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Humanities Libertexts

30.1: Introduction

  • Page ID
    10639
  • Revolutionary technological change, unprecedented global flows of goods and people and capital, an amorphous and unending War on Terror, accelerating inequality, growing diversity, a changing climate, political stalemate: our world is remarkable, frustrating, and dynamic. But it is not an island of circumstance—it is a product of history. Time marches forever on. The present becomes the past and the past becomes history. But, as William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”1 The last several decades of American history have culminated in the present, an era of innovation and advancement but also of stark partisan division, racial and ethnic tension, gender divides, sluggish economic growth, widening inequalities, widespread military interventions, and pervasive anxieties about the present and future of the United States. Through boom and bust, national tragedy, foreign wars, and the maturation of a new generation, a new chapter of American history is busily being written.

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