June Reading List

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Okay, so I know I'm a minute late on this one...I get it. It's the middle of June. I've been busy wrapping up my school year...finals and stuff. Better late than never :) 

And hold on kids...I am moving beyond Civil War history here...it's time to try out a few new things - you know, just to broaden the base level a tad.

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge - this book came highly recommended by someone who knows about these sorts of things. The authors contend the the age of big government is over...we'll see about that.

American Judaism: A History by Jonathan D. Sarna - I have been wanting to expand my understanding of Judaism and the development of Jewish communites in the North American colonies and in the United States. This book covered 350 years of Jewish history in the so-called "New World" and seeks to understand how the American context shaped the Jewish experience and identity.  

The Disinherited: Exile and the Making of Spanish Culture, 1492-1975 by Henry Kamen - I'm kind of a fan of Spanish culture...but who knew that much of what we understand about Spain is the product of it's exiles? I guess I'm about to find out... 

William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives by John B. Judis - This book takes a look at the development of the foundation of the modern conservative movement...and the intellectualism at its core. 

World without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer - billed as a response to digital utopianism, Foer asks that we challenge the monopoly power of Silicon Valley (I'll read this one on my iPhone).  

Religion in American Life: A Short History by Jon Butler, Grant Wacker, and Randall Balmer - continuing on with the theme of expanding my base and learning more about religion in the good old USA, I thought this would make a nice addition to my list. My real goal is to more robustly incorporate religion in my US History course...which, seeing that religion is so intricately woven into the historical narrative, makes perfect sense. 

Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World by Timothy Brook - what better way to understand the connection between us all than by looking at the this and that that fills up Vermeer's paintings. This is really a great way to look at globalization. 

The Autumn of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga - this is a classic that I read in college and absolutely loved. I am reading it again because I now find myself teaching the Middle Ages...and I thought it would be a good idea. Life, thought, and art in fourteenth and fifteenth century France and Holland on the eve of the Renaissance. 

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance - putting the word "hillbilly" in the title will certainly get my attention...but from what I understand this is a very interesting (though not uncontested) book about the decline of white working-class culture and the loss of the American dream for a significant number of Americans. I'll check it out.

Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization by Paul Kriwaczek - it all had to start somewhere, right...I mean, (western) civilization anyway. This book explores the notion of power relations and cultural innovations. Not sure that this is the "beginning" of civilization as we know it but hey...I'll give it a go and let you know what I think. 

So there you have it...this should keep me busy for a minute. But just a minute, I read quickly and now that summer is upon us, I have got a little free time :) 



Keith Harris2 Comments