Although "Reconstructing American Literary History" specifically refers to those endeavors and projects of the recent few decades to reconstruct and rewrite American literary history through the redefinition of the traditional literary canon and the inclusion of new works, constructing and reconstructing American literary history has been the recurring concern of American literary historians ever since the appearance of the first history of American literature by Moses Coit Tyler. A diversity of critical perspectives inform the histories of American literature, ranging from the problems of the Puritan origins, cultural theories, self-reflexive theories of American literature to the current New Orthodoxy. The three cooperative or collaborative works The Cambridge History of American Literature(CHAL), Literary History of the United States (LHUS) , and Columbia Literary History of the United States (CLHUS), in particular, attest to the changing theoretical positions on American history and literature. If CHAL appears encyclopedic in its coverage of literary and non-literary writing and is, in a way, precanonical and premodern, LHUS is integrative yet highly selective with its exclusive concern for the major writers of American literature. CLHUS with a close attention to a diversity of literary expressions by minority and women writers inscribes dissensus rather than consensus in recasting its postmodern history of American literature. Nonetheiess, it continues the elitist tradition of LHUS in valorizing the American Renaissance and other major writers.