When the "new social history" movement developed in early American studies around 1970—with the near simultaneous publication of path-breaking work by John Demos, Philip Greven, Jr., Kenneth Lockridge, and Michael Zuckerman—critics hailed the arrival of a new more inclusive kind of bottom-up history, one that focused on the daily life of the "average man." But almost as quickly, they also began to worry about the problem of fragmentation and the related decline of narrative forms of historical writing. Now, more than thirty years later, scholars of early America are finding creative ways to reinvent the very idea of synthesis, offering new narratives that draw on postmodern theories of identity and power in order to integrate disparate elements of the historical record in fresh and exciting ways.

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pp. 77-91
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