This book is about the Americans who tried to stop their nation from fighting in one of history’s most destructive wars and then were hounded by the government when they refused to back down. In the riveting War Against War, Michael Kazin brings us into the ranks of the largest, most diverse, and most sophisticated peace coalition up to that point in US history.
They came from a variety of backgrounds: wealthy and middle and working class, urban and rural, white and black, Christian and Jewish and atheist. They mounted street demonstrations and popular exhibitions, attracted prominent leaders from the labor and suffrage movements, ran peace candidates for local and federal office, and founded new organizations that endured beyond the cause. For almost three years, they helped prevent Congress from authorizing a massive increase in the size of the US army—a step advocated by ex-president Theodore Roosevelt.
Soon after the end of the Great War, most Americans believed it had not been worth fighting. And when its bitter legacy led to the next world war, the warnings of these peace activists turned into a tragic prophecy—and the beginning of a surveillance state that still endures today. War Against War is a dramatic account of a major turning point in the history of the United States and the world.
Politician, evangelist, and reformer William Jennings Bryan was the most popular public speaker of his time. In this acclaimed biography—the first major reconsideration of Bryan’s life in forty years–award-winning historian Michael Kazin illuminates his astonishing career and the richly diverse and volatile landscape of religion and politics in which he rose to fame.
Kazin vividly re-creates Bryan’s tremendous appeal, showing how he won a passionate following among both rural and urban Americans, who saw in him not only the practical vision of a reform politician but also the righteousness of a pastor. Bryan did more than anyone to transform the Democratic Party from a bulwark of laissez-faire to the citadel of liberalism we identify with Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1896, 1900, and 1908, Bryan was nominated for president, and though he fell short each time, his legacy–a subject of great debate after his death–remains monumental. This nuanced and brilliantly crafted portrait restores Bryan to an esteemed place in American history.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For the revised Cornell edition, Michael Kazin has rewritten the final chapter, bringing his coverage of American populism up to the 1996 presidential election, and he has added a new conclusion.
The definitive history of the reformers, radicals, and idealists who fought for a different America, from the abolitionists to Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky.
While the history of the left is a long story of idealism and determination, it has also been a story of movements that failed to gain support from mainstream America. In American Dreamers, Michael Kazin—one of the most respected historians of the American left working today—tells a new history of the movements that, while not fully succeeding on their own terms, nonetheless made lasting contributions to American society. Among these culture shaping events are the fight for equal opportunity for women, racial minorities, and homosexuals; the celebration of sexual pleasure; the inclusion of multiculturalism in the media and school curricula; and the creation of books and films with altruistic and anti-authoritarian messages. Deeply informed, judicious and impassioned, and superbly written, this is an essential book for our times and for anyone seeking to understand our political history and the people who made it.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In Search of Progressive America presents ten essays by journalists, academics, and government insiders that address the current state of promise and debate within the Left in U.S. politics. The political atmosphere that confronts progressives still poses challenges, and the authors propose thoughtful ways to create a new political order by building an inclusive, durable coalition.
The collection covers several of the most significant aspects of American political life. Matthew Yglesias, Andrew Bacevich, and Gary Gerstle offer three sober evaluations of the United States in world affairs and the impact of the world on American minds. Next, Todd Gitlin and Andrew Rich examine the struggle to control the messages of politics, through the mainstream media and think tanks, respectively. Ezra Klein, Dean Baker, Karen Kornbluh, and Nelson Lichtenstein each call for major changes in domestic policy grounded in both history and common sense. Finally, Michael Kazin recalls the era when Christian activists were found more often on the left than on the right and argues that a second coming of religious progressivism might be possible today.
Contributors include Dean Baker, Lewis Gould, Alex Keyssar, James Kloppenberg, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Lisa McGirr, Jack Rakove, Nick Salvatore, Stephen Skowronek, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and many more.
Entries cover?Key political periods, from the founding to today Political institutions, major parties, and founding documents The broader forces that shape U.S. politics, from economics, religion, and social movements to race, class, and gender Ideas, philosophies, and movements The political history and influence of geographic regions
Kazin argues persuasively that the power of populism lies in its adaptable nature. Across the political spectrum, commentators paste the label on forces and individuals who really have just one big thing in common: they are effective at blasting "elites" or "the establishment" for harming the interests and betraying the ideals of "the people" in nations that are committed, at least officially, to democratic principles. Kazin’s classic book has influenced debates over populism since its publication. The new preface to this edition brings the story up to date by charting the present resurgence of populist discourse, which was front and center in the 2016 elections and in the Brexit debate.
