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These, he thought, were not merely the result of cultural p a d u a h m or Pas- historicism? As the Russians moved towards the Western posi- tion on disarmament, the Western negotiators backed away. In his view, the cyclical theories of Toynbee and Oswald Spengler were more fundamentally sound, though they were marred by a dangerous pessimism on the one hand, and wishful thinking on the other.

Only the war with its sense of cataclysm, loss–old E w p e a corpse, lying naked and despoiled, in a comer of the field-and bewilderment in the face of the unexpected, compelled a basic reexamhation of inherited pnxoncep- tions. Yang reviews the elaborate measures and policies designed to carry the whole country through the phase of col- lectivization into communization, a more extreme form of communization than Soviet Russia ever envisaged.

Stravinsky, for example, recoiled after from his early “dynamism” to neo-classicism. How were historians to assess the actions and motives of mntemprary individuals and groups? Stead, with his vision of the “Americanization of the world,” Americans such as Brooks Adams, even Kipling in the sombre “Recessional” he wrote for Queen Victoria’s jubilee inare only a few of the more outstanding figures among a multitude who sensed the unsettling impact of new forces: His contributions to this inquiry were distiqpished not so much by their originality or their theoretical refinement as by their vigor and their radical manifestation in his own practice of history, Barraclough transformed himself from a medievalist into a contemporary world historian in a revolt against what he believed was the Eurocentrism of conventional history.

Is There European Civilization?


Since Russia has grown in power and cotemporanea her demands have not grown less. It was only incontemporranea the Intemational Con-s for Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, that he called on his- torians to resxamine their traditional mistrust-psychological prejudice, he called it-of theorization, generalization, and the scientific method.

If the new, global avilization needed a new, global view of the past, he thought that it needed meet of all an analysis of the contemporary ”nodal age in the unification of the world.

He was more disposed to make geofffrey and construct systems than to draw distinctions and apprehend complexities. These were questions that Barraclough took up in the Stevenson Inaugural Lecture.


Wardah rated it it was amazing Jan 03, During the second World War he m e d in political intdigencx, in the air force, and in the Air Ministry, while also preparing The Origins o f Modprn Germany, which was published in Barradough’sappointment tothestevenson Chair was amajcxtuming point in his canxr. It is a frankly partisan book: If existing histories did not provide an understanding of reality what was the good of reading them?

He did not abandon entirely the field of medieval history. Indeed it is because non- Europeans have accepted European values that they resent Western rule. Availability All In stock 9. They might have been appmpriate a hundred years earlier in a time of advance and security, but they had become deceptive and d a n p u s half-truths, at variance with the twentiethentury human experience. I want today, he said, under what may seem to you a rather forbidding title, to take a bull by the horns.

He came to regard those features, which in his view rendered conventional his- tory Wevant to contemporary needs, as inherent in the discipline itself, or at least in prevailing conceptions of it. By defin- ing universal history in this way, Barraclough occupied the middle p u n d of historiographical debate. Secondly, the sequence “Mediterranean-European-Atlantic” is as contempporanea a reflection of a European point of view as the sequence “ancient-medieval-modern” which it is intended to replace, and for that reason alone it is a dubious appellation for a period one of the most obvious characteristics of which has been a decline in European predominance and a shift of emphasis away from Europe.

There was never any reason why it should. Wedgwd, “has a duty to the dead except in relation to the living. His call for universalism was a way of urging historians to generalize, interpret, and derive meaning frmn their study of the past. Riccardo Susigan rated it really liked it Aug 05, In this and other ways Banadough attempted to counter the notion made popular by such men geofcrey I3 G.

Geoffrey Barraclough

That was the lesson of change in times past. It was reinforced also by new trends in the physical sciences and by the impact of new psychological insights.

Many were skeptical of systems building, but almost everyone abandoned positivist suspicions of theorization and generalization. Barraclough argued that his- torians generalized already by their resort to such terms as the Middle Ages or the Enlightenment. Open Preview See a Problem? Refresh and try again. Designed as an instrument of critical inquiry, it was, in fact, a Big Battalion view of history. The Author exemplify the dynamics this claim via a discussion of several perspectives or sub-processes: Sophie Gale rated it really liked it May 03, By then, he had found new justification for historical study in the claims of social scientists, Marxists, Annalists, and cliometricians to have established history on a new saentific foundation.


The veoffrey refinement – some would say the reductio ad absurdum hkstoria was the surrealistic word sequences of James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and E.

The one indispensible quality demanded of them, in short, is party loyalty, and the theory of classical representative democracy, that the electors should choose a candidate for his ability and personality, has ceased to count.

Equally formidable w e the questions he regularly addressed throughout his academic cawer, of periodizatim and the boundaries of Europe, of method- ology and the relevance of historical knowledge, and of Ewocentrism and the meaning of universal history. Bury’s famous dictum that “History w a science, no less, and no more,” but this was a notion of science that implied a rejection of theory.

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Indeed, something of the critical disposition evident in his later work is apparent already in this effort to plt English medieval study out of its insularity. Barradough understood it in the original German sense of historismus, rather than in Karl Popper’s sense of a belief in historical detenninism. In doing so, he also rejected established historicist assumptions and p d m in favor of the of natural sdence.

In England, in particular, the mere fact that the history of political parties, and the term “party” itself, reach back in apparent continuity into the seventeenth century, has been sufficient to create the illusion that all that occurred was a process of adaptation which broadened the foundation but left the essence of the old structure standing.

The appropriate contrast was between “nomothetic” and “idiographic’ principles, that is, between methods aimed at adequate theomid generalization and those that sought full narrative description. Even in the nineteenth century, Ranke’s idea of a RomanocennarU ‘c people as thebasis of W e t e n civibtion was distorted by Pan-Slavism and PancennaruS ‘ minto a conception of racially determined TwtoNeSlavonic struggle In the postwar period the con- of Western civilization invidiously contrasted West with East, especially Wetem democracy with “that other conception of democracy which predominates wherever Soviet influene is strong.

First of all [