Writing a comprehensive global history of the post-1945 world is a daunting task. Unit 5 “Toward a Global Civilization” of Jackson Spielvogel’s textbook World History: Modern Times grapples with this difficult assignment through five chapters, yet without much success.
The American Vision falls short of many important historiographical trends. Political history, or more accurately Presidential history, is important for students to learn—our democratic government operates (or is at least supposed to) on a legalistic basis. But history is a discipline that at its best seeks to understand the human experience. It studies human beings doing things. A more comprehensive textbook would necessitate more space be given to history “from the bottom up.”
As an individual, there are so many identities (or labels) that apply to me: a Pakistani, a Muslim, a man, a historian, and so on. On their own, these identities are not too different from millions of others in the world. But it is the combination of all these identities that made me pursue a career as a historian, and it is also the combination of all these identities that acted as the biggest roadblock in doing so.
May Day represents a political tradition long forgotten to most Americans. For many, the celebration is marked by a dance around the Maypole, an old pagan tradition of white costumes and ribbons meant to mark the coming of warmer months and the beginning of the growing season.
Today, philanthropy and inequality exist in a feedback loop of sorts in the United States. Philanthropic organizations such as the United Way and the Red Cross transform donations, or labor, into research or humanitarian activities intended to benefit humankind in general, but not to alleviate individual hardships.