Publication Date

July 6, 2010

Perspectives Section


As a service to AHA members, we are listing books by members received in the headquarters office in recent months. These postings will only constitute an announcement of their publication and provide short descriptions of the books. These are not reviews. Books for review by the AHRneed to be sent to the attention of Moureen Coulter, 914 Atwater, Bloomington, IN 47401. See previous books by members blog posts: September 2009, October 2009, December 2009, and April 2010. Follow the links below to, where a portion of your purchases go to support the AHA.

Cultures of WarDower, John W., Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq. W.W. Norton, 2010.
Immediately after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the U.S. media proclaimed 9/11 a “day of infamy” comparable to Pearl Harbor. Cultures of War takes this analogy as a point of departure for a vivid comparative analysis of the war with Japan, the war on terror, and the war in Iraq. This pathbreaking inquiry addresses institutional failure of intelligence and imagination, the “strategic imbecility” of Japan’s and America’s wars of choice in 1941 and 2003 respectively, terror bombing and the targeting of civilians since World War II, “Ground Zero 1945” and “Ground Zero 2001,” and the driving forces behind Pan-Asian and Pan-Islam movements. John Dower is professor emeritus of history at MIT and won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II(1999).

Bricks, Sand, and MarbleGrathwol, Robert R. and Donita M. Moorhus, Bricks, Sand, and Marble: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction in the Mediterranean and Middle East, 1947–91. Center of Military History and Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, 2009.
This book traces the activities of American military engineers in the Mediterranean and Middle East from the reconstruction that began in Greece after the end of the war in 1945, through the construction of air bases in North Africa, the massive building program in Saudi Arabia, and support for the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Robert R. Grathwol and Donita M. Moorhus are co-authors of five books (including Bricks, Sand, and Marble) since 1995. Member Grathwol has a PhD from the University of Chicago and a Diplôme Supérieur from the Centre de Hautes Études Européennes, Université de Strasbourg.

Holt, Thomas C.,Children of Fire: A History of African Americans. Hill and Wang, 2010.
Ordinary people don’t experience history as it is taught by historians. They live across the convenient chronological divides we impose on the past. The same people who lived through the Civil War and the eradication of slavery also dealt with the hardships of Reconstruction, so why do we almost always treat them separately? In this groundbreaking new book, Thomas C. Holt challenges this form to tell the story of generations of African Americans through the lived experience of the subjects themselves, with all of the nuances, ironies, contradictions, and complexities one might expect. Thomas C. Holt is a life member of the AHA.

John GalsworthyReznick, Jeffrey S.,John Galsworthy and Disabled Soldiers of the Great War. Manchester University Press, 2009.
John Galsworthy (1867–1933), recipient of the 1932 Nobel Prize for literature, was one of the best-selling authors of the 20th century. While his name has become synonymous with The Forsyte Saga, his reputation in this context believe another he achieved during the Great War, which was his humanitarian support for and his compositions about soldiers disabled in the conflict. This book represents the most comprehensive study published to date about this aspect of Galsworthy’s life and this literature of the “war to end all wars.” Jeffrey S. Reznick is an honorary research fellow in the Department of History at the University of Birmingham.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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