A first-hand account of the genealogy of the discipline, and of the rise of a new era of social history, by one of the leading historians of a generation Using his own intellectual biography as a narrative device, Geoff Eley tracks the evolution of historical understanding in our time from social history through the so-called ""cultural turn,"" and back again to a broad history of society. A gifted writer, Eley carefully winnows unique experiences from the universal, and uses the interplay of the two to draw the reader toward an organic understanding of how historical thinking (particularly the work of European historians) has evolved under the influence of new ideas. His work situates history within History, and offers students, scholars, and general readers alike a richly detailed, readable guide to the enduring value of historical ideas
Geoff Eley is one of the University of Michigan's most esteemed and innovative historians. A specialist in the history of modern Germany, he is a prolific writer and reviewer. His German Studies series with Michigan is one of the most important in its field.