Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michael C. Batinski  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction


-- Michael C. Batinski on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Batinski works is on the Emeriti Faculty at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Michael C. Batinski is recognized for significant scholarship and publication in American colonial history and culture.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Pastkeepers in A Small Place: Five Centuries in Deerfield, Massachusetts
ISBN: 1558494553

University of Massachusetts Press. 2004

People know who they are by fixing themselves in place and time. They keep the past in numerous ways -- not simply by writing histories but also by telling stories, creating pictures, collecting memorabilia, preserving old homes, and tracing genealogies. As Michael C. Batinski shows in this imaginative study, the pastkeepers of Deerfield, Massachusetts, have long illustrated this human yearning to connect with past and place. For five centuries people in this small New England town have passed stories from one generation to the next, preserved homes, and established one of the nation's first historical societies and local history museums.

Like many small places in the American landscape, Batinski points out, Deerfield does not fit into the history we learn in textbooks. With the exception of the famous French and Indian raid on the town in 1704, nothing of national significance has happened there. Yet that has not diminished the interest of local inhabitants in establishing and maintaining a vital connection to the past.

Different groups, from Native Pocumtuck to Puritan settlers to the grandchildren of Polish immigrants, have told the Deerfield story in varied and sometimes conflicting ways, each drawing on the past to shape its own sense of collective identity. Together their efforts at pastkeeping reveal how people organize and explain the motion of time, why they feel it important to pass on family stories, and why they keep family heirlooms. In doing so, Batinski argues, they illustrate why the preservation of the past remains a civic concern to us all.

Jonathan Belcher, Colonial Governor
ISBN: 0813119464

University Press of Kentucky. 1996

As early as the eighteenth century, New England's ministers were decrying public morality in jeremiads aimed at wayward colonists. Evangelical leaders such as Jonathan Edwards called for rulers to become spiritual as well as political leaders who would renew the people's covenant with God. The prosperous merchant Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757) self-consciously strove to become such a leader, an American Nehemiah. As governor of three royal colonies and early patron of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), Belcher became an important but controversial figure in colonial America.
An insightful blend of social and political history, this biography demands that Belcher be recognized as the embodiment of the Nehemiah, perhaps as important in his own realm as Cotton Mather was in religious circles. Grappling with the contradictions of Belcher's actions, the author explains much about the complexities of the world in which Belcher lived and wielded influence and, by weaving together social, religious, and cultural history, portrays in the career of Jonathan Belcher a richly detailed synthesis of the tumultuous late colonial period.

The New Jersey Assembly, 1738-1775: The Making of a Legislative Community
ISBN: 081916089X

Univ Pr of Amer. 1987

Speaking Engagements

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