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A History of Historiesby John Burrow
Synopses & Reviews
Treating the practice of history not as an isolated pursuit but as an aspect of human society and an essential part of the culture of the West, John Burrow magnificently brings to life and explains the distinctivequalities found in the work of historians from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the present.
With a light step and graceful narrative, he gathers together over 2,500 years of the moments anddecisions that have helped create Western identity. This unique approach is an incredible lens with which to view the past. Standing alone in its ambition, scale and fascination, Burrow's history of history is certain tostand the test of time.
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
John Burrow was for many years Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex. From 1994 to 2000 he was the first Professor of Intellectual History at Oxford. He is author of A Liberal Descent, Gibbon, Whigs and Liberals: Continuity and Change in English Political Thought, The Crisis of Reason: European Thought 1848-1914, and That Noble Sphere of Politics. He will be Distinguished Visiting Professor at Williams College, Massachusetts, January to May 2008.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A history of histories? — Prologue: Keeping records and making accounts: Egypt and Babylon — pt. 1. Greece. Herodotus: the great invasion and the historian's task — Thucydides: the Polis--the use and abuse of power — The Greeks in Asia. Xenophon: The Persian expedition — The Alexander historians: Arrian and Curtius Rufus — pt. 2. Rome. Polybius: universal history, pragmatic history and the rise of Rome — Sallust: a city for sale — Livy: From the foundation of the city — Civil War and the road to autocracy: Plutarch, Appian and Cassius Dio — Tacitus: "Men fit to be slaves" — A provincial perspective: Josephus on the Jewish Revolt — Ammianus Marcellinus: the last pagan historian — General characteristics of ancient historiography — pt. 3. Christendom. The Bible and history: the people of God — Eusebius: the making of Orthodoxy and the Church triumphant — Gregory of Tours: kings, bishops and others — Bede: the English Church and the English people — pt. 4. The revival of secular history. Annals, chronicles and history. Annals and chronicles — Pseudo-history: Geoffrey of Monmouth — Secular history and chronicle: William of Malmesbury's Modern history and the scurrilities of Matthew Paris — Two abbey chronicles: St. Albans and Bury St. Edmunds — Crusader history and chivalric history: Villehardouin and Froissart. Villehardouin's The conquest of Constantinople — Froissart: "matters of great renown" — From civic chronicle to human history: Villani, Machivavelli and Guicciardini — pt. 5. Studying the past. Antiquarianism, legal history and the discovery of feudalism — Clarendon's History of the rebellion: the Wilfulness of particular men — Philosophic history. Hume: enthusiasm and regicide — Robertson: "The state of society" and the idea of Europe — Gibbon: Rome, barbarism and civilization — Revolutions: England and France. Macaulay: the glorious revolution — Carlyle's French revolution: history with a hundred tongues — Michelet and Taine: the people and the mob — History as the story of freedom: constitutional liberty and individual autonomy. Stubb's Constitutional history: from township Parliament — Modernity's first-born son: Burckhardt's Renaissance man — A new world: American experiences. The halls of Montezuma: Diaz, Prescott and the conquest of New Spain — Outposts in the wilderness: Parkman's history of the great West — Henry Adams: from republic to nation — A professoional consensus: The German influence. Professionalization. — German historicism: Ranke, God and Machiavelli — Not quite a Copernican revolution — The twentieth century. Professionalism and the critique of "Whig history": history as a science and history as an art — "Structures": cultural history and the Annales school — Marxism: the last grand narrative? — Anthropology and history: languages and paradigms — Suppressed identities and global perspectives: world history and micro-history.
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