Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mini-Reviews: College Reading 2.0

The Historians' Paradox: The Study of History in Our Time by Peter Charles Hoffer (2008)
read for the History Sleuth
This ended up seeming like a collection of Hoffer's ramblings about diverse issues in historical study rather than a cohesive 'philosophy of history for our time.' While he did bring up some interesting points and examples, overall I didn't find the book terribly useful. Perhaps it's one to revisit further along in my studies/career?

The Myth of American Exceptionalism by Godfrey Hodgson (2009)
read for the History Sleuth
The first half was really interesting and strong, challenging the historical examples often used to support exceptionalism. Great points, great examination of the roots of the idea. But Hodgson then moved into recent and contemporary politics, so I was lost and bored. I really prefer things that have been dead for a long time.

The Kingdom of Matthias by Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz (1994)
read in connection to American Religion on the Margins
This took me way too long to read (about 3 weeks) given its briefness. But I had issues with the writing, which seemed at times to be either too chock-full of research and information or too over-dramatized. The material was highly interesting, but reading it wasn't terribly enjoyable.

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