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History and Political Science


America on the Eve of the Civil War
edited by Edward L. Ayers and Carolyn R. Martin

"This remarkable publication provides a captivating and brilliantly executed series of conversations among seventeen most impressive historians. These participants in a daylong conference focusing on the extraordinary years leading to the Civil War provide an incredible range of historical... More


The Nation's Nature
How Continental Presumptions Gave Rise to the United States of America James D. Drake

In one of Common Sense’s most ringing phrases, Thomas Paine declared it "absurd" for "a continent to be perpetually governed by an island." Such powerful words, coupled with powerful ideas, helped spur the United States to independence.In The Nation's Nature, James D. Drake examines how a... More


Essays from the Edge
Parerga and Paralipomena Martin Jay

Over his distinguished career as a European intellectual historian and cultural critic, Martin Jay has explored a variety of major themes: the Frankfurt School, the exile of German intellectuals in America during the Nazi era, Western Marxism, the denigration of vision in twentieth-century French... More


The Enemy Within
Fears of Corruption in the Civil War North Michael Thomas Smith

Stoked by a series of major scandals, popular fears of corruption in the Civil War North provide a unique window into Northern culture in the Civil War era. In The Enemy Within, Michael Thomas Smith relates these scandals—including those involving John C. Frémont’s administration in Missouri,... More


Shaping the Body Politic
Art and Political Formation in Early America edited by Maurie D. McInnis and Louis P. Nelson

Traditional narratives imply that art in early America was severely limited in scope. By contrast, these essays collectively argue that visual arts played a critical role in shaping an early American understanding of the body politic. American artists in the late colonial and early national periods... More


The Papers of James Madison
Secretary of State Series, vol. 91 February-30 June 1805 James Madison. Edited by Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Anne Mandeville Colony, Mary Parke Johnson, and Katharine E. Harbury

During the five months covered in this volume, James Madison attended Jefferson’s second inauguration, continued staffing territorial governments for the Orleans and Louisiana Territories, and observed growing factionalism among Republicans as Federalism waned. Abroad, the shifting of alliances... More


The Diaries of Gouverneur Morris
European Travels, 1794–1798 Gouverneur Morris. Edited by Melanie Randolph Miller

In October 1794, Gouverneur Morris, Jefferson’s successor as American minister to France, left Paris forever. A friend of George Washington and a major contributor to the American Constitution, Morris had witnessed the igniting of the French Revolution, the fall of the old regime, and the plunge... More


The Papers of George Washington
1 May-30 September 1794 George Washington. Edited by David R. Hoth and Carol S. Ebel

During the spring and summer of 1794, Washington and his cabinet faced concerns that arose from the ongoing war in Europe. Embargo evasions, activities of French and British privateers, and the formation of a league of armed neutrality by Denmark and Sweden required appropriate administrative... More


Remaking Custom
Law and Identity in the Early American Republic Ellen Holmes Pearson

History has largely forgotten the writings, both public and private, of early nineteenth-century America’s legal scholars. However, Ellen Holmes Pearson argues that the observers from this era had a unique perspective on the young nation and the directions in which its legal culture might go.... More


The Madisons at Montpelier
Reflections on the Founding Couple Ralph Ketcham

Restored to its original splendor, Montpelier is now a national shrine, but before Montpelier became a place of study and tribute, it was a home. Often kept from it by the business of the young nation, James and Dolley Madison could finally take up permanent residence when they retired from... More


From Jamestown to Jefferson
The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia Edited by Paul Rasor and Richard E. Bond

From Jamestown to Jefferson sheds new light on the contexts surrounding Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom—and on the emergence of the American understanding of religious freedom—by examining its deep roots in colonial Virginia’s remarkable religious diversity. Challenging... More


Civil War Sites in Virginia
A Tour Guide James I. Robertson, Jr., and Brian Steel Wills

Since 1982, the renowned Civil War historian James I. "Bud" Robertson’s Civil War Sites in Virginia: A Tour Guide has enlightened and informed Civil War enthusiasts and scholars alike. The book expertly explores the commonwealth’s Civil War sites for those hoping to gain greater insight and... More


