07-reviews (Bio 26-3) 9/4/03 8:23 AM Page 501 Reviews 501 of ordinary people—the aging new social historians’ answers to the need for accessible narratives—which seem poised to displace George Washington and company from their pedestals. One would not know from History’s Memory that the war between left and right over founder-debunking, at least, goes back much further—which is a shame, because it supports the thesis of the book. This missed opportunity reflects a general lack of attention to the changing relationship between professional and popular history, how they have rubbed each other the wrong (and right) ways, with many ironic results. Fitzpatrick stresses the long-term overlap of professional and non-academic history because the early American Historical Association ignored the differ- ence, but the insight comes at a price: we cannot discern the effects of any trends in popular “memory,” a subject which has been the subject of a pro- liferation of scholarship (and is even opportunistically referenced in the title), and which surely shaped popular and professional reception of politically minded historians’ works. Nor can we entertain the possibility of a diver- gence, or at least change, as the academy (and history departments) expand- ed after World War II.
Biography – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 30, 2003