Document Sample
ASToday Powered By Docstoc
					Issue 16 September 2007

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the American Studies Resources Centre


In this year’s issue
is the official journal of the American Studies Resources Centre, The Aldham Robarts Centre, Liverpool John Moores University, Mount Pleasant Liverpool L3 5UZ Tel & fax: 0151-231 3241 e-mail: web site: Editor-in-Chief: Ian Ralston Editor: David Forster Editorial assistant: Helen Tamburro Layout Forster and graphics: David


Rhetoric and the SpanishAmerican War
Michelle Munton examines the role of rhetoric, both by the press and by government, in gaining public support for the Spanish-Amer icanWar.


Loreto Goes toWashington
an account of a 6th form trip to the American capital.



Painting It Black?
An optimistic and lighthearted look at how the Sixties democratised almost everything By Ed Weeden

The Barringer Fellowship, Summer2006
Kathryn Cooper of Loreto College Manchester has written this account of her studytrip to Virginia.

The views expressed are those of the contributors, and not necessarily those of the centre or the university. © 2007, Liverpool John Moores University and the Contributors. Articles in this journal may be freely reproduced for use in subscribing institutions only, provided that the source is acknowledged. The journal is published with the aid of financial assistance from the United States Embassy. Please


Ralph Donald examines George W. Bush’s Middle East War Rhetoric and Territoriality in American Propaganda Films of World War II

An Appeal to Fear News and events Ain’t Nothin’ New 38 'Hard Times and
Shonagh Wilkie reports on Celebrating 20 years of the American Studies Resource Centre

28 with




any changes of name or address. If you do not wish to continue receiving this magazine, please send an e-mail with the word Unsubscribe and your subscription number in the subject line.

Captain America: The United States versus itself, through the Eyes of a Wartime Fictional Hero
Christian Dailly shows how the changing incarnations of the comic-book hero from his beginnings as the all-American heroin the struggle against Nazism in 1971 to the troubled and reflective warrior in the post 9/11 era, have ref l e c t e d A m e r i ca ’ s changing views of their own society and


Students learn about the Depression, Roosevelt and the New Deal
Schools Conference Report by Helen Tamburro

Book Reviews
40 43 47 52 59 Literature Politics Race, Slavery and Civil Rights Culture History

Photo credits
American History Slide Collection: Helen Tamburro


Rhetoric and the Spanish-American War
ar, as a concept, has many facets: aggression, brutality, courage and determination, to name just a few. One important facet, however, is often overlooked; rhetoric. Often, before a single shot is fired, nations will engage in an almost obligatory war of words. An effective waging of a war of words between two nations will always depend, to some degree, on rhetoric and it could be suggested that the more successful the rhetorical talents of a nation’s politicians and journalists, the more successful that nation will be in a physical conflict. This stems from what rhetoric is and the effects it has on an audience. Rhetoric is a double – edged sword. On one side, it inspires the listener or reader; it highlights qualities and capabilities and instils pride in themselves, their country and their accomplishments. On the other side, rhetoric as a skill of weaving spurious arguments, relies heavily on sophistry and therefore can be used to justify things that would not normally be justifiable. Both features of rhetoric then, can mobilise the people of a nation into being far less apathetic than they may otherwise have been. The SpanishAmerican War provides sterling examples of both of these aspects. The causes, events and repercussions of a war which lasted less than a year, were steeped in rhetoric from both perspectives but, for the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on the American use of this literary device. American rhetoric has been


similar throughout the nation’s history and, with a glance at their current foreign policy, it is clear that it is still very much in use. Since the birth of America as a nation, its citizens have had fixed ideas on the divinity of their country and its people, feeling that their country, as opposed to all others, had a reason for being and that God had a purpose in guiding them there. As early as the 1600s, there were rhetorical speeches being made about the subject. In 1616, a colonisation agent told an English audience about this wonderful land and ended, ‘What need wee then to feare, but to goe up at once as a peculiar people marked and chosen by the finger of God to possess it?’ These ideas flourished in the new country and it was with regards to the question of America gaining control of Oregon from the British in 1845, that journalist John O’Sullivan declared that it was, The right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole continent which providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self government.

Michelle Munton examines the role of rhetoric, both by the press and by government, in gaining public support for the Spanish-American War. She examines the belief in America’s “manifest destiny” to bring civilisation to the uncivilised world, and draws comparisons with the rhetoric used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Manifest destiny

Manifest destiny became the basis for Americans to explain their superiority over other races and countries and agreeably dealt with the Indian question, suddenly making it completely acceptable to take their land, as it was the divine right of the Anglo-Saxons to do so. It becomes clear then that rhetoric, and in particular, that of religious origin, can lend even the most infamous adventure a cloak of respectability and we see the same pattern repeated with the Spanish-American war, with the added dimension of new locations. Carl Schurz , who had been Secretary of the Interior under Hayes in the late 1870s, summed up the revised purpose of Manifest Destiny in 1893 when he wrote that the concept was forever being declared to

make any expansion of power appear unavoidable. After a quiet period successive to the Civil War, ‘it was being revived now in the form of demands for territory no longer contiguous with the U.S., but far away.’ powers from the area surrounding America, including Spain. Indeed, some expansionists claimed that Cuba had been created by silt from the Mississippi which had been carried out into the Caribbean as the river left New Orleans which meant it was actually American soil. President Cleveland even remarked during his time in the White House that ‘Cuba is so close to us as to be hardly separated from our territory.’ There was also talk of Cuba ending up in the hands of one Spain’s allies, which of course would be a threat to American security and therefore, intervention in Cuba was justified. For any who felt that this reasoning was not enough to justify American intervention in Cuba, Captain Alfred T. Mahan, a prominent figure in the Navy and leading intellectual on American jurisdiction as the islands where thousands of miles from the coastline of America. At the time, the only explanation offered was that ‘the spirit of generosity expressed in the Monroe Doctrine vis-à-vis Latin America was now merely being extended.’ In 1904 then, Theodore Roosevelt came up with the ‘Roosevelt Corollary’ as a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. In it he stated, Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilised society may...ultimately require intervention by some civilised nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the U.S. to the Monroe Doctrine may force the

The Monroe Doctrine

A very significant piece of foreign policy, borne from President Monroe’s seventh Annual message to Congress in 1823, was the Monroe Doctrine. President Monroe stated that, ..the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. . . ..We owe it, therefore, to candour and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. In the lead-up to the SpanishAmerican War, the Monroe Doctrine was cited as one of the reasons for American interference in what Spain saw as her affairs. Spain argued that since Cuba was her colony, the island did not fall under American jurisdiction. Americans however, had a different view. To the imperial mindset, 90 miles from the American coast was not far and therefore, America had every right to assert her authority, and besides, a precedent had been set. In 1895, President Cleveland and his Secretary of State, Richard Olney, initiated a conflict with Britain over the boundary between Venezuela and British Guyana. Olney informed London that America had a right to settle the issue because it was ‘practically sovereign on this continent.’ This was not only an interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine but also sparked a pattern of behaviour intended to push away all the imperialist

He believed that the ‘transcendent right and duty to establish political and legal order everywhere’ gave rise to ‘a great world duty’ on the part of civilised nations.
global navalism, was on hand with a suitable analogy. He stated that if America was breaking international law to save Cuba, this was no different to the brave citizens who, before the Civil War, broke the law in order to help fugitive slaves to escape. Playing upon the emotive subjects of slavery and emancipation, Mahan hoped to persuade fellow Americans at least, that their current foreign policy was geared towards humanitarian goals. Of course not everyone was convinced that the Monroe Doctrine covered American actions, least of all in the Philippines, which could never be justified as being under U.S., however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power. This completely excused American behaviour with a view to intervening in other countries’ affairs and sought to defend their actions until that point. The main justification the government gave for declaring war on Spain was humanitarian feeling towards the colonised peoples of Spain. This in itself was suspiciously rhetorical and when government officials were asked to explain this further, rhetoric seemed to play more of a part in

explanation than anything else. The notion of America bringing civilised ideas to a less developed part of the world was not an idea exclusive to the events surrounding the SpanishAmerican war but one which was gaining in popularity at the time. Our Country, a fund-raiser for the Christian Home Missions, written by Rev. Josiah Strong was published in 1885. It was enormously popular, suggesting that God had commanded the people of the U.S. to Christianise and civilise the world or face divine retribution. Strong implied that God had been ‘training’ the Americans and that the ‘powerful race’ would now ‘move down upon Mexico, down upon Central and South America, out upon the islands of the sea, over upon Africa and beyond.’ The result of this would be ‘extinction for the inferior races’ through ‘vitality and civilisation.’ He felt Americans needed to become aware of their purpose as ‘God’s right arm in his battle with the world’s ignorance and oppression and sin.’ In introducing American political ideas to the English in 1880, historian and evolutionist John Fiske suggested that when undeveloped countries were finally ‘English in [their] political habits and traditions, and to a predominant extent in the blood of [their] people’, the eternal Sabbath of civilised peace will have begun.’ John Burgess, founder of political science at Columbia University and Theodore Roosevelt’s law teacher promoted the idea that ‘the civilised states have a claim upon the uncivilised populations, as well as a duty towards them, and that claim is that they shall become civilised.’ He believed that the ‘transcendent right and duty to establish political and legal order everywhere’ gave rise to ‘a great world duty’ on the part of civilised nations. In the middle of this century, an ex-president of the World Bank suggested that ‘Most Americans involved in foreign operations are to some degree missionaries.’ These kinds of statements so long after these ideas were being widely circulated highlights how powerful this ideology was. The Jim Crow laws had established segregation as proper and the ‘universities and churches overflowed with professors and preachers who calmly explained the scientific basis for believing in ‘inferior’ and ‘superior’ races.’ This served to fuel American’s self-belief in their superiority and rights over other races. cating mixture of religion and humanity seemed to prompt McKinley’s explanation of taking the Philippines in the summer of 1898, when he stated that it was ‘divine inspiration’. In other words, God had told him to do it. Duty was an extremely important rhetorical theme surrounding the Spanish-American War and McKinley emphasized this when he stated that ‘duty determines destiny.’ The idea of duty carried on from the themes that the likes of Fiske and Burgess were promoting and it was a convenient way for the government to illustrate the fact that they were attempting to rule other nations against their will, in the best possible way. The poem, The White Man’s Burden by Rudyard Kipling, appeared in McClure’s Magazine on February 12th 1899, at a crucial time in the situation surrounding the fate of Spain’s colonies. The Philippine – American War had just begun and the ratification of the Treaty of Paris had recently brought an end to the Spanish-American War. Written about these conflicts in particular, Kipling’s poem was a mixture of rousing calls to empire and a warning of the costs involved, Take up the White Man's burden-Send forth the best ye breed-Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need;… To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wildYour new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child… Take up the White Man's burden, And reap his old reward-The blame of those ye better The hate of those ye guard-The poem was quickly accosted by expansionists, who particularly appreciated the poem’s title as a perfect rhetorical explanation for what the country had

Rhetorical for the war


These being the prevailing ideas at the time, it is easy to see how the American people believed that it was indeed their duty to become involved in Cuban affairs; and so, the majority of people genuinely believed that ‘the Spanish-American conflict [was] a selfless war fought to uphold international morality.’ The dominant view was that if the U.S. had not gone to war, more people would have been killed, children orphaned and land and property destroyed. In 1895, U.S. citizens demanded that the government help the rebels in their fight for independence but this view had changed by 1898 when the country decided that they had to come to the aid of the Cuban loyalists who would undoubtedly be massacred if the rebels came to power. In March, Senator Redfield Proctor, who had recently taken a tour of Cuba, spoke in Congress of the urgent need for America to assist the ‘million and half of people, the entire native population of Cuba, struggling for freedom and deliverance from the worst misgovernment of which I ever had knowledge.’ This had a massive effect on Congress who began pressurising President McKinley even more to take action. Indeed McKinley responded on April 11th stating, ‘The forcible intervention of the United States as a neutral to stop the war, according to the large dictates of humanity and following many historical precedents…is justifiable on rational grounds.’ The intoxi-

recently done in terms of foreign policy. Roosevelt sent Henry Cabot Lodge a copy of the poem stating that it was ‘poor poetry, but good sense from the expansionist standpoint.’ Anders Stephanson suggests in his book, Manifest Destiny, that many Americans agreed with Kipling’s rousing call to take on the burdens of civilisation, and one American noted, What America wants is not territorial expansion, but expansion of civilisation. We want, not to acquire the Philippines for ourselves, but to give the Philippines free schools, a free church, open courts, no caste, equal rights to all. This is for our interest. 1880s as slightly outdated, as ‘a time of fumbling towards an international policy more in keeping with the country’s new industrialist strength.’ In 1897 and ’98 China was partitioned by the major imperial powers, with America being excluded. This highlighted further the growing concern that America needed to begin a process of colonisation if it was to keep up in an everchanging political and economic environment. In 1898, imperialist Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana declared, ‘We are AngloSaxons, and must obey our blood and occupy new markets, and, if necessary, new lands.’ Roosevelt was an expansionist and since he was already a leading political and military figure, he held much sway with both politicians and the public. He took intelligent advantage of this by persuading the people, to some degree, that based on their nation’s history, expansion was a rational next step; both in terms of one frontier closing and another opening and some inferior races having been dealt with, it was time to deal with the From 1893 until 1896, America suffered a severe economic depression. Walter Lafeber said of McKinley, The President did not want war…By mid-March, however, he was beginning to discover that, although he did not want war, he did want what only a war could provide: the disappearance of the terrible uncertainty in American political and economic life, and a solid basis from which to resume the building of the new American commercial empire. Indeed, Melvin Small argues that a ‘psychic crisis’ had developed around the depression, during which hordes of unemployed marched in protest and millions suffered as it appeared that the nation was falling into disarray. ‘A little war would provide the means for the nation to release its tension safely, to forget its own troubles, and to rally around the flag in a therapeutic orgy of patriotism.’ This willing-

Overseas expansion – the new frontier

In 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner presented his Frontier Thesis, entitled The Significance

of the Frontier in American History. In his thesis, he argued that

the frontier, and indeed, pioneer life had shaped American identity, ‘American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier…this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities… furnish the forces dominating the American character.’ With the closing of the frontier in 1890 then, came the end of pioneer life and therefore, America would have to assume a new identity. This meant that Americans ‘…had to find…a new frontier or stagnate in [their] cities.’ While Turner himself did not urge extra-continental expansion, others who read his epochal paper did.’ So, talk of expansionism returned to the political forefront once more. The principles of expansion became a prevalent talking point among politicians, businessmen, military circles and farmers, who believed that foreign markets would be extremely beneficial to them. Captain Mahan, a prominent expansionist commented, ‘Americans must now begin to look outward.’ Historians began looking at the ideology of the

, ‘Fate has written our policy for us; the trade of the world must and shall be ours.’
rest. V. G Kiernan suggests, In Roosevelt’s own mind or emotional make-up, this was very much the case. A writer on the Wild West and the Indian wars, he took an ‘authentically Western frontier attitude’, and was quite prepared to explain the necessity of savage treatment of savages.’ It was perhaps due to his own uncompromising belief in what he preached that Roosevelt was so effective in bringing his message to the people. Calling upon the trusted rhetoric of destiny, Beveridge said at the time, ‘Fate has written our policy for us; the trade of the world must and shall be ours.’ ness for adventure, Small reasons, also made it easier for the government and media to persuade the people that a war with Spain was in their best interests. V.G Kiernan calls McKinley a ‘businessmen’s president’ and draws attention to the fact that McKinley’s government had a ‘suspicious number of contacts with the Sugar Trust.’ It comes as no surprise then that when McKinley received a telegram on March 25th saying, ‘Big corporations here now believe we will have war. Believe all would welcome it as relief to suspense’, he issued Spain with his final ultimatum two days later. The New York ‘Commercial Advertiser’, which was originally against war, supported the views of the

business community when, on March 10th, it requested U.S. involvement in Cuba for ‘humanity and love of freedom, and above all, the desire that the commerce and industry of every part of the world shall have full freedom of development in the whole world’s interest.’ When it became clear that the annexation of the Philippines was a real possibility, both big businesses and unions stated that territorial bidder for the admiration of the crowd, besides being a wouldbe politician who tries to leave a door open behind himself while keeping on good terms with the jingoes of his party.’ De Lôme was demonstrating his awareness of McKinley’s use of and dependence on rhetoric and, although more vicious things were often said within political circles, the ‘Journal’ described this as, ‘The Worst Insult to the bour killing 268 of the crew less than a week later, the government, press and people of the U.S. reacted with jingoistic fashion. The Americans had stated officially that The Maine was being sent to Havana on a goodwill visit and to give refuge to any Americans who may have had to leave in a hurry. Whilst the Spaniards rightly deduced that it was actually a show of strength by the Americans, they offered no objection to it. Roosevelt’s comment to a friend, that the explosion was ‘an act of dirty treachery on the part of the Spaniards’, was a typical American response. The mood in Congress following the event was increasingly aggressive towards Spain. Senator Cullom of Illinois, for example, said that ‘the history of Spain is a history of more than a thousand years of concentrated cruelty.’ The mood of the people was no better, as demonstrated with the popular saying, ‘Remember The Maine, to hell with Spain!’ There was both an American and a Spanish investigation, the former deducing an external cause and the latter, an internal cause. Whatever the truth, as Small points out, A Spanish attack on The Maine was illogical. The last thing Madrid wanted was to provoke a war with the U.S. The blowing up of The Maine was about the only thing they could do to guarantee such a war. They had no conceivable strategic or tactical reason to attack the vessel. With no proof that the Spanish were at fault, McKinley responded that, ‘anything that happened in Havana harbour was ultimately Spain’s responsibility and that the sinking of The Maine demonstrated the sort of chaos that flourished under Spanish misrule.’ The fact that McKinley offered $300 million and gifts to Spain in return for Cuba shortly afterwards, would further suggest that the government was not entirely convinced of any wrongdoing on Spain’s

Battleship Maine entering Havana harbour in 1898 shortly before it exploded.
expansion would prevent another depression. This was obviously an attractive prospect to everyone, but McKinley, speaking at a banquet in February 1899, insisted that ‘no imperial designs lurk in the American mind.’ Unfo rtunately for McKinley however, his Postmaster General, Charles Emory Smith, stated at the same banquet that ‘what we want is a market for our surplus.’ United States in Its History.’ The letter further undermined the peace process as it queried Spanish respect for the American government. As Small points out, whilst it was okay for Americans to say such things about the President, for a foreigner to say it was scandalous. One reply was as follows, Dupuy de Lôme, Dupuy de Lôme, what’s this I hear of you? Have you been throwing mud again, is what they’re saying true? Get out, I say, get out, before I start a fight. Just pack your few possessions and take a boat for home. I would not like my boot to use, but-oh-get out, de Lôme. When the U.S. battleship, The Maine, blew up in Havana har-

There were two events which, steeped in rhetoric, could be argued as the main contributors to the declaration of war with Spain by the U.S. On February 9th, the ‘New York Journal’ published a translation of letter written by Dupuy de Lôme, the Spanish minister to the U.S. to a Spanish politician in December 1897. In the letter, De Lôme described McKinley as ‘weak and a

Diplomatic insults and the sinking of the “Maine”

part. However, on March 27th, McKinley demanded of the Spanish that they close their concentration camps and begin a relief strategy, that they arrange a six-month armistice, during which time they and the rebels would negotiate peace and that if the insurgents were not appeased by the end of that period, that the U.S. act as arbitrator. McKinley, …prepared his war message on the 6th April, after receiving the first concession but before receiving the second one. The message itself was presented to Congress on April 11th, two days after the armistice ultimatum had been virtually accepted. The content and tone of his message demonstrated that he was no longer interested in the ultimatum. In his war message, McKinley made many rhetorical statements such as, that the Spanish – Cuban War had, caused enormous losses to American trade and commerce, caused irritation, annoyance, and disturbance among our citizens, and, by the exercise of cruel, barbarous, and uncivilized practices of warfare, shocked the sensibilities and offended the humane sympathies of our people. and that, ‘In the name of humanity, in the name of civilization, in behalf of endangered American interests which give us the right and the duty to speak and to act, the war in Cuba must stop.’ Interestingly, McKinley did not mention the concessions Spain had offered until nearly the end of his speech, and of course, by that time, everyone was too worked up by his talk of Spanish atrocities to listen. The fact that the elections were just seven months away may have pushed McKinley to be more jingoistic than he would have been in other circumstances. Also, instead of asking Congress to make a declaration of war, McKinley requested that they ‘authorize and empower the government was ‘jeopardised.’ It also gave Johnson legal justification to send more troops into the Vietnam War.

The Rough Riders, with Theodore Roosevelt pictured second from the left in the second row
President to take measures to secure a full and final termination of hostilities between the government of Spain and the people of Cuba.’ This had the effect of making it appear that the President had been and was doing everything in his power to maintain a relationship with Spain whilst trying to alleviate the suffering in Cuba. To have declared war outright would have seemed too aggressive and he was aware that to the rest of the world, The Maine incident did not seem enough for such a move. So, by appearing conciliatory himself, he sought to appease any negative view of the government. It could be suggested that the events surrounding The Maine bear some similarity to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, where it was alleged that two attacks on U.S. ships were carried out by North Vietnamese ships. Whilst the first did occur, the second did not and there have been several suggestions that President Johnson was fully aware of this but claimed two attacks in order to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which granted the President the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose The U.S. navy has always been a draw for patriotism in America, and the period surrounding the Spanish-American War was no exception. Battleships were built by Americans in America and were all named after states of the Union. This meant that they were not only a source of national pride but local pride as well. When one of these battleships sank, the indignation prompted thousands to declare their willingness to ‘fight for their country against what they perceived to be the treachery of Spain.’ Indeed, Secretary of War Alger had estimated that at least 1 million men had replied to McKinley’s first request for volunteers. Alger remarked that ‘it was the apotheosis of patriotism.’ Indeed, it was at this time that the U.S. Army came to be viewed with just as much patriotic zeal as the navy, if not more. The likes of Roosevelt, who resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to become a member of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry regiment, or ‘The Rough Riders’ as they became known, did much to promote the patriotic appeal of the army. On meeting his fellow soldiers, Roosevelt remarked,

They were a splendid set of men, these South westerners – tall and sinewy, with resolute weather beaten faces, and eyes that looked a man straight in the face without flinching. They included in their ranks men of every occupation; but the three types were those of cowboy, the hunter and the mining prospector – a man who wandered hither and thither, killing game for a living, and spending his life in the quest for metal wealth. Naturally, these images had a profound effect on the public and the war did much to heal wounds between Northern and Southern states as men from both sides came together to fight a common enemy. However, the rhetoric of patriotism put pressure on the soldiers to stay quiet about awful conditions. Roosevelt commented that, ‘the heat, the steaming discomfort, and the confinement, together with the forced inaction were very irksome,’ but that patriotism and thoughts of imminent action meant ‘there was little or no grumbling.’ Journalist Poultney Bigelow explained how much patriotism figured in the soldiers keeping quiet, ‘Down here we are sweltering day and night with the thermometer ninety-eight in the shade. Nobody dares complain for fear of appearing unpatriotic…thirty days after the declaration of war, and not one regiment is yet equipped with uniforms suitable for hot weather.’ that from December 1895, ‘numerous resolutions recommending American action to aid the insurgents were introduced in every session.’ The disadvantage to the relationship between the yellow press and the Cuban Junta was that the Junta ‘bought’ some journalists who often planted stories which focused on Spanish barbarism and always sympathised with the rebels. The focus of the yellow press was profit rather than unbiased, truthful reporting and it was a very competitive sector, which ‘led to the rise of sensationalism, blatant fabrication of stories, and all sorts of other disreputable measures which undermined the legitimacy of journalism.’ Of course, the readers were all too willing to ‘read all about it’. ‘For a generation whose senses were not constantly stimulated by radio, television, movies, and Playboy, lurid descriptions of the scandalous behaviour of the Catholic Spaniards, who apparently spent considerable time ravishing demure Cuban virgins, made for exciting reading.’ The competition between William Randolf Hearst’s New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World was the source of a lot of the scandal as they tried to outdo each other in an effort to gain more sales, and it was during this circulation contest that the phrase ‘yellow press’ was coined. This is exemplified by Hearst sending a reporter and illustrator to Cuba to gain first hand accounts of the Spanish-Cuban war. When Remington cabled Hearst saying, ‘Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return’, Hearst cabled back, ‘Please remain. You furnish the pictures. I’ll furnish the war.’ It was Hearst who gave General Valeriano Weyler the infamous nickname ‘Butcher’ which is still quoted today. This highlights the huge influence the press had at the time. The papers built up the hysteria of the period, reporting that more than 400,000 people had lost their lives in Cuba during the revolution, a severely exaggerated figure. It was Hearst who published Du Lôme’s letter, and of course, the press were instrumental in building up the drama surrounding The Maine. Even local papers got involved. In the ‘Local Happenings’ section of Humboldt Times on April 12, 1898, they remarked that it was 27 years to the day since the American Civil War began with the attack on Fort Sumter, stating, ‘how patriotic Americans would like to hear the cannon's reverberation on this 12th of

The role of the “yellow press”

With the introduction of the free news service from the Cuban Junta, it became increasingly easy for competitive journalists, (members of the ‘yellow press’ who printed melodramatic stories, relying heavily on rhetoric) to gain a higher number of readers. Increased readerships meant increased public attention and, in turn, notice in Congress. This is exemplified by the fact

American troops march into "Muriano Camp" after the Spanish evacuation of Havana, Cuba

April to avenge the slaughter of the boys in blue on board the Maine in Havana's harbour two months ago.’ Whether the press initiated the public’s desire for war or simply furnished it is open to debate but it is certainly true that had McKinley not stayed silent on Cuban events from 1897 until early 1898, and done more to ‘educate and inform’ the public, they may not have been so hastily jingoistic. posts, doubled and trebled in fierceness…But the blue line crept steadily up and on… better than the Spaniards and had not actually played a very useful role in combat. ‘The imp l i c i t a s su m p t i o n w h i ch

“A splendid little war – rhetoric versus reality
During the War, ‘5,462 died in the various theatres of operation and in camps in the U.S. Only 379 of the deaths were battle casualties, the remainder being attributed to disease and other causes.’ When Spain began seeking peace, Secretary of State, John Hay wrote to Roosevelt, ‘It has been a splendid little war; begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit favoured by that fortune which loves the brave.’ The phrase ‘splendid little war’ was probably the most celebrated of the hostilities but did not take into account the lack of organisation and fighting by the army and the various diseases which plagued them throughout the period. One reason perhaps, for so few casualties was the fact that not much combat took place. The battle for San Juan Hill then, was hyperbolised. When General Shafter informed Washington that the defences of Santiago de Cuba were powerful and that he was considering withdrawal, Alger replied with the promise of reinforcements and told Shafter to hold San Juan Heights as ‘the effect upon the country would be much better than falling back.’ An eyewitness report of the seizure by Richard Harding Davis was highly romanticised, It was a miracle of selfsacrifice, a triumph of bull-dog courage, which one watched breathless with wonder. The fire of the Spanish riflemen, who still stuck bravely to their

An artist's conception of the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War.
Davis neglected to mention that the U.S. seriously outnumbered the Spaniards and amplified the level of resistance presented by them. Another reason for such a high level of success in such a short space of time with a disorganised army was the fact that they fought alongside the rebels, something which was played up during the war. These missions were termed ‘reconnaissance in force’. While they ‘served certain tangible military purposes, the operation was mostly inspired by a desire of the army to be seen to be doing something and thereby promote a positive image among American public opinion’ During the war, the public were still being led to believe that the government were seeking to help the insurgents in their battle against the appalling Spaniards. As the war ended however, and the government sought to basically replace the Spaniards on the island, the role the rebels played was talked down and the public were led to believe that the rebels were no emerged [in Washington] was that victory would be secured principally, if not solely, by the efforts of the American army and navy.’ The press did not initially pay much attention to the amateurish running of the army or the level of disease. When they did take notice however, they once again created an uproar. This prompted an official investigation after the war and, instead of the government accepting responsibility as a whole, the blame was pinned on one individual – Secretary of War, Alger. ‘In popular speech the word ‘Algerism’ was used as a term of abuse to denote maladministration and callous insensitivity.’ The rhetorical implication of this was that McKinley and the rest of his administration appeared blameless and received the positive attention from the war.

