Top Young Historians: 57 – Robert O. Self


Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

57: Robert O. Self, 6-25-07

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Associate Professor, Department of History, Brown University
Area of Research: urban history, the history of race and American political culture, post-1945 U.S. society and culture, and gender in the mid-century city
Education: PhD, Department of History, University of Washington, 1998
Major Publications: Self is the author of American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (Princeton University Press, 2003), Robert Self JPG the winner of 4 prizes including: 2005 James A. Rawley Prize, Best Book on U.S. Race Relations, Organization of American Historians, 2005 Best Book in Urban Affairs, Urban Affairs Association, 2004 Ralph J. Bunche Award, Best Book on Ethnic Pluralism, American Political Science Association, and 2004 Best Book in North American Urban History, Urban History Association.
His currently working on The Politics of Gender and Sexuality in America From Watts to Reagan which examines the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race in U.S. political culture between the Watts riot and uprising in 1965 and the election of Ronald Reagan.
Self is the author of a number of journal articles and book chapters including: “The Black Panther Party and the Long Civil Rights Era, 1935-1975,” in In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement, Jama Lazerow and Yohuru Williams, eds. (Duke University Press, 2006); :Prelude to the Tax Revolt: The Politics of the ‘Tax Dollar’ in Postwar California,” in The New Suburban History, Kevin Kruse and Thomas Sugrue, eds. (University of Chicago Press, 2006); and “‘To Plan Our Liberation’: Black Power and the Politics of Place in Oakland, California, 1965-1977,” Journal of Urban History 26/6 (September 2000), winner of Best Article on Urban History, Urban History Association, 2000, among others.
Awards: Self is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
W. Turrentine Jackson Award for Best Dissertation on the Twentieth-Century West, American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, 1998;
Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2008-2009;
Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), 2007-2008;
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University;
Residential Fellowship, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University (declined), 2007-2008;
Cogut Center for the Humanities, Faculty Fellowship, Brown University (declined), 2007-2008;
Edwin and Shirley Seave Faculty Fellow, Pembroke Research Seminar, Brown University, 2006;
Wriston Curricular Development Grant, Brown University, 2005-2006;
Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award, Brown University, 2005-2006;
W. M. Keck Foundation and Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellow, Huntington Library, 2004;
Graduate School Research Committee, Research Grant, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 2002-2003;
Rackham Summer Interdisciplinary Institute Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2001;
Office of the Vice President for Research Faculty Grant, University of Michigan, 2000;
American Philosophical Society, Research Grant, 1999;
Book Club of California, Manuscript Writing Grant, 1999;
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dissertation Fellowship (year-long), 1997-1998;
National Science Foundation, Dissertation Grant (year-long), 1997-1998;
Rondeau Evans Dissertation Fellowship, History Department, University of Washington, 1997-1998;
Harry Bridges Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Washington, 1995.
Additional Info:
Formerly Assistant Professor, History and Urban Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 2002-2004.
Self was the Rackham Fellow, Michigan Society of FellowsUniversity of Michigan, 1999-2002, and the Fellow in the Study of the North American West, Stanford University, 1998-1999.

Personal Anecdote

Late in the afternoon in summer, usually around three or four, fog rolls through the “golden gate” from the Pacific Ocean, crosses the San Francisco Bay, and slams against the Oakland Hills. If you are lucky enough, and have enough money, to live in the hills, this is both an extraordinary sight and an exhilarating form of air conditioning. The daily fog keeps the hillside neighborhoods cool, while temperatures on the eastern side of the hills climb into the nineties and typically push one hundred.

On the western side, down below, lie the “flatlands” of Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond. The fog is slower to arrive there, and the heat can stay trapped for longer. Much of the flatlands was plotted in the first half of the century for workers: small bungalows, workers’ cottages, and Victorian duplexes to house the dock, warehouse, railroad, ferry, oil, and factory workers who made up the East Bay’s mid-century laboring classes.

Those classes, much like today, were multi-racial and international. African American, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Mexican American, Irish, Eastern European, they lived in eclectic neighborhoods of dense work, leisure, and residential life. Their labor made the East Bay a prosperous place, and when World War II arrived their labor (and the addition of perhaps a quarter of a million migrants) made it a booming place. You can catch them still in the amazing photographs of Dorthea Lang.

In between the working-class neighborhoods of the flatlands and the air-conditioned hills is the middle-class foothills. Packed with churches and commercial strips, these neighborhoods are a crazy-quilt of curving streets and secluded, tree-lined nooks. In the last decade, the housing bubble has pushed the modest homes in these neighborhoods into the six- and seven-hundred thousand dollar range. On the edges of these neighborhoods, even more modest flatland homes now stare down gentrification.

No one who traverses San Francisco’s East Bay can escape the geography of class and race that has been engraved into the terrain for more than a century. The flatlands are still a port of entry for the nation’s immigrants and the least privileged, 14th Street (now International Boulevard) an emblem of global flows of labor. The dock and railroads no longer provide employment, but Walmart and Best Buy, hospitals and nursing homes do as well as not a few of the hillside lawns and gardens.

You can travel to the flatlands from the hills in less than 10 minutes, but for more than a century it’s not been a distance you can measure in miles or driving time.


By Robert O. Self

  • The most significant political, economic, and spatial transformation in the postwar United States  JPG was the overdevelopment of suburbs and the underdevelopment of cities. As ostensible signifiers of this transformation, “white flight” and “urban decline” mask volatile and protracted social and political struggles over land, taxes, jobs, and public policy in the thirty years between 1945 and the late 1970s…Histories of the postwar United States typically tell separate stories. Civil rights was the great freedom movement. Suburbanization was driven by affluence and white flight. Urban history was characterized by deindustrialization and ghetto formation. These stories stand side by side one another, but we are left with a surprisingly impoverished analytical language for thinking of them relationally. To consider them in relation is not just to recover their deep connections but to rethink the stories themselves. — Robert Self, in “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland”

About Robert O. Self

  • “American Babylon promises to be one of those rare works that redefines the field. Robert Self brilliantly weaves together histories that are usually told separately: political economy, labor, black community formation, suburbanization, and civil rights. His analysis of the relationship between ‘black power’ and ‘white power’ opens up a new way of thinking about race, economics, and politics in modern America.” — Thomas J. Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania reviewing “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland”
  • “By grounding his historical narrative in its spatial context, Robert Self offers a new conception of postwar urban history and also of national political history, making it possible to map the relations of social and political power. He has moreover broken free of a traditional limitation of urban histories: rather than limit himself to a single municipality, he tells the story of an entire metropolitan region. This very readable book promises to be highly influential in the fields of urban history, postwar political history, and African American and race relations history.” — Philip J. Ethington, University of Southern California reviewing “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland”
  • “American Babylon traces the dialectic of suburbanization and black power in my hometown of Oakland, California. Encapsulating the postwar history of hundreds of mid-sized American cities, Robert Self’s original and fascinating case study historicizes city-suburb racial segregation as a creation within living memory. We cannot heal or make sense of the nation we live in now without American Babylon.” — Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University reviewing “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland”
  • “[A]n original and complex explanation for the urban crisis that transformed Oakland, California, from 1945 to 1978. . . . By placing the history of Oakland and its African American community in a new theoretical framework that emphasizes suburban growth, tax revolts, and battles over land, jobs, and political power, Self has challenged historians to reconsider the way that they study postwar black urban communities.” — Albert S. Broussard, “Journal of American History” reviewing “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland”
  • “[M]eticulously researched. . . . [A] compelling, complex, and original account of black and, to a lesser extent, white community politics in metropolitan Oakland California from 1945 to 1978.” — Cynthia Horan, “Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science” reviewing “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland”
  • “By placing the history of Oakland and its African American community in a new theoretical framework that emphasizes suburban growth, tax revolts, and battles over land, jobs, and political power, Self has challenged historians to reconsider the way that they study postwar black urban communities.” — Albert S. Broussard, “Journal of American History” reviewing “American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland”
  • “If you are concerned with the postwar city, race, economics, and politics, get this book and read it.” — Kenneth Durr, “American Historical Review”
  • “Interesting, multi-faceted lectures every day. Prof. Self is so interesting and enthusiastic. He makes you equally as fascinated with history.”… “Prof. Self is an incredibly engaging, energetic, and dynamic professor who has made class fun and interesting throughout through his audiovisual aids (music as we shuffle into class and PowerPoint during lecture).”… “Prof. Self was wonderful…I learned so much about the history of gender and sexuality. The course questioned my ideas and completely transformed the way I look at history, politics, and society today.” Comments on postwar gender and sexuality course.” — Anonymous Students

Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 9:41 PM

History Buzz: June 2007

History Buzz

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor/Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

June 25, 2007

    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • Simon Schama on Hillary’s Chances of Becoming President: “Very poor. Which is a shame because she would make a great president and a much better one than her indecisive husband. She is astute and an excellent organiser…. She freezes on TV. Whenever the cameras go ‘click’, she gets transfixed. It’s like a form of lockjaw.” – Daily Mail, UK, 6-20-07

This Week in History:

  • 06-24-1509 – Henry VIII was crowned king of England.
  • 06-24-1647 – Early American feminist Margaret Brent demanded a seat and vote in the Maryland Assembly, but was ejected from that body.
  • 06-24-1675 – King Philip’s War, the most devastating war between the colonists and Indians, began with Indians attacking the Swansea (Mass.) settlement.
  • 06-24-1908 – The 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, N.J.
  • 06-24-1947 – Kenneth Arnold, an American pilot, reported seeing strange objects near Mt. Rainier, Washington. He described them as “saucers skipping across the water,” hence the term “flying saucers” was born.
  • 06-24-1948 – The Soviet Union began a blockade of Berlin. Allied forces responded with what would be known as the Berlin Airlift flying in more than 2 million tons of supplies over the next year.
  • 06-24-1997 – The U.S. Air Force released The Roswell Report, closing the case on the 1947 Roswell, N.M. incident concerning UFOs and alien bodies.
  • 06-25-1788 – Virginia became the 10th state in the Union.
  • 06-25-1876 – Lt. Col. George A. Custer and all his men were killed by Sioux and Cheyanne Indians at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana.
  • 06-25-1950 – Communist North Korean troops invaded South Korea, beginning the Korean War.
  • 06-25-1951 – The first commercial color TV program was transmitted by CBS from New York to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC.
  • 06-25-1991 – Croatia and Slovenia proclaimed their independence from Yugoslavia, beginning the Yugoslavian civil war.
  • 06-26-1819 – The bicycle was patented by W. K. Clarkson.
  • 06-26-1843 – Hong Kong was proclaimed a British crown colony.
  • 06-26-1906 – The first Grand Prix motor race was held in Le Mans, France.
  • 06-26-1959 – The St. Lawrence Seaway, connecting the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, was opened
  • 06-26-1963 – President John Kennedy gave his, “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) speech in West Berlin.
  • 06-26-1976 – The CN tower in Toronto opened, the world’s tallest free-standing structure.
  • 06-27-1844 – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in Carthage, Ill.
  • 06-27-1898 – Joshua Slocum became the first person to successfully circumnavigate the earth alone when he landed his sloop Spray in Newport, R.I., a 46,000-mile trip.
  • 06-27-1950 – President Harry S. Truman ordered the Air Force and Navy into the Korean War.
  • 06-27-1954 – The world’s first atomic power station opened at Obninsk, near Moscow.
  • 06-27-1969 – Police and gays clashed at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, fostering the gay rights movement.
  • 06-27-1985 – The legendary Route 66, running from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif., was decertified, the victim of the Interstate Highway System.
  • 06-28-1836 – The fourth president of the United States, James Madison, died at Montpelier, his Virginia estate.
  • 06-28-1894 – Labor Day became a federal holiday by an act of Congress.
  • 06-28-1914 – Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife were assassinated, setting off World War I.
  • 06-28-1919 – The Treaty of Versailles was signed in France, ending World War I.
  • 06-28-1978 – The Supreme Court ruled in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that the use of quotas in affirmative action programs was not permissible.
  • 06-28-2000 – Elian Gonzalez was returned to his father in Cuba.
  • 06-28-2001 – Serbia handed over Slobodan Milosevic over to the UN war crimes tribunal.
  • 06-28-2004 – In Iraq, the United States transferred power back to the Iraqis two days earlier than planned.
  • 06-29-1613 – London’s Globe Theatre burned down during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII.
  • 06-29-1767 – The British Parliament approved the Townshend Acts.
  • 06-29-1972 – The Supreme Court ruled in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty could constitute “cruel and unusual” prompting some states to revise their laws.
  • 06-30-1921 – President Warren G. Harding appointed former president William H. Taft chief justice of the United States.
  • 06-30-1934 – Adolf Hitler secured his position in the Nazi party by a “blood purge,” ridding the party of other leaders such as Ernst Roehm and Kurt von Schleicher.
  • 06-30-1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind was published.
  • 06-30-1971 – The 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18, was ratified by the states.
  • 06-30-1998 – The remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.
  • 07-01-1863 – The Battle of Gettysburg, which marked the turning point in the Civil War, began.
  • 07-01-1867 – Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain under the British North America Act.
  • 07-01-1898 – Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders fought the battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War.
  • 07-01-1943 – Income tax withholding began in the United States.
  • 07-01-1962 – Burundi and Rwanda achieved independence.
  • 07-01-1963 – The U.S. Post Office inaugurated its five-digit ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) codes.
  • 07-01-1968 – The United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and 58 other nations signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
  • 07-01-1997 – After 156 years of British colonial rule, Hong Kong was returned to China.
  • 07-01-2000 – Vermont’s civil unions law went into effect.
  • 07-01-2000 – The Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina statehouse.
  • Gary Gallagher on Custer’s flag, Grant’s sword among war relics in auction – AP, 6-23-07
  • Heinrichs Strods: Has been denied Russian visa – Latvian Abroad, 6-12-07
  • RICHARD J. EVANS on Saul Friedländer: Whose Orders? THE YEARS OF EXTERMINATION Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945NYT, 6-24-07
  • Beverly Lowry: The Fugitive HARRIET TUBMAN Imagining a LifeNYT, 6-24-07
  • H.W. Brands on Michael Barone: HISTORY: ENGLAND A Glorious Beginning How the last invasion of England set the stage for American liberty OUR FIRST REVOLUTION The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America’s Founding FathersWaPo, 6-24-07
  • Felicia Kornbluh: Sixties Welfare Debate Contains Lessons for 2008 Candidates In her new book, Duke historian Felicia Kornbluh chronicles the efforts of the National Welfare Rights Organization to advocate for a guaranteed income – Duke University, NC, 6-21-07
  • Andrew Ferguson: Land of Lincoln LAND OF LINCOLN Adventures in Abe’s AmericaNYT, 6-22-07
  • Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher: Thomas Agonistes SUPREME DISCOMFORT The Divided Soul of Clarence ThomasNYT, 6-17-07
  • Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher: SUPREME DISCOMFORT The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas, First Chapter – NYT, 6-17-07
  • Douglas Brinkley: Reagan on Reagan THE REAGAN DIARIESNYT, 6-17-07
  • Douglas Brinkley: THE REAGAN DIARIES, First Chapter – NYT, 6-17-07
  • Graham Russell Gao Hodges: Curb Job TAXI! A Social History of the New York City CabdriverNYT, 6-17-07
  • Graham Russell Gao Hodges: TAXI! A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver, First Chapter – NYT, 6-17-07
  • Evan Thomas on Stanley Weintraub and Mark Perry: HISTORY: WORLD WAR II Band of Brothers, Team of Rivals Two books examine the American generals who won World War II – 15 STARS Eisenhower, MacArthur, Marshall Three Generals Who Saved the American Century and PARTNERS IN COMMAND George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and PeaceWaPo, 6-17-07
  • Steve Vogel: HISTORY: INSTITUTIONS The House That War Built The nation’s military headquarters, from blueprint to final construction THE PENTAGON A HistoryWaPo, 6-17-07
  • Harold Holzer on CULTURAL AFFAIRS: LINCOLNIANA What Would Abe Do? A former Lincoln buff introduces his children to the glories of the legacy LAND OF LINCOLN Adventures in Abe’s AmericaWaPo, 6-17-07
  • Matthew Dallek on David Talbot: HISTORY: JFK ASSASSINATION Beyond the Grassy Knoll Is the truth behind the Kennedy assassinations still unknown? BROTHERS The Hidden History of the Kennedy YearsWaPo, 6-17-07
  • Sam Wineburg: Opening Up the Textbook And Offering Students a ‘Second Voice’ –, 6-6-07
  • A Peculiar Responsibility American colleges and universities grapple with their ties to slavery – Campus Progress, DC, 6-22-07
  • Charles M. Robinson: STC professor sees release of look at Louisiana’s history – Monitor, TX, 6-14-07
  • The Revisionist Drew Gilpin Faust has been called Harvard’s “safe” choice to succeed Larry Summers. Now, as she prepares to take office, no one knows what kind of president she will be. But we do know what kind of historian she is, and safe is not the word – Boston Globe, 6-10-07
  • Dan Roberts: U. of Richmond professor wants his MTV – so he can teach Dan Roberts uses various media, including YouTube soon, to bring us “A Moment in Time.” – Daily Press, VA, 6-24-07
  • Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham quoted in Longer Version: The Harvard of Black Kentucky – Louisville Courier-Journal, KY, 6-24-07
  • Marc Lamont Hill on “Ancestors of slaves, masters form unlikely bond”: “One of the things that has retarded the progress of race relations is our extraordinary ability to forget. We go to extravagant lengths to forget aspects of the past. We need to acknowledge the past as it really was. We don’t need to romanticize it.” – Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6-24-07

