Foner and McGirr, eds, American History Now

Today I received a copy of American History Now, a brand-new collection of historiographical essays edited by Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr. Published for the American Historical Association by Temple University Press, the book supplants The New American History, which came out in 1990 and was revised in 1997. The new volume is an imaginative overhauling of the invaluable sourcebook of essays on recent developments in American history, increasing the total number of texts and dividing them roughly evenly between accounts ordered chronologically and those ordered thematically. If you have the earlier edition—I do, and it was very useful for my comprehensive exam—you’ll want this one, too, as the editors have invited a new generation of scholars to weigh in with fresh surveys of their particular fields of expertise. A few examples will suffice: Alan Taylor on the colonial era; Kim Phillips-Fein on the last four decades; Erez Manela on “The United States in the World”; Sven Beckert on the history of American capitalism; Mae Ngai on immigration and ethnic history.