I’m Stephen Wesley, the American history editor at Columbia University Press. Since the coronavirus pandemic has canceled most of the spring conferences—the Organization of American Historians annual program included—we are mounting virtual book exhibits on our blog.
I am delighted to present the 2020 Columbia University Press new books in American history. The titles featured here demonstrate the vibrancy of Columbia University Press’s program as we continue a long tradition of publishing top scholarship in the field.
Columbia’s American history list has two cornerstones: the history of U.S. foreign relations and the history of U.S. capitalism.
In The Columbia Studies of the History of U.S. Capitalism, we are pleased to announce two new books that will publish in spring 2020. Alex Sayf Cummings’ Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy studies the midcentury boosterism that created North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park and the first knowledge economy. Paige Glotzer’s How the Suburbs Were Segregated: Developers and the Business of Exclusionary Housing, 1890–1960 examines the development of Baltimore’s wealthiest, whitest neighborhoods in the late nineteenth century and the deep roots of suburban segregation. Alex will have a piece up on the blog later this weekend.
In the history of American foreign relations, new books explore security, diplomacy, and soft power. In Oil Powers: A History of the U.S.-Saudi Alliance, Victor McFarland explores the roots of the U.S.-Saudi alliance as not just an inevitable consequence of American energy demand and Saudi oil reserves but as a dense political, economic, and social network bolstered by royal and executive power. In Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy, Kaeten Mistry and Hannah Gurman cut a pathbreaking history of national security disclosures and state secrecy from World War I to the present, exploring the complex politics, motives, and ideologies behind the revelation of state secrets that challenge the status quo. On Sunday, read a Q&A with Kaeten Mistry, one of the volume’s editors. And Thomas Borstelmann’s Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners powerfully depicts the good and the bad in how Americans have seen others at home and abroad through the nation’s history.
For the duration of what would have been the conference weekend, you can use the coupon code OAH20 at checkout from our website for a 30 percent discount on any of our conference titles.
Thanks for joining us,