In this book, now published in 10 languages, a preeminent intellectual historian examines the profound changes in ideas about the nature of history and historiography. Georg G. Iggers traces the basic assumptions upon which historical research and writing have been based, and describes how the newly emerging social sciences transformed historiography following World War II. The discipline's greatest challenge may have come in the last two decades, when postmodern ideas forced a reevaluation of the relationship of historians to their subject and questioned the very possibility of objective history. Iggers sees the contemporary discipline as a hybrid, moving away from a classical, macrohistorical approach toward microhistory, cultural history, and the history of everyday life. The new epilogue, by the author, examines the movement away from postmodernism towards new social science approaches that give greater attention to cultural factors and to the problems of globalization.
Georg G. Iggers is an internationally recognized authority on intellectual history and comparative international historiography. He is the author of New Directions in Historiography (1975, 1985) and The German Conception of History (1968, 1983), both published by Wesleyan University Press. Iggers is Distinguished Professor of History emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo.