Category Archives: Books

A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War


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a spirit of sacrificeA companion catalog to the New York State Museum exhibition of the same name, Aaron Noble’s new book A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War (SUNY Press, 2017) documents the statewide story of New York in World War I through the collections of the New York State Museum, Library, and Archives.

Within the collections are the nearly 3,600 posters of the Benjamin W. Arnold World War I Poster Collection at the New York State Library. The book interweaves the story of New York in the Great War with some of these posters, and artifacts from museums, libraries, and historical societies from across New York State, to illuminate the involvement of New Yorkers in the War. Continue reading

Russell Shorto At NYS Museum Monday, Nov 13


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revolution song bookAuthor and journalist Russell Shorto, whose new book, Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom, was released on November 7, will present a reading and discussion on Monday, November 13 at 7 pm in the Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, in Albany.

In Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom, author and historian Russell Shorto looks back to the founding of the American nation, drawing on diaries, letters and autobiographies to explore six lives, including an Albany man, that cast the era in a fresh new light. Continue reading

Citizen Soldier: Rev War Journal of Joseph Bloomfield


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citizen soldier bookOn Friday, November 10, 2017, the Fort Plain Museum is holding a book release signing and reception for Citizen Soldier: The Revolutionary War Journal of Joseph Bloomfield, edited by Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin.

Bloomfield was an officer in the 3rd New Jersey Regiment from 1776 to 1779. His service took him from the Mohawk Valley (Guy Park Manor, Johnson Hall, Fort Dayton, Fort Stanwix and others) to Fort Ticonderoga in New York, to the battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania, and to the battle of Monmouth in his native state. Also included are Bloomfield’s notes on the culture and behavior of the Iroquois tribes known collectively as the Six Nations, which played a crucial role in revolutionary New York. Continue reading

African American Soldiers of the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldBetween 1775 and 1783, an estimated 230,000 men served in the Continental Army with another approximately 145,000 men serving in state militia units.

But who were the men who served in these military ranks? What motivated them to take up arms and join the army? And what was their military experience like?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we begin a 2-episode exploration of some of the military aspects of the American Revolution by exploring the experiences of the approximately 6,000-7,000 African American men who served in the Continental Army. Our guide for this exploration is Judith Van Buskirk, a professor of history at the State University of New York, Cortland and the author of Standing in Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/157

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Two New Adirondack Historic Architecture Guides Published


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A Guide to Architecture in the AdirondacksTwo books published this year have significantly expanded our understanding of Adirondack architecture. People familiar with the Adirondacks know that twig furniture and palatial robber baron wilderness compounds are the exception, not the rule, for the Adirondack built environment. Unfortunately, until this year there have been no real resources that document the diversity of what really exists along the roadsides and in the settlements of the region. Now, at last, two truly amazing new books have arrived to fill the void. Both books belong in the bookcase of anyone who wants to know more about the Adirondacks.

Destined to become the reference book most often used to jog the memory is A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks by Prof. Richard Longstreth ($34.95, 427 pages). Published by Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) and produced by Adirondack Life this book covers the most significant buildings and structures throughout the region. Longstreth is a well-known architectural historian who teaches at George Washington University. He has deep first hand knowledge of the subject having been an inquiring seasonal resident of the Adirondacks since 1978. Continue reading

Adirondack Historian To Lecture In Columbia County


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Author Glenn Pearsall is set to speak about and sign his new fiction book, Leaves Torn Asunder on Tuesday, October 24 at 7 pm during a free event, open to the public, at the James Vanderpoel ‘House of History’ in Kinderhook, sponsored by the Columbia County Historical Society Volunteers.

Based on true events, Pearsall’s research included diaries, soldiers’ letters home, visits to Civil War battle sites and historical documents such as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. One of the main characters in the novel is an outspoken abolitionist. Continue reading

Pauline Maier’s American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldHow much can the work of one historian impact how we view and study the American Revolution?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we investigate the answer to this question by exploring the life and work of Pauline Maier, a historian who spent her life researching and investigating the American Revolution. Over the course of her lifetime, Maier wrote four important books about the American Revolution: From Resistance to Revolution (Knopf, 1973), The Old Revolutionaries (Knopf, 1980), American Scripture (Knopf, 1997), and Ratification (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

Mary Beth Norton, Joanne Freeman, Todd Estes, and Lindsay Chervinsky join us as we journey through Maier’s body of work to better understand the American Revolution and how one historian can impact how we view and study history. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/155

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Rebels on the Niagara: The Fenian Invasion of Canada


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rebels on the niagara book coverLawrence E. Cline’s new book Rebels on the Niagara: The Fenian Invasion of Canada, 1866 (SUNY Press, 2017) takes a look at what is now largely considered a footnote in history, the American invasion of Canada along the Niagara Frontier.

The group behind the invasion – the Fenian Brotherhood – was formed in 1858 by Irish nationalists in New York City in order to fight for Irish independence from Britain. Continue reading

Freedoms We Lost in the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldDeclaring independence from Great Britain required the formation of new governments.

But why did Americans want and need new governments? And how did their interactions and experiences with their old, colonial governments inform their decisions to create new governments?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Barbara Clark Smith, a curator in the division of political history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the author of The Freedoms We Lost: Consent and Resistance in Revolutionary America (The New Press, 2010), leads us on an exploration of how Americans interacted with their government before the American Revolution and how the Revolution changed their interaction and ideas about government. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/154

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