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Historians across BordersWriting American History in a Global Age$
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Nicolas Barreyre, Michael Heale, Stephen Tuck, and Cecile Vidal

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279278

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279278.001.0001

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American History in the Shadow of Empire

American History in the Shadow of Empire

A Plea for Marginality

Chapter:
(p.206) Chapter 13 American History in the Shadow of Empire
Source:
Historians across Borders
Author(s):

François Furstenberg

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520279278.003.0013

This brief chapter in part 4 is one of the commentaries on the volume, this one by a scholar with dual American and French citizenship who is making his career in Canada. It accepts that European scholars of American history are well positioned to help U.S. historians connect their past with those of other countries, it but points out that U.S. historiography has always been open to European influences and warns that there are drawbacks to its internationalization. One feature of American universities, it argues, is that they are comparatively immensely rich, and the U.S. academy is enormous. This asymmetry means that U.S. historians in Europe face challenges spared their U.S. colleagues. There is the risk that the internationalization of American history will be on American terms. But marginality can have powerful advantages, and what is needed in this conversation is other voices, as Europeans have provided in this volume.

Keywords:   exceptionalism, marginality, globalization

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