“Benevolent assimilation’ – racism by another name
Following the war, the implications of the teachings of the likes of Rev. Strong and Burgess were

highlighted. William Taft, the first civilian governor of the Philippines, condescendingly referred to the Filipinos as ‘our little brown brothers.’ Whilst this was inherently racist, it was a common belief that the Americans were better than their newly acquired colonial subjects. Some however, were vicious in their summations. Having no evidence to support his theory, Alger implied that it was for the best that the U.S. had taken the Philippines as ‘the horrors of a Filipino horde let loose in the town [of Manila] to indulge in the expected carnival of loot, arson and rapine, had been avoided.’ The Cubans were presented to the public by soldiers and journalists as scroungers, thieves and lazy cowards. ‘American contempt was also fuelled by the perception that the majority of Cubans were illiterate and apparently black or of mixed race.’ So, after all the talk of helping their ‘fellow human beings’ to achieve independence, American’s now treated them as inhuman and suddenly judged them incapable of Home Rule, mainly because they were ‘black’. In the Philippines, ‘McKinley’s declared aim of ‘benevolent assimilation’ in which the Filipino people would be ‘uplifted’ and ‘civilised’ was undermined by reports of the American army ruthlessly crushing the insurgents.’ In 1901, Mark Twain commented, "The White Man's Burden has been sung. Who will sing the Brown Man's?" After citing Spain’s use of ‘reconcentration’ with its abhorrent cruelty to fellow human beings as one of the main reasons for going to war, America initiated the same policy in the Philippines. They argued that it was on a smaller scale than the Spanish and that they treated the people well but reports of cruelty to civilians undermined this. Perhaps the most scathing report was directed towards General Smith’s platoon. An officer describing the testimony of Major Littletown Waller, accused of shooting 11 Filipinos without trial stated, The major said that General Smith instructed him to kill and burn, and said that the more he killed and burned the better pleased he would be; that it was no time to take prisoners, and that he was to make Samar a howling wilderness. Major Waller asked General Smith to define the age limit for killing, and he replied ‘Everything over ten.’ Testimonies such as these served to outrage the public and The Nation reflected this when it stated that ‘the war of 1898 “for the cause of humanity” has degenerated…into a war of conquest, characterised by rapine and cruelty worthy of savages’. The new Secretary of War, Elihu Root countered these accusations by maintaining that, ‘The war in the Philippines has been conducted by the American army with scrupulous regard for the rules of civilised warfare… with self-restraint and with humanity never surpassed.’ come when the American people demand and when the interests of the race demand that we shall say the people of that island are entitled to be free.’ It was with this knowledge that there was little opposition in America to going to war, as it had quelled any suspicion of imperial designs. When the war was over and the time came when the government was being pressurised to realise its earlier promise, the ‘Platt Amendment’ came into being. The Amendment stated that ‘the government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty’ It also demanded, amongst other things, that the U.S. could purchase Guantánamo Bay and that Cuba be restricted in her power to treaties with foreign powers. It was not until the ‘Platt Amendment’ was accepted that the U.S. handed over ‘power of government’ to Cuba. This reflected the American view that the Cubans were unfit for self-government.

The American flag flying over the Customs House in Ponce, Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.
Shafter stated, ‘selfgovernment! Why, these people are no more fit for selfgovernment than gun-powder is

The ‘Teller Amendment’ was passed on 19th April 1898. Senator Henry Teller had declared previously that, ‘the time has

for hell’ and Platt remarked that ‘in many respects they are like children.’ The government had essentially achieved the best of both worlds with the Amendment. Whilst retaining fiscal and strategic advantages, they were released from the costs and duties which were attached to overseeing a colony. The people of Cuba however, did not look upon the outcome so favourably. In Havana, 15,000 Cubans held a torchlight demonstration, protesting against the adoption of the Amendment. On this subject, General Leonard Wood, head of the occupation forces, reported to McKinley that, ‘the people of Cuba lend themselves readily to all sorts of demonstrations and parades, and little significance should be attached to them.’ McKinley, on deciding to take the Philippines, explained why he had come to this decision, The truth is I didn’t want the Philippines…I thought first we would only take Manila; then Luzon, then other islands, perhaps, also….[I] prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night…one night late it came to me…there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilise and Christianise them…and do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died. Senator Albert Beveridge obviously did not hold the view of the Filipinos that, as fellow men, the American people must do their best by them. Addressing Congress, he stated, ‘it has been charged that our conduct of the war has been cruel. Senators, it has been the reverse…Senators must remember that we are not dealing with Americans or Europeans. We are dealing with Orientals.’ When Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence for the Philippines and decreed a new government with himself as President, the American military or government said nothing. Aguinaldo took this to mean that the Americans recognised his new government but in truth, they were unconcerned with this development. This would suggest that America already harboured intent towards the Philippines. Writer Brooks Adams said of the islands, ‘rich, coal-bearing, and with fine harbours, [they] seem a predestined base for the United States in a conflict which probably is as inevitable as that with Spain.’ When General Merritt set up a military government in Manila, Spain challenged the legality of this, stating that the taking of Manila had taken place after the signing of the peace protocol. Whilst held up by precedent, McKinley rejected it, saying that the capture had happened before his General knew about the protocol and that the new government there ‘derived its authority to rule by right of conquest.’ It would seem that President McKinley always had a rhetorical reply to hand. Worried that the people now doubted America’s intentions in going to war, and so close to the midterm elections, McKinley toured the Midwest in October. Smith points out that the president stressed in speech after speech that ‘America had entered the war for humanitarian reasons and must do its ‘duty’ to help those people who had been liberated from Spanish tyranny.’ It seems slightly odd however, that people who had already been liberated would need help. In reference to the annexation of the Philippines, with expansionists on his side, McKinley had no need to make his own rhetorical claims. They argued that the ‘Louisiana Purchase’ offered a precedent for taking control of a new area without needing consent of the governed. That Purchase also gave a precedent to the U.S. always offering money for new territory, even that acquired through conflict. As McKinley offered Spain $20 million for the Philippines, this had the effect of legitimising the taking of the islands in the government’s eyes. Reparations – how America got Puerto Rico and Guam When the war ended, the U.S. government argued it had suffered the expense of war at the hands of the Spanish, and therefore held Spain financially responsible. Since Spain was nearly bankrupt, the U.S. demanded Puerto Rico and Guam as financial compensation. McKinley described this ‘offer’ as one of ‘signal generosity When General Miles arrived in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, he declared that the Americans had come to liberate the people and to give them ‘the advantages and blessings of civilisation.’ When the islands’ discoverer, Ponce de Leon first spotted it, he exclaimed, ‘Ah, que puerto rico!’, meaning ‘What a rich port!’ and it seems likely that the Americans were probably more interested in this valuable asset than ‘blessing’ the island’s people with civilisation. Initially, the key rhetorical theme used by America to justify its conflict with Spain, appears to have been one of benevolent intervention. But the ‘righter of wrongs’ quickly saw the advantages of expanding both its territory and global influence and so the rhetoric changed correspondingly to that of enlightened expansionism and natural destiny. Indeed, all these themes continued, and still continue to inform American foreign policy rhetoric. When robbed of rhetoric, the SpanishAmerican war seems nothing less than an audacious landgrab with little or no regard for the ‘liberated’ populations. Similar pretexts and rhetoric accompanied the latest American adventure in Iraq and its population is still suffering the consequences. Since it is now much easier to learn the truth about an international conflict such as this, with the sheer variety and complexity of media available today, and given the fact that there now exists a more educated and less gullible public, perhaps it

will be more difficult in the future to rely solely on rhetorical talents and less than intelligent intelligence to mould the compliance of a nation. Publishing, 1994.) Stephanson, A. Manifest

Destiny: American Expansionism and the Empire of Right m/ai/kipling/kipling.html, [Accessed 25/11/’06 ] McKinley, W. War Message, [Online], Available from: intrel/mkinly2.htm, [Accessed 24/11/’06]


Kiernan, V.G. America: The

New Imperialism: From White Settlement To World Hegemony (2nd

(Canada: HarperCollins Candled, 1995.) Turner, F.J. The Significance

of the Frontier in American History (Frontiers:

edn., London: Zed Press, 1980.) Nichols, J., McChesney, R.W. Tragedy and Farce:

The Mythology of the West, MCALA 1008) Waugh, A. A Family of Is-

How The American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, And Destroy Democracy (New York: Modern Latin America

lands: A history of the West Indies (London:

Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964.) Zinn, H. A People’s History

Zwick, J. The White Man’s Burden’ and Its Critics, [Online], Available from: i/kipling/index.html, [Accessed 25/11/’06]

The New Press, 2005.) Skidmore, T.E., Smith, P.H. (4th edn., New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 1997.) Small, M. Was War Neces-

Of The United States: 1492-Present (3rd edn.,

Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 2003.)

The Monroe Doctrine, [Online],
Available from: documents/monroe.html, [Accessed 25/11/’06]

Internet Sources
Baker, J. Effects of the Press on Spanish-American Relations in 1898, [Online], Available from: /spanwar.shtml, [Accessed 24/11/’06] Kipling, R. The White Man’s Burden, [Online], Available from:

sary? National Security And U.S. Entry Into War

The Platt Amendment, 1901,
[Online], Available from:

(London: Sage Publications, 1980.) Smith, J. The Spanish-

American War: Conflict in the Caribbean and the Pacific 1895-1902
(New York: Longman mod/1901platt.html, [Accessed 24/11/’06]

BAAS Teachers and Student Awards
The British Association for American Studies has a number of annual awards for both teachers and students in secondary education. The schools essay prize, open to all sixth-formers for work on American Studies topics, is £250.

The Teachers Fellowship involves workshops with US Teachers, and research opportunities in the US. These will take place in the summer.


Painting It Black? An optimistic and light-hearted look at how the Sixties democratised almost everything


By Ed Weeden
here’s always a tendency to see the glass half empty instead of half full. This is true of the Sixties. Most historians view this period (in fact from about 1964 to about 1976) as divisive, violent, and counterproductive, an interruption, some sort of counter cultural supernova or some sort of failure that had little mainstream effect. If those of us who lived and participated in the Sixties believed this when we look about us today, we might be tempted to see things as did Mick and Keith:

For the times, they are achangin'

- - John Phillips (Mamas and Papas), 1966
Let’s see how we enjoy the benefits of the Sixties in our current mainstream culture by looking at just three critical areas: the Self, the State and Society.

- - Bob Dylan, 1964
Nothing could be further from the truth than to assert that the Sixties was some sort of exception, interruption or failure. This ‘era’ was directly responsible for a fundamental change in how we approach ourselves, others, and the world in general. This basal shift has highly influenced the way we look at the world and ourselves today. Like the original ‘big bang’ in physics, the societal ‘big bang’ of the Sixties still reverberates and influences. We are always the last to see this sort of cultural evolution when we literally live through it. The change consists of a multitude of incremental moves in many areas of life, some small, some huge. The underlying theme of all these moves was a broadening of reach, a democratisation of personal, societal and national life. The terms ‘access’ and ‘empowerment’ come to mind, but they are used so often by Yuppies that this retired Hippie prefer the words of the lead Papa:

The Self
Can anyone deny that there has been a gigantic progression toward individualisation, tolerance and understanding of the Self since the 1960s? Certainly both the range of individual opinion and expression, as well as range in self-image has changed due to the Sixties. Criteria of exclusion such as cultural background, political affiliation, societal stereotypes, language dialect or accent, personal appearance, disability, sexual activity, sexual orientation, or social class are no longer legally or socially acceptable as criteria for exclusion or marginalization. Just two examples will make my point: self expression, and self image. Speaking your mind has always been dangerous in certain circles. It continues to be so today. There are, however, no longer the informal but very powerful ‘thought police’ which used to act so decisively on persons prior to the Sixties. When was the last time my readers looked

Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black.

- - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, 1966
On the other hand, if we take a closer look at everything around us, and a sharper look at what was really going on in the 1960s, we might have real cause for celebrating with Bob:

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pens And keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again And don't speak too soon, for the wheel's still in spin And there's no telling who that it's naming For the loser now will be later to win

You gotta go where you wanna go- do what you wanna do With whoever you wanna do it with.

over their shoulders before expressing an opinion in normal, polite conversation? It just never happens anymore, and yet, prior to 1964 it used to happen all the time. Dare I mention the “Legion of Decency’s” effect on screenwriters, or the “University Regents” and their effect on students in the Sixties? Thank Mario Savio for an end to all this. Who? Mario Savio was one of the founders of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in the mid Sixties. This mass movement completely transformed the concept of acceptable public speech – both in terms of content and consequences. It started at the University, but spread everywhere. Things are not only more open, they are much broader now in terms of potential content. We’ve come a long way from George Carlin’s “Seven words you can never say on television” (1962). This form of public speech affects the entire social and political spectrum (for better and worse), from skinheads to anti-globalisation protesters: The current ‘democratisation’ of self-image is even more obviously influenced by the Sixties. I am certainly not saying that if you walked barefoot into a recruitment agency with purple hair, green nails and sawed-off Levi 501s that you wouldn’t get some stares. If you knew your stuff, however, had the correct qualifications, and if it was not contrary to that ubiquitous monster called Health & Safety, that composite image would not necessarily bar you from potential employment. The same holds true of virtually all of the old self-image stereotypes accepted as the ‘norm’ prior to the Sixties movement. Then, these images amounted to ‘radical departures’ and often resulted in exclusion or marginalization. They were outward images of inner states at that time strongly opposed to a ‘status quo’: elitist and Byzantine state as constituted during that time. We knew that it was them or us:

Gotta get down to it, soldiers are gunning us down; Should’ve been done long ago. - - Neil Young, Four Dead in Ohio, 1972 There's a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware Stop, children, what's that sound - everybody look what's going down

- - Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth, 1970
Now things have changed. Politics has become a tool, not a target. We may not have won every election, but more importantly we have shifted the debate to topics of crucial importance. Some examples: When was the last time you heard anyone in politics seriously suggest that we disregard civil rights, prohibit union organising, forget entirely about Social Security, abolish all welfare, forget about unemployment insurance, immediately end Medicare or terminate the Voting Rights Act? In the 1950s and early 1960s these were common conservative themes. No longer. Politics has undergone a basal shift. Even today’s Tories and Republicans alike admit the need for all of the above, as well as ‘national healthcare’ and ‘the environment’ – all issues formerly considered the exclusive province of the Left. The crux is in how to achieve this, not whether it is needed. What about the most destructive activity of the State – war? Some may think that we are repeating history – with both the left and right having learned from the Sixties crucible of Southeast Asia. They may be right. The Left has learned impatiently and with enormous frustration that its moral position is unassailable, and that with time its position will be vindicated. The Right has learned that it must use ‘careful calculation’ (some might call it subterfuge) to temporarily gain

If you're going to San Francisco be sure to wear some flowers in your hair All across the nation, such a strange vibration, people in motion, people in motion There's a whole generation with a new explanation.

It's my life and I'll do what I want - It's my mind and I'll think what I want - - Eric Burdon (Animals), It’s My Life, 1965
We also understand now that what we say does not necessarily stand in stone for the entire world. This is largely due to a widening of multicultural consciousness that began in the Sixties. From the religious movements at this time (Hare Krishna and Swami Yogananda to name just two) to the realisation that what our parents told us might not be entirely and immaculately true (‘don’t trust anyone over thirty’), we began to hear and tolerate different drummers and see things in relative, not absolute terms:

- - Scott McKenzie, San Francisco, 1967
Today these images are matters of personal choice – perhaps unconnected entirely to any sort of political or social set of values. That is precisely my point about the basal shift. What used to be considered radical and unique, is now considered personal and unique – a democratization of look has occurred, devoid of socio-political context. So beware, beneath the green nails and purple hair, you may find a supporter of Mr. Blair! Thanks to the ‘look’ of the Sixties, our range of choice is much more open now – and by inference tolerated and accepted.

Stars and losers, kings and fools go dancing hand in hand Relatively speaking you make me who I am.

The State
In the Sixties there was a clear divide between us and them. We were opposed to the closed,

- - John Denver/Art Hancock, Relatively Speaking, 1995

its way. Does all this so-called knowledge result in modified action? To no great extent. Does it produce some very amusing, entertaining and at times even shocking ‘spin’ from both sides? Virtually every day. Just watch Mr. Rumsfeld or Mr. Dean when they are next on the telly! But what is important for my point about democratisation is that now both events and decisions are mulled over publicly. We still don’t know, and never will know how many Abu Ghraibs there were in Vietnam – on both sides. We only found out about ‘secret wars’ in Laos and Cambodia after the fact. But things like that cannot be concealed now. War has become a very public and personal proposition. The entire war making process – ignorant and ugly as it is – is now open, instantaneous and participative, with information flowing out from a host of sources, military, journalistic, social and even individual. We see the politics, maneuvering and propaganda on both sides, and make our judgments accordingly as we would expect in a democratized environment: genuine choices of the people, and as such should be respected.

And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within and without you.

Rise above your depression, above the one that kills Above the one that hates, above all of the pain Fear! Death! Rage!

- - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, 1967
While there is room for debate over whether to formulate them in an Equal Rights Amendment, no one can deny that the central concepts of the Women’s Movement have become mainstream since the 1960s. We have women Chief Executives, and women Fighter Pilots. There are thousands more jobs I could list, and although no one denies the continued existence of the ‘glass ceiling’, the fact that it is publicised and opposed is evidence of its future diminution. Just as importantly, we have now also come to recognise the importance and value of women in the role of mother and partner. There is value to both types of contribution, and often women’s choice is to do both. But always, this choice is a personal one, made by the democratised modern woman based on her own circumstances in life:

- - Fear Factory, Arise Above Oppression, 1992
Of course, this basal shift does not exist everywhere (look at Zimbabwe, Burma, Haiti, or Saudi Arabia as examples), but it is expanding. Who asserts that there is a more totalitarian world now than in the 1960s? Chaotic, yes…multilateral, yes…more dangerous, very possibly yes. More totalitarian? No. If anyone did assert this, I am sure that she or he would be roundly shouted down by many hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, Eritreans, Yemenis, Bangladeshis, Nigerians, Algerians, Angolans, Mozambicans, South Africans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Germans, Romanians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Slovenians, Albanians, Brazilians, Argentinians, Peruvians, Panamanians and Venezuelans. There has been progress and, given time, progress will find a way forward:

I'm not going to kid you, there's a lot to do Little can I promise, it's really up to you But if we all work together, And I think we can And if you want some new ideas, Then I'm your man.

- - Chicago, Vote For Me, 1977
But this democratisation of State conduct is wider than any one country or conflict. People around the world as well are now more participative in political processes, thanks to the original ‘people power’ of the Sixties. From the Philippines to South Africa, ordinary people have seized power from social and economic elites. We may not always like what we see when they do so (examples: Museveni in Uganda, Nazarbayev in Turkestan, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and the Ayatollahs in Iran), but they are

Take this message to my brother, you will find him everywhere Wherever people live together, tied in poverty's despair You, telling me the things you're gonna do for me I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see

She looks sleek and she seems so professional She's got a lot of confidence, it's easy to see You want to make a move, but you feel so inferior Cause under that exterior, is someone who's free

- - Billy Joel, Modern Woman, 1985
Men have also changed. We too are liberated – no longer bound by the roles and conventions expected of us in the ‘Marlboro Man’ era. Of course these more traditional roles still exist and can be selected. In the last generation, however, men are increasingly choosing to blend this tougher traditional image with more ‘human and humane’ images largely originating from the non-violent, sensitive Sixties. Now, men can be soft, sensitive, tender, confused, and understanding. They can be cowards, critics or criers – if they wish. This is largely due to the

- - Doobie Brothers, Taking it to the Streets, 1976

Just as individuals within society now have much greater freedom and choice, so societal groups also have a much greater range of freedom in social participation – due in large part to the movements of the Sixties. Let’s look at the most obvious three groups: women, men and minorities.

new freedom of self we have inherited from the Sixties. Remember, the Peace Movement and Flower Power was a male as well as female movement!

And I woke up crying in my sleep, I was talking to your pillow And I reached out to touch your hand

Now we demand a chance to do things for ourselves We're tired of beatin' our head against the wall Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud

- - James Brown, Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud, 1969
We have come a long way since the Sixties. We have a long way to go. But we should acknowledge that the Sixties had a great influence over where we are today, and a great perspective on where to head in future. The glass is not half empty. The glass is half full – perhaps more than half. We should not let current circumstances get us down by dwelling on individual ‘trees in the forest’ of the times. True, wars still are fought, hunger still exists, poverty grinds many down, elections are lost. But the overall trend of things in the last fifty years has been with, not against, the progressive, tolerant, democratic and participative goals and objectives of the Sixties. Let’s celebrate this:

You might not be looking for the promised land, but you might find it anyway Under one of those old familiar names . . . Like New Orleans, Detroit City, Dallas, Pittsburg PA., New York City, Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago or L.A., Living in America - hand to hand, across the nation Living in America - got to have a celebration

- - Art Garfunkel, Crying in my Sleep, 1977
Minorities in our society are looked at and look at themselves in a totally different way than before the Sixties. Need I mention the societal icons who brought minorities out of the shadows – Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez? Formerly powerless, American minorities now look on themselves as empowered. True, economically, socially and academically they have a long way to go. No one asserts that U.S. society is now colour-blind. But even more importantly, no one today seriously considers minority status as criteria for exclusion or marginalisation:

- James Brown, Living in America, 1995

News for Teachers
from the U.S. Embassy, London. The US Embassy has launched a new email service is designed to alert recipients to items of educational interest on U.S. official and non-official sites. If you would like to sign up for this alert service you can subscribe at


An Appeal to Fear Ain’t Nothin’ New
George W. Bush’s Middle East War Rhetoric and Territoriality in American Propaganda Films of World War II
Ralph Donald examines the similarities between the rhetoric found in war films of the World War II era and the rhetoric used by President Bush in America’s wars against terrorism in Afghanistan and against Saddam Hussein and in Iraq. He compares the propaganda appeals used by the makers of popular Hollywood feature films during World War II to the speeches in which President Bush attempts to persuade the American people to support his wars against Al-Qa’eda and Iraq.
In the World War II-era feature propaganda film, China (1943) on the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack, an American named Jones (Alan Ladd) stages a climactic debate with a Japanese general. The Japanese officer boasts: General : Contrary to public belief, the Japanese people have always held your country in great esteem. Yes, we have finally decided to take it away from you. In fact, we have already moved toward that aim [he looks at his watch], and the fate of Pearl Harbor will be the fate of all so-called free democracies that dare to oppose the Imperial Japanese Government. We and our allies, for the ultimate good of all nations concerned, have determined to establish a new world order. Jones : General, in all the countries that you and your gang have put the finger on, there are millions and millions of guys just like me pretty much living their lives in the same pattern. And the pattern of our lives is freedom. And it's in our blood,

giving us the kind of courage that you and your gang never dreamed of. And in the end, it's that pattern of freedom that'll make guys like you wish you'd never been born! In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly September 12, 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush said: Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime’s good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take … We must choose between a world of fear and a world of progress. We cannot stand by and do nothing while dangers gather. We must stand up for our security, and for the permanent rights and the hopes of mankind. By heritage and by choice, the United States of America will make that stand. (w w w . whi teh ou se. gov Sept. 12, 2002) From the outset of his evolution, Homo Sapiens has been a territorial creature who instinctively defends his property against outsiders. (Ardrey 1) In the history of war rhetoric in the United States, appeals to defend ourselves against an invading “other” have been popular ploys. In World War II, American popular film was awash with films that implied or even clearly outlined a real threat to the nation, American homes, families, religious freedoms and the American way of life. The territorial imperative, as Ardrey referred to his theories and his book, was a primary appeal of 1940s American war propaganda. And in subsequent wars in Korea and Vietnam, the appeal to fear to defend the homeland against the potential of communist attack and takeover continued. A popular approach to invoke terri-

toriality was based on a speech in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in which he introduced the “domino theory” to war propaganda. Actually a hypothesis, not a theory, what has been nonetheless called the “domino theory” postulated that if the march of communist takeovers was not stopped in those Asian countries, one-by-one -like dominoes – these countries would fall to the communists, as would their neighbors, and eventually America would be cut off and endangered by the forces of a “red” world. ( ~hst306/documents/ domino.html) In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan used Eisenhower’s domino theory to justify American involvement in both legal and illegal anti-communist activities in Central America and Caribbean countries. But for the sake of brevity and focus, and also because President George W. Bush often tries to connect the current crisis with the dangers facing the U.S. during World War II, this essay limits its discussion to an examination of the similarities between the territoriality appeals found in war films of the World War II era and the immediate present (America’s wars against terrorism in Afghanistan and against Saddam Hussein and in Iraq since Sept. 11, 2001). First will be an analysis and description of territorial propaganda appeals used by the makers of popular Hollywood feature films during World War II. And to show that an effective propaganda ploy has no expiration date, these appeals will then be compared to those found in speeches in which President Bush persuades the American people to support his wars against Al-Qa’eda and Iraq. that America was in trouble, and was forced by ‘unprovoked” attacks to defend itself against a terrible enemy. F.D.R. said, “W e are now in the midst of a war, not for conquest, not for vengeance, but for a world in which this nation and all that this nation represents will be safe for our children. “ (FDR, 1941) In an address from Ellis Island on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President George W. Bush, who often attempts, albeit sometimes without the grace of President Roosevelt, to draw parallels between FDR and himself, and between World War II and the present conflict, said much the same thing: “We fight, not to impose our will, but to defend ourselves and extend the blessings of freedom.” ( Sept. 11, 2002) attitudes. After all, American advertising does this, the nation’s political candidates' speeches are full of it, and the even the entertainment programs the people watch on television are replete with wholesome, American values – along with embedded product ads -for audiences to imitate in modelling behavior. There are only a few insignificant differences between the much-maligned word “propaganda” and the term “rhetoric,” the venerable and respected name for persuasive discourse. No less a scholar than the father of rhetorical criticism, Kenneth Burke, stated, "Rhetoric refers to the use of language in such a way as to produce a desired impression upon the reader or hearer." (265) Propaganda does not differ from, but only transcends rhetoric, in that the propaganda is always mass communicated, and often contains at least an implicit call for the audience to some sort of action.

