Journal of American History

Presidential Address

Security against Democracy: The Legacy of the Cold War at Home

In her presidential address to the 2010 Organization of American Historians annual meeting, Elaine Tyler May observes that over the last half century, Americans have become obsessed with security: national as well as personal. When American leaders talk about security, they often emphasize the need to protect and preserve our democracy. But since the early Cold War era, Americans have understood that it was their individual, private responsibility to provide security for themselves and their families in the face of internal and external threats. This has led Americans to distrust each other as well as their government and to develop a vigilante mentality. May argues that rather than strengthen- ing democracy, the quest for security has undermined and weakened democratic practices. (pp. 939–57) Read online >


“The Highest Pleasure of Which Woman’s Nature Is Capable”: Breast-Feeding and the Sentimental Maternal Ideal in America, 1750—1860

Portrait of an unidentified woman breastfeeding a baby, ca. 1848.
Courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

In the mid-eighteenth century, Enlightenment debates about women’s social role prompted a flurry of discussions about motherhood. In particular, advice manuals, portraits of mothers, and American women’s personal writings highlighted breast-feeding as one of the most important maternal duties. Nora Doyle argues that late eighteenth-century advice manuals developed a new focus on the emotional and physical pleasures of breast-feeding. This rhetoric of pleasure contributed to the construction of a sentimental maternal ideal that remained the most important feminine script into the nineteenth century. Doyle sheds new light on the sentimental culture surrounding motherhood by showing how discussions about the physical pleasure of breast-feeding offered possibilities for mediating and exploring female sexuality within marriage and motherhood. (pp. 958–73) Read online >

America’s Conservatory: Race, Reconstruction, and the Santo Domingo Debate

This photo, by Augustus Marshall of Boston shows Samuel Gridley Howe in 1870.
Courtesy University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.

In the spring of 1870, as the Fifteenth Amendment became the capstone of Radical Reconstruction, Ulysses S. Grant and the alumni of the antislavery struggle plunged into a curious and protracted fight over whether the Dominican Republic should be annexed to the United States. Some historians have dismissed the “Santo Domingo affair” as another tawdry example of Grant-era corruption; others have presented it as a prelude to the extensive imperial entanglements of the later nineteenth century. Nicholas Guyatt argues instead that the annexation debate was a central episode in the history of Reconstruction and reveals deep divisions within the reform community about how black rights and citizenship should be guaranteed at home and abroad after slavery. (pp. 974–1000) Read online >

Consuming Relief: Food Stamps and the New Welfare of the New Deal

This posed photo from 1941 illustrates the transfer of food stamps—illustrated with the Roman goddess of plenty—for attractive surplus grocery items.
Courtesy National Ar- chives, College Park, Md., Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, Food Stamps folder, image 16-G-321-1-1106.

While scholars have chronicled the rise of the Great Depression–era welfare state, little attention has been paid to its relationship to the development of American consumer culture. At the same time, the literature on the history of consumption in America, with its focus largely on the middle and working classes, has obscured the role of the poorest citizens in the construction of American consumer politics. Rachel Louise Moran argues that the New Deal–era federal Food Stamp Plan, the nearly forgotten basis of contemporary welfare, illustrates that the late 1930s ushered in a vision of a capitalist welfare state that fit with the interests of the emerging liberal order. The plan was designed by businessmen and required recipients to pay for stamps and use retail stores to obtain relief. It promised, Moran argues, to move welfare recipients into the marketplace, stimulate the economy, and decrease the stigma of relief, while simultaneously restricting and monitor- ing consumer behavior. (pp. 1001–22) Read online >

Listen to an interview with Rachel Louise Moran about this article in the JAH Podcast.

Disability, Antiprofessionalism, and Civil Rights: The National Federation of the Blind and the “Right to Organize” in the 1950s

John Nagle (right) of the National Federation of the Blind’s Washington, D.C., staff is pictured here with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Although this photograph dates from the 1960s, Nagle was an active lobbyist for the “right to organize” campaign in the late 1950s.
Courtesy National Federation of the Blind.

