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Democrat and DiplomatThe Life of William E. Dodd$
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Robert Dallek

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199946938

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199946938.001.0001

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Scientific History

Scientific History

(p.21) III Scientific History
Democrat and Diplomat

Robert Dallek

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on William Dodd's time in Ashland, Virginia. It first considers Dodd's impressions of Ashland and of Randolph-Macon College, where he was invited to organize and administer the department of economics and history there, before turning to his preparation and teaching of courses. It then discusses Dodd's study of Nathaniel Macon and his book on Jefferson Davis, along with his argument that there is no section of the country in which both local and national history is so little studied and so imperfectly understood. Finally, it looks at Dodd's reviews of historical books ranging from Guy C. Lee's The True History of the Civil War to George Otto Trevelyan's The American Revolution, in each case applying the standards of “scientific” history and praising or criticizing the author accordingly.

Keywords:   history, William Dodd, Ashland, Virginia, Randolph-Macon College, Nathaniel Macon, Jefferson Davis, historical books, scientific history

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