Download Historians' Fallacies : Toward a Logic of Historical Thought by David Hackett Fischer PDF

By David Hackett Fischer

"If one laughs whilst David Hackett Fischer sits right down to play, one will remain to cheer. His booklet needs to be learn 3 times: the 1st in anger, the srcond in laughter, the 3rd in respect....The knowledge is expressed with a certin ruthlessness. Scarcly an immense historian escapes unscathed. 10000 contributors of the AmericanHistorical organization will rush to the index and breathe a bit more straightforward to discover their names absent.

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Lokken, "The Con c ept of De· mocracy in Colonial Political Thought," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser. 1 6 ( 1 959 ) ; 568-80. FALLA CIES OF QUESTION-FRAMING 23 cerned about the alleged absence of Orders and Distinctions in the New World. Cotton wrote: Nor neede your Lordship feare (which yet I speake with submission to your Lordships better judgment) that this corse will lay such a foundation, as nothing but a mere democracy can be built upon it. Bodine confesseth, that though it be a status popularis, where a people choose their owne governors; yet the government is not a democracy, if it be administered, not by the people, but by the governors, whether one ( for then it is a monarchy, though elective ) aristocracy se .

Vii. "11 But all of these scholars were themselves unable to keep clear of the problem they condemned. Their works are refutations of the argument that the Civil War was a "needless war," which was precipi­ tated by a "blundering generation" of American political leaders. 19 "As a historian," E. H. ' Life will be drabber. " Historians might also turn their backs upon all aspects of the metaphysical problems raised by determinism versus voluntarism, the comparative reality of individuals and groups, materialism versus idealism, and all manner of other monisms and dualisms.

Though Beard never wrote at length on Reconstruction, the chapters in his Rise of A merican Civilization ( 2 vols. , New York, 1 927 ) were as influ­ ential as Dunning's work had previously been. The new generation of monographers was a mixed bag of semi-Marxists, white liberals, and Negro historians, whose interpretations tended to be more homogeneous than their ethnic and ideological heterogeneity suggested. These "re­ visionists" were more interested in economic and social history than in political and constitutional happenings and more apt to sympathize with Negroes and carpetbaggers than with their conservative white opponents.

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