The following is a rundown of some interesting intellectual history books coming out in 2017. This is an open thread, so please add more books as you hear of them. We plan to step up our book review coverage this year, so plenty of these books will be reviewed on the blog. By no means is this a complete or thorough list.
Harvard University Press features some interesting books, including Pillars of Justice: Lawyers and the Liberal Tradition, which addresses the links between legal history and civil rights history. That should be of importance to American intellectual historians, as legal arguments formed a key component of thought about civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s. Apollo in the Age of Aquarius looks to tell of the links between the American space program and domestic concerns about civil rights and domestic unrest.
UNC Press has some interesting titles coming out in the new year about race and American history. Congo Love Song offers up a much-needed look at how African Americans viewed central Africa. Also, questions of how white Americans view the “African American experience” form the core of Black for a Day. Civil Rights, Culture Wars is a fascinating edition of the history of modern education in America, focused on history textbooks in Mississippi.
Philip Gorski’s American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present promises to be the ultimate history of American civil religion. Coming out from Princeton University Press in March, it should prove to be of interest to many of our readers and bloggers. Meanwhile, Hitler’s American Model offers a unique example of transnational history—in this case, how American laws influenced the rise of Nazi race policy in the 1930s. Reaping Something New also promises to be a fascinating read, tying together Victorian literature with African American literary and intellectual history.
Other books, such as Mainstreaming Black Power (from University of California Press) or Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age (from Stanford University Press) both promise to look at well-known topics through new lenses. Reconsidering Roots (UGA Press) will offer a series of critical examinations of Roots as a cultural and intellectual phenomenon. The Liberal Consensus Reconsidered (University Press of Florida) promises to also open discussion among historians about the idea of a “consensus politics” in mid-20th century American history.
In short, it looks to be another exciting year of books in intellectual history. I am, of course, keeping an eye out for other books. Again, if there’s anything you’ve heard of that I missed here (or wish to discuss the books above) by all means leave a message in the comments.