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History, Historians, and Autobiography - Jeremy D. Popkin

History, Historians, and Autobiography

Hardcover Published: 15th July 2005
ISBN: 9780226675435
Number Of Pages: 328

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Though history and autobiography both claim to tell true stories about the past, historians have traditionally rejected first-person accounts as subjective and therefore unreliable. What then, asks Jeremy D. Popkin in "History, Historians, and Autobiography," are we to make of the ever-increasing number of professional historians who are publishing stories of their own lives? And how is this recent development changing the nature of history-writing, the historical profession, and the genre of autobiography?
Drawing on the theoretical work of contemporary critics of autobiography and the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur, Popkin reads the autobiographical classics of Edward Gibbon and Henry Adams and the memoirs of contemporary historians such as Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Peter Gay, Jill Ker Conway, and many others, he reveals the contributions historians' life stories make to our understanding of the human experience. Historians' autobiographies, he shows, reveal how scholars arrive at their vocations, the difficulties of writing about modern professional life, and the ways in which personal stories can add to our understanding of historical events such as war, political movements, and the traumas of the Holocaust.
An engrossing overview of the way historians view themselves and their profession, this work will be of interest to readers concerned with the ways in which we understand the past, as well as anyone interested in the art of life-writing.

Industry Reviews

"This is a wonderful study of autobiographies by historians. It is the first such book-length study, and it is composed with great analytic acuity and psychological insight. One of its many strengths is its sophisticated discussion of the recent theoretical literature on autobiography. Jeremy Popkin's method throughout is comparative, and his comparisons are ingenious." - Paul Robinson, Stanford University"

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
History and Autobiographyp. 11
Narrative Theory, History, and Autobiographyp. 33
Historians as Autobiographersp. 57
Two Classic Historians' Autobiographies: Edward Gibbon and Henry Adamsp. 92
Choosing History: The Issue of Vocation in Historians' Autobiographiesp. 120
Speaking of Careers: Historians on Their Professional Livesp. 151
Historians' Autobiographies and Historical Experiencep. 184
Holocaust Memories, Historians' Memoirsp. 221
Historians and the Reshaping of Personal Narrativep. 246
Conclusionp. 277
Notesp. 287
Bibliographyp. 307
Indexp. 331
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226675435
ISBN-10: 0226675432
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 15th July 2005
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 27.8 x 13.9  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.61

Earn 202 Qantas Points
on this Book