Journal of American History

Special Section

Margins to Mainstream: The Brave New World of Borderlands History

An Introduction

John Nieto-Phillips (pp. 336–337) Read online >

On Borderlands

Pekka Hämäläinen and Samuel Truett assess the state of the field of borderlands history, probing its past, present, and possible futures. The field has unsettled centrist paradigms and called attention to fresh subjects and stories, but it has also preserved older distinctions between early and modern America, imperial and modern histories, immigrant and indigenous subjects, state and nonstate realms, and the territories that eventually pertain to one nation or another. The authors seek to move the spaces and narratives of borderlands history across these divides, drawing on new insights in indigenous and transnational history. They challenge state-centered teleologies by offering a more open-ended framework, rooted in American spaces where futures of empires and nations were anything but certain. (pp. 338–361) Read online >

Borderlands of Modernity and Abandonment: The Lines within Ambos Nogales and the Tohono O’odham Nation

Courtesy Arizona Daily Star.

Most scholars continue to write about the U.S.-Mexico border as a single dividing and uniting line between countries, races, and civilizations. Geraldo Cadava demonstrates, by comparing proximate communities along the Arizona-Sonora border, that many lines cut through the border region at once, refracting in every direction simultaneously shared senses of cross-border identity and deep experiences of alienation. After World War II, ideologies and practices of modernity and abandonment became vehicles for federal governments, businessmen, politicians, and borderlands residents to contemplate and shape regional similarities and differences between the United States and Mexico; Mexicans and indigenous peoples; Anglos and Mexicans; and border cities and tribal lands. (pp. 362–383) Read online >

Borderlands in a World at Sea: Concow Indians, Native Hawaiians, and South Chinese in Global and National Spaces

J. M. Hutchings, In the Heart of the Sierras (1886), 423

David A. Chang traces the links of marriage, adoption, and settlement bound highly mobile American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Chinese to each other and to a network of borderlands that spanned the Pacific Ocean in the nineteenth century. Stories reveal a world in which villages and small settlements in gold rush–era California, Hawai‘i, and China’s Pearl River delta were nodes in a web of cosmopolitan borderlands. They also demonstrate how technologies of the American state—particularly the enforcement of territorial and racial borders—disrupted these networks of people and places in the last decades of the nineteenth century. (pp. 384–403) Read online >

The Cosmic Race in Texas: Racial Fusion, White Supremacy, and Civil Rights Politics

In the early twentieth century, a number of Latin American intellectuals embraced racial fusion and predicted that it would one day undo the white supremacy represented by the United States. These ideas influenced Mexican American civil rights advocates in Texas in the 1930s and 1940s, who found the embrace of hybridity to be a realistic description of their own racial backgrounds and an effective rejoinder to Jim Crow’s emphasis on racial purity. Attacking the consensus that an aspiration for whiteness drove these civil rights claims, Benjamin H. Johnson finds deep ties between Mexican American and Mexican political cultures and concludes that borderlands histories can take a transnational approach without obscuring the influence of nation-states or denying the emancipatory potential of claims to national belonging. (pp. 404–419) Read online >

Race, Surveillance, and Indian Anticolonialism in the Western U.S.-Canadian Borderlands

Seema Sohi examines attempts by Asian Indian migrants in the first decades of the twentieth century to circumvent discriminatory immigration policies and practices at U.S. mainland ports by taking alternate routes across the American empire. Traveling from the Philippines to the Pacific Northwest, these migrants insisted they had a right to be admitted into the United States because they had come not from a foreign port, but from a U.S. territory where they had gained legal entry. These challenges to U.S. immigration policy and the political mobilization of Indians around these cases led U.S., Canadian, and British officials to view the Pacific Coast as a center of sedition where Indians were challenging and exploiting restrictive immigration policies to advance radical racial and anti colonial agendas. (pp. 420–436) Read online >

Before the Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom in the Canadian-American Borderland

Courtesy St. James’ Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, Michigan.