History Listings This Week:

  • C-Span2, Book TV : History: Paul Starr “Freedom’s Power: The True Force Of Liberalism” Sunday, June 24 at 10:00am C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : John Perkins: “The Secret History of the American Empire” Sunday, June 24 at 12:00pm C-Span2, BookTV
  • History Channel: “Nostradamus: 500 Years Later” Sunday, June 24, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Titanic’s Final Moments: Missing Pieces :” Monday, June 25, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Titanic’s Achilles Heel” Monday, June 25, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :09 – Freemason Underground” Monday, June 25, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Egypt Decoded,” Monday, June 25, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special : An Alien History of Planet Earth,” Tuesday, June 26, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :Japan’s Mysterious Pyramids,” Tuesday, June 26, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Weird U.S. :This Odd House,” Tuesday, June 26, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History Rocks: The 70’s :Part 1,” Wednesday, June 27, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History Rocks: The 70’s :Part 2,” Wednesday, June 27, @ 3pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Apollo 13: Triumph on the Dark Side,” Wednesday, June 27, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :09 – Freemason Underground,” Wednesday, June 27, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hurricane Warning,” Thursday, June 28, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mega Disasters :New York City Hurricane,” Thursday, June 28, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights: The Greatest Air Battles,” Friday, June 29, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights :04 – Flying Tigers,” Friday, June 29, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights :05 – Guadalcanal,” Friday, June 29, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights :08 – Death of the Japanese Navy,” Friday, June 29, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special : Meteors: Fire in the Sky,” Saturday, June 30, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy,” Saturday, June 30, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Kennedys: The Curse of Power :Kennedys: The Curse of Power,” Saturday, June 30, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • Ronald Reagan. Edited by Douglas Brinkley: THE REAGAN DIARIES #1 (4 weeks on list) – 7-01-07
  • Walter Isaacson: EINSTEIN HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE #4 (7 weeks on list) – 7-01-07
  • Michael Beschloss: PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE, #9 (6 weeks on list) – 7-01-07
  • Carl Bernstein: A WOMAN IN CHARGE: THE LIFE OF HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, #7 (2 weeks on list) – 7-01-07
  • David Talbot: Brothers, #30 – 7-01-07
  • James Piereson, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism, (Encounter Books), June 25, 2007
  • Glenn Greenwald: Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, (Crown Publishing Group, June 26, 2007)
  • Eleanor Herman: Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics, (HarperCollins Publishers, June 26, 2007)
  • Brian K. Bugge: The Mystique of Conspiracy: Oswald, Castro, and the CIA, (Provocative Ideas), June 28, 2007
  • Bill Yenne: Rising Sons: The Japanese-American GIs Who Fought for the United States in World War II, (St. Martin’s Press, July 10, 2007)
  • Kathryn C. Statler: Replacing France: The Origins of American Intervention in Vietnam, (University Press of Kentucky) July 28, 2007
  • Richard B. Frank, MacArthur: A Biography, (Palgrave Macmillan), July 28, 2007
  • Woody Holton: Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, (Hill and Wang, August 7, 2007)
  • David Halberstam: Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, (Hyperion, September 2007)
  • John Kelin, Praise From a Future Generation: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report, (Wings Press TX), September 28, 2007
  • Maureen Waller: Sovereign Ladies: The Six Reigning Queens of England, (St. Martin’s Press, September 28, 2007)
  • Rick Atkinson: Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated, October 2, 2007)
  • Benjamin J. Kaplan: Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, (Harvard University Press, October 15, 2007)
  • Richard Avedon, The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family, (HarperCollins Publishers), October 23, 2007
  • M. Stanton Evans: Blacklisted by History: The Real Story of Joseph McCarthy and His Fight against America’s Enemies, (Crown Publishing Group, November 6, 2007)

Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 9:31 PM | Top
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June 11, 2007

    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch


This Week in History:

