Book cover of Heathen: Religion and Race in American History by Kathryn Gin Lum
History

Heathen: Religion and Race in American History

An innovative history that shows how the religious idea of the heathen in need of salvation undergirds American conceptions of race.

If an eighteenth-century parson told you that the difference between “civilization and heathenism is sky-high and star-far,” the words would hardly come as a shock. […Learn More]

Book cover of Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China by Julian Gewirtz
Asia

Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China

Unlikely Partners recounts the story of how Chinese politicians and intellectuals looked beyond their country’s borders for economic guidance at a key crossroads in the nation’s tumultuous twentieth century. Julian Gewirtz offers a dramatic tale of competition for influence between reformers and hardline conservatives during the Deng Xiaoping era, bringing to light China’s productive exchanges with the West. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Cigarette: A Political History by Sarah Milov
Biography & History

The Cigarette: A Political History

Tobacco is the quintessential American product. From Jamestown to the Marlboro Man, the plant occupied the heart of the nation’s economy and expressed its enduring myths. But today smoking rates have declined and smokers are exiled from many public spaces. The story of tobacco’s fortunes may seem straightforward: science triumphed over our addictive habits and the cynical machinations of tobacco executives. Yet the reality is more complicated. […Learn More]

Book cover of Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom by Sarah A. Seo
Engineering & Transportation

Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom 

When Americans think of freedom, they often picture the open road. Yet nowhere are we more likely to encounter the long arm of the law than in our cars. Sarah Seo reveals how the rise of the automobile led us to accept—and expect—pervasive police power, a radical transformation with far-reaching consequences. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise by Laura Weinrib
History

The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise

In the early decades of the twentieth century, business leaders condemned civil liberties as masks for subversive activity, while labor sympathizers denounced the courts as shills for industrial interests. But by the Second World War, prominent figures in both camps celebrated the judiciary for protecting freedom of speech. In this strikingly original history, Laura Weinrib illustrates how a surprising coalition of lawyers and activists made judicial enforcement of the Bill of Rights a defining feature of American democracy. […Learn More]