Burke begins by providing a discussion of the ‘classic’ phase of cultural history, associated with Jacob Burckhardt and Johan Huizinga, and of the Marxist reaction, from Frederick Antal to Edward Thompson. He then charts the rise of cultural history in more recent times, concentrating on the work of the last generation, often described as the ‘New Cultural History'. He places cultural history in its own cultural context, noting links between new approaches to historical thought and writing and the rise of feminism, postcolonial studies and an everyday discourse in which the idea of culture plays an increasingly important part. The new edition also surveys the very latest developments in the field and considers the directions cultural history may be taking in the twenty-first century.
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In 1929 two French historians, Lucien Febvre and Marc Bloch, founded Annales, a historical journal which rapidly became one of the most influential in the world. They believed that economic history, social history and the history of ideas were as important as political history, and that historians should not be narrow specialists but…
The second edition of What is Cultural History? will continue to be an essential textbook for all students of history as well as those taking courses in cultural, anthropological and literary studies.