The May 2016 issue of the American Historian features four compelling essays on “The History of Aging.” Paula Fass sees numerous parallels between the history of aging and the history of youth and encourages historians of aging to look to youth studies for advice and inspiration. Rebecca Brannon examines aging in the context of the American Revolution and early republic and argues that Americans in the seventeenth and eighteenth century may not have faced aging with the same existential dread as many do today. Jessie F. Ballenger shows why many Americans came to fear aging in the post-war period and chronicles the rise—and subsequent critique of—ageism. Finally, W. Andrew Achenbaum looks back on a remarkable career as a historian of aging and gives an overview of the field, as well as an examination of the field’s future.
The issue also includes a piece by Russell C. Brown and Stephen C. Schell on the benefits of abandoning a chronological teaching approach and adopting a thematic one in high school history classrooms, and Ron Briley offers reflections on forty years as a high school history teacher and offers advice for any graduate student contemplating a career in secondary education. Louis A. Peréz Jr. encourages us to examine U.S.-Cuban relations not through the lens of the Cold War but through a much longer period during which Cuba struggled to wrestle free from U.S. control. We also have an essay from new OAH president Nancy F. Cott on how money dictates the course and program offerings of higher education, news from the OAH and a review of the annual meeting in Providence, as well as interesting historical facts and tidbits in our Ante and Post sections.
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