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1. A History of Jordan
2. The Modern History of Jordan
3. Europe in the High Middle Ages
4. Men of Honor: Thirty-Eight Highly
5. Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees
6. From Abdullah to Hussein: Jordan
7. Cape May Point: The Illustrated
8. Tobacco in History: The Cultures
9. North American Cattle-Ranching
10. The Jordan Automobile: A History
11. White Cargo: The Forgotten History
12. Nationalism and the Genealogical
13. When Nothing Else Matters: Michael
14. Jordan Crandall: Drive
15. Excavations at Tall Jawa, Jordan:
16. Studies in the History and Archaeology
17. An American History Album: The
18. History of Westmoreland county,
19. The Civil War: Moments in History
20. Geologists and Ideas: A History

1. A History of Jordan
by Philip Robins
Paperback: 262 Pages (2004-02-09)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$7.33
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Asin: 0521598958
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Philip Robins' survey of Jordan's political history begins in the early 1920s, continues through the years of the British Mandate, and traces events over the next half century to the present day. Throughout the period, the country's fortunes wereclosely identified with its head of state, King Hussein, until his death in 1999. In the early days, as the author testifies, the king's prospects were often regarded as grim. However, both King and country survived a variety of existential challenges, from assassination attempts and internal subversion, to a civil war with the Palestine Liberation Organisation and, in the 1970s and 1980s, Jordan emerged as an apparently stable and prosperous state. However, King Hussein's death, the succession of his son, Abdullah II, andrecent political upheavalshave plunged the country back into uncertainty. This is an incisive account, compellingly told, about one of the leading players in the Middle East. Philip Robins is University Lecturer in Politics with special reference to the Middle East in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. His most recent book is Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy since the Cold War (2003). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book, but not a great one either.I'd rate it 3.5/5
There isn't much written about the history of Jordan because there isn't that much to tell outside of the modern era. From the Crusades to the 1870's Jordan appears to be a rather uninteresting underpopulated backwater of the Ottoman empire. Ch I gives rather short shrift to the past before 1920.One concludes that Jordan is a modern construct and not a successor state, as might be considered to be the case of Egypt, Syria or Iran.Little is said here about the migration of Hashemites from the south or of the origins of roving Bedouins and the relationships of different groups of clans prior to the origin of the state, or why the Royal Family who were from Saudi Arabia were able to assume rule so easily.

The book's approach is to view the history of the country using Royal family as it's focus. We learn about issues of succession, the relationship between the Royals and various Prime Ministers, Parliament and key figures such as Glubb Pasha, the British Army Advisor who was on permanent loan to Jordan and head of Jordan's Army during the key time frame from 1939-'56. pp42-45 does give some limited information on the different tribal groups and credits Glubb as the establishing force for unity between the various tribes - the first time they had been united since the fall of the Ummayad Dynasty in 750 AD.

To a larger extent the book focused on personalities rather than policies. The treatment of the Royal family is nearly hagiographic, reserving itself for only the mildest criticism.A second example is in the coverage of the various individual holding the post of Prime Minister, in particular the rivalry between Wasfi al-Tall and Bahjat al-Talhuni. 'Tall was energetic, loud and on occasions,course.Talhuni was quiet and careful. Tall was direct, stubborn and bullying;Talhuni was a more devious political operator.' pp108.

The most interesting section of the book deals with the Jordan's relationship with ethnic Palestinians.In 1950 a Palestinian delegation proposed and received unification of both sides of the Jordan.King Abdallah encouraged integration by revising parliament so that there was equal representation to the East and West Bank, not quite fair by % of population but not inconsistent with the allocation of seats in the rest of the world which recognize not only numbers of people but give weight to geographic units.Over the following yearseconomic of policy favored the eastern half of the country centering on the capital Amman.

Particularly fascinating was the coverage of the battle for representation of Palestinians after the Six Day War.King Hussein promoted the concept of a "United Arab Kingdom"(UAK), appealing to pan-Jordan sentiments amongst ethnic Palestinians on both sides of the Jordan.At the Rabat Conference in 1974 Egypt, which constructed the PLO attempted to usurp Hussein's authority by proposing the PLO be "the sole representative of the Palestinian people"on BOTH sides of the Jordan.Hussein managed to get Sadat to modify the language to exclude those living on the East Bank within Jordan.(pp138).

The author could have done a better job on covering the economic history. On pp 166 the author suddenly mentions that Jordan in 1988-89 had become an economic basket case with the highest per capita debt in the world, needing to be bailed out by the IMF, though there is some lead in on pp112 where it is revealed that 75% of all imports were paid for from abroad. There is a useful chart on pp167 showing the growth of the deficit.Additionally for years the Jordanian economy had not been self sufficient and was entirely reliant on funds supplied to it by neighbouring oil rich states. A little build up to this would have been revealing and there is no reference to the reasons why the neighbouring rentier States would want to prop up the monarchy or the basis as to how these sums were negotiated

For an Israeli perspective on Jordan Robin uses and seems to recommend the late historian Uriel Dann.The bibliography at the back is an excellent starting point for further investigationthough most references are to papers and books that might be unavailable outside of a university setting - that might change if more of this material becomes available through the web. I should also mention anotherbook which I'm currently reading is Ancient Jordan from the Air which is a veritabletreasure trove of information about settlement in the area, confirming the general decline between the 3rd and 19th century.

Notwithstanding some of the deficiencies describe above I would recommend this book as a good starting point on modern Jordan.Some of the treatments are superficial but there is a kernel of good material.

5-0 out of 5 stars From Backwater to Strategic Ally
Jordan is a nation that according to some accounts, was "dreamed of from the backseat of Churchill's car." Formerly an Ottoman ruled area, Jordan Stretches from the Syrian Desert in the north to the Gulf of Aqaba in the south. the nation was considered by most to be a backwater inhabited by various Bedouin tribes. It is interesting to note that on Amazon.com I have seen only a few histories of this pivotal nation, when you search for "Jordan" most of the results deal with basketball player Michael Jordan. This book came as a fresh surprise.

After the allied victory in 1918, over the Central Powers (including the Ottoman Empire), Ottoman lands were split up by the victorious French and British.As a result the nation that later became known as Transjordan and later Jordan was administered by British as part of the Mandate of Palestine. Another result of World War 1 was that England's former ally the Sherif of Mecca needed to be rewarded for his assistance. After the French kicked Abdullah out of Damascus, the English had to give him some slice of land, that "slice" was Jordan.

Later in 1922 Jordan gained "independence" from the British Palestine Mandatebecoming Transjordan, and achieving full independence in 1946. After the Israeli War of Independence in 1948 Jordan had complete control over the West Bank and the Eastern half of Jerusalem. Later in 1967 Jordan lost control of the West Bank and 3 years later fought a civil war with Palestinians (and Syria).

In the present time Jordan has proved itself to be not just some desert backwater inhabited by warring Bedouin tribes. It has become a geographically strategic nation, bordering Syria, oil rich Saudi Arabia, war torn Iraq, and Israel. This nation has seen a succession moderate kings who have pushed for peace with Israel in addition to a tourist Mecca (with sites like Petra and resorts like Aqaba).

Robins has done quite an exstensive job explaining the many facets of Jordanian culture, history, and politics. From when the Ottomans ruled to the modern era, the author has delved into a wide variety of topics ranging from the influence of Islamists on Jordanian politics, the result of massive influxes of Palestinians (that are now over half of the population), descriptions of leaders ranging from Wasfi Tall to King Abdullah, to how familial and tribal relations still effect the nation.

The book while only about 200 pages long does offer a very exstensive and well written history of this nation. I would recommend this to anyone studying the Middle East. While it is a shame that many books on this small nation have not been forthcomming, this book does a very good job at explaining the nation, its people, and its politics. ... Read more

2. The Modern History of Jordan
by Kamal S. Salibi
Paperback: 305 Pages (1998-12-15)
list price: US$33.00 -- used & new: US$28.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1860643310
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Few states in the modern world have had a less promising birth than Jordan. When in 1921 the Hashemite Emir Abdallah was recognized as the ruler of this romantic backwater of the former Ottoman Empire, it was sparsely populated, extremely poor, and widely regarded as ungovernable. Today against all the odds, Jordan has become one of the most prosperous and stable of Middle Eastern countries and a major player in the region's politics. In this political history, Kamal Salibi attempts to explain how this transformation was achieved.

