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Cork, unrivaled as a sealant and insulator, was used in gaskets, bomber insulation, and ammunition, making it crucial to the war effort. From secret missions in North Africa to 4-H clubs growing seedlings in America to secret intelligence agents working undercover in the industry, this book examines cork’s surprising wartime significance. Drawing on in-depth interviews with surviving family members, personal collections, and recently declassified government records, Taylor weaves this by turns beautiful, dark, and outrageous narrative with the drama of a thriller. From the factory floor to the corner office, Cork Wars reflects shifts in our ideas of modernity, the environment, and the materials and norms of American life.
In The Warfare between Science and Religion, Jeff Hardin, Ronald L. Numbers, and Ronald A. Binzley have assembled a group of distinguished historians who explore the origin of the thesis, its reception, the responses it drew from various faith traditions, and its continued prominence in public discourse. Based on original research and written in an accessible style, The Warfare between Science and Religion takes an interdisciplinary approach to question the historical relationship between science and religion. This volume, which brings much-needed perspective to an often bitter controversy, will appeal to scholars and students of the histories of science and religion, sociology, and philosophy.
Benjamin F. Alexander
The New Deal’s most tangible legacy may be the Civilian Conservation Corps’s network of parks, national forests, scenic roadways, and picnic shelters that still mark the country’s landscape. CCC enrollees, most of them unmarried young men, lived in camps run by the Army and worked hard for wages (most of which they had to send home to their families) to preserve America’s natural treasures. The New Deal’s Forest Army compellingly demonstrates how one New Deal program changed America and gave birth to both contemporary forestry and the modern environmental movement.
In the fascinating story of how people got ice before mechanical refrigeration, Rees draws on newspapers, trade journals, and household advice books. Before the Refrigerator explains how Americans built a complex system to harvest, store, and transport ice to everyone who wanted it, even the very poor. Reviewing all the inventions that made the ice industry possible and the way they worked together to prevent ice from melting, Rees demonstrates how technological systems can operate without a central controlling force. Before the Refrigerator is ideal for history of technology classes, food studies classes, or anyone interested in what daily life in the United States was like between 1880 and 1930.
Priscilla J. McMillan, foreword by Martin J. Sherwin, coauthor of the Pulitzer Prize−winning American Prometheus
A chilling tale of McCarthy-era machinations, this groundbreaking page-turner rewrites the history of the Cold War. McMillan recreates the fraught years from 1949 to 1955 when Oppenheimer and a group of liberal scientists tried to head off the cabal of hard-line air force officials, anti-Communist politicians, and rival scientists who were trying to seize control of U.S. policy and build ever more deadly nuclear weapons. Retelling the story of Oppenheimer’s trial, which took place in utmost secrecy, she describes how the government made up its own rules and violated many protections of the rule of law.
In this revealing book, Fouché examines a variety of sports paraphernalia and enhancements, from fast suits, athletic shoes, and racing bicycles to basketballs and prosthetic limbs. He also takes a hard look at gender verification testing, direct drug testing, and the athlete biological passport in an attempt to understand the evolving place of technoscience across sport. Focusing on well-known athletes, including Michael Phelps, Oscar Pistorius, Caster Semenya, Usain Bolt, and Lance Armstrong, Fouché argues that technoscience calls into question the integrity of games, records, and our bodies themselves.
Thomas F. Army, Jr.
Engineering Victory brings a fresh approach to the question of why the North prevailed in the Civil War. Historian Thomas F. Army, Jr., identifies strength in engineering—not superior military strategy or industrial advantage—as the critical determining factor in the war’s outcome. By presenting detailed case studies from both theaters of the war, Army clearly demonstrates how the soldiers’ education, training, and talents spelled the difference between success and failure, victory and defeat. He also reveals massive logistical operations as critical in determining the war’s outcome.
Sharon Ann Murphy
Sharon Ann Murphy explains how banking and money worked before the federal government, spurred by the chaos of the Civil War, created the national system of US paper currency. Murphy traces the evolution of banking in America from the founding of the nation, to Andrew Jackson’s role in the Bank War of the early 1830s, to the problems of financing a large-scale war. She reveals how the monetary and banking structures that emerged from the Civil War provided the basis for our modern financial system, from its formation under the Federal Reserve in 1913 to the present. Other People’s Money is an engaging guide to the heated politics that surrounded banking in early America as well as to the economic causes and consequences of the financial system that emerged from the turmoil.
Jane T. Merritt
In The Trouble with Tea, historian Jane T. Merritt explores tea as a central component of eighteenth-century global trade and probes its connections to the politics of consumption. Arguing that tea caused trouble over the course of the eighteenth century in a number of different ways, Merritt traces the multifaceted impact of that luxury item on British imperial policy, colonial politics, and the financial structure of merchant companies. This fascinating look at the unpredictable path of a single commodity will change the way readers look at both tea and the emergence of America.
Wealth and Disaster follows the emigrant Lamerenx and Mouscardy families over three generations and various locations across the Caribbean. Pierre Force traces their white and mixed-race descendants from the early-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries and over decades of comings and goings between their French ancestral town and Saint-Domingue, Cuba, and New Orleans. An exciting and accessible history, Wealth and Disaster offers riveting insight into the matrimonial strategies and inheritance customs of French rural society and the resulting choices to emigrate or to stay.
Americans pay famously close attention to "the market," obsessively watching trends, patterns, and swings and looking for clues in every fluctuation. In Reading the Market, Peter Knight explores the Gilded Age origins and development of this peculiar interest. Drawing on the late nineteenth-century explosion of art, literature, and media, Knight shows how ordinary Americans became both emotionally and financially invested in the market. From the rise of ticker-tape technology to the development of conspiracy theories, Reading the Market argues that commentary on the Stock Exchange between 1870 and 1915 changed how Americans understood finance—and explains what our pervasive interest in Wall Street says about us now.