The Week in Early American History

TWEAHAnother week comes to a close and, as usual, The Junto‘s got links…

We begin with a nicely inflammatory piece from about the DOJ’s unwittingly honoring former slave catchers. At, Patrick S. O’Donnell writes on Nat Turner’s slave rebellion. Plans are in the works by John Adams Paul Giamatti to bring a television series about John Brown to the FX network. PBS America posted a discussion with Richard Huzzey about slavery and “The Abolitionists.”

In the NYRB, Natalie Zemon Davis describes the unlikely origins of her love of rare books. CBS News reported on the recovery of two very rare works of early American history that had previously been stolen from the King of Sweden.

The Chronicle of Higher Education posted a piece this week about a study confirming that American higher education perpetuates white privilege.

Michael J. Altman weighs in on Reza Aslan, twice. The NEH posted a fascinating piece this week on the early history of digital humanities and the organization.

In museum news, there are renewed efforts in the Congress to establish a Latino-American History Museum. Also, the Wall Street Journal reports on historical sites’ efforts to reach their younger visitors.

Wonkette published an interesting piece on Christian US History textbooks and history education in homeschooling.

One of our most popular posts was a “review” of Assassin’s Creed III, a video game set during the American Revolution. This week, Mental Floss looked at the historical video game that started it all back in the 1970s.

The New York Times featured an article on the recent AHA embargo statement, which included a mention of The Junto. The New York Times website also posted a delightful description of a heat wave from 1852 along with some background and quotes from my undergraduate mentor, Ted Burrows. The NYT topped off the week with an Op-Ed piece about “relic hunters.”

Finally, History’s Just Desserts posted a piece about food and Mount Vernon.

3 responses

  1. Readers of this piece should be aware that not all homeschoolers choose to do so for religious reasons and that many are not religious at all. As a scholar of American history and literature who grew up homeschooling in a non-religious, very liberal household and homeschooling community, I feel confident that what I learned about history was more accurate, inclusive, and unbiased than the whitewashed version prevalent in most traditional schools. I wish that The Junto had acknowledged that the Wonkette article to which this piece links only applies to a certain subset of homeschoolers, a point the article itself also fails to make….

  2. Thanks, LS. Just as importantly, perhaps, the Wonkette post only addresses a certain kind of Christian homeschooler.

    The post comes from a series reviewing just two history textbooks–one published by Bob Jones University Press, the other by A Beka Book (the publishing arm of Pensacola Christian College). These are both independent fundamental Baptist institutions. Their perspective is much different from those of other conservative Christian groups in America, from whom they distance themselves in no uncertain terms. (Bob Jones Sr. famously said in 1966 that Billy Graham was “doing more harm to the cause of Jesus Christ than any living man.”) And a glance through the homeschooling section of a major Christian book distributor shows that homeschoolers use many different kinds of history textbooks, including books from secular publishers.

    On the other hand, these two books are widely used by many private schools and homeschooling families, including people who disagree strongly with BJU and PCC on some religious and political questions. It would be hard to find out for sure, but Bob Jones and A Beka textbooks may be the most widely used history textbooks among Christian homeschoolers in the U.S.


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