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ERIC Number: EJ837182
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
A Consensus at Last: American Civil War Texts and the Topics that Dominate the College Classroom
Rogers, William B.; Martyn, Terese
History Teacher, v41 n4 p519-530 Aug 2008
The number of books published on the American Civil War has been remarkable. According to the 2002 edition of "The Civil War Desk Reference" by the Library of Congress," at least 50,000 books and pamphlets on the Civil War have been published since the 1860's." Consequently, history instructors have to confront the difficult task of selecting a few publications from the endless number of choices that exist. In this article, the authors examine closely syllabi of advanced undergraduate courses on the American Civil War to determine which publications college instructors are assigning. The objective of this study is to provide an overview of the books that were commonly assigned in the academic years 2000-2001 through 2005-2006. From reviewing 200 syllabi representing the scholastic years 2000-2001 through 2005-2006, the authors came to a better understanding of how instructors were teaching and approaching this subject. The data identified the types of materials that were used in the elective or upper division courses, and the various combinations in which these materials (textbooks, readers, journal articles, film, online sources, and so on) were used became apparent. In order to classify the types of universities and colleges in this study, the authors turned to the Carnegie Classification system. Each syllabus was categorized according to its institution's Carnegie designation. This additional step allowed the authors to determine how varying types of learning institutions addressed the subject. Here, the authors first describe the basic parameters they set forth for this project. Then, they discuss the limitations and some restrictions they encountered in the study. They also discuss the results of the study and conclude that most institutions, despite geographical location or Carnegie designation, assigned a textbook in their Civil War and Reconstruction course, frequently James McPherson's "Ordeal By Fire" in particular. In addition, most baccalaureate, masters, and research institutions supplemented McPherson's textbook with monographs that placed an emphasis on the human experience of foot soldiers, slaves, and women. (Contains 1 figure and 10 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site: http://www.thehistoryteacher.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A