Extension History Historians Quotes

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—Inga Clendinnen, The History Question
"Who owns the past? In a free society, everyone. It is a magic pudding belonging to anyone who wants to cut themselves a slice, from legend manufacturers through novelists looking for ready-made plots, to interest groups out to extend their influence." K. Jenkins – postmodernist

* The historian’s purpose is to possible impose pattern on history. * Relativism… is a fact of life.
* History is one of a series of discourses about the world.

H. White – postmodernist

An historical text is in essence nothing more than a literary text…

M. Foucault – postmodernist

Truth is linked… with systems of power which produce and sustain it…

E.H. Carr – relativist

* The facts only speak when the historian calls on them: it is he who decides to which facts to give the floor, and in what order or context. * The history we read is a series of accepted judgements.

G.R. Elton – neo-modernist

* Interpretation… has nothing to do with independent existence…. * History deals with the activities of men, not abstractions.

R. Evans – Annales school

* The principal task of history is to explain and interpret. (In defence of history against pomo). * Ranke introduced into [philological techniques] to history…

E. Hobsbawn – Marxist

I continue (with qualifications to be found in these papers) to find Marx’s ‘materialist conception of history’ the best guide by far to history,

K. Marx – Marxist

* The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. * History is not like some individual person, which uses men to achieve its ends. History is nothing but the actions of men in pursuit of their ends. * History is shaped by the “prevailing mode of economic production”.

L. von Ranke – empiricist

* To such high offices this work does not aspire: it wants only to show what actually happened (how it really is) (wie es eigentlich gewesen). * History has been assigned the office of...
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