Recommended Reading

Reading List for Early America 1400-1800

Native American History in Early America and Cross-Cultural Exchange

Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (1991)

John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America (1994)

Patricia Seed, Ceremonies of Possession in Europe’s Conquest of the New World, 1492-1640, 1995.

Jill Lepore, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity (1998)

Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (2001)

Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 (2001)

Laurel Ulrich, The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2001)

Joyce E. Chaplin, Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo American Frontier, 1500-1676 (2003)

Andrés Reséndez, A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca (2007)

Peter Silver, Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America (2007)

J.H. Elliot, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830, 2007.


Alfred W. Crosby, “Virgin Soil Epidemics as a Factor in the Aboriginal Depopulation inAmerica” William and Mary Quarterly 33, no. 2 (April 1976): 289-299

Neal Salisbury, “The Indians’ Old World: Native Americans and the Coming of Europeans,” William and Mary Quarterly 53, no. 3 (Jul., 1996): 435-458

Kristen Sword, “Remembering Dinah Nevil: Strategic Deceptions in Eighteenth Century Antislavery,” Journal of American History 97:2 (September 2010)

Environmental History in Early America

Alfred W. Crosby, The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (1972)

William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England (1983)

Elizabeth Fenn, Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 (2001)


Migration Across the Atlantic to the New World

David Cressy, Coming Over: Migration and Communication between England and New England in the Seventeenth Century (1987)

Alison Games, Migration and the Origins of the English Atlantic World, 2001.

Stephanie Smallwood, Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora, 2007.

Marcus Rediker, The Slave Ship: A Human History (New York: Penguin, 2008)


Settler Societies, Religion, and Culture in Early America

Perry Miller, Errand Into the Wilderness (1956)

Thomas, Keith. Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971.

Boyer, Paul S., and Stephen Nissenbaum. Salem Possessed, 1974.

Demos, John. Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, 1982.

Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction (1986)

Carol Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (1987)

Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture (1988)

David Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England (1989)

Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People (1990)

Richard Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (1993)

Rebecca Larson, Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad, 1700-1775 (1999)

Jon Butler, Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776 (2000)

McConville, Brendan, The King’s Three Faces: The Rise and Fall of Royal America, 1688-1776 (2006)


Caribbean Life and Slavery in Early America and the Atlantic

Trevor Burnard, Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World (2004)

Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004)

Jon Sensbach, Rebecca’s Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic World (2005)

Vincent Brown, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (2007)

Larry Gragg, Englishmen Transplanted: The English Colonization of Barbados, 1627-1660, 2003.


Slavery and Race in Early North America

Wood, Peter H. Black Majority; Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 Through the Stono Rebellion. 1974.

Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (1998)

Jill Lepore, New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan (2005)

Adam Rothman, Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (2005)

Linda Heywood and John Thornton, Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and Foundation of Americas (2007)

Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (2008)


Women, Sexuality, and Family History in Early America

Linda Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1980)

Mary Beth Norton, Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 (1980)

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 (1982)

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (1990)

Kathleen Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (1996)

Alfred Young, Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier (2004)

Sarah M. S. Pearsall, Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century (Oxford,UK:OxfordUniversity Press, 2009)

Judith Apter Klinghoffer and Lois Elkins, “‘The Petticoat Electors’: Women’s Suffrage in New Jersey, 1776-1807,” Journal of the Early Republic, (Summer, 1992): 159-193.

The American Revolution and the Early Republic

Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967)

Alan Taylor, William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic (1995)

Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992)

Woody Holton, Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia (1999)

David Armitage, The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (2007)

Gordon Wood, The American Revolution: A History (2005)

Gary Nash, The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution (2006)

Woody Holton, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2007)

Robin Blackburn, “Haiti, Slavery, and the Age of the Democratic Revolution,” William and Mary Quarterly 63, no. 4 (October 2006): 643-674.

