Telling perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but also the frequent praise of "whiteness" for economic, scientific, and political ends. A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People closes a huge gap in literature that has long focused on the non-white and forcefully reminds us that the concept of "race" is an all-too-human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed as it has been driven by a long and rich history of events.
They say that history is written by the victors. But what if history-or what we come to know as history-has been written by the wrong people? What if everything we've been told is only part of the story? In this groundbreaking and now famous work, Mark Booth embarks on an enthralling tour of our world's secret histories. Starting from a dangerous premise-that everything we've known about our world's past is corrupted, and that the stories put forward by the various cults and mystery schools throughout history are true-Booth produces nothing short of an alternate history of the past 3,000 years. From Greek and Egyptian mythology to Jewish folklore, from Christian cults to Freemasons, from Charlemagne to Don Quixote, from George Washington to Hitler- Booth shows that history needs a revolutionary rethink, and he has 3,000 years of hidden wisdom to back it up.
In this now classic book, internationally famed journalist Ian Buruma examines how Germany and Japan have attempted to come to terms with their conduct during World War II--a war that they aggressively began and humiliatingly lost, and in the course of which they committed monstrous war crimes. As he travels through both countries, to Berlin and Tokyo, Hiroshima and Auschwitz, he encounters people who are remarkably honest in confronting the past and others who astonish by their evasions of responsibility, some who wish to forget the past and others who wish to use it as a warning against the resurgence of militarism.Buruma explores these contrasting responses to the war and the two countries' very different ways of memorializing its atrocities, as well as the ways in which political movements, government policies, literature, and art have been shaped by its shadow. Today, seventy years after the end of the war, he finds that while the Germans have for the most part coped with the darkest period of their history, the Japanese remain haunted by historical controversies that should have been resolved long ago. Sensitive yet unsparing, complex and unsettling, this is a profound study of how people face up to or deny terrible legacies of guilt and shame.
Winner of the 1996 American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship
Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying twelve leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that "not one" does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past. In ten powerful chapters, Loewen reveals that:
The United States dropped three times as many tons of explosives in Vietman as it dropped in all theaters of World War II, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Ponce de Leon went to Florida mainly to capture Native Americans as slaves for Hispaniola, not to find the mythical fountain of youth
Woodrow Wilson, known as a progressive leader, was in fact a white supremacist who personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations
The first colony to legalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts
From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring to it the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.
Acclaimed historian Margaret MacMillan explores here the many ways in which history affects us all. She shows how a deeper engagement with history, both as individuals and in the sphere of public debate, can help us understand ourselves and the world better. But she also warns that history can be misused and lead to misunderstanding. History is used to justify religious movements and political campaigns alike. Dictators may suppress history because it undermines their ideas, agendas, or claims to absolute authority. Nationalists may tell false, one-sided, or misleading stories about the past. Political leaders might mobilize their people by telling lies. It is imperative that we have an understanding of the past and avoid these and other common traps in thinking to which many fall prey. This brilliantly reasoned work, alive with incident and figures both great and infamous, will compel us to examine history anew--and skillfully illuminates why it is important to treat the past with care.
From thoughtful pieces on the historian's role to striking insights into America's past and present to trenchant observations on the international scene, Barbara W. Tuchman looks at history in a unique way and draws lessons from what she sees. Spanning more than four decades of writing in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Harper's, The Nation, and The Saturday Evening Post, Tuchman weighs in on a range of eclectic topics, from Israel and Mao Tse-tung to a Freudian reading of Woodrow Wilson. This is a splendid body of work, the story of a lifetime spent "practicing history."
Praise for Practicing History "Persuades and enthralls . . . I can think of no better primer for the nonexpert who wishes to learn history."--Chicago Sun-Times
"Provocative, consistent, and beautifully readable, an event not to be missed by history buffs."--Baltimore Sun
"A delight to read."--The New York Times Book Review
The history of the American West is being transformed by exciting new ideas, new questions, new scholarship. For many years this field was dominated by popular images of the lone cowboy and the savage Indian, and by Frederick Jackson Turner's concept of the frontier as a steadily advancing source of democracy and social renewal. But now historians and even the merchants of popular culture are reshaping our views of the frontier and the West by taking up a rich array of new subjects, including the stories of diverse peoples as well as the history of the land itself. A new generation of scholars is reformulating the broader questions also: What was the significance of the frontier in American history? What are the bases of western identity? What themes connect the twentieth-century West to its more distant past? The transformation of western history continues to be an open-ended, turbulent process. The original essays in this volume are reports from the frontier of change. In their diverging assumptions and conclusions, they reflect the vitality of this field. They succeed when they make the case for new questions and suggest possible answers. They advocate no single agenda. But taken together they well represent the passion and high craft with which scholars are creating a new western history.
Winner of the 2005 Francis Parkman Prize A century ago, U.S. policy aimed to sever the tribal allegiances of Native Americans, limit their ancient liberties, and coercively prepare them for citizenship. At the same time millions of arriving immigrants sought their freedom by means of that same citizenship. In this subtle, eye-opening new work, Alan Trachtenberg argues that the two developments were, inevitably, juxtaposed: Indians and immigrants together preoccupied the public imagination, and together changed the idea of what it meant to be American.
To begin with, programs of "Americanization" were organized for both groups, yet Indians were at the same time celebrated as noble "First Americans" and role models. Trachtenberg traces the peculiar effect of this implicit contradiction, with Indians themselves staging "The Song of Hiawatha" (which was also translated into Yiddish); Edward Curtis's poignant photographs memorializing vanishing heroism; and the Wanamaker department store making a fortune from commercialized versions of their once reviled cultures. By 1925 the national narrative had been rewritten, and citizenship was granted to Indians as a birthright, while the National Origins Act began to close the door on immigrants.
"In Shades of Hiawatha," Trachtenberg eloquently suggests that we must re-create America's tribal creation story in new ways if we are to reaffirm its beckoning promise of universal liberty.