James M. Banner

Teoksen The Elements of Teaching tekijä

14+ Works 463 Jäsentä 4 arvostelua

About the Author

James M. Banner, Jr., is an independent scholar, writer, teacher, association director, and book publisher. (Bowker Author Biography)

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It was ever thus.

Banner's job is actually quite difficult, make a simple case that political rhetoric about the use of history is completely antithetical to the actual practice of reassessing the past against new sources and frames of reference. His examples though of common controversies about revisionism are well chosen and each expose a new wrinkle about how a static view of the past doesn't just miss the point but also loses clarity in pursuit of absolute truth.
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Kavinay | 1 muu arvostelu | Jan 2, 2023 |
Talking about revisionism by performing its own version of same.
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Paul_S | 1 muu arvostelu | Oct 1, 2021 |
This is probably the best book out there on the events that led to the Hartford Convention. I had to deduct a half star because of two reasons:
1) This book brings up a lot of things and hopes you already know about them, A lot of things about Massachusetts religion and life mostly. I understand that people reading about early 19th century New England may know about the breakdown of religious groups... but I sure as hell didn't.
2) There has been a lot of later scholarship that talks about exactly how bad things got economically which fuelled the rage in Massachusetts and led to Hartford that the author couldn't possibly have known about, especially regarding the 1807 Embargo and 1808 Non-Intercourse Act.

For being a crucial moment in American history people are very silent about this topic.
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Evan_Edlund | Sep 2, 2020 |
This book is boring, but it is still well worth reading, particularly for those seriously interested in U.S. history and politics. First, why boring: I bought this book with great anticipation, looking for a guided tour through the scandals of our presidents. It does indeed provide a tour, and there were more scandals than I imagined. The only president whose administration did not provide at least a dollop of scandal was that of William Henry Harrison, who served for one month and then died. Even George Washington's administration was accused of major malfeasance in its later years. The trouble is that the tour isn't really guided. The historians who drew up the studies of each administration have not tied scandals into the tenor of the times, or made much an evaluation of the culpability and/or character of each president. This makes for dull reading, and I contemplated jumping ship about 100 pages in.

BUT -- why well worth reading? First, the sheer scope of accusation and counter-accusation shows just how long partisanship has gripped US politics. That's not to deny a great deal of malfeasance by some presidents and by the associates of many presidents. But most adminstrations have been accused, and many investigated, for things that now seem less than impressive. Second, the process of accusation and counter-accusation, taken together, illustrates the ongoing push-pull between the legislative and executive branches. Third, some of the book is really interesting. I had no idea that the Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman administrations were so scandal-plagued, nor that Iran Contra was as serious as it looks in retrospects. Finally, all that past creates a context in which to evaluate the current president. Although I think that the totality of his actions adds up to very major crimes and misdemeanors, I am afraid that the specific actions for which he was impeached look less impressive in an historical context.
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annbury | Feb 3, 2020 |


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