SERIES: Debating Twentieth-Century America
Debating 20th Century America is a series of books aimed at helping readers appreciate an important aspect of the writing of history: there is no simple, wholly agreed upon 'truth' that captures what has happened in the past. Our understanding of the events of history depends considerably on the way that individual historians interpret them. With this in mind, each book in the series features two essays, written from varying perspectives, about an important issue, event, or trend in twentieth century American history. The essayists, who are well-known writers and teachers in their fields, bring to this task considerable expertise. They have delved into the primary and secondary sources and have arrived at personal interpretations of their subjects. Their conclusions, however, reflect different approaches or conclusions. Placed side by side, the essays frequently engage in 'debate' over the past. The writers of the essays in Debating 20th Century America wish to give readers a sense of the evidence of their generations. They therefore include a small number of documents that have influenced their thinking. Students may find it challenging to evaluate the relevance and importance of these documents. Our goal is to publish a series of books that will enhance instructors+ and students+ abilities to engage in fruitful, intelligent discussions about American history in the last century, as well as provide students with the necessary skills to interpret the past. The books in this series are excellent teaching tools because they will demonstrate how historians can draw varied conclusions about the enduring historical significance of their topic. We hope that the essays and documents will help students understand the complexity of the past, as well as the subjective process of writing history that carries the past to the present. Editorial Advisory Board: Paul S. Boyer, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Alan Brinkley, Columbia University; William H. Chafe, Duke University; Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University; Paul K. Conkin, Vanderbilt University; John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University; Jacquelyn Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Nancy Hewitt, Rutgers University; Laura Kalman, University of California, Santa Barbara; David M. Kennedy, Stanford University; Alice Kessler-Harris, Rutgers University; Steven Lawson, Rutgers University; Manning Marable, Columbia University; Harvard Sitkoff, University of New Hampshire; Charles B. Strozier, City University of New York, Graduate Center; Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University; and Robert H. Zieger, University of Florida. "As we struggle to teach our students that historical analysis means asking probing new questions and answering them with powerful and original arguments, books like these are invaluable. We and our students will get the latest, sharpest thinking from accomplished historians about the major issues in twentieth-century American history." -Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University "Debating Twentieth-Century America is a major new resource for the classroom. Crafted by the country's leading historians, each volume is unique, incisive, and provocative." -Jacquelyn Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill "I am excited by the appearance of this new series, so aptly titled Debating Twentieth-Century America. These books-counter posing the interpretive arguments of our leading historians-will clarify and illuminate the major issues students must master if they are to understand where our century has been and where it is heading. This invaluable series promises to show a discipline in conversation with itself, for criticism and interpretation are the vital signs of a recent past that compels reassessment. Anyone who relishes a good argument should welcome Debating Twentieth-Century America." -Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University

Editor(s): James T. Patterson, Brown University
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