Friday, August 01, 2014

Early American History: A Dandy Baker's Dozen

So here's a short list of recent titles in the field of Early American History. If you want to get a sense of the state of the art, these books will get you started. While all of them represent an impressive achievement, some are even more significant that others. However, being so new to this area of study, I have a difficult time knowing which ones might still be popular and influential among scholars and their students, say, thirty years from now.

The list represents a good mix: there's the Atlantic Ocean, fish, fishing, the Boston Tea Party, Indians, the French, pirates, more tea, slaves, the British army, etc. For what it's worth, I put an asterisk by the titles I simply enjoyed more than others. So note well: an asterisk does not necessarily mean it's a better, more-important book, or that I especially agreed with the author's main point(s). It simply means I enjoyed reading that book more than most of the others.

*Bolster, W. Jeffrey. The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail. Harvard, 2012.

Carp, Benjamin L. Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America. Yale, 2010.

*Cronon, William. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. Revised edition. New York: Hill and Wang, 2003.

Fichter, James. So Great a Proffit: How the East Indies Trade Transformed Anglo-American Capitalism. Harvard, 2010.

Gould, Eliga H. Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire. Harvard, 2012.

Jasanoff, Maya. Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World. Vintage, 2012.

Lepore, Jill. The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity. Knopf, 1998.

Little, Ann. Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England. Pennsylvania, 2007.

*Rediker, Marcus. Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age. Beacon, 2004.

Richter, Daniel K. Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America. Harvard, 2001.

*Taylor, Alan. The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. Norton, 2013.

Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History. Modern Library, 2002.

Yokota, Kariann Akemi. Unbecoming British: How Revolutionary America Became a Postcolonial Nation. Oxford, 2011.

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