The American Way of Bombing Reviewed in H-Diplo

Mark J. Conversino reviews The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones, edited by Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue in the August 2015 edition of H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews. Here’s an excerpt:

The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, From Flying Fortresses to Drones, edited by Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue, brings together an array of historians, practitioners, and legal experts from both the military and civilian worlds. Overall, the volume is balanced and the authors engage with logic and consistency. This collection is a vital resource for military professionals, policymakers, and scholars alike. Unfortunately, the challenges of norm-setting in aerial warfare chronicled here are far from over and likely to become even more contentious in light of ongoing military and counterterrorist operations across the globe and in the face of rapid technological change.”—Mark J. Conversino, H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews

The American Way of Bombing Reviewed in H-Diplo

Crossing Broadway in the New York Times

The July 10, 2015, edition of the New York Times features a review by Sam Roberts of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City by Robert W. Snyder: Sam Roberts on Books About the New York Public Library, Washington Heights, and the City’s First Black Police Officer. Here’s an excerpt:

“In Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City (Cornell University Press), Robert W. Snyder eloquently traces the demographic metamorphosis of Upper Manhattan and invokes what the sociologist Robert J. Sampson calls “collective efficacy” to explain the community’s uplifting but bittersweet comeback. Addressing the mixed blessing of gentrification, Professor Snyder, who teaches journalism and American studies at Rutgers, writes, ‘The people who saved Washington Heights in the days of crime and crack deserve more for their pains than a stiff rent increase.'”

Crossing Broadway in the New York Times

New senior acquisitions editor at Cornell University Press

IMG_0967We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Lance as senior acquisitions editor for the social sciences. A graduate of Haverford College, he earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in African history from Stanford University.

Lance has over 18 years of experience in academic and trade publishing. He started his career as the African Studies Editor for Greenwood-Heinemann where he worked with the academic editors of the acclaimed Social History of Africa Series. He also was the North American contact for authors in the African Writers Series. After leaving Greenwood-Heinemann, Lance served as editor and publisher for Kumarian Press, acquiring books in comparative politics, international development, and globalization.

At Cornell University Press, Lance will be acquiring books in anthropology and related social sciences. He joins the press this Wednesday, July 1st.

“We are delighted to have Jim on board,” said editor-in-chief Peter Potter. “He brings precisely the sort of experience in scholarly, textbook, and trade book publishing that we were seeking. I am particularly excited at the prospect of having him join our team, working closely with Fran Benson and Roger Haydon as they continue to build the Press’s successful and award-winning social science publishing program.”

Please join us in congratulating Jim!

New senior acquisitions editor at Cornell University Press

Robert Snyder on NY1 and in a Cornwall Conversation

Robert Snyder, author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City, recently appeared on NY1: Author Talks History of Washington Heights.

Snyder will also be speaking at Rutgers University Newark on February 18—details appear below.

The Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies

“New York’s Bittersweet Recovery from the Urban Crisis”

A conversation with Robert W. Snyder and Roland V. Anglin

Wednesday, February 18, 2015• 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Dana Room, John Cotton Dana Library, Room 404

185 University Avenue, Newark, NJ  07102

How did New York City emerge from the crime and decay of the urban crisis?

Robert W. Snyder, Rutgers University-Newark associate professor and author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City, argues that community activists who learned to cross racial and ethnic lines played vital roles in restoring order and vitality to upper Manhattan, only to see their work threatened by growing economic inequality.

Join him and Roland Anglin, director, Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Rutgers University-Newark, in a conversation about what cities can learn from the revival of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan— a neighborhood formerly known for its German Jews that is now the home of the largest Dominican community in the United States.

Topics to be explored will include:

Improving police-community relations in a neighborhood once wracked by drug-related murders and the slayings of police officers.

The strengths and limits of community activism in housing and economic development.

The role of the arts and media in the revival of Washington Heights.

Free Admission


Seating is limited and registration is required.

Register for this event by Monday, February 16th.

To register click on link:

For more information, please contact Irene Welch at

Robert Snyder on NY1 and in a Cornwall Conversation

Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon Q & A and media coverage

Find out more about For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789 by Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon by reading the Q&A below and her Boston Globe article, His Elective Highness, President Barack Obama: Some early Americans thought our leader deserved a splashier title.

For Fear of an Elective King was also mentioned in the “Hot Type” section of the October 2014 issue of Vanity Fair! Visit Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon’s website for more details about the book.

Q & A for the For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789
Q: What was the presidential title controversy of 1789?

A: The presidential title controversy of 1789 embroiled Congress in its first dispute—over how to address the new nation’s new executive. The Senate majority favored a lofty title while the House stood unanimously and adamantly opposed to anything more than the simple and unadorned “President.”

Q: What were some of the titles that were considered?

