The Annales School: An Intellectual History

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A new approach to the study of history emerged in France in the late 1920s around the history journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale. The Annales school, as it came to be identified, grew to be the preeminent twentieth-century movement in historical scholarship. Its bold agenda of a "total history" embracing all the social sciences captivated historians worldwide. Numerous Annales historians have gained international reputations, among them the "founding fathers," Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, as well as Fernand Braudel, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, François Furet, Philippe Ariés, Jacques Le Goff, and Georges Duby.

In The Annales School, Andre Burguiére explores the origins and evolution of this group that still widely influences the study and teaching of history. Intimately involved in all of the publishing decisions and direction of the Annales since 1969, Burguiére is uniquely well qualified to write this intriguing story. Drawing on firsthand experience and his own training as a historian, he offers fascinating portraits of the key figures of the movement. He deftly addresses such matters as the complicated relationship between Bloch and Febvre, the engagement of the Annales school with other historical currents such as microhistory and social anthropology, and the school's gradual shift from the socioeconomic to the sociocultural. He also steps back to assess the long-term contributions—and failures—of the Annales school.

Burguiére's account of the Annales school, the first by an insider, is a major contribution to the study of French intellectual history during the twentieth century, when French thinkers played a large role in developing new approaches to the social sciences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a lively and very personal account of the single most influential school of history of our time. André Burguiére offers just the right mix of inside information, careful explanation, and provocative reinterpretation of who and what mattered during the halcyon years of the Annales school."—Lynn Hunt, Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History, UCLA

"The 'Annales' constitute one of the most important intellectual movements of the twentieth century in the sprawling domain of what the French call the social sciences. Cosmopolitan and cultivated, André Burguiére has written an elegant and thoughtful study of the historiographical 'school' of which he has been a pillar for many decades. While his insider status affords him a host of trenchant insights, it has blunted neither his critical spirit nor a certain polemical bent. Burguiere eschews panegyric in favor of luminous analysis, leavened with passionate engagement."—Steven L. Kaplan, Goldwin Smith Professor of European History, Cornell University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801446658
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Pt. 1 Foundations

1 The Early Annales: Portrait of a Review 13

2 Agreements and Disagreements: Caught between Two Directors 38

3 The Notion of Mentalities, Invented or Inherited? 52

Pt. 2 Trajectories

4 Thinking Together: The Enquetes Collectives 79

5 The Labrousse Moment 103

6 From Total History to Global History 133

Pt. 3 Questions

7 The History of Death: Anthropology of the Body and Self-Consciousness 163

8 Passing of the Comet 195

9 Must We Be Done with Mentalities? 219

10 Return to the Political 243

Conclusion 253

Notes 259

Selected Bibliography 287

Index 295

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