Doing Oral History: Edition 2

Oxford University Press
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Oral history is vital to our understanding of the cultures and experiences of the past. Unlike written history, oral history forever captures people's feelings, expressions, and nuances of language. But what exactly is oral history? How reliable is the information gathered by oral history? And what does it take to become an oral historian? Donald A. Ritchie, a leading expert in the field, answers these questions and in particular, explains the principles and guidelines created by the Oral History Association to ensure the professional standards of oral historians. Doing Oral History has become one of the premier resources in oral history. It explores all aspects of the field, from starting an oral history project, including funding, staffing, and equipment to conducting interviews; publishing; videotaping; preserving materials; teaching oral history; and using oral history in museums and on the radio. In this second edition, the author has incorporated new trends and scholarship, updated and expanded the bibliography and appendices, and added a new focus on digital technology and the Internet. Appendices include sample legal release forms and information on oral history organizations. Doing Oral History is a definitive step-by-step guide that provides advice and explanations on how to create recordings that illuminate human experience for generations to come. Illustrated with examples from a wide range of fascinating projects, this authoritative guide offers clear, practical, and detailed advice for students, teachers, researchers, and amateur genealogists who wish to record the history of their own families and communities.
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About the author

Donald A. Ritchie is Associate Historian in the United States Senate Historical Office, where he conducts an oral history program. A former president of the Oral History Association, he has served on the council of the American Historical Association, and chaired the Organization of American Historians' committee on research and access to historical documentation. He has conducted many oral history workshops, and for ten years, he edited the Twayne oral history series.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Aug 7, 2003
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780199839704
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / Historiography
Reference / Genealogy & Heraldry
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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What is history and why should we study it? Is there such a thing as historical truth? Is history a science? One of the most accomplished historians at work today, John Lewis Gaddis, answers these and other questions in this short, witty, and humane book. The Landscape of History provides a searching look at the historian's craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today. Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn't require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don't much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who's really being scientific and who isn't? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy. Written in the tradition of Marc Bloch and E.H. Carr, The Landscape of History is at once an engaging introduction to the historical method for beginners, a powerful reaffirmation of it for practitioners, a startling challenge to social scientists, and an effective skewering of post-modernist claims that we can't know anything at all about the past. It will be essential reading for anyone who reads, writes, teaches, or cares about history.
Many scholars believe that the framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the preeminent branch of government. Indeed, no other legislature in the world approaches its power. Yet most Americans have only a murky idea of how it works. In The U.S. Congress, Donald A. Ritchie, a congressional historian for more than thirty years, takes readers on a fascinating, behind-the-scenes tour of Capitol Hill--pointing out the key players, explaining their behavior, and translating parliamentary language into plain English. No mere civics lesson, this eye-opening book provides an insider's perspective on Congress, matched with a professional historian's analytical insight. After a swift survey of the creation of Congress by the constitutional convention, he begins to unscrew the nuts and pull out the bolts. What is it like to campaign for congress? To attract large donors? To enter either house with no seniority? He answers these questions and more, explaining committee assignments (and committee work), the role of staffers and lobbyists, floor proceedings, parliamentary rules, and coalition building. Ritchie explores the great effort put into constituent service--as representatives and senators respond to requests from groups and individuals--as well as media relations and news coverage. He also explores how the grand concepts we all know from civics class--checks and balances, advise and consent, congressional oversight--work in practice, in an age of strong presidents and a muscular Senate minority (no matter which party is in that position). In this sparkling addition to Oxford's Very Short Introduction series, Donald Ritchie moves beyond the cynicism and the platitudes to provide a gem of a portrait of how Congress really works.