Historic Sites in Virginia's Northern Neck and Essex County
A Guide Edited by Thomas A. Wolf

Historic Sites in Virginia's Northern Neck and Essex County is an indispensible guide for those who have an active or potential interest in the rich history of the Northern Neck region of Virginia and its historic sites. This six-county Tidewater region includes the birthplaces of George... More


Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont in America
Their Friendship and Their Travels Alexis de Tocqueville. Edited by Olivier Zunz. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer

Alexis de Tocqueville, a young aristocrat of twenty-five, worried deeply about the future of France as well as his own fate in his native country, which had just experienced its second revolution in less than fifty years. Along with Gustave de Beaumont, a fellow magistrate, Tocqueville conceived... More


Transient and Permanent
The Transcendentalist Movement and Its Contexts Edited by Charles Capper and Conrad Edick Wright

Comprising twenty essays by leading scholars, this insightful collection provides the best recent writing on the Transcendentalists, the New England religious reformers and intellectuals who challenged both spiritual and secular orthodoxies between the 1830s and the 1850s. The volume addresses... More


The Tactics of Toleration
A Refugee Community in the Age of Religious Wars Jesse Spohnholz

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Women as Translators in Early Modern England
Deborah Uman

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Radical Reform
Interracial Politics in Post-Emancipation North Carolina Deborah Beckel

Radical Reform describes a remarkable chapter in the American pro-democracy movement. It portrays the largely unknown leaders of the interracial Republican Party who struggled for political, civil, and labor rights in North Carolina after the Civil War. In so doing, they paved the way for the... More


Merely Judgment
Ignoring, Evading, and Trumping the Supreme Court Martin J. Sweet

Merely Judgment uses affirmative action in government contracting, legislative vetoes, flag burning, hate speech, and school prayer as windows for understanding how Supreme Court decisions send signals regarding the Court’s policy preferences to institutions and actors (such as lower courts,... More


The Big House after Slavery
Virginia Plantation Families and Their Postbellum Domestic Experiment Amy Feely Morsman

The Big House after Slavery examines the economic, social, and political challenges that Virginia planter families faced following Confederate defeat and emancipation. Amy Feely Morsman addresses how men and women of the planter class responded to postwar problems and how their adaptations to life... More


A Young Virginia Boatman Navigates the Civil War
The Journals of George Randolph Wood George Randolph Wood. Edited by Will Molineux. Introduction by Scott Nelson

George Randolph Wood filled several journal books with personal remembrances of life in nineteenth-century Hampton, Virginia; particularly of his experiences aboard river and canal boats transporting supplies for Confederate troops along the James River during the Civil War. Wood wrote about his... More


Jefferson, Lincoln, and Wilson
The American Dilemma of Race and Democracy Edited by John Milton Cooper, Jr., and Thomas J. Knock

Jefferson, Lincoln, and Wilson: The American Dilemma of Race and Democracy seeks to explore how the collision of races shaped American democracy in the lives, thought, and actions of three of the nation’s most important presidents. Each of them led the nation in a different epoch, during times... More


Seeing Jefferson Anew
In His Time and Ours edited by John B. Boles and Randal L. Hall

Thomas Jefferson’s ideas have been so important in shaping the character and aspirations of the United States that it has proven impossible to think about the state of the nation at almost any moment without implicit or explicit reference to his words and actions. In similar fashion, each... More


This Glorious Struggle
George Washington's Revolutionary War Letters edited by Edward G. Lengel

George Washington wrote an astonishing number of letters, both personal and professional. The majority—about 140,000 documents—are from his years as commander in chief during the Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783. This Glorious Struggle presents a selection of Washington’s most important and... More


Battle over the Bench
Senators, Interest Groups, and Lower Court Confirmations Amy Steigerwalt

Who gets seated on the lower federal courts and why? Why are some nominees confirmed easily while others travel a long, hard road to confirmation? What role do senators and interest groups play in determining who will become a federal judge? The lower federal courts have increasingly become the... More


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