"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...