Daniel M. Cobb is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Native Activism in Cold War America: The Struggle for Sovereignty and the coeditor (with Loretta Fowler) of Beyond Red Power: American Indian Politics and Activism since 1900.
Helen Sheumaker is Visiting Associate Professor of American Studies at Miami University of Ohio. She is the author of Love Entwined: The Curious History of Hairwork in America and the coeditor (with Shirley Wajda) of Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life.
Many consider the period from 1863 (beginning with slave emancipation) to 1877 (when the last federal troops were withdrawn from South Carolina and Louisiana) an “unfinished revolution” for civil rights, racial-identity formation, and social reform. Despite the cataclysmic aftermath of the war, the memory of Reconstruction in American consciousness and its impact on the country’s fraught history of identity, race, and reparation has been largely neglected. The essays in Remembering Reconstruction advance and broaden our perceptions of the complex revisions in the nation's collective memory. Notably, the authors uncover the impetus behind the creation of black counter-memories of Reconstruction and the narrative of the “tragic era” that dominated white memory of the period. Furthermore, by questioning how Americans have remembered Reconstruction and how those memories have shaped the nation's social and political history throughout the twentieth century, this volume places memory at the heart of historical inquiry.
In this book, David Glassberg surveys the shifting boundaries between the personal, public, and professional uses of the past and explores their place in the broader cultural landscape. Each chapter investigates a specific encounter between Americans and their history: the building of a pacifist war memorial in a rural Massachusetts town; the politics behind the creation of a new historical festival in San Francisco; the letters Ken Burns received in response to his film series on the Civil War; the differing perceptions among black and white residents as to what makes an urban neighborhood historic; and the efforts to identify certain places in California as worthy of commemoration. Along the way, Glassberg reflects not only on how Americans understand and use the past, but also on the role of professional historians in that enterprise.
Combining the latest research on American memory with insights gained from Glassberg's more than twenty years of personal experience in a variety of public history projects, Sense of History offers stimulating reading for all who care about the future of history in America.
Artifacts from Modern America demonstrates how dozens of the material objects, items, technologies, or inventions of the 20th century serve as a window into a period of history. After an introductory discussion of how to approach material culture—the world of things—to better understand the American past, essays describe objects from the previous century that made a wide-ranging or long-lasting impact. The chapters reflect the ways that communication devices, objects of religious life, household appliances, vehicles, and tools and weapons changed the lives of everyday Americans. Readers will learn how to use material culture in their own research through the book's detailed examples of how interpreting the historical, cultural, and social context of objects can provide a better understanding of the 20th-century experience.
* Nearly 200 entries tracing the history, production, consumption, and reception of various types of goods and exploring the uses and meanings of artifacts within changing social, cultural, economic, and political contexts
* A detailed introductory essay unites each entry with a common thread
* Contributions from over 50 scholars, curators, and teachers working in the field of material culture studies today, representing cutting-edge scholarship in museums and historical societies, universities and colleges
* Illustrations include advertisements, such as a 19th-century trade card and a Singer sewing machine ad, plus photographs of a 1949 "Torpedo pedal car" and a life-size modernist-style streamlined locomotive prototype by Raymond Loewy