The New History and the Old: Critical Essays and Reappraisals / Edition 1

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1989 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Unmarked text and cover. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

The New History and the Old is a marvelously written, perfectly serious, yet vastly entertaining critique of current fashions in the writing of history—social history, psychoanalytic history, quantitative history, Marxist and neo-Marxist history, mentalité history.

As the "new" history is coming to dominate the profession, Gertrude Himmelfarb argues, it tends to supplant rather than supplement the "old," which centered on political, constitutional, diplomatic, and intellectual events. The effect is not only to transform the discipline of history, but also to alter profoundly our sense of the past. A mode of history that belittles politics and ideas denigrates the political institutions and intellectual traditions that have shaped our past, and severs the continuity between past and present, leaving little that is usable in their place.

This provocative analysis of the "revolution in history," as it has been called, has implications that go well beyond the discipline of history itself. It raises fundamental and far-reaching questions about the nature of our postmodern society and will undoubtedly arouse a good deal of discussion and debate along broad cultural lines.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674615816
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1989
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Gertrude Himmelfarb is the author of many books, including intellectual biographies of Acton, Darwin, and Mill; essays on the Victorians, including Victorian Minds; the social history studies The Idea of Poverty and The De-Moralization of Society; and reflections on contemporary culture, On Looking into the Abyss and One Nation, Two Cultures.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

"History with the Politics Left Out"

Clio and the New History

Two Nations or Five Classes: The Historian as Sociologist

The "Group": British Marxist Historians

Social History in Retrospect

Reflections of a Chastened Father

Recovering a Lost World

Case Studies in Psychohistory

Edmund Burke: An Ambivalent Conservative

James and John Stuart Mill: Ambivalent Rebels

Is National History Obsolete?

The Frenchness of France

The Englishness of England

Who Now Reads Macaulay?

History and the Idea of Progress

Does History Talk Sense?

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index of Names

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