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Hear What Historians are Saying About HNN!

HNN




ALAN BRINKLEY

"Like many other historians, I want to congratulate HNN for its nine years of excellent service to the historical profession—and to what we all hope will be many more years to come."

ROBERT DALLEK

"HNN is an excellent source of infomation for all historians. Congratulations on nine years of fine work in keeping us informed about the latest in historical scholarship."

ERIC FONER

"I am delighted each time I receive the latest edition of History News Network—it makes it possible to keep up on new books, new controversies, and most importantly, the numerous ways history intersects with public life nowadays, here and abroad."

STANLEY K. KATZ

"I am very grateful to HNN for keeping me up with what is going on in the history field generally, but especially for the chance to read short essays on current topics that would not otherwise find a home..."

ELAINE TYLER MAY

"Congratulations to HNN on its ninth anniversary, for keeping historians informed and connected to contemporary events and issues."

BARBARA D. METCALF

"Too often the past is invoked in misleading ways, with current concerns projected into the past, myths mistaken for fact, and historical arguments asserted in contexts where they don't belong. Congratulations to the History News Network for what it has done over these past nine years to bring a historical perspective into public life and debate—may HNN flourish!"

DANIEL PIPES

"History offers the best preparation for learning the day’s news.  By emphasizing this important function, the History News Network helps all its readers, including myself, understand the world around them."

GIL TROY

"HNN's greatest contribution has been in forging a sense of community among historians.  It is very easy to feel isolated as an academic.  HNN helps us as historians feel like we are part of a broader conversation—and provides a regular reminder to all of us of our mission as historians to help elevate the national conversation by rooting it in a deep understanding of our past.  Congratulations on nine great, illuminating, enlightening, and inspiring years."

JEFFREY WASSERSTROM

"The History News Network has become an invaluable resource for me as a reader and a wonderful outlet for me as a writer.  It has also been an inspiration to all of us who have followed its lead by launching other kinds of online ventures that try to explore the borderland between the world of the academic and the terrain of serious journalism."

JON WIENER

"Over the last nine years, History News Network has become both indispensable and irresistible.  It's hard to imagine the history profession now without it."

GORDON S. WOOD

"HNN has made a remarkable contribution to history education over the past nine years.  May it continue to grow and thrive."

JULIAN E. ZELIZER

"The History News Network has been a wonderful and important addition to the historical community.  This web page has brought together commentary, reporting, and announcements into an accessible and interesting site.  Historians, journalists and many different kinds of scholars now turn to this page to get a sense of what historians have to say about issues that are in the news.  This is a model for how the academy can use the Internet to reach broader audiences and create ongoing discussions that would be impossible without technology."


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vaughn davis bornet - 12/14/2010

I really can't say what it means to get a WEEKLY update on aspects of my History Profession because of HNN. In my small town, sophsticated though it is, few are able to discuss recent revisions in old "facts" or appraisals.

As I said before, I believe, it is indeed time to increase the income of History News Network. I'll be doing that two ways: a hundred dollar contribution--of which Washington will naturally contribute more than a little in April--and some advertising for a forthcoming book, at the right time.

Yesterday, I took the essay on Tory/Loyalists seriously and checked on how John Fiske handled the subject in his two volumes from turn of the century; then I checked out his HS textbook that appeared from 1894 to 1907 and Harvard's Edward Channing's 1904 text for youth.

One idea apparently new to me: The new US lost a lot of good brains when it induced exile to so many substantial citizens (who mostly fled to Canada).

I had mislaid how unforgiving our victorious leaders tended to be toward those who didn't join with them, with punitive laws at the state level.

Long ago, indeed.

Vaughn Davis Bornet Ashland, Oregon


vaughn davis bornet - 8/23/2010

Those of us from the other-than-liberal end of the spectrum found publication difficult in the mid-20th century. Even book reviews were hard to be asked to do. (I turned for years to the nonpartisan Annals of the American Academy to write mine.) That the old Mississippi belonged to the liberal/radical wing of historians as it phased in and continued as Journal of American History needs little proof. Of course, on the other side, there was that movement away from the history my generation was taught and the new history with its statistics, social and group emphasis, obsession with minorities and feminism, and tendency toward (may I say) muck raking the famous (poor Jefferson, Hoover as victim, the pioneer as aggressive villian, how wars were fought--not why)....

HNN has, I think, had an inclination not to go the ideological route, I would say, off hand. Quarterly publication with JAH and weekly with HNN has made a great difference as space has become less valuable.

Yet the disinclination of HNN to run footnooted essays has been a burden, and interest in items has focused normally on four pages or less, as I understand it (unless the subject was of prime interest to youthful members of the guild). What to do with those rejected 30 pagers heavy in documentation left over from yesteryear?

It has been hard to handle "comments" made on one's essays in HNN. The writers don't identify themselves in the slightest, so that as quality varies all over the map the author of the original piece hardly knows what--if anything--to reply. HNN tries valiently to screen inappropriate screeds, but I guess it really can't be done easily.

News of the Profession (dug up and offered at the time of national meetings) has been a remarkable innovation, and the skill shown, along with the energy, has been remarkable. And useful. (From attending all OAH meetings from 1950 on to a certain point, I went to attending none.)

While HNN may have a subject index of articles from the beginning, I have not happened on it. The existing index is helpful enough.

I do hope that all who profit mentally by regular use of History News Network sit down and write a three figure check routinely, for this is an academic enterprise and needs infusion of cash routinely. Yesterday's check has been spent long since, it seems evident.

In summary, I congratulate Rick Shenkman and his many (enough?)talented assistants like David Walsh and Bonnie Goodman on an activity that has made my very senior years far more rewarding and constructive.

VAUGHN DAVIS BORNET, Ph.D. (Stanford) Retired, long since, in Ashland, Oregon, USA