In the Past Lane

In the Past Lane : Historical Perspectives on American Culture

3.81 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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Michael Kammen is widely regarded as one of our most important -- and most diversely talented -- cultural historians. David Brion Davis has said, "No other historian of (his) generation has such a broad and concrete grasp of 'American culture' in all its manifestations, from constitutional law to formal painting and popular culture." This engaging volume stands as rich and compelling evidence of that assertion. In the Past Lane collects writings from a span of more than ten years, covering the broad spectrum of Kammen's recent interests. Essay topics include the role of the historian, the relationship between culture and the State, uses of tradition in American commercial culture, American historical art, memory distortion in American history, the contested uses of history in American education, and others. The book wilt be seen as an important contribution to Kammen's wide-ranging scholarship -- and to American cultural history more

Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 156.2 x 233.9 x 20.1mm | 447.88g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • halftones
  • 019513091X
  • 9780195130911

Review quote

In this book, Professor Kammen addresses three specific current concerns among American historians: the nature and dynamics of collective memory in national life, the contested role of cultural programs in the civic order, and the complex linking between the personal and the professional in the writing of history. More deeply, it is a book about art-about representations of reality by artists in the form of words and in the form of objects. Michael Kammen is passionate about art in both of these forms. He appreciates the primal fact that America is most usefully seen as one culture among the myriad cultures of the earth. His work as a scholar is powered by a passion for context: cultural context, the context of personal experience, all past time, and global geography. Widely aware, carefully thought-out, superbly written, In The Past Lane offers us here insights and understandings that are uniquely valuable. * Joel Williamson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill *show more

About Michael Kammen

Michael Kammen is the Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture at Cornell University. He won the Pulitzer Prize for People of Paradox (1973) and the Francis Parkman Prize for A Machine That Would Go of Itself (1987). Kammen is also the author of The Lively Arts (Oxford, 1996).show more

Rating details

11 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 36% (4)
4 27% (3)
3 27% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 9% (1)
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