The book traces the story of modern Jordan from its origins in the Arab revolt at the end of World War I and the political success of the astute and colourful founder of its ruling dynasty.

It includes a detailed examination of the far-reaching implications for Jordan of the Palestinian tragedy and a constantly tense relationship with neighbouring Israel and it shows how King Hussein, the longest surviving ruler in the contemporary Middle East, has guided the country through these difficult times to introduce democracy in 1988.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Wretchedly apologetic
I read this book as preparatory material for a study abroad program in Jordan, and was initially pleased with how informative it is. While it is informative as a general history, the real purpose of this book is to be an apology for the Hashemites. When Salibi isn't actively seeking to bolster the image of Hussein and the Hashemites in general, he is downplaying the significance of internal struggle and strife within Jordan. For example, compare accounts of the 1960s in Jordan in Salibi to other account. What Salibi describes as minor domestic troubles are described in other accounts as the Hashemites nearly being overthrown. He also, to my mind, shamefully neglects the full scope of the Palestinian issue as it has played out in Jordanian politics and identity-formation. His treatment of Black September discounts the Palestinian perspective while attempting to say the Hashemite's brutal repression really wasn't all that bad.
I have had "A History of Jordan" by Philip Robins highly recommended to me, however I have not read it. It is likely to be a more objective account of the history of Jordan. If you do choose to read The Modern History of Jordan do so with a critical eye towards the goals of Salibi, which appears to be proselytizing for the Hashemites. It is also important that you supplement your reading on Jordan with other books, such as Joseph Massad's extraordinary "Colonial Effects" and Marc Lynch's "State Interests and Public Spheres"
While I certainly don't want to resort to ad hominom attacks on Kamal Salibi, I do question the rigor of his scholarship given the apologetic nature of "The Modern History of Jordan" and his controversial and discounted theory that historical Israel was in fact Yemen. He appears to be a scholar with an agenda, and it shines through very clearly in his work.

5-0 out of 5 stars The only history source on Jordan
The Modern History of Jordan is perhaps the one and only source about the history of this country ever since it was formed under the leadership of Hashemite King Abdullah I.
Like all of his works, Salibi traces with his meticulous eye and encyclopedic knowledge the story of this country since antiquity even though according to Salibi, the most important part in the formation of Jordan came recently when France and Britain divided the region into their spheres of influence after the conclusion of WWI in 1919.
Salibi's style is particularly entertaining and flows in a scientific and intriguing manner. The book is money well-spent and fits in the libraries of both history experts as well as average readers.

3-0 out of 5 stars Big fish, small pond
This is THE book on the history of Jordan. I mean that literally: you won't find any other general works in English. Salibi is a respected historian who has written interesting works about Lebanon, so this tepid history of Jordan is something of a disappointment. It's not an awful book, but nor is it a very good one.

This is a history intended for the general reader, so it lacks detail and analysis, but it fails to make up for this in readability. The writing, while accessible, is hardly inspired. Salibi notes that he was given access to (former) Crown Prince Hassan's private library for the book, and reading his hagiographical treatment of Abdullah and Hussein, one wonders how beholden to the Hashemite throne Salibi is.

Still, it's the only game in town.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Modern History of Jordan
Jordan-that country conjured out of sand and hills by Winston Churchill at the Cairo conference in March 1921--has always had a question mark over its existence. For the first thirty years, King 'Abdullah tried to trade Amman, his backwater capital, for Damascus or Jerusalem. King Husayn struggled during four decades to fend off many predators, including Gamal Abdel Nasser and the PLO. As recently as July 1994, he stated that Jordan "is susceptible to fragmentation." Salibi, professor of history at the American University of Beirut, provides an excellent basis for grappling with these fundamental questions about the Jordanian polity. In two of the book's most important chapters, he chronicles the Hashemite dynasty which produced the kings of Jordan and tells the history of the territory that Churchill would eventually make into Jordan. Particularly important for today's Jordan-is-Palestine advocates to note, Salibi shows that the British did not control Transjordan during the eight critical months between the French conquest of Damascus in July 1920 and the Cairo Conference. The sections dealing with more recent history provide a competent and useful account of political developments, but they do not provide new perspectives; more surprisingly, they have nothing to say about the culture and economy of modern Jordan, a major lapse.

Middle East Quarterly, September 1994

2-0 out of 5 stars A Modern History of Jordan
Jordan-that country conjured out of sand and hills by Winston Churchill at the Cairo conference in March 1921--has always had a question mark over its existence. For the first thirty years, King 'Abdullah tried to trade Amman, his backwater capital, for Damascus or Jerusalem. King Husayn struggled during four decades to fend off many predators, including Gamal Abdel Nasser and the PLO. As recently as July 1994, he stated that Jordan "is susceptible to fragmentation." Salibi, professor of history at the American University of Beirut, provides an excellent basis for grappling with these fundamental questions about the Jordanian polity. In two of the book's most important chapters, he chronicles the Hashemite dynasty which produced the kings of Jordan and tells the history of the territory that Churchill would eventually make into Jordan. Particularly important for today's Jordan-is-Palestine advocates to note, Salibi shows that the British did not control Transjordan during the eight critical months between the French conquest of Damascus in July 1920 and the Cairo Conference. The sections dealing with more recent history provide a competent and useful account of political developments, but they do not provide new perspectives; more surprisingly, they have nothing to say about the culture and economy of modern Jordan, a major lapse.

Middle East Quarterly, September 1994 ... Read more

3. Europe in the High Middle Ages (Penguin History of Europe)
by William Chester Jordan
Paperback: 400 Pages (2004-02-24)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140166645
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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With a lucid and clear narrative style William Chester Jordan has turned his considerable talents to composing a standard textbook of the opening centuries of the second millennium in Europe. He brings this period of dramatic social, political, economic, cultural, religious and military change, alive to the general reader. Jordan presents the early Medieval period as a lost world, far removed from our current age, which had risen from the smoking rubble of the Roman Empire, but from which we are cut off by the great plagues and famines that ended it. Broad in scope, punctuated with impressive detail, and highly accessible, Jordan's book is set to occupy a central place in university courses of the medieval period. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Survey
This is a decent introductory survey of the period, but does not quite live up to the other two books already published in the Penguin History of Europe series, Inheritance of Rome (400-1000) and Pursuit of Glory (~1650-1815).

Perhaps it is unfair to compare "High Middle Ages" to the other two stellar works, and this remains an adequate book which I enjoyed reading. But there might be better surveys of the period out there.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but incomplete

This is part of a multi-volume series covering the history of Europe from Classical times to the present day.The work provides a basic coverage of the era from about 1050 to 1250 CE. The main contours of Western European history are dealt with - and the focus is political history. There is a discussion of the events and processes underlying the consolidation of the power of the French and English monarchies and the failed attempts by the German Emperor to achieve the same thing. Unlike some earlier histories, there is also a fair coverage of the formation of Poland, Hungary and the Bohemian state. The role of the Church and Papacy in particular in the formation of Western Christendom also receives a good overview. In addition to the chapters addressing these subjects, there are separate chapters dedicated to intellectual life, art and architecture. There is a particularly good discussion of the impact of famine and plague that brings the period to a close. This indeed is an area of specialist expertise for the author.

The author however leaves out some important parts of the story. That the High Middle Ages represents an important period of growth and arguably is the era when Western Europe first developed a distinctive culture that stood as an equal to that of its neighbours cannot be doubted. The author sets out well enough a broad outline of the narrative of these developments but if you are interested in a deeper understanding of why this transformation occurred, the discussion does not go much further than the basic narrative. An end to raids by Vikings, Hungarians and Arabs, population growth, an expansion of agriculture, technological change such as the spread of the heavy plough, the development of trade and cities, the establishment of deep and durable connections with Islam and Byzantium all made their contributions to the transformation of Europe but any real discussion of how these factors worked to bring about that transformation and what were the most important is missing.

