Article abstracts and citations of reviews and dissertations covering the United States and Canada.
A Cultural History of Aging in America
Author: Thomas R. Cole
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The Journey of Life envisions growing up and growing old as a voyage down a river flowing inexorably to the sea. With this image of the human life cycle, the author explores the historical shoreline of later life, charting its cultural forms and sounding their depths. The result is both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogue about the meaning and significance of later life. The core of the book shows how central texts and images of Northern.
Author: Richard Schneirov,Gaston A. Fernandez
Category: Political Science
The United States is a nation whose identity is defined by the idea of democracy. Yet democracy in the U.S. is often taken for granted, narrowly understood, and rarely critically examined. In Democracy as a Way of Life in America, Schneirov and Fernandez show that, much more than a static legacy from the past, democracy is a living process that informs all aspects of American life. The authors trace the story of American democracy from the revolution to the present, showing how democracy has changed over time, and the challenges it has faced. They examine themes including individualism, foreign policy, the economy, and the environment, and reveal how democracy has been deeply involved in these throughout the country’s history. Democracy as a Way of Life in America demonstrates that democracy is not simply a set of institutions or practices such as the right to vote or competing political parties, but a complex, multi-dimensional phenomenon, whose animating spirit can be found in every part of American culture and society. This vital and engaging narrative should be read by students of history, political science, and anyone who wants to understand the nature of American democracy.
Author: Helena Grice
The last ten years have witnessed an enormous growth in American interest in Asia and Asian/American history. In particular, a set of key Asian historical moments have recently become the subject of intense American cultural scrutiny, namely China’s Cultural Revolution and its aftermath; the Korean American war and its legacy; the era of Japanese geisha culture and its subsequent decline; and China’s one-child policy and the rise of transracial, international adoption in its wake. Grice examines and accounts for this cultural and literary preoccupation, exploring the corresponding historical-political situations that have both circumscribed and enabled greater cultural and political contact between Asia and America.
A Primary Source Reader
Author: Gary Phillip Zola,Marc Dollinger
Publisher: Brandeis University Press
Category: Social Science
Presenting the American Jewish historical experience from its communal beginnings to the present through documents, photographs, and other illustrations, many of which have never before been published, this entirely new collection of source materials complements existing textbooks on American Jewish history with an organization and pedagogy that reflect the latest historiographical trends and the most creative teaching approaches. Ten chapters, organized chronologically, include source materials that highlight the major thematic questions of each era and tell many stories about what it was like to immigrate and acculturate to American life, practice different forms of Judaism, engage with the larger political, economic, and social cultures that surrounded American Jews, and offer assistance to Jews in need around the world. At the beginning of each chapter, the editors provide a brief historical overview highlighting some of the most important developments in both American and American Jewish history during that particular era. Source materials in the collection are preceded by short headnotes that orient readers to the documentsÕ historical context and significance.
A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life
Author: Roger Daniels
Publisher: Harper Collins
With a timely new chapter on immigration in the current age of globalization, a new Preface, and new appendixes with the most recent statistics, this revised edition is an engrossing study of immigration to the United States from the colonial era to the present.
Author: Jane Jacobs
Category: Social Science
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Author: Richard Hofstadter
Category: Social Science
Winner of the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction. In this award-winning classic work of consensus history, Richard Hofstadter, author of The Age of Reform, examines the role of social movements in the perception of intellect in American life. "As Mr. Hofstadter unfolds the fascinating story, it is no crude battle of eggheads and fatheads. It is a rich, complex, shifting picture of the life of the mind in a society dominated by the ideal of practical success." --Robert Peel in the Christian Science Monitor
How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
Author: Diane Ravitch
Publisher: Basic Books
A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a radical change of heart from one of America’s best-known education experts. Diane Ravitch—former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum—examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today’s most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril. Ravitch includes clear prescriptions for improving America’s schools: leave decisions about schools to educators, not politicians or businessmen devise a truly national curriculum that sets out what children in every grade should be learning expect charter schools to educate the kids who need help the most, not to compete with public schools pay teachers a fair wage for their work, not “merit pay” based on deeply flawed and unreliable test scores encourage family involvement in education from an early age The Death and Life of the Great American School System is more than just an analysis of the state of play of the American education system. It is a must-read for any stakeholder in the future of American schooling.
