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New and Notable Books – Summer 2020

Here’s my latest edition of New and Notable Books. As a reminder, these suggestions focus on recent books in history, especially American history and religious history. These books certainly may interest fellow historians, but I also try to suggest ones that are accessible and (somewhat) affordable to students and general readers.

Ariel Sabar, Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife (Doubleday). “From National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Ariel Sabar, the gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that shook Harvard.”

Peter J. Thuesen, Tornado God: American Religion and Violent Weather (Oxford). “In this groundbreaking history, Peter Thuesen captures the harrowing drama of tornadoes, as clergy, theologians, meteorologists, and ordinary citizens struggle to make sense of these death-dealing tempests.”

Tara Isabella Burton, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World (Public Affairs). Barton Swaim’s excellent review of this book in the The Wall Street Journal piqued my interest.

Tom Zoellner, Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire (Harvard). Because I am fascinated by the 1831 Jamaican slave rebellion that is often called the “Baptist War.”

Sean Wilentz, No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding (Harvard). I recently finished this excellent book, published in 2018, which gave me a whole new perspective on the reasons for the Constitution’s silences (evasions?) on the subject of, and even the term “slavery.”

[The book links provided here are part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.]

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