Blonde Roots (Bernardine Evaristo)

No, this book isn’t about hair.  This is the other kind of Roots (note the italics)…except Evaristo has flipped the script.  What if, in some alternate reality, blacks had enslaved whites?  What – if anything – would be different?  And before you ask, this isn’t some alt-right “reverse racism” fantasy.  Rather, Evaristo shows that while … Continue reading Blonde Roots (Bernardine Evaristo)


March (Geraldine Brooks)

I’ve reviewed several of Geraldine Brooks’ novels on my blog, and have enjoyed them all, so I decided it was time to try March (her only novel to win a Pulitzer). You could describe March as a spin-off of Little Women.  Sort of.  It would be radically unfair, though, because “spin-off” tends to bring to … Continue reading March (Geraldine Brooks)

Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (Christine Leigh Heyrman)

I got this book several years ago. At the time I thought it sounded fascinating (and it is), but for whatever reason I never got around to it till now. But I’m actually glad I waited. Southern Cross makes so much more impact, and is so much more timely, in today’s post-Trump evangelical landscape. It’s … Continue reading Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (Christine Leigh Heyrman)

American Slavery, American Freedom (Edmund Morgan)

I got this book for Christmas and finally got around to reading it. I’ve enjoyed some of Edmund Morgan’s other work (Visible Saints and The Puritan Family), though I suspect he is mildly out of date in places by now. (For instance, he says Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemings is based only on circumstantial … Continue reading American Slavery, American Freedom (Edmund Morgan)