Junto March Madness 2014: Call For Nominations

JMM Logo 2Last week, we announced our plans for “Junto March Madness 2014” – a bracket tournament pitting our readers’ favorite early American history books published since 2000 against each other. Today, we begin the Call for Nominations. Check out the rules below and then add your nominations and seconds in the Comments section. Then, by the power of The Junto‘s bracketologists, we’ll compile the tournament brackets, and open it up for your votes starting next Monday.

The Rules

1) All books whose first edition was published on or after January 1, 2000 are eligible.

2) All nominations must be made in the Comments section of this post.

3) We ask you nominate a maximum of three books that have not yet been nominated. You may also “second” the nomination of three other books that have already been nominated. If you were going to nominate books already mentioned you may do so and they will be tallied as seconds. Self-nominations are allowed.

NB: Essentially, each voter can nominate and second up to six books but only three can be new nominations. Given the number of comments posted last year, it would be helpful if you explicitly stated which of your books count as nominations, and which count as seconds. (To see if one of your choices has already been nominated, go to Edit->Find in your browser and type in the name of the book.)

4) Nominations will close at 5pm on Thursday (March 13th). The first-round brackets will go up on Friday, March 14th, and readers will have the weekend to think about their picks before first-round voting begins on Monday, March 17th.

The Disclaimer

Like last year’s tournament, this is all meant to be taken in a spirit of fun. This tournament is not meant to bestow any kind of value judgment on individual works. If anything, it may be a reflection of the “favorite” books of our readers; but that should not be thought of as implying that it reflects what our readers or this blog think is the “best” book published since 2000. Last year’s competition inspired lots of interesting and entertaining conversations, and this year we’re hoping to introduce our readers to more recent literature, especially in areas that might be outside of their direct attention.


Some Juntoists have helped kick off the nominating process with the following nominations. To be clear, this is not a definitive list of our three favorite books since 2000, but rather a means of getting the nomination process rolling.

Ken: Max Edling, A Revolution In Favor Of Government; Douglas Bradburn, The Citizenship Revolution; Pekka Hämäläinen, The Comanche Empire

Ben: Eric Slauter, The State As A Work Of Art; Trish Loughran, The Republic In Print; Catherine Brekus, Sarah Osborn’s World

Rachel: Michael A. LaCombe, Political Gastronomy: Food and Authority in the English Atlantic World; Edward Andrews, Native Apostles; John Grenier, The First Way of War: American War Making on the Frontier, 1607-1814

Michael H.: T.H. Breen, The Marketplace of Revolution; Brendan McConville, The King’s Three Faces; Benjamin Irvin, Clothed In The Robes of Sovereignty

Tom: Holly Brewer, By Birth Or Consent; Terry Bouton, Taming Democracy; Patrick Griffin, American Leviathan.

Jonathan: Joanne Freeman, Affairs of Honor; Alan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812; Peter Silver, Our Savage Neighbors

97 comments on “Junto March Madness 2014: Call For Nominations

  1. Michael McDonnell, ‘The Politics of War’; Serena Zabin, ‘Dangerous Economies’; and Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, ‘The Many-Headed Hydra’.

  2. simon says:

    M. Valeri, Heavenly merchandize : how religion shaped commerce in Puritan America (Princeton,2010).

    C. Tomlins, Freedom bound : law, labor, and civic identity in colonizing English America, 1580-1865, (New York, 2010)

    A Greer, Mohawk Saint : Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. (New York, 2005).

    Patrick Griffin, American Leviathan

    Terry Bouton, Taming Democracy

    Pekka Hämäläinen, The Comanche Empire

  3. Yevan Terrien says:

    I’ll second “The Many-Headed Hydra”.
    Also, Rebecca Scott and Jean Hebrard, “Freedom Papers,” Brett Rushforth, “Bonds of Alliance.”