  • 06-11-1509 – King Henry VIII married his first wife, Katharine of Aragon.
  • 06-11-1770 – Capt. James Cook discovered the Great Barrier Reef off Australia .
  • 06-11-1919 – Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to capture the Triple Crown.
  • 06-11-1963 – Vivian Malone and James Hood successfully enrolled at the University of Alabama following Gov. George Wallace’s famous “stand in the schoolhouse door.”
  • 06-11-1977 – Seattle Slew won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crown
  • 06-12-1880 – John Lee Richmond pitched baseball’s first perfect game. A perfect game occurs when no batter reaches a base during a complete game of at least nine innings.
  • 06-12-1898 – Emilio Aguinaldo, head of the Philippine nationalists, proclaimed independence from Spain.
  • 06-12-1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame opened to the public in Cooperstown, New York.
  • 06-12-1942 – Anne Frank received a diary for her birthday.
  • 06-12-1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • 06-12-1997 – Interleague play began in baseball, ending a 126-year tradition of separating the major leagues until the World Series.
  • 06-13-1900 – The Boxer Rebellion began in China.
  • 06-13-1966 – The U.S. Supreme Court set forth in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must advise suspects of their rights upon taking them into custody.
  • 06-13-1967 – Thurgood Marshall was nominated to become the first African American on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 06-13-1971 – The New York Times began publishing the “Pentagon Papers.”
  • 06-13-1983 – The U.S. space probe Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, became the first spacecraft to leave the solar system.
  • 06-13-2000 – The first meeting between Pres. Kim Jong Il of North Korea and Pres. Kim Dae Jung of South Korea occurred.
  • 06-14-1775 – The United States Army was founded.
  • 06-14-1777 – The Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the U.S.
  • 06-14-1922 – Warren Harding became the first president to be heard on the radio.
  • 06-14-1940 – German troops entered Paris. The Nazis opened the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
  • 06-14-1951 – The first commercial computer, Univac I, was unveiled.
  • 06-14-1954 – President Eisenhower signed the order inserting the words “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • 06-14-1982 – Argentine forces surrendered to British troops on the Falkland Islands.
  • 06-15-1215 – King John sealed the Magna Carta.
  • 06-15-1775 – George Washington was appointed head of the Continental Army by the Second Continental Congress.
  • 06-15-1836 – Arkansas became the 25th state in the United States.
  • 06-15-1844 – Charles Goodyear was granted a patent for rubber vulcanization.
  • 06-15-1849 – James Polk, the 11th president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • 06-15-1923 – Lou Gehrig made his New York Yankee debut as a pinch runner.
  • 06-16-1487 – The Battle of Stoke ended the Wars of the Roses.
  • 06-16-1858 – Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln declared, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
  • 06-16-1904 – Events in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses took place on this day, which is celebrated as Bloomsday, for the main character, Leopold Bloom.
  • 06-16-1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the National Industrial Recovery Act.
  • 06-16-1963 – Valentina Tereshkova of the USSR became the first woman in space.
  • 06-16-1996 – Russia voted in its first independent presidential election. Boris Yeltsin eventually won in a runoff.
  • 06-16-2004 – The 9/11 Commission determined that Saddam Hussein had no strong links to al-Qaeda, contradicting White House beliefs.
  • 06-17-1775 – The Battle of Bunker Hill took place during the American Revolution.
  • 06-17-1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere.
  • 06-17-1928 – Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman.
  • 06-17-1944 – The Republic of Iceland was established.
  • 06-17-1963 – U.S. Supreme Court ruled that no locality may require recitation of Lord’s Prayer or Bible verses in public schools.
  • 06-17-1972 – Burglary of Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, DC, started the Watergate political scandal.
  • 06-17-1994 – O. J. Simpson’s slow-speed chase by the police, watched by millions on TV, ended in his arrest.
  • 06-18-1812 – The War of 1812 began.
  • 06-18-1815 – Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by British, German, and Dutch forces.
  • 06-18-1873 – Suffragist Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.
  • 06-18-1928 – Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. She completed the flight from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours.
  • 06-18-1948 – The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted its International Declaration of Human Rights. The General Assembly would give it final approval on Dec. 10, 1948.
  • 06-18-1983 – Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.
  • Brink Lindsey: Land of Plenty THE AGE OF ABUNDANCE How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and CultureNYT, 6-10-07
  • Brink Lindsey: THE AGE OF ABUNDANCE How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture, First Chapter – NYT, 6-10-07
  • All in the Family Two books attempt to get at the real Hillary Clinton – WaPo, 6-10-07
  • Carl Bernstein: Today’s Managing Partner in Team Clinton & Clinton – NYT, 6-5-07
  • ROBERT DALLEK on Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.: Shining a Halogen Light on a Senator’s Dark Corners HER WAY The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton6-5-07
  • Rebecca Stott: English professor pens novel about history and Newton – USA Today, 6-7-07
  • Patrice Higonnet: Conservative newspaper blasts Harvard scholar for writing a Bush-bashing book – New York Sun, 6-6-07
  • Fritz Stern: Comes in for harsh commentary in London Review of Books – Thomas Laqueur in the London Review of Books (6-7-07)
  • Ian Kershaw: Past master – John Crace in the Guardian, 6-5-07

History Listings This Week:

  • C-Span2, Book TV : After Words: Kenneth Ackerman, author of “Young J. Edgar: Hoover, The Red Scare, And The Assault On Civil Liberties” interviewed by Joan Biskupic Sunday, June 10 at 6:00 and 9:00pm C-Span2, BookTV
  • History Channel: “Rumrunners, Moonshiners and Bootleggers” Sunday, June 10, @ 3pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Last Days on Earth” Sunday, June 10, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Universe :Mars: The Red Planet” Sunday, June 10, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Blood Diamonds” Monday, June 11, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Shootout :Iraq’s Most Wanted: Terror at the Border,” Monday, June 11, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :03 – London’s Lost Cities,” Monday, June 11, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :The Real Sin City: Sodom & Gomorrah.,” Monday, June 11, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery,” Tuesday, June 12, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special :Voodoo Secrets,” Tuesday, June 12, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :666: The Sign of Evil,” Tuesday, June 12, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Quest for Dragons,” Wednesday, June 13, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Spider-Man Tech,” Wednesday, June 13, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree,” Wednesday, June 13, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :04 – Scotland’s Sin City,” Wednesday, June 13, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Making a Buck,” Thursday, June 14, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :Ship of Gold,” Thursday, June 14, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Alaska: Big America,” Thursday, June 14, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special : Nazi America: A Secret History,” Friday, June 15, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hippies,” Friday, June 15, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights :09 – Hell Over Hanoi,” Friday, June 15, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History,” Saturday, June 16, @ 3pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The States :09 – Michigan, Tennessee, Maine, Missouri, South Dakota,” Saturday, June 16, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • Ronald Reagan. Edited by Douglas Brinkley: THE REAGAN DIARIES #2 (2 weeks on list) – 6-17-07
  • Walter Isaacson: EINSTEIN HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE #4 (7 weeks on list) – 6-17-07
  • Michael Beschloss: PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE, #7 (4 weeks on list) – 6-17-07
  • David Talbot: Brothers, #13 (2 weeks on list) – 6-17-07
  • Jean Edward Smith : FDR #28 – 6-17-07
  • Gabor Boritt (Editor): Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, (Oxford University Press, USA), June 2007
  • William C. Davis: Virginia at War 1862 (Editor) (University Press of Kentucky), June 2007
  • Amity Shlaes: The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, HarperCollins Publishers, June 12, 2007
  • Orville Vernon Burton: The Age of Lincoln, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), June 12, 2007
  • China Galland, Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves, (HarperCollins Publishers), June 12, 2007
  • James Piereson, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism, (Encounter Books), June 25, 2007
  • Brian K. Bugge: The Mystique of Conspiracy: Oswald, Castro, and the CIA, (Provocative Ideas), June 28, 2007
  • Kathryn C. Statler: Replacing France: The Origins of American Intervention in Vietnam, (University Press of Kentucky) July 28, 2007
  • Richard B. Frank, MacArthur: A Biography, (Palgrave Macmillan), July 28, 2007
  • David Halberstam, Ho, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.), August 28, 2007
  • John Kelin, Praise From a Future Generation: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report, (Wings Press TX), September 28, 2007
  • Richard Avedon, The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family, (HarperCollins Publishers), October 23, 2007
  • Tom Pocock: Journalist and naval historian whose work focused on the life, times and contemporaries of Nelson (obit.) – Independent (UK), 6-6-07

Posted on Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 9:31 PM | Top
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June 4, 2007

