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Learning American History: Critical Skills for the Survey Course

ISBN: 978-0-88295-920-7
178 pages
December 1996, ©1997, Wiley-Blackwell
Learning American History: Critical Skills for the Survey Course (0882959204) cover image

Complete in one affordable volume thoughtfully designed to help students and their instructors get the most out of whichever survey text they use, Learning American History is an excellent workbook for students enrolled in one- or two-semester survey courses. By deftly combining an entry-level discussion of historiography and historical methods with engaging exercises, Professors Salevouris and Furay help the reader/user truly understand how history is made and what it means to "think historically." Both students and their instructors will appreciate the book's practical advice on how to gather information, evaluate and interpret evidence from various sources (including television and film), and construct a first-rate paper.

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PREFACE ix

CHAPTER 1 The Writing of American History 1

EXERCISES Part I, 1942-1650 7

Part II, 1865-1898 13

CHAPTER 2 The Nature of History 16

EXERCISES Part I, 1492-1650 23

Part II, 1865-1898 26

CHAPTER 3 Historical Thinking 29

EXERCISES PART I, 1650-1776 33

Part II, 1890-1920 37

CHAPTER 4 Context in History 41

EXERCISES Part I, 1650-1776 46

Part II, 1890-1920 50

CHAPTER 5 Gathering Information 55

EXERCISES Part I, 1176-1820 63

Part II, 1918-1941 69

CHAPTER 6 Evaluating Evidence 75

EXERCISES Part I, 1776-1820 81

Part II, 1918-1941 87

CHAPTER 7 Interpreting Evidence 92

EXERCISES Part I, 1820-1860 96

Part II, 1941-1963 101

CHAPTER 8 The Stages of Writing 105

EXERCISES Part I, 1820-1860 108

Part II, 1941-1963 117

CHAPTER 9 Meaningful Writing: The Paragraph 127

EXERCISES Part I, 1850-1877 130

Part II, 1960-Present 135

CHAPTER 10 Structured Writing: Paragraph Strategies 139

EXERCISES Part I, 1850-1877 141

Part II, 1960-Present 146

CHAPTER 11 Television, Film, and History 152

EXERCISES 159

APPENDIX A Reading History 161

APPENDIX B Writing a Book Review 163

APPENDIX C The Term Paper: An Overview (Harry James Cargas) 166

APPENDIX D Oral History 169

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING 176

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Michael J. Salevouris is a Professor of History at Webster University in St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and currently teaches courses in history methods, British and European History, the history of warfare, and the history of disease and medicine. In addition to various reviews and articles, he is the author of “Riflemen Form”: The War Scare of 1859 -1860 in England and (with Conal Furay) The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide. His interests include golf, tennis, playing the recorder, mystery novels, model railroads, and traveling far and wide when the opportunity arises.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Conal Furay received his doctoral degree from St. Louis University and currently teaches history methods, American cultural and intellectual history, and business history at Webster University, where he is a Professor of History. Previous publications include The Grass-Roots Mind in America and (with Michael Salevouris) The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide. Outside the classroom current passions include watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers achieve further football glory and hoping for a bogey-free round of golf.

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