Modern Historiography : An Introduction, Paperback Book

Modern Historiography : An Introduction Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Modern Historiography is the essential introduction to the history of historical writing.

It explains the broad philosophical background to the different historians and historical schools of the modern era, from James Boswell and Thomas Carlyle through to Lucien Febure and Eric Hobsbawm and surveys: * the Enlightenment and Counter Enlightenment * Romanticism * the voice of Science and the process of secularization within Western intellectual thought * the influence of, and broadening contact with, the New World * the Annales school in France * Postmodernism.

Modern Historiography provides a clear and concise account of this modern period of historical writing.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History: theory & methods
  • ISBN: 9780415202671

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Bentley offers a wide-ranging survey on historical writings. The focus is somewhat limited, in that he seemed to strictly focus on the English, French and German schools of historical writing. He did touch on the Italian and Russian schools to a somewhat slight degree. His frank opinion on the American school of historical writing is quite openly frank. Some reviewers here on GoodReads have mistaken this for a dim view of American writing, where it is actually a very open perspective about the differences between the older European schools and the far younger American school.However. His writing is at a graduate level within academia, which makes the text not as accessible as it could be. Being that the intended audience is the graduate-level student, this would only seem logical. Casual readers will definitely be put off by the prose of the book. As a graduate-level student, I was put off by the mixing of languages throughout the book. Many of the passages are littered with French and German statements (including a few complete paragraphs) with little or no attempt made to provide any aspect of translation.Overall, the book is a fair and open-ended assessment of the European and American schools of historical writing. There is no attempt to include Middle- or Far-Eastern writers into the book's premise, which I personally found a little disappointing. The book's overall premise is well-written, well-thought-out and (mostly) well presented.