“History is bunk!”
So said Henry Ford in 1916. He was wrong. For most Americans, the past is interesting and important – it’s “History” that is the problem. Too often History is an irrelevant school subject to be endured for a year or two, a bunch of names and dates quickly forgotten.
History means something different for the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning (ASHP/CML). It’s a place to investigate, full of surprising discoveries. And it’s not just one story; good history involves the telling of many stories: often conflicting, sometimes troubling, and frequently inspiring. For more than thirty years, we’ve written books, produced documentaries, created digital and online programming, and organized activities that challenge the traditional ways people learn history. Informed by the latest scholarship, we make the past, and the lives of the working people and “ordinary” Americans who shaped it, vivid and meaningful.