Publications

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

"The Fall of Parity." The Physics Teacher, 20: 281–88 (1982).

Illustrated narrative account, elaborating the descriptive labels in a like-named Museum exhibition, 1981–82, in which was displayed the apparatus used in 1956 by Ernest Ambler and collaborators at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to confirm experimentally the theoretical prediction by C.N. Yang and T.D. Lee of the non-conservation of parity in some nuclear processes (“weak interactions”).

"Behind quantum electronics: national security as basis for physical research in the United States, 1940–1960." Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences, 18: 149–229 (1987). Reprinted in Science and Society: The History of Modern Physical Science in the Twentieth Century. Peter Louis Galison, Michael Gordin, and David Kaiser, editors. 4 vols (New York : Routledge, 2001).

Gives various measures of the expansion of physical research in and following World War II and makes a broad case that it had the purpose and the result of reorienting that research toward refined and magnified effects, toward technique rather than toward concept, as this was where lay the interests of the national security agencies sponsoring that research.

"The Discovery of the Diffraction of X-rays by Crystals: A Critique of the Myths" Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 6: 38–71 (1969).

Argues that the usual accounts of the discovery of diffraction of X-rays by crystals in Munich in 1912 have rationalized that discovery by reading back into the minds of the discoverers an explanation of the observed effect that none of them then held, and that was only gradually and haltingly worked out after the discovery.

“Collections Planning: Pinning Down a Strategy,” Museum News 81 (March/April 2002): 42–45,66–67.
A Historical Guide to the United States, editor and contributor. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1986).
“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.
Public History: Essays from the Field, e.d., with Peter S. LaPaglia. (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company, 2004).
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).
"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
"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 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.
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.
The Saloon, America’s Forgotten Democratic Institution New York Times, November 26, 2016.
“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.
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.
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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