Edward L. Ayers, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America (W.W. Norton, 2017).

David Blight and Jim Downs eds., Beyond Freedom: Disrupting the History of Emancipation (University of Georgia Press, 2017).

Robert J. Cook, Civil War Memories: Contesting the Past in the United States Since 1865 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017).

Ron Chernow, Grant (Penguin Press, 2017).

Mitch Kachun, First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Tiya Miles, The Dawn of Detroit: The Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (The New Press, 2017).

About Kevin Levin

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4 comments add yours

  1. I’m wondering if we really need two biographies of Grant in the space of a year. I will not pick up the Chernow one. I found the Hamilton book dense.

    • The simplest answer is that the market will decide, but it also hinges on the content and argument made in the book. If it offers something original, etc. than it should be read regardless of what else has been published in the past year. Unfortunately, I don’t see this panning out for Chernow, though his connection to the Hamilton musical will likely propel sales.

      • I have a sneaking suspicion that many people who buy it because of Chernow’s connection to “Hamilton” will look it over and then put it on a shelf never to be picked up again. Honestly, I’ve suspected that many people who bought his book on Hamilton did the same thing.


  2. Agreed that the Hamilton connection will definitely help. Although I didn’t care for the Hamilton book, the Rockefeller one, Titan, was pretty good.

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