The late C. Vann Woodward was one of America's most prominent historians. His books have won every major history award--including the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Parkman Prizes--and he has served as president of both the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. The Future of the Past collects two decades worth of Woodward's most significant essays, addresses, and major book reviews, including two important presidential addresses--"The Future of the Past" and "Clio with Soul" (his trenchant assessment of Afro-American history)--as well as essays on changing historical concerns of the past decades, the value of comparative history, the South in Reconstruction times and the South today, and the use of fiction in history (and history in fiction). Woodward has written illuminating introductory comments on each section and offers an incisive general introduction about history and the direction the profession is taking today. Whether reviewing William Safire's novel Freedom or evaluating Henry Adam's portrait of Jefferson, Woodward's essays reflect a lifetime of thought on history and historical writing, and are essential reading for anyone concerned with either.
"The Future of the Past, then, is Woodward the essayist in the tradition of Montaigne and Addison and Steele....Woodward...is still classier than the rest of us at our very best."--John Herbert Roper, The Journal of Southern History "Woodward is a historian who knows what he thinks, and has known it for a long time. And the vision is compelling....These essays show a devoted attention to and care for the discipline of history, which he has served well."--The Journal of American History "The essays of this tough-minded scholar are imbued with a generosity of spirit toward those with whom he takes issue and a charmingly self-depracatory attitude towards his own importance....Yet for all his genial comportment and engaging wit, Vann Woodward is a very serious man, for he believes strongly in the contribution that the historian can and should make to the humanistic enterprise of helping us understand ourselves and our times."--The Atlantic "Few, if any American historians have achieved Woodward's imaginative ability to view the South, or the United States, from the other side of the globe: to see whites from a non-white perspective; to get to the soul and inner tensions of Tom Watson or Mary Chesnut."--The New York Review of Books "These essays confirm the skill and good judgment of this subtle and profound scholar....In Woodward's hands, history remains an exciting venture. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 4th April 1991
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.45 x 13.39 x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.45