It’s All Propaganda
Americans often delude themselves into thinking that the U.S. President’s speeches or other red, white and blue media com-

W e are now in the midst of a war, not for conquest, not for vengeance, but for a world in which this nation and all that this nation represents will be safe for our children.
munication could not possibly be classed as propaganda. This is because the common U.S. news media’s definition of propaganda might be something like “lies told by demagogues and dictators.” However, accepted propaganda theorists such as Jacques Ellul agree that the term actually has a valueneutral definition. (10) Propaganda is, simply, mass communicated persuasion that keys on two important goals: forming new (or adjusted) attitudes, and urging its audience to action, to do something about these new

Movies Are Propaganda
Now that we have an operational understanding of propaganda, consider that quote from President Roosevelt earlier, plus another from actor Cary Grant in the World War II era film , Destination Tokyo (1944). Perhaps we can now accept the likelihood that in the world's opinion, if not America's, FDR's radio speech – and President Bush’s current oratory -- are examples of propaganda. Typical of the kind of statements embedded in Hollywood’s World War II films,

World War II and the Territoriality Appeal
In one of his famous “Fireside Chats” on radio to the nation on Dec. 9, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded citizens

consider Grant's speech, given to his crew after a popular crewman, Mike, died trying to save a Japanese flyer. This Japanese airman, instead of being grateful for his rescue from frigid Aleutian waters, stabbed the sailor in the back. Grant first explains that instead of roller skates as a birthday present, when the Japanese flyer was a child, he was given a dagger: Grant: ...and a lot more 'Mikes' are going to die until we wipe out a system that puts daggers in the hands of five-year-old children - That's what Mike died for - more roller skates in this world - and even some for the next generation of Japanese kids.” Was this merely a line of dialog from a movie, pure entertainment, escapism, peppered with a bit of flag-waving? Not according to English documentary filmmaker and film historian Paul Rotha. He wrote that all movies, American and otherwise, contain propaganda. (57-59) And, as in much territorial propaganda, the implication by comparison is that if the Japanese were to win the war, American children would be subjected to alien Shinto rituals instead of birthday parties with cake, ice cream and roller skates. Writers on the subject, including Rotha, maintain that propaganda can be communicated in both explicit and implicit ways, by blatantly obvious statements as well as through subtle background stimuli. For example, a film such as Rambo: First Blood, Part Two (1985), exhibits moments when the message is as obvious as the serrations on Stallone's killing knife. When the Vietnam veteran is asked to return to Southeast Asia for a commando mission, he asks if "they’ll let us win” this time. America’s Vietnam guilt and anger is there on the screen for all to see and hear. But in the antiwar film M*A*S*H (1970), Robert Altman subtly communicates much more than the explicit, shocking hospital blood and gore. For example, while principal action goes on, the audience hears in the background a bored enlisted man announcing the evening's Dow Jones averages, featuring huge profits accumulated during the war by defense contractors such as Remington Arms and Dow Chemical. Written and edited, as they were, to propagandize as well as to entertain, World War II’s feature films accomplished their objectives so well that they helped to forge an entire generation into one of the most ideologicallyunified, singularly-minded populations in the history of the world. This was certainly a praiseworthy aim, considering the perilous world situation in the first half of the 1940s. But physicists tell us that every action has a reaction, every move has a consequence. This is also true of human persuasion. And in this instance, Hollywood and Washington saw fit to alter the attitudes of American citizenry with blindly nationalistic, unrealistic, ethnocentric, and even racist propaganda messages. But after V-J Day, an American population jubilant in victory, finding itself the dominant force in the postwar world, began to believe too much in its own exaggerated importance, its own racial and cultural superiority, and in a role for America in world affairs in which our country lives out its manifest destiny as the planet's omnipotent and all-wise peacekeeper. And then came Korea, Vietnam and now the morass of Iraq, George Bush’s Vietnam. our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa. These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us, because we stand in their way. We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies … Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. (w w w . whi teh ou se. gov Sept. 20, 2001) Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly -- yet, our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with

Territoriality Propaganda



Consider two excerpts from President Bush’s speeches: Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms --

weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of o u r c i t i e s . ( March 19, 2003) Ardrey’s book, The Territorial Imperative, makes the convincing case that as with lower species, man is a territorial creature who will instinctively defend his space against all comers. Independent evidence and argument far beyond the scope of this essay is required to completely validate all of Ardrey's territoriality theories, but I’ll confidently settle for the proof of usage: As evidenced by their most famous war orations of the past and President Bush’s current atWar that American freedom itself was threatened, "so long as the forces of violence are allowed to pursue their wider pattern of aggressive purposes.” In promoting war with England in 1812, James Madison insisted that Britain's true intention in their bellicose naval encounters with U.S. ships was no less than total re-colonization of America. In all these speeches, this defensive instinct, this territorial imperative, is used to create a credible threat to our homes, families, our rights, our laws and our democratic way of life in the minds of the audience. Ronald Reid has theorized that nations are more than willing to wage war when they "are persuaded that (1) their territory, especially the center of their territory, is endangered” (284). Reid maintained that since the War of 1812, the concept of American territoriality has exeven unjustified American imperialism such as the war against Mexico and the SpanishAmerican war can be characterized as defensive. (280) Analyzing any of Lyndon Johnson's speeches in August of 1964 shows how this same portrayal is accomplished in the latter 20th century. In a radio and television report to the American People following the "renewed aggression in the Gulf of Tonkin", August 4, 1964, Johnson said: In the larger sense, this new act of aggression, aimed directly at our own forces, again brings home to all of us in the United States the importance of the struggle for peace and security in southeast Asia. Aggression by terror against the peaceful villagers of South Vietnam has now been joined by open aggression on the high seas against the United States of America. (495) In a speech the next day at Syracuse University, Johnson assured his audience that “peace is the only purpose of the course that America pursues," and that "Aggression-has unmasked its face to the entire world. The world must never forget … that aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed. (498)

[The] American population began to believe too much in its own exaggerated importance and in a role for America in world affairs in which our country lives out its manifest destiny as the planet's omnipotent and all-wise peacekeeper.
tempts at war rhetoric, American Presidents have believed territorial appeals to be highly effective, and have included them in nearly every war message ever presented to the American people. A few examples: Both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis insisted that the other's forces were out to usurp their territory, government and institutions. Using the always-handy domino theory, Lyndon Johnson maintained throughout the Vietnam tended to U.S. possessions on the high seas. Kidnapping of sailors and confiscation of ships by Great Britain were among the offenses that President Madison cited were grounds for declaring war. (278) Reid also notes that, especially in America, expansionism has negative persuasive appeal. However, "by portraying expansionism as defensive by depicting it as a response to an existing outside threat or an honorable effort to recover territory unjustly taken by outside forces at some point in the past,"

Threats to Our Way of Life
An excellent example of Ardrey’s theory of man’s territoriality is the first appeal from World War II films presented here: "The enemy threatens our democratic institutions and our way of life." As quoted earlier in the film China, the Japanese general boasts that “… the fate of Pearl Harbor will be the fate of all so-called free democracies that dare to oppose the Imperial Japanese Government. We and our allies, for the ultimate good of all nations concerned, have determined to establish a new world order.”

Similarly, in the 1942 film , All Through The Night, Nazi agent and gangster Conrad Veidt attempts to butter up gangster Humphrey Bogart, appealing to their supposed similarities: Veidt: You and I are alike: You take what you want, and so do we. You have no respect for democracy; neither do we. Later in the film, in a speech to his fellow hoodlums urging them to help him fight the Nazis, Bogart answers the objection of one of the gang bosses, who argues that he doesn't care who runs the country as long as they leave him alone. But in this speech, Bogart makes it clear that the American traditions even gangsters cherish are under attack: Bogart: Listen, big shot they'll tell you what time to get up in the morning, and what time to go to bed at night. They'll tell ya what you can eat, what kinda clothes to wear, what ya drink. They'll even tell ya what morning paper you can read. Or, as President Bush also remarked in an address to the nation on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, The attack on our nation was also an attack on the ideals that make us a nation. Our deepest national conviction is that every life is precious, because every life is a gift of a Creator who intended us to live in liberty and equality. More than anything else, this separates us from the enemy we fight. We value every life; our enemies value none – not even the innocent, not even their own. ( Sept. 11, 2002) A scene in Action In The North Atlantic (1943) reminds audiences that they may not be able to count on the simplest components of the "American dream" if the Nazis have their way. The liberty ship's carpenter is asked why he went to sea. He explains: Carpenter : Before the war, I had my own business and my own house -'got a little money put away. Mate : Whaddya doin' out here, then? Carpenter : Well, I wanna keep my business and my house, and I figure that this [their job, delivery of high test gasoline to the Allies] is a smart way to do it. Likewise, in his State of the Union address, Jan. 29, 2002, the “Axis of Evil” speech, President Bush, too, attempts to connect with FDR and World War II rhetoric: “America is no longer protected by vast oceans. We are protected from attack only by vigorous action abroad and nese, who soon would occupy the area. But Pop, sitting on his front stoop and lifting a jug of whisky for a drink, says that he has spent 40 years building his shipyard, and "If I leave it, they'll have to carry me out." So he will wait for the Japanese with his jug and shotgun. Director John Ford, reprising the mournful harmonica rendition of "Red River Valley" from The Grapes Of Wrath, pulls back to a wide shot of the old man as he sits resolutely on his porch, smoking his pipe, unwilling to leave his home, and ready to doggedly defend the epicenter of his territory against those who would usurp it. And on March 19, 2003, in his address to the nation at the outset of the war against Iraq, President Bush said, The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at

The explosion of the destroyer U.S.S. Shaw during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour
increased vigilance at home.” ( Jan. 29, 2002) Similarly, in They Were Expendable (1945), old “Pop,” the American owner of the Filipino shipyard where American P.T. boats are being repaired, is offered the chance to join Rusty (John Wayne) and his crew to escape the wrath of the Japathe mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our

cities. ( In the 1942 Alfred Hitchcock film, Saboteur, Tobin, an enemy agent, explains to an American factory worker named Kane, who is wrongly accused of an act of sabotage that Tobin actually ordered, why a wealthy American with "society connections" wants to assist the Nazis in overthrowing the U.S. government. Tobin explains that Kane, being an average American, can't understand that to a rich man like himself, power is the only thing outside his grasp, and the American form of democratic government puts a limit on any one man's power. Therefore, he prefers the kind of totalitarian system the Axis would impose on this country, which might allow him greater privilege as a member of the ruling elite: Kane : Why is it that you sneer every time you refer to this country? You've done pretty well here. I don't get it. Tobin : No, you wouldn't. You're one of the ardent believers, the "good American." Oh, there are millions like you, people that plod along, without asking questions. I hate to use the word "stupid," but it seems to be the only one that applies. The great masses - the moron millions. Well, there are a few of us who are unwilling to just troop along, a few of us who see that there's much more to be done than to live small, complacent lives; A few of us in America who desire a more profitable type of government. When you think about it, Mr. Kane, the competence of totalitarian nations is much higher than ours: They get things done. Kane : Yeah. They get things done. They bomb cities, sink ships, torture and murder so you and your friends can eat off of gold plate. It's a great philosophy. Tobin : I neither intend to be bombed or sunk, Mr. Kane. That's why I'm leaving [for Cuba] now. And if things don't go right for you, if, ah, we should win, then I'll come back. Perhaps I can get what I want then. Power. Yes, I want power as much as you want your job, or that girl. We all have different tastes, you see. Only I'm willing to back my tastes with the necessary force. President Bush also warned against an individual or a foreign government acquiring coercive power over the United States and other countries in his speech in Cincinnati on the use of force against Iraq: Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is already significant and it only grows worse with time … Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction, and he cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them or provide them to a terror network … If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression. He would be in a position to dominate the Middle East. He would be in a position to threaten America, and Saddam Hussein would be in a position to pass nuclear technology to t e r r o r i s t s . ( Oct. 8, 2002) In Cry Havoc (1943), a group of nurses talks about the war, and how it all came to happen. One of them, Pat, is confused. Andra and Sue answer her. Andra : I'll tell you what's going on, Pat. A world revolution, a war to the death ... Sue : This is a very simple war. Oh, it's big, and terrible, and it's frightening, but in other wars, lots of times you didn't exactly know why you were fighting. But that's not so in this war. This war we're all fighting for the same thing. We all know what it is ... our lives. Because if we should lose this war, we'd all be dead. You, you and me, millions and millions of us. And those of us who were down under the ground would be the luckiest. Because those of us who weren't would be slaves. That's why it's a simple war. In the same speech in Cincinnati noted earlier, President Bush also presents a grim fate awaiting the nation unless Saddam Hussein is stopped: We resolved [on Sept. 11, 2001] and we are resolved today to confront every threat from any source that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America … We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be allowed to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gasses and atomic weapons. ( Oct. 8, 2002)

Threats Ones




The second territoriality appeal is, "The enemy threatens our loved ones." In nature, animals that might run instead of fight

will instead fight furiously when defending their young. In humankind, the instinct to protect our families is just as strong. To remind Americans of this, in combat films, there are scenes in which " home" is discussed, flashed back to, or brought to us in the middle of the battle zone (eg., in They Were Expendable, nurse Donna Reed visits a P.T. boat squadron’s officers for a dinner at their Philippine headquarters. Of course, her gentle presence reminds the men of their own sweethearts. In Destination Tokyo, Cary Grant tells a sweet story of how proud he was when he took his young son for his first haircut, when the boy announced to all the men in the barber shop, "This is my daddy!"). These digressions remind not only the combatants, but the audience, that these sailors are risking their lives for a territorial purpose: the defense of their loved ones. Films such as Wake Island (1942), Destination Tokyo and Howard Hawks 1943 epic, Air Force, begin with Marines, sailors and an Air Corps bomber crew saying goodbye to their loved ones. These scenes aid immeasurably in bringing each man's ultimate war objective, the protection of homes and families, into clear focus. President Bush’s speech on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks also reminds us that not just solders are on the firing line: civilians, including women and children, are threatened: For those who lost loved ones [on Sept. 11], it’s been a year of sorrow, of empty places, or newborn children who will never know their fathers here on earth. For members of our military, it’s been a year of sacrifice and service far from home. For all Americans, it has been a year of adjustment, of coming to terms with the difficult knowledge that our nation has determined enemies, and that we are not invulnerable to their attacks. ( Sept. 11, 2002) In World War II films, there are many more overt references to the consequences of Axis victory. For example, in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), when bomber pilot Van Johnson is asked why he considers it "OK to bomb Japanese people in Tokyo," he replies, “Because, I figure, it's drop a bomb on them, or pretty soon they'll be dropping a bomb on Ellen [his pregIn both Air Force and Flying Tigers (1942), men listen to President Roosevelt’s famous "Day of Infamy" speech over short wave, and, via close-ups of them, we are privy to their thoughts about home. In Air Force, while listening to the speech, pilot Quincannon's (John Ridgely's) eyes dart to a little toy airman he has hung up in his bomber’s cockpit. His little son gave him the toy before he left home. Similarly, Flying Tiger "Mack" (Jimmie Dodd) listens to FDR, and stares at a picture of his mother, father, depicting expansionism as a response to an existing outside threat or an honorable effort to recover territory unjustly taken by outside forces at some point in the past," even unjustified American imperialism can be characterized as defensive.
nant wife].” Again in that Cincinnati speech, President Bush personalizes the danger to American civilians by demonizing the Iraqi dictator and describing his tools of terror and intimidation over his own citizens: The dictator of Iraq is a student of Stalin, using murder as a tool of terror and control within his own cabinet, within his own army and even within his own family. On Saddam Hussein’s orders, opponents have been decapitated, wives and mothers of political opponents have been systematically raped as a method of intimidation, and political prisoners have been forced to watch their own children being tortured. ( Oct. 8, 2002) and relatives back home with a concerned look on his face. In Guadalcanal Diary (1943), there is a scene in which a Marine falls, mortally wounded. He reaches out his hand for his helmet, which flew off when he fell. In it is a picture of his wife and children. Director Lewis Seiler then cuts to a close-up of the helmet, as the dying man's hand comes into frame, touches the photo, spasms, and falls limp. As in his “Axis of Evil” speech, President Bush has often made comparisons between World War II and his wars against AlQa’eda and Iraq . On one occasion, the 60th anniversary of the Japanese surrender ending World War II, this attempt to justify current conflicts by favorably comparing them with World War II, are clear: Sixty years ago this Friday, General Douglas MacArthur ac-

cepted the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. With Japan’s surrender, the last of our enemies in World War II was defeated, and a World War that began for America in the Pacific came to an end in the Pacific. As we mark this anniversary, we are again a nation at war. Once again, war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood. Once again, we face determined enemies who follow a ruthless ideology that despises everything America stands for. Once again, America and our allies are waging a global campaign with forces deployed on virtually every continent. And once again, we will not rest until victory is America’s and our freedom is secure. ( Aug. 30, 2005) Quentin Reynolds' stirring "forward" narration to 1942’s Eagle Squadron contains more than an explanation that American aviators gallantly volunteered to fly for England before the U.S. was "stabbed in the back:" Reynolds: These boys knew what we are learning now. They knew that the security of our country must depend upon our dominating and controlling the air - the tragedies of the past months [Pearl Harbor, etc.] have finally taught us as a nation what these boys knew then. In London they saw ghastly death and destruction fall from the skies; they saw the heart of Britain bleed - but never break. They came to know the civilians of London and found them just like their neighbors in California, and Texas, Oregon, Maine - These they found were our kind of people, with our ideals and our hatred of tyranny. And each time they walked through battered London they winced -One day this might happen in their hometown. In President Bush’s March 17, 2003, televised speech to the nation, he warned that Saddam Hussein and his sons had to leave Iraq within 48 hours or the U.S. would invade. He makes it clear that Hussein’s regime is also a threat to California, Texas, Oregon or Maine, and must be neutralized: The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of Al Qaeda. The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other. The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat. But we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed. ( March 17, 2003) some form of status quo. In contrast, a total war’s aims are to do away with the status quo: It results in the invasion of the territory of one of the belligerents, followed by regime change and the establishment of a new order. World War II was total war, followed by the creation of different forms of governments and new national boundaries for many participating nations on both sides of the conflict. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, FDR made it quite clear that the overthrow of the Japanese government would be the only result that would satisfy the United States. Frustrated with two successive wars instigated by Germany, America’s European allies would also insist on the total defeat of Germany. So the "reverse territoriality" that this statement applies is more than rhetoric: It is the desire and commitment of the major allied governments to overthrow the regimes of the Axis powers and replace them with systems less likely to re-instigate hostilities and again threaten the governments of the U.S. and its allies. In the speech given by an RAF general at the conclusion of Eagle Squadron (1942), the final goal of the war is made clear: General : And now that... our two great countries are actively allied, let us continue to work together, no matter where it may be, for the final overthrow of the enemy, and for the establishment of an enduring peace. As often stated, shouted and vowed by characters in World War II films, America did not start the fight, but the U.S. will be the one to end it with a vengeance. As much as this rhetoric sounds like boys sounding off in schoolyard fistfights, it’s used often by presidents and other chiefs of state around the world. As President Bush stated on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, In the ruins of two towers, under a flag unfurled at the Pentagon,

Reverse Territoriality
Although territorial disputes in the animal kingdom are usually settled when the invader is repulsed, Homo Sapiens is different. In human belligerence, repulsing the enemy attack on one’s territory is often followed by a vengeful counterattack on the territory of the invader. This punitive difference between humans and "lower creatures" is the third territoriality statement, "We shall turn the tables on the enemy, and threaten his territory." There are two kinds of war, limited and total war. In a limited war, like the skirmish between an animal defending his territory and a temporary invader, the animal repulses the interloper and the battle is over. Then follows the reestablishment of

at the funerals of the lost, we have made a sacred promise to ourselves and to the world: we will not relent until justice is done and our nation is secure. What our enemies have begin, we will finish. ( Sept. 11, 2002) In many speeches, President Bush warned that a change in regime in Iraq was the only reasonable outcome of the conflict. And in his speech 48 hours before Invading Iraq, once more drawing upon the sublimity of past rhetoric, Bush went so far as to predict, not unlike Cary Grant’s prediction about the roller skates, what Iraqis could expect after Saddam Hussein was deposed and his people are liberated: In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near. ( March 17, 2003) We have seen how territoriality was invoked in World War II to make clear the threats to the American way of life posed by the Axis Powers. We have also seen how George W. Bush’s political handlers and his speechwriters, conjuring up similar thoughts and fears, found ways to compare the current crises posed by Al Qaeda and Iraq to that which was faced by the Greatest Generation. The war propaganda of President Bush’s administration and reelection campaign speechwriters was indeed up to the task, and the American people, hearing of these threats to their territory, responded in sufficient numbers to re-elect the President in 2004. It’s not the purpose of this essay to debate individual truths and falsehoods in propaganda statements of the past or present. youngest citizens, never learned -- the lessons of the past, it is prudent to consider that the use of territorial propaganda appeals used by George W. Bush today is nothing new: only the times, the enemies and the rationale differ.

Sources Cited
Ardrey, Robert. The Territorial Imperative . New York, 1971. Burke, Kenneth. The Philosophy University of California Press, 1931. Ellul, Jacques. Propaganda, The (New York: Vintage Books, 1973) Johnson, Lyndon B. "The President's News Conference of July 20, 1965", in The Public Papers

of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action. Berkeley, CA,

Formation of Man's Attitudes,

of The Presidents of The United

So territoriality appeals at two levels. First, it taps into the "lower" instincts we share with the animal kingdom, and is satisfied when our sphere of influence, our domain itself, is no longer threatened. However, in today's world, many countries, led by the U.S., have developed a global sense of territoriality, which results in “defending our territory” quite literally anywhere. Also, at the "preventative" level, the human territorial being's intelligence allows him to think beyond the moment, to consider the future. Once attacked, Homo Sapiens has the ability to consider and plan to prevent further incursions by the interloper. This often takes the form of seeing to it that the enemy no longer has the ability to conduct such enterprises: This calls for, at the least, regime change.

“Reverse territoriality" is the desire and commitment to overthrow regimes and replace them with systems less likely to reinstigate hostilities and again threaten the governments of the U.S. and its allies.
Rather, it’s to point out the relative lack of novelty in the incredibly successful contemporary use of territorial appeals to beat the drums of war – and, in doing so, to secure what all U.S. presidents want most of all: reelection. Most who have studied war rhetoric, both in the 1940s and today, have found in them a potent mixture of truth, halftruth and outright lies. And at this writing, indictments are ongoing, aimed at those who tried to obfuscate blame for and discredit criticism of such falsehoods as the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But for those who may have forgotten – or, in the case of our

States, (Washington, D.C.: Office
of The Federal Register, National Archives and Records Service, 1965). Reid, Ronald F. "New England Rhetoric and The French War, 1754 - 1760: A Case Study in The Rhetoric of War", Communication Monographs, No. 43, (November, '1976). Roosevelt, Franklin D. The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, vol. 1941, (New York: The MacMillan Co., 1941). Rotha, Paul. Documentary Film. New York: Hastings House, 1952.

b u s h _ N Y 9 1 1 . a s p ? Cat=Current_Event&Code=Bush_ Admin President George W. Bush’s Sept. 11, 2002 televised speech to the nation. warwithiraq.asp President George W. Bush’s March 19, 2003, televised speech to the nation at the outset of the war against Iraq. b u s h _ s a d d a m . a s p ? Cat=current_Event&Code=Bush_ Admin President George W. Bush’s March 17, 2003, televised speech to the nation 48 hours before the outset of the war against Iraq. ~hst306/documents/ domino.html Public Papers of the Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, p. 381- 390 bush/Iraqspeech.htm President George W. Bush’s Oct. 8, 2002 speech in Cincinnati on the use of force against Iraq. new s /met ro/ 2005083 0-1 321bn30speech.html President George W. Bush’s Aug. 30, 2005 speech in San Diego’s North Island Naval Air Station on the 60 th anniversary of the Japanese surrender ending World War II. ww w. whitehou ews/ releases/2002/09/print/200209121.html President George W. Bush’s Sept. 12, 2002 speech to United Nations General Assembly. ww w. whitehou ews/ r e l e a se s / 2 0 0 1 / 0 9 / 2 0 0 1 0 9 2 0 8.html President George W. Bush’s Sept. 20, 2001 televised address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. ww w. whitehou ews/ r e l e a se s / 2 0 0 2 / 0 1 / 2 0 0 2 0 1 2 9 11.html President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address, Jan. 29,2002. ww w. whitehou ews/ r e l e a se s / 2 0 0 3 / 0 3 / 2 0 0 3 0 3 1 9 17.html President George W. Bush’s March 19, 2003 televised speech to the nation .

Films Cited
Title Air Force All Through the Night Action in the North Atlantic China Cry Havoc Destination Tokyo Eagle Squadron God is My Co-pilot The Grapes Of Wrath Guadalcanal Diary Gung Ho! A Guy Named Joe M*A*S*H Rambo: First Blood, Part Two Saboteur They Were Expendable Wake Island Director Howard Hawks Vincent Sherman Lloyd Bacon John Farrow Richard Thorpe Delmer Daves Arthur Lubin Robert Florey John Ford Lewis Seiler Ray Enright Victor Fleming Robert Altman George Cosmatos Alfred Hitchcock John Ford John Farrow Year 1943 1942 1943 1943 1943 1943 1942 1945 1940 1943 1943 1943 1970 1985 1942 1945 1942


Captain America: The United States versus Itself, Through the Eyes of a Wartime Fictional Hero
Christian Dailly shows how the changing incarnations of the comic-book hero from his beginnings as the all-American hero in the struggle against Nazism in 1941 to the troubled and reflective warrior in the post 9/11 era, have reflected America’s changing views of their own society and its place in their world.
spawned a demand for tales of heroic action and the costumed crusaders were designed to satisfy these tastes and needs. These new characters all bore the traces of old myths and legends. “They express in today’s idiom the ancient longing of mankind for a mighty protector, a helper, a guide, or guardian angel who offers miraculous deliverance to mortals” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.100, by Reitberger, R.), and as such they are rightly called the ‘modern myths’. The basic structure of these early comics was more than simple: characters resembled character types more than individual characterisations with a sense of a unique personality. They were representations as opposed to discernable individuals. Or in other words, they were a vehicle for simply telling a story as opposed to making a comment on the ‘types’ represented by the characters. They lived in a Manichean world: they were always ready to avert catastrophes, help damsels in distress, prevent crimes being committed or injustice being done, and to save the world. The criminals they fought were supercriminals; and the crimes committed, even if they were symptoms of sickness in a society, were never stated because the super-heroes were interested in the ‘battle’ not in the removal of its causes. They thought, spoke and acted in clichés. Moral distinctions between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ were clean-cut and precise; i.e., the villain was ‘bad’ and the hero was ‘good’. Justice was seen to be done and that was it. Though it is fair to say that these early comics’ stories did not make any direct social statements, they did reflect their times. This is even more notable following U.S.’s involvement in World War II. Its effects, in the end, would have an unprecedented impact upon American society: women and race issues were given a new light and the U.S. would no longer be isolated from the rest of the world. Many of that first generation of comicbook readers went to war and took their love of comics with them and brought it back afterwards. There emerged many characters whose purposes were built for WWII.

[enemies] – our patriotic fervour is so intense that we must use it against someone.”
Gustave Doré, L’histoire de
omic-books appeared as a popular cultural phenomenon during the late 1930’s. This occurred principally in the United States, and it was the U.S. that, for the most part, produced adventure comic-books during the early years of the medium’s existence. The super-hero genre would only emerge with Action Comics #1 in June 1938 and the creation of one of their most influential representative: Superman. This was an immediate success, and consequently created a series of imitators. In fact, the super-hero variety grew out of the Depression period. It

“But we must have


La Sainte Russie.

Captain America, my example for this analysis, grew out of that era and such notions. His first adventures depicted him as battling the forces of the Third Reich and Japan, as well as Nazi sympathisers and secret agents that had infiltrated the American home front. For example, the cover of Captain America #1 (1941) pictures the hero actually punching the jaw of Adolf Hitler, at a time when most American popular culture was avoiding specific mention of the Axis powers, preferring to hint vaguely at ‘powers of darkness’. ‘Cap’, as he is affectionately named, was explicitly a product and agent of the U.S. military, and remained America’s most powerful piece of wartime comic-book propaganda. Wearing the symbols of America all over himself, Cap became the ultimate patriotic hero and a national figure: he represented a national desire more than an individualistic one. Thanks to War, he was considered as a ‘person’ you could relate to, simply because he was both an embodiment of society and of an individual during wartime. As an example, soldiers who were fighting like ‘supermen’ against awful human conditions saw Cap as a representation of this. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Captain America comic-books were sent to soldiers in huge quantities, and the troops enjoyed them as a morale booster for the duration as well as a form of contact with their homeland. the story of Steve Rogers, an American born on July 4th, 1917 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York, from Irish immigrant parents. You will already detect that he is a ‘fashioned’ typical American: he was born in the most representative multicultural city of the United States which was the first landscape immigrants used to see, coming from Old Europe by boat. He is a ‘product’ of the melting-pot and ‘the American Dream’ concepts that some claim to be at the roots of America. Moreover, he was not born on any date; he was born on Independence Day – the ‘Fourth of July’, which celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (July 4th, 1776) - just after WWI. As a character, he is already a patriot by heart. That is why, by the early 1940’s (comic’s timeline) and before America’s entry into WWII, Steve Rogers (Captain America’s true story of Albert Einstein (1879-1955). When Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933 and passed “The Law of the Restoration of the Civil Service”, which forced all Jewish university professors out of their jobs, Einstein was forced to renounce his Prussian citizenship and stayed in the United States like our fictional Dr. Reinstein. However, even if we could draw a parallel between Operation Rebirth and the Manhattan Project, we have to bear in mind that Einstein, as opposed to Dr. Reinstein, did not invent the project. He had only signed a letter to President Roosevelt urging the study of nuclear fission for military purposes, under the fears that the Nazi government would be first to develop nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, the important concept of secret weapon is there, as the rumours during WWII of Nazi ‘wonder weapons’ abound in our reality. Eventually, the ‘Rebirth’ process transforms the weak Steve

‘Cap’, was explicitly a product and agent of the U.S. military, and remained America’s most powerful piece of wartime comic-book propaganda.
alter ego), a tall but scrawny man disturbed by the rise of the Third Reich, tries to enlist only to be rejected due to his poor constitution. An army officer looking for test subjects offers Rogers the chance to serve his country by taking part in a topsecret defence project – Operation: Rebirth, which seeks to create a means of developing super-soldiers. Rogers becomes one of the first human test subject for the Super-Soldier serum invented by the scientist Dr. Reinstein. The name was not chosen without purpose: this professor has strong links with the Rogers into a man with the maximum of human efficiency, greatly enhancing his musculature and reflexes. Dr. Reinstein declares Rogers to be the first of a new breed of man, a “nearly perfect human being” (Captain America #109, Jan.1969). At that moment, a Nazi spy reveals himself and shoots the professor, leaving the formula unduplicated and Rogers the unique ‘Super-Soldier’. It will surely strike one as odd that this fervent defender of American democracy, of all people, can personify an idea preached by Nazi ideology: the spoiled

On the side of good in World War II
Having presented the context in which Captain America was born, I will now turn to his fictional history in order to decrypt the first symbols used at the time which make the character more than interesting to study. He was created in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and was first published by Timely – which became later on Marvel Comics – in Captain America Comics #1. The first episode tells

Nietzschean concept of ‘Übermensch’. Nevertheless, even if Cap is a tall blond blueeyed man and a WASP, we can also see it as a back-scent, a transformation of this concept into the one of the ‘self-made man’ – i.e. an American ‘embezzlement’ of an enemy’s concept for their own profits. “It is the image of Cincinnatus which persists in him, an archetype that has possessed the American imagination since the time of Washington: the leader who enlists for the duration and retires unrewarded to obscurity.” Leslie Fiedler, The Middle Against Both Ends, 1955. In the comic, the U.S. government, making the most of its one super-soldier, re-imagines him as a super-hero who serves as both a counter intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi’s head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull. To that end, Cap is given a uniform modelled after the American Flag, a bullet proof shield, and the codename Captain America. The imagery of the costume is more than important in this analysis in order to comprehend the character. First, clad in the Stars and Stripes, he incorporates American ideology. He represents with the star the fifty U.S. states and with the stripes the thirteen original colonies that rebelled against the British crown. Thus, he becomes the unconquerable spirit of the USA, an incarnation of the allAmerican ideal – from North to South, from East to West. Besides, in terms of the symbolism of the design itself, a book about the flag published by the Congress in 1977 states: Georges Washington is also credited with saying: “We took the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty.” Source: celebrate/Flag.asp Secondly, his shield is an unconventional weapon. It has two uses: offence, by throwing it like a boomerang and defence. In some of his adventures, Cap will even have the American Constitution written behind it. As a result, it can have two meanings: one, Cap is simply the protector of the American Constitution and protects it behind his shield; or metaphorically, the Constitution itself is a shield, a symbolic shield which enables Cap to be invincible and show the ‘true American Way’ to his adversaries by throwing at them the political and social cornerstone of his country. To conclude on this issue, he is the embodiment of the perfect soldier: invincible, patriotic, extremely masculine and firmly grounded in the ideology of ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’. As Richard Reynolds notes: this particular era a saturated market and readers who had lost interest. “The patriotic flames that had inspired the heroes and had spurred them on to action during wartime had died down” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.106, by Reitberger, R.). As a consequence, with the end of WWII, Cap lost his ‘raison d’être’. Cap was not just any super-hero, and he simply did not work well in the new context. In 1949, the first series was cancelled: in 1945 (comic’s timeline), during the closing days of WWII, Cap and Bucky try to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. On the plane, Bucky tries to defuse the bomb but it explodes in mid-air. The young man is believed to be killed, and Cap is hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic - neither body is found, and both are presumed dead.

