Imagined Histories: American Historians Interpret the Past / Edition 1

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Overview

This collection of essays by twenty-one distinguished American historians reflects on a peculiarly American way of imagining the past. At a time when history-writing has changed dramatically, the authors discuss the birth and evolution of historiography in this country, from its origins in the late nineteenth century through its present, more cosmopolitan character.

In the book's first part, concerning recent historiography, are chapters on exceptionalism, gender, economic history, social theory, race, and immigration and multiculturalism. Authors are Daniel Rodgers, Linda Kerber, Naomi Lamoreaux, Dorothy Ross, Thomas Holt, and Philip Gleason. The three American centuries are discussed in the second part, with chapters by Gordon Wood, George Fredrickson, and James Patterson. The third part is a chronological survey of non-American histories, including that of Western civilization, ancient history, the middle ages, early modern and modern Europe, Russia, and Asia. Contributors are Eugen Weber, Richard Saller, Gabrielle Spiegel, Anthony Molho, Philip Benedict, Richard Kagan, Keith Baker, Joseph Zizak, Volker Berghahn, Charles Maier, Martin Malia, and Carol Gluck.

Together, these scholars reveal the unique perspective American historians have brought to the past of their own nation as well as that of the world. Formerly writing from a conviction that America had a singular destiny, American historians have gradually come to share viewpoints of historians in other countries about which they write. The result is the virtual disappearance of what was a distinctive American voice. That voice is the subject of this book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691058115
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 3
Ch. 1 Exceptionalism 21
Ch. 2 Gender 41
Ch. 3 Economic History and the Cliometric Revolution 59
Ch. 4 The New and Newer Histories: Social Theory and Historiography in an American Key 85
Ch. 5 Explaining Racism in American History 107
Ch. 6 Crevecoeur's Question: Historical Writing on Immigration, Ethnicity, and National Identity 120
Ch. 7 The Relevance and Irrelevance of American Colonial History 144
Ch. 8 Nineteenth-Century American History 164
Ch. 9 Americans and the Writing of Twentieth-Century United States History 185
Ch. 10 Western Civilization 206
Ch. 11 American Classical Historiography 222
Ch. 12 In the Mirror's Eye The Writing of Medieval History in America 238
Ch. 13 The Italian Renaissance, Made in the USA 263
Ch. 14 Between Whig Traditions and New Histories: American Historical Writing about Reformation and Early Modern Europe 295
Ch. 15 Prescott's Paradigm American Historical Scholarship and the Decline of Spain 324
Ch. 16 The American Historiography of the French Revolution 349
Ch. 17 Modern Europe in American Historical Writing 393
Ch. 18 Clio in Tauris American Historiography on Russia 415
Ch. 19 House of Mirrors American History-Writing on Japan 434
List of Contributors 455
Index 459
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