Ideology and the Historians
Exaggerated reports have been heard of history’s demise, with sociology or postmodernism as suspected killer. At the heart of this debate lies the notion of Ideology, addressed here in a wide-ranging series of papers by Irish and international historians, with the Enlightenment repeatedly identified as a still-crucial factor in historiography.
Drawn from England, Hungary, Ireland and the United States, twelve eminent practitioners examine problems as different as the making of an Irish national imagine in the seventeenth century and the role of Marxism in history’s contribution to social amelioration. Between these, there are case studies of Pierre Bayle’s critical method, the place of Honour in American republicanism, rival interpretations of the English Civil War, and several themes from the artistic, educational ad literary history of Ireland. Other topics in Part One include revisionist approaches to the French Revolution and some literary and critical manifestations of English nationalism.
A new feature in this XVIIth volume of Historical Studies is represented by Part Two. Here, Ivan Berend, John Lukacs and Aidan Clarke reflect on the standing of their discipline, debating its utility, its claims to establish truth, and the notion of history as ‘a form of thought.’
Ideology and the Historians will do much to boost the spirit of historical discussion, and with very few copies remaining, one should do their very best to purchase this book now.