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Faculty Research and Publications

history department

Below is a list of faculty publications listed in order of when the books were published.

To Make Men Free

In September 2014, Heather Cox Richardson's book To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party was published by Basic Books.

“In To Make Men Free, one of our most admired historians takes on one of the most important topics of our past and present: the 160-year story of the Republican Party. From Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush, from Radical Republicans to Movement Conservatives, Heather Cox Richardson recounts the GOP's dramatic history with unimpeachable insights and crisp, vivid writing. How did the anti-slavery party become the party of the Solid South? How did the anti-trust party of Theodore Roosevelt become the party of Wall Street and the Club for Growth? In this brisk account, Richardson make sense of a twisting tale that shapes our lives every day.”
-T.J. Stiles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt


Prof. Robert Maryks edited the book Companion to Ignatius of Loyola: Life, Writings, Spirituality, Influence which was published by Brill Academic Publishers in September 2014.  This books aims to place Loyola's life, writings, and spirituality in a broader context of important late medieval and early modern movements and processes.



The Child Cases

Prof. Alan Rogers' book The Child Cases: How America's Religious Exemption Laws Hurt Children was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in April 2014.  In this book, Rogers examines the conflict between religious principles and secular laws that seek to protect children from abuse and neglect.




Distance and Documents

Stanford University Press published Prof. Sylvia Sellers-Garcia's Book Distance and Documents at the Spanish Empire's Periphery in December 2013.  Sellers-Garcia argues that by examining how documents operated in the Spanish empire, we can better understand how the empire was built and how knowledge was created.



Precarious Prescriptions

Prof. Martin co-edited the book Precarious Prescriptions: Contested Histories of Race and Health in North America which the University of Minnesota Press published in March 2014.  The book brings together essays that place race, citizenship, and gender at the center of questions about health and disease.

"Precarious Prescriptions forges vital new terrain in the study of race, medicine, and public health in the U.S. and its borderlands. The book’s carefully crafted essays explore the relationships between medicine, health, and lived experience in such diverse locales and settings as Hawai’i, pre-revolutionary Texas, the Mexican-American borderlands, and the Salish Sea. By so doing Precarious Prescriptions expands our understandings, not just of medicalized ‘race’ and ‘racisms,’ but of medicine itself, in all of its colonizing and liberatory implications. This is vital reading indeed." —Jonathan M. Metzl, author of The Protest Psychosis


Prof. Dana Sajdi examines the life of Shihab al-Din Ahmad Ibn Budayr in her book The Barber of Damascus: Nouveau Literacy in the Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Levant. Ibn Budayr is a barber who wrote a history book, a record of the events that took place in his city during his lifetime.  Sajdi uncovers the emergence of a larger trend of history writing by people outside the learned establishment and the new phenomenon of nouveau literacy.



The Virgin Mary and Catholic Identities in Chinese History by Prof. Jeremy Clarke, SJ, was published by Hong Kong University Press in the fall of 2013.  Fr. Clarke traces the living roots of the Chinese Catholic Church back to the late sixteenth century and its historical roots back to the Yuan dynasty and examines paintings and sculptures of the Virgin Mary and the communities that produced them.



Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction

Oxford University Press published Prof. Kevin Kenny's book "Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction." His book explains where the concept of diaspora came from, how its meaning changed over time, why its usage has expanded so dramatically in recent years, and how it can both clarify and distort the nature of migration.




Adiós Niño

In "Adiós Niño: The Gangs of Guatemala City and the Politics of Death", Deborah Levenson examines transformations in the Guatemalan gangs called Maras from their emergence in the 1980s to the early 2000s and describes how fragile spaces of friendship and exploration turned into rigid and violent ones in which youth came to employ death as a natural way of living for the short period that they expected to survive.




