First published in 1958, Detachment and the Writing of History collects essays and letters by Carl L. Becker in which the noted historian outlines his views on the study of history, the craft of the historian, the art of teaching, and the historical evolution of the idea of democracy. Together, these invaluable writings demonstrate Becker's conviction of the moral seriousness of the historian's calling and of the importance of history as a factor, at once intellectual and artistically imaginative, in the life of society.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 283 g
Dimensions: 197 x 127 x 14 mm
"Few American historians of our century have written such beautiful prose as did Carl Becker.... Many of his finest essays appeared in learned journals or in other places to which there is no easy access today. Phil Snyder has rendered a real service by gathering together these little gems on historical writing, education, and democracy. He has also brought to light some revealing letters from Becker. The volume is introduced by a superb essay, in which the Cornell philosopher, George Sabine, appraises Becker's ideas."* Library Journal *
"In this collection of Becker's articles, essays, reviews, and literary fragments, Professor Snyder has placed us in his debt by assembling a number of the most valuable scholarly and literary remains of one of the more fertile, illuminating, and witty minds among American historians.... In only a few pages of cogent and witty example and analysis, Becker amply demonstrated that no historian, however learned, well equipped, and painstaking, can ever reconstruct the past as it actually happened. He thus torpedoed for all time what had been the veritable cornerstone of traditional historical science."* Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science *