This innovative introduction will appeal to students and scholars across the humanities, and help develop a critical understanding of an increasingly important thinker.
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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"Paul has accessibly, lucidly and systematically analysed the development of White’s thought in such a way as to challenge the common understanding of White as a poststructuralist and postmodernist. He has, in short, produced a fine introduction."
European Review of History
"Warmly recommended to every historian as a reliable roadmap into the highly relevant quest of this philosopher."
"Herman Paul has written a sharp book on an American intellectual whose work was not that of an outsider throwing rocks at a profession."
"This study is unlikely to be surpassed in the near future in its scholarly attention to detail."
"A sharp book on an American intellectual whose work was not that of an outsider throwing rocks at a profession. This essay-review applauds Paul's endeavor."
"This book both attests to the importance of Hayden White as a metahistorian and provides a lucid account of his life and thought. It is a well-deserved tribute to the work and the man - a reliable introduction and an invitation to join in the critical dialogue his thought encourages."
Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University
"In this deeply researched and probing analysis of Hayden White, Herman Paul offers a strikingly novel interpretation of the goals and significance of his theories of historical writing. In contrast to virtually all previous commentators, Paul argues that the core of White's work is not principally concerned with rhetoric and narratology as such but seeks, instead, to offer a form of 'liberation historiography' that can free historians of the 'burden of history,' a concern stemming from White's lifelong embrace of existentialist humanism. Narratology, in Paul's view, achieved prominence in White's thinking because it offered a way to contest positivist history and thus unburden historians of their espousal of naïve realism and fantasies of objectivity."
Gabrielle M. Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University
Introduction: How to Read Hayden White.
Structure of the Book.
1. Humanist Historicism: The Italian White.
The Papal Schism of 1130.
White's Covering Law Model.
"Ideology" or "Value Orientation".
The Disenchantment of the World.
From Historicism to Sociology.
A Croce Partisan.
Questions In/About History.
2. Liberation Historiography: The Politics of History.
Choosing a Past.
Strong Humanist Father Figures.
Social Conditions of Freedom.
In Defense of Metahistory.
A Philosophy of Liberation.
3. The Historical Imagination: Four Modes of Realism.
An Inverted Disciplinary History.
Escaping the Ironist's Cage.
Imagination: Thinking and Dreaming.
A Manual of Tropology.
The Freedom of Imagination.
White's Linguistic Turn.
4. The Power of Discourse: White's Structuralist Adventure.
Three Modes of Comprehension.
Fictions of Factual Representation.
Objectivism and Relativism.
The Prison-House of Language.
Getting Out of History.
5. Masks of Meaning: Facing the Sublime.
The Content of the Form.
Stories Are Not Lived But Told.
Sublime Historical Reality.
The Specter of Fascism.
6. Figuring History: The Modernist White.
A Turning Point?
The Practical Past.