Prof. Seth Jacobs's most recent book, The Universe Unraveling: American Foreign Policy in Cold War Laos, was published by Cornell University Press in April 2012.  Prof. Jacobs reinterprets U.S.-Lao relations leading up to the Vietnam War.  He argues that ethnocentric perceptions of America’s Lao ally led Washington to draw the line against communist expansion in South Vietnam instead of Laos.  Please click here for more information.



Prof. Virginia Reinburg wrote French Books of Hours: Making an Archive of Prayer, c. 1400-1600, which was published by Cambridge University Press in February 2012.  The Book of Hours was the most popular book in medieval and early modern Europe.  Prof. Reinburg has written a social history of the book along with an ethnography of prayer.  Prof. Reinburg describes how the book shaped religious practice and argues that the book achieved its popularity because it served as a bridge between liturgy and the home.  Please click here to view more information.


Prof. Prasannan Parthasarathi published his book Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850 in September 2011 through Cambridge University Press. In this book, Dr. Parthasarathi provides a rereading of global economic development that ranges from India, Japan and China to Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire and from the textile and coal industries to the roles of science, technology, and the state and provides a new answer as to why Europe industrialized and Asia did not. More.


Prof. Deborah Levenson co-edited the book The Guatemala Reader: History, Culture, Politics which is being published in October 2011. Her co-editors are Greg Grandin and Elizabeth Oglesby. More.

“This excellent and comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary materials about Guatemala is a seminal addition to the literature. It is brilliantly put together and its usefulness is not only for students being introduced to that country but also as a reference source for Guatemalan scholars.”—Beatriz Manz, author of Paradise in Ashes: A Guatemalan Journey of Courage, Terror, and Hope

Stanwood Book

Prof. Owen Stanwood published his first book The Empire Reformed: English America in the Age of the Glorious Revolution in August 2011.

"Deeply and broadly researched, The Empire Reformed offers a compelling explanation for the political turbulence in colonial North America in the late seventeenth century, and frames it powerfully in a narrative account that makes sense of events in the region from the Chesapeake northward, between the Great Lakes to the West, and the Atlantic Ocean to the East." 
--Mark Peterson, University of California, Berkeley

Cronin Book

Prof. James Cronin co-edited the book What's Left of the Left: Democrats and Social Democrats in Challenging Times with George W. Ross and James Shoch. In this book, distinguished scholars of European and U.S. politics consider how center-left political parties have fared since the 1970s. They explore the left’s responses to the end of the postwar economic boom, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the erosion of traditional party politics, the expansion of market globalization, and the shift to a knowledge-based economy. More.

Britain after Rome

Prof. Robin Fleming published the book Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400-1070 (Penguin Books) in August 2010.

Prof. Fleming focuses on life in Britain between the departure of the Roman legions and the arrival of Norman invaders. This time period has been of great interest in the historical community since a hoard of beautiful gold military objects was found in a field in Staffordshire in 2009.

A Loss of Innocence?

In May 2010, Prof. Robert Savage published the book A Loss of Innocence?: Television and Irish Society, 1960-72. The book explores the evolution of Ireland's national television service during its first tumultuous decade.

Prof. Savage received the 2010 James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prize for the Best Book in History and the Social Sciences from the American Conference for Irish Studies for this book.

The Diary of Antera Duke

Prof. David Northrup coauthored the book The Diary of Antera Duke, an Eighteenth-Century African Slave Trader. Duke's diary is the only surviving eyewitness account of the slave trade by an African merchant. Written in trade English from 1785 to 1788, the diary is a candid account of daily life in an African community at the height of Calabar's overseas commerce. It provides valuable information on Old Calabar's economic activity both with other African businessmen and with European ship captains who arrived to trade for slaves, produce, and provisions.

Atlantic Slave Trade

Prof. David Northrup published the third edition of his book The Atlantic Slave Trade in early 2010. A volume in the Problems in World History series, this book features a variety of secondary-source essays that are carefully edited for both content and length, making this single volume a convenient alternative to course packets or multiple monographs. Most often used as a supplementary text for upper-level courses, The Atlantic Slave Trade includes chapter introductions, essay introductions, and annotated bibliographies.

