Final Thoughts on the OAH Annual Meeting

One of the goals I had for my time here at the annual meeting was to find some books to use for our new AP U.S. History course.  I spent this morning perusing the catalogs while watching/listening to country music videos from the ’90s, counting down the minutes until the exhibit hall opened.  I think I found some good books, but I could definitely use some advice.  This is why I am calling on you, my readers, to give me some suggestions for books to use in my AP course.  I am looking for three or four books that cover some of the big time periods or issues in U.S. history.  Additionally, they cannot be overly long (nothing over 500 pages) and should not be too narrowly focused.  In particular, anything dealing with early colonial America, Native Americans, the antebellum period, and Reconstruction, would be especially useful.  Please leave suggestions as comments.  Many thanks in advance.

One of the things I really liked about this conference was the variety of professions represented.  I went to two different receptions last night, one by the NCPH and then the OAH Presidential Reception.  I went to the NCPH Consultants reception because the description in the program said if one was interested to attend.  Prior to the reception I knew nothing about historical consultants, but the conversations I had were definitely engaging and opened up my eyes to a whole new aspect of history.  It sounds as if the field is growing, which must mean that there is a demand by the public for the type of work that historians do.  My time at the second reception was also well spent as I sat at a table with an independent scholar/writer, a librarian at Ohio State University, and a retired teacher-now graduate student at Texas Christian University.  It was quite interesting to hear about their experiences in history, especially because they are not part of the professorial-side of the field.

Overall, my time here at the annual meeting was fruitful.  I heard some fascinating presentations, gave my own presentation, networked a bit, and picked up what I hope are good books.  Even though I’ve only been to one AHA annual meeting and one OAH annual meeting, I get the sense that the OAH is much more welcoming and inclusive of precollegiate teachers.  I hope that this continues for future meetings.  Next stop- the APSA (if my wife allows me to leave her alone with our three kids for four days again.)




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