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May 26 , 2008

American Intellectual Histories and Historians


This study of American intellectual histories sketches their development from colonial chronicles to today's professional scholarship. It concentrates upon the writings of a dozen or more major historians between the late 1800's and the middle 1900's who have contributed to the study of the history of ideas in America, including Moses Coit Tyler, Edward Eggleston, Charles Beard, Carl Becker, Vernon Farrington, Merle Curti, Perry Miller, and Ralph Gabriel. The various histories are analyzed partly from the perspective of a developing scholarly discipline and partly from the perspective of the "climate of opinion" in which the histories were written. The methods employed by the historians in studying ideas, as well as the substantive interpretations expressed in the histories, are analyzed in relation to the "world-views" or "ideological positions" of the historians themselves.

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Originally published in 1966.

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