Home / General / 2022: A Historian’s Reading List (Plus Bonus 2022 Lists)

2022: A Historian’s Reading List (Plus Bonus 2022 Lists)

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Women opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment sit with Phyllis Schlafly (left), national chairman of Stop ERA, at a hearing of the Republican platform subcommittee on human rights and responsibilities in 1976.

My annual reading list, plus some other lists I made this year:

First, the historical and professional work. Let me use the same language I use ever year, since it’s a lot of books and people wonder how this is possible:

I read these books for my own purposes–to prepare for teaching, to keep up or catch up on the historiography in my fields, occasionally to broaden my horizons. So I do not read every word of these books, nor do I generally read for factual information. I read for preparation for my work, whether my own professional writing, to inform my blog posts, to prepare for new courses, or to think through harder questions. That often means simply being aware of the basic outlines of a book so that I can go into more detail later when I need to write about a given subject. I also included the few books on contemporary politics I read this year, since there’s not much sense separating those out from historical books given my writing. Some of these are new books, most are from the last decade or so, a few are old classics that I had either never read or haven’t read in the last decade. Here’s last year’s list and you can follow that for previous years.

If anything defines this year’s reading versus other years, it’s a lot of Japanese books since I read a bunch to prepare for my Japan trip and then continued to do some after that. It really helped me understand what I was seeing, especially given my zero interest in World War Two military history, so I focused on other things such as earthquakes and interior design.

I put asterisks next to 20 books I thought LGM readers should really read. These aren’t necessary the best books here, though there is some overlap, but rather ones that are a bit more accessible and also very good. There are certainly more than 20 very fine books here, but here are 20 of them for you.

