After World War II, American Jewish history emerged as a significant field of study. Historian Hasia Diner has argued that the subfield actually began to emerge as early 1892, but if we consider pioneering texts about Jews composed by American writers during the nineteenth century, the work of Hannah Adams suggests that it began far earlier.
In late 1774 or early 1775, a woman named Jeanne Baret became the first woman to have circumnavigated the globe, landing in France after nearly a decade of global travel that took her from provincial France to places like Tierra del Fuego, Tahiti, and Mauritius. Her story, a fellow traveler noted, should “be included in a history of famous women.”
Greg Grandin has written a page-turner that tells the story of Henry Ford’s foray into the Brazilian Amazon and much more. In 1925, Ford met with Harvey Firestone to discuss England’s challenge to the US rubber supply. Much as the Belgians had done in Africa in the late nineteenth-century, England had extracted this resource by proxy—through companies such as the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company in the Amazon and its Asian colonies. Ford’s response was to embark upon his own South American venture into the world of rubber.
To some, the term “international history” may come across as vague and unfamiliar. Gustavo Fernandez, a student at UT Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, has dedicated an entire website, “Using History to See the World,” to demystifying this academic field.
While even Stalin questioned the relevance of the term in as late as 1952, one glance at primary and secondary literature from across the globe during the twentieth century demonstrate that while the term may seem obsolete now, understanding what Bolshevism meant, how it was used, and why people had such strong reactions to it is crucial to understanding twentieth century history.
Can historians reinterpret the American Civil War as a global event? This question inspired Henry Wiencek, a first year doctoral student in history at the University of Texas at Austin, to create the website “The Civil World: A Global ‘War Between States.’”
“‘Perl’s of Wisdom’: ‘Rabbi’ Sam Perl, New Models of Acculturation, and the ‘In- Between’ Jew” examines archival materials from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The Brownsville Herald and El Heraldo de Brownsville to demonstrate how Sam Perl — an Eastern European Jewish immigrant who changed the face of Brownsville, Texas — redefines historical approaches to Jewish acculturation.
After finishing the book, the reader will realize that its subtitle, “Explaining World War I,” is far more clever than it appears at first glance. The Pity of War offers not quite a history of the First World War, but rather a history of Great Britain and the First World War; for Ferguson, the two are inseparable.
On a research trip last summer, I found a previously unidentified thirteenth-century manuscript in a library in Poznan, Poland, and recognized that it contains the writings of a late twelfth-century monk named Engelhard of Langheim. One of the Latin texts in this manuscript is the saintly biography of a religious woman named Mechtilde of Diessen.
For the fifth installment of our “Making History” series, Zach Doleshal talks to Robert Matthew Gildner, a senior doctoral student in history at the University of Texas at Austin. In the interview, Robert explains why 1952 represented a unique moment for indigenous Bolivians, why previous historians have overlooked this history, and how a trip to Holland inspired him to work on Latin American history.