Category Archives: Books

The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale and Moses Dunbar


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In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore answers to these questions about how and why Americans chose to support the sides they did during the American Revolution, by looking at the lives of two young soldiers from Connecticut: Moses Dunbar and Nathan Hale.

Taking us through the lives, politics, and decisions of these young men is Virginia DeJohn Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado-Boulder and author of The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale, Moses Dunbar, and the American Revolution (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017). 
 You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/181

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New Book On 1968 Columbia Student Protests


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a time to stirPaul Cronin’s new book, A Time to Stir: Columbia ’68, (Columbia University Press, 2018) reflects upon the 50th anniversary of the Columbia University student uprising and the legacies of the 1960s.

For seven days in April 1968, students occupied five buildings on the campus of Columbia University to protest a planned gymnasium in a nearby Harlem park, links between the university and the Vietnam War, and what they saw as the university’s unresponsive attitude toward their concerns. Continue reading

Russell Shorto at Brentwood Library Sunday


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revolution song bookAuthor Russell Shorto is set to speak at the Brentwood Public Library, on Long Island, about his new book Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom, on Sunday, April 15th.

The book explores the lives of six historical figures, including Cornplanter, the Seneca Indian warrior; Venture Smith who freed himself and his family from slavery; and Margaret Moncrieffe Coghlan, a rebellious young woman who abandoned her abusive husband.

They are all linked by their connections to George Washington. Continue reading

Alexander Hamilton and the Making of American Law


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Kate Elizabeth Brown, an Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Huntington University in Indiana and author of Alexander Hamilton and the Development of American Law (Kansas Press, 2017), joins us to explore more about the Alexander Hamilton we don’t know, the Hamilton who helped develop American law. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/180

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American Eden: Botany, Medicine In The Early Republic


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american edenVictoria Johnson’s new book American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garen of the Early Republic (Liveright, 2018) is the untold story of Alexander Hamilton’s ― and Aaron Burr’s ― personal physician, whose dream to build America’s first botanical garden inspired the young Republic.

When Dr. David Hosack tilled what is believed to one of the country’s first botanical gardens in the Manhattan soil more than two hundred years ago, he didn’t just dramatically alter the New York landscape; he left a legacy of advocacy for public health and wide-ranging support for the sciences. Continue reading

New Book Reveals Mystery of Albany Mummies


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mystery of the albany mummiesA new book, The Mystery of the Albany Mummies (Albany Institute of History & Art, 2018), tells the story of how two ancient Egyptian mummies ended-up at an Albany museum.

In 1909, two mummies, one dating from the 21st Dynasty and the other from the Ptolemaic Period, were purchased from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo by Albany businessman Samuel Brown for the Albany Institute of History & Art. They have been on continuous exhibition since.

The story of their discovery in the tombs at Deir el-Bahri and their subsequent purchase by Brown, transport by steamship from Cairo to New York City, and steamboat travel to Albany was covered extensively by local newspapers. Continue reading

Milton, NY: New Local History Published


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milton a new town in a new nationA new book by Kim McCartney, James Richmond, and Karen Staulters, Milton, New York: A New Town in a New Nation (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018) takes a look at the growth of the shire town of Saratoga County from its first settlement on the eve of the Revolutionary War to the conclusion of the Civil War.

The book offers the story of pioneers, farmers, entrepreneurs, politicians, people of color, industrialists, mill workers, teachers, and soldiers. Continue reading

New Book: Al Smith and the Revolution of 1928


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revolution of 28Robert Chiles new book, The Revolution of ’28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal (Cornell University Press, 2018) explores the career of New York Governor and 1928 Democratic presidential nominee Alfred E. Smith.

The Revolution of ’28 charts the rise of that idiomatic progressivism during Smith’s early years as a state legislator through his time as governor of the Empire State in the 1920s, before proceeding to a revisionist narrative of the 1928 presidential campaign, exploring the ways in which Smith’s gubernatorial progressivism was presented to a national audience.

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Governance After the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, George William Van Cleve, a researcher in law and history at the University of Seattle Law School and author of We Have Not A Government: The Articles of Confederation and the Road to the Constitution (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2017), takes us into the Confederation period so we can discover more about the Articles of Confederation, the government it established, and the problems that government confronted. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/179

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