The 1950’s - Fighting the red menace
As society shifted gear after WWII, so did the comic industry. Just as Hollywood and the film industry would undergo political scrutiny and suffer from McCarthyism (1950s) and the headhunt for communist supporters, the comic industry also had their own problems with the government. The great responsibility for this and the ‘cleansing operation’ which followed fell on Dr. Fredric Wertham (March 20, 1895 – November 18, 1981). He was a German-American psychiatrist and crusading author who protested the purportedly harmful effects of mass media on the development of children. His crusade against comics started in 1940 and culminated in 1954 when he published his accusations in a book entitled Seduction of the Innocent. The McCarthy era, “that heyday of the blindly hysterical” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.133, by Reitberger, R.), was his great time. As a result, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency investigated comic-books, believing they corrupted the youth of America and

“[…] the third term has stood for the ideals enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Superheroes have been better ‘Americans’ than most [Americans].” (p.74)
Reynolds R., Super Heroes, BT Batsford Ltd., 1992

“The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”
Source: ml

Throughout WWII, Captain America and his sidekick Bucky would fight the Nazi menace both on their own and as members of the super-hero team the Invaders. However, many heroes, who experienced a short blossoming between 1940 and 1949 following in Superman’s wake, would encounter at the end of

debased culture. The comic industry banded together and created the C.C.A. (Comic Code Authority) which would serve as a ‘self-monitor’ of the industry, instead of letting the government do it for them. Content of comics is dictated by the type of society in which they appear “Mass culture is the screen through which we see reality and the mirror in which we see ourselves. Its ultimate tendency is even to supersede reality.” (Robert Warshow ‘American Popular Culture’, 1954, The Immediate Experience) – Captain America’s covers went so far as to bear the subtitle “CommieSmasher” during this decade. As with WWII, the ‘Cold War’ gave a ‘new’ enemy for America’s heroes to fight and turned America’s abstract ‘enemy within’ into a reality. It became a conglomeration of American ideals gone too far, and Captain America became a more than usual black and white moral super-hero representing a united opinion in America, as shown in this particular storyline of the 1950s: In 1953 (comic’s timeline), an unnamed man who idolizes Captain America and who had completed his PhD thesis on Rogers, discovers Nazi files in a German warehouse, one of which contains the lost formula for the Super-Soldier serum. He takes it to Washington on the condition that they use it to make him the new Captain America. Needing a symbol for the Korean War, they agree, and the man undergoes plastic surgery to look like Steve Rogers, even assuming his name. He meets a young orphan named Jack Monroe, and they become the new Captain America and Bucky, but this time fighting Communism (Young Men #24, Dec. 1953). However, as the character of Jack Monroe will reflect many years later upon his role as Bucky in the Winter Soldier storyline:

the radio and television. Not realizing we were slowly going crazy. That the serum in our veins was tainted. Making us see enemies where none existed.” Captain America v.5
#7, 2006. We discover that by the middle of 1954 (comic’s timeline), they are irrationally attacking anyone they perceive to be Communist; and in 1955, the F.B.I. places them in suspended animation (Captain America #153-156, Sept.-Dec. 1972). This can bring out how American society, through comics, ponders on the ‘witch-hunt’ and in general over its past history. The theme of the ‘enemy within’ will be re-introduced much later in 2006 in The Winter Soldier storyline by Ed Brubaker, in the wake of what we could consider a new ‘witch hunt’ on the background of 9/11. In this story, which insists on its resemblance with The Manchurian Candidate (a 1959 book by Richard Condon), we discover that the first Bucky is still alive and being used by Soviet espionage interests as the ‘Winter Soldier’ (a very talented killer) after multiple brainwashes. It truly plays on the old American fear of Soviet infiltration among them in their own country. As one of the Soviet leaders argues in the comic:

a greater sense of ‘realism’ and ‘individuality’ than had previously attempted. Stan Lee, founder of Marvel Comics, was breaking new ground: this era witnessed the first real examples of social commentary within comic-books. Some comics as well as reflecting the society and period of creation, actually commented upon social issues of the day. In their search for truth, heroes “found themselves face to face with the reality and the social problems that beset the land” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.108, by Reitberger, R.). The ways in which they were presented had an entirely new approach: serials, in many instalments, made it possible to give the characters a much greater complexity than they had ever had before. Another important sign of progression was that the artwork, as the stories, was more considered, realistic and individual. Accordingly, it led to the new-found status of ‘authored’ work and of “realistic fantasy” (Stan Lee’s words in a Fantastic Four anthology, published by Marvel in 1977). This trend could be said to have been the product of the ‘social awareness’ that was synonymous with the latter years of the 1960s (counterculture). By the same token, Captain America was brought back in 1964, first as a member of The Avengers, then in his own series in Tales of Suspense. As the U.S.’s image began to alter, Kirby and Lee, rather than just revamp their 1940s hero for the 1960s, chose to explore him explicitly as an anachronism: Having been frozen in an Arctic iceberg for twenty years after the plane’s explosion in 1945 – as his series had in fact been ‘on ice’, this Cap was “a superheroic Rip Van Winkle, without loved ones, purpose, or any understanding of the world around him. Although such melancholy and turmoil would have been completely alien to the Cap of the 1940’s, it was strangely appropriate and often poignant in the context of the mid-1960’s” (Goulart R., The Encyclopaedia

“It has long been my plan to turn this American symbol back against our enemies. I believe, because he walks and talks just like them, because he exudes ‘America’ with his every breath, that the enemy will never see him coming.” Captain America v.5 #11, 2006.

The 1960’s – a crisis of conscience
Although, the early 1960 did not see any major changes in the overall structure of comics in regards of narration, there was a conscious effort on the part of some writers to give characters

“How strange to look back on those days now… Korea, the early days of the Cold War, the HUAC hearings all over

of American Comics, 1990). It
would indicate that the world of comic-book super-heroes was just beginning “to lose a certain innocence” (Max Allan Collins’s introduction of Captain America: The New Deal TPB, 2003). During Steve Englehart’s stint as a writer (1970s), Captain America was explored as a character, a historical phenomenon, and a national symbol. Rogers encounters his revived, but still insane, 1950s counterpart. He becomes deeply disturbed that he could have suffered his clone’s fate at the hands of the government (Captain America #153-156, Sept.-Dec. 1972). This set forth an allegory of America

tain America #122, 1969:
“And, in a world rife with injustice, greed, and endless war. Who’s to say the rebels are wrong?” Like the soldiers of the United States in Vietnam (1959-1975), he feels alone in a strange land. The character suffers the metamorphosis of his conscience from a political one to a humanist one, and the alienation he feels is the one created by the establishment. This is also and still exemplified in his comics by the character of Jack Monroe (the Bucky of the 50s) suffering of post-traumatic hallucinations (paranoia) due to the Super-

http://www.comicbookresources. com).

with the apparition of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns or Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The truth is “there was something in the zeitgest in 1986, something in the air” (comics’ historian Peter Sanderson, source:

Torn by self-doubt, Captain America even searched for a new image as a sort of ‘easy rider’ “looking for America, but couldn’t find it anywhere” .
watching his past errors committed during McCarthyism and there are also the first glimpses of ‘Metacomics’: a medium reflecting upon itself by the examination of the super-hero genre. The series also dealt with the Marvel Universe’s version of the Watergate scandal (1972-1974), making Rogers so severely disillusioned that he abandons his Captain America identity for a time in favour of one called ‘Nomad’ (Captain America #176183, 1974-1975). Torn by selfdoubt, Captain America even searched for a new image as a sort of ‘easy rider’ (a reference to the 1969 road movie by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern). As the characters in the movie, Cap is “looking for America, but couldn’t find it anywhere”. Added to that, this quote, “this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it”, from Jack Nicholson’s character - George Hanson, sounds very similar to Cap’s words in CapSoldier serum, like the soldiers drugged during Vietnam: “But I start losing time again, waking up in my motel room with no idea how I got here. I can feel it all happening, just like before. It’s like two parts of my mind are at war. The rational mind and the one that’s trying to kill it, the insanity mind. Sometimes, right as I woke up, I have a fever vision about it. In the vision, there’s another me growing inside my head…Like a tumour.”

The writer Mark Gruenwald explores numerous political and social themes, such as extreme idealism when Cap fights the anti-nationalist terrorist ‘FlagSmasher’ (Captain America # 312, 1986); or in Captain America #332, when a Presidential Commission on Superhuman Activities told him he is to start taking orders from them or they would find a Cap who will. Already troubled by the corruption he had encountered with the Nuke incident in New York City (in the Daredevil: Born Again arc by Frank Miller, 1986), Rogers chooses again to resign. This particular story arc illustrates the differences between Cap’s beliefs and those of his replacement John Walker. Walker has a jingoistic attitude that reflects a large segment of American Culture during Reagan’s administration (1981-1989), embodied by other fictional characters such as the movie hero ‘Rambo’ (1982, 1985, 1988). In this regard, it could be said that themes questioning authority and corruption were prevalent at that time. Rogers eventually re-assumes the mantle after reconsidering his status: the Captain America identity is a symbol of America’s ideals rather than of its government. It conveys the eternal conflict between politics and ideology. The character will many times respond: “I’m loyal to nothing, General… Except the Dream” ( Daredevil #233, Aug.1986), or “I’m here to protect the people and the Dream. Not your secrets” (Captain America: The New Deal TPB, v.4 #4, 2003). It is at the same period that Cap’s archnemesis, the Red Skull abandons his beliefs in Hitler. In the beginning, his role in the comic-book was the incar-

Captain America v.5
#7, 2006. (See the opening sequence of

Apocalypse Now, 1979, with

Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin L.Willard). Therefore, the 1980s witnessed a great deal of experimentation in the mainstream of comic world

nation of Nazi intimidation: “A Nazi icon made to spread terror across Europe. Like a bogeyman, to send Jewish children into screaming fits at bedtime.” less, always trying to destroy the world, and indestructible thanks to its functioning, explained in this referenced motto to the mythical Lernaean Hydra: “if a head is cut off, two more will take its place”(Strange Tales #135, August 1965). might expect from a comicbook. The creators give us their interpretation on particular issues that came after 9/11 like the ‘falling-man’ who jumped from the Towers, the hate-crimes against Arabs, Captain America visiting Ground Zero and Dresden but for the first time he does not wear a uniform: “Dresden. You didn’t understand what we’d done here until September the Eleventh. These people weren’t soldiers. They huddled in the dark. Trapped.”

Captain America: The Winter Soldier vol.1, v.5 #2,
2006. He was even given almost identical origins with Hitler: the key episode was when he fell for a local Jewish girl, but when she spurned his advances, he murdered her finding release for his frustrations (For Hitler, the girl is replaced by the rejected dream of entering at the Academy of Fine Arts, 1907-1908). In the 1980s, instead of being an American Nazi-created icon, the Skull turned towards America and its ideological idealisms becoming a wealthy American businessman and manipulating his way into the position of Secretary of Defence as Dell Rusk – an obvious reference to Dean Rusk, a former U.S. Secretary of State, but also an anagram for ‘red skull’. In that way, the Red Skull became untouchable and embodied at that period the fear of most conspiracy theorists: “In the councils of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” President Eisenhower’s valedictory, March 1961. I will also speak briefly about another Cap’s threat which is still very significant as a vivid image of the world we are living now post 9/11: Hydra. This fictional terrorist organization of the Marvel Universe, if real, would be the worst fear of G.W. Bush. It represents metaphorically the essence of the U.S.’s vision of a terrorist group: rest-

Post 9/11 – the end of history?
On the eve of 9/11, the superhero idea, through many years of censorship, is just beginning to enter a world that is closer to the one we know. After realizing that the methods of the past are no longer appropriate, Captain America is finally adjusting himself to the times. The key transition would be his recognition that he is no longer part of the Authority; the knowledge that he is no longer on the side of the powers that be anymore, because the powers that be are wrong. He is offered as an antiestablishment image, a radical opponent to the status quo. He became a vehicle for challenging received notions of charismatic authority and leadership. In a sense, he is a real ‘New Deal’ character. In Captain America: The New Deal (2003), Marvel responded to the horrors of 9/11. The interesting thing to point out is that the writer John Ney Rieber and artist John Cassaday give us a courageous tale which tries to examine the complexities of the issues surrounding terrorism. Specifically, it does not try to dodge the things the U.S. has done to feed the hatred, as one of the terrorist says inside the comic:

Captain America: The New Deal,
v.4 #5, 2003. Moreover, at one point in the story, a young German girl represents an allegoric voice for the Allies in this time of ‘War on Terror’: “It’s so confusing to the rest of us – Your allies that you ignore. It changes everyday. Who you’re fighting. Where you’re fighting – What the great evil is that America must destroy today.” Captain America: The New Deal, v.4 #5, 2003. Even more interesting is the passage where the U.S. is confronted with the very fact that it builds weapons and sells them as an arm-dealer (Captain America: The New Deal TPB, v.4 #3, 2003). This can show that it is not important how much Captain America could have been heroic, because not even he could have prevented the collapse. The issue is not so much how he will never again be able to save the day, because he is and always will be fictional. He and comic-books in general, like literature or any other media, can have a lot of ramifications as this book in particular. It is “in colour, after all, not black and white – and one of the most dominant and troubling colours is grey” (Max Allan Collins’s introduction for Captain America: The New Deal). To conclude, I will finish on

“Tell our children then, American, who sowed death in their fields and left it for the innocent to harvest? Who took their hands? Their feet?” Captain America: The New Deal, v.4 #3, 2003.
However, we have to stress that Rieber offers no justification for terrorism. Rather, his point here is to insist in examining the root causes in a more complicated, grown-up manner than one

these words from Captain America v.4 #11, 2003: “I remember a time when it was easy to feel pride in this ‘country’. When ‘this’ country celebrated the victories of its loyal soldiers. When ‘this’ country was my country right or wrong. And most of the time it was right. But times have changed, haven’t they? The battles are less clear, the wars less noble, the cause less right, even in the shadow of 9/11. Dark men with a ‘cause’ come at us like thieves in the night. Men who consider their ‘cause’ noble. Men who consider their cause ‘holy’. Men whose ideals carry power, and weight, and substance and make us seem wrong, but whose actions, reprehensible and vile, make murderers look right. This government can be wrong. Our politics can be flawed. We are, after all, a complex system run by human beings.” Reynolds R., Super Heroes, BT Batsford Ltd., 1992 Condon R., The Manchurian Candidate, Jove Books, 1959 Essays Bloor R., The Comic Book as a Text: a Study of “Watchmen”, ELCH Dissertations Comics Group, 2006 Brubaker E. and Epting S., Cap-

tain America: Winter Soldier

vol.2 (collects v.5 #8-9 and 1114), Marvel Comics Group, 2006

Internet Sites http://www.comicbookresources. com comment/commentmedved040403.asp (Captain America, Traitor? by Michael Medved, April 4th 2003) captainamerica.htm (Reliving Brent Staples, December 1st 2002)

sentation and Embodiment of America at War

McLachlan B., Superman: Repre-

Young Men #24, Dec. 1953 Captain America #109, Marvel Comics Group, Jan. 1969 Captain America #153-156, Marvel Comics Group, Sept.-Dec. 1972

World War II With a Captain America of a Different Colour, by

Captain America # 176-183, Marvel Comics Group, 1974-1975

Captain America #312, Marvel Comics Group, 1986
Miller F., Daredevil: Born Again, Marvel Comics Group, 1986 Miller F., Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, London : Titan, 1986 Moore A. and Gibbons D., Watchmen, Titan, 1987 ml celebrate/Flag.asp (United States Department of Veterans Affairs)

Books: Goulart R., The Encyclopaedia of American Comics, Facts on file, 1990


Captain America #332, Marvel Comics Group, 1987
Rieber J.N. and Cassaday J.,

Captain America: The New Deal
(collects v.4 #1-6), Marvel Comics Group, 2003 Rieber J.N., Austen C. and Lee J., Captain America: The Extremists (collects v.4 #7-11), Marvel Comics Group, 2003

Comics : Anatomy of a Mass Medium, Studio Vista, 1972
Brooker W., Batman Un-

Reitberger R. and Fuchs W.,

fter fears of flight cancellations, a very early morning meeting and a race around Heathrow airport to catch our flight, the thirty students and four teachers from Loreto College counted ourselves lucky to make it to New York for the first part of a two stage history and politics trip. However the trip turned out to be the experience of a lifetime that all concerned were hoping for. After an exhausting flight, we touched down at John F. Kennedy airport in New York only to find a customs queue that seemed to stretch right back to Manchester. We nervously waited to be processed, remembering not to joke with officials in the airport after being re-

masked: Analysing a Cultural Icon, New

York; London: Continuum, 2001

The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approach to a Superhero and his Media,
Routledge/BFI, 1991

Pearson R.E. and Uricchio W.,

Morales R. and Baker K., Truth: Red, White and Black, Marvel Comics Group, 2004 Brubaker E. and Epting S., Cap-

tain America: Winter Soldier

vol.1 (collects v.5 #1-7), Marvel


Loreto Goes to Washington
By Beth English, 6th form student, Loreto College Manchester

hectic schedule of visits to enjoy shopping on 5th Avenue (much to the delight of some of the girls) and the ludicrously sized meals in that make British ‘large’ portions seem like a joke throughout our trip. We got lost in, Central Park that provides a welcome respite from the overwhelming skyscrapers all around. The day I was most looking forward to in our stay in New York was the visit to the Statue of Liberty and the immigration museum on Ellis Island. We piled on to the boat that was to transport us across and braved the wind on the top deck to get the best possible view of the statue and the classic image of Manhattan from the water. The statue itself is smaller than we expected, but as a symbol of liberty and hope for arrivals to the USA it is beyond compare. The museum on Ellis Island chronicles the experiences of immigrants to the United States for over 200 years and is defiantly worth seeing. The ordeal arrivals went through including medical examinations, literacy tests, arduous waiting and the looming fear of being denied entry is fascinating and, even after this experience the museum shows the hostility of residents to new arrivals which parallels current immigration hysteria in the UK as well as the USA. We also saw Wall Street, the crowning symbol of the US’s capitalist economy, adorned with American flags in all its glory. The trip to Washington was tiring but broken up by a short stop over in Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence that eventually secured their freedom from British rule. The trip was well worth while when, after the formalities of the arrival in Washington, we walked the short distance to see the White House at night. Seeing the famous marble columns up close and knowing we would actually venture inside the next day was thrilling and reminded all of us of the ideals of open


fter fears of flight cancellations, a very early morning meeting and a race around Heathrow to catch our flight, we thirty students and four teachers from Loreto College counted ourselves lucky to make it to New York for the first part of a two stage history and politics trip. However the trip turned out to be the experience of a lifetime that all concerned were hoping for. We touched down at John F. Kennedy airport to find a customs queue that seemed to stretch right back to Manchester. We nervously waited to be processed, remembering not to joke with officials in the airport. We stepped outside to a blast of icy February air that took your breath away. Let’s just say that temperatures of -8˚ can only be fully appreciated once experienced. Having made it to our hotel and checked in we headed out to one of the most iconic

sights of the United States, the Empire State Building. Excitement grew as we walked through the snow-covered streets towards the tower that is visible for miles around. The view from the balcony: New York at night spread out as an array of glistening lights; illuminating the Brooklyn Bridge; Rockefeller Centre and the countless skyscrapers is indescribable. It is truly awe inspiring to look out at the city that endured the world’s largest terrorist attack and was the cause for the ill-fated ‘war on terror’. After taking in the sights and purchasing some King Kong themed merchandise we headed back to a well deserved sleep. The next day began with a walking tour of some of the most famous buildings in New York from the United Nations (that unfortunately wasn’t in session) to the stunning, art deco Chrysler Building built during the New Deal. We also found time in our

government the founding fathers laid down in the constitution. We woke the next day excruciatingly early but in high spirits and made our way to the entrance which was manned by heavily armed guards that were a little intimidating and, after making our way through yet another rigorous set of security checks, we entered the building that has housed the nation’s leaders since President Lincoln. The fact that this is even possible was amazing to students from a country that does not allow its citizens access to the street where its leader lives, let alone to their home. We wandered through the halls, desperately trying to take in every detail as cameras were strictly forbidden. The halls were lined with busts and portraits of past Presidents and, much to our surprise and delight, the first bust is not a President but Dr Martin Luther King Jr, a leader in the civil rights movement and advocate of peaceful protest. The tour made us realise how overlooked many of the 19th Century Presidents (some of whom we were ashamed never to have heard of) are and how the increasing importance of image in politics in the 20th century has led to the election of a different type of President; coiffed, well presented and affixed with a convincing smile. Everywhere you turned there was the eagle motif, in wood carvings, furniture and perched over every door frame, a constant symbol of the values the nation was founded upon. While taking photographs outside the White House we also met a protestor against American involvement in various wars (and his dog) who had been camped opposite the White House for over 30 years. It reminded all of us that this great power can inspire and influence democracy world wide but can also cause great damage if its actions on the world stage are misguided. Visiting the Supreme Court on the same day was almost overwhelming. Walking up the steps with the Statue of Justice and the inscription ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ above the door and entering the place were 9 men had upheld the right to abortion, deemed segregation to be unconstitutional and forced the release of the Watergate tapes that eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon was astounding. Famous decisions are inscribed in gold on the walls and busts of famous justices are everywhere. We crowded around to take pictures through the door of the court and then put our cameras away to step inside for a talk on the workings and history of the judiciary. That same day we went to Arlington Cemetery, resting place of most of the nation’s presidents as well as many other important figures. After studying the civil rights movement in AS History we were keen to see the graves of both John and Robert Kennedy and were not disappointed by the flaming monument to the 35th President accompanied by an inscription of his inauguration speech. We were lucky enough to see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier that was extremely moving. During our trip we also visited the monuments to the Vietnam and Korean Wars and were horrified by the sheer length of the wall chronicling those killed in Vietnam. It is surprising to realise that the Congress building housing the legislature is far more prominent than the White House. The white, domed building that is mirrored in every state capitol across the country shone in the stark February sunlight as we queued for tickets for the tour and, after a quick photo opportunity outside we headed in. The tour itself is hurried in order to cover the significance of the artwork on the ceiling, the numerous statues and, interestingly, the echoing effect on the old representatives’ chamber that forced them to move to a more fitting home. We also saw the old Supreme Court building in the basement of Congress. Given the brevity of our stay in Washington we could not visit the entire Smithsonian and settled on the Air and Space Museum as the most popular. We really enjoyed seeing the shuttles and learning about the history of the space race, and, while in the museum, we were able to see the American Treasures exhibition that includes the original C3PO and R2D2 from Star Wars, the counter where the first ‘sit-in’ for the civil rights movement was held and Kermit the Frog. The day was topped with a trip to the National Archives to see the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. The reverence ordinary Americans pay to these documents is admirable and being able to look down at the original words that defined the core of American democracy was a highlight of the trip.

All in all the trip to America was an outstanding success despite a few mishaps, some extremely cold weather and Miss Cooper’s declaration that taking sixth formers abroad is more trouble than it’s worth. It allowed us to immerse ourselves in American culture, get to grips with the nation’s proud history and its political system and come to appreciate the diversity of the world’s only hyper-power. Yet, despite its influence and power, the trip reminded us that amongst the wealth and magnificence there is extreme poverty the like of which we are unaccustomed to in the UK. We left with a greater understanding of the roots and customs of a divided nation.


The Barringer Fellowship, Summer 2006
Kathryn Cooper of Loreto College Manchester is the first recipient of the BAAS Barringer Teacher Fellowship. She has written this account of her study trip to Virginia.


pplying for the Barringer Fellowship was a combination of wanting the opportunity to study in Virginia, wanting to learn about the Colonial period in hopes of teaching it, and wanting to support the British Association for American Studies. Getting accepted and then finding out I was the first British Fellow gave me pause for thought. But it turned out to be a tremendous experience in so many ways. Knowing little about Thomas Jefferson or early American history meant doing some reading before setting off for the US. Looking back I should have done more of this. It would have helped me narrow down exactly what I wanted to look at before I went, and also made my research faster once I got there. When I started my background reading and looked for books on early American history in the bookshops of Manchester I was surprised how few there were. I have been teaching US history for about nine years and have watched the subject become more and more popular and the American history section of my local Waterstone’s expand from a couple of shelves to a couple of book cases. Yet the vast majority of the books were on the late modern period. There was a great selection of texts on the Civil War and on contemporary America, but surprisingly few on the Colonial era. Whether this is

denial of the American ‘rebellion’ by the British or more likely, that other periods are more fashionable it was a surprise how little was there. On the positive side, one reason for applying for the Fellowship was that my exam board has introduced Colonial options, so perhaps the fashion is changing. The final work I did was to produce a teaching pack on how presidential power developed, especially under Jefferson: how far did Washington, Adams and Jefferson stretch the powers the constitution gave them and therefore develop the executive office. All three tried to abide by the constitution yet all three at various times seemed to interpret their constitutional authority in as wide a way as possible, especially in foreign affairs. With Adams’s Federalist views this is hardly surprising, but in Jefferson it often seems hypocritical. He criticised wide interpretation on many occasions, even going so far as to attempt to stir up the states against the Sedition Act. Yet holding back the ‘midnight appointments’, the Louisiana Purchase and the Embargo Act all seem to see Jefferson interpreting executive authority in a very wide manner. At times it was hard to decide whether Jefferson was simply a hypocrite, or simply a man who when faced with the reality of presidential power found things were not so black and white. It does seem that he was concerned when he felt he had gone

too far and that although he wanted the constitution to be capable of change he did not want it to be so elastic as to be meaningless. This would be a difficult line to tread for any president, but in a newly independent state that had to be turned into one nation against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, to even come close is praiseworthy. But even when recognising all he did and tried to do to be faithful to his concept of liberty and the republic it is sometimes hard to like Jefferson. I imagine he could sometimes be insufferable. Being a busy teacher, having time to research and study was in itself a real pleasure. Opportunities like this are very rare in education in Britain. Added to this was the chance to attend the seminars and take visits to Monticello which all brought the period to life. My students might think it geeky that I spent part of my summer in study but it undoubtedly increased my understanding of US history and, I hope, improved my ability to teach it. The whole experience was made even more enjoyable by the wonderful reception from all the staff at the Jefferson Center. Everyone was interested in what we were doing and eager to offer advice and support as well as the occasional lunch. And Joan is quite simply a star. Virginia is beautiful and the Fellowship truly gave me the chance of a lifetime. I would sincerely like to thank the Barringers, Andrew and everyone at the Jefferson Center for the opportunity I was given.


