With Academic History in Crisis, can Departments Pivot to Reach Interested Audiences?
by Elizabeth Stice
Americans don't actually hate history; they often begin to appreciate it after their undergraduate years and outside of the classroom. Does this point in a possible direction for securing the future of the profession?
SOURCE: The Atlantic
Mistakes Historians Make on TV
by Julian Zelizer
Presenting the complexity of history in a quick and accessible way is tough. But some tropes hurt more than they help.
SOURCE: Associated Press
Fifth LBJ Volume by Caro "In Works"
The latest volume is planned to cover the years from Johnson's first full year in the presidency in 1964 until his death in 1973.
How Should Popular Culture Convey History?
by Walter G. Moss
A recent plot point in Netflix's "The Crown" was based on a falsification of historical events. Historians who want to influence public knowledge of history need to be able to match the narrative appeal of television with a commitment to telling the truth.
Consolidated Cultural Elites and the New York Times Book Review
by David A. Bell
Historians shouldn't be alarmed by the number of historians on the Times's list of the best nonfiction titles of 2022. They should be alarmed by how big publishing houses seem to have an inside track to the platform.
SOURCE: History Club (Substack)
Qatar's World Cup Echoes Brutal American Labor History
by Jason Steinhauer
Exposés of the brutal conditions faced by migrant laborers who built Qatar's World Cup facilities echoes the history of American public works, where workers' bodies and lives were subordinated to budgets and timetables.
SOURCE: New York Times
Thomas Cahill, Popular and Scholarly Historian of Ireland, Dies at 82
Cahill's 1995 surprise bestseller emphasized the role of isolated Irish monks in preserving religious and literary scholarship after the fall of Rome.
SOURCE: A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry
What Happens When People Who Don't Know Historical Methods Spout Off About Historical Methods
by Bret Devereaux
"It is going to end up being rather involved because to explain why a shallow critique of a discipline’s methods is shallow, you have to explain how that discipline functions and why it does so."
The Personal is Critical: How Should Early Americanists Think of David McCullough as a "Gateway" to History?
by Rebecca Brenner Graham
Historians' tributes to David McCullough underscore the need to respect popular "gateways to history" but to also find gateways without gatekeeping.
Ultimately, David McCullough Succeeded by "Writing the Book I Wanted to Read"
by Cary Heinz
When the author loaned his father a copy of McCullough's Truman biography, "he not only read it, but loaned it to enough people that I eventually got it back with the book’s spine split in half," a testament to his narrative gifts.
SOURCE: The Bulwark
The Rediscovery of David McCullough
by Lindsay M. Chervinsky
A presidential historian now at work on her own book on John Adams reflects on how McCullough's blockbuster inspired her own career, and his hits and misses as a chronicler of overlooked or forgotten people and events in American history.
SOURCE: Washington Post
Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner David McCulloch Dies at 89
"Mr. McCullough, long regarded as a master storyteller of American daring, endeavor and perseverance, died Aug. 7 at his home in Hingham, Mass. He was 89."
SOURCE: Perspectives on History
by Leland Renato Grigioli
While historians have long been embattled to demonstrate that their discipline contributes to some external standard of usefulness, the profession now must also content with the political abuse of history through narratives of identity-based nostalgia.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education
Journalists and Academics: Stop Fighting!
by Maggie Doherty
How can academics and journalists better understand the relationship between their two camps?
SOURCE: The Chatner
The Popular Medieval History Hated by Medievalists
by Daniel Lavery
"It’s the most prominent example of a type of book that fascinates me: The amateur/popular history of an entire field that’s largely beloved (or at least successful) outside of said field and widely loathed within it."
Popular Histories Have Influenced World Leaders, Sometimes For the Better
by Robert Brent Toplin
Although the popular history genre is often maligned, historians should reflect on the role of Barbara Tuchman's 1962 "The Guns of August" in guiding JFK away from the brink of nuclear war and recognize the power of a story clearly told.
What "Big History" Misses
by Ian Hesketh
"Big History" has become established in the popular media and in some academic quarters, telling global-scale narratives of human and even planetary history. After 30 years, it's time to evaluate its successes and failures.
What Can We Learn from Historians vs. Malcolm Gladwell?
by Gregory A. Daddis
As the discipline's claims to authority are under attack, it would be a mistake for historians to sacrifice rigorous pursuit of truth to be "interesting."
On Popular History: Rebecca Traister
by Alexis Coe
Historian Alexis Coe interviews writer and essayist Rebecca Traister on the historical research informing her work and the links between popular and academic audiences for historical knowledge.
SOURCE: Mother Jones
Can America’s Problems Be Fixed By a President Who Loves Jon Meacham?
The popular historian and biographer Jon Meacham has been a major influence on Joe Biden's political outlook, and potentially on his policy agenda. Does a view of history informed by conflicts of virtue and values offer a path to fixing corrupted or hollowed-out institutions? Are academic historians jealous?
- An Amateur Historian Helped Find Richard III's Remains Under a Parking Garage. Her Story Hits the Screen
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- Vince McMahon's Control of Pro Wrestling's History Key to Controlling its Present