Professor, Department of History, University of California, Davis.
Area of Research: US political, cultural, and intellectual history
Education: PhD in History, Stanford University, 1996
Major Publications: Rauchway is the author of Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America (Hill & Wang, 2006) , Murdering McKinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt's America (Hill & Wang, 2003), and The Refuge of Affections: Family and American Reform Politics, 1900-1920 (Columbia University Press, 2001). Rauchway is currently working on The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), and The Gift Outright: The West, the South, and America, 1867-1937 (Hill & Wang).
Awards: Rauchway is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Murdering McKinley was named one the"Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" top ten for 2003;
Chancellor's Fellow, University of California, Davis, 2003-2008;
MA by Special Resolution of Congregation, Oxford University, 1998.
Rauchway formerly was University Lecturer, Faculty of Modern History, University of Oxford (1998-2001), and Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Nevada, Reno (1996-1998).
Rauchway has written for"The American Prospect,""The Financial Times,""The Los Angeles Times,""Newsday," and other publications.
He currently writes for"The New Republic's""Open University" feature.
Rauchway has contributed commentary and book reviews to MSNBC.com's"Altercation," and has commented on television for the History Channel and C-SPAN, and appeared on both public and commercial radio programs in the U.S. and abroad.
Lacking a piquant or plangent anecdote I thought I would provide a brief explanation of why I am a historian. As I wrote here I have always had a sense of being not-quite: neither Protestant nor Jewish, I've lived in North, South, West, and overseas, as well as in towns both small and enormous; I register as a no-party voter and I attended a school that is famously neither entirely public nor private. I can't claim to contain multitudes -- I'm still squarely a white male American of middle-class standing, and a family man at that. But neither can I honestly claim to belong to any single one of the traditions within that identity.
Therefore I hope, and strive, to have some qualities in common with historians who used a similar sense of insider-outsiderhood to fuel their work. (Like Richard Hofstadter, as above; or Charles Beard, the dirt-farmer Ivy League political-scientist historian Republican radical -- I hasten to add I am as cool as neither, but one should aim high.)¹ They did not readily take sides, or come easily to any political position; even their scholarly conclusions they regarded as provisional and subject, always, to revision. Which is not to say that they were intellectually wimpy; on the contrary, I tend rather to think their working outside a fixed tradition made them feel especially responsible for defending the conclusions they reached.
I meant particularly my second and third books to reflect this ambition toward a strong insider-outsiderhood in different ways. Murdering McKinley is about the strength and weakness of social science -- it's about how by looking at age, race, work, belief, ethnicity, sexuality, education etc. we can tell so much about someone, while still failing to discover the most important thing (in this case, why they might shoot the President).² Blessed Among Nations is about the strength and weakness of American political tradition -- it's about how America's characteristic institutions reflect, not so much an ideological commitment to small government, but rather practical adaptations to circumstances, and how American policies succeeded or failed as those circumstances changed.
I guess that books especially designed not to stick with any political or interpretive tradition run the risk of being disliked, or worse, ignored. But I hope these books also exhibit another virtue typical of, though certainly not limited to, those older scholars -- they had, I think, a particular, emotional attachment to America as a country whose commitment to liberty didn't demand that you take sides too easily or too often, allowing people to live and believe as they wished. Certainly, that is the America to which I feel myself attached, and which I hope to serve well by good scholarship.
¹I purposely avoid mentioning anyone living, though certainly I have role models
among breathing historians.
²Lest anyone mention the singular"they," see here.
By Eric Rauchway
When you put on your new glasses after delaying a visit to the doctor for too long, you suddenly wonder how you could ever have stood to look through the old ones. I hope this book will help us see America’s place in the world with the same freshness, so that we can see the same old story with a new clarity and begin to wonder how we could ever have stood to look at the world through those quaint old spectacles, missing so much of such importance.
Specifically, using globalization as a lens brings into focus the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world in the late nineteenth century, and how this relationship shaped American political development. Capital and labor from overseas pushed American political development in noticeably unusual directions during a particularly important growth spurt. This early formative influence bequeathed the United States some peculiar and lasting habits of government. The effects of globalization helped the country become a powerful nation without developing (in comparative terms) a powerful central government. In the United States, as in some other countries, we often argue over the appropriate size and authority of national government, and usually we argue from principle: a big government is better because it can provide security; a small government is better because it can allow freedom. These arguments from principle have what to a historian seems like an unfortunately timeless quality, as if government were some uniform product, of which you can have too much or too little, but which is always the same thing. If we look at how government grew in the first place, we might remember that it is a set of solutions to a set of problems—not theoretical problems, but practical problems—and that, in practice, not all peoples face the same problems. During its growth into a powerful nation, the United States faced a set of problems unlike those any other nation has encountered. Americans formed their habits of government by solving a set of problems specific to their circumstances. And we know that habits often outlast the circumstances that justified them, just as we often wear prescription eyeglasses long after our eyes have changed, and sometimes with bad consequences. -- Eric Rauchway in"Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America"
About Eric Rauchway
"He is an amazing professor. Though he talks very quickly he has such passion for the subject which encourages you. My best professor so far and if I could I would take his class again. History has finally become fun and you learn so much."