Crafted by a cast of both rising and renowned intellectuals from three continents, the twelve essays in this volume are divided into two sections. The first group of essays addresses the understanding of Americanism within the United States over the past two centuries, from the early republic to the war in Iraq. The second section provides perspectives from around the world in an effort to make sense of how the national creed and its critics have shaped diplomacy, war, and global culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Approaching a controversial ideology as both scholars and citizens, many of the essayists call for a revival of the ideals of Americanism in a new progressive politics that can bring together an increasingly polarized and fragmented citizenry.
Mia Bay, Rutgers University
Jun Furuya, Hokkaido University, Japan
Gary Gerstle, University of Maryland
Jonathan M. Hansen, Harvard University
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
Rob Kroes, University of Amsterdam
Melani McAlister, The George Washington University
Joseph A. McCartin, Georgetown University
Alan McPherson, Howard University
Louis Menand, Harvard University
Mae M. Ngai, University of Chicago
Robert Shalhope, University of Oklahoma
Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University
Alan Wolfe, Boston College
This original, deeply researched history shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success.
Each article, specially commissioned for this book, goes beyond basic facts to provide readers with crucial context, expert analysis, and informed perspectives on the evolution of American politics. Written by more than 170 leading historians and social scientists, The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History gives students, scholars, and researchers authoritative introductions to the subject's most important topics and a first step to further research.Features nearly 190 entries, organized alphabetically and written by a distinguished team of scholars, including Dean Baker, Lewis L. Gould, Alexander Keyssar, James T. Kloppenberg, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Lisa McGirr, Mark A. Noll, Jack N. Rakove, Nick Salvatore, Stephen Skowronek, Jeremi Suri, and Julian E. Zelizer Describes key political periods and eras, from the founding to the present day Traces the history of political institutions, parties, and founding documents Explains ideas, philosophies, and movements that shaped American politics Presents the political history and influence of geographic regions Describes the roles of ethnic, racial, and religious groups in the political process Explores the influence of mass culture, from political cartoons to the Internet Examines recurring issues that shape political campaigns and policy, from class, gender, and race to crime, education, taxation, voting, welfare, and much more Includes bibliographies, cross-references, appendixes, a comprehensive index, and more than 50 illustrations and maps
The Presidency of George W. Bush features contributions by Mary L. Dudziak, Gary Gerstle, David Greenberg, Meg Jacobs, Michael Kazin, Kevin M. Kruse, Nelson Lichtenstein, Fredrik Logevall, Timothy Naftali, James T. Patterson, and the book's editor, Julian E. Zelizer. Each chapter tackles some important aspect of Bush's administration--such as presidential power, law, the war on terror, the Iraq invasion, economic policy, and religion--and helps readers understand why Bush made the decisions he did. Taking readers behind the headlines of momentous events, the contributors show how the quandaries of the Bush presidency were essentially those of conservatism itself, which was confronted by the hard realities of governance. They demonstrate how in fact Bush frequently disappointed the Right, and how Barack Obama's 2008 election victory cast the very tenets of conservatism in doubt.
History will be the ultimate judge of Bush's legacy, and the assessment begins with this book.
“Dallek offers an FDR relevant to our sharply divided nation” —Michael Kazin
“Will rank among the standard biographies of its subject” —Publishers Weekly
A one-volume biography of Roosevelt by the #1 New York Times bestselling biographer of JFK, focusing on his career as an incomparable politician, uniter, and deal maker
In an era of such great national divisiveness, there could be no more timely biography of one of our greatest presidents than one that focuses on his unparalleled political ability as a uniter and consensus maker. Robert Dallek’s Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life takes a fresh look at the many compelling questions that have attracted all his biographers: how did a man who came from so privileged a background become the greatest presidential champion of the country’s needy? How did someone who never won recognition for his intellect foster revolutionary changes in the country’s economic and social institutions? How did Roosevelt work such a profound change in the country’s foreign relations?
