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The historical present : uses and abuses of the past

Author: Edwin M Yoder, Jr.
Publisher: Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Ed Yoder's exploration of the centrality of history in our lives blends an experienced journalist's zest for current trends with a lifelong interest in American and European history. In this book of linked essays, he writes about topics as diverse as the 1995 controversy over the Enola Gay exhibit at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, Barbara Tuchman's success as a popular historian, the historical reputations
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Yoder, Edwin.
Historical present.
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, ©1997
(DLC) 96052057
(OCoLC)36126922
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Edwin M Yoder, Jr.
ISBN: 0585034036 9780585034034
OCLC Number: 42330169
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL
Description: 1 online resource (xviii, 205 pages)
Details: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Contents: Presidents and Other Americans. The Crimes of Christopher Columbus. Thomas Jefferson as Secular Saint. In the Shadow of Lincoln. Who Was Thaddeus Stevens? The "How's the President Doing" Question. Martin Luther King's Moment --
Constitutional Divinations. The Constitution after Two Centuries. A Good Word for the Framers. The Mysteries of "Original Intent" --
Nationalism at the End of an Era. Historians and the Enola Gay Exhibit. Hitler and the Historians. Micronations and the Force of Nationalism. Yalta in History and Myth. New Thoughts about an Old Villain. George F. Kennan and the Follies of History. Skeletons in the National Closet --
Games Historians Play. Docudrama, Film and the Limits of Fabrication. Barbara Tuchman and the Horseshoe Nails of History. The Estrangement of Martin Luther. Church and State in Oxford. Faulkner, History and the Black Family. American Cities: The History of a Reputation --
Epilogue: An Early Confederate History.
Responsibility: Edwin M. Yoder.

Abstract:

Ed Yoder's exploration of the centrality of history in our lives blends an experienced journalist's zest for current trends with a lifelong interest in American and European history. In this book of linked essays, he writes about topics as diverse as the 1995 controversy over the Enola Gay exhibit at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, Barbara Tuchman's success as a popular historian, the historical reputations of Lincoln and Jefferson, the fluctuations of presidential rankings, the revival of nationalist wars and rivalries in Eastern Europe, the politically charged dispute over the significance of Columbus's voyages on their 500th anniversary, the light thrown by William Faulkner's novels on the dilemma of black families, and the argument over "original intent" in constitutional interpretation. Yoder shows, with an abundance of specific examples, how essential collective memory is to social understanding and self-knowledge.

Yoder also explores the puzzling American resistance to the study of the past, suggesting that Americans avoid history in part because they have luckily escaped the tragic calamities of older cultures. The myths of American innocence and exemption, he argues, have fostered an illusion that history as the teacher of vital lessons can be ignored, although it is actually the very matrix of the way we understand ourselves in the present.

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