The absence of any real overview of economic history thus is a specific weakness. For example, the workings of the feudal system and indeed any discussion of what it was or whether it really existed outside certain parts of France could add to the narrative. The importance of the revival of trade especially long distance trade that connected the Champagne fairs to far off parts of the world is a major omission from the work, particularly given the importance of this trade to urban life - and to the broader context - see below.The revival of a vibrant urban life was an important feature of the period.

The treatment of links with the Islamic world is disappointing. Although the Crusades are well covered as are aspects of the Reconquista, relations with Islam are portrayed essentially as a political conflict with Western Christendom resulting in defeat for Christians in the Holy Land and victory in Spain. Apart from some reference to the influence of Avicenna and Averroes on Christian thought, there is little or no discussion of the important positive role that interaction with Muslims played on the transformation of Europe. This included diffusion of technology such as the astrolabe, ship building, irrigation and new crops such an oranges and rice. The long standing relationship/alliance between Venice and Egypt a key partnership with Muslims was one of the cornerstones of inter-State relations during the period. This relationship was to a great extent a foundation plank of Venice's power and wealth and therefore a key part of the story of the times. This gets no airplay. There is also no discussion of the tolerance that could and did exist alongside political and religious conflict especially in Spain and Sicily under both Muslim and Christian rulers.It was that tolerance that allowed Christians, Muslims and Jews to work together and develop much of the intellectual groundwork for what later became the Western tradition. There is complete absence of any discussion of life in Muslim ruled states in Spain and Sicily. This too is part of Europe and its past. No discussion of the High Middle Ages could be complete without some coverage of the subject but this is missing.

There are specific instances where the lack of coverage of Muslim Europe and its multi-faceted relationship and engagement with Christian Europe can lead the author to make incomplete or even wrong statements. For example, he refers to the introduction of the astrolabe as a "new" instrument. In fact it was not new at all but used previously in the Islamic world before being transmitted to Christians. He also makes the statement that there were no universities in Spain. This may be correct in the sense that universities following the Western model were not founded in Spain during the era but the statement misses the leading role that equivalent Islamic centres of learning in Andalusia played in the development of new knowledge. Roger Garaudy makes the case that the real "renaissance" of learning during the High Middle Ages began there and later spread to Christian Europe. This may or may not be on point but suggests a general development of knowledge that encompassed both the Christian and Muslim world (in which the Muslims (and Jews) took an early lead) as part of a common process that underpinned the era.

The coverage of Eastern Europe is also wanting. There is a good coverage of Poland, Hungary and Bohemia and to this extent, Jordan's book goes further than older histories to provide a more complete narrative. However, there is little or nothing on Orthodox Europe ie Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. Byzantium itself is discussed but only insofar as it's interactions with Crusaders makes its way into the narrative.As a part of the narrative in its own right, Byzantium gets little mention.This too is a significant omission given the importance of the Greeks in the rise of Venice and the expansion of Christianity into the Slavic lands. The Russian connection is also important for example the contest between the Teutonic knights and Alexander Nevsky that in the end established the boundary between Orthodoxy and Catholicism within Europe. This gets little coverage.

The failure to engage adequately with Islam and the Orthodox lands results also in missing the importance of long distance trade that linked Europe not just with Islam, Byzantium and Russia but also India and ultimately China. Europe during the High Middle Ages was sharply distinguished from earlier centuries by the beginning of its enduring links with a newly globalised world that had become possible because of the Pax Mongolica and Islamic trade routes across the Indian Ocean. It was of course that long distance trade that become so important towards the end of the period in question that eventually propelled the developments of the fifteenth century taking Western Europeans across the Atlantic and directly into the Asia. That globalised world that began during the High Middle Ages, described by Janet Abu Lughod in her groundbreaking work "Before European Hegemony" is the ancestor of the world today. The High Middle Ages for Europe was not just a key formative period in more than one way but the global context is missing from the narrative.

Despite these significant omissions, Jordans work is a good basic introduction to part of the story. To complete that basic introduction, the reader will need to look elsewhere. The classic work of Henri Pirenne, Marc Bloch and Georges Duby might be a good start to looking at the economic history of the era although a serious reader will need to look further to contemporary works. The writings of the two Gies might provide a good overview of medieval technology and the story of its diffusion from as far away as East Asia. The globalised context is described admirably by Abu Lughod. A definitive general history of High Medieval Europe needs to integrate the story told by Jordan with the broader context set by the Islamic and Orthodox World and the economic and technological dimension that takes the narrative into a global setting.That definitive history is yet to be written.

3-0 out of 5 stars Solid But Unexceptional
This is a solid but unexceptional survey by a distinguished Medieval historian.Europe in this case means essentially Catholic Europe, which ranges from Greenland to the eastern borders of Poland.The author attempts a combination of narrative and thematic chapters.The narrative chapters, largely the basic political history, are arranged by region; Northern Europe includes Britain and Scandinavia, Southern Europe mainly the Iberia and Italy, etc.The thematic chapters cover basic social history, intellectual history, and some art history.A major theme running through the book is the growing power, sophistication, and institutional complexity of the Catholic Church, particularly the Papacy, and its frequent conflicts with secular powers.Another major theme is the efforts of monarchs, successful in some cases, unsuccessful in others, to develop more centralized states.The best features of this book are the good coverage of the basic political history, which shows nicely the considerable heterogeneity of political and social structures in Medieval Europe, and the solid writing.

As pointed out by another reader-reviewer, this book is significantly shorter than the other published volume in this series, Timothy Blanning's quite good book on 18th century Europe, and consequently provides less depth.Areas where more discussion would have been useful would be more description of economic history, some discussion of history of technology, and some history of Medieval science.Two disappointing features of this book (and Blanning's book as well) are the absence of footnotes and only a short bibliography.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good as far as it goes ...
... but how far is that?There's the occasional nod to eastern Europe, but as usual "Europe" turns out to mean "England and France and Germany" for the most part.Cultural issues are touched upon enough to claim that they've been covered, but not so as to provide much understanding.

For all its faults, Cantor's "The Civilization of the Middle Ages" is the better book.I wish that Jordan had written, or been allowed to write?, a book twice as long -- more the length of "The Pursuit of Glory" in the same Penguin series.Perhaps there will be a second edition.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well...
Ummm, well this book has it's moments of clarity and interest and moments when it's like the writer just seems to be rambling. It's not really about what most people would consider the middle ages to be about (knights, castles, dragons), but maybe that is a good thing.So if you read it, don't expect it to be a fun little text, but it's not terrible either. ... Read more

4. Men of Honor: Thirty-Eight Highly Decorated Marines of World War II, Korea and Vietnam (A Schiffer Military History Book)
by Kenneth N. Jordan Sr.
 Hardcover: 320 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764302477
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Men of Honor contains more than 100 official citations for bravery above and beyond the call of duty along with several eyewitness acounts such as the following excerpt: ... When we approached the area, Captain Pless asked the crew, ""you all with me?"" He ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great read for the military buff and especially Marines
I was recently back east and visited the new Marine Corp Museum and thats when I purchased this book. Now I'm a Marine so I'm prejudiced but my only disappointment in this book was it was and is more historic on the individual Marines decorated for valor and not as personal on the acts they performed. I enjoy reading what men like this have done. The citations are in here but they are so 'perfectly' and 'formally' written they do not do justice to the feats these brave men accomplished. Its a privilege to read about them just wish it was more down to earth. ... Read more

5. Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (A Nation Divided : New Studies in Civil War History)
by Ervin L. Jordan Jr.
Paperback: 476 Pages (1995-01-01)
list price: US$24.50 -- used & new: US$24.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813915457
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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On the eve of the Civil War, more Afircan-Americans lived inVirginia than in any other state- 490,000 slaves and 59,000 free blacks- and theywere active participants in the single most dynamic event to shape the Americanconsciousness. Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia is thefirst comprehensive study of Civil War Afro-Virginian history and culture. Throughit we witness every aspect of black life: slave and free; rural and urban; homefrontand battlefield; at work on plantations but also in munitions factories in Richmond;as wartime Union spies and as soldiers in the Confederate army.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched and truthful portrayal of Southern blacks
Jordan has penned a well researched and accurate portrayal of non-white sentiment during the War Between the States, most refreshing in this politically correct era when some want to revise history. Painting the Confederacy as an entirely racist nation and all CSA soldiers as slavery fighters not only does a disservice to the men in arms, but to the thousands of "Confederates of Color" who served the southern cause with weapons and support from 1861-1865. The rebel gray clothed many shades of skin, and Jordan has brought their contributions to history, as well as to the southern cause, to the attention of a new era. An excellent, well written addition to the historian's or buff's library.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good research, unfinished analysis
Jordan is to be congratulated for his wide-ranging research and for taking steps to address historical issues that tread on politically correct toes.Unfortunately, this is not a finished work of history.It is perfunctorily written, and the chapters are poorly organized.It contains some excellent information, but it is not a book for the casual reader or even the casual Civil War buff.

