Book review: A Short History of U.S. Interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean by Alan McPherson

In A Short History of U.S. Interventions, part of Wiley-Blackwell’s Viewpoints/Punto de Vista series, Alan McPherson analyses U.S. interventions in Latin America from the No Transfer resolution of 1811 through the present-day drug wars. McPherson argues that the foremost goal of U.S. policymakers was ‘political stability and political cultural change’ (4). Economic and other motivations certainly played a role, but he asserts that every intervention ‘harboured above all political motives’ (4). Continue reading

Review: HOTCUS Postgraduate Conference, ‘Situating Servicemen and Women: African American Soldiers during World War Two’

‘Winning Minds and Hearts: Constructing National Identity in US History’, HOTCUS Postgraduate Conference, Northumbria University, 9 September 2016. In the third of our review series for the HOTCUS Postgraduate Conference, ‘Winning Minds and Hearts: Constructing National Identity in US History’, Jennifer O’Reilly reviews a panel featuring Rosemary Pearce (University of Nottingham) … Continue reading

In The Fields Of Democracy: The Midwest In World War I

World War I generated a new narrative in American national identity. The easterly crusade to save the Old World, or, in President Wilson’s words, to make the world ‘safe for democracy’, reversed the nation’s foundational movement of western exploration and settlement leading away from Europe.[i] As Joseph Urgo describes it, ‘[t]he close of the old frontier’ was followed by ‘the opening of the global imperial frontier’, inaugurating America’s status as a superpower. Continue reading

Book Review: States of Trial: Manhood in Philip Roth’s Post-War America by Ann Basu

Given that Philip Roth has spent most of his career defending his writing, it’s appropriate that his ‘retirement’ would only be a spur to further debate amongst his readers. After a quiet announcement in the French cultural magazine Les InRocks (so quiet that the Anglophone world didn’t pick up on it until a full month later), Roth called time on a long and storied career. Since then, several critics have already published research that attempts to grapple with the complex issue of Roth’s literary legacy. One of the best of these works is Ann Basu’s recent monograph States of Trial. Continue reading

Trauma, Code and 9/11: Reading Vulnerability in a Digitized Present

Trauma shatters what we know and hold to be true, and these 9/11 texts find unexpected ways out of this. They are fictions of terror that embrace the reality of trauma within a digitized world. Beyond mourning, the experience of terror becomes the starting point for re-defining the place of the individual in the convoluted realities of our present day. These texts are a sensorium for a more humane present in the face of global terrorism. Continue reading

“Teaching America” series Round-Up

Throughout September 2015 U.S. Studies Online ran a collaborative series with the Historians of Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) on the theme of “Teaching America”. The series offers readers an insight into the ongoing conversations around teaching U.S. history in higher education. Catch up on the series in our round-up here. Continue reading

US History as Myth-Busting

In the third post of the ‘Teaching America’ series Dr Andrew Hartman (Illinois State University), author of the forthcoming monograph A War for the Soul Of America: A History of the Culture Wars, discusses the ways in which graduate students can be encouraged to engage with ‘America as an idea’ in intellectual history modules. Continue reading

Book Review: Grover Cleveland’s New Foreign Policy: Arbitration, Neutrality, and the Dawn of American Empire by Nick Cleaver

Rather than viewing his presidency with the war in mind as the end point of all post-Civil War foreign policy, Nick Cleaver presents an intriguing re-examination of the president and his two chief policy makers, Walter Gresham and Richard Olney, which argues that his foreign policy was formulated with a distinct vision of how the United States should conduct itself in the world that was different from both his predecessors and successors. Continue reading

Book Review: State of Recovery: The Quest to Restore American Security after 9/11 by Barry Scott Zellen

The terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11th 2001 was a watershed moment in national security in the United States. For the first time since Pearl Harbour, US homeland defences had been penetrated by enemy combatants and casualties had been suffered. Continue reading

HOTCUS ‘Teaching America’ Introduction

When the idea was initially pitched during a committee meeting that the Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) could produce a series for U.S Studies Online outlining how the history of the United States was being taught at universities the hope was to showcase both the breath and … Continue reading