News & Reviews


Might Kindred

Review in Waxwing:

“As a daughter of immigrants, and a Jewish, queer poet, Gomery weaves the past, present, and future throughout five sections in the book, where we are presented with time and place in non-linear sequence. In holding out against chronology, Gomery captures the body, and the mind, in different places at once — and the reader is right there with her in mountains, rivers, seas, in urban neighborhoods, night clubs, and synagogues…”

The Settler Sea

Review in The California Review of Books:

“The Salton Sea and the land and mountains that border it defy easy representation. Photographs can’t capture the immensity or reconcile the plant and bird life that exist alongside the settler detritus that litters the shoreline or is revealed as the water evaporates. It’s a vivid example of the difference between exploitation and stewardship; of taking what’s needed while leaving something for the future, as the Native peoples did, and taking everything as white settlers believed was their right. The Settler Sea is a cautionary tale about the consequences of unbridled capitalism, militarism, dryland irrigation, and white supremacy.”

The Settler Sea also recently won the 2022 Caughey Western History Prize for the most distinguished book on the American West.

Why Nation-Building Matters

Review in National Defense University Press:

“The recent fall of Kabul is a stark reminder that policymakers need to understand much more about the problems of nation-building. Some may try to swear off any further involvement with nation-building, but these problems cannot be ignored when failures of law and governance in weak states underlie a pressing migrant crisis on America’s own borders. As the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has noted, America’s refusal to prepare for future stabilization missions after the collapse of South Vietnam did not prevent the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but instead ensured that they would become quagmires. To begin thinking more carefully about these vital problems, a good place to start is with Keith Mines’s book Why Nation-Building Matters.”

Country of the Cursed and the Driven

Review in H-Net Reviews:

“Paul Barba’s Country of the Cursed and Driven: Slavery and the Texas Borderlands demonstrates that we have much more to learn about forms of unfreedom. Barba’s work is unique in at least three ways. First, his focus on a specific region—modern Texas and the far Mexican Northeast—grounds his monograph geographically in a way that some of the more sprawling histories of borderlands captivity do not. Second, Barba blurs the distinction between chattel and kin-based slaveries. Many histories of Native American enslavement throw the differences between adoptive kinship and chattel slavery into sharp relief and define one system against the other. Barba sees no such clear distinction between the two. Finally, Barba foregrounds the long arc of enslavement and captivity in the Texas borderlands in a racism specifically directed against Black people dating back to at least the seventeenth century. Borderlands historians and scholars of enslavement will want to consult Barba’s new and important work—although (as we will see below) a couple of his conclusions could use a bit more development.”

Country of the Cursed and the Driven also recently won the 2022 David J. Weber Prize for the best book on Southwestern History and the 2022 W. Turrentine Jackson Award for best first book on the history of the American West.

Grasslands Grown

Review in H-Net Reviews:

“Rozum situates her study of place and regional identity construction on the ‘northern grasslands.’ Encompassing much of the interior North America, the grasslands comprise parts or all of modern-day Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Montana, and the Dakotas. Rozum argues that the grasslands, a single ecological region, serve as a “unique venue” for investigating how the interaction between culture and environment generates both senses of place and also broader regional identities. Unlike the central and southern grasslands in the United States, the northern grasslands span an international boundary, experienced a similar timing of white settlement, generally share the same climate (semi-arid) and environment (grasslands), and occupy a low political and social status in their respective national consciousnesses.”

Author Interviews

Suzanne Ohlmann

Interview with My San Antonio

Jody Keisner

Interview with Electric Literature

Mark Pomar

Interview on KSFR

David Krell

Interview on WABC

Adam Elder

Interview with Alexi Lalas’ State of the Union Podcast

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