Day By Day

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Trashing of History

KC Johnson laments that little useful [in a policy sense] history has been produced since the 1970's. He notes:
The study of U.S. history has transformed in the last two generations, with emphasis on staffing positions in race, class, or gender leading to dramatic declines in fields viewed as more "traditional," such as U.S. political, constitutional, diplomatic, and military history. And even those latter areas have been "re-visioned," in the word coined by an advocate of the transformation, Illinois history professor Mark Leff, to make their approach more accommodating to the dominant race/class/gender paradigm.
 In other words, feminists, gay activists, race hustlers, and the like have taken to the study of themselves and their entry into the profession has crowded out more general [and for that reason more useful] areas of research and writing. I was witness to this during my academic career and, if anything, Johnson seriously understates the baneful influence of these navel gazing studies.

Read Johnson's piece here.

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