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Modern Historiography: An Introduction by Michael Bentley

By Michael Bentley

Modern Historiography is the fundamental advent to the heritage of ancient writing. It explains the extensive philosophical history to the several historians and old faculties of the trendy period, from James Boswell and Thomas Carlyle via to Lucien Febure and Eric Hobsbawm and surveys:
<UL> • the Enlightenment and Counter Enlightenment
• Romanticism
• the voice of technological know-how and the method of secularization inside Western highbrow thought
• the impression of, and broadening touch with, the recent World
• the Annales institution in France
• Postmodernism.
</UL>
Modern Historiography presents a transparent and concise account of this contemporary interval of historic writing.

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They co-mingled and drew both strength and opposition from events taking place ‘on the ground’. Among the most significant determinants after 1815 was the defeat of revolutionary sentiment and its further repression in England; a period of intense rethinking of the recent past in France by a generation needing to accommodate the enormities of the Revolution, the Directorate and Napoleon; and the birth of a new American sensibility, fresh from its second defeat of the British in 1814 and finding an historical version of itself that would reflect the uniqueness of the American venture.

Of the latter, Barnes writes engagingly that ‘[t]he damage done to sane perspective in American history by his works was almost incalculable, if not irreparable’ (232). 28 MODERN HISTORIOGRAPHY frequently thought adequate. It began with the criticism that the Enlightenment and its disciples had ‘miserably neglect[ed] the art of narration, the art of interesting the affections and presenting pictures to the imagination’. (Macaulay [1828] 1956:83). Only a skilful narrative would have the literary power to delineate truths about liberty and the congealing of peoples into new formations that this generation wanted to portray.

53 He undertook a great deal of editing of sources for the Monumenta but the large-scale original works are Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte (1844–78) and Deutsche Kaiser von Karl dem Grossen bis Maximilian (1864). 42 5 THE VOICE OF SCIENCE Ranke’s Lutheranism, Arnold’s Anglicanism and Bancroft’s Congregationalism form elements in a common sensibility through the 1820s and 1830s. Theirs was the last generation for whom divine guidance and intervention remained obvious and crucial aspects of historical explanation.

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