    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • Paul Boller Jr.on “Skeletons rattle in candidates’ closets”: “That’s kind of surprising. After all, people are living much longer these days. The public has got to get adjusted to this (on McCain’s Age) …. I honestly doubt that Americans are ready for a black president or a woman. It’s all very complicated for the Democrats right now. I’d hate to have to make a prediction.” – Capitol Hill Blue, VA, 5-30-07
  • Shaul Bakhash: Now Tom Friedman takes up the case of his wife, the imprisoned Iran scholar – NYT, 5-30-07
  • Md. bank freezes funds of historian Shaul Bakash – WaPo, 5-31-07
  • 06-04-1892 – The Sierra Club, led by John Muir, was incorporated in San Francisco.
  • 06-04-1896 – Henry Ford took his first car out for a test drive.
  • 06-04-1942 – The Battle of Midway, a decisive Allied victory in World War II, began.
  • 06-04-1944 – The U.S. Fifth Army entered Rome, leading to the liberation of the city during World War II.
  • 06-04-1989 – People’s Army of China opened fire on crowds of prodemocracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, killing thousands.
  • 06-05-1783 – Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier gave the first successful balloon flight demonstration.
  • 06-05-1884 – Civil War hero Gen. William T. Sherman refused the Republican nomination for president with the words, “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”
  • 06-05-1933 – The United States went off the gold standard.
  • 06-05-1947 – Sen. George Marshall proposed a plan (Marshall Plan) to help Europe recover financially from the effects of World War II.
  • 06-05-1967 – The Arab-Israeli Six-Day War began.
  • 06-05-1968 – Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot by an assassin and died the next day.
  • 06-05-1981 – The Centers for Disease Control published the first report about the disease that would later become known as AIDS.
  • 06-05-2004 – Former president Ronald Reagan died.
  • 06-06-1934 – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities markets.
  • 06-06-1944 – Thousands of Allied troops invaded the beaches of Normandy, France, on D-Day.
  • 06-06-1982 – Israel invaded Lebanon to drive out the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
  • 06-06-2001 – Vermont Republican Senator James Jeffords left the party to become an independent, handing control of the Senate back to the Democrats.
  • 06-06-2002 – President Bush proposed a new Cabinet department: The Department of Homeland Security.
  • 06-07-1494 – Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, which divided the New World between the two countries.
  • 06-07-1654 – Louis XIV was crowned king of France.
  • 06-07-1776 – Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution in the Continental Congress proposing a Declaration of Independence.
  • 06-07-1892 – Homer Plessy was arrested for his refusal to move from a whites-only seat on a train. This led to the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision.
  • 06-07-1929 – Vatican City became a sovereign state.
  • 06-07-1948 – President Eduard Beneš of Czechoslovakia resigned and the Communist takeover of the country was completed.
  • 06-08-0632 – The prophet Muhammad died.
  • 06-08-1845 – Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States, died in Tennessee.
  • 06-08-1861 – Tennessee became the 11th and last state to secede from the Union.
  • 06-08-1968 – James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, assassin, was arrested.
  • 06-08-1982 – President Reagan became the first American president to address a joint session of Britain’s Parliament.
  • 06-08-2001 – Tony Blair and his Labour Party won a second term, overwhelming the opposition at the polls.
  • 06-09-1898 – China agreed to lease Hong Kong to Britain for 99 years.
  • 06-09-1973 – Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes and became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.
  • 06-10-1801 – The Tripolitan War, between the United States and the Barbary States, began.
  • 06-10-1942 – The entire male population of the Czech village of Lidice was massacred in retaliation for the death of Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich.
  • 06-10-1946 – Italy replaced its monarchy with a republic.
  • 06-10-1967 – The Six-Day War between Israel and Syria, Egypt, and Jordan ended.
  • 06-10-1978 – Affirmed won the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.
  • 06-11-1509 – King Henry VIII married his first wife, Katharine of Aragon.
  • 06-11-1770 – Capt. James Cook discovered the Great Barrier Reef off Australia .
  • 06-11-1919 – Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to capture the Triple Crown.
  • 06-11-1963 – Vivian Malone and James Hood successfully enrolled at the University of Alabama following Gov. George Wallace’s famous “stand in the schoolhouse door.”
  • 06-11-1977 – Seattle Slew won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crow
  • JONATHAN EIG: A League of His Own Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First SeasonNYT, 6-3-07
  • JONATHAN EIG: Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season, First Chapter – NYT, 6-3-07
  • Alan Wolfe on Michael Beschloss: Of Myths and Men A historian shines a spotlight on moments of presidential greatness PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989WaPo, 6-3-07
  • Jack Beatty: The Rise of the Plutocrats AGE OF BETRAYAL The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900WaPo, 6-3-07
  • Glenn C. Altschuler on Michael Beschloss: Presidential courage: This wasn’t it PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989Baltimore Sun, 6-3-07
  • Michael Beschloss: Books: Nine U.S. presidents who finessed unpopular decisions PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989Buffalo News, NY, 5-27-07
  • David Dorado Romo: The Nazis learned about Zyklon B from the US treatment of Mexicans –, 6-1-07
  • Simon Sebag Montefiore: ‘I used to be the most shambolic person…’ – Telegraph (UK), 5-30-07
  • Douglas Brinkley: Reagan was a pragmatic conservative, says historian – Houston Chronicle, 5-28-07
  • Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen: An Assault on Hawaii. On Grammar Too. PEARL HARBOR A Novel of December 8thNYT, 5-24-07
  • Walter Issacson: New book on Einstein praised – Eric Alterman at his blog, Altercation (click on SOURCE for embedded links), 5-29-07
  • Larry Berman: His book on Vietnamese spy criticized by conservative website Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter & Vietnamese Communist Agent (Smithsonian Books) – Lloyd Billingsley at, 5-29-07
  • C-Span2, Book TV : After Words: After Words: Michael Beschloss, author of “Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789 – 1989” interviewed by Alexis Simendinger Sunday, June 4 at 6:00 and 9:00pm C-Span2, BookTV
  • History Channel: “History Rocks: The 70’s :Part 1” Sunday, June 3, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History Rocks: The 70’s :Part 2” Sunday, June 3, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed” Sunday, June 3, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Universe :Secrets of the Sun” Sunday, June 3, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The True Story of Killing Pablo” Monday, June 4, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :Istanbul,” Monday, June 4, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :08 – New York,” Monday, June 4, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :02 – City of Caves,” Monday, June 4, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “True Caribbean Pirates,” Tuesday, June 5, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Deep Sea Detectives :Blackbeard’s Mystery Ship,” Tuesday, June 5, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Universe :Secrets of the Sun,” Tuesday, June 5, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “D-Day: The Lost Evidence :D-Day: The Lost Evidence,” Wednesday, June 6, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “D-Day to Berlin :The Battle for France,” Wednesday, June 6, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “D-Day to Berlin :The Struggle toward Germany.,” Wednesday, June 6, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “D-Day to Berlin :Last Days of the Reich.,” Wednesday, June 6, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :D-Day Tech.,” Wednesday, June 6, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Band Of Brothers :Points,” Wednesday, June 6, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Targeted :Osama bin Laden,” Thursday, June 7, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special :Brotherhood of Terror.,” Thursday, June 7, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :The Other Nostradamus,” Thursday, June 7, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Biblical Disasters.,” Friday, June 8, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Passion: Religion and the Movies,” Friday, June 8, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :06 – Rome’s Hidden Empire,” Friday, June 8, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Bible Battles,” Friday, June 8, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights :05 – Guadalcanal,” Friday, June 8, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Naked Archaeologist :The Last Man Standing/What Killed Herod?,” Friday, June 8, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mega Movers,” Marathon Saturday, June 9, @ 1-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Vampires Secrets,” Saturday, June 9, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The States :08 – Virginia, Ohio, Idaho, Alabama, North Dakota,” Saturday, June 9, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • Ronald Reagan. Edited by Douglas Brinkley: THE REAGAN DIARIES #2 (1 week on list) – 6-10-07
  • Walter Isaacson: EINSTEIN HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE #3 (6 weeks on list) – 6-10-07
  • Michael Beschloss: PRESIDENTIAL COURAGE, #5 (3 weeks on list) – 6-10-07
  • David Talbot: Brothers, #16 (1 week on list) – 6-10-07
  • Vincent Bugliosi: RECLAIMING HISTORY #29 – 6-10-07
  • Gabor Boritt (Editor): Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, (Oxford University Press, USA), June 2007
  • William C. Davis: Virginia at War 1862 (Editor) (University Press of Kentucky), June 2007
  • Jack Valenti: This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood, (Crown Publishing Group), June 5, 2007
  • Steve Vogel: The Pentagon: A History, (Random House Publishing Group), June 5, 2007
  • Amity Shlaes: The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, HarperCollins Publishers, June 12, 2007
  • Orville Vernon Burton: The Age of Lincoln, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), June 12, 2007
  • Brian K. Bugge: The Mystique of Conspiracy: Oswald, Castro, and the CIA, (Provocative Ideas), June 28, 2007
  • Kathryn C. Statler: Replacing France: The Origins of American Intervention in Vietnam, (University Press of Kentucky) July 28, 2007

