The Week in Early American History

TWEAHIt has been another exciting week in early American history! Without further ado, here are the links. 

In light of the blizzard, snowmageddontronapocalype, Boston.com looked at how Boston has dealt with snow removal throughout its history. On the topic of Boston, Alan Taylor reviews Malcolm Gaskill’s newest book, Between Two Worlds, as “When Boston was the Frontier” in the Wall Street Journal. Also in the Journal, check out a review of a new book that looks at antebellum Jewish immigrants’ rise “from rags to riches” in the garment business.

It’s a great time to be a digital humanist, especially in Iowa where Grinnell College and the University of Iowa have partnered on a Mellon Foundation-funded joint digital humanities project. There were a few other developments in the digital humanities this week. The Washington Post covers how the Smithsonian has automated digitization with conveyor belts. Many public libraries have also begun offering free 3-D printing.

On the public history front, Dundee University is offering a self-guided training in records management. And the Supreme Court will have the chance to decide whether tour guides should have to pass a history test (and/or a drug test) to get a license. Many of our graduate student and junior faculty readers may be interested to read about the perils of “public engagement” for early-career scholars in Times Higher Education.

Most of our news this week is about early American history on film and TV. HBO heads west with a new Lewis & Clark series, though they still have not cast Jefferson. I’d like to be the first to nominate Peter Onuf for the job. Ridley Scott will helm a Civil War medical drama for PBS. Quentin Tarantino takes aim at a Reconstruction-era film. It’s certainly an interesting time to study the mid-nineteenth century. In the final year of the sesquicentennial, The House Divided Project at Dickinson College has storified numerous debates about the causes of the Civil War on social media. But the Civil War is not the only event celebrating an anniversary. Marking the bicentennial, Mark Jarrett goes behind the scenes at the Congress of Vienna.

Finally, over at The Way of Improvement Leads Home, John Fea talks with Peter Manseau about his new book, One Nation Under Gods. History News Network covers turnover in the ranks of Columbia University’s storied American history program. And, on the “Ben Franklin’s World” podcast, Liz Covart interviews Claudio Saunt about West of the Revolution.

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