News and Events from the ASRC
'Hard Times and Hard Travellin'
Celebrating 20 years of the American Studies Resource Centre
death of his older sister, Clara and then by the institutionalisation of his mother, Nora. By the 1930s, Okemah, once an oil boomtown, went bust forcing Guthrie to move to Texas where he married, had three children and began his musical career. When the dust storm hit in 1935, Guthrie, along with thousands of other 'Okies', headed for California. The 'hard travellin', hostility and exploitation that he and the other 'dust bowl refugees' endured on the road to the 'golden state' is captured in his Dust Bowl Ballads, which are among the most popular he recorded. By comparing Guthrie's songs with those penned in Tin Pan Alley, such as 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?', Dr Kaufman showed how America's 'original folk hero' rejected balladry entreating the poor to meekly accept their fate, instead calling for greater political activism and economic justice. Until incapacitated by illness, Guthrie supported many progressive campaigns for equality, social justice and economic reform, though when pressed on whether he was a member of the Communist Party, he answered, "I ain't a communist necessarily, but I been in the red all my life". Guthrie died in 1967 but his words live on through his song 'This Land is Your Land', now the unofficial anthem of the USA. Originally from New Jersey, Dr Kaufman is Reader in English and American Studies at the University of Central Lancashire and has published widely on many aspects of American culture. He has also been a semiprofessional folksinger and musician for over 30 years, and is equally at home playing the guitar, fiddle and banjo.

By Shonagh Wilkie

The Joe H Makin Drama Centre echoed to the sounds of a bygone era, as Dr Will Kaufman evoked the politics, passions and poetics of Woody Guthrie to mark the 20th anniversary of LJMU's American Studies Resource Centre. During the 'Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin' event, Dr Kaufman held the audience enthralled with his account of the forgotten and homeless during the Depression and Dust Bowl of 1930s America. Using Guthrie's songs to punctuate his historical commentary, he was able to give voice to the communities dis-

placed and vilified as unwanted migrants in their own country. The performance more than justified Industrial Workers of the World activist Joe Hill’s belief that while 'a pamphlet is never read more than once... a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over'. Though written decades ago, Guthrie’s songs still resonated as a powerful critique of a society that failed to support its most vulnerable citizens. Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma in 1912. His life was marked by tragedy, first by the

This article first appeared in JMU News

39 An eventful year for Students learn about the Depression, Roothe ASRC
As you may have already gathered, 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the American Studies Centre (see separate article.) To celebrate this, a number of special events have taken place during the academic year. These included a series of guest lectures from colleagues in the American Studies field and further. The year began with the 20th annual Schools Conference. A report of this, by Helen Tamburro, is carried in this edition, as is a report by Shonagh Wilkie of the ‘Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin’ lecture given by Dr. Will Kaufman (University of Central Lancashire). The Centre also presented an illustrated presentation by Richie Barton and Billie Harrison on the forthcoming release of the film ‘Cunard Yanks’. Supported by Dave Cotterill of Souled Out Films, (a Liverpool based independent production company) the speakers considered the impact and legacy of the young men who worked on the Cunard Transatlantic run between Liverpool and New York from the 1950s through the 1960s and how American popular culture and fashion were brought into Liverpool. In particular, the film considers the impact of the activities of the Cunard Yanks on the development of popular music and the ‘Mersey Sound’ of the sixties. For more details of the film, which is to receive its Premiere in the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, go to http:// Significant changes will also be taking place over the summer in the layout and content of the Centre. As a consequence, it is likely there will be serious disruption to our services from late June until September. We apologise for this is advance. More on this will appear in next years issue but keep a close watch on the ASRC web site for further news or announcemens.

sevelt and the New Deal

Schools Conference Report by Helen Tamburro

Left to right Dr Will Kaufman, Dr Jenel Virden, Frank Lennon and Dr Niall Palmer
This year’s conference at Liverpool’s Maritime Museum welcomed 120 students and teachers from across the North West. Jacqui Bentley, Education Officer from the National Museums of Liverpool, introduced the speakers to the enthusiastic audience. This year’s speakers included Frank Lennon of Liverpool Hope University, whose lecture dealt with President Hoover and The Depression, Dr. Jenel Virden of the University of Hull, who evaluated the impact of the New Deal, Dr. Niall Palmer of Brunel University who discussed Roosevelt, Congress and the Supreme Court. This was followed by the multi-talented Dr. Will Kaufman of the University of Central Lancashire, who assessed the effect of the Depression and the music of Woody Guthrie - also giving a live performance on the guitar, banjo and fiddle of not only Guthrie’s music, but others of that period. The lectures were followed by a Question and Answer session with the panel of speakers. Kathryn Cooper, Head of History at Loreto College, Manchester, commented “Yet again the Centre provided a conference with excellent speakers, who not only inspired the students, but presented lectures that will undoubtedly assist them in the successful completion of their studies. Another excellent day.” Ian Ralston of the American Studies Resource Centre noted, “The success of any conference depends on meeting the needs of teachers and students and finding academics who can really get the message over. Without a doubt the success of the conference was due to those factors; an attentive audience, four superb speakers and a perfect setting at the Maritime Museum”. Special thanks to organisers Ian Ralston of the ASRC, Jacqui Bentley of the NML and to the four speakers. Thanks also to the British Association for American Studies (BAAS) and the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Embassy in London for their assistance. The next conference should take place at the start of the next academic year, Check our website for details.


writing America”. In the critical

Book Reviews
Tanner, Tony. The American Mystery.
Cambr idge: Cambridge UP, 2000. 2 4 2 p p . (paperback). I S B N 0521783747 evaluation provided of Tanner’s work, Bell indirectly exposes how America’s literary language came into being at a time when America was eager to present itself as a new nation independent from Europe. In each essay, Tanner highlights his close textual analyses with quotes coming from the primary sources under consideration and embellishes the discussion with references to key secondary sources. Whenever necessary, explanatory notes are also provided at the end of each essay. In addition, Tanner concentrates on characterization and the narrative tropes – metaphors, word plays, homophones – each author employs. In this way, Tanner enables his readers to appreciate not only the distinctive rhetoric that each one of the writers uses but also value the socio-cultural and political context within which their works were conceived and published. Some of the notions to be addressed are: slavery, democracy, identity, sexuality, materialism, history. The information printed on the sources where the present essays had originally been published and the bibliographical data appearing at the end of each essay familiarize students of American literature with the scholarship of Tanner’s work as well as guide them through secondary criticism. An index is also available.

Sang Hyun Lee (ed. ) The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005. 331 pp. ISBN 0-69112108-7.

Reviewed by Tatiani Rapatzikou
In this book Tony Tanner explores an array of key nineteenth and twentieth-century American writers. This makes his study an indispensable guide to students and scholars alike. He devotes the twelve essays contained in the present volume to Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Henry James, Howells, Fitzgerald, DeLillo and Pynchon. Teachers who are designing A Level or Access survey courses on nineteenth and twentieth century American literature and American Studies, as well as university and college lecturers, will find that the present book offers a valid introduction to the writing style of certain eminent American writers and the literary trends – transcendentalism, realism, modernism and postmodernism – that each one of them represents. Emphasis is placed on the discussion of particular works with attention paid to the way language has been treated by each author for the construction of a distinctive American literary discourse. The present volume starts with a preface by Edward W. Said, who had been responsible for the posthumous collection and compilation of the essays to be included in this book, as well as with an introduction by Ian F. A. Bell under the title, “Tony Tanner on American means of writing and means of

Reviewed by Matthew Smith
Amid the burgeoning literature on Jonathan Edwards, the sheer scale of his extant writings still cries out for guidance and elucidation. The nineteen essays in this volume are intended to furnish a “brief and yet instructive and authoritative introduction to the key ideas in Edwards’ theology” (xi). The listed contributors read like a Who’s Who of current Edwards scholarship, a field which has grown almost continuously since 1949, when Perry Miller published his influential but controversial Jonathan Edwards. The old New England intellectual tradition with which Miller identified owed much to Edwards and his followers, but recent scholarship has rightly placed it in a much wider context, spiritually and geographically. These essays impressively place Jonathan Edwards in historical context. Edwards easily confuses the modern reader, at once embracing the contemporary intellectual currents of the Enlightenment, while looking back to the classical theology of Augustine and the Scholastic thinkers of Medieval Europe. Miller’s belief that Edwards’s theology transcended the contours of its own time, however, will simply no longer do. If anything brought Edwards’s writing into a coherent whole, it was his effort “to harmonize scripture with the human knowledge of

his day” (xiv). Unlike the late Stephen Jay Gould, who posited the separate magisteria of religion and science, Edwards embraced both spheres of knowledge interdependently. As Robert Brown points out, he “was completely enamoured with the modern intellectual enterprise and accepted its claims to produce real knowledge about the world” (96). This despite the extreme idealism of Edwards’s theology, which conceived the entirety of physical creation as “shadows of divine things” in the mind of God (37). While Edwards’s tendency to approach theological problems by analogy to “natural philosophy” may appear problematic, it certainly spoke to the intellectual battleground of the day, challenging the discourses of deism and enthusiasm alike. The Edwards of these essays is a practical conservative, open to intellectual innovation but essentially formed by his Puritan heritage. Edwards criticized emotional excesses of eighteenth-century revivalism, even questioning the great awakener George Whitefield concerning “spiritual ‘impulses’ and assurance of salvation” (10). According to Wilson H. Kimnach, Edwards’s notorious sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” was not even a true “hellfire” piece, “consumed as it is with the here and now,” instead of the everlasting hereafter (253). Harry S. Stout convincingly lays to rest Miller’s claim that Edwards abandoned Puritan “federal theology” in favour of preaching individual salvation. Edwards was as much a Puritan as his celebrated grandfather Solomon Stoddard had been; the twin concepts of God’s Israel in New England and the covenant of grace rested easily one beside the other. Edwards’s theology endured through the nineteenth-century, albeit in unexpected corners. As Mark Noll points out, while Congregational New England went down the path of Unitarian religion, Edwards’s theology continued to inspire the likes of Thomas Chalmers, leader of Scotland’s Free Church reformation (302). the Old World and the importance of America as a promised land in Jewish thought. Of particular merit is the essay by Priscilla Wald, which reassesses canonical texts of the pre-war years, evaluating the recent immigrants’ endorsements or censures of their new homeland; her conclusions are surprising and well argued. Less successful is Susan Gubar’s consideration of Jewish American women’s writing, which lacks a framework, leaving the reader slightly confused. While the individual essays vary enormously in focus, as a whole, the collection is an in depth investigation into the importance of identity in Jewish American literature, and the impact of language and conceptions of home. The clearly stated purpose of this collection is to show the variety encompassed by the term Jewish American literature: to reconsider well-known themes and authors and to suggest those that require further attention in the future. It attempts to tell the full and complex story of Jewish experience in America, not just the simplistic journey from ‘trouble to triumph’ that is normally propagated. The collection certainly covers a wide range of time periods and movements; however, the essays are predominantly leftist or liberal in tone and promote secular Jewish output over the alternatives; there is little interest in Orthodox Judaism as an influence, apart from to expose its irrelevance. The desire behind this collection was to present a more nuanced account of Jewish American literature, and while this is a worthy aim, it does put the reader under some pressure. It would be helpful for the reader to have some knowledge of the accounts this collection wishes to right. This collection is certainly to be recommended as further reading within the field, but it would perhaps be a difficult introduction or overview for the uninitiated. However, for those already well read in such critical material, it is an engaging read.

The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards is a solid
contribution to a crowded historical field. While “an authoritative introduction” may be elusive, this book belongs on the shelves of every scholar of the Great Awakening, not to mention historian of colonial America. An equivalent compendium depicting Jonathan Edwards as pastor remains to be written, however, this book will be an invaluable appendix to Edwards’s Complete Works, soon to be completed by Yale University Press.

The Cambridge Companion to Jewish American Literature by Michael P. Kramer and Hana Wirth-Nesher, eds.
Cambridge UP, 2003. ISBN hardb a c k 0521792932, paperback 0521796997. pp 296. List price: Hardback: £45, p a p e r b a c k: £17.99.

Alex Hobbs

Reviewed by

Kramer and Wirth-Nesher’s collection comprises fifteen separate essays addressing different aspects and themes in Jewish American literature. The chapters include explorations of the origins of Jewish American literary history; Eastern European immigrant contribution; Hebrew and multi-lingual writing; poetry; the impact of the Holocaust; and contemporary literary theory, and writing. The chapters run in chronological order, although there is, of course, some overlap. Helpfully, the collection begins with informative and clear essays from Michael P. Kramer and Susannah Heschel, which serve to set up later chapters, offering background analyses of

The Oxford Book of American Poetry, Chosen and Edited by David Lehman
Oxford: Oxford University Press man prefers Whitman’s original version of ‘Song of Myself’ written in 1855, rather than the 18912 revised edition preferred by the previous editors. The editor has also rightly reclaimed Gertrude Stein as an important poetic figure, including three full poems and excerpts from A identities,’ Men Beyond Desire presents a refreshing and comprehensive study of the representation of gender and gendered relationships by authors such as Irving, Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and S t o w e , among others. Feeding from and contesting traditional, unproblematic understandings of the cult of American manhood, David Greven searches for the ‘queerly inflected threat’ embodied in the emergence, development, and literary representation of the figure of what he variously calls the ‘unavailable,’ ‘undesiring,’ and, more consistently, the ‘inviolate’ male. For Greven, the ‘inviolate male’ was the product of the ‘discordant agenda[s]’ of the contemporary discourses and movements behind the ideologies of selfhood, manhood, effeminacy, propriety, and acceptable behaviour (namely, the ideology of selfmade manhood, sexual and health reform, temperance and conduct literature). Ultimately, the inviolate male’s elusiveness, his condition as ‘a hermetically sealed vessel of chastity and purity,’ is seen as a response to the conflicting coexistence – in its compulsory form – of homosociality and heterosexuality in nineteenth-century American life. Greven persuasively separates the inviolate male, actuated by a ‘self-conscious deferment of desire,’ from the bachelor, who represents ‘bounteous desire with no clearly directed, socially responsible aim,’ and sees the former as more deeply problematic for ‘the idea of normative heterosexuality as destiny.’ Throughout the book, Greven questions the critical and cinematic tendency to idealise homosocial or fraternal bonds as a way of reinforcing heterosexual-

019516251X, £25, pp1132

Book Concluding with As a Wife Has a Cow A Love Story.

Reviewed by Nicola Presley, University of Exeter
David Lehman’s The Oxford Book of American Poetry is a

selection of poetry from the seventeenth century to the present day, with an introduction and short biographical note on each poet by Lehman. It is a muchneeded update of Richard Ellmann’s The New Oxford Book Of American Verse, which was published in 1976. Ellmann’s anthology, in turn, revises F.O Matthiessen’s 1950 edited collection The Oxford Book of American Verse. Lehman draws attention to his predecessors in his introduction to the volume and is complimentary about their methods of poetry selection and editorial control but in the case of Mathiesson’s choices, Lehman ‘feels inclined to do the opposite’. Lehman’s rationale, therefore, is ‘more poets but less space for each’, hence the weightiness of this anthology. He includes over two hundred poets, almost three times as many as Matthiessen and Ellmann. The poets anthologised begin with Anne Bradstreet writing in the seventeenth century and end with John Yau, born in 1950. Lehman has used the birth year of 1950 as the cut off date for inclusion of poets. Of the poets in the volume, there are varying amounts of space given to each. Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are predictably heavily represented and Lehman cites their importance, referring to them as ‘poetic grandparents’ in his introduction. Interestingly, Leh-

Inevitably in an anthology like this, there is some controversy in Lehman’s inclusions and omissions and selection of poems. For example, there are just three poems from Pulitzer-prize winning writer Anne Sexton and puzzlingly, Lehman includes her 1974 poem ‘The Fury of Cocks’ rather than one of her more famous and successful like ‘Housewife’ or ‘her Kind’. Despite a good selection of Allen Ginsberg’s work there is no ‘Howl’, and just two poems from W D Snodgrass, omitting the masterly ‘Heart’s Needle’. Admirably, Lehman includes many African- American poets who are collected in the Oxford Anthology for the first time although notably, there is no space for Alice Walker. Despite these shortcomings, Lehman’s handsome anthology is a welcome addition to the Oxford series and will surely introduce many of these poets to a whole new audience. One can only look forward to the next update, which will no doubt include many new, fine young poets.

David Greven, Men Beyond Desire: Manhood, Sex, and Violation in American Literature
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, £35.00 hardcover. Pp. 294; ISBN: 1-4039-6911-6)

Reviewed by Encarna Trinidad Open University/ Queen’s University
Set against the backdrop of the Jacksonian era’s obsession with social purification and its underlying opposition to ‘nonnormative gendered and sexual

ity and erasing ‘queer potentiality,’ thereby extending the Jacksonian opposition to effeminacy, which he believes it was both complied with and critiqued by the authors in the study. Most of Greven’s work is concerned with white inviolate manhood as realized through characters such as Ichabod Crane, Natty Bumppo, Fanshawe, Dimmesdale, Coverdale, Billy Budd and the narrator of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher. Yet Greven also transposes the ‘inviolate’ state to black manhood, through his reading of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Tom-Eva, Tom-St Clare relationships, and to womanhood, in his overview of Augusta Evans’s Macaria and its unavailable female protagonists. The coda to the book examines briefly how the figure of the inviolate man permeated the literature of the end of the nineteenth century and how the image has also been perpetuated by twenty-first century literary and cinematic representations of manhood. as The Beat Scene East and West, Censorship, Religion, Gender, the Visual Arts etc. The Overview section (136 pages) places the period into context in a manner that is solid and informative for students engaging in a first time study of the Beats. Volumes 2 and 3 (Authors) comprise a further 1,000 plus pages dealing with specific writers and poets, (ranging alphabetically from Paul Blackburn to John Wieners) each one structured in similar fashion (Introduction, Principal Works, Commentary, Primary Sources etc.) Although this structure may feel slightly repetitive to some readers, it does allow the content of this major work to be ‘user friendly’ and accessible. (The entire structure could be described as encyclopaedic.) Many would ask if it is worth investing in such an expensive collection in this time of restricted budgets. However, as a reference text and one (as already noted) for the student engaging in first time serious study of the Beat Generation, this is a highly valuable collection and one that is therefore recommended. In addition, for more advanced students, or those engaging in research, the work is also a valuable starting point. The Further Readings sections, whilst variable in suggestions for a continually expanding area of study, still also offer a solid basis from which to progress. Having examined two other collections in this Gale Thompson series (The Harlem Renaissance and Americans At War) and considered student feedback to their practical value, I would conclude that if your budget will stretch to it, they are well worthy of addition to your university library.

Haynes Johnson. Sleepwalking Through History: America in the Reagan Years.
W.W. Norton & Co: New York, New ed, 2003, $15.95) 525p. ISBN: 0393324346


Reviewed by Dr James Miller (King’s College Lon-

The Beat Generation: A Critical Companion, (Three volumes) Project Editor Lynn M. Zott,
Thompson Gale, 2003. ISBN: 0 7876 7569 5 (set).£244.88

Reviewed by Ian Ralston, ASRC John Moores University.
Study of the Beat Generation, arguably one of the most significant literary movements in American history, remains thankfully strong, with a variety of new texts each year on the plethora of writers involved. This extensive work attempts to provide both an overview as well as a critical evaluation of the writers and their work as a whole. Volume 1 (Topics) consists of 528 pages covering issues such

Since his death on June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan has been hailed by many on the Right, credited for winning the Cold War and restoring prestige to a nation rattled after the humiliations and scandals of Vietnam, Watergate and the Iran hostage crisis. In the light of such hagiographic historical revisionism, this new edition of Haynes Johnson’s celebrated study is a welcome corrective. A highly readable and journalistic study, with research based largely on interviews with a wide range of figures from the period, Sleepwalking Through History explores the reasons for Reagan’s victory, and the many scandals and cultural changes that marked his Presidency. Haynes memorably describes Reagan as a “consumer instead of a preserver, a raider instead of a protector” and the “vehicle around which conservative forces could and did rally.” Particularly astute at understanding Reagan’s mastery of electronic media, he shows how the President used his natural charisma and the oratorical skills developed during his career as an actor to charm and, to a certain extent, to cheat the American public. He was the benevolent front man for a wide range of socially destructive policies. Describing his Presidency as one of

“pictures, symbols, and staging” with every public act “planned by his media experts for its maximum impact through television” Haynes shows a sophisticated understanding of how mass media, public relations and political policy were brought together by the Reagan administration as a formidable means of image-control. Although the Reagan administration positioned itself as anti-tax, anticommunist and antigovernment, Haynes argues that in fact nepotism, corruption and self-aggrandizement at the expense of public interest are the defining motifs of many of Reagan’s key players. Particularly astute in his exploration of Reagan’s economic policies, Haynes traces the boom of the early eighties through the bogus theorising of supply side economics all the way to the slump that ended the decade. He shows how Reagan’s economic policies, which strongly favoured the wealthy over the poor and slashed spending at all levels of government except defence, had the net effect of transforming the United States from being the world’s largest international creditor to the world’s largest debtor nation. Equally thorough in his critique of Reagan’s foreign policy, Haynes astutely dissects the complexity of the Iran-Contra scandal and the depth of the administration’s involvement with Noriega. For this new edition, Haynes has added an afterword in which he considers the implications of the war on terror and asks how far 9-11 represented “the inevitable consequences of actions taken – or, perhaps more accurately, of actions not taken by American leaders and their institutions.” Written in an accessible manner, thorough in its coverage of detail, unsparing in its criticism,

David L. Holmes, The Faiths Of The Founding Fathers
New York: Oxford University Press, 2006 ISBN 0195300920

these women ‘were significantly more orthodox in [Christian] religious belief than the men’ (p. 109). Holmes says that this has not been satisfactorily explained, but goes on to offer six factors he regards as significant, and they combine to form an explanation that is both cogent and convincing. The final contribution this book makes is in its survey of the faiths of the Presidents of the modern era, from Kennedy to George W. Bush. Here again, because Holmes steps outside the strict remit of his title, there is more academic room for manoeuvre, and this allows him to make interesting points about the Presidency as a modern institution and the way it has been moulded by each of its recent incumbents. In addition, it enables him to underline the political point of his moderate and descriptive book. The book has been written as a corrective to the growing nationalist mythology of the religious right in the United States, which tends to reinterpret history in the light of its own emergence, and sees the past of the United States as an unbroken stream of Christian continuity from Plymouth Rock to today’s Bible Belt. This evangelical version of U.S. history has had some difficulty with the Constitutional separation of church and state as well as with the Deistic and Unitarian views of some of the nation’s founding fathers, and has tended to reinterpret the establishment of the United States in the light of its own assumed link between American patriotism and Christian faith. In this context it has become important to describe the faiths (or the lack thereof) of the founding fathers clearly and moderately, and this is the contribution that David Holmes’ book succeeds in making.

Reviewed by Sarah Martin The Faiths of the Founding Fathers
is a slim book and one that sticks closely to the subject described by its title. After a condensed and slightly disorganised opening outlining the religious context in the American colonies in 1770, the main substance of the book is a chapter-by-chapter description of the religious practices and views of Benjamin Franklin and the first five Presidents of the United States. David Holmes sticks scrupulously to the available evidence and draws from it fair and balanced assessments of the degree to which each of these men was a practicing and believing Christian. Although the chapters may be usefully read for supplementary information regarding their subjects, they are in truth descriptive rather than analytical and add little that cannot be found in a decent biography of each man. Sadly the book does not discuss the Constitution or the first amendment in relation to the founders’ faiths, and neither does it discuss the interaction between their religious views and their political actions. In the final third of the book David Holmes covers two subjects on which he offers more analysis. The first is his discussion of the faiths of the wives and daughters of the founding fathers. Again we are treated to a schematic description of a selection of individuals’ religious views and experiences. However in this case Holmes is prepared to synthesise the data that he has gathered and observes that

Sleepwalking Through America

is a fine example of politicalinvestigative journalism. It is worth reading for all students of contemporary American politics and history, as well as those looking for a better understanding of the present situation.

Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. By Michelle Goldberg,
N o r t o n , 2006. ISBN 0393329763 sense that, instead of solid data and studies to justify their work, they solely rely on biblical scripture, which some people, particularly US citizens of different faiths, would potentially oppose. It boils down to that old debate over separation of Church and State. Religion and Politics rarely mix easily. Goldberg highlights the sporadic growth of the so-called megachurches, (in 1970 there were 10 of these types of church, now there are more than 880), which contain hundreds of Christian nationalists under one roof, or as Goldberg describes them, “tightly organised rightwing political machines”. The power that such movements can wield is enormous and any previous potential to persuade has, under the Bush administration, metamorphosed from a burgeoning movement to an established realm at the core of American culture in 2007. The part Christian nationalism plays in education is immense, particularly in relation to the growth of homeschooling in the US and the Patrick Henry College in Virginia, which was the first college in the US specifically for homeschooled undergraduates. (In 2004, 7% of White House interns were Patrick Henry graduates, including one of Karl Rove’s staff). The introduction of ‘Intelligent Design’, or ‘creationism’ into the school curriculum is another issue. Goldberg emphasises that one can believe in both God and evolution, but that supporters of intelligent design are too rigid to be impartial, although the fact that 65% of Americans favour the teaching of creationism alongside traditional evolutionist theories in itself proves that generally Americans seem to find two options more attractive than one. Goldberg highlights the controversy caused in some areas by the introduction of sexual abstinence programs and communities where health centre staff turned to God to decide whether a female customer should be handed over the morning-after pill. She illustrates perfectly this sense of widespread and growing influence of these Christian right agendas that are permeating the lives of ordinary Americans. Particularly illuminating is Goldberg’s point that “the things that so many Islamic fundamentalists hate about the West – its sexual openness, its art, the possibilities it offers for escaping the bonds of family and religion, for inventing ones own life – are what the Christian Nationalists hate as well”, although this could well be the thoughts of any hard-line Christian. She assesses the mixture of religion and politics in the Bush White House and its impact on the current political and social climate in the US, catapulted onto the centre stage in the aftermath of 9/11. The recently deceased Christian fundamentalist and televangelist Jerry Falwell suggested that “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians…the ACLU” were partly to blame for the attacks. Christian nationalism is known for its bigotry, antifeminism and extreme homophobia - “the foundations to their beliefs.” It is this extremism that led to the Christian Social Services Division of the Salvation Army in New York City being radically purged of gay and non-Christian staff, resulting in eighteen former staff members together with the ACLU, suing the Salvation Army and the city, state and federal government. The Justice department ruled against them because a rule of Bush’s Faithbased policies is that religious groups can hire or fire staff based on their religious views. It is this some may say interference, which calls into question the motives of the ‘policy wonks’. Such interference from the government (and in Britain this would be a severe case of the nanny-state rearing its head) is also however an erosion of civil liberties, which US citizens have been significantly affected

Reviewed by Helen Tamburro.
When casting my eye over this year’s list of books to r e v i e w ,

Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism immedi-

ately stood out as a book covering an issue that I had wanted to explore further. Author Michelle Goldberg travels across America in the run-up to the 2004 election, observing and reporting on the “growing influence of dominionism – the doctrine that Christians have the right to rule non-believers”. It is a controversial subject that has proved increasingly topical being particularly synonymous with the ‘compassionate conservatism’ governing of the Bush White House. As Goldberg explains, she “started this book in part because I was terrified by America’s increasing hostility to the cosmopolitan values I cherish.” Goldberg begins by addressing the roots of Christian nationalism, its recent history and what she views as the growing power exerted by the widespread movement. A prominent theme throughout her investigation is its link with the Bush administration, primarily the Faith Based Initiatives launched under Bush, and both the positive and negative influences of such schemes (for example, publicly funded drug-rehabilitation programs with help from prayer and scripture). She essentially questions the transfer of money and power between Republicans and the religious right, especially in the

by since 9/11, specifically following the Patriot Act in the wake of the terrorist attacks. She notes the increasing religious polarisation in the US, “As Christian nationalism becomes more militant, secularists and religious minorities will mobilise in opposition…thus we’re likely to see a shrinking middle ground, with both camps increasingly viewing each other across a chasm of mutual incomprehension and contempt.” Goldberg acknowledges the imposed limitations to Christian nationalism – the Constitution, the Courts and Capitalism. In other words, the usual checks and balances, but somewhat surprisingly she predicts that a Democrat win in 2008 will not necessarily reverse the growth and influence of Christian nationalism. That it will be the over-represented conservative states in the Electoral College, together with the growth of those Christian megachurches (not forgetting the socio-political messages stemming from the White House’s Christian-right agendas) that will continue to dominate US political culture. This would certainly support the arguments for a review of the electoral voting system; if it needs to be more demographic and representative then they would need to look at alternate options. future may hold. Goldberg conveys a current anxiety in America that extends “into paranoia and hatred” of fellow citizens, going so far as to link the appearance of it with Fascism. She also worries about the lack of the “entire social mechanism by which truth is distinguished from falsehood” – and therefore ultimately and unfortunately, the demise of democracy. Accounting for this shift in the U.S. political landscape is the purpose of Professor Larry J. Sabato’s latest work, The Sixth

Year Itch: The Rise and Fall of the George W. Bush Presidency.

The Sixth Year Itch: The Rise and Fall of the George W. Bush Presidency. Edited by Larry J. Sabato.
Longman, 2007. Paperback. 505 pp. ISBN 0321467000 $14.95 US / £7.51 UK.

