The Society for U.S. Intellectual History is pleased to announce the results of the deliberation of this year’s Annual Book Award Committee. The committee, composed of Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, University of Wisconsin; Robert Westbrook, University of Rochester; and Howard Brick, University […]
CFP: S-USIH Panels at the OAH Annual Meeting Providence, Rhode Island April 7-10, 2016 The Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) will present up to two solicited panels as an affiliate organization at the April 2016 meeting of Organization of […]
The Society for U.S. Intellectual History announces a new prize, to be given triennially, for the best book in the History of American Philosophy, broadly conceived. Funded by a generous grant from the John Dewey Foundation, this prize will be […]
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This is the start of a two-part review essay on recent books about public history. Considering the debates raging the last two weeks about Confederate memorials and public history, it’s quite timely now. Part two will be posted next Sunday evening.
Review Essay by Nick Sacco
Denise D. Meringolo, Museums, Monuments, and National Parks: Towards a New Genealogy of Public History (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012) 207 pages.
Robert C. Post, Who Owns America’s Past? The Smithsonian and the Problem of History (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013) 370 pages.
Teresa Bergman, Exhibiting Patriotism: Creating and Contesting Interpretations of American Historic Sites (Left Coast Press, 2013) 251 pages.
The evolution of public history in the United States seems like a simple enough narrative. Facing an economic downturn and a job crisis in the academy during the 1970s, professionally trained historians began seeking gainful employment in consultancies, government offices, museums, historical societies, national parks, and for-profit corporations not affiliated with a university. Although many of these institutions originated in the nineteenth century, it was only until this 1970s job crunch, we are told, that historians in the professorate started taking the public history ideas seriously.