A fascinating tour of the past as it exists today, and of the dangers that threaten it, through incisive portraits of our attempts to maintain it: the high-tech struggles to save the Great Sphinx and the Ganges; the efforts to preserve Latin within the Vatican; the digital glut inside the National Archives, which may have caused more information to be lost than ever before; and an oral culture threatened by a "new" technology: writing itself. Stille explores not simply the past, but our ideas about the past-and how they will have to change if our past is to have a future.
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."
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.
In Sleuthing the Alamo, historian James E. Crisp draws back the curtain on years of mythmaking to reveal some surprising truths about the Texas Revolution--truths often obscured by both racism and "political correctness," as history has been hijacked by combatants in the culture wars of the past two centuries.
Beginning with a very personal prologue recalling both the pride and the prejudices that he encountered in the Texas of his youth, Crisp traces his path to the discovery of documents distorted, censored, and ignored--documents which reveal long-silenced voices from the Texan past. In each of four chapters focusing on specific documentary "finds," Crisp uncovers the clues that led to these archival discoveries. Along the way, the cast of characters expands to include: a prominent historian who tried to walk away from his first book; an unlikely teenaged "speechwriter" for General Sam Houston; three eyewitnesses to the death of Davy Crockett at the Alamo; a desperate inmate of Mexico City's Inquisition Prison, whose scribbled memoir of the war in Texas is now listed in the Guiness Book of World Records; and the stealthy slasher of the most famous historical painting in Texas. In his afterword, Crisp explores the evidence behind the mythic "Yellow Rose of Texas" and examines some of the powerful forces at work in silencing the very voices from the past that we most need to hear today.
Here then is an engaging first-person account of historical detective work, illuminating the methods of the serious historian--and the motives of those who prefer glorious myth to unflattering truth.
The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented discovery and exploration throughout the globe, a period when the "blank spaces" of the earth were systematically investigated, occupied, and exploited by the major imperial powers of Western Europe and the United States. The lived experience of space was also changing in dramatic ways for people as a result of new developments in technology, communication, and transportation. As a result, the century was characterized by a new and intense interest in place, both local and global.The collection is comprised of seventeen essays from various disciplines organized into four areas of geographic concern. The first, "Time Zones," examines several ways that place gets expressed as time during the period, how geography becomes history. A second grouping, "Commodities and Exchanges," explores the role of geographic origin as it was embodied in particular objects, from the souvenir map to imported tea. The set of essays on "Domestic Fronts" moves the discussion from the public to the private sphere by looking at how domestic space became defined in terms of its boundary with the foreign. The final section, "Orientations," takes up the changing relations of bodies, identities, and the spaces they inhabit and through which they moved. The collection as a whole also traces the development of the discipline of geography with its different institutional and political trajectories in the United States and Great Britain.