UNDERSTANDING THE AMERICAN PAST by Edward N.- Ed. Saveth

UNDERSTANDING THE AMERICAN PAST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Recent writings from the works of well known historians form a collection that adds much to the re-interpretation of our country's past, historically and philosophically. Stating in his introduction many of the varying theories (for example the Teutonist vs. the Frontierist) that have contributed to our understanding, rightly or wrongly, Mr. Saveth lays the groundwork for a historian's study of his own science. The following selections then, taken from the writings of such as Commager, Nevins, the Handlins, Charles Beard, Henry Adams and many others, are placed under four chronological periods ranging from pre-revolutionary days to the contemporary scene. For each selection,- say Samuel Eliot Morison on the Puritan Tradition or Carl Bridenbaugh on the Virginians,- Mr. Saveth presents his own precise commentary, as to how the historian's views may differ from those of his predecessors and the factors influencing the change: Bridenbaugh champions his Virginians as fevered expansionists rather than a cavalier aristocracy; Morison's puritans are not bigoted pietists as much as they are the natural products of a Christian mission. The selections are many; the reading is rich. With the variety of an anthology, the layman may take to it as well.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1954
Publisher: Little, Brown