The antebellum South, and the Confederacy it spawned, was a complex place -- 9 million individuals, white and black, whose support of, opposition to, or acceptance of slavery and secession stemmed from a thousand different motives.If one can generalize about the slave South, it is to say that an attitude of white supremacy and black inferiority prevailed among its white citizens (as it did in the North); and that African-Americans, both slave and free, who lived in the slave states were subjected to a stifling degree of legal control by slave owners and state governments.Jordan goes over these two major points -- already familiar to students of the era -- in the first section of the book, "Uncertain Trumpet."The breadth of his research is commendable, but his technique of relating it is a bit numbing; a string of paragraphs, each a topic sentence and several redundant supporting anecdotes, is hardly historical analysis, much less a readable narrative.Some of the anecdotes are powerful -- e.g., a slave mother is haunted by the sound of her owner's piano, purchased with the proceeds from the sale of the slave's daughter -- and the author would have done better to concentrate on those, to examine their meaning more closely.

The most controversial parts of the book are in the second half ("Give Us a Flag") and deal with black Virginians who served the Confederate cause either by taking up arms in its defense or voluntarily supporting the white soldiers who did.As have many other authors (including Confederate apologists who continue to deny that the Civil War and the Confederacy were essentially about slavery and racism), Jordan cites numerous anecdotes about black Virginians fighting with Rebel forces or serving as cooks, teamsters, servants, musicians, laborers, and in other noncombatant roles in the Confederate armies and government.He also supplies a fair amount of anecdotal evidence for a deep split among white Southerners over the propriety of arming slaves.Even as the Confederacy was sliding to destruction in the spring of 1865, many whites were adamantly opposed to the tardy steps taken by the Confederate congress to organize black fighting units.This ongoing opposition from all corners of the Confederacy -- not to mention the overall pattern of racism and subjugation of blacks in Civil War America -- calls into serious question the value of the anecdotal evidence often cited to "prove" widespread African-American support for the Southern cause, because it implies widespread white gratitude for this support.Examining this topic alone would have been a worthwhile book.As other reviewers here state, Jordan could have done a much more thorough job in testing this anecdotal evidence.

There seems to be little question that some African-Americans supported the Confederate war effort, including military service, even before 1865.But to what extent?To what military effect?Did the arming of some slaves, or the volunteering of some blacks for military or quasi-military duty, have any widespread impact on the racial and political attitudes of white Southerners?Were these "Afro-Confederates" genuine Southern patriots, or infrequent exceptions to the repressive laws of racism and slavery, or simply black men and women who sought to ingratiate themselves with their white owners and the white community?These are questions that Jordan raises in this book, and that's a start.I hope he'll spend some time and a couple of other books trying to answer them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Being Black in the South
It appears that a lot of people had a knee-jerk reaction to the title of Professor Jordan's book.This is far from an Apologia for the Confederacy.It is a very well researched and documented account of Black Experience in Civil War Virginia.

While working on my own family history I have been doing an analysis of the 1810 Federal Census for Spotsylvania County.What stands out is the number of Free Black households headed by women.In our politically correct age we tend to over-look the fact that in Colonial and pre-war Virginia, women and children owned property, and that the courts vigorously protected their property rights from husband and estate seekers.In both white and black households in Spotsylvania County, one out of six were headed by women.

1-0 out of 5 stars Rumors, fallacies and false conclusions
It is exceedingly sad, at this late date to see such a collection of rumor and false conclusions promoted as truth.Yes, indeed, slaves went to war with the Confederate army-but as cooks, teamsters, laborers and personal servants.That did not make them SOLDIERS. Where are the rosters and muster rolls? Anyone who has done even minimal research into the Civil War and Confederate use of Blacks knows that it was illegal to enlist them in the military until just weeks before Appomatox, when desperation made Davis yield to pressure from his generals and cabinet. NO REGIMENT OF BLACK CONFEDERATES was ever fielded!
There is so much half-truth and misinformation in this book, it should be pulled from every shelf in every home, library and bookstore.It is hype, it is terrible-from the AFRO-YANKEES in the title to the last page.Avoid it at all costs, there are far too many better books out there

1-0 out of 5 stars Newsflash:Virginney Slaves Abducted by UFOs!
Ervin L. Jordan's "Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees" is a sad example of how sloppy analysis and writing can make you very, very famous.

Jordan attempts to provide the reader with a well-rounded understanding of the lives of African-Americans (henceforth "Negroes" in the parlance of the time) living in Virginia at the time of the Civil War.The results, however, are mortally wounded by the author's inability to correctly evaluate evidence, or to remain mindful of terminology.

The damage is almost immediate, when Jordan begins to use such terms as Afro-Virginians and Afro-Confederates.These terms hinder the understanding of the text for several reasons.First, it muddies the meaning of events, since the reader is often unsure whether the text refers to freemen, slaves or both.Second, it implies something that the Negroes did not have: citizenship within the state or in the rebellion.Most Negroes were slaves and were no more a citizen than a horse or a plow.The freeman had no right of citizenship; they didn't even have the automatic right to residency in Virginia.Other bizarre terms are created by the author.One particularly amazing howler is one page 241, when the author claims Richmonders wanted "Afro-Virginians" for its -- no kidding -- "New Model Biracial Army."

But these problems are just the beginning.Lead sentences--often making bold declarations--are followed by text that do not support the author's conclusion.Paragraphs contradict each other.It appears that the author had done tremendous research and, instead of withdrawing minor or contradictory material, he jammed it all in and tried desperately to make it all consistent.He failed.Interspersed are Negro spirituals which the author cannot confirm as associated with the described events.

Poor source choices abound, as when the author cites a London paper that Davis considered arming slaves as early as 1862.This is obviously a poor source for intimate details of what was underway in the Confederate government, and is contradicted by available primary sources.Indeed, the entire sections dealing with alleged "Afro-Confederate soldiers" is based upon, in most cases, second-hand reports, reports obviously false (as when two nonexistent black Confederate regiments were allegedly involved in at the battle of Seven Pines) and folklore. The author provides numerous "sightings" of black Confederate "soldiers."I can find an equal number of persons who claimed they were abducted by UFOs.Claims do not make it so.Missing are solid facts: Where are the rosters?How could these combat units exist when it was forbidden to have Negroes in the ranks or for Negroes to own or bear arms?

Being a slave in service to the Confederacy does not make one a Confederate any more than being a slave to the Third Reich makes one a Nazi.Impressed and oppressed, the Negroes of Virginia in most cases could not be Confederates because they were not offered any choice in the matter.Jordan seems to have missed this point.

