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Palgrave Macmillan

Speaking History

Oral Histories of the American Past, 1865-Present

ISBN 9781403977823
Publication Date December 2009
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in Oral History

This oral history reader, designed to supplement texts on the second half of the U.S. history survey, features the words of ordinary people who describe how they shaped, viewed, and remembered American history.

  • Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles 2010

SUE ARMITAGE is a Distinguished Professor of History at Washington State University, Canada and Director of the Center for Columbia River History. 
LAURIE MERCIER is Associate Professor of History at Washington State University, Vancouver, Canada.

PART I: 1865-1900
PART II: 1900-1920
PART III: 1920-1945
PART IV: 1945-1965
PART V: 1965-2000


"Speaking History is an invaluable contribution to a distinguished series. It stands alone as a testament to how oral history narratives can complicate and enrich our understanding of the past. It also serves as an ideal companion to surveys of American history, plunging readers into the lives of everyday historical actors and challenging them to see themselves as agents of history as well. The voices are compelling and wonderfully well chosen. The book is ingeniously organized. The text is sweeping in scope and intricate in detail; yet the editors guide us through 150 years of American history with authority and grace." - Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Spruill Professor of History, Director of the Southern Oral History Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"This work beautifully bridges the gap between book-driven history and field-driven history. In five chronological sections, covering 1865-2000, compilers Armitage and Mercier adeptly integrate the narrator's personal reflections and experiences with a crucial historical theme, event, or movement. Oral histories are excellent at humanizing specific times, events, incidents, or groups, but one that integrates firsthand, oral, historical observations with conventional history over the broad sweep of the 1865-2000 period is rare. Armitage and Mercier do this masterfully. Covering the major themes of race, labor, immigration, migration, gender, civil rights, leisure, war, and the economy in concise and contextualized sections, these scholars have created a truly exciting, useful book for undergraduates to learn about U.S. history and understand it from the inside out. Essential." - CHOICE
"Speaking History is a well-organized anthology that will be useful to academics as well as an interesting read for lay historians and the general public." - Sound Historian
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