  4. I’d nominate the following:

    S. Max Edelson’s “Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina”
    April Hatfield’s “Atlantic Virginia: Intercolonial Relations in the Seventeenth Century”
    Trevor Burnard’s “Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World”

    I’d also second Hämäläinen’s “Comanche Empire” and Greer’s “Mohawk Saint”

  5. Seth Cotlar, Tom Paine’s America: The Rise and Fall of Transatlantic Radicalism in the Early Republic

    Robin Einhorn, American Taxation, American Slavery

    Rebecca Anne Goetz, The Baptism of Early Virginia: How Christianity Created Race

  6. ACL says:


    Freeman, Affairs of Honor
    Rushforth, Bonds of Alliance


    Kathleen Brown, Foul Bodies
    Vincent Brown, The Reaper’s Garden
    Paul Johnson, Sam Patch, The Famous Jumper

    • ACL says:

      Also, some possible suggestions for future tournaments: influential journal articles, favorite historical films about Early America (perhaps extended to Civil War era to account for lack of earlier movies), and books from before 1980.

      • ACL says:

        Also since I have one second left, I will “second” anyone who goes ahead and nominates Fred Anderson’s Crucible of War

  7. jnash says:

    Brown, The Reaper’s Garden
    Many-Headed Hydra
    Irvin, Clothed In The Robes of Sovereignty

    Morgan, Laboring Women
    DuVal, Native Ground
    Landers, Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions

  8. Amanda HK says:

    Second: Brown, Foul Bodies and Greer’s “Mohawk Saint”

  9. Nominating:
    Martin, Buying Into the World of Goods: Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia
    Walsh, Motives of Honor, Pleasure & Profit: Plantation Management in the Early Chesapeake

  10. Second: Bouton, Taming Democracy; lan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812; Freeman, Affairs of Honor

    Nominate: Waldstreicher, Runaway America; Horton, Unruly Americans; Klepp, Revolutionary Conceptions

  11. prattadam says:

    Second: DuVal, Native Ground
    McDonnell, Politics of War

    Nominate: Christina Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country
    Lacy Ford, Deliver Us From Evil
    Anne Hyde: Empires, Nations, Families

  12. Seconding:
    Martin, Buying into the World of Goods
    Edling, Revolution in Favor of Government
    Breen, Marketplace of Revolution

    And before nominating, a question: are books which were in last year’s tournament eligible this year?

    • Ken Owen says:

      Megan – yes. I think some books that have appeared in last year’s bracket have already made their way into the nominations (somewhat predictably!)

      • Thanks Ken.

        Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
        Matthew Mulcahy, Hurricanes and Society in the British Greater Caribbean, 1642-1783
        Sarah S. M. Pearsall, Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century

  13. Christopher says:

    Second: Andrews, Native Apostles, Brekus, Sarah Osborn’s World.

    Nominate: Chris Hodson, The Acadian Diaspora, Randy Sparks, The Two Princes of Calabar, Fisher, The Indian Great Awakening.

  14. Joshua Paddison says:

    New: Jon T. Coleman, Here Lies Hugh Glass; Marcus Rediker, The Slave Ship; David Silverman, Red Brethren

    Second: Linford Fisher, Indian Great Awakening; Rebecca Goetz, Baptism of Early Virginia; Pekka Hämäläinen, Comanche Empire

  15. Jordan Taylor says:

    Nominate: Eliga Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth; Rockman, Scraping By; Furstenberg, In the Name of the Father.

    Second: Cotlar, Tom Paine’s America; McConville, The King’s Three Faces; Morgan, Laboring Women.

  16. JMS says:

    I nominate:

    Michael O’Brien, *Conjectures of Order*
    Seth Rockman, *Scraping By*
    Annette Gordon-Reed, *The Hemingses of Monticello*

    I second:

    S. Max Edelson’s *Plantation Enterprise*
    Trish Loughran’s *The Republic in Print*

  17. J Stuart says:

    Second Sarah Osborn’s World, Hemingses of Monticello.

    Nominate: Alan Taylor’s The Internal Enemy

  18. msmcdphd says:

    I nominate:
    Karin Wulf, Not All Wives
    Sharon Block, Rape and Sexual Power in Early America
    Jill Lepore, New York Burning

    I second:
    Peter Silver, Our Savage Neighbors
    Susan Klepp, Revolutionary Conceptions
    Vincent Brown, The Reaper’s Garden

    My suggestion for future tournaments:
    Historians’ first books

  19. Alex M says:

    Leslie Harris, In the Shadow of Slavery
    Nicole Eustace, Passion is the Gale
    Eva Shepard Wolf, Race and Liberty in the New Nation

    Seconding: Morgan, Laboring Women

  20. Sara D says:

    Parrish, American Curiosity
    Haulman, The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America