Recent Additions

David Hall, Ways of Writing: The Practice and Politics of Text-Making

Michele Morris, Under Household Government

Jill Lepore, Book of Ages

Pauline Maier, Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution

Alan Taylor: The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia

W. Jeffrey Bolster, The Mortal Sea 

Maya Jasanof, Liberty’s Exiles 

Karen Ordahl Kupperman, The Jamestown Project

Rebecca Goetz, The Baptism of Early Virginia

Katherine Grandjean, American Passage

Glenda Goodman, “‘But they differ from us in sound’: Indian Psalmody and the Soundscape of Colonialism, 1651-75′” WMQ 69 (2012): 793-822.

J. William Harris, The Hanging of Thomas Jeremiah (2009)

Billy G. Smith, Ship of Death 

“The bloody writing is for ever torn”: Domestic and International Consequences of the first Governmental Efforts to Abolish the Atlantic Slave Trade. Video.

Reading List for Modern U.S. History, 1800-1970

Antebellum America

White, Deborah G. Ar’n’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South, 1985.

Stansell, Christine. City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860, 1986.

Hodes, Martha Elizabeth. White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South, 1997.

Henkin, David M. City Reading: Written Words and Public Spaces in Antebellum New York, 1998.

Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, 1998.

Johnson, Walter. Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market, 1999.

Rothman, Adam. Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South, 2005.

Wilentz, Sean. The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. New York: Norton, 2005.

Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 2007.

Native American History and the United States West

General Western Histories

Turner, Frederick Jackson. The Significance of the Frontier in American History, 1893.

White, Richard. “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own”: A History of the American West, 1991.

Patricia Nelson Limerick, Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (1987)

Milner, O’Connor, Sandweiss, Oxford History of the American West

Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. Norton, 1992.

Johnson, Susan Lee. Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush, 2000.

Native Americans

Perdue, Theda. Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835, 1998.

West, Elliott. The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado, 1998.

Deloria, Philip Joseph. Indians in Unexpected Places, 2004.

Miles, Tiya. Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom, 2005.

Brooks, James. Captives & Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands. Chapel Hill, NC, 2002.

Reséndez, Andrés. Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850, 2005.

Deloria, Philip, J. Playing Indian. Yale Historical Publications Series.

Blackhawk, Ned. Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West, 2006.

Hämäläinen, Pekka. The Comanche Empire. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

 The Civil War

Potter, David Morris, and Don E. Fehrenbacher. The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861, 1976.

Manning, Chandra. What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War, 2007.

Faust, Drew Gilpin. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, 2008.


Litwack, Leon F. Been In the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. (1979).

Foner, Eric. Nothing but Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy, 1983.

Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, 1988.

Hunter, Tera. To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labor After the Civil War, 1997.

Hahn, Steven. A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration, 2003.

 Race, Culture, Labor, and Empire

Woodward, C. Vann. The Strange Career of Jim Crow, 1955.

Roediger, David R. The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, 1991

Bederman, Gail. Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917, 1995.

Nayan Shah, Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 2001.

Renda, Mary A. Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915-1940. Chapel Hill:University ofNorth Carolina Press, 2001.

Briggs, Laura. Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

Andrews, Thomas G. Killing for Coal: America’s Deadliest Labor War. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Gilded Age and Progressivism

Hofstadter, Richard. The Age of Reform; From Bryan to F.D.R. New York: Knopf, 1955.

Wiebe, Robert H. The Search for Order, 1877-1920. New York: Hill and Wang, 1967.

Peiss, Kathy Lee. Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York, 1986.

Painter, Nell Irvin.  Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919, 1989.

Gilmore, Glenda Elizabeth. Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White  Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920, 1996.

Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race, 1998.

Rodgers, Daniel T. Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age, 1998.

Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917, 2000.

World War I, The Interwar Years, and World War II

Cohen, Liz. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939, 1990.

Sanchez, George J. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945, 1993.

Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Makings of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940, 1994.

Brinkley, Alan. The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War, 1995.


The History of the Civil Rights Movement

Kelley, Robin D. G. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, 1990.

Payne, Charles M. I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle, 1995.

Dudziak, Mary L. Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy, 2000.

Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, 2003.

Gilmore, Glenda Elizabeth. Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950, 2008.

Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd. 2005. “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past”. Journal of American History. 91, no. 4: 1233-1263.

The Post War and Cold War Era

Sugrue, Thomas J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit, 1996.

McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right, 2001.

Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America, 2003.

Self, Robert O. American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland, 2003.