Category Archives: Americanist Independent

Autumn Issue for the Americanist Independent!

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 9.43.59 AMGreetings all!

When I first considered creating and editing a web-journal of United States history waaaaaay back in 2009 I envisioned a platform where promising undergraduates, who often have little or no access to professional academic journals, could experience writing, revising, and publishing original history, free from the painfully slow submission and peer review process typical of other journals. Since the first issue, published in July 2014, this course has veered to a slightly different tack. I now encourage submissions from all independent scholars, history “buffs” (for lack of a better word), and teachers.  So far so good.

Earlier this year, University of Kentucky Ph.D. candidate Cody J. Foster approached me with the idea of a commemorative issue, focusing on America’s use of atomic weapons on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 – the history and legacy of the attacks on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. Mr. Foster was leading a summer session of undergraduates at Indiana University Southeast who were tasked to write short op-eds interrogating any number of questions arising as a result of America’s initiation of the nuclear age. He wanted to publish their work. Naturally, recalling my original vision…I jumped at the chance. In this issue you will find a couple of essays introducing the topic and – most important – the students’ work in nearly unedited form.

I believe that you will find their op-eds as intriguing as I did. This collection of undergraduate work is a small but revealing window into the possibilities of historical writing in the classroom at the college level.

You can read the Autumn 2015 issue HERE.

And as always, The Americanist Independent is totally and entirely gratis.

With compliments,


The Americanist Independent – Volume Two, Issue One

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 9.59.56 AMGreetings all –  The very first issue of the second volume of The Americanist Independent has hit the web! Aren’t you excited? I know I am… Why? Because I am hearing from all corners of the globe (which is really a ball and thus has no corners…but you know what I mean) that open access is the way to go and that my readers are really excited.

Anyway, this issue features a great piece by Saul Rollason on the origins of the Delta Blues in the slave and Reconstruction era South, an engaging look by Jared Frederick on the recent Confederate battle flag controversy in South Carolina, historical fiction author Gar LaSalle tells us how he goes about researching and bringing history alive in his novels, and finally, a review by yours truly on the Clint Eastwood war drama, American Sniper.

You can read the issue by clicking HERE

If you do not already subscribe (it’s FREE, you know) just sign up in the box provided and get to it.

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And if you would like to catch up on the last two previous issues, click the links below:

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Volume One, Issue Eight

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Volume One, Issue Seven

With compliments,


The Americanist Independent: Volume One in Review

President_George_WashingtonGreetings all!

Volume One of the open-access web journal, The Americanist Independent is officially in the books.

I am extraordinarily happy with how all eight issues turned out. What’s more, I am thrilled to have worked with a number of very talented teachers, students, and independent historians. We did a good thing, folks!

For those of you how have yet to subscribe (remember…it’s gratis) you can do so HERE and click on any of the tabs. I suggest you begin with Scholarship. Here’s what you’ll get:


Issue One:

Explorations in Visualizing the Irish of the American Civil War by Damian Shiels

The American Slave: A Database – An Examination of the Methodology and results of Digitizing the Slave Narrative Collection by Keith D. McCall

Those Gals Had it Easy: The Conspicuously Untroubled Lives of Boydton Virginia’s Reconstruction Belles by Samantha Upton

RockinThruHistory: Learning History One Song at a Time by Damien Drago

Issue Two:

Chasing After the Daughter of the Lost Cause by Heath Hardage Lee

The North Carolina Confederate Pensions, Past and Present by Aaron M. Cusick

The Civil War Institute Annual Conference at Gettysburg College: CWI2014 Reviewed.

Harristorian Archives: The Pennsylvania Report of the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Issue Three:

The Checkbook is an Autobiography: The Case of Henry Clay Folger (1857-1930) by Stephen H. Grant

The Letters and Writings of Bill Evans, World War II Aviator by Mike Rogers

Recreating the “Good War”: Pride and Pitfalls in WWII Reenacting by Jared Frederick

Controlling Atoms: Evaluating the AEC During the Eisenhower Years, 1952-1958 by Nick Lacasse

Issue Four:

Creating Veteran Identity for Women within the Veterans Administration by Amy Rebecca Jacobs

Selling Mr. Consumer: Forming Male Consumer Identity by Nick Lacasse

The Tide of Domesticity: A Study of Gender, Environment, and Florida’s  Indian River Culture –  1870 and 1890 by Dara R. Vance

Every Piece of This War is Man’s Bullshit: The Women of Cold Mountain, a Review Essay by M. Keith Harris

Issue Five:

California Gold, Privateering, and the Russian Navy: A Story of the American Civil War by Glenna Matthews

“When Cleverness and Knowledge Arise, Great Lies Will Flourish”: Civil War Soldiers and Calculated Manipulation on the Battlefield by Mary C. Roll

History in the Classroom and the Interactive Notebook: A Conversation with Luke Rosa by M. Keith Harris and Luke Rosa

“Not All They Resolved It To Be”: A Review of The Field of Lost Shoes by Robert Moore

Issue Six:

One Nation, One Flag, One Language: The Grand Army of the Republic and Patriotic Instruction in Indiana by Nicholas W. Sacco

The March of Freedom: African-Americans in the United States Military and their Affect on the Civil Rights Movement, 1880-1950 by Aaron Nathaniel Stockel

Military Race Riots During the Second World War by Elizabeth Lambert

Fury: A Historical Review by Micha Benjamin Flowers

Issue Seven:

Messengers of Uplift: Fisk University Student Resistance in 1925 by Dara R. Vance

Podcasts and History: Why More Historians and Public History Organizations Should Podcast by Elizabeth M. Covart

Civil War Military Historians are Freaking Out by Megan Kate Nelson

In Defense of Gallagher, Hess, and Meier by Kevin Levin

Issue Eight:

LBJ and the Electrification of the Texas Hill Country by Jena Fuller

Patriotic Profiteers: Lykens County Coal Company and the Civil War by Jake Wynn

The Siege of Milwaukee: The Cause and Effect of Anti-German Sentiment by Kevin Kolesari

And there you have it – if you are a new subscriber you clearly have a lot of reading to do! Volume Two, Issue One is in the works – and things are looking great…so stay tuned for summer!

With compliments,


The Americanist Independent

The Spring Issue of The Americanist Independent

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 10.23.57 AMGreetings all!

The Spring issue of The Americanist Independent, at long last, is live on the Internet. And yes, that’s LBJ on the cover – all smiles. This issue features studies on the early career of LBJ, by Jena Fuller; Civil War era coal mining, by Jake Wynn; and Germans in Milwaukee during WWI, by Kevin Kolesari.

Subscriptions are, and always will be, FREE. Click HERE to subscribe or log on and enjoy the Spring issue!

With compliments,


PS – this issue wraps up volume one. Stay tuned for a year in reflection post.




New for the Americanist Independent

FullSizeRenderGreetings all!

I think you will all enjoy the most recent additions to the Americanist Independent website – under the Music, Art, and Literature section. We are featuring the music of Dusty Elmer, a New Yorker who plays a mean clawhammer banjo, reminiscent of old-time Appalachia, and the artwork of Wendy Allen. Her execution of Lincoln portraiture captures the essence of the man. Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 9.45.22 AM

I think you will find, as I do, that both of these contributors add great value to the Americanist Independent site. And by the way, if you have not already figured it out, the scholarly journal is now published quarterly – so stay tuned for the next issue on April 1.

With compliments,