Since January, here are a few of the books I've acquired:
- Meacham, Sarah Hand (2009) Every Home A Distillery: Alcohol, Gender, and Technology in the Colonial Chesapeake. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. I'm very much looking forward to reading this as it addresses several of my research interests. Sarah did a little shameless self-promotion on the H-OIEAHC email list for early American history (where shameless = mentioned she'd written this book). I'm very glad she did!
- Kupperman, Karen Ordahl (1995) America in European Consciousness 1493-1750. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. Placing us as The Other; an exercise in perspective.
- Stilgoe, John R. (1982) Common Landscape of America, 1580-1845. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut. A way to think about and see the landscape. Prompted by an increasing interest in landscape archaeology and a conference presentation by a colleague that included an anecdote of passers-by insisting that the wooded area they were digging in was "virgin forest." (Hint: not too long ago, it had been an agricultural field).
- Archer, Steven N. and Kevin M. Bartoy (2006) Between Dirt and Discussion: Methods, Methodology, and Interpretation in Historical Archaeology. Springer, New York. Looked at it for a chapter or two and ended up getting the whole thing. Some very interesting discussion on methodologies, including regarding the use of GIS, soil chemistry analysis, and identifying earthfast buildings. There's a great chapter on the Harris Matrix by Harris himself, about how we've not quite got it right.
- Hicks, Dan and Mary C. Beaudry (2006) The Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. I'm not generally a fan of buying field-survey anthologies, though I do recognize that they often contain great material. I usually borrow them, read them, and give them back. Yeah, I tried that with this one. I gave it back only after ordering my own copy.
- Groover, Mark D. (2008) The Archaeology of North American Farmsteads. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. There's a movement afoot to recognize that Not All Farmsteads Are The Same. Groover grabs the bull by the horns, and shows us -- from the colonial era through the twentieth century. And THEN he outlines a research framework for investigating farmsteads that includes scales of analysis and what sorts of questions can be answered. When two farmsteads -- even ones that date from the same time period and might even be located right next to each other -- can provide different data about the lives of the people who lived there, then both should be investigated (often, one or both will get written off and not subjected to further work, in a "you've seen one nineteenth century farm, you've seen them all" approach). Other people who have had really cogent stuff to say about this are Mary Beaudry and LouAnn Wurst.
- Shackel, Paul A. (2009) The Archaeology of American Labor and Working-Class Life. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. I actually can't wait to read this.
- Smith, Frederick H. (2008). The Archaeology of Alcohol and Drinking. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Yes, it's a theme. Shush. It's *research*.