THE GERMAN CONCEPTION OF HISTORY by Georg C. Iggers
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THE GERMAN CONCEPTION OF HISTORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Professor Iggers is a historian's historian, and this study of German historiography--the first comprehensive one to appear in English in half a century--is an interpretative and critical analysis, intended for historians and serious students of history, of the theoretical presuppositions and political values of German historians from von Humboldt and von Ranke to Meinecke and Ritter. There is more than ample justification, as the author points out, for speaking of a single main tradition of German historiography, a tradition unified by its foundation in the peculiarly German philosophy of Idealism and manifested in the theoretical convictions of the German historians with respect to the nature of history and the character of political power. It is this specifically German ""historicism"" that the book investigates in its origins, accomplishments, and impact upon other disciplines and upon the historians of other countries. Happily, the book violates the spirit of the tradition which it records in going beyond a simple narrative of events ""as they really happened"" to an evaluation of those events, those historians, and those accomplishments, and it is under this, its critical aspect, that the work has its definitive value. It is a value only slightly diminished by the author's impenetrability of style.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1968
Publisher: Wesleyan Univ. Press