    Wulf, Not All Wives
    Klepp, Revolutionary Conceptions
    Brekus, Sarah Osborn’s World
    Morgan, Laboring Women

  21. Liz Covart says:


    Jon Parmenter, The Edge of the Woods: Iroquoia, 1534-1701

    Alan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies

    P.J. Marshall, Remaking the British Atlantic: The United States and the British Empire after American Independence

    Klepp, Revolutionary Conceptions
    Taylor, The Internal Enemy
    Irvin, Clothed in Robes of Sovereignty

  22. Cory Young says:

    Christopher Leslie Brown’s Moral Capital

    Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello

  23. gauthamrao says:

    Wow. Just reading this is so immensely entertaining and thought-provoking.

    Haulman, Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America
    Eustace, 1812
    Einhorn, American Taxation, American Slavery

  24. Ian S says:


    Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Subjects Unto the Same King
    Woody Holton, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution
    Gregory Evans Dowd, War Under Heaven: Pontiac, the Indian Nations, and the British Empire


    Alan Taylor, Civil War of 1812
    Edward Andrews, Native Apostles

  25. Kirsten says:


    Parrish, American Curiosity
    Burnard, Mastery, Tyranny and Desire

  26. Discipline and Punish says:

    I second Zabin, Dangerous Economies and Burnard, Mastery, Tyranny and Desire.

    New nominations: Hancock, Oceans of Wine; Hartigan-O’Connor, The Ties that Buy; and Jarvis, In The Eye of All Trade.

  27. Samuel Brown says:

    I second Rushforth, Bonds of Alliance.
    Chronologically a bit later, I nominate Cathy Brekus, Strangers and Pilgrims and Juster, Doomsayers.

  28. Seconding:

    Freeman, Affairs of Honor
    Hartigan-O’Connor, The Ties That Buy (doh, should’ve nominated that one)
    Fea, The Way of Improvement Leads Home

  29. Charlie McCrary says:

    I second Slauter, _The State as a Work of Art_ and Brewer, _By Birth or Consent_.

    I’ll add Sophia Rosenfeld, _Common Sense: A Political History_ (Princeton, 2011) and James Sweet, _Domingos Alvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World_ (UNC, 2011).

  30. Tracy Upchurch says:

    Cry Liberty by Peter Charles Hoffer (2012) and Routes of War by Yael Sternhell

  31. I’ll engage with some … gasp … military history. The Men Who Lost America by Andrew O’Shaughnessy; Three Peoples, One King by James Piecuch; and A Leap in the Dark by John Ferling.

  32. rgbrooking says:


  33. Rosemarie Zagarri says:

    I second:

    Jasanoff, LIBERTY’S EXILES

  34. I second:

    Douglas Bradburn, The Citizenship Revolution

  35. Alec Rogers says:

    I’ll nominate:

    Chernow, George Washington
    Fischer, Washington’s Crossing

    and second

    O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America

  36. Alec Rogers says:

    I’ll also nominate (#3)
    Greene, The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution

  37. Melissa Johnson says:

    Brown, The Pilgrim and the Bee
    Finch, Dissenting Bodies
    Allgor, Parlor Politics

    Goetz, Baptism of Early Virginia
    Juster, Doomsayers
    Brown, Foul Bodies

  38. Spencer says:


    Nancy Isenberg, Fallen Founder
    David Waldstreicher, Slavery’s Constitution
    Amanda Porterfield, Conceived in Doubt


    Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth
    Cotlar, Tom Paine’s America
    Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles

  39. Nic Wood says:

    We seem a bit light on slavery and abolitionism, so how about:

    Newman, Transformation of American Abolitionism
    Mason, Slavery and Politics in the Early Republic
    Hammond, Slavery, Freedom, and Expansion

    I second the earlier nomination of Johnson’s Sam Patch and the books by Alan Taylor, Patrick Griffin, Jennifer Pulsipher, Eliga Gould, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, &c. &c.