Posted on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Top Young Historians: 56 – David R. Stone


Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

56: David R. Stone, 6-11-07

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Professor of History, Faculty member of the Institute for Military Studies and 20th Century Studies, Kansas State University
Area of Research: Diplomatic History and International Affairs, Military History, European History, Russian History
Education: Ph.D, History, Yale University, 1997
Major Publications: David Stone is the author of Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926-1933, (University Press of Kansas, 2001) was a recent selection of the History Book Club. It also was named the
David R. Stone JPGwinner of the 2001 inaugural Best First Book prize of the Historical Society and was co-winner of the 2001 Shulman Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. He is also the author of A Military History of Russia From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya, (Greenwood Press, 2006) Stone’s has numerous journal and book chapters published including “Imperialism and Sovereignty: The League of Nations’ Drive to Control the Global Arms Trade” in the Journal of Contemporary History, April 2000; “Tukhachevskii in Leningrad: Military Politics and Exile, 1928-1931” in Europe-Asia Studies, December 1996; “The Balkan Pact and American Policy, 1950-1955” in the East European Quarterly, September 1994; “Soviet Intelligence on Barbarossa: The Limits of Intelligence History” in Peter Jackson and Jennifer Siegel, eds., Intelligence and Statecraft: The Use and Limits of Intelligence in International Society (Praeger, 2005), pp. 157-171, and “The Russian Civil War, 1917-1921,” “The Russo-Polish War,” “Ideology and the Rise of the Red Army, 1921-1928,” and “Industry and the Soviet Army, 1928-1941,” all in Robin Higham and Frederick Kagan, eds., The Military History of the Soviet Union (St. Martin’s / Palgrave, 2001).
Awards: Stone is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Inaugural Best First Book Prize from the Historical Society for Hammer and Rifle, 2001;
Co-Winner of the Shulman Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for Hammer and Rifle, 2001;
Winner of Kansas State University’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2001;
Fellow of Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA, 2005/6;
International Research and Exchanges Board grant for research in Moscow (additional support from History, 2003;
Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Military History and Twentieth-Century Studies);
Summer Fellow of Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, for the workshop “Contentious Politics: Seeking Causes,” 2000;
University Small Research Grant, Kansas State University for research on “US Financial Diplomacy and the Soviet Bloc;
Mellon dissertation writing fellowship;
Jacob Javits fellowship for graduate study (US Department of Education);
Smith-Richardson summer research fellowship;
MacArthur dissertation and summer research fellowships;
Olin fellowship for graduate study in Military and Strategic History.
Additional Info:
Stone has also taught in the history department at Hamilton College and in the International Security Studies Program at Yale University.

Personal Anecdote

Stalin dismissed historians as “archive rats,” but Russianists have proudly adopted the label. Moscow in the early 1990s was an astounding place to do research. The archives were thrown open, and my passport and relative wealth shielded me from the miseries I saw every day. But things were more complicated than I realized.

My research made me recognize how Western I was. I naively assumed that there would be clear rules for what was secret and what wasn’t, and access would be equal. Russia didn’t work that way. Non-Russianists often assume this means archivists were corrupt, but that wasn’t the case. I was never asked to trade money for access, and the highly-professional archivists would have been offended at the suggestion. Instead, access was fuzzy, and centered on relationships. I still had to establish myself as a serious and responsible scholar. That meant I had to show up, and keep showing up, day after day. My funding let me do that. At Yale, Paul Kennedy had established International Security Studies, an interdisciplinary research center, and attracted the foundation grants to make it thrive. ISS provided me the backing to go to Moscow early and stay late.

Time and guidance let me feel my way through the maze of Russian archives dealing with the Soviet military in the 1920s and 1930s. While limited archival access had been available to foreigners even before communism began to disintegrate, military and foreign policy materials had been strictly off-limits. This meant I had little secondary literature to rely on and had to build the basic chronology of events for myself. The payoff, though, was that I and the other scholars working on the Soviet military could truly break new ground.

Access was never complete. Archivists denied that some collections even existed. When I brought in books by well-connected Russian scholars with precise citations to those collections, the stone-faced denials never changed. Still, by patiently chipping away at archival barriers, I was able to assemble a comprehensive picture of Soviet military policy. Using multiple archives (military, party, economic, and state), each with different filing systems and different sets of classified and unclassified documents, helped enormously. So did the remaining irrationalities of archival policy. Documents that I couldn’t see in reading rooms were perfectly accessible, as long as I read them in the bowels of archive conservatories. My clear intent to write up and publish what I found in those sources was not a problem. The result was that I ended up finding what I needed.

One downside to working on the Soviet military, even sixty years later, was suspicion. Military history in the USSR was an exclusively military preserve (an excellent argument for keeping military history vigorous in our universities), and a foreign civilian studying the military was naturally presumed a spy. I was asked directly, more than once, whether my true employer was the CIA.

The golden age ended even before I left Moscow. Putin’s administration has been rightly blamed for chipping away the liberties of the Yeltsin era, but the archival reversal began well before Putin. In my experience, the key moment was Chechnya. The outbreak of open warfare in December 1994 had an immediate (and palpable) effect on archivists’ attitudes, and limits on research became much tighter. Things are nowhere near the bad old days of the Soviet Union, but it’s hard not to miss those first heady years.


By David R. Stone

  • Hammer and Rifle JPG “From 1926 to 1933, a vast transformation swept through the Soviet state, economy, and society, a transforA Military History of Russia  From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya JPGmation as stark in its changes and as far-reaching in its implications as the simultaneous and better-known revolutions shaking Soviet society. While collectivization cahnges the face of the Soviet countryside, and Joseph Stalin quashed dissent both within and without the Bolshevik party to turn it into a tool of his personal rule, a military-industrial revolution transformed the Soviet Union into an immensely powerful war machine. The militarization of the Soviet economy and political system, marked by increased control from the center, a substantial role for the military in making policy, and a large and growing defense industry, was an essential element of Stalin’s revolution from above. . . The story of the late 1920s and early 1930s is of the steady and inexorable destruction of every barrier to massive rearmament in the USSR.” — David R. Stone in “Hammer and Rifle”