"Good professor. Lectures are interesting enough to get me out of bed in the morning."
"Simply fantastic professor. His lectures are highly lively and easy to understand... he will really highlight and increase your love of the subject, especially if you get involved in class. I highly recommend him."
"Rauchway was a wonderful professor. He talks fast during lectures, but he is very animated and always keeps you interested. I would reccommend him to anybody, I LOVED his class."
"Professor Rauchway is one of the few professors I really feel I have learned something from."
"One of the greatest history lecturers of all time. I highly suggest taking his classes... or even more classes if you previously have. He has an excellent knowledge of history, even though it seems boring, he somehow makes it interesting." -- Anonymous Students
Associate Professor of History, University of Chicago, 2006--
Area of Research: Nineteenth and twentieth century United States, with an emphasis on the American South, Primarily a political historian, she has strong interests in African American history, legal history, and the politics of race.
Education: Ph.D., 1995, Princeton University
Major Publications: Dailey is the author of Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Post-Emancipation Virginia (University of North Carolina Press, 2000), published as part of the Gender and American Culture series, and Jim Crow America: A Norton Casebook in History (W. W. Norton & Co., forthcoming 2007). Dailey co-edited with Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore and Bryant Simon.Jumpin' Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton University Press, 2000). Dailey is currently working on Sex and Civil Rights, A history of the politics of race and sex in America from 1865 to ca. 1980. and The American Republic a two-volume United States history textbook, with Harry Watson of UNC; Dailey is responsible for second volume on the US, 1877-2004.
Awards: Dailey is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
Berlin Prize Fellow, American Academy in Berlin, 2004-5;
Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies, 2004-5;
Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2004-5;
Rice Undergraduate History Major Society Award for Outstanding Dedication to Students, 1998;
Center for the Study of Cultures Fellow, Rice University, 1996-7; Mellon Post-Enrollment Fellow, Princeton University, 1992-3;
Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Princeton Society of Fellows, 1991-2;
Mellon Fellow, Virginia Historical Society, 1991
Dailey is formerly Associate Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University, 2001—2006 and Associate Director of the Program in Comparative American Cultures, Johns Hopkins University, 2001-3. She was also formerly Assistant Professor of History, Rice University (Tenured: 2000) 1994-2000, and was a Visiting Fellow in History, Princeton University, 1996-7.
Dailey has written numerous articles and book reviews for such publications as Journal of American History, Journal of Southern History, Law and History Review, American Historical Review, and Social History among others. Daily has also contributed book chapters including:"The Sexual Politics of Race in WWII America" in Kevin Kruse and Stephen Tuck, eds., Mobilizing the Movement (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2007), and"Unintended Consequences: Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Question of School Prayer," with Sarah Barringer Gordon (Prof. of Law and History, University of Pennsylvania), in Glenn Feldman, ed., How the South Became Republican (forthcoming, 2007).
"Ignorance is the mother of wonder," someone once said, and I've discovered that my favorite part of a project comes at the height of my ignorance, when I don't yet know what I'm supposed to find banal. It is at that point, and not later, that every shard of the world I am starting to explore seems to hold endless and exciting possibilities. An example: on the last day of my first research trip for what has grown into my current book project, I noticed a file labeled"Miscellaneous Race" at the University of Southern Mississippi and called it up. This file contained a number of unusual articles, each of which encoded a portal to narratives of the past. There was, for instance, a rubber dog toy of a hooded Clansman that exhorted Fido to"Krush the Klan!" There was also a bumper-sticker, unattributed and undated (as bumper-stickers tend to be). Probably from 1968, it read: “George Wallace Uses Hair Straightener." In many ways, my book manuscript, which looks at the interplay between white worries about miscegenation and racial knowledge and the African American freedom struggle, is an extended exegesis of this bumper-sticker. It is only at the beginning of a project, when one doesn't know better than to look at everything with wide-open eyes, that we open such boxes marked"miscellaneous."
Apart from opening such boxes, another way of shocking ourselves out of ignorance is to make friends with an alien. When we think we know our world, there are questions we don't ask. A comparative perspective—looking at the same thing from far away—can make the too-familiar seem strange again. From that same research trip to Mississippi, I brought home piles of documents that deployed Biblical texts and religious language to express white opposition to desegregation, and to characterize"racial amalgamation" as against God's will. The historiography of civil rights tends to dismiss this language as inconsequential, and to focus instead on the religious arguments in favor of desegregation. I might have been tempted to stick with the consensus were it not for my resident alien, who glanced at one of my documents and exclaimed,"Hey, these guys sound like my people!" (He works on Christian/Jewish/Muslim relations in medieval Europe.)
