How To Write An Essay | History Today
A short list of historians and their books
THE NOTION of the end of history is not an original one. Its best known propagator was Karl Marx, who believed that the direction of historical development was a purposeful one determined by the interplay of material forces, and would come to an end only with the achievement of a communist utopia that would finally resolve all prior contradictions. But the concept of history as a dialectical process with a beginning, a middle, and an end was borrowed by Marx from his great German predecessor, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
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For better or worse, much of Hegel's historicism has become part of our contemporary intellectual baggage. The notion that mankind has progressed through a series of primitive stages of consciousness on his path to the present, and that these stages corresponded to concrete forms of social organization, such as tribal, slave-owning, theocratic, and finally democratic-egalitarian societies, has become inseparable from the modern understanding of man. Hegel was the first philosopher to speak the language of modern social science, insofar as man for him was the product of his concrete historical and social environment and not, as earlier natural right theorists would have it, a collection of more or less fixed "natural" attributes. The mastery and transformation of man's natural environment through the application of science and technology was originally not a Marxist concept, but a Hegelian one. Unlike later historicists whose historical relativism degenerated into relativism tout court, however, Hegel believed that history culminated in an absolute moment - a moment in which a final, rational form of society and state became victorious.
They plan for and worry about the future
Within 20 years a growing number of practitioners were helping to develop a new range of topics that would include histories of art, science, land rights, business and even garden design. Influenced by developments in , especially in the 1970s and 1980s, oral historians in Britain also began to explore the historical construction of identities. So, by the 1990s oral historians were engaged in , and the .
History, however, is the study of the past
Whether seventeenth-century colonists or modern historians, the island's conditions have differently been characterized as perfectly comfortable or miserably inhospitable.