Page by Page: Book Reviews

How to Save America

This America takes on academic historians for abandoning liberalism in the 1960s, when scholars became enamored with globalism and stopped writing about the nation’s history.

Adventures in the Music Trade

For anyone interested in a glimpse of one of the greatest musical minds of the 20th century—and the divine spark that ignited his remarkable career—Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words is an excellent place to start.

How Subsistence Gave Way to Capitalism

Readers hoping for a focused case study of the rise and fall of the Appalachian way of life will be disappointed. Instead, Stoll moves frequently among a history of the global rise of capitalism, discussions of Appalachia, and comparisons with other subsistence communities destroyed by the rise of industrial business practices.

Tea as Cultural Commodity

A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World explores tea as a global commodity whose history has been shaped by the transformations of capitalism and the regimes of empire and nationalism—the very forces, we might say, that have given us Starbucks.

Hooray for Hollywood

To our Puritan, “agrarian” instincts, Hollywood is all that is wrong with America, the decadent city, the sin factory that has warped the culture beyond repair. Here is the trope of American declension.

Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah

Deetz’s Bound By Fire sets out to address our on-going gastronomic rehabilitation by focusing on the story of Virginia’s enslaved plantation cooks. She has taken on a difficult task, for those unsung chefs of the antebellum and colonial era left no cookery compilations or published sources behind.

Latin America’s Cold War Discontent

In an engaging, well-written, exhaustively-researched, even-handed, and insightful book, Patrick Iber not only brings to light previously obscure aspects of this story but also details the complexities and contradictions that bedeviled all sides of the struggle.

Tales of a Working Girl

Day’s characters seemed to give her fans not only a coping fantasy but a sense of inspiration. One of the problems with the intelligentsia is that it will not respect or take seriously any fantasy that is not built on some idea or resistance to hegemony, which Day’s fantasy clearly was not.