Apt. 11D Gift Guides

The Apt. 11D Gift Guides are back! The Apt. 11D Gift Guides are back!

Do I give you guilt trips? No, I do not. Do I try to sell you tote bags? No, I do not. Do I post obnoxious ads that slow down your browser? Well, ok. I do that. But  you guys never click on them, so I don't make any money off of them, and I'm not quite sure why I keep doing it. Anyway.


Amazon Associates does bring in some dough for this blogger every year. Here's the deal:

  1. I'll post some gift ideas over the next couple of weeks.
  2. If you are planning on buying anything on Amazon (that product or anything else), please go there via an Amazon link on this page. 
  3. I get a little kickback. 
  4. I buy myself a bitch' pair of boots that I would be too guilty to buy ordinarily. 
  5. You get what you wanted. I get some serious kickass boots. Win. Win.


11 thoughts on “Apt. 11D Gift Guides

  1. OK, questions:
    1. If I click on your link, go to Amazon, and put something in my shopping cart, do you get credit when I eventually buy it? Or do I have to access Amazon via your website at the time when I actually make the purchase?
    2. (Complete change of subject) What are the ten most influential pieces of historical writing in the past century? Preliminarily, I am thinking of Turner’s “The Significance of the Frontier” and Butterfield’s “The Whig Interpretation of History.” That would be a really great gift, if someone knowledgeable came up with a list of that nature. If I had such a list, I could get my wife to buy it for me. (Hint, hint.)


  2. Also, also, you might want to say a little more about what kind of history, as it is a vasty discipline (depending on how imperial a given historian is feeling, it may even be defined as Everything that’s happened until just now). American history (North, South, both)? European? Asian? African? Australian? Global? History that also reached a popular audience? History of science? Of ideas? Military? Diplomatic? Social? Socialist? Religious? Of religion? Et seq., et al., &c.
    (Also also also and parenthetically, a lot of the strictures of the discipline were laid down in the 19th century, so the last 100 years may not get you where you want to be, what with tempus fugiting right along and all.)


  3. Ooh, fun question from y81. How about…
    Fernard Braudel, “The Mediterranean in the Time of Philip II,” for the economic and structural history of the “longue durée”
    Michel Foucault, “Discipline and Punish,” for its influence promoting “the body” as an object of study
    Joan Scott, “Gender and the Politics of History”, for feminist history
    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “The Midwife’s Tale” for women’s history
    E.P. Thompson, “The Making of the English Working Class”, for “New Left” history
    RR Palmer, “The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800” for its seminal influence on Atlantic history, which goes beyond national histories
    Eric Habsbawm, Age of Revolution, for the “twin revolution” argument. The other two “Age” books, “Age of Capital” and “Age of Empire” also give us the object of study of “the long nineteenth century”.
    Natalie Zemon Davis, “The Return of Martin Guerre” for the new social history


  4. Christiana, I like your list. But you and I seem to be the only people who think this is a fun game.
    To continue the discussion, I would suggest that:
    1. Your list skews a little toward the contemporary. I think all your entries are post-1960. Of course, if you add your 8 to my 2 it will be a little more evenly distributed over the past century.
    2. Your list tilts a little left, no?


  5. Turner’s essay looks like late 19th C to me, so out of bounds by nearly 20 years. (And if you’re going to take Turner, you should take Mahan on Sea Power; he’s almost certainly more influential on a global scale.)
    What about AJP Taylor’s Struggle for Mastery in Europe? Probably a treat to read, and a big-ish work of synthesis.
    Anyway, a lot also depends on what you mean by “influential.” In terms of numbers of people affected, the works of history that shaped the choices of the 20th century’s great dictators (great in the sense of a Great Fire) will be most influential, but I think it’s unlikely that’s what you’re aiming for.
    “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” is another one, depending on how you define “historical writing.” Plus whatever historical writing may have influenced the people who built the internet.


  6. Sorry, I was approaching the question with my disciplinary blinders on and thought it was about the histories that have influenced contemporary historians, not the public at large. And the list skews left because the more conservative historians kept on writing diplomatic, military, and “great man” political history, without challenging the historiography.
    You’re right that it’s a pretty post-68 list…. I’d be eager to see what others might suggest for the years 1920-1970, especially.
    Although in the realm of history for the reading public, I guess I would have to include Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, which influenced a lot of folks and skews more left than any of my beloved fuddy duddy historians.
    The British journal History Today just took a poll on this for histories written since 1951: http://www.historytoday.com/blog/2011/11/vote-most-important-historian-and-history-book-past-60-years
    BTW the same issues came up with regard to defining “influential”.


  7. On the definition of “influential,” what suggested the question to me (and the related reading project, once the list is created) was reading a number of American regional histories over the past month, and noticing how many of the authors, most of them academics, mentioned their indebtedness to Turner. So what I really mean by “influential” is having an influence on the professional historians (who may or not be academics) of the past century collectively. So Turner counts, even though the essay in question was written in the 1890s, because of its influence in the past century, and even though he might have had more influence in the first half of the last century than today. Of course, some might consider mine to be a mildly idiosyncratic definition of “influential,” in which case they can give answers based on their own definitions.


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