Making History Matter

 
 
Temple University Press,U.S.
  • erschienen am 3. April 2000
 
  • Buch
  • |
  • Softcover
  • |
  • 245 Seiten
978-1-56639-749-0 (ISBN)
 
This collection of Robert Dawidoff's essays and journalism is peopled by the likes of the Founding Fathers, Fred Astaire, Henry and William James, Sophie Tucker, Trent Lott, and Cole Porter. Drawing together this unlikely cast of characters, Dawidoff probes into the role of outsider groups as well as intellectual and political elites in the formation of American culture.As a scholar of intellectual and cultural history, Dawidoff takes the stance that historians ought to take an active role in our democratic culture, informing and participating in public discourse. He argues for a broad reach when it comes to cultural expression, resisting the polarization of formal intellectual history and folk or commercial popular culture. In his view, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Katherine Hepburn are equally worthy topics for a historian's consideration, provided that they are treated with equal seriousness of purpose and analytic rigor. In \u0022The Gay Nineties\u0022 section that closes the book, he traces key events in the continual struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights and takes on such unresolved issues as safer sex, needle exchange programs to control HIV transmission, and the public controversy around the portrayal of gay and lesbian television characters. Divided into sections that deal with the patriarchs of American political and intellectual culture, expressive culture, and a historian's public voice, this book is a model of engaged and engaging writing. Accessible and witty, Making History Matter will appeal to general and academic readers interested in American history as well as gay and lesbian political and cultural issues.
 
This collection of Robert Dawidoff's essays and journalism is peopled by the likes of the Founding Fathers, Fred Astaire, Henry and William James, Sophie Tucker, Trent Lott, and Cole Porter. Drawing together this unlikely cast of characters, Dawidoff probes into the role of outsider groups as well as intellectual and political elites in the formation of American culture.As a scholar of intellectual and cultural history, Dawidoff takes the stance that historians ought to take an active role in our democratic culture, informing and participating in public discourse. He argues for a broad reach when it comes to cultural expression, resisting the polarization of formal intellectual history and folk or commercial popular culture. In his view, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Katherine Hepburn are equally worthy topics for a historian's consideration, provided that they are treated with equal seriousness of purpose and analytic rigor. In \u0022The Gay Nineties\u0022 section that closes the book, he traces key events in the continual struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights and takes on such unresolved issues as safer sex, needle exchange programs to control HIV transmission, and the public controversy around the portrayal of gay and lesbian television characters. Divided into sections that deal with the patriarchs of American political and intellectual culture, expressive culture, and a historian's public voice, this book is a model of engaged and engaging writing. Accessible and witty, Making History Matter will appeal to general and academic readers interested in American history as well as gay and lesbian political and cultural issues.
  • Englisch
  • Philadelphia PA
  • |
  • USA
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
  • Höhe: 229 mm
  • |
  • Breite: 152 mm
978-1-56639-749-0 (9781566397490)

Robert Dawidoff is Professor of History at Claremont Graduate University. He is author of Created Equal: Why Gay Rights Matterto Americans with Michael Nava.
Robert Dawidoff is Professor of History at Claremont Graduate University. He is author of <i>Created Equal: Why Gay Rights Matter</i><i>to Americans</i> with Michael Nava.
CONTENTS

<i>Preface

Acknowledgments</i>

History...but

<b>PART I. THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD WHITE MEN</b>
The Jeffersonian Option

Franklin and Jefferson: Before "the Democratic Fact"

"Tails in the Air": Henry Adams and the American History of the European Middle Ages

Willie's and Harry's Excellent Adventure

Fish Out of Water: George Santayana

In My Father's House Are Many Closets

<b>PART II. LISTENING TO SOPHIE TUCKER
</b> Criticism and American Cultural Repair

The Kind of Person You Have to Sound Like to Sing "Alexander's Ragtime Band"

Some of Those Days

Fred Astaire

Katherine Hepburn: "The Heiress of All the Ages"

From Ohio to the Big Rock Candy Mountain: Los Angeles as the Terminus of American Democratic Culture

<b>PART III. DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT</b>
STALKING TH BLUSHING ZEBRA

THE GAY NINETIES: OPINION PIECES

Gay Rights
One Percent or Ten Percent -- The Law Isn't Counting
Clinton Speaks the Haters' Code Word
First, We Demand Recognition
Gays and Lesbians Need a Real Movement
The Feds, Civil Rights, and Camp Sister Spirit
Gays Won't Take Clinton's Betrayal Lightly

Clio in the Morning Papers
Clio in Office?
Seeing the Messiness of America's True History
Lott's Wife

The Politics of AIDS, Safer Sex, and Needle Exchange
How About a Policy on AIDS?
Needle Exchange Can Save Lives
Clean Needles and Bloody Hands
Did the President Use a Condom?

The Intolerance Wars
In Real Life, the Funnies Aren't
Holiday, Lavender Blue
Gays Saw Between the Lines of <i>Ellen</i>
TV-H: Hazardous to Your Hypocrisy
Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness -- Gay or Straight