For FDR, politics was a far more interesting and fulfilling pursuit than the management of family fortunes or the indulgence of personal pleasure, and by the time he became president, he had commanded the love and affection of millions of people. While all Roosevelt’s biographers agree that the onset of polio at the age of thirty-nine endowed him with a much greater sense of humanity, Dallek sees the affliction as an insufficient explanation for his transformation into a masterful politician who would win an unprecedented four presidential terms, initiate landmark reforms that changed the American industrial system, and transform an isolationist country into an international superpower.
Dallek attributes FDR’s success to two remarkable political insights. First, unlike any other president, he understood that effectiveness in the American political system depended on building a national consensus and commanding stable long-term popular support. Second, he made the presidency the central, most influential institution in modern America’s political system. In addressing the country’s international and domestic problems, Roosevelt recognized the vital importance of remaining closely attentive to the full range of public sentiment around policy-making decisions—perhaps FDR’s most enduring lesson in effective leadership.
Their message: To remain America, our country has to give its kids a civic identity, an understanding of our constitutional system, and some appreciation of the amazing achievements of American self-government. But we are failing. Young Americans know little about the Bill of Rights, the democratic process, or the civil rights movement. Three of every four high school seniors aren’t proficient in civics, nine of ten can’t cut it in U.S. history, and the problem is only aggravated by universities' disregard for civic education. Such civic illiteracy weakens our common culture, disenfranchises would-be voters, and helps poison our politics.
The global turmoil of the recent past has provoked intense dispute and division among intellectuals, academics, and other commentators. Hitchens's writing during this time, particularly after 9/11, is an essential reference point for understanding the genesis and meaning of that turmoil—and the challenges that accompany it. This volume brings together Hitchens's most incisive reflections on the war on terror, the war in Iraq, and the state of the contemporary Left. It also includes a selection of critical commentaries on his work from his former leftist comrades, a set of exchanges between Hitchens and various left-leaning interlocutors (such as Studs Terkel, Norman Finkelstein, and Michael Kazin), and an introductory essay by the editors on the nature and significance of Hitchens's contribution to the world of ideas and public debate. In response, Hitchens provides an original afterword, written for this collection.
Whatever readers might think about Hitchens, he remains an intellectual force to be reckoned with. And there is no better place to encounter his current thinking than in this provocative volume.
Featuring essays by some of the original contributors as well as prominent scholars who were influenced by the manifesto, The Port Huron Statement probes the origins, content, and contemporary influence of the document that heralded the emergence of a vibrant New Left in American culture and politics. Opening with an essay by Tom Hayden that provides a sweeping reflection on the document's enduring significance, the volume explores the diverse intellectual and cultural roots of the Statement, the uneasy dynamics between liberals and radicals that led to and followed this convergence, the ways participatory democracy was defined and deployed in the 1960s, and the continuing resonances this idea has for political movements today. An appendix includes the complete text of the original document.
The Port Huron Statement offers a vivid portrait of a unique moment in the history of radicalism, showing that the ideas that inspired a generation of young radicals more than half a century ago are just as important and provocative today.
Contributors: Robert Cohen, Richard Flacks, Jennifer Frost, Daniel Geary, Barbara Haber, Grace Elizabeth Hale, Tom Hayden, Michael Kazin, Nelson Lichtenstein, Jane Mansbridge, Lisa McGirr, James Miller, Robert J. S. Ross, Michael Vester, Erik Olin Wright.
Barack Obama's election as the first African American president seemed to usher in a new era, and he took office in 2009 with great expectations. But by his second term, Republicans controlled Congress, and, after the 2016 presidential election, Obama's legacy and the health of the Democratic Party itself appeared in doubt. In The Presidency of Barack Obama, Julian Zelizer gathers leading American historians to put President Obama and his administration into political and historical context.
These writers offer strikingly original assessments of the big issues that shaped the Obama years, including the conservative backlash, race, the financial crisis, health care, crime, drugs, counterterrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan, the environment, immigration, education, gay rights, and urban policy. Together, these essays suggest that Obama's central paradox is that, despite effective policymaking, he failed to receive credit for his many achievements and wasn't a party builder. Provocatively, they ask why Obama didn't unite Democrats and progressive activists to fight the conservative counter-tide as it grew stronger.
Engaging and deeply informed, The Presidency of Barack Obama is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand Obama and the uncertain aftermath of his presidency.