By Jane Dailey
About Jane Dailey
Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Virginia, 2004-present
Area of Research: Modern Britain, British Empire, Imperialism and Colonization
Education: Ph.D., History, Yale University 2002
Major Publications: Jasanoff is the author of Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850 (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. London: Fourth Estate, 2005), (Paperback: Vintage, 2006; HarperPerennial, 2006). An Italian translation for Il Saggiatore is under contract. Edge of Empire is the winner of the 50th Duff Cooper Prize, 2005. Shortlisted for the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Prize 2005 and for the Whitfield Book Prize of the Royal Historical Society."Book of the year" choice in"The Economist,""The Sunday Times,""The Observer,""The Guardian,""The Independent.""Editor's choice" in"The New York Times Book Review."
Jasanoff is currently working on Imperial Exiles: Loyalists in the British Empire, a book about the global diaspora of Loyalists after the American Revolution, in Canada, the Caribbean, Britain, Sierra Leone, and South Asia.
Awards: Jasanoff is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
Fellow, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, 2006-2007 New York Public Library Fellow, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress 2006;
Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows, University of Michigan, 2002-2004;
Jacob K. Javits Fellowship 1998-2002;
Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities 1997-1998;
Frank M. Knox Memorial Fellowship 1996-1997;
Duff Cooper Prize, 2006;
Shortlist, Whitfield Book Prize, Royal Historical Society 2006;
Shortlist, Longman-History Today 2005 Book of the Year 2006;
Harrison Research Award (Faculty Sponsor), Center for Undergraduate Excellence, University of Virginia 2006;
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend 2005;
Hans Gatzke Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in European History, 2003;
Phi Beta Kappa 1996.
Jasanoff was formerly a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan, 2002-2004.
Jasanoff has published numerous book reviews in general publications including the London Review of Books, and academic forums such as H-Net.
My dissertation about British imperialism in India and Egypt was partly inspired by traveling around the former empire. So it was only fitting that I should actually start writing it while visiting a one-time British colony: with pen and paper one July day, on the roof-terrace of the British Hotel in Valletta, Malta.
The hotel overlooked Valletta's spectacular Grand Harbour, ringed in the sixteenth century by elegant, severe stone walls. A couple of days before, a friend and I had seen it as it was designed to be seen: we sailed in, coasting past the pointed batteries and watchtowers, one mysteriously carved with a staring eye. We had arrived on a Maltese container ship named—could it be otherwise?-the Maltese Falcon. For the voyage from Genoa, we had had the run of the ship; the only other passengers were two truck-drivers who spent the whole journey closeted in the small lounge, curtains drawn, smoking and watching pirated action movies. On the bridge, the Iraqi skipper let us peer at his charts and quiz him about the instruments. The ship's cook, Salvator , regaled us with his decades of sea-won wisdom, which he delivered in emphatic outbursts composed chiefly of nouns. One of the senior sailors, slicking another layer of green paint onto the deck while I sunbathed next to the empty turquoise “pool,” offered his own nuggets of enlightenment like milestones punctuating long stretches of silence.
The cargo ship turned out to be a suitable introduction to the rather lost-in-time quality of Valletta itself. (The Maltese Falcon has now been sold, and the national shipping company, Sea Malta, dissolved.) From 1800 to 1964 Malta was a British colony. The bar of the British Hotel, with its dust-caked bottles of cheap whisky and liqueurs, looked as if nobody had frequented it since the British had left. Under British rule, Valletta boasted a huge naval dockyard and served as the home port of Queen Victoria's Mediterranean fleet. Now, that great naval tradition was evoked by two quite different warships, French and American, on NATO service. Maltese families strolled past to look at the dour, steel craft; off-duty officers got boisterously drunk in a nearby bar.
British influences lingered elsewhere. Converted British troop carriers from the 1940s now served as Malta's signature public buses. Menus advertised fish fingers, chicken and chips, spaghetti bolognese, and, in one gourmet touch, chicken"Gordon Blue." Where every other Mediterranean country comes to life again in the evening after a siesta, the Vallettans, in most un-Mediterranean style, closed up shop at siesta-time and never came back. (Indeed, the only place that seemed to serve reasonable evening meals was the café of the Maltese Labour Party.) To walk the streets on those baking July afternoons was to walk with echoes and ghosts, across a historical stage set.
I wrote about India while I was in Valletta, and Malta only figured in two or three sentences in my entire dissertation. But I will always remember how and where it first took shape—in the blaring sunlight by the Grand Harbour, in a city tinted by imperial memories.
By Maya Jasanoff
About Maya Jasanoff
Her theme is not how 'Others' were excluded by the imperial process, but the far more elusive, and in the end more illuminating ways in which so many were included in what she calls the 'rhetoric and systems of empire'. Edge of Empire is about crossing boundaries; about the porousness of culture in the early years of the British Empire; about frontiers, both geographical and mental, and how they are constructed and reconfigured." -- Anthony Pagden in"The London Review of Books" reviewing"Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East 1750-1850"