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Mariana CandidoAn African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World: Benguela and its Hinterland

Cambridge University Press, 2013

by Jim Lance on April 17, 2015

Mariana Candido

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Mariana Candido’s book An African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World. Benguela and its Hinterland (Cambridge University Press, 2013) is a powerful and moving exploration of the history and development of the port of Benguela. Founded by the Portuguese in the early seventeenth century, Benguela, located on the central coast of present-day Angola, was the third largest port of slave embarkation on the coast of Africa. In discussing the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on African societies, Candido looks at the formation of new elites, the collapse of old states, and the emergence of new ones. Her book offers a new perspective on the importance of the South Atlantic as a space for the circulation of people, ideas, and crops. But what makes this book truly distinctive is how Candido digs beneath the surface of her evidence to give readers a sense of the lived experiences and feelings of all involved in the trade: the unfortunate victims and those who benefited from the violent capture and selling of human beings. As historian John Thornton observes, Candido’s book “will be a starting point for studies of the region for years to come.”


Ana María Ochoa GautierAurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia

April 17, 2015

Beyond what people say, what their voices sound like matters. Voice, as Ana María Ochoa Gautier argues in this marvelous new book Aurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth Century Colombia (Duke University Press, 2014), was embedded in 19th-century conversations and debates about the boundaries between nature and culture, between the civilized and barbaric, between inclusion or marginalization […]

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Kirt von DaackeFreedom Has a Face: Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson’s Virginia

April 16, 2015

In this podcast I talk to Kirt von Daacke about his 2012 work, Freedom Has a Face: Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson's Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2012). Professor von Daacke is Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. In this interview a […]

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Carol FaulknerLucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America

April 13, 2015

Carol Faulkner is Professor of History at Syracuse University. Her book Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) is a beautifully written biography of the abolitionist and Quaker Lucretia Mott. Committed to liberty and equality based on the divine light within, Mott was one the earliest American […]

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Kimberly Phillips-FeinInvisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal

April 8, 2015

[Cross-posted with permission from Who Makes Cents? A History of Capitalism Podcast.] Today we'll focus on the history of resistance to the New Deal. In her book Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal (W. W. Norton, 2010), Kimberly Phillips-Fein details how many of the most prominent elites had their ideas and practices shaped by groups that […]

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David A. PietzYellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China

April 6, 2015

David A. Pietz’s new book argues that China’s water challenges are historically grounded, and that these historical realities are not going to disappear anytime soon. Using a careful history of water and environmental management to inform our understanding of water-related challenges in contemporary China, Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China (Harvard University […]

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Leigh Ann WheelerHow Sex Became a Civil Liberty

April 6, 2015

Leigh Ann Wheeler is professor of history at Binghamton University. Her book How Sex Became a Civil Liberty (Oxford University Press, 2013), examines the role of the American Civil Liberties Union in establishing sexual rights as grounded in the U.S. constitution. Wheeler begins in the bohemian New York with the personal biographies of individuals who […]

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Leilah DanielsonAmerican Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the Twentieth Century

April 6, 2015

Leilah Danielson is an Associate Professor of History at Northern Arizona University and author of American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). American Gandhi is a political, intellectual and religious biography of the pacifist, labor educator and organizer A.J. Muste whose radical career and […]

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James Q. WhitmanThe Verdict of Battle: The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War

April 3, 2015

In The Verdict of Battle: The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War (Harvard University Press, 2012),  Yale Law School Professor James Q. Whitman dissects the law behind eighteenth century European land wars. Whitman's impressive attempt to sort out the intellectual path of the laws of war leaves us with a clearer understanding of […]

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Paula KaneSister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America

March 31, 2015

Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America (UNC Press, 2013) is a detailed journey into the life of Margaret Reilly, an American Irish-Catholic from New York who entered the Convent of the Good Shepherd in 1921, taking the name Sister Crown of Thorns. During the 1920s and 1930s, Sister Thorn became known as a stigmatic […]

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