Tag Archive for Swinehart

Swinehart on Philbrick’s ‘The Last Stand’

Writing for The New Republic, Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, reviews The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the new book by best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick. Swinehart says the book attempts to look beyond the myths surrounding this iconic battle, and reveals that both General Custer and Sitting Bull desperately hoped conflict could be avoided and were searching for face-saving alternatives to a battle. Swinhart says, “according to Philbrick, ‘the tragedy of both their lives is that they were not given the opportunity to explore those alternatives.’ In this otherwise fine book, historical perspective goes wanting. Custer and Sitting Bull make unlikely peaceniks indeed.”

Swinehart Reviews Book on Photographer Dorothea Lange

A book review written by Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, was published in the Dec. 18 issue of The Chicago Tribune. Swinehart reviewed Dorthea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, by Linda Gordon.

The photographer Dorothea Lange ” is such a figure, a woman whose quietly searing depictions of the American Dream gone awry reflect her own innermost struggles and resonate powerfully with our own,” Swinehart writes. “Linda Gordon, a professor of history at New York University, shows how in her arresting new biography of Lange. In Gordon’s telling, Lange emerges as something substantially greater than America’s pioneering photo-chronicler of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. She becomes ‘America’s preeminent photographer of democracy,’ equal parts celebrant and critic of our fondest ideals.

Lange is known for her iconic 1936 photograph “Migrant Mother,” however Swinehart writes that this was hardly her darkest record of America’s darkest moments. During the Second World War, Lange documented the interment of Japanese Americans in some 800 heartrending photographs. Suppressed by the federal government, these photographs remained buried in the National Archives, all but forgotten, until 2006.

“In its grace, precision, and infinite subtlety, Gordon’s biography resembles Lange herself,” Swinehart says in the review. “Indeed, the whole is founded on a bedrock of human decency that Lange would have admired.”

Swinehart Explains How Indigenous People Took Part in British Service

Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, led a talk titled "Mourning War: A Story of Love and Greed in British America," Dec. 7 in Russell House.

Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, led a talk titled "Mourning War: A Story of Love and Greed in British America," Dec. 7 in Russell House.

Swinehart discussed the biracial dynasty of Sir William Johnson, an Irish immigrant and adopted Mohawk who emerged as one of the 18th century's most colorful and divisive political figures. Johnson served as the superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern colonies.

Swinehart discussed the biracial dynasty of Sir William Johnson, an Irish immigrant and adopted Mohawk who emerged as one of the 18th century's most colorful and divisive political figures. Johnson served as the superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern colonies.

Students listen to Swinehart's presentation.

Students listen to Swinehart's presentation.

In his lecture, Swinehart suggested how the remarkable story of Johnson's ill-fated clan contains a larger story about elusive forces that would bring indigenous peoples into British service well into the 20th century.

In his lecture, Swinehart suggested how the remarkable story of Johnson's ill-fated clan contains a larger story about elusive forces that would bring indigenous peoples into British service well into the 20th century. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Swinehart’s Review Published in Chicago Tribune

A book review by Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, was published in the June 27 edition of The Chicago Tribune. Swinehart writes about the novel, Tall Man, written by Australian author Chloe Hooper. According to the review, Hooper has written an account of life and death on Australian’s Palm Island “as fast paced as it is horrific. Australians long ago consigned Palm Island to the bin of places best forgotten. And there it stayed until November 2004, when a 36-year-old Aboriginal man named Cameron Doomadgee died in police custody. Overnight, Palm Island became the epicenter of a wrenching national debate about race and, by implication, the legacy of British imperialism.” The entire review is online here.