  1. Elizabeth Gillespie McRae, Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy ****
  2. Barak Kushner, Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice
  3. Adelle Blackett, Everyday Transgressions: Domestic Workers’ Transnational Challenge to International Labor Law
  4. Simon Avenell, Making Japanese Citizens: Civil Society and the Myth of the Shimin in Postwar Japan
  5. Daniel Martinez HoSang and Joseph E. Lowndes, Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity
  6. Michele Ford, From Migrant to Worker: Global Unions and Temporary Labor Migration in Asia
  7. Garrett Felber, Those Who Know Don’t Say: The Nation of Islam, the Black Freedom Movement, and the Carceral State ****
  8. Martin Deppe, Operation Breadbasket: An Untold Story of Civil Rights in Chicago, 1966-1971
  9. Karen Jones, Epiphany in the Wilderness: Hunting, Nature, and Performance in the Nineteenth-Century American West
  10. Peniel Joseph, Waiting ‘Till the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America
  11. Thomas Parke Hughes, Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930
  12. Les Joslin, Three Sisters Wilderness: A History
  13. Karen D. Crozier, Fannie Lou Hamer’s Revolutionary Practical Theology: Racial and Environmental Justice Concerns
  14. Alice Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in the Twentieth Century
  15. Heather Cox Richardson, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America ****
  16. Marjorie Spruill, Divided We Stand: The Battle over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics
  17. John Laslett, Sunshine Was Never Enough: Los Angeles Workers, 1880-2010
  18. Charles Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
  19. Eiichiro Azuma, In Search of Our Frontier: Japanese America and Settler Colonialism in the Construction of Japan’s Borderless Empire ****
  20. Jeffrey Selinger, Embracing Dissent: Political Violence and Party Development in the United States
  21. Scott L. Cummings, Blue and Green: The Drive for Justice at America’s Port
  22. Emily O’Gorman, Wetlands in a Dry Land: More than Human Histories of Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin
  23. Janne Lahti, The American West and the World: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives
  24. Dylan Penningroth, The Claims of Kinfolk: African American Property and Community in the Nineteenth Century South
  25. Julia Adeney Thomas, Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology
  26. Judith McGaw, Most Wonderful Machine: Mechanization and Social Change in Berkshire Paper Making, 1801-85
  27. Jeremy Zallen, American Lucifers: The Dark History of Artificial Light, 1750-1865 ****
  28. Andrew Byers, The Sexual Economy of War: Discipline and Desire in the U.S. Army
  29. Jonathan Tepper, The Myth of Capitalism: Monopoly and the Death of Competition
  30. Margaret Gray, Labor and the Locavore: The Making of a Comprehensive Food Ethic
  31. Leah Vosko, Disrupting Deportability: Transnational Workers Organize
  32. Timothy Minchin, Labor under Fire: A History of the AFL-CIO since 1979
  33. Nate Holdren, Injury Impoverished: Workplace Accidents, Capitalism, and Law in the Progressive Era
  34. Karen Miller, Managing Inequality: Northern Racial Liberalism in Interwar Detroit
  35. Annette Gordon-Reed, On Juneteenth *****
  36. Jamie Bronstein, Land Reform and Working Class Experience in the US and Great Britain
  37. Christina Conklin and Marina Psaros, The Atlas of Disappearing Places: Our Coasts and Oceans in the Climate Crisis
  38. Jeff Ostler, Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas ****
  39. Camilla Townsend, Annals of Native America: How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept Their History Alive
  40. Seth Dowland, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right
  41. Kathleen Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia
  42. J. Charles Schenecking, The Great Kantō Earthquake and the Chimera of National Reconstruction in Japan
  43. R. Alton Lee & Steven Cox, When Sunflowers Bloomed Red: Kansas & the Rise of Socialism in America
  44. Melvyn Dubofsky, The State and Labor in Modern America
  45. Jordan Sand, Tokyo Vernacular: Common Spaces, Local Histories, Found Objects
  46. Stephanie E. Jones-Rodgers, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners
  47. Michele Williams and Vishwas Satgar, eds., Destroying Democracy: Neoliberal Capitalism and the Rise of Authoritarian Politics
  48. Jason Berry, City of a Million Dreams: A History of New Orleans at Year 300
  49. Marco Meniketti, Timber, Sail, and Rail: An Archaeology of Industry, Immigration, and the Loma Prieta Mill
  50. Adam Sowards, Making America’s Public Lands: The Contested History of Conservation on Federal Lands
  51. Elaine Tyler May, Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy
  52. James Tackach, Lincoln and the Natural Environment
  53. Heather Berg, Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism
  54. Jennifer Thomson, The Wild and the Toxic: American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health
  55. Karida L. Brown, Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia
  56. Jordan Sand, House and Home in Modern Japan: Architecture, Domestic Space, and Bourgeois Culture, 1880-1930
  57. Jessica M. Kim, Imperial Metropolis: Los Angeles, Mexico, and the Borderlands of American Empire, 1865-1941
  58. Jane H. Hong, Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion
  59. Johanna Fernandez, The Young Lords: A Radical History ****
  60. Casey Cater, Regenerating Dixie: Electric Energy and the Modern South
  61. Richard J. Orsi, Sunset Limited: The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West, 1850-1930
  62. Caitlin Zaloom, Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost
  63. Joseph E. Taylor, Persistent Callings: Seasons of Work and Identity on the Oregon Coast
  64. Juliana Barr, Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands
  65. Thavolia Glymph, The Women’s Fight: The Civil War’s Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation
  66. Douglas Winiarski, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England
  67. Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention
  68. Kathleen Belew, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America
  69. Clarence Taylor, Fight the Power: African Americans and the Long History of Police Brutality in New York City
  70. Stefan J. Link, Forging Global Fordism: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the Contest over the Industrial Order ****
  71. Sharra Vostral, Toxic Shock: A Social History
  72. Jamie Woodcock, Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centers
  73. Karma R. Chavez, The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance ****
  74. Lesley Gordon and Carol Bleser, eds., Intimate Strategies of the Civil War: Military Commanders and Their Wives
  75. Josiah Rector, Toxic Debt: An Environmental Justice History of Detroit ****
  76. Kevin Waite, West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire ****
  77. David Ekbladh, The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order
  78. Erik McDuffie, Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism
  79. Adam Reich and Peter Bearman, Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart
  80. Lila Corwin Berman, The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex: The History of a Multi-Billion Dollar Institution
  81. James V. Hillegas-Elting, Speaking for the River: Confronting Pollution on the Willamette, 1920s-1970s
  82. Stefan Tanaka, New Times in Modern Japan
  83. John Harner, Profiting from the Peak: Landscape and Liberty in Colorado Springs
  84. Amy Goldstein, Janesville: An American Story
  85. Christopher Ketcham, This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West
  86. Edward L. Ayers, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America
  87. Jane Little Botkin, Frank Little and the IWW: The Blood That Stained an American Family
  88. Brian McCammack, Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago
  89. Janette-Susan Bailey, Dust Bowl: Depression America to World War Two Australia
  90. Sarah Schrank, Free and Natural: Nudity and the American Cult of the Body
  91. Sarah M.S. Pearsall, Polygamy: An Early American History
  92. Tom Turner, David Brower: The Making of the Environmental Movement
  93. Monica Muńoz Martinez, The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas ****
  94. Jane E. Schultz, Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America
  95. Nicolas Delalande, Struggle and the Mutual Aid: The Age of Worker Solidarity
  96. Jori Lewis, Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History
  97. Emma Dabiri, What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition ****
  98. Ahmed White, Under the Iron Heel: The Wobblies and the Capitalist War on Radical Workers ****
  99. Mary Louise Roberts, What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France
  100. John Hannigan, Rise of the Spectacular: America in the 1950s
  101. Mark Valeri, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America
  102. Eva Illousz, Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism
  103. Andrew Gordon, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan
  104. James D. Ross, Jr., The Rise and Fall of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union in Arkansas
  105. Marilyn Lake, Progressive New World: How Settler Colonialism and Transpacific Exchange Shaped American Reform
  106. W. Caleb McDaniel, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America
  107. Charles Blow, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto ****
  108. Peter Boag, Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn of the Century Oregon
  109. Mark Atwood Lawrence, The Vietnam War: An International History ****
  110. Susan Ware, Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote ****
  111. Christina Heatherton, Arise! Global Radicalism in the Era of the Mexican Revolution
  112. John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
  113. Emily Remus, A Shoppers’ Paradise: How the Ladies of Chicago Claimed Power and Pleasure in the New Downtown
  114. Peter Boag, Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past
  115. John Suval, Dangerous Ground: Squatters, Statesmen, and the Antebellum Rupture of American Democracy
  116. Devon W. Carbado, Unreasonable: Black Lives, Police Power, and the Fourth Amendment
  117. Lisa Blee and Jean M. O’Brien, Monumental Mobility: The Memory Work of Massasoit
  118. Robert Ovetz, We the Elites: Why the US Constitution Serves the Few
  119. Eric Schlussel, Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia
  120. William Tsutsui, Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan
  121. Justin Farrell, Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West
  122. Kathryn Schumaker, Troublemakers: Students’ Rights and Racial Justice in the Long 1960s
  123. Ilham Khuri-Makdisi, The Eastern Mediterranean and the Making of Global Radicalism, 1860-1914
  124. Joshua Rothman, The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America ***
  125. Louise Pubols, The Father of All: The de la Guerra Family, Power, and Patriarchy in Mexican California
  126. Simon Balto, Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power ***
  127. Kiara Vigil, Indigenous Intellectuals: Sovereignty, Citizenship, and the American Imagination, 1880-1930