That Sabato should craft a book on the 2006 campaign season is hardly surprising. Not only is he the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, but this text also serves as a logical progression of a series of publications that he has previously edited. This is, of course, in reference to Midterm Madness: The Elections of 2002, and Di-

vided States of America: The Slash and Burn Politics of the 2004 Presidential Election].


Reviewed by Simon Hill, Liverpool J o h n Moores Uni-

Kingdom Coming is an eyeopening, fascinating peek into the epicentre of the American religious right. What is most revealing is not the fact that the Bush administration streams their messages, but the extent to which it runs through every vein of policy. Goldberg gives a passionate report painting a genuine picture of her experiences in the world of Christian nationalism, albeit from the perspective of a Jewish “urbanite”. Though obviously sceptical, she puts herself in the position of many who feel genuinely threatened by the rise of Christian nationalism in their nation, and predicts what the

Between 2002 and 2004 the Republicans were the majority party in U.S. politics. Indeed, defying the conventional wisdom that midterm elections generally punish the President’s party, in 2002 Republican George W. Bush became the first President since FDR in 1934 to witness his party make gains in both chambers of Congress during the President’s first term. In 2004 the Grand Old Party ‘earned political capital’ by retaining the White House, this time with the popular vote on their side, and by making even further inroads into the Congress. However, in 2006 the Republican juggernaut ran out of steam. In that November’s midterm campaign, Bush’s party lost six Senate seats, thirty House seats, as well as six Governorships. This downturn propelled the Democrats into a clear majority in the legislature for the first time in over ten years. It was a significant reversal of fortunes.

In order to complete this task, Professor Sabato has assembled some of the biggest names in U.S. political punditry. Collectively, they have produced over twenty-five articles concerning various aspects of 2006. The contributors include Charlie Cook of NBC News, Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report, and National Journal’s Chuck Todd. There is even a chapter submitted by the former chair of the Federal Elections Commission, Michael Toner. The articles utilise a wide variety of sources: interviews, newspapers, exit polls, federal demographic data, websites, and such like. The result is a book that is authoritatively written. The arguments contained within its pages are plausible, well articulated, and well substantiated. Broadly speaking, The Sixth Year Itch is structured into four

parts. Part One seeks to put 2006 into the ‘big picture’, and place it in its correct historical perspective. This is achieved by writing general overviews of the House, Senate and Gubernatorial races. The reader learns that 2006 restored midterm elections to their correct pattern – after the anomalous results of 1998 and 2002 - and that the notorious ‘sixth year itch’ struck like clockwork. Part One also introduces the reader to Charlie Cook’s article on ‘wave’ elections, and how

in this election cycle the Republican ‘levees’ ultimately proved ineffective. Part Two is concerned with finance and the media. It notes that U.S. elections are becoming increasingly expensive, and that possessing the latest information technology is essential in waging an effective modern campaign. As a result, this book goes beyond the 2006 election cycle, and broadens its scope to incorporate analyses of wider changes within the U.S. political system. Parts three and four round off by producing case studies of individual Senate and Gubernatorial races. As you might imagine, these parts feature the McCaskill-Talent race in Missouri, the Lieberman-Lamont contest in Connecticut, and the senate showdown in Montana, to name but three examples. These sections are largely narrative in structure, but they do contain useful analyses too. They are therefore ideal for readers who wish to know more about how the individual ground wars were won or lost. Overall, one can judge The Sixth Year Itch favourably. In addition to its analytical strengths, part of its appeal is that it is able to reach out to a broad audience. The academic reader will derive pleasure from reviewing its insightful conclusions, but the general reader will also find the informal writing style and numerous tables most accessible too. Another area where The Sixth Year Itch is to be commended is its coverage of the governorship races. Typically, the focus of the immediate postelection analysis is on the balance of power within the Congress, rather than in the states. That this is so is most unwise. Governors Carter, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush all went on to become President. Thankfully, Chuck Todd redresses this imbalance with his article. That said, however, I would like to offer one or two constructive criticisms. Firstly, although the book does contain numerous footnotes, these references are not distributed throughout the whole book. This can limit the scope for further research. Perhaps a more uniform standard should be applied in future studies? Secondly, The Sixth Year Itch does not contain a definitive bibliography at the end, nor does it contain an index. This lack of an index, in particular, makes detailed navigation of the book somewhat difficult – especially when one is using it for reference purposes. Moreover, although the publication did provide numerous case studies into various Senate and Gubernatorial races, I felt a little disappointed that some House races were not reviewed in a similar manner. I appreciate that there are too many House races for all of them to be included in a single volume – but one or two could have been highlighted in their own right. A prime candidate would have been Illinois 6, which saw Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth stand as a Democrat in this normally G.O.P.-leaning district. I also believe that there could have been a chapter that focused on Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming. These are states that gave Bush over 60% of their vote in 2004, yet they all reelected Democratic governors with comfortable majorities two years later. The fact that these governors were returned to office in states that are normally hostile to their party says something about the power of incumbency, and why governorship races are different. Perhaps this also indicates that 2006 was not as nationalised an election as we might initially suppose? Perhaps local factors still counted for something? This avenue was worth pursuing further. Despite these minor issues, The Sixth Year Itch succeeds in what it sets out to accomplish: to provide a detailed and entertaining synthesis as to why the 2006 midterm elections took the form that they did. I would wholeheartedly recommend this text to anyone.

Race, Slavery and Civil Rights
Kevern Verney, The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America.
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006), pp.196, p/b £15.99 ISBN 0719067618 Reviewed by Dr Lee Sartain, University of Nottingham The problems of writing historiography are manifold. The most prominent of these is that no sooner is it published than it instantly needs updating with the latest research, such is the wealth of material being introduced into our libraries at seemingly increasing momentum. Other problems involve not upsetting colleagues by missing them out of the index and resisting the overuse of the epithet “seminal” in describing the vast array of academic works. With this in mind it is an estimable feat that Kevern Verney has achieved through his contribution to the Issues in Historiography series. Anyone who has any knowledge of African American history in the time of the Civil Rights Movement will be aware that it is a daunting task to behold the multitude of historical accounts and to know where to begin its study. Now, with the assistance of Verney’s comprehensive survey, the student can have a sound starting point in their studies. However, this book is not just invaluable for the beginner in US civil rights history but is an almanac for students at any level of study who wish to get to grips with the subject. Indeed postgraduates would find this a useful tool to keep up to date with their own research areas and reminding

themselves of the expertise that has preceded them. Meanwhile lecturers and teachers will find this a core guide to set in their modules on the twentieth century civil rights struggle. The book is approachable in covering the time period from 1895 and delineating various substantial areas of debate throughout the twentieth century. For example, the first five chapters encompass what might be seen as the traditional areas of African American studies: the era of Booker T. Washington and accommodation, the ‘New Negro’, the Great Depression and the Second World War, the Civil Rights Movement up to 1965, and Malcolm X and the Black Power movement. The last two chapters add further insight by discussing the new conservatism since 1980 and, of growing interest to researchers and students alike, the importance of African American contributions to popular culture. In a mere 196 pages, which includes chapter endnotes and a skilful bibliography, Verney has achieved a virtually impossible task with a breadth of knowledge and intimacy of style that will entertain, inform and challenge the reader. Verney’s account considers the history behind the writing of history. The reader is shown how the times that historians live in can affect their views of a subject and how they, in turn, often attempt to interact with their own social and political environment. A perfect illustration of this is the white liberal southerner C. Vann Woodward who actively engaged in being a part of the civil rights struggle in 1950s America, showing how historians often debate the past to explain the present and to try and facilitate change. Indeed Woodward’s seminal (it really is impossible to avoid that word) book, The Strange Career of Jim Crow (1955) was itself held up by Martin Luther King Jr as being ‘the Bible of the Civil Rights Movement” (p.18). But with historians being what they are, Woodward’s own views were soon seized upon by Joel Williamson and others and arguments over the origins of racial segregation carried on. Verney’s book is essential in understanding the wider discussion of who writes history and for what purpose. It is an invaluable contribution for students who will find this vital in their studies and in their understanding of historical debate. Updates will no doubt follow. The debate, after all, continues. students and the public generally were not well informed about slavery, resistance and abolition. Also about this time Davis began teaching slavery as a subject on its own in summerschool seminars for high-school teachers and in a semester-long undergraduate lecture course. Inhuman Bondage aims to set slavery in the United States "within the larger contexts of the Atlantic Slave System and the rise and fall of slavery in the New World" because it "can no longer be understood in parochial terms or simply as a chapter" in southern U.S. history.

Dr Sartain’s book ‘Invisible Activists: Women of the Louisiana NAACP & the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1915-1945’ is published by Louisiana State University Press in April 2007.

Davis, David Brion. Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. xvi, 440. Cloth, ISBN10: 0-19514073-7, £17.99. [The LoC CataloguinginPublication Data show an additional ISBN 13: 978-0-19-514073-6. The ISBN on the publisher's accompanying information sheet is given without hyphens and there is a publication date of 25 May 2006.]

Reviewed by George Rehin of Lewes, Sussex
David Brion Davis, an outstanding and prolific historian, won a Pulitzer Prize with his first book on slavery, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture, 1966. His latest volume, Inhuman Bondage, springs from the realisation in the 1990s that - despite epic scholarship, debates, and discoveries of historians since the 1960s - school and college

Inhuman Bondage is "not a comprehensive or encyclopaedic survey", but it covers a lot of ground. Beginning with the Amistad affair, it goes on to deal with slavery in antiquity, the origins of anti-black racism, Africa's involvement, the Atlantic system - Brazil and the Caribbean, colonial north America, the problem of slavery in the American revolution, the French and Haitian revolutions, the nineteenth-century south (two chapters), nineteenth-century slave conspiracies and revolts, British and American abolitionism (two chapters), the politics of slavery in the United States, and civil war and emancipation. Eighty pages of endnotes provide ample references (occasionally a note points to sources in another of Davis's works) and much supplementary information. There is no separate bibliography. The index, peculiarly, gives no superordinate entries for "slave trade" or synonymous terms and only a few subordinate entries. Davis gives due narrative and analytical attention to established historical knowledge, to historians' debates and discoveries, in a near conversational style, always explaining why he commends facts or interpretations.
Yet there is uneasiness in this historiography, particularly in prologue and epilogue, where Davis outlines and contextualises his substantive text and attempts to lead readers to con-

sider slavery's consequences and ramifications and abolition's limitations. Davis treats antislavery and abolition as the paramount features of the long, complex and tenacious history of slavery, which provide its chief lessons. Antislavery movements are "historically unique"; they "succeeded in overthrowing" productive, profitable and extensive slave systems in less than a century. This understanding yields a "positive message of willed moral achievement", which "must also be linked with the need to recognize the heavy and complex legacies" of slavery. Willed achievement is less certain in the book's final paragraph; it "may have no parallel"; but "despite its many limitations" it "should help inspire some confidence in other movements for social change". This verbose, circumlocutory and tentative language betrays an ambivalence about moral force versus realpolitik. Considering the cruelties of slavery and similar institutions, Davis writes: "No doubt we will always have … individual psychopathic torturers …. The worst evils arise when institutions encourage … "ordinary" people to adopt similar behavior and win approval … from, let us say, fellow guards at a Nazi death camp or even at an American-run Iraqi prison. We are seldom willing to recognize … that every war converts … ordinary citizen-soldiers into serial killers …. " Such contradictions are mirrored, inter alia, by the inconsiderate fact that slavery survived Congress's prohibition of the "migration or importation" of slaves into the United States (from 1808) for two generations, and was overthrown by military force in a bloody civil war. The Iraq war and its contradictions are one root of Davis's ambivalence; keep this in mind when reading this valuable volume. benefited. However, southern Democrats in Congress held the Katznelson, Ira. When balance of power in the majority Affirmative Action Was party and effectively, if figuratively, vetoed legislation that White: An Untold Hismight destabilise the region's tory of Racial Inequality social order of racial segregation and exclusion. To accommodate in Twentieth-Century the "solid south", laws and proAmerica. grammes were deliberately deNew York and signed to protect white interests L o n d o n , and advantages, although ostenNorton, 2005. sibly meant to be colour-blind. Pp. xv, 238. For example, Social Security and Paperback minimum wages excluded agri[Norton pacultural and domestic workers; perback first three-quarter s of Africanpublished in Americans lived in the south 2006], ISBN where their employment was 098 0 393 concentrated in agriculture and 32851 6, £9.99. domestic service. Where such [The informa- indirect exclusion could not be written into legislation, Congress tion above is mandated decentralised adminifrom the accompanying leaflet from Norton stration, state and/or local, allowing covert discrimination e.g. UK.] in vocational training for veter[On the invoice accompanying ans. Private-sector providers the review copy the ISBN is often discriminated, north and given as 0393328511, and in the south; e.g. mortgage lenders book and on back cover two refused federally guaranteed numbers, ISBN-13: 978-0-393loans to low-income veterans 32851-6 and ISBN-10: 0-393and on properties in disfavoured 32851-1; price $14.95 on back locations, relatively excluding cover. No information on hard- more blacks than whites. The back edition is available.] effect was to deny AfricanReviewed by George Rehin of Americans their fair shares of social and economic goods. The Lewes, Sussex whole pie and every piece grew, When Affirmative Action Was but the relative size of the AfriWhite describes the period from can-American piece diminished. the depression to the aftermath This is the "untold history of of the second world war, Roose- racial inequality" velt's and Truman's administrations, focussing on federal poli- Katznelson's purpose, not pricies and programmes in four marily historiographic, is to loareas affecting living standards cate the history strategically on and life chances: 1) relief, wel- terrain, affirmative action, still Positive disfare, Social Security (state pen- contested today. crimination or preferential treatsions); 2) "rules for work", minimum wages, union membership ment of African-Americans to and benefits; 3) mobilisation and redress past discrimination, parmilitary service; 4) the G.I. Bill ticularly in education, employment and related fields, began in (benefits for veterans). the mid-1960s. Its career has Katznelson argues that these been one of conflict and chalnational government interven- lenge, leading to Supreme Court tions - essential to deal with decisions restricting its applicaglobal depression, world war tions, disallowing race-based and peacetime readjustment - group preferential treatment, but produced a virtual social trans- allowing employers, universiformation, a middle-class wel- ties, unions, etc. to take race into fare state, in which white and account in hiring, admitting, problack Americans participated and

moting individuals, under two conditions. Action must aim to rectify specific historic racial injury, and for a public purpose sufficient to justify breaching the colour-blind rule, the equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution's 14th amendment. Katznelson thinks that the disadvantages blacks suffered in the 1930s and 1940s, the obverse of a massive preferential resource distribution to whites, count as injuries which can be redressed, and count as racial because Congress excluded AfricanAmericans deliberately, directly or indirectly, as its southern members demanded. In conclusion Katznelson offers some examples of affirmative action "that could yield both tangible and symbolic compensation". There is space here for one. For the delayed entry into Social Security the "excluded could be identified and they, or their heirs, could be offered one time grants" required to be deposited "into designated retirement funds." Whether a sufficient public purpose could be found in such wider applications is moot, but it is doubtful Congress would sanction or fund such programmes. Katznelson doesn't discuss the politics of affirmative action today or tomorrow, the book's major flaw, an absence of practical political science. This book is rich historiographically; it brings together topics and disciplines too often isolated and offers a trenchant public policy discussion informed by a moral concern for social justice. It will reward students of history, the political economy of race, social policy and administration, and more. There is no general bibliography, but 43 pages of notes provide numerous references and much pertinent information.

Deyle, Steven. Carry Me Back: The Domestic Slave Trade in American Life.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-5160401


Reviewed by Stephen C. K e n n y School of History, University of

ways of working with a wide range of sources to arrive at an accurate estimate of the size of the antebellum slave trade. Johnson’s Soul by Soul uses slave narratives and court records to examine the everyday experience of America’s slavepens and auction-blocks from the perspective of trader, buyer, and slave; while Gudmestad’s work concludes by asking us to consider the legacies of the ‘troublesome commerce’ – seen most dismally in the transformation of slave trader Isaac Franklin’s ‘favorite plantation, Angola’ into the Louisiana State Penitentiary of today. Deyle’s study offers us several fresh perspectives. First, he reframes the domestic slave trade as a central feature of American, rather than just Southern, life. This requires us to pay closer attention to the trade’s origins, to examine the North-South flows of enslaved people in the late 18th century, and also to reconsider the political motivations behind the purchase of the Florida and Louisiana territories – regions which not only contributed to the growth of slavery, but which also became magnets for the institution’s commerce in human beings. Another innovative feature of Carry Me Back is Deyle’s focus on the importance of local sales in slaves. Contrary to the dominant image of the domestic slave trade as being interregional, Deyle highlights that ‘the overwhelming majority of enslaved people who were sold … were sold locally, by one owner to another or by nearby county courts as a way to settle debts.’ As the title of chapter five emphasises, in the antebellum South, slave trading was ‘a regular part of everyday life’ and was ‘performed in full public view.’ (144, 145)

In recent years there has been a surge of historical interest in the domestic slave trade in the American South. A look at the total numbers of enslaved people forcibly transported by road, river, or sea across the expanding empire of American slavery in the 19th century reveals that the domestic slave trade ensnared over twice the estimated figure of African captives imported directly into North America via the Transatlantic slave trade (around 2 million in the domestic slave trade compared with approximately 450,000 from the Transatlantic trade). There is now a consensus amongst American slavery’s scholars that recognises both the scale and the impact of the interstate slave trade on enslaved people in the United States as a Second Black Diaspora. Monograph studies on the domestic slave trade in the US include: Michael Tadman’s Specu-

lators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South (1989); Walter Johnson’s Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (1999); Robert Gudmestad’s A Troublesome Commerce: The Transformation Anyone seeking to understand of the Interstate Slave Trade what American slavery was can(2004); and these are now joined by Steven Deyle’s significant contribution. Tadman’s study is largely responsible for reawakening current academic interest in the subject, pioneering new

not afford to ignore the buying and selling of human beings. As Walter Johnson wrote, the real history of the antebellum South is the history of two million slave sales. Deyle’s study is an

important addition to the reevaluation of the domestic slave trade and the nature of slavery in the United States - Carry Me Back will be of use and interest to all readers. narrative which foregrounds and amplifies the importance of family ties among black Americans and their struggle for freedom, as well as the complex and ambiguous nature of slavery and race in the Old South. A vigorous debate centred on the impact of enslavement on black family life in the United States can be traced back to the nation’s antebellum era and is perhaps most visible in the contrasting literary treatments of the institution produced by the period’s Southern and Northern novelists. The definitive abolitionist novel was of course Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), which highlighted the role of the domestic slave trade in breaking apart slave families and, through the figure of the licentious brute Simon Legree, how Southern slaveholders could also undermine black family stability by sexual predation. By contrast, Southern proslavery novels, such as Mary Eastman’s Aunt Phillis’s Cabin (1852), suggested that blacks actually benefited from slavery’s paternal largesse and protection, downplaying, or completely ignoring, the domestic slave trade and the sexual exploitation of black women, promoting instead a sanitised and romanticised vision of the institution that would linger interminably. In the twentieth-century, down to the early 1970s, among those of American slavery’s historians who thought to consider the problem, there was general agreement with the abolitionist position that the black family was destroyed or, at best, remained highly insecure under slavery. This ‘damage model’ of the enslaved black family reached its apotheosis in the writings of Kenneth Stampp, Stanley Elkins and the Elkinsinfluenced 1965 Moynihan report on The Negro Family. Stampp argued that, living ‘in a kind of cultural chaos,’ slaves had no meaningful family relationships. Elkins claimed that slavery ‘vitiated family life’ and, in turn, Moynihan used slavery as a causal factor to explain to the Johnson administration perceived ‘pathological’ weaknesses in the contemporary black family. Such ideas duly provoked a strong and sustained challenge from a new wave of slavery scholarship that had just ‘discovered’ black testimony. Historians, such as John Blassingame, George Rawick, and, most notably on the question of the black family, Herbert Gutman, reinterpreted American slavery from the enslaved perspective and argued that slaves were much more than mere victims of slaveholder cruelty or passive recipients of slaveholder benevolence. Rather, these historians argued, enslaved black Americans were resilient and culturally creative autonomous agents capable of resisting slaveholder power and of shaping their own worlds. Gutman’s work, contra Stampp and Elkins, argued for the strength of slave families despite the impact of sales, separations and slaveholder interventions. Furthermore, Gutman saw family networks among slaves as the basis for the development of a viable slave community and the spread of a vibrant African American culture.

Franklin, John Hope and Schweninger, Loren, In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South.
New York: Oxford Univ e r s i t y Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19516088-6.

of Liverpool.

Reviewed by Stephen C. Kenny School of History, Un i v e r s i t y

Franklin and Schweninger’s latest co-authored history of American slavery (following on from their prize-winning 1999 collaboration, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation) revisits and complicates some elements of earlier debates in slavery scholarship with a focus on an atypical antebellum slave family. The authors examine an exceptionally strong and dynamic extended family, the ThomasRapiers, over three generations as they struggle to escape the shackles of American slavery and racism. Matriarch of the clan, Sally Thomas, is introduced to the reader as she is being transported with her sons from a tobacco plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia to Nashville. Once in Nashville, Sally hires herself out and eventually establishes a profitable laundry business, gaining custom and respect from the town’s wealthy white residents. Sally enjoys a measure of freedom and prosperity in Nashville unknown to most slaves in the rural South, nevertheless she remains a slave in the eyes of the law and is still vulnerable to the constant threat of sale and separation from her family. So begins a

In Search of the Promised Land
draws on a rich variety of sources in carefully reconstructing the historical backdrop to the Thomas-Rapier family saga. Among the materials used are documentary records from several states, probate records, census records, city directories, newspaper articles, acts of general assemblies and petitions to southern legislatures (one of Schweninger’s many jobs is editor of the impressive online ‘Race and Slavery Petitions Project’). However, the key sources are the autobiography of James Thomas, which Schweninger edited and published in his earlier From Tennessee Slave to St. Louis Entrepeneur (1984), and a large collection of correspondence, the Rapier-Thomas papers (held at Howard University).

tecture, 1909. While the authors acknowledge that Sally Thomas and her progeny were exceptional in many respects and that few enslaved, or free black, people in the antebellum South could have achieved the degree of personal freedom, business success, or incredible freedom of movement enjoyed by some members of the Thomas-Rapier family, they argue that such uncommon experiences open up new vantage points on race, slavery, and southern society. Perhaps some of the most important of these fresh perspectives are the focus on the lives of ‘quasi-slaves’, such as Sally Thomas, and the limits and possibilities of free black life in Florence, Alabama, as experienced by Sally’s son, John Rapier. Franklin and Schweninger’s narrative won’t suit those looking for a broadbased or theoretically informed historical exploration of the enslaved family experience in the Old South, but what it does provide is an expertly-crafted and very engaging history of a remarkable black family’s odyssey.

’ You can’t come here. We don’t have black folks here.’ Dean of a
University, 1910. Lifting the veil African American Architects have contributed significantly, albeit often anonymously, to the architectural heritage of the USA. However, a veil of anonymity, made denser by racism and gender, has resulted in a dearth of documentation about their role as architects. The new dictionary will be of concern to architects on both sides of the Atlantic who are interested in enfranchisement within the architectural profession. This challenging volume is intended to correct the exclusionist tradition of American architectural history. The survey starts in 1865, the end of the Civil War and ends in 1945 after WW II. In theory, Black Americans had more control over their lives, work and education during this time. The presumption for setting 1945 as the end of the survey was that many post war Black Americans could gain college education after the GI Bill. Relevance of racial identity to architectural advancement. The relevance of racial identity to architectural advancement is controversial but it is carefully addressed by the editors. The authors use the descriptive term ‘African American’ to describe a racial group. The adjective ‘Black’ is used to characterize ancestry, not skin colour. Owing to the 100 contributors who submitted the 168 named entries the contextual terms ‘Negro’ and ‘coloured’ are used occasionally, not to be disparaging, but in an attempt to be historically synonymous. Most of the male architects and all of the female architects featured, felt that ‘race’ was crucial to their identity and relied on ethnicity to obtain clients. For some, race was seen as a negative factor in their professional advancement and therefore it was expedient to play down their ethnicity; for

others it was a philosophical stance – they felt an emphasis on race was divisive to national unity. Lives of Black Architects Paul Revere Williams was the first architect to become a member of the AIA (American Institute of Architects). He had a lengthy career from 1913 to 1974 and he designed more than 3000 buildings. The majority of his work was in Los Angeles in the golden age of Hollywood; many movie stars were his clients including Will Hayes, Tyrone Power and Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson. In 1956 he even designed a house for Frank Sinatra in the Hollywood Hills. Williams’s most recognisable project in the 1960’s was the Los Angeles International Airport Theme Building. Resembling a futuristic spaceship, it became a familiar cultural sight because movie producers used it as an ‘icon’ of Los Angeles. The father of Golden Zenon was a sharecropper and Golden walked five miles each way to a one-room parish school house for Blacks. He went on to be an architect, expert in designing schools and he designed twenty different types. His Flanagan Alternative High School is an especially interesting brick building similar to Mies van der Rohe’s early brick houses. John Louis Wilson was born in Mississippi and could trace his family lineage back to the American Revolutionary War. His grandfather was born a slave; in 1924 Wilson moved to New York. He is celebrated for his work on the highly acclaimed Harlem River Housing Project, New York’s first publicly funded housing, which was constructed during Roosevelt’s New Deal. If racial prejudice restricted Black men entering the profession, then women, more so, had difficulties in throwing off the shackles of slavery. For the female Black Architects who were exposed to the International Style of Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer

African American Architects: a biographical dictionary 1865-1945 , edited by Dreck Spurlock Wilson
Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2004. Includes bibliographical references and Index, ISBN 0-4159 2 9 5 9 - 8 (hardback) pp 1-517. Reviewed by Dr Rob MacDonald.

‘Architectural and engineering education is a tough field at best and it might be twice as tough for a Negro’ Professor of Archi-

at Harvard, the results were liberating. Amaza Meredith’s earliest project was ‘Azurest South’. It was a one storey house for herself and a friend. Sited in a lush dell of a University campus, the house was in a bold International Style; white stucco finish, curved corners, industrial windows and bands of glass blocks. ‘Azurest South’ was filled with art and modern furniture that were carefully documented in Meredith’s sketchbooks. The intellectual courage exemplified in the design of this ground-breaking house cannot be overstated. In Virginia, the dominant AngloColonial Revival Style, even now, has been consistently reaffirmed as architecture for the whites. Beverly Green was the first Black female licensed as an architect in the USA. In 1955 she worked for Marcel Breur in New York. Green is credited with working on some of Breur’s major projects including the UNESCO United Headquarters in Paris. Georgia Brown is believed to be the second African American women licensed in the USA. In 1938 she moved to Chicago and took a course taught by Mies van der Rohr at MIT. Later she settled in Brazil and she considered it a better place to practice architecture free of racial boundaries. Liberating our Profession This book could have been dedicated to Stephen Lawrence. African American Architects raisesmany questions about the history of discrimination in education and the architectural profession. It throws much light on the silent aspects of the architectural profession; in my mind, it raises questions for us in the United Kingdom.

Douglas Field, ed., American Cold War Culture.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005. ISBN 07486 1922 4 (hardback); 07486 1923 2 (paperback).

Robert Lowell). In terms of navigation, following an introduction, these nine chapters are divided into two sections – cultural themes and cultural forms. Each essay is prefaced by a contextualizing introduction (in a different font to demarcate it from the main essay), end-noted and backed up with a bibliography, suggestions for further reading and an index. In addition to my criticism above, another is that each essay – intended as a case study of the themes aforementioned – seems shoehorned into its accompanying theme but doesn’t always seem to fit snugly. Furthermore, while the book is not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive it doesn’t go anywhere near those themes and topics which really have been neglected. Why, for example, is there not more on religion? Overall, then, American Cold War Culture will make a fine introduction to students of this area, not least as the means for them to really look for the unexamined.

