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The Future of History

by John R. Lukacs

The Future of History Synopsis

For more than sixty years, John Lukacs has been writing, teaching, and reading about the past. In this inspired volume, he turns his attention to the future. Throughout The Future of History, Lukacs reflects on his discipline, eloquently arguing that the writing and teaching of history are literary rather than scientific, comprising knowledge that is neither wholly objective nor subjective. History at its best, he contends, is personal and participatory. Despite a recently unprecedented appetite for history among the general public, as evidenced by history television program ratings, sales of popular history books, and increased participation in local historical societies, Lukacs believes that the historical profession is in a state of disarray. He traces a decline in history teaching throughout higher education, matched by a corresponding reduction in the number of history students. He reviews a series of short-lived fads within the profession that have weakened the fundamentals of the field. In looking for a way forward, Lukacs explores the critical relationships between history and literature, including ways in which novelists have contributed to historical understanding. Through this startling and enlightening work, readers will understand Lukacs's assertion that everything has its history, including history and that history itself has a future, since everything we know comes from the past.

The Future of History Press Reviews

The Future of History deserves a wide audience. Its eloquent advocacy reminds readers of the nature and priorities of the best historical writing, even as it elucidates the undeniable perils of the present decline. -Stanley G. Payne, Historically Speaking -- Stanley G. Payne * Historically Speaking * Practicing historians and . . . history buffs will want to read this book. -David Keymer, Library Journal -- David Keymer * Library Journal * In the dark world here depicted, we see Lukacs's own bright form, in his irresistibly human prose. -Timothy Snyder, Historically Speaking -- Timothy Snyder * Historically Speaking *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780300181692
Publication date: 3rd July 2012
Author: John R. Lukacs
Publisher: Yale University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 192 pages
Categories: Historiography,

About John R. Lukacs

John Lukacs is the author of some thirty books of history, including the acclaimed Five Days in London and, most recently, The Legacy of the Second World War.

More About John R. Lukacs

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