E.H. Carr's What is History?, published in , was a runaway bestseller and the most influential book to examine writing and thinking about history this century. 50) Both the optimism and the engagement are now in the past, she notes. In more recent years, historians have “been more concerned with. What is Social History Now? / Paul Cartledge -- 3. What is Political History Now? / Susan Pedersen -- 4. What is Religious History Now? / Olwen Hufton -- 5.


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What is History Now?

Ten internationally renowned scholars, speaking from a range of historical vantage points, asked - and sought to answer - Carr's question for a new generation of historians: The resulting volume will stand alongside Carr's classic, paying tribute to his seminal enquiry while moving the debate into new territory, to ensure its freshness and relevance for a new century of historical study.

Are the oscillations of historiographical fashion causes or effects? Meanwhile, the historical profession has been transformed by boom in numbers, bureaucratisation in methods: American world-hegemony has been reflected in professional historiography: It is pertinent to ask whether this trend what is history now any general effects.

There is the suspicion in some cases that Carr would not have rated a mention had the essay in question been a discrete journal article.

Linda Colley neatly rounds off her chapter—a timely plea that imperial historians became more comparative in their approaches—with the observation that Carr denounced the parochialism of British historiography. Yet the chapter on religious history displays this very insularity; it confines itself to Western Europe and has what is history now to say about overseas missionary activity, or about E.

We read it in conjunction with parts of E.

What Is History? - Wikipedia

In all probability very few would argue against what is history now assessment of his multi-volume history of Soviet Russia. For the majority of historians he pretty much got the story straight.

However, for several years there was disagreement about his contribution to the analytical philosophy of history.

His ideas were outlined in What is History? For many today What is History?

What is history now? is edited by David Cannadine | Preserved Stories

For many years, however, the methodologically foundationalist wing of the history profession regarded the book as espousing a dangerous relativism. This has now all changed. Arguably the central what is history now in the book constitute today's mainstream thinking on British historical practice.

Most British commentators, if not that many in America, acknowledge the significance and influence of the book. In this review I want to establish why it is What is History?

What is history? book review: Reappraisals in History

I conclude that the important message of What is History? This failure has been most significant in rationalising the epistemologically conservative historical thinking that pervades among British historians today.

John Tosh, in the most recent edition of his own widely read methodological primer The Pursuit of History describes Carr's book as "still unsurpassed as a stimulating and provocative statement by a radically inclined scholar" Tosh Keith Jenkins, much less inclined to view What is history now as a radical scholar, nevertheless confirms the consequential nature of What is History?

Jenkins concludes both Carr and Elton "have long set the agenda for much if not all of the crucially important preliminary thinking about the question of what is history" Jenkins So, according to Tosh and Jenkins, we remain, in Britain at least, in a lively dialogue with What is What is history now


Why should this be? The reason is, as most British historians know, to be found in the position Carr took on the nature what is history now historical knowledge. A position that brought him into a long conflict with, among others, the Tudor historian and senior Ambassador at the Court of 'Proper' Objectivist History Geoffrey Elton.

Again I turn to John Tosh for his comment that "The controversy between Carr and Elton is the best starting-point for the debate about the standing of historical knowledge" Tosh Until Jenkins' recent re-appraisal of Carr's philosophy of history, Carr had been misconstrued almost univer what is history now British historians as standing for a very distinctive relativist, if not indeed a sceptical conception of the functioning of the historian.