The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life

The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life

ISBN-10:
0231111495
ISBN-13:
9780231111492
Pub. Date:
03/23/2000
Publisher:
Columbia University Press

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Overview

The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life

Rosenzweig and Thelen analyze results from a unique and comprehensive survey in which they polled 1,500 Americans about their connection to the past and its continuing influence on their present as well as their hopes for the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231111492
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 03/23/2000
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 560,201
Product dimensions: 6.09(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Roy Rosenzweig is professor of history and Director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. He is the author of several books including The Park and the People: A History of Central Park (with Elizabeth Blackmar). He is also the coauthor of Who Built America?, a two-volume multimedia CD-ROM.

David Thelen is professor of history at Indiana University and editor of the Journal of American History. He is also the editor of Discovering America: Essays on the Search for an Identity, and the author of several books including Becoming Citizens in the Age of Television.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Scenes from a Survey
The Presence of the Past: Patterns of Popular Historymaking
Using the Past to Live in the Present: Relationships, Identity, Immorality
Using the Past to Shape the Future: Building Narratives, Taking Responsibility
"Experience is the Best Teacher": Participation, Mediation, Authority, Trust
Beyond the Intimate Past: Americans and Their Collective Pasts
History in Black and Red: African Americans and American Indians and Their Collective Pasts
Afterthoughts: Everyone a Historian; Roy Rosenzweig
Afterthoughts: A Participatory Historical Culture; David Thelen
Appendix 1: How We Did the Survey
Appendix 2: Tables
Notes
Index


What People are Saying About This

John Gillis

This is a book of stunning revelations with huge significance for all Americans. Rosenzweig and Thelen provide irrefutable survey evidence of how deeply ordinary people are engaged with the past, but at the same time are alienated from the history they have been taught in school and encounter in the media. Their findings pose an immense challenge to existing institutions, but also encourage us to imagine a cultural revolution in historical practice consistent with the best in our intellectual and democratic traditions.

Barbara Franco

The quotes from actual survey interviews set to rest the myth that Americans are not interested in history. Instead, the Americans they surveyed challenge educators, museums, authors, and filmmakers to present history in authentic and experiential ways that engage them as active participants.

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