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Reviewed by:
  • Social Mobility and Modernization: A Journal of Interdisciplinary History Reader
  • Hartmut Kaelble
Social Mobility and Modernization: A Journal of Interdisciplinary History Reader. Edited by Robert I. Rotberg (Cambridge, Mass., London: The MIT Press, 2000. 360pp. $25/paper).

Modern social history is looking back to thirty years of rising activity. It changed dramatically during this period and was definitely broadened by the cultural history of the 1980’s and 1990’s. In recent years the debate on social history calmed down. This is a good moment to look back and to reflect on what has been reached and what has been missed. The volume by Robert I. Rotberg illustrates the merits. The dozen articles of the volume can be seen as a tour d’horizon of thirty years of social history of the American study of social history covering primarily Europe. They are a selection of the best articles of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History by Robert I. Rotberg, the co-editor of the journal. They treat various standard themes of social history such as social mobility, class structure, industrialization, social unrest, social inequality, women, the origins of nationalism from the middle ages until the present and cover mainly France, England, and the US. Highly influential articles by leading US historians such as David Herlihy on social mobility in medieval France, by Franklin Mendels on social mobility and industrialization, by Louise Tilly on riots in 19th century France, by Michael Katz on social class in 19th century America cities are included. In this way the dozen articles of the volume document the mostly moderately quantitative structural US social history of the 1970’s and 1980’s, with two additional more recent articles. The volume is useful if one does not have direct access to the JIH and if one wishes to have easy entry to classical articles. More in-depth information on the social history of these topics, the periods and most of the European countries is provided by the recently published six volume Encyclopedia of European Social History edited by Peter Stearns.

Hartmut Kaelble
Humboldt University
Institut Fur Geschichtswissenschaften

Additional Information

Print ISSN
p. 239
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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