Metahistory, Fortieth Anniversary Edition
The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe
To support his thesis, White analyzes the complex writing styles of historians like Michelet, Ranke, Tocqueville, and Burckhardt, and philosophers of history such as Marx, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Croce. The first work in the history of historiography to concentrate on historical writing as writing, Metahistory sets out to deprive history of its status as a bedrock of factual truth, to redeem narrative as the substance of historicality, and to identify the extent to which any distinction between history and ideology on the basis of the presumed scientificity of the former is spurious.
This fortieth-anniversary edition includes a new preface in which White explains his motivation for writing Metahistory and discusses how reactions to the book informed his later writing. In a new foreword, Michael S. Roth, a former student of White's and the current president of Wesleyan University, reflects on the significance of the book across a broad range of fields, including history, literary theory, and philosophy. This book will be of interest to anyone—in any discipline—who takes the past as a serious object of study.
About the Author
"Metahistory is something more than a study of philosophies of history (although it is that too, and no doubt the most important work in the field since Collingwood): it is also a methodological manifesto, a more sustained argument for a deep-figural hermeneutic than has been worked out anywhere before now."—, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"This is a daring, ingenious . . . tour de force. White has produced a profoundly original 'critique of historical reason.'"—American Historical Review, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"A book that will simply have to be reckoned with by all historians who have the slightest interest in the genesis and forms of historical narrative."—Journal of Modern History, reviewing a previous edition or volume
Other Titles by Hayden White
Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory
Other Titles in Literary theory