I also read a good bit of fiction and literary non-fiction. In this list, the asterisks are for books I’ve read before and you also get the date in which I finished it.

  1. James Agee, A Death in the Family, 1/4/22
  2. Darius James, Negrophobia, 1/8/22
  3. Mario Vargas Llosa, The War of the End of the World, 1/31/22*
  4. Tatyana Tolstaya, On the Golden Porch, 2/5/22*
  5. Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled, 2/11/22*
  6. John Steinbeck, East of Eden, 2/22/22*
  7. Yuri Herrera, Signs Preceding the End of the World, 2/28/22
  8. J.G.M. Le Clezio, The Prospector, 3/4/22
  9. George Orwell, Burmese Days, 3/13/22
  10. Chris Offutt, Kentucky Straight, 3/13/22
  11. Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony, 3/25/22
  12. Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey, 4/3/22*
  13. Herman Wouk, A Hole in Texas, 4/6/22
  14. Haurki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart, 4/12/22
  15. Philip Roth, Our Gang, 4/13/22*
  16. Tsitsi Dangarembga, This Mournable Body, 5/5/22
  17. Joe Nick Patoski, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, 5/11/22
  18. Roger Kahn, The Boys of Summer, 5/14/22
  19. Chico Buarque, Spilled Milk, 5/16/22*
  20. Yoko Tawada, Last Children of Tokyo, 5/18/22
  21. Natalie Diaz, When My Brother Was an Aztec, 5/19/22
  22. Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses, 5/23/22*
  23. Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio, 6/3/22*
  24. Mary McCarthy, The Company She Keeps, 6/6/22
  25. James Jones, From Here to Eternity, 6/22/22*
  26. Mary McCarthy, The Groves of Academe, 6/22/22
  27. Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor, 7/2/22
  28. Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, 7/22/22*
  29. Mary McCarthy, The Oasis, 7/25/22
  30. Peter Taylor, Collected Stories, 1938-1959, 7/25/22
  31. James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain, 8/5/22*
  32. James Baldwin, Going to Meet the Man, 8/9/22
  33. Terry Tempest Williams, The Clan of One-Breasted Women, 8/10/22
  34. Sandro Veronesi, Quiet Chaos, 8/12/22
  35. Hanif Abdurraqib, A Little Devil in America, 8/17/22
  36. Paul McVeigh, ed., The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices, 8/29/22
  37. Guy de Maupassant, Selected Short Stories, 9/2/22
  38. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon, 9/3/22*
  39. William Dalrymple, From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East, 9/24/22*
  40. Mary McCarthy, The Group, 9/27/22*
  41. Anatoli Rybakov, Heavy Sand, 10/8/22*
  42. Ha Jin, War Trash, 10/17/22*
  43. Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter 10/28/22
  44. Roberto Bolaño, Amulet, 10/31/22*
  45. Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, 10/31/22
  46. Diane Cook, The New Wilderness, 11/13/22
  47. Sanora Babb, Whose Names Are Unknown, 11/14/22
  48. Jean-Patrick Manchette, No Room at the Morgue, 11/20/22*
  49. Nathaniel West, Miss Lonelyhearts, 12/2/22*
  50. James Salter, Last Night, 12/10/22
  51. Javier Marias, Tomorrow in the Battle Think Of Me, 12/11/22*
  52. Duong Thu Huong, Novel Without a Name, 12/20/22*
  53. Claude McKay, Romance in Marseille, 12/23/22
  54. Philip Roth, The Human Stain, 12/25/22*
  55. Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana, 12/28/22*
  56. Neema Avashia, Another Appalachia: Growing Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, 12/28/22
  57. Cynan Jones, The Dig, 12/28/22
  58. Jorge Luis Borges, Doctor Brodie’s Report, 12/31/22*

I decided to keep track of the number of breweries I visited this year. Turned out to be quite a year for beer! Here are the breweries I visited, in order of visiting them:

