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What’s in the May Issue of The American Historian?

Here’s a quick preview of the newest issue of The American Historian:

The May 2017 issue of The American Historian features four compelling essays on the history of “Consumption.” Emily Remus shows how women shopping in downtown spaces in the late 19th and early 20th centuries altered their relationship with the public sphere and challenged traditional male territories. Joshua Clark Davis demonstrates that during the 1960s and 1970s, while many on the left became highly critical of a business and consumer culture they viewed as alienating, some critics decided to go into business for themselves and opened activists businesses dedicated to more altruistic social causes. Lawrence B. Glickman details the long history of consumer boycotts in the United States and argues that their deep American roots have often been overlooked by critics. Finally, Kathleen Hilliard examines consumption among slaves in the South and finds that while some slaves used their limited consumer power to alleviate some of their hardship, masters could also manipulate patterns of slave consumption to exert more control.

The issue also includes a piece by Charles F. Howlett on how to write a book review and its importance to the scholarly field, and an essay on history and empathy by Katherine R. Jewell, who uses her personal experience as a bystander during the April 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing to help students empathize with their historical subjects. We also have an essay from the new OAH president Ed Ayers on how we as historians should approach the coming year, news from the OAH, a list of all OAH award winners, and interesting historical facts and tidbits in our Ante and Post sections.

As always, we welcome your comments on both our print and online materials. Please send comments to or tweet at us at @TheAmHistorian. Also, please feel to send us any content or ideas for content to the e-mail address above.