Donald J. Trump’s Presidency: International Perspectives

Editors: John Dixon and Max J. Skidmore

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President Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric and actions become more understandable by reference to his personality traits, his worldview, and his view of the world. His campaign rhetoric catered to Americans comfortable with isolationism and certainly with no appetite for foreign military engagements. So, his foreign policy emphasis was on American isolationism and economic nationalism. He is not really interested in delving too deeply into some of the substantive issues of international politics, particularly the prevailing quandaries in the East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. Why bother when simple solutions will suffice, for his purposes. He has placed America’s global superpower status at risk. The gradual decline of its global influence seems inevitable.

Companion volume: John Dixon, Donald J. Trump as U.S. President: “It’s all about me!” (Westphalia Press, Washington, DC, 2018).

John Dixon is Professor of Public Administration at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He is a fellow of the British Academy of the Social Sciences in 2004, and has been an honorary life member of the American Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars since 2006.

Max J. Skidmore is University of Missouri’s Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Thomas Jefferson Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has been Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer to India, and Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong.

American Prophets of Peace: Souvenir of the National Arbitration and Peace Congress, New York, April 1907

by National Arbitration and Peace Congress

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When the Peace Congress was proposed, it was considered “the greatest gathering ever held in advocacy of the abolition of war as a means of settling international disputes, and the most important non-political gathering ever held in this country for any purpose.” The Congress was supported by a notable group, including Andrew Carnegie, which served as its president, along with numerous religious figures, editors, educators, the American Federation of Labor, the National Association of Manufacturers, and other organizations. Sadly, World Wars I, II, and the numerous wars between and after have proven the eradication of international war to be so far an elusive dream. However, documents like this offer some scaffolding and inspiration for future talks in establishing world peace.


The Huguenots in France: After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes with Memoirs of Distinguished Huguenot Refugees, and A Visit to the Country of Voudois

by Samuel Smiles

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The Huguenots are French Protestants, a denomination that began during the early sixteenth century. Their place in French society oscillated between their being celebrated and defamed. On August 24, 1572, while marking Saint Bartholomew’s Day, thousands of Huguenots were massacred. After decades of fighting occurred, a guarantee of peace was issued, which largely remained in place until October 18, 1685 when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. Many Huguenots fled France to escape persecution, and settled in various places, such as the United States, England, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland.

Samuel Smiles (1812 – 1904), was a Scottish social reformer, parliamentarian, and prolific author. He promoted frugality and asserted that poverty was caused largely by irresponsible habits, which may help account for his admiration of the Huguenot culture of industry and entrepreneurship.


Demand the Impossible: Essays in History as Activism

Editors: Nathan Wuertenberg and William Horne

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Born from the wave of activism that followed the inauguration of President Trump, Demand the Impossible asks scholars what they can do to help solve present-day crises. The twelve essays in this volume draw inspiration from present-day activists. They examine the role of history in shaping ongoing debates over monuments, racism, clean energy, health care, poverty, and the Democratic Party. Together they show the ways that the issues of today are historical expressions of power that continue to shape the present. Adequately addressing them means understanding their origins.

The way our society remembers the past has long served to cement inequality. It is no accident that the ahistorical slogan “make America great again” emerged after decades of income inequality and a generation of funding cuts to higher education. But the movement toward openly addressing injustice and inequality though historical inquiry is growing. Although many historians remain tucked away in ivory towers of their own making, we join a long tradition of activist scholars like W.E.B. Du Bois, C.L.R. James, and C. Vann Woodward, as well as a growing wave of engaged colleagues including Keri Leigh Merritt, who penned the foreword for this volume. As historians and citizens, we feel a responsibility to preserve an authentic vision of the past in a moment riddled with propaganda and lies. In doing so, we hope to help provide a framework to fight the inequities we inherited from prior generations that are repurposed and enshrined by the powerful today.

Nathan Wuertenberg is a doctoral candidate at The George Washington University. He is conducting research for a doctoral dissertation on the 1775 American invasion of Quebec, entitled “Divided We Stand: The American War for Independence, the 1775 Quebec Campaign, and the Rise of Nations in the Twilight of Colonial Empires.” William Horne is a PhD candidate at The George Washington University researching the relationship of race to labor, freedom, and capitalism in post-Civil War Louisiana. His dissertation, “Carceral State: Baton Rouge and its Plantation Environs Across Emancipation,” examines the ways in which white supremacy and capitalism each depended on restricting black freedom in the aftermath of slavery.


Palaces of Sin, or The Devil in Society

by Col. Dick Maple

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“Colonel” Dick Maple was the fanciful pen name for Seth McCallen, who penned a great many highly polemical works. He wrote this particular work against alcohol and nightlife. In particular, he guards readers against women in corsets, who drink or otherwise dabble in lifestyles or actions he finds unseemly. The women in his stories often come to sad endings as a result of their desire to enjoy equal opportunities with men in vice and pleasure. McCallen was far from a person anyone should take seriously. He is known for writing and publishing some of the most extraordinarily vile and racist diatribes in The National Rip-Saw. In 1910, McCallen had a stroke, but the publisher hired W. S. Morgan in order to imitate his hateful style. Thankfully, the style and messages were so unappealing and subscriptions dropped so low that the magazine had to send issues to random addresses to fulfill advertising terms.


Secrets & Lies in the United Kingdom: Analysis of Political Corruption

by Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq

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Secrets & Lies in the United Kingdom: Analysis of Political Corruption lifts the shroud of secrecy in the United Kingdom in relation to modern freemasonry in Scotland in the late-18th century, the ‘Stolen Generations’ in Australia from the early 1900s to the late 1970s, Enoch Powell’s motives for resigning, Britain’s secret plan for a nuclear power station in Wales, intentional and unintentional disclosures of secret information about the Liberal Democrats and their rivals, the ‘culture of secrecy’ of English police forces, and the paradoxical co-existence of secrecy and transparency in the English justice system.

Editor Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq is Professor of Contemporary British Studies at the University of Tours, France, and conducted research for the European Commission (Daphne II programme) for four years. She authored Sexualités et maternités des adolescentes : Voix anglaises et écossaises (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2009), co-authored Les Politiques de jeunesse au Royaume-Uni et en France (Presses Sorbonne nouvelle, 2012), and has recently edited Fertility, Health and Lone Parenting: European Contexts (Routledge, 2017). She is currently preparing a book on motherhood in the global context.


A Frenchman in the Gold Rush: The Journal of Ernest De Massey, Argonaut of 1849

by Ernest De Massey, Translated by Marguerite Eyer Wilbur

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Ernest De Massey arrived in the United States in 1849. He went to San Francisco, and became a retailer, since he had the capital and came from some wealth. However, the lure of the Gold Rush was too much for him, so he decided to close his shop and follow many of his customers into the mountains in hopes of striking it rich. He tried prospecting in multiple areas, including Klamath River. Like many, he left with empty pockets and dashed dreams, though he was very fortunate to have kept his health. Prospecting was very arduous, and frequently dangerous. De Massey only lasted five months before giving up, after falling seriously ill. He decided to return to San Francisco and the somewhat more stable life of an entrepreneur. But in 1857 he returned to Europe. De Massey’s fascinating first hand account illustrates how the Gold Rush mesmerized so many.