Situating the French Revolution in the context of early modern globalization for the first time, this book offers a new approach to understanding its international origins and worldwide effects. A distinguished group of contributors shows that the political culture of the Revolution emerged out of a long history of global commerce, imperial competition, and the movement of people and ideas in places as far flung as India, Egypt, Guiana, and the Caribbean. This international approach helps to explain how the Revolution fused immense idealism with territorial ambition and combined the drive for human rights with various forms of exclusion. The essays examine topics including the role of smuggling and free trade in the origins of the French Revolution, the entwined nature of feminism and abolitionism, and the influence of the French revolutionary wars on the shape of American empire. The French Revolution in Global Perspective illuminates the dense connections among the cultural, social, and economic aspects of the French Revolution, revealing how new political forms-at once democratic and imperial, anticolonial and centralizing-were generated in and through continual transnational exchanges and dialogues. Contributors: Rafe Blaufarb, Florida State University; Ian Coller, La Trobe University; Denise Z. Davidson, Georgia State University; Suzanne Desan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Lynn Hunt, University of California, Los Angeles; Andrew Jainchill, Queen's University; Michael Kwass, The Johns Hopkins University; William Max Nelson, University of Toronto; Pierre Serna, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne; Miranda Spieler, University of Arizona; Charles Walton, Yale University
"A tour de force."--Gordon S. Wood, New York Times Book Review How were human rights invented, and how does their tumultuous history influence their perception and our ability to protect them today? From Professor Lynn Hunt comes this extraordinary cultural and intellectual history, which traces the roots of human rights to the rejection of torture as a means for finding the truth. She demonstrates how ideas of human relationships portrayed in novels and art helped spread these new ideals and how human rights continue to be contested today.
Praised for its highly readable narrative and unmatched chronological integration of political, social and cultural history,The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures captures the spirit of each age as it situates Europe within a global context. An innovative organization seamlessly connects historical events and everyday life, while the text's distinctive features introduce students to the process of historical thinking. The fully revised second edition includes superior student support, 60 additional in-text primary sources, and comprehensive treatment of the post-1945 era.
The Making of the West, Peoples and Cultures: A Concise History (Combined Edition-Volume I & II, 4th Edition)by Barbara H. Rosenwein Bonnie G. Smith Lynn Hunt Thomas R. Martin
With a chronological narrative that offers a truly global context, The Making of the West: A Concise History tells the story of the cross-cultural exchanges that have shaped Western history.
The history of the West includes many different peoples and cultures. It is a sustained story of the West's development in a broad, global context that reveals the cross-cultural interactions fundamental to the shaping of Western politics, societies, cultures, and economies.
Across the humanities and the social sciences, disciplinary boundaries have come into question as scholars have acknowledged their common preoccupations with cultural phenomena ranging from rituals and ceremonies to texts and discourse. Literary critics, for example, have turned to history for a deepening of their notion of cultural products; some of them now read historical documents in the same way that they previously read "great" texts. Anthropologists have turned to the history of their own discipline in order to better understand the ways in which disciplinary authority was constructed. As historians have begun to participate in this ferment, they have moved away from their earlier focus on social theoretical models of historical development toward concepts taken from cultural anthropology and literary criticism. Much of the most exciting work in history recently has been affiliated with this wide-ranging effort to write history that is essentially a history of culture. The essays presented here provide an introduction to this movement within the discipline of history. The essays in Part One trace the influence of important models for the new cultural history, models ranging from the path breaking work of the French cultural critic Michel Foucault and the American anthropologist Clifford Geertz to the imaginative efforts of such contemporary historians as Natalie Davis and E. P. Thompson, as well as the more controversial theories of Hayden White and Dominick LaCapra. The essays in Part Two are exemplary of the most challenging and fruitful new work of historians in this genre, with topics as diverse as parades in 19th-century America, 16th-century Spanish texts, English medical writing, and the visual practices implied in Italian Renaissance frescoes. Beneath this diversity, however, it is possible to see the commonalities of the new cultural history as it takes shape. Students, teachers, and general readers interested in the future of history will find these essays stimulating and provocative.
"A fascinating historiographical essay. . . . An unusually lucid and inclusive explication of what it ultimately at stake in the culture wars over the nature, goals, and efficacy of history as a discipline."--Booklist
Three historians here team up for a worthy, demanding foray into the battle over the academy, taking on "both the relativists on the left and the defenders of the status quo ante on the right." The authors argue that skepticism and relativism about truth, in science, history and politics, stems from the democratization of American society and higher education. They survey the "heroic model" of science produced in the Enlightenment, the roots of relativism in Hegel, and the influence of Marx, Durkheim and Weber on latter-day historical schools. They tackle the virtuous mythologies of American history, and critiques by progressives like Charles Beard and post-WW II social historians. They also cite 1960s historians of science who launched politicized critiques and postmodernists who attacked claims of objectivity. The authors urge historians to have a "stronger, more self-reflexive and interactive sense of objectivity." In a final chapter addressing "political correctness" and multiculturalism, the authors sensibly call for a middle ground, but diminish their message with a paucity of models.
Leading historian Lynn Hunt rethinks why history matters in today's global world and how it should be written. George Orwell wrote that "history is written by the winners." Even if that seems a bit too cut-and-dried, we can say that history is always written from a viewpoint but that viewpoints change, sometimes radically. The history of workers, women, and minorities challenged the once-unquestioned dominance of the tales of great leaders and military victories. Then, cultural studies--including feminism and queer studies--brought fresh perspectives, but those too have run their course. With globalization emerging as a major economic, cultural, and political force, Lynn Hunt examines whether it can reinvigorate the telling of history. She hopes that scholars from East and West can collaborate in new ways and write wider-ranging works. At the same time, Hunt argues that we could better understand the effects of globalization in the past if we knew more about how individuals felt about the changes they were experiencing. She proposes a sweeping reevaluation of individuals' active role and their place in society as the keys to understanding the way people and ideas interact. She also reveals how surprising new perspectives on society and the self--from environmental history, the history of human-animal interactions, and even neuroscience--offer promising new ways of thinking about the meaning and purpose of history in our time.
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