Contributors include Sarah Coleman, Jacob Dlamini, Gary Gerstle, Risa Goluboff, Meg Jacobs, Peniel Joseph, Michael Kazin, Matthew Lassiter, Kathryn Olmsted, Eric Rauchway, Richard Schragger, Paul Starr, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Thomas Sugrue, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and Jonathan Zimmerman.
On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in Knoxville, Tennessee, to tend to his father, whom he believes is dying. The summons turns out to be a false alarm, but on his way back to his family, Jay has a car accident and is killed instantly. Dancing back and forth in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay's wife, brother, and young son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelmingly powerful novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that should be read aloud for the sheer music of its prose.
"An utterly individual and original book...one of the most deeply worked out expressions of human feeling that I have ever read."--Alfred Kazin, New York Times Book Review
"It is, in the full sense, poetry....The language of the book, at once luminous and discreet...remains in the mind."--New Republic
"People I know who read A Death in the Family forty years ago still talk about it. So do I. It is a great book, and I'm happy to see it done anew."--Andre Dubus, author of Dancing After Hours and Meditations From A Moveable Chair
At the beginning of the twentieth century the Ashcan School of Art blazed onto the art scene, introducing a revolutionary vision of New York City. In contrast to the elite artists who painted the upper class bedecked in finery, in front of magnificent structures, or the progressive reformers who photographed the city as a slum, hopeless and full of despair, the Ashcan School held the unique belief that the industrial working-class city was a fit subject for great art. In Beauty in the City, Robert A. Slayton illustrates how these artists portrayed the working classes with respect and gloried in the drama of the subways and excavation sites, the office towers, and immigrant housing. Their art captured the emerging metropolis in all its facets, with its potent machinery and its class, ethnic, and gender issues. By exposing the realities of this new, modern America through their art—expressed in what they chose to draw, not in how they drew it—they created one of the great American art forms.
“A delight for the eyes, a treat for city lovers, and a fine example of how historians can use art, Beauty in the City will enrich such fields as urban history, art history, the history of New York City, and America in the twentieth century. Robert Slayton has identified a group of artists who saw in the gritty details of city life real beauty and social meaning.” — Hasia R. Diner, author of Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way
“A century ago, the Ashcan painters created an art that was of, by, and for urban Americans—in all their exhilarating pluralism. Robert Slayton analyzes and celebrates their accomplishment in a work that combines brilliant scholarship and a profound passion for his subject. To his great credit, he reveals ‘the beauty already there.’” — Michael Kazin, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914–1918
“With great narrative skill and finely drawn characters, Robert Slayton paints a vivid picture of New York and the art world in the early twentieth century. He reminds us that these artists and the city they inhabited continue to influence our perspective—about class, about gender, about race—a century later. This book is a wonderful, vibrant look at a forgotten part of our history.” — Terry Golway, author of Machine Made: Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • FINALIST, PHILLIS WHEATLEY BOOK AWARD • TEJU COLE WAS NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS OF THE YEAR BY NEW AFRICAN MAGAZINE
For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Michael Ondaatje, Every Day Is for the Thief is a wholly original work of fiction by Teju Cole, whose critically acclaimed debut, Open City, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than twenty publications.
Fifteen years is a long time to be away from home. It feels longer still because I left under a cloud.
A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. In a city dense with story, the unnamed narrator moves through a mosaic of life, hoping to find inspiration for his own. He witnesses the “yahoo yahoo” diligently perpetrating email frauds from an Internet café, longs after a mysterious woman reading on a public bus who disembarks and disappears into a bookless crowd, and recalls the tragic fate of an eleven-year-old boy accused of stealing at a local market.
Along the way, the man reconnects with old friends, a former girlfriend, and extended family, taps into the energies of Lagos life—creative, malevolent, ambiguous—and slowly begins to reconcile the profound changes that have taken place in his country and the truth about himself.
In spare, precise prose that sees humanity everywhere, interwoven with original photos by the author, Every Day Is for the Thief—originally published in Nigeria in 2007—is a wholly original work of fiction. This revised and updated edition is the first version of this unique book to be made available outside Africa. You’ve never read a book like Every Day Is for the Thief because no one writes like Teju Cole.
