Category Archives: American History

The Past Looks So Much Different From The Present

When I was growing up, I tended to look at civil service reform positively and to have a dim view of Andrew Jackson’s spoils system by which the victor of elections got the spoils of being able to fire and … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ballot Battles

Ballot Battles:  The History Of Disputed Elections In The United States, by Edward B. Foley There has been no shortage of disputed elections in the United States, and there are some predictable reasons for that.  For one, Americans have always … Continue reading

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Book Review: Down For The Count

Down For the Count:  Dirty Elections And The Rotten History Of Democracy In America, by Andrew Gumbel I often find it amusing when writers fail to show the sense of realism that America’s founders had while simultaneously trying to impugn … Continue reading

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Book Review: Securing Democracy

Securing Democracy:  Why We Have An Electoral College, edited Gary L. Gregg II One of the more obvious and lamentable aspects of contemporary political science is reading from snobbish intellectuals about how backwards the Constitution was and how we need … Continue reading

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Book Review: How To Hide An Empire

How To Hide An Empire:  A History Of The Greater United States, by Daniel Immerwahr I have to admit that the subject of American imperialism is one that greatly interests me as a reader and writer [1].  And this book, … Continue reading

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Book Review: Building An American Empire

Building An American Empire:  The Era Of Territorial And Political Expansion, by Paul Frymer There is one very important fact that seems to be forgotten by many people who like to write about the history of the American empire.  It’s … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Not-Quite States Of America

The Not-Quite States Of America:  Dispatches From The Territories And Other Far-Flung Outposts Of the USA, by Doug Mack One of the things that one finds out quickly when one has a tendency to read books about empires in the … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Peculiar Institution

The Peculiar Institution:  Slavery In The Ante-Bellum South, by Kenneth M. Stampp In general I have enjoyed the books I have read by this author and this book is no different.  In writing about slavery and exposing its evils, it … Continue reading

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Book Review: Self-Taught

Self-Taught:  African American Education In Slavery And Freedom, Heather Andrea Williams Reading this book made me think of Thomas Sowell, and that is generally a good thing.  The writer of this book had an obvious interest in promoting the agency … Continue reading

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Book Review: Soul By Soul

Soul By Soul:  Life Inside The Antebellum Slave Market, by Walter Johnson Admittedly, the slave market is not what contemporary people tend to think of the most when they think of slavery.  It is easy to think of the plantation, … Continue reading

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