Historians in Public: The Practice of American History, 1890-1970

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 2005 - History - 348 pages
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From lagging book sales and shrinking job prospects to concerns over the discipline's "narrowness," myriad factors have been cited by historians as evidence that their profession is in decline in America. Ian Tyrrell's Historians in Public shows that this perceived threat to history is recurrent, exaggerated, and often misunderstood. In fact, history has adapted to and influenced the American public more than people—and often historians—realize.

Tyrrell's elegant history of the practice of American history traces debates, beginning shortly after the profession's emergence in American academia, about history's role in school curricula. He also examines the use of historians in and by the government and whether historians should utilize mass media such as film and radio to influence the general public. As Historians in Public shows, the utility of history is a distinctive theme throughout the history of the discipline, as is the attempt to be responsive to public issues among pressure groups.

A superb examination of the practice of American history since the turn of the century, Historians in Public uncovers the often tangled ways history-makers make history-both as artisans and as actors.
  

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Review: Historians in Public: The Practice of American History, 1890-1970

User Review  - Marsha - Goodreads

An excellent look at the problems historians and the public face in determining the American narrative. Whether one agrees with the author or not, the discussions are relevant and the variety of voices are important to understanding the way history is analyzed and written, and by whom. Read full review

Contents

Whats Wrong with History? The Contemporary Context
11
The Great Jeremiad The History of Historical Specialization
25
HISTORIANS AND THE MASSES 18901960
41
Searching for the General Reader Professional Historians Amateurs and Nonacademic Audiences 18901939
43
The Crusade against Pedantry and Its Aftermath Allan Nevins and Friends 1930s1950s
62
Movies Made History and History Made Movies
75
Radio Days How the American Historical Association Sought to Meet a Mass Culture
89
THE PROBLEM OF THE SCHOOLS
109
PUBLIC HISTORIES
151
Going Public Public and Applied History 18901930
153
History Making in the New Deal State
170
States of War World War II the Cold War and Remaking History
185
The State the Local and the National Connecting and Disconnecting with Public Audiences
208
The Forgotten From the Fifties to the New Left and Beyond
237
Notes
257
Index
329

Contesting the Retreat from the Schools Progressives and Teachers before World War II
111
The Patriots Call American History and the School Curriculum in War and Peace
130

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 329 - An Act for the preservation of historic American sites, buildings, objects, and antiquities of national significance, and for other purposes", approved August 21, 1935 (49 Stat.

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About the author (2005)

Ian Tyrrell is professor in the School of History at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of five previous books, including Sobering Up: From Temperance to Prohibition in Antebellum America.



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