Historians of Modern Europe

By Hans A. Schmitt | Go to book overview

ERNEST LABROUSSE

PIERRE RENOUVIN

La Sorbonne

D URING THE PAST twenty years economic and social history has occupied a particularly large place in French historical studies.* According to figures recently compiled, 41 percent of the doctoral theses in modern or contemporary history being written in 1961 at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Paris were in this area of research.1 The growth of this field is without doubt directly related to the intellectual trends and preoccupations of our time. But there is every reason to believe that its expansion would not have been so rapid if the professor of economic history at the Faculty of Letters had not pushed it vigorously. During those twenty years this chair has been occupied by Ernest Labrousse, who was trained in economics as well as in history. Because of his leadership in the domain of methodology, the direction of his research, and his attempts at synthesis, he exerted a strong influence -- on young scholars. I propose to sum up the principal features of his work.

Labrousse gave brilliant evidence of his gifts as a researcher in two important studies published ten years apart: L'Esquisse du Mouvement des Prix et du Revenu en France au XVIIIe Siècle, whose two volumes appeared in 1933, and La Crise de l'Economie française à la Fin de l'Ancien Regime et au Début de la Révolution, published 1943. In both books he was mainly concerned with a critical study of sources and interpretive techniques.

____________________
*
Translated by Elaine P. Halperin.
1
J. Schneider and Philippe Vigier, "L'orientation actuelle des études historiques," Revue historique, CCXXV ( 1961), 397-406.

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Historians of Modern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Contents xix
  • Part One - Anglo-American Perspectives 3
  • Arnold J. Toynbee - The Paradox of Prophecy 5
  • Carlton J. H. Hayes 15
  • Oscar Halecki 36
  • Hans Kohn - Historian of Nationalism 62
  • A. J. P. Taylor 78
  • J. L. Hammond 95
  • Part Two - Continental Perspectives 121
  • Adolfo Omodeo - Historian of the "Religion of Freedom" 123
  • Gerhard Ritter 151
  • Gaetano Salvemini: - Meridionalista 206
  • Ernest Labrousse 235
  • Federico Chabod - Portrait of a Master Historian 255
  • The France of M. Chastenet 291
  • Gioacchino Volpe 315
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