168 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of the American West about their New Books
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New Books in the American West Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.0 • 8 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of the American West about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-west

    Damon B. Akins and William J. Bauer, "We Are the Land: A History of Native California" (U California Press, 2021)

    Damon B. Akins and William J. Bauer, "We Are the Land: A History of Native California" (U California Press, 2021)

    California is often used as a synecdoche for the United States itself - America in microcosm. Yet, California was, is, and will always be, Native space. This fact is forcefully argued by Damon Akins and William J. Bauer, Jr. in We Are the Land: A History of Native California (University of California Press, 2021). Akins, an associate professor history at Guilford College, and Bauer, a professor of history at UNLV, track the long history of the Pacific Coast, from ocean to mountain, with an emphasis on Native spaces, Native power, and Native resiliency. California historically contained (and indeed, still does contain) a dizzying array of Native nations, tribes, and societies, and We Are the Land does the work of attempting to cover, in some small amount, as many as possible over several centuries worth of history. It is a crisply written survey that doesn't shy away from the horrors of the past, but also dwells on moments of power and activism - this is no simple story of decline and tragedy. California, Akins and Bauer maintain, cannot be understood apart from its Native context - indeed the land and its people are in many ways one and the same.
    Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Lincoln A. Mitchell, "The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992" (Kent State UP, 2021)

    Lincoln A. Mitchell, "The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992" (Kent State UP, 2021)

    In 1976, the San Francisco Giants headed north of the border and became the Toronto Giants - or so the sportswriters of the time would have you believe. In The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992 (Kent State UP, 2021), the journalist and scholar Lincoln Mitchell explains how the team and the city narrowly avoided what seemed in the moment to be an inevitable fate. Mitchell tells the story of a baseball team in a period of transition, much like the city it called home, and of the players, owners, managers, politicians, and fans, who fought to keep the Giants in the city by the bay. The team was often mediocre, and San Francisco itself ailing in the aftermath of the tumultuous and often violent late 1970s. Together, both team and town searched for a new direction as America entered the Reagan years. The Giants and Their City is a history of a baseball team, but more than that, it's a story about the identity of a city, the people who live there, and those stick with a team through thick and thin, or in San Francisco's case, through cold wind and a terrible mascot. 
    Lincoln Mitchell can be heard on the "Say It Ain't Contagious Podcast," a show about baseball, politics, and social justice.
    Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
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    • 58 min
    Ryanne Pilgeram, "Pushed Out: Contested Development and Rural Gentrification in the US West" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Ryanne Pilgeram, "Pushed Out: Contested Development and Rural Gentrification in the US West" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    What happens to rural communities when their traditional economic base collapses? When new money comes in, who gets left behind? Pushed Out: Contested Development and Rural Gentrification in the US West (U Washington Press, 2021) offers a rich portrait of Dover, Idaho, whose transformation from "thriving timber mill town" to "economically depressed small town" to "trendy second-home location" over the past four decades embodies the story and challenges of many other rural communities. Sociologist Ryanne Pilgeram explores the structural forces driving rural gentrification and examines how social and environmental inequality are written onto these landscapes. Based on in-depth interviews and archival data, she grounds this highly readable ethnography in a long view of the region that takes account of geological history, settler colonialism, and histories of power and exploitation within capitalism. Pilgeram's analysis reveals the processes and mechanisms that make such communities vulnerable to gentrification and points the way to a radical justice that prioritizes the economic, social, and environmental sustainability necessary to restore these communities.
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    • 46 min
    Nelson Johnson, "Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer" (Rosetta Books, 2021)

    Nelson Johnson, "Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer" (Rosetta Books, 2021)

    Today I talked to Nelson Johnson about his new book Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer (Rosetta Books, 2021)
    In 1911 the 26-year-span in which Clarence Darrow took on capital punishment, advocated for civil rights, and handled the Scopes trial was still before him. Those accomplishments might never have happened if he hadn’t survived two torturous years in Los Angeles. First, he sought to settle the case of labor activists bombing the Los Angeles Times building and killing 20 people. Then, Darrow on trial himself on charges of having tried to bribe a prospective juror in the LA Times case. Up against Darrow was the power structure of L.A. On Darrow’s side, was his wife and two brilliant attorneys, one of whom later drank himself to death (Earl Rogers) and another who was later committed to a mental institution (Horace Appel). In between, all sorts of legal and extra-legal connivances took place as touched on in this episode.
    Nelson Johnson is a retired N. J. Superior Court Judge who practiced law for 30 years prior to serving on the bench. Early in his career he represented the Atlantic City Planning Board. That experience resulted in “Boardwalk Empire,” which inspired the HBO series.
    Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). To check out his related blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.
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    • 33 min
    Jessica Ordaz, "The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Jessica Ordaz, "The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity" (UNC Press, 2021)

    Bounded by desert and mountains, El Centro, California, is isolated and difficult to reach. However, its location close to the border between San Diego and Yuma, Arizona, has made it an important place for Mexican migrants attracted to the valley’s agricultural economy. In 1945, it also became home to the El Centro Immigration Detention Camp. The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) tells the story of how that camp evolved into the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service Processing Center of the 2000s and became a national model for detaining migrants—a place where the policing of migration, the racialization of labor, and detainee resistance coalesced.
    Using government correspondence, photographs, oral histories, and private documents, Jessica Ordaz reveals the rise and transformation of migrant detention through this groundbreaking history of one detention camp. The story shows how the U.S. detention system was built to extract labor, to discipline, and to control migration, and it helps us understand the long and shadowy history of how immigration officials went from detaining a few thousand unauthorized migrants during the 1940s to confining hundreds of thousands of people by the end of the twentieth century. Ordaz also uncovers how these detained migrants have worked together to create transnational solidarities and innovative forms of resistance.
    David-James Gonzales (DJ) is Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is a historian of migration, urbanization, and social movements in the U.S., and specializes in Latina/o/x politics and social movements.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Jennifer Sherman, "Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream" (U California Press, 2021)

    Jennifer Sherman, "Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream" (U California Press, 2021)

    How rural areas have become uneven proving grounds for the American Dream. Small-town economies that have traditionally been based on logging, mining, farming, and ranching now increasingly rely on tourism, second-home ownership, and retirement migration. In Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream (University of California Press, 2021), Jennifer Sherman tells the story of Paradise Valley, Washington, a rural community where amenity-driven economic growth has resulted in a new social landscape of inequality and privilege, with deep fault lines between old-timers and newcomers. In this complicated cultural reality, "class blindness" allows privileged newcomers to ignore or justify their impact on these towns, papering over the sentiments of anger, loss, and disempowerment of longtime locals. Based on in-depth interviews with individuals on both sides of the divide, this book explores the causes and repercussions of the stark inequity that has become commonplace across the United States. It exposes the mechanisms by which inequality flourishes and by which Americans have come to believe that disparity is acceptable and deserved.
    Stephen Pimpare is director of the Public Service & Nonprofit Leadership program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.
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    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Zendude2664 ,

NBC is Great, But

Great authors and extensive content. However, the production values need some work in many interviews. Seems to mostly be a problem when Marshall added all the new interviewers.

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