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Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History (review)

Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History (review) 06-reviews 6/4/03 11:05 AM Page 315 Reviews 315 Joseph A. Amato. Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History. Berke- ley: U of California P, 2002. 245 pp. ISBN 0-520-23293-3, $18.95. “All history is local” (191), Joseph Amato declares in his book, Rethinking Home, and he makes an eloquent argument for the importance of doing local history, of writing compelling narratives that explain a particular place and people. Only stories that chronicle the most intimate, the most concrete details of everyday life, he asserts, can satisfy “an innate human desire to be connected to a place” (4). More important for historians, the intimate his- tory of a landscape, a community, or a region can illuminate, in microcosm, the great transformations that have swept the countryside and threaten to subsume the local within the national and global. Amato mines his thirty years’ experience of living in, studying, and writing about southwestern Minnesota for stories that show how the narrow focus on a particular place can serve as an antidote to the powerful global forces he sees robbing rural life of its autonomy and distinction. Amato concerns himself with the local history of rural communities rather than urban or suburban landscapes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History (review)

Biography , Volume 26 (2) – Jul 8, 2003

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

06-reviews 6/4/03 11:05 AM Page 315 Reviews 315 Joseph A. Amato. Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History. Berke- ley: U of California P, 2002. 245 pp. ISBN 0-520-23293-3, $18.95. “All history is local” (191), Joseph Amato declares in his book, Rethinking Home, and he makes an eloquent argument for the importance of doing local history, of writing compelling narratives that explain a particular place and people. Only stories that chronicle the most intimate, the most concrete details of everyday life, he asserts, can satisfy “an innate human desire to be connected to a place” (4). More important for historians, the intimate his- tory of a landscape, a community, or a region can illuminate, in microcosm, the great transformations that have swept the countryside and threaten to subsume the local within the national and global. Amato mines his thirty years’ experience of living in, studying, and writing about southwestern Minnesota for stories that show how the narrow focus on a particular place can serve as an antidote to the powerful global forces he sees robbing rural life of its autonomy and distinction. Amato concerns himself with the local history of rural communities rather than urban or suburban landscapes.

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 8, 2003

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