  40. Kate Madison says:

    I second:
    Serena Zabin, “Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York”
    Joanna Freeman, “Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic”
    Annette Gordon-Reed, “The Hemingses of Monticello”

    I nominate:
    Eliga Gould, “The Persistence of Empire”
    Paul Mapp, “The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire”

  41. Pauline Maier’s “Ratification” seems to be my only new nomination.


    Jasanoff, “Liberty’s Exiles”
    Jarvis, “In the Eye of All Trade”
    Taylor, “The Civil War of 1812”
    Rediker, “The Slave Ship”
    Freeman, “Affairs of Honor”

  42. Nominating:
    Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams
    Walter Johnson, Soul By Soul
    Gene Smith, The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812

  43. Jimmy Dick says:


    Andrlik, Todd. “Reporting the Revolutionary War.” Naperville: Sourcebooks, 2012.

    Maier, Pauline. “Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788.” New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.

    Wood, Gordon S. “Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815.” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

    • Jimmy Dick says:

      I did not see that Ratification had already been nominated. Therefore please strike it and insert Spring, Matthew. “With Zeal and Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783.” Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008.

  44. C. Lotus Becker says:

    Rosemarie Zagarri, Revolutionary Backlash
    John Brooke, Columbia Rising
    Mary Kelley, Learning to Stand and Speak
    Can we do essay collections? If so, Pasley, Waldstreicher, Robertson, Beyond the Founders

    Eustace, Passion is the Gale
    Allgor, Parlor Politics
    McConville, Three Faces

  45. jen says:

    Breen, Marketplace of Revolution
    Kupperman, The Jamestown Project
    Taylor, The Civil War of 1812

  46. Tim Beirne says:

    Winship, Making Heretics
    Haefeli, New Netherland and the Dutch Origins of American Religious Liberty
    Taylor, American Colonies

    Maier, Ratification
    Fisher, Indian Great Awakening
    Bekus, Strangers and Pilgrims

  47. Roy Rogers says:

    I believe these are fresh nominations:

    Anthony Parent, “Foul Means”
    Monica Najar, “Evangelizing the South”
    Charles Irons, “The Origins of Proslavery Christianity”

    Seconding, Holton, Zagarri, Kelly

  48. johnfea says:


    Kevin Kenny, Peaceable Kingdom Lost
    George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards
    Erskine Clarke, Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic


    McConnville, KingsThree Faces

  49. Laura Ansley says:

    Tiya Miles, “Ties That Bind.” Seconding Zagarri, Kelly, Gordon-Reed.

  50. Marie Stango says:

    Miles, “Ties That Bind”
    Allgor, “Parlor Politics”
    Kelley, “Learning to Stand and Speak”

    Stephanie Smallwood, “Saltwater Slavery”
    Stephanie Camp, “Closer to Freedom”
    Juliana Barr, “Peace Came in the Form of a Woman”

  51. So many good books already. So, I’ll add these (which I don’t think I saw above)


    Ava Chamberlain, The Notorious Elizabeth Tuttle.

    David Hall, A Reforming People

    David Silverman, Faith & Boundaries

  52. Peter Van Cleave says:


    Adam Rothman, “Slave Country”
    Calvin Schermerhorn, “Money Over Mastery, Family Over Freedom”
    Laurent Dubois, “Avengers of the New World”


    McConville, “King’s Three Faces”
    Zagarri, “Revolutionary Backlash”
    Taylor, “Civil War of 1812

  53. Phil says:

    John Fea, “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?”

  54. Nominate:
    1. Kate Carte’ Engel – Religion and Profit: Moravians in Early America
    2. Troy Bickham – The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812
    3. Alan Taylor – The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution

    1. George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life
    2. Monica Najar, Evangelizing the South: A Social History of Church and State in Early America
    3. David Hackett Fischer – Washington’s Crossing

  55. Samuel Ulmschneider says:


    1. Charles C. Mann – 1491 (strays outside the field a bit)
    2. Sarah Meacham – Every Home A Distillery
    3. Jeff Pasley – Tyranny of Printers


    1. Reed, Hemingses of Monticello
    2. Waldstreicher, Slavery’s Constitution
    3. Wood, Empire of Liberty (just invaluable as an overview)

  56. Tom Cutterham says:

    My seconds: Taylor, Divided Ground; Piecuch, Three Peoples, One King; Rosenfeld, Common Sense

  57. Brad says:

    What about

    Greg Grandin The Empire of Necessity

  58. I would like to nominate the following:

    Gregg L. Frazer, The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders, Reason, Revelation, and Revolution.
    Harlow Giles Unger, Mr. President. George Washington and the Making of the Nation’s Highest Office.
    James P. Byrd, Sacred Scripture Sacred War

  59. Ben Harris says:

    The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (I know, it’s a novel, but it teaches American history AND history of science).

