Category Archive


What Is “American”?

Seventy-five years ago this month, in June 1943, in the middle of World War II, Merle Curti published his masterpiece, The Growth of American Thought, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. There are many things to say about this work, but in this post I will focus on a key feature of Curti’s approach and his argument, a feature that is too easily overlooked in the stories that we historians of American thought and culture tell or hear about our own discipline. First, though, I would like to say a word about the wordplay of the book’s title.  Curti Read more