Book Review: Ohio and the World

Ohio and the World, 1753-2053: Essays toward a New History of OhioEdited by Geoffrey Parker, Richard Sisson, and William Russ Coil. (Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2005. xiii, 256 pp. Cloth, $49.95, ISBN 0-8142-0939-4. Paper, $22.95, ISBN 0-8142-5115-3.)

In an essay titled “Ohio States” from the book of the same name, Jeffrey Hammond noted that Ohio appeared average because it was, meaning that Ohio is an amalgam of U.S. society, notable for being the middle against which more radical, trendy or controversial events are measured.[1. Jeffrey Hammond, Ohio States: A Twentieth-Century Midwestern, Kent: Kent State University Press, 2002.] In his introduction to Ohio and the World, Andrew R.L. Cayton, author of several books on Ohio and frontier North America, takes exception to this characterization as incomplete. As he notes, Ohio possessed real leadership, since from “the mid-eighteenth through the mid-twentieth century, Ohio was at the forefront of most major developments in the Americas and Europe” (2).

Ohio and the World began as a series of lectures in honor of Ohio’s bicentennial. Now revised and edited, the essays by R. David Edmunds, James Oliver Horton, Eric Foner, Kathryn Kish Sklar, James T. Patterson, Herbert Asher, and William Kirwan seek to explain Ohio’s past and future as intimately involved with globalization. The larger purpose is to push Ohioans to once again make the state a destination point, an economic and socially progressive leader. Continue reading Book Review: Ohio and the World

Book Review: Religion in Ohio

Religion in Ohio: Profiles of Faith Communities. Edited by Tarunjit Singh Butalia and Dianne P. Small (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2004. 408 pp. $16.95, ISBN: 0821415522).

This book celebrates Ohio’s religious heritage after 200 years of statehood. It is the result of a collaborative effort by the Religious Experience Advisory Council of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio.

Within the book the reader will find a brief history of over forty of the major (and some major-minor) Christian denominations in the state, as well as a history of nine non-Christian religions which have found a home in Ohio (Native American Spiritual Traditions, Judaism, Islam, Hindu Dharma, Buddhism, The Sikh Faith, The Bahá’í Faith, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism). The articles are generally written by adherents of each faith, or, in the case of groups no longer in the state (Shakers, Society of Separatists at Zoar), by a scholar familiar with them. There is a detailed index covering both articles and illustrations, and a brief biographical sketch of contributors. Continue reading Book Review: Religion in Ohio

Current History: Spring 2003

Award-Winning Historical Collection Now Available Online

The Oral History Digital Collection at Youngstown State University was named a finalist for a 2002 Award of Achievement by Northern Ohio Live! magazine in the IT/Internet Resource category. The Oral History Program at YSU began in 1974 by Professor Hugh G. Earnhart. In its 28 year existence, the program has collected over 2000 interviews with northeastern Ohioans on topics ranging from education to the steel industry to politics. In 2001, the staff of YSU’s Maag Library digitized the transcripts and placed them on-line, making them available on the internet.

Anyone wishing to examine these materials can access the collection at

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Continue reading Current History: Spring 2003