America in the Key of Consensus

Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest and the Music That Made a Nation leans heavily on metaphors of harmony and dissonance with results that are often thought-provoking. The authors honor their subtitle by devoting sustained attention to musical statements of both patriotism and protest, and most importantly making it clear that these categories overlap. Their vision of United States history, while it values dissent, ultimately aims for a reassuring consensus as shouts of protest inevitably find their way into the great American songbook.

The Rise and Fall of Homer G. Phillips Hospital, Another View

The story reminds readers of the rich and important history of Black activism that has shaped Black St. Louis’s fight for equal and just treatment in healthcare. Yet, more contextualization of the capacious realities of anti-Black racism, a deeper consideration of state and federal policies, a foray into newspapers and archives outside of St. Louis and Missouri, and conversations with other Black medical historians could have made the book something more than a journalistic paean to the doctors and nurses that roamed Homer G. Phillips Hospital.