Forum: The Crisis in American History

Carl Degler asks 'Can the American past be put back together again?'

Although many people conceive of history or the past as an unchanging panorama that is only waiting to have its details filled in, the fact is that the past as we have it in our history books is constantly in flux as we ask new questions of it and search for aspects of it that were not thought of as a part of the past before. Nowhere is this truth more evident than in the ways American history has been transformed over the last thirty years. A veritable explosion of knowledge has shattered the contours of the American past as it was conceived before the Second World War. The impetus for this transformation came from several sources.

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