The Week in Early American History

TWEAHHello and welcome to another slightly belated Week in Early American History!

Can you tell its summer holiday season? Still, we’ve got one or two things to bring to your attention this week, starting with this New York Daily News article by Saul Cornell on the Second Amendment. “When the Second Amendment is discussed today,” Cornell writes, “we tend to think of those “militias” as just a bunch of ordinary guys with guns, empowering themselves to resist authority when and if necessary. Nothing could be further from the founders’ vision.”

There is further discussion of the Second Amendment over at Boston 1775, with reference to this William Hogeland article on “the Founders’ muddled legacy.” And continuing on this topic, Legal History Blog notes the publication of Michael Waldman’s new book, The Second Amendment: A Biography along with several other new books of interest.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Adam Hochschild “reveals his secret to good writing” to HNN, with such insights as the importance of personal narrative and scene-setting. The AHA’s Perspectives has an article on teaching with Assassin’s Creed. The National Museum of American History tells us seven things we didn’t know about the Star-Spangled Banner. The New York Historical Society announces several new job opportunities. And Mental Floss collates ten facial reconstructions of historical figures (apparently forgetting this recent reconstruction of Robespierre). At Paleofuture, Matt Novak asks, “Are Colorized Photos Rewriting History?”

Finally, we couldn’t let a week pass without bemoaning the state of academia, so here’s a reflective essay on the concept of “productivity” from Canada’s University Affairs: “If academic work is about knowledge, and we come to apply the concept of “productivity” to this work without questioning the implications, then what are we saying about how knowledge happens – and the nature of knowledge itself?”

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