U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Trading Places

It is only appropriate that the week of the fourth annual conference for US intellectual history that we announce a little change to the blog. Lauren and I will trade days; so starting next week her posts will appear on Wednesdays and mine on Fridays. I certainly appreciate the change.

Our colleague Andrew Hartman has been digging around at the NYPL today (a very luck guy, I think) and came across a curious piece from John Diggins. You can read his full post below this one. Andrew takes Diggins to task for dismissing cultural and social history. I wonder how much of Diggins’s critique stemmed from where he made it. In other words, as I traveled from LaGuardia airport to Manhattan, I passed a Queens far different from the one my parents grew up in–the Irish and Polish replaced people from southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. Did Diggins discount the ability of academics to get a hold of the social history that swirled around him? As Andrew suggests, perhaps it comes down to a failure of imagination.

One Thought on this Post

  1. Has anyone else read the review of Brian Lloyd’s book Left Out by John Patrick Diggins in the Indiana Magazine of History? I don’t much else about Diggins, but from this review it seems clear that he was writing about a book he hadn’t read. He claims that Lloyd argues for “a theoretical compatibility between European Marxism and American pragmatism,” whereas, if you know the book at all, Lloyd argues exactly the opposite. Can anyone clear this up for me, or explain why Diggins would write such an apparently misleading review?


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