The New American History (Critical Perspectives On The Past) by Eric Foner

By Eric Foner

Initially published in 1990, "The New American History", edited for the yank historic organization by way of Eric Foner, has turn into an fundamental quantity for academics and scholars. In essays that chart the shifts in interpretation inside their fields, a few of our so much well-known American historians survey the foremost works and issues within the scholarship of the final 3 a long time. besides considerably revised essays from the 1st version, this quantity provides 3 totally new ones - on highbrow historical past, the background of the West, and the histories of the family members and sexuality. the second one version of "The New American History" displays, in Foner's phrases, 'the carrying on with power and creativity of the research of the earlier, how conventional fields are being extended and redefined while new ones are created'.Author be aware: Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of heritage at Columbia collage. he's the writer of various books, together with "Reconstruction, 1863-1877", which was once provided the Bancroft Prize.

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64 However, this account contains a dual connotation because it also highlights, although it is dismissed by Long, that the Africans possessed an explicit and conscious vision of themselves, a fact that, given the context, is not recognized. Notwithstanding this particular case, Long generally considers that the Africans have neither a sense of poetry nor of beauty. ”65 The belief that Africans had a spiritual defect which prevented them from any valuable cultural activity was on a par with the supposed absence of cognitive ability.

Indeed, in the course of its own evolution, Europe named humankind after one 24 H. VÉTÉ-CONGOLO of the two units of human people—women and men—that it perceived to be most important in society, and as such in the world; that is, the masculine unit. Although women are central to humankind, they did not use “womankind” but rather “mankind,” thereby making a strong political and symbolic statement. Using the same human process of labeling the world’s phenomena according to their own experience and understanding, but through a different epistemological operation and perspective, the Africans of the Creole-speaking plantations accurately interpreted the facts of their environment in which the human principles were not honored by the enslaver.

In general, they are void of genius, and seem almost incapable of making any progress in civility or science. They have no plan or system of morality among them. 62 While corporeal admixture was tolerated, as the abundance of mulattoes shows, it is in the spiritual domain that the Europeans most resented the Africans. According to the European system of belief, and formalized by theology, spirituality sees the soul as the place of residence of God in man. 63 In this view, African spirituality was simply not conceivable, and certainly could not be permitted to associate or intermingle with that of Europe.

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