Sean Wilentz is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton. His latest book is No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding.
 (March 2019)

Follow Sean Wilentz on Twitter: @seanwilentz.

IN THE REVIEW

Presumed Guilty

Hillary Clinton at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, before the state primary, February 2016

Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation

by Ken Starr
Twenty years after Kenneth Starr delivered to Congress his report recommending the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the former independent counsel has delivered a second report, in the form of a memoir, condemning Clinton all over again.

The American Revolutions

Titus Kaphar: Her Mother’s Mother’s Mother, 2014; from the exhibition ‘UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light,’ which includes work by Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day.It is on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., through January 6, 2019.

These Truths: A History of the United States

by Jill Lepore
Jill Lepore has achieved singular prominence as an American historian. The David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard, she has written eleven books over the last twenty years, among them a Bancroft Prize winner and finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Since 2005, …

The High Table Liberal

Alexandra and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. at Tavern on the Green, New York City, May 1987; photograph by Ron Galella

Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian

by Richard Aldous
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. loved American politics. Nominating conventions thrilled him. Late-night schmoozing on the campaign trail was hard to beat. “I must say,” he wrote in his journal in 1960, “that I adore sitting around hotel rooms with politicians and newspapermen exchanging gossip over drinks.” Some of the precincts he …

Cherry-Picking Our History

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace during a broadcast from the White House in 1940, the year Roosevelt named Wallace as his vice-presidential running mate

The Untold History of the United States

a book and television series by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick
Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s new book would more properly be called The Unlearned History of the United States—if the scholarship and the authors’ reworking of it were thorough, factually accurate, and historically convincing.

The Left vs. the Liberals

Walter Reuther, left, future president of the United Auto Workers, with Richard -Frankensteen following their beating by Ford Motor Company security men in the ‘Battle of the Overpass,’ at the Ford Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, May 26, 1937. Reuther, while strongly anti-Communist, worked closely with, and also opposed, UAW activists such as Frankensteen who were cooperating with the Communist Party of the USA at the time.

American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation

by Michael Kazin
Michael Kazin’s new book about American leftists and their impact on the nation over the last two centuries presupposes, as its subtitle suggests, that this impact has been enormous. But Kazin is a judicious scholar without bluster, a professor of history at Georgetown, and coeditor of Dissent, and his assessments are carefully measured. Kazin concedes that radical leftists have often been out of touch with prevailing values, including those of the people they wish to liberate. He concludes that American radicals have done more to change what he calls the nation’s “moral culture” than to change its politics. And yet, even as Kazin tries to avoid romanticizing the left, his book leaves unchallenged some conventional leftist conceptions about American politics and how change happens.

The Pride of Teddy Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, early 1900s

Colonel Roosevelt

by Edmund Morris
Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest man to serve as president of the United States, and the youngest ex-president, also died young, at the age of sixty, in 1919. Apart from the four presidents who have been assassinated, only two of Roosevelt’s predecessors, James K. Polk and Chester A. Arthur, died younger …