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History

Fall 2011

The Docks

docks

Bill Sharpsteen ’80
University of California Press, 2011

In my sailing days on Puget Sound, I got used to watching for the fast-moving container ships that could overtake my little boat in a matter of minutes. One day, I found their schedules on the Internet and saw the outline of a huge, economically powerful engine tying together goods from around the world.

In The Docks, Bill Sharpsteen ’80 shows us this world by peering … » More …

Summer 2011

Letters in the Summer 2011 issue

Moral capital

Kudos to Jennifer Sherman for her good article summarizing her research and book about real-life experiences in Golden Valley. It describes the price of economic disaster in a rural atmosphere in a revealing and provocative way.

Moreover, we were struck by the completely unnecessary cause of this disaster in the first place. It seems that the collapse of the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest was “due in large part” to placing the protection of the spotted owl over the welfare and economic well being of the entire human population of not only Golden Valley, but also other communities in the logging territory.

» More …

Summer 2011

After a fashion

Fall fashion week in Pullman featured a stovepipe silhouette and shorter hemline. Black and rhinestones were in, as were gold shoes and feathered cloches.

These weren’t new designs. They were elegant Jazz Age outfits hand-picked by students in a “Costume and Museum Management” class and on display last November in the Terrell Library atrium.

Sophomore Amanda Harris is one of five students who culled through the University’s historic costume collection to decide on a theme and create the 20s in Vogue display. She is one of dozens each year who have the opportunity to dig through an extensive collection of clothing and accessories housed on … » More …

Summer 2011

Buddy Levy: Historical investigator

In a fabulously snide review of the first episode of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, a reviewer for The New York Times refers to investigator Buddy Levy, “who could be a bus driver but who is in fact an English professor at Washington State University and a freelance writer of magazine articles about adventure sports.”

Levy himself thinks that’s pretty funny.

“I’m cool with that,” he says. “I’m a bus driver who can write a narrative history of the Amazon.”

That narrative history, which our charming reviewer neglected to mention, is Levy’s latest book, River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death … » More …

Spring 2011

Mexican Women and the Other Side of Immigration: Engendering Transnational Ties

mexicanwomen-cover

Luz Maria Gordillo
University of Texas Press, 2010

There are communities of people who live their lives in two places at once. Residents of Detroit, Michigan, and the small town of San Ignacio, Mexico, for example. In her book, historian Luz Maria Gordillo sets out to explain the history of this phenomenon, which dates back to the 1940s when the Bracero Program started bringing temporary Mexican laborers into the Midwest.

She hones that focus to … » More …

Spring 2011

A Marvelous Hundred Square Miles: Black Hills Tourism, 1880–1941

marv100-cover

Suzanne Barta Julin ’01 PhD
South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2010

The faces of four presidents gaze down on the Black Hills of South Dakota, a fitting vigil for a tourist destination carved, like Mount Rushmore itself, by public policy, political machinations, and private investments.

Historian Suzanne Barta Julin has documented the rise of the Black Hills tourism industry, which grew from the efforts of state and federal politicians at the shift to automobile-driven … » More …

Fall 2010

Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck ’33—Recognition at last

In March of this year, a special Congressional action signed by President Obama awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the “WASPS” of World War II. Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck ’33 was awarded the medal posthumously.

Jeanne graduated from Washington State College with a degree in English. President Roosevelt had funded the start of construction on the Grand Coulee Dam, and Jeanne was an early hire. She married a young engineer on the project, Ed Norbeck.

Later, Jeanne and Ed became managers of a large plantation in one of the outer islands in the Hawaiian chain. Given the lack of transportation … » More …

Essay: Cattle and Women

A cultural link between women and cattle seems unlikely in this age of turbo-powered technology. Yet, cows are all around us as decorative symbols, from the large fiberglass art-cow statues that decorated the streets of Chicago and New York recently, to their widespread presence in gift shops and department stores. Their whimsical countenances appear on a myriad of kitchen towels, coffee mugs, and cookie jars. This surge of interest in all things bovine by giftware manufacturers, who market a plethora of calendars, aprons, refrigerator magnets, and so on, all depicting clever or cute cows, is directed at women.

At first encounter, we may think the … » More …

Spring 2010

A Cascade Pass Chronology

A timeline of the Cascade Pass from 15,000 years ago to the present.

Return to “Of Time and Wildness in the North Cascades”

North Cascades National Park, National Park Service

by R. Mierendorf and J. Kennedy, 2009

The events below, based on calibrated radiocarbon ages, are in calendar years before present:

15,000?
Glacier ice melts out of the pass.

9600
Early indigenous people camp at the pass and make and repair stone tools, some made from locally-collected stone. Other tool stone is carried in from distant sources, including Hozomeen chert from the upper Skagit River to the north and the … » More …

Spring 2010

Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America

semple

Matthew Avery Sutton
Harvard University Press, 2007

No figure in early twentieth-century Christianity gained as much fame, notoriety, and acclaim as Aimee Semple McPherson. “Sister” McPherson oversaw the rise of an expansive empire—church services, radio, stagecraft, community service, politics, and print media—devoted to spreading her brand of fundamentalism and Pentecostal Protestantism. McPherson herself inspired a massive following, due in part to her charisma and ability to use modern techniques to further her cause of “old-time … » More …