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Book by GRCC History professor Robert Hendershot earns prestigious national honor

Jan. 18, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The book Culture Matters: Anglo-American Relations and the Intangibles of ‘Specialness’, co-edited by Dr. Robert Hendershot of Grand Rapids Community College and Dr. Steve Marsh of Cardiff University, has earned a prestigious honor from a national academic organization.

Their book was selected by Choice, published by the Association of College & Research Libraries, as one of the Outstanding Academic Titles reviewed during the previous year.

Choice is a major reviewing tool used widely by academic librarians, and its celebrated annual list is designed to recognize outstanding works for their excellence in presentation and scholarship, the significance of their contribution to the field, their originality and value as an essential treatment of their subject, and significance in building undergraduate collections.

Choice reviewed more than 3,600 titles during the past year, but only 440 books and digital resources were chosen by their editorial staff for this year’s list of Outstanding Academic Titles.

Culture Matters was published in late 2020 by England-based Manchester University Press. Collectively, the book’s various contributors explore how literature, movies, Beatlemania, “Downton Abbey,” political values, historical commemoration, collective memory, and other aspects of culture have impacted the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. The book may be accessed via the GRCC Library here.

Hendershot in 2020 said he and Marsh began designing the project in 2016 during a Transatlantic Studies Association conference in Plymouth, England.

“We both felt a book like this was necessary because interest-based and neorealist analyses have long dominated the study of the Anglo-American special relationship, and the power of culture to impact important aspects of the relationship was comparatively understudied,” he said.

“The resulting book helps to open up a variety of new analytical spaces, features the work of both world-leading and emergent scholars, and breaks new ground by applying the theories and methodologies of the ‘cultural turn’ in diplomatic history to the study of Anglo-American relations.”

In addition to co-authoring the introduction and conclusion with Marsh, Hendershot contributed a chapter based on his own research. He noted that a GRCC sabbatical award he received in 2019 was of material assistance to his participation in this project.

Hendershot, who has been a professor in GRCC’s Department of Social Sciences since 2007, specializes in the historical influence of culture, identity, memory, and public opinion upon Anglo-American relations. In addition to teaching a variety of classes on world history each semester, he also offers classes on Latin American history (HS230) and the history of U.S. foreign policy (HS285).

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