I cannot recommend this book.It's poor construction and hapless conclusions cannot help us understand how our African-American population responded in the South.The reviewer can recommend, as an alternative to this book, "The Gray and the Black" by Robert F. Durden which provides an excellent account of the debate among major Confederate figures over whether to arm their slaves. ... Read more

6. From Abdullah to Hussein: Jordan in Transition (Studies in Middle Eastern History)
by Robert B. Satloff
Paperback: 272 Pages (1994-02-17)
list price: US$110.00 -- used & new: US$96.00
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Asin: 0195080270
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This book examines the most turbulent period in the history of Jordan's ruling house, the six years following the assassination of the kingdom's founder, Abdullah (1951-1957). Those years witnessed the country's lone episode of weak monarchy, when the king--the novice Hussein or his ill-starred father, Talal--was not the preeminent political actor in the land. Rather, it was during that time at the regime was left in the hands of a mix of Palestinian, Transjordanian, and Circassian royalists who had never before wielded executive authority inside the kingdom. Based on exclusive interviews and newly released archival resources, this book traces the only two royal successions in Jordanian history: the eleven-month reign of the little-known Talal, and the early years of King Hussein. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars From Abdullah to Hussein
For nearly six years, from the assassination of King Abdullah in July 1951 to King Husayn's declaration of martial law in April 1957, Jordan went through a hair-raising process of monarchical and political transition. Those years witnessed "the short, unhappy reign of King Talal," his succession by the seventeen-year old Husayn, the near-drowning of Jordan in the swirling currents of Pan-Arab nationalism, and the eventual "Hashemite restoration" which has lasted to the present. By combing the archives, reading the published sources, and interviewing many participants (including King Husayn), Satloff has with outstanding skill pieced together the first reliable history of that turbulent period. As his title implies, the story is mostly about personalities; by bringing them to life, the author infuses his analysis with verve and interest. Satloff holds that by the time Abdullah died, his kingdom had been transformed from the simplicity of "old Transjordan" into a rather more complex polity, one in which the king relied on a small, select cadre of politicians and doers. Husayn first asserted his independence from those "dinosaurs" (most notably, by firing Glubb Pasha) and chose to steer the shoals of ideology (which at one point endowed him with a foreign minister whose overriding passion was to eliminate an independent Jordan as a step toward Arab unity). But, in the end, Husayn returned to his grandfather's ways, looking to the "king's men" to help him sustain a Hashemite monarchy in a most inhospitable environment.

Middle East Quarterly, September 1994 ... Read more

7. Cape May Point: The Illustrated History : 1875 to the Present (Schiffer Books)
by Joe J. Jordan
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2003-09)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$14.64
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Asin: 0764318306
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The smallest shore resort on the New Jersey coast, Cape May Point has more than one million visitors each year! This beautiful book depicts Cape May Point's wonderful gingerbread cottages, Victorian chapels, and bantam bungalows that are turning into plastic palaces. Learn about the grand hotels, the two disastrous fires, President Harrison's scandal, the religious revivals and camp meetings, the Country Club, and, of course, the devastating storms that affected the Point. Take a nostalgic journey to Cape May Point's immediate neighbors: the old Life Saving Station, Sunset Beach, the New Jersey State Park, the former South Cape May, the Lighthouse, and Higbee's Beach. Illustrated with over 200 classic photos and drawings, this book will delight vacationers and residents, and inspire future generations of shore-goers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
We loved this book!I highly encourage other fans of Cape May to purchase a copy of these wonderful images of the Point.You will not be disappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cape May Point: The Illustrated History : 1875 to the Present
Outstanding book with great details about this quaint Victorian vacation spot.Should be read before going to Cape May.Our family is 18 strong and we're returning next year because we enjoyed it so much.The book will help us to enjoy those spots we missed this year!Don't miss a chance to visit Cape May and if you can't go, read the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cape May Point--the jewel in the crown of the Jersey shore

This book is well researched and it expresses the love the author has for his hometown.Jordan captures the history of this beautiful town and reveals why it is so special not just from its history but also from its inherent beauty.Spending a beautiful summer or fall day in the "Point" with the book in hand will make your stay even more enjoyable. ... Read more

8. Tobacco in History: The Cultures of Dependence
by Jordan Goodman
Paperback: 292 Pages (1994-12-21)
list price: US$42.95 -- used & new: US$38.87
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Asin: 0415116694
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Tobacco inHistory explores the historical transformation of tobacco from Amerindian shamanism to global capitalism, from the food of the spirits to the fatal epidemic, from the rough pipe and cigar to the modern day cigarette. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Economic and cultural history
This book is an overview of the culture and business of tobacco.After a introductory chapter that covers the botany and chemistry of tobacco, Goodman presents a cultural and economic history of the plant and its products.He begins with Native Americans, who used tobacco in ceremonies and approached it with reverence. He then details how European explorers took tobacco back to Europe, and how its use was quickly adopted there by the general public.Its adoption was hastened by medical reports claiming numerous health benefits of consuming tobacco, from preventing colds to curing bowel ailments.Goodman describes how tobacco played an important role in settling the New World and how its role in the early history of slaving cultures there.He goes on to describe the role that tobacco growing played in colonial economies and how the invention of the mass produced cigarette helped change consumption patterns worldwide.Towards the end of the book, he explores the history of government involvement in tobacco production and consumption, before turning to big business, consolidation and diversification of the tobacco industry.He closes with a short chapter on modern health concerns relating to tobacco, and how they may affect the culture of tobacco consumption and production.

The book is very academic in tone and structure- -it reads like a dissertation.Original sources are cited throughout the text, and there are numerous tables.At the end of the book is a 2-page glossary and a 40-page bibliography.Although Goodman's style is reasonably clear, he does have an annoying habit of explicitly stating his main ideas only at the very end of a section, or at the beginning of the following chapter.If he had introduced his sections with explicit statements of his ideas, the text would have been easier to follow.

4-0 out of 5 stars Meticulousness in all aspects.
What is often neglected when writing about "tobacco", the book covers next to all aspects of it, i.e. from the production of the plant toprocessing the crop, buying, trading, cigarette manufacture, advertising,sponsorhsip and control policies. I profited a lot from the preciseinformation on indivdual farmers (who started the commercial business in1602 ? You'll find it here, and also why he is better known under the nameof his wife), as well as on companies. etc. Fascinating for a geographerwith historical interest to see the similarity of interlinkages betweenrise and fall of growing areas as well as farming societies - and to drawconclusions what is about to happen now in Third World growing countries.While most of the large monographies put a blind eye on the detrimentalecological consequences of growing - the author does not. Since thechapters are ranked chronologically, with a special interest for example inAfrica, you sometimes get lost - and learn a lot about other areas. ... Read more

9. North American Cattle-Ranching Frontiers: Origins, Diffusion, and Differentiation (Histories of the American Frontier)
by Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov
 Hardcover: 439 Pages (1993-04)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$39.98
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Asin: 082631421X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This award-winning book offers an invaluable synthesisthat is essential reading for anyone interested in the cattle-ranchingtraditions in North America. In this revisionist study, historicalgeographer Jordan reinterprets cattle ranching in the Old World andNew, challenging the notion that western cattle culture derivedprincipally from Texas. Jordan begins by looking at Old Worldstock-raising patterns of the British, Spanish, and North Africans andtraces how these practices merged in the Caribbean and were broughtinto Mexico. He also shows how in the eighteenth and nineteenthcentury cattle-raising found its way to the Eastern Seaboard, theSouth and Midwest of the present United States, and into California. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The whole story
Covering the history of cattle ranching from before Columbus to the present day; it allows you to see how each step of the process evolved from the situation before. Discusses the contributions from the Spanish and English emigrants, and the African slaves. Reviews which breeds were used where,how they did, and why. The economics of success and failure of the different regions. Clear and easy reading for those with only a passive interest and enough tables and references and footnotes for a college paper.

