By Robert Rutland
Even if historians speak about each one other's paintings commonly, they've been reluctant to list their concepts in regards to the major practitioners of U.S. background. Robert Allen Rutland makes an attempt to therapy this country of items with this assortment named for Clio, the Greek muse vested with the inspirations of heritage. the amount deals a glimpse of the lives and paintings of historians who has to be thought of one of the such a lot awesome from the final half the 20 th century. The roll name of excellence for Clio's Favorites used to be confirmed after Rutland informally polled a few twenty-five historians, asking them to call the phenomenal staff within the box of U.S. heritage because the finish of worldwide battle II. one of the standards for choice have been: caliber (not quantity) of the historian's paintings; impression within the box of analysis; significance of his or her graduate and undergraduate educating; and the figure's public character as mirrored by way of awards, honors, and involvement in public provider. The historians profiled in Clio's Favorites, such a lot of whom broke new floor, met and exceeded those criteria. The record may have long past on, yet Rutland believes those twelve characterize the cream of the crop. simply because the topic of every essay in Clio's Favorites is a remarkably exceptional historian, the authors of those twelve essays are finished historians themselves. stable old writing is rarely superseded, Rutland argues. The broad paintings of the students profiled the following has continued and may proceed to suffer. Likewise, the writing in Clio's Favorites, through twelve specialist historians, will live to tell the tale. This booklet can be an enduring checklist of the contributions made by means of the easiest U.S. historians practising their craft over the past fifty years.
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Extra info for Clio's favorites: leading historians of the United States, 1945-2000
For Curti, no achievement was ever quite enough; no prizes, no recognition, ever stilled the intense drive. He never developed a tough skin, never became cynical. Criticism continued to hurt. He took it so seriously. Everyone’s opinion counted. And he kept at his task, job after job, book after book, with all the ego-bruising hazards—hostile readers, inept copy editors, unfair reviewers. Thus the agony, the pain, and the rare appreciation. And no rest. At Harvard, Curti first encountered the history profession.
Like so many college students of his generation, Donald had read Look Homeward, Angel and at that time “was certain that Thomas Wolfe had told my life story. . ” Over the years, Donald read more of Wolfe, but in time he had lost interest in Wolfe and his novels. Then, with the visit to Wolfe’s home, Donald became so intrigued by the North Carolinian’s peripatetic life that he began a serious study of Wolfe’s works and its impact on the social history of the United States . After World War II some historians and political scientists spoke of “consensus history” as an explanation for the nation’s social and political progress.
History appealed to him, and the next logical step was graduate training that would prepare him for a career in college teaching. After a brief stint as a graduate student at the University of Illinois, he transferred to the University of North Carolina, but he was soon back at Illinois, where he became a teaching assistant and graduate student work- W 35 36 Clio’s Favorites ing with the noted Lincoln scholar James G. Randall. Their professorstudent relationship was based on Donald’s respect for Randall and Randall’s recognition of the young Mississippian’s talents.