Special Issue of “OAH Magazine of History” Published on the “History Wars”

1_coverIn the January 2013 issue of the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History published an issue dedicated to “History Wars.” The issue focuses on the periodic, and quite distinctive, conflicts concerning history that breaks out in the seemingly broad contours of the public sphere. It discusses among other subjects the textbook fight in Texas, museum exhibit conterversies across the nation, the debate over the nature and meaning of the Civil War sesquicentennial, and other contested issues in American history.

The entire issue is quite stimulating and I recommend it to anyone remotely interested in this subject. The table of contents is located here. Two of the articles are free for download. I wrote on the articles in the issue and my contribution, “Public History Wars, the ‘One Nation/One People’ Consensus, and the Continuing Search for a Usable Past” is one of those available in both html and pdf formats. In addition, special issue editor Keith A. Erekson’s article, “Seeing through the Culture Warfare to Teach Students about Historical Change,” is also available for free download.

I would very much be interested in hearing from those with opinions about this subject.

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2 Responses to Special Issue of “OAH Magazine of History” Published on the “History Wars”

  1. rangerdon says:

    Thanks for this. I’ll read it and respond as time permits. Donald M. Scott, George R. Stewart Biographer, etc.


  2. Dave Stern says:

    Oh-oh…Spaghetti-Os! I’m a well published aviation-aerospace history writer. I’d like to obtain a copy of History Wars. I also wish to inform you that some museums, archives, universities and existing aerospace firms are increasingly uncooperative regarding aviation history, their archive material and even ignore E-Mails. There appears to be a jealous guarding of their material and in some cases, the charges for historical photos, files, etc., are rising beyond the means of ordinary knowledgeable individuals wanting to write a historical piece…in some cases the would-be writer was involved in a project. Aerospace firms since at least 40-50 years ago, performed what I call, “the Landfill Option,” dumping amazing historical material, paid for by our earned tax dollars. Firms like Boeing’s archive of which I had a very good relationship are now under orders from their Fascist lawyers, have stopped helping researchers with photos, Docs, and other material.

    Further more there is an increasing move among libraries to strip shelves of older history books! This occurred in Renton’s Library when the city turned over to King County Library System-I always used the well stocked reference books but now, the shelves have been stripped bare as bones! A call to a Curator friend in Mentone, Indiana…his wife-a librarian stated the exact same thing occurred in Mentone’s public library! Another aerospace history friend stated that his University back East has also done the same thing. Here at Renton library, the King County librarians lied about the books being in storage…some were pulled and stocked their other libraries but were seen dumping thousands of books into a huge Dumpster at night! This is slowly encroaching Fascism…without using matches to burn the books! American history is indeed, under siege, plus, it is our tax-dollars that purchased those books…go figure. Is there actually a war to what…erase our history and rewrite it or simply cover up actual truths that groups or committees deem fit to remove from public access.

    Some of the above archives and museums have people working there that are totally unaware of aviation history, yet draw a paycheck-when one asks about files, they are either too lazy to do a search, don’t actually know how, or blow us off with something like, “we don’t have such material in our archives,” when other researchers in past times could name files, reels, etc., yet the draw a steady paycheck!
    Thank you.


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