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A new generation of scholars addresses the current themes and questions in interpreting American history

American History Now

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Edited for the American Historical Association

edited by Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr

American History Now collects eighteen original historiographic essays that survey recent scholarship in American history and trace the shifting lines of interpretation and debate in the field. Building on the legacy of two previous editions of The New American History, this volume presents an entirely new group of contributors and a reconceptualized table of contents.

The new generation of historians showcased in American History Now posed new questions and developed new approaches to scholarship to revise the prevailing interpretations of the chronological periods from the colonial era to the Reagan years. Covering the established subfields of women's history, African American history, and immigration history, the book also considers the history of capitalism, Native American history, environmental history, religious history, cultural history, and the history of “the United States in the world.”

American History Now provides an indispensable summation of the state of the field for those interested in the study and teaching of the American past.

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Excerpt

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).

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Reviews

"[T]he contributors offer thoughtful analyses of past trends within the profession and informed discussions of the future of this organization and the historical profession more generally.... [There are] many insights contained in each of the important essays in American History Now, [and] certain themes do emerge from this body of work.... This fine volume will be useful to historians at various stages of their careers."
The Journal of Southern History

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Contents

Volume Editors’ Preface
Series Editor’s Preface

Part I: Eras of the American Past
1. Squaring the Circles: The Reach of Colonial America • Alan Taylor
2. American Revolution and Early Republic • Woody Holton
3. Jacksonian America • Seth Rockman
4. Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction • Adam Rothman
5. The Possibilities of Politics: Democracy in America, 1877 to 1917 • Robert D. Johnston
6. The Interwar Years • Lisa McGirr
7. The Uncertain Future of American Politics, 1940 to 1973 • Meg Jacobs
8. 1973 to the Present • Kim Phillips-Fein

Part II: Major Themes in the American Experience
9. The United States in the World • Erez Manela
10. The “Cultural Turn” • Lawrence B. Glickman
11. American Religion • John T. McGreevy
12. Frontiers, Borderlands, Wests • Stephen Aron
13. Environmental History • Sarah T. Phillips
14. History of American Capitalism • Sven Beckert
15. Women’s and Gender History • Rebecca Edwards
16. Immigration and Ethnic History • Mae M. Ngai
17. American Indians and the Study of U. S. History • Ned Blackhawk
18. African-American History • Kevin Gaines

Contributors

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About the Author(s)

Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of numerous works on American history. He has served as president of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society of American Historians. His most recent book is The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, winner of the Bancroft and Pulitzer Prizes.

Lisa McGirr is Professor of History at Harvard University. Her research focuses on politics and social movements in the twentieth century. The author of the award-winning book: Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right, she is currently working on a book entitled Prohibition and the Making of Modern America.

Subject Categories

History


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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