Felicia Kornbluh problematizes the familiar timeline of civil rights histories. Instead of seeing the major civil rights campaigns in America as a succession of movements, starting with the one against Jim Crow in the late 1940s and ending with the movement for dis- ability rights in the 1970s, Kornbluh suggests that these post–World War II movements emerged simultaneously and influenced one another as they developed. She argues that the challenges to medical, psychiatric, and social-scientific expertise usually associated with the 1960s and 1970s may in fact have originated in the activism of blind people and others in the movement for disability rights in the 1940s. Finally, by focusing on issues of disability, such as the passage of legislation creating the civilian program of occupational rehabilitation, she offers a new view of the 1950s as an era of expansion in domestic social and health policies. (pp. 1023–47) Read online >

Textbooks & Teaching

  • The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the History Classroom by Scott E. Casper (pp. 1048–50)
    Read online >
  • The End of the History Survey Course: The Rise and Fall of the Coverage Model by Joel M. Sipress and David J. Voelker (pp. 1050–66)
    Read online >
  • Putting History Teaching “In Its Place” by Keith A. Erekson (pp. 1067–78)
    Read online >
  • How Now? Historical Thinking, Reflective Teaching, and the Next Generation of History Teachers by Elizabeth Belanger (pp. 1079–88)
    Read online >

Book Reviews

March 2011, Vol. 97 No. 4

Alphabetical by the last name of the book's first author or editor.

