That Noble Dream The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession

ISBN-10: 0521357454

ISBN-13: 9780521357456

Edition: 1988

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Description: The aspiration to relate the past "as it really happened" has been the central goal of American professional historians since the late nineteenth century. In this remarkable history of the profession, Peter Novick shows how the idea and ideal of objectivity was elaborated, challenged, modified, and defended over the past century. Drawing on the unpublished correspondence as well as the published writing of hundreds of American historians, this book is a richly textured account of what American historians have thought they were doing, or ought to be doing, when they wrote history--how their principles influenced their practice and practical exigencies influenced their principles. Published with the support of the Exxon Education Foundation.

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Book details

List price: $45.99
Copyright year: 1988
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 9/30/1988
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 662
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 2.2
Language: English

Lorraine Daston is director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and honorary professor at the Humboldt-Universit�t, Berlin.Gregg Mitman is William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and professor of medical history and science and technology studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Preface
Introduction: nailing jelly to the wall
Objectivity Enthroned
The European legacy: Ranke, Bacon, Flaubert
The professionalization project
Consensus and legitimation
A most genteel insurgency
Objectivity Besieged
Historians on the home front
A changed climate
Professionalism stalled
Divergence and dissent
The battle joined
Objectivity Reconstructed
The defense of the West
A convergent culture
An autonomous profession
Objectivity in Crisis
The collapse of comity
Every group its own historian
The center does not hold
There was no king in Israel
Appendix: manuscript collections cited
Index
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