Another book find
0 comment Saturday, July 19, 2014 |
I happened across a book called Out of Our Past, by Carl N. Degler, for which I paid all of 50 cents.
It's dated 1959, and it is subtitled The Forces That Shaped Modern America.
Apparently it's available now for purchase, though I found my copy in a second-hand store. It promises to be an interesting read, though I've only skimmed various passages so far. It seems as though he devotes considerable attention to issues that happen to be front and center now: national identity, immigration, the role of government throughout our history, and the intractable race problem.
Given that the book was first published in 1959, it seems to have been written in a kind of transitional time between old America and the America of today, especially where ideas about national identity and the role of government are concerned. Within those limitations, it seems to be fairly even-handed, compared to the PC extremes of today.
I've looked at the chapters regarding the War Between the States and it appears as though he treats the concerns of the South with somewhat more respect than today's historians and writers deign to.
There are obvious examples of proto-PC attitudes in the book, but in the 1950s as now, academics were more liberal than the general population, so I make allowances for that. I hope to blog about some of the subjects he deals with in this book, because as the subtitle says, certain 'forces' or ideas that brought us to our present state are a consequence of past events and developments.
If any of you know this book, or have any opinions or thoughts about it, please comment.

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