How should historians speak truth to power - and why does it matter? Why is five hundred years better than five months or five years as a planning horizon? And why is history - especially long-term history - so essential to understanding the multiple pasts which gave rise to our conflicted present? The History Manifesto is a call to arms to historians and everyone interested in the role of history in contemporary society. Leading historians Jo Guldi and David Armitage identify a recent shift back to longer-term narratives, following many decades of increasing specialisation, which they argue is vital for the future of historical scholarship and how it is communicated. This provocative and thoughtful book makes an important intervention in the debate about the role of history and the humanities in a digital age. It will provoke discussion among policymakers, activists and entrepreneurs as well as ordinary listeners, viewers, readers, students and teachers. This title is also available as Open Access.
Twenty distinguished American historians vividly reimagine twenty events of great drama and significance in our country's past.
"What is the scene or incident in American history that you would like to have witnessed--and why?" This is the thought-provoking question that editor Byron Hollinshead posed to twenty of our finest interpreters of American history with the invitation to write a personal essay answering it. The result is "I Wish I'd Been There," a book that trains a lens on crucial moments of our past and brings them to vivid life. With these peerless scholars as their guides, readers will be transported to the Salem witch trials, the Lewis and Clark expedition, the raid on Harpers Ferry, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Scopes "monkey trial," the beginnings of the Vietnam War, the voting rights march to Selma, and other turning points of our national drama. Contributors include Mary Beth Norton, Joseph Ellis, Jay Winik, Carol Berkin, Kevin Baker, Robert Cowley, Carolyn Gilman, Geoffrey Ward, Robert Dallek, and William Leuchtenburg, among other luminaries of the historical profession.
"I Wish I'd Been There" is a marvelous concept, wonderfully and imaginatively executed. The result is an American pageant of character and event that will attract and delight readers of history.
Britain's leading contemporary historian revisits the grand themes that have run through modern Britain, including the abiding trends of the post-war era--Britain's persistent impulse to punch well above its weight in the world and the secrecy that has too often surrounded state affairs.
In Distilling the Frenzy a heavyweight of British scholarship lays bear the historian's art for all to see, incorporating elements of autobiography that gives the book a poignancy lacking in other grand historical works. This is the story of Britain's century through the eyes of its most celebrated chronicler.
Peter Hennessy is the Attlee professor of contemporary British history at Queen Mary, University of London.
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.
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.
Howard Zinn was perhaps the best-known and most widely celebrated popular interpreter of American history in the twentieth century, renowned as a bestselling author, a political activist, a lecturer, and one of America's most recognizable and admired progressive voices.His rich, complicated, and fascinating life placed Zinn at the heart of the signal events of modern American history--from the battlefields of World War II to the McCarthy era, the civil rights and the antiwar movements, and beyond. A bombardier who later renounced war, a son of working-class parents who earned a doctorate at Columbia, a white professor who taught at the historically black Spelman College in Atlanta, a committed scholar who will be forever remembered as a devoted "people's historian"--Howard Zinn blazed a bold, iconoclastic path through the turbulent second half of the twentieth century. For the millions who were moved by Zinn's personal example of political engagement and by his inspiring "bottom up" history, here is an authoritative biography of this towering figure--by Martin Duberman, recipient of the American Historical Association's 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Given exclusive access to the previously closed Zinn archives, Duberman's impeccably researched biography is illustrated with never-before-published photos from the Zinn family collection. Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left is a major publishing event that brings to life one of the most inspiring figures of our time.
This updated and revised edition of the American Book Award-winner and national bestseller revitalizes the truth of America's history, explores how myths continue to be perpetrated, and includes a new chapter on 9/11 and the Iraq War.Americans have lost touch with their history, and in Lies My Teacher Told Me Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying eighteen 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 this revised edition, packed with updated material, Loewen explores how historical myths continue to be perpetuated in today's climate and adds an eye-opening chapter on the lies surrounding 9/11 and the Iraq War. From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring the vitality and relevance it truly possesses. Thought provoking, nonpartisan, and often shocking, Loewen unveils the real America in this iconoclastic classic beloved by high school teachers, history buffs, and enlightened citizens across the country.
A landmark publication in the history of American letters, and a unique opportunity to celebrate the legacy of the one of the great public intellectuals of our time. For more than a half century, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. was at the vital center of American political and cultural life. From his entrance into political leadership circles in the 1950s through his years in the Kennedy White House and up until his very last days, he was that rare thing, a master historian who enjoyed an extraordinary eyewitness vantage on history as it was being made. On intimate terms with many of the most prominent political, cultural and intellectual figures of the last fifty years, he was a man whose proximity to power never obscured his appreciation for the reality of those who have none. For that capacity for empathy and for much else, he was often called American liberalism's greatest voice. For most of his adult life, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. dutifully recorded his experiences and opinions in journals that, until now, have never been seen. Edited by his oldest sons, they offer remarkably fresh and lucid observations on a half century of public life, and a rare and privileged view into the mind of one of America's most distinguished men of letters. Frank, revelatory, suffused with wit and humanity, these entries offer an intimate history of postwar America, from his days on Adlai Stevenson's campaign team to his years in JFK and RFK's inner circle, through to the election of George W. Bush. They contain his candid reminiscences about many of the signal events of our time - the Bay of Pigs, the devastating assassinations of the 1960s, Vietnam, Watergate, the fall of the Soviet Union, Bush v. Gore. These journals also offer an extraordinary window into the lives of the wide range of politicians, intellectuals, writers and actors who were his friends - from the Kennedys to the Clintons, from Henry Kissinger to Adlai Stevenson, from Norman Mailer to Lauren Bacall. Together they form an astonishingly vivid portrait of American politics and culture in the second half of the 20th century - one that only a man who knew everyone and missed nothing, could provide. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. was one of America's greatest moral and intellectual forces, and the publication of his journals is both itself an epic event in the history of American letters, and a fitting opportunity to celebrate this most remarkable American life.