On passivity (or not)

In their Introduction to The Presence of the Past, Rosenzweig and Thelen talked about the phrase “popular historymaking”: “Many of us [conference attendees] liked its implication that Americans take an active role in using and understanding the past—that they’re not just passive consumers of histories constructed by others.” That observation sent my brain off on a little tangent about the construction of “active” versus “passive” as it relates to consumerism.

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