  • Adelt, Blues Music in the Sixties: A Story in Black and White, by W. S. Tkweme
  • Anderson, “Tell Them We Are Singing for Jesus”: The Original Fisk Jubilee Singers and Christian Reconstruction, 1871–1878, by Stephen W. Angell
  • Barnhisel and Turner, eds., Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda, and the Cold War, by Susan A. Brewer
  • Bernstein, America Is the Prison: Arts and Politics in Prison in the 1970s, by Ethan Blue
  • Biszick-Lockwood, Restless Giant: The Life and Times of Jean Aberbach and Hill and Range Songs, by James Akenson
  • Boston, The Business Strategy of Booker T. Washington: Its Development and Implementation, by Vernon J. Williams Jr.
  • Bow, Partly Colored: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South, by Madeline Y. Hsu
  • Brands, American Dreams: The United States since 1945, by Stephen J. Whitfield
  • Brinkley, The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century, by James L. Baughman
  • Burns, Packing the Court: The Rise of Judicial Power and the Coming Crisis of the Supreme Court, by L. A. Scot Powe Jr.
  • Bynum, The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies, by Paul Quigley
  • Callanan, Covert Action in the Cold War: U.S. Policy, Intelligence, and cia Operations, by Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones
  • Carney and Rosomoff, In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World, by Edda L. Fields-Black
  • Case, The Great Southwest Railroad Strike and Free Labor, by Paul Michel Taillon
  • Cheever, Real Phonies: Cultures of Authenticity in Post–World War II America, by Kirk Curnutt
  • Clayson, Freedom Is Not Enough: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Texas, by Merline Pitre
  • de Jong, Invisible Enemy: The African American Freedom Struggle after 1965, by Tracy Elaine K’Meyer
  • Dennis, Seneca Possessed: Indians, Witchcraft, and Power in the Early American Republic, by Joy Porter
  • Deutsch, Building a Housewife’s Paradise: Gender, Politics, and American Grocery Stores in the Twentieth Century, by Vicki Howard
  • Doyle, The Enemy in Our Hands: America’s Treatment of Enemy Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror, by Paul J. Springer
  • Echols, Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture, by Steve Waksman
  • Ellisor, The Second Creek War: Interethnic Conflict and Collusion on a Collapsing Frontier, by Julie Anne Sweet
  • Engerman, Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Soviet Experts, by Fredrik Logevall
  • Enyeart, The Quest for “Just and Pure Law”: Rocky Mountain Workers and American Social Democracy, 1870–1924, by Rosemary Feurer
  • Farber, The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism: A Short History, by Jennifer Burns
  • Ferguson, Maier, Manela, and Sargent, eds., The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective, by David Farber
  • Fichter, So Great a Proffit: How the East Indies Trade Transformed Anglo-American Capitalism, by Edwin J. Perkins
  • Finch, Dissenting Bodies: Corporealities in Early New England, by Peter Dobkin Hall
  • Fleming, The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War, by Alan Wald
  • Foner, ed., Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World, by Brian R. Dirck
  • Freeberg, Democracy’s Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, the Great War, and the Right to Dissent, by Melvyn Dubofsky
  • Gallman, Northerners at War: Reflections on the Civil War Home Front, by Susan-Mary Grant
  • Gardner, Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth-Century African American Literature, by Arthur Riss
  • Giddins and DeVeaux, Jazz, by Eric Porter
  • Ginsberg, Moses of South Carolina: A Jewish Scalawag during Radical Reconstruction, by Mark I. Greenberg
  • Glad, An Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign Policy, by David F. Schmitz
  • Gordon, The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America, by James Hitchcock
  • Goudsouzian, King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution, by Donald Spivey
  • Gould, Helen Taft: Our Musical First Lady, by Robert P. Watson
  • Green, The Company Town: The Industrial Edens and Satanic Mills That Shaped the American Economy, by Daniel J. Monti Jr.
  • Greenfield, Out of the Attic: Inventing Antiques in Twentieth-Century New England, by Marina Moskowitz
  • Guglielmo, Living the Revolution: Italian Women’s Resistance and Radicalism in New York City, 1880–1945, by Carol Lynn McKibben
  • Hajo, Birth Control on Main Street: Organizing Clinics in the United States, 1916–1939, by Robyn L. Rosen
  • Heidler and Heidler, Henry Clay: The Essential American, by Dan Monroe
  • Heller, Democracy’s Lawyer: Felix Grundy of the Old Southwest, by J. C. A. Stagg
  • Hendrickson, Union, Nation, or Empire: The American Debate over International Relations, 1789–1941, by Donald A. Rakestraw
  • Hinderaker, The Two Hendricks: Unraveling a Mohawk Mystery, by David L. Preston
  • Hulliung, ed., The American Liberal Tradition Reconsidered: The Contested Legacy of Louis Hartz, by Dorothy Ross
  • Hunt and Ramón, eds., Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities, by Lawrence B. de Graaf
  • Jacob, King of the Lobby: The Life and Times of Sam Ward, Man-About-Washington in the Gilded Age, by Peter H. Argersinger
  • Jarvis, In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World, 1680–1783, by Neil Kennedy
  • Johnson and Graybill, eds., Bridging National Borders in North America: Transnational and Comparative Histories, by Elliott Young
  • Jones, Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War, by Timothy J. Lockley
  • Kastor and Weil, eds., Empires of the Imagination: Transatlantic Histories of the Louisiana Purchase, by Stephen Aron
  • Keire, For Business and Pleasure: Red-Light Districts and the Regulation of Vice in the United States, 1890–1933, by Thomas C. Mackey
  • Kern, The Jeffersons at Shadwell, by Andrew Burstein
  • Kingsbury, For Home and Country: World War I Propaganda on the Home Front, by Greg Barnhisel
  • Leeman, The Long Road to Annapolis: The Founding of the Naval Academy and the Emerging American Republic, by H. Michael Gelfand
  • Lipsitz, Midnight at the Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis Story, by Karl Hagstrom Miller
  • Longhurst, Citizen Environmentalist, by Chad Montrie
  • Lord, Condom Nation: The U.S. Government’s Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet, by Leigh Ann Wheeler
  • Loveman, No Higher Law: American Foreign Policy and the Western Hemisphere since 1776, by Stephen G. Rabe
  • Maddock, Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy from World War II to the Present, by Andrew J. Rotter
  • Maffly-Kipp, Setting Down the Sacred Past: African-American Race Histories, by John Ernest
  • Maltz, Slavery and the Supreme Court, 1825–1861, by Barbara J. Holden-Smith
  • Marable, Beyond Black and White: Transforming African-American Politics, by Charles P. Henry
  • McDonald, The Red Corner: The Rise and Fall of Communism in Northeastern Montana, by Greg Hall
  • Merrill, Negotiating Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Twentieth-Century Latin America, by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
  • Mirel, Patriotic Pluralism: Americanization Education and European Immigrants, by Frank Van Nuys
  • Morgan, The Typewriter Is Holy: The Complete Uncensored History of the Beat Generation, by Jonah Raskin
  • Morgan, ed., African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic World and the Gullah Geechee, by Russell R. Menard
  • Moye, Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, by Alan M. Osur
  • Nagy, Invisible Ink: Spycraft of the American Revolution, by John Resch
  • Nash, The Liberty Bell, by Erika Doss
  • Nielsen, Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen Keller, by John V. Van Cleve
  • Noe, Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861, by Judkin Browning
  • Noll, God and Race in American Politics: A Short History, by Sylvester Johnson
  • Nord, Rubin, and Schudson, eds., A History of the Book in America, vol. 5: The Enduring Book; Print Culture in Postwar America, by Harilaos Stecopoulos
  • Nugent, Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion, by Bartholomew Sparrow
  • Nystrom, New Orleans after the Civil War: Race, Politics, and a New Birth of Freedom, by Alecia P. Long
  • Okrent, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, by Ann-Marie E. Szymanski
  • Oshinsky, Capital Punishment on Trial: Furman v. Georgia and the Death Penalty in Modern America, by Alan Rogers
  • Parker, Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle against White Supremacy in the Postwar South, by Jennifer D. Keene
  • Patterson, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America’s Struggle over Black Family Life—From lbj to Obama, by Michael B. Katz
  • Pietila, Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City, by Kenneth D. Durr
  • Plant, Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America, by Rima D. Apple
  • Poole, On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery, by James Percoco
  • Raeburn, New Orleans Style and the Writing of American Jazz History, by Court Carney
  • Rees, Representation and Rebellion: The Rockefeller Plan at the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, 1914–1942, by John Hennen
  • Reis, Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex, by James H. Jones
  • Richardson, Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre, by Jeffrey Ostler
  • Roberts, Distant Revolutions: 1848 and the Challenge to American Exceptionalism, by David M. Wrobel
  • Rodríguez, The Literatures of the U.S.-Mexican War: Narrative, Time, and Identity, by Amy S. Greenberg
  • Roediger, How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, by Kornel S. Chang
  • Rohrer, Wandering Souls: Protestant Migrations in America, 1630–1865, by John Fea
  • Rondinone, The Great Industrial War: Framing Class Conflict in the Media, 1865–1950, by Elizabeth Faue
  • Russo, Points on the Dial: Golden Age Radio beyond the Networks, by Joy Elizabeth Hayes
  • Sadosky, Revolutionary Negotiations: Indians, Empires, and Diplomats in the Founding of America, by Robert W. Smith
  • Schifferle, America’s School for War: Fort Leavenworth, Officer Education, and Victory in World War II, by Peter S. Kindsvatter
  • Schrag, Not Fit for Our Society: Nativism and Immigration, by Aristide R. Zolberg
  • Seeman, Death in the New World: Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1492–1800, by Nancy Isenberg
  • Shapard, Chief Loco: Apache Peacemaker, by Joseph A. Stout Jr.
  • Shockley, The Captain’s Widow of Sandwich: Self-Invention and the Life of Hannah Rebecca Burgess, 1834–1917, by Robin Miskolcze
  • Smolenski, Friends and Strangers: The Making of a Creole Culture in Colonial Pennsylvania, by Paul G. E. Clemens
  • Stein, Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies, by Joseph A. McCartin
  • Stoker, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War, by Kenneth W. Noe
  • Teles, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law, by Linda Przybyszewski
  • Tillson, Accommodating Revolutions: Virginia’s Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760–1810, by Kevin R. C. Gutzman
  • Walker, The Road to Yucca Mountain: The Development of Radioactive Waste Policy in the United States, by Allison M. MacFarlane
  • Wallace-Sanders, Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender, and Southern Memory, by Miriam Thaggert
  • Watson, Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy, by J. Todd Moye
  • Watt, Farm Workers and the Churches: The Movement in California and Texas, by Jim Norris
  • Webb, Rabble Rousers: The American Far Right in the Civil Rights Era, by Keith M. Finley
  • Wells, Life Flows On in Endless Song: Folk Songs and American History, by Michael J. Kramer
  • Widener, Black Arts West: Culture and Struggle in Postwar Los Angeles, by James Edward Smethurst
  • Wilentz, Bob Dylan in America, by Ronald D. Cohen
  • Wilkie, The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi: A Historical Archaeology of Masculinity at a University Fraternity, by Diana B. Turk
  • Woloson, In Hock: Pawning in America from Independence through the Great Depression, by Joshua D. Rothman
  • Wood, The Horrible Gift of Freedom: Atlantic Slavery and the Representation of Emancipation, by Scot French
  • Zeiger, Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century, by Barbara G. Friedman
  • Zimmerman, Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South, by Gerald Horne

