The Early Modern Commons

Recent Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last 6 months.

The Adventures of the Two Boston Cannon?

The last book I’ll highlight in this stretch of postings is no longer available in stores but can be read online—not that I recommend that. In 1894 Rhode Island native Hezekiah Butterworth...
From Boston 1775 on 31 May 2016

But Enough about Me—Let’s Talk about My Book

Laura Beach of Antiques and the Arts recently interviewed me about how I got into researching and writing history and then creating this blog. Here’s a taste of that exchange: How broad is public...
From Boston 1775 on 14 Aug 2016

Abductions in the American Revolution

Book review: Abductions in the American Revolution: Attempts to Kidnap George Washington, Benedict Arnold and Other Military and Civilian Leaders by Christian McBurney (McFarland, April 2016) [BUY NOW...

Scarisbrick on MacCulloch

Writing for The Catholic Herald, Henry VIII biography J.J. (Jack) Scarisbrick reviews Diarmaid MacCulloch's book of essays on the Reformations (English and Continental):There are remarkable essays, for...

A New Biography of the Rev. Jonas Clarke

This season has brought a new biography of the Rev. Jonas Clarke, the Lexington minister who was hosting John Hancock and Samuel Adams on 19 Apr 1775 as British regulars marched toward that town.Clarke...
From Boston 1775 on 11 Apr 2016

Book Review: How to Be a Tudor, by Ruth Goodman

What would Shakespeare have eaten, drunk, slept on, dressed in, and smelled like? When would he have broken his fast or eaten dinner? How was his life different in London than when he was living in Stratford-upon-Avon?...
From ASC Education on 10 Aug 2016

Remembering John A. Nagy

I was saddened to learn that author John A. Nagy had died on the first of this month. John was an expert—really, the current expert—on Revolutionary War espionage. He had several books to his...
From Boston 1775 on 4 Apr 2016

Review of Informed Power, by Alejandra Dubcovsky

Alejandra Dubcovsky’s Informed Power is an ambitious book. She analyzes how information was communicated throughout the early South, a region that was without a regular mail system...
From The Junto on 7 Jun 2016

Review and Giveaway: TIME AND REGRET by M. K. Tod

In M. K. Tod's third novel, TIME AND REGRET (Lake Union), a ticking-clock mystery provides the link between two narratives set in different eras. In March 1991, Grace Hansen, a just-divorced single mom...
From Writing the Renaissance on 2 Sep 2016

Review: THE SERPENT'S CROWN: A Novel of Medieval Cyprus by Hana Samek Norton

Readers eager for a sweeping historical novel with the flavor and complexity of a Dorothy Dunnett tale need look no further than THE SERPENT'S CROWN by Hana Samek Norton. Recently released by Cuidono,...
From Writing the Renaissance on 14 Apr 2016

Review: The Age of Genius by A.C. Grayling

3/5 – This book left me with mixed feelings – especially as Grayling is one of the most respected modern philosophers and I had been excited to read the book (which I would suggest is...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 31 Aug 2016

Reviews of American Revolutions

Probably the biggest Revolutionary War book out this year, in terms of its scope and the professional status of its author, is Alan Taylor’s American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804....
From Boston 1775 on 13 Sep 2016

Review: AT THE EDGE OF SUMMER by Jessica Brockmole

Summer is now in full swing, but there's no better time to read Jessica Brockmole's latest historical novel, AT THE EDGE OF SUMMER (Ballantine). Set in France during the years 1911 to 1919, it offers a...
From Writing the Renaissance on 9 Jul 2016

The Catholic Enlightenment: Yes, There Was One

From The Imaginative Conservative, Bradley Birzer reviews another book I'd love to read someday:The Catholic Enlightenment: The Forgotten History of a Global Movement, by Ulrich L. Lehner (Oxford University...

The New Books Are Coming, The New Books Are Coming

We love the smell of freshly printed books. Following a brief distribution delay, retailers are processing orders of the much-anticipated Journal of the American Revolution: Annual Volume 2016 as well...

Charles Lee on a Fatal Sunday

Mount Vernon just shared an interview with Mark Edward Lender and Garry Wheeler Stone about their recently published book, Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle....
From Boston 1775 on 24 Aug 2016

Derek W. Beck’s Book Signings around Boston

With the launch of The Road to Concord coming up on Thursday, 2 June, I’m going to highlight some other Revolutionary literature of note. Derek W. Beck is coming to Massachusetts in June to talk...
From Boston 1775 on 26 May 2016

Franklin “integrated easily into parts of the British establishment”

The transformation of the house where Benjamin Franklin lived in London into a museum has prompted new public interest to his second career as a lobbyist. George Goodwin, the museum’s Honorary Writer...
From Boston 1775 on 6 May 2016

The War Before Independence: 1775-1776

Book review: The War Before Independence: 1775-1776 by Derek W. Beck (Sourcebooks, May 2016) [BUY ON AMAZON] The War Before Independence: 1775-1776 is the second volume in Derek Beck’s history...

Book Review: Elizabeth Bouldin, Women Prophets and Radical Protestantism in the British Atlantic World, 1640–173

Elizabeth Bouldin has written a lively, accessible and clear account of an often overlooked aspect of seventeenth-century religious history. Scholars interested in female visionary experience in England...
From Theosophical Transactions on 2 Jun 2016

Review: Matthew Karp, This Vast Southern Empire

Ben Park reviews Matthew Karp's new book, "This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy."
From The Junto on 14 Sep 2016

Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America — A Review

Adam Nadeau Michael A. McDonnell, Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America (New York: Hill and Wang, 2015) Michael A. McDonnell’s Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians...
From Borealia on 27 Jun 2016

Venues for Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick

Following up on Bunker Hill (discussed in most of these postings), Nathaniel Philbrick has brought out Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. As...
From Boston 1775 on 28 May 2016

Valiant Ambition

Book review: Valiant Ambition. George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking Books. 2016) [BUY NOW ON AMAZON] Nathaniel Philbrick’s...

The 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center

Website review: The 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center (also on Facebook) Debunking myths is one of our favorite things at Journal of the American... The post The 18th Century Material...

Finding Founding Fathers Funnies

Earlier this year Dark Horse published a long-awaited collection of Peter Bagge’s Founding Fathers Funnies. For his comic Hate Bagge was honored with Harvey and Inkpot Awards, as well as multiple...
From Boston 1775 on 27 May 2016

“In the Service of the Crown ever since I came into this Province”: The Life and Times of Cadwallader Colden

Today, Christopher Minty reviews "The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden."
From The Junto on 29 Aug 2016

Review: PROMISED TO THE CROWN by Aimie K. Runyan

Years ago, Nicole Macé's novel MARIE CARDUNER, FILLE DU ROY, written in French, introduced me to the fascinating history of the filles du roy, the eight hundred young French women who emigrated...
From Writing the Renaissance on 26 Apr 2016

Musket Ball and Small Shot Identification: A Guide

Book review: Musket Ball and Small Shot Identification: A Guide by Daniel M. Sivilich (University of Chicago Press, 2016) [BUY NOW ON AMAZON] The title of this book makes it sound like a highly...

Revisiting New England’s Legal Development: Review of Chandler, Law and Sexual Misconduct

Sara Damiano reviews Abby Chandler's book, "Law and Sexual Misconduct in New England, 1650-1750: Steering Toward England."
From The Junto on 31 Mar 2016

Book Review: "Hanging Mary"

I spent several hours Saturday and Sunday reading this book, enjoying it, and then thinking about it and discussing it with my husband. Hanging Mary: A Novel is by Susan Higginbotham, the author of several...

Clark-Pujara on the Slave Trade in Salem, 26 Sept.

On Monday, 26 February, the Salem State University History Department and Salem Maritime National Historic Site will host Christy Clark-Pujara speaking on “The Business of Slavery in Colonial and...
From Boston 1775 on 20 Sep 2016

EMA Book Reviews: July 2016

The latest (July) EMA list of book reviews is now available here and under “Research.”
From Early Modern Architecture on 11 Jul 2016

Review: Emily Conroy-Krutz, Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic

Christopher Jones reviews Emily Conroy-Krutz's Christian Imperialism.
From The Junto on 18 Aug 2016

Next JAR Book: The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee by Steven Park

On this day, the 244th anniversary of the actual attack, we are thrilled to announce that the next book in the Journal of the American Revolution book series will be The Burning of His Majesty’s...

Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America

Book Review: Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America (Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, 2015) by Stephen Knott and Tony Williams [BUY ON AMAZON] The American Revolution and Founding...

On The Origins of American Religious Nationalism

Right after I agreed to review Sam Haselby’s The Origins of American Religious Nationalism for the Journal of Religion, Gordon Wood’s review of it appeared in the New York Review of Books....
From The Junto on 24 May 2016

Review: House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

4.5 stars – I really liked this book, which is historical fiction, time-slip, fantasy, historical and contemporary romance, and even has a bit of murder mystery. There are three different storylines,...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 18 Sep 2016

Marek Bennett Makes Sense of Money

These panels are from a short comic by the New Hampshire artist and educator Marek Bennett, looking at the dollars that the town of Henniker had to spend on a covered bridge late in the Revolutionary War....
From Boston 1775 on 29 May 2016

Guest Review: Andrew Lipman, The Saltwater Frontier

In today's post Bryan Rindfleisch reviews Andrew Lipman's "The Saltwater Frontier."
From The Junto on 5 Apr 2016

Review: THE NINJA'S DAUGHTER: A Hiro Hattori Novel by Susan Spann

Exciting as it is to discover a new author's works, it can be even more satisfying to watch a favorite author's novels grow richer and ever more compelling. Susan Spann takes her Shinobi Mysteries to a...
From Writing the Renaissance on 16 Aug 2016

Winner and Finalists of the 2016 Washington Book Prize

Last week Mount Vernon, Washington College, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History announced the winner of the 2016 George Washington Book Prize, created to honor “the best new works...
From Boston 1775 on 30 May 2016

Book Review – Infanticide and Abortion in Early Modern Germany

Infanticide and Abortion in Early Modern Germany  by Margaret Brannan Lewis (Routledge, 2016), 204 pages, £95 Hardcover, £34.99 Kindle Infanticide and Abortion in Early Modern...
From Deviant Maternity on 20 Jun 2016