About David R. Stone

  • Stone does an artful job of recounting over 500 years of Russian military campaigns and explaining the
    A Military History of Russia  From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya JPGcomplex and reciprocal relationships between the military and society in Russia, as well as Russia’s role in Western military history (e.g., the triumph against Napoleon), enacted at the expense of its economic and civic gains. He clarifies Russia’s place in the ebb and flow of alliances among emerging nation states in Europe. Every Russian history written in the past 20 years contains much of the same information that Stone presents, but he has a notable ability to clarify military history and thereby Russian history generally. —Library Journal
  • “David Stone’s Hammer and Rifle documents in extraordinary detail the transformation of the Russian army from a World War I-era force into a modern military machine in the 1930s. Stone shows the profound effect of this military-industrial revolution, not just on the Red Army, but on society and the state. This study enriches our understanding of the Soviet economy in the 1920s and 1930s, and by extension, the obstacles post-Soviet Russia has encountered in trying to undo the Stalinist legacy. Seeking to enhance the breadth and depth of our knowledge of militarized societies, Stone demonstrates the military’s dominance in the state’s economy and its decisions regarding resource allocation . . . Hammer and Rifle shows the defense sector’s stake in Stalin’s victory over his domestic political opponents. A beautifully-written study, Hammer and Rifle is important for our understanding of a certain type of civil-military relations.” — American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, prize committee for 2001 Marshall Shulman Book Prize.
  • “An extraordinary piece of Soviet archival investigation. . . Stone proves himself an adept economic and political as well as military historian as he charts the ways in which military concerns, especially the Manchurian crisis of 1931-1932, led to profound changes in Soviet economic policy and accelerated the concentration of political power in the hands of Josef Stalin. Yet Stone also persuasively demonstrates how the militarization of the Soviet Union created serious problems both in the medium and long term. . . . This lucid, impressively documented, and important study reflects Stone’s mastery of historical research, analysis, and writing.” — Historical Society, prize committee for inaugural Best First Book Prize.
  • “Based on extensive research in newly opened Russian archives, this careful study is the best analysis to date of the central role of militarization in the development of state, society, and economy in the U.S.S.R. between the end of the ‘New Economic Plan’ in 1926 and the conclusion of the first ‘Five-year Plan in 1933.'” — Publishers Weekly reviewing “Hammer and Rifle”
  • “Based on prodigious research in newly-accessible Russian archives, Stone’s landmark book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the advent of the Soviet garrison state. Touching on nearly every significant issue of the period, he deepens, challenges, or modifies many existing interpretations and cuts through the fog of conjecture, theory, and half-truths that still cloaks the era between 1926 and 1933.” — Bruce Menning, author of Bayonets before Bullets: The Imperial Russian Army, 1861-1914 reviewing “Hammer and Rifle”
  • “An important contribution to the field of Soviet military, economic, and political history.” — Steven Miner, author of Between Churchill and Stalin and Stalin’s Holy War reviewing “Hammer and Rifle”
  • “An exemplary work throughout. Here is not only an exposition of that ‘military nature’, the ‘militarized culture’ which was fundamental to Stalin’s Soviet Union . . . but also a rigorous examination of the process by which the increasing military role in the Soviet economy and growing defense expenditures was intimately associated with Stalin’s political domination. . . . Hammer and Rifle makes for indispensable reading . . . the disclosures from the archives a treasure-trove in their own right.” John Erickson reviewing “Hammer and Rifle”
  • “Thoroughly researched study . . . a great deal of information and analysis” — R. W. Davies reviewing “Hammer and Rifle”
  • “An impressive range of archival sources . . . a valuable contribution” — Evan Mawdsley reviewing “Hammer and Rifle”
  • “A fine example of scholarly detective work in the often labyrinthine world of the Russian archives” — Richard Harrison reviewing “Hammer and Rifle”
  • “”He deserves a very large raise.”… “A stimulating and interesting teacher. He really knows the subject matter well, and is truly enthusiastic about it.”…”I don’t think I have ever learned so much in a history class.”… “The lecture was so interesting that I often forgot to take notes.”… “Seems to genuinely care about his work, students, and the subject matter. He always takes time for the students.”… “I came in with very little knowledge of Russian history and left enthralled with the subject.”… “The only one of my classes that I never skip.”… “It takes someone special to make history interesting– Dr. Stone does this with wit, enthusiasm, and charisma.”… “An excellent teacher who clearly loves what he is doing.” “an amazing ability to keep everyone’s attention and make lectures fun and interesting.”… “charisma is infectious and makes Russian history seem like the only history worth knowing!”… “passionate about the material, fair, and simply a pleasure to learn from.”… “I have never had a teacher with such an interest in the class and his students.”… “Enthusiastic to the point of manic”… “I have not in my long years here had a professor more passionate about his students’ learning than Dr. Stone.”” — Anonymous Students

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2007 at 9:23 PM

Top Young Historians: 55 – Lawrence Culver


Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

55: Lawrence Culver, 6-4-07

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Assistant Professor, Department of History, Utah State University, 2004-present
Area of Research: U.S. Southwest Borderlands, the American West, cultural, environmental, and urban history, and the histories of tourism, recreation, architecture, and urban planning.
Education: Ph.D. in History, University of California, Los Angeles, 2004
Major Publications: Culver is the author of the forthcoming book The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America
Lawrence Culver JPGwhich is a revision of his prize winning dissertation “The Island, the Oasis, and the City: Santa Catalina, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and Southern California’s Shaping of American Life and Leisure” for which received the 2005 Rachel Carson Prize for the best dissertation in Environmental History, a prize awarded annually by the American Society for Environmental History.
He is also the author of numerous articles and book chapters including: “Promoting the Pacific Borderlands: Leisure and Labor in Southern California, 1870-1950.” In Disrupted Boundaries: Consumption in the United States-Mexico Borderlands. Ed. Alexis McCrossen. (Forthcoming, Duke University Press and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies); “America’s Playground: Recreation and Race in Los Angeles,” in The Blackwell’s Companion to Los Angeles History. Eds. William Deverell and Greg Hise, (Forthcoming Blackwell Press); “From Public to Private Nature in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles,” in The Place of Nature in the City. Studies in International Environmental History Series, Eds. Dorothee Brantz and Sonja Dümpelmann, (Under consideration by Rowman & Littlefield and the German Historical Institute); “Connecting Myth to History: Interpreting the Western Past at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center,” Western Historical Quarterly, (Winter 1998, 515-519.); “Economic Aspirations and the Politics of National Park Creation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1919-1929,” in People and Place: The Human Experience in Greater Yellowstone, Eds. Paul Schullery and Sarah Stevenson, (National Park Service and Yellowstone Center for Resources, 2005), 180-194; “From Last of the Old West to First of the New West: Tourism and Transformation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,” in Imagining the Big Open: Nature, Identity, and Play in the New West, Eds. Liza Nicholas, Elaine P. Bapis, and Thomas J. Harve, (University of Utah Press, 2003), 163-180; and “The Literature of Tourism and Its Discontents: Auto Tourist Travel Narratives, 1915-1940,” in Reading Under the Sign of Nature: New Essays in Ecocriticism, Eds. John Tallmadge and Henry Harrington, (University of Utah Press, 2000), 36-48; among others. He has also published reviews in journals including the Western Historical Quarterly, Environmental History, and the Southern California Quarterly.
Awards: Culver is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation in Environmental History (U.S. or World), American Society for Environmental History, 2005;
Excellence in Instruction for First-Year Students Award, Utah State University, 2007;
John Topham and Susan Redd Butler Faculty Fellowship, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University, 2007;
Utah Humanities Council Grant, 2007;
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Library, 2006;
Historical Society of Southern California Haynes Foundation Research Award, 2006;
Utah State University New Faculty Research Grant, 2005;
Western History Association – Martin Ridge Fellowship, Huntington Library, 2005;
Historical Society of Southern California Haynes Foundation Research Award, 2005;
American Society for Environmental History Donald Worster Travel Award, 2004;
Historical Society of Southern California Haynes Foundation Research Award, 2004;
UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2003-2004;
Historical Society of Southern California Haynes Foundation Research Award, 2001;
Autry Museum of Western Heritage Summer Research Fellowship, 2001;
UCLA Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship, 2000;
UCLA Regents/Carey McWilliams Fellowship, 1998-2002;
Mountain West Center for Regional Studies Research Award, 1997.
Additional Info:
Culver has also written for a number of popular history magazine including: “Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design,” “Spur: Magazine of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage,” and “Points West: Magazine of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.”
He has also worked in field of public history as an employee of the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, the Institute for the Study of the American West, the Museum of the American West, and the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, all of the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, and as an historical researcher for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Personal Anecdote

