Turner, Frederick Jackson. "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." Chapter 1 in The Frontier in American History. Henry Holt, 1921.
Smith, Henry Nash. "The Myth of the Garden and Turner's Frontier Hypotheses." Chapter 22 in Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth. Harvard University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780674939554.
Limerick, Patricia Nelson. "Turnerians All: The Dream of a Helpful History in an Intelligible World." American Historical Review 100 (June 1995): 697-716.
Jefferson wrote Notes on the State of Virginia in response to a specific set of French queries. The book's focus is Virginia, not the entire nation, and it includes remarks on geography, flora and fauna, climate, and other topics not usually thought of as central to the history of nations. But as Waldstreicher notes in his introduction, this text narrates a particular "American story" that proved highly useful to subsequent definitions of the American nation. Why is Notes a blueprint of sorts for writing a history of the American nation?
A century later, the academic historian Frederick Jackson Turner also wrote a book that proved highly influential in shaping American national identity. Why did historians and other readers find Turner's vision compelling at the end of the nineteenth century?
Using the examples of Notes and The Significance of the Frontier in American History, discuss the strengths and limitations of national history. Is the nation a useful unit of historical analysis?
Canizares-Esguerra, Jorge. How to Write the History of the New World: Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World. Stanford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780804746939. [Contrast with this week's reading from Jefferson's Notes, especially Waldstreicher's introduction.]
Braudel, Fernand. The Identity of France. Translated by Siân Reynolds. Perennial, 1992. ISBN: 9780060921422. [See also this critique: Kaplan, Steven Laurence. "Long-Run Lamentations: Braudel on France." Journal of Modern History 63 (1991): 341-353.]
Nora, Pierre, and David P. Jordan. Rethinking France: Les Lieux de mémoire. Translated by Mary Trouille. 4 volumes. University of Chicago Press, 1999-2010. ISBN: 9780226591322, 9780226591339, 9780226591346, 9780226591353.