A Modest Proposal to Resolve the Crisis in History

A crisis has been brewing in the historical profession for four decades, one related to but hardly identical to the job crisis. This crisis developed out of the great scholarly successes of the past and present—the dramatic increase of historical knowledge resulting from the social history paradigm shift and the cultural turn. The crisis affects everything we do, from teaching survey courses using mammoth textbooks to history majors who require geographical and temporal distributions but have no knowledge of global history, to the production of hundreds of unread history dissertations and monographs. This article will describe the crisis and suggest revolutionary ways to overcome it.