In the Past Lane by Michael Kammen
Historical Perspectives on American Culture

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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 will be seen as an important contribution to Kammen's wide-ranging scholarship--and to American cultural history proper.

"For professional historians or serious students of history, Kammen's essays provide an excellent opportunity to gauge how those who chronicle our past both influence and are influenced by national and personal experiences."--Booklist

About Michael Kammen

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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 and the Francis Parkman Prize for A Machine That Would Go of Itself.
Published February 25, 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA. 296 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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In the first, he discusses such diverse issues as the history of government support for cultural programs, the development of courthouse architecture and its meaning for our evolving views of justice and the legal profession, and the exploitation of historical and cultural images in advertising.

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Publishers Weekly

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In the author's words, the book is ""a work about the historian's vocation, about history and culture in American public life, and about changing perceptions of the past in the United States."" Kammen's primary objective is to trace the evolving presumptions and prejudices that shape how we under...

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