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Being a Historian
An Introduction to the Professional World of History

  • Date Published: April 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107697287


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About the Authors
  • Based on the author's more than 50 years of experience as a professional historian in academic and other capacities, Being a Historian is addressed to both aspiring and mature historians. It offers an overview of the state of the discipline of history today and the problems that confront it and its practitioners in many professions. James M. Banner, Jr argues that historians remain inadequately prepared for their rapidly changing professional world and that the discipline as a whole has yet to confront many of its deficiencies. He also argues that, no longer needing to conform automatically to the academic ideal, historians can now more safely and productively than ever before adapt to their own visions, temperaments and goals as they take up their responsibilities as scholars, teachers and public practitioners. Critical while also optimistic, this work suggests many topics for further scholarly and professional exploration, research and debate.

    • Suggests new ways to tell the history of history in the US
    • Its chapter on being oneself as a historian is unique in the literature
    • Many of the subjects it takes up (such as the service ideal and ethical and professional standards) are ignored in the graduate school preparation of professional historians
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Clear, concise and accessible.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107697287
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The discipline and professions of history
    2. The structure of the discipline of history
    3. A multitude of opportunities: forms, kinds, and users of history
    4. The academic trinity: research, teaching, service
    5. History outside the academy
    6. Teaching and writing history
    7. Professional principles, responsibilities, rights
    8. Being oneself as historian.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Doing History
    • Graduate Teaching Practicum
    • Historical Methodology
    • Historiographial Perspectives
    • Historiography and Research Methods
    • History Colloquium
    • History of the Mass Media
    • Intro to Public History
    • Introduction to the Professional Study of History
    • Method
    • Public History
    • Readings in History
    • Senior Seminar in history
    • Teaching Practicum
    • U.S. Colloqium I
  • Author

    James M. Banner, Jr
    James M. Banner, Jr holds a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Columbia, where he studied with Richard Hofstadter. From 1966 to 1980, he was a member of the history department at Princeton University, which he left to found the American Association for the Advancement of the Humanities. He has also been a book publisher and foundation officer. A former Guggenheim Fellow, fellow of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard, member of the board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies and Fulbright Visiting Professor of American History at Charles University, Prague, he is the author of many books and essays in American history, education and public affairs. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. His most recent works include, with Harold C. Cannon, The Elements of Teaching and The Elements of Learning, and Becoming Historians, edited with John R. Gillis. He is also the editor of A Century of American Historiography. Banner was a co-founder of the History News Service and of the National History Center.

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