Hayden White

Hayden White

by Herman Paul
     
 

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This new book offers a clear and accessible exposition of HaydenWhite's thought. In an engaging and wide-ranging analysis, HermanPaul discusses White's core ideas and traces the development ofthese ideas from the mid-1950s to the present. Starting withWhite's medievalist research and youthful fascination for Frenchexistentialism, Paul shows how White became

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Overview

This new book offers a clear and accessible exposition of HaydenWhite's thought. In an engaging and wide-ranging analysis, HermanPaul discusses White's core ideas and traces the development ofthese ideas from the mid-1950s to the present. Starting withWhite's medievalist research and youthful fascination for Frenchexistentialism, Paul shows how White became increasingly convincedthat historical writing is a moral activity. He goes on to arguethat the critical concepts that have secured White's fame –trope, plot, discourse, figural realism – all stem from hisdesire to explicate the moral claims and perceptions underlyinghistorical writing. White emerges as a passionate thinker, arestless rebel against scientism, and a defender of existentialisthumanist values.

This innovative introduction will appeal to students andscholars across the humanities, and help develop a criticalunderstanding of an increasingly important thinker.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As an introduction to the thought and work of Hayden White, it ishard to see this volume being surpassed for some considerabletime."
Reviews in History

"A thoughtful, comprehensive and much needed introduction to thework of White. It is not only well argued and researched, but alsoreadable and accessible. It should be required reading not only forundergraduate and postgraduate students, but all historians whowant to understand how the discipline of history changed over thetwentieth century."
International Network for Theory of History

"Paul has accessibly, lucidly and systematically analysed thedevelopment of White’s thought in such a way as to challengethe common understanding of White as a poststructuralist andpostmodernist. He has, in short, produced a fineintroduction."
European Review of History

"Warmly recommended to every historian as a reliable roadmapinto the highly relevant quest of this philosopher."
Leidschrift

"Should be applauded for bringing to bear a much-neededphilosophical perspective on Hayden White’s influential andextensive oeuvre."
Philosophy of the Social Sciences

"This study is unlikely to be surpassed in the near future in itsscholarly attention to detail."
H-Soz-u-Kult

"A useful, and in many ways exemplary, introduction toWhite’s legacy."
History and Theory

"A sharp book on an American intellectual whose work was not thatof an outsider throwing rocks at a profession. This essay-reviewapplauds Paul's endeavor."
Rethinking History

"The most balanced introduction to White’s philosophy ofhistory available."
Torbjörn Gustafsson Chorell, Uppsala University

"This book both attests to the importance of Hayden White as ametahistorian and provides a lucid account of his life and thought.It is a well-deserved tribute to the work and the man - a reliableintroduction and an invitation to join in the critical dialogue histhought encourages."
Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University

"In this deeply researched and probing analysis of Hayden White,Herman Paul offers a strikingly novel interpretation of the goalsand significance of his theories of historical writing. In contrastto virtually all previous commentators, Paul argues that the coreof White's work is not principally concerned with rhetoric andnarratology as such but seeks, instead, to offer a form of'liberation historiography' that can free historians of the 'burdenof history,' a concern stemming from White's lifelong embrace ofexistentialist humanism. Narratology, in Paul's view, achievedprominence in White's thinking because it offered a way to contestpositivist history and thus unburden historians of their espousalof naïve realism and fantasies of objectivity."
Gabrielle M. Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745650142
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/16/2011
Series:
Key Contemporary Thinkers Series
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,422,706
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"As an introduction to the thought and work of Hayden White, it is hard to see this volume being surpassed for some considerable time."
Reviews in History

"This book both attests to the importance of Hayden White as a metahistorian and provides a lucid account of his life and thought. It is a well-deserved tribute to the work and the man - a reliable introduction and an invitation to join in the critical dialogue his thought encourages."
Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University

"In this deeply researched and probing analysis of Hayden White, Herman Paul offers a strikingly novel interpretation of the goals and significance of his theories of historical writing. In contrast to virtually all previous commentators, Paul argues that the core of White's work is not principally concerned with rhetoric and narratology as such but seeks, instead, to offer a form of 'liberation historiography' that can free historians of the 'burden of history,' a concern stemming from White's lifelong embrace of existentialist humanism. Narratology, in Paul's view, achieved prominence in White's thinking because it offered a way to contest positivist history and thus unburden historians of their espousal of naïve realism and fantasies of objectivity."
Gabrielle M. Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University

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