses his journey to creating one of the most revolutionary new organizations in the book world. Bookshop has found …
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Conor Harrison, Associate Professor of Geography and the School of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of South Carolina, talks about his research into the racist development of electrical systems in the Jim Crow South with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The pair discuss how Harrison’s research fits within larger trends in the acade…
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The British empire, in sentimental myth, was more free, more just and more fair than its rivals. But this claim that the British empire was 'free' and that, for all its flaws, it promised liberty to all its subjects was never true. The British empire was built on slavery. Padraic X. Scanlan's book Slave Empire: How Slavery Built Modern Britain (Rob…
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Mobile is simultaneously a typical and unique city in the postwar United States. It was a quintessential boomtown during World War II. That prosperity was followed by a period of rapid urban decline and subsequent attempts at revitalizing (or gentrifying) its downtown area. As in many other US cities, urban renewal, integration, and other socioecon…
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After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many high-profile chefs in New Orleans pledged to help their city rebound from the flooding. Several formed their own charitable organizations, including the John Besh Foundation, to help revitalize the region and its restaurant scene. A year and a half after the disaster when the total number of open restaurants ec…
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The story of Reconstruction is often told from the perspective of the politicians, generals, and journalists whose accounts claim an outsized place in collective memory. But this pivotal era looked very different to African Americans in the South transitioning from bondage to freedom after 1865. They were besieged by a campaign of white supremacist…
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