Critical Moments in American History

Series Editor: William Thomas Allison

  • The Espionage and Sedition Acts

    World War I and the Image of Civil Liberties

    By Mitchell Newton-Matza

    The Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917-1918 mark one of the most controversial moments in American history. Even as President Woodrow Wilson justified US entry into World War I on the grounds that it would 'make the world safe for democracy,' civil liberties at home were curtailed by these laws,…

    Paperback – 2016-04-30 
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Battle of Fort Sumter

    The First Shots of the American Civil War

    By Wesley Moody

    Paperback – 2016-04-30 
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • McCarthyism and Postwar America

    The Red Scare in Myth and Memory

    By Jonathan Michaels

    Joseph McCarthy was a Republican Senator from Wisconsin who became the most visible public face of a period of the Cold War when tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers…

    Paperback – 2016-03-31 
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The California Gold Rush

    California Remakes the Nation

    By Mark A. Eifler

    Paperback – 2016-01-14 
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • Transforming Civil War Prisons

    Lincoln, Lieber, and the Politics of Captivity

    By Paul J. Springer, Glenn Robins

    During the Civil War, 410,000 people were held as prisoners of war on both sides. With resources strained by the unprecedented number of prisoners, conditions in overcrowded prison camps were dismal, and the death toll across Confederate and Union prisons reached 56,000 by the end of the war. In an…

    Paperback – 2014-08-13
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Emergence of Rock and Roll

    Music and the Rise of American Youth Culture

    By Mitchell K. Hall

    Rock and roll music evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and 1950s, as a combination of African American blues, country, pop, and gospel music produced a new musical genre. Even as it captured the ears of the nation, rock and roll was the subject of controversy and contention.…

    Paperback – 2014-05-06
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Flu Epidemic of 1918

    America's Experience in the Global Health Crisis

    By Sandra Opdycke

    In 1918, a devastating world-wide influenza epidemic hit the United States. Killing over 600,000 Americans and causing the national death rate to jump 30% in a single year, the outbreak obstructed the country's participation in World War I and imposed terrible challenges on communities across the…

    Paperback – 2014-03-18
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Homestead Strike

    Labor, Violence, and American Industry

    By Paul Kahan

    On July 6, 1892, three hundred armed Pinkerton agents arrived in Homestead, Pennsylvania to retake the Carnegie Steelworks from the company's striking workers. As the agents tried to leave their boats, shots rang out and a violent skirmish began. The confrontation at Homestead was a turning point…

    Paperback – 2013-12-13
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • From Selma to Montgomery

    The Long March to Freedom

    By Barbara Harris Combs

    On March 7, 1965, a peaceful voting rights demonstration in Selma, Alabama, was met with an unprovoked attack of shocking violence that riveted the attention of the nation. In the days and weeks following "Bloody Sunday," the demonstrators would not be deterred, and thousands of others joined their…

    Paperback – 2013-11-18
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Fort Pillow Massacre

    North, South, and the Status of African Americans in the Civil War Era

    By Bruce Tap

    On April 12, 1864, a small Union force occupying Fort Pillow, Tennessee, a fortress located on the Mississippi River just north of Memphis, was overwhelmed by a larger Confederate force under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest. While the battle was insignificant from a strategic standpoint, the…

    Paperback – 2013-10-27
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The 1980 Presidential Election

    Ronald Reagan and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement

    By Jeffrey D. Howison

    Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 presidential election marked a watershed moment in the history of the United States, heralding the triumph of the American conservative movement. Once a supporter of the New Deal, Reagan had come to symbolize the union of three diverse forms of…

    Paperback – 2013-10-25
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Louisiana Purchase

    A Global Context

    By Robert D. Bush

    In 1803, the United States purchased 828,000 square miles of land from France at a price of approximately three cents per acre, dramatically altering the young nation’s geography and its political future. President Thomas Jefferson had struggled for three years over the purchase, which many…

    Paperback – 2013-10-14
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Nativist Movement in America

    Religious Conflict in the 19th Century

    By Katie Oxx

    By the mid nineteenth century, anti-Catholicism had become a central conflict in America. Fueling the dissent were Protestant groups dedicated to maintaining what they understood to be the Christian vision and spirit of the "founding fathers." Afraid of the religious and moral impact of Catholics,…

    Paperback – 2013-03-26
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis

    The Threshold of Nuclear War

    By Alice George

    For thirteen days in October of 1962, a truly perilous flirtation with nuclear war developed between the United States and USSR, as the superpowers argued over the installation of Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba. Launched by rash judgment and concluded through circumspect leadership, the Cuban…

    Paperback – 2013-03-19
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Battles of Kings Mountain and Cowpens

    The American Revolution in the Southern Backcountry

    By Melissa A. Walker

    The American South is so identified with the Civil War that people often forget that the key battles from the final years of the American Revolution were fought in Southern states. The Southern backcountry was the center of the fight for independence, but backcountry devotion to the Patriot cause…

    Paperback – 2012-10-15
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • Freedom to Serve

    Truman, Civil Rights, and Executive Order 9981

    By Jon E. Taylor

    On the eve of America’s entry into World War II, African American leaders pushed for inclusion in the war effort and, after the war, they mounted a concerted effort to integrate the armed services. Harry S. Truman’s decision to issue Executive Order 9981 in 1948, which resulted in the integration…

    Paperback – 2012-10-03
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

    Political Trauma and American Memory

    By Alice George

    On November 22nd, 1963 the assassination of President John F. Kennedy set into motion a series of events that irrevocably changed American politics and culture. The media frenzy spawned by the controversy surrounding the death of JFK has since given way to a powerful public memory that continues to…

    Paperback – 2012-10-02
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History

  • The Battle of the Greasy Grass/Little Bighorn

    Custer's Last Stand in Memory, History, and Popular Culture

    By Debra Buchholtz

    In June of 1876, the U.S. government’s plan to pressure the Lakota and Cheyenne people onto reservations came to a dramatic and violent end with a battle that would become enshrined in American memory. In the eyes of many Americans at the time, the Battle of Little Bighorn represented a symbolic…

    Paperback – 2012-07-19
    Routledge
    Critical Moments in American History