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Event to celebrate history text

An event to celebrate the publication of "Inventing America," an innovative textbook for teaching United States history, will be held at MIT in the Wong Auditorium April 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The text uses the theme of innovation--the impulse in American history to "make it new"--to integrate the political, economic, social and cultural dimensions of the American story.

Pauline R. Maier, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History, and Merritt Roe Smith, director of the Program in Science, Technology and Society, are two of the four authors of "Inventing America." The other two authors are Daniel Kevles of Yale University and Alex Keyssar of Harvard University. All four will participate in Tuesday's discussion of the book's major themes.

Commenting on the new textbook, Smith said, "The text is the first of its type to put science and technology in the forefront of American history, and it is likely to reconfigure how American history is taught in high schools, colleges and universities."

"Inventing America" draws together ways in which innovation had a significant role in the creation of the new nation, in the invention of the corporation in the 18th century, in the development of early industry and in the rise of cities in the 19th century. The new text shows how innovation affected not only industry but also the arts, as in the creation of jazz and other new forms.

The Sloan Foundation provided major support for producing "Inventing America." The celebratory event is sponsored by authors@mit. For more information, call x3-4062.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 24, 2002.

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