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Yang’s postscript notes that “the commune faces certain additional problems,” over and above those of the preceding phase of collectivization p.

Introduccion a la Historia Contemporanea by Geoffrey Barraclough

By its emphasis on c goeffrey n e quences, unfortunak. But no less forbidding wem the titles of Barracloughs numerous other addresses, essays, articles, books, and reviews, like Is a European Civilization?

Be the first to ask a question about An Introduction to Contemporary History. In the second place, current ideological conflicts have obscured the issue [ Why Am I Here?

An Introduction to Contemporary History by Geoffrey Barraclough (1 star ratings)

Barradough’sappointment tothestevenson Chair was amajcxtuming point in his canxr. Gustavo Sato rated it it was amazing Aug 08, Written inthe book feels slightly ahead of its time in emphasizing repeatedly that the future of “contemporary history” will not lie in Europe, but in the regions of the world that are home to the vast majority of the world’s population: It did not seek to establish general laws of history nor to force the story of the human past into a single narrative mold.

The new political attitudes and methods manifested themselves first of all in England, immediately after the passing of the Contemporranea Reform Bill inthough it was only after the passing of the Ballot Act inthe Corrupt Practices Act ofand the Third Cohtemporanea Bill ofwhich raised the electorate to around five millions, that democratization of the franchise could be said to have been secured.


This article will trace the evolution of Barra- dough’s thought, examining his I. As critics pointed out, Barraclough sacrificed fidelity to the past to contemporary relevance. He was frustrated, however, by the responsibilities attached to pduction of the Survey of International Afiirs, which it was his duty to supervise, and was Germany in the Middle Ages.

He is oa cerned here “primarily not with facts but with types of argument” p.

The truth value of histories depended in part on whether they “made sense” to their readers. Young reccmunended that when historians study men they should ask, ”What was happening in the world when he was twenty?

They also pmented serious interpretative pmblems, but Barraclough saw these as challenges to be taken up by historians, not as grounds for Ejecting their approach. By defin- ing universal history in this way, Barraclough occupied the middle p u n d of historiographical debate. By translating certain essays of leading men and by offering his own reiniqmtation of medieval constitutional development in light of other recent work, he put the methods and results of modern German historiography before an English audience.

Both contributed, with increasing force as time passed, to the decline of the certitutdes which had sustained the commonly accepted picture of man and the universe. They would see, in looking back, a mnflict be- tween two conceptions of right, not between right and wmng much like those historians today who examine the thirteenth-century conflict between the ‘”terrorist” William Tell and the house of Habsburg. Few today would disagree, yet Barradough thought of himself as resisting middleclass pessimism.

After universal franchise, an entire political tradition was not so much transformed as deserted, in Barraclough’s view.

Geoffrey Barraclough: From Historicism to Historical Science

He thought that these terms, in their unscamined assump tions, expressed certain values and determined which historical problems requixr.? By contrast, post-Navtonian science ptoceeds by relating anomaly and paradigm. Barraclough takes a skeptical stance towards reformulations of a European-centred historio This contempoeanea pelican book revealed to me a lot of very misleading ideas I had, until finishing it, been labouring under.


For the historian it is easier to trace the distintergration of old attitudes and patterns than the formation of new ones. As the Russians moved towards the Western posi- tion on disarmament, the Western negotiators backed away.

This cannot excuse, however, the failure of the West to test adequately the Soviet intentions. The transition from introduccioh liberalism, with its respect for birth, property and influence, to mass democracy, which was an accomplished fact in the United States bywas a far more hesitant process on the European side of the Atlantic.

Secondly, the sequence “Mediterranean-European-Atlantic” is as much a reflection of a European point of view as the sequence “ancient-medieval-modern” which hisotria 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 contemmporanea decline in European predominance and a shift of emphasis away from Europe.

It was reinforced also by new trends in the physical sciences and by the impact of new psychological insights. Space, Bradley asserted, was only “a relation between terms which can never be found. If history could not prepare one for what was happening in the present what was the point of studying the past at all? Challenging Artstraws Geoffrey Barraclough.