The calendar has worked its way round to March, and here at The Junto that can only mean one thing: Junto March Madness is back! The principle is simple: we ask our readers to nominate books about early American history, then we pair them off against each other, until there’s only one book left standing. Last year’s tournament can be found here: Edmund Morgan’s American Slavery, American Freedom ultimately proved victorious.
This year, we’re going to be doing the same thing, only with a twist: entrants to the tournament will be limited to books published since 2000. Last time around, we noticed a tendency to reward older, more established books. We wanted to bring the same liveliness of discussion to more recent works, and to highlight recent work that deserves the prominence of old favorites. We’ll be asking for nominations next week, but we wanted to give you some advance notice so you could start thinking of the books you wanted to receive full consideration.
To repeat: We are NOT soliciting nominations today. We’ll put up a full nominations thread next Wednesday, the 12th, and readers will then be able to nominate works in the comments section of the March 12th post. The nomination window opens as soon as the March 12th post is up and closes the next day, March 13th, at 5pm.
And to repeat what we said last year: don’t take this too seriously. It’s intended to be a bit of fun – to promote works we think might be underappreciated, and to instigate some thought-provoking discussions on recent directions in early American history. No poll can truly reflect the worth of a book; we understand that. But the process is enjoyable. We hope you’ll have as much fun with this year’s tournament as we did running it last year – and we look forward to seeing your nominations next Wednesday!
Junto March Madness 2014 Schedule
March 12/13: Reader Nominations
March 14: Announce Brackets
March 17/18: First Round Voting
March 20/21: Second Round Voting
March 24: Round of 16
March 26: Quarterfinals
March 31: Semifinals
April 2: Final