Someone who studies leisure and tourism in American history is likely to encounter bewilderment, not to mention some humor, at their expense. I first encountered this as an M.A. student, studying tourism and how it had transformed Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The staff at the local historical society were baffled – fur trappers, farmers, cowboys and Indians – that was history. Skiers and auto tourists? Not so much. Later, as a doctoral student, friends ribbed me about my “research trips” to places such as Palm Springs. Even though I visited numerous archives, conducted oral history interviews, and plowed through vast amounts of tourist ephemera, somehow it was difficult to prove that I had not simply reinvented dissertating as a vacation.

And yet the histories of tourism and recreation can tell us much about our history, and how people chose to have fun certainly tells us as much about them as how they chose to work. If I consider my broader research interests – environmental and urban history, and the history of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and American West, I find that examining leisure illuminates each of them in new ways.

One of the ironies of the history of Los Angeles and Southern California is that a region relentlessly promoted as the playground of the world also expended vast energies trying to prevent many residents from even occupying recreational space. Los Angeles County, with 75 miles of coastline, mandated that all beaches were white only, with one tiny strip – adjacent to a sewage outlet – available to African Americans. Property deeds in Malibu not only banned non-Anglo homeowners, they even stated that a person of color could occupy the beach only if they were working for a white homeowner. Today, millionaires (and billionaires) in Malibu are still trying to restrict access to local beaches, even though all are public land under state law, in an urban region where millions have limited access to scant parkland and recreational space.

Then there is the role of leisure in our individual lives. The resorts of Southern California, aided by Hollywood, popularized many aspects of modern recreation, from sun tans to the backyard swimming pool. Even the ranch house, that icon of postwar suburbia, was popularized by resorts such as Palm Springs, and offered resort-style living not as a vacation, but as a way of life. They also incorporated yards and patios as social space, bringing the outside in. How ordinary people incorporated nature into their homes and their recreation can help us more fully understand popular environmental attitudes.

Labor and leisure are inextricably and problematically intertwined in the U.S. Southwest. Perhaps there is no better example of how Anglo Americans have misapprehended and misremembered the history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands than the spectacle of Anglo American residents of a Sunbelt city such as Phoenix railing against illegal immigrants and the federal government – the two things most responsible for the growth of that metropolis. Undocumented workers built the houses and landscaped the yards, care for suburban kids and clean suburban homes, and water from federal dam projects keeps the lawns green and the entire city viable. Who labors, and who has the luxury of leisure, tells us much about issues of race, class, citizenship, and power in the past, as well as the present.

[What] I really enjoy about being an historian is using and communicating historical knowledge in very different ways — in research and writing withing the profession, through teaching, from surveys to graduate seminars, and through public history — in museum exhibits, public advocacy, and in research projects, such as one I completed examining race and access to recreational space in Los Angeles. That report is now being used to advocate for increased parkland and access to recreational opportunities for all the residents of L.A. Being able to use historical knowledge to help people in the present is an especially rewarding aspect of being an historian.


By Lawrence Culver

  • In July of 1955, Walter Elias Disney opened a new amusement park in Anaheim, California. When Disney unveiled his park, he invited tourists to enjoy its different self-contained realms of leisure. There was Frontierland, frozen forever in a Turnerian moment, Adventureland, with its exotic cultures and tropical atmosphere, the fairy tale realm of Fantasyland, the small-town nostalgia of Main Street U.S.A., and alluring Tomorrowland, where visitors could ride the Carousel of Progress into a future of contentment and abundance. What was striking about these different realms of leisure was that at different times, Southern California had been promoted as each of these places. It was presented as a pastoral agricultural frontier, an exotic destination for adventuresome tourists, the embodiment of traditional American values, a Hollywood fantasy where every dream came true, and a model of the American future, filled with immense promise. These successive promotions, initiated in the decade following the Civil War, would transform Southern California. Yet they would also shape the future of the United States. In the process, this region would remake American attitudes towards leisure, alter the course of urban growth and architecture, and contribute directly to the evolving environmental attitudes of modern America. — — Lawrence Culver in the book manuscript for the forthcoming “The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America”

About Lawrence Culver

  • “The committee read nine dissertations. We read manuscripts on controlling urban weeds, Great Plains conservation, on environmental politics, and on the “re-wilding” of Apostle Island National Lakeshore. We were very impressed with these works and felt that most all of the authors make great contributions to environmental history.
    The winning manuscript considers the lifestyle of leisure in Southern California, arguing that Catalina Island, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles contributed to the formation of a distinct American suburban culture in the twentieth century, and that these landscapes of leisure have proved to be at least as influential as the nineteenth-century suburban “hearths”–places like Westchester County, New York. Lawrence Culver asks us to think about all the ways that Palm Springs changed the way Americans thought about leisure: modernist desert architecture, the golf-course residence, and the Hollywood vacation colony. He also writes compellingly about segregated pools and beaches in Los Angeles–how African Americans resisted segregation and how they created their own places of leisure, like Val Verde, known as the “Black Palm Springs.”
    The manuscript explores the idea that leisure shaped the development of Southern California and “ultimately influenced the nation as a whole.” Perhaps most important of all, Culver refuses to look at these places as mere backdrops for certain attitudes about leisure or from the point of view of tourists but as emerging communities themselves–as suburban societies, in which people with competing interests and conflicting assumptions struggled over development.
    We found this argument compelling, and we were very impressed by the skillful way that Culver situates it in the literature of tourism. He writes gracefully and tells tight, witty stories. Kavita said of the manuscript that it is “a successful piece of interdisciplinary scholarship that creatively integrates urban and suburban studies, architectural history, and cultural politics.” Neil said that the author did “a wonderful job weaving cultural and social history with the history of tourism and leisure,” and he thought that Culver “succeeded in linking his local history with larger events in U.S. history generally.” Neil called it innovative and said that it “pushes environmental history in interesting directions.”
    And that might be the most important criteria for a winner of this prize. The 2005 Rachel Carson Dissertation Prize is awarded to Milton Lawrence Culver for “The Island, the Oasis, and the City: Santa Catalina, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and Southern California’s Shaping of American Life and Leisure.”
    Congratulations for writing a significant book. — Rachel Carson Prize Committee for 2004: Steven Stoll, Chair; Neil Maher; Kavita Philip
  • “The class was very interesting. Dr. Culver made it really fun and it was organized very well. He was also really funny and that made the class better.”… “You are the best history teacher that I have ever had. I can tell you love the subject by the way you teach. You’re enthusiastic and I love listening to your lectures, which is really saying something because I normally hate lectures. I love how you add comedy to the class too. You really are very interesting to listen to.”… “I really enjoyed the structure of the course with primary documents and lecture outlines posted on the website. The lectures were interesting and captivating.”… “I loved the readings and how much information was packed into each lecture. The papers were all interesting to write. I thought that Professor Culver was an excellent teacher.”… “I felt that Lawrence really brought to life the distinctiveness of the borderlands, and how they have a larger impact on western history that I had previously recognized. The readings were varied and covered much of the diversity of the borderlands.” — Anonymous Students

Posted on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 6:32 PM

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