Fig. 9. In the midst of the 2008 election, Upper Deck, one of the leading baseball card makers, created a series involving the 2008 presidential nominees. Each nominee (and past candidates going back to 2000) was pictured on a card memorializing a famous image in baseball history. Thus, as with the older version of the sporting metaphor cartoons, the new ones do not merely picture candidates playing a sport, but go further and actually situate them in recognizable (and, in this case, famous) sporting settings, emphasizing how sporting and political culture have once again begun to blur. Here, John McCain replicates a timeless photo of Boston Red Sox icon Ted Williams. Lest some readers think former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, not McCain, was better suited for this image, Romney was pictured as Boston’s Carlton Fisk, waving his home run fair in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. “John McCain,” Presidential Card Series, 2008, the Upper Deck Company, Carlsbad, California.


Welcome to Commonplace, a destination for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit less formal than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Commonplace speaks—and listens—to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900. It is for all sorts of people to read about all sorts of things relating to early American life—from architecture to literature, from politics to parlor manners. It’s a place to find insightful analysis of early American history as it is discussed in scholarly literature, as it manifests on the evening news, as it is curated in museums, big and small; as it is performed in documentary and dramatic films and as it shows up in everyday life.

In addition to critical evaluations of books and websites (Reviews) and poetic research and fiction (Creative Writing), our articles explore material and visual culture (Objects); pedagogy, the writing of literary scholarship, and the historian’s craft (Teach); and diverse aspects of America’s past and its many peoples (Learn). For more great content, check out our other projects, (Just Teach One) and (Just Teach One African American Print).


How to cite Commonplace articles:

Author, “Title of Article,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, date accessed, URL.

Sophie White, “Trading Looks Race, Religion and Dress in French America,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, accessed September 30, 2019, https://commonplace.online/article/trading-looks-race-religion-dress-french-america/


Joshua R. Greenberg, editor


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