All graduate students must take comprehensive exams. To help them prepare, the department has put together several reading lists that cover the basic material on the exams. Please note that these are suggested readings. Students will work with their advisor for more specific guidelines. Public history comprehensive exams will have both a public history component and another field, usually U.S. history. For more information on the U.S. history material, check out the department's reading list. For a fun, quirky, and surprisingly useful set of terms for at least the Postwar part of U.S. history, check out the explanatory web site explaining Billy Joel's song, "We Didn't Start the Fire."

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Public History Reading List:


Bill Adair, Benjamin Filene, and Laura Kosloski, eds., Letting Go?: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World

Cathy Ambler, "Small Historic Sites in Kansas: Merging Artifactual Landscapes and Community Values," Great Plains Quarterly, Winter 1995

Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig, eds., Presenting the Past: Essays on History and the Public

Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What happens after they're built

Gary Edgerton, Ken Burns's America

Gary Edson and David Dean, The Handbook for Museums

Bruce Dearstyne, The Archival Enterprise: Modern Archival Principles, Practices, and Management

James B. Gardner and Peter S. La Paglia, Public History: Essays from the Field

Otis Graham, "The Uses and Misuses of History: Roles in Policymaking,"The Public Historian, Spring 1983

Paula Hamilton and Linda Shopes, eds., Oral History and Public Memories

Richard G. Hewlett, "The Practice of History in the Federal Government,' The Public Historian, Fall 1978

Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War

Charles Hosmer, Preservation Comes of Age: From Williamsburg to the National Trust, 1926-1949

Barbara Howe, "Perspectives on an Anniversary," The Public Historian, Summer 1999

Darrell Huff and Irving Leis, How to Lie With Statistics

Heather Huyck, "Twenty-five Years of Public History: Perspectives from a Primary Document," The Public Historian, Summer 1999

G. Wesley Johnson, "The Origins of The Public Historian and the National Council on Public History,"
The Public Historian, Summer 1999

Arnita Jones, "Public History Then and Now," The Public Historian, Summer 1999

Carol Kammen, ed. On Doing Local History

Ellen Karsh and Arlen Fox, The Only Grant Writing Book You'll Ever Need: Top Grant Writers and Grant Givers Share Their Secrets!

Robert Kelley, 'Public History: Its Origins, Nature, and Prospects," The Public Historian, Fall 1978

Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture

David E. Kyvig and Myron A. Marty, Nearby History: Exploring the Past Around You, American
Association for State and Local History

Edward T. Linenthal, Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields

Martha Norkunas, The Politics of Public Memory: Tourism, History, and Ethnicity in Monterey, California

Randy Olson, Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style

James M. O'Toole, Understanding Archives and Manuscripts

Donald A. Ritchie, Doing Oral History

Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen, The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life

Stacy F. Roth, Past into Present: Effective Techniques for First Person Historical Interpretation

William Strunk, E.B. White, et al., The Elements of Style

Eviatar Zerubavel, Time Maps: Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past

The National Historic Preservation Act and The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act both can be found in Federal Historic Preservation Laws, a publication of the National Center for Cultural Resources, National Park Service.

Full text of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. (16 U.S.C. section 470).

Roundtable on Archives, The Public Historian, Summer 1986

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