Public History Essays From The Field Public History Series
Mike Wallace, Professor of History at John Jay College of the City University of New York and longstanding critic and helpmate of museum curators and exhibit designers across the country, explores in this collection of thirteen essays the varied representations of the American past in the most mundane and likely of arenas: in museums and theme parks, in historic districts and restorations, in Civil War battlefields and the expressway-squeezed urban battlefields of a century later. His point of departure is the well-founded assumption that most Americans learn the bulk of their history not from academic monographs or in ivied lecture halls but through catch-as-catch-can accretions to the mythstory served up in schools and the media - an afternoon with the in-laws at Henry Ford's Greenfield Village, perhaps, or a romp with the kids through Disney World, or a bathroom break at a rest stop adjacent to a historic marker. Professional historians ought to care, submits Wallace, about the visions of history presented in such venues, no less than about what ordinary citizens think about our nation's past, for there is much at stake. One cannot but agree. For newcomers to the field of "public history," Wallace provides a thought-provoking, imaginative, and eminently readable critical introduction. To seasoned veterans he offers consistently astute observations and a host of specific programmatic interventions, suggestions, and critiques. The result is an incisive, judicious, and accessible look into the past, present, and possible futures of public history in the United States - and one that is also just plain fun to read. But caveat lector: after reading Mickey, one may never look at public history in just the same way again.
Public History: Essays From The Field (Public History Series)
Public history essays from the field public history series
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Public history essays from the field public history series C
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