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Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method

Overview

More than twenty years after Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method was first published in English, this extraordinary collection remains a classic. The book brings together essays about Renaissance witchcraft, National Socialism, sixteenth-century Italian painting, Freud’s wolf-man, and other topics. In the influential centerpiece of the volume Carlo Ginzburg places historical knowledge in a long tradition of cognitive practices and shows how a research strategy based on reading clues and traces embedded in the...

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Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method

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Overview

More than twenty years after Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method was first published in English, this extraordinary collection remains a classic. The book brings together essays about Renaissance witchcraft, National Socialism, sixteenth-century Italian painting, Freud’s wolf-man, and other topics. In the influential centerpiece of the volume Carlo Ginzburg places historical knowledge in a long tradition of cognitive practices and shows how a research strategy based on reading clues and traces embedded in the historical record reveals otherwise hidden information. Acknowledging his debt to art history, psychoanalysis, comparative religion, and anthropology, Ginzburg challenges us to retrieve these cultural and social dimensions.

In his new preface, Ginzburg reflects on how easily we miss the context in which we read, write, and live. Only hindsight allows some understanding. He examines his own path in research during the 1970s and its relationship to the times, especially the political scenes of Italy and Germany. Was he influenced by the environment, he asks himself, and if so, how? Ginzburg uses his own experience to examine the elusive and constantly evolving nature of history and historical research.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Explores questions of historical method and knowledge, pushing beyond the simple "clues" of historial evidence to tease out the hidden information embedded in them.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Ginzburg is known internationally for his studies of what might be called the interface between learned and popular culture. This collection of eight essays explores the methodological foundations of his historical analysis.
Camera Obscura

In the diversity of methods and objects of analysis it offers, Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method offers a fresh perspective on this Italian historian who has become such an essential point of reference in many domains of cultural study today.

— Dana Polan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421409900
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 10/3/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,389,242
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Carlo Ginzburg has taught at the University of Bologna, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. The recipent of the 2010 International Balzan Prize, he is author of The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries and The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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