UPDATE: In Spring 2013 the CUNY Graduate Center history department changed the rules for the First Year Exam and made these study guides somewhat outdated. I have decided, however, to keep this up here in case it remains of use to someone.
In order to help CUNY history grad students who are zealously studying for the First Year Exam, I have decided to compile all of my posts/essays on the assigned readings, for the 2010-2011 exam. I have also decided to post my correct and failing answers, for reference for future students. I am also posting them entirely unedited – so that future students can take solace how slapdash even passing answers are.
Hopefully this will prove helpful to someone.
The following will be broken up into two parts. The first part will link to my answers – both my three correct ones and my first failing 20th century answer. The second part will link to all my book reviews and is broken into three sections – Colonial, 19th Century, and 20th Century (conveniently this covers the three exam questions!) – and each of these sections will be broken up into three subsections – required readings, recommended readings, and extra resources. I will not be covering every book, just those that I’ve written about during some point of my graduate career.
[A brief note on these essays. They are of variable quality. Some of them are good, some not so good but I do think that they will be helpful to anyone hoping to study for the exam. You are welcome to disagree. All of them were written as fast as possible, as part of studying, and thus likely contain more than my usual number of grammatical and proof-reading mistakes. Apologies.]
- Colonial Question (August 2011)
- 19th Century Question (August 2011)
- 20th Century Question (January 2012)
- Atlantic History & Albion’s Seed
- Rebels Rising
- Becoming America
- Making Heretics
- Albion’s Seed
- Foul Means
- Edmund Morgan’s article version of American Slavery/American Freedom (you never have to read the book!)
- J.H. Elliot reviews Daniel Richter’s Before the Revolution: America’s Ancient Pasts; includes an overview of modern colonial historiography.
- James Horn’s review of Albion’s Seed
- Jack Rakove on US Constitution historiography – some classics and some new work discussed here.
- John Brooke on reform, nationalism, and federalism in the 19th century (suggested by Cambridge).
- Atlantic Crossings
- Running Steel, Running America
- The Origins of the Urban Crisis
- Choosing War
- Public Vows
- The Search for Order
- History Wars
- Lyndon Johnson and Europe
- The Age of Reagan
- State of the Union
- Making a New Deal
- Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race
- Colored Property
- A Fierce Discontent
- Eric Foner on the modern historiography of 20th Century American liberalism – four recent(ish) books & one classic (Brinkley’s End of Reform included)
- Gary Gerstle on the “protean character of American liberalism” – from Progressivism to the Fair Deal
- David Steigerwald on consumerism in American history (foucs on T.H. Breen & Lizbeth Cohen’s work) – the same issue includes responses from Breen & Cohen
Please check back periodically for updates!