As it is presented in the passage, the approach to history taken by mainstream U.S. historians of the late nineteenth...

Meredith on October 7, 2019

Why not A?

How is B a better choice than A?


Andrea on November 1, 2019

Hi @Meredith,

This is a tough question! I would start by thinking about what “…the approach to history taken by mainstream U.S. historians…” is.

Because the first line of the passage tells us “In contrast to…” what our subject in question was saying, I would think of the mainstream perspective as notably dissimilar or maybe the opposite of what they ascribe to the side they are about to introduce next. So something that’s not “transnational” (line 5).

If you jump down to the start of the third paragraph, we get more insight into what the mainstream approach was. Lines 26 and 27 describe it as “firmly rooted in a nationalist approach” which fits with what we were sensing from earlier on in the passage, that it would be very distinct or the opposite of “transnational.” We also learn in line 28 that there is “glorification of the nation.” In general, the first half of the third paragraph speaks to the mainstream approach.

Our answer choice will give us an example that is similar to what the mainstream approach has been described as in the passage, which we talked about above.

B) Though this might be hard to see at first (and the potentially unfamiliar vocab doesn’t help) a biographer is arguing that precocity (think aptitude, or your natural ability to be skilled at something) apparent in the novelists early achievements was attributable to innate talent. In an abstract sense, the author is showing a kind of nationalism for the novelist here, glorifying the novelist and arguing in support of her.

A) A is essentially describing an approach that looks something more like, “Because it’s worked in the past, we should continue with it in the future.” This is a kind of argument approach we see on the LSAT every now and then—just not an approach presented in this passage that can be attributable to the mainstream U.S. historians.

This is a difficult question, but I think it helps to think of the underlying meaning and direction the answer choices are going down to help get through a less direct inference question like this.

Hope this helps!

on May 29, 2020

Thank you for this explanation!