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The Degradation of American History - David Harlan

The Degradation of American History

Paperback Published: 1st January 1997
ISBN: 9780226316178
Number Of Pages: 318

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American historical writing has traditionally been one of our primary forms of moral reflection. However, David Harlan argues that in the disillusionment following the 1960s, history abandoned its redemptive potential and took up the methodology of the social sciences. In this provocative new book, Harlan describes the reasons for this turn to objectivity and professionalism, explains why it failed, and examines the emergence of a New Traditionalism in American historical writing.
Part One, "The Legacy of the Sixties," describes the impact of literary theory in the 1970s and beyond, the rise of women's history, the various forms of ideological analysis developed by historians on the left, and the crippling obsession with professionalism in the 1980s. Part Two, "The Renewal of American Historical Writing," focuses on the contributions of John Patrick Diggins, Hayden White, Richard Rorty, Elaine Showalter, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and others. Harlan argues that at the end of the twentieth century American historical writing is perfectly poised to become what it once was: not one of the social sciences in historical costume, but a form of moral reflection that speaks to all Americans.
" A] wholly admirable work. This book will be talked about for years."--"Library Journal"

Introduction: "It Hath No Relish of Salvation in It"
American Historical Writing at the End of the Twentieth Century
The Legacy of the Sixties
Deeper into the Wilderness: History Takes the Linguistic Turn
A People Blinded from Birth: American History according to the Left
Doubts and Dispossessions: Feminist History in the 1990s
After Looking into the Abyss: The Promise of Professionalism
The Renewal of American Historical Writing
The Return of the Moral Imagination
A Choice of Inheritance
The Dream of a Common History
Love and Objectivity Epilogue Notes Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226316178
ISBN-10: 0226316173
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 318
Published: 1st January 1997
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Type: New edition