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A Companion to Western Historical Thought

Overview

This broad survey introduces readers to the major themes, figures, traditions and theories in Western historical thought, tracing its evolution from biblical times to the present.

The volume comprises 24 chapters by leading historians who discuss conceptions of and approaches to the human past in the ancient, medieval, early modern and modern West, stressing the long-term patterns and traditions in historical thinking that survive to this day. Chapters range from overviews of ...

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Overview

This broad survey introduces readers to the major themes, figures, traditions and theories in Western historical thought, tracing its evolution from biblical times to the present.

The volume comprises 24 chapters by leading historians who discuss conceptions of and approaches to the human past in the ancient, medieval, early modern and modern West, stressing the long-term patterns and traditions in historical thinking that survive to this day. Chapters range from overviews of eras in the history of historical thought, to discussions of new methods that historians have drawn from other disciplines and of new historical subjects, such as gender, sexuality, selfhood, and natural environments. The volume concludes with essays on contemporary challenges to classic, Western definitions of history that have emerged in global history, multiculturalism, post-colonialism, and new technologies.

For students, this Companion provides the background they need in order to understand contemporary historical debates and approaches, while for researchers and teachers it will serve as a useful reference work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This companion is expansive in its subject and links with other disciplines, such as ancient history and the classics, anthropology, Biblical studies and theology… It covers many expected subjects, but also explores lesser-known areas of historical interest as well as the challenges to historical thought in the twenty-first century that will continue to make this companion a useful library resource." Reference Reviews
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lloyd Kramer is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His previous publications include Threshold of a New World: Intellectuals and the Exile Experience in Paris, 1830-1848 (1988), Lafayette in Two Worlds: Public Cultures and Personal Identities in an Age of Revolutions (1996), and Nationalism: Political Cultures in Europe and America, 1775-1865 (1998).

Sarah Maza is Jane Long Professor of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is the author of Servants and Masters in Eighteenth-century France (1983) and Private Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes Célèbres of Pre-Revolutionary France (1993).

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Cultural History of Historical Thought 1
Pt. I The Pre-Modern Origins of Western Historical Thought
1 Historiography in Ancient Israel 15
2 Historical Thought in Ancient Greece 35
3 Historical Thought in Ancient Rome 60
4 Historical Thought in Medieval Europe 78
5 Historical Thought in the Renaissance 99
Pt. II The Shaping of Modern Western Historical Thought
6 Historical Thought in the Era of the Enlightenment 123
7 German Historical Thought in the Age of Herder, Kant, and Hegel 143
8 German Historical Writing from Ranke to Weber: The Primacy of Politics 166
9 National History in the Age of Michelet, Macaulay, and Bancroft 185
10 Marxism and Historical Thought 205
Pt. III Patterns in Twentieth-Century Western Historical Thought
11 The Professionalization of Historical Studies and the Guiding Assumptions of Modern Historical Thought 225
12 The History of Armed Power 243
13 Total History and Microhistory: The French and Italian Paradigms 262
14 Anthropology and the History of Culture 277
15 The History of Science, Or, an Oxymoronic Theory of Relativistic Objectivity 297
16 Language, Literary Studies, and Historical Thought 319
17 Psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Historical Thought 337
18 Redefining Historical Identities: Sexuality, Gender, and the Self 357
19 Historicizing Natural Environments: The Deep Roots of Environmental History 372
Pt. IV Challenges to the Boundaries of Western Historical Thought
20 The New World History 393
21 Postcolonial History 417
22 The Multicultural History of Nations 432
23 New Technologies and Historical Knowledge 447
24 The Visual Media and Historical Knowledge 466
Consolidated Bibliography 482
Index 495
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