Who Owns History?

Who Owns History?

Rethinking the Past in A Changing World

Book - 2002 | 1st ed.
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A thought-provoking new book from one of America's finest historians "History," wrote James Baldwin, "does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do."Rarely has Baldwin's insight been more forcefully confirmed than during the past few decades. History has become a matter of public controversy, as Americans clash over such things as museum presentations, the flying of the Confederate flag, or reparations for slavery. So whose history is being written? Who owns it?In W ho Owns History? , Eric Foner proposes his answer to these and other questions about the historian's relationship to the world of the past and future. He reconsiders his own earlier ideas and those of the pathbreaking Richard Hofstadter. He also examines international changes during the past two decades - globalization, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of apartheid in South Africa - and their effects on historical consciousness. He concludes with considerations of the enduring, but often misunderstood, legacies of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. This is a provocative, even controversial, study of the reasons we care about history - or should.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 2002.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780809097043
Branch Call Number: 973.01 FONER
Characteristics: xix,233 p. ; 22 cm.


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Vincent T Lombardo Aug 17, 2015

Eric Foner is a great historian and a good writer who always has something worthwhile to say. I particularly enjoyed his essay on RIchard Hofstadter and his incisive, perceptive essay on Ken Burns' "The Civil War". I was planning to watch the coming rebroadcast of Burns' "The Civil War" (I have never seen it), but now I think my time would be better spent retaking Foner's "The Civil War and Reconstruction" on edX!

Feb 17, 2015

the book is a collection of speeches this eminent historian has given over the years. There is a good one on Richard Hofstader for whoever is interested in him. The rest are good for laughs--or for analysis with a class on argumentation and logic--all the opinions stated as fact and unexamined assumptions taken as fact. "Why there is no Socialism in the US?" for example--why should there be? Only if you believe in the gospel according to Marx as so many academics did. And another chapter on Blacks and the constitution criticizes the founders for not establishing a multi-racial democracy in the late 18th century when no country in the world had anything approaching democratic government--except Great Britain where the franchise was strictly limited until the late 19th century.


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