5-0 out of 5 stars Webb--not!
The book is excellent; takes a complex look at how ranching developed in North America and replaces many myths with facts. A cultural geographer, Jordan is a consummate researcher and explores the way cattle (and people) moved into North America, and how it shaped settlement.If you are like me, and bristle when reading Walter Prescott Webb, because you just KNOW it's not really like that--this book explains what really happened, as cattle and people moved onto the Plains.He provides lots of valuable bibliographic sources, too. ... Read more

10. The Jordan Automobile: A History
by James H. Lackey
Hardcover: 207 Pages (2005-12-22)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$39.96
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Asin: 078641667X
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The subject of one of the great advertising campaigns of the early 20th century, the “Somewhere West of Laramie” ads, Jordan is a well-remembered marque despite its brief duration. Edward Stanlaw “Ned” Jordan was born November 21, 1882, in Merrill, Wisconsin, and worked as a journalist before finding work in the automobile industry. A pioneer of automobile advertising and sales who got his start with Thomas B. Jeffery and Company in 1907, he founded the Jordan Motor Car Company with fellow Jeffery employees Russell S. Begg as experimental engineer and Paul Zens as purchasing agent in 1916. This is both a biography of Ned Jordan and a history of his company and its vehicles from its beginning in 1916 to its end on April 1, 1932, when non-payment of franchise taxes forced its dissolution. Jordan’s first models were four- and seven-passenger custom-type touring cars, but it would become famous for the Sport Marine, the Playboy, the Little Tomboy, and the Little Custom Jordan. Spectacularly illustrated. ... Read more

11. White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America
by Don Jordan
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-12)
-- used & new: US$9.74
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Asin: 1845961935
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 300,000 people or more became slaves there in all but name. Urchins were swept up from London's streets to labour in the tobacco fields, brothels were raided to provide 'breeders' for Virginia and hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become chattels who could be bought, sold and gambled away. Drawing on letters, diaries, and court and government archives, the authors demonstrate that the brutalities associated with black slavery alone were perpetrated on whites throughout British rule. The trade ended with American independence but the British still tried to sell convicts in their former colonies, which prompted one of the most audacious plots in Anglo-American history. This is a saga of exploitation and cruelty spanning 170 years that has been submerged under the overwhelming memory of black slavery. "White Cargo" brings the brutal, uncomfortable story to the surface. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars White Slaves and Colonialism
Table of Contents
Introduction: In the Shadow of the Myth

Chapter 1: A Place for the Unwanted: Elizabethan adventurers dreamed of an American empire that would give them gold and glory. Others saw the New World as a dumping ground for England's unwanted poor.

Chapter 2: The Judge's Dream: A highwayman who became Lord Chief Justice planned to colonise American with criminals.He began to empty England's gaols and set a precedent.

Chapter 3: The Merchant Prince: The mastermind behind the first successful English colony in America was reputedly Britain's richest man.He kept afledgling Virginia going and paved the way for the first white slaves.

Chapter 4: Children of the City: The Virginia Company wanted youngsters to work in the tobacco fields.The burghers of London wanted rid of street children.So a bargain was struck and hundreds of children were transported.

Chapter 5: The Jagged Edge: The New World was a magnet for the poor.To get there, they had to mortgage their labour in advance. They were not to know that they had contracted into slavery and might die in bondage.

Chapter 6: `They are not Dogs': Virginia was run by planters who pushed through laws that relegated "servants" and "apprentices" to the status of livestock.Notionally they had rights but planters were literally allowed to get away with murder.

Chapter 7: The People Trade: IN the 1603s, almost 80,000 people left England for the Chesapeake, New England and the Caribbean, most of them indentured servants.A ruthless trade in people developed in which even a small investor could make money.

Chapter 8:Spirited Away: Untold numbers were kidnapped or duped onto America-bound ships and sold as servants.The "spiriting" business became as insidious and organized as the cocaine racket today.Even magistrates took a cut of the proceeds.

Chapter 9: Foreigners in Their Own Land: Ethnic and religious cleansing in Ireland became a model for Native Americans being cleared from the Chesapeake.During the Cromwell era, still more were displaced and Ireland became a major source of slaves for the New World.

Chapter 10: Dissent in the North: During the 1650s, Scotland fought shy of transporting its unwanted to any English colony.Then religious and political dissent were made punishable by transportation to the Americas.Sometimes more died on the way than ever reached the New World.
Chapter 11: The Planter from Angola: The idea that Africans were Virginia's first slaves is revealed as a myth through the story of one who became a planter himself and went on to own whites as well as blacks.

Chapter 12: 'Barbadosed': In the 1640s, Barbados became the boom economy of the New World.The tiny island's sugar industry would outperform all its rivals in profits - and in its ruthless use of slave labour.

Chapter 13: The Grandees: A planter aristocracy emerged in the Chesapeake.Its members dealt in men, land and influence, creating dynasties that dominated America for centuries.But stories of brutality deterred would be settlers from emigrating.

Chapter 14: Bacon's Rebellion: The planters' nightmare of a combined uprising by blacks and whites came true when a charismatic young aristocrat turned an Indian war into a campaign against his own class, the English grandees.Swearing never again, the grandees set out to divide the races.

Chapter 15: Queen Anne's Golden Book: Bogus promises of free land persuaded hordes of Europeans to sel up and leave for America.They began a nightmare journey that left some so impoverished they sold their children to pay the fare.But some outfoxed their exploiters.

Chapter 16: Disunity in the Union: Scottish clansmen were sold as servants in the Americas while their chieftains were allowed a comfortable exile in France - two different fates for Jacobites after 1715.Merchants made fortunes selling clansmen in six different colonies.

Chapter 17: Lost and Found: The tide of kidnaping continued under the Hanoverians.In two famous instances, victims returned, as if from the dead, to denounce their abductors.One claimed to be heir to an earldom, kidnapped by the man who stole his birthright.

Chapter 18: 'His Majesty's Seven-Year Passengers': After 1718, England subsidised the convict trade and America was deluged with British jailbirds.Paranoia grew, with soaring crime rates and epidemic blamed on convicts.Only employers were happy: a convict servant was half the price of an African slave.

Chapter 19: The Last Hurrah: Having won their liberty in the War of Independence, Americans had no intention of allowing their country to serve as a penal colony ever again.Britain had other plans and an astonishing plot was born.

It is significant that two journalists wrote this extremely important book.Many professional historians don't want much attention paid to white slavery for fear that it will take something away from black slavery or make whites feel less compassion for black slaves.That is foolish.People must realize that anyone could (and still can) fall into bondage under whatever name if the circumstances are right.Other books that covered similar subject matter (but received little attention) are:

1) The Forgotten Cause of the Civil War: A New Look at the Slavery Issue by Lawrence R. Tenzer.Shows that white slavery was present in the antebellum American South and played an important role in increasing the tensions between North and South that led to the American Civil War.

2) Legal History of the Color Line: The Rise And Triumph of the One-drop Rule by Frank W. Sweet.Shows that American slave status was not truly based on "race" but on maternal descent from a female slave, regardless of race or color.

3) Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race by Matthew Frye Jacobson.Shows how ruling planters created anti-black racism and white supremacy in order to divide the labor force and secure the help of lower class whites in putting down slave rebellions and fighting Indians. ... Read more

12. Nationalism and the Genealogical Imagination: Oral History and Textual Authority in Tribal Jordan (Comparative Studies on Muslim Societies)
by Andrew Shryock
Paperback: 363 Pages (1997-02-12)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$25.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520201019
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book explores the transition from oral to written history now taking place in tribal Jordan, a transition that reveals the many ways in which modernity, literate historicity, and national identity are developing in the contemporary Middle East. As traditional Bedouin storytellers and literate historians lead him through a world of hidden documents, contested photographs, and meticulously reconstructed pedigrees, Andrew Shryock describes how he becomes enmeshed in historical debates, ranging from the local to the national level.
The world the Bedouin inhabit is rich in oral tradition and historical argument, in subtle reflections on the nature of truth and its relationship to poetics, textuality, and power. Skillfully blending anthropology and history, Shryock discusses the substance of tribal history through the eyes of its creators--those who sustain an older tradition of authoritative oral history and those who have experimented with the first written accounts. His focus throughout is on the development of a "genealogical nationalism" as well as on the tensions that arise between tribe and state.
Rich in both personal revelation and cultural implications, this book poses a provocative challenge to traditional assumptions about the way history is written. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A light on the cultural logic in a hotly contested place
I read this book for an introductory cultural anthropology course I took for personal enrichment.Although it does not at all explore the conflict between Israelis & Palestinians, it did give me some astounding insights into why conflicts in that region of the world seem so intractable to Westerners.It reveals how personal and political identities are created in societies and cultures that are tribal and oral.It challenges easy assumptions that writing things down is simple and desirable, and that talking produces political peace.

