The OAH in Troublesome Times, 1980–2000

Arnita A. Jones

in The Organization of American Historians and the Writing and Teaching of American History

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199790562
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896820 | DOI:
The OAH in Troublesome Times, 1980–2000

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This chapter discusses the difficulties faced by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) from 1980–2000. K-12 teaching, community colleges, the effort to improve the teaching of American history at all levels all became focal points for the OAH in these years. Simultaneously, internationalization became a primary concern, with David Thelen and Tom Bender providing decisive leadership in broadening the outreach of the OAH to the historians of America who lived in other countries and cultures. The “culture wars” of the 1990s made casualties of historians who had carefully worked on developing new standards for helping to teach history in the nation's schools; the historians were demeaning great men and exalting radical insurgencies, the critics said. In the meantime, museum exhibits like the Enola Gay came under attack for raising issues about the deliberations surrounding the decision to drop the atom bomb.

Keywords: Organization of American Historians; American history; historical associations; culture wars; teaching; internationalization; Enola Gay

Chapter.  4607 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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