Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Rethinking American History in a Global Age$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Thomas Bender

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230576

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230576.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see http://california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice).date: 23 March 2018

The Historian’s Use of the United States and Vice Versa

The Historian’s Use of the United States and Vice Versa

(p.381) SIXTEEN The Historian’s Use of the United States and Vice Versa
Rethinking American History in a Global Age

David A. Hollinger

University of California Press

This chapter addresses two questions: what the prospects are for national narrative today in the case of the United States, and where do historians of this particular nation now stand in relation to David Potter's dilemma. David Potter assumed that nations would remain the central subject for historians, no matter what. Nearly four decades after he made this assumption, it is revealed that people take the view that nations are only one of many central subjects. The chapter states that one obvious course of action is to focus less on the nation and more on its constituent parts, as well as on the transnational networks of which any nation is a part of. It argues that historians have less use for the United States than they previously did, which suggests that this presumably means there is less danger the United States will “use” historians. One section examines David Thelen's critique of nation-centered history, where he finds that professional historians are insufficiently responsive to public taste. The chapter concludes that no matter what use a historian consciously tries to be to his or her nation, that use is surely best balanced against the instructions of an international community of scholars concerned only with the truth.

Keywords:   national narrative, David Potter, nations, historians, transnational networks, David Thelen, nation-centered history

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.