Home / General / Early American Reading Lists

Early American Reading Lists



Indigo Production South Carolina. William DeBrahm, A Map of South Carolina and a Part of Georgia London, published by Thomas Jeffreys, 1757

I know you all are a bunch of readers. And many of you are interested in early America. So instead of reading another hagiography about Alexander Hamilton or Thomas Jefferson, how about something actually interesting that is useful at understanding the period? Here’s an outstanding reading list on race in early America. Now this is some meat for you to chew on. Or tofu if that is your ilk.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • joel hanes

    Disappointed not to see Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee on that list.

    Is it not widely approved in the academy ?

    • delazeur

      I’m not sure that book quite counts as “early America.”

      • joel hanes

        IIRC it starts on Hispaniola.

        • delazeur

          It’s sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, but the dust jacket says it focuses on the second half of the 19th century.

    • DrDick

      Is it not widely approved in the academy ?

      Not by those of us knowledgeable about Indian history. It is more of a political polemic than a scholarly work.

  • Hogan

    Francis Jennings has a special place in my heart, not least for his vendetta against Francis Parkman.

  • captainhalibut

    Another item for the reading list:

    Slavery’s Metropolis: Unfree Labor in New Orleans during the Age of Revolutions by Rashauna Johnson. (commentary here)

    (Also left this comment on the original post at Early Americanists)

  • Shalimar

    Tofu with ketchup.

  • UncleEbeneezer

    I haven’t read it yet but this is supposed to be great:

    Out of the House of Bondage

    This book views the plantation household as a site of production where competing visions of gender were wielded as weapons in class struggles between black and white women. Mistresses were powerful beings in the hierarchy of slavery rather than powerless victims of the same patriarchal system responsible for the oppression of the enslaved. Glymph challenges popular depictions of plantation mistresses as “friends” and “allies” of slaves and sheds light on the political importance of ostensible private struggles, and on the political agendas at work in framing the domestic as private and household relations as personal.

  • DrDick

    Neal Salisbury’s Manitou and Providence, while older is still pretty good.

It is main inner container footer text