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Rethinking American History in a Global Age$
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Thomas Bender

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230576

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230576.001.0001

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Introduction: Historians, the Nation, and the Plenitude of Narratives

Introduction: Historians, the Nation, and the Plenitude of Narratives

(p.1) Introduction: Historians, the Nation, and the Plenitude of Narratives
Rethinking American History in a Global Age

Thomas Bender

University of California Press

This introductory chapter discusses three main concepts: history, nation, and narratives. It starts by stating that history can be found in a plethora of narratives, which are necessarily reduced by historiography. The discussion notes that the nation represents a certain narrative of social connection, and briefly examines the context of the earliest American national histories. This is followed by a study of the historical reflections of Frederick Jackson Turner, which serves as a relevant starting point for the reframing of American history. The chapter also covers topics such as the professional practice of history teaching and writing, American self-perceptions, and historicizing time. A summary of the following chapters is provided.

Keywords:   history, nation, narratives, historiography, social connection, Frederick Jackson Turner, historical reflections, historicizing

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