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Doing Recent History: On Privacy, Copyright, Video Games, Institutional Review Boards, Activist Scholarship, and History That Talks Back (Since 1970: Histories of Contemporary America) Hardcover – April 25, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Potter and Romano have drawn together an admirably diverse set of scholars and archivists at all levels of the profession to comment on a broad range of critical and contentious issues in historical scholarship. I am unaware of any other collection that accomplishes what this one does so ably: allowing the reader to enter into and contend with a set of larger epistemological, methodological, pedagogical, presentational, and legal issues that directly affect the ways historians do their jobs in the second decade of the twenty-first century. This book should become a standard reference and teaching tool."--Stephen Brier, codirector of the New Media Lab at the City University of New York

"How I wish "Doing Recent History" had been available when I began writing histories that were 'just over my shoulder.' Potter and Romano demonstrate that tackling recent history poses unique challenges, and they offer absolutely indispensable guidance in meeting them."--Alice Echols, author of "Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture"

"This book hits all the marks. The writing is lively and well paced; the research and historiography are first-rate; there is a nice mixture of known, established authors and rising young scholars; and the questions taken up are "directly" relevant to what many of us do every day, both in our classrooms and in our scholarship. It's timely, smart, wide ranging, and thought provoking."--Robert O. Self, Brown University

"This collection of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays addresses the various pluses and minuses of doing 'recent' history."--K.B. Nutter, "Choice"

"Even if you are not a historian, any information professional will learn something from this book, as it covers a large range of topics including those discussed above as well as the commoditization of information, the effect interviewers have upon the oral histories they collect, and much more. This book is highly recommended to all historians, archivists, and librarians".""--"Tennessee Libraries"

"[A]ny historian who reads ["Doing Recent History"] stands to gain something. . . . Potter and Romano open up the possibility that an all-encompassing methodology is no longer an option for historians. This collection encourages scholars to discard, once and for all, the notion that any history is absolute or completely objective and to recognize the interplay of subjectivity and intersubjectivity involved in doing recent history. This book may help historians accept that studies of recent events are valuable as primary documents in and of themselves."--Molly Rosner, "Oral History Review"

Potter and Romano have drawn together an admirably diverse set of scholars and archivists at all levels of the profession to comment on a broad range of critical and contentious issues in historical scholarship. I am unaware of any other collection that accomplishes what this one does so ably: allowing the reader to enter into and contend with a set of larger epistemological, methodological, pedagogical, presentational, and legal issues that directly affect the ways historians do their jobs in the second decade of the twenty-first century. This book should become a standard reference and teaching tool.--Stephen Brier "codirector of the New Media Lab at the City University of New York "

How I wish "Doing Recent History" had been available when I began writing histories that were 'just over my shoulder.' Potter and Romano demonstrate that tackling recent history poses unique challenges, and they offer absolutely indispensable guidance in meeting them.--Alice Echols "author of "Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture" "

This book hits all the marks. The writing is lively and well paced; the research and historiography are first-rate; there is a nice mixture of known, established authors and rising young scholars; and the questions taken up are "directly" relevant to what many of us do every day, both in our classrooms and in our scholarship. It's timely, smart, wide ranging, and thought provoking.--Robert O. Self "Brown University "

This collection of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays addresses the various pluses and minuses of doing 'recent' history.--K. B. Nutter ""Choice" "

[A]ny historian who reads ["Doing Recent History"] stands to gain something. . . . Potter and Romano open up the possibility that an all-encompassing methodology is no longer an option for historians. This collection encourages scholars to discard, once and for all, the notion that any history is absolute or completely objective and to recognize the interplay of subjectivity and intersubjectivity involved in doing recent history. This book may help historians accept that studies of recent events are valuable as primary documents in and of themselves.--Molly Rosner ""Oral History Review" "

Even if you are not a historian, any information professional will learn something from this book, as it covers a large range of topics including those discussed above as well as the commoditization of information, the effect interviewers have upon the oral histories they collect, and much more. This book is highly recommended to all historians, archivists, and librarians.""--"Tennessee Libraries"

While the essays address methods of doing histories of the recent past, the lessons presented are ones we can all stand to relearn. I would recommend this book to my colleagues doing recent history, as well as to new graduate students and undergraduates who are being asked to conduct recent history research.--Chad H. Parker "Louisiana History "

"Doing Recent History" is an important volume that will be usefully assigned in graduate seminars, particularly for students shaping original research projects on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.--Alex Sayf Cummings "Journal of American Culture "

About the Author

Claire Bond Potter is a professor of history and American studies at Wesleyan University. She is author of "War on Crime: Bandits, G-Men, and the Politics of Mass Culture" and also the blog "Tenured Radical." Renee C. Romano is an associate professor of history at Oberlin College. She is author of "Race Mixing: Black-White Marriage in Postwar America" and coeditor of "The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory" (Georgia).
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Product Details

  • Series: Since 1970: Histories of Contemporary America
  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (April 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820334677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820334677
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,967,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
It is likely that most people writing recent history will benefit from reading at least one of these essays; it is unlikely that many will benefit from reading most of them. This is a book to be sampled by historians (and student historians) who are doing oral history, who are concerned about archival access, or who are incorporating in their work unusual primary sources, such as TV news and video games. Simply considering the challenges of writing about the last forty years or so would be a worthwhile endeavor for most students of history.

Of course, the writing varies, but overall the prose is better than most collections of academic essays, and they should be comprehensible to a majority of upper-level undergraduates. I could wish that historians of the contemporary world wouldn't lean so reflexively left, but we tiny few on the right regularly practice intellectual triangulation anyway.
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