Web Site Reviews

Web Site reviews are available without a subscription.

  • National Constitution Center, by Mortimer Sellers (pp. 1195–6) Read online >
  • A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774—1875, by Whitman H. Ridgway (pp. 1196–7) Read online >
  • The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, by Adam Rothman (pp. 1197–8) Read online >
  • Detroit Publishing Company: Photographer to the World, by Mark Newman (pp. 1198–9) Read online >


Recent Scholarship

View “Recent Scholarship” listing online >

Recent Scholarship is available as a searchable database, Recent Scholarship Online >

Contents of Volume 97

Index to Volume 97

View the Index to Volume 97 online >

cover image

On the cover:

Grocers in low-income neighborhoods such as this one in 1940 were extraordinarily excited about the Food Stamp Plan, which brought poor consumers into their stores. The large banner, as well as the official stamp poster in the bottom right corner, indicate the energy grocers put behind the program’s success. Courtesy National Archives, College Park, Md., Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, Food Stamps folder, image 16-G-321-1-445. See Rachel Louise Moran, “Consuming Relief: Food Stamps and the New Welfare of the New Deal,” p. 1001.

Recent Issues

Icon Downarrow Full Text

The full text of the Journal of American History (1914–current) is available online to members of the OAH and to institutions that subscribe to the print versions of the journal. Electronic access is provided by Oxford University Press.

Icon Downarrow Subscribe to the JAH

A subscription to the JAH is one of the many benefits available to members of the Organization of American Historians (oah). To join the oah and receive the JAH, complete and submit a membership application at the oah Web site.

Icon Downarrow Purchase a Single Issue

Selected current and back issues of the JAH are available both as single issues and for large quantities, at volume pricing. For more information, please visit Oxford University Press