Journal of Social History

The Journal of Social History is a scholarly journal covering research in social history, social science and genealogy from all periods worldwide. The Journal of Social History is published quarterly by George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Peter N. Stearns is the editor.

Articles from Vol. 29, No. SUPP, Winter

Everything Old Is New Again: Social History, the National History Standards and the Crisis in the Teaching of High School American History
The teaching of history seems to be in crisis. At the secondary level the debate has been engaged over what America's youth should be learning about our nation's past; as the controversy over the National Standards for United States History is played...
History as Exploration and Discovery
I write on July 4, 1995. An article in today's New York Times reports interviews with children and young people which reveal that some (what proportion - even of those interviewed, no less in the population at large - is not revealed) do not know why...
Real History, Real Education, Real Merit - or Why Is "Forrest Gump" So Popular?
In this recent dialogue about history and history education I am most struck by the fact that there is so much that I just don't understand. Why do so many people agree with the critics of social history? It's a little like the fact that I don't understand...
Reflections on the African American Experience, Social History, and the Resurgence of Conservatism in American Society
In his introductory essay to this volume, Peter Stearns suggests that conservatism is likely to prevail for a while and that social history in the United States needs some strategy sessions. Indeed, recent controversies over funding for the National...
Social History and the Populist Moment: Contesting the Political Terrain
How ironic that a field of study originally conceived as "history . . . with the politics left out" has become the focus of heated political opposition and debate.(1) But it is not hard to understand why this happened. Control of the past - or more precisely,...
The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
"This is a bad time to be a social historian," Tony Judt announced in History Workshop in the spring of 1979. If so, it was a "bad time" for which we can now feel nostalgic. Like Peter Stearns in 1994, Judt was worried about what could be called a "political...
The Culture Wars, 1965-1995: A Historian's Map
1. Political History The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were twin agencies created in 1965 by liberal Democrats to fund vocal constituencies. At the time the Great Society was simultaneously setting up...
The Double-Consciousness of the Academic Historian
We in academe like to think that we are set apart from the rest of the world. It is not only, that, as Peter Stearns notes, as a group we historians are more liberal than most Americans, and that probably most of us have been dismayed by the rightward...
The History Standards Controversy and Social History
The swirling controversy over the National History Standards that erupted in late October 1994 is linked to the wide-ranging attacks on social history in recent years. One way of understanding why Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, John Leo, Charles Krauthammer,...
The Lion and the Newt; a British View of American Conservatives' Fear of Social History
Viewed from Lancaster, England, the sustained virulence and intolerance of the American Right's attack on social history is difficult to comprehend, both in its scale and its nature. It is not that British social historians are unfamiliar with the prejudices...
Uncivil War: Current American Conservatives and Social History
The political surge of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, dramatically illustrated by the results of the congressional elections of November, 1994, has highlighted the antipathies elements of this group maintain for social history, while...
What Is Leftist about Social History Today?
What is leftist about social history? Why should conservatives be smore critical of social history than, for example, intellectual, political or economic history? Which consequences should social historians draw from being identified with and criticized...