Paperback / softback
October 15, 2004
9781558494619
English
320
1.1 Pounds (US)
$25.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Pastkeepers in A Small Place

Five Centuries in Deerfield, Massachusetts

People know who they are by fixing themselves in place and time. They keep the past in numerous ways—not simply by writing histories but also by telling stories, creating pictures, collecting memorabilia, preserving old homes, and tracing genealogies. As Michael C. Batinski shows in this imaginative study, the pastkeepers of Deerfield, Massachusetts, have long illustrated this human yearning to connect with past and place. For five centuries people in this small New England town have passed stories from one generation to the next, preserved homes, and established one of the nation's first historical societies and local history museums.

Like many small places in the American landscape, Batinski points out, Deerfield does not fit into the history we learn in textbooks. With the exception of the famous French and Indian raid on the town in 1704, nothing of national significance has happened there. Yet that has not diminished the interest of local inhabitants in establishing and maintaining a vital connection to the past.

Different groups, from Native Pocumtuck to Puritan settlers to the grandchildren of Polish immigrants, have told the Deerfield story in varied and sometimes conflicting ways, each drawing on the past to shape its own sense of collective identity. Together their efforts at pastkeeping reveal how people organize and explain the motion of time, why they feel it important to pass on family stories, and why they keep family heirlooms. In doing so, Batinski argues, they illustrate why the preservation of the past remains a civic concern to us all.

About the Author

Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, Michael C. Batinski teaches history at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In addition to having written two books on early American politics, he serves as a member of the council of the Illinois State Historical Society.

Reviews

"A major contribution to regional history. Several general works about New England have appeared in recent years, but Batinski has written the first detailed study focusing on a single town. His scholarship is impeccable, and he writes gracefully and with precision. . . . A genuine pleasure to read."—Jere Daniell, Dartmouth College

"Engrossing, beautifully written, and thoroughly researched. The depth and breadth of the author's research is impressive, almost unimaginable. Other books have attempted to do similar things, but not so expansively or expertly. . . . Extraordinarily well done."—Myron A. Marty, coauthor of Nearby History:

Exploring the Past Around You

9781558494619 : pastkeepers-in-a-small-place-batinski
Paperback / softback
320 Pages
$25.95 USD

Other Titles by Michael C. Batinski

Jonathan Belcher

Michael C. Batinski
Jul 2014 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / General

Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, second edition

Eric von Schmidt
Jan 1970 - University of Massachusetts Press
$31.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Irish Writers in the Irish American Press, 1882-1964

Stephen G. Butler
Jan 1970 - University of Massachusetts Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback
$28.95 USD - Paperback / softback

From Environmental Loss to Resistance

Michael Loadenthal
Jul 2020 - University of Massachusetts Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback
$26.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Ethical issues & debates

Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, second edition

Eric von Schmidt
Jan 1970 - University of Massachusetts Press
$31.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Irish Writers in the Irish American Press, 1882-1964

Stephen G. Butler
Jan 1970 - University of Massachusetts Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback
$28.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Cultivating Environmental Justice

Robert S. Emmett
Feb 2020 - University of Massachusetts Press
$20.99 USD - Electronic book text