Praise for Every Day Is for the Thief
“A luminous rumination on storytelling and place, exile and return . . . extraordinary.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Cole is following in a long tradition of writerly walkers who, in the tradition of Baudelaire, make their way through urban spaces on foot and take their time doing so. Like Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, J. M. Coetzee, and W. G. Sebald (with whom he is often compared), Cole adds to the literature in his own zeitgeisty fashion.”—The Boston Globe
“Crisp, affecting . . . Cole constructs a narrative of fragments, a series of episodes that he allows to resonate.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Hugely rewarding . . . both a celebration of one of the world’s most vibrant cities and a lament over what can be one of the most frustrating and difficult places to live. It is also a story of family breakup and an uneasy homecoming—the narrator has been away for fifteen years and must relearn how to navigate a place that was once home.”—NPR
“[Every Day Is for the Thief has] a restraint that allows [Cole] to slip in these exquisitely rendered observations on life, love, art that leave you feeling richer and more attuned to your own reality once you’ve finished reading.”—Dinaw Mengestu, The Atlantic
From the Hardcover edition.
This new and fully revised edition of the seminal student textbook Twentieth-Century America has been updated throughout to take recent scholarship in the field into account and also includes a number of important new features, including:
- a brand new chapter on the years from 2000 onwards, covering 9/11, the financial crisis, and the rise of Barack Obama;
- substantial revisions to Part III, covering 1969 to the present day, and in particular to the material on Reagan, Clinton, African Americans, immigrants, the growth of the financial sector and (de)regulation and global warming; one theme is the limits of conservatism and the resilience of liberalism;
- greater emphasis on the United States in a transnational world and within the context of the rise of globalization.
The United States in the Long Twentieth Century is a detailed guide to American political and social history since 1900 and an essential text for all students interested in the modern history of the United States of America.
#Newsfail is definitely not your grandmother’s comedic-memoir-slash-political-manifesto. From page one (in a preface titled, “In Which the Authors Interview Ralph Nader in the Bathtub”), comedian Jamie Kilstein and journalist Allison Kilkenny pledge to give you the news like you’ve never gotten it before.
On issues ranging from feminism to gun control, climate change to class war, foreign policy to net neutrality, they tell you how the mainstream media gets it left, right, and utterly, unforgivably, irresponsibly wrong—think Noam Chomsky as channeled by Fred and Carrie from Portlandia. #Newsfail is all this, plus the story of Allison and Jamie’s own DIY foray into independent media via their podcast, Citizen Radio, which has featured guests such as Jeremy Scahill, Sarah Silverman, Glenn Greenwald, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and been downloaded millions of times by people all over the world.
In #Newsfail, they “make a strong case that a greater range of voices needs to be part of the national media discussion, including theirs” (Kirkus Reviews). Their mission is truth-telling above brainwashing. All you have to do is listen.
In the first part, Morris Dickstein, Jason Epstein, Barbara Epstein, David Bromwich, Jed Perl, and Mark Krupnick comment on Wilson's development as a critic, his faith in reason and his personal romanticism, his version of modernism and eclectic interest in the arts, as well as the sources of his later writing about Judaism. In the second section, a reading of the journals from The Twenties to The Sixties by Neale Reinitz and a chapter from Dabney's biography-in-progress lead to the reminiscences of Elizabeth Hardwick, Jason Epstein, Mary Meigs, Roger Straus, and Alfred Kazin, as well as Michael C. D. Macdonald, the son of family friends, and the Dead Sea Scrolls scholar James Sanders giving an authentic sense of Wilson's place in the literary life. Two of his important works, the study of the Marxist intellectual tradition in To the Finland Station and of Civil War literature in Patriotic Gore, anchor the discussion in the third part. Here David Remnick and Daniel Aaron debate his radical commitment, joined by Arthur Schlesinger and others in a vigorous exchange, and Randall Kennedy's attack on Wilson's neglect of nineteenth-century black writers provokes a response from Toni Morrison. Instructive essays by Andrew Delbanco and Louis Menand, and discerning comments by Paul Berman and Sean Wilentz round out the volume.
