Weekend Reading

Ted Sickler's picture

A few recent articles and posts worth a click this weekend.

The Historian at Work

  • Marc Parry, “The Long Reach of David Brion Davis,” The Chronicle Review, February 3, 2014. Link: http://bit.ly/1eo6Bhd

Parry takes the long view on a historian noted for doing the same. In this profile, David Brion Davis is revered as much for his prodigious research and writing (particularly on the question of slavery in a global context) as for his work as a mentor for scores of young historians -- now notable in their own right. (Don’t miss the list at the end.) Bonus reading: For two looks at the third and final book in Davis’ trilogy, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, find Eric Foner’s review here in The Nation and John Stauffer’s review here in the WSJ.

The Historian at the Stove

  • Amanda Moniz, “A Meal to Honor Early African-American Cookbook Authors,” wsiu.org, February 5, 2014. Link: http://bit.ly/1f1NFQn

Celebrate a successful day in the archives with this short piece on early American cookbooks by a one-time pastry chef turned historian. In addition to offering a bit of background on each African-American chef, Moniz also adapts a few recipes for today’s cook. (After all, four gallons of cucumbers might be a bit much for even the biggest fan of Chow Chow.) Of particular note to historians of the early Republic era is mention of Robert Roberts’ The House Servant’s Directory, published in 1828 and viewable through the link.

The Historian on the Playing Field

  • Kenneth Cohen, “The Manly Sport of American Politics,” Common-place.org, April 2012. Link: http://bit.ly/1fPbjmT.

As the nations of the world turn their eyes toward Sochi, it’s a moment to recall that politics has long relied on the language of sports. Cohen’s 2012 piece winds back to a time in early American life when the aesthetic of athletics first fueled factions of taunting politicos. For rabble rousers with an eye on obtaining office by playing to an adoring crowd, metaphors meant moxie. The perfect jab required a gift for competitive gab.

Curated by Ted Sickler, H-SHEAR network editor