The Early Modern Commons

Recent Book Reviews

Book reviews from the last 6 months.

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

Book Review: A Trio of Works by St. Thomas More

Scepter Publishers combines three works by Thomas More in this volume (which I purchased for my study of More's works). From the publisher:In The Four Last Things, More prescribes frequent meditation on...

Reviews: Four 17th-century history books

Good day to you! I’ve been reading a lot, as usual, and these are some of my reviews of the recent books about 17th-century history that I’ve read, which may be of interest to you as well....
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 23 Oct 2015

Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

Book Review:  Independence Lost:  Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution by Kathleen DuVal (New York:  Random House, 2015) Increasingly, historians are interpreting the American Revolution...

Guest Review: Keith Grant on Jonathan Den Hartog, “Patriotism and Piety”

[Today’s guest post is a book review from Keith Grant, a PhD candidate in history at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He is also the co-editor of Borealia, a new group blog on early Canadian...
From The Junto on 17 Aug 2015

Careful Hands, Epistolary Spaces: Review of The Opened Letter

Review of Lindsay O’Neill, The Opened Letter: Networking in the Early Modern British World (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). Lindsay O’Neill is currently Assistant Professor...
From The Junto on 15 Sep 2015

Roundtable: Academic Book Week: Alternative Entries To Familiar Topics

For our Academic Book Week roundtable, Ken Owen looks back on a non-early American history book that had a significant impact on him.
From The Junto on 12 Nov 2015

EMA Book Reviews: August 2015

The EMA Book Reviews list for August 2015 is available here and under “Research.”
From Early Modern Architecture on 17 Aug 2015

The Spirit of ’74, How the American Revolution Began

Book Review: The Spirit of ’74, How the American Revolution Began (New York, The New Press, 2015) by Ray Raphael and Marie Raphael Most people understand that the American Revolution began in...

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

The Imprint of Madison’s Hand

A couple of years ago, I attended a seminar at the Massachusetts Historical Society on a paper by Prof. Mary Sarah Bilder of Boston College Law School. She had been studying James Madison’s record...
From Boston 1775 on 1 Oct 2015

The Queen’s American Rangers

Book Review: The Queen’s American Rangers by Donald J. Gara (Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2015). There have been very few studies of specific Revolutionary War units, an unusual situation...

Review: Restoration by Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain’s Restoration is probably one of the most popular novels set in the seventeenth century, and with good reason: it’s a great book. Originally published back in 1989, I was but four...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 7 Sep 2015

Re-Writing the American Revolution: Kathleen DuVal’s Independence Lost

In this post, Christopher Minty reviews Kathleen DuVal's recently published book, "Independence Lost."
From The Junto on 27 Aug 2015

Eagerly Awaiting: "Adventures in the Book Pages"

My review copy is in the mail, coming from across the pond and through US Customs, but Francis Phillips of The Catholic Herald has already read it and reviews Adventures in the Book Pages: Essays and Reviews...

Native Americans in the American Revolution

Book Review: Native Americans in the American Revolution: How the War Divided, Devastated, and Transformed the Early American Indian World by Ethan A. Schmidt (Praeger, 2014) Native Americans...

Revolutionary Talks at the A.A.S. this Fall

The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester has a bunch of interesting public lectures in the next few weeks.Thursday, 22 October, 7:00 P.M.Linda K. Kerber, “Looking Back on Women of the Republic”Each...
From Boston 1775 on 18 Oct 2015

Review: FLASK OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER by Susan Spann

FLASK OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER by Susan Spann (Minotaur, 2015) continues the exciting adventures of ninja spy Hattori Hiro and the Portuguese priest he must protect in sixteenth century Japan. While Kyoto...
From Writing the Renaissance on 9 Aug 2015

Review: MÉDICIS DAUGHTER by Sophie Perinot

It’s about time! Time to give the Tudors some competition. Time to show that the history of sixteenth century France is just as, if not more, gripping than that of Henry’s and Elizabeth’s...
From Writing the Renaissance on 8 Dec 2015

Science contra Copernicus

One of the most persistent and pernicious myths in the history of astronomy is that Galileo, with his telescopic observations, proved the validity of the Copernican heliocentric hypothesis and thus all...
From The Renaissance Mathematicus on 7 Oct 2015

EMA Book Reviews: November 2015

The EMA book reviews list for November 2015 is available here as well as under “Research.”
From Early Modern Architecture on 23 Nov 2015

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...

