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Every year 100 million visitor’s tour historic houses and re-created villages, examine museum artifacts, and walk through battlefields. But what do they learn? What version of the past are history museums offering to the public? And how well do these institutions reflect the latest historical scholarship? Fifteen scholars and museum staff members here provide the first critical assessment of American history museums, a vital arena for shaping popular historical consciousness. They consider the form and content of exhibits, ranging from Gettysburg to Disney World. They also examine the social and political contexts on which museums operate.
About the Author
Warren Leon is director of interpretation at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Roy Rosenzweig is associate professor of history and director of the oral history program at George Mason University.