Junto March Madness: Sweet Sixteen Results

Thanks to all who participated! We once again had a stellar turnout with about 200 different voters. Below are the results; we will vote on the Elite Eight matchups tomorrow. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.



1. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom 89%

4. O’Shaughnessy, An Empire Divided 11%


3. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness 48%

2. Jordan, White Over Black 52%



1. Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale 72%

5. Wood, The Creation of the Early Republic 28%


6. Merrell, Into the Woods 24%

7. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country 76%



1. Cronon, Changes in the Land 77%

13. Rockman, Scraping By 23%


6. Sellers, The Market Revolution 37%

10. Rediker, The Slave Ship 63%



9. Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men 48%

4. Hämäläinen, The Comanche Empire 52%


6. Johnson, Soul by Soul 62%

2. Berlin, Many Thousands Gone 38%

3 responses

  1. I am a bit surprised Ulrich and Richter won as easily as they did (somewhat mirrors the ho-hum nature of many of the Sweet 16 games in that “other” tournament going on right now). And the love for Rediker “Slave Ship” has still got me puzzled. Don’t get me wrong, I like the book, but it has not stuck with me to the level that “Market Revolution” has – although I may use both somewhat equally in lectures (probably due to my bias toward talking about slaves in my intro classes).

  2. I would like to encourage those who have been voting, but have not yet commented to do so. The water’s fine. No one’s been bitten and needed rabies shots–yet.

    The surprise for me was the closeness of the Greene – Jordan match. The Pursuits of Happiness is a fine, useful book, but White over Black was, in many ways ahead of its time. In an era in which the useful shelf life of a work is steadily shrinking, it just keeps going and is still relevant.

    I was also kind of shocked that where Greene did so well, Berlin’s summary of slavery did so poorly in its contest with Johnson.

    Will there be another podcast before the finals. I, for one, am curious to hear the fab four’s opinions, analysis, and answers to the questions that the crowd did not address, such as, why did the Neo-Progressives do so poorly? Simple matchups or did Daniel Boorstin do his job all too well when he commissioned Ed Morgan to write Birth of the Republic all those years ago?

  3. I’m amazed that Berlin lost to Johnson – I recognize both as excellent books, but Berlin was one of those books that really stuck in my memory from the time I was first introduced to it as an undergraduate.

    I’m fascinated to see the results of Morgan vs Jordan in the next round, though. I think Morgan will carry it because the book is of wider appeal than White Over Black (didn’t Jordan write an abridged version in which he acknowledged that he needed a shorter version if more people were to be introduced to the arguments?)

    Something else that I need to think more about is Wood’s handy defeat at the hands of Ulrich, given that he had a reasonably comfortable passage against other political history books up to this point. Is this reflective of the state of political history more generally – that there haven’t been books that have appealed to wider fields in that long a time?


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