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age of William A. Dunning

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Date Issued:
2008
Summary:
Stripped of the intent of its author, L. Frank Baum, the children's fairy tale The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was left to be understood only within a changing cultural construct. Historian Hayden White, arguing that the similarities between a novel and a work of history were more significant than their differences, insisted that history was preeminently a subsection of literature. According to White, historical narratives were manifestly verbal fictions, and the only acceptable grounds upon which the historian should choose his historical perspective were the moral and the aesthetic. White conflated historical consciousness with myth and blurred the boundary that had long divided history from fiction. Just as changing cultural concerns infused the Dorothy of Baum's children's literature with meaning so social, cultural, and moral imperatives came to dictate the content of historical stories particularly in the historiography of the Reconstruction era. The twenty first century conception of Reconstruction is different from the conception influential at the start of the twentieth. In assessing the scholarship of William A. Dunning, contemporary historians have adopted a new paradigm when describing the scholar's Reconstruction accounts. Modern commentators reject Dunning's authorial intention and the contextual framework needed to define it. Thus, Dunning has receded into the "realm of myth." Careful attendance to Dunning's historical context, contemporary audience, and his authorial intent, will reposition the perspective for analysis of Dunning's work. Removing Dunning from abstract analysis will allow historians to arrive at an understanding of his work, and view the importance of the real Dunning, rather than the fabricated image constructed from a partial and even fragmented reading of his work.
Title: The age of William A. Dunning: the realm of myth meets the yellow brick road.
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Name(s): Barsalou, Kathleen P.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of History
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: multipart monograph
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: vii, 265 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Stripped of the intent of its author, L. Frank Baum, the children's fairy tale The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was left to be understood only within a changing cultural construct. Historian Hayden White, arguing that the similarities between a novel and a work of history were more significant than their differences, insisted that history was preeminently a subsection of literature. According to White, historical narratives were manifestly verbal fictions, and the only acceptable grounds upon which the historian should choose his historical perspective were the moral and the aesthetic. White conflated historical consciousness with myth and blurred the boundary that had long divided history from fiction. Just as changing cultural concerns infused the Dorothy of Baum's children's literature with meaning so social, cultural, and moral imperatives came to dictate the content of historical stories particularly in the historiography of the Reconstruction era. The twenty first century conception of Reconstruction is different from the conception influential at the start of the twentieth. In assessing the scholarship of William A. Dunning, contemporary historians have adopted a new paradigm when describing the scholar's Reconstruction accounts. Modern commentators reject Dunning's authorial intention and the contextual framework needed to define it. Thus, Dunning has receded into the "realm of myth." Careful attendance to Dunning's historical context, contemporary audience, and his authorial intent, will reposition the perspective for analysis of Dunning's work. Removing Dunning from abstract analysis will allow historians to arrive at an understanding of his work, and view the importance of the real Dunning, rather than the fabricated image constructed from a partial and even fragmented reading of his work.
Summary: Taking Dunning on his own terms restores a meaningful past and brings into bas-relief the tremendous advances the U. S. of twenty first century has made in reshaping social and political patterns.Taking theReconstruction era on its own terms impels historians to move beyond Dunning and return in their research to revisit primary records and documents as they work to clear the grisly ground of Reconstruction historiography for further fruitful examination.
Identifier: 276760960 (oclc), 107801 (digitool), FADT107801 (IID), fau:2805 (fedora)
Note(s): by Kathleen P. Barsalou.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2008.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, FL : 2008 Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Dunning, William Archibald, 1857-1922
Dunning, William Archibald, 1857-1922
Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank), 1856-1919
Wizard of Oz (Fictitious character)
Oz (Imaginary place)
Politics and literature -- United States -- Criticism and interpretation
Held by: FBoU FAUER
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/107801
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU