Men, Women, and Issues in American History - Vol. 2

Men, Women, and Issues in American History - Vol. 2

Men, Women, and Issues in American History - Vol. 2

Men, Women, and Issues in American History - Vol. 2

Excerpt

College and university undergraduates are often as interested in the characters on the stage of history as in the historical process itself. For more than anything else it is the dramatis personae who bring history alive and make it not only the record of what men and women have thought and done but, in most instances, an exciting story in itself. Many are the students unfortunately who find history uninstructive and irrelevant, but rare are these same students who do not find themselves absorbed by historical biography, particularly when it presents people as they were and not what mythologizers have made them.

The essays in these volumes seek to place individual men and women within the context of their age, and, at the same time, to explore what contributions-political, economic, social, or intellectual-they have made to their society. In attempting to understand their values and goals, it is essential to understand those forces that shaped them; namely, family traditions and background, friendships which influenced them, religious and educational attachments which had an impact, economic commitments to which they may have been devoted, the social class to which they were seamlessly wedded, the changing historical circumstances that formed the backdrop against which they played out their lives. Knowing this congeries of attitudes and events, we know the men and . . .

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