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History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and AmericaFrom the Great War to Thatcher and Reagan$
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Reba Soffer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208111.001.0001

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Conservative Historians and Social Criticism in America, 1941 through the 1960s

Conservative Historians and Social Criticism in America, 1941 through the 1960s

Chapter:
(p.223) 7 Conservative Historians and Social Criticism in America, 1941 through the 1960s
Source:
History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America
Author(s):

Reba N. Soffer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208111.003.0008

This chapter compares and contrasts American and British post‐Second World War perceptions about nation, historiography, and the role of historians. In America, until the Reagan years, conservative political thought and practice was characterized by a specifically American mingling of conservative, liberal, and Progressive themes. From the 1940s through the early 1970s, one tradition, represented by Daniel Boorstin and Rowland Berthoff, celebrated American accomplishments within a uniquely American context. A second and more pugnacious tradition, represented by Peter Viereck and Russell Kirk, fought contentious battles with those forces in American history which they saw as deviations from their approved model of British and European conservative traditions, institutions, values, and culture.

Keywords:   America, Reagan, Progressive, liberal, conservative, Daniel Boorstin, Rowland Berthoff, Peter Viereck, Russell Kirk

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