Publication Date

March 12, 2012

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

All pamphlets in the AHA’s New American History series have now been significantly reduced in price to $2 each. Visit the AHA Publications Store (signing in as a member or registered user) to pick up some today.

The New American History series represents “new history,” and includes essays first published as a volume in 1990 by Temple University Press. Each pamphlet is less than 30 pages, offering great short studies by prominent scholars on issues of gender, ethnicity, labor, economy, politics, and culture.

Below, we list just a few of the 16 pamphlets in the series. Find the rest in the New American History series section of the Publications Store.

  • African-American History
    By Thomas C. Holt
    This essay examines new scholarship in an attempt to understand the past as African Americans have experienced it. The author examines recent scholarly interpretations of the three watersheds in the history of black people in America: forced migration from Africa and enslavement; emancipation, followed by a half-century of sharecropping and tenancy; and the great 20th-century northern migrations.
  • American since 1945
    By William H. Chafe
    “Few periods of history have witnessed as much profound change as has occurred in America since World War II,” writes author William H. Chafe. American life in the postwar period was a time of profound social, cultural, political, and economic change. This essay examines change and continuity during three distinct phases in the postwar period: the end of World War II to the early 1950s, the years surrounding the tumultuous civil rights revolution, and the rise of cultural and political conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • American Labor History
    By Leon Fink
    Explore labor history beyond the study of official labor organizations and wage work in factories and workshops. This essay discusses the lives of slaves on plantations, women at home, and such diverse groups as nurses, migrant farm laborers, and department store employees. Changes and developments in work from the colonial period to the late 20th century are reviewed.
  • Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945
    By Allan Brinkley
    “Most Americans who lived through the period from the end of World War I to the end of World War II,” writes author Alan Brinkley, “believed they were experiencing events of special historical importance: an unprecedented capitalist expansion, the greatest economic crisis in the nation’s history, a dramatic experiment in political reform, a cataclysmic world conflict, and the rise of the United States to unchallenged global preeminence.” This essay investigates emerging scholarship on the interwar years, particularly those concerned with social, economic, and political changes.
  • Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction
    By Eric Foner
    The Civil War era has proven perennially fascinating to Americans. In this essay recent scholarship offers new answers to old historical questions and raises new concerns, such as regional differences in the institution of slavery, the impact of the Civil War on non-slaveholding whites, and the role of black people in the sectional crisis.
  • U.S. Women’s History
    By Linda Gordon
    Women’s history offers concrete and intimate images of the past, often addressing such daily life experiences as courtship, childbirth, child raising, and sexuality. This essay discusses the development of women’s history as a discipline and elaborates on its themes and emphases, such as labor and gender formation and culture.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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