Nearly all histories examining slavery and North America’s northern borderland involve the thousands of American fugitive slaves who migrated to Canada along the Underground Railroad. Gregory Wigmore demonstrates that those antebellum runaways followed in the footsteps of an earlier generation of freedom seekers who streamed across the new Canadian-American boundary in both directions following its establishment in 1796. The runaways, and the slaveholders’ efforts to recover them, sparked controversy in the borderland, undermining cross-border cooperation between Britain and America. Wigmore argues that the slave flights and simmering Anglo-American rivalry led both governments to champion territorial sovereignty and resulted in a hardening of the border that afforded sanctuary to certain refugees, such as fugitive slaves. (pp. 437–454) Read online >


Nationalism and Internationalism in the Era of the Civil War

David Armitage, Thomas Bender, Leslie Butler, Don Doyle, Susan-Mary Grant, Charles Maier, Jörg Nagler, Paul Quigley, and Jay Sexton (pp. 455–489) Read online >

Book Reviews

Sept. 2011, Vol. 98 No. 2

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

  • Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Robert R. Perkinson
  • Ali, In the Lion’s Mouth: Black Populism in the New South, 1886–1900, by T. Adams Upchurch
  • Anderson, ed., The Columbia History of the Vietnam War, by Matthew Jones
  • Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution, by Margaret E. Newell
  • Arenson, The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War, by Nicole Etcheson
  • Baker, Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture, by Julia Liss
  • Baum, Brown in Baltimore: School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism, by Robert S. Wolff
  • Beadie, Education and the Creation of Capital in the Early American Republic, by Mary Kelley
  • Bernstein, The Founding Fathers Reconsidered, by Woody Holton
  • Biddle and Dubin, Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America, by Myra B. Young Armstead
  • Brilliant, The Color of America Has Changed: How Racial Diversity Shaped Civil Rights Reform in California, 1941–1978, by Daniel Martinez HoSang
  • Brinkley, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, by Sidney M. Milkis
  • Brown, ed., John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music, by Paul Allen Anderson
  • Bryan-Wilson, Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era, by John Louis Lucaites
  • Buford, Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe, by Bruce A. Rubenstein
  • Bynum, A. Philip Randolph and the Struggle for Civil Rights, by John Salmond
  • Carp, Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America, by Edward Countryman
  • Carvin, Prisoners of America’s Wars: From the Early Republic to Guantanamo, by Robert D. Billinger Jr.
  • Chernow, Washington: A Life, by Philander D. Chase
  • Cimbala and Miller, eds., The Great Task Remaining before Us: Reconstruction as America’s Continuing Civil War, by Brooks D. Simpson
  • Cobb, The South and America since World War II, by Pete Daniel
  • Cohen, Work and Sing: A History of Occupational and Labor Union Songs in the United States, by William G. Roy
  • Courtwright, No Right Turn: Conservative Politics in a Liberal America, by Jeremy D. Mayer
  • Culver, The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America, by Jeremiah B. C. Axelrod
  • Davin, Crucible of Freedom: Workers’ Democracy in the Industrial Heartland, 1914–1960, by Thomas Dublin
  • de la Peña, Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda, by James A. Spiller
  • Diner, Kohn, and Kranson, eds., A Jewish Feminine Mystique? Jewish Women in Postwar America, by Deborah Dash Moore
  • Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism, by Martin Durham
  • Dorr, Segregation’s Science: Eugenics and Society in Virginia, by Susan Currell
  • Doss, Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America, by Patrick Hagopian
  • Dower, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, and Iraq, by John Prados
  • Dueck, Hard Line: The Republican Party and U.S. Foreign Policy since World War II, by Andrew L. Johns
  • Egerton, Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election That Brought on the Civil War, by David Zarefsky
  • Emmons, Beyond the American Pale: The Irish in the West, 1845–1910, by David T. Gleeson
  • Ethridge, From Chicaza to Chickasaw: The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World, 1540–1715, by John T. Ellisor
  • Fabian, The Skull Collectors: Race, Science, and America’s Unburied Dead, by Gregory Michael Dorr
  • Ferling, The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon, by Stuart Leibiger
  • Flavell, When London Was Capital of America, by James Raven
  • Fox, Natural Acts: Gender, Race, and Rusticity in Country Music, by Diane Elisabeth Pecknold
  • Friend, Kentucke’s Frontiers, by Kevin T. Barksdale
  • Fulton, The Reconstruction of Mark Twain: How a Confederate Bushwhacker Became the Lincoln of Our Literature, by Shelley Fisher Fishkin
  • Games, Witchcraft in Early North America, by Elaine G. Breslaw
  • Geiger, Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri’s Civil War, 1861–1865, by Paul F. Paskoff
