The New, New Political History: A Roundtable (Introduction)

The Junto

This will hopefully be the first of many roundtables hosted by The Junto, in which a bunch of young whipper-snappers take aim at various topics of early American history, with the occasional response from seasoned scholars to set us straight. This particular roundtable, which will hopefully set a pattern for others to follow, includes contributions every day this week, each on a different topic related to the broader theme, and then a conclusion/response next Monday. We hope these roundtables, starting with this one on the current state of political history, will start a fruitful discussion both on the blog and elsewhere.

In 2005, Chris Beneke published an essay in Reviews in American History titled “The New, New Political History.”[1] This label did not originate with him—indeed, one of the chapters in the book he was reviewing used the same description[2]—but it was meant to capture the arguably fresh take on…

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