Sense of History

Author: David Glassberg
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 9781558492813
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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AS AMERICANS enter the new century, their interest in the past has never been greater. In record numbers they visit museums and historic sites, attend commemorative ceremonies and festivals, watch historically based films, and reconstruct family genealogies. The question is, why? What are Americans looking for when they engage with the past? And how is it different from what scholars call "history"? In this book, David Glassberg surveys the shifting boundaries between the personal, public, and professional uses of the past and explores their place in the broader cultural landscape. Each chapter investigates a specific encounter between Americans and their history: the building of a pacifist war memorial in a rural Massachusetts town; the politics behind the creation of a new historical festival in San Francisco; the letters Ken Burns received in response to his film series on the Civil War; the differing perceptions among black and white residents as to what makes an urban neighborhood historic; and the efforts to identify certain places in California as worthy of commemoration. Along the way, Glassberg reflects not only on how Americans understand and use the past, but also on the role of professional historians in that enterprise. Combining the latest research on American memory with insights gained from Glassberg's more than twenty years of personal experience in a variety of public history projects, Sense of History offers stimulating reading for all who care about the future of history in America.

Remembering Iosepa

Author: Matthew Kester
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199844925
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Winner of the Mormon Historical Association Best Community History In the late nineteenth century, a small community of Native Hawaiian Mormons established a settlement in heart of The Great Basin, in Utah. The community was named Iosepa, after the prophet and sixth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph F. Smith. The inhabitants of Iosepa struggled against racism, the ravages of leprosy, and economic depression, by the early years of the twentieth century emerging as a modern, model community based on ranching, farming, and an unwavering commitment to religious ideals. Yet barely thirty years after its founding the town was abandoned, nearly all of its inhabitants returning to Hawaii. Years later, Native Hawaiian students at nearby Brigham Young University, descendants of the original settlers, worked to clean the graves of Iosepa and erect a monument to memorialize the settlers. Remembering Iosepa connects the story of this unique community with the earliest Native Hawaiian migrants to western North America and the vibrant and growing community of Pacific Islanders in the Great Basin today. It traces the origins and growth of the community in the tumultuous years of colonial expansion into the Hawaiian islands, as well as its relationship to white Mormons, the church leadership, and the Hawaiian government. In the broadest sense, Mathew Kester seeks to explain the meeting of Mormons and Hawaiians in the American West and to examine the creative adaptations and misunderstandings that grew out of that encounter.

Memories and Migrations

Author: Vicki Ruíz
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252074785
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Using region as a category of analysis, this pioneering collection explores the reciprocal relationship between Latinas and location. In highlighting the multiple ways in which Latinas grapple with their identity, the contributors significantly increase our understanding of how identity is created, negotiated, claimed, and remembered. This pathbreaking volume compares Latinas from a variety of backgrounds, moving the focus from Los Angeles, New York, and Santa Fe to Chicago, Tucson, and Philadelphia. Memories and Migrations embodies the constant negotiation and shaping of scholarship, which mirrors the fluidity of Latina migration, memory, and identity. Contributors include Gabriela F. Arredondo, John R. Chávez, Marisela R. Chávez, Yolanda Chávez Leyva, María E. Montoya, Lydia R. Otero, Vicki L. Ruiz, Elizabeth Salas, Virginia Sánchez Korrol, and Carmen Teresa Whalen.

Whitewashed Adobe

Author: William F. Deverell
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520932536
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Chronicling the rise of Los Angeles through shifting ideas of race and ethnicity, William Deverell offers a unique perspective on how the city grew and changed. Whitewashed Adobe considers six different developments in the history of the city—including the cementing of the Los Angeles River, the outbreak of bubonic plague in 1924, and the evolution of America's largest brickyard in the 1920s. In an absorbing narrative supported by a number of previously unpublished period photographs, Deverell shows how a city that was once part of Mexico itself came of age through appropriating—and even obliterating—the region's connections to Mexican places and people. Deverell portrays Los Angeles during the 1850s as a city seething with racial enmity due to the recent war with Mexico. He explains how, within a generation, the city's business interests, looking for a commercially viable way to establish urban identity, borrowed Mexican cultural traditions and put on a carnival called La Fiesta de Los Angeles. He analyzes the subtle ways in which ethnicity came to bear on efforts to corral the unpredictable Los Angeles River and shows how the resident Mexican population was put to work fashioning the modern metropolis. He discusses how Los Angeles responded to the nation's last major outbreak of bubonic plague and concludes by considering the Mission Play, a famed drama tied to regional assumptions about history, progress, and ethnicity. Taking all of these elements into consideration, Whitewashed Adobe uncovers an urban identity—and the power structure that fostered it—with far-reaching implications for contemporary Los Angeles.

