Historians and Social Values
Joseph Theodoor Leerssen, Ann Rigney
Amsterdam University Press, 2000 - History - 243 pages
Is historical scholarship compatible with commitment to social values? Do professional historians have particular social responsibilities and if so, how can they best exercise them? These are questions which are chronically open to debate in the light of changing historical circumstances and changing historical practices. In recent years, they have re-emerged as a result of a number of theoretical and cultural developments: the increasing realization that historians 'construct' history in selecting some topics for investigation rather than others; the calls among professionals and non-professionals alike to give priority to the preservation of private and collective 'memories' of the past; the increasing power of the mass media in disseminating views of the past and in thus competing with professional historians.
In the light of these developments, the present collection surveys the relationship between historical writing and social values. It aims to stimulate and to inform discussion by clarifying, from a variety of points of view, the theoretical and the practical issues confronting contemporary historians.
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