Faculty bookshelf

Early Modern Virginia

Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion
(University of Virginia Press)
Edited by Douglas Bradburn and John C. Coombs, associate professor of history

This collection of essays on seventeenth century Virginia, the first such collection on the Chesapeake in nearly twenty-five years, highlights emerging directions in scholarship and helps set a new agenda for research in the next decade and beyond. The contributors represent some of the best of a younger generation of scholars who are building on, but also criticizing and moving beyond, the work of the so-called Chesapeake School of social history that dominated the historiography of the region in the 1970s and 1980s. Employing a variety of methodologies, analytical strategies, and types of evidence, these essays explore a wide range of topics and offer a fresh look at the early religious, political, economic, social, and intellectual life of the colony. Dr. Coombs is co-editor of the book and contributed the essay "Beyond the 'Origins Debate': Rethinking the Rise of Virginia Slavery."

George Berkeley

The Correspondence of George Berkeley
(Cambridge University Press)
Edited by Dr. Marc A. Hight, Elliot Associate Professor of Philosophy

George Berkeley (1685-1753), Bishop of Cloyne, was an Irish philosopher and divine who pursued a number of grand causes, contributing to the fields of economics, mathematics, political theory and theology. He pioneered the theory of 'immaterialism,' and his work ranges over many philosophical issues that remain of interest today. This volume offers a complete and accurate edition of Berkeley's extant correspondence, including letters written both by him and to him, supplemented by extensive explanatory and critical notes. Alexander Pope famously said 'To Berkeley every virtue under heaven,' and a careful reading of the letters reveals a figure worthy of admiration, sheds new light on his personal and intellectual life, and provides insight into the broad historical and philosophical currents of his time. The volume will be an invaluable resource for philosophers, modern historians and those interested in Anglo-Irish culture.

The Mormon People

The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
(Random House)
Written by Dr. Matthew Bowman, visiting assistant professor of religion

Mormonism started as a radical movement, with a profoundly transformative vision of American society that was rooted in a form of Christian socialism. Over the ensuing centuries, Bowman demonstrates, that vision has evolved-and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots clad in "magic underwear." Even today, the place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate on both sides of the political divide. Polls show widespread unease at the prospect of a Mormon president. Yet the faith has never been more popular. Today there are about 14 million Mormons in the world, fewer than half of whom live inside the United States. It is a church with a powerful sense of its own identity and an uneasy sense of its relationship with the main line of American culture.

Selling Cromwell's Wars

Selling Cromwell's Wars: Media, Empire and Godly Warfare, 1650-1658
(Pickering & Chatto, Ltd.)
Written by Dr. Nicole Greenspan, associate professor of history

By the mid-seventeenth century, the English public's thirst for news and a dramatic growth in print culture made the media a powerful tool for shaping public opinion. Greenspan examines a selection of Cromwell's conflicts, policies, and imperial ventures to explore the ways in which the media was instrumental in developing, promoting, and legitimizing government actions. Her study seeks to integrate print and political culture, revealing what the workings and content of the press can tell us about Cromwell's regime and its policies.