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The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg
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The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  114 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The New History in an Old Museum is an exploration of "historical truth" as presented at Colonial Williamsburg. More than a detailed history of a museum and tourist attraction, it examines the packaging of American history, and consumerism and the manufacturing of cultural beliefs. Through extensive fieldwork—including numerous site visits, interviews with employees and vi ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 17th 1997 by Duke University Press Books
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Jessica
Jul 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is frustrating. The authors present themselves as dispassionate anthropologists, which excuses them from explaining their own beliefs or opinions, yet they have a clear and strong bias. Their basic claim - that Colonial Williamsburg's adherence to its corporate line made it challenging for them to really teach true social history - is reasonable, apparently supported by their research, and honestly, not that surprising. To claim that CW's interpretive strategy "destroys history" is ext ...more
Hillary Borders
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read for Public History Seminar
Tom Mackie
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have been following the articles by Richard Handler and Erick Gable for some year now as a staff member in the museum community. There was some response by Dr. Carson of Colonial Williamsburg but I believe there needs to be more. This book, which reviews almost ten years of field research at CW, is anything but a neutral position. By their own admission in the final chapter, they claim that all anthropology is strictly Boasian Relativistic. It that expression that exposes what I believe to be ...more
Michelle Davison
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is a good critique of the Colonial Williamsburg museum. Not may solutions are offered, however, and it's not clear how the museum would meet community expectations.
Kayla
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it
too critical but provides important information of the dissemination of history in public history sites
Meghan Davison
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
A fun read for anyone who has had the privilege of living next to Colonial Williamsburg.
Kat
Jun 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: class, forgettable
Interesting. Read this for a college class. Pretty neat, if you're interested in CW.
Mackenzie Brooks
May 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Class prep.
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