Leading historians define key trends in the field of history and reflect on how the experience of previously neglected groups has fundamentally redefined U.S. history

The New American History

Revised and Expanded Edition

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Edited for the American Historical Association

edited by Eric Foner

Originally released in 1990, The New American History, edited for the American Historical Association by Eric Foner, has become an indispensable volume for teachers and students. In essays that chart the shifts in interpretation within their fields, some of our most prominent American historians survey the key works and themes in the scholarship of the last three decades. Along with substantially revised essays from the first edition, this volume presents three entirely new ones -- on intellectual history, the history of the West, and the histories of the family and sexuality. The second edition of The New American History reflects, in Foner's words, "the continuing vitality and creativity of the study of the past, how traditional fields are being expanded and redefined even as new ones are created."



Read the Introduction (pdf).



Preface to the Revised and Expanded Edition – Eric Foner
Introduction to the First Edition – Eric Foner

Part I: Eras of the American Past
1. Beneficiaries of Catastrophe: The English Colonies in America – John M. Murin
2. The Revolutionary Generation: Ideology, Politics, and Culture in the Early Republic – Linda K. Kerber
3. Society, Politics, and the Market Revolution, 1815-1848 – Sean Wilentz
4. Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction – Eric Foner
5. Public Life in Industrial America, 1877-1917 – Richard L. McCormick
6. Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945 – Alan Brinkley
7. America since 1945 – William H. Chafe

Part II: Major Themes in American Experience
8. Intellectual and Cultural History – Thomas Bender
9. Western History – Richard White
10. Social History – Alice Kessler-Harris
11. U.S. Women's History – Linda Gordon
12. The History of the Family and the History of Sexuality – Estelle B. Freedman
13. African-American History – Thomas C. Holt
14. American Labor History – Leon Fink
15. Ethnicity and Immigration – Thomas B. Shenton and Kevin Kenny
16. Liberty and Power: U.S. Diplomatic History, 1750-1945 – Walter LaFeber

About the Contributors


About the Author(s)

Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books, including Reconstruction, 1863-1877, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize.

Subject Categories


In the series

Critical Perspectives on the Past, edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig.

Critical Perspectives on the Past, edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig, is concerned with the traditional and nontraditional ways in which historical ideas are formed. In its attentiveness to issues of race, class, and gender and to the role of human agency in shaping events, the series is as critical of traditional historical method as content. Emphasizing that history is itself an interpretation of material events, the series demonstrates that the historian's choices of subject, narrative technique, and documentation are politically as well as intellectually constructed.



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