Superstitious Regimes

In February 2010, Prof. Rebecca Nedostup published the book Superstitious Regimes: Religion and the Politics of Chinese Modernity through Harvard University Press. This book explores the modern recategorization of religious practices and people and examines how state power affected the religious lives and physical order of local communities. It also looks at how politicians conceived of their own ritual role in an era when authority was meant to derive from popular sovereignty.

The Birth of Feminism

Prof. Sarah Ross published the book The Birth of Feminism: Woman as Intellect in Renaissances Italy and England in October 2009. Prof. Ross surveys 300 years and two nations and demonstrates how the expanding ranks of learned women in the Renaissance era presented the first significant challenge to the traditional definition of “woman” in the West.

The Spinning World

Prof. Prasannan Parthasarathi co-edited the book The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textiles, 1200-1850 with Dr. Giorgio Riello. This collection of essays examines the history of cotton textiles at a global level over the period 1200-1850. This volume sheds light on new answers to two questions: what is it about cotton that made it the paradigmatic first global commodity? And second, why did cotton industries in different parts of the world follow different paths of development?

Peaceable Kingdom Lost

In July 2009, Prof. Kevin Kenny published the book Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment.

"Kevin Kenny has laid out a smooth and engaging narrative alongside an impressively researched analysis of the secondary historical debates surrounding the Paxton Boys. Peaceable Kingdom Lost is also the most detailed treatment of the subject to emerge in a generation, and it is an indispensable introduction to one of the most troubling and transformative episodes in the history of colonial Pennsylvania." --Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

"Peaceable Kingdom Lost is distinguished by Kevin Kenny's narrative skill. This well-researched book is ideal for use in history courses as a readable and engaging narrative that very ably synthesizes much of the recent scholarship on Indian-European relations in colonial and revolutionary Pennsylvania."-David L. Preston, Pennsylvania History

"Kenny's fluid prose makes his a very entertaining account...Kenny masterfully weaves the perspectives of Pennsylvania's westerners, colonial leaders, and native peoples to craft a compellingly tragic narrative." -Kevin T. Barksdale, American Historical Review

Violence in the West

In 2009, Prof. Marilynn Johnson published the book Violence in the West: The Johnson County Range War and Ludlow Massacre, which is part of the Bedford Series in History and Culture. This volume explores the question of how violent the West truly was and what conditions made violence likely to occur. By examining the case studies of the Johnson County range war in Wyoming and the Ludlow Massacre during the southern Colorado coal strike, Johnson demonstrates that western violence in this period was a product of the transformation of the West from a rugged frontier to a capitalist market.

Africa's Discovery of Europe

Prof. David Northrup published a second edition of his book Africa's Discovery of Europe, 1450-1850 in July 2008. The first edition was published in 2002 and received critical acclaim for his interesting perspective on African-European interactions. Prof. Northrup examines the encounters from an unfamiliar African perspective rather than from the customary European one. The second edition includes new research, maps, and illustrations.

The Faithful

Prof. James O'Toole published his most recent book, The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America, in April 2008. This book follows the history of Catholicism in the U.S. and addresses the religion's current crossroads.

The Faithful is a truly original and mature work that gives us a rich history of American Catholics. There is simply no comparable book.
--David O'Brien, Holy Cross

An ambitious narrative history of American Catholicism, written with great historical range and attention to lived experience. It has profound contemporary resonance. This courageous book, unafraid to explore the story's darker moments, is destined to become the new standard text on American Catholicism.
--Robert Orsi, Northwestern University

Murder and the Death Penalty in Massachusetts

In 2008, Prof. Alan Rogers published the book Murder and the Death Penalty in Massachusetts (University of Massachusetts Press). This book provides a comprehensive account of of how the efforts of reformers and abolitionists and the Supreme Judicial Court's commitment to the rule of law ultimately converged to end the death penalty in Massachusetts.

