With the start of a new school year, a reminder that history provides important context for the present day. Here is a brief, by no means comprehensive, list of books that provide context for our times.
Suitable for General US History Survey Courses:
Nell Irvin Painter, The History of White People.
Kalil Gibran Muhammed, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America.
Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States.
Grace Elizabeth Hale, Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940.
C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow.
Thomas J. Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit.
Suitable for Environmental History and Environmental Studies Courses:
Carolyn Finney, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors.
Sylvia Hood Washington, Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954.
…and I will mention that I organized my book Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States (out in paperback on September 1) so that it could be used in either surveys of general US history or American environmental history.