History Today at Hatchards

USA

Alarm about moral degeneracy and ‘family values’ provoked Hollywood to instigate its own self-censorship codes in the 1920s. The industry's preoccupation with American morality proved to be the source of inspiration and even genius.

Flag of the United States of America with 34 stars, made of wool and cotton by Mrs John E. Forbes, 1861-63.

A wise and readable narrative history of the United States is a reminder of how tenaciously previous generations have clung to the view that the country is the ‘last, best hope of earth’.

‘Grover Cleveland Taming the British Lion’, Joseph Keppler, Puck, 1888.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 16 empires of varying size and reach. At the end of the century, there was just one: the United States. How did this happen and what role did Britain play in smoothing America’s path to global hegemony?

James K. Polk’s first State of the Union Address, on 2 December 1845, promoted the concept that the US should encompass all of North America.

In 1904, when tobacco farmers of Kentucky and Tennessee formed an association to unite against the American Tobacco Company, a vigilante splinter group decided to deliver its own brand of rough justice.

Paradise lost: Native Americans in the Yosemite Valley, California, c.1870.

Blessed with beauty and wealth, California fails to come to terms with its past.

Fill-in-the-blank postcard, c.1940.

From the taming of the ‘Wild West’ to the lucrative wages of sin.

The unusual circumstances of the founding of New Orleans have had lasting impact on its culture. 

Hester Street’s pushcarts, by Berenice Abbot, 1935.

The pushcarts of the Lower East Side epitomised New York’s bustling immigrant community. The drive to Americanise brought about their demise and changed the streets forever. 

Long before he helped to draft the Declaration of Independence, Franklin was a printer, an inventor and a philosopher.