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  •  history as a discipline has not been that way (8+ / 0-)

    for decades now, if not over a century, to be honest. while the biographies at barnes and noble tend to sell best (which supports your argument that americans fixate on heroic individuals), historical scholarship has largely been a lot more interested in regular people, society and popular culture than on geopolitics of dead presidents, by and large. it's just that noone pays much attention to us, except for occasional denunciations by conservatives for being revisionist.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 07:41:45 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Good Point-- I was referring to the foundations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      of our intellectual history in the Western
      tradition. Also, although I read many books
      from university presses that reflect modern scholarship, these "newer,progressive" ideas
      don't find their way into mainstream knoledge. It's hard to puncture common mythological beliefs.
      To talk about history "as a discipline" is, in my opinion, not very relevant to my observation. You are responding to my ideas as if the writing of serious history precludes the overwhelming number of books written my people who actually experienced events. Their perceptions and interpretations are all over the field. It's up to the reader to make sense with the help of the academic historian.
      Also, Americans have read many more newspapers than books, by a thousand fold. If you have ever read Harper's Weekly, for example, from 1850's to 1900, you will see into the soul of America, that no academic treastise could ever capture. Thank you very much for allowing me to respond in an extemporaneous manner.

      •  so in short, historians don't matter. gotcha. (0+ / 0-)

        i'll go back to my study, then.

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 09:39:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The historian is very crucial. (0+ / 0-)

          You are correct, in the last 30 years, there has been fabulous scholarship about subjects that were not scrupulously analyzed in the past. I love history and historians. I am one. I had some of the best history professors in the world at UCLA (back in the late 60's). My son also studied History at UCLA. Sorry if you misinterpreted my original remarks. Best of luck to you in your studies, and a degree in History can lead to a lot of things. I spent most of my life as a teacher and attorney. My son works in Washington D.C.---Best of luck-----

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