Doing Oral History is considered the premier guidebook to oral history, used by professional oral historians, public historians, archivists, and genealogists as a core text in college courses and throughout the public history community. Over the past decades, the development of digital audio and video recording technology has continued to alter the practice of oral history, making it even easier to produce quality recordings and to disseminate them on the Internet. This basic manual offers detailed advice on setting up an oral history project, conducting interviews, making video recordings, preserving oral history collections in archives and libraries, and teaching and presenting oral history. Using the existing Q&A format, the third edition asks new questions and augments previous answers with new material, particularly in these areas: 1. Technology: As before, the book avoids recommending specific equipment, but weighs the merits of the types of technology available for audio and video recording, transcription, preservation, and dissemination. Information about web sites is expanded, and more discussion is provided about how other oral history projects have posted their interviews online. 2. Teaching: The new edition addresses the use of oral history in online teaching. It also expands the discussion of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) with the latest information about compliance issues. 3. Presentation: Once interviews have been conducted, there are many opportunities for creative presentation. There is much new material available on innovative forms of presentation developed over the last decade, including interpretive dance and other public performances. 4. Legal considerations: The recent Boston College case, in which the courts have ruled that Irish police should have access to sealed oral history transcripts, has re-focused attention on the problems of protecting donor restrictions. The new edition offers case studies from the past decade. 5. Theory and Memory: As a beginner's manual, Doing Oral History has not dealt extensively with theoretical issues, on the grounds that these emerge best from practice. But the third edition includes the latest thinking about memory and provides a sample of some of the theoretical issues surrounding oral sources. It will include examples of increased studies into catastrophe and trauma, and the special considerations these have generated for interviewers. 6. Internationalism: Perhaps the biggest development in the past decade has been the spreading of oral history around the world, facilitated in part by the International Oral History Association. New oral history projects have developed in areas that have undergone social and political upheavals, where the traditional archives reflect the old regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The third edition includes many more references to non-U.S. projects that will still be relevant to an American audience. These changes make the third edition of Doing Oral History an even more useful tool for beginners, teachers, archivists, and all those oral history managers who have inherited older collections that must be converted to the latest technology.
Many scholars believe that the framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the preeminent branch of government. Indeed, no other legislature in the world approaches its power. Yet most Americans have only a murky idea of how it works. In The U.S. Congress, Donald A. Ritchie, a congressional historian for more than thirty years, takes readers on a fascinating, behind-the-scenes tour of Capitol Hill--pointing out the key players, explaining their behavior, and translating parliamentary language into plain English. No mere civics lesson, this eye-opening book provides an insider's perspective on Congress, matched with a professional historian's analytical insight. After a swift survey of the creation of Congress by the constitutional convention, he begins to unscrew the nuts and pull out the bolts. What is it like to campaign for congress? To attract large donors? To enter either house with no seniority? He answers these questions and more, explaining committee assignments (and committee work), the role of staffers and lobbyists, floor proceedings, parliamentary rules, and coalition building. Ritchie explores the great effort put into constituent service--as representatives and senators respond to requests from groups and individuals--as well as media relations and news coverage. He also explores how the grand concepts we all know from civics class--checks and balances, advise and consent, congressional oversight--work in practice, in an age of strong presidents and a muscular Senate minority (no matter which party is in that position). In this sparkling addition to Oxford's Very Short Introduction series, Donald Ritchie moves beyond the cynicism and the platitudes to provide a gem of a portrait of how Congress really works.
Donald Ritchie offers a vibrant chronicle of news coverage in our nation's capital, from the early days of radio and print reporting and the heyday of the wire services to the brave new world of the Internet. Beginning with 1932, when a newly elected FDR energized the sleepy capital, Ritchie highlights the dramatic changes in journalism that have occurred in the last seven decades. We meet legendary columnists--including Walter Lippmann, Joseph Alsop, and Drew Pearson --as well as the great investigative reporters, from Paul Y. Anderson to the two green Washington Post reporters who launched the political story of the decade--Woodward and Bernstein. We read of the rise of radio news--fought tooth and nail by the print barons--and of such pioneers as Edward R. Murrow, H. V. Kaltenborn, and Elmer Davis. Ritchie also offers a vivid history of TV news, from the early days of Meet the Press, to Huntley and Brinkley and Walter Cronkite, to the cable revolution led by C-SPAN and CNN. In addition, he compares political news on the Internet to the alternative press of the '60s and '70s; describes how black reporters slowly broke into the white press corps (helped mightily by FDR's White House); discusses path-breaking woman reporters such as Sarah McClendon and Helen Thomas, and much more. From Walter Winchell to Matt Drudge, the people who cover Washington politics are among the most colorful and influential in American news. Reporting from Washington offers an unforgettable portrait of these figures as well as of the dramatic changes in American journalism in the twentieth century.
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