Review Roundup: May 2019

LSU Press publishes the works of a host of talented authors. Each month, we take a moment to recognize the impact these authors and their works are having on communities nearby and around the world.


Wayne and Shirley Wiegand were recently awarded the 2019 Gleason Book Award for their book, The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism. “The Gleason Award Committee was impressed by the caliber of this year’s nominees,” said Danielle Ponton on behalf of the award committee.” The Wiegands book, though, rose above the rest: “Not only does this important work help lead library historiography away from its long-standing exceptionalist myths about its own moral virtue, it does so by forthrightly facing ALA’s complicity in extending Jim Crow racial segregation in its facilities, as well as documenting the heroic actions of youth in pushing back against it.”

Shepherd Express reviewed Hulbert and Inscoe’s Writing History with Lightning. Writer David Luhrssen called it, “As illuminating as its title,” and points out that this book, though academic in nature, remains “blissfully free of the migraine-inducing jargon and torture-chamber prose of what passes for film theory” and is written by “historians interested in communicating with the public, weighing facts against fiction.”

Preaching Spanish Nationalism Across the Hispanic Atlantic, 1759–1823 written by Scott Eastman, recently received a glowing review in Hispanic American Historical Review 99, No. 1.: “This is a fresh, bold, and compelling analysis of the interaction between liberalism, religion, the nation, and modernity. It not only undercuts entrenched assumptions but also offers better explanations, and it exposes the historical liberal connections of precisely the two elements, Catholicism and nationalism, that came to be equated with Spanish fascism.”

Upon the Fields of Battle offers convincing evidence that Civil War military history is neither parochial nor stagnant,” writes Alexandre F. Caillot. His review of Andrew S. Bledsoe and Andrew Lang’s edited collection appeared in the April issue Federal History Journal.

Caillot also reviewed Lee’s Tigers Revisited: The Louisiana Infantry in the Amry of Northern Virginia for H-Net. Caillot had this to say about Terry L. Jones’ take on one of Louisiana’s most fearsome battalions: “Lee’s Tigers Revisited tells an important story about the Confederate army and merits a close reading by anyone interested in learning more about some of the finest soldiers who wore the grey.”

Peter O’Connor’s American Sectionalism in the British Mind, 1832-1863 made it into the pages of the March 2019 issue of The New England Quarterly. Reviewer Mark Bennett describes Sectionalism as “and engaging and informative new approach to the question of British views [during the Civil War],” as well as “a helpful contribution to our understanding of Anglo-American diplomacy and offers potentially fruitful avenues for further study.”

Jeffrey S. Girard’s The Caddos and Their Ancestors: Archaeology and the Native People of Northwest Louisiana was reviewed in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly by George Sabo III. Sabo is enchanted by Girard’s style, calling it “an engaging” and “largely free of cumbersome jargon,” and saying, “Girard succeeds admirably in crafting a narrative that will satisfy his professional colleagues while at the same time informing other audiences.”

“This is not your average monograph,” starts J.M. Opal’s review of The American and British Debate Over Equality, 1776-1920 by James L. Huston. He goes on to say, “This book is an impressive feat of historical writing, a powerful reminder that equality is—and was—the heart of democracy.”

A. A. Nofi of Strategy Page wrote this about Ambivalent Nation: How Britain Imagined the Civil War: “Prof. [Hugh] Dubrulle’s book is a good read for anyone with an interest in the potential for British intervention in the Civil War, the international implications of the conflict, and the Anglo-American relationship.”


Chelsea Rathburn’s latest collection, Still Life with Mother and Knife, has been getting a lot of buzz, thanks in part to Rathburn’s recent ennoblement as the Poet Laureate for the State of Georgia. One of the poems in the collection, “Introduction to the Patriarchy,” was handpicked by U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith for feature on The Slowdown. The Rumpus‘ roundup of “What to Read When You Want to Celebrate Women’s History” called Rathburn, “Intimate and fearless, her poems move in interlocking sections between the pleasures and dangers of childhood, between masterpieces of art and magazine centerfolds…” The collection was also mentioned in the Sunday New York Times’ New and Noteworthy” section.

Southern Indiana Review‘s reader David Nielsen had lots of wonderful things to say about Sarah Barber and her 2018 collection, Country House: “She even seems to find unlikely beauty, or if not beauty, than at least an objective portrait of nature as we’ve fashioned it. If our fields blow with newspapers and Walmart bags, well, that’s one set of landscape images to take in and describe. Like bird species that make their nests from our shiniest trash, Barber festoons her verses with the most colorful bits of our industrial shame.”

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