Book Review: Battle for the Big Top

Battle for the Big Top: P.T. Barnum, James Bailey, John Ringling, and the Death-Defying Saga of the American CircusBy Les StandifordHachette Book Group, 272 pages.Review by Rob Weir If you are under the age of 40 and have never lived in New York City, you may have never seen the “Greatest Show on Earth,” as … Continue reading Book Review: Battle for the Big Top

Book Review: Nightmare Factories by Troy Rondinone

Troy Rondinone, Nightmare Factories: The Asylum in the American Imagination. Johns Hopkins, 2019. Book review by Katherine Allocco (Western Connecticut State University) Troy Rondinone traces the evolution of the portrayal of mental health institutions in American popular culture from the nineteenth century until today. Beginning with Edgar Allen Poe’s 1845 short story “The System of … Continue reading Book Review: Nightmare Factories by Troy Rondinone

Book Review: Haunted Bauhaus by Elizabeth Otto

Elizabeth Otto. Haunted Bauhaus: Occult Spirituality, Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics. MIT Press, 2019. Book review by Katherine Allocco (Western Connecticut State University) In Haunted Bauhaus, art historian Elizabeth Otto, who has published numerous books on the Bauhaus, turns her expertise to examining some of the movements and ideas that appeared on the … Continue reading Book Review: Haunted Bauhaus by Elizabeth Otto

Book Review: Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz

Horwitz, Tony. Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide   Penguin, 2019. Book review by Katherine Allocco (Western Connecticut State University) Tony Horwitz’s last book, Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide, tells two stories. First, he recounts details of Frederick Law Olmsted’s two journeys across the Southern States in … Continue reading Book Review: Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz

Book Review: Alex. Young Heroes of the Soviet Union: A Memoir and a Reckoning by Alex Halberstadt

Halberstadt, Alex. Young Heroes of the Soviet Union: A Memoir and a Reckoning. Random House, 2020. Book review by Katherine Allocco (Western Connecticut State University) Alex Halberstadt’s Young Heroes of the Soviet Union redefines the genre of memoir creating something complex and compelling. He begins his memoir with the central question: Can trauma be inherited? … Continue reading Book Review: Alex. Young Heroes of the Soviet Union: A Memoir and a Reckoning by Alex Halberstadt

Book Review: Home is Where the Hurt Is by Sara Hosey

Hosey, Sara. Home is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers. McFarland, 2019. Book review by Katherine Allocco (Western Connecticut State University) Sara Hosey’s excellent book Home is Where the Hurt Is analyzes shifting media images of mothers and wives in recent film and television shows emphasizing the ways that stereotypes and … Continue reading Book Review: Home is Where the Hurt Is by Sara Hosey

Book Review: Music is Power

Music is Power: Popular Songs, Social Justice, and the Will to Change. By Brad Schreiber. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2020. Viii + 218 pages + bibliography, index. Brad Schreiber opens Music is Power with a defense of protest music. It, like the much of this book, needs to be more precise. Schreiber is … Continue reading Book Review: Music is Power

Book Review: American Community: Radical Experiments in Intentional Living

American Community: Radical Experiments in Intentional Living. By Mark Ferrara. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2020. 183 pp + notes, index. Many scholars have jettisoned the baggage-laden term “utopia.” Dictionaries often imprecisely define it as an imaginary and perfect society. Blame Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), who–in 1516–coined the term “utopia” for an eponymous and … Continue reading Book Review: American Community: Radical Experiments in Intentional Living

Book Review: Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music

Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music by John Corbett. The University of Chicago Press, 2019. 475 Pages. Review by Randy Laist. What do you think of when you think about the 1970s?  Many people who are too young to have many first-hand memories from the 1970s, myself included, harbor a stereotyped characterization of the 1970s … Continue reading Book Review: Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music

Award-Winning Book: Lust on Trial

We are exuberant to announce this year's winner of the Peter C. Rollins Book Prize: Amy Werbel's Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of  Anthony Comstock. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. pp. 391.  Here is a review by Katherine Allocco  (Western Connecticut State University)of this book which will be formally recognized at the … Continue reading Award-Winning Book: Lust on Trial