In its commitment to promoting research, teaching and intellectual exchange on the historical study of American thought, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History offers a book review section that identifies new and significant historical monographs in the field of U.S. intellectual history. Book reviews facilitate informed dialogue on the current state of the field and raise interest in the political, cultural and intellectual project of writing history. Historical scholarship is the foundation of our profession and teaching its heartbeat; book reviews introduce our diverse readership to the creative and original questions and methodologies of scholars dedicated to the dissemination of historical knowledge and understanding. Thus, book reviews play an integral part in the collective intellectual project that is the writing and teaching of U.S. intellectual history.
Also, for those of you looking for the latest installment of Andrew Seal’s reading group for The Group, it is on hiatus until next week for the sake of the roundtable. Think of it as additional time to catch up (Including for yours truly).
Welcome to the third installment of the S-USIH Roundtable on Tim Lacy’s book, The Dream of a Democratic Culture: Mortimer J. Adler and the Great Books Idea. For the first two installments, check here and here. Today’s post is brought to us by Fred W. Beuttler, who directed the general education program at Carroll University from 2011 to 2014, and now is an assistant professor of history there. From 2005 to 2010, he was Deputy Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives, and from 1998 to 2005 he was Associate University Historian at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
This is the second installment of our S-USIH Roundtable on Tim Lacy’s book, The Dream of a Democratic Culture: Mortimer J. Adler and the Great Books Idea. If you’re interested in reading yesterday’s fantastic entry by Robert A. Delfino, click here. Today’s entry is from Bryan McAllister-Grande, a fourth-year doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Spencer Foundation New Civics Scholar. He is beginning a dissertation on the liberal education battles of the ’30s and ’40s and their relation to world citizenship and internationalism. He also had an essay published here titled, “The Metaphysical Club as a Bildungsroman”. Enjoy today’s entry, and check back tomorrow for another installment.
Welcome to the first installment of the long-awaited roundtable series on S-USIH writer and Loyola University of Chicago Professor Tim Lacy’s book, The Dream of a Democratic Culture: Mortimer J. Adler and the Great Books Idea. Today’s review is by Robert A. Delfino, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University in New York City. He is a fellow of the Adler-Aquinas Institute, a member of the Board of Advisors for the International Etienne Gilson Society, and the editor of Studies in the History of Western Philosophy (SHWP), a special series within the Value Inquiry Book Series (VIBS). Look for more Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday!–Robert Greene II (more…)
Emily Redman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the politics of math education reform in the 20th century United States.
America’s Assembly Line
David E. Nye
MIT Press, 2013
Despite its straightforward title, historian David Nye’s America’s Assembly Line expands the narrative of the iconic manufacturing process to position the assembly line as historically contingent, variably defined, and international in scope. America’s Assembly Line, then, actually questions both the “American-ness” and the specificity of the assembly line as a recognizable and fixed object. Yet Nye avoids an aggressive tearing down of a narrative so often remembered as a shining example of American ingenuity that ushered in economic prosperity and modern capitalism; at the same time he avoids a celebratory history of the assembly line, and in fact does so despite the publication of the book in the 100th anniversary year of the development of the assembly line. (more…)
The second of two responses in our mini-roundtable on Liberalism: The Life of an Idea focuses on potential areas of research on the history, or histories, of liberalism. Fawcett’s book is a noble attempt to talk about a complicated historical legacy, but other avenues of research may offer additional food for thought for scholars.–Robert Greene II
Edmund Fawcett’s Liberalism: The Life of an Idea is a needed attempt to distill the history of liberalism in the West to a readable, one-volume history. Covering the evolution of liberalism in the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, Liberalism offers a history of the ideology from the early 19th century until the present day. Fawcett’s book, understandably, has a wide range of historical characters and offers some comparisons—and contrasts—across national borders. Liberalism says much about the history of a political ideology that has changed form so much over two hundred years. Matt Linton’s wonderful essay said a great deal about the book and the difficulty of writing such a history, and today I’d like to take some time to consider the book in context of recent works on intellectual and political history. At the same time, I’d also like to sketch out where historians can go in the future with histories of liberals, liberalism, and the institutions affected by that ideology.