American Odd: The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America, by Jim Marrs

Jim Marrs takes us on a wild ride into secret societies, Nazi wonder weapons, and why the Council of Foreign Relations is responsible for every bad thing ever. Continue reading American Odd: The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America, by Jim Marrs

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American Odd: California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture, by Jim Heimann

I continue my essay series, American Odd, with a look at the history of the American roadside attraction in Jim Heimann’s classic California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture. Continue reading American Odd: California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture, by Jim Heimann

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Republic of Words: the Atlantic Monthly and Its Writers, 1857 – 1925, by Susan Goodman

The history of the Atlantic Monthly is also the history of America.  Susan Goodman’s Republic of Words: the Atlantic Monthly and Its Writers, 1857 – 1925, traces the intellectual and editorial history of the magazine.  Conceived by luminaries including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Greenleaf Whittier, and James Russell Lowell, the Atlantic began with an adamant pro-Union perspective.  Lowell, the first editor, brought together numerous contributors associated with the Abolition and Transcendentalist movements. Goodman excels at bringing American history to life, charting the course of the magazine and the nation through the Civil War, … Continue reading Republic of Words: the Atlantic Monthly and Its Writers, 1857 – 1925, by Susan Goodman

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Sex Scandal America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming, by David Rosen

“Americans love sex scandals, and nothing better tells the story of American than sex scandals.”  So begins David Rosen’s Sex Scandal America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming.  Sensational title aside, Rosen charts the hidden history of America from the erotic shenanigans of the Puritans to the erotic shenanigans of Eliot Spitzer, Larry Craig, and Ted Haggard.  Rosen does a magnificent job of placing sex scandals into a historical context.  Each era derived specific things from the sex scandals.  These sex scandals found use as either cautionary tales or political fodder or entertainment. Rosen remains even-handed on a topic … Continue reading Sex Scandal America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming, by David Rosen

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