This book is a scholarly ethnography with the footnotes and discussion of theory and methodology requried in such books, and it is not a leisurely, easy read.But the diligent reader is rewarded with some eye-popping realizations about a culture that is very different from ours, some beautifully evocative tales from the Bedouin tradition, and even some flashes of perhaps unintended humor in Shryock's accounts of his present-day efforts to track down the 'truth' in a setting that makes the American red-state/blue-state rift blur into a pale shade of lilac.

I am an admitted egghead who enjoys academic writing more than the average person, but I intend to read this book again now that I am beyond the requirements of the college course that first brought it to my attention.Perhaps Sec. of State Rice might also enjoy it?

5-0 out of 5 stars New View of History
Andrew Shryock captures the fragmented nature of oral histories among the Bedouin tribes of a Jordanian region known as the Balga. This text, which is actually an ethnography, brings into relief greater concepts of history that are often not obvious. The histories that Andrew collects have never been written, except a few segments in travelogues. This brings to mind questions about the unsubstantiated faith in written historical texts. Andrew illustrates that it is possible to interrogate the oral histories in the same way other historians interrogate archival data. Questions of the source of the document, the identity of the author, the comparison of data with other sources creates a "complete reality" of history. While Andrew flirts with this definition of history in chapter one when he compares the data he retrieves from oral histories to data found in archives, he also opens several other issues entirely. The oral histories of the Balga tribes are by their very nature fragmentary and disjointed. They do not lend themselves to a uniform, linear universal whole history. Instead, they provide only highlights. This brings to mind a question of validity for so-called modern history. How much is filled in like the archeologist filling in the gaps in crumbled structures? Is it possible that the Balga tribes' oral histories, untouched by the pressure of conformity, be closer to historical truth than the modern version whose rough edges have been hewn squarely into a proper line? Andrew also illustrates the uses that are not directly historical. Oral histories contribute a part to building political clout and are propagated because of political clout. Moreover, the oral histories play a part in identity forming for young members of the tribes. They relate to their place in the universe, not only in the tribe, but also in relation to other tribes, Jordanian politics and the world at large, based on how they see themselves in relation to the oral histories. For these two purposes, the non-textual aspect of the oral histories is part of their significance, part of their social power.It brings into question classic historical texts all over the world. Exactly how historically accurate is everything we call history? An excellent piece of work, it's easy to see why it won scholastic awards.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic--Very Insightful, Informational
The author does an excellent job of skirting the volatile plausibility of transcribing oral histories to the written word.For anyone wanting to understand both the intricacies and basic histories of the Jordanian BalgaBedouin, it is a fascinating read.Having a Jordanian father and aPalestinian mother, I especially enjoyed Shryock's investigation into theirage-old rivalries.Tribalism is alive and well, as Shryock adeptly shows,and he brings it to us in clear and cunning detail.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book Bro!Just waiting for the next one--Ben
Andrew Shryock is the oldest of five boys.All the brothers are very close and that is why I, his youngest brother, am very proud of his work.All the brothers will be home for Christmas and will anticipate reading his work of art.Andrew is a great writer as well as a great person.Number Five, Benjamin Shryock. ... Read more

13. When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan's Last Comeback
by Michael Leahy
Paperback: 448 Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$2.90
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Asin: 0743254279
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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As one of the greatest, most celebrated athletes in history, Michael Jordan conquered professional basketball as no one had before. Powered by a potent mix of charisma, nearly superhuman abilities, and a ferocious need to dominate the game, he won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and captured every basketball award and accolade conceivable before retiring and taking a top executive post with the Washington Wizards. But retirement didn't suit the man who was once king, and at the advanced age of thirty-eight Michael Jordan set out to reclaim the court that had been his dominion. When Nothing Else Matters is the definitive account of Jordan's equally spectacular and disastrous return to basketball. Washington Post writer Michael Leahy reveals the striking contrast between the public Jordan and the man whose personal style alienated teammates and the Washington owner who ousted him. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

2-0 out of 5 stars don't read if you love Jordan.
This book will really kill your love for MJ, so if you idolize him, stay away! The author paints a picture of MJ as a bad teammate who tears down anyone who does not conform to his image of how a basketball team should be run. The author also made Jordan out to be a diva who could not adapt to a running playing style, forcing his teammates and coach to operate a slow offense suited to his needs rather than those of his team.

The author followed MJ (stalked him) for about two years to write this book, and Jordan did not cooperate with him. It is possible that the lens through which he views Jordan is biased. Whether this book is factual or not, don't read it if you are fond of MJ. If you like books that expose the flaws in athletes, then you will love this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars In these pages, come to know the real Michael Jordan
Published in 2004, author Michael Leahy shares his experiences during Michael Jordan's last comeback to the National Basketball Association.

Leahy's potrayal of Jordan showed a different side of the basketball legend which is not normally seen in the eyes of the public. Jordan, the "the most marketed player in the history of the NBA," was finally..."mortal" and did go through the same trials and tribulations (from a heightened perspective) that we all go through at some point in our lives. Leahy accounts the days wherein Jordan was at his best and would score 35 points over the span of several games to the days wherein he wasn't unstoppable and hit his career lows of 8 and 2 points respectively.

What stood out for me was Jordan's lambasting of players who didn't play up to his standards. Leahy quotes Jordan on numerous occasions wherein he would lambast teammates. Coach Fred "Tex" Winter, an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers and former assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls summed it up best, "you either work hard or Michael has no use for you."

But the one paragraph in Leahy's entire book which rocked my very foundation of emulating Michael Jordan was the following:

"His people had held him up as a man to be emulated, making Jordan more than a half-billion in endorsement dollars in the process...he had raised the bar on his behavior during 17 years of unremitting self-promotion, in campaigns approved by the Jordan camp and coordinated by Nike and other corporate sponsors that elevated him from great athlete to hero and, finally, to moral symbol.

...when you present yourself as virtuous in years of ad campaigns and TV commercials, you will be fairly held in time to that standard. Fairly held because uou have sold your basketball shoes to people plunking down in excess of $100 not merely for a chance at better Ups but for a way to rub up against your aura, to feel a tiny sense of you in that admittedly silly way people feel when they wish to emulate anybody, to be inspired by your class and elegance, your morality and grace, as they've heard it told. And if some of that was artifice, then so, too, was everything you sold with your likeness on it."

Disturbing but quite true, personally, I have seen myself on many occasions wanting to "be like Mike." I've bought the shoes, worn the clothes, gotten the cards, read the books...and it is only now I realized. What about me? Leahy's book showed me that. In the years that I have been collecting "Jordan" in order to be inspired, all I needed to do in the end was look in the mirror in order to be inspired.

This is a great book that puts any not only Michael Jordan's life in perspective but also that of your own, especially if you are a Jordan fan who has collected his paraphernalia over the years.

2-0 out of 5 stars He's still the best there ever was....
Michael Leahy obviously likes to tear down icons. In doing so he comes over as petulant and singularly lacking in the understanding of what it takes fora Michael Jordan to be as successful as he was.

All of the NBA elite are tough in an over the top alpha male hyper competitive environment. If they are not, they quickly fall by the way side. Obviously the author failed to grasp this fact.

That Jordan wasn't a crack executive is neither here nor there. His single minded successful quest to be the best player ever, did not leave him much room to observe and learn board room politics.

If Mr. Leahy ecomes half the writer that MJ was as a player he would have world's of success and probably win a Pulitzer, however, he will more likely have a career mirroring a Brad Sellers, just not good in the clutch!

