The Organization of American Historians annual conference has become ever-more interesting and important, and 2020’s meeting promised to be especially so – focusing on histories of equality and inequality in an American Presidential election year. I am sad that we are not all in Washington DC now listening, talking, teaching and learning, coming away stimulated and driven to do more. I am eager to share some highlights from the University of California Press’s US History list, which always focuses on issues of equality and inequality.

New and Forthcoming Publications:

Laura Briggs’ Taking Children: A History of American Terror is the short, hard-hitting four-hundred year history of the United States taking children for political ends. Black children, Native children, Latinx children, and the children of the poor have all been seized from their kin and caregivers. A powerful corrective to the traditional narrative.

Naomi Paik’s Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary is the newest title in our ‘American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present’ series. This is the essential primer on the two-century history of how we got to Trump’s Muslim Ban, Border Wall, and ICE raids. It mounts a rallying cry for a broad-based, abolitionist sanctuary movement for all.

Stuart Schrader’s Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing is the groundbreaking expose from recently declassified sources of direct links between US Cold War global counterinsurgency and War on Crime policing at home, revealing the connections between foreign and domestic racial control.

Jennifer Holland’s Tiny You: A Western History of the Anti-Abortion Movement could not be more timely as some US states rush to use the coronavirus pandemic to shut abortion services. Tiny You explains the remarkable success of the grassroots campaign against legalized abortion.

Niklas Frykman’s forthcoming The Bloody Flag: Mutiny in the Age of Atlantic Revolution puts early US history in a brand new world history context showing in vivid detail how by the early 1800s somewhere between one-third and one-half of all naval seamen serving in the North Atlantic had participated in at least one mutiny, many in several and some on ships in different navies. The attempt to build a radical, transnational, maritime republic failed, but the red fag that flew from the masts of mutinous ships survived as the most enduring symbol of class struggle.

Stephen Tuffnell’s forthcoming Made in Britain: Nation and Emigration in Nineteenth Century America shows how the United States was made in Britain. For over a hundred years following independence, a diverse and lively crowd of emigrant Americans left the United States for Britain. Through them the United States’ struggle toward independent nationhood was entangled at every step with the world’s most powerful empire. 

Please check our website for more titles beyond these highlights. I sincerely hope to see you all at the 2021 OAH in Chicago where we discuss ‘Pathways to Democracy’ and I can share more new exciting UC Press titles including incoming OAH President George Sanchez’s pathway to democracy through Boyle Heights!

If you were planning to drop by the exhibit hall to chat about your own book this weekend, I’d love to hear from you. You can find our submission guidelines here.