Greeley was first and foremost an ardent nationalist who devoted his life to ensuring that America live up to its promises of liberty and freedom for all of its members. Robert C. Williams places Greeley’s relentless political ambitions, bold reform agenda, and complex personal life into the broader context of freedom. Horace Greeley is as rigorous and vast as Greeley himself, and as America itself in the long nineteenth century.
In the first comprehensive biography of Greeley to be published in nearly half a century, Williams captures Greeley from all sides: editor, reformer, political candidate, eccentric, and trans-Atlantic public intellectual; examining headlining news issues of the day, including slavery, westward expansion, European revolutions, the Civil War, the demise of the Whig and the birth of the Republican parties, transcendentalism, and other intellectual currents of the era.
Robert C. Williams is Vail Professor of History Emeritus at Davidson College and lecturer in history at Bates College. His books include Klaus Fuchs: Atom Spy; Russian Art and American Money, 1900-1940; and The American Atom: A Documentary History of Nuclear Energy (with Philip Cantelon). He lives in Center Lovell, Maine.
Part I is a stimulating, philosophical introduction to the key elements of history--evidence, narrative, and judgment--that explores how the study and concepts of history have evolved over the centuries.
Part II guides readers through the workshop of history. Unlocking the historian's toolbox, the chapters here describe the tricks of the trade, with concrete examples of how to do history. The tools include documents, primary and secondary sources, maps, arguments, bibliographies, chronologies, and many others. This section also covers professional ethics and controversial issues, such as plagiarism, historical hoaxes, and conspiracy theories.
Part III addresses the relevance of the study of history in today's fast-paced world. The chapters here will resonate with a new generation of readers: on everyday history, oral history, material culture, public history, event analysis, and historical research on the Internet. This Part also includes two new chapters for this edition. GIS and CSI examines the use of geographic information systems and the science of forensics in discovering and seeing the patterns of the past. Too Much Information treats the issue of information overload, glut, fatigue, and anxiety, while giving the reader meaningful signals that can benefit the study and craft of history.
A new epilogue for this edition argues for the persistence of history as a useful and critically important way to understand the world despite the information deluge.