Abstract

In the mid-twentieth century the prominent Annales school historians Lucien Febvre and Fernand Braudel advocated a unified, "total" history. Their efforts in this direction did not meet with success, and have been superseded by the efforts of some practitioners of "social" and "new cultural" history to impose one or another "paradigm" on historical research and writing. Such efforts are misguided. Typically, if they are not simply cynical grabs for academic power, they arise from a fundamental misunderstanding of what historical research ought to offer—not blithe certainty, but an understanding of complexity and contingency in human life.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-661X
Print ISSN
0028-6087
Pages
pp. 207-231
Launched on MUSE
2004-06-28
Open Access
No
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