A Social History of American Culture and Character
Author: Claude S. Fischer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Social Science
Our nation began with the simple phrase, “We the People.” But who were and are “We”? Who were we in 1776, in 1865, or 1968, and is there any continuity in character between the we of those years and the nearly 300 million people living in the radically different America of today? With Made in America, Claude S. Fischer draws on decades of historical, psychological, and social research to answer that question by tracking the evolution of American character and culture over three centuries. He explodes myths—such as that contemporary Americans are more mobile and less religious than their ancestors, or that they are more focused on money and consumption—and reveals instead how greater security and wealth have only reinforced the independence, egalitarianism, and commitment to community that characterized our people from the earliest years. Skillfully drawing on personal stories of representative Americans, Fischer shows that affluence and social progress have allowed more people to participate fully in cultural and political life, thus broadening the category of “American” —yet at the same time what it means to be an American has retained surprising continuity with much earlier notions of American character. Firmly in the vein of such classics as The Lonely Crowd and Habits of the Heart—yet challenging many of their conclusions—Made in America takes readers beyond the simplicity of headlines and the actions of elites to show us the lives, aspirations, and emotions of ordinary Americans, from the settling of the colonies to the settling of the suburbs.
A Social History Of American Family Life
Author: Steven Mintz
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
An examination of how the concept of “family” has been transformed over the last three centuries in the U.S., from its function as primary social unit to today’s still-evolving model. Based on a wide reading of letters, diaries and other contemporary documents, Mintz, an historian, and Kellogg, an anthropologist, examine the changing definition of “family” in the United States over the course of the last three centuries, beginning with the modified European model of the earliest settlers. From there they survey the changes in the families of whites (working class, immigrants, and middle class) and blacks (slave and free) since the Colonial years, and identify four deep changes in family structure and ideology: the democratic family, the companionate family, the family of the 1950s, and lastly, the family of the '80s, vulnerable to societal changes but still holding together.
Author: Dan Egan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
A landmark work of science, history and reporting on the past, present and imperiled future of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior—hold 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come. For thousands of years the pristine Great Lakes were separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the roaring Niagara Falls and from the Mississippi River basin by a “sub-continental divide.” Beginning in the late 1800s, these barriers were circumvented to attract oceangoing freighters from the Atlantic and to allow Chicago’s sewage to float out to the Mississippi. These were engineering marvels in their time—and the changes in Chicago arrested a deadly cycle of waterborne illnesses—but they have had horrendous unforeseen consequences. Egan provides a chilling account of how sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels and other invaders have made their way into the lakes, decimating native species and largely destroying the age-old ecosystem. And because the lakes are no longer isolated, the invaders now threaten water intake pipes, hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure across the country. Egan also explores why outbreaks of toxic algae stemming from the overapplication of farm fertilizer have left massive biological “dead zones” that threaten the supply of fresh water. He examines fluctuations in the levels of the lakes caused by manmade climate change and overzealous dredging of shipping channels. And he reports on the chronic threats to siphon off Great Lakes water to slake drier regions of America or to be sold abroad. In an age when dire problems like the Flint water crisis or the California drought bring ever more attention to the indispensability of safe, clean, easily available water, The Death and the Life of the Great Lakes is a powerful paean to what is arguably our most precious resource, an urgent examination of what threatens it and a convincing call to arms about the relatively simple things we need to do to protect it.
A History of American Childhood
Author: Steven Mintz
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Explores many aspects of the changing societal role of children throughout American history, and credits the impact that children have had on major historical events.
Author: Thomas Sowell
Publisher: Basic Books
This classic work by the distinguished economist traces the history of nine American ethnic groups--the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans.
A History of Multicultural America (Revised Edition)
Author: Professor of Ethnic Studies Ronald Takaki,Ronald Takaki
Takaki traces the economic and political history of Indians, African Americans, Mexicans, Japanese, Chinese, Irish, and Jewish people in America, with considerable attention given to instances and consequences of racism. The narrative is laced with short quotations, cameos of personal experiences, and excerpts from folk music and literature. Well-known occurrences, such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the Trail of Tears, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Japanese internment are included. Students may be surprised by some of the revelations, but will recognize a constant thread of rampant racism. The author concludes with a summary of today's changing economic climate and offers Rodney King's challenge to all of us to try to get along. Readers will find this overview to be an accessible, cogent jumping-off place for American history and political science plus a guide to the myriad other sources identified in the notes.
Author: Richard Kurin
Category: United States
The Smithsonian is called, rightly, America's attic; it is the country's largest, most beloved and important repository for the objects that define its common heritage. How fitting then that the Smithsonian is bringing its best together, to arrive at a list of 101 objects through which to tell the great story of America's history. From Abraham Lincoln's top hat to Dorothy's ruby slippers, Harriet Tubman's hymnal to the first computer, these gorgeously photographed objects and artworks touch on every hallmark of the American story.