<i>Notes</i>
"What stands out in these essays, whether or not you agree with their theses, is Dawidoff's ebullient affection for his subjects.... he's not only a historian; he's also a fan..."
-The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide "Dawidoff's remarkable book affirms by example as well as argument the value of the essay for bringing history into the culture at large. He also demonstrates the value of historical scholarship in enriching that culture and the debates within it. It is a morally and intellectually courageous book, written in a personal, pungent, and compelling style, making the case for serious culture and talent that is of democracy, not simply in it, and in so doing he imaginatively and importantly refigures notions of center and periphery, majority and minority, dominant and marginalized, thus expanding our understanding of political culture. It is a book sparkling with insight on a wide range of cultural figures and issues, and it is infused with both wisdom and passion. This history does matter."
-Thomas Bender, Professor of History, New York University, and author of New York Intellectuals "Not many historians are able to write equally convincingly about Thomas Jefferson, Fred Astaire, and the politics of needle exchange. But, Robert Dawidoff can. With graceful prose and supple intellect [Dawidoff] roams the map of America's intellectual and cultural terrain, and he does it with bracing confidence. These essays are a pleasure to read, and they serve the best of Jeffersonian ideals very well indeed."
-John D'Emilio, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America "I know of no book more aptly titled than Making History Matter. In these exhilarating essays, Robert Dawidoff manages to make history come wholly alive and he is equally at home with Sophie Tucker and Fred Astaire as with Jefferson, Santayana, and the brothers Henry and William James. Whether writing about the role of needle exchanges in the dissemination of AIDS, or spoofing some of the deficiencies of academic Cultural Studies, Dawidoff is consistently sprightly, engaging, witty, and brilliant. For Dawidoff, the personal really is the political and vice-versa, and yet his book is never doctrinaire or polemic. Reading Making History Matter is pure pleasure-and truly edifying as well."
-Marjorie Perloff, Sadie Dernham Patek Professor of Humanities at Stanford University, and author of Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary "Admirers of Robert Dawidoff's work know the elegance and revelation in his readings of the fate of high intellect in our democracy. In his new book, that fate is shown to be enacted through a perpetually astonishing range of encounters of the ordinary with the extraordinary, the low-down with the high-hat, each inviting and liberating the other's responsiveness. Like good philosophy, this work lets you know what you thought you did not know and shows you how to treasure what your thought you need not know."
-Stanley Cavell, Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Harvard University "Katharine Hepburn, Ben Franklin, Fred Astaire, Thomas Jefferson, Sophie Tucker, George Santayana, Irving Berlin-surely unlikely companions, past or present. Unless they are journeying with Robert Dawidoff, an historian of remarkable range and imagination. Making History Matter provokes, startles, and delights. Page after page Dawidoff reminds me what inspired me to become an historian."
-Mary Kelley, Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor, Dartmouth College "I would treasure this book for its brilliant essays on music and the lessons against intolerance alone, but there is such wisdom to glean from its pages that I will be reading it again and again for years to come."
-Andrea Marcovicci, Singer/Actress
 

<i>"I would treasure this book for its brilliant essays on music and the lessons against intolerance <i>alone</i>, but there is such wisdom to glean from its pages that I will be reading it again and again for years to come."</i>
-<b>Andrea Marcovicci</b>, Singer/Actress


<i>"Katharine Hepburn, Ben Franklin, Fred Astaire, Thomas Jefferson, Sophie Tucker, George Santayana, Irving Berlin-surely unlikely companions, past or present. Unless they are journeying with Robert Dawidoff, an historian of remarkable range and imagination. </i>Making History Matter<i> provokes, startles, and delights. Page after page Dawidoff reminds me what inspired me to become an historian."</i>
-<b>Mary Kelley</b>, Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor, Dartmouth College
<i>"Admirers of Robert Dawidoff's work know the elegance and revelation in his readings of the fate of high intellect in our democracy. In his new book, that fate is shown to be enacted through a perpetually astonishing range of encounters of the ordinary with the extraordinary, the low-down with the high-hat, each inviting and liberating the other's responsiveness. Like good philosophy, this work lets you know what you thought you did not know and shows you how to treasure what your thought you need not know."</i>
-<b>Stanley Cavell</b>, Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Harvard University

<i>"I know of no book more aptly titled than </i>Making History Matter<i>. In these exhilarating essays, Robert Dawidoff manages to make history come wholly alive and he is equally at home with Sophie Tucker and Fred Astaire as with Jefferson, Santayana, and the brothers Henry and William James. Whether writing about the role of needle exchanges in the dissemination of AIDS, or spoofing some of the deficiencies of academic Cultural Studies, Dawidoff is consistently sprightly, engaging, witty, and brilliant. For Dawidoff, the personal really is the political and vice-versa, and yet his book is never doctrinaire or polemic. Reading </i>Making History Matter<i> is pure pleasure-and truly edifying as well."</i>
-<b>Marjorie Perloff</b>, Sadie Dernham Patek Professor of Humanities at Stanford University, and author of <i>Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary</i>


<i>"Not many historians are able to write equally convincingly about Thomas Jefferson, Fred Astaire, and the politics of needle exchange. But, Robert Dawidoff can. With graceful prose and supple intellect [Dawidoff] roams the map of America's intellectual and cultural terrain, and he does it with bracing confidence. These essays are a pleasure to read, and they serve the best of Jeffersonian ideals very well indeed."</i>
-<b>John D'Emilio</b>, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of <i>Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America</i>


<i>"Dawidoff's remarkable book affirms by example as well as argument the value of the essay for bringing history into the culture at large. He also demonstrates the value of historical scholarship in enriching that culture and the debates within it. It is a morally and intellectually courageous book, written in a personal, pungent, and compelling style, making the case for serious culture and talent that is of democracy, not simply in it, and in so doing he imaginatively and importantly refigures notions of center and periphery, majority and minority, dominant and marginalized, thus expanding our understanding of political culture. It is a book sparkling with insight on a wide range of cultural figures and issues, and it is infused with both wisdom and passion. This history does matter."</i>
-<b>Thomas Bender</b>, Professor of History, New York University, and author of <i>New York Intellectuals</i>


<i>"What stands out in these essays, whether or not you agree with their theses, is Dawidoff's ebullient affection for his subjects.... he's not only a historian; he's also a fan..."</i>
-<b><i>The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide</i></b>


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