2-0 out of 5 stars Detailed but biased
Mr. Leahy is a very talented reporter, but his interesting, carefully collected raw material is poisoned by his obvious agenda, which is to make the case that Michael Jordan is a terribly flawed man who never truly deserved the admiration of his fans.By the end of the book, Mr. Leahy's perspective just seems childish.He is forever blaming others for telling part of the truth, but concealing the rest--yet that is precisely what he does throughout the book.Certainly, Jordan had his faults as a teammate and as an employee, but what about the admirable features of his "last comeback"?What other fading sports star tried to turn around a miserable franchise?What other fading sports star remained one of the best players in the world at 39 years old, even though his performance was limited by a serious knee injury?What other sports legend risked spoiling an absolutely PERFECT conclusion to a brilliant career just because he loved the game and wasn't ready to give it up forever?Jordan took on an extraordinary challenge and didn't succeed.That may seem pathetic and selfish to Mr. Leahy, but I don't see why readers should view Jordan's struggles as a Wizard in that way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest and Absorbing
The Michael Jordan story always seems to be told in extremes. Either he is heralded as an icon so mindlessly that the storytelling appears uninteresting or he is vilified, as previous writers knew the value of tearing down an icon.

When Nothing Else Matters is a portrait of a man that feels honest, Jordan is neither vilified nor overly praised; instead Micheal Leahy has given us a view of a man experiencing his only real failure in his career as a professional basketball player. A failure that is proven by the simple fact the Washington Wizards, with Jordan in a powerful position off, then on the court, never ascended the heights of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Eastern Conference. It is a fascinating look at the world's most famous basketball player, during a time period where he seemed unable to transition his on the court reputation and success, to a career in management.

Jordan, the man, had grown comfortable being an icon and as his skills faded and his team missed the playoffs, Leahy reveals someone whose disconnect from the world around him made him unable to finesse his way to off the court success. Therefore his last games for the Wizards are revealed to have been one last chance to court the spotlight as a prime-time player, as the chances to move forward off the court didn't exist, Leahy lays out these realities, and Jordan's apparent blindness to them, that shows Jordan as a very accomplished yet out-of-the-loop figure who couldn't overcome his last challenge in the N.B.A. It also makes clear what Micheal Jordan was to the Washington Wizards management, a cash infusion.

Leahy's even handed treatment may prevent When Nothing Else Matters from being extreme in its presentation, but it doesn't prevent it from being an extreme success as it stands as a historical document for basketball fans to turn to when looking at a honest portrait of life in the N.B.A. ... Read more

14. Jordan Crandall: Drive
by Peter Weibel, Brian Holmes, Jordan Crandall
Paperback: 256 Pages (2002-11-15)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$20.21
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Asin: 3775711740
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Combining traditional film technologies and computerized military programs for tracking, identifying, and targeting, Jordan Crandall's seven-part video installation Drive depicts movement through means that go miles beyond the conventions of cinema. In Drive, as elsewhere today, bodies and physical movements are no longer objects of representation, but collated and processed computer data from thermal imaging machines and night vision optical devices. Movements are no longer depicted; they are tracked. Drive observes the new human relationships that develop through a structure otherwise associated with a hunter observing his prey. Also included in this volume are Crandall's collected projects and writings.

Edited by Peter Weibel. ... Read more

15. Excavations at Tall Jawa, Jordan: The Iron Age Artefacts (Culture and History of the Ancient Near East)
by P. M. Michele Daviau, Paul-Eugene Dion, David Hemsworth, Neil Mirau, David S. Reese
Hardcover: 400 Pages (2002-03-01)
list price: US$211.00 -- used & new: US$184.68
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Asin: 9004123636
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This volume presents a functional and typological study of the Iron Age artefacts recovered during six years of excavation at the site of Tall Jawa, in central Jordan. ... Read more

16. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan
 Hardcover: 358 Pages (1986-02)
list price: US$69.50
Isbn: 0710207344
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17. An American History Album: The Story of the United States Told Through Stamps
by Michael Worek, Jordan Worek
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2008-09-12)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1554073901
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A unique record of the history of the United States.

Throughout its history, the United States has celebrated its achievements, honored its heroes and recorded its history by issuing beautiful commemorative postage stamps. These stamps tell us about the discovery and settlement of the land; advances in transportation and communication; the wonders of the American wilderness; and the accomplishments of political, military and civic leaders who served the republic and shaped its future. Created by the United States Post Office to honor significant events and important people, these stamps offer us a unique and proud look at America's history.

An American History Album takes a look at the stories behind these miniature works of art-why they were issued and who or what they honor. Created by some of the best artists and finest engravers of their day, these stamps fashion a visual portrait of the history, values and accomplishments of the United States. Through their research for this book the authors identified more than 50 major themes of the American story that have been commemorated in stamps.

An American History Album will appeal to history buffs, stamp collectors, educators, art enthusiasts and general readers. It serves as a graphic reminder that the American dream, as crafted in the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, remains alive and well.

Here are just some of the stories told inside An American History Album:

  • Columbus' Epic Voyage
  • The Pilgrims and the Puritans
  • The Louisiana Purchase
  • Into the Wilderness
  • The American Revolution
  • The War Between the States
  • Remember the Alamo
  • The Settlement of the West
  • The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Building the Global Village
  • The Great Depression
  • The Second World War
  • The Story of Flight
  • The Cold War in America
  • Putting a Man on the Moon
  • The Office of the President
  • Protecting the Wilderness
  • The Story of the Flag
  • America's Armed Forces

The themes include:

  • Heritage and Values: the ideas, symbols, beliefs and institutions that make America unique
  • Discovery and Exploration: how the New World was discovered and the 13 colonies were established
  • Neighbor Against Neighbor: how the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States shaped the nation
  • Manifest Destiny: how the pioneers pushed westward across the wilderness to reach the Pacific
  • Transportation and Communication: how ships, canals, railroads, automobiles and the telegraph tied the early nation together
  • The Greatest Generation: the profound effect of the Great Depression and World War II on a nation and its spirit
  • These United States: a brief look at each state and the postage stamp that honors it
  • The Art of the Stamp: a fascinating look at how stamp subjects are chosen and designs created
(2008101) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for a class library
I bought this as a present for a fifth grade history and language arts teacher, to supplement her class library. I was very pleased when it arrived, seems to be very nicely put together and it provides a different perspective on history (through stamps). And the teacher loved it. ... Read more

18. History of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania
by John Newton Boucher, John W. 1840-1921 Jordan
Paperback: 740 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$51.75 -- used & new: US$34.42
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Asin: 1178176886
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General Books publication date: 2009Original publication date: 1906Original Publisher: Lewis Publishing Co.Subjects: Westmoreland County (Pa.)Reference / GenealogyNotes: This is a black and white OCR reprint of the original. It has no illustrations and there may be typos or missing text.When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free.Excerpt: CHAPTER IIIFormation of County. -- First Courts. -- Elections.The reader may wonder why, when the settlers lived so remote from their countv seat, they were so slow about securing the erection of a new county. This will appear all the more remarkable when he glances at the length of time intervening between the formation of new counties coming westward. Phil" adelphia, Bucks and Chester counties were formed by William Penn when the Province was formed in 1682. They have always been known as the Quaker counties. Next, coming westward, was Lancaster county, erected in 1729. Twenty vears afterward came York county, in 1749, and Cumberland in 1750. Bedford was erected out of the western part of Cumberland twenty-two years later, in 1772.The explanation is a very simple one. A new county had to be erected by an Act of Assembly, and the old counties had a preponderating influence in that body. Each county wanted to retain its political power, and, but for the desire on the part of the Proprietaries to sell lands in the newly formed counties, we doubt whether they would have followed each other in their formation as rapidly as they did.The project of forming a new county out of western Cumberland county had been agitated for several years by Arthur St. Clair and others. It resulted in the formation of Bedford county, with Bedford town as a county seat. But still the agitation was kept up. They now asked for a county in the New Purchase, the seat of which would be west of the Allegheny-mountains. Bedford... ... Read more

19. The Civil War: Moments in History (Cover-to-Cover Books)
by Shirley Jordan
Paperback: 56 Pages (1999-12)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$18.00
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Asin: 0789129035
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Explains the great calamity that was the Civil War, highlighting the major battles and prominent players in that conflict. ... Read more

20. Geologists and Ideas: A History of North American Geology (Centennial Special Vol 1)
by Ellen T. Drake
 Hardcover: 520 Pages (1986-01)
list price: US$7.00 -- used & new: US$39.95
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Asin: 0813753015
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