Thursday, September 5, 2013

Announcing the American Yawp & Calling for Contributors

Note: Previous TUSH editors have produced outstanding textbooks. Keven Schultz’s HIST and Ed Blum’s Major Problems in American History are two of the finest available. You can request instructor copies here and here.  Below please find a call for contributors for a new textbook project, The American Yawp. We will update TUSH readers as the project develops and look forward to ongoing discussions about the role of textbooks in survey classrooms.

The American Yawp: A Free and Online, Collaboratively Built American History Textbook

As technology advances and pedagogical trends move toward active-learning exercises, scholars are fleeing traditional textbooks—but many still yearn for the safe tether of a synthetic text, as either a narrative backbone or an occasional reference material. For them, The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, without owners or institutional prerogatives, and answerable only to the dictates of good scholarship and sound pedagogy, The American Yawp is a history textbook for the commons, a cooperative venture constructed by scholars for open use in classrooms at no cost to students.

A live prototype is currently available at The title (as better explained here) draws from an oft-referenced Walt Whitman line and represents our attempt to capture the multi-layered nature of American history while incorporating all the best of recent historiography into a clear and accessible narrative.

A star-studded corps of scholars has already joined as editorial advisors (see the list here). Now we need content-builders. We invite university educators to join and collaborate with us as we craft a core text over the next nine months. We welcome all contributions, whether simple write-ups of research specialties, participation in joint, semi-regular writing sessions, or even the submission of detailed lecture notes or favorite pieces of cite-able material. All are welcome.

If you are interested in participating or have further questions, please email me ( or my co-editor, Ben Wright (

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