A: Suggestions for a title ranged from “President” to “His Majesty the President” to various forms of the frequently-used “Highness,” including the Senate-endorsed “His Highness the President of the United States of America, and Protector of their Liberties.” Other examples include “Excellency,” “Elected Majesty,” “Sacred Majesty,” “Serene Highness,” “His Highness the President General,” and “The Delight of Human Kind.” Congress, the press, and individuals throughout the country debated more than thirty titles, most with royal overtones.

Q: When did the controversy begin in Congress and what was the legislative outcome?
A: The presidential title controversy formally began in Congress on April 23, 1789, with Senator Richard Henry Lee’s motion for a titles committee. The question of an executive title occupied the Senate and House in acrimonious deliberations for the next three weeks. On May 14, the Senate agreed to the address of “President of the United States,” capitulating to the House and its stated wish for no title other than the designation of the “office expressed in the Constitution.”
Q: Was the legislative decision in favor of “President” the end of the title controversy?
A: No, it was just the beginning! The title controversy had two phases—a legislative phase and a public phase—and both burned bright with the fire of strongly held convictions. Intense, insular, and less than a month long, the legislative phase occurred largely within the confines of Congress. The expansive and compelling public phase of the controversy unfolded throughout the country over a longer period, especially over the summer and fall of 1789, as the people and the press examined questions of national character, federalism, and executive leadership and power.
Q: How did the title controversy affect the American public?
A: Public attitudes toward the presidency remained unresolved from the ratification era. In addition, honorifics remained entrenched in post-revolutionary America. The new presidency and the title controversy forced the people to consider and find an acceptable balance between elite power and the people’s sovereignty.

Q: How did the prestige of George Washington affect the presidency and the dispute over titles?
A: George Washington’s celebrity represented both a blessing and a curse for the presidency. He was the unanimous, most trusted choice for the controversial position. However, the enthusiasm and reverence shown him threatened the presidency with monarchical undertones, which included the dispute about how to address the president.

Q: How did George Washington’s leadership during the title controversy affect early notions of executive power?
A: Washington and the people developed the tenets of American executive leadership: a required modesty—established by the decision favoring the simple title of “President”—and an acknowledgement of the interdependence that must exist between the people and their leader—Washington’s stance against a grand title mirrored the bulk of popular opinion. Executive power was fledged by not flaunting it. Washington’s republican model of executive leadership set the stage for Thomas Jefferson and the further development of the democratic leadership model. The democratic leadership model finds no contradiction between democracy and strength.

Q: Who were some of the other political actors during the legislative battle?
A: Alarmed that a president would prove corruptible and a puppet of state elites or world leaders, John Adams and Senator Richard Henry Lee of Virginia advocated for a lofty title to boost executive authority. Even though a strong president also could prove unscrupulous and corrupt, they viewed all-powerful Senate dominance over an anemic national leader as the greater and more present danger. The other side of the controversy dreaded a despotic, all-powerful president. Abhorrence of monarchical rule and the resultant loss of representative governance fed a fierce resistance to an exalted honorific by Senator William Maclay of Pennsylvania and Representative James Madison of Virginia, as well as the rest of the House.
Q: Beyond the legislative outcome of the modest title of “President,” what was the impact of title controversy?

A: The modest title of “President” quelled fears of monarchical rule and bolstered the people’s confidence in Congress, the new government, and office of the president.
However, the controversy formed the leading edge of increasingly partisan battles over the extent of executive power. The title controversy also continued the Revolution’s siege on designations of status in America.

Q: How did the title controversy affect the relationship between the presidency and the vice presidency?

A: Intriguingly, a legacy of the title controversy may have been the casualty of the professional relationship of the presidency to the vice-presidency. John Adams’s promotion of grand executive titles without Washington’s approval coupled with other aspects of his career may have damaged Washington’s trust in him to such a degree that Washington relegated Adams to a minimal role, which set a precedent for a diminished vice presidency. In addition, Adams (who favored a regal title for the president to boost presidential authority over the Senate and other potentially corrupting influences) devalued his role as vice president in favor of his perceived role as Senate watchdog. Ironically, Adams’s sacrifice of the vice-presidency empowered the president to dominate the executive branch and helped create the energetic leader that he had sought through grand titles.

Q: What is the ultimate legacy of the title controversy of 1789?

A: The ultimate legacy of the title controversy is an expansion and consolidation of presidential power within the limits placed upon the president that governing within a popular sovereignty brings. Foremost of those limits are the people’s demand for restraint, essentially a command over the power of command, and for an acknowledgement of their will from the country’s leader.

Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon Q & A and media coverage

Tom Wilber in the Media on Fracking Ruling by New York State Court of Appeals

Tom Wilber, author of Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale, has been busy speaking about the recent ruling by New York State’s highest court that towns can ban tracking within their borders.

The Brian Lehrer Show: In New York, All Fracking is Local

WXXI News: Home Rule Decision May Set Stage for Limited Fracking if Cuomo Approves

Tom Wilber in the Media on Fracking Ruling by New York State Court of Appeals