13 March 2013

Heritage Is History

I sometimes read other history bloggers smugly proclaim that "it's heritage, not history" when denouncing those they deem beneath them who have some attachment to our nation's history beyond the purely academic or a perspective that collides with their worldview. Of course, these same "objective historians" are often themselves more akin to sociologists than they are historians.

So with this in mind, readers should consider Hillsdale College's free 10-week online history course titled "American Heritage."

This free, ten-week, not-for-credit online course will cover topics including the development of the idea of natural rights during the late colonial period; the American Revolution, the framing of the Constitution, and the rise of political parties; the crisis of the Union and the Civil War; the growth of the United States into an industrial and global power, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War; and the rise of Progressivism and the reaction against it signaled by the election of Ronald Reagan. Lectures are delivered and Q&A sessions conducted by members of Hillsdale's history department faculty, and readings are drawn from the American Heritage Reader used in the American Heritage core course taught on Hillsdale's campus.

More than anything else, the "heritage" version of American history vs. the "sociologist" version of American history is about competing perspectives - in broad terms, the heritage version being a traditionalist view, the sociologist version being a more "social justice" view where perspective springs from a focus on "victim studies." As one historian has noted about the latter: "These areas are noted for housing radical professors who tend to negatively view America and Americans, particularly Christians and conservatives."

You can read more about Hillsdale's course and sign up here.


The History Book Guy said...

Thanks for the heads up about this. I will certainly take the free course...I love that sort of thing.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

HBG - yes, it looks quite interesting. I sat in on a couple of their constitution classes and hope to finish that course some time. Thanks for the comment.