Remembering America

Remembering America

How We Have Told Our Past

Lawrence R. Samuel

204 pages

Hardcover

November 2015

978-0-8032-5433-6

$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

November 2015

978-0-8032-8085-4

$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

November 2015

978-0-8032-8083-0

$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

American history is ubiquitous, underscoring everything from food to travel to architecture and design. It is also emotionally charged, frequently crossing paths with political and legal issues. In Remembering America, Lawrence R. Samuel examines the place that American history has occupied within education and popular culture and how it has continually shaped and reflected our cultural values and national identity. The story of American history, Samuel explains, is not a straight line but rather one filled with twists and turns and ups and downs, its narrative path as winding as that of the United States as a whole.
 
Organized around six distinct eras of American history ranging from the 1920s to the present, Samuel shows that our understanding of American history has often generated struggle and contention as ideologically opposed groups battled over ownership of the past. As women and minorities gained greater power and a louder voice in the national conversation, our perspectives on American history became significantly more multicultural, bringing race, gender, and class issues to the forefront. These new interpretations of our history helped to reshape our identity on both a national and an individual level. Samuel argues that the fight for ownership of our past, combined with how those owners have imparted history to our youth, crucially affects who we are. Our interpretation and expression of our country’s past reflects how that self-identity has changed over the last one hundred years and created a strong sense of our collective history—one of the few things Americans all have in common.

Author Bio

Lawrence R. Samuel is the author of several books, including Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America (Nebraska, 2013) and The American Dream: A Cultural History.

Praise

“In this intriguing book, Lawrence R. Samuel illuminates how Americans have told and understood their history, and why it matters. He shows how that story has changed over time and why the telling of our past is so intensely debated in the present. A great read on a vitally important topic.”—Elaine Tyler May, author of America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation

“Lawrence Samuel has written an engaging and original cultural history of U.S. history itself in which he makes a compelling case for the continuing importance of American history in American life. Although Americans are a notoriously forward-looking people, Samuel demonstrates just how deeply invested we are in the past. . . . He shows us arguing, often passionately, about the past precisely because history is so central to our identity, both individually and collectively.”—M. Todd Bennett, author of One World, Big Screen: Hollywood, the Allies, and World War II

Remembering America is a stimulating and revealing reference for the scholar, educator, and student of the American historical past. Excluding nothing from his purview, Lawrence R. Samuel enlivens and expands the boundaries of historiographical inquiry with a rare gift for wide-ranging cultural observation and analysis distinguished by a pop sensibility.”—William Bird, curator, Division of Political History, Smithsonian Institution

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. The Epic of America: 1920–1945

2. E Pluribus Unum: 1946–1964

3. E Pluribus Confusion: 1965–1979

4. The Fall of the American Adam: 1980–1989

5. We the Peoples: 1990–1999

6. The Fray of History: 2000–

Conclusion

Notes

Selected Bibliography


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