@Download Kindle × The Future of History ò eBook or Kindle ePUB free

@Download Kindle ⚞ The Future of History Ê For than sixty years, John Lukacs has been writing, teaching, and reading about the past In this inspired volume, he turns his attention to the future Throughout The Future of History , Lukacs reflects on his discipline, eloquently arguing that the writing and teaching of history are literary rather than scientific, comprising knowledge that is neither wholly objective nor subjective History at its best, he contends, is personal and participatory Despite a recently unprecedented appetite for history among the general public, as evidenced by history television programme ratings, sales of popular history books, and increased participation in local historical societies, Lukacs believes that the historical profession is in a state of disarray He traces a decline in history teaching throughout higher education, matched by a corresponding reduction in the number of history students He reviews a series of short lived fads within the profession that have weakened the fundamentals of the field In looking for a way forward, Lukacs explores the critical relationships between history and literature, including ways in which novelists have contributed to historical understanding Through this startling and enlightening work, readers will understand Lukacs assertion that everything has its history, including history and that history itself has a future, since everything we know comes from the past This really is one of the strangest books that I have ever read It was not overtly bad, but undoubtedly composed in the most disorderly manner with no introduction, statement of purpose, back matter or anything of the sort and employs a novel dialogue method of expression, very informal, using lots of contractions and basic speech Instead of a formal, structured work, we get one raw ramble from start to finish While I cannot say that I think that this approach compensates for the lack of c This really is one of the strangest books that I have ever read It was not overtly bad, but undoubtedly composed in the most disorderly manner with no introduction, statement of purpose, back matter or anything of the sort and employs a novel dialogue method of expression, very informal, using lots of contractions and basic speech Instead of a formal, structured work, we get one raw ramble from start to finish While I cannot say that I think that this approach compensates for the lack of clarity, I must say that it is something that I have not encountered before, and may perhaps be an effective medium of expression, used correctly Mr Lukacs, unfortunately, did not present himself very clearly in my humble opinion Despite this poor lack of clarity or purpose, there are a number of very fascinating points, in themselves, presented within like a very poorly woven tapestry comprised of fine materials The future of the profession of history seems to be the cause of this work, and many things are considered concerning the nature of history, its inseparability from literature, the increasing appetite for history, a brief look at historiography and attitudes taken concerning how history is apprehended, and indeed there are many fine things presented within, but it is just a mess The whole book is just so sloppy and disorganized that, though I consider it worthwhile to read through, because there are many good points presented in my opinion and all theso because history is important , it still cannot be overlooked that this is poor presentation I am not by any means suggesting that I could write a better book, but the judgment is still made, if with a stance of humility Yet, in spite of all of this, this strangeness somehow makes it attractive unique in many regards despite the obvious oddity of it, and defiance of conventional standards of the quality of modern publications Is this the wisdom of an aged and experienced historian, trapped in the poor eloquence of incessant ramblings I think so Yet, wisdom and insight lies therein all the same I think that it is worth the read, especially due to the importance of the subject matter and the shortness of the work, but, wow, is it weird I must admit that I am something of a sucker for short books by master thinkers of encyclopedic scope That s a good description of The Future of History by John Lukacs It s a dense meditation on the art and practice of history, aligning itclosely with literature than science, that contains one especially stimulating chapter for me, at least History and the Novel But I ll get to that chapter in a moment First some quick observations and issues Lukacs wants to define history as we k I must admit that I am something of a sucker for short books by master thinkers of encyclopedic scope That s a good description of The Future of History by John Lukacs It s a dense meditation on the art and practice of history, aligning itclosely with literature than science, that contains one especially stimulating chapter for me, at least History and the Novel But I ll get to that chapter in a moment First some quick observations and issues Lukacs wants to define history as we know it as something that sprang up in the 17th or 18th centuries along with a human self awareness that he refers to as interiority This is an observation that parallels, to some degree, Harold Bloom s contention that Shakespeare essentially invented the modern personality and put it on full display in his plays.I find both these contentions odd Lukacs knows, of course, about Thucydides and Bloom knows about Catullus, but each scholar is seeking to define a new phase in human experience and so each sets aside pretty good examples of historians and self reflective, ironic literary personae that appeared on the human landscape thousands of years before their heroes of the modern In general, Lukacs is writing a lament for what he calls the European or Bourgeois Age, which he argues required disciplined, well trained historical researchers and writers whose principal job has been to ferret out untruths and secondary job has been to assert truths about that which has slipped away from us on the river of time.History, he says, is always revisionist because it deals in a continuously evolving past that shapes and reshapes itself along with our perceptions of it But he notes that history is not taught as much as it used to be in high schools and colleges and that the first print run of a history book by a university press often is 500 copies Will we eventually lose interest in reading Or the ability to read and reflect Are we doomed to a future that will be defined by images, not words What will this do to the critical faculties of the human mind These are pretty common concerns, but Lukacs does note that trade publishers sellhistory books than novels, that history books written by what he calls amateurs are often better than history books written by PhDs, and that technology, rather than making usmaterialistic, in some ways is freeing us to wander about in aspiritual sort of way.Example I am sitting in my study in