An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States

Meaningfully Discomforting: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Audiobook. Tantor Media, 2014. Last summer, Supreme Court-watchers, indigenous rights activists, and other interested parties were shocked to learn that the United States Supreme Court re-ordered an oral hearing session in the pending landmark Carpenter v. Murphy (now Sharp v. Murphy) case. The implications of […]... Read More
These Truths

Comprehensive Yet Digestible: Jill Lepore’s These Truths

Lepore, Jill. These Truths: A History of the United States. Audiobook. Recorded Books, 2018.  I must confess that I did not actually “read” These Truths, or at least not in the conventional sense. Instead, I opted to listen to the audiobook version, read by the distinguished Jill Lepore herself. And so it was that I […]... Read More

Riveting and Insightful: Peter Stark’s Astoria

Stark, Peter. Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire. New York: HarperCollins, 2014.   As someone who is mostly interested in “Civil War to Civil Rights” history, my interest (and by extension knowledge) usually stops east of the Mississippi and almost always east of the Rockies. Since moving to Oregon last year, […]... Read More

Judging the Past: The Historian as Ethicist

As I was reading Alexander Watson’s Ring of Steel for an upcoming Concerning History Book Club post, I was struck by how easily perspective can be lost when dealing with subjects that we find morally unacceptable. Ring of Steel offers a different portrait of the war than most English-language accounts. Early on, Watson argues that […]... Read More

A Grander Perspective: Smithsonian’s The American Revolution as a World War

Our loyal followers, and probably anyone who has read a few of my pieces here at Concerning History, know that I love breaking down American exceptionalism and arguing for a more comprehensive exploration of the global dimension of American history. It’s kind of my thing. So when I opened my parents’ Christmas package this past year to find The American Revolution as a World War, I was beyond thrilled. As I eagerly devoured it, I realized I had at last found an engaging, approachable primer perfect for introducing students and casual historian to the grander dimensions of world history that have come to form the bread and butter of my own historical understanding.... Read More
Normandy American Cemetery Stonewall Inn Wellington Victoria RR Chase

Making History, Marking History II: The Great Anniversaries of 2019

It’s the second anniversary of Concerning History, and as we did last year, we wanted to taking a look at some of the major historical moments being commemorated this year and provide some recommendations for further reading! There are plenty of other events out there worth noting, however, so if you have one you think we should have included, we invite you to scroll down to the comments and share it with us.... Read More
20190401_112633 20190401_130110 56459536_571746799994514_8202485669537251328_n 20190401_145129 Plantation Day

Interpreting the Big Easy: Wrestling with the Past at Oak Alley and Whitney Plantations

While visiting New Orleans on our spring break last week, Bryan and I made a day trip west of the city to see two of Louisiana’s most famous plantations: Oak Alley in Vacherie and Whitney in Wallace. Although the two sites are only a 15-minute drive from one another, the plantations are nonetheless worlds apart when it comes to how they grapple with our nation’s most painful and contentious history: that of slavery.... Read More
The Arrival of African slaves in 1619

Away with 1619: Reinterpreting the Origins of American Slavery

Last October, the state of Virginia kicked off its commemoration of the 400th anniversary of several key events in its early history. The festivities began with the anniversary of the founding of the House of Burgess–the first known legislative body in what would become the United States–and will continue into this year with the anniversary […]... Read More
JuandeFucasubduction 1280px-Pacific_Ring_of_Fire.svg Neskowin Ghost Forest Willamette Valley Earthquake Stories

Uncovering “The Big One”: The Discovery and Irony of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

When the Corps of Discovery and British fur traders first pioneered the Pacific Northwest, they remarked upon the settler-friendly Willamette Valley. The story that followed is familiar to most. Settlers from the East motivated by cheap, fertile, temperate land and notions of manifest destiny spilled across the continent along the various Oregon trails to stake […]... Read More