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History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and AmericaFrom the Great War to Thatcher and Reagan$
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Reba Soffer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208111.001.0001

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Conservatism and Exceptionalism

Conservatism and Exceptionalism

(p.269) 9 Conservatism and Exceptionalism
History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America

Reba N. Soffer

Oxford University Press

Daniel Boorstin, a pre‐eminent historian, and Rowland Berthoff, less famous but sharing the same convictions, believed in a democratic society that reflected the given historicity of a vast and heterogeneous geography, massive waves of immigration, and social and economic incentives that made success possible. Each historian produced an American conservative historiography that was an eclectic amalgam of liberal, populist, and conservative interests. They presented American history the experimental product of exceptional American circumstances: the separation of Church and state, religious pluralism, a classless society, social and geographical mobility, the constant influx of productive immigrants, and the replacement of a paternalistic landed aristocracy by an industrial plutocracy.

Keywords:   Daniel Boorstin, Rowland Berthoff, exceptionalism, historiography, immigrants, American

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