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Audra J. Wolfe
The Cold War ended long ago, but the language of science and freedom continues to shape public debates over the relationship between science and politics in the United States. Scientists like to proclaim that science knows no borders. Scientific researchers follow the evidence where it leads, their conclusions free of prejudice or ideology. But is that really the case? In Freedom's Laboratory, Audra J. Wolfe shows how these ideas were tested to their limits in the high-stakes propaganda battles of the Cold War.
Sara B. Pritchard and Carl A. Zimring
In this compelling book, Sara B. Pritchard and Carl A. Zimring adopt an analytical approach to explore current research at the intersection of environmental history and the history of technology—an emerging field known as envirotech. Technology and the Environment in History discusses some of the important topics, historical processes, and scholarly concerns that have emerged from recent work in thinking about envirotech. New perspectives on envirotech can help us engage with the surrounding world in ways that are more sustainable for humanity—and the planet.
foreword by Neal Stephenson
Western culture has been obsessed with regulating society by the precise, accurate measurement of time since the Middle Ages. In On Time, Ken Mondschein explores the paired development of concepts and technologies of timekeeping with human thought. Without clocks, he argues, the modern world as we know it would not exist. This quest toward automation—which gave rise to the Gregorian calendar, the factory clock, and even the near-disastrous Y2K bug—has led to profound social repercussions and driven the creation of the modern scientific mindset.
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.
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.