Publications

The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.

"The Primacy of Science in Modernity, of Technology in Postmodernity, and of Ideology in the History of Technology" History and Technology, 23:1, 1 - 152.

The abrupt reversal of culturally ascribed primacy in the science & technology relationship—namely, from the primacy of science relative to technology prior to circa 1980, to the primacy of technology relative to science since about that date—is proposed as a demarcator of postmodernity from modernity. Ironically, that prior primacy of science is largely responsible for historians of technology having remained almost wholly unacknowledging of postmodernity’s epochal elevation of the cultural standing of the subject of their studies.
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"Into quantum electronics: the maser as 'gadget' of Cold-War America." In Paul Forman and José M. Sánchez-Ron, eds. National Military Establishments and the Advancement of Science and Technology: Studies in Twentieth Century History (Kluwer Academic Publ.: Dordrecht, 1996), pp. 261–326.

A close examination of the origins of the ammonia beam maser within the military-sponsored Columbia Radiation Laboratory in the early 1950s, together with an examination of the term ‘gadget’ in the parlance of American physicists of that era as indicative of the uneasy relation between their disciplinary self-image and their laboratory practice.

"Truth and objectivity. Part 1: Irony. Part 2: Trust." Science, 269: 565-567, 707–710 (1995).

An essay review of A. Megill, ed., Rethinking objectivity (1994); J. Appleby, L. Hunt, and M. Jacob, Telling the truth about history (1994); S. Shapin, A social history of truth (1994);T. Porter, Trust in numbers (1995). It makes the point that as challenges to belief in truth and in objectivity have escaped from academic discussion, becoming axioms of popular culture, many scholars who previously contributed to undermining that belief are becoming alarmed at the consequences of wholesale voluntarism.

"The Redefinition of Historical Scholarship: Calling a Tail a Leg?: Response," The Public Historian 21 (Spring 1999): 95–97.
"Contested Terrain: History, Museums and the Public," The Public Historian
A Historical Guide to the United States, editor and contributor. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1986).
Public History: Essays from the Field, e.d., with Peter S. LaPaglia. (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company, 2004).
"The Redefinition of Historical Scholarship: Calling a Tail a Leg?" The Public Historian 20 (Fall 1998): 43–57.
“Collecting a National Tragedy,” The Public Historian 20 (Fall 1998): 43–57.
“Collections Planning: Pinning Down a Strategy,” Museum News 81 (March/April 2002): 42–45,66–67.
“September 11 and the Mourning After: Reflections on Collecting and Interpreting the History of Tragedy," with Sarah M. Henry. The Public Historian 24 (Summer 2002): 37–52.
Facts About Museums: An Assessment of Data on the Museum Community (Washington, D.C.: Institute of Museum and Library Services, 1998).
The AAM Guide to Collections Planning with Elizabeth Merritt. (Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums, 2004).
Ordinary People and Everyday Life: Perspectives on the New Social History e.d. (Nashville: AASLH, 1983).
"Pioneers of Public History: Serving Time in the Trenches: David F. Trask, Public Historian and Federal Historian," The Public Historian 22 (Spring 2000): 9–27.
The Saloon, America’s Forgotten Democratic Institution New York Times, November 26, 2016.
Enter title of the publication here. To display italics, you must use HTML tags in this format: Book Title. “Tortillas, Tacos, and Berries: Reflections on Collecting Latino Food History at the National Museum of American History” in Food and Museums, Nina Levent and Irina D. Mihalache, eds. Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.
Why Donald Trump’s Election Observers Are a Bad Idea New York Times, August 24, 2016.
American Holiday Postcards, 1905-1915: Imagery and Context. McFarland Press, 2013.

Examines deep divides at the height of the Progressive Era as expressed through holidays and holiday imagery.

“Were Christmas Cards America’s First Social Media?” Zócalo Public Square “What it Means to be American” series, December 2014.
“Star-Spangled Turkeys: Patriotism in Thanksgiving Postcards.” The Ephemera Journal. Vol. 17, No. 1, September 2014.
“Rural Americans, Postcards, and the Fiscal Transformation of the Post Office Department, 1909-1911.” The Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposia: Selected papers, 2010-2011. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2012.
“Star-Spangled Turkeys: Patriotism in the Visual Culture of Thanksgiving, 1863-1913.” Mid-Atlantic Almanack. Vol. 16, 2007.
First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, co-authored with Edith P. Mayo, Scala Publishers Ltd., 2004
"Youth Employment and Education: Possible Federal Approaches," with Josh Green, Budget Issue Paper, Congressional Budget Office, July 1980.

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