Becoming Historians

Becoming Historians

James M. Banner Jr. and John R. Gillis

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226036564

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


In this collection, the memoirs of eleven historians provide a portrait of a formative generation of scholars. Born around the time of World War II, these historians came of age just before the upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s and helped to transform both their discipline and the broader world of American higher education. The self-inventions they chronicle led, in many cases, to the invention of new fields—including women's and gender history, social history, and public history—that cleared paths in the academy and made the study of the past more capacious and broadly relevant. In these stories, aspiring historians will find inspiration and guidance, experienced scholars will see reflections of their own dilemmas and struggles, and all readers will discover an account of how today's seasoned historians embarked on their intellectual journeys.

Table of Contents

Front Matter

Finding Critical History

Joan Wallach Scott

Church People and Others

David A. Hollinger


Maureen Murphy Nutting


John R. Gillis

My Way

Temma Kaplan

Becoming a Gay Historian

Paul Robinson

Historian, Improvised

James M. Banner, Jr.

End Matter