Oxford Scholarship Online: American History

Recently the Brooklyn Law School Library licensed four online e book collections from Oxford Scholarship Online.  They are American History: Early to 18th Century; American History: 19th Century; American History: Civil War; and American History: 20th Century.  The collections, which contain a total of 162 new titles, cover American History from its colonial beginnings through the United States emergence as a super power in the 20th Century.  Listed below is a sampling of the titles in the various modules, as well as a brief description of the books from Oxford University Press.

William E. Nelson, The Common Law of Colonial America (2008).

The four-volume series of which this book is the first volume shows how the legal systems of Britain’s thirteen North American colonies, which were initially established in response to divergent political, economic, and religious initiatives, slowly converged until it became possible by the 1770s to imagine that all thirteen participated in a common American legal order, which diverged in its details but differed far more substantially from English common law. This book reveals how Virginians’ zeal for profit led to the creation of a harsh legal order that efficiently squeezed payment out of debtors and labor out of servants. In comparison, Puritan law in early Massachusetts strove mainly to preserve the local autonomy and moral values of family-centered, subsistence farming communities. The law in the other New England colonies, although it was distinctive in some respects, gravitated toward the Massachusetts model, while Maryland’s law, except during a brief interlude of Puritan rule, gravitated toward that of Virginia. Oxford Scholarship Online, http://www.oxfordscholarship.com (last visited April 11, 2012).

Steven Casey, Selling the Korean War (2008).

How presidents spark and sustain support for wars remains an enduring and significant problem. Korea was the first limited war the United States experienced in the contemporary period—the first recent war fought for something less than total victory. This book explores how Truman and then Eisenhower tried to sell it to the American public. Based on primary sources, this book explores the government’s selling activities from all angles. It looks at the halting and sometimes chaotic efforts of Truman and Acheson, Eisenhower and Dulles. It examines the relationships that they and their subordinates developed with a host of other institutions, from Congress and the press to Hollywood and labor. And it assesses the complex and fraught interactions between the military and war correspondents in the battlefield theater itself. Oxford Scholarship Online, http://www.oxfordscholarship.com (last visited April 11, 2012).

Thelma Wills Foote, Black and White Manhattan (2004).

Race first emerged as an important ingredient of New York City’s melting pot when it was known as New Amsterdam and was a fledgling colonial outpost on the North American frontier. This book details the arrival of the first immigrants, including African slaves, and traces encounters between the town’s inhabitants of African, European, and Native American descent, showing how racial domination became key to the building of the settler colony at the tip of Manhattan Island. Oxford Scholarship Online, http://www.oxfordscholarship.com (last visited April 11, 2012).

J. Matthew Gallman, America’s Joan of Arc (2006).

One of the most celebrated women of her time, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was a charismatic orator, writer, and actress, who rose to fame during the Civil War and remained in the public eye for the next three decades. This book offers a full-length biography of Dickinson. The book describes how Dickinson’s passionate patriotism and fiery style, coupled with her abolitionism and biting critiques of anti-war Democrats struck a nerve with her audiences. Oxford Scholarship Online, http://www.oxfordscholarship.com (last visited April 11, 2012).

 Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) is the online platform for Oxford University Press.  OSO recently updated the design of its website, allowing for greater search and browse capabilities and user customization.  This new platform will allow BLS students, faculty, and staff to efficiently research American History.