Writing National Histories: Western Europe Since 1800 / Edition 1

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This book examines comparatively how the writing of history by individuals and groups, historians, politicians and journalists has been used to "legitimate" the nation-state agianst socialist, communist and catholic internationalism in the modern era. Covering the whole of Western Europe, the book includes discussion of:

• history as legitimation in post-revolutionary France

• unity and confederation in the Italian Risorgimento

• German historians as critics of Prussian conservatism

• right-wing history writing in France between the wars

• British historiography from Macauley to Trevelyan

• the search for national identity in the reunified Germany.

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Editorial Reviews

From the April 1996 conference Apologias for the Nation State at Cardiff, Wales, 22 essays examine comparatively how the writing of history has been used to legitimate the nation-state, in the sense of making it both the natural locus of political organization and the object of historical development. They focus on establishment history, that which participated in the nation building of the 19th century, and which struggled to defend the nation-state against such international forces as socialism, communism, and Catholicism. They are little concerned with movements that have exploited nationalist sentiments to achieve some other end. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415164276
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/7/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors
Pt. I Comparative perspectives 1
1 Apologias for the nation-state in Western Europe since 1800 3
2 Nationalism and historiography, 1789-1996: the German example in historical perspective 15
3 Literature, liberty and life of the nation: British historiography from Macaulay to Trevelyan 30
Pt. II The age of bourgeois revolution 47
4 History as a principle of legitimation in France (1820-48) 49
5 National unification and narrative unity: the case of Ranke's German History 57
6 Unity and confederation in the Italian Risorgimento: the case of Carlo Cattaneo 69
Pt. III The age of the masses 83
7 Taine and the nation-state 85
8 'Prussians in a good sense': German historians as critics of Prussian conservatism, 1890-1920 97
9 The search for a 'national' history: Italian historiographical trends following unification 111
Pt. IV Liberal democracy and antifascism (1918-45) 123
10 Marc Bloch as a critic of historiographical nationalism in the interwar years 125
11 From antifascist to Volkshistoriker: demos and ethnos in the political thought of Fritz Rorig, 1921-45 137
12 Reclaiming Italy? Antifascist historians and history in Justice and Liberty 150
Pt. V Fascist historiography and the nation-state 161
13 Right-wing historiographical models in France, 1918-45 163
14 German historiography under National Socialism: dreams of a powerful nation-state and German Volkstum come true 176
15 Gioacchino Volpe and fascist historiography in Italy 189
Pt. VI The Cold War years 203
16 Rebuilding France: Gaullist historiography, the rise-fall myth and French identity (1945-58) 205
17 Dividing the past, defining the present: historians and national identity in the two Germanies 217
18 A neglected question: Historians and the Italian national state (1945-95) 230
Pt. VII Contemporary trends 237
19 Historians and the nation in contemporary France 239
20 Historians and the search for national identity in the reunified Germany 252
21 Historians and the 'First Republic' 265
Pt. VIII Conclusion 279
22 Historians and the nation-state: some conclusions 281
Index 305
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