Ottoman Tulips

Prof. Dana Sajdi edited the 2008 book Ottoman Tulips, Ottoman Coffee: Leisure and Lifestyles in the Eighteenth Century (Tauris Academic Studies). This book offers an exploration of the definitive cultural phenomena of the Ottoman 18th century, such as, the coffee house, the printing press, imperial architecture and royal pageantry and festivals.

Boston: City on a Hill

In September 2007, Prof. Alan Rogers published a new edition of his book Boston: City on a Hill (American Historical Press). This book was a family affair, as his wife Lisa co-authored it, and his daughter took most of the photographs.

Crosscurrents in the Black Atlantic

Prof. David Northrup's book Crosscurrents in the Black Atlantic, 1770-1965: A Brief History with Documents was published in July 2007 by Bedford/St. Martin as part of the Bedford Series in History and Culture. David Northrup offers a collection of primary sources that presents the social, political, and intellectual interactions of black people around the Atlantic in their quests for advancement, liberation, and emancipation.

War Memory

Prof. Franziska Seraphim published her book titled War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005 (Harvard University Asia Center) in 2006. Her book looks at the memories and legacies of World War II in Japan and how war memory developed as an integral part of particular and divergent approaches to postwar democracy.

America's Miracle Man in Vietnam

Prof. Seth Jacobs published his book America's Miracle Man in Vietnam: Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race and U.S. Intervention in Southeast Asia, 1950-1957 in 2004 through Duke University Press.

This book rethinks the motivations behind one of the most ruinous foreign-policy decisions of the post-WWII era: America’s commitment to preserve an independent South Vietnam under the premiership of Ngo Dinh Diem. The so-called "Diem experiment" is usually ascribed to U.S. anticommunism and an absence of other candidates for South Vietnam’s highest office.

The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial

Prof. Devin Pendas' book titled The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, 1963-1965: Genocide, History and the Limits of the Law was published by Cambridge University Press in 2005. His book looks at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, one of the largest and most important trial of Holocaust perpetrators conducted in West German courts. This book also provides an account of the divided response to the trial among the West German public.

Ireland and the British Empire

In 2004, Prof. Kevin Kenny published Ireland and the British Empire as part of the Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series. This book examines the different phases of Ireland's colonial status from the seventeenth century until the present, along with the impact of Irish people, politics, and nationalism on the Empire at large.

New Labour's Pasts

Prof. Jim Cronin published New Labour's Pasts: The Labour Party and its Discontents (Longman) in 2004.

British culture, class, education, health, the arts, leisure, the economy have all seen seismic shifts since the 1997 election that raised Tony Blair to power. Politically, New Labour has changed the face of Britain. In New Labour's Pasts, James Cronin covers the full history of the party, from its postwar triumph through decades of symbolic leadership against ruthless and organized opposition, finally to the resurgent New Labour of the 1990s that finally took Britain into the new millennium.

Boston's Histories

In 2004, Professors Jim O'Toole and David Quigley published Boston's Histories: Essays in Honor of Thomas H. O'Connor (Northeastern University Press). This book builds on the work of O'Connor, the former University Historian at Boston College, and looks at Boston's social, ethnic, political and religious past.

Street Justice

In October 2003, Marilynn Johnson published Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City (Beacon Press). Her book traces police brutality cases in New York City and the anti-brutality movements that sought to eradicate it, from the years after the Civil War through the 1960s. Her main argument is that the idea of police brutality — what exactly it is, who its victims are, and why it occurs — is historically constructed.

New Directions in Irish-American History

Kevin Kenny, in his book titled New Directions in Irish-American History, looks at how the writing of Irish-American history has been transformed since the 1960s. His book demonstrates how scholars from many disciplines are addressing not only issues of emigration, politics, labor, and social class, but also race, gender, representation, historical memory, and return (both literal and symbolic) to Ireland.