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.
Pekka Hämäläinen, Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power (Yale). I am listening to this book on Audible, and I am recommending it partly because of Hämäläinen’s previous book, Comanche Empire, which may be the book on Native Americans that has had the most profound effect on the way I view and teach early American history.
Brenda Wineapple, The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation (Random House). Kind of relevant in 2020.
Timothy Tyson, The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon & Schuster). Published in 2017, I just finished reading this recently. It is a harrowing but authoritative account of how the murder of a black teenager in Mississippi, and the exoneration of the murderers by an all-white jury, improbably came to fuel the civil-rights movement.
Alec Ryrie, Unbelievers: An Emotional History of Doubt (Harvard). From Andrew Wilson’s review at TGC: “The intellectual case for unbelief, [Ryrie] argues, only emerges after many generations of emotional and practical unbelief.”
John G. Turner, They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty (Yale), forthcoming April 7. There will be many books on the Pilgrims coming out in this 400th anniversary year of the Mayflower, but this is my contender for the best one. In my endorsement for the book I say, “This highly important book will become the new standard work on the Plymouth Colony.” Turner has incredible range as a historian, with fabulous previous books on subjects including Campus Crusade for Christ and Brigham Young.
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