A global history of historical writing, thought and the development of the historical discipline from the ancient world to the present. This is a definitive guide to human efforts to recover, understand and represent the past, bringing together different historical traditions and their social, economic, political and cultural contexts. Daniel Woolf offers clear definitions of different genres and forms of history and addresses key themes such as the interactions between West and East, the conflict of oral, pictographic, and written accounts of the past and the place of history in society and in politics. Numerous textual extracts and illustrations in every chapter capture the historical cultures of past civilizations and demonstrate the different forms that historical consciousness has taken around the world. The book offers unique insights into the interconnections between different historical cultures over 3000 years and relates the rise of history to key themes in world history.
Daniel Woolf is Professor of History at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. His previous publications include Reading History in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and the two-volume Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing (1998). He is also general editor of the Oxford History of Historical Writing (2010 onwards).
Introduction; 1. Foundations; 2. History during the first millennium AD; 3. An age of global violence, c.1000 to c.1450; 4. History in the early modern empires: Europe, China, Islam; 5. Transatlantic histories: contact, conquest and cultural exchange 1450-1800; 6. Progress and history in the Eurasian Enlightenments; 7. The broken mirror: nationalism, romanticism and professionalization in the nineteenth-century West; 8. Clio's empire: European historiography in Asia, the Americas and Africa; 9. Babel's tower: history in the twentieth century; Epilogue.