The Early Modern Commons

Recent Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last 6 months.

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

Blessed John Henry Newman and His Letters

Edward Short writes a review of Father Roderick Strange's new book, John Henry Newman: A Portrait in Letters, for The Catholic World Report:In John Henry Newman: A Portrait in Letters, Father Roderick...

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...

Jane Austen and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour

Amateur sleuth Jane Austen returns in Jane and the Waterloo Map, the thirteenth novel in Stephanie Barron’s delightful Regency-era mystery series. Award winning author Stephanie Barron tours the...
From Jane Austen's World on 2 Feb 2016

EMA Book Reviews: March 2016

The most recent EMA list of open-access book reviews is available here as well as under “Research.”
From Early Modern Architecture on 11 Mar 2016

The First Two Journal of the American Revolution Books: Available Now to Pre-order!

With our finger on the pulse of great research and writing about the American Revolution, it seemed natural to launch a namesake book series. Early in 2015, we were fortunate to find a partner who shared...

Re-Conceiving the Age of Revolutions in the Age of Obama

Revolutions: What are they good for? The organizational concept of “The Age of Revolutions” has been on my mind a lot lately. First, I recently finished a full book manuscript that includes...
From The Junto on 14 Jan 2016

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

Hagist on the Stamp Act in Newport, 24 Mar.

This week the New York Post called The Revolution’s Last Men: The Soldiers behind the Photographs, Don Hagist’s latest book, “An astonishing piece of American history.” Don will...
From Boston 1775 on 10 Mar 2016

No Birthday Cake for George Washington

This month Scholastic published a book about Hercules, the Washingtons’ cook at Mount Vernon and Philadelphia in the 1790s. And this week Scholastic decided to pull that book from circulation. As...
From Boston 1775 on 18 Jan 2016

Becoming Men of Some Consequence: Youth and Military Service in the Revolutionary War

Book review: Becoming Men of Some Consequence: Youth and Military Service in the Revolutionary War by John A. Ruddiman (University of Virginia Press, 2014). [BUY NOW ON AMAZON] Distinct from the many...

Book review: William Pressly, James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts

William Pressly’s James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts won the prestigious Berger Prize for British Art History in December 2015. The review below, by Alexander Gourlay, will appear...

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

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

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...

Book Prizes from the A.H.A.

At their meeting earlier this month, the members of the American Historical Association announced the winners of their awards for books, other media, and teaching. The Littleton-Griswold Prize for book...
From Boston 1775 on 15 Jan 2016

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...

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

When Progressives Are Backward

Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, reviews two books in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) about Eugenics in early twentieth century...

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

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

History of Science for Kids

I recently got an email from Chad Lillian with the following request: I was wondering if you could recommend some books for me about mathematical and scientific history that would be interesting for my...
From The Renaissance Mathematicus on 18 Feb 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...

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: 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

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

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

Who Is Ashley Bell?

My husband is a fan of Dean Koontz's books and he just finished Ashley Bell a couple of days ago and let me read the book before he has to return it to the Wichita Public Library. According to the publisher's...

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

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

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...

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

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

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

Best Books Read in 2015, Part One

On-line journals and blogs are posting their books of the year for 2015, like this column from The Catholic World Report. So here's part one of my list of the best books I read in 2015:Near the end...

Review: FALL OF POPPIES: Stories of Love and the Great War (William Morrow)

Riding high on the current wave of interest in the Great War, FALL OF POPPIES (William Morrow, March 1) offers lovers of historical fiction a poignant array of stories from some of the genre’s most...
From Writing the Renaissance on 1 Mar 2016

The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government

Book Review: The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government by Fergus M. Bordewich (Simon & Schuster, 2016) [BUY NOW ON AMAZON]...

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

Review: In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII

Our latest review is of the new release In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII by Sarah Morris and Natalie Grueninger. Although this is not a book about the seventeenth-century, one mustn’t...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 18 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...

Sailors, States, and the Bureaucracy of Revolution

Transatlantic commerce was the defining feature of the eighteenth century's imperial economy. The ocean was the conduit by which goods, labour, and capital circulated—goods that included sugar and...
From The Junto on 15 Feb 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

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...

Book Review – Prostitution and Social Control in Eighteenth-Century Ports

Prostitution and Social Control in Eighteenth-Century Ports by Marion Pluskota (Routledge, 2015), 178 pp, £95 hardcover     Prostitution and Social Control in Eighteenth-Century Ports...
From Deviant Maternity on 11 Jan 2016

Rutgers v. Waddington: Alexander Hamilton, the End of the War for Independence, and the Origins of Judicial Review

Book review: Rutgers v. Waddington: Alexander Hamilton, the End of the War for Independence, and the Origins of Judicial Review by Peter Charles Hoffer (Kansas University Press, 2016). [BUY ON...