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Joshua Specht

Joshua Specht

Joshua Specht teaches American history at Monash University. His first book, Red Meat Republic: A hoof-to-table history of how beef changed America is coming out with Princeton University Press in April 2019. Broadly, his research focuses on land and political economy. He is on the web at and @joshspecht on Twitter.

Joshua Specht reviews 'A People’s History of Computing in the United States' by Joy Lisi Rankin

April 2019, no. 410 26 March 2019
According to most accounts, the history of computing is a triumph of enterprise. This story starts in the 1950s and 1960s with commercial mainframe computers that, one stack of punch-cards at a time, assumed business tasks ranging from managing airline reservations to calculating betting odds. But the public’s day-to-day life looked much the same. Then, in the mid-1970s, geniuses like Steve Jobs ... (read more)

Joshua Specht reviews 'The Indian World of George Washington: The first president, the first Americans, and the birth of the nation' by Colin G. Calloway

December 2018, no. 407 01 November 2018
As a young man, George Washington (1732–99) worked as a surveyor. Looking at a landscape, he could plan its division into orderly tracts. These skills would prove useful when he became the first president of the United States in April 1789. At the time, Americans widely believed that new territory was vital to securing ongoing independence, in large part because small parcels of land could be so ... (read more)