Originally published in 1997.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
From the reviews of Nazi Germany
"The best one-volume history of the Third Reich available.It fills a void which has existed for a long time and it will probably become the basic text for generations of students."-Walter Laqueur
"An indispensable, compellingly readable political, military and social history of the Third Reich."-Publishers Weekly
From the reviews of History of an Obsession
"This is truly a significant work, for Fischer gives a balanced account of a complex subject, making it painfully clear just how Germany became capable of genocide." - Booklist
"Fischer writes with a clear mastery of both primary and secondary sources. Synthesizing a wide spectrum of literature into a fine, scholarly work." - Library Journal
No decade since the end of World War II has been as seminal in its historical significance as the 1960s. That stormy period unleashed a host of pent-up social and generational conflicts that had not been experienced since the Civil War: intense racial and ethnic strife, cold war terror, the Vietnam War, counter-cultural protests, controversial social engineering, and political rancor.
Numerous studies on various aspects of these issues have been written over the past 35 years, but few have so successfully integrated the many-sided components into a coherent, synthetic, and reliable book that combines good storytelling with sound scholarly analysis. The main materials covered will be the Kennedy and Johnson presidencies; the Civil Rights movement; the Vietnam War and the protest it generated; the New Left, student radicals, and Black student militancy; and, finally, the counter-cultural side of the 60s: hippies, sex and Rock 'n' Roll.
In Continental Divide, Maurice Isserman tells the history of American mountaineering through four centuries of landmark climbs and first ascents. Mountains were originally seen as obstacles to civilization; over time they came to be viewed as places of redemption and renewal. The White Mountains stirred the transcendentalists; the Rockies and Sierras pulled explorers westward toward Manifest Destiny; Yosemite inspired the early environmental conservationists.
Climbing began in North America as a pursuit for lone eccentrics but grew to become a mass-participation sport. Beginning with Darby Field in 1642, the first person to climb a mountain in North America, Isserman describes the exploration and first ascents of the major American mountain ranges, from the Appalachians to Alaska. He also profiles the most important American mountaineers, including such figures as John C. Frémont, John Muir, Annie Peck, Bradford Washburn, Charlie Houston, and Bob Bates, relating their exploits both at home and abroad.
Isserman traces the evolving social, cultural, and political roles mountains played in shaping the country. He describes how American mountaineers forged a "brotherhood of the rope," modeled on America’s unique democratic self-image that characterized climbing in the years leading up to and immediately following World War II. And he underscores the impact of the postwar "rucksack revolution," including the advances in technique and style made by pioneering "dirtbag" rock climbers.
A magnificent, deeply researched history, Continental Divide tells a story of adventure and aspiration in the high peaks that makes a vivid case for the importance of mountains to American national identity.
The book recounts the adventures of such figures as Martin Conway, who led the first authentic Himalayan climbing expedition in 1892; Fanny Bullock Workman, the pioneer explorer of the Karakoram range; George Mallory, the romantic martyr of Mount Everest fame; Charlie Houston, who led American expeditions to K2 in the 1930s and 1950s; Ang Tharkay, the legendary Sherpa, and many others. Throughout, the authors discuss the effects of political and social change on the world of mountaineering, and they offer a penetrating analysis of a culture that once emphasized teamwork and fellowship among climbers, but now has been eclipsed by a scramble for individual fame and glory.
“We are provincials no longer,” declared Woodrow Wilson on March 5, 1917, at his second inauguration. He spoke on the eve of America’s entrance into World War I, just as Russia teetered between autocracy and democracy. In the face of chaos and turmoil in Europe, Wilson was determined to move America away from the isolationism that had defined the nation’s foreign policy since its inception and to embrace an active role in shaping world affairs.
Just ten days later, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the Russian throne, ending a three-centuries-long dynasty and plunging his country into a new era of uncertainty, ultimately paving the way for the creation of a Soviet empire.
Within a few short weeks, at Wilson’s urging, Congress voted to declare war on Germany, asserting the United States’ new role as a global power and its commitment to spreading American ideals abroad. Yet at home it remained a Jim Crow nation, and African Americans had their own struggle to pursue. American women were agitating for the vote and a greater role in society, and labor strife was rampant. As a consequence of the war that followed, the United States and Russia were to endure a century of wariness and hostility that flickers and flares to this day.
March 1917 reexamines these tumultuous events and their consequences in a compelling new analysis. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary Russian and American diaries, memoirs, oral histories, and newspaper accounts, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Will Englund creates a highly detailed and textured account of the month that transformed the world’s greatest nations. March 1917 considers the dreams of that year’s warriors, pacifists, activists, revolutionaries, and reactionaries, and demonstrates how their successes and failures constitute the origin story of our complex modern world.