Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Eric Rauchway

Eric Rauchway, a history professor at the University of California, Davis, is the author of Murdering McKinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt's America and, more recently, Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America.

His reply to my recent query about what he has been reading:
Like a lot of people I have several books open at once. I'm currently teaching Kevin Boyle's Arc of Justice, which uses a murder trial to discuss attitudes toward race and justice in America of the 1920s (something I tried to do for America of the early 1900s with Murdering McKinley). It's an excellent book; the portraits of Clarence Darrow, James Weldon Johnson, and Walter White are especially good, as is that of the principal defendant, Ossian Sweet. I hope the students like it.

I've also been reading Ann Hagedorn's Savage Peace, Heather Cox Richardson's West from Appomattox, and David Silbey's War of Frontier and Empire.

I wish I could say I've been reading a nice fat novel for fun, as that's often what I do, but at the moment, I've got no such thing going. Maybe it's time I took a break for something like that....
Rauchway's current research project:
I am currently working on a book titled "The Gift Outright: The West, the South, and America, 1867-1937." At 1865, Americans seeking to realize their ambition of a continental nation had to win the West and to reconstruct the South. The U.S. Congress sketched a plan for each region, channeling resources to the development of these sections. Within two decades of their implementation, both plans failed on their merits, and backfired politically too. Through the New Deal, these failures, and both parties' scramble to establish dominance in the newly incorporated sections, shaped the nation.
Rauchway is a regular participant at the scholars' group blog, "Open University."

The Page 69 Test: Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America.

--Marshal Zeringue