Inventing the Fiesta City

Author: Laura Hernández-Ehrisman
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 9780826343109
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Fiesta San Antonio began in 1891 and through the twentieth century expanded from a single parade to over two hundred events spanning a ten-day period. Laura Hernández-Ehrisman examines Fiesta's development as part of San Antonio's culture of power relations between men and women, Anglos and Mexicanos. In some ways Fiesta resembles hundreds of urban celebrations across the country, but San Antonio offers a unique fusion of Southern, Western, and Mexican cultures that articulates a distinct community identity. From its beginning as a celebration of a new social order in San Antonio controlled by a German and Anglo elite to the citywide spectacle of today, Hernández-Ehrisman traces the connections between Fiesta and the construction of the city's tourist industry and social change in San Antonio.

The Presence of the Past

Author: Roy Rosenzweig
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231500487
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Some people make photo albums, collect antiques, or visit historic battlefields. Others keep diaries, plan annual family gatherings, or stitch together patchwork quilts in a tradition learned from grandparents. Each of us has ways of communing with the past, and our reasons for doing so are as varied as our memories. In a sweeping survey, Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen asked 1,500 Americans about their connection to the past and how it influences their daily lives and hopes for the future. The result is a surprisingly candid series of conversations and reflections on how the past infuses the present with meaning. Rosenzweig and Thelen found that people assemble their experiences into narratives that allow them to make sense of their personal histories, set priorities, project what might happen next, and try to shape the future. By using these narratives to mark change and create continuity, people chart the courses of their lives. A young woman from Ohio speaks of giving birth to her first child, which caused her to reflect upon her parents and the ways that their example would help her to become a good mother. An African American man from Georgia tells how he and his wife were drawn to each other by their shared experiences and lessons learned from growing up in the South in the 1950s. Others reveal how they personalize historical events, as in the case of a Massachusetts woman who traces much of her guarded attitude toward life to witnessing the assassination of John F. Kennedy on television when she was a child. While the past is omnipresent to Americans, "history" as it is usually defined in textbooks leaves many people cold. Rosenzweig and Thelen found that history as taught in school does not inspire a strong connection to the past. And they reveal how race and ethnicity affects how Americans perceive the past: while most white Americans tend to think of it as something personal, African Americans and American Indians are more likely to think in terms of broadly shared experiences--like slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and the violation of Indian treaties." Rosenzweig and Thelen's conclusions about the ways people use their personal, family, and national stories have profound implications for anyone involved in researching or presenting history, as well as for all those who struggle to engage with the past in a meaningful way.

The Civil War in Art and Memory

Author: Kirk Savage
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300214685
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"Proceedings of the symposium "The Civil War in Art and Memory," organized by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, and sponsored by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. The symposium was held November 8-9, 2013, in Washington."

Museums Monuments and National Parks

Author: Denise D. Meringolo
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 1558499407
Format: PDF, ePub
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The rapid expansion of the field of public history since the 1970s has led many to believe that it is a relatively new profession. In this book, Denise D. Meringolo shows that the roots of public history actually reach back to the nineteenth century, when the federal government entered into the work of collecting and preserving the nation's natural and cultural resources. Scientists conducting research and gathering specimens became key figures in a broader effort to protect and interpret the nation's landscape. Their collaboration with entrepreneurs, academics, curators, and bureaucrats alike helped pave the way for other governmental initiatives, from the Smithsonian Institution to the parks and monuments today managed by the National Park Service. All of these developments included interpretive activities that shaped public understanding of the past. Yet it was not until the emergence of the education-oriented National Park Service history program in the 1920s and 1930s that public history found an institutional home that grounded professional practice simultaneously in the values of the emerging discipline and in government service. Even thereafter, tensions between administrators in Washington and practitioners on the ground at National Parks, monuments, and museums continued to define and redefine the scope and substance of the field. The process of definition persists to this day, according to Meringolo, as public historians establish a growing presence in major universities throughout the United States and abroad.

Portrait of America

Author: Jerrold Hirsch
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807861669
Format: PDF, Kindle
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How well do we know our country? Whom do we include when we use the word "American"? These are not just contemporary issues but recurring questions Americans have asked themselves throughout their history--and questions that were addressed when, in 1935, the Roosevelt administration created the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration. Although the immediate context of the FWP was work relief, national FWP officials developed programs that spoke to much larger and longer-standing debates over the nature of American identity and culture and the very definition of who was an American. Hirsch reviews the founding of the FWP and the significance of its American Guide series, considering the choices made by administrators who wanted to celebrate diversity as a positive aspect of American cultural identity. In his exploration of the FWP's other writings, Hirsch discusses the project's pioneering use of oral history in interviews with ordinary southerners, ex-slaves, ethnic minorities, and industrial workers. He also examines congressional critics of the FWP vision; the occasional opposition of local Federal Writers, especially in the South; and how the FWP's vision changed in response to the challenge of World War II. In the course of this study, Hirsch raises thought-provoking questions about the relationships between diversity and unity, government and culture, and, ultimately, culture and democracy.