Wales, Bangor

Reviewed by Nathan Abrams, University of

There have been so many books on the subject of American culture during the Cold War that one might wonder what is there new to be said. In this respect, American Cold War Culture only half succeeds. Its editor, Douglas Field, an independent scholar who has taught at the University of York and Staffordshire University, has lined up an impressive array of talent. The contributors include Robert J. Corber, Jacqueline Foretsch, Catherine Gunther Kodat, Scott Lucas, Alan Nadel, David Ryan, Dina Smith and Hugh Stevens, writing about topics like gender and sexuality, race, politics, the family, mobility, film, literature, culture and television. Certainly, some of these chapters have a ring of the familiar about them, already having appeared in other forms elsewhere, somewhat belying the cover’s claim to introduce ‘a number of previously neglected themes, films and texts’. At the same time, however, there were some genuinely new and insightful contributions to this already well-developed field. In this respect, the stand-out chapter here was Smith’s ‘Movable Containers: Cold War Trailers and Trailer Parks’, to which can be added the offerings from Forestch (on women’s magazines and the polio crisis), Field (on James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room), Kodat (Disney’s Song of the South and the Birth of the White Negro) and Stevens (on

David Dante Troutt (ed.), After the Storm: Black Intellectuals Explore the Meaning of Hurricane Katrina
New York, and London: The New Press, 2006) xxvii + 164 pps., ISBN 1 59558 116 2 (Cloth) $22.95

Reviewed by Andrew Michael Fearnley University of Cambridge, UK
Everyone, seemingly, has a story to tell about Hurricane Katrina: of the violence and looting that were rumoured to follow it; at remembering the pathetic images of displaced people, overwhelmingly black people; of being quizzical upon see-

ing the Dali-esque pictures of floating cars and submerged dwellings. But above all, the Katrina story is one framed by the notorious and abysmal levels of government incompetence, political chicanery, and backslapping (memorably tackled by CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper), alongside the wonkdom of federal and state agencies. It is such political inertia and incompetence that exacerbated an already dire situation, and it such political failings, and all their attendant implications, that this work attempts to scrutinize. It is then a work that begins, quite sensibly, to question in what sense Katrina was a ‘natural’ disaster. further, more sustained thinking about the broader issues of race and class in contemporary American society. Much has been written about the graphic images of those affected by the storm, and in particular the infamous labelling of almost identical photographs, with one black person identified as a ‘looter’, a white couple described as having ‘found food’. Turning their attention to this incident, Cheryl Harris and Devon Carbado do an impressive job of unpacking the meaning of these now infamous captions. Michael Eric Dyson, one of the few historians to be included in the collection, similarly pens a provocative essay on the migratory consequences of the storm. As with any collection of essays, agreement is not a prerequisite for impressive scholarship. This is certainly true here, and two of the collection’s most accomplished pieces--that penned by John White, and the essay that directly follows it, written by the UPenn political scientist Adolphe Reed--are in basic disagreement about what took place in Louisiana, how to analyse those events, and what they might mean for future (progressive) political strategies. Such extreme perspectives works well within the collection, pointing up the fact that even those who share similar political agendas, and intellectual backgrounds, can differ so fundamentally as to how to proceed. In contrast to many of the other contributors, Adolphe Reed argues that to dwell on the racist nature of government decision-making processes, or the disproportionate suffering faced by New Orleans’s black community is politically and analytically futile. To charge racism, Reed insists, is imprecise and provides a “concluding judgment rather than a preliminary to a concrete argument.” [65] His alternative strategy which would complicate narratives of race and class, demonstrating the futility of the market is one race theorists ignore at their peril. A foreword written by distinguished legal scholar, Derrick Bell, is relatively predictable in the points it raises, chiefly being an attempt to work out how to apply the branch of analysis developed by Bell in the late 1970s to the events of 2005. Not, of course, that such a perspective is inevitably a bad thing, but just that such a perspective has a number of distinct, and well-known limitations. It is these failings--in particular, the belief that racism is a natural, unchanging, and eternal feature of the American past and future - which explains the confusion apparent in an otherwise poetic essay by Anthony Paul Farley. It is a real pity Farley’s essay was included in this collection, even more so that it was inserted as the tailpiece of the work, for with its pat observations, and ill-considered adherence to the critical race perspective, Farley helps perpetuate the view that racialised modes of analysis are characterized by flabby thinking and shrill demands. Farley’s opening contention that “whiteness is wealth and wealth lives above sea level in New Orleans” [147] is challenged by John White’s point that some affluent white people also lived below the levee banks; Farley’s revolutionary chants insisting “the new beginning is…accomplishable by those who have only their empty hands” [158] disrespects other scholars’ points that those affected by the storm were not only “vulnerable” but else “powerless”. As the historian Clement Price notes: “Recent scholarship does indeed suggest that poor people are disproportionately at greater risk during disastrous episodes like hurricanes and floods”. [73] But above all I found Farley’s essay to be morally duplicitous, though by no means unusual, with his shudders of orgasmic pleasure at the thought of the pending revolution not really ringing true with his tenure as a law professor at a prestigious university.

After the Storm is a collection of
ten essays, for the most part elegantly written, cogently argued, and insightful in their delivery. Ten of the thirteen people who contributed to the project are among America’s leading black law professors (the remaining three are two historians and a professor of political science). Following introductory remarks by Charles Ogletree, it is clear the work is united by a common concern for what Katrina reveals about contemporary race politics and racial thinking, as well as what lessons scholars might take from this period and apply to similar incidents in the future. Although identified as ‘black intellectuals’ what unites these scholars more than race is their common concern for those worst affected by the storm, and their wish to see genuine political reform. And if the work crackles with political energy, these currents are generated by the work’s circuitry of serious scholarship. The essays are uneven in length, quality, intended audience, and readability, and frequently one has the sense of having read the piece, either earlier in the collection or in the deluge of reportage that oozed from news bureaus in late 2005. Thankfully though, many of these essays are highly entertaining, and a number will surely stimulate

With the exception of passing references to the Great Flood of 1927 that struck the Mississippi Delta, and the book’s dedication to the affected citizens of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, After the Storm suffers for its preoccupation with the Pelican State, neglecting to discuss the storm’s impact on communities other than those of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It might have been useful, and instructive, had a comparison been done with relief efforts in the neighbouring Republicanstronghold of Mississippi. While this collection automatically recommends itself to anyone interested in the events of August 2005 and their aftermath, the occasionally knotty prose of some authors, and the complexity with which many develop their arguments, makes the work more academic text than general interest piece. Already the literature on both Hurricane Katrina and the government’s handling of the debacle is voluminous, and ever growing, leaving this text to win its plaudits on the basis of its unique perspective, and mostly measured analysis. Those looking for eyewitness accounts of the storm and immediate aftermath would be better advised to pick up a copy of New Orleans Times-Picayune writer Jed Horne’s collected dispatches, Breach of Faith [2006], or, for the most illuminating narrative overview, Michael Dyson’s recent Come Hell or High Water [2006]. materials that are also studentcentred; and, indeed, the back and inside front covers are replete with praiseworthy quotes. ‘Contemporary’ here is taken to mean American cinema from 1960 until 2004. The book contains twenty-two chapters, written by a number of different authors, and ranges over topics such as the decline of the studio system, underground cinema of the ‘60s, blaxploitation, documentary, independents, Disney, Vietnam, women, black and gay cinema, and so on. Each section contains a set of fairly standard further references and case studies, lists of box office figures and academy award winners and questions for discussion. The budget has even been stretched to include some colour stills. The book is rounded off with a glossary, bibliography, filmography and a mammoth index (almost a requisite for navigating a book of this size). The intention of the editors was to ‘present a cutting-edge overview of ways of looking at American cinema since the 1960s’ by presenting ‘fresh thinking and provocative ways’, and which ‘combine established models with new ways of thinking through histories and debates’. If so, then with regards to the case studies, this was an opportunity missed. The contributors to this volume opted for the tried and tested such as Psycho and Easy Rider (why reinvent the wheel?) instead of going for choices which are often overlooked such as Planet of the Apes, a film very rich in its representation of not just race, gender and issues of nuclear weaponry, but also of McCarthyism, science, technology, counterculture and intergenerational conflict, backed up by excellent make-up, set design and use of music and sound. Furthermore, a justification was needed for including lists of Oscar winners. The editors and some of the contributors take it as self-evident that such a list is useful and tells us something about American cinema but they don’t explicitly say what. I suggest that it clearly needs to be laid out that Oscars are no guide to ‘good’ films (if a good film wins an Oscar then it is more of a coincidence than anything else) but rather a means of studying and understanding the internal politics and dynamics of the US film industry, as well as marketing and publicity. Michele Aaron makes the telling point, for example, that a multitalented actress like Barbra Streisand never won an Oscar for Yentl, despite being the first woman to direct, produce, cowrite and star in a Hollywood film. At over five hundred pages this book aims to be fairly comprehensive. Inevitably, however, with a book this size there are going to be omissions and someone somewhere is going to be miffed that such and such was not included. While it’s an understandable shame that some sections weren’t developed, I couldn’t fault (other than the brevity of the glossary) its coverage and this text will certainly serve as a useful all-in-one undergraduate primer on contemporary American cinema. It is certainly more accessible than some equivalent books on the subject.

Contemporary American Cinema.
Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2006. ISBN 0335 21832 (hardback); 0335 21831 8 (paperback).

Linda Ruth Williams and Michael Hammond, eds.,

Harlem Renaissance: A Gale Critical Companion.
Thomson Gale, 2003. ISBN 07876-6618-1 (set hardcover).

Reviewed by Stephen C. Kenny, School of History, University of Liverpool
The last decade or so has witnessed a boom in scholarly writing on the subject of the Harlem Renaissance, an upsurge of activity which has also resulted in the publication of several major encyclopaedia projects surveying the ‘New Negro Movement’. The latest, a Gale Critical Com-

Reviewed by Nathan Abrams, University of Wales, Bangor Contemporary American Cinema
bears the imprimatur of The Open University – a sign of good quality teaching and learning

panion, joins David Levering Lewis’s edited Portable Harlem Renaissance R e a d e r (1994), Aberjhani West and Sandra West’s Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (2003), and the more recent Routledge Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (2004) edited by Paul Finkelman. Given the wide choice of reference works available, what makes the Gale edition distinctive and desirable? Should a given school, college, or university decide to invest £200 (or more, with the shipping costs for three hulking tomes worth of 1900 hardbound pages totalling 13lbs in weight) in purchasing the whole collection, or could the selection of single volumes be more useful in the long run? Most importantly, what can students and/or researchers learn from and actually do with this encyclopaedia? The Gale Critical Companion volumes are organized around entries on major topics and key figures associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Volume One examines ‘Overviews and General Studies’, ‘Social, Economic and Political Factors’, ‘Publishing and Periodicals’, ‘Performing Arts’, and ‘Visual Arts’. By contrast, Volumes Two and Three examine, in A to Z fashion from Gwendolyn Bennett to Walter White, over thirty of the movement’s leading literary and intellectual voices. Within each volume, new topical and individual entry sections begin with short introductory essays and are followed by useful lists of representative works and a small selection of primary sources (an average of six pages in Volume One, with a pitiful single page of documentary material provided in the ‘Visual Arts’ section). By far the bulk of each section of Volume One is given over to a compilation of critical essays. While it is highly useful to have such a diverse range of scholarly perspectives collated in the same publication, this emphasis on exegesis does come at the expense of the primary material, much of which is arguably new and unfamiliar to student readers. Of the three volumes, Volume One offers the best overall value. Through a variety of critical viewpoints, the five topical sections provide readers with the historical, contextual and theoretical tools essential to a basic understanding of the origins, significance, and key elements of the Harlem Renaissance. However, there are also many missed opportunities in this volume, but more noticeably in Volumes Two and Three, which are largely a result of the literary emphasis in the Critical Companion series. So, while most of the principal New Negro poets, playwrights, novelists, critics, editors, and journalists receive their due attention (attracting between 30 to 60 pages each), by contrast painters, sculptors, and photographers are discussed in a single section of Volume One (with just 50 pages given over to discussion of the work of Barthe, Douglas, Johnson, Motley, Parks, Savage, Van der Zee, and Woodruff). Furthermore, there’s surely a case to be made for more the inclusion of more (and perhaps also some colour) images and illustrations of the artworks alongside the critical commentaries on the visual artists. Unfortunately, in this encyclopaedia, the musicians and actors of the Harlem Renaissance don’t even fare as well as the poorly served visual artists. While Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Bessie Smith feature briefly as individuals in the general discussion of performing artists, none of these cultural giants receive any further consideration in Volumes Two or Three. Given that the music of the Harlem Renaissance reached a greater number and variety of people than the movement’s manifestoes and literary outpourings ever did, this is a serious oversight. As a three volume reference work packed full of quality literary and cultural criticism, the Gale Critical Companion to the Harlem Renaissance provides readers with a concise source of core facts and key debates on the literary aspects of the movement. However, those looking for a broader and more inclusive cultural portrait of the Renaissance would do well to compare this title with the reference works mentioned above before purchasing.

Historical Dictionary of American Propaganda by Martin Manning with Herbert Romerstein.
Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 2004 ISBN 0 313296057 £39.99

Reviewed by Toby Clarke
As the authors acknowledge in their introduction to the Historical Dictionary of American Propaganda, the word 'propaganda' is not only notoriously difficult to define, it is also mired in negative connotations. It is, as they call it, 'the hated P-word.' It evokes a sinister form of communication, involving deception, censorship and intimidation. We prefer to ascribe it to others. We don't do propaganda. The modern democratic societies of the West, having sought to define their values by reiterating their contrast with those of the 'totalitarian' states - preeminently, the Third Reich and the Soviet Union - −have regarded propaganda as the name of the lies of our enemies. What we do is 'public education,' 'information programs,' winning hearts and minds.... Manning and Romerstein will have none of this squeamishness. Their dictionary takes a bold and refreshingly neutral

view of America's extensive relationship with propaganda, and embraces a very wide range of discourses and contexts. The coverage is particularly thorough in the areas of US government and military organisations of the Second World War, such as the Office of War Information (OWl) and the Psychological Warfare Division (PWD), and those that succeeded them in a shifting network of domestic and overseas organisations dominated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US Congress House Committee on UnAmerican Activities. The inclusive approach is attentive to the global dimensions of the audiences of American propaganda, and recounts the remarkably varied, and sometimes bizarre efforts to win over these audiences (mainly against Soviet competitors) in South East Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The only limit to this breadth of coverage is the bias towards the twentieth century. This reasonably reflects the expansion of mass communications media during this period and the much greater role played by public opinion in political life. Inevitably, the Second World War and the Cold War period provide the principal arenas of ideological conflict. But the dictionary does include earlier contexts, with interesting entries covering the American Revolution, Abolitionism, the Civil War, the SpanishAmerican War, and many examples of political journalism and literature from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Beyond the activities of state bureaucracies, the production of propaganda is recognised in the battles fought by the grassroots, voluntary organisations which have clamoured from all points on the political spectrum. This makes for some strange bedfellows: the Ku Klux Klan, the Sons of Liberty, and the Catholic Church. What might we learn by comparing the discursive strategies of these different bodies? Under what other category would we find brought together the extravagant personalities of John Wayne, Thomas Paine, Ezra Pound, Wait Disney, Paul Robeson, and William 'Lord Haw-Haw' Joyce? Oddly, these combinations are enlightening. We compare, for example, the radio broadcasts made from Nazi Germany by P.G. Wodehouse, whose reputation has never recovered from the blemish of his ill-judged satire, with the tragedy of 'Tokyo Rose.' Also known as 'Orphan Annie your favourite enemy,' she was not a real person, but the name US servicemen gave, apparently affectionately, to the voice of a dozen Japanese women who broadcast their radio messages of wistful demoralisation to the homesick Gl’s in the Pacific. One of the women, Iva Ikuko Toguri d'Aquino, was hunted down by the American government after the war, and served ten years in prison. There are gaps, of course. The vibrant expressions of America's counter-culture, spreading beyond the anti-Vietnam war movement into the causes of psychedelic 'consciousness raising,' radical feminism and gay rights during the 1970s, are under-represented, given the extent to which these have undoubtedly shaped our views of the world, and the ways we might express them. Entries under the general headings of film, radio and television outline the propaganda uses of these media, but there is no comparable entry on the emergence of the Internet as a tool of political communication. Nevertheless, the approach of the dictionary is one of unfussy inclusiveness, revealing not only the dark works of repressive state propaganda, but also the remarkable energy, creativity, and often, sheer daftness of the modern world's political imagination. Almost every entry is accompanied by a 'further reading' list of books and journal articles, and there is a select bibliography, a chronology of important events and a detailed list of American research collections and film, TV and radio archives. The

Historical Dictionary of American Propaganda should
have broad appeal, serving as an accessible cross-disciplinary reference resource for the study of politics, history, media studies, literature, art history, and sociology, as well as general interest.

Michael Gilmore- Surface and Depth: The Quest for Legibility in American Culture
Oxford University Press, 2003. 217pp. I S B N 0195313240

Reviewed by A n d r e w Jones
Gilmore’s provocative work attempts to unravel a common thread running through the American skein, one which he titles “legibility”: the desire for transparency and revelation and a continuing tension between revealing and subsuming the titular “depths” below the “surface”. He adeptly traces this through classic American literature (The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick and Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales amongst others) and founding documents (The Declaration of Independence as illuminating the machinations of state and John Winthrop’s sermon on the Arbella as espousing the visible “city on a hill”) and places these alongside historical developments, i.e. the emergence of movies contemporaneously to the acceptance of psychoanalysis (technological surfaces vs. psychological depths) and the emergence of Landscape as “ocular mastery of the physical environment” (p. x) Gilmore’s approach hovers between a classic myth-andsymbol reading of American Culture and a more contextual

cultural analysis. Indeed, Gilmore is quick to dismiss the former approach by relying on a less imagistic and more experiential model (his use of Freud is striking in this regard) thus negating some of Bruce Kucklic’s lauded criticisms of myth-andsymbol as a more visual mode of analysis that can often lead to conclusions which bear a tenuous relation at best to . Overall, Gilmore’s argument is powerful and lucid, but a few criticisms remain. By resurrecting the idea of a shared American culture, Gilmore problematically relies on canonical works of American fiction to elucidate his claims. Although he acknowledges that this is his training as a literature professor, readers might wonder if the thread of “legibility” might run through more popular cultural forms also. While still thought-provoking, the last chapter of Surface and Depth seems to peter out rather too abruptly. His corollary to the otherwise noble quest within American letters to render the machinations of society and government legible is that this legibility becomes both subliminally and physically occluded (“illegible”, or indeed “invisible”) when addressing the presence of African-Americans within American culture. Can a quest for legibility entail erasure and obfuscation? Gilmore provides some interesting readings of Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and Frederick Douglass’ Narrative but falls into the mythand-symbol trap by neglecting to provide sound historical evidence to bolster his assertions. Given the strength of contextual forays in his other chapters, this is a disappointing elision, as is the consideration of gender inequality as something rendered invisible also. What is also lacking in Gilmore’s text is a solid definition of his central terms including “legibility”, “surface” and “depth”. Is Hester Prynne working to reveal “depths” or conceal them in The Scarlet Letter? How are these different and similar to the “depths” of Freud’s id and superego? Gilmore neglects to address these issues head-on and as such it is unclear if there are many different conceptions of “depth” throughout American culture or (less plausibly) whether the act of exploration is the common trope he is illuminating. Perhaps, though, Gilmore’s reticence to give a distinct answer to these questions confirms his point: the act of revelation and seeking as process and empirical exploration is just as important as the revelation itself. Surface and Depth thus emerges as a work whose intriguing thesis has much room for future exploration. Native American Architecture While European settlers did not always recognise or appreciate their efforts, Native American groups had long preceded them in shaping the land for human habitation. It is impossible to single out why a native dwelling looked and worked the way it did. The indigenous natives responded to the climate around them and made the most of natural building materials at hand. The evolution of a particular habitation was also affected by social organisation, patterns of gathering food, religious life and cultural history. Staking a claim and shaping space In contrast, the first European settlers, in what is now the United States, saw the American landscape as virgin territory, raw and undeveloped. As environmental historian John R.Stilgoe demonstrates, the grid provided the Europeans with one of their first and most successful tools for ordering space. The grid design of a mercantile city like Philadelphia became the template for shaping other cities, towns and territories across the American continent. Everybody recognises checkerboard America. Like a great geometrical carpet, like a Mondrian painting, the United States west of the Appalachians is ordered in a vast grid. William Penn introduced the grid to the English colonies in 1681, when he directed his agents and surveyors to lay out a city in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia was city by intention not accident. William Penn did not invent the grid - the towns of New Spain were ordered about a plaza and streets intersecting at right angles. Building the American Dream The first essays deal with church design and construction in Spanish New Mexico; space in parish churches, courtyards and dwellings in colonial Virginia.

American Architectural History: a contemporary reader (2004), Keith L. Eggener,
Routledge and Taylor Francis, London and New York. ISBN 0-41530695-7 (Paperback) pp 1-450.


Reviewed by Dr Robert

“There is a new architectural

history to be written, and there is an old architectural history to be rewritten.” John Coolridge,

1942. As if in renewed response to Coolridge’s words, a new history of American architecture has emerged during the past four decades. American Architectural History is a collection of twentyfour previously published writings, on subjects ranging from colonial to contemporary times and representing a diverse group of individuals, sites, objects, issues, events and scholarly teachers of American architecture and cultural history.

Building the American republic is discussed through the plantation landscape, the first architectural professionals and the master buildings of the Greek Revival. To the majority of citizens in the early Republic the ideal American house was an independent homestead. This rural home, like the family for whom it was designed was considered the basis for America’s strength and progress. The regular homestead plan, the grid and the skyscraper resulted in the archetypical American city, Chicago. Daniel Bluestone’s essay “A city under transportation and electronic communication and their effect in breaking down the connective tissues and stable geographical relations of the city as traditionally conceived. Sorkin expresses alarm over the new obsession with security and surveillance, the subsequent rise in new models of segregation and the blandly simulated, themed nature of so much contemporary architecture and urban design. In a polemical essay, the Marxist social historian Mike Davies provides a critique of downtown Los Angeles as it was developing in the 1980’s. Davies describes this environment as a battlefield of class struggle. He finds that real public space in Los Angeles is nearly gone; genuine democracy is in a state of shambles, security and privatisation are on the rise and the poor and underclass are on the run through sadistically designed street environments. The final collection, by journalist Marc Spiegler, discusses the increasingly troubled relationship between major international airports (eg Chicago’s O’Hare) and the city they purportedly serve. Typical major airports, like O’Hare, have become virtually independent selfcontained communities. Like scores of shopping malls, office parks and highway strips across the United States, O’Hare provides the focal point of an edge city. Sprawling and placeless; drawing life and business away from downtown, they are based on convenience rather than culture or community. In conclusion, we see the view of the ongoing reconceptualisation and reconfiguration of the American city, in the emergence of a new generic landscape. This contemporary reader usefully collects together a number of interesting essays on modernism, postmodernism, the battle for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Los Angeles and O’Hare International Airports. In all, they provide a thoughtful and scholarly body of work, which should be of interest to American cultural and architectural historians.

Decision at Sea by Craig L. Symonds.
Oxford Univ e r s i t y Press, 2005. ISBN hardback 01951 7145 4, paperback 01953 1211 2. pp.378. List price: Hardback: £17.99, $30.00, paperback £10.99, $17.95.

one roof: Chicago skyscrapers 1880-1895” is an especially fasci-

nating account of the history of the skyscraper. Even before skyscrapers took possession of the down town cityscape, Chicagoans had worried about the scale of commercial buildings. Sigfried Gideon and Carl W. Conduit pioneered serious architectural history of the Chicago skyscraper in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Any reader on American architectural history would be incomplete without Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie House, first unveiled in 1901. This “city man’s country house on the prairie” was recognised as the first realisation of his suburban domestic ideal. Wright and his works are icons of modern architecture. The Guggenheim Museum and Falling Water are very well known. Wright was also influential in Germany and LeCorbusier was certainly aware of him, without acknowledging it. Far more significant than these early influences was the dissemination of Wright’s ideas through Dutch architecture in the 1900’s. Deconstruction of the American City In the 1990’s there has been widespread concern about the shifting character and quality of American urban life particularly around public space. Michael Sorkin, in “The New American City” identifies a number of themes occupying centre stage in 1990’s urban studies. He writes about the rise of rapid

Reviewed by Daniel McKay, University of Canterbury
In the foreword to this work, Thomas B. Buell cites “fighting spirit” as the most desirable and consistent feature of American naval commanders (xvii). Something of this original fortitude must have transferred itself to Craig Symonds’ storytelling when he wrote Decision at Sea. If there is one feature which distinguishes this text, it lies in the author’s capacity to strike the right balance between an appealingly smooth read, devoid of unintelligible jargon, and an adherence to the text’s central goal. This goal, put simply, is to identify how five naval battles, central to United States history, “reflect the dramatic changes in America’s conception of itself as a nation and its proper role in the world” (323). These five battles, each occupying a chapter, are: The Battle of Lake Erie (against the British in 1813); The Battle of Hampton Roads (during the Civil War in 1862); The Battle of Manila Bay (against Spain in 1898); The Battle of Midway (against the Japanese in 1942); and Operation Praying Mantis (during the Gulf War in 1988). Though not entirely devoid of historical deliberation, Decision at Sea remains solid in its attention to narrative rather than critical theory. Indeed, readers who approach Symonds’ book ex-

pecting a lengthy defence of a particular historical model will find him unforthcoming in that regard. No more inclined to reveal the ontological premise of his study than he is to expose the innards of a steam engine, it is enough for Symonds that each goes forward under sound and steady propulsion. In this respect, he confirms himself as a highly engaging writer whose book, while not challenging any established historical notions, challenges every study with its readability. To accomplish this, Symonds devotes his primary attentions to technological developments in the military, Washington politics and their repercussions, the battle accounts themselves, and character studies. Technicalities, such as how guns were fired on Lake Erie (66) and how fighter planes took off from World War II aircraft carriers (232-3), are all explained well. We also learn of how developments in battle theory informed the combatants’ advancements against each other. For example, it is interesting to learn that the concept of industrial secrecy did not exist in the Civil War and thus both North and South knew, through the newspapers, what the other side was manufacturing (98). This resulted in the accelerated development of armoured warships on both sides, although the North’s industrial supremacy eventually won out just as it did by the end of World War II. As one might expect, naval historians and the Boy’s Own crowd will both find this text of interest. Footnotes are made sparingly and Symonds is also highly selective in his quotations, more often than not leaving these as afterthoughts rather than evidence. Although the final chapter gets weighed down somewhat by the inevitable terminology surrounding hi-tech warfare, there is also ready material for those seeking a comparative analysis of present-day hostilities in Iraq with the events of the first Gulf War. In sum, should any teacher or scholar have a particular interest in one or more of the battles Decision at Sea examines, then this will prove a thorough and accessible text for complementing a broader study. als of southern papers during the secession crisis to longrunning debates over the emancipation of slaves, all the major issues of the war are brought vividly to life. Featuring extracts from over 80 newspapers from 18 states, the author’s extensive research is immediately apparent. That the book succeeds so well is testament to Coopersmith’s well chosen newspaper extracts and the effective historical analysis through which he provides context for the issues. Particularly effective is the author’s discussion of emancipation, highlighting how discussion on the issue evolved and was often shaped by the political, geographical or ethnic position of newspapers and their editors In contrast to the crowded columns of Civil War newspapers, the production of this book impresses, well laid out text interspersed with effective reproductions of period illustrations. A fascinating glimpse into contemporary reports of the Civil War, Fighting Words is highly recommended for every scholar of the Civil War. Readers will be left in no doubt as to the power of the press, a significant combatant on both the home and military front.

Andrew S. Coopersmith, Fighting Words: An Illustrated History of Newspaper Accounts of the Civil War.
The New Press, 2004 ISBN 1595581413

Reviewed by Gary Smith, Department of History, University of Dundee.
In the twenty-first century, with countless television channels, internet sites and other forms of technology helping ensure that the latest news and information are always within our grasp, the importance of newspapers has been rather undermined. In a society where instant results are increasingly demanded, newspapers seem to have been superseded, increasingly out of touch with the desires of their readers. Such a situation is in stark contrast to that of the American Civil War, as Andrew Coopersmith convincingly shows in his excellent new work. With a populace hungry for news of the rapidly changing conflict, newspapers took on a vital importance. At the start of the Civil War there were over 3,700 newspapers in publication within America, with the dailies having a combined circulation of 1.4 million. As Coopersmith argues, this ensures that if we want to view events as the people of that time did, we have to look at the newspapers that they read. To support his argument Coopersmith has drawn together a large variety of newspapers from both ends of the political spectrum, spanning north to south. From the frenzied editori-

Joel Silbey. Storm Over Texas: The Annexation Controversy and the Road to Civil War.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. 230 pp. ISBN 019-513944-5.

