Being a Historian: An Introduction To The Professional World Of History

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9781107697287: Being a Historian: An Introduction To The Professional World Of History
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Based on the author's more than 50 years of experience as a professional historian in academic and other capacities, Being a Historian is addressed to both aspiring and mature historians. It offers an overview of the state of the discipline of history today and the problems that confront it and its practitioners in many professions. James M. Banner Jr. argues that historians remain inadequately prepared for their rapidly changing professional world and that the discipline as a whole has yet to confront many of its deficiencies. He also argues that, no longer needing to conform automatically to the academic ideal, historians can now more safely and productively than ever before adapt to their own visions, temperaments, and goals as they take up their responsibilities as scholars, teachers, and public practitioners. Critical while also optimistic, this work suggests many topics for further scholarly and professional exploration, research, and debate.

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A book for beginning and experienced academic and public historians, Being a Historian concerns the condition of the discipline of history in the United States today, what aspiring and mature historians need to know about it, and what might be undertaken to remedy its shortcomings. This is an overview of the diversity of professional history that historians need to consider as they learn and practice history.

About the Author:

James M. Banner, Jr holds a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Columbia, where he studied with Richard Hofstadter. From 1966 to 1980, he was a member of the history department at Princeton University, which he left to found the American Association for the Advancement of the Humanities. He has also been a book publisher and foundation officer. A former Guggenheim Fellow, fellow of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard, member of the board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies and Fulbright Visiting Professor of American History at Charles University, Prague, he is the author of many books and essays in American history, education and public affairs. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. His most recent works include, with Harold C. Cannon, The Elements of Teaching and The Elements of Learning, and Becoming Historians, edited with John R. Gillis. He is also the editor of A Century of American Historiography. Banner was a co-founder of the History News Service and of the National History Center.

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