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Communication November 7, 1972 Gentlemen: Fred Matthews' essay-review of Seymour Martin Lipset's Revolution and Counter Revolution in your Fall 1972 issue is a significant contribution toward understanding the unresolved theoretical and methodological problems burdening American Studies. It is as distressing, therefore, as it is necessary for me to correct his declaration that "Robert Merideth and his colleagues in the American Studies field at California-Davis have launched an experiment in creating a non-literary organization of the field which will be fascinating to watch; it involves efforts to include what has traditionally been excluded, like the Marxian economic analysis of Paul Sweezy and Paul Baran, and attempts to organize its various parts within a framework drawn from the long-unfashionable evolutionary anthropology of Leslie A. White." As one of the O colleagues" regularly active in the University of California at Davis's American Studies program since its original conception and subsequent establishment, I must state that at no time has there been any collective faculty agreement, overt or covert, either to pattern the program structure on the model of White's thought or to incorporate Sweezy and Baran's analytic mode in program operations. Equally pertinent , my thought and action within the program have not been guided by the programmatic emphases specified by Matthews. Nothing said here should be misinterpreted as bearing upon the merit of these emphases, for my remarks center only upon their alleged general application at California-Davis. I can only surmise that Matthews' view of what is going on at Davis derives either from misrepresentations made to him by individuals or else from examination of written statements and course syllabi prepared by individual instructors in the existing climate of liberal-academic freeTHE CANADIAN REVIEW OF AMERICAN STUDIES VOL. IV, NO. 1, SPRING 1973 dom. Whatever the basis for misunderstanding, I request you to publish this essential clarification in the interests of accuracy. Sincerely yours, Brom Weber Professor of English and American Studies University of California, Davis I regret the misstatement of the intent of the American Studies curriculum at Davis. It seems to have arisen from the historian's primal curse, unwarranted reasoning from consequent to antecedent, in this case reasoning back from the content of courses to the intention of those who planned them. The course descriptions do suggest that a healthy emphasis on non-literary culture, and an equally valuable awareness of chronology, of the importance of change over time, characterize the Davis programme. It is worth adding that my essay was not intended as a plea for a regional studies programme which would omit the arts altogether, but one in which they are treated analytically and integrated with political, economic and social history in a sensitive and theoretically adequate manner. A valuable effort towards such integration is the pair of articles on Stephen Crane's Maggie which appeared in the British Journal of American Studies a few years ago - John A. Jackson, "The Map of Society: America in the 1890's" and Malcolm Bradbury, "Romance and Reality in Maggie," Journal of American Studies, III (July, 1969), 103-121. F.M. 1.18 ...


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