  • Genter, Late Modernism: Art, Culture, and Politics in Cold War America, by Andrew J. Falk
  • Godbold, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: The Georgia Years, 1924–1974, by Frye Gaillard
  • Goggans, California on the Breadlines: Dorothea Lange, Paul Taylor, and the Making of a New Deal Narrative, by Howard A. DeWitt
  • Gordon, Dorothea Lange: A Life beyond Limits, by Kate Sampsell-Willmann
  • Gregg, Managing the Mountains: Land Use Planning, the New Deal, and the Creation of a Federal Landscape in Appalachia, by James R. Skillen
  • Grubbs, Secular Missionaries: Americans and African Development in the 1960s, by James H. Meriwether
  • Harmon, Rich Indians: Native People and the Problem of Wealth in American History, by Nancy Shoemaker
  • Harrell, Pat Robertson: A Life and Legacy, by Daniel K. Williams
  • Harrold, Border War: Fighting over Slavery before the Civil War, by Jeremy Neely
  • Holzer, Symonds, and Williams, eds., The Lincoln Assassination: Crime and Punishment, Myth and Memory, by Kate Clifford Larson
  • Jabour, Topsy-Turvy: How the Civil War Turned the World Upside Down for Southern Children, by Giselle Roberts
  • Jaffee, A New Nation of Goods: The Material Culture of Early America, by Gabrielle M. Lanier
  • John, Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications, by Gregory J. Downey
  • Kenny, Contentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in Post-emancipation Jamaica, 1834–1866, by Diana Paton
  • Kieser, Nearest East: American Millennialism and Mission to the Middle East, by Charles D. Smith
  • Kitamura, Screening Enlightenment: Hollywood and the Cultural Reconstruction of Defeated Japan, by David Culbert
  • Kitch, The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States, by Carroll Smith-Rosenberg
  • Lee and Yung, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America, by Roger Daniels
  • Leonard, Men of Color to Arms! Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the Quest for Equality, by William A. Dobak
  • Lepore, The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History, by Jonathan Schoenwald
  • Lewis, Prescription for Heterosexuality: Sexual Citizenship in the Cold War Era, by Andrea Friedman
  • Lubet, Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial, by Kelly Kennington
  • Mapp, The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713–1763, by Timothy J. Shannon
  • Marshall, Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State, by Carl Kramer
  • Martello, Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise, by John Bezís-Selfa
  • Martin, Benching Jim Crow: The Rise and Fall of the Color Line in Southern College Sports, 1890–1980, by Lane Demas
  • Martin, A Nation of Immigrants, by David M. Reimers
  • McDowell, The Language of Law and the Foundations of American Constitutionalism, by Martin Flaherty
  • McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, by Jane Dailey
  • McKinney, Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina, by Lee Sartain
  • McMullen, Strike! The Radical Insurrections of Ellen Dawson, by Rosalyn Baxandall
  • Miller, Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow, by Glenn T. Eskew
  • Miller, Ellen and Edith: Woodrow Wilson’s First Ladies, by Betty Boyd Caroli
  • Miller, Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society’s Crusade against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil, by Adam Golub
  • Miner, A Most Magnificent Machine: America Adopts the Railroad, 1825–1862, by Mark Aldrich
  • Moore, Black Rage in New Orleans: Police Brutality and African American Activism from World War II to Hurricane Katrina, by Emilye Crosby
  • Morris, Colonel Roosevelt, by Kendrick A. Clements
  • Murphy, Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America, by Richard Sylla
  • Nadell, Sarna, and Sussman, eds., New Essays in American Jewish History: Commemorating the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Founding of the American Jewish Archives, by Henry L. Feingold
  • Norman and Williams, eds., Representing Segregation: Toward an Aesthetics of Living Jim Crow, and Other Forms of Racial Division, by Henry Wonham
  • O’Brien, Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England, by Hilary E. Wyss
  • O’Farrell, She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker, by John Thomas McGuire
  • Palmer, Cheddi Jagan and the Politics of Power: British Guiana’s Struggle for Independence, by Jason Parker
  • Pargas, The Quarters and the Fields: Slave Families in the Non-cotton South, by Marie Jenkins Schwartz
  • Perales, Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community, by Jason J. McDonald
  • Raheja, Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film, by Gretchen M. Bataille
  • Robé, Left of Hollywood: Cinema, Modernism, and the Emergence of U.S. Radical Film Culture, by Brian Neve
  • Roberts, Joe Louis: Hard Times Man, by Thomas Aiello
  • Robertson, Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest, by Myra C. Glenn
  • Rogers, Delia’s Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America, by Saidiya Hartman
  • Rose, How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle, by Jeremi Suri
  • Rowbotham, Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century, by Judith A. Allen
