U.S. History

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    For US presidents, egocentrism often comes with the territory. But Donald Trump’s narcissism is something new.

For US presidents, egocentrism often comes with the territory. But Donald Trump’s narcissism is something new.

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Donald Trump, self-styled “stable genius,” has outdone other US presidents in one respect, Ron Pruessen suggests. He has taken the sometimes valuable, sometimes problematic egotism routinely endemic to White House occupants and pathologized it into profoundly costly and dangerous narcissism.

It’s hard to avoid encountering the word “narcissist” in discussions of Donald Trump. One recent prompt: the president’s tweet about […]

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    Book Review: Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance by David Macfadyen et al

Book Review: Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance by David Macfadyen et al

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In Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance, David Macfadyen et al show how the emergence of an international bureaucracy of civil servants and their role in the development of the League of Nations rested on Eric Drummond and the early internationalists around him. This book provides a much-needed historical and biographical perspective on […]

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    Book Review: Empire’s Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers and the Transcontinental Railroad by Manu Karuka

Book Review: Empire’s Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers and the Transcontinental Railroad by Manu Karuka

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In Empire’s Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers and the Transcontinental Railroad, Manu Karuka challenges longstanding myths surrounding the history of the US railroads, showing their construction to be dependent on gendered and racialised processes of conquest and exploitation. With the book adding to the growing literature that is reframing stories of expanding markets as critical narratives of imperial formations, Nicholas Barron welcomes […]

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    Book Review: Scientists Under Surveillance: The FBI Files edited by JPat Brown et al

Book Review: Scientists Under Surveillance: The FBI Files edited by JPat Brown et al

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In Scientists Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, editors JPat Brown et al bring together obtained FBI files to offer an insight into FBI investigations into the life and research of some of the world’s most renowned scientists, showing this surveillance to be typically driven by fear, ignorance and senseless tip-offs. The collection sheds light on some of the most intrusive […]

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    Book Review Forum: Legacies of Losing in American Politics by Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow

Book Review Forum: Legacies of Losing in American Politics by Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow

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American politics is typically a story about winners. The fading away of defeated politicians and political movements is a feature of American politics that ensures political stability and a peaceful transition of power. But American history has also been built on defeated candidates, failed presidents, and social movements that at pivotal moments did not dissipate as expected but instead […]

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    The performance of political power is as old as the American Republic – and has helped ensure its survival.

The performance of political power is as old as the American Republic – and has helped ensure its survival.

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Through his use of Twitter the US may now have its most performative president, in the form of Donald Trump. But performativity is nothing new for the American Republic, argues Isaac Ariail Reed. Looking back to the early days of the Federal government, he writes that the early American state was able to lock-in public confidence in its authority […]

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    Book Review: The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist by Carol A. Stabile

Book Review: The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist by Carol A. Stabile

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In The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist, Carol A. Stabile explores the 41 women working in US television and radio who were blacklisted during the 1950s ‘Red Scare’, showing how the removal of these progressives from the media continues to reverberate into the twenty-first century. This is a fascinating and well-researched study, finds Max Lewontin, that contributes to the […]

Eslanda Robeson – acting, activism, Africa and LSE

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In celebration of Black History month, Howard University’s Sherese R Taylor introduces the life of American anthropologist, author and civil rights activist, Eslanda Robeson, who studied at LSE in the 1930s.

Eslanda Cordozo Goode Robeson, also known as Essie, was an anti-racist, anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist, and feminist born in Washington, DC on 15 December 1895. She received a scholarship from the University of Illinois […]

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    Book Review: The Sit-Ins: Protest and Legal Change in the Civil Rights Era by Christopher W. Schmidt

Book Review: The Sit-Ins: Protest and Legal Change in the Civil Rights Era by Christopher W. Schmidt

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In The Sit-Ins: Protest and Legal Change in the Civil Rights Era, Christopher W. Schmidt offers a new account of the crucial civil rights protest inspired by the first ‘sit-in’ by four college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960. Focusing on the legal issues and constitutional challenges posed by the sit-in movement, the book is a valuable and accessible tool for […]

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    Donald Trump’s presidency has a disturbing parallel in the political career of Huey Long

Donald Trump’s presidency has a disturbing parallel in the political career of Huey Long

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Donald Trump is not the first American politician to achieve power through demagoguery and then to use that power for their own gain. Adrian Mercer looks back to the political career of Louisiana Governor, then Senator, Huey P Long. He writes that the parallels between Trump and Long are striking: both won elected office by presenting themselves as outsiders […]

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