29 January 2006 - Sunday

Beyond the scope of their research

After a humorous conversation with my academic advisor -- inspired by Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America (Philip Dray) and Grant and Twain: The Story of a Friendship That Changed America (Mark Perry) -- I spent a few minutes Googling. Here are the results:

Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life (Leo Charney and Vanessa R. Schwartz)

Tolkien and the Invention of Myth (Jane Chance)

Greenback: The Almighty Dollar and the Invention of America (Jason Goodwin)

The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology (Simon Winchester)

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (Margaret MacMillan)

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (Jack Weatherford)

Newspapers and the Making of Modern America (Aurora Wallace)

Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Mae M. Ngai)

Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (David T. Courtwright)

Henry Adams and the Making of America (Gary Wills)

Energy and the Making of Modern California (James C. Williams)

Sex, Religion, and the Making of Modern Madness: The Eberbach Asylum and German Society, 1815-1849

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America (David Von Drehle)

The Alamo (A Day That Changed America) (Craig, Tanaka, and Winders)

The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War (Fred Anderson)

The Scottish Enlightenment: The Scots' Invention of the Modern World (Arthur Herman)

The Great Land Rush and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-1900 (John C. Weaver)

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World (Mark Pendergrast)

Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization (Iain Gately)

And my personal favorites:

Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages (Bonnie Effros)

Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (Mark Kurlansky)

The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World (Larry Zuckerman)

Criticism of the trend:

"ESSAY; The Subtitle That Changed America" (Ben Yagoda, at the NYT)

| Posted by Wilson at 19:57 Central | TrackBack
| Report submitted to the Humanities Desk