This month, UMass Press releases titles in American Studies and British/European Studies.
On the Cusp by Daniel Horowitz: Part personal memoir, part collective biography, and part cultural history, Horowitz’s newest book reconstructs the undergraduate career of Yale College’s class of 1960 and follows them into the next decade. He begins by looking at curricular and extracurricular life on the all-male campus, then ranges beyond the confines of Yale to larger contexts, including the local drama urban renewal, the lingering shadow of McCarthyism, and decolonization movements around the world. He ponders the role of the university in protecting the prerogatives of class while fostering social mobility, and examines the growing significance of race and gender in American politics and culture, spurred by a convergence of the personal and the political. Consistent with much of Horowitz’s previously published scholarship on postwar America, this work further exposes the undercurrent of discontent and dissent that ran just beneath the surface of the so-called Cold War consensus.
“On the Cusp is a book of many pleasures. Horowitz writes about his college years with both the memoirist’s attention to color and detail, and the historian’s attention to scale . . . a valuable retrospective and reappraisal for those who remember these years; it will be an education in itself to those who do not.” – Matthew Frye Jacobson, William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and history, Yale University
For more information on the works of Daniel Horowitz, click here.
Forms of Association by Paul Yachnin and Marlene Eberhart: In today’s connected and interactive world, it is hard to imagine a time when cultural and intellectual interests did not lead people to associate with others who shared similar views and preoccupations. In this volume of essays, fifteen scholars explore how these kinds of relationships began to transform early modern European culture. Forms of Association grows out of the “Making Publics: Media, Markets, and Association in Early Modern Europe” (MaPs) project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This scholarly initiative convened an interdisciplinary research team to consider how “publics” developed in Europe from 1500 to 1700. This collaborative study provided a dynamic way of understanding the political dimensions of artistic and intellectual works and open the way toward a new history of early modernity. This collection represents the issues and questions coming out of the MaPs project, and how Renaissance scholarship could be advanced by projects like this one.
“With the overall high quality of the essays, the significant voices that are addressing the issues, and the direction forward that it suggests for work in the early modern period, this is an excellent collection and a valuable publication for scholars.” – Shannon Miller, San Jose State University
For more titles on British and European history, please visit our subject listings.
Storytelling and Science by David K. Hecht: No single figure embodies Cold War science more than renowned physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The “Father of the Atomic Bomb” has drawn Americans to the story of the Manhattan Project he helped lead, and the riveting McCarthy politics that caught him in its crosshairs. Journalists and politicians, writers and artists have told Oppenheimer’s story in many different ways since he first gained notoriety in 1945. In Storytelling and Science, Hecht examines why they did so, and what they hoped to achieve through their stories. In these different renditions, Oppenheimer was alternately portrayed as hero and villain. Yet beneath the varying details of these stories, Hecht discerns important patterns in the ways that scientists shape popular understandings – and misunderstandings – of science.
“An original contribution to its field that opens the way to similar studies of the public images of other scientists and their science.” – David C. Cassidy, author of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century
For more titles in American Studies, review this list.
Dickens and Massachusetts by Diana C. Archibald and Joel J. Brattin: Charles Dickens traveled to North America twice, in 1842 and twenty-five years later in 1867-68, and on both trips Massachusetts was part of his itinerary. Massachusetts was the one state that met and even exceeded Dickens’s expectations for “the republic of [his] imagination.” This volume provides insight from leading scholars who have begun to reassess the significance of Massachusetts in the author’s life and work. The collection begins with a broad biographical and historical overview, enhanced by images to tell the story of Dickens’s relationship with the vibrant cultural and intellectual life of Massachusetts. The second section includes essays that consider the importance of Dickens’s many connections to the commonwealth.
“This book fills an important gap in our understanding of Dickens’s first trip to America. Authored by some of the most highly respected scholars in Dickens studies and including thorough and authoritative research, this volume makes a timely and original contribution.” – Nancy Aycock Metz, author of The Companion to Martin Chuzzlewit
For more titles on British and European Literature, review this subject list.
Making the Desert Modern by Chad H. Parker: In 1933, American oilmen, representing what later became the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), signed a concession agreement with the Saudi Arabian king granting the company sole proprietorship over the oil reserves in the country’s largest province. Aramco built the infrastructure necessary to extract oil and also carved an American suburb out of the Arabian desert, with all the air-conditioned comforts of Western modern life. At the same time, executives cultivated powerful relationships with Saudi government officials and, to the annoyance of U.S. officials, even served the monarchy in diplomatic disputes. Before long, the company became the principal American diplomatic, political, and cultural agent in the country, a role it would continue to play until 1973, when the Saudi government took over its operations. In this book, Chad H. Parker tells Aramco’s story, showing how an American company seeking resources and profits not only contributed to Saudi “nation building” but helped define U.S. foreign policy during the early Cold War.
“A valuable case study of ‘private diplomacy,’ Making the Desert Modern will serve as a model for a growing number of scholars in diplomatic history who are turning their attention to the roots of economic globalization and the interplay between corporations and states in an international context.” – Christian G. Appy, author of American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity
For more books in the Culture, Politics and the Cold War series, visit our website.