What We’re Reading: October 6, 2011 Edition

In the news this week, Virginia has revised error-ridden history textbooks but historians still have concerns. Also, updates on the William Cronon e-mail controversy, a former National Archives employee pleads guilty to stealing sound recordings, a House bill proposes eliminating the Teaching American history program, and good news for print: more magazines were started and fewer were shut down this year. You’ll also find responses to President Anthony T. Grafton and AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman’s recent article “No More Plan B,” tips for conference goers, and more.


Careers in History


  • Google’s Loss: The Public’s Gain
    Former AHA President Robert Darnton discusses his dream of a Digital Public Library, and offers a critique of both the Google Books project and the recent lawsuit by the Authors Guild against the Hathi Trust.


  • Hofstadter’s “Lost” Book
    Ben Hufbauer argues that Richard Hofstadter’s college textbook, The American Republic, though nearly a lost book today, is really one of his finest scholarly contributions, on par with his other great works, and “revolutionized what an American history text could do.”
  • Online Access to the Founding Fathers’ Papers
    The National Archives announced last week that the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, in cooperation with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, will “provide pre-publication access to 68,000 historical papers of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington that have not yet been published in authoritative documentary editions.”

Lesson Plans

Contributors: Debbie Ann Doyle, Elisabeth Grant, Jim Grossman, Vernon Horn, and Robert B. Townsend

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