The editors introduce the core areas of current debate within historical theory, bringing the reader as up to date with continuing debates and current developments as is possible. The book is divided into three parts, covering: • Part I. Foundations: The Theoretical Grounds for Knowledge of the Past • Part II. Applications: Theory-Intensive Areas in History • Part III. Coda. Post-Postmodernism: Directions and Interrogations This important handbook brings together in one volume discussions of the role of modernity, empiricism, realism, post-modernity and deconstruction in the historian's craft. Chapters are written by leading writers from around the world and cover a wide spread of historical sub-disciplines, such as social history, intellectual history, narrative, gender, memory, psycho-analysis and cultural studies, taking in, along the way, the work of thinkers such as Paul Ricouer, Michel Foucault and Hayden White. The Sage Handbook of Historical Theory is an essential resource for practicing historians, and students of history, and will appeal to scholars in related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities who seek a closer understanding of the theoretical foundations of history.

Social History: A New Kind of History

Brian Lewis

Social history, like hardcore pornography, is easier to recognize than to define: its boundaries are just as porous, its scope just as contested.1 But the practitioners of the ‘new’ social history in the 1960s could agree on one thing: it was not (or should not be) what George Macaulay Trevelyan said it was. Trevelyan, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge and Master of Trinity College, the last of the great Whig political historians, had turned his attention to social history during the Second World War. His English Social History of 1944 is remembered, if it is remembered at all, for its initial declaration: ‘Social history might be defined negatively as ...

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