Arlington, Virginia In a few minutes I will publish this review And people I don t know in places I ve never visited will have the chance to read, or ignore, what I ve written Why Technology But the subject is history, thought and books, and neither you nor I will pay much attention to the technological procedures bringing us together What will interest us is Lukacs s provocations.Now, the chapter on history and the novel It s full of wonderful quotes, beginning with Every novel is a historical novel, in one way or another Lukacs point is that novelists often record social history better than historians do through accurate observation and that they often tease out of an age characters who, while fictional, define that age as well or better than actual historical figures Madame Bovary, for instance But the novel is limited by, or defined by, class divisions in a given society That s what makes it a strong symbol of bourgeois consciousness And as classes melt slowly, to be sure , the novel has lost its way, becoming too interior Ulysses, for example or too exterior Norman Mailer s last novel attempting to write faction about Hitler s youth You will have your own views on whether Lukacs makes a good case or not, but he so at ease ranging over all of modern history and literature that you re likely to take him seriously His suggestion that the turn toward subjectivity Ulysses, again strengthens poetry while it weakens fiction seems somehow right to me, much as I admire Ulysses and don t share his questioning attitude toward it.This book is only 177 pages It s well written but dense with erudite observations and citations Lukas, having writtenthan twenty books, apologizes at the end for many historical scholars having ignored his work and not included it in their bibliographies or surveys of topical historical literature This is typical of him He s not really apologizing He s admitting that he s vain and shouldn t be overlooked And he s right This book was at times exceedingly dry and at other times deeply stimulating Just the musings at age 87 of a professional historian on what history is, was, and shall be It gets into all sorts of subtle distinctions that evaded me I must admit historianship, historicity, historiography This is the philosophy of history There are some interesting discussions on historical fiction, poetry, the novel, and how history compares and contrasts with these forms He discusses the future of books and This book was at times exceedingly dry and at other times deeply stimulating Just the musings at age 87 of a professional historian on what history is, was, and shall be It gets into all sorts of subtle distinctions that evaded me I must admit historianship, historicity, historiography This is the philosophy of history There are some interesting discussions on historical fiction, poetry, the novel, and how history compares and contrasts with these forms He discusses the future of books and reading and the impact of technology on history We even delve into quantum physics with the idea of the act of observing and witnessing a event and how this act changes the event Just lots of deep thoughts that need to be read slowly and ruminated The author is a veritable Renaissance man with humorous wit even though he depracatingly dismisses his inadequate knowledge of Greek and Latin He s one of those profs whom you d never forget probably get a C too but you d learn A maverick but respected historian, John Lukacs had a lot to say about his own profession, and in the sunset of his life he gathered together his thoughts on the subject in this small but far from easy book His theme is the role of history and the historian at the end of a historical era, the Modern Age Lukacs believed that modern Western civilization was something qualitatively different from its presumed forebears, the Classical Age of Greece and Rome and the so called Middle Ages, and that A maverick but respected historian, John Lukacs had a lot to say about his own profession, and in the sunset of his life he gathered together his thoughts on the subject in this small but far from easy book His theme is the role of history and the historian at the end of a historical era, the Modern Age Lukacs believed that modern Western civilization was something qualitatively different from its presumed forebears, the Classical Age of Greece and Rome and the so called Middle Ages, and that it lasted from roughly the late Renaissance to the end of the short twentieth century, which his colleague Eric Hobsbawm defined as having ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union Lukacs foresaw a period of decline and decay commencing in the twenty first century though not necessarily a reversion to barbarism as popularly defined, because he thought technology would sustain itself even as civilization declined and fell So far, events appear to be proving him right.This is a book of concentrated wisdom, gnomic and highly quotable It is often eye opening, as when, for example, Lukacs writes thatFlaubert s Sentimental Education ishistorical than its near contemporary War and Peace Flaubert s portrait of 1848 is, historically speaking,complex andmeaningful than Tolstoy s of 1812, because Flaubert describes how people thought and felt at that time his novel abounds with descriptions of changing sensitivities, of mutations of opinions and transformations of attitudes As the above suggests, much of The Future of History is concerned with the relationship of history to literature Lukacs insists that historians should be readers first, writers second and historians, in a professional sense, third He quotes with approval Jacob Burckhardt s advice to students of history, bisogna saper leggere you must learn how to read This championship of non professional historical scholarship and authorship runs right through the book, from his praise for de Toqueville to his contempt for the professional historians who failed to discern or describe the rise of American conservatism in the late twentieth century Since I am a writer of historical articles and books but no historian, it gives me great pleasure to read that in the twenty first century the best, the greatest writers of history may not be certified professionals but erudite and imaginative amateurs This is in keeping with Lukacs s view that history is a literary genre and a creative endeavour rather than a strictly empirical pursuit Yet he is insistent that a historian s task is above all to search for truth, and he champions diligent research, using original sources as much as possible He is refreshingly sceptical that such a thing as scientific history can exist and contemptuous of what he calls historical fads such as social, psychological or feminist history, which he regards as inevitably prejudiced and bound, therefore, to produce false results The Future of History is a book best taken in small doses, one or two pages at a time Read it with a pencil in hand, and mark the bits you find quotable or interesting, because you are sure to want to return to them later even, perhaps especially, if you disagree with them