Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life

Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life

Article excerpt

The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life. Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

In our time of intense examination of why Americans who have benefited so much from history, tend to turn their back on learning history, at least in the conventional sense, and seem indifferent to origins, roots, developments, and movements in this country, these two authors, with financial and moral support from many people, sought out not theories but definite statements of attitudes from the people-- everyday people-who seem to be least interested in the past. What they found might surprise some of us but surely will bring a glimmer of hope and delight. The conclusions are that people don't despise history and covet ignorance; they simply are fed up with the conventional ways teachers teach and with what they teach. Instead of theories and dates people want human bodies, feelings, personal reactions to what happened. They want history with people in it. Interestingly, different ethnic groups want different kind of people: whites want individuals. Blacks desire more family orientation. Indians want tribe and clan. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.