By Justin Schreiber
This innovative treatment of the Kitchen Debate reveals the event not only as a symbol of U.S. -Soviet military and diplomatic rivalry but as a battle over living standards that profoundly shaped the economic, social, and cultural contours of the Cold War era. The introduction situates the Debate in a survey of the Cold War, and an unprecedented collection of primary-source selections—including Soviet accounts never before translated for an English-speaking audience—connects the Debate to consumer society, gender ideologies, and geopolitics. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions to consider, and a bibliography enhance students’ understanding of this defining moment of the Cold War.
Oxford University press has just published Making the American Century, a collection of essays on the political culture of 20th Century America, edited by Professor Bruce Schulman. “Are the American people a nation,” Senator Albert Beveridge asked in 1898, or are they “an aggregation of localities?” Beveridge had little doubt that the new century would witness the triumph of what he called “national life.” Theodore Roosevelt shared his young compatriot’s faith in America’s destiny to forge a mighty nation-state and array itself among the world’s great powers. Forty-three years later, when publisher Henry Luce proclaimed the American Century, the work of nation building seemed well advanced. The United States had amassed the economic resources, the political and military strength, and the moral prestige to assume global leadership. By century’s end, however, both the trajectory of American politics–the sense of ever waxing federal power–and the nation’s place in the world seemed less assured. Americans of many stripes came to contest the standard narratives of nation building and international hegemony, the seemingly inexorable movement that Beveridge and Roosevelt imagined and that subsequent generations dutifully charted.
In this volume, a group of distinguished historians revisit and revise many of the settled verities of American political history. They reconsider and re-frame four familiar binaries that have long defined the history of twentieth century America: the local versus the national, the public sphere versus the private sector, domestic affairs versus international relations, and liberal versus conservative. In so doing the authors blur the boundaries among political, cultural, and economic history. For many years, the field of modern U.S. history suffered from a kind of schizophrenia: while it long nurtured a large body of traditional political history (studies of key figures, movements, court decisions, and policy innovations), it also stimulated innovative work in social and cultural history. These two approaches enjoyed little in the way of productive dialogue.
In recent years, however, historians have reinvigorated political history. Blending politics with social and cultural analysis, this new approach pays close attention to the ways politics and public policy structure everyday life. This new political history thus combines policy analysis with an understanding of the people who made them and whose lives were affected by them. The contributors to this book advance this important scholarly enterprise.
Graduate student Zach Fredman received the W. Stull Holt Dissertation Fellowship from The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Please join us in congratulating Zach on this accomplishment!
Megan McCauley has won the North American Conference on British Studies’ Undergraduate Essay Prize for her essay, “Round the Empire in a Day’: Exhibiting Empire at Wembley, 1924″. She is the second History Major to win this prize in the past two years. Please join us in congratulating her on this fine achievement!
Sponsored by the Undergraduate History Association, Come enjoy good conversation and food with your favorite history professors and other history students! Before you set your schedule, come find out about the courses being offered in the Spring. This is an opportunity to find out more than just the course description will tell you! Thurs November 14 6-8pm in Room 504 of the History Dept (226 Bay State Road).
You can read the full article on Reuters here: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/10/28/what-about-social-securitys-rollout/
On Saturday, October 12, Professor Bruce Schulman opened the annual History Forum at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. Speaking to a sell-out crowd in excess of 500 people, Schulman’s presentation, “Are We A Nation?” The Emergence of Modern America, 1896-1929,” kicked off a series of lectures around the theme, “The Vast Possibilities: America at the Dawn of the 20th Century.”
The October edition of the BU History Department newsletter–The Presence of the Past–has just appeared. You can access the newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1gL3kr3
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See the full article here.
MIH 10.3, November
Josh Ehrlich, “William Robertson and Scientific Theism”
Iain McDaniel, “Philosophical History and the Science of Man in Scotland: Adam Ferguson’s Answer to Rousseau’s Second Discourse”
Katja Guenther, “The disappearing lesion – Sigmund Freud, sensory-motor physiology, and the beginnings of psychoanalysis”
Daniel Geary, “Children of The Lonely Crowd: David Riesman, the Young Radicals, and the Splitting of Liberalism in the 1960s”
Mark Gamsa, “Uses and Misuses of a Chinese Renaissance”
James T. Kloppenberg, “Well-Tempered Liberalism”
Mark Peterson, “Why They Mattered: The Return of Politics to Puritan New England”
James Chappel, “Beyond Tocqueville: A Plea to Stop Taking Religion Seriously”
Francis Couvares, “Freedom, Modernity, and Mass Culture”
Charles Capper edits Modern Intellectual History. His coeditors are Duncan Kelly (University of Cambridge), Sophia Rosenfeld (University of Virginia), and Samuel Moyn (Columbia University). Published by Cambridge University Press, the journal serves as a focal point and forum for scholarship in intellectual history and related fields. Though its primary focus is on Europe and the United States, it also devotes attention to intellectual and cultural exchanges between the West, the non-West, and the Americas. It encompasses the period from 1650 to the present. MIH is concerned with this era’s intellectual discourses—with understanding the contextual origins and reception of texts, and with recovering their historical meaning. The term “texts” encompasses various forms of intellectual and cultural expression, including political thought, philosophy, religion, literature, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and the visual arts.