Robert O. Self’s All In the Family

robert o. selfRecently, the S-USIH blog has engaged in a lively exchange regarding Robert O. Self’s most recent book, All In the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s (Hill and Wang, 2012).  Self has recently written an essay in response to issues raised during this exchange, and in particular, to Christopher Shannon’s two posts related to Self’s book.  Self teaches history at Brown University. He writes about American politics and social movements in the twentieth century and teaches a variety of courses on the same subject. His interests range widely and include the history of American cities and suburbs, the history of family, and the history of sex and sexuality in the twentieth century. He is also the co-author (with James Henretta and Rebecca Edwards) of a college-level textbook, America’s History. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

All in the Family - The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s by Robert O. SelfChris Ramsey first reviewed Self’s book for the blog.  Ramsey is is a Ph.D. candidate in United States History at Loyola University of Chicago.  His research interests focus on race, gender, and ethnicity in postwar urban America, and his dissertation (in progress) studies the evolution of white attitudes to racial attitudes on the Southwest Side of Chicago from the end of World War II through the election of Mayor Harold Washington in 1983.

shannonChristopher Shannon responded to Ramsey’s book review with one post and then, in an effort to clarify his specific critique of Self’s argument, with another post that directly engaged All in the Family and the set of assumptions that Shannon believes need to be contested.  Shannon is the author of three books, including A World Made Safe for Differences: Cold War Intellectuals and the Politics of Identity (Roman and Littlefield, 2000).  He is an associate professor of history at Christendom College in Virginia.  Shannon recently won a fellowship to support research for his project titled “The Salvation of the Nations: Sacred and Secular Narratives of Progress in the Postwar West.” Shannon’s project is one of several funded through a major research initiative, “Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs,” sponsored by The Historical Society, an international scholarly organization based at Boston University. Over the course of the next two years, the fellowship funding will provide Shannon with release from a full teaching load in order to devote more time to the research and writing needed to turn the project into a book-length manuscript.  Read more about it here.