Reviewed by Matthew Smith
February 28, 1844. In one of those odd accidents that give violent shape to history, a muzzle loading cannon aboard the USS Princeton exploded in clear view of President

John Tyler. Several bystanders died instantly, including the Secretary of State, Abel Upshur. A pleasure cruise down the Potomac provides a tragic turning point in Joel Silbey’s concise and compelling Storm Over Texas. Upshur’s death led to the emergence of Southern firebrand John C. Calhoun in Tyler’s cabinet, during the 1844 election year. Secretary Calhoun “clearly, deliberately, and optimistically fanned the flames of sectional tensions,” (43) using the then white-hot Texas annexation debate to do so. As early as 1836, New Englander John Quincy Adams saw in the Texas rebellion a conspiracy of slaveholding interests (48.) The sectional crisis, begun through annexation, in time brought down the Union, according to Silbey. Calhoun emerges sinisterly, upsetting “everyone’s applecart” in writing to warn the British ambassador against Crown interference in American affairs. Texas, argues Calhoun, must be joined to the Union: the United States government must negotiate annexation “in order to preserve a domestic institution” (41.) In seven mischievous words, Calhoun hijacked Tyler’s electoral platform on behalf of the slaveholding South. The book begins with a prophetic statement by New York Congressman Daniel Barnard: “as certain as truth and God exist, the admission of Texas into the Union will prove, sooner or later, an element of overwhelming ruin to the republic” (xviii.) This serves to foreshadow Silbey’s elegantly simple thesis. He points to the demon of sectional animosity unleashed by annexation, filling the vacuum of Jacksonian-era national politics. He treats with some skepticism Polk’s reputation as “Young Hickory”—the heir to the Jacksonian throne. Nowhere was Polk’s Southern bias more evident than in his willingness to go to war with Mexico over the shape of the Texan border, while compromising with Britain over the extent of the free soil of Oregon Territory. While readers may object to powder keg explanations or monocausal theories of the Civil War’s origins, Texas annexation does offer a solid foundation from which to understand the vehemence of antebellum sectionalism. The disintegration of the Union is played out from 1844 to close via the MexicanAmerican war and its aftermath, through the political peaks and troughs that accompanied the spread of slavery and free soil, and the pyrotechnic meltdown of the Democratic Party. Bleeding Kansas, Dred Scott, and the Compromise of 1850 are not diminished as contributive factors by Silbey’s account but the Texas controversy serves to interpret the chaotic nexus of events leading to war. Those looking for social history should look elsewhere: this is politics as national drama, intersected by electoral intermissions and Congressional soliloquies. There are no obvious heroes, although Martin van Buren and Stephen Douglas are treated sympathetically, both for their loyalty to Jacksonian Democracy and their various attempts to bridge an ever-widening North-South divide. Storm Over Texas articulates the complexities of the descent into war, but does so almost exclusively from a Congressional perspective. More seen from the Texas side of the border would have added balance and contrast to Silbey’s thesis. Nevertheless, he has written a first-class introduction to the annexation crisis: “a sudden, resounding fire bell in the night, one that rang… with more effect, than any that had preceded it” (181.)

Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 19291945 (The Oxford History of the United States) David M. Kennedy.
Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN paperback 019-514403-1, pp. 936. List price: £15.00.

Reviewed by Dr. Wendy Toon. American Studies Course Leader, University of Worcester.
This single-volume edition, taking its title from FDR’s famous 1941 speech, argues that the two key crises, the Depression and the Second World War, created a climate of fear which the Roosevelt administration attempted to overcome through a variety of policies aimed at providing security. Kennedy considers that this drive for security, both domestic and international, characterized the Rooseveltian response and hoped to secure for the American people one of the main “four freedoms.” He highlights the New Deal’s shortcomings, contradictions and failures and teases out the variety of determinants in American World War II strategy. Context is emphasized and the author attempts to give a feel of the times in which the specific events took place. Although this volume’s focus is firmly on the American experience it does also consider the other side, as it were, whether that be the Republicans, the British, the Soviets, the Japanese or the Germans. This book’s main achievement is the way in which it weaves seamlessly through the various aspects that shaped the American experience in these two pivotal decades. With a lightness of touch, particularly in the first half of this volume, Kennedy

deals with the full gamut of life. The written style is sophisticated yet accessible for undergraduates and above. As reader, you are carried at pace through these years by an entertaining and colourful narrative that binds the often complicated and sweeping events together. Freedom from Fear provides the reader with interesting portraits of the main players in American and world history in the 1930s and 1940s. Their careers are woven into the narrative from the start, with the clever opening in which key figures from various countries are linked at the end of World War One. Chapters that focus on the often rather dry topic of military history are still written in a lively manner and engaging. The focus on “people” however is perhaps uneven. There is surprisingly little on the people (as in general populace) in the discussion of the Second World War. Despite this, examination of the important actors and statesmen is fleshed out with biographical details presumably in an attempt to emphasize that they were people too. These portraits are further coloured with their reflections on each other. The author often exploits an interesting collection of both primary and secondary sources. There is a clear awareness of alternative interpretations for many of the key events that shaped these two vital decades. Kennedy tests and challenges some of the historiographical understandings of this period. However, much of the secondary information is based on what would be considered classic but perhaps now slightly dated volumes. Footnotes, maps, photographs, cartoons and posters support the discussion. A comprehensive index and illuminating bibliographical essay are also included. The bibliographical essay points to a wide range of additional reading and further exemplifies Kennedy’s extensive knowledge of his chosen period. In summary, Freedom from Fear is a great example of the historians’ craft of bringing the past to life in all its fascinating detail. Although daunting in its size, the years do fly by. tained and there is a welcome sense that the author has not tried too hard to keep her chapter headings overly discrete; some issues, such as the dramatic development of rail travel, appear influential in a variety of issues. Edwards’s central argument is that the latter part of the nineteenth century ushered in a fundamentally modern era in America, and in many cases initiated the social and cultural antagonisms that would come to dominate the explosive twentieth century. Her approach is frequently light-footed and anecdotal, with a narrative voice that revels in the characters and atmosphere of the time, yet she ensures it never becomes trivial by including some fairly arresting facts and statistics. She is just as keen to include tables that breakdown the data of school enrolment age, or describe the origins of factions within American Judaism, as she is to recount the story of a party thrown by the Vanderbilt family in their new $3 million home (roughly $43 million today), where they spent a quarter of a million dollars on food and decorations. Along with a readable and fluent writing style, the book is never less than engaging, and at times offers fascinating and illuminating accounts of the events and trends that marked the period. The main drawback of such an approach, of course, is that the period itself – forty intensely eventful years – can become rather homogenised, and at times any sense of causal development or progression is lost. A more serious complaint for researchers is the lack of referencing: Edwards does not acknowledge her sources in footnotes or endnotes, frustrating any attempts to follow up on useful or interesting points, and quotes are frequently dropped anonymously into the text. There are, however, some useful suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, and the book does have a superb accom-

Rebecca Edwards, New Spirits: Americans in the Gilded Age, 1865-1905
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) ISBN 0195147294 Pp. 296.

Reviewed by Mark Storey, School of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham
Edwards makes clear in her introduction that she is more interested in tracing the defining themes and narratives of this transformative period of American history – whether cultural, political, economic or social – than producing a coolly chronological procession of names and dates. This is the same approach taken by Alan Trachtenberg in this book’s most obvious predecessor, The Incorporation of America (1982), but what marks them apart is Edwards’ decision to emphasise the increasing racial tensions within society, frequently citing the diverse and often tragic experiences of European, Chinese and Mexican immigrants as well as African Americans and Native Americans. The book divides into three sections: the first deals with political and economic upheavals, with an understandable emphasis on the legacies of the Civil War, while the second traces developments in social and intellectual life, ranging from science and religion to sexual behaviour and youth culture. The final section focuses on the conflicts, both national and international, that troubled and sometimes threatened to consume America during the time. As is always the case, these themes cannot be neatly con-

panying website with a wealth of materials as well as some useful timelines, all of which goes some way in making up for these shortfalls. The inclusion of a ‘Questions for discussion’ section at the end of the book suggests this is a text aimed more at undergraduates, but its fascinating array of facts and Edwards’s ability to produce a lucid and occasionally compelling narrative from such an era of complex change means this book would be valuable reading for anyone with an interest in post-Civil War America. plentiful supply, but serious scholarly analyses of the politics of the period are less numerous.’ [2] He cites the overlooking of this period to be premature, and sets his book apart from others by not dealing with the Wall Street Crash, thus avoiding the trap of seeing the Twenties as ‘one long prelude to the Great Depression.’ [2] The result of this is that Palmer is able to offer an original and fascinating analysis of Harding, whom he refers to as an ‘underrated president’ [3] As well as succinctly examining the traditional Twenties themes of prohibition, the post-war era, and racial unrest, Palmer details Harding’s battle to stabilize the nation, but the unwillingness of his people to see things his way, forced into seeking ‘unsatisfactory compromises.’ [37] The often confusing and divisive issue of The Emergency Quotas Act - which put a cap on the thousands of immigrants flooding into the US - is clearly explained, and once more, Harding defended, and Palmer shows the reader the impossible task this President faced in implementing his own ideology – shown to be attempting to promote equality, upon the distrustful, prejudiced members of both his cabinet and nation at that time. America’s links with the outside world are deftly examined in a chapter on foreign policy, as is the stalling of normalcy with the death of Harding, and the accession of Coolidge. Consistently referring to newspapers and journals of the time, Palmer illustrates the disparity between popular opinion and the political efforts of Harding and Coolidge. Sections on ‘Culture and Society’ between political description keep the reader informed of the literary and artistic activities as they occurred, which nicely contextualizes the work of frustrated writers such as John Dos Passos: ‘who railed at the shrinking status of the ‘ant-like’ individual before the might of giant factories and corporations.’ [112] The growth of jazz and black American writing is equally well contextualized, against the backdrop of Ku Klux Klan lynching and social unrest. This highly effective book successfully differentiates between the Harding and Coolidge administrations, Harding’s policies often proving divisive and radical in their treatment of race, the World Court, shipping subsides, disarmament and the veteran’s bonus, Coolidge on the other hand emerging as a conservative leader ‘undisturbed by changing political and social realities.’[180] The concision and clarity of the narrative should make this important book invaluable to scholars and students alike.

Niall Palmer, The Twenties in America: Politics and History,
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006) ISBN 0748620370

Historical Dictionaries of U.S. Historical Eras
Lanham, Md. The Scarecrow Press No. 3: Historical Dictionary of Revolutionary America, Terry M Mays (2005) ISBN 08108-5389-2, Hardback. Pages: 379. List Price: $72.00 No. 5: Historical Dictionary of the Early American Republic, Richard Buel Jr. (2006) ISBN: 0-8108-5080-X. Pages: 395. List Price: $92.00

Reviewed by James Fountain, University of Glasgow
Niall Palmer’s book is the most recent in a long line of text scrutinizing one of the most important decades in the history of the United States. Unlike any of his predecessors, however, Palmer chooses to focus his narrative upon the two Presidential administrations of the period, Harding and Coolidge. This move, in itself adds a clarity to the analysis essentially missing in similar studies by Colin Gordon, David J. Goldberg, Alan Brinkley and George E. Mowry. Arguably the most accessible and detailed of all the texts previously available on Twenties America were Paul A. Carter’s two publications, The Twenties in America (1969) and (1977). But even these do not match Palmer’s concision and balance – regarding an often controversial and volatile era of American politics, where balance and impartiality are necessary tools for an historian if his reader is to make any sense of it. Palmer addresses this issue in his Introduction: ‘Published works on the Twenties are in

Reviewed by John Wedgwood Pound MA (Dunelm) Ph.D Student, University of Birmingham.
The Historical Dictionaries of US Historical Eras is a marvellous series, and these two constituent volumes are gems. Together they span the years 1763-1829, covering social, economic, and political matters, domestic and foreign insofar as they impact on the former, in well organised, sufficiently detailed, and crossreferenced encyclopaedic entries. Each volume benefits from an introductory scoping essay, chronology, and an outstanding, most comprehensive Bibliographic survey which includes digital sources.

Another Part of the Twenties

May’s Revolutionary America does not address in detail the Revolutionary War – this is dealt with in a further volume, however the issues that provoked colonial opposition, and the course of this resistance is traced from the mid 1760s through to ratification of the Constitution. Every step is charted through the Dictionary’s succinct yet informative entries on British Acts of Parliament, colonial protests, committees, political initiatives, and conventions – all dealt with efficiently, constituting a particular strength of the work. Biographical and topographical entries are written in relation to the overarching theme, as are entries on foreign countries, thus “France/Spain/China…and Revolutionary America.” The biographical vignettes are comprehensive, going beyond the headline figures; influential individuals outside the period, such as John Locke and Edward Coke are also included. Appendices in this volume lists signatories to the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence and attendees at the 1787 Constitutional Convention – all of whom have dedicated articles within the body of the work. Buel’s Early Republic volume takes a similar approach, which is no less successful – every conceivable entry on matters concerning the challenges facing the new republic, Hamilton’s Financial Programme, commercial expansion to foreign relations, embracing the fall of the Federalists, Jeffersonian America and major development in the country through to John Quincy Adams. Major themes are embraced through overarching summary articles such as ‘Territorial Expansion’ and ‘Economic Development…17891829’, further augmented by, for instance, in this example, discrete articles on areas of financial policy. The breadth is impressive, from a description of the so-called “Era of Good Feelings” to an account of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in July 1814 during the invasion of Canada; from the Temperance Movement to the 1798 Sedition Act. Again, every conceivable fact of policy, politics, and history is cited and contextualised. A particularly useful feature in this volume is an account of every Presidential Election during the period, in addition to Administration details for each President provided in the Appendix. These volumes will prove to be invaluable to students at advanced, undergraduate, and postgraduate level, providing as they do valuable information for reference, context and, indeed engaging material for just ‘dipping into’. Whilst the price will perhaps render them unattainable for some students, libraries should certainly ensure that sufficient copies are stocked. raises fascinating ‘what ifs’ in the mind of the reader at every turn. What, for example, would have been the outcome of World War II if a few influential Americans, notably the dashing Billy Mitchell and the occasionally terrifying ‘Hap’ Arnold, had not incessantly pushed for the creation of a U.S. Air Force in the years after the First World War? And what would have happened if Arnold’s team of hand-picked officers, led by Ira Eaker, had been shot down off Portugal in 1942, as nearly happened, when they were on their way to take up their duties in Britain? Miller’s other qualities on display here will be well-known to those who have seen him in action: his narrative enthusiasm, and his treasure trove of sheer information. Combined, they make it a fascinating read, both for academics and enthusiasts. Miller’s deep compassion for the young American airmen makes their experience vivid, through detailed interviews with those who were there. (Miller’s own father was a WW2 fighter pilot, and you have the sense that the historian is paying his dues to that generation.) The human element is never that far away. Miller does not forget the victims and survivors of such raids as Dresden (there are interviews with those too), nor the other American military who were taken prisoner, such as Kurt Vonnegut. He links these vivid accounts with the intense debate which raged among the Allies over precision bombing versus blind bombing, and the agonising decision (which went right back to Mitchell) over whether civilians should ever be targeted. My own favourite factoid (out of many in the book) is the notion of Billy Mitchell that fighter pilots would be the modern equivalent of ‘the armoured knights of the Middle Ages’, the Few representing the many, and putting their lives on the line on their behalf, to save widespread

Masters of the Air by Donald L. Miller,
Simon & Schuster ISBN 0 743235444 (to be published shortly in the UK under the title ‘Eighth Air Force, American Bomber Crews in Britain’)

Reviewed by Sue Wedlake, U.S. Embassy, London
What retrospectively looks like a foregone conclusion, or at least a smooth narrative, rarely feels like that to the people living it. This is especially true of war. The best history brings out this quality of surprise and confusion, and of fate seeming to turn on sometimes trivial decisions, so that the reader lives it along with the protagonists, and understands it all the better. Donald L Miller’s book Masters of the Air does this, in spades. It

slaughter. It’s an interesting connection, and like much in this book, not something I had heard before. I wonder if Churchill ever heard it? clared wars, rebellions and insurrections. In the eighteenth century Americans were at war more than at peace. Between 1700 and 1800 Americans engaged in seventeen separate conflicts and rebellions.' These conflicts, involving civilian militias as well as an increasingly professionalised army, prepared the nation for the Civil War (1861-1865), 'America's second revolution.' The four volumes are arranged in chronological sections: 15001815; 1816-1900; 1901-1945; 1946-the recent present. They include 395 articles, each with a bibliography. Every volume has a glossary, a chronology, and a generous collection of primary source documents drawn from acts of Congress, court case statements, memos, speeches, declarations, unofficial manifestoes, and excerpts from literature, songs, personal letters and journals. The chronological arrangement provides a strong narrative structure, while the synoptic outline of entries included in each volume allows the reader to follow the development of a particular theme across the centuries. The inclusion of the primary source texts is a particularly valuable resource, making this both a reference book and a key text reader. It includes some of the iconic landmarks of American political rhetoric, like Lincoln's - 'this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom' −Gettysburg Address of 1865, and John F. Kennedy's 'Ask not what America will do for you' - inaugural address of 1961. Each text is introduced with a useful commentary explaining its context, and the selection sets up some illuminating comparisons: JFK (and his speechwriters) knowingly recycle Lincoln's Biblical exhortations, while Paul Robeson's 1956 testimony to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee Hearing echoes the indignation of the 1845 autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick As well as giving the stage to high profile statements, the articles explore broad social currents and the interactions between everyday life and war. There is an admirably lucid layout in the presentation of themes which enables us to follow the larger stories: The near destruction of American Indians, the suppression of Mexico and Central America, and the racial battles fought in the journey from slavery to integration. Recounted, for example, is the story of the mass migration of African-American populations from the rural South to the industrial cities, notably Chicago and Detroit, which followed the Civil War, and which accelerated during the industrialisation of the 1920s and 1930s. This migration of people and their labour was born of conflict and warfare, and also fed off (and fed) the means of war; for these were the centres of the industrial production of military hardware, and they became recruiting grounds for the labourers of war, serving and dying in the two world wars, as well as Vietnam and Iraq. Can it be true - and we're asked the question here, I think - that America's most enduring symbols and narratives of national identity and unity have been generated by warfare waged not only against other nations and ideologies (such as Cold War communism, and now, armed Islamic fundamentalism), but also against its own people? We might think so, having recently seen, for example, those pictures of National Guardsmen carrying machine guns into the flooded streets of New Orleans. Maybe - but the collection of articles in these volumes also reveals the rich traditions of American pacifism, compassion and dissent.

Americans at War: Society, Culture, and the Homefront, by John P. Resch,
Macmillan 2005 ISBN 0 02 865993 7

Reviewed by Toby Clark Americans at War examines the impact of war on the social, cultural, economic and political life of America from the period of the first European colonisation to the present. The emphasis is not on the immediate activities of warfare itself, so we do not find a preoccupation with campaign strategies, battle tactics or weapon technologies. Instead, the focus is much broader: social and political themes cover the economy, industry, the constitution, patriotism, national identity, civil liberties, dissent, race, gender, and the family. Cultural themes cover media, literature, music, the visual arts, and cinema. What emerges is a picture of the extent to which every area of life has been shaped by war. In its quiet and understated way - there's no gung-ho rhetoric here, or any other obvious agenda - it proposes, perhaps, that we understand America (and maybe any other country) through its history of war. This isn't overtly theorised in the introductory essays, but is supported by a simple recounting of facts; as the preface to the first volume tells us, 'Between 1607 and 1700, apart from frontier skirmishes, raids, and ambushes, colonists from South Carolina to New England were engaged in over a score of de-

Americans at War has a wellorganised collection of articles and primary texts, and brings with it a thought-provoking premise. Unfortunately, it's let down by the sloppy handling of illustrations, often omitting the

Douglass: An American Slave.

artists' names and, more importantly, the dates of the images. Some illustrations are contemporary with the events depicted, while others are later interpretations, so that, for example, incidents in the American Revolution are illustrated with kitsch nineteenth and twentieth century graphic art, and the extent to which these depictions were shaped by their later contexts is not examined. It's disappointing that the visual documents aren't handled as if they might be useful historical evidence, and having failed to do this, it would be better if many of the illustrations had been left out. Apart from this grumble, these are handsomely produced (and expensive) volumes, written in an engaging and accessible way. Americans at War would be of use to students of history, literature, American studies, war studies, and media studies, and of interest to the rest of us, who just want to know what the world is made of. There is also Jonathan Sutherland's African accounts of the Vietnam War is given new life through his focus on the My Lai massacre. That the American people have not been good at recognising the Vietnamese victims is much maligned amongst certain scholars of the Vietnam War, but Oliver’s account implies a much more subtle, albeit no less thorough, disregard of the Vietnamese who were killed both at My Lai and in the war more broadly. Oliver argues that, prompted by a desire to determine both the cause of the massacre and to identify those who were responsible for it, attention was shifted away from the details of what actually happened and, more importantly, from whom it happened to. Such a focus meant, Oliver argues, that not only were the victims sidelined in the way that the massacre was presented to the American public, but that, once William Calley’s trial ended in the early 1970s, the issue could be gradually forgotten as many wished the war itself would be. This argument forms the basis for much of Oliver’s subsequent thinking about why the American media and the American military seem to have learned so little from the way that the war was fought and reported. Oliver’s methodology, which weaves together three main strands of historical investigation - the news media, the military perspective and, particularly in the later chapters, popular culture exemplified by a range of material from film, literature and music - is comprehensive, detailed and ultimately engaging. The social and political intricacies of the way in which the massacre was investigated and reported are explored in a convincing and thought-provoking way, and this book constitutes a significant contribution both to understanding America’s memory of the Vietnam War, and also to how that memory has shaped the U.S’s subsequent military encounters.

Kaufman, Will, The Civil War in American Culture
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006 ISBN 0748619356 R eviewed by Tracy Rex, American Studies Department, University of Wales, Swansea The American Civil War is seen as the definitive American War, possibly due to the welldocumented gore and controversy of the war which, because it was recorded for generation after generation to study, increases the appeal of the conflict. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries media forms play a huge part in public perception of history and with the great influx of Civil War media available it is not surprising that it was and still is such an immense cultural phenomenon. Kaufman chose to organize the book in the following structure: ‘Antebellum Groundwork’, which discusses the role of culture in the pre-Civil War period; ‘Reunion and Resistance’, which considers the nostalgic period of Reconstruction; ‘Martyrdom and Memory’, which takes, as its central theme, a debate about the impact of, and reactions to, two of the most controversially disputed characters of the war, John Brown for the Union and Stonewall Jackson for the Confederacy. Kaufman continues this theme of personal recollection and judgment with ‘Abe Lincoln’s Mixed Reviews’ with a reflection on the impact of one of America’s posthumously best-loved presidents from his assassination to the tragic events of 9/11; ‘Rebels Inc.’ debates the role of the ‘Lost Cause’ as a motive for the white supremacist attitude still dangerously prevalent in America’s Southern states; while ‘the Regendered War’ takes a more progressive view of the impact of the war, considering women’s writing both during and after the conflict; ‘The Virtual Civil War’ considers the development from contemporary photographic to modern-day multimedia represen-

Americans at War: An Encyclopedia, 2003.

Oliver, Kendrick. The My Lai Massacre in American History and Memory.
Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2006. pp. 300; ISBN: 07190-6891-6.

Reviewed by Claire Stocks University of Oxford
Thirty-one years after the Fall of Saigon, one would be forgiven for thinking that it might be difficult to say a great deal that hasn’t already been expressed about America’s War in Vietnam. However, while several of the broader issues that Kendrick Oliver addresses have been raised numerous times before, his exploration of the ethnocentricity which tends to dominate

tations of the war; ‘The Transnational Civil War’ inspects the international impact the war had and still has on both the melting-pot society that is 21st Century America and the international academic, literary and media-driven community; finally Kaufman’s conclusion ‘History is my Starting Point’ considers the issues surrounding this national, and international obsession with an event that took place over 140 years ago and poses questions regarding the likely development of this cultural phenomenon now that all Civil War participants have passed away. Kaufman claims to have had a boyhood obsession with the Civil War, an obsession he continues into adulthood, and it is this fascination that compelled him to undertake a journey searching for the cultural representations of the American Civil War that have been prevalent since the build-up to the conflict in 1861. It is to Kaufman’s credit that he omits the more wellknown cultural expressions of the Civil War, as, as he states ‘such examples have been amply covered elsewhere’; this omission allows him to uncover some of the more hidden gems of Civil War culture, and thus keep the reader enthralled as to what new curiosities he will uncover next . This is a work that, in 163 pages, introduces the reader to Civil War nostalgia in the form of books, movies, computer games, photography, music, public performance, personal memory, deep seated beliefs and erected monuments from both a Union and Confederate standpoint, and which are related to both white and black participation, recollection and historical development, in accordance with the ideals of the period. This brevity is both an advantage and disadvantage, while it is, as the précis suggests, ‘a clearly written introduction designed to offer students’ a ‘definitive short survey’ it is the case that the reader is often left wanting more, and while Kaufman does provide a detailed bibliography, he presents such an entertaining and revealing perspective on the ethos of the American Civil War that further development of some topics would be a welcome addition.

Richard Labunski, James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006 I S B N 0195181050

House Representatives that he be gan to show his support for a Bill of Rights. Even then, he seems to have been motivated more by votes and a desire for popular acceptance of the constitution than a genuine belief in the necessity of amendments. Once in Congress, however, Madison began to campaign wholeheartedly for a Bill of Rights that would protect and secure the rights of the American people. In his account of this period, Labunski considers the critical nature of Madison’s role and the numerous obstacles that stood in the way of the constitution and Bill of Rights being approved. The author is to be praised for emphasising the difficulties that Federalists, Madison in particular, faced and the extent to which ratification was far from a foregone conclusion. In a field that has been dominated by national studies of the ratification process, Labunski’s discussion of Virginia’s pivotal position is a useful contribution to the literature. However, this is, above all, a narrative survey and as such, it is not always sufficiently analytical. Labunski traces, but does not satisfactorily explain, Madison’s conversion from opponent to supporter of amendments and, in a book supposedly devoted to the struggle for a Bill of Rights, surprisingly little attention is paid to the extensive arguments on the substance and extent of these rights before they were considered in Congress. This is an accessible, readable study that general readers and undergraduates might enjoy. It could be useful for researchers seeking an introductory survey, but experts will probably find little to engage with.

Reviewed by K i r s t e n Phimister
The scope of Richard Labunski’s latest work is much broader than the title would suggest. It is less a study of James Madison’s campaign to secure the adoption of a Bill of Rights than it is an account of the Virginian’s role in the drafting, ratification and amending of the federal constitution. Labunski begins at the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787; in succeeding chapters, he considers elections to the Virginia ratifying convention, the extensive debates in that body, the elections to the First Congress and finally, Madison’s efforts to win the necessary approval for his proposed amendments. As Labunski himself acknowledges, Madison originally opposed a Bill of Rights: at both the Philadelphia and Richmond conventions he maintained that it would be an unnecessary addition to the new frame of government. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, who was deeply concerned by the absence of a Bill of Rights, Madison defended his position by arguing that the people retained all rights not expressly assumed by the federal government, that state governments would maintain a check on the powers of the national body and that amendments of this nature would be ineffective if they were at odds with the popular will. In this instance, a Bill of Rights would be little more than a “parchment barrier.” It was not until Madison was threatened with defeat in the election for

Edwin S. Gaustad, Benjamin Franklin
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006 I S B N 0195305353 Gordon S. Wood, who have written monographs on the son of Boston soap-maker who went on to become a printer, author, inventor, civic activist, politician and statesman. In recent years, J. A. Leo Lemay has embarked on the production of a sevenvolume biography: Gaustad’s slim offering is at the other end of the spectrum, in brevity if not in achievement. In 125 pages, this renowned scholar expertly covers the breadth, and considers the significance, of Franklin’s activities. Given the sheer volume of relevant material, it will not have been an easy task and it a testament to Gaustad’s experience and skill as a historian that he succeeds so effortlessly. He deftly weaves Franklin’s personal, professional and political life into a seamless narrative that acknowledges and carefully balances the diversity of Franklin’s accomplishments: this is not an account, primarily, of Franklin the scientist or Franklin the politician, but Franklin the ambitious, inquisitive, civicminded polymath and his unparalleled contribution to American politics and society in the eighteenth century. Gaustad explores the various facets of his subject’s life and mind in surprising detail, without losing sight of Franklin’s famous wit and wisdom. This is an immensely enjoyable read that will appeal to a wide audience. General readers seeking an accessible, engaging introduction to the life of Benjamin Franklin would do well to begin here. The inclusion of extracts from Franklin’s writings at the conclusion of each chapter effectively illuminates the theme of each section and thereby makes the volume a good choice for undergraduate teachers.

Reviewed by K i r s t e n Phimister
The tercentennial of Benjamin Franklin’s birth in 2006 has prompted an outpouring of new scholarship on this, arguably the most famous and most remarkable, Founding Father. Edwin S. Gaustad is one of a growing list of eminent historians, including Edmund S. Morgan, Walter Isaacson and

American Studies Resources Centre at John Moores University, National Museums Liverpool and North West BAAS

Issues in American History and Politics: Civil Rights, Black Nationalism and the Response of the Presidency and Supreme Court
A one day conference for teachers and students of A2 and Access American History, Politics and Media Studies Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool. Wednesday, November 14th 2007
Conference organised with the support of the British Association for American Studies and the Embassy of the United States of America, London. See enclosed flyer for details

Printed by Rhodes Printing, Boundary Road, St Helens WA10 2QA

Shared By: