New Publications

George M. Eberhart


Andrew Johnson’s Civil War and Reconstruction, by Paul H. Bergeron (299 pages, April 2011), examines seven years of the 17th president’s public life, from military governor of occupied Tennessee in 1862–1865 through his six weeks as vice president, a troubled presidency, and impeachment trial and acquittal. As editor of The Papers of Andrew Johnson from 1987 to 2000, Bergeron probably knows more about this president than anyone else. Although he recognizes Johnson’s racism, eccentricities, and failures in leadership, he wrote this narrative to counter what he sees as the imbalanced assessments by Kenneth M. Stampp, Eric Foner, Hans L. Trefousse, and David O. Stewart. In the final analysis, Bergeron sees Johnson as a champion of emancipation, a political survivor, an ardent Jacksonian, and a defender of the Constitution and the presidency. $49.95. University of Tennessee. 978-1-57233-748-0.

Booms and Busts, edited by James Ciment (996 pages, 3 vols., August 2010), focuses on the history and theory of economic cycles, from the first great speculative bubble in Dutch tulip bulbs of the 1630s (tulipmania) to the Great Recession of the late 2000s. The language is appropriate for a college audience, especially for entry-level economics students who need an introduction to banking and finance, historical cycles, schools of thought, financial instruments, markets and exchanges, government policies and programs, or regional economies. A chronology up to April 2010 and a glossary supplement the 360 articles. $339.00. M. E. Sharpe. 978-0-7656-8224-6.

Brush and Shutter: Early Photography in China, edited by Jeffrey W. Cody and Frances Terpiak (196 pages, March 2011), is a companion volume to the J. Paul Getty Museum’s exhibition on Chinese photography held earlier this year. Because there is very little information on Chinese photographers or commercial studios from the time a daguerreotype camera was first brought to China in 1844 to the days of the early Republic, scholars often have to rely on internal evidence from a single photograph to determine its context. The photos, by both Chinese and Western photographers, are from a collection acquired by the Getty Research Institute in 2003. Accompanying the plates are essays on the early history of photography in China, the art of photography during the Late Qing Dynasty, the portrait style created by Milton M. Miller from 1859 to 1863, and the perpetuation of Chinese stereotypes in photography. $45.00. Getty Publications. 978-1-60606-054-4.

Dying on the Vine: How Phylloxera Transformed Wine, by George Gale (323 pages, June 2011), describes for the first time in great detail the worldwide grape blight of the late 19th century, which began in the Rhône wine region in the south of France in the 1860s, spread through the rest of Europe in the 1870s, and soon infected vineyards in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, and California. Caused by an accidentally introduced tiny yellow aphid (commonly called phylloxera) originally native to eastern North America, the epidemic became the worst invasive-species agricultural disaster in history. By 1889, French wine production was down by 72 percent, causing an economic catastrophe for thousands of small-farm viticulturalists and the country as a whole. Gale explains that it took a massive effort by governments and academics to discover methods to control the pest, which has an infuriatingly complex life cycle. However, the solutions to the crisis (submersion of infected land, reconstitution of European rootstocks by grafting them on phylloxera-resistant American wild grape roots, and planting Old American and hybrid vines) ultimately led to a resurgence in production techniques that has made the industry more flexible, vigorous, and able to produce better wines. $39.95. University of California. 978-0-520-26548-6.


Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives, by Francis X. Blouin and William G. Rosenberg (257 pages, February 2011), confronts a relatively recent divergence in methods that historians and archivists use to analyze and process the records of the past. The authors, both at the University of Michigan (Blouin is director of the Bentley Historical Library and Rosenberg is professor emeritus of history), discovered this “archival divide” during a prolonged conversation about changes in the administration and definition of archives. Blouin was struck by how much his colleague did not know about what archivists do, and Rosenberg was surprised at how little grasp the other had on new directions in historical understanding. In this book they offer a roadmap to reconciliation, advising archivists on such trends as the turn away from archival authority in history, the increasing importance of social memories to uncover multiple pasts, shifts in the meaning and value of certain types of sources, and the virtualization of archival collections that transforms artifacts into fragmented bundles of metadata. $74.00. Oxford University. 978-0-19-974054-3.


The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City, by Katherine Wentworth Rinne (262 pages, January 2011), reveals the extent of the massive urban renewal program that popes, cardinals, and architects engineered in Rome between 1560 and 1630. Their efforts transformed the declining city into a Renaissance hub cleansed and purified by new sources of water carried in by three restored ancient aqueducts that fed 80 new iconic fountains—including the Trevi, the Triton, Quattro Fiumi, Barcaccia—that are still a source of wonder today. With the fountains came grand streets and piazzas to frame them, new palaces and churches to overlook them, and a system of conduits, drains, cisterns, wells, and sewers that drained them, kept the newly paved roads clean, and tamed the flood-prone Tiber River. A fascinating look at the neglected art of Baroque urban planning. $65.00. Yale University. 978-0-300-15530-3.

The Writer’s Guide to Psychology, by Carolyn Kaufman (232 pages, December 2010), provides authors (and book reviewers) with the facts they need to know about mental problems and the role of therapists in order to write accurately (or assess) stories about characters with schizophrenia, PTSD, panic disorder, ADHD, or depression. It’s also a layman’s guide to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-4), as well as a myth-busting manual for anyone who still thinks that you need to lie on a couch in the therapist’s office or that serial killers are psychotic (as opposed to psychopathic). Scattered throughout are little sidebars about how certain authors or screenwriters got a scenario right (Tony Soprano’s therapy sessions in The Sopranos) or wrong (James Patterson in The 6th Target). Kaufman is both a clinical psychologist and a writing coach, and both of her skills are evident in this handy primer. $14.95. Quill Driver Books. 978-1-884995-68-2.


Copyright 2011© American Library Association

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