A professor of history at the University of Texas, H.W. Brands is an acclaimed American historian and author of more than 20 books, including The First American (2000) and Traitor to His Class (2008). In 2010–11, he has published three books of nonfiction, including his latest, The Murder of Jim Fisk for the Love of Josie Mansfield, the first in the new American Portraits series.
In this succinct overview, two-time Pulitzer finalist Brands (History/Univ. of Texas; The Murder of Jim Fisk for the Love of Josie Mansfield: A Tragedy of the Gilded Age, 2011, etc.) traces the role of the dollar in shaping America's rise to global preeminence.
The author looks at historical benchmarks beginning with two signal events: the issuance of greenbacks as legal tender in 1862 and the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Read full book review >
Overlooked Gilded Age crooked financier Jim Fisk receives a compelling historical exhumation.
Intending to highlight "forgotten chapters of American history," the inaugural volume in the American Portraits Series reanimates the heady histrionics of eccentric stock broker and corporate executive Jim Fisk during his zenith in the mid 19th century. Read full book review >
A capsule tour of the variety of inspiration and efforts that mark American entrepreneurial history. Read full book review >
Theodore Roosevelt emerges as considerably more than his toothy Rough Rider legend in this extensively researched, psychologically penetrating biography of our 26th president. Even as an asthmatic child, when he began to mold his mind with tales of heroes and his body with physical exercise, Roosevelt saw life as a series of struggles and achievements, according to Brands (History/Texas A&M Univ.; The Reckless Decade, 1995). Read full book review >
A convincing reassessment of Lyndon Johnson's foreign policy. Although Brands (History/Texas A&M; The Devil We Knew, 1993, etc.) admits that it is difficult to consider LBJ's record in foreign affairs without immediately thinking of the debacle in Vietnam that wrecked his presidency, that is nonetheless what he attempts to do. Read full book review >
A sophisticated interpretation of America's involvement in the cold war that appears calculated to draw fire from the left as well as right. In assessing the conflict's origins and costs, Brands (History/Texas A&M) provides a wide-ranging survey of US foreign policy from Yalta through the Berlin Wall's collapse. Read full book review >