I propose to use this site to connect what we know about American social history — drawing in particular on my new book, Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character — to current issues under political and cultural discussion.
Too many of these discussions proceed, implicitly or explicitly, with assumptions about American history that are wrong. Chapter 1 of Made in America discusses several common myths about the American past — for example, that Americans used to live in one community longer or were more religious than Americans today. Other chapters recount an American history that is known to professional social historians but often a surprise to everyone else. (The page “About the Book” describes it in more detail.)
My assumption is that our discussions will advance farther if they are based on a clearer view of the past. We’ll see how well the posts here help validate that assumption.
This site does not post comments. (I have a day job and cannot manage a comments section.) But readers can contact me through the email address posted at the top right of the page.