  60. Seconding:
    Burnard, Parrish, Barr

  61. Amanda Lee Savage says:

    Juliana Barr, Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands (unless someone alrady did, I see a seconding for Barr but I might have overlooked the original nomination, if we’re talking about the same Barr.)

    Jon Sensbach Rebecca’s Revival.

    Elaine Forman Crane, Witches, Wife Beaters, and Whores: Common Law and Common Folk in Early America

    I’d like to second Pekka Hamalainen’s The Comanche Empire and Meacham’s Every Home a Distillery.

  62. Megan says:

    I’ll nominate:
    Clare Lyon’s “Sex Among the Rabble”
    Barry Levy’s “Town Born”
    Stephen Saunders Webb, “Marlborough’s America”

    And second:
    P.J. Marshall, “Remaking the British Atlantic”
    Catherine Allgor, “Parlor Politics”
    T.H. Breen, “The Marketplace of Revolution”

    Although I’m surprised that the work of Fred Anderson, Alan Gallay, Richard Godbeer, and Dan Richter, among others, hasn’t been nominated yet.

  63. Alec Rogers says:

    I’ll use my second “second” for Wood’s Empire of Liberty.

  64. Jordan Grant says:

    I would like to nominate:

    Laura Edwards, People and Their Peace

    And I’ll second:

    Seth Rockman, Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore
    Stephanie Smallwood, Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora

  65. Seconding:

    Lyon, ‘Sex Among the Rabble’
    Pasley, ‘Tyranny of Printers’
    Fea, ‘Way of Improvement Leads Home’

  66. Paul Putz says:


    Eric Schlereth – An Age of Infidels
    Thomas Kidd – The Great Awakening
    Steven Hackel – Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis


    Catherine Brekus – Sarah Osborn’s World
    Linford Fisher – The Indian Great Awakening
    Amanda Porterfield – Conceived in Doubt

  67. Jessica Parr says:

    Taylor, The Internal Enemy
    Glasson, Mastering Christianity

    Goetz, The Baptism of Early America
    Brown, The Reaper’s Garden
    Smallwood, Saltwater Slavery
    Block, Rape and Sexual Power

  68. cbear says:

    Vincent Brown, Reaper’s Garden
    Brett Rushforth, Bond’s of Allegiance
    Edelson, Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina
    Fred Anderson, Crucible of War
    Nicholas Popper, Walter Ralegh’s History of the World and the Historical Culture of the Late Renaissance

  69. Alyssa Zuercher Reichardt says:

    DuVal, The Native Ground
    Silver, Our Savage Neighbors
    Gould, Among the Powers

  70. I’ll second Snyder, *Slavery in Indian Country.*

    And nominate Hammond, *Slavery, Freedom, and Expansion in the Early American West* (2007)

    and Leonard Richards, *Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle* (2003)

  71. Benjamin Park says:


    Johnson, River of Dark Dreams
    Pearsall, Atlantic Families

  72. Nominate:
    Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought
    Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial
    Stephanie Smallwood, Saltwater Slavery
    Rockman, Scraping By
    Allgor, Parlor Politics

  73. Andrew Johnson says:

    I’ll nominate

    Alan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade
    Joyce Chaplin, Subject Matter
    Brian Donahue, The Great Meadow

  74. Second:

    Jarvis, Eye of All Trade
    Rediker & Linebaugh, Many-Headed Hydra
    Hancock, Oceans of Wine


    Osborn, Rum Maniacs
    Block, Ordinary Lives in the Early Caribbean
    Richter, Facing East

    (Sorry if any of my nominations are actually “seconds.” I posted this on Twitter as soon as it was announced and didn’t realize votes only counted on the blog. I can’t see all the comments on my phone.)

  75. Benjamin Park says:

    Alright people, the nomination period is now closed. Check back soon for the brackets!

  76. Nathan B says:

    Richter, Facing East
    Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade
    Mapp, The Elusive West

  77. Hyman Roth says:

    Did nobody mention James Fichter, So Great A Proffitt? Is it too late to nominate it?


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