Recent publications

September 2018
Joanne Freeman

  In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often...
October 2019
Frank Snowden

  This sweeping exploration of the impact of epidemic diseases looks at how mass infectious outbreaks have shaped society, from the Black Death to today. In a clear and accessible style, Frank M. Snowden reveals the ways that diseases have not only influenced medical science and public health, but...
October 2018
David Blight

  As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the...
April 2020
Valerie Hansen

  People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn’t yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings’ invasion of...
February 2018
David Engerman

  Debates over foreign aid can seem strangely innocent of history. Economists argue about effectiveness and measurement—how to make aid work. Meanwhile, critics in donor countries bemoan what they see as money wasted on corrupt tycoons or unworthy recipients. What most ignore is the essentially...
August 2020
Alan Mikhail

Long neglected in world history, the Ottoman Empire was a hub of intellectual fervor, geopolitical power, and enlightened pluralistic rule. At the height of their authority in the sixteenth century, the Ottomans, with extraordinary military dominance and unparalleled monopolies over trade routes,...
November 2018
Laura Engelstein

  A Polish writer’s experience of wartime France, a cosmopolitan outsider’s perspective on politics, culture, and life under duress When the aspiring young writer Andrzej Bobkowski, a self-styled cosmopolitan Pole, found himself caught in occupied France in 1940, he recorded his reflections on...
October 2020
John Witt

  From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease...
April 2019
Mark Peterson

  In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clichés, The City-State of Boston highlights Boston’s...
September 2020
Jon Butler

  In Gilded Age Manhattan, Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant leaders agonized over the fate of traditional religious practice amid chaotic and multiplying pluralism. Massive immigration, the anonymity of urban life, and modernity’s rationalism, bureaucratization, and professionalization seemingly...