New to the Shelf: Fall 2010 Sneak Preview

In just a few short weeks summer will be over. Time to say goodbye to the extra daylight, daytrips to the coast and weekend barbecue parties. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Why not escape from those end-of-summer blues with a good book? Here’s a sneak peek at some forthcoming reads that will be hitting the shelves this fall.

“American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900”
(Doubleday, Oct. 2010)
By H.W. Brands, the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History and Government

During the 30 years following the end of the Civil War, America as we know it began to take shape. The population boomed, consumption grew rapidly and the national economy soared. In “American Colossus” Brands provides a historical account of America’s transformation into a land of consumerism and massive industry. Chronicling the efforts of such tycoons as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan, Brands describes how early American capitalists altered the shape of America’s economic landscape.

“The Endurance of National Constitutions”
(Cambridge University Press, Oct. 2009)
By Zachary Elkins, assistant professor of government, Tom Ginsburg, James Melton.

Why do some constitutions last for generations while others fail quickly? In “The Endurance of National Constitutions,” Elkins and Ginsburg describe the key components constitutions need to survive. Their research reveals that constitutions generally endure if they have flexible amendment systems, are drafted with highly participatory processes, and are extensive and precise. The authors joined several other constitutional scholars to advise the Kenyan leaders who recently drafted a new national constitution in August.

ben“Race, Sport and Politics: The Sporting Black Diaspora” (Sage, Sept. 2010)
By Benjamin Carrington, assistant professor of sociology

Why do people commonly assume African Americans dominate professional sports? How did golf pro Tiger Woods and tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams become pioneers in sports history? These are some of the questions Carrington grapples with in his new book “Race, Sport and Politics.” Presenting a postcolonial overview of sport’s role in enforcing racial stereotypes, Carrington shows how the industry of sport changes ideas about race and racial identity.

troubled“The Troubled Union: Expansionist Imperatives in Post-Reconstruction American Novels” (Ohio State University Press, Sept. 30 2010)
By John Morán González, associate professor of English

In “The Troubled Union,” González presents a historical account of post-Reconstruction novels. Combining a literary analysis with cultural studies, González highlights the importance of the domestic novel form, with its emphasis on women’s self-representation, and the revolutionary plot of courtship and marriage. The book includes dramatic narratives from such authors as Henry James, Helen Hunt Jackson and María Amparo Ruiz de Burton.