  1. Tox, New London, CT
  2. Big Lick, Roanoke, VA
  3. A Few Old Goats, Roanoke, VA
  4. Astro Lab, Silver Spring, MD
  5. Brouwerji Cursus Keme, Asheville, NC
  6. New Origin, Asheville, NC
  7. Burial, Asheville, NC
  8. Zillacoah, Woodfin, NC
  9. Dssolvr, Asheville, NC
  10. Xul, Knoxville, TN
  11. Abridged, Knoxville, TN
  12. Ethereal, Lexington, KY
  13. Fusion, Lexington, KY
  14. Blue Stallion, Lexington, KY
  15. Wise Bird Cidery, Lexington, KY
  16. West Sixth, Lexington, KY
  17. Upland, Indianapolis, IN
  18. Long Live, Providence, RI
  19. Moniker, Providence, RI
  20. Proclamation, Warwick, RI
  21. Ninkasi, Eugene, OR
  22. Sunriver, Eugene, OR facility
  23. Grains of Wrath, Portland, OR facility
  24. Foreland, McMinnville, OR
  25. Oakshire, Eugene, OR
  26. Old 99, Roseburg, OR
  27. Coldfire, Eugene, OR
  28. The Wheel, Eugene, OR
  29. Calapooia, Albany, OR
  30. Reubens, Seattle, WA
  31. Stoup, Seattle, WA
  32. Bale Breaker, Seattle, WA facility
  33. Urban Family, Seattle, WA
  34. Big Time, Seattle, WA
  35. Airways, Kent, WA
  36. Block 15, Corvallis, OR
  37. Gratitude, Eugene, OR
  38. Trillium, Canton, MA
  39. Redemption Rock, Worcester, MA
  40. Mighty Squirrel, Waltham, MA
  41. Zeus, Poughkeepsie, NY
  42. Remnant, Somerville, MA
  43. Niantic Public House, Niantic, CT
  44. Meddlesome, Cordova, TN
  45. YYG, Tokyo, Japan
  46. Hitachino, Tokyo, Japan
  47. Inkhorn, Tokyo, Japan
  48. Revo, Yokohama, Japan
  49. Spring Valley, Kyoto, Japan facility
  50. Ichijoji, Kyoto, Japan
  51. Kyoto Beer Lab, Kyoto, Japan
  52. Yamato, Nara, Japan
  53. Western Collective, Boise, ID
  54. Mother Earth, Boise, ID facility
  55. Woodland Empire, Boise, ID
  56. Mad Swede, Boise, ID
  57. Salmon River, McCall, ID
  58. Sawtooth, Hailey, ID
  59. Loose Screw, Meridian, ID
  60. Edge, Boise, ID
  61. Boise, Boise, ID
  62. Barley Brown, Baker City, OR
  63. Side A, La Grande, OR
  64. Sage, Pasco, WA
  65. Valley, Yakima, WA
  66. Lad & Lass, Seattle, WA
  67. Ravenna, Seattle, WA
  68. Elysian, Seattle, WA
  69. Crooked Current, Pawtucket, RI
  70. Beer on Earth, Providence, RI
  71. Lervig, Stavanger, Norway
  72. Killarney, Killarney, Ireland
  73. Progression, Northampton, MA
  74. Whalers, Wakefield, RI
  75. Notch, Salem, MA
  76. The Guild, Pawtucket, RI
  77. Bank and Bridge, Mystic, CT
  78. Narragansett, Providence, RI
  79. Tilted Barn, Exeter, RI
  80. Naukabout, Mashpee, MA
  81. Four City, Orange, NJ
  82. Aeronaut, Somerville, MA
  83. Pint and Plow, Kerrville, TX
  84. Back Upturned, San Antonio, TX
  85. Real Ale, Blanco, TX
  86. Faust, New Braunfels, TX
  87. Foam, Burlington, VT
  88. Freak Folk, Waterbury, VT
  89. Hill Farmstead, Greensboro, VT
  90. River Roost, White River Junction, VT
  91. Stoneface, Portsmouth, NH
  92. New England, Woodbridge, CT
  93. Origin, Cranston, RI
  94. Buttonwoods, Cranston, RI
  95. Fox Farm, Salem, CT
  96. Subversive, Catskill, NY
  97. Kings Court, Poughkeespie, NY
  98. Second Wind, Plymouth, MA
  99. Dorchester, Boston, MA
  100. Mostodolce, Florence, Italy
  101. Archea, Florence, Italy

Here’s to a 2023 of books and beer!!!

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