american history

   Historians generally portray the 1950s as a conservative era when anticommunism and the Cold War subverted domestic reform, crushed political dissent, and ended liberal dreams of social democracy. These years, historians tell us, represented a turn to the right, a negation of New Deal liberalism, an end to reform.

Jennifer Delton argues that, far from subverting the New Deal state, anticommunism and the Cold War enabled, fulfilled, and even surpassed the New Deal's reform agenda. Anticommunism solidified liberal political power and the Cold War justified liberal goals such as jobs creation, corporate regulation, economic redevelopment, and civil rights.

In her book, Rethinking the 1950s: How Anticommunism and the Cold War Made America Liberal, Skidmore College History Professor Jennifer Delton shows how despite President Eisenhower's professed conservatism, he maintained the highest tax rates in U.S. history, expanded New Deal programs, and supported major civil rights reforms.

    The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage.

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians--many of them young women from small towns across the South--were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war--when Oak Ridge's secret was revealed.

 At the turn of the twentieth century, innovations in photographic technology and an American culture of optimism and self-celebration helped create panoramic group photography. Organizations famed and obscure commissioned images that sometimes encompassed a full 360 degrees. No public event, be it circus, train wreck, or Army-Navy football game, was too grand or too humble to deserve its own wide-angle commemoration.

When Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” debuted in 1942, no one imagined that a holiday song would top the charts year after year. One of the best-selling singles ever released, it remains on rotation at tree lighting ceremonies across the country, in crowded shopping malls on Black Friday, and at warm diners on lonely Christmas Eve nights.

Resting just beneath the surface of familiar melodies and words, jolly Santas, winter wonderlands, and roasting chestnuts both mask and represent an intricate cultural landscape crowded with the meanings of a modern American Christmas.

Ronald D. Lankford Jr. explores all this holiday history in his book, Sleigh Rides, Jingle Bells, and Silent Nights: A Cultural History of American Christmas Songs.

    In Days Of Fire: Bush And Cheney In The White House, Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, takes us on a gripping and intimate journey through the eight years of the Bush and Cheney administration in a tour-de-force narrative of a dramatic and controversial presidency.

    Wendell Minor is considered one of our nation’s premier historical illustrators. He travels throughout the United States to research, draw and paint on location, and immerse himself in the subject at hand.

The Norman Rockwell Museum is celebrating the artist’s four-decade career, highlighting his many cover illustrations and 25th anniversary illustrating children’s books, each inspired by his love of history, art, science, and the natural world. Wendell Minor’s America is on view at the museum through May 26, 2014.

The exhibit traces the Minor’s artistic journey through original artwork, artifacts, and references from his expansive visual chronicles, as well as commentary about his collaborations with our nation’s most prominent authors, scientists, and historians.

    Stephen Lang is a Tony Award-nominated American actor and playwright who is also well known for his film work - including his roles as George E. Pickett in Gettysburg, Stonewall Jackson in Gods and Generals, Colonel Quaritch in Avatar and many others.

This Sunday at 4pm The Chatham Film Club and the Columbia County Historical Society present an exciting combination of theater, film and music that tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of Union officer and Medal of Honor Winner James Jackson Purman.

The program features a one man show written and performed by Stephen Lang, original music composed by Robert Kessler and performed by virtuoso double-bassist Timothy Cobb, and the a screening of the short film The Wheatfield, written and performed by Lang, and directed by filmmakers, Alexander and Adrian Smith. The program is hosted by historian Harold Holzer.

    California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It’s the work of history.

Jared Farmer's book, Trees in Paradise offers an insightful, new perspective on the history of the Golden State and the American West.

Jared Farmer, a Utah native and former Californian, is the author of On Zion’s Mount, a landscape history awarded the prestigious Parkman Prize for literary excellence. He teaches history at Stony Brook University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

  Fifty years after his assassination, President John F. Kennedy’s legend endures. Now author and historian Thurston Clark argues that the heart of that legend is what might have been.

Thurston Clarke is the author or the new book JFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President.  His articles have appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and the Washington Post.

The new book We Were There: Revelations from the Dallas Doctors Who Attended to JFK on November 22, 1963, shares the memories of the surgeons and 46 other doctors who were there the day the president died in Parkland Memorial Hospital emergency room in Dallas, Texas.

For a few impactful days in 1963, Parkland Hospital was the focus of worldwide attention.

Dr. Allen Childs has put together this new book which chronicles the perspective of the doctors from that day.