  • Ruble, Washington’s U Street: A Biography, by David Taft Terry
  • Salazar, Bodies of Reform: The Rhetoric of Character in Gilded Age America, by William Gleason
  • Sarantakes, Dropping the Torch: Jimmy Carter, the Olympic Boycott, and the Cold War, by Robert A. Strong
  • Schild, ed., The American Experience of War, by Douglas Eden
  • Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution, by Sean P. Cunningham
  • Schrag, Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965–2009, by Joy Rohde
  • Sharp, The Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance, by James E. Lewis Jr.
  • Sharpless, Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1865–1960, by Micki McElya
  • Shaw and Youngblood, Cinematic Cold War: The American and Soviet Struggle for Hearts and Minds, by James J. Lorence
  • Smith, Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform, by Murray Sperber
  • Soffer, Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City, by Miriam Greenberg
  • Stern and Wermiel, Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion, by Roger L. Goldman
  • Stevens, God-Fearing and Free: A Spiritual History of America’s Cold War, by Darren Dochuk
  • Stiles, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, by H. Roger Grant
  • Strunk, Wanted Women: An American Obsession in the Reign of J. Edgar Hoover, by Vivien Miller
  • Sumner, The Magazine Century: American Magazines since 1900, by Mary Ellen Zuckerman
  • Taylor, Horace Mann’s Troubling Legacy: The Education of Democratic Citizens, by Laura M. Westhoff
  • Teachout, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, by Patrick Lawrence Burke
  • Thompson, The Un-natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South, by Michael P. Bibler
  • Travis, The Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey, by Katherine A. Chavigny
  • Trout, On the Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919–1941, by John Bodnar
  • Tucker, No Silent Witness: The Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Unitarian World, by Catherine A. Brekus
  • Tuten, Lowcountry Time and Tide: The Fall of the South Carolina Rice Kingdom, by Emma Hart
  • Valeri, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America, by Katherine Carté Engel
  • Van Cleve, A Slaveholders’ Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic, by Leonard L. Richards
  • Van de Logt, War Party in Blue: Pawnee Scouts in the U.S. Army, by Sherry L. Smith
  • Wagner, Disturbing the Peace: Black Culture and the Police Power after Slavery, by Amina Gautier
  • Warren, The Quest for Citizenship: African American and Native American Education in Kansas, 1880–1935, by Myriam Vuckovic
  • Warren, What Was African American Literature?, by Eric J. Sundquist
  • Watts, One Homogeneous People: Narratives of White Southern Identity, 1890–1920, by Robert H. Woodrum
  • Whites and Long, eds., Occupied Women: Gender, Military Occupation, and the American Civil War, by Anne E. Marshall
  • Williams, God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right, by Leo P. Ribuffo
  • Williams, Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, by Christopher S. Parker
  • Wintermute, Public Health and the U.S. Military: A History of the Army Medical Department, 1818–1917, by John S. Haller Jr.
  • Wood, Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War, by Shirley Samuels
  • Wood, A More Perfect Union: Holistic Worldviews and the Transformation of American Culture after World War II, by Howard Brick
  • Woodworth, Manifest Destinies: America’s Westward Expansion and the Road to the Civil War, by Michael A. Morrison
  • Zak, I Don’t Sound like Nobody: Remaking Music in 1950s America, by David Suisman
  • Zogry, Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game: At the Center of Ceremony and Identity, by Martha McCollough

Web site Reviews

  • The Lost Museum, by Timothy J. Gilfoyle (p. 610)
  • River Basin Ethnic History Archive, by Erin Passehl (p. 611)
  • Cuban Missile Crisis, by Susan J. Fernandez (p. 612)

Editor’s Annual Report, 2010–2011

Letters to the Editor


Recent Scholarship

View “Recent Scholarship” listing online >

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

cover image

On the cover:

This photograph of Nogales, Sonora (left) and Nogales, Arizona (right) during the mid-twentieth century was taken from the hills east of downtown Nogales, Sonora. The chain link border fence heads west toward the Tohono O’odham reservation. In the center of the photograph are automobile gateways, or garitas, which were razed and replaced by the international gateways constructed in 1964. Between the auto gateways and the photographer is the pedestrian crossing point. The two men talking casually through the fence suggest that the border artificially divided a single community, while the cleared strip on either side of the border visually represents the division between them. Decades later, during the 1970s and 1990s, the chain link fence was replaced with the even taller steel border walls seen in the city today. Courtesy Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, Arizona. See Geraldo Cadava, “Borderlands of Modernity and Abandonment: The Lines within Ambos Nogales and the Tohono O’odham Nation,” p. 362.

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