New Directions in European Historiography
In four impressively researched essays Georg Iggers recounts the transformation of historical studies in Europe during the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the historiography of the past fifteen years. Although the book does survey a broad area of contemporary historical thought, it is primarily a careful analytical examination of the methodological and theoretical reorientation of certain influential European historians.
The first essay discusses the emergence at German Universities during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of the concept of history as a scientific discipline, distinct from the classical tradition of literary history, and the later broad acceptance of this mode of Enquiry in the Western world. Against this background Mr. Iggers then considers the challenge to this mode of the political, social, and intellectual upheavals of the twentieth century, especially after World War II.
The three essays following examine important attempts to develop alternate paradigms for historical study: the French historians of the Annales tradition; the German political historians of the 1960s; the various Marxist historians of France, Poland, East Germany, and Great Britain.
In despite of the frequent insistence by philosophers and theorists of history that history is not a science in contemporary terms, historians themselves have striven in recent years to strengthen the quantitative aspects of historical study, moving away from traditional patterns of writing and adopting methods and concepts from the systematic social sciences. Mr. Iggers’ book is an excellent introduction to these contemporary changes in historiography, and in its comparative analyses itself makes a contribution to historical studies.
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Albert Soboul analysis Annales historians annee approach attempt Berlin Bloch Braudel capitalism capitalist conception concern consciousness context critical cultural demographic discussion economic history empirical Engels English translation essays European factors Febvre France Francois Furet French Revolution Furet Georg Georges Lefebvre German historical Geschichte Geschichtswissenschaft Gottingen groups hermeneutic historical scholarship historical science historical studies historical writing Historische Hobsbawm human Ibid ideological Imanuel Geiss industrialization institutional intellectual interests J. G. Droysen J. H. Hexter Jerzy Topolski Karl Kehr Kocka Lefebvre Lucien Febvre Marc Bloch Marx Marx's Marxist historians Marxist historiography Max Weber ment methodological methods modern narrative nineteenth century nomic orientation Paris past period perspective political history quantitative role Roy Ladurie Sans-culottes scientific Sixth Section Soboul social history social science social structure society sought stress theory Thompson tion Topolski torians torical tory tradition vols Weber Wehler West Germany York