Fortunes of History


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Historical Inquiry from Herder to Huizinga

Donald R. Kelley

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In Fortunes of History Donald R. Kelley offers an authoritative examination of historical writing during the “long nineteenth century”—the years from the French Revolution to those just after the First World War. He provides a comprehensive analysis of the theories and practices of British, French, German, Italian, and American schools of historical thought, their principal figures, and their distinctive methods and self-understandings.

Kelley treats the modern traditions of European world and national historiography from the Enlightenment to the “new histories” of the twentieth century, attending not only to major authors and schools but also to methods, scholarship, criticisms, controversies, ideological questions, and relations to other disciplines.

Donald R. Kelley is James Westfall Thompson Professor of History at Rutgers University and executive editor of the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Fortunes of History shows better than any previous book both the proliferative richness of historiography and the one red thread running through it all, the unresolving tension between past and present.”—Allan Megill, author of Karl Marx: The Burden of Reason

"A learned and brilliant portrait of the great age of Western historiography, when the history of nations and classes combined with German philosophy to make the history of Europe the history of mankind."—J.G.A. Pocock, author of Barbarism and Religion 

"Professor Donald Kelley is a master in his field, the history of historical thought. His latest book combines a broad sweep with an enviable command of context and detail. It will be of great value to students and teachers of history, not least because it places the ’new history’ of our time in the perspective of the last two centuries."—Peter Burke, Cambridge University 

“Kelley is a master in his field, the history of historical thought. His latest book combines a broad sweep with an enviable command of context and detail.”—Peter Burke, Cambridge University

“An even-handed but deeply engaged account of the major figures and movements shaping modern historiography. No one matches Kelley’s deft proficiency over such vast reaches of historical endeavor: his artfully authoritative, carefully contoured survey of the historical landscape maps the critical intellectual battle zones, remoter outlying provinces of auxiliary disciplines, and more familiar areas of present day habitation. . . . If history remains a resonating and ramifying ‘conversation without end,’ Kelley ranks among its very best interlocutors and interpreters across the ages.”—Michael Ermarth, American Historical Review

“Kelley is widely recognized as a leading authority on the history of historical writing. His contributions to that subject have been both prolific and profound. This new book carries on where Kelley’s earlier Faces of History left off, describing developments in historical scholarship during the ‘long nineteenth century’. . . . Recommended.”—Choice

"Researched, closely reasoned and well-written. . . . A sustained philosophical meditation. . . . Impressive proof that the field of history is still vigorous and intellectually exciting. . . . Anyone with a serious interest in the pursuit of the past will be well-rewarded in its pages."—John Sledge, Mobile (Ala.) Register

"Donald R. Kelley, an eminent historian at Rutgers and the editor of the Journal of the History of Ideas, has here produced an authoritative, densely detailed and sometimes even witty survey of how 19th-century English, German, French and American scholars approached writing about the past."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book Review 

"Kelley's new book permits us to scan, and with an edifying depth, the way knowledge of the past has been sought since historical writing began. In explicating the persistence of the quest, he reassures us that it is a way truth worth pursuing."—Patrick H. Hutton, The Journal of Modern History



ISBN: 9780300205022
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
448 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Faces of History

Historical Inquiry from Herodotus to Herder

Donald R. Kelley

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Frontiers of History

Historical Inquiry in the Twentieth Century
First Edition

Donald R. Kelley

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