Hessians: Mercenaries, Rebels, and the War for British North America

Book Review:  Hessians: Mercenaries, Rebels, and the War for British North America by Brady J. Crytzer (Westholme Publishing, 2015). Students of the American Revolution are at least superficially...

The growing pile – too many good books not enough time

One of the joys of having a moderately successful history of science blog and being omnipresent in cyberspace as a pedantic historian of science devoted to promoting the discipline is that generous professional...
From The Renaissance Mathematicus on 14 Sep 2015

Political correctness and the history of science

Anyone who regularly reads this blog will be already aware that the historian David Wootton has written a new book entitled The Invention of Science: A New History of The Scientific Revolution; in The...
From The Renaissance Mathematicus on 30 Sep 2015

The Origins of the American Revolution: A Roundtable

Today we begin a week-long round-table on the origins and causes of the American Revolution, in which Junto members explore their own idiosyncratic approaches to the question of origins, and the recent...
From The Junto on 10 Aug 2015

Q&A: Lindsay O’Neill, The Opened Letter

Today, The Junto sits down with Lindsay O'Neill to discuss her book, The Opened Letter: Networking in the Early Modern British World.
From The Junto on 16 Sep 2015

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

Book Review and Giveaway: “The Art of the Con” by Anthony M. Amore

This is certainly the summer for new publications on art crime – and the summer isn’t even over yet! When I learned that Anthony M. Amore wrote a new book called The Art of the Con, I...
From Alberti's Window on 11 Aug 2015

Book Review: Mark A. Noll on the Theological Crisis of the American Civil War

Author of The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, in this book Mark A. Noll explores the Christian response to the crisis of not just the War Between the States but of Southern chattel slavery in the nineteenth...

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

Book Review and Giveaway: “Hitler’s Art Thief”

I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to read an advance proof copy of Susan Ronald’s forthcoming book, Hitler’s Art Thief: Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazis and the Looting of Europe’s...
From Alberti's Window on 25 Aug 2015

Ben Jonson’s Walk to Scotland: Book Review

The latest issue of Literature & History (2015; 24.2), which is currently open access, contains a book review by Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) of Ben Jonson’s Walk to Scotland: An Annotated...
From Cardiff Shakespeare on 20 Nov 2015

Review: Spirit of the Highway by Deborah Swift

I received this copy of Deborah Swift’s new book in exchange for an honest review. I first came across Swift’s work (The Lady’s Slipper) when I was browsing in Victoria Station, London,...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 30 Sep 2015

Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775

Book Review: Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775 by Derek W. Beck (Sourcebooks, October 2015) Books about the origins of the American Revolution are plentiful. Although they vary greatly in...

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

Review: The Royal Way of Death by Olivia Bland

I really wanted to like this, I really did, but I had some issues with this book. I have to take into consideration that it was written in the 80s, but that really can’t be an excuse for some of...
From The Seventeenth Century Lady on 5 Oct 2015

Q&A: Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the Revolution

Yesterday, Chris Minty reviewed Kathleen DuVal’s latest book, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the Revolution. Today, we continue with an interview with DuVal, who is a Professor of History...
From The Junto on 28 Aug 2015

To Explain the Weinberg: The discovery of a Nobel Laureate’s view of the history of science

In my dim and distant youth, I was an ardent fan of twentieth-century physics and consumed a large quantity of popular books and articles (mostly New Scientist and Scientific American) on the subject as...
From The Renaissance Mathematicus on 19 Aug 2015

A Book Review of a Book of Book Reviews

My literary friend Edward Short sent me a review copy of Adventures in the Book Pages: Essays and Reviews, published by Gracewing in the UK:In Adventures in the Book Pages, Edward Short shares his insights...

Two Talks by Ray and Marie Raphael

Ray Raphael has a new history of the American founding, written with his wife Marie, and they’re coming to Massachusetts to talk about it in the next week.The book is The Spirit of ’74: How...
From Boston 1775 on 27 Sep 2015

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...

After Yorktown: The Final Struggle for American Independence

Book Review:  After Yorktown:  The Final Struggle for American Independence by Don Glickstein (Westholme Publishing, November 2015). Key tenants of America’s founding ethos are that rugged,...

Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence 1755-1783

Book Review: Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence 1755-1783 by Paul E. Cohen and Richard H. Brown (W. Norton & Company, 2015) Maps are an essential component to the study of history....