Book cover of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War by Megan Kate Nelson
Civil War

Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War

During the Civil War, cities, houses, forests, and soldiers’ bodies were transformed into “dead heaps of ruins,” novel sights in the southern landscape. How did this happen, and why? And what did Americans—northern and southern, black and white, male and female—make of this proliferation of ruins? Ruin Nation is the first book to bring together environmental and cultural histories to consider the evocative power of ruination as an imagined state, an act of destruction, and a process of change.
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Book cover of Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France by Robin Mitchell
Europe

Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France

Even though there were relatively few people of color in postrevolutionary France, images of and discussions about black women in particular appeared repeatedly in a variety of French cultural sectors and social milieus. In Vénus Noire, Robin Mitchell shows how these literary and visual depictions of black women helped to shape the country’s postrevolutionary national identity, particularly in response to the trauma of the French defeat in the Haitian Revolution. […Learn More]

Book cover of Prophet of Discontent: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Critique of Racial Capitalism
Politics & Government

Prophet of Discontent: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Critique of Racial Capitalism

Many of today’s insurgent Black movements call for an end to racial capitalism. They take aim at policing and mass incarceration, the racial partitioning of workplaces and residential communities, and the expropriation and underdevelopment of Black populations at home and abroad. Scholars and activists increasingly regard these practices as essential technologies of capital accumulation, evidence that capitalist societies past and present enshrine racial inequality as a matter of course. […Learn More]

Book cover of Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic by David Head
Americas

Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic

Privateers of the Americas examines raids on Spanish shipping conducted from the United States during the early 1800s. These activities were sanctioned by, and conducted on behalf of, republics in Spanish America aspiring to independence from Spain. Among the available histories of privateering, there is no comparable work. Because privateering further complicated international dealings during the already tumultuous Age of